Thaddeus McCotter: Thaddeus McCotter Promotes Strong-Arm Foreign Policy-Using the Military, Payoffs, and Tariffs. at Home, His Record Is Mixed
Eddlem, Thomas R., The New American
Representative Thaddeus "Thad" McCotter of Livonia, Michigan, entered the presidential race in July 2011, and styles himself as a conservative, telling the Detroit NBC-TV affiliate, "I'm a Russell Kirk conservative. I'm a Ronald Reagan conservative." But McCotter earned an anemic average of only 53 percent during his nine years as a Congressman on The New American's "Freedom Index," far lower than the other two Congressmen running for President, Ron Paul (100 percent) and Michele Bachmann (81 percent).
The 45-year-old, five-term Michigan Congressman is basing his candidacy on what he calls his "five core principles." Those principles are: "1. Our liberty is from God not the government, 2. Our sovereignty is in our souls not the soil, 3. Our security is from strength not surrender, 4. Our prosperity is from the private sector not the public sector, 5. Our truths are self-evident not relative."
Those sound like fine, if vague, principles. And it's only fair to add that Mc-Cotter's "Freedom Index" ratings have gradually risen over the years. He received a 70-percent rating for the previous Congress (2009-10) and an 89 percent in the first index for the current Congress.
McCotter has, however, failed to live up to his principles in some recent votes. He voted for the $4 billion "Cash for Clunkers" bill (June 2009) and for the $2 billion extension (July 2009) of the same program. If prosperity is not from government, why vote to fund such government programs? Since McCotter's district is based in the suburbs of Detroit, the program could be seen as a giant pork barrel project for his district. McCotter also voted to fund the federal National Service program (March 2009) and the COPS program (April 2009), which serves to get local police forces dependent upon federal aid.
McCotter has voted repeatedly to extend the Patriot Act, which is a direct attack on U.S. Constitution's Fourth Amendment. The Patriot Act allows government to search citizens in many instances without probable cause or the particularity required by the Fourth Amendment.
The Michigan father of three has tried to shake up the presidential race by taking on frontrunner Mitt Romney directly, talking about an "Obama-Romney economy." McCotter told Fox News July 9, 2011, "I think it's pretty evident we have Obama as the champion of big government. We've seen Mr. Romney as championing the big banks and the Wall Street bailout. They are less rivals than they are running-mates."
McCotter voted against the TARP bailout of banks under Bush ("I thought the whole thing was ridiculous," he said in an interview at the Hoover Institution) and Obama's "stimulus" bill. But he also strongly supported using TARP money for the auto bailouts, arguing in February 2009:
Unfortunately, the Federal Reserve's Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility (TALF) may not include credit access relief for domestic auto dealers to purchase cars from manufacturers. This past Wednesday, in the House Financial Services Committee, I reaffirmed the Federal Reserve must help make TALF work for auto dealers, consumers, and every working family in the American auto industry.
Again, use of the TALF funds for the auto industry was a multi-billion-dollar pork-barrel project for his metro Detroit district. Perhaps that's why McCotter fashions himself as a trade hawk, telling Detroit's NBC-TV affiliate, "What we're seeing out of China is a mercantilist trade policy. ... We are not producing the goods here to sell there, because they are an export-driven economy. They are curtailing their domestic market. They are putting barriers to U.S. investment and trade opportunities there. This is not a reciprocal relationship." As a result, McCotter has sponsored H.R.554, the Freedom Trade Act, which puts punitive tariffs on any nation that denies freedom of religion or impedes the rights of workers to organize into unions and bargain collectively. …