Feb 10, 2009

Stimulus Storm

by Eric Taylor

The political winds of change blowing through Washington D.C. are attempting to clear out the dense smog that has polluted our nation’s capitol for the last eight years. Politicians and leading economists all warn of an impending financial meltdown. The American people deserve to know what the new administration is doing to avert this fiscal doomsday scenario.

For the past few months, this nation’s leaders have been debating and comparing our crisis with that of the Great Depression. The American people are being hammered with the idea that if Congress does not pass a stimulus bill quickly, our economy will succumb to a “catastrophic” collapse.

“If we don’t move swiftly to put this plan in motion, our economic crisis could become a national catastrophe,” warned President Barack Obama in an ABC News article. “Millions of Americans will lose their jobs, their homes and their health care. Millions more will have to put their dreams on hold.”

As “dreaming” college students, the collapse of America’s economy is an issue of concern as it affects jobs, income and our financial wellbeing. But that does not mean we should “swiftly put” any plan into action. First, we must look closely at how our Congress plans on spending the American taxpayer’s money in order to get us out of this economic black hole and back on the road to prosperity.

Currently, the House and Senate are working on a stimulus plan with the purpose of preventing job loss and re-energizing our economy, according to a Washington Post article. The problem is that the Democrats, who now control both houses, are trying to push through a huge spending bill that will not stimulate the economy in the near future.
While Obama’s plan may help in the short-term, it will actually harm us in the long run due to the debt it will create, according to the Congressional Budget Office, a non-partisan organization.

Consider a couple of numbers from the so-called democratic stimulus plan. There is $50 million for the National Endowment of the Arts, $650 million for digital TV conversion coupons, as well as $150 million to renovate the Smithsonian, according to the Wall Street Journal. And the list goes on.

Sure, these things might be worth spending some money on, but they do not do anything to promote growth in our economy. So, let us call this bill what it is — a monstrosity of spending. Rife with such negligent allocation of funds, this stimulus package is a huge waste of the taxpayers’ dollars.

Meanwhile, the Republicans are countering with a much smaller, more specifically targeted stimulus package aimed at tax cuts for small businesses.

While small businesses are defined as employing 500 people or less, they make up 99 percent of the workforce and sign 45 percent of our nation’s private paychecks. Because of this, many politicians refer to these employers as the “backbone” of America, according to a Chicago Sun-Times article.

Ultimately, if the stimulus package neglects small businesses, we will break our economic back and find ourselves a financially crippled country.

Small businesses have been a solid engine of growth in our economy and a driving force for low unemployment. So, let us remove the non-stimulus pork, cut small business taxes and start creating more jobs to really “stimulate” our economy.

It is inconceivable how some politicians believe we can simply spend our way to prosperity. If we throw fistfuls of cash at a blazing inferno, that will only make the flames larger. Both Democrats and Republicans need to put aside their political predispositions in a joint effort to push this economic storm cloud back out to sea.

Contact Eric Taylor at
metaylor@liberty.edu
 


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