Gridlock Isn't So Great

Jeff  Carter
Posted: Sep 23, 2011 12:01 AM

I remember in the halcyon days of the Bill Clinton Presidency, many told me, “gridlock is good”. Republican controlled houses of Congress with a Democrat President. “Nothing can get done.”, they said. “It’s better for working families.”

Well, some things did get done and as we look at certain segments of the Clinton foreign policy, there were seeds for quite a bit of damage later on. But, with regard to economics and fiscal policy, Clinton was much more interested in being popular and preserving power than he was a hard core leftist. He let the Republicans lead the way on the economy.

From 2008-2010 my friends were in my face, “See”, they said, “I told you so.”. The Democratically monopoly of Congress combined with a hard left Democratic President totally screwed up the American economy. “Gridlock is good”, they said.  Stimulus, Obamacare, Dodd-Frank, and the aggressive form of government they practiced wreaked havoc on years of established practices.

Result; businesses and consumers froze. When businesses could, they pivoted and allocated resources to places that were growing. Like Asia, India and Brazil.

Instead of using the time honored practice of bankruptcy and eventual credit work out for recalcitrant banks, we chose to save them. Now we have heavily damaged banks that are like a bad penny. They keep coming back.

There are events that policy makers in the US cannot control, like those in Europe. However, pursuing correct fiscal policy would at least give “working families” a chance to insulate themselves. The path the Democrats have chosen is no different than charging uphill into a machine gun nest. Americans are dying on that hill.

After November 2010, they said, “Now we have some gridlock again.”. How do you like it? We are stuck with the crappy Democratic policies of the recent past. We have a President that has stubbornly dug his heels into the sand. Their bright idea is raise taxes and increase regulation in the midst of the largest financial crisis in generations. Instead of pivoting and out of the box thinking, we are seeing more of the same. It’s like using 1920's cancer treatments on a patient when science has advanced light years ahead.  Republicans have passed bills that die in the Senate.  The Democrats haven’t passed a budget in over 800 days.

Correct fiscal policy in the US would help Americans weather these financial storms. What policy makers have to do is drastically cut taxes to shock the system. Significantly lower taxes will create huge incentives for Americans to innovate and produce. When taxes are high, people not only choose leisure over work, but businesses have a higher hurdle rate when they decide to do a project or not.  High taxes and high spending glaciate the private sector.

The other thing policy makers need to do is drastically cut the size and scope of government. Privatize huge swaths of the government and push jobs into the private sector. At any given point in time, the US money supply is fixed.

I hear the argument about “working families” from Democrats all the time. Pretty hard to be a “working family” when your governments policy keeps you on the bench.  Gridlock has killed the working family.