Friday, December 3, 2010

Today on my ride home from work I was listening to the radio and the host was talking about the unemployment extension. The television news was talking about continuing the tax cuts. It seems that these events will be forever linked. The latest proposal would make the tax cuts for the middle class permanent. Keeping the tax rates low for the middle class sounds like a great idea. If we give some relief to the middle class, the working people, then they can be more at ease, spend a little more and help the economy.
Without off setting spending cuts the continued tax cuts for any group will extend the deficit. It’s simple economics if you get less revenue and continue to spend at the same level or higher then you will run a deficit. Therefore if we spend more on unemployment we will increase the deficit even if we only extend the current tax rates. Should we eliminate the unemployment and cancel the tax cuts in order to reduce the deficit? This seems like the answer to keep both sides unhappy. The person that faces the biggest sacrifice is the middle class worker or the displaced worker. Either way they will be worse off than they were before.

The radio host was complaining about the fact that at least a million or more people fall into the category of “I would rather be home taking what the government will give me than work at a job that is beneath me.” He feels that this is the time for tough love and the 2 million people should lose their unemployment. They should be forced to take low level jobs if those are the only ones available and earn whatever the market pays. Let’s just say they should go to any big box store to get an entry level job at $8.00 per hour while the top owners are listed on the “richest people in the world” lists. They can’t pay the mortgage, rent or buy food.

The anti tax cut proponents say the elimination of the tax cuts will raise so much revenue that the government will be able to pay off the deficit, fund unemployment and any other wish you might think of. Of course this is not the case, there will be some relief if the taxes are raised. Will it slow the economy even further than it is now? I don’t know that it will or it won’t, however peoples’ lives will be affected.
In the movie “Gentleman Jim” a fictionalized version of the life of the boxer James “Jim” Corbett, when the Corbett brothers had a disagreement they would settle it by going out back for a brawl. One of the neighbors would yell out “The Corbetts are at it again” and the entire neighborhood would turn out to watch the fight. Nothing ever really was resolved but the fight was entertaining. Just think about the things that are going on in Washington. The Democrats and Republicans are constantly fighting over issues with the entire world watching. No solutions, very often compromise bills which add billions of dollars of spending not related to the original bill. He folks the Corbetts are at it again.

Why aren’t the great minds coming up with those new and novel ideas? Mr. President how about trying this one. Why don’t we take all those unemployed people and give them jobs? Let’s put some of them to work to helping local governments solve local problems. Reading and math tutors in schools to help keep kids involved after school. Organizers and coaches to help fight childhood obesity by helping kids get some sort of exercise. People want to feel needed and useful. We have over six million people who are unemployed in this country at all levels of skill and education. If put these people into productive positions for pay or in lieu of pay a type of barter system whereby the government forgives a tax or fee or expense then maybe we would get the economy going again.
Right now this country is becoming like feudal Europe where the very wealthy live in opulence while the ordinary people fear that their homes will be taken away and they will have to go without food or other basic amenities. In an interview on the show “Conspiracy Theory” the most chilling statement was not “Why do you need to make 40 million year after year’ but one of the “Wall Street” brokers saying “If you want me to stop pass a law to make it illegal”. Are we a nation that has completely lost it’s moral compass? Should a handful of people control all the wealth? Don’t get me wrong I believe that any one should be able to become wealthy through hard work, invention or by fulfilling a need in the marketplace. They should be permitted to spend their money on anything they want in any way they want. Mr. President please get those great thinkers together and find a way to make our Country (all the people) the best that they can be again.

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