Missing the Obvious

This past week the unemployment numbers were released and shocked many talking heads that it had broken 10 percent. 10.2 percent is the highest unemployment we’ve had since 1983. What blows my mind is that nobody, and I mean nobody, is asking what seems to be an obvious question: How did we recover from the 1983 recession? Are there any lessons to be learned from that robust recovery?

This paragraph in an AP article was the first thing even close:

The economy soared by nearly 8 percent in 1983 after a steep recession, Greenhaus said, lowering the jobless rate by 2.5 percentage points that year. But the economy is unlikely to improve that fast this time, as consumers remain cautious and tight credit hinders businesses. In fact, many analysts expect economic growth to moderate early next year, as the impact of various government stimulus programs fades.

The implication here is that the economy just righted itself with no external adjustments in 1983. Since we have stimulus running out, we can expect growth to actually flatten further next year. Why no investigation into what helped us drop 2.5 points of unemployment? Why no investigation into what caused 8 percent growth?

Simple. Tax cuts. A dirty word to Democrats especially when the evidence shows they worked.

In 1981, President Reagan signed a tax cut that dramatically lowered the marginal rates and other taxes. It let the country keep more of its money, which it promptly spent and invested kicking off one of the longest sustained periods of growth in the country’s history.

So, what are we planning on doing this time around? Oh, we’re spending like madmen! A huge stimulus bill that didn’t really stimulate. Attempting a huge health care bill that will only succeed in creating a huge bureaucracy. Attempting a cap and trade bill that will increase energy costs for everyone. But, what about tax cuts? Oh, they’ve talked about those, too. There are those Bush tax cuts that they will allow to expire next year.

That’s right. At a time of double-digit unemployment and a flattening economy, Congress has deemed it fit to increase income taxes. Wow. Brilliant.

Leave it to a Democratic Congress to ignore what works in favor of what gives the government more control.

3 thoughts on “Missing the Obvious

  1. Found this on the internet:

    I must be just too ignorant to have even a clue as to what our representatives in Congress can be thinking. What is the benefit of a health care bill that no one understands, no one can determine the cost of, no one knows where the money will come from, and no one knows for sure who will actually be covered and what the coverage will entail? Am I just too dense to be unable to understand the un-understandable? Why is this particular health bill so very important at this time? This is no different than me saying; I have no real income, my credit is in shambles, no one trusts me (my integrity is in the toilet), and my future is bleak to say the least, so I am going to see if I can finance a new charity wherein I shall collect money upfront from people who can least afford it for, let’s say, four or five years, and then I will decide how, to whom, for what group I shall disperse this money out to even though I don’t have a clue how to do so. Yes, I know I have never yet been able manage money in any way, shape, or form, but you can trust me this time. I know that in every instance in the past I have went over budget to the extreme, and I have no respect for the money I collect from the toil of others, but this time is different. You can trust me, because I say it is so.

    Again, am I so dense to wonder WHAT IS THE REASON for even considering a health care bill at this time?

  2. I agree completely, Curt. The whole effort to pass so-called health care reform has taken on a life of its own! The urgency seems to be around passing anything rather than getting something done that will actually work. The only thing we can all be sure of is that this bill will give the government much more control over the lives of the citizens. The only conclusion I can come to is that it’s the control they are after. All of the other publicly stated goals seem to be moving targets and unsure at best. They know that once you build a bureaucracy, it is very hard to dismantle it. They are willing to bite the bullet now and throw their moderate congressmen to the wolves (the voters in 2010) to have the nearly voter-proof control in the future.

    It’s the control they are after. Divining the reason doesn’t make me feel any better, though.

  3. Distribute the wealth baby. Apparently I don’t deserve what someone is willing to pay for my abilities, skills, education (and the time/money spent getting the education) or my work ethic.

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