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MAK Stimulus Package Is the Right Move at the Right Time

Category: Margaret Anderson Kelliher
Posted: 07/17/10 21:34

by Dave Mindeman

When we talk about the economy the obvious issue is how to create more jobs. That's what is needed and every policy discussion needs to work toward that end. Last year, at the Federal level, President Obama outlined his stimulus package that had jobs at the heart of his intended purpose, but he didn't get any GOP support. None... as they criticized its size and scope.

But Obama also received some criticism from an unexpected source. Paul Krugman, Nobel economist and liberal thinker, said that Obama's plan was doomed to fail. His criticism? Not big enough and too many tax cuts.

Yes, that's right....TOO MANY TAX CUTS.

I bring this up because Margaret Anderson Kelliher is proposing an economic leveraging proposal which is bold and sorely needed.

A $2 billion bonding proposal may seem like government spending run amuck (and you can pretty much rest assured that the GOP will characterize it that way), but really it is the absolute right plan at the right time.

The caveat that I would be concerned about is that this proposal has to absolutely fund large scale infrastructure and capital projects. We have to skip the local, small scale ideas that can help target local economies but won't build up the state economic numbers on the whole.

MAK's idea is simple. Borrow the money and crank up the economic engine that moves our own state stimulus package...sans tax cuts, thank you. And as the major infrastructure repair moves along, the infusion of jobs and money will stimulate economic activity that can, in return, pay the money back and stabilize economic activity.

There is some key general components developing for Minnesota Democratic policy that could move us forward:

1) Opt in to the early Fed Health Plan which will fund and fix several state health programs. (all DFL candidates agree).

2) A Minnesota branded stimulus package as MAK suggests. (How will Dayton and Entenza react?)

3) A tax fairness policy that will bring in some needed revenue from our wealthier citizens. We can argue about what income threshold that should encompass, but I also think the tax increase should have a sunset provision (make it temporary) so that we can phase it out as our economic situation improves. (All three have indicated some change here, but there are differences on amounts).

4) Make certain that education funding and shifts are repaid and guaranteed. (I think they are all in agreement here as well).

5) Property tax relief coupled with home purchase incentives and mortgage help or restructuring. (Still waiting for specific proposals on this.)

At some point, when warranted, we should also add some middle class tax cuts, but not before we are ready this time.

Of late, Kelliher is the one who has become the idea person in the Democratic field. It would be good to hear how the others will respond to this particular proposal as well.

We are beginning to get somewhere.
comments (4) permalink
07/19/10 13:16
Funny. Your plan is to borrow MORE money to help the economy. Well. You liberals might find a way to lose to EmmerTool after all.
07/19/10 11:58

You make good points. But I don't see how MAK can make a difference with any of them. Your 'beef' appears to be with the Feds. Your points are typical Tea Party favorites that would make Ron Paul proud.

The point is, Entenza and Dayton are trying to buy our votes with their own money. MAK is proposing to use MY money to buy votes. I have a problem with that.

07/19/10 09:03
@Ford "Have we learned nothing from the past two years?"

It wasn't the past two years that got us in this mess. It was the previous 10 years. It was getting involved an unnecessary war with Iraq which has cost us billions if not trillions. It was cutting back on regulation so the rich could get richer while the middle class and the poor saw their pay stay stagnate or worse watch their jobs get shipped overseas to pay even less to some foreign entity.

Yeah, the last two years have not turned around our country as we would have hoped. But it was not the cause of this problem and it doesn't help when all the Republicans do is say "No".

Republican ideas got us in this mix, cut taxes for the rich, reduce domestic spending (it is okay to spend billions in foreign countries, especially if they have oil reserves we can tap into), and remove regulation.

Yeah that worked out REALLY great for US.
07/18/10 15:04
MAK spending is a response to big labor support. It's payback time! No new jobs. Just a long list of prevailing wage jobs continued for a bit longer. If there are big capital projects to be funded, and they are on the list already, then all that is happening is building today to guarantee a great depression as the future void of big projects creates a vacuum of monumental proportions.

Have we learned nothing from the past two years? Clunker cash simply compressed the sale of cars. Refrigerator cash simply compressed the sale of refrigerators. Real estate cash simply compressed the sale of low-end houses. No additional cars were made. No additional refrigerators were sold. No additional houses were sold. The vacuum left by these programs is proving to be crippling.

Tax fairness is progressive speak for 'raise taxes.' Once established, new revenue sources are addicting and will not be curtailed later. The past 20 years has proven this over-and-over. Sunset provisions are reinstated. And the need for perpetual pork inevitable.

Property tax relief is impossible without permanent reforms to the other tax bases.

MAK's response to our budget crisis is simply going to make it even bigger. "How do you intend to fix the 2010-2011 budget?" Spend-spend-spend on big labor.


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