Is the Republican Party For or Against Trillion Dollar Deficits?

Jon is right. The addition of some $300 billion in temporary tax cuts to the massive $775 billion Obama stimulus is a risk politically and Bushonomics (e.g. tax-cut-and-spend) on steroids policywise.

What's the main reason Republicans are dispirited right now? Because the Republican Party no longer represented less spending and limited government. What do we propose to do to fix it? Why... double down on this strategy by throwing in with the biggest spending bill in U.S. history if does enough tax cutting! As Jon infers, if the GOP accepts massive stimulus spending of any kind, it will sever the GOP from its base for years, and keep Republicans from rallying around a unifying limited government message in 2010. Instead of a peaceful 1994-style revolution, this will likely trigger a bloody Goldwater-style takeover of the GOP from the outside which may take 2 or 3 presidential cycles to fully play out. Ugly, but it may turn out, necessary.

There is broad consensus in the country right now that we need to "do something" about the economy. The economy will probably recover on its own by early 2010, but we must nonetheless "do something." Republicans should accept this fact and move on.

But there are different ways to "do something." A stimulus primarily composed of permanent tax cuts is a perfectly legitimate and defensive version of "doing something" both from a policy and public opinion perspective -- one that we can go to the country with and not appear like Hooverites or know-nothings. For one thing, past (successful) stimuli have been composed primarily of tax relief. Obama's own economist says the economic multiplier effect from tax relief is greater than than the general consensus of the multiplier from spending (allowing the GOP to paint larding up the bill with spending as primarily ideologically -- not economically -- driven). The American people are not economists, and likely have no inherent preference between tax cuts and spending increases so long as the plan is of a certain magnitude. So, let's educate them.

Right now, I yearn for the legislative acumen -- and in this case, the spine -- of Bob Dole, who rallied even John Chafee -- Lincoln's father -- to oppose the 1993 Clinton stimulus. With the GOP officially reaching rock bottom today, the Republican leadership in Congress has to recognize that number one political priority is not to give voters warm and fuzzies by angling into photo ops with Obama. Yes, he's popular, but his popularity can only redound to the benefit of one party, and that's not Republicans. For a cautionary tale on what happens when a party tries this strategy, see the 2002 midterm elections.

The GOP's number one priority politically is to set into motion a series of events that will make Obama look more ineffective, partisan, and unpopular than he is today. Playing hard-to-get on the stimulus is one way to do it. And we need to set the stage for a unified and effective Republican opposition that will actually fight from top to bottom. Even if Democrats did some truly stupid things these last two years, it was always impossible to rally grassroots Republicans in opposition because the party had zero credibility. Closing that credibility gap -- not beating Obama in popularity contest right now -- must be job one in order to rebuild the GOP. Newt Gingrich and Bob Dole (!) did it, and Boehner and McConnell must do the same. Not neutering our principles in search of short-term headlines would be a good start. 

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Here is the problem. This is

Here is the problem. This is not your typical recession. This is a near depression.

At the moment there is no way out in the private sector.

So you think more tax cuts will do it? We have had 8 years of tax cuts and all you got was deficits and debt. How many more times can you cry wolf, when it won't work. It won't work because of globalization. You can fill the bucket all you want with tax cuts, but the bucket leaks at the bottom with our jobs going overseas. Cities and states are going broke. At the moment, there is no future to look forward to. So the tax cuts have been overdone and are ineffective.

Another stimulus is the federal reserve lowering interest rates. It may help long term, but this means inflation 3 years from now. The interest rates are at their historic lows. The fed can't do anymore.

So now we have had the overuse of tax cuts and with the interest rates at their lowest, we are still losing the jobs as factories close and the jobs go to China.

So your only other way out is creating jobs by the government. Not the best way of doing it, but there is nothing else.

All Bush did for 8 years is have our jobs go overseas, our money to Iraq, and neglect our infrastructure. Add to that free trade and the factories closed and laissez-faire and we are where we are. A total mess.

Now if you really want to solve the problem, then you need infrastructural spending (limited), energy independence, mandatory vocational training, embryonic stem cell research, and research and development with the best government and private sector collaboration.

The tax cuts are for the here and now and does nothing to solve our problems.

The tax cuts only created deficits and debt.

The tax cuts did not create prosperity.

The tax cuts were favored for the rich, as middle class jobs went overseas.

The tax cuts was just borrowed money.

The tax cuts did not sustain economic recovery. 

Wow.

Do you think you could squeeze in just one more liberal talking point?  Oh I know one you forgot: the tax cuts forced kids to starve and grandma to live under the freeway.  Boo hoo.

Just one thing, though: We don't have a laissez-faire economy.  We didn't have one under George Bush.  We have never had one in this country.  True laissez-faire capitalism existed for maybe 15 minutes in 19th century Britain but that's about it.  So please, put down the Naomi Klein and Paul Krugman.

No, it's nothing liberal. It

No, it's nothing liberal. It is called management. I don't care what party is in power. The fact remains is that we have globalization and that is taking away middle class jobs and cities and state are going broke. True, part of the problem is too much government spending and that has to be dealt with. But Bush never dealt with that, so republicans have no grounds to argue this point.

You have to look into the future with jobs. Just not the here and now with tax cuts.

You cannot solve one thing without middle class jobs. You need a tax base, you need to have people buy cars and houses. And you cannot do that without jobs.

I still say laissez-faire. Bush talks of free trade and the factories close. And does nothing about it.

We need an energy council and an energy plan and Bush does nothing about it.

We need to cut spending and Bush does nothing about it.

We need a future collaboration (Manhattan project) with the government and private industry for future industries as our factories close up.

We need a new air traffic control system, new ice breakers for the Arctic as we have 2 and Russia has 5, we need a new electrical grid, we need new tankers for the air force, and the B52's are just getting older. We should find a different fuel source for the airlines, we are falling behind other countries on hi speed internet. The water pipe infrastructure will cost 277 billion dollars according to the EPA.

So we are falling behind in our infrastructure.

You want your war on a lie and not pay for it and tax cuts which is also more borrowed money.

All Bush has done is tax cuts and laissez-faire. As if this is the only thing in the world. I have seen nothing else except lies, deceit, ignorance, arrogance, blunders, and incompetence.

Now, can we get on with fixing this country and problems. They have been piling up all these years. 

This is typical Democrat double talk

"We need to cut spending and Bush does nothing about it."

gets followed by....

"We need a new air traffic control system, new ice breakers for the Arctic as we have 2 and Russia has 5, we need a new electrical grid, we need new tankers for the air force, and the B52's are just getting older."

Hmm, isn't that all "spending"?

To borrow a line from the old movie WarGames "The only winning move is not to play"  The Democrats promised tax-and-spend buy-and-borrow liberal government. Let's let them take credit for their agenda.

It is spending. We are so

It is spending. We are so behind in taking care of the country. We not only have deficits and debt, but we also have a war not paid for, 50 trillion dollars of unfunded social programs, we are in a recession with no way out-so that means more government spending, we have bailouts-good or bad, and all we are doing is borrowing from other countries and we are printing money.

But our infrastructure does not go away. You still have to keep care of your country. The B52's do not fly forever. The water pipe infrastructure breaks down.

We have to take care of problems here at home and get away from failed ideology. We are a country falling apart. We see China with 5% = growth with the tallest of buildings, the longest of bridges, hi speed rail. You can always tell the wealthier country or a country with growth and a future. Ours is not and China is.

Bush never cut spending, he has his war, we are spending 10 billion dollars a month in Iraq. It does our country no good. The tax cuts are overplayed, the money is spent, and we sit in a recession. So you talk of wasted money as Bush is leaving 500 billion dollar deficits and an added 4 trillion dollars of debt and the neglect of our infrastructure. For some reason you don't think infrastructure is not important. Better think again. Without that infrastructure-we fall behind. And we are so behind in everything. We are becoming a poor country and it shows. 

use india not china as an example

... the place where they're currently putting rats on restaurant menus.

China routinely lies about its growth.

Iraq=10B/month; Obama's stimulus =10Bplus/week?

Are community organizers that much pricier than Marines?

Re: infrastructure. Please get back to me when the concepts of NIMBY and BANANA are repealed so a state government or a public utlity can get something useful built in less than a decade.

In any event, a dime/gallon extra gas tax is thought of as sufficient to deal with the roads. Beyond that we are spending for the sake of spending. This is the stuff we are talking about   

One other point: The tallest buildings are in Dubai now. Should we emulate a tiny Gulf emirate?

I missed your "tax and spend

I missed your "tax and spend buy and borrow liberal government."

So republicans are deficit and spend.

Is there any difference? Those deficits that Bush will leave behind is future taxes.

Of course, the republicans don't want to pay taxes. So go figure. 

 

And for Cheney "Deficits do matter."

jeez, this argument is as good as....

My neighbor drinks so it's ok for me to smoke crack

yup, and sure it is!

when booze was illegal, they had pot parties everywhere...

what is the cost of a human life?

I'm thinking about a million dollars, give or take an order of magnitude depending on the jury. How many lives have been lost because of Reagan's unionbreaking?

Let the air traffic controllers unionize, update their system and we'll have a net positive for some government investment. Sound good?

Near Depression NOW

possibly worse to come.

Do you read Calculated Risk? Lotta smart folks posting there seem to think that this will be worse than the depression (quoting mp)

Oh, I remember sitting through all of those econ and finance classes so many years ago. Great Depression? It can never happen again. We know better now. We have the technology. Liquidity trap? Not possible. We have the printing press. Bastards. I'm beginning to think that this one is already baked in and no one can stop it. We all thought we were so god damned smart.

 

Agreed

If the GOP jumps on board this Bush/Obamanomics, they will continue to drive a dagger into the heart of conservatism.  The Dems prefer this, while the GOP doesn't get it.

I think Boehner understands this because of this: http://republicanleader.house.gov/blog/?p=399

McConnell understands the necessity of tax cuts but I hesitate nowadays by the way the Dems/Obama define "tax cuts."

Why doesn't Obama make the Bush tax cuts permanent and cut spending?  Then, and only then, should the GOP get on board.  That certainly would be "doing something."  The GOP should advocate conservatism and stand by its principles. 

 

 The GOP was nowhere to be

 The GOP was nowhere to be found for the past 8 years. You had Bush not vetoing a spending bill for six years. You had Tom Delay as a crook, and he didn't do anything. Bush has not paid for the war. The tax cuts is just borrowed money. You have a deficit now at 500 billion dollars and Bush has added 4 trillion dollars to the debt.

I even heard a guy (sitting in for Rush Limbaugh) that deficits are good. You have never heard one gripe about deficits for 8 years from Limbaugh, Hannity, or others. They were mum. They don't want to tell the truth. They do everything they can to cut the other party, but never say anything about the Bush administration being a disaster.

You guys are so far to the right, that you fell right off the cliff.

And you still have no answers to the problems.

because a pyrimidal society is a bad thing.

and bush's tax cuts have led to social stratification and a decreasing middle class.

did you know that the middle class now starts at $250,000? and goes up from there?

Cut spending!

Cut spending, cut taxes, tighten the belts and loosen regulation.  That's what Washington SHOULD do!

 It still does not solve the

 It still does not solve the problem of globalization. You have factories closing and people losing jobs. Their wage have to come down the third world standards, and the middle class is losing healthcare and pensions. Cities and states are losing their tax base.

So tax cuts mean nothing. We have had them for 8 years and we are back into a recession.

What jobs can you do here, that they can't do in China. We continue to lose the middle class. 

 

And loosening the regulation. Yeah, on what. We have seen that with the banking industry.

 

The only way out is infrastructural spending (limited), energy independence, mandatory vocational training, embryonic stem cell research, and research and development with government and industry for new technologies. You need a Manhattan project and make a car batter that will go over 100 miles on a charge. 

Right now there is no future. The tax cuts are here and now and does not fix one thing.

because fogamirror loans were caused by too much regs?

obakasama!

Threading this Nasty Needle

Steve Forbes actually addressed this today on Kudlow (sorry, can't find the link).  He basically said that the GOP should work with BHO if he offers a combined package of large and permanent relief of tax rates on  corporate/payroll/or cap gains income and infrastructure spending on modernizing the electricity grid (type of long term legit govt. spending we should support) and relieving traffic congestion in America's larger cities.

Personally, I find that compromise acceptable.  Otherwise, Oppose and Obstruct.

That is all.

warren buffet pays less dollar per dollar

than his secretary on his income.

and you think we need MORE cap gains cuts? wtf? you think Buffett invests half his money in this country??

The Right Govt. Spending

By the by, if we must insist on spending our way out of this recession (not that it'll work), then Defense Spending has the Highest Keynesian Multiplier.

This comment is not, in any way, an endorsement of Keyesian economics.  It is an endorsement of boosting Defense spending using "economic stimulus" as a thin straw man.

 While, I share your thoughts

 While, I share your thoughts on defense spending, we are in a situation that we can no longer help ourselves. We are dependent on other countries in borrowing and we are also printing the money. 

A couple of points in defense spending. The war has taken a toll on our military and its needs. A lot of equipment will need to be replaced and we have wounded soldiers that we will have to take care of for the rest of their lives.

And finally, Eisenhower warned against a military industrial complex. And you can watch the video on youtube. 

So what we have seen is a total failed republican ideology with supply side economics.

No cuts in spending and just deficits and debt

Our jobs are going overseas, which means less tax revenue for cities, states, and federal government.

We are in a recession, that will be very difficult to get out of. 

We have a crumbling infrastructure to take care of.

The low dollar situation is a problem

The fed is printing money and means inflation in later years.

And we will need to borrow and create deficits to stimulate the country.

The deficits and debt by Bush alone will take at least 20 years to fix. LBJ did the same with inflation and that took 20 years to fix. Bush used deficits for his false economy and LBJ used the printing of money for spending for his programs and false economy.

 

Unskilled labor goes where labor is cheapest

@InBetween:"Our jobs are going overseas, which means less tax revenue for cities, states, and federal government."

You are raising some good points, but I tire of hearing this line. America is the home of innovation and creativity. We cannot afford to keep looking to the return of basic manufacturing jobs. People need to suck it up and move forward to create new wealth. Basic economics dictates that unskilled labor moves to where labor is the cheapest.

I got so sick of hearing Democrats accuse GOPers of "sending jobs overseas" Hell, I even heard the governor of Michigan say recently that not only did the federal government need to save the auto industry, but that displaced workers deserved retraining and education so they could begin making solar panels. This is despite the fact that Mitsubishi already corners the market on the manufacture of the best solar panels in the industry. So she expects us to retool Detroit to fight the same losing battle with the Japanese, only this time with solar panels instead of automobiles.

We have to innovate and create, because stagnation and corporate welfare are the only alternative.

Then your question is, has

Then your question is, has the tax cuts solved any problem? It ignores globalization. Bush talks of free trade and the factories close. So to Bush and the republicans, I say "HELLO", anybody home? If factories are closing, if cities and states are going broke, then we have a problem. Washington, we have a problem. And it is called GLOBALIZATION.

It is so funny to see republican Mike Spence, Indiana,  on C-span say we cannot keep borrowing and spending. And where were the republicans for the past 8 years. And a lady just called in about how the republicans all of a sudden turned conservative. My oh my what a joke.

Boehner was on TV and complains this stimulus package will not be paid for, for generations. Gee, again just playing politics. How about the deficits and debt by Bush? And how do you get out of this mess. The republicans have no shame.

You say "innovate and create." And I agree. I have said many times to have infrastructure spending (limited), energy independence, mandatory vocational training, embryonic stem cell research, research and development in whatever areas with both government and private cooperation. We live in the age of globalization and we are doing nothing. We have to create jobs that will stay here.

So far we see nothing like that, it has been just tax cuts, jobs going overseas, and the neglect of the infrastructure. The government needs to be more active., instead of the ignorance of the last 8 years. 

Yes, Japan has taken our textiles, our electronics, our steel, and our cars.

China and India with 1 billion people each and will take the rest. Just tax cuts alone will not solve the problems. I have given answers and I hope Obama does them. Obviously, Bush is clueless.

Wise investments are a conservative tradition

@InBetween:"You say "innovate and create." And I agree. I have said many times to have infrastructure spending (limited), energy independence, mandatory vocational training, embryonic stem cell research, research and development in whatever areas with both government and private cooperation. We live in the age of globalization and we are doing nothing. We have to create jobs that will stay here."

I agree with you completely. And I believe it is a conservative value to make these solid investments in our human capacity and various infrastructures.

science first!

I agree. Can we please put that fusion reactor into prototype now?

Seriously, we've got a gadzillion different new ideas, but we need capital to prototype and test.

And we need basic research!!

Damn Bush for putting a stake through the heart of our Pharmeceutical Industries! We are outdone by China and by India. But Americans are innovators, and we'll make up that gap quickly.

Don't give up too much hope on us being able to out engineer the Japanese. I figure we can do it, even if it isn't our strongest suit.

can you drop me a few links on LBJ

considering we were on the gold standard at the time, how exactly did he print money? (yes, my ignorance is showing)

Bretton Woods

The Bretton Woods system is complicated for a lot of us.

The era in question.

conjure bag has been predicting the end of Breton Woods

for a while now. thanks muchly for the links! (off to read)

 You can google: LBJ guns and

 You can google:

LBJ guns and butter

Nixon wage and price controls

Ford WIN buttons

Paul Volcker

LBJ did a "guns and butter." He wanted to expand the Vietnam war and have his Great Society programs. He could not raise taxes as JFK lowered them. So therefore he had the federal reserve print the money. We suffered 20 years of inflation. 

Bush has done the same with his war and with tax cuts. Except in this case it has been deficits and debt. That is the false economy we ran on the last 8 years. Add the targeting of the housing industry by all parties including Alan Greenspan. I just see failed ideologies.

Now if we want to target something, then we need to target globalization. That is where the problem is as we lose the middle class.

Obstructionism is not the answer

I agree with you on limited Keynesian tactics. What FDR did despite the failure of his New Deal was to continue to blame Hoover and the GOP for the Depression and he rode that in '36 and '40 to reelection, as did congressional Dems in congressional elections.

I look for ObamaDems to do the same, which is why I believe GOPers must absolutely return to finding practical solutions to the challenges we face, not theoretical dogma and fancies of the gold standard.

A true conservative would fix the roof when it's sunny and put a quick patch on it during the middle of the storm while planning for a solution when circumstances allow.

I look to leaders like Paul Ryan to provide real ideas in opposition to ObamaDem policies. Then we need to make sure every person in America hears of our solutions.

So does this mean...

...you will support the Resolution, Jon?

 

ex animo

davidfarrar

 

convenient

"I believe GOPers must absolutely return to finding practical solutions to the challenges we face, not theoretical dogma and fancies of the gold standard."

I agree with your point completely.

Is anybody worried that, right after Obama won and the Dems expanded their majority, the republicans are now (what a coincidence!) totally against spending? No major outbursts during the Bush years, no major Republican willing to stand up to Bush and his spending, and then we have Pelosi and Bush bailing out the autoworkers and the only Republicans doing something about it are the ones with Toyota and Honda plants in their states.

The entire ordeal just strikes me as typical "we don't like anything democrats do" and not "we are the party of small governement." Given the economic crisis, republicans will have to be very careful in the PR department in trying to block a stimulus plan (I'm not referring to Obama's other spending plans).

Republicans have a serious people problem. I'm not saying this is my point of view, but look at it from the perspective of the average American: "The gov't spent $700B on the banks.....the gov't spent billions on auto makers.....the gov't broke the deficit clock under a republican president.....where is my bailout?" The problem is the republicans *appear* to be saying "we have trillions for all this other stuff....but not for relief for Americans and tax cuts. And we realized this as soon as Obama took office."

The Democrats can pass this on their own

Let them. We need not join the party or spoil it for them..

So does this mean...

...you too will support the Resolution, Pat?

ex animo

davidfarrar

 

Are we proving a truth?

Maybe the current manifestation of the Republican Party is really more effective as a minority party as people say. They seem to be good at obstructing, strategizing, and making a lot of noise when they aren't in power.

As Patrick said in his post, it's time for the Republican party to get credibility back, which is a long term challenge. One way is to admit that Republicans in power have done nothing that we're talking about here. They controlled Congress from 1994-2006, and we didn't get smaller government, energy independence, or any of things people are complaining about. Nothing except a deficit almost unimaginable.

We can gripe about the Democrats, but at least they do what they say. "We will spend taxes to pay for services". Republicans haven't done what they preached for quite a while.

If small-c conservatives want to take back the Republican party, I'd like to see less grandstanding (Drill here, Drill now!) and more action that requires sacrafice and long-term committment.

I have to give Newt Gingrich

I have to give Newt Gingrich credit on the budget. He held the line. He and Clinton ended up with a budget surplus for 4 years. They were just starting to pay down the national debt. After that it was Bush and Tom Delay and it went the opposite way. 

I don't think you can run a country on ideology. Or ideology alone. You need management. The infrastructure needs to be taken care of. A president needs to see the problems as they develop, and also look twenty years down the road and attack potential problems.

We have globalization and it taking away jobs. The only answer I have heard is that peoples wages have to come down, lose jobs, lose healthcare, and lose pension. Cities and states are going broke as factories close and the loss of tax revenue.

We borrow more and more on ideology. For more tax cuts, but we do not solve the problems. Send the jobs away, send our money away, and we will borrow more to keep the economy going. I don't get this thinking. True the jobs go where the labor is cheapest. But do we ignore globalization and let our country fall apart and ignore what is happening?

China is teaching its kids English for good reason. In Hungary, students must know english before they go to college. Other countries are investing in the future. At the same time we are burdened by government spending, deficits and debt, and Ideology that does not work as the world moves on.

Cut spending - a terrific idea!

@In Between: You've mentioned several times that spending is too high. Fine. But then in the very next breath you advocate greater spending for infrastructure, "embryonic stem cell research" (which is oddly specific), "mandatory vocational training" (what - you are going to force unemployed people to go to school?), etc.  Perhaps you could come up with some ideas for spending that you think should be cut.

umm... we already force unemployed people to go to school

as a condition to be on the welfare program.

Never volunteered, have ya?

Embryonic stem cell research is code for Save Our Pharm Companies. They're out of drugs. they need new ideas, and this one is promising. This may be one of the few things that doesn't need much in the way of public investment, i don't know not my field.

 Embryonic stem cell research

 Embryonic stem cell research will take billions. The NIH works with Gene Therapy, TNFerade, Antisense, adult stem cell, and monoclonal antibodies. It all take billions. Along with pharmaceutical companies and biotech companies. 

You need to invest in the future. 

I think PE Obama and Congress

I think PE Obama and Congress should do what they committed to during the election:  line-by-line reviews and spending cuts, no exceptions, including the Pentagon and all entitlements INCLUDING Social Security and Medicare.  Republicans should definitely be a part of that.  I have not studied the federal budget at that level of detail so can't offer my own specific suggestions for cuts now, but we elected and pay people to do that so my part will be to continue to hold them accountable for it.

As InBetween suggests, there ARE true infrastructure needs where targeted spending would offer long-term benefits.  We ARE losing some of our competitive advantage in terms of education.  Yes, I would agree with a continued requirement that those receiving unemployment benefits participate in mandatory re-training.   I would prioritize spending directed at energy independence, education and innovation (R&D), and critical infrastructure, which can also be seen as a national security issue in that a vulnerable electrical grid, water system and transportation system can expose us to attack when deficiencies are widely known and easily exploited.

Tax cuts only go so far; they aren't very meaningful for anyone who is unemployed or to a bankrupt company.  Targeted tax cuts that incentivize job creation sound like a good thing to me.  I'd rather see targeted tax cuts produce more jobs in the private sector than putting millions of people directly on the government payroll.  If it turns out in some cases that the targeted cuts for job creation led to jobs being created in unprofitable ventures, the market will correct for the error -- the company won't survive.  That's as it should be in the free market.  But some number (hopefully many) would likely survive and IMHO that's a good thing. 

add health care to the national security list

a viral/chemical/bacteriological attack would put enormous strain on our hospitals, who are already overloaded from people using the emergency room as their primary care.

let alone we should get into what happens if Just In Time fails. After all, how many of you would show up to work if your family members were too ill and needed help?

Mandatory vocational training should focus not only on job-worthy skills but also to a limited degree on national security... (learning how to drive a truck, even if not terribly well, can't take too long. basic first aid. how-to-look-competent-in-a-uniform)

Good suggestions.  I agree

Good suggestions.  I agree that health care is also a national security issue.  I've often thought there could be tremendous value in national service for young people (similar to the Isreali system), whether it be military service or some form of domestic service.  The things you suggested and many other skills could be tremendously beneficial to national security or in a major natural disaster  Some I can think of:  port, border and critical infrastructure security (including rapid restoration and reconstruction); basic first aid and emergency health care (e.g., training service in a public health clinic -- could relieve existing pressure on ER services); food and water distribution systems (driving a truck, organizing in refugee camps or mass relocations, etc.) and of course military service itself.  Those are things I could even support adding to the government budget as a way to stimulate the economy and put people to work.  Not everyone is college-bound and the training/skills that could be gained by many in these pursuits have potential for lifelong application.

Americorps and PeaceCorps plus the Military

do a decent job of getting people to Volunteer -- but they don't do much about teaching people. Well, the military does. Adapting a pinch of the military training regimen -- "pick it up as quick as possible" to a practical skills course would be fun. Particularly if we could do what the Japanese would, and make it into a midsummer vacation for students (send 'em out to the woods, or someplace that's less urban/suburban).

This doesn't provide too many jobs -- just a few for the instructors, and it might actually suck up places where they learn they can get volunteers. Best to have people trained in field medicine (Vietnam military style) and then stationed for a while in places where there is a critical need for more medicine (like Idaho or Washington DC).

by the way, there have been quite a few

excellent national security/health care diaries on DailyKos. definitely worth checking out.

Thanks, I'll check them out. 

Thanks, I'll check them out.  I guess I was thinking out loud about the possibility of creating some type of WPA program aimed at national security, as an alternative to long-term unemployment benefits, for some number of (likely young) people who would receive military-level pay for domestic national security serivce.  Not very conservative, I know, but if there is to be stimulus spending and speed is important, it seems to hold possibility as one way to ramp up relatively quickly to re-train, provide at least temporary jobs and improve security for the money spent.  I've been curious and maybe you know:  has military recruitment been up much over the past several months? 

I sure as heck don't know, but you can e-mail people

like these:

For more information, contact the Department of the Army’s Office of the Chief of Public Affairs, Major Anne Edgecomb at (703) 697-5662, Anne.Edgecomb@us.army.mil or, for Active and Reserve recruiting, Mr. Douglas Smith of the U.S. Army Recruiting Command at (502) 626-0164 douglas.smith@usarec.army.mil

 

I can't help that

I can't help that infrastructural spending has been ignored. You do fix your roof if it leaks. We need to fix our country. What is so hard about that. We cannot have a crumbling society. Things have to get repaired and we have to prepare for the future. You want to spend money on wars and have tax cuts on borrowed money, but then you don't want to fix anything. The party that you had for 8 years is over.  

You need embryonic stem cell research for science. That is our future. We are letting Singapore get ahead of us. Again, our country is faltering in science. Not too hard to understand. Instead of tax cuts for the here and now, you need to invest in the future. Investing in science and research and development creates jobs and tax revenue in the future. Your tax cuts is already spent and is doing nothing.

You need mandatory vocational training for those in school. You can no longer depend on manufacturing jobs. Those jobs are going overseas. You need an educated people in a globalized world. Bush sits around and does nothing. Just laissez-faire.

Cutting spending is a tough one. I see the republicans did not do it. The first place, once secure is Iraq. That save 10 billion dollars a month. But of course we will have to go to Afghanistan. Everything in the budget needs to be looked at. 

Bush has a 500 billion dollar deficit and has added 4 trillion dollars. At best that will take 20 years to clear up. No that is the damage that Bush has done. Add to that, many programs and our infrastructure has been deprived for all these years for tax cuts and the war. 

We are so far behind in everything, and we are almost to the point of being helpless. After all we rely on the world to fund our deficits and debt.

 

It really takes a special

It really takes a special kind of moron to utter the words "Bush" and "laissez-faire" in the same breath without a hint of irony.

 

We should fear fear itself

Shouldn't the party's top priority be to get the economy moving again, not, as you say, "to set into motion a series of events that will make Obama look more ineffective, partisan, and unpopular than he is today."

If people have confidence in our political leaders it will help to inject more confidence into the markets.

This is an economic 9/11. What you are doing is saying "lets obstruct the solutions and make sure the blame gets pinned on the President."

So much for country first.