It is certainly correct to notice that our current political situation makes
compromise and long term planning impossible. Democrats don't want to
reduce benefits to the elderly, the middle class and the needy. Republicans
insist on lowering taxes on the already wealthy.If I were king, I
would both raise taxes on the already comfortable, and cut some of the benefit
spending we currently do. Does it make sense that someone as wealthy as Warren
Buffet can get Medicare benefits and Social Security? Does it make sense to
allow Wall Street financiers pay much lower tax rates on their income than the
average salaried employee? Do we really need to subsidize the housing habits of
the wealthy by giving mortgage deductions for second homes, boats and RV's?
Is it right that folks bankrupt grandma so that she can be put into a home
which the Medicaid system pays for? And nobody believes we ought to keep
spending ungodly amounts on wars, arms and spying. There are lots
of ways to change the fiscal picture of the country. However, the partisans of
the right will never allow it. And the partisans of the left are not much
Gary OSo you are saying that this country in spite of its current
17+ trillion debt should add another one trillion in infrastructure spending?
Well as you said, "a trillion here and a trillion there" and pretty soon
we are talking bankruptcy. And only 100 billion was for jobs and
infrastructure? Was this another of Obamas overselling? Not so many shovel
ready jobs from that, was there. And for the record, Republicans like tax cuts
for any and all who pay the taxes, especially the ones who are the producers of
America. Those are the people who create jobs, and if it takes cutting their
taxes short term to get the jobs going in the long term, then go for it. And
who paid the money for Obama and the Democrats? Some foreign money for one.
Lots of union money for another, which by the way was paid back to them with
that wonderful stimilus. And the usual special interest groups like teachers,
lawyers, and Hollywood. Sad thing is, with BOs incompetancy, they aren't
getting their moneys worth. At least the Republican money got us the House.
And more to come soon.
Happy2bhere -Of course I remember the stimulus, but only about 100
million of that 800 million was reserved for infrastructure though, and
that’s where it went.The stimulus went in several directions,
and all of them helped the economy. The stimulus also reduced taxes for 95% of
working Americans, to help money circulate throughout the economy. But it
didn’t reduce taxes for the highest earners or penalize the middle class,
so I guess that must be why “Conservatives” feel so much heartburn
about it.Another trillion in appropriations for building and
rebuilding infrastructure would be a good start, but it’s not nearly
enough.Yes, I know. Many bills “have been passed by the
House,” but what they all have in common is they favor the rich at the
expense of the Middle Class.Face it. The Koch brothers paid good
money to buy a controlling share of the US House of Representatives, and they
want to get their money’s worth.
What first 800 billion? It was called the stimulus. It was the program that
was supposed to provide "shovel ready jobs". Are you kidding? You
don't remember that? As for Republican Obstructionism, you can
also count Harry Reid as part of the problems in nothing getting done in
Congress. Look at how he deals with Republicans. Won't even put a bill up
for vote. Many have been passed by the House, and Harry just tables them. NO
VOTE. Why, because he is afraid they might pass. Harry Reid is the number one
reason Congress is a do nothing Congress. So they do useless and stupid things
like worrying about the name of a football team. Really pathetic the Democrats
are in this Senate. Koch Brothers. You got Harry Reiditis if you
think that the 38th biggest contributor to political causes, the Koch Brothers
are any problem. There are so many larger Democrat money people.
Duh. We need to cut spending significantly and drastically increase revenues.
Think we can get either party to admit this is true? Good luck. Playing to
constituencies (or partisan politics, as we usually call it) is what this is all
about, as Samuelson points out.
Hey happy2bhere -What "first 800 billion?""Conservatives" shot down Obama's 2011 Jobs' Bill that, if
implemented, would have had this nation's economy looking pretty good
right about now."We've now seen 5 years of how that
doesn't work"Yeah, Republican Obstructionism has been
extremely harmful for this nation. I agree.The Solution? Vote out those Republican Koch Brothers' employees in Congress, who
continuously work AGAINST the best interests of America and Americans.
Gary OThe numbers have been run. Tax the wealthy 100% and it
doesn't come close to paying off the debt. As for infrastructure
investments, how about a pipeline, or more drilling? That infrastructure stuff
by the way was what the first Obama 800 billion was supposed to do. You INVEST
in this nation, not by liberal Democrat policies. We've now seen 5 years
of how that doesn't work. It takes the conservative approach. Tax cuts to
business stimulates growth. As for cutting government? You, a liberal,
suggesting that? REALLY? As for the GDP, well, what can I say. Not good. We
need a lot more than 1 or 2 percent growth to meet our needs.
Hey happy2bhere -"we can't cut or tax our way out of our
problems." Of course we can, but they have to be the right cuts
and the right tax increases, AND we need the right kind of government
spending.We need to INVEST in this nation.We need
infrastructure, and people need jobs.By making the right investments
through appropriate spending, we get infrastructure and we get people employed,
and those people with incomes spend and consume. In the course of all that, jobs
are outsourced to private sector contractors who in turn invest.GDP
is the main indicator of economic strength.In case you don't
know it, Domestic consumption + Government Spending + Private Investment are key
components of the GDP.
Here is how I'd do it. First dispell with the idea that all economic
growth is necessarily going to be needed for government spending. If economic
growth is BIG enough, it could meet all current government obligations to
everyone without needing to cut anyone off, or reduce benefits. That last is
very important, because current Americans have grown to believe that the SS and
Medicare will be there for them. To betray that trust would be un-American.
So, the question becomes, what policies would most greatly help the private
sector to grow our competative/capitalistic economy the most? If we did the
right things, our economy could grow by 7%,8% even double digit percentages.
Now let's argue over what those right things are. I say that the right
targeted tax cuts to American businesses is a good beginning. And getting rid
of the baseline budgeting policy of automatic increases to programs that may not
really need the added expense. If we could get several years of good growth, we
could even begin to reduce the 17 trillion debt. It has got to happen with
private sector growth, we can't cut or tax our way out of our problems.
“ . . . the Tax Reform Act of 1986 [that] lowered top individual rates .
. . is widely regarded as the best tax legislation since World War II . . .
“Who regards it that highly? . . . The Koch brothers and
their Republican employees in Congress, who pretend to be working for
America?It was in the 1980’s that income disparity began to
really take off on a course that would eventually leave a huge gulf between two
extremes.“ . . . these premises . . . must be re-examined for
an age when government has overcommitted itself. Naturally, this starts with
questioning the open-ended retirement subsidies for the elderly . . . “Baloney. An examination of the nation’s finances should start with
us asking why we dropped the highest tax rate from 77% (when we had vast
outlays and still balanced the budget) to just 35% where it is now (and the
nation is struggling)? The next question to address should be . . . WHY do we
pay more for our military than the next 8 highest-spending nations combined?Republicans should just leave the old folks alone, and focus on doing
something USEFUL for this nation.