June 28, 2011


Every time a Republican opens their mouth to talk about the reason business is not hiring, it's the "uncertainty" surrounding federal regulations, taxes, or (dire organ music) Obamacare!

I listened to Michelle Bachmann avoid answering Bob Shieffer's questions on Meet the Press Sunday. One of her long winded expostulations had to do with the "thousands" of business owners she has talked to and their unanimous feeling that it was the uncertainty in the regulatory climate that was preventing them from expanding or hiring.

OK, I can't claim to have discussed the issue with thousands of business owners, but I've talked to a few and I work for one. They have a much simpler take on the situation:

They need more customers coming through the doors and buying their products.

That's it. Sure, it would be nice if taxes went down more, but they are at their lowest point since the early 20th century.  Yeah, they say, regulation, bureaucracy and licensing all are a pain in the butt, but if you have the business and profits, you hire someone to deal with it. And we have seen what loosening regulations accomplishes with the massive bank fraud surrounding the crash of '08. Obamacare? Insurance premiums have been skyrocketing for the last fifteen years, and preventing employers from giving wage hikes, destroying competitiveness, and eating away at profits. All the while giving employees less coverage and higher deductibles. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) as it's properly known* was supposed to curtail some of the excesses of the insurance industry. While the watered down version eventually passed by Congress has little that can control the insurance industry from continuing to raise rates and reducing coverage, it's at least a start. I can't fathom for the life of me, why so-called Conservatives would be against something that would increase business productivity and competitiveness on the world market.

But the one thing that business owners and managers that I run into say is they are worried about paying their bills. They are not selling enough of their products or services to even think about expanding. Most in fact are at least considering further reductions in staff and expenses.

How can the Republican Party claim, as John Boehner put it: "We will have a relentless focus on jobs!" and at the same time be cutting funds that pay for police, firefighters, and others that pay taxes and recirculate money back into their communities. People that would have been buying those products, using those services, are now unemployed or working at jobs that pay too little to do much more than allow for subsistence living.

If the Republicans in general, and Congress as a whole really wanted to stimulate the economy, they could end the idiotic wars in the Middle East. All of them. Why do we have 737 overseas military bases with more that 2.5 million troops serving on them? We spend more on our military (I refuse to call it "Defense") than all other nations combined.

Rescind not only the Bush tax cuts, but bring some sanity back to the tax code. Millionaires and big corporations are not just under-taxed, they need to pay for the privilege of being able to earn their profits in this country. We need a progressive tax code without all the loopholes that currently exist. Why are profitable businesses like oil and big agriculture subsidized with tax dollars? Why are hedge fund managers allowed to claim Capital Gains on their earnings and pay only a 15% tax?

Use some of the money we just found to help the struggling states and cities so they can stop laying off needed personnel. Start rebuilding our nation's infrastructure. Bridges, roads, the power grid, the antiquated radars and computers of the FAA. There's a bunch of jobs created for you guys, and an investment in our country's future!

Bu, oh no. We can't do that. Congressional Republicans are willing to let the economy completely collapse if that's what it takes to make Obama a one-term President. This sort of brinkmanship is not only flirting with disaster, but it is downright treasonous.

For a full list of Republican accomplishments since attaining a Congressional majority, see this page over at The Far Left Side.

*I kinda like the term Obamacare. I realize the Right uses it as a term of derision, but for all its faults, it is Obama's. That and it's not as big a mouthful as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

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