Bill Clinton has a neat little slide show about his 14 ideas for getting the economy moving again. They’re all good ideas. They’re also broadly known, widely acknowledged as necessary and yet none of them are getting done.
The last slide is the kicker…
I’m hosting this month’s CGI America meeting on the assumption that there will be no federal stimulus and no further tax incentives targeted directly toward creating new jobs. Going on these assumptions, we want to analyze America’s economy: What are our assets? What are our liabilities? What are our options? There must be opportunities to be tapped, given all the cash in banks and corporate treasuries. If we have some success, we might be able to influence the debate in Washington in a nonpartisan way because we’ll have economic evidence to show them. I don’t have any problem at all if Congress wants to give tax credits to companies that actually hire people. But I think we have to pay for them, so I’d be happy to go back to the tax rates people at my income level paid when I was president in order to pay for the tax incentives to put more people to work.
In the first damn sentence the man just loses it. TAX INCENTIVES DO NOT WORK UNLESS THERE IS CURRENT CASH ATTACHED TO THEM. We have a problem in this country not with taxes but when DEMAND. As for assuming there will be no more stimulus, why must we assume that? It never occurred to President Clinton to mount a full force campaign for additional stimulus? To, in effect, persuade the public to our side?
The time for talking and blue ribbon committees is over. President Obama is going to lose next year if something doesn’t start to happen right now. And, just so we’re clear, cutting spending ain’t going to do it.