The 9.8% of Americans that are unemployed and the 90.2% that are either employed or have given up looking, are told that the Great Recession is over. Don't believe a word of it or find a new word to describe the trouble we are in as a nation.
I wrote last year that no matter who was elected President that we, as a people, would have our character tested to the nth degree by the economic consequences of the Fannie Mae-Dem Congress/Fed weak dollar era of the past 10 years, as well as the private and public debt run up over the last 25 years.
I expected the recession to get this bad for this long and worse, and I expected a filibuster-proof Dem Congress (that started sending investors on strike when they took over Congress in 2007 with the promise of more regulations and higher taxes, all with the votes of Senator Barack Obama) combined with a left wing Dem President (whose father's dreams were Marxist) to make things worse.
I was right, but, partially because I don't expect ObamaDems to have a supply-side epiphany and give up the socialist Utopian dream any time soon, I must express my support for a number of measures they have advocated or discussed that pertain to the economy and the Reagan-described safety net for the truly needy, as well as a number of foreign policy moves that deserve all Americans' support.
It would have been nice if the Stimulus bill had been more than safety net relief and government growthulus. I would have favored a mass shovel-ready public works bill, but the ObamaDems chose instead to save and create state and federal bureaucrat jobs instead with the public works plan consisting mainly of signs that announce potholes are being filled by the Recovery Act. Nice signs. It appears that most of the puny funds for actual public works were delayed until the Summer of '10 (and election year). Go figure.
But, during times of recession and depression, the safety net does need shoring up, and for that reason, and to keep money flowing in the economy to keep a pulse going, I do favor:
- Extension of unemployment benefits;
- Extension of COBRA health insurance subsidies for those that have involuntarily lost their jobs through no fault of their own and need to continue health insurance coverage for pre-existing conditions;
- Extension of the Home-buyer tax credit (with the proviso that no one be allowed a credit larger than their total federal tax bill, inclusive of FICA), which Georgia's Junior Senator, Johnny Isakson (R-GA) has championed; and
- Small business lending initiative.
I understand the problems caused by Fannie/Freddie coercion of bad loans, but don't see a tax credit (Conservatives are still for tax reductions, right? And you do note my proviso above?) unaccompanied by lowered credit standards and federal guarantees as in any way a continuation of same.
I would note that I oppose a separate program of mortgage conciliation that does seek to save homes for those that can't afford them. Thankfully, that program has done very little and has the left wing of the Dem Party angry with Obama.
I would also note that I am not one of those that is angry at banks for not making lots of loans to businesses just now, despite TARP. The reason for the lack of loans is the bad economy and the dim prospects for profits from which loans could be paid back.
For the record, this Reaganite supply-sider favors supply side income, cap gains and estate tax cuts; as well as regulation cuts that would allow expanded oil and natural gas exploration and oil refinery and nuclear power plant building. But, I don't expect that even those policies would lift the economy in a meteoric way until people save awhile and re-build their wealth before taking new risks. Which is an argument for, not against, Obama's small business loan initiative.
We need to support the few things ObamaDems propose that will stimulate the economy, so I do.
And in the mostly embarrassing and disgraceful foreign policy wasteland of betrayals to freedom and rule of law-loving Honduras, Eastern Europe and Iranian dissidents we do see two bright spots: Pakistan is fighting the Taliban/al Qaida on their own initiative and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton repudiated the Palestinian refusal to negotiate with Israel until they ceased all third bedroom additions to houses with newborn babies on the West Bank of the Jordan River.
Yes, we know that Obama still deems such improvements to be "illegal", but we are happy Prime Minister Bebe Netanyahu got a quarter.
Tomorrow, DeVine Law Gamecock returns to the column topic cornucopia of bad ObamaDem policies!
"One man with courage makes a majority." - Andrew Jackson
Originally published @ Examiner.com, where all verification links may be accessed.