I have to admit that I was a little skeptical of reading a campaign book as part of the Book Notes project. I was wrong. The Road to Prosperity has really been a page turner for me. I have read a number of sections aloud to my wife (I’m sure she’s pleased by that). In honor of Saint Patrick’s Day coming up, I wanted to focus on the section of Chapter Two called “The Rise of the Celtic Tiger”.
There are a number of important lessons we can learn from this section. The beginning of it sounds all too much like where the United States could be if this administration, and this Congress can’t break their addiction to spending. According to Mr. Toomey:
From 1980 to 1986 real GDP growth [in Ireland] averaged a meager 2.21 percent; the unemployment rate peaked at a dreadful 17 percent in 1986; inflation averaged 12 percent per year between 1980 and 1986; and government spending soared as high as 55.8 percent of GDP. In order to sustain this spending binge, the government increased personal income taxes to a top marginal rate of 65 percent…
Sound familiar? Is there anyone that thinks the United States couldn’t be in the same position in just a short time under Obamacare, Cap-and-Trade, and any number of other high dollar, low job bills this administration wants to push? However, like Ireland, I also believe we have the tools to fix our current economy and to start another period of growth.
Ireland solved their problems by cutting taxes, reducing spending, and lowering unnecessary regulation. If we could follow this same recipe, our country could be in a much better place. What would happen if the President stated tomorrow that he would veto any spending bill that drove our total spending above the same level it was one year ago? What if he went so far as to push for a total 10% reduction in spending by the federal government across the board? …for a period of five years? Couple this with a lowering of taxes on individuals AND corporations. We should strive to make the U.S. the shining city on the hill for international business. We don’t have to strip our child labor laws to do this. We could simply lower our taxes on business to a level comparable with Ireland (say 12%?). If we could do these things while avoiding unnecessary regulations like Obamacare and Cap-and-Trade, I believe we could duplicate the success Ireland has had. I believe we could not only turn our economy around, but continue to be the envy of the rest of the world.