Remember that old song, “Looking for Love in all the wrong places?”
That song kind of reminds me of what’s going on in D.C. these days. No, I am not talking about the latest round of adultery. I mean the latest “bi-partisan” effort to control the public debt. Debt is not inherently bad. It can, in fact, be sound fiscal policy. When the economy is slow, the government can run up some debt by pumping money into the economy by deficit spending. The problem here is that GW ran up too much debt in fighting his “War on Terror.” Because of needless spending on a needless war in Iraq, he spent this country into a hole we may never climb out of. At the same time he also broke the other economic tool the government has to tweak the economy—the interest rate.
Generally, when the economy is slow, the government can reduce the interest rate to encourage investment to create jobs. It is hard to do that when the interest rate is at 0% already. This is the mess that Obama inherited when he took office. After eight years of shoveling $$$ to their friends at Blackwater, Haliburton, KBR and the like, the Republicans have all of a sudden developed a conscience and are screaming for fiscal responsibility.
It is too late folks. They should have started screaming years ago. The problems we are having today, slow economy and job loss, are EXACTLY what deficit spending is for. If we are ever going to emerge from the mess we are in, that is exactly what we must do—OVER SPEND. But, we must overspend on us! There is only one place that we can afford to cut spending and that is on defense. Over 60% of our budget goes to military spending. That is a luxury we can no longer afford. That “great life” we are paying to protect is disappearing. We need to reset the economy and we need to do it now.
We need to break health care’s connection with the workplace. We need to put the public option in place. We need to rescind the Bush tax cuts on the wealthy. We need to stop all the foreclosures and let Sheila Bair at the FDIC straighten that mess out. The banks need to start being banks again and the credit card industry needs to be seriously shaken up NOW, not a year from now. Consumers need an economic bill of rights that will stop the egregious usury that the banks are currently committing. We need a real public works program and we need to shift the majority of our wealth away from defense spending. The nation’s largest, non-governmental employer is Wal-Mart. That has to stop. They are a service industry. They do not make anything. They simply move things around. We need to put people to work building/creating stuff again. By stuff, I do not mean little lady’s hand bags made out of horse hair that cost $4,000, like I saw advertised in the N Y Times the other day. I mean real things that people can use. Anyone who is making enough to throw $4,000 away on a purse is making way too much money and the tax structure needs to redistribute it. Little kids in Oregon can only afford to go to school four days a week while Stephanie Seymour is awarded $9,000 a day for alimony and child support. That’s just wrong.
The solution does not lie in a bi-partisan committee. Obama’s support is disappearing because he is looking for love in all the wrong places. He is seeking support from people who never voted for him and will never support him. He needs to remember who did support him and start looking there. That’s what I’m talking about.