There seem to be two different realities we are currently living in, the REAL America and Bizarro America. Here are a few examples:
Tax cuts stimulate the economy and create jobs. Any increase in taxes in this recession will derail the recovery effort and send us spinning into a full-blown depression.
10 years of the current Bush tax cuts have shown absolutely NO propensity to create jobs. In fact, they seem to do the opposite. Just count the number of jobs created during the tax rates of the Clinton administration, then count the number of jobs created during the Bush tax cuts. This isn’t rocket science. If you can add and subtract the difference is right there to be seen. There’s no grey. The Wall Street Journal back in 2009 showed the hard numbers:
“President George W. Bush entered office in 2001 just as a recession was starting, and is preparing to leave in the middle of a long one. That’s almost 22 months of recession during his 96 months in office.
His job-creation record won’t look much better. The Bush administration created about three million jobs (net) over its eight years, a fraction of the 23 million jobs created under President Bill Clinton’s administration and only slightly better than President George H.W. Bush did in his four years in office.
Here’s a look at job creation under each president since the Labor Department started keeping payroll records in 1939. The counts are based on total payrolls between the start of the month the president took office (using the final payroll count for the end of the prior December) and his final December in office.
Because the size of the economy and labor force varies, we also calculate in percentage terms how much the total payroll count expanded under each president. The current President Bush, once taking account how long he’s been in office, shows the worst track record for job creation since the government began keeping records.”
See the total numbers at:
So we have at least 8 years of Clinton policy and 10 years of Bush policy (2 years of Obama which is basically the Bush policy) to use in order to draw a conclusion. The only honest conclusion anyone can draw from this is that higher taxes don’t kill job growth and tax cuts don’t create jobs. Obama and the GOP’s ascertain that another two years of this policy will now suddenly create jobs is morally bankrupt at best.
Also, as ThinkProgress.org explains, Clinton’s tax rate:
“Of course, far from bringing the Doomsday of which Republicans were warning, Clinton’s policies ushered in the longest sustained period of economic growth in the nation’s history, with 23 million jobs created. Compared to the administration of George W. Bush, the Clinton-era saw more job growth, more GDP growth, more wage growth, and more business investment. Incomes grew under Clinton but fell under Bush, while poverty did the opposite, falling under Clinton but increasing under Bush.”
Read the full article at:
We can borrow our way out of a down economy.
I don’t know about you but when I borrow money, I have to repay it. I certainly don’t run a huge amount of debt service and at the beginning of each year take out a loan to pay my kids a bonus. The idea being that the bonuses I am giving my kids will be taken and used to create more money to help get us out of this hole. Now while I don’t doubt that in REALLY extraordinary circumstances, this method might work. Let’s say they take the money and hit the lottery. BINGO! No more debt. Perhaps one of them takes the money and uses it to create the next big widget. BINGO!! No more debt. But here’s the reality that most of us live in:
Chances are pretty good that our kids will go out and by a PlayStation 3 and some games to go with it. Maybe a case of Monster energy drinks and that money will never be seen again.
Or, in some cases, they will be smart and stick that money in a savings account, never to been seen again with respect to helping with the current budget crisis. Sure, they may end up being rich down the road, but in the meantime I will have to file for bankruptcy and/or drop dead.
Again, this isn’t complicated. If you aren’t paying down debt and incurring more, eventually it will fall apart. One day the bank will come calling and it will all be over. In the case of the United States, it will be China, Europe and more coming calling.
As Americans, we deserve top flight public services from our government. First rate education. Second to none infrastructure (highways, roads, etc…). The best of police and fire fighters. The Best! The Best!! The Best!! Oh yeah, and we shouldn’t have to pay the taxes require to fund all of this. Just make it all happen.
All of these things cost money. Now let me be clear, I am very aware of the wasteful spending that goes on in government, be it Federal, State or Local government. But even that waste is protected by so many special interests that its insane.
First off, let’s talk corporations. Most corporations make lots of money off of corporate tax loopholes. This needs to be changed. But there’s almost nobody in government to take that stand because they don’t want to be taken away from the teat of their benefactors. As I have written in this space before, CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM. Until that happens nothing will change.
Next, lets talk unions, specifically teachers unions. I for one think most teachers are grossly underpaid. However, there are a couple of GOP talking points that always seems to be able to bring meaningful reform in eduction to a grinding halt:
“There is too much money spent on the bureaucracy in the schools. Wasted money that isn’t going directly to the children’s education. So even if we give them more money they will just waste. Additionally, the unions are protecting teachers who are either poor to outright horrible instructors. Why sink more money into a system that is throwing that money at bad.”
To their points, they are kind of right. To the extent that schools really need to be streamlined and unions need to stop protecting bad teachers. But that doesn’t mean that doing just these two things will solve the problem. More money is going to be invaluable to fixing our schools. Higher, more competitive wages means very smart people who would normally go on to become doctors or lawyers or higher earners will have the option to become educators. You can’t just keep crying that the education system is broken and not recognize the very simple truth; if paid well, many more excellent candidates will choose to become teachers.
High quality roads. High quality police. High quality firefighters, all cost money. If America insists on all of this then it will have to pay for it, not demand it and then tell the government to get the money for it somewhere else. Again bureaucracy is part of it. But we can’t streamline government enough to fix all of our woes.
The reality we have before us is that the only way out of this mess is to be the nation we once were. A nation that came together in hard times and worked for the greater good. Sometime over the past 10 years there has been prevailing attitude among the rich that has gained more and more momentum, “If you don’t like being poor, then be rich! It’s not my fault I have lots of money! And no, I couldn’t possibly spend all of the money I have but while it’s being offered to me, it will take what I can while I can.” I don’t believe that about all of the rich. In fact I think there are a larger segment of them who have their heart in the right place. But this is the same country that just had to bail out a large segment of Wall Street because they screwed up. And today, those same people are taking in record bonuses, doing nearly the exact same thing that got them into trouble in the first place, derivatives trading!
Like I said at the beginning of this novel:
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Look forward to your comments!