By: Brian Sikma
When the economy slows down it is appropriate for the government to take action to help solve the problem. Doing nothing is not the right response, just as doing the wrong thing is not the right response. The stimulus bill advanced by President Obama and crafted in a partisan fashion by Democrat leaders in Congress, is not the stimulus plan that we need. We need an economic policy that promotes job creation and rewards work and saving, not an economic policy that bails out irresponsible companies, discourages efficient work, and penalizes success.
Any attempt to help the economy must focus on helping the American people. That may sound self-evident to those of us here in the heartland of America, but it is a lesson that needs to be learned by our leaders in Washington. The proposed $825 billion stimulus bill contains massive amounts of new government spending that will not help Hoosiers rebuild their economy and move forward. The reason is because government spending spent on government priorities and directed towards projects that are supported by those who believe in a bigger and more complex government, will not meet the needs that we face.
The “stimulus” bill contains $600 million for new cars for government employees, $50 million for artistic endeavors, $400 million for climate change research, billions of dollars to remodel and redecorate government offices, and even a provision spending $200 million for new sod on the National Mall. It also doubles the size of the Department of Education and increases that agency’s involvement in our every day lives.
The passage of the stimulus bill would boost the size of our national debt to 95% of our country’s annual gross domestic product. This stimulus plan is supposed to cure an ailing economy, but it is on track to be worse than the ailment itself.
Instead of spending the money of hardworking Americans on frivolous and unnecessary projects, and forcing them to either pay higher taxes or further bury their children and grandchildren under a mountain of excessive national debt, Congress and the President should embrace an alternative plan. By focusing on tax cuts that lower our nation’s record high tax on employers, allow more individuals to keep their hard earned money, and that reward savings and investment, Washington can help the American people lift themselves out of an economic mess caused by government mismanagement.
The American economy is strong enough to sustain this slowdown, and the American people are resilient enough to weather this storm. If government is to help and not hinder the recovery, it should focus on a solution that benefits the American people, not a solution that benefits bureaucrats in Washington.