Are Republicans Blocking Economic Progress?
If you ask Obama, the answer to this question is yes. In his recent radio address,
Striking a deeply partisan tone in his weekly Saturday radio and online address, Obama said the GOP leadership has chosen to “filibuster our recovery and obstruct our progress” by blocking votes on agenda items the president says would breath life into the economic recovery.
Whether or not Republicans are blocking economic progress depends on how you define economic progress. Obama claims Republicans are blocking measures that would extend unemployment benefits and increase lending to small businesses. This may be so, but are these the ways to “fix” the economy? No and I’ll tell you why.
While emotionally we would all agree that extended unemployment benefits longer than two years into infinity is a nice thing to do, this doesn’t do much for the economy. Yes, I know the money goes into the economy because the unemployed spend it. Again, this won’t fix the economy. We won’t spend our way out of this recession; there are simply too many structural problems in place.
We need innovation, production and an increase in savings in this country. This doesn’t mean we need more debt. While Obama claims that his policies will “boost lending to small businesses” this is also nothing more than rhetoric. Banks have cash and they want to lend. There just aren’t enough candidates for the money out there. Do we want banks to lend to every small business regardless of their ability to repay their loan? No, this is what got us into this mess. Instead, we should incentivize those with actual capital to invest it (i.e. maybe cut capital gains taxes on investing in startups). Debt isn’t the answer. Sorry Obama.
No measure out of Washington will do anything to fix this economy for the long haul. Unless of course that measure is to pull out of the economy. Whether it’s Bush or Obama, the results are and will be the same moving forward.