Thursday, October 7, 2010

On the Issues: Jobs and Economy

The top issues in the November elections according to just about every source are jobs and the economy.

Many people are still out of work especially when one considers the long-term unemployed who are not even counted in the official labor statistics. So, which party is best for jobs and the economy?

Well, when you look at the GOP "pledge" proposals all we see is the same type of thing the Republicans have been pushing since Ronald Reagan, i.e., cutting taxes. Now, we should remember that George W. Bush cut taxes to the lowest rate since just before the Great Depression, and we know we're that led us -- into the Great Recession.

Now, the GOP wants to cut taxes and to avoid growing the deficit they are proposing significant cuts in government spending. The immediate effect of spending cuts will mean loss of jobs. Republicans are not telling that us up front, but that's the reality. They cannot make deep cuts without at the same time cutting government jobs.

How will that impact the economy? Well, those people will add to the masses of unemployed making it harder for the currently unemployed to find work. The newly unemployed will have to cut back on spending and many could end up defaulting on their mortgages.

According to Republicans, the money saved from these cuts and returned to taxpayers will then jump start the economy by encouraging spending. But how do we know that will happen?

The fact is that in a troubled economy people could end up saving any tax benefit they receive. A tax break is not the same a full-time job. The government has already tried returning money to the people. Remember the Bush tax rebates?

What the Democrats are proposing are structural changes that will help the government afford the programs that it should maintain. The country's infrastructure is crumbling because the GOP has opposed "big government" for decades. How can we really afford to cut back when we're so far behind?

What we really need is to a rollback on tax cuts on the rich implemented during the Bush years.

President Obama is proposing rebuilding America's infrastructure and leading the country into the green tech revolution. That's the direction the country needs to move in order to create jobs and gradually lead the country out of a still tangled financial mess.

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