Economic primer on the stimulus

And it comes in a nice tidy 7 1/2 minute lesson, courtesy of the Center for  Freedom and Prosperity Foundation (h/t NetRightNation):

It’s been said many times in many ways, but those who fail to recall their history are doomed to repeat it. It seems that this video illustrates the effect the Bush tax cuts had on the economy; unfortunately the economic strength they created was sapped in part by government overspending at all levels.

I’m going to keep harping on one particular point until I’m blue in the face because it’s so right yet people can’t seem to see how right it is – money is better kept in YOUR pocket to spend where YOU decide it should be. Is there a toll which needs to be paid for the common good? Yes, there are some functions which government is appointed to do and there’s funding required to accomplish those tasks – one example is our military, which really doesn’t take a huge chunk of the overall federal budget.

The same goes for state governments, which have their own various purposes spelled out in their respective state Constitutions. Many require the state to fund public education, so that becomes an area states should take the lead in while the federal government butts out.

Once you reach the local level, those locally generated tax dollars should pay for basic functions of local government: public safety, roads, water and sewer systems if the municipality or other governmental entity features such systems, and the minimum amount of administration required by law. Even items which are associated with public service such as trash pickup and snow removal aren’t necessarily required functions – living outside the city limits I contract with a private refuse pickup service and they do a fine job.

So what would be a good stimulus plan? How about measures to create jobs in the private sector instead of increasing the number of unionized government positions? We know that President Obama is paying back one of the largest sectors of his support (both electorally and financially) by creating a huge number of government jobs and focusing other tasks on areas which are de facto unionized (for example, public works construction jobs which pay the so-called prevailing wage.)

And even if that money kept with John Q. Citizen simply went into a bank or to pay creditors, this would lessen the need for federal bailouts of those industries – either way I see it as a win-win situation (as opposed to the selling out Republicans in the Senate seem to want on the stimulus package.)

There’s a lot of work to be done, but the hard part is standing by and watching the politicians mess the situation up further. Maybe they need to watch this short video.

Author: Michael

It's me from my laptop computer.