Monday, January 21, 2008

Hard Stimulation . . . of the Economy

On Friday, President Bush announced an economic stimulus package. Naturally, with primaries the next day, this has been on hold over the weekend. But as it is Monday, let's take a look at it. Bush was not overly specific, but the package includes a one-time tax credit (cash for poll numbers) and business incentives and tax cuts (works, but gives Democrats ammo). As usual, this will be another battle between the White House and Congress, with everyone motivated by Presidential polls. I would prefer one of those little checks myself. But that's definitely a purely personal desire. The stimulation of business would be better for the economy. And since we're going to get some kind of package, I'd say go for both.

But I also looked at this through the conservative prism. And I came to a realization that the idea of an economic stimulus package is not a part of conservative principles. I'm not going to say we shouldn't do it, because we should, but the idea that government needs to stimulate the economy is as wrongheaded as anything else. So let's look at the parts of the package.

First of all, there's the rebate. This will let people catch up a little on their credit cards or probably buy lottery tickets, but will have about as much stimulation as a political discussion with Britney Spears. Otherwise, it's just giving us our money back after Washington has had its way (or waste) with it. Hand in hand with that, Bush did say part of it was to make the last tax cuts permanent. You'll never hear me say no to a tax cut.

As for the business stimulus part, which had to include the obligatory "small business" reference, lest anyone of a liberal persuasion immediately scream that Big Business might benefit, this is simply the government slapping a bandage on a gaping wound that requires stitches. The problem is not giving business tax breaks, but that there is a need to, as well as the ability of the government to, grant these breaks. This is why I continue to put a link to the FairTax in every blog (including this one) that mentions taxes. Every tax, whether levied against individuals or on businesses, is paid for by the consumer. The tax structure is inherently unfair and intentionally obscure, no matter who is controlling it. It is geared toward extracting as much money from people as possible without them having any idea how bad they're being screwed. (this includes a tax on the lube for said screwing) Economics has been one of the two driving forces in revolutions. The other is oppression. This is what motivated us to form a country of our own, to guarantee freedoms. And to give us the ability to fight when we lose our freedom and are taxed into subservience.

And on that note, on to the site of the day: The City Troll. A little more unhinged than me (I would be too if I was in Philly), but I appreciate anyone who subtitles his blog with the Second Amendment. And understands it.

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