Economy & Budget

Why the greatest global stimulus plan in history will fail by 2012

We are being told by our government that they can prevent the next great depression. In fact, they would say they already have with the recovery from the greatest downturn since the Great Depression in the early 1930s. So, why has this recovery been the weakest from a strong downturn in decades? Why has unemployment remained near 10% despite the greatest stimulus program in history with the longer term unemployed rising to unprecedented rates? Why have home prices rebounded only marginally despite the lowest mortgage rates in history? Why have more mortgages continued to fall into negative equity with endlessly rising defaults and foreclosures? Why are businesses not borrowing or investing despite growing cash balances? Why do most consumers not see a growing economy again until sometime in 2012? And why are they suddenly voting Republican in 2010 after suddenly voting Democratic in 2008?


Do nothing: Let the Bush tax cuts expire to reduce the deficit

President Obama and Congress will soon address the critical issue of deficit elimination and debt stabilization. Three possible solutions have gained significant attention. First is the do nothing option. Or the country can ride the Tea Party wave to fiscal discipline. There is also the option of major tax reform by considering the recent recommendations of President Obama’s commission on reducing the national debt.


Tax commission co-chairs right to prioritize analysis of tax expenditures

The American Dream has long meant the opportunity to buy a home, save for retirement, go to college, start a business and build an economic future for oneself and one’s family. Small wonder that the federal government plans to spend $4 trillion during the coming decade to try to help us invest in our future.  But, as noted by the co-chairs of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, we’re pursuing this shared dream in ways that have become wasteful, regressive and ineffective.  We recommend rebalancing our budget. We could cut the national debt by $500 billion or more over a decade, provide more effective subsidies for middle- and low-income families, boost private saving and reduce the demands on our welfare system. We could be on our way to a true “save and invest” economy.


Ireland’s problems should concern the U.S.

In 2007, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke spent most of the year reassuring markets that the U.S. sub-prime mortgage loan problem would be contained. In an all too similar a manner, ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet now keeps asserting that Europe’s sovereign debt crisis does not pose a significant threat to the overall European economy let alone to the global economy. U.S. policymakers would do well to disregard Mr. Trichet’s sanguine remarks and brace themselves instead for a European economic tsunami that is all too likely to seriously derail the fragile U.S. economic recovery.


Corporate rewards: Controlling U.S. trade policy

Real men, real human beings, with feelings and families, fought and died at Gettysburg to preserve the Union, to ensure, as their president, Abraham Lincoln, would say later, that “government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”


Pushing on a string: Why tax breaks for the rich won’t help

The future of America’s middle class is at stake as the battle over the Bush tax cuts heats up in Washington. Despite the fact that a strong majority of Americans support ending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest, some in Congress are still hesitant. It’s at times like these that we should take a long, hard look at what got us into this economic mess.


When debating the Bush tax cuts, consider the effects on people of color

As Congress and the White House wrangle over the future of the Bush tax cuts, they would do well to consider the effects of those policies on people of color.

Far too little notice has been paid so far to the growth of the economic divide between white Americans and people of color in the run-up to and during the Great Recession.


LGBT business community plays key role in economic progress

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke addressed lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) business owners and entrepreneurs today at the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) 7th Annual National Business and Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C. Locke emphasized the strong partnership between the Obama administration and the NGLCC to advance issues important to the LGBT community, and highlighted a Memorandum of Understanding that he will sign to deepen the relationship between the Department of Commerce and the Chamber and expand opportunities for all LGBT businesses: