California Senator Barbara Boxer recently took time from her busy schedule to write me concerning America's escalating unemployment rate, and to announce her call for an extension of benefits for those out of work. My Response:
October 11, 2009
Senator Barbara Boxer
I am in receipt of your most recent correspondence concerning the gloomy unemployment picture in America, and especially in California where the number is over twelve percent.
While I agree with you that action is needed, I disagree that we need to extend unemployment benefits at this time.
As you are aware, on February 17, 2009, newly installed President Barack Obama signed a so-called "stimulus" bill with a price tag of $787 billion dollars. The stimulus was promoted by Democrats and rushed to the president for signature, although very few, if any, of those who voted for the measure actually read it.
I note that you voted for the bill, Senator Boxer. Did you read the provisions thereof before casting your vote?
If not, you were not be alone.
President Obama surely did not read it, and it was he who said the bill had to be enacted immediately to stave off economic disaster and to put America back to work.
Another question, senator: How long can our democracy survive when our elected officials find it acceptable to approve and sign bills which they have not read because of length and complexity, but which obligate taxpayers with close to one trillion dollars in expenditures?
As you are also aware, at the stimulus signing ceremony President Obama claimed that the bill would create or save about 3.5 million jobs, many of them in infrastructure and renewable energy projects. The president also said the measure marked "the beginning of the first steps to set our economy on a firmer foundation."
Eight months later, and our economy continues to hemorrhage jobs with no relief in sight. Unemployment is close to 10 percent nationally, the worst since 1983.
Clearly, the Democrat model of spend, and spend more, is not the answer to our vexing problem. In fact, because of the exploding federal deficit that the Obama administration and Democrat Congress has presided over, the spending strategy actually appears to be exacerbating America's economic woes.
In addition, further spending proposals, each costing about one trillion dollars, are in the Democrat pipeline. That being health care reform and the so-called "Cap and Trade" plan that you are personally affiliated with and so knowledgeable about.
Given the depressed state of our economy, government's fiduciary responsibility must take precedent over political ambitions and ideological passions.
Therefore, I request that you take the lead in promoting the following actions:
*Across the board tax cuts for individual taxpayers (fifteen percent) and corporations (twenty five percent).
*Cancellation of all planned legislation for health care reform and Cap and Trade legislation until the Fall of 2012.
*Require that all members of Congress read and understand all legislation presented for approval and that bills be posted on-line for the public to review at least 14 days before any Congressional vote.
Senator Boxer, if the Democrat party is serious about lifting up the disadvantaged, two basic concepts must be fully embraced:
1. Government spending (and higher taxes) stifles economic growth and the creation of jobs for middle class and poor Americans, and
2. Private enterprise--not government spending--creates jobs and the opportunity for prosperity in our economy.
The Democrat party must stop waging war on private enterprise and work with the business people who create jobs and who have made America the most prosperous society in human history.
Respectfully, John W. Lillpop
John W. Lillpop is an independent columnist