With President Obama's speech on Monday and Speaker Boehner's speech yesterday, we can put the Democratic and Republican Party economic plans side by side. What is stunning is that neither side offers a serious diagnosis or a solution. The truth this time is not in the middle, a compromise of the two views. The truth, alas, requires a new view, and probably a new party.
The President's plan is another example of short-run gimmickry. The President wants to cut taxes in 2012 and raise them afterwards. The idea is to give a quick jolt to the economy, on the theory that the economy mainly requires a temporary stimulus to get it back on track. This is the same stimulus approach that has been tried since 2009. We have a learned the obvious: a series of short-term gimmicks does not add up to a long-term strategy.
The Republicans want a long-term strategy, but one that would take us in the wrong direction. The Republican mantra, repeated relentlessly since 1980, is that tax cuts and deregulation are the solution to growth and employment. The Republican tax theory is simple: higher taxes reduce economic growth and job creation. Since government spending must be paid for with taxes, either now or in the future, cutting government spending is necessary for tax cuts and job creation. The problem with the Republican position is simple: it's wrong....
America's revival will come through a new political movement, one that isn't on the political take, one in which the incumbent President doesn't feel the compulsion to raise $1 billion in campaign contributions while the leading opposition candidate isn't yet another corrupt Texas crony of the oil industry. The new third party will thrive on free social media, will wade boldly into minority communities and into run-down neighborhoods of the white working class, and will wage a campaign to tax the rich and the corporations to rebuild America at home, not to build the bank accounts of the super-rich in the Cayman Islands and other favorite tax hideaways.
Saturday, September 17, 2011
Obama, Hire This Man!
Jeffrey Sachs, economist at Columbia University, writes about the fact that neither political party is giving us true, long-term solutions to the jobs crisis: