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Frank Bernheisel: The View From Here
Frank Bernheisel
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Frank Bernheisel
Posted 01.25.10
Just Outside Washington

FRANK BERNHEISEL

Americans, don't be distracted

The people of Massachusetts elected Scott Brown to fill the vacant seat in the U.S. Senate and you would think that there had been a cataclysm and that everything that had been done in the last full year -- where health care was debated, discussed and dissected -- was negated and the President Obama was dead meat.

This is, of course, all media hype and concentrated in Washington, a city that thrives on such crap -- with so many people making their living from it, what else would you expect?

    The media wisdom is that President Obama has focused on the wrong things, such as health care and global warming.

    He better create jobs and solve the unemployment problem or there will be a majority Republican Congress. And if he doesn't balance the budget, there will be worse consequences.

Well, let's see, since the October 2008 crash, the Federal government has passed legislation to stimulate the economy by $787 billion in the form of spending and tax cuts; poured $1 trillion into the housing market; provided $50 billion to bail out the GM and Chrysler and the Federal Reserve has added another $1 trillion in stimulus, as you can see in the chart below.

Three trillion dollars pumped into the U.S. economy should produce some jobs, right? Even if the money all went to bankers making $300,000 per year -- which it did not-- that is still 10 million jobs either saved or created.

Yes, we still have 15 million (official number) unemployed and I am of the opinion that the federal government should do more. However, I do not see any help from the Republicans who think that Scott Brown's victory is a sign, from wherever, that they have been right all along and now the American people see the light and they will have a majority in both houses of Congress in 2011.

So what do the Republicans say about jobs? From their Senate website:

Republican Leaders Presented Their No Cost Jobs Plan To President Obama -- it focuses on job creating ideas such as:

  • No new tax increases, and recommends tax incentives for small businesses to create jobs
  • Freezing all discretionary spending at last years levels
  • Assistance to community banks and small businesses to free up lending
  • Help those who are unemployed on unemployment insurance have the education and training to gain employment
  • Suspending the federal employment payroll tax
  • Lowering the corporate tax rate in order for U.S. companies providing more profit from those companies to be brought back to the U.S.
  • Expanding U.S. export jobs by signing the Columbia and S. Korea Trade Agreements which could create 250,000 new jobs alone
A couple of tax cuts and a freeze on 'discretionary' spending, and they think that will turn things around. I think not.

By the way, this is the party of fiscal responsibility and they now say that the U.S. should pay down the debt; we have a lot of debt, see second chart. The Country tried that in 1937 and went back into depression.

So let's not be distracted by Scott Brown's win, let's pass the health care bill and move on to other important matters. How do we do that? Easy, the House of Representatives passes the Senate bill and the President signs it.

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