Tag Archives: tax cuts

Economic Growth Goes to Top Management

The term “jobless growth” has been thrown around quite a bit in the last year to describe an increase in GDP and other economic indicators, but little growth in jobs.  How can this be?  If the country’s product continues to grow, and stocks continue their increase, how can there be so little hiring?

I see two things happening:  1) Many people have gained employment who were unemployed long enough to fall off job-seeker status.  2) A look at the earnings (salary, benefits, and bonuses) of top management of publicly traded companies shows most have increased their income, some with record setting incomes for the company or industry, even if they signed pink-slips in the past year.

Tax Cuts vs Benefits Comic

Tax cuts given to America's richest without promise for job creation

U.S. republicans demanded extending the Bush tax cuts for the countries richest people saying they’d put the money into job creation, but the opposite has happened.  The same republicans also argued the U.S. government can’t create jobs, but the government employs hundreds of thousands of workers (jobs), directly increased hiring the past year, indirectly increased hiring through hiring contractors for new work, and the government buys vast amount of materials to repair roads and other infrastructure which was produced by working people.  Luckily for us, a large amount of stimulus funds remain to continue government-led job creation.

A very recent example is the situation in Wisconsin where Governor Walker (R) called a special legislative session after being sworn in.  they passed drastic tax cuts for corporations.  Soon afterwards, the governor and state republicans forced legislation to cut salaries, benefits, and bargaining rights of citizens paid 1,000% less than the leaders of the corporations which were just gifted tax breaks.  When democratic senators left the state in an attempt to thwart that legislation, the governor threatened layoffs even though these public workers accepted every fiscal demand from the governor.  Clearly, saving the state money wasn’t Governor Walker’s idea, nor was it to save or create jobs.  His plan was to gift his rich donors at the expense of public employees, state jobs, and the union members who didn’t support him in his race for governor.

Governor Walker had no problem laying off people (losing jobs) to give his supporters, who are paid millions of dollars every year even without promise from their companies to increase hiring.  Regardless of which party people associate with, they need to start voting the interest of their communities and not only the richest people in our nation who donate a large amount of the tax-cut money they save to continue secrative PACs and organizations to continue their gravy train.

One of the greatest tools republican donorship has is Fox News.  When the Bush tax cuts for earners over $250k were up for vote, Fox news anchor Gretchen Carlson of “Fox and Friends” said “$250k is just above the poverty line for many people.”  Is it really?  During the protests in Wisconsin, Gretchen and Fox’s Bill O’Reilly complained about the annual average salary plus benefits of $51k was part of the “lavish salaries and lifestyle enjoyed by Wisconsin teachers.”

How can Fox News make people believe that $250k (salary only, benefits not included) is just above the poverty line, and show great concern for these “poor people” just hanging on by a thread, then 2 months later make the same viewers believe Wisconsin teachers live lavishly on a combined salary AND benefits of $51k?  It has to do with people listening to sound bites fed to them in the present without stepping back to think about the picture as a whole.

I’m asking you and everyone else to pause, step back, and think about the entire picture before forming decisions, and then keep reevaluating those decisions.  Don’t stop thinking or become a drone for the sound bites you hear.  Don’t take what I say without looking into other news sources either.  Never rely on any one news source.  Look around and take it all in.

If most of the economic growth goes to the richest, and those people and corporations don’t create the jobs they never promised to create when they received all this money, then our economy will have fewer people able to buy what Americans make, and we’ll continue to buy the cheapest products from other countries.  A vote against the lower and middle classes is a vote against the United States.


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Filed under American Government & Institutions (state & federal), Government Taxes, Spending, and Deficits, Political Parties & Partisan Politics

2011 State of the Union – Real Leadership?

Barack Obama

Barack Obama - White House Stock Photo

State of the Union addresses have been televised since President Truman.  The advent of radio & TV meant the SOTU address no longer gave direction just to congress, but also announced presidential intentions to the wider public.  Any President using this speech to speak only to his party base is not doing his job.  Regardless of who voted for him, a President must represent everyone in the country as well as possible.

I think President Obama did this very well.  He announced or furthered intentions grown from the democratic base, and he co-opted several issues grown from the republican base.  Our government’s job is to provide benefit to the country as a whole, not either party’s base.  Obama is leading this call, and I hope both major parties will come together behind him.

The Republican Response by U.S. Representative from WI Paul Ryan simply returned to rhetoric driven by old talking-points.  He continued with prefixes like the “failed stimulus”.  Did it fail?  The DJIA rebounded over 5k points, and we’re no longer dipping further into recession.

Republicans only offer tax cuts as stimulus.  Tax cuts only benefit people already earning money who, with a bleak economy, will hoard that money out of fear, not create new business and jobs.  Government spending does create jobs by spending it on new research and innovation (green technology) as well as roads, schools, managing our beloved land/property records, and paying doctors and nurses caring for our deserving veterans and first responders.

Ryan also said limited government, individual liberties, and free enterprise is what made America great.  Did he forget the high-taxed Eisenhower (R) years that built our country’s great infrastructure?  Does he include fighting gay marriage, Bush’s subsidies to oil companies, and fighting pro-choice as limited government favoring individual liberties?  This is contradiction pandering to his party’s base, not to the broader country’s citizenship.

Government has always directed money toward industries they want to grow.  Bush signed billions in oil subsidies which democrats tried to reverse in 2007.  Oil companies subsequently set world corporate profit records when the rest of the economy was falling.  Obama will redirect oil subsidies to clean energy innovation.  This will create jobs since the industry is in its infancy.  We will never be the world leader in the aging oil industry, but we could be the world leader in green technology innovation and manufacturing.  When developed, it will reduce our dependence on increasingly expensive oil.

Ribbon for Gabby Giffords

Showing Unity and Ribbon Supporting Gabby Giffords

President Obama announced direction where money will be spent.  As an independent, I don’t follow the extremities of either major party, but I can follow our President who is trying to work with groups across our country.  Following his leadership will help small and large business alike, and new jobs will be created.

We need to get behind our President.  Stand together in his moderate stance or divided we will fall.

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Filed under American Government & Institutions (state & federal), Government Taxes, Spending, and Deficits, International Politics & Economy, Political Parties & Partisan Politics

Tax Cuts vs. Government Spending

As David Stockman, the architect of Reaganomics explains in his books and articles, there is a time and place for tax cuts, but its use is limited and any political religion based on cuts is a perversion even from the original Reaganomics.  Stockman will also tell you Reaganomics was a failed policy that led to soaring deficits.  An Internet search on David Stockman will provide many articles, or read the middle of this article.

Stockman said the recently approved tax relief for the rich is misdirected, but was an unfortunate outcome of republicans holding all other legislation hostage without passing them.

The fact is, government spending does create jobs as well as return some control of the country’s financial might to the people who help earn it, the working class.  Without the working class, the country’s upper class would not exist, yet, it is the upper class controlling the purse strings and who often (not always) chooses raises for themselves while fighting raises for others.  As for tax burden, richer people find many ways of paying lower tax percentages while low to middle class families don’t qualify for most, if any, of tax breaks.  It’s just not true that we’re making the rich pay for everything.

Taxes pay for roads, hospitals, schools & universities, firemen, police, disaster relief, and all kinds of administrative support such as safe keeping of our land records so nobody can sneak land out from under another.  Taxes also support investment in industry.  Obama wants to spend money on repairing our aging infrastructure, and wants to redirect oil subsidies toward greener technologies so America will be a leader in this infant industry, not just other countries.  If you want to benefit even more from taxes, invest your business into American infrastructure or green technology so the government will pay you and will reinvest your taxes back into you.

Republicans are right to spend money on some industries, so let’s spend money on growing industries still in their infancy instead of spending it on aging, waning industries like oil.  Democrats are right to spend money on repair and improving our country’s infrastructure to benefit business and individuals now and in the future.  Republicans are right to put money toward war costs, but enough money needs to go toward taking care of our veterans, not more none-compete contracts for Halliburton.  They voted for war in Iraq with Rumsfeld saying it wouldn’t last 6-months, but they had no plans to pay for the residual costs.

The last 30 years show republicans are not conservative or small government when it comes to their party’s wish list, and they don’t want republican financiers to pay for it either.  However, we need to pay our expenses through taxes.  The fact is, the richer a person is in this country, the more they benefit from our country’s infrastructure, so they should pay more than the person working 2 jobs and just staying afloat.  Richer people have huge cushions to last through unemployment while the poor and middle class people have little to no cushion to handle unemployment.

The government helps maintain private spending by ensuring all families have some money to spend.  Private spending keeps our businesses afloat to continue providing jobs.  There is no way around this.

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Filed under American Government & Institutions (state & federal), Government Taxes, Spending, and Deficits