The Democrats promised change, and they failed to deliver in Washington. They didn’t lose their direction like the Republicans did, but they didn’t push the change for which people voted. Americans watched them closely and voted accordingly. If they want to reclaim the House in two years, they better start growing a backbone. When the Republicans controlled the entire Congress, they did what they wanted to do regardless of the minority party. Even though the Democrats controlled both sides of Congress, they acted like they needed the Republican permission to do anything.
Well, once again, the Republicans show the only people they represent are the wealthiest Americans, the top 2% of income earners. They’re holding tax cuts for the other 98% of wage earners hostage to make sure the rich get theirs too. The Republicans have gone as far as to hold up extending unemployment benefits for Americans out of work for those same tax cuts. They claim it is fiscal responsibility which drives them; however, they are willing to add $700 billion dollars to the deficit spending to give just the top 2% their tax cuts back. We need to write, email and call our Senators and House Reps to demand they pass legislation for the people not just the rich or corporate lobbyists. The Republican excuse of the top income earners needing the tax cuts to create jobs doesn’t hold water. They have had the tax cuts since 2001, and I don’t see where they are creating jobs. Trickle-down economics hasn’t worked up until now in 2010 so why should we believe extending those tax cuts for the top 2% who earn more than the bottom 50% of wage earners combined will somehow be different this time? If they have just lined their pockets for 9 years, you can expect them to line their pockets for whatever length of time you extend the tax cuts. I hate to bring up Albert Einstein again in my blog, but it applies.
Albert Einstein said, "The definition of Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."
Lou Dobbs, an independent, was right when he said our government should try to fix this economic crisis from the bottom up, not the top down. Lou said help the people in danger of foreclosure directly and let the economy get better from trickling up, not down, for a change.
Our government could call it an emergency and make loans at low fixed interest rates directly to Americans through using FEMA instead of banks. Yes, this cuts the banks out of making profits, but I don't believe the American people intended to pad the pockets of these banks with any bailout. Currently, it appears that banks are just grabbing the money to gobble up other banks or to hold on to it so what good did it do for our Congress to pass the bailout package? Many banks are even making money by borrowing money at zero percent interest from the federal government and lending it back to the federal government with 3.5 to 5 % interest rate resulting in pure profit with no risk and for doing nothing.
Now, I agree there are times you need to be fiscally responsible, but I also know you have to spend money sometimes to make money. Our government needs to spend some money to flip our boat back over, but it needs to spend it wisely. Most Americans will not be upset if Congress spends money in a way that creates jobs, expands our tax base and brings back economic prosperity. Making the tax cuts permanent for 98% of Americans makes sense. So do it! Here are some more items the congress should work on immediately, and the American people should demand they do it.
First, get rid of tax breaks for companies moving jobs outside the United States, no exceptions.
Second, quit issuing work visas for technical jobs to companies that don't canvass the United States for Americans trained to do the same jobs. Americans are not stupid. We know why corporations want to pay foreigners $14,000.00 a year for jobs Americans command $46,000.00. The foreigners are $32,000.00 cheaper, and if a company gets just 2000 work visas they save $64 million dollars in profits. Great for people like Bill Gates, it is not so great for the American people, especially the ones who just went deep in debt to get the education required for that tech job. Companies are supposed to do this anyway before they ask for work visas, by law! So enforce the law!
Third, here's an idea; make the companies go a step farther, and offer free training to Americans before they can get any work visas. My guess is they will not need the work visas anymore. They'll just hire Americans who have spent their own money to get trained.
Fourth, get rid of no bid contracts. The paperwork excuse “we'll save money if we get rid of all the government red tape” doesn't cut it anymore. We don't care if the paperwork costs a company time or money. The paperwork is there for a reason, and so is the bidding process. Standards are the reasons for the paperwork. Companies must meet or beat the standards we set for our government contracts or they will not get the job regardless of how low their bid is. This insures quality, something neglected throughout the Iraq War. The bidding process ensures we get the lowest price. This one speaks to Americans. Americans would never go into a car dealership and ask if they could pay $150,000.00 for a car with a blue book value of $15,000.00 so why has our government been doing that with no bid contracts. All I can say is politicians make good friends to lobbyists who donate to their campaigns.
Fifth, Unites States government contracts, especially military contracts, must be awarded to American companies, first, and foreign owned companies operating in the United States, second, no other companies qualify, no exceptions. If other countries scream that's protectionist, you bet your ass it is! This is the first war time economy going bust instead of boom, and the only change is outsourcing to foreign owned companies to save money instead of keeping our military strictly in house. I'm not even going to get started on the obvious national security concerns.
Sixth, invest in our own infrastructure. I'm guessing this will create millions of jobs much like it did in FDR's day. It is truly an investment in one word, growth. Growth expands your tax base, putting money back into the treasury. I know people are going to say we already started doing this, and our economy isn’t fixed yet. I say give it some time. I know the first thing people going back to work do is try to catch up their past due bills before buying things to stimulate the economy. That being said, I think the infrastructure could use more investment anyway. Have you seen the roads?
Seventh, invest in energy independence. Create millions of jobs building windmills, solar, geothermal electric plants, and tapping our nation’s natural gas, safely not destroying our water table. Again, it is truly an investment, growth expanding your tax base, putting money back into the treasury.
Eighth, invest money in American companies who demonstrate repentance. Repentance should be defined as reductions in executive salaries and frivolous spending. My example here is easy, do the opposite of whatever AIG has done.
Ninth, invest in American companies starting or retooling American plants to hire American workers, not wanting to start or retool plants in foreign countries. The best example is GMC wanting to get bailout money from Americans to retool Mexican plants to build hybrid cars to sell to Americans. WOW! Congress should tell any corporation in any industry the same thing, start or retool American plants, creating American jobs, and you have an investor. Growth or rebirth, it either expands the tax base or stops the bleeding. Both are a good thing.
I hope these common sense items get considered by congress and President Obama, and I'll finish saying any politicians want to buy my car for a $150,000.00?