Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Congress Ensures 2011 Poor Economic Growth with Poor Policy & Integrity Now

Delayed Tax Rate Vote Equals Continued Low Employment Growth
Photo Credit - Flickr Common License
Watching Congress the last half of 2010, Americans can only conclude true economic growth in the private sector is not a priority for representatives in either party no matter their political rhetoric to the contrary. Furthermore, Americans can only conclude Congress does not comprehend or care about the private sector growth planning realities; and those that may, do not have the political integrity to insistently champion knowledgeable economic growth policy.

Americans realize the most important reality of this election season is the economy and job growth for the first half of 2011 is going to be negatively impacted if Congress does not insist on an up or down vote on tax cut extensions without further delay. The private sector job creators must be given realism for their 2011 business expense planning, which includes tax rates, to move forward and stop sitting on potential business capital. The private sector is acting prudently by not spending or hiring even if politicians demonize them for it. Waiting is prudent when expansion planning elements like government policy and expenses are unclear.

Both Republican and Democrat voters are sick of continued poor economic growth, high unemployment, and politicians pointing fingers at each other as the reason they can’t complete definitive budget and tax policy. It’s not that hard and not doing it only benefits politicians, not the American people or private sector businesses responsible for true economic growth. Voters are tired of class warfare rhetoric being a part of the political tax landscape and for spending cuts not being a part of the budget political discussion. The private sector is neither the demon of America nor the enemy of deficit reduction.

Holding up private sector business or the top 2% of income earners as the reason there will be a $700 billion deficit if the Bush tax cuts expire is ridiculous in a non-political based argument reality. This logic ignores a cut in spending of $700 billion could eliminate such a deficit as a replacement to letting tax hikes at the upper level rise to the pre-Bush tax cut level. Currently, pre-re-election, 47 Congressional Democrats (and growing) have joined the Republicans in citing the economy is too weak to raise tax rates on any income level without a negative impact. Small business owners which are the heart of employment growth will be impacted.

The truth is Congress had all of 2010 to research, study impact, discuss, debate, and approve the budget and tax rates for 2011. If the economy and unemployment had truly been the top priority of our political leadership, either party, this would have been done. The fact that we are in the last quarter of 2010 and slightly over one month to the mid-term elections now puts Congress in a power-thinking-only mode. It puts the American people and U.S. businesses in a terrible situation. It ensures continued poor economic growth into 2011 due to this unnecessary prolonged environment of capital expenditure planning uncertainty.

Let’s be honest and stop the political gamesmanship. Our country and citizens deserve better. There are only two reasons Speaker Pelosi has not called for an up or down vote before Congress goes into re-election mode full time. As much as the Democratic leadership rails that Republicans are stopping a tax cut for 98% of Americans, the Democrats are now split on tax hikes for any income level. Speaker Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid do not want to put members of Congress, including them, in the position to be on the record in the matter before the mid-term elections.

Congress has failed to complete their budget obligation and should be ashamed of their performance as representatives of the people. The result of their politics before integrity is extended economic pain for Americans affected by this recession – pain that doesn’t ever seem to affect the political class personally. This will only result in continued stalled private sector job creation in the first half of 2011. This is the poorest of policy and integrity.

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