July 9, 2009
-- by Dave Johnson
What Would Republicans Do? The Republicans criticize ... well, everything. Currently they criticize the stimulus because it is "spending."
So a quick question. Can anyone tell me what the Republican plan for fixing the economy is? I mean, of course, cut taxes, especially taxes on the rich and corporations. That goes without saying. That was their solution to the terrorists attacks, Katrina, health care, and caribou migration.
But seriously, can someone leave a comment and let me and the readers here know what it is the Republicans think should be done about the economy? Everything I have heard amounts to firing people (government workers), paying people less, getting rid of pensions, and, well, cutting taxes on the rich and corporations.
Posted by Dave Johnson at July 9, 2009 9:46 AM
To be honest, I am not sure what can be done. I do feel as if the stimulus did not work, mainly because it was not spent the way it should have been. If a stimulus was made and then was closely followed to make sure where the money went, it may do some good.
I have pondered ways to make the US more self-contained as far as imports goes, and putting some form of cap on domestic prices so that citizens can still benefit from fair prices while buying locally. I am not a member of the congress so my ideas are half-baked at best.
I don't know what to tell you, exept that I was knocked off my stool to read something so...balanced on this site. The suddle jabs are there, but all in all this is a fair and legit question. What a plesant surprise to hear a liberal blogger actually looking for a solution. Now if only we could get the people in Washington to listen to one another, well, just imagine the possibilites.
Kudos to you Dave Johnson.
Thanks for the comment. FYI the stimulus money is only now starting to show up, so you shouldn't expect to see much effect yet. I expect we WILL see an effect, but unfortunately not enough.
It takes tome for the agencies of government to set up the procedures for awarding these grants. The local governments have to define the projects and explain how they are going to track the funds, and how it will better help the economy than other projects. Then they have to set up the controls to make sure the money is spent as promised and not redirected, etc.
The federal government has also been engaged in setting up their side of these procedures as well.
After all that is done the checks start to arrive.
There have been some finds spent, to stop local layoffs of police and teachers, and this has saved some jobs, but it is not new projects, which take time.
Democracy is cumbersome, with lots of controls in place to watch over public funds. Some call thei bureaucracy but the alternative is things like "no-bid contracts" that go to friends and donors to the people in power. We saw too much of that in the last several years, which I think is a lot of what led to the economic mess we see today.
Hey, you seem to have a bias against tax cuts. Our progressive tax system is unbalanced in that more than 50% of the populace have no skin in the game because they don't pay federal income tax at all. In fact, many of them are actually paid to remain in a "no tax" category - Earned income tax credit.
So, to juice up the economy, eliminate the tax barriers to those generating the jobs and the wealth - small business. It's that simple. The stimulus is a misnomer - pork projects don't create permanent lasting jobs. Ingenuity, technology, great products and services create sustainable jobs.
It's a simple solution that worked great in the 80s and will work again if we had the policiticians to simply recognize it and do it. STOP GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION and LET the FREE MARKETS WORK!
If there's a tax trap, which seems to be what you are implying, then that needs to be eliminated. The money you get should be a monotonically increasing function of the money you earn, with no kinks and dips.
I understand that tax cuts are meant to put money back into the economy, but to what degree does that happen effectively in the short term? What's the efficiency? For every dollar the gov't loses in income, how much gets put into the economy right now?
I get the impression that those with the money, heck, especially the banks, are very afraid to lend and spend at this moment. If you cut taxes, are you sure the money will be spent? (not in the long term, but rather now, is what I mean)
I think tax cuts for the rich might just go OUT of the economy - into a bank in th Cayman Islands.
This whole 50% of the public has "no skin in the game" due to not paying Federal income taxes meme is bullshit! Take a look at the attached URL. The less income you make, the higher a percentage of your total income you pay in state and local taxes (at least in California, and I suspect it's the same elsewhere).
Social Security taxes and other payroll deductions, and all the other myriad fees and sales taxes, etc. that everyone winds up paying, regardless of income, represent a much higher proportion of "disposable income" (as if there were any such thing for a person earning even the median wage in this country) than Federal income taxes do for top earners.
Posted by: Thomas Leavitt at July 12, 2009 8:39 AM
And another thing Steve,
If you cut taxes, where will you make the necessary cuts in spending? I realise that Bush 2 did not have the stomach to do the spending cuts, only the tax cuts, but these chickens come home to roost; and then what?
Republicans have zero interest in the economy or the nation
They want to maintain a privileged lifestyle. They are as purely selfish as a three year old and as unreasoning (It's all about them.)To that end they continue to "suck the tit" of the insane super rich, who are at least as selfish, and promote their desires. If their rich guys are happy, their lifestyle is intact, and nothing else matters. The selfish insanity of the super rich that Republicans serve is now so great that nothing they say can make much sense to us.
1. Tax rate, graduated flat tax.
20K - 40K 10%
40K - 80K 15%
80K - 160K 20%
> 160K 25%
Keep the Charitable and Home interest deduction
Dividend and Capital Gains rate flat 15%
The markets and 401Ks would recover
2. Provide a tax CREDIT to write off 50% of FACTORY equipment expense so that 50% of NEW FACTORY cost can be immediately recovered. Recycled tax credits pay for jobs.
3. Free up Natural Gss drilling across the country, esp on federal land. The states Profit share with the drillers
4. Take the windmill and ethanol subsidies and Build natural gas refill stations on the interstates. Goal: Big Rig running on Nat gas by 2015. 20% of total private fleet on Nat gas by 2018. Excess natural gas is avail in N and S America
5. Encourage the plug in but China's BYD will soon deliver a $20,000 plug in hybrid.
6. Set up a NASA like NIRC -- National Investment in Robotic Center to provide Seed money to implement Robot assisted manufacture and BRING BACK manufacture jobs to the middle class for Furniture, Appliance, Electronics.
7. Use ethical industrial 'research' (no theft) and get the plans to the Chinese BYD hybrid. NIRC and Goverment Motors and Ford build plug in prototypes.
8. Require companies to offer a Health saving account option that puts $7000 in an HSA. The HSA plan buys $4,000 buys a high deductible Hospital catastrophic policy. $3,000 is left in the persons account to buy Outpatient care, ER visits, glasses etc. Any funds not used roll forward to the next year. Require doctors to post a menu in the office of CPT codes they do, what they charge and what they are reimbursed. Every doc gets paid by turning in the cpt codes to Medicare or Blue Cross. Show the consumer. Post it on the wall like a Micky D menu.
(BTW Medicare spends $9,500 per enrollee per year)
9. Make sure the Government and Unions do not screw up Aircraft, Computer, Cloud computing, medical device, pharmaceutical, Software industry. Provide job expanding tax breaks.
10. Cap Federal government budget growth and not more than the 60% of GDP and CPI growth. It can grow each year but it must shrink until the GDP grows enough to cover EXISTING Medicare and Social Security obligations.
11. Thank California for showing the nation the folly of over spending.
AMONG the many problems with a flat tax is that it necessarily means that the rich pay less in taxes and the poor pay a whole lot more. Is that somehow supposed to be fair?
WHY keep the home interest deduction? It means the people making MORE get a greater subsidy from the government?
Natural gas releases carbon into the air.
Health savings accounts are a scam. I can't even figure out how they are supposed to work. But basically they are one more tax break for the well-to-do, and a big subsidy to insurance companies.
What YOU call "spending" is what the rest of us call providing services to the citizens.
Nice to get a list.
W.r.t. California, isn't it equally correct to say that it showed the folly of limiting the state's power to raise money?
I think we can agree that you can't just cut income if you wish to spend at the same time. Seems to me the Propositions in CA wanted to have their cake and eat it too. (Who wouldn't?!)
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