An Economic Rant

Republican congressional leaders are calling for substantial changes to the stimulus package.  They want to put the emphasis on lower taxes and not on infrastructure spending, which they have conveniently labeled as pork.  Minority leader Boehner alleged that lowering taxes to put a large amount of cash into the hands of consumers is the only tried and true fix.   I don’t think he actually said ‘fix’ but that’s what it would be.

It is a tried and true method to fail under conditions such as the ones we have now, and I’m surprised he hasn’t figured that out.  That kind of cash infusion would cause a spurt in consumer and small business spending of one sort or another that is not altogether different than a quick fix for an addict.  A moment of euphoria, and then nothing but crash. 

The kind of spending the administration seems to have in mind would form the backbone of investment in reconstructing the national infrastructure on which and through which long term economic prosperity depends.  The jobs that will be created, along with requirements for machinery and materials, will have long term, multiplier effects enabling the national economy to achieve some solid footing.  There are problems.  Members of congress, governors and mayors will still try to get funding for projects that may have popular political appeal but add little to substantive economic health.  The same goes for thousands of small special interest groups who see a chance for their long held pet project to at last get some money.  For instance, we have a local museum that would love to get in on some of that, but, as great an asset it is to our community, that is not what this work is about. 

Finally, there are those incredibly disingenuous, shortsighted politicians who keep whining about what this will mean to the deficit and national debt.  These are the very same whiners who did not blink an eye to fund the war in Iraq with heavy borrowing.  They didn’t care a bit about going into debt for a phony war whose primary long term return on investment can only be counted in the lives of the dead, but they whine about deficit spending to rebuild the foundation of our economy.

5 thoughts on “An Economic Rant”

  1. I think the problem is that there are many (most) still laboring under the idea that we are in the same world we were before the crash.Unrestrained greed and self interest, has caused a major shift, and they just don\’t get it.\”What\’s in it for me\” is still okay to ask. Just normal. We still hear \”I deserve\” or \”you deserve\” in reference to some over priced bauble or luxury, and in the next breath we hear that some necessity must be denied or cut back to the least of these because of cost. We still won\’t tackle what is a living wage, and how many living wages are okay to be consumed by one person at the expense of an other?There will have to be a massive restructuring of not only our thinking, but in the way we all live and look at the world. There is not enough \”real cash\” to cover the debts we have accumulated, we have lived in an economy of magic, smoke and mirrors. The mirror has cracked but not broken, and people like Boehner are trying very hard to polish the mirror. On the other side of the mirror is our morality, We haven\’t seen it in a long long time, I don\’t think the majority wants to take a look.

  2. I think you are right Bruno. It\’s not going to be easy. In the last 24 hours I\’ve received three e-mails from my member of congress, Cathy McMorris-Rogers, about this issue, and all I can say is that she must have her head in a bucket. That may sound a bit harsh, but it seems to me that a third term member, even a conservative Republican, ought to bee able to do something other than parrot Rush Limbaugh. OK, fume and sputter over for a while.

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