That is the question being asked by the media today. The dead-tree version of the Hartford Courant had this same question within the first couple of paragraphs of their above-the-fold front page article this morning. I used to say the government does not have to do something, but now they need to undo what they have done.
Here is part of the online version of the article that was on the Courant’s home page today. It’s pulled from the Los Angeles Times.
The Dow Jones industrial average closed the day down 512 points, its worst performance since December 2008, as concerns about a double-dip recession caught fire among investors.
The Dow finished the day down 512.76 points, or 4.3%, at 11,383.68, erasing all of the gains it had made since the beginning of the year and bringing the blue-chip average into an official “correction,” a drop of more than 10% from the high reached in April.
Broader indexes were down even more sharply, with the technology-heavy Nasdaq composite index plummeting 5.1%.
The sharp drop in the U.S. came after a one-day respite Wednesday from nearly two weeks of declines. The last two weeks have seen a decline of 1,341 points, the sharpest fall in stock prices since 2009 during the depths of the financial crisis.
You’ll note that the online version does not include the “what more can the government do” line; some editor along the way elected to add that cry for help, even though that’s the damn problem.
So what can we do to start? Constitutionally-minded conservatives have been screaming out suggestions for years and years, only to be completely rebuffed by both the GOP and Democrats. So why don’t we try the following…
Tactical Moves (just a few to start)
- Completely repeal the Democrat’s health care legislation. Throw it out the window. The legislation has caused small, medium and large businesses to hold cash in reserve since they have no friggin’ idea how much this legislation will cost them next month let alone three years from now. That uncertainty ensures businesses will not invest capital since they have no idea what how their current employee costs will change in the future. Has anyone been helped by this legislation? If a couple hundred are, and millions and millions are hurt…
- Throw out all of the 15 new regulations the Obama administration created in the first six months of 2011 that – in one year – will cost business $6.5 billion. After that, go back and review all of the regulations from the first two years of the Obama administration and all eight years of the Bush administration that have certainly cost business billions and billions more. Eliminate the outrageous regulations … and there are plenty of them.
- Drill baby, drill. If you think that means destruction of our environment, you’re an idiot.
- Make a real effort to reduce the scope of the federal government. I’ve mentioned this may well take decades. To instill a small amount of trust among the people and get started, Congress and the Executive Branch should immediately close the Department of Education. Close it down. This would be one step in the right direction, and we must continue to have conversations about Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution and the 10th Amendment.
- Lower the U.S. federal corporate tax rate immediately, and ensure the change does not have a sunset provision. In 2010, U.S. businesses contributed (XLS, 36KB) only 9.6 percent of the net collections of the federal government, so right now most (87 percent) comes from individual income taxes and employment (payroll) taxes. People pay taxes, and you need to get people back to work. Of course, Obama keeps telling us “jobs” are his single focus, but he’d rather target jet owners (see #6).
- Stop the “tax the rich” hogwash talk. It’s total bull feathers. In 2010, the 729,450 tax returns of individuals and families who made $500,000 or more paid $258 billion in federal income taxes (XLS, 59KB). Figure the 2011 deficit will be $1.2 trillion, meaning we run a deficit of $100 billion a month. Even if you outright doubled the income taxes on the “rich” folk, you would barely be able to cover the deficit we create in just 140 days. Do you get that? When President Obama mentions “corporate jet owners and tax breaks” and you scream “hell ya!” at the HDTV in your living room, he’s making a total fool of you.
- Get the federal government completely out of the health care business, and let the states come up with solutions.
- Work – over time – to limit the scope of the federal government to nothing more than what is specified in Article 1, Section 8 of the United States Constitution. In other words, move power away from the federal government and back to the states. If your “special interest” gets funding from the federal government, you’ll just have to go local and convince the state legislators, governors and the people of your state to fund the project or service. Is that really so damn hard?
That second strategic move is critical for success. Don’t let any politician anywhere give you any crap about this. If they claim TEA party members just want to get rid of government, that is a total lie. Just because the federal government does not do something does not mean a state could not pick up that service or program if the people want it. This is an important point. When some elitist congress-critter claims “there are a bunch of things the federal government does that are not listed in the Constitution … do you want to just get rid of all of it.” Tell them if they want it, we will deal with it and collect revenues locally to fund it – the federal government can not be involved.
Look, I’m not saying this is or would be easy to do. But for those of you crying to the government begging that they must “do something” they have been doing just that for years and years. How’s that working out for you?
Got more ideas? Keep them to one or two sentences and add them into the comments section below.