Treasury Secretary Tim “I didn’t cheat on my taxes…I just didn’t understand the tax code” Geitner was on the Hill yesterday, waxing semi-eloquent regarding the second half of the bank bailout, a.k.a. “TARP II: When Markets Bite Back.” By all accounts (both liberal and conservative), Geitner’s performance was, at best, underwhelming. He appeared nervous and ill-prepared (note to Tim: the unbuttoned shirt collar under the tie didn’t say “man of action” as much as it said “I’d rather be having a root canal than be here today”). Geitner looked, well…shaken. Congress was not stirred by his performance.
If the Obama administration is going to persist in shoveling this kind of pork at us, they’re going to have to find some much more convincing liars to sell it.
The deal here is that no thinking person believes this “stimulus” bill is about stimulating the economy. Everybody knows that it’s a wish-list of the liberal left, masquerading as stimulus or order to get it passed. Evidently, 30 or 40 years of yearning has the Dems throwing caution to the wind, in order to fund their pet projects. See the problem is, in order to stimulate the economy, it’s necessary to do but two things:
- Spend less money
- Reduce taxes
Neither of these strategies holds much appeal to the tax and spend crowd. 800 billion dollars is one HELL of a lot of money, and the real scandal is that over 3/4 of the money won’t see hit the economy until well after the first year. Stimulus, shimulus. It’s all shuck and jive to me.
Here’s my idea of a stimulus plan:
- Reduce EVERYBODY’S tax rate by 20% for the next year
- Reduce every department (other than the military’s) budget by 20% for the next year
- Cut all non-essential spending (National Endowment for the Arts, Mohair research, etc.) by 50%
That’s it. The whole thing. And THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is how you create a stimulus plan that works. To do something like that, it would help to have people that put the public’s interest ahead of their own. Oh, and maybe put somebody in charge of the Treasury Dept. that understands enough about the tax code that he can pay the taxes he owes, and not duck his responsibilities. I can’t see any Democrat doing this, because they are the party of bigger – not smaller – government. There’s not been a Republican since Reagan that had the cojones to even so much as propose this. Pity. We need leaders that will do what works, rather than try and game the system to serve their taste for pork, earmarks, and pet projects. Cut the waste, and the public would grant them a license to thrill.