Saturday, June 27, 2009

It is time for Economic Triage

You know medical triage, the idea of a procedure used in emergency rooms to determine who gets treated first. When Barack Obama was running for President and, shortly after he was elected, we were daily lectured about the urgency of the situation facing our economy.

What we have seen is a massive subsidy primarily benefitting the richest corporations in America passed first by Bush in the fall of last year and part 2 (arguably worse) in January of 2009. It was interesting that the very liberal and very conservative Members of Congress voted against this legislation. The left clearly saw the corporate welfare involved and the right saw both that and the obvious disregard of the Constitution. We were told that action was needed "now!" If not, we were looking at unemployment of around 8.5 percent in 2009. We have that unemployment rate and more with "stimulus" and the situation is getting worse.

There are several serious challenges facing Americans today:

  • The largest unemployment rate in recent history. Forget about the 9.5 percent touted by the Obama Administration, economists on both the right and left say it is more, much more. Bill Clinton's former Secretary of Labor and a huge fan of Obama, Robert Reich, says the actual uemployment is closer to 15 percent.

  • Excessive taxation of the job creators. The vast majority of jobs comes from people who make $250,000 a year or more, yet this group is being singled out to pay more taxes as a form of economic genocide. It has never been easier to move capital and with US tax rates the second highest among industrial countries in the world, you can expect a flight of capital and jobs that comes with such.

  • Hyperinflation. On one day, the federal government pumped $1.4 trillion in the money supply in order to pay some of its recent bills and to "jump start" the economy. This type of policy leads to hyperinflation as too much money chases too few goods.

Obama should approach our situation with these realities in mind, and as a doctor in triage, he should be driven by the mandate to "do no harm."

  • Eliminate barriers between people and jobs. This isn't through temporary government jobs that will run out with the subsidies, but through real jobs that create revenue for them to grow in number and in quality. The federal government should mandate the states to have a minimum wage law in each state of the union and allow them to set them based on the needs of the people and the cities. This would not cost the federal government a penny, but would spur economic activity immediately.

  • Eliminate taxes on corporations because they do not pay taxes, they are tax collectors. Taxes are a fixed cost for doing business, plain and simple. If taxes are too high, businesses have no choice, but move to places where the rate is less so they can lower prices and be competitive. This would have a profound impact on high quality job creation. This policy would also encourage an increase in productivity and soften the blow of inflation.

  • They should end taxes on wealth creation and replace income tax with a sales tax. This would eliminate the economic genocide against job creators and would more fairly spread the financial burden of government on all economic groups.

Our situation is dire, the answers to our problems are in the market place and not in the halls of government. These kind of actions would encourage problem solving where it belongs -- in the hands of the people.

Kevin Price is Host of the Price of Business, the longest running show on AM 650 (M-F at 11 am) in Houston, Texas and on AOL Radio. His articles often appear in Chicago Sun Times, Reuters, USA Today, and other national media. Steve Moore of the Wall Street Journal calls Price the “best business talk show host in the country.” Find out why and visit his blog at www.BizPlusBlog.com and his show site at www.PriceofBusiness.com. You can also find Price on Strategy Room at FoxNews.com.

Labels: , , , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home