Remember the Obama economic stimulus of 2009? It was supposed to stem the economic slide and create jobs, reducing the unemployment rate to somewhere around 5 percent by now.
Remember that the $840,000,000,000 borrowed on your tab was supposed to be spent on shovel-ready infrastructure projects like roads and bridges?
Here is the latest from the Recovery.Gov website on how your money has been spent:
• $284 billion allocated to replace lost tax revenue resulting from various tax credits for individuals and businesses.
Tax relief is a good thing, but instead of cutting federal spending elsewhere to pay, the administration would rather borrow money to make sure the government got paid first.
• $233 billion allocated to various entitlement spending like Medicaid/Medicare, family services and low-income housing.
• $91 billion allocated to education.
• Only $65 billion allocated to spend on infrastructure.
Of this, only $36 billion has been spent to date.Just 4.2 percent of the entire stimulus has been spent on infrastructure.
Meanwhile, the unemployment rate remains above 8 percent. The actual unemployment rate is more than 14 percent when you include those who have simply given up looking — 25 percent of Americans between the ages of 25–55 cannot find work.
Median household income is falling.Real GDP has dropped to 1.6 percent for the first half of 2012, and the national debt is $16 trillion and climbing.
Given this, President Obama has the temerity to tell us the economy is headed in the right direction. Is he smoking the funny stuff again?
Jumpstart the economy
Rudy Cajka’s comments [DRC, Sept. 29] that statements in a prior letter are ridiculous and false is opinion without factual support.
Ryan has suggested that the tax on capital gains and dividends be eliminated.
Romney has not commented on this proposal to my knowledge, but the elimination of taxes on interest, dividends and capital gains for those with adjusted gross income less than $200,000 is part of Romney’s plan.
Romney’s position is based on the belief that low rates spur economic growth.
A recent study by the Congressional Research Service concluded there is no significant statistical correlation between investment and top tax rates.
The study also shows that when top tax rates are reduced, the share of income accruing to the top of the income distribution increases.
Romney’s plan to reduce tax rates and eliminate many deductions and loopholes is not realistic. Congress is not inclined to enact laws that eliminate benefits to many voters. Reducing tax rates may be possible.Eliminating popular benefits is very difficult if possible at all.
Our involvement in two wars and Bush’s tax cuts has caused large annual deficits and a huge increase in our national debt.
Reduction in the deficits and debt are not possible without an increase in revenues and a reduction in expenses.
The first problem, however, is to jump-start our economy as quickly as possible in conjunction with a program to eliminate the deficit and reduce our national debt over longer term. We must work together for this to be accomplished.
Ryan deserves praise
Paul Ryan and the House of Representatives have passed the budget bill in 2012 to deal with the problems of entitlements, Medicare and Social Security, and the national debt and government spending. You might not agree with the details of their proposals, but at least they have proposed solutions to our major national problems.
The president and the Senate (and the Democrats) have not proposed anything to solve any of the problems stated above. The Senate has not passed a budget bill in years.
When the president and/or the Senate come up with specific proposals, then they would be in a better position to criticize.
Yet, in the absence of these, the president, the Democrats and the national press continue to criticize Paul Ryan’s proposals.
Paul Ryan should be praised for his valiant efforts to solve the nation’s problems, not criticized.
William J. Morris Jr.,