Sunday, September 5, 2010

Light the fires

Oh you know the elections are coming when politicians lunge at every opportunity to put their best foot forward. It reminds me of the bumper sticker: "Jesus is coming, look busy."
Well, Obama has been busy with his economic team formulating a new plan to be unveiled on Wednesday, in the hopes of bolstering the Democrats teetering popularity.
Among groans that Obama's 2009 stimulus package didn't quite deliver the earth shattering results politicans always promise (and then use as venom to pierce each others campaigns with), Democrats worry that this new economic plan won't be able to either pass by election time or realistically have any sort of impact before the five Americans who still vote head out to the polls.
Speaking from the Rose Garden, Obama stayed after to answer questions from reporters, a rare occurrence, marking the levity these elections carry for his party.

Some teasers until the full unveiling on Wednesday: The proposal will cost $100 billion to be paid for by closing other corporate tax breaks. The bill seeks to extend middle class tax cuts as well as permanently extend the tax credit for business research and development costs. It will also bolster new investment in clean energy. On that same note, Obama revisited the stalled bill, urging Congress to get off their asses and pass what would offer tax breaks to small businesses and create a $30 billion loan program to encourage community banks to lend.

As of the end of last week, unemployment was up to 9.6% despite the numbers showing that 67,000 new jobs were created by private employers in August. Obama was sure to make note of that, reminding reporters that August is the eighth straight month of private job growth, defending his christening of this summer as "recovery summer." He also made sure to remind everyone that it took us a while to get into this economic cluster fuck so getting out won't be done in the blink of an eye.
This is of course true, but will it matter in November? And November aside, will our broken, inefficient Congress do anything with this bill other than use it as a seat warmer or coaster? Until Wednesday rolls around, I can't say whether this bill is more fluff spewed out at random two and four year intervals or if it's a solid step towards pulling us out of this economic shit hole.
If rumors are true and Obama is actually venturing in to the lions den, attempting to take away some corporate tax breaks, this may be an important and vital step in unfucking this economy. But it's never that simple is it? Congress aside, corporate America is more powerful than Godzilla on steroids and phen-phen. Their hungry, greedy little hands are not gonna get slapped away from the cookie jar without a fight.
I wonder if Obama, or indeed the American people are up for that fight.

The fight for votes is a more tangible one and one that will hurdle Obama and friends through some rough, bumpy terrain until November. While I hope that this new economic plan shows a more go-getter attitude from the president, I'd like to see more of this when it's not just election time. I want people to be busy even when Jesus isn't coming. Of course, as per usual in my rants, a lot of that hinges on us. I wish I was just being a morose old cynic when I say that five people will be lining up to vote, but it's more a solemn exaggeration than gross overstatement. Obama may be commander in chief, but he can't do dick without some help from the people. So, since it seems that parts of the government still straighten their act as our voting fingers begin to twitch, it's damn important to take note of that and do our part. There's a lot that goes on behind closed doors that we'll never know about, until we look. So, let's light the fires and get shit done, not just as elections loom, but between those glorious displays of a rotting republic. We need a few more pyros around here...

1 comment:

David said...

Increasing the corporate tax will not really solve the problems we face as a country and like a lot of similar proposals it will likely affect small business more. Its always the big boys that can afford teams of layers, accountants, and tax experts to deal with all the red tape. The smaller operations get priced out entirely.

What we have right now is a fusion of big business and big government, a fusion that is bad for most people in the country because it means both political and economic power is centralized and reform becomes impossible.

The only way to change things is to attack both big business and big government simultaneously by rendering them both as irrelevant as possible. This means localized production coupled with local political involvement, and all of it shared online with the whole world so that everyone else can copy it and adapt it to their own conditions.