HIGHTOWER: Ambassador Sasser at Work
You know those orange and black signs you see at highway and bridge construction projects informing us that this is: "Your tax dollars at work"?Well, Jim Sasser should have one of those signs strapped to his back. He's the former U.S. Senator who's now our Ambassador to China, and he's busy building that "Bridge to the 21st Century" that Bill Clinton keeps talking about. Unfortunately, Sasser's bridge is being built between Wall Street and China.According to Business Week magazine, U.S. corporate chieftains and the Chinese leadership consider Sasser to be one "helluva guy." That's because he considers it his ambassadorial duty to help more of our corporations move investment dollars, factories and jobs to China, and he's been working like a beaver to provide the bridge that connects the companies to the Chinese.Apparently, though, Ambassador Sasser also spends a lot of time teaching China's rulers about how to influence our congressional leaders, so congress will support trade policies to help move more U.S. businesses there. The head of the American Chamber of Commerce in Beijing praises Sasser, saying that the Chinese have "learned a lot about how America works recently." There you go -- your tax dollars at work! Even though they might put you out of work.And what a job Sasser is doing! While he's been there, the gap between what we sell to China and what they sell to us has widened to be worse than our trade gap with Japan -- now topping $53 billion a year.A former administration official says the Chinese consider Sasser a pushover, asserting that they like him because "they figure he's nice and he's weak. He won't cause any problems."This is Jim Hightower saying . . . If the Chinese and the Chamber of Commerce think Sasser is so great for building their corporate bridge . . . Why not let them pay his $123,000-a-year ambassador's salary?