Tuesday, July 5, 2011

High on the sense of life


I admit it.

I’ve started watching the news again. [Excuse me while attempt to give you the courtesy of looking ashamed]
I had the extreme pleasure of seeing Rick Santorum on CNN’s American Morning (click the "On TV" tab CNN doesn't link you to the video directly). He talked about jobs, creation of jobs, President Obama, and – of course – gay marriage.

I hated everything he had to say.

I don’t want to start with references to how he skirts direct questions and blames everything on President Obama – because all politicians do that.

I don’t want to start with his discriminatory views on marriage. Besides, I don’t think I could do it better than Dan Savage. And we all know that Rick Santorum doesn’t like gay people and doesn’t want them to have the same rights that we straighties have. (Even if he has pulled the infamous “some of my closest friends are gay” card. I think I’ve seen him hanging out with a few black people, too.)

I want to start with his take on job creation. Ugh. Job creation. It’s become a pop term. It’s like crack to the current presidential candidates. At a loss for what to say? Just sprinkle “job creation” liberally throughout your speech and everyone will be so high on the idea of a paycheck that they’ll forget that you’re a complete ass who has no idea how to run this country.

Luckily for me, I took some Benadryl this morning – it’s a special formula designed to block histamine and bullshit. I think I’m going to be pretty drowsy for the next few months.

Especially since Santorum supports a “0 rate tax” plan for business (more on that in a sec).

He feels that when the government “takes more and spends more the American people have less.”

How are we determine what “less” is? Sure, less money on my paycheck – I wholeheartedly agree. But let’s think about where that money goes – i.e what it’s spent on. It goes to social security, something we all benefit from. It goes to Medicare and Medicaid. It goes to repair the roads that I have to drive on. It goes to schools and the teachers in those schools. It goes to the men and women that have sworn to serve and protect, to preserve and fight for the fundamental rights that all Americans are granted. Oh, and those people with the water hoses that run into BURNING HOUSES to save lives.

I think I can give up a little extra in my paycheck for those services. Do you?

Santorum goes on to say that Obamacare should be repealed. That we should repeal the Sarbanes-Oxyley act (an act to protect American investors). That we should repeal “big chunks of Dodd-Frank,” (enacted to ensure consumer protection and greater accountability in big business). He further cites the EPA and FDA as being evidence of an “explosion of the regulatory process” on the part of the current administration. In short, he says there is TOO MUCH regulation and it’s encumbering business and its growth.
Whew. That was a mouthful. But, hold on to your butts, ladies and gentleman, we aren’t done yet.  Santorum’s answer to fueling job growth in this country is to, you guessed it, CUT TAXES.

I’ll pause while the masses rejoice.

He wants a 0% rate of taxation for corporations and individuals that manufacture in this country. What they’re manufacturing, I’m not sure.

Here’s my issue with this 0 rate taxation plan – well beyond the obvious ZERO FREAKIN DOLLARS IN TAXES. Job creation does not equate with job maintenance. What’s to stop these companies from opening a few manufacturing jobs on American soil, getting this tax break, and then firing these workers? I hope there’ll be a clause for that.

What’s to stop them from creating (for arguments sake) 5 manufacturing jobs in the US and 35 in India? Wouldn’t they still qualify for the break since they’ve indeed created American manufacturing jobs? Will there be a clause for this? Or is that too much Regulation for Santorum?

What’s to stop them from hiring American manufacturers, and firing American employees in a different sector only to ship jobs of said sector overseas? Sure, manufacturing jobs have been created – but other’s have been lost. AND this company still gets the tax break.

I’ll pause as the rejoicing ebbs.

Jobs have been created. Great. Incentives have been given to big business to create said jobs, great. But, our wonderful government has now lost out on a big chunk of tax revenue that would ordinarily (in a more perfect world) go toward bringing the budget deficit down. You’ve now lost out on money that’s used to fuel all of those wonderful programs I noted previously.

And, what’s possibly even more frightening – does this tax break apply to manufacturing companies or companies with manufacturing capabilities? For instance, companies that devote 100% of their time to manufacturing versus those that only devote 3% of their time to it.  Will they only apply the 0 rate of taxation to that 3% of earnings?

I guess it doesn’t truly matter since companies that bring in BILLIONS of dollars are getting away with paying 1.1% in taxes (in addition to gratuitous Capitol Hill ass kissing, and quite possibly corporate murder). Those programs I mentioned before aren’t being funded by these guys.

But wait, unfortunately there’s more.

When asked how he felt about putting tariffs on imported Chinese goods, for example, he said that it would increase costs for workers and that what we need to do is engender incentives. Okay – I agree with him on this point (SHOCK! SHAME!).

We all know that part of the issue of job creation in this country is demand. People aren’t spending because they aren’t working and big companies therefore cannot “afford” (as they say) to create more jobs. So, if we put tariffs on imported goods (especially those sorts of goods that can be (and are being) manufactured right here in the good old U.S. of A), the cost will go up and give American buyers an INCENTIVE to buy American products. Thereby fueling money into the economy and those businesses. Thereby giving said business the INCENTIVE to create more jobs.

I think I’m a little high on all the sense this is making.

Excuse me while I run off to locate some tasty treats.

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