It’s the Jobs, Stupid!

            

By Jack E. Lohman

Recession or not, it hurts. And there’s only one thing that can get us back on track.

  1. Jobs!

Following every other recession we’ve had jobs to revitalize us. Now those jobs are in other countries.

We’re even looking at the positive side of $4 gas… as the cost of importing product goes up, bringing jobs back to the states looks better each day. Toyota is now moving a Prius plant to the U.S..

Isn’t that great?

Obama wants to eliminate subsidies to companies that outsource jobs to other countries, and indeed we should. But we should also ask why congress gave these taxpayer-funded favors in the first place.

The answer is clear: Our moneyed electoral system demands it. Politicians from both parties taking money to do exactly opposite of what is in the best interest of the country. It will ultimately cost us our democracy.

Correction, it already has.

I don’t care that our GDP is growing. We are spending increasing amounts of money on gas, food and health care. How else would you expect the GDP to respond? And when the newly-rich foreigners — you know, the ones who now have our jobs — buy product from the US, it is also added to our growing GDP.

And you thought our GDP represented only American spending?

I don’t care if the “average personal income” is rising faster than inflation. That’s because the salaries for our richest CEOs are rising at 25%. That’ll create a rise every time, even while those at the bottom are effectively in a nosedive.

What I do care about is that an ever-higher percentage of my family’s personal income is going to satisfy the millionaires that line the pockets of the politicians, and less of our individual income is going to savings and to my family’s needs. I care that seniors’ meals-on-wheels programs are running out of money for food, and in some cases are being eliminated. I care that George Bush gave a massive tax break for the rich and put this nation’s and the world’s economy in a tailspin.

I call that a “recession,” but you can call it whatever you want.

Yes we must cut business taxes to stimulate growth, and that can only mean cutting state spending. But government spending results when corporations give campaign contributions to politicians to generate industry subsidies. Political corruption. Bribery. Payola.

Some politicians (and most conservatives) seem unable to connect these dots.

But guess what? All of this increases taxes!!!!

So several things are needed. First, we must get private money out of our electoral system through public funding of campaigns. Next we need a whole new set of politicians in November. Lastly, we must reset to zero. Apply a sunset clause to every state department, and they either justify their existence or they close the doors. Even if they stay in place, their budgets and waste must be substantially cut and unnecessary staff and procedures eliminated.

21 Responses to It’s the Jobs, Stupid!

  1. Bob Owens says:

    I enjoyed your online comment to the 7/12/08 Leader-Telegram editorial on the wisconsin state debt. The state borrows too much money. I thought the state constitution requires that the budget must be balanced.

    I’m in favor of constitutional amendments to limit terms to one, no re-election campaigns.

    I would also support campaigning using strictly free communications such as op-ed pieces, YouTube/MySpace broadcasts, and e-mail. Most of the TV ads add a lot to the obscene costs of campaigns, and are not worth a crap to help people understand a candidate’s position on issues. And they only say what the candidates think the voters want to hear.

    thanks for trying to organize efforts to reform. it’s tough to get the ball rolling.

  2. Thanks Bob. Yeah, getting people interested in reform has been tough, but it is (unfortunately) getting easier. I’m not a (current) fan of term limits, but “one term” starts to get interesting. But what happens if you get a really good, honest politician in and you want to keep him or her? You can’t, and their replacement is crappy.

    As well, I can see business interests running a candidate just to get one law passed, and he has no incentive to do the right thing to get re-elected.

    I like your idea of free TV time, and I especially support public funding of campaigns. At $5 per taxpayer per year it’d be a bargain. Politicians running under the public grant systems in Arizona and Maine have taken over 70% of the elected seats.

    But that levels the playing field, and the last thing in the world that politicians want is a level playing field. The only answer is a complete turnover in November. They’ve all had one term, haven’t they?

    You can sign up to our newsletter on this by sending a blank email to jlohman@execpc.com with “Subscribe eNewsletter” in the subject field.

  3. As well, Bob, the moneyed political system works against the public in two very unfortunate ways.

    1) Campaign cash buys favors to special interests and drives up government spending and taxes.

    2) If politicians fixed everything overnight, much of their campaign cash would dry up.

    I can hear them now: “Gee, funds are down, let’s start action on a smoke free law to raise cash from Philip Morris. But let’s not pass it so we can dip into the trough again next year.”

    Another strike against our moneyed political system.

    I sure wish cash were not changing hands and I could trust politicians to do the right thing.

  4. ezag says:

    Only one reform matters…tax reform that reconnects taxation and spending. Not easy…but the three part solution of single income tax rate; a limited asset tax on the moneyed class; a balanced budget; all protected by a constitutional amendment. Read about it at http://www.hedgehogparty.com

  5. It’s not that simple, ezag. Nothing sensible is going to happen with spending and taxing until you get the private money out of the public political system. You can argue all you want that it shouldn’t be that way, but it is. Get used to it; or change it.

    But I do love your tax idea:

    The Hedgehog Party Motto

    Eliminate Taxes on the Poor
    Lower Taxes on the Middle Class
    Lower Taxes on the Rich
    Raise Taxes on the Wealthy

  6. ezag says:

    Moneyed,
    You are correct that change cannot come from our current political culture. The answer, I believe, comes from the grassroots in the form of a left/right coalition that wants the system under better voter control.

    How to do it? A 10% left/right coalition that voted as a block on the single issue of tax reform could turn a high percentage of elections. The main source of the voters is the turned off voters…there are a lot of them.

    Public financing is full of its own dangers.

  7. When you get 10% of the voters let me know. And most of those will buy into public funding of campaigns. Only when you get the public rather than the wealthy funding the campaigns will you get equitable taxes.

    The biggest danger with public funding is to the incumbents. It is working great in Arizona and Maine since 1998 and has been passed in several other states. If it turns bad it can be voted out by the citizens just as it was voted in.

  8. […] U.S. will not recover until we bring back our jobs, and giving tax breaks to companies that outsource is not the way to do it. […]

  9. […] U.S. will not recover until we bring back our jobs, and giving tax breaks to companies that outsource is not the way to do it. […]

  10. […] get jobs coming back to our country. Eliminate taxes for companies that keep jobs in the US; increase taxes for those […]

  11. […] get jobs coming back to our country. Eliminate taxes for companies that keep jobs in the US; increase taxes for those […]

  12. Raising taxes on corporations will work as long as tariffs are raised and they have no advantage to relocate offshore and then sell back into the American market. The American market is the biggest consumer market in the world; therefore, every corporation wants to sell into it. We have to make it a privilege to sell into it that corporations will gladly pay taxes for.

  13. […] hasn’t changed. It’s the Jobs, Stupid!  Obama must also deal with job losses due to globalization; Roosevelt didn’t. Creating jobs […]

  14. […] matters are jobs, and only jobs, and they must be brought back to the US. New jobs must be prohibited from being outsourced, […]

  15. […] matters are jobs, and only jobs, and they must be brought back to the US. New jobs must be prohibited from being outsourced, […]

  16. t bryce says:

    president obama had better keep writing those checks to keep us all going since he is not too worried about american jobs and still letting american companies take our jobs elsewhere.

  17. L.D. says:

    I’ve been telling people the same thing, they want to blame it on the real estate, i believe some people were stupid enough to listen to the real estate angents and bought 3 or 4 different properties, but for those who were just trying to own 1 probably had a good job that were able to make their mortgage ended up lossing their jobs and then ended up lossing everything else. Not only are the big companies going over seas, they are hiring people from over seas to come over here on a working visa.

    what can we do to bring our jobs back home?

  18. Chris says:

    It’s Jobs Stupid!

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