President Obama and the Democratic Party effectively turned every controversial issue they faced over the past three years into a potential crisis, and convinced the American people to support their solutions without question to avert presumed dire consequences. Important works of legislation capable of changing the American way of life were passed on the basis of “we have to pass this now – or else!” Mr. Obama is preparing to face the nation again with another speech that will proclaim urgency and use panic to get his legislative desires passed. We need to recognize what has been going on and put a stop to it.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the stimulus bill, was quickly passed by the Democratic controlled House and Senate without real debate in order to keep the unemployment rate from rising above 8%. With unemployment at 9.1%, and over 17% when considering all those who stopped looking for work or are working part-time, that crisis was not averted. All the stimulus bill did was to spend $800 billion of tax payer money to pay government workers salaries for one year and for a few temporary road construction projects. the law did not provide any incentive for self-sustaining employment and our economy is now facing another recession.
The Patient Protection and Affordability Act of 2010, Obamacare, was crammed through the Democratic controlled House and Senate against overwhelming protests by the American people. All this ideologically designed legislation accomplished, with over 2,700 pages and the creation of 159 new bureaucracies, was to create uncertainty for employers and push up the cost of health care insurance.
The recently passed Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, the last piece of hastily formed legislation passed by the Democratic controlled House and Senate before the November 2010 election shifted power in the House to the Republicans, is an empty bill passed for political purposes leaving its substance to regulations yet to be written. Our nation’s banking system is now paralyzed by the uncertainty of what will be in those regulations.
From Cash for Clunkers to cash for Solyndra, everything this administration does is preceded by “pass it now, there is no time for debate.” Economic conditions are difficult for most Americans and with 14 million citizens unemployed and an estimated 25 million Americans in total who are unemployed or under-employed, families are hurting and it would be easy to proclaim a crisis and cause panic.
The so-called jobs bill that Mr. Obama is promoting is nothing more than a re-cooked version of the stimulus bill. the legislation will shift federal money to the states to pay the wages of state and municipal workers, primarily teachers, as did the stimulus bill. Money will also be provided for infrastructure, but most of this work would require years of permitting and planning before there are any actual projects. As worthy as it is to keep teachers working and to get construction professionals back to work, this money will only provide short-term relief without any self-sustaining employment created. When the money is spent, we will be back where we started – with another crisis.
Mr. Obama also wants to pay for this wasteful spending with his typical call of class warfare, “tax the rich.” He will most likely call again for a “balanced approach” and say that all need to “pay their fair share.” Here are the facts about “fair share” according Internal Revenue Service data: the top 1% of earners pay 38% of all federal taxes; the top 5% of earners pay 58% of all federal taxes. the American people are no longer fooled when President Obama and the Democrats refer to families earning $250,000 per year as “millionaires and billionaires.” Internal Revenue Service data also reveals that of the 4.4 million American households that earn more than $200,000, 3.4 million make less than $500,000! Mr. Obama knows that the tax revenue he seeks is from those families earning between $200,000 and $500,000 per year because that is where the money is. only 319,000 families report $1 million or more of income earned.
It is time for the American people to say “enough!” Our nation was not built on panic. It was built on deliberate and serious debate. Our Founders did not simply react. They acted on principle with the full understanding of what would follow. We have to start thinking more deliberately. an effective jobs bill will reduce regulation, clear uncertainty and address real tax reform. Time and time again, lower tax rates with fewer tax preferences (deductions) have always resulted in strong and sustainable economic growth. the best way to increase tax revenues is to increase the number of people employed and the best way to do that is to lower tax rates.
We do not need any more speeches evoking fear and panic. We need leadership that is bold enough to call for broad strategic thinking, free of ideology and political gamesmanship. It is time to reject Mr. Obama’s class warfare and platitudes. the people know better, this is America!
Robert Allen Bonelli is the author of “Liberty Rising,” an accomplished business executive, public speaker and involved citizen.