Pat Buchanan succinctly lays out the real history of the Republican Party as “The Party of Protection”:
In the 1895 “History of the Republican Party,” the authors declare, “the Republican Party … is the party of protection … that carries the banner of protection proudly.”
Under protectionist policies from 1865 to 1900, U.S. debt was cut by two-thirds. Customs duties provided 58 percent of revenue. Save for President Cleveland’s 2 percent tax, which was declared unconstitutional, there was no income tax. Commodity prices fell 58 percent. Real wages, despite a doubling of the population, rose 53 percent. Growth in GDP averaged over 4 percent a year. Industrial production rose almost 5 percent a year.
The U.S. began the era with half of Britain’s production, and ended it with twice Britain’s production. Reagan was a conservative of the heart. Though a free trader, he always put America first.
What, then, does history teach?
The economic nationalism and protectionism of Hamilton, Madison, Jackson, and Henry Clay, and the Party of Lincoln, McKinley, Teddy Roosevelt, and Coolidge, of all four presidents on Mount Rushmore, made America the greatest and most self-sufficient republic in history.
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