Letter to the Editor: Pro-Bush column misleading

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Concerning Jasyn Jones’ column of Nov. 4 (“Pure genius-the economy is soaring”), I do not believe that the Bush economic plan is genius. Yes, I am a Democrat. No, I did not vote for Bush. But that does not mean that I do not keep an open mind. In fact, this is not about bashing Bush or Republican values, it is about what is economically prudent for current and future generations of Americans.

I would like to answer the question that seems to plague our columnist: How can taking more money give more money? Easy. If we increase taxes now, we will not have to increase them later. That is to say, if current generations live within their means now, future generations will not have to foot the bill. The burden of payment will not be shifted.

Currently, the Bush tax plan has so underfunded its current spending that future generations will have to pay a much larger percentage of their income to subsidize how their parents live. Where the death of our parents will wipe out their personal debt, it will not wipe out their accrued government deficit. As a young person with a lot life left, I find it alarming that any plan that decreases my future earnings by having me pay for my parents’ spending could be applauded and supported. How can a responsible leader indulge now and expect future generations to pay the bill?

Second, in regard to the so called economic recovery: Statistics can be misleading and any number can be twisted. The trick is understanding what that number means. This is always good to do before making an argument based upon those numbers.

Yes, payrolls did increase. I would like to examine that number, though. The lost jobs in the economy are primarily in the manufacturing sector (average pay $45,000 a year plus benefits). These jobs are being replaced by mostly part-time retail or service positions (average pay $22,500 year without benefits and with low job security). With easily more than 150,000 lost manufacturing jobs on the year, the real spending power in the economy has not improved at all. In fact, because of the types of jobs that are being created (part time, no benefits, etc.), the buying power in the economy is still decreasing. The nuances of unemployment play a big role in this misperception.

Another statistic mentioned was the growth rate. This is misleading as well. The growth rate was primarily due to the increasing investment in business. This, taken at face value, is a good thing. But the investment has primarily taken the form of mechanization of production methods. This means more lost jobs in the future.

I could spend all day digging into the numbers, but I would caution the uniformed individual not to gloat when they do not take the time to understand the true function of what is taking place. As an economist and former Republican Policy Committee adviser (tax, budget and appropriations), I am alarmed at the tax cut and the future impact it will have.

Jim Goldmann