Top Of My Head

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Tag: Stimulus Package

Republican Jobs Plan

Is it me?  Because I just don’t get it.  I don’t understand how the Republicans can keep coming back to the same old / same old and think that it will work.  Yes, Ronald Reagan cut taxes in 1981, but he raised government spending (and I’m really simplifying because monetary policy had a lot to do with the recovery).  The idea that the country can get our citizens back to work via lower tax rates and the reduction of government regulations is a one that is not based on any facts.

Here’s what drives companies to hire people – it’s simple, but true:  DEMAND.  That’s it, demand for a company’s good has to be high enough for the company to hire more people.  PERIOD.  If we’re not out purchasing Ding Dongs, the Ding Dong factory up the road is not going to hire more people.  It doesn’t matter how low a company’s taxes go, they’re NOT going to hire anyone they don’t actually need.

I don’t understand why it is that the Republicans in the Senate (led by John McCain) and the majority of the Republican Candidates for President do not understand the basics of economics.  And, actually, I do understand why Michele Bachmann doesn’t – the woman doesn’t know that Abraham Lincoln wasn’t a founding father and that Elvis is dead.  I understand why Rick Perry doesn’t get it – he’s a politician. But, Mitt Romney and Herman Cain are businessmen – Romney hasn’t been one for quite a while, but Cain did an impressive job turning around the Godfather’s Pizza business.

How can either one of them say, in all honesty, that they would hire someone they don’t need in a company just because taxes are low?

Why would anyone?

The truth is that consumers are tapped out.  I’m tapped out, you’re tapped out.  We’ve pretty much purchased everything we wanted in the last, say, twenty years.  I have a house.  I purchased two cars – one new, one used – within the past two years.  Other than buying some Christmas presents and a new cell phone, quite honestly, I’m done.  Finished.  There’s no more spending coming from my house.  It is time – and this is probably anti-Patriotic of me – to do some saving.

There’s a lot of people out there who are just like me.

So, how does the economy improve?

By the government spending, spending and spending some more.  I don’t like the concept, I don’t like the idea, but that’s what has to happen.  We can’t lay off 15,000 government workers in one state and expect that state’s economy to make any improvements.

We have been neglecting our infrastructure in this country for years.  Now is the time to fix the bridges, the roadways, the levees, our schools and whatever else needs fixing.  Now is the time for the government to spend.

There’s a balance that has to be met.  We can’t have too much government money pumped into the economy or it will push out private investment.  We need to find that balance.

But, we are not going to improve the economy by cutting more taxes and reducing even more regulations.  The Republicans need to start singing a new tune, because the economy can’t march to the one they’ve been singing.

Stimulus Package

Economists are calling on Washington to create yet another stimulus package. Bush previously said, “No” to the idea, but something has changed his mind and now he wants one.

Well, I can’t imagine this being a good idea. Let’s just put our deficit even higher. Our government all ready owes everyone and their brother money. The bailout has cost every American citizen $3,100 and now, they want to pass a $150 billion bill. How is this going to help? Maybe, we just need the economy to suck for a while. It’ll come back, let’s just sit, wait and see what happens.

If anything should pass, it should be to give states enough money to cover unemployment. I heard that Wisconsin is running out of money. Also, it should be to help the 7.5% of Americans who are or will be unemployed find training in other fields.

Side note: My mother keeps insisting the economy is chugging along and everything is fine. One of the things she says proves this is our unemployment rate. Right now, it’s lower than 7.5% and it is lower than it was in the seventies, so things are okay. Well, I don’t know a lot about the seventies, but I know now if you’re unemployed and not on the unemployment roll, you’re not being counted. If you are still employed, but looking for a full time job, you’re counted as unemployed. If you took a job way below where you were before, you’re not being counted, but you’re not making your full pre-firing, pre-laid off wage. None of these are good for the economy. Another thing that isn’t good was the high gas prices.

Now, if they are going to send sums home to people, let’s send more than a lousy $600.00 per individual. Cheryl and I normally spend more than $1800 on Christmas between gifts, wrapping paper, Christmas Eve dinner and charitable donations, but not this year. We’re cutting way back this year. We haven’t been able to put money into our savings accounts like previous years due to various reasons — the least of which included the high gas prices — and we’re going to need to use the Christmas fund to pay our home taxes. Now, I’m not complaining, we both have jobs, things are just tighter than normal. We’ll get through it, just as many of Americans will.

But, the only way for the economy to bounce back is we need to put money into it. So, here’s my suggestion — partially stolen from Lewis Black — let’s build something, anything. Let’s put money into our intrastucture. Let’s improve our roads, let’s update our railroads. If we’re going to spend $150 billion dollars, let’s use it to create jobs. How about create an energy company, solely owned by the government, that will research fossil fuel alternatives? What about a company that will invent a better running car? Something, anything that will create jobs. And, let’s take a look at the hardest hit areas of the nations and put in training centers. Let’s train our unemployed and underemployed for different jobs. Not only would we employ people as trainers, but we’ll make our un and under employed citizens ready for the next jobs in their lives.

How can we pay for this?

Well, let’s stop substizing oil companies and large farms (not family farms, the big guys) and I’m sure there’s other things as well. Let’s rollback the tax breaks on the upper 1%. We all know taxes have to be raised, so let’s just get it over with. Hell, I’d chip in a little more in taxes to pay for something that benefits all.

But, it’ll never happen.

So, if they do pass the stimulus, I hope it’s enough money so we can buy some really nice Christmas presents.

God Bless

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