First, this summer’s economic bailout bill put the taxpayers on the line for $152 billion.
Then the housing bailout added $300 billion.
The Paulson bailout cost us another $700 billion.
Now Washington Democrats – already counting on complete, filibuster-proof control of the nation’s purse-strings come November – are talking about spending another $300 billion on a “stimulus package.”
That comes to a grand total of $1.45 trillion the taxpayers are being asked to provide for Washington’s ideas on how to save the economy.
But here’s the thing: Has anyone ever asked the people who are footing the bill – the taxpayers – how we’d like this money spent?
How would you spend $1.45 trillion to make America better? Today I’m going to give you an opportunity to tell America how you’d spend this money.
But first some news, with Halloween just around the corner, that should scare us all.
The Reid-Pelosi-Obama (RePO) Team Announces the Era of “Harsh Decisions”
They’ve been working hard to show us their happy face, but the mask of the Reid-Pelosi-Obama (RePO) team slipped a bit last week.
The Senate Majority Leader, the House Speaker and the Democratic Presidential nominee are already planning on a total Democratic takeover of Washington following the election, but here’s the really frightening news: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that Congress may convene after the election to make “harsh decisions.”
“Harsh decisions.” Sounds scary.
Will RePO Make the “Harsh Decision” to Raise Taxes? Reward ACORN?
We should take Speaker Pelosi at her word. What “harsh decisions” does the San Francisco Democrat have in mind for America? Will they be tricks or treats?
Will the RePO Team make the “harsh decision” to raise confiscatory taxes on American businesses, the engine of jobs and economic growth?
Will they make the harsh choice to strip American voters of their right to a secret ballot when deciding whether or not to unionize a workplace?
Will they choose to send hundreds of millions of new taxpayer dollars to the radical leftwing group ACORN (on top of the hundreds of millions in this summer’s housing bailout bill that went to radical groups including ACORN) in exchange for getting out the leftwing vote in the November election?
Will Reid-Pelosi-Obama rewrite deadbeat mortgages to steal from lenders and reward irresponsible behavior?
Just exactly who is going to find their decisions “harsh?”
In this Present Crisis, Government Isn’t the Solution to our Problem
With just 21 days to go until the election, it’s becoming clearer and clearer that the choice for Americans in 2008 is a choice between the kind of pro-special interest, pro-bureaucracy, “harsh” decisions the RePo Team isn’t even waiting for the voters to ratify, or the sensible, center-right values of the rest of America.
In his first inaugural address, Ronald Reagan memorably said, “In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.”
A new Rasmussen Poll shows that a solid majority of Americans – 59%-28% – still agree with Reagan’s statement.
Americans from across all age and income groups – including a majority who consider themselves politically moderate – believe that government, taxes and regulation and Fannie and Freddie-style government-backed corruption are what got us into this economic mess in the first place.
It is important to keep in mind that Reagan was not anti-government. As he said in that first inaugural, “Now, so there will be no misunderstanding, it is not my intention to do away with government. It is, rather, to make it work – work with us, not over us; to stand by our side, not ride on our back. Government can and must provide opportunity, not smother it; foster productivity, not stifle it.”
It is as true today as it was when Reagan first said it in January 1981: in the present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem.
The “Harsh Decisions” Of One-Party Washington Vs. the Rest of America
And so the decision we face in November is whether we’re going to pursue more of the same heavy-handed government policies that got us into this economic mess, or whether we are going to put government on the side of fostering the private sector creativity, ingenuity and entrepreneurialism that made this country great.
But Speaker Pelosi is right about one thing: Congress should return to Washington in a special session to address the ongoing economic crisis.
But instead of making the “harsh decisions” advocated by the RePo Team, Congress should pass a package of reforms that will address the immediate economic crisis while creating jobs, keeping America’s energy dollars at home, and addressing the long-term health of our economy.
A Pro-Growth, Pro-Jobs, Pro-Energy Independence Agenda For Congress
Instead of $300 billion in new liabilities for the American taxpayers, Congress should take action on the following:
- Zero capital gains tax – Countries without taxes on capital gains, such as China, Singapore, and Taiwan, are magnets for global investment. Economists like Alan Greenspan have called for removing capital gains in order to see increased economic growth and American competitiveness in attracting foreign direct investment and international corporations.
- Repeal Sarbanes-Oxley – After the devastating crash of Enron and WorldCom, Congress rushed to pass a law to alleviate panic. Instead of enacting reform measures that would reasonably prevent fraud, they passed a burdensome, accounting mess. Sarbanes-Oxley is a disproportionate burden for small businesses and start-ups, and has forced many companies to move from New York to London.
- Allow 100% annual expensing for small businesses – Small businesses create 7 out of 10 new jobs in America and account for more than half of the output of our economy. One hundred percent annual expensing would give small business more money to invest in new technologies, like computers and machinery, to improve worker productivity. Likewise, it would allow business to hire more employees.
- Move to break up and privatize Freddie and Fannie – Corporate greed at Freddie and Fannie fueled subprime mortgage loans. Because subprime mortgages carried higher risk, they also offered a higher interest yield that gave executives an increased profit share. Given the government sponsored enterprise, they had lower capital requirements, and were implicitly backed by taxpayer dollars in the case that these assets should crumble. These institutions should be prevented from offering more subprime mortgages, and we should move towards privatizing them.
- Provide a comprehensive plan to keep Americans in their homes – The summer’s housing bailout bill gave $300 billion to renegotiate mortgages with homeowners, but forced lending institutions to take an immediate 10% cut in profit, giving little incentive for lending institutions to participate. The government could instead offer a no-interest loan to homeowners who are current on their mortgage payments and work with their lending institution to renegotiate their mortgages into a 6% fixed interest, 30-year loan. We should help those homeowners who have acted in good faith keep the keys to their homes.
- Move towards long term investment strategies – Congress should look to investing in the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation to foster innovation and make America the most competitive market for research and development.
- Develop an all-of-the-above energy policy – Imagine if we invested a fraction of the billion dollar bailout into developing, for example, more nuclear power and coal-to-synthetic natural gas technologies and infrastructure. We should continue to advance clean coal, biofuels, wind, solar, hydrogen, and natural gas technologies. Further, we should increase exploration and development of our own resources offshore and in oil shale, so that we are not defenseless against any energy cartels.
- We should repeal all congressional money given to ACORN – ACORN is under investigation in a dozen states for voter fraud. We cannot afford to be subsidizing an organization that operates under the façade of providing community development and low-income housing, while it has a record of fraudulent activity. See this CNN report about ACORN voter registration fraud in Indiana, where ACORN provided 5,000 new voter registration cards. Indiana authorities started reviewing them and found that the first 2,100 were all fraudulent.
How Would You Spend $1.45 Trillion to Make America Better?
You’ve heard a few of my ideas, and you’ve no doubt read plenty about what the Washington establishment thinks we need to do to rescue our economy. But when was the last time someone asked you – the American taxpayer – how we should use the $1.45 trillion of your money Washington has generously offered to spend?
My organization, American Solutions, is interested in what you have to say.
Do you think we should use the money to invest in technology to make us energy independent? Click here and tell us how and why.
Do you think we should use the $1.45 trillion to transform our health system? Click here and let us know?
Or should we just give the $1.45 trillion back to the American taxpayers? Log on to our website and say so. My bet is you’ll be the most popular person on the site.
P.S. — Three Ideas to Transform the Health Care Debate: So far, the presidential debates have raised more questions than answers on how healthcare must be overhauled in 2009. Both during and since my time in Congress, I’ve been striving to change our ailing system. Regardless of who wins the election, a new administration and Congress brings an opportunity for the United States to shift to a 21st Century Intelligent Health System. It means gritty work and long hours, beyond bureaucracy, with a focus on proven solutions. At the Center for Health Transformation website, we have put forward three proposals that must lead the debate into 2009. I encourage you to be an empowered patient and join our YouTube channel “HealthTransformation.”