Let Uncle Neal tell you how it really is and how it should be!
Continued, c'mon, go read the rest of it!Well now. Our economy is really lunging forward, isnít it? What a ride! Are you holding on?
Weíre billions of dollars further in debt (trillions?) and the economy is still stagnant. TARP, the stimulus bill, massive debts our children and grandchildren will have to pay .. and what has this all brought us? Banks arenít lending, businesses arenít hiring Ė let along expanding Ė and consumers arenít buying. Oh, to be sure, the malls are crowded. Turn up the thermostats and see how long that lasts. Those arenít shoppers, theyíre just your neighbors trying to stay cool while watching the latest absurd teen fashion and freak shows.
Do what the initials SNAFU mean? That word was created to define government action, or inaction as the case may be. In 1942 Time magazine carried this revelation: "Last week U.S. citizens knew that gasoline rationing and rubber requisitioning were snafu.Ē Well .. if there was ever a SNAFU, our economy would fit the description. To fully understand this, you have to know what the acronym stands for. Go ahead Ö Google it.
So Ö after hundreds of billions of dollars, government seizures of GM, Citigroup and others, imminent bank nationalization, massive favors handed to unions at the expense of private investors, and a pantload of new czars in the White House Ö all done to kick start our economy Ö what do we have. SNAFU, thatís what. Or TAUFU, if you like.
Look Ö Iím just a talk show host. What the hell do I know? Iíve been sitting behind a microphone for 40 years now sparring with hundreds of thousands of callers who generally knew a helluva lot more than the hundreds of politicians Iíve interviewed over that time. Having said that Ö Iím betting that this particular talk show host can, in just a few hundred words, give you some better ideas for kick starting our economy than youíve heard from Obama and his Democrat sycophants over the past four months. Oh, and throw in most of the Republicans as well.
Itís not all that hard, really. All you have to do is recognize and acknowledge the true goal of the political class. Itís summed up in one word: POWER. You think they actually give a flying Krispy Kreme about you? What? I know you were born at night, but was it last night? They may care about your vote .. but thatís it. Itís power, my friends. Power and little else. Politicians will spout some lofty rhetoric about public service and wanting to leave this country a better place when they leave office; but, with few exceptions, that changes rather quickly. Once they get used to the privileges and the perks that go with their exalted positions their mindset changes. These people donít name research centers, bridges, parks, sports stadiums, university buildings, highways and office buildings after themselves because of their dedication to public service.
Where does that leave us? It leaves us in a situation where the people in power, the people who make the rules and decide how our economy is going to be fixed, are going to worry first about preserving and expanding their power and secondly (if they have time) about putting us back on a track to prosperity.
The basics: What does it take to get our economy moving again? Spending. If nobody is spending nobody needs to produce. You arenít going to gather the raw materials and personnel together to spend time and money creating a product or service unless you have some degree of confidence that there are people out there who either have or can borrow the money to buy it. Our economy is a constant day-by-day election process. The products and services put into the marketplace are the candidates. Consumers are the voters. Dollars are the ballots. If a candidate gets no votes, the candidate either reinvents himself or just simply goes away. The whole process slows down or grinds to a halt if the voters donít have ballots to cast.
Clearly, to stimulate our economy money had to be spent. Thatís basic. The question, then, was who gets to spend the money? If the American public gets to make the choices as to when and where the money is spent, that equates to power for the people. If, on the other hands, those decisions are made by the political class, it means no power to the people Ė the power goes to the elected elite. Now would someone please try to explain to me why these politicians, as completely immersed as they are in building their individual power bases, would ever want to turn over the power that goes with spending these huge sums of money to the great unwashed? How in the world is that going to benefit a politician? How do you generate a campaign ad for radio telling the voters that you deserve reelection because the private consumers in your district kept the local hardware store and a few clothing shops in business with their spending? Better you should be able to lay claim to a few road widening and resurfacing projects and a new rehearsal hall for the local high school band.
Do you remember how much that stimulus bills was? Letís just call it $750 billion. For the sake of argument letís accept that this $750 billion had to be borrowed and spent to get our economy cranking again. Once youíve accepted the $750 billion figure weíre going to borrow, you then have to decide just who gets to spend that money and what they get to spend it on.
Hereís an idea from Texas congressman Louis Gohmert (R 1st Dist.). Gohmert wanted a tax holiday. Iíve taken his idea and expanded it a bit. Last year Gohmert was floating an idea of allowing the American people to go one full month without paying any federal income or payroll taxes. The idea was that they would then spend this money and stimulate the economy. When Obama started talking about the $750 billion dollar stimulus price tag I did some quick calculations. It seems that $750 billion is almost exactly equal to the amount of federal income, Social Security and Medicare taxes withheld from American paychecks over a six-month period.
Are you following me? How about not a one-month tax holiday, but six months? How about letting people keep almost their entire paychecks for one-half of a year?
So -- here are the two possible scenarios our politicians had to work with:
1. Borrow the $750 billion and let the politicians (the looters) decide how it is going to be spent to stimulate our economy.
2. Give the producers a six month period in which they owe no federal income or payroll taxes. For these six months they get to keep their checks. This puts $750 billion into the hands of American workers Ė American producers Ė to spend and invest.
Either way you are going to have to borrow $750 billion. If you give the people a six-month tax holiday the money will have to be borrowed to replace the lost revenue.
You see it, donít you? There is one huge difference between the two plans. Under the government spending scenario the politicians get to decide how the money is spent. In other words, they get the power. Remember Ö power is the goal. Itís everything to the political class. Politicians wanted to decide which road is built, which park is refurbished, and which research project gets additional funding. Every one of these decisions would be made based on the political capital it will generate.
Under the tax holiday plan the people, not the politicians, get to cast the ballots/dollars. Spending choices would not be made on the basis of political expediency, but on the free choices of the people. Businesses that delivered a good product and good customer service would get the votes, not politicians who delivered a pork project to their districts.
A dollar spent on a new lawnmower at the hardware store does not generate a single vote. A dollar spent on a new job mowing grass along an Interstate highway does.
So Ö there was a decision to be made. Massive amounts of money were going to be borrowed and spent to stimulate our economy (or so the storyline went). But just who would get to spend the money?
Do you remember that famous Bill Clinton line? It was January of 1999. The place was Buffalo, New York. The federal government had actually collected more tax money that it needed. There was a surplus. Someone asked Clinton if, considering the surplus, there might be a tax cut. His response: "We could give it all back to you and hope you spend it right... But ... if you don't spend it right, here's what's going to happen.Ē He then went on to describe the gloomy future of Social Security when more people are collecting benefits than paying taxes