Friday, February 13, 2009

Republican tax cuts versus Democratic spending

When the Republicans make an argument to give people a massive tax cut, such as say $10,000 per family and business incentives to create jobs , rather than a complex spending bill that costs hundreds of billions of dollars, I take it seriously but end up agreeing with my party this time.

As a newliberal, I am committed to doing what's right rather than towing the party line. I am seeking to create a new party-line that is the right path for America.

I am very interested in the idea of letting millions of people make decisions in the economy rather than a few people in Congress deciding on tax breaks or spending plans. That is the essence of the power of a free market, and the main reason we are the greatest county on Earth.

But there is a limit to almost everything, certainly the free market.

In this case, think of all the infrastructure needs we have as country that must be addressed at some point:

fixing roads and bridges
building/fixing schools
computerizing medical records
repairing/updating our energy grid

These are spending decisions that only a government can make, yet if Republicans had their way (which has been over the last 8 years) they would again get short-changed.

So in this case we definitely need spending by the government. But for the non-infrastructure spending there should be a test: is this project vital for the American people? If not, then give people a tax cut and let them spend it there way. If it is, then proudly place it in the Stimulus.

For example, I would disagree with much of the environmental spending because I'm not convinced the science behind it is strong. I would be against "mob musuems" because I think we the people could spend that money better. Yet, I would support the STD and condom programs because that spending would stimulate the economy just like any other dollar spent, but would help out our social fabric also.

So all told, the Democrats got this Stimulus bill correct. I would argue it should be much larger in terms of more individual tax cuts and more needed spending.

But I should note it is a good program and much better than it would otherwise would be if we Democrats didn't sweep the last election.

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