Looking at the present political choices, it becomes clear there are none. The present election is a repeat of the last several elections. The only choice is the lesser of two evils. Certainly no real solutions to Americas problems are being offered. At best the Obama years have simply been a time of treading water. A time of waiting for the economy to magically heal itself. Which must be what President Obama is hoping for. He certainly has not put fourth any plans to create jobs. His main focus has been trying to save the dead housing market. Which without creating jobs for people to pay for their homes simply slows or diverts the problem to some point down the road. He did not create the problems he is facing, but he is offering no solutions either.
That being said one has to wonder if Americans have a memory deficit. It was the Republicans under Bush who drove the economy into negative territory. I have posted my view of what triggered it all in an earlier post America's Economic Bipartisan Death Deal in my 20 Feb 2012 post. That post shows what caused the explosion in our national debt. It was an effort of both parties who acted to put forth programs they wanted to pass, without looking at the consequences of those actions.
Admittedly 9/11 required action and decisions by the Bush administration that had to be taken. Yet the Bush administration did it without putting forth any plan to finance the two wars they started. When coupled with the decisions referenced in the blog I mentioned above, the outcome was inevitable. So here we are four years down the road and still no meaningful solutions have been put forth. While I am not for or against Obama himself, his efforts to solve Americans problems have been somewhere between incompetent and apathetic. He says he knows we need jobs programs, but he has implemented none.
With the above said, the Republicans are trying to put forth candidates that give us more of the same stupidity that got us into this situation. The Republicans, or as I like to call them the Republi-can'ts, are offering more of the same ideas that got us into the situation we are in. They want to cut government spending which is admirable. The problem is they "CAN'T" raise taxes. They are willing to gut programs that have already been running for years. Yet they are unwilling to provide the funds to pay the expenses and debt they created. In fact they are determined to put that burden on the middle class tax payers. They offer no programs to reduce the national debt.
Both parties are willing to argue about Medicare and what they are or are not willing to do. They contend their programs will reduce debt by one trillion dollars over a ten year period. Well bravo that is a gallant gesture. It fails to take into account that the national debt will increase over two trillion dollars over the same time period, just from the interest owed on the national debt. To make a meaningful cut and get spending under control will take a plan that knocks over five trillion dollars off the national debt. That number can not be reached by cuts only. It will require increased tax revenue.
Arguments are being made that the percentage of the national debt is the problem and that, that is what is slowing the economy and the recovery. Well when the Great Depression started the national debt represented only 38% of GDP. At the end of World War II the debt because of the depression and the Second World War had increased the national debt to 122% of GDP and the economy did not break down or come to a stop. It continued along just fine.
What caused the Great Depression was a slow down in job growth. The slow down came from the improvements in manufacturing and productivity. Which is the same thing that is slowing down the growth at this time. The creation of computers and robotics have eliminated jobs. What America needs now is a way to increase employment. One thing that would help in that area is a program to rebuild American infrastructure which was a duty given to Congress in the Constitution and they have failed miserably to perform. Spending money on infrastructure repairs which would create jobs and stimulate the economy. That makes a lot more sense than giving out food stamps and unemployment money for people sitting on their butts and doing nothing.
The thing America really needs is a choice. At present most Americans have none. The definition of insanity is, "Doing the same thing, over and over, the same way and expecting to get a different result." Well that is a perfect description of the present American political process. The system in most states is stacked against change that could help. They make it hard, if not almost impossible to put forth an independent or third party view. That is the only way, short of a revolution, that America is going to get fixed. American needs a Constitutionally based third party. A party dedicated to following the Constitution and reining in the Federal Government while giving states rights back to the states.
Jobs can be created, but that is only part of the problem. Government programs that stifle the economy need to be repealed. The tax system needs to be overhauled so everybody pays their fair share including businesses and the wealthy. Loopholes need to be eliminated and subsidies for businesses. Priming the job market by creating infrastructure jobs makes far more sense than paying people to sit on their butts. The third party if it can be created and motivated needs to cut all programs and spending that can not stand muster under the Constitution. Some cuts will be hard, but they are necessary.
Regardless of what happens the mandatory cuts coming in January 2013 should be the catalyst to make change happen. The way Congress operates though we can count on meaningful solutions being pushed further down the road. With over a million jobs eliminated by the cuts. America will have that many more on unemployment. The housing market will soon follow along in another slide down the hill. Basic common sense says action needs to be taken now. The present powers that be, have neither the will nor the motivation to fix the problems. So it seems America will have to fall into a financial abyss before anything is done to actually solve the problems. Sadly the days of America as we know it may soon be coming to a halt. The ongoing droughts and collapse of state programs may soon snowball onto the national scene. If nothing changes all Americans will be able to do is get on the elevator and close the door. Then they can wait for it to hit bottom, because it certainly is not going up, unless something changes drastically.