Open Letter to a Politician

by Don Boudreaux on July 10, 2012

in Balance of Payments, Seen and Unseen, Trade

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL)
711 Hart Senate Bldg.
Washington, DC 20501

Dear Sen. Durbin:

You frequently complain about America’s trade deficit.  But on Sunday’s Face the Nation you complained instead about Mitt Romney’s Swiss bank account.

Are you aware that when Mr. Romney and other citizens invest abroad they put downward pressure on America’s trade deficit?

If you are aware of this fact, have you suddenly changed your mind about the alleged ills of America’s trade deficit?  And will you, from here on in, therefore stop demagoguing that statistic for your political gain?

If instead you’re not aware of this fact, don’t you think you should immediately stop legislating on matters of trade – matters about which your ignorance of trade deficits renders you utterly incompetent even to pronounce upon?

Sincerely,
Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA 22030

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