A Butler car dealer, Bombastic Mike Kelly will be PA’s 3rd District Congress member for as long as he wants.
The district has been re-apportioned to benefit him through 2020. His party cronies – with support from neighboring Democrat Congressman Jason Altmire in an unsuccessful attempt to save his own seat — redrew the district lines to prevent a challenge this year from Kathy Dahlkemper. Kelly had prevented the Erie businesswoman in 2010 from winning a second term.
This November, the voters, he helped pick, sent him back to Washington for a second term.
Kelly has become a quick draw “bobble head” for Fox News, spouting the Tea Party line, claiming guns rank higher than women’s rights. He says step back and allow the wealthy to get wealthier and they will create jobs. Trickle-down economics at its rawest, there is no empirical evidence to support this theory.
Many small business owners in the 3rd District are unabashed supporters, falsely hoping the “One Per centers” will make room at the top of food chain for them.
He is one of Congress’s richest members.
No doubt about it, Mike Kelly will be a legend before he is a loser.
One problem with this, how will his children and grandchildren remember him? Long after, will his constituents remember Kelly for his off the cuff remarks on TV and current laments that the Presidential election came out wrong?
Or . . .
What if Kelly were to combine his Congressional powers and his car dealership to the benefits of his constituents, helping correct the balance of payments between American exports and foreign imports?
Almost before he unpacked his bags to begin serving as a Congress member in early 2011 he was junketing to South Korea. Kelly said the purpose was “to promote vital U.S. interests in East Asia. Among those priorities is the passage of the South Korea-United States Free Trade Agreement (KORUS).”
Kelly adopted the NAFTA line. Like other KORUS supporters, he claims the trade pact will stimulate our economic recovery without increasing government spending. KORUS will create American jobs, increase exports and decrease the balance of payments, according to the second-term lawmaker.
But like NAFTA, the U.S. will first see an increase of Korean imports before economic benefits to the U.S.
Kelly has one chance to lead in this vital foreign trade issue.
Kelly’s car dealership sells Kia and Hyundai vehicles. While some are manufactured in the U.S., most are imported . . . from South Korea.
Dan Malloy writes in a Sunday July, 2011, Post-Gazette article. “Mr. Kelly’s Kia and Hyundai car dealerships stand to benefit from passage of the South Korea agreement, which would gradually eliminate tariffs on imported (cars) and allow more competitive pricing and better profit margins for American dealers.”
“Does that benefit Mike Kelly? Not only Mike Kelly but everyone else in America, too,” the Federal lawmaker responded in the same article.
But there is an opportunity for Kelly to use KORUS and help his 3rd district constituents now. He can use the power he now has in South Korea, drawing from his multi-million dollar a year purchases and his role as a U.S. Congress member. This influence can be put to work helping 3rd district manufacturers export their products to South Korea
His goal should be a dollar for dollar setoff. For example, if Kelly’s dealerships spend $10 million per year to buy South Korean vehicles, he should strive to promote that amount of exports from this district to the same country.
Since March, 2011 car importers in Argentina have to match their imports with exports of equal value. While economists continue to ridicule the program, an application of American ingenuity could iron out the rough spots.
In the meantime, Argentine imports of BMWs, Porsches, Hyundais and Mitsubishis have been halved as import executives bone up on Argentine products that can be exported.
When the idea spreads, who knows what might happen to balance of trade?