Whether you think President Obama has been a disappointment (liberals) or is out to destroy America (conservatives), he stepped up last night with his jobs speech.
He proposed a plan in which he'd:
1. Put construction workers back to work with direct investment in infrastructure, particularly roads, bridges, airports, railways, and schools. Huge and much needed investment that would greatly help one of the hardest hit job sectors.
2. Put teachers back to work in the classroom so our kids can get an adequate education. Given the systematic GOP effort to destroy teacher's unions, I don't think this will be popular.
3. Create tax incentives for businesses to hire the long-term unemployed. Not sure if the incentive ($4,000 per new employee) is strong enough, but it can't hurt, but it's a tax break so the GOP will love it.
4. Develop a jobs program for veterans. After they've risked their lives for our country, they shoudln't have to fight for a job when they get back.
5. Create incentives for companies to innovate here and keep jobs here.
6. Extend unemployment benefits again. Probably the least popular idea of the night for the Republicans in the room, except for ....
7. Pay for this by eliminating tax loopholes and having the rich pay their fair share.
Predictably, Rand Paul's response was hyper-critical of the president and devoid of any ideas. After briefly blaming the president for the current economy, he gets on his deficit reduction horse, which is completely comical. He then lays out 5 ideas:
1. Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. How this creates jobs is anyone's guess outside of teaville. It's also an absolutely moronic idea since deficit spending actually increases growth when our interest rate on our debt is so absurdly low.
2. "The Penny" Plan. Cut federal spending by 1% per year for 6 years and then freeze spending for 2 years. At this point, according to his math, the deficit will be eliminated. But about 30% of the GDP is government spending, so a 1% reduction would put a 0.3% drag on GDP. At 6 years that would be a full 2% drag on GDP. Great idea, huh?
3. Half the Corporate Income Tax & Eliminating Capital Gains Taxes (So Warren Buffett would pay ZERO taxes). As I've previously explained, corporate income taxes do not affect jobs. A lower corporate income tax actually incentivizes thrift by corporations.
4. Regulatory Moratorium. No new regulations (apparently ever). And repeal one regulation every week until the economy starts recovering. Yes it might help, because we could start raping the environment at wll, which would certainly create jobs. So in other words, get ready for an unsafe environment, unsafe roads, unsafe food, unsafe drugs. What an insipid "idea". Fortunately, most Americans and most of Congress aren't as stupid.
5. Entitlement Reform. So I guess this spells out how he's planning on achieving a "Penny" Plan. On the backs of retirees, the unemployed, and the ill.
Nice work, Senator. Give huge tax breaks to the wealthy and screw the rest of us.