Who says congressional leaders can’t find common ground across party lines? Last Thursday, after learning that the U.S. Summer Olympic team’s uniforms were made in China, big shots from both parties expressed disbelief, dismay and even scorn.
Too bad they don’t get as riled up — or as unified — about our nation’s accelerating debt crisis as the U.S. government tumbles toward its fourth consecutive deficit of at least $1.2 trillion.
Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., who hasn’t bothered to produce a Senate budget in the last three years, was plenty bothered about where those Olympic outfits came from.
His solution: “I think they should take all the uniforms, put them in a big pile and burn them and start all over again.”
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, was critical, too, though in a less heated manner, of the U.S. Olympic Committee’s decision to buy foreign-made garb: “You’d think they’d know better.”
But you’d also think politicians would know that with the London Games starting on July 27, it’s too late to change clothes.
You’d also think that this news wouldn’t come as such a shock on Capitol Hill. After all, federal lawmakers should be grimly aware that the U.S. set a non-Olympic record last year by recording a $295.5 billion trade deficit with China — the largest annual commercial gap ever between two countries. Our overall trade deficit rose to $558 billion, a 12 percent increase over 2010.
Despite our ominous trade and budget deficits, though, we have a surplus of political indignation about those Olympic uniforms.
The Chinese news agency Xinhua returned fire Monday, calling the congressional uproar over the uniforms “hypocritical” and “irresponsible.” Though made in China, they were designed by the American Ralph Lauren Co.
Gee, aren’t we supposed to be trying to get along better with the Chinese lest they call in our loans?
Sure, it’s galling to know that our national team will make their grand London Games entrance in uniforms produced in another nation.
But those outfits have a significant flaw that transcends our massive trade imbalance with China.
Judge for yourself from the accompanying photo. Does that uniform really look too much like it was made in China?
Or does it look too much like it was made not for Americans but for .. well ... the French?