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It appears that Republicans are following the advice of Rep. Peter King (R-NY) about laying out their agenda for what they would do should they regain control of the House in the November mid-term elections. On Bill Bennett’s radio program last Thursday, Rep. King said this:

“I don’t think we have to lay out a complete agenda, from top to bottom, because then we would have the national mainstream media jumping on every point trying to make that a campaign issue.”

Yesterday on Meet the Press Rep. Pete Sessions and Sen. John Cornyn, both of  Texas (sigh) continued with that theme. When David Gregory asked Sessions to explain what the GOP would do to cut the deficit, Sessions replied with meaningless generalities like these:

“We need to live within our own means.”

“We need to make that sure we read the bills.”

“We are going to balance the budget.”

“We need to make sure that…we look at all that we are spending in Washington D.C.”

Sessions added something which stood out to me when Gregory pressed him for specifics. “He [Rep. Chris Van Hollen D-MD who remarked earlier about removing tax incentives for employers who ship jobs overseas] wants to diminish employers’ ability to be able to be competitive across the world…We need to go back to the exact same agenda that is empowering the free enterprise system rather than diminishing it.”

“Employers’ ability to be competitive across the world.” For instance Hanes:

“As recently as 2006 when Hanes was spun off from its parent Sara Lee Corporation, the company had 19 plants in the US and Puerto Rico. It currently has seven with one (Forsyth, NC) more scheduled to close by year-end 2010. Hanes now manufactures its wares across 17 plants and production facilities scattered across the Caribbean and Central America (Haiti, El Salvador and Honduras) to South East Asia (Bangladesh, Thailand, Vietnam), Micronesia (Saipan, Marshall Islands), a China manufacturing hub and one plant in Mount Airy, North Carolina.

…two thirds of the growth in earnings for Hanes came as a result of moving its production offshore and from financing activities.

Who benefits? Well management certainly does as do the shareholders. Its stock closed today at $25.97 up 78.3 percent year-over-year. Its CEO, Richard Noll, was paid $5.7 million in 2009. Not bad for a manufacturer of underwear and hosiery. Meanwhile, the company’s average wage in Bangladesh is $0.33 cents an hour. Of its 50,000 employees worldwide, less than ten percent work in the US.”

This is the “free enterprise system” that Sessions and his fellow Republicans want to “empower rather than diminish.” Great for creating jobs in Bangladesh, not so much in America. Not to mention the “go back” remark. There’s the GOP agenda in a nutshell.

Cornyn’s answer to the question was much the same, adding that he wants to wait and see what the debt commission has to say. Way to face up to those tough choices, Sen. Cornyn. Watch:

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