Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Asteroid is Coming!

Remember those movies about asteroids hitting the earth? Deep Impact? Armageddon? Do you remember how people acted when our attempts to deflect the asteroids were thought to have failed? That’s how I feel about this debt ceiling issue. It seems all I can do is watch and fret.

If our elected officials screw this up, it’s going to adversely impact almost everyone – except them. The vast majority of them are really rich, thus insulated from a lot of the harm they will cause. They won’t lose their jobs. They have great health care coverage.

I think that the tea party Republicans will be the ones to blame if this all goes bad. Their intransigent stance on increasing revenues is not reasonable. Taxes have been higher in this country during better times. A modest tax increase, or closing loopholes (which is also a tax increase) will not kill the economy. I find the Republican rhetoric laughable: “tax increases on job creators…”. Please. Most of the increase will go to people who head companies that are sitting on trillions in cash, but still not hiring. Closing loopholes on corporate jets will influence their hiring decisions? Don’t treat us like we’re idiots. They aren’t hiring now, and the reasons have nothing to do with taxes at their level. It has to do with demand. Not enough people are working (and I do NOT think that government, through stimulus or other means, can employ enough of the unemployed to make a difference). If we can figure out a way to get more people working (no easy task), demand will increase and hiring will start. Wait – that’s circular isn’t it? Exactly. If they wait for demand, it will never happen. They’re going to have to do what Henry Ford did years ago – take a risk. He more than doubled the pay of his workers because he realized he had to create demand for his vehicles. Today’s CEOs are spineless or too stupid to realize this common sense fact. Hire more people – stimulate demand. Simple. Right?