Here is my latest column January 28, 2009 posted at www.Houseconservatives.com
President Barack Obama is pushing strongly for a stimulus bill in Congress that could increase spending by as much as $1.2 trillion. Never before have we seen a spending bill like that in American history.
It is all in the name of stimulating the economy even though history tells us that government spending helps little. One of Obama’s heroes, President Franklin Roosevelt, tried the same strategy in the 1930s to find that it had very limited results.
The reason that results are limited is because the majority of jobs created are in the private sector and mainly from small businesses. Government spending alone cannot improve the economy.
Even if it could, the stimulus bill before Congress is not one that is going to get the job done since much of the spending does not occur until 2011. And the spending that occurs before that could be best described as pork-barrel.
Congressman Eric Cantor (R-Va.) pointed out this week that the bill contains $4 for landscaping the Mall in Washington for every $1 in there for tax relief for small business.
There is money for contraception disguised as improving health and money for ACORN, a group tied to improper voting registration allegations during the 2008 election.
I wrote before Christmas that we were about to see the government as this giant Santa Claus handing out tax payer money left and right and mostly to the left. In part, this is pay back for the diverse groups that supported Obama in the name of economic stimulus.
While the stimulus package does contain some middle class tax cuts as an incentive to entice conservatives on board, it contains way too much spending to get our vote. If this bill becomes law, we are looking at $1 trillion year deficits as far as the eye can see. This does not even include what the price tag might be if Obama is successful in government operated healthcare.
The time is right for conservatives to dip back to the playbook of President Ronald Reagan and offer a strong economic alternative. Americans are looking for action but also for the correct action.
This is the time to reduce the size of government and not increase its power. Reducing government would provide a cost savings and the savings should go toward debt reduction. If the government is borrowing less money, that allows more for the private sector.
The private sector would also benefit from Wall Street who would see Washington was again serious, like in the 1990s, about debt reduction. This confidence would likely translate to more investment.
We should also call for the elimination of the capital gains tax. That alone could be the best economic stimulus Congress could offer. Why would investors sit on the sideline if the profits obtain from investment were tax free? They would not.
We should push President Obama to keep open drilling offshore. Low gas and oil prices are essential to seeing a quick recovery to the economy. Unfortunately, President Obama’s administration is sending signals they will close drilling offshore again and force restrictions on business in the name of the environment.
The coming vote on the stimulus package could open the door to more socialism in America and we may never be able to close that door again. Americans are looking to government for answers and the best answer is to empower the private sector through limited government and reducing the tax burden.
Doug Kellett @idougradio
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