Now here's a novel idea: Tim Pawlenty, in his economic genius, proposes a Google test to balance the budget.
There's some obvious targets. We can start by applying what I call "The Google Test." If you can find a good or service on the Internet. Then the federal government probably doesn't need to be doing it.
The post office --- the government printing office --- Amtrak --- Fannie and Freddie were all built for a different time in our country. When the private sector did not adequately provide those services. That's no longer the case.
Really? Last time I looked I didn't see private sector companies breaking my door down to offer me train service to Los Angeles during rush hour commute times, nor did I see them step up to propose a high-speed rail plan for our traffic-strapped area.
FedEx and UPS don't deliver individual hand-written letters unless they're placed inside a FedEx/UPS-approved larger envelope and then I pay about $17 bucks to get it delivered to the recipient. That's about 37 times higher than it costs me right now to send that letter via the post office.
Banks? HAHAHAHAHA. Yes, banks are banging down the door to lend money, haven't you noticed?
Okay, I've had my fun. Time to be a little more serious here. It's time to say very loudly that after ten years of the Bush tax cuts, that they've failed miserably. What Pawlenty is proposing is even more full-tilt BirchBagger:
American businesses today pay the second highest tax rates in the world. That's a recipe for failure --- not adding jobs and economic growth. We should cut the business tax rate by more than half. I propose reducing the current rate from 35% to 15%.
Oh yes, that will certainly create more jobs. We see how effective it is when large corporations pay no taxes, and actually receive refunds larger than their tax liability. That's created so many jobs that unemployment rates are dropping into the zero zone. Oh, wait. Maybe not.
Maybe it's that whole "let's be an optimist and set big goals" that will do the trick?
Between 1983 and 1987 --- the Reagan recovery grew at 4.9%. Between 1996 and 1999 ---- under President Bill Clinton and a Republican Congress. The economy grew at more than 4.7%. In each case millions of new jobs were created --- incomes rose --- and unemployment fell to historic lows. The same can happen again.
Growing at 5% a year --- rather than the current level of 1.8% --- would net us millions of new jobs. Trillions of dollars in new wealth. Put us on a path to saving our entitlement programs. And balance the federal budget.
Yes, that's it! It must be it, because he's right, the economy grew under both Presidents Reagan and Clinton. But then, there was also that little problem of tax rates being higher under both of those presidents than it has been for the past 10 years. Oops. So is TPaw proposing a tax hike? Um, no.
Ok, well then it must be the balanced budget thing that will create jobs, right?
That's why I support a constitutional amendment. That not only requires a balanced federal budget. But also caps federal spending as a percentage of our economy. Around the historical average of 18% of GDP. Only a constitutional amendment has the power to bind future Congresses to keep their promises. Force decision-makers to finally make decisions. And give statutory reforms a chance to succeed.
That's it! Just cap spending and lower taxes and those jobs will roll right on through, right? Only...TPaw left Minnesota with a $5 billion -- billion with a B -- deficit.
Seems like the only option is to raise taxes. What a concept.