Acton Institute Powerblog

It Must Be An Election Year

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Congressional logic:

As the increasingly troubled economy emerges as the trump issue of the 2008 political season, senior congressional Republicans said Wednesday they would put aside demands to make President Bush’s tax cuts permanent if that was what it took to get quick action on a stimulus package…

…The White House has not addressed the issue in detail, but Bush, who has been traveling in the Middle East, is scheduled to hold a conference call today with congressional leaders. To avoid a veto, they hope to get his nod in advance on the outlines of a plan that would probably include a $500 rebate check for taxpayers, extended unemployment benefits for the jobless, and incentives for businesses to expand and create jobs.

Let’s think about this for a second:

  • There’s at least a tacit acknowledgment here that it’s better for the nation for this money to be in the hands of consumers instead of the government, because they’ll go out and spend it in order to “stimulate” the somewhat sluggish economy.
  • In order to get more money into the hands of consumers in the short term, Congress is probably going to allow tax rates to rise pretty significantly over the longer term, thus removing (presumably) a lot more money from the economy than the $150 billion that this neat little package is estimated to cost.

I know it’s difficult for Congress to think outside of the box, but let’s try for just a minute: What if… instead of handing out a $500 bribe to the voters, you actually made the US a more attractive place to do business? Perhaps by actually reducing the size, scope and cost of government, thereby leaving more of that cash in the private sector where it belongs – where wealth is created instead of just siphoned off of productive people? Heck, you might even obviate the need for those extended unemployment benefits and business incentives, because the drag on the economy from the cost of government would be significantly smaller…

But it is an election year you know. So what are you going to do with your $500?

Marc Vander Maas


  • Dallas Beaufort

    Yes Marc, smaller government with reduced regulation and more individual responsibility would be better than this nanny state of mother earth environmental faith healers.

  • Its too late unless… No, its too late. Too many orginizations with employees, including governmental agencies. The “system” has taken over our lives and there is nothing we can do about it! That’s the way most of the people I know feel about our country – in fact, anything is possible… just very difficult. We can turn it all around. We can take back our freedom and personal responsibilities.

  • Dallas Beaufort

    Hi Mart, its not to late as socialism and its missing mother communism never gave birth to their ideal child, (market driven miscarriage).

    But their highly favorable new green global warming surrogate is collecting a fair swag of supporters (taxpayer funded stand-ins, who’s sons and daughters are they ?

    Like the lost 1920’s linen greens that were sorted out in the 1930’s correction, the current financial adjustment may be the precursor to the thinning of democratic socialist governments and their loony lefts exaggerated demands on the tax producers for the necessary health of “real” thinking families, business & government representatives and their talent.

    Straight talking is on the way ! No more left wing political correct Bullshit !!!

    Optimistic… yes. healthy competitive business will not be able to afford fairy’s at the bottom of the garden, talent will sort them out.

    But I agree some government business is divorced from reality at present and they will have to trim up of move on. Governments that don’t deliver real value and therefore, you won’t get me buying green hick left wing completely useless wooden toys or grass mats even if government agency of NGO is handing them out for free.

    Dr Who’s phone box/ time machine is made out of wood so it must be a dud, and no ! I don’t believe in flying saucers, but they made a lot of money for the fiction wizards. Cheerfully, Dallas.