Saturday, September 8, 2012

In Defense of Willared Romney

The Republican nominee to be President of the United States is being unfairly attacked for not using the words Afghanistan, Soldier or Veteran in his acceptance speech. He has explained that he did use those words in a speech the day before to the American Legion (a speech that generally went un-covered by any media)in Indianapolis. He further stated that he did use the word Defense several times and that to him Defense and Soldier are the same.

I call the attacks upon him unfair because, in his mind, he was not minimizing the importance of Defense. Further, his opinion was probably echoed by Democratic candidate Barry Obama in 2008--Defense and Soldier are synonyms.

But after 3 and a half years of talking with, weeping with and praying with families of Soldiers (not Defense) who gave their last full measure of devotion to their country, Obama knows all too well the difference between Defense and Soldier.

Yess, I give Willard a pass on this one but I don't give a pass to his party whose speakers were hell-bent upon making a name for themselves so that they can run for President in 2016 when the second and final Obama term ends. A party whose leaders in the past could legitimately be called heroes gave little notice to current war and warriors while threatening more un-necessary wars.

Past Republican leaders have included Eisenhower, Dole, G.H.W. Bush and McCain. Now it is dominated by the neo-cons who have never served a day of military service but who rattle the chains of war loudly. Soldiers die when they have their way.

Spend, spend, spend

Now is NOT the time to cut back on government spending. Now is the time to borrow more and spend more.

Government's current borrowing rate is as low as it has ever been and, in fact, if it were any lower lenders would be paying for government bonds. But, I will agree, cheap money is not a good reason for going further in debt--unless there is a positive outcome.

Bear with me, this is an argument that runs counter to all of the political statements you have heard from both sides. It is an argument based on Bill Clinton's "arithmetic" and unless you understand it, it sounds so very wrong.

So here goes: Government should borrow as much money as it can to do infrastructure projects. Projects like repairing roads, fixing bridges, constructing a 21st Century electrical grid. Few people are aware that our electrical grid was never designed, it was built in the beginning and middle of the last century and parts of it do not talk to other parts--it is one of the great disasters on the verge of happening. Like the dam construction that brought us out of the Great Depression, grid construction can pull us out of the Greatest Recession.

Having borrowed the money, government then creates the projects, hires the workers. Feeder industries and support services build up around them. Unemployment is quickly down several points, middle class families have income and they (unlike millionaires who send their surpluses overseas to avoid additional taxation) buy stuff.

Buying stuff forces the "job creators" to hire people to make stuff and the unemployment rate hits 4% (the point at which they call it "full employment").

All of this employment generates taxes (and here is where the problem comes in because it requires honesty and common sense from the political crowd) with which the debt can begin to be paid down.

But the simple fact is that austerity is not the solution to our debt problem, productivity is the solution and we come by that using the historically low cost of borrowing. AND we somehow get through to congress that extra income is not to spend but to pay off debt.

Millionaires and small business owners may be the job creators but it is the middle class that are the demand creators. No jobs are ever created without demand.