Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Are Democrats Finally Admitting Higher Taxes Kill Economy, Jobs, - And Mid-Term Votes?

A commentary by Brenda Bummer with a happy ending.

Has hell frozen over or are democrats finally admitting higher taxes kill the economy and jobs and will likely kill votes for them in the mid-term election? It has been leaking out that keeping, well really extending through 2011 possibly, the Bush tax cuts may be President Obama’s political October Surprise.

If true, is this President Obama’s pragmatic gift to the Democrat congressional incumbents up for re-election in November? If so, is this then a sincere acknowledgment that raising taxes in this economy is not only unpopular with voters but also unsound in a recession? Or, call me Brenda Bummer and cynical, would this simply be political gaming of the American voters as part of the mid-term election strategy?

One thing appears to be sure, the “Recovery Summer” theme is hopeful; yet “Recovery Summer” appears to refer more to many Americans trying to personally recover from the effects of prolonged unemployment and underemployment – late payments, unmanageable credit card interest hikes, lower FICO scores, pending foreclosures, and financial hardships for the first time in their lives.

I try to always be upbeat and see the bright side of life. I hate to be Brenda Bummer, but this economy has slowing growth rates and continued high new unemployment figures. What would make anyone think raising taxes – even by technically letting tax cuts expire – is a good idea for anyone but the political class in this environment? I’m a glass is half full kind of girl, but I also live in reality – the private jobs sector.

Those in Washington, or most that work in the federal public sector in general, realistically need to take into account those not in Washington and those in the private sector when talking about the economy and jobs recovery. How many “permanent” jobs have been “created” or “saved” in the private sector should be the question. And the follow up question to all politicians should be, are all jobs equal in importance? Yes, then why are additional jobs funding bills, or whatever new stimulus spending is now being labeled, only taking into account public employee jobs being “saved”?

These questions have all been asked before, especially lately by fed-up small business owners; but they have never really been answered by politicians, except maybe NJ Governor Chris Christy, with an answer that is realistic and makes sense. If the public sector creates the wealth of a country and the real tax money base, why aren’t economic policies geared toward helping them most? If we have huge deficits, why do we continue spending and why are we not looking at cutting duplicate and ineffective government programs and agencies as a first resort? Why are we committing new money to huge new entitlements at home and huge new international programs before our fiscal house is back in order – meaning in the black and not in the red? Why is raising taxes, instead of cutting spending, the first place politicians always seem to want to look for fiscal solutions?

We need more accountants in Congress than attorneys or academics. We need more representatives that have worried about paying their employees, paying their business taxes, and adhering to business regulations and tax code in Congress. We need more integrity and political guts in Congress.

We may just need more middle class small business owners in Congress or maybe just more middle class Moms that know how to say “no”, know how to stretch the money they have to balance a budget, and know what the difference between a need and a want is.

I don’t have any children, but I watched my twin sister who was a single mom for years. She never went into credit card spending debt; balanced her monthly budget without fail even if it meant increasing her income with 2 or 3 jobs; said no without losing her compassion; did not look to government entitlement programs to make her life easier or solve problems; and raised two wonderful girls. Congress should include the many Moms in America just like her as their economic advisors.

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