Obama has pledged to “create or protect” some 3.5 million jobs, and is asking Congress to spend an additional $800 billion on a “stimulus” package to do that. That’s more than $200,000 per job. Since the average American makes about $40,000, that’s a poor return on a big investment. It would make more sense to just mail out $40,000 checks to the workers who would fill these new jobs.
Our government can’t afford to spend more. The just-departed Bush administration declined to veto a barrage of new pork-barrel and entitlement programs. Assuming the proposed Obama “stimulus” package passes, the Congressional Budget Office says the 2009 federal budget deficit (the amount our government borrows) would be almost as much as the entire amount the federal government spent in 2001.
The only quick and effective remedy is to cut tax rates. This has worked before, and will work again. A report by Heritage’s Center for Data Analysis recommends that our government take two steps.
First, extend the 2001 and 2003 tax reductions for as long as possible. (Indeed, we should make them permanent). Second, slash tax rates on individuals, small businesses and corporations through 2013 by lowering the top rate by 10 percentage points and also reducing rates for lower-income taxpayers.
The Heritage report shows that doing so would increase employment by a half million jobs this year and by a million more next year. It would create 3.6 million jobs between 2009 through 2012, at a cost of reducing federal tax receipts over five years by $670 billion. This approach would enable Obama to reach his objective while spending far less from the public purse.
If President Obama succeeds, our country probably will, as well. And, as the international credit crisis shows, American success is critical. Not just to the U.S., but to the entire world. We wish him success as he begins a difficult job.
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