Friday, January 9, 2009

Lynch inaugurated

N.H. Gov. John Lynch was inaugurated yesterday and, thankfully, reiterated his refusal to approve a state income tax or a sales tax: ["Lynch: Time to get tough"].
Thank you Gov. Lynch for continuing to stand by this principle. Thank you, thank you, thank you ...
Despite all the rancor, despite all the "hope" from bloggers who want government to do everything, despite everything going on in the state, country, and world, essential services will be met, as my state Sen. Sylvia Larsen stated in the article. It will be painful. But you know, these are painful times. It is no time to be raising taxes. Frankly, before the economic collapse, it wasn't time to raise taxes either, since many of us were getting hammered back then! Most Justify Fullordinary folks have been getting hammered since the mid-1970s with very little relief and yet higher and higher expenses [and advanced technology like cell phones and the Internet which all come with monthly fees our parents and grandparents never had].
The answer, as the federal government seems to be doing, is to give people their money back - not raising taxes - and let them decide what to do with it.
The problem with this scenario is that the federal apparatus is essentially just printing money up and our country is in hock $12 trillion at this point: ["SMITH: Washington has been addicted to a toxic fiscal cocktail"].
But what should we do instead of borrowing the money? Well, the federal government should slash the defense budget and implement tariffs on imports at the same time as trying to jump start the economy with a stimulus package.
Historians, not surprisingly, are missing a key part of the argument when talking about how FDR got the country out of the Great Depression and how the nation became prosperous after World War II. Yes, there was a massive amount of government spending after the stock market crash.. Yes, there were make work projects and unions. But the Smoot-Hawley tariffs also assisted in both paying for those massive government outlays AND creating private sector, American jobs. Those tariffs forced American businesses to do business with other American businesses, keeping the money and wealth inside the borders. Those tariffs, approved of two years after and installed three years after the start of the Great Depression, did not create the Great Depression. This is a false talking point issued again and again by the free trade cultists. It's just not true. How can public policy approved of in 1930 and implemented in 1931 cause a Depression that started in 1929?
As Alfred Ickes Jr., a former chairman and commissioner of the U.S. International Trade Commission, writes:
"The Smoot-Hawley Tariff was said to have caused or exacerbated the Great Depression, but when one looks at the facts and goes into the archives and reads the record, one comes to a quite different interpretation. How could the passage of the tariff in June 1930 somehow have spooked the stock market in October 1929? Furthermore, Smoot-Hawley really wasn't much higher than the previous tariff. Two-thirds of U.S. imports under Smoot-Hawley came in duty-free, and when the tariff was enacted, more items were added to the free list than were taken from the free list and made dutiable. Nonetheless, the conventional wisdom is that it raised the American tariff to a record level. That's not supported by the data."
The facts are that tariffs, along with the government make work projects, brought our country out of the Depression - they didn't create the Depression.
After WWII, the prosperity continued because of tariffs and other government regulation and economic stimulation like the creation of the Interstate highway system, low interest housing loans, and other G.I. Bill benefits. Defense spending was slashed by 90 percent during the first two years after WWII while government funds were redirected to these economic stimulus efforts [Go look it up. It's in the OMB files. It's true]. This led to almost three decades of national prosperity until the 1970s oil embargo - a manufactured event - which started the downward spiral of the middle class.
My point, on this early Friday morning, is that soon-to-be President Obama and the Democratically-controlled House and Senate can't do this piecemeal. Everything needs to be done. It is critical. It is vital. Things need to change on a MASSIVE scale. Federal government outlays need restructuring ... Wall Street needs regulation and transactions should be taxed via the transfer tax proposed before the bailout was issued to pay back the bailout [BTW, why is Madoff out on bail for stealing $50 billion when the guy who robs a pizza slice in California for his third strike is in jail forever?] ... there needs to be critical energy and utility infrastructure investment via a public-private partnership that will create millions of job [BTW, how can a half-inch ice storm knock out power for millions and have that power be off for weeks? Because above the ground power lines on telephone poles are 19th century technology, that's why] ... and American industry and the taxpayers need to be protected via import tariffs in order to ensure and sustain our standard of living. We heading towards an economy that is third world, with the ultra rich protected and bailed out and the rest of us left holding the bag.
The only way to stop this is to implement real change. All of this needs to be done and we need to do it now.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think the residents of NH got hit with the stupid stick to re-elect this bozo.

He has mismanaged the state into a Billion Dollar Deficit and spent out our $80M surplus that our GOOD governor Benson left us.

He allowed overspending by 17.5% and state workers just got a 5.5% raise.

He's a weasel who must be gotten rid of.