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The Tentacle


October 19, 2009

The Heavy Time

Steven R. Berryman

Boundless optimism toward future prospects and possibilities used to mark the American Spirit. Now, we make zero-sum choices in our lives, sometimes with no good outcomes, and are lead by a president who would have us borrow wealth instead of creating it.

 

This distinction should not be a subtle one to you.

 

Is this the “leading by example” that we expect from our freshman president? Following his example, all Americans are encouraged to borrow rather than build; to borrow rather than create new wealth and invest.

 

And so it is with our president’s wish to countermand the Social Security payment system.

 

Without a source for the funding – per the “new normal” – this administration proposes handing out a discretionary check for $250 cash to all Social Security recipients in lieu of a Cost Of Living Adjustment (COLA), which is formally and legally tied to our Inflation rate.

 

We just completed a year of negative inflation as fewer dollars are chasing more goods, so there is no justifiable increase under our current plan. Technically, we should be reducing the payment!

 

Nevertheless the “Santa Clause President,” based firmly upon how he feels, wants to make a bonus payout out of it anyway!

 

Tell me again, which party lays claim to fiscal constraint? The above certainly supports the Republican platforms’ claim.

 

Of course, Social Security recipients are a deserving subsection of our economy, almost by definition, but we are all suffering in this broadest of great recessions.

 

The fact is that the three-plus billions of dollars needed to fund this nice $250 one time pay-off has to come out of somebody’s hide, as we are a broke nation; first the funding would need to be borrowed, and second, it would be borrowed from other suffering citizens, who can’t spare a dime, brother!

 

The wealth redistribution above only serves as a political payoff for purposes of making the president into Robin Hood, and stealing – for the short term – for purposes of pure political gain in his party.

 

This opportunity was forced by many recent embarrassing failures.

 

What should be happening with policy is the obverse of the coin: The creation of wealth via incentive. We don’t see that!

 

Tax revenues have to come from somewhere, and they only come from businesses that actually produce something resulting in a true profit. Tax revenues are down because small businesses are suffering now, and see no relief based upon the euphemistically labeled various stimuli.

 

There has been no demonstrable outflow of wealth creation, or job creation to come out of the cash-handouts to greedy Wall Street speculators, self-interested and gouging banks, AIG, General Motors, or those resurfacing the roads on “shovel-ready” projects, and the rest of the list.

 

You are now living the consequence of the oh-so-clairvoyant “we had to do something” syndrome!

 

Surely the Democrats have held control now long enough to own the outcome of their solutions; the honeymoon is over, and there will be a massive accountability to come at the next election cycle. Incumbents do need to fear.

 

Many lay in wait.

 

What should have occurred, and still could under the right leadership, is the overt support of small business, which has become the main casualty of the last election.

 

The cumulative impact of American “small business,” however one defines it, is to send the most real profit dollars, based upon actually producing wealth, to our treasury. This is where the real suffering is occurring now.

 

The compounding negative is felt in a dearth of Treasury receipts.

 

With payroll unemployment taxes in Maryland about to more than treble in 2010, that will push many over the edge that had been just holding on by the fingernails.

 

Why not lubricate the machinery in the real engine of productivity, creativity, and sustained growth in our nation, the small business? Could it be that many small business owners are dedicated Republicans?

 

Let’s hope we are not so shallow and vindictive; hate for George W. Bush can justify only so much evil.

 

Lubricating the machinery of small business should not be a function of incentives to hire, as nobody wins when a company hires needlessly, when the workload will not justify it. They would just sit!

 

Return small businesses to profitability by reducing their tax obligations, and make it work as an incentive rather than a give-away.

 

Simple: Reduce payroll taxes to businesses under some financial threshold. This directly impacts the final profitability of any job, and would control hiring plans. This simple outlay would very broadly impact entire sectors of the economy, rather than target winners and losers.

 

For example, just look at the building trades.

 

We have tossed much red meat to road construction companies, repaving and fixing. Forget that the states have defunded much of this from their side of the equation, reversing the impact by cutting from county level budgets.

 

But what impact have we had thus far on the carpenters, brick layers, plumbers, metal workers, drywall hangers, masons, mechanical guys, and so on to the other 20 building trades?

 

None.

 

In my example, we would not be playing favorites. Same for other types of business.

 

When will “Big “G” government wake up and look at the “big picture.” And I mean without the politically tinted glasses?

 

The good news is that one element of our system of government is self-correcting: The people will eventually hold up the mirror to selfish political choices.

 

Grass-roots movements will continue to gain population and clout, and we will eventually be shaken back to our first principles as the people continue to suffer without real relief.

 

And that, sooner rather than later.

 

srbmgr@comcast.net

 



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