Some feel that we shouldn't sacrifice our long term future by shoving ourselves further into debt. However, at this point we have a very legitimate economic crisis that must be addressed. America elected me to handle the economic crisis, and I intend to do exactly that.
I could attempt to get foreign leaders to enforce intellectual property laws, ensuring that US businesses profited fairly from their created works (such as music, movies, books, software, video games, etc) but that would make entirely too much sense.
I could give tax breaks to businesses, trying to encourage them to stay away from layoffs, and to give the stock market a much needed surge.
I could create a wage-tariff based on the federal minimum wage, taxing businesses who move jobs out of the country the difference in minimum wage they are saving, encouraging them to keep those jobs in the country.
I could open up more government jobs and directly employ the American public.
I could put cash directly in your hands.
Instead, we are pushing a major stimulus package that will largely hand hundreds of billions of dollars to corporations in a trickle-down-economics policy that Democrats have mocked for decades. Look, I understand this is an unpopular move, with polls showing most Americans are against it.
And I know that so far, we have mishandled these packages, allowing failed corporations to simply pocket large bonuses at tax payer expense, rewarding the executives who ran their companies into the ground. We allowed them to cash out stock at our expense. However, we admit these were mistakes.
We're going to place caps on what executives can make with this stimulus.
We will remove some pork from the package, which is better than nothing. And we will move some of the money to focus on building infrastructure, which arguably should have been our primary economic stimulus tactic from day one. By investing in infrastructure, we infuse money directly into the economy, not simply into CEO's pockets, but by purchasing goods and services from American businesses. And unlike hand-outs which won't be paid back, the country gains immediate and long-lasting benefit as that infrastructure helps the country grow and develop. We create jobs directly in the infrastructure projects (not necessarily as an expanding government, but in private contractors). And when I asked Panetta for advice, he said the only thing he's learned on the job so far running the CIA is that their IT guys just like saying infrastructure a lot.
Say it. Infrastructure. I think it is the new paradigm.
Who deserves the credit for this shift to infrastructure? Well, that would be Hair Force One, also known as Ben Nelson, the Republican-in-Democrat's clothing from the state of Nebraska. I thought all they had was a football team, and apparently not even that so much anymore. But Nebraska did break tradition (they were the single reddest state in the 2004 election) by giving one of their electoral votes to me. It hasn't been forgotten.
Is the stimulus bill perfect? Who knows. All I know is that Nelson is doing his best, and when he explains the virtue of it to me, all I can do is stare at that hair of his and agree.