Wednesday, August 11, 2010

What Congress Ought to Be Doing

As the election nears, the amount of non-sensical lying and pandering to the worst instincts of voters will make intelligent people want to puke. Here in Colorado, the GOP dove completely out of reach of their rockers by nomination Teabagger candidates for both Governor and Senate, and, although they are unlikely to win the general election, it is likely that we will see more ignorant Sarah Palin clones in DC and statehouses.

As far at the economy goes, the conservatives bluster is that the deficit is too big, unless of course it is caused by more tax cuts. At this time in history, they are mostly wrong. Economists have shown that the stimulus and actions of the FED saved us, so far, from falling into a second Great Depression. And as for tax cuts, while in the short term they make sense in as part of a second round of stimulus, in the long run we will have to both cut spending and raise taxes to keep from being Greece in 10 years.

So, here is MY PLAN as to what Congress should be doing. It makes sense, so you can be sure little of it will happen.
1) A new stimulus plan is needed with more spending on infrastructure projects, as well as aid to the states to keep our education system from crumbling. This type of spending will help us both long and short term, much like the WPA projects still in use from the 30's do today.
2) Allow the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy to expire, but extend them for 3 years for everyone else.
3) Get to work on fixing the long term economics problems we face by making serious and expansive changes to health care, social security and medicare. This is a far bigger problem than the current deficits being run to stimulate the economy, which make sense right now. What does not make sense is legacy programs whose current deficit is estimated at over $50 Trillion. Seriously tackling these tough programs, which Congress is about as likely to do as they are to turn down campaign contributions, would signify to markets that we are serious about the long term. This would give those who we need to buy government bonds to finance our deficit more comfort that they are not investing in the next Greece, and keep interest rates from rising.
4) Hey, while I'm in this fantasy world, how about legalizing drugs, prostitution, an gambling so we can stop wasting resources trying to tell people how to run their lives. Then, tax them so the addicts pay for their own treatment.

I believe the first 2 items on my list will happen to some extent. 3 and 4 are the ones that would really contribute to long term fiscal sanity. But since voters live in the short term, you can forget about Congress dealing with them.

Enjoy your election season. I'm going to only watch TV via Hulu so I don't have to watch the scumbag political ads!

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