First, Bush didn't use up a surplus. That existed only as an accounting mirage. The way the government "counts" spending/tax receipts depends hugely upon WHO is doing the counting, and how. Much spending is excluded are are many sources of receipts. If a business was run the way our government is, it would have been bankrupt decades ago.
Bush didn't "lie" us into 2 wars. If you recall, every country in the west's intelligence services were reporting much the same thing about Iraq: Hussein was actively pursuing a nuclear agenda and possessed chemical weapons. Do a google search and you'll see ALL of the Democratic leadership said much the same thing. Also, it it now believed, in the 6 months prior to the Iraq invasion, that Hussein moved his chemical weapons to Syria (who was then his closest ally--Syria is still ruled by the Baath Party, the same the USED to rule Iraq). However, have you forgotten that Al Queda, from it's safe havens in Afghanistan attacked us first? Not just in 2001, but several times over the previous decade.
Historically, CEO salaries have been about 50 times the national average, at least since the 1930's. This is a historical fact, they just didn't baloon since the Reagan era. I've always decried management compensation, especially bonuses for CEO's whose companies LOST money. You don't get an "attaboy" when you don't post a profit! Moreover, companies began to leave this country during the 1970's when federal regulation and rapidly rising wages created an atmosphere wherein producing both raw materials (i.e. steel) and finished products (cars, etc.) began to be uncompetetive in the world market place. The Reagan administration attempted to reduce the amount of regulations that burdened corporations, and reduced taxes to a level competative with the rest of the world. Right now, with the heavy burden of business taxation (we have some of the highest rates in the world) and strangling amount of regulation, it's no longer profitable (and that's not a dirty word) to produce many basic goods here, so those jobs have fled to parts of the world where regulation or wage levels are much lower than here
If you'd really like to see a simple economic model work, you should try playing the game Sim City. While admittedly, it's not an ideal model, it will give you an excellent idea on what taxation/regulation can do to an economy. Start a city and get it to "fill" the map, then see what happens when you raise taxation levels beyond the "tipping point."
The Keynesian economic model that is being used by the current administration doesn't work. In 1934/35, FDR attempted to do much the same as Mr. Obama is doing now, and strangled the nascent recovery and extended the Great Depression by nearly 7 years. The 2nd great myth of 20th Century America is the FDR got us out of the Depression, nothing of sort occured, it was WW2 that did so a study by economists from UCLA (a bastion of conservatism) shows that this is simply not the case. More over, a Harvard study has shown the Keynesian/Government spending has had the opposite effect of reducing jobs...While much of the rest of world was emerging, albeit slowly, from the Depression in the late '30's, the US continued to languish for many years longer than necessary.
Now, what would I do if I had the ability to "fix things"? First I would reduce taxes across the board. I would eliminate the death tax and capital gains tax (contrary to popular wisdom, small investors pay much more of this tax do than do large investors). additionally, I would eliminate several Secretarial departments whose sole reason for existence is to create employment (Education, HHS/HUD, Commerce, Homeland Security [ummm Doesn't the DoD have responsibility for defending/securing the homeland?], etc.-many departments now have overlapping duties) and greatly reduce the scope of government...additionally, I would veto any bill that Congress passed that increased spending w/o comensurate cuts in other areas (i.e. require Congress to spend responsibly-balance the budget). After all, if I will go to jail for spending money I don't have, WTF can Congress get away with it?
Additionally, I would veto any bill that was so large as to be incomprehensible. There is no excuse to "we won't know what's in the bill until after it's passed." Because,
"It will be of little avail to the people, that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood ."--James MadisonBecause in the past, landmark legislation that changed the way our country opperates, hasn't had to be more than 2,000 pages long:
- Homestead Act (1862) - 9 pages.
- National Labor Relations Act (1935) [aka "Wagner Act"] - 25 pages.
- Social Security Act (1935) - 82 pages.
- Civil Rights Act (1964) - 74 pages.
I would also require that Congress repealed the provisions of ObamaCare (the Massachusetts Model, whis is the basis for ObamaCare is currently running $40 Bil in the red...) because it WONT reduce any costs it will only run them up. In my state of Maryland, only 6 companies (of the 1300+ available) are permitted to provide health insurance. If we eliminated state barriers to companies and allow a genuine free market, prices for coverage would be greatly reduced. Another thing would be to limit/cap lawsuits, with the loser to pay winner's court/lawyer costs, this would seriously reduce the number of frivolous lawsuits...
At this point, I think that under the Obama Administration, a redux of the disasterous Carter administration is a best case senario. If you look at the amount of fraud in the 2008 election (in WI, it looks like illegal [convicted felons, fake ballots] voting put the Dem Sen candidate over the top-not my conclusion but that of the very liberal Star Tribune) ballots and fraud in various caucuses (as opposed to secret ballot primaries) threw the nomination to Obama. But then, I wasn't happy with Mr. McCain either...
Be that as it may, there are several possible solutions to what is ailing America right now. I firmly believe that the solution chosen my Congress and this Administration were among the worst. I know a number of academic economists who spend a great deal of time looking at the economy, and they tell me that they don't believe we'll see a real recovery for 2-3 years, at least, if not longer...
While all this is said, I don't believe that government has no place regulating business, but I believe that their scope in doing so must be greatly reduced. Government's proper role is to keep business "reasonably" honest, provide for the common defense, protect us from those who seek to lie-cheat or steal, and to not interfere in our everyday lives...that's the mandate that our forefather's gave it, not the huge role that it has assumed over the course of the last century. It's well past time to roll back the behemouth that's built up and to vastly reduce the roll that it has undertaken. We, as a nation can do this, but we have to begin now, before the real pain begins...
But I've published my ideas in a much longer form here and here, unfortunately, since I'm not either a "mover" or a "shaker" none of my ideas will ever be implemented. So Arthur, I hope that I've answered your comments.