Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Reduce Taxes and Cut Regulations!

Hey, you GOP members, help a brother out!

I know you read The Echo. After all, Irish-America has vastly changed since: “Pat Murphy couldn’t have turned Republican, I saw him at mass last Sunday!”

I’m counting on you to demand a couple of answers from your presidential primary candidates. Like most politicians they’re way too handy at answering a specific question with an unsolicited stump speech. Unfortunately, both "Trotskyite" PBS and "fair and balanced" Fox News allow them to get away such parrot-like behavior.

But what exactly are their economic plans assuming one of them whips that raving socialist in the White House come November?

Yes, I know – reduce taxes and cut regulations! But where will that get us? President Bush flogged those two nags ‘til the cows came home with the end result that he decimated the Clinton surplus and ran up a humdinger of a deficit.

Likewise, 40% of President Obama’s stimulus went to cutting taxes and while this massive outlay may have helped alleviate the recession, there’s little enough else to show for it.

Why - probably because those not in immediate economic peril saved their handouts for a rainy day. Nor is there much point in cutting corporate taxes since American companies are sitting on record-breaking cash reserves.

As regards regulations, I agree with you – shred all unnecessary bureaucratic red tape, particularly that which stifles small businesses.

But hands off the EPA and other such agencies! Profit and job creation are one thing, regulations that will prevent power plants from spewing mercury and other neurotoxicants into the atmosphere are quite another.

Apart from saving us all from industrial poisoning, the necessary plant conversion will provide construction jobs; but even more importantly these regulations just might stymie the staggering increase of autism and other developmental problems over the last couple of decades.

At the risk of sounding like a tree-hugger, passing on the planet to the next generation in somewhat the same condition we inherited it is a sacred trust.

But back to our noble GOP primary candidates, to quote Ronald Reagan, “where’s the beef?” It’s okay for Mitt Romney to say that he’ll cut the unemployment rate and get this country moving again; but how exactly?

He did go to Harvard Business School and introduced a decent health care system while governor of Massachusetts? So, he’s probably got some viable economic plan under his hat. Has he just been wary of broaching the matter while campaigning in the evangelical wilds of Iowa where one must be seen as tilting more rightward than Attila The Hun?

Unfortunately a large part of our economic problems may be structural and not immediately fixable by any politician. Because of Internet and digital communication advances white-collar workers are presently experiencing the same redundancy rates that their blue-collar brethren have been suffering since the 70’s.

What we don’t need right now is a fresh dose of election-year voodoo economics. Cutting budgets too far, too fast, could really hinder consumer spending and without credit cards revving up American malls the whole economic system could go into a tailspin.

So steady as we go! It took eleven years of financial mismanagement, rose-colored navel-gazing, and two wars to create this mess; it may take even longer to clean it up. One thing is certain, however, when the unemployed do get back to work it will be for less pay and fewer benefits, and that will create its own problems.

Crazy though many of his theories and proposals are, the one visionary Republican politician is Rep. Ron Paul. Why are we fighting overseas wars, supporting corrupt foreign governments and stationing troops in rich democracies like Germany and South Korea, he asks? So far, none of his rivals has even hazarded an answer.

Likewise the truth was not revealed to him during the current administration - he was one of the few in his party to insist on fiscal restraint in the budget-busting era of George W. Bush.

One can only hope that he’ll continue on to the Republican Convention in Tampa and demand a few meaningful answers from Newt Romney or whomever else is raising the inevitable illogical banner of “cut taxes and regulations!”

1 comment:

  1. I agree with much of what you wrote, until you jumped on the Ron Paul bandwagon. Want to get rid of the EPA? Ron is your man. Want to cut taxes to a point that would make Grover Norquist squeal with ecstasy? Vote Paul. Child labor laws? Paul hates them. Think economic stimulus is a good idea? Ron thinks you're a commie. OSHA, NLRB, Dept of Energy, Education, Interior,Transportation...all gone if Paul has his way. Add in his racist newsletters for the 90s, his votes against honoring Martin Luther King and his opposition to women's reproductive rights and you've got someone that should be pretty radioactive to a progressive.

    Just because he's right about imperialism doesn't make him worth your support.

    BTW...looking forward to seeing Black 47 at the Dublin Irish Fest in August. Saw you there in 2005 and it was a great show.


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