Thursday, January 29, 2009

Limbaugh's offer to Obama-A true bipartisan stimulus bill

This is a Wall Street Journal Op-Ed piece written by Rush Limbaugh that is truly genius. This would be a true "bipartisan" approach to the stimulus bill. I doubt President Obama will accept Limbaugh's bipartisan compromise but it is worth a try.

There's a serious debate in this country as to how best to end the recession. The average recession will last five to 11 months; the average recovery will last six years. Recessions will end on their own if they're left alone. What can make the recession worse is the wrong kind of government intervention.

I believe the wrong kind is precisely what President Barack Obama has proposed. I don't believe his is a "stimulus plan" at all -- I don't think it stimulates anything but the Democratic Party. This "porkulus" bill is designed to repair the Democratic Party's power losses from the 1990s forward, and to cement the party's majority power for decades.

Keynesian economists believe government spending on "shovel-ready" infrastructure projects -- schools, roads, bridges -- is the best way to stimulate our staggering economy. Supply-side economists make an equally persuasive case that tax cuts are the surest and quickest way to create permanent jobs and cause an economy to rebound. That happened under JFK, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. We know that when tax rates are cut in a recession, it brings an economy back.
Recent polling indicates that the American people are in favor of both approaches.

Notwithstanding the media blitz in support of the Obama stimulus plan, most Americans, according to a new Rasmussen poll, are skeptical. Rasmussen finds that 59% fear that Congress and the president will increase government spending too much. Only 17% worry they will cut taxes too much. Since the American people are not certain that the Obama stimulus plan is the way to go, it seems to me there's an opportunity for genuine compromise. At the same time, we can garner evidence on how to deal with future recessions, so every occurrence will no longer become a matter of partisan debate.

Congress is currently haggling over how to spend $900 billion generated by American taxpayers in the private sector. (It's important to remember that it's the people's money, not Washington's.) In a Jan. 23 meeting between President Obama and Republican leaders, Rep. Eric Cantor (R., Va.) proposed a moderate tax cut plan. President Obama responded, "I won. I'm going to trump you on that." Yes, elections have consequences. But where's the bipartisanship, Mr. Obama? This does not have to be a divisive issue. My proposal is a genuine compromise.

Fifty-three percent of American voters voted for Barack Obama; 46% voted for John McCain, and 1% voted for wackos. Give that 1% to President Obama. Let's say the vote was 54% to 46%. As a way to bring the country together and at the same time determine the most effective way to deal with recessions, under the Obama-Limbaugh Stimulus Plan of 2009: 54% of the $900 billion -- $486 billion -- will be spent on infrastructure and pork as defined by Mr. Obama and the Democrats; 46% -- $414 billion -- will be directed toward tax cuts, as determined by me.

Then we compare. We see which stimulus actually works. This is bipartisanship! It would satisfy the American people's wishes, as polls currently note; and it would also serve as a measurable test as to which approach best stimulates job growth. I say, cut the U.S. corporate tax rate -- at 35%, among the highest of all industrialized nations -- in half. Suspend the capital gains tax for a year to incentivize new investment, after which it would be reimposed at 10%. Then get out of the way!

Once Wall Street starts ticking up 500 points a day, the rest of the private sector will follow. There's no reason to tell the American people their future is bleak. There's no reason, as the administration is doing, to depress their hopes. There's no reason to insist that recovery can't happen quickly, because it can.

In this new era of responsibility, let's use both Keynesians and supply-siders to responsibly determine which theory best stimulates our economy -- and if elements of both work, so much the better. The American people are made up of Republicans, Democrats, independents and moderates, but our economy doesn't know the difference. This is about jobs now.

The economic crisis is an opportunity to unify people, if we set aside the politics. The leader of the Democrats and the leader of the Republicans (me, according to Mr. Obama) can get it done. This will have the overwhelming support of the American people. Let's stop the acrimony. Let's start solving our problems, together. Why wait one more day?


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  1. Rush sounds genuinely moderate in that piece - but realistically, if McCain had won, would he be as willing to split the stimulus bill?

    I want to see Obama's bill through to completion - then we can judge the results and if necessary hold him to account for his mistakes.

  2. Martin-Have you read what is in the Pork bill? Americans cannot afford to let the Democrats expand government programs any further. This will be the largest transfer of wealth in American history. The majority of pork in this bill will not create jobs; it will only create future deceits as far as the eye can see.

    Tax cuts are the gold standard when it comes to creating jobs and bringing more money into the treasury. This trickle-down approach worked under JFK, Reagan and Bush 43 and it will work again. I am not saying this bill should only include tax cuts but it should take precedent over payoffs to the liberal base.

    Obama and the Dems could pass this without the support of Republicans and only want our support because when it fails, they want to us to share the blame. Would you accept this bill if PM Brown and Nu-Labour where pushing it on Great Bittian? The polls among Americans in favor of this bill are dropping faster than Madonna’s panties. Why you ask? Because people are starting to pay attention to what is in this pork bill.

    Thank you for your comments.

  3. Certainly looks like public support for the bill is plummeting - though I don't know how much of that is because of the media campaign against it.

    I've heard a number of things that are included in the bill and would seem to do little to stimulate the economy. But at the same time a lot of the criticism seems politically motivated.

    Investing in environmental programmes will have a long-term beneficial impact on the economy: it'll reduce foreign dependence on oil and lower future costs associated with combating climate change. STD programmes will also reduce future health care costs and reduce lost productivity.

    Either way the bill needs work. Hopefully Obama will listen to Rrepublican concerns.