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Up or down on the TPP? How would you decide?
When Obamacare was being debated I had liberal friends whose argument in favor consisted of “We need to do something,” and “Health care is a right.” One of my responses was that slogans are not legislation and it is only the details of bill that are relevant. In the case of Obamacare, it was a 2,000-page piece of legislation that no one understood, and today even some of my liberal friend rue its passage as they understand what it actually contained.
When Dodd-Frank was being debated, some liberal friends said things like “We need to do something,” and “We need to end too big to fail.” I said again that slogans are not legislation. And although the 1,000-page-plus Dodd-Frank bill stated in its preamble that it was ending “too big to fail,” we now know that the details of the legislation actually strengthened the hand of the largest banks.
Now the full text of the TPP has finally been released. It’s 5,500 pages, and let’s face it, no one who is going to vote on it will understand it. I like free trade as a principle. But the TPP does not simply say, “We like free trade — go for it!” It contains voluminous and complex provisions governing trade that only those who have spent the past few years negotiating understand (and my guess is most of them only understand the specific sections they worked on).
So what say you?Published in