Today’s job numbers have precipitated the usual response from Washington. Spend more money! Get ready for Stimulus ll.
Now all of that might make some sense if we had been spending Stimulus l but so far official estimates put the money out the door at about 10% of what’s been appropriated. That of course leads one to the conclusion that maybe we need to rethink the whole thing. If it’s that hard for the government to spend money then perhaps we just need to put it in the hands of people that know how to go about doing that. I’m referring to the American consumer, of course.
So, why don’t we go back to square one. Let’s rescind the entire stimulus package and just suspend the payroll tax for however long it takes to get the economy back on track. This will deprive a number of politicians of the ability to direct money to sectors of the economy that represent the best bang for the buck in terms of enhancing their prospects of being reelected, but, oh well, we all have to sacrifice. And the Obama administration might have to shelve some green dreams for awhile but a grateful America will surely see its way clear to fund them later if they can just get some damned money now!
This isn’t rocket science unless you’re a government employee or an economist. The former need to make the process of funding recovery expenditures as cumbersome as possible in order to enhance job security while the latter need to argue among themselves endlessly about what does or doesn’t work in order to justify their existence. I know it’s messy and flies in the face of the need to come up with the perfect plan before we spend a dime, but just putting money in folks pockets usually results in them spending it.
So, just cut the tax, maybe shove up unemployment benefits, come up with a program to get cash to the self-employed who are dying quicker since they don’t have access to unemployment benefits and get out of the way. You might be surprised at how simple it is to get this economy rolling again.
Remember, KISS (Keep It Short And Simple Stupid) usually works well.