Also outlined as a problem in the "tax cuts" section is the fact that the Bush administration has not "tackled health care, education and housing in a manner that benefits the middle class." Oy. Well, I don't think the government tackling health care is going to benefit anybody, regardless of class. And the Bush administration DID try to tackle education and made a holy mess of it. Unfortunately, it looks like somebody might be tackling housing, too, before the end of the year.
So... on to the Obama fix! First things first, right? They're going to "jumpstart the economy." How are they going to do this? It's all somewhat vague... but they're going to start by imposing a "windfall profits tax" so that they can send a $1000 emergency energy rebate to American families. Common sense would say that American families are going to still be paying their energy costs... it's just that the energy is going to need to cost more so that the oil companies can afford to pay the "windfall profits tax" that needs to be generated in order to make this work. Please keep in mind, companies don't pay taxes - consumers do. It all gets passed on.
Then they're going to provide $50 billion to jumpstart the economy and prevent 1 million Americans from losing their jobs. They're going to do this by making sure they're preventing state and local cuts in health, education, housing and heating assistance or counterproductive increases in property taxes, tolls or fees. Somehow, with a mere $50 billion, Barack Obama is going to save the day by preventing excess property taxes at the state level, tolls and fees... and he's going to pump up the governments with enough money to prevent them from having to make cuts in any of their services or employees. Really can't figure out how he's getting the numbers to work... but maybe it's like Jesus with the loaves and fishes and I just need more faith.
After the generous jumpstart to the economy (which is better translated as a jumpstart to big government, because his injections are all for government jobs), he's going to provide middle class Americans with tax relief. Well, whew!! Here comes that relief that 95% of Americans are going to get!!
The first step is to "restore fairness" by providing 150 million workers tax relief. This is done with a "Making Work Pay" tax credit of $500 per person or $1,000 per family. According to Obama's website, the "Making Work Pay" tax credit will completely eliminate income taxes for 10 million Americans. And yes, he really does appear to think that this somehow "restores fairness." His logic to get there must be a bit dizzying, but I digress...
Secondly, he's going to eliminate income taxes for seniors making less than $50,000. Okay... I don't really have an issue with seniors' IRAs not getting taxed as they pull that money out. According to Obama, this will eliminate income taxes for 7 million seniors and provide an average savings of $1400 per year for them. Under the Obama plan, 27 million American seniors will not need to file an income tax return.
Thirdly, he's going to simplify tax filings for the middle class. According to their plan, they're going to "dramatically" simplify things so that Americans can do their taxes in less than five minutes. Maybe it's going to be a simple form such as:
"How much did you make? _______________
Go ahead and send it in."
Frighteningly enough, Obama's plan counts on having the IRS use the information it gets from banks and employers to give taxpayers "pre-filled tax forms to verify, sign and return." Got that? He doesn't even trust us to do our own paperwork. He wants to tell us what we owe and have us send it in.
He then goes on to say, "Experts estimate that the Obama-Biden proposal will save Americans up to 200 million total hours of work and aggravation and up to $2 billion in tax preparer fees." Oh, yeah... that's funny. He's going to increase government jobs and that's how he's going to "jumpstart" the economy... meanwhile he's putting the tax accountants in the country out of business.
On trade, they're going to "fight for fair trade." They want to open up foreign markets to support good American jobs. They're going to stand firm against agreements like the Central American Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA). They will work with Canada and Mexico to "fix" NAFTA... and he doesn't mention the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), possibly because the FTAA is not yet in place, but the DR-CAFTA was looked at as a stepping stone to an FTAA treaty.
Obama wishes to increase what was once known as the "School To Work" program. Supposedly to help workers adapt to a "rapidly changing economy," they want to create "flexible education accounts to help workers retrain" and provide "retraining assistance for workers" where people are "vulnerable to dislocation." I'm sorry, but what happened to people taking responsibility for themselves? If you can see that the industry in which you work is in deep trouble, then go get some training for yourself and change jobs! (Hint, hint -- people working for GM.) They're also going to create a new jobs training program for "Clean Technologies."
Somehow Obama is going to make sure that companies are not financially benefited by moving their operations overseas. I'm not sure how he's going to do this because he doesn't say. Maybe he's not sure, either.
Also, Obama "will create new federal policies, and expand existing ones, that have been proven to create new American jobs." He doesn't state what these specific policies might be, but I have a question. How can he create a new policy that has already been proven?
Barack Obama is also going to improve our economy by creating "new jobs through national infrastructure investment." I am beginning to think this guy has no interest whatsoever in the private sector except to dismantle it. He is going to create a "National Infrastructure Reinvestment Bank" to expand and enhance, not supplant, existing federal transportation investments.
And this one? I just need somebody to tell me what it means:
Barack Obama and Joe Biden will support entrepreneurship and spur job growth by creating a national network of public-private business incubators. Business incubators facilitate the critical work of entrepreneurs in creating start-up companies. Obama and Biden will invest $250 million per year to increase the number and size of incubators in disadvantaged communities throughout the country. What in the heck is a public-private business incubator??
Obama will increase the minimum wage and ensure it rises every year.
He will ensure freedom to unionize. I really hadn't realized this was in jeopardy. I know more people who would prefer to opt out of the union and are not able to than I do who would like a union and can't have one. (Or perhaps this is again directed at Wal Mart?) Obama will work to ban the permanent replacement of striking workers. See, I have an issue with this, too. If a group of employees are refusing to come to work, and there are other able bodied people there willing to fill those places, why shouldn't the company be allowed to replace those refusing to work? Rendering the employers completely powerless doesn't seem like such a good idea to me.
Obama is going to "reform bankruptcy laws." He is going to cap interest rates on payday loans at 36 percent. Frankly, anybody willing to pay that has to be insane anyway... and should probably seek some sort of help. They're going to "encourage responsible lending institutions to make small consumer loans." Get this: "Obama and Biden will encourage banks, credit unions and Community Development Financial Insitutions to provide affordable short-term and small-dollar loans and to drive unscrupulous lenders out of business." Well.... kind of hard to drive them out of business when you're handing them billions of dollars in bailouts! And I don't know that I would want the government "encouraging" my bank to make certain kinds of loans anymore. We all saw what happened the last time they did that! And he's going to create an exemption in bankruptcy law for individuals who can prove they filed for bankruptcy because of medical expenses, creating a process that forgives the debt and lets the individuals get back on their feet. Does anybody else see how all this costs an incredible amount of money? Where is it going to come from?? Back to that loaves and fishes thing again...
They're also going to balance work and family life for us. "Obama and Biden will double funding for after-school programs, expand the Family Medical Leave Act, provide low-income families with a refundable tax credit to help with their child-care expenses, and encourage flexible work schedules." That's a tall order, really.
They want to expand the FMLA to be enforceable with even smaller businesses and to cover more purposes. Employers would be required to allow time off for elder care needs, for parents to participate in their children's academic activities, and leave to address domestic violence.
This is an awful lot to take on -- and some of it is just downright scary. But since, according to Louis Farrakhan, Obama is the new messiah, I guess it really is a loaves and fishes thing.
My best advice to you is this: grab your wallet, grab a shovel. Go to your backyard and dig a big hole, insert your wallet. Fill in with dirt, packing it down hard so the government can't find it. Because this economic plan is what they're all saying is a shoo-in come November.