As if taking a cue from California’s Gov. Brown, President Obama has presented a 2013 budget to Congress that spends, taxes and borrows. It includes $1.9 trillion in new taxes and adds trillions more to our nation’s debt.
Budgets which have as their foundation more government spending regardless of economic conditions, debt load or taxpayers’ ability to provide revenue are worse than bad fiscal policy; they are also almost always politically driven. Behind these bad policies — disguised behind words like “share the wealth” and “economic equality” — is the attempt to influence blocks of voters and curry favor with powerful special interests regardless of the negative impact on job creation that will only make our economy worse.
The president’s budget would expand government spending in a massive amount; as much as 53 percent over the next 10 years. Instead of focusing on making government more efficient, the president is doubling down on his failed hyper-spending policies. This is the economic equivalent of opening a bag of cash in the middle of a tornado and hoping that some of it lands where you want it to.
At this point, if you’re having a déjà vu moment, that is understandable. Three years ago, President Obama got to spend billions of dollars approved by Congress when it (unwisely) passed his stimulus bill which guaranteed to boost the American economy.
From any objective perspective, Obama’s policies have been an abject failure. According to a December 2011 Census Bureau report, nearly half of all Americans are now classified as poor or low-income and the number of poor in America has reached an all-time high. The rate of “underemployment” or “real unemployment,” including the unemployed, those who want work but have stopped searching in this economy and those who are forced to work part-time because they cannot find full-time employment, is now 15.4 percent. In total, 23.8 million Americans are underemployed.
Does not sanity dictate that we not attempt a repeat of a demonstrably failed policy initiative? If pounding your head against a wall inflicts pain, isn’t it a good idea to stop?
There’s a better way — one that has been proven to work through the good works of great leaders like Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher.
In order to get the economy moving again the president should acknowledge that more taxing and spending isn’t the answer. It is time to get the unemployed back to work and for the president to work with Congress to cut taxes, spending and unleash the entrepreneurs and innovators who can make this country great again.
As the House takes up the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) act, President Obama and the Democratic Senate should work with House Republicans to pass this legislation. This bi-partisan bill will help small businesses gain access to capital, ease the excessive regulatory burden that has been placed on them, and create an environment to help startup businesses do well. This is a commonsense measure.
Both President Obama and Gov. Brown need to recognize that job creation is the function of the private sector. The government approach of four men to one shovel, pioneered by Franklin Roosevelt, is not the answer. It is the private sector that provides real jobs, and those who are working pay real taxes to support government programs.
The message from taxpayers to both the president and the California governor is, “Get out of the way and let us get to work!”
The real irony here is that if Obama and Brown were to actually adopt these policies they might actually generate the tax revenue that their allies — interests which consume tax dollars — are begging for.
The real tragedy here is that, because these policies make sense and would make America and California more economically stable, they stand little chance of being adopted by the existing power structure. And that is a tragedy indeed.
Jon Coupal is president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association — California’s largest grass-roots taxpayer organization dedicated to the protection of Proposition 13 and the advancement of taxpayers’ rights.