Friday, 28 September 2012

"New Economic Patriotism"?

There's some new political ad....from the President....discussing a "new economic patriotism".  I sat there for a minute....trying to think how you roll patriotism and economics into one idea.  It sounds nifty, and would stir up some independent voters....especially when you say the word patriotism.

So I read on.  There's some "ideas" here within the ad for the new economic patriotism.  First, there's supposed to be tax breaks for companies that create jobs in America, but not for companies which create jobs overseas.  Naturally, you'd ask how they'd get this through a Republican House, and a thin-majority Democratic Senate.  The answer for this....isn't very clear.  It might be a nice thought, but we've now seen reality of political playing, and come to realize that the President isn't really walking and talking with the dimwits of the House or the Senate.

Then you come to the second idea.  We are supposed to cut foreign oil production in half, and double up on fuel efficiency of US-made cars.  Well....this is an interesting topic.  There's that Keystone Pipeline project which is stalled because the President just won't make the decision until after the election.  That would probably help cut foreign dependency a little....but the President hasn't shown any interest.  The idea of doubling up on fuel efficiency?  Well....if you forced all vehicles to be made out of plastic instead of metal....we'd probably get eighty miles per gallon, but you wouldn't want to be inside such a vehicle when an accident occurs.  If you ask around....no one much wants to drive a two-cylinder car, that takes three minutes to get from zero to sixty.  Want to drill for oil off-coast?  Zero chance with this administration 

Then you come to the math and science idea.  The Presidents to take off and really pump out lots of math and science experts.  Part of the deal is that you'd cut tuition.  Course, he hasn't mentioned that to the universities, and I'm pretty sure they'd laugh when you ask to cut tuition.  The general game plan is two to three percent growth on tuition....each and every year.  Expanding student aid?  Who pays for that?  Well....the taxpayer.  So you'd have to expand on taxes somewhere in this mess.  The idea of training two million Americans at job skills at local community colleges?  Well....for the most part, they are already doing that.  Nothing new in that area for the past twenty years.  It might shock political figures, but the community colleges know how to deliver technical skills.

Finally, for this economic patriotism.....there's this idea....asking wealthy Americans to pay just a little bit more, and somehow....with such a little bit of extra money....we'd have this magical pot of money that would reduce the deficit by four trillion dollars over the next decade.  This is like some guy telling his wife that they can go on a seven-day beach vacation for $99, but never explain how the $99 relates to hotels, food, gas, and booze.  So, if the rich only paid a "little more"....we'd have four trillion dollars?  Is it that simple?  If this is true....lets this ask everyone to pay one or two percent more, and we'd have forty trillion dollars over a decade.  Oh, I didn't realize the Excel spreadsheet for this formula only works, if you use rich people's money to put into the columns.

New economic patriotism probably worked in 1932, and maybe into the 1960s.  But if you come around and try to sell this concept today....folks ask stupid questions.  They've accidentally read a few books, caught hundreds of hours of Fox News, and gave up their subscription to the local newspaper.  They might even ask what happened to the old economic patriotism.

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