E FIFA And U.S. Liberal Republicans

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Bernie Sanders, the non-Clinton Democratic primary candidate, told an audience that he wants to raise income taxes for the very rich to "the levels they were under that Socialist, Pres. Eisenhower." Taxes are not the only part of government regulation which were once part of Republican platforms before any trace of liberalism was removed in the intervening years.

Bribery was the way US and foreign multinational corporations won contracts before 1975 when Pres Carter signed the foreign corrupt practices law. Now it has been adopted by other developed countries in the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development--if not by Putin's Russia.

One major scandal which generated the new law was the Lockheed bribery connection. Officials of aerospace companies like Lockheed and its competitors paid foreign government defense officials to favor one company's planes. Lockheed was investigated by the Senate Foreign Relations committee Subcommittee on Multinational Corporations for which I was minority (Republican) senior staff member, on behalf of Clifford Case R-NJ. The Democrats were headed by Frank Church. The two senators drafted the law which Pres. Carter late signed.

The Lockheed investigation found egregious bribery of foreign officials, from the consort of Queen Juliana of the Netherlands to a respected French air force officer who threw himself under a bus. The tale included lurid Mafiosi and friends of Uncle Sam in European countries. In Paris, from a disgusted civil servant, I discovered that the French taxman allowed a bribery level of 10% on any contracts local companies won, deductible from profits.

It was not the only case of bribery we investigated. There were also shady deals byITT fostered by the CIA in Chile when Allende became President.

Back then, even with Richard Nixon as president, ethical standards were high among the liberal and Rockefeller Republicans: my boss Case, my state's Sen. Jack Javits, Chuck Percy, even Prescott Bush, who had been a Senator from Connecticut.

Now I have had my moment of fame as the daughter of an amateur soccer goalie, my father. US law was used to crack down on FIFA soccer bribe recipients. As American laws tend to be extra-territorial in impact (since the first Marines sailed against the pirates on the shores of Tripoli, now in Libya) the soccer world got a needed cleanup from a country where the beautiful game is hardly played (except by foreign-born soccer-players like my dad.)

And my little bit of liberal Republican politicking helped make this possible. Putin has defended the FIFA chiefs claimed American “overreach” had led to their conviction.

Cuba has been removed from the US list of terrorist countries, another step toward normalizing relations. We have a stock for that.

The US is facing an increase in its misery index, first a higher rate of inflation for April, at 0.3% the highest in 2 years. Now we got a confirmation of a drop in gross national product in Q1. The US economy shrank 0.7% in the 3-mo period, a new, higher estimate, rather than meeting forecasts of a 2% growth rate (both annualized). The trade deficit also rose.

A key element in negative growth (apart from snow and a West Coast longshoreman's strike) was the high dollar hurts US exports against cheaper competitors while also cutting the value of sales abroad in US corporate accounts.

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