More classic Bill. I wouldn't have it any other way. Provocative statements meant to evoke the Nazis followed by pulling back when the desired meaning is understood.
Then you tell us to reread your post as if we're children who didn't grasp your meaning. No intelligent / informed person could possibly disagree, right? Yeah, we read your post. I make an effort, over and over, to point out flaws in both parties, to criticize wingnuts from both sides, to point out where I agree with you (say, long term debt issues, rising healthcare costs, minimum wage laws, the importance of hunger in driving growth, the need to implement DADT gradually) but all we get back are these black and white points.
Anyway--back to the issues.
1) Sure, GM could have crashed without your tax dollars. So could all of those companies we bailed out on Wall Street. Now what would have happened to the overall situation if we HAD let the entire financial sector crash and an enormous company (and all of the companies upstream and downstream of it, like companies who supply parts) implode? Do you think that only the companies we saved would have eaten it?
At times during the peak of the crisis, the short term credit market that companies use to obtain funds from each other for basic operations ground to a halt. Like, lots and lots of companies. "The economy" is another way of putting it. Had more investment banks eaten it, had more companies collapsed and dumped many more thousands on the unemployment rolls, things could very easily have gotten much, much worse.
Things spread from there. For example, many more people lose their jobs, fewer people have health insurance, health insurance companies do not hire you, you do not have a job, for much longer than expected, your very laudable rainy day fund evaporates, you are forced into selling your home while the home market is in freefall... how again is this helpful?
2) I know you don't like unemployment benefits. I understand your POV. I read your post. However, there are no easy answers in a crisis like this. For example, I of course understand that bleeding everyone with taxes is not the best plan at the moment. However, there are also consequences to slashing taxes. Here is one example, sort of a Reagan moment where tax cuts weren't paired with spending cuts and a county is now on the edge of a true fiscal crisis.
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/11/nyreg ... anted=1&hp
Anyway, it has been my impression that it is a widely held view from economists that unemployment benefits are about the most appropriate stimulus one can dream up. Are you saying all these people are wrong? They're just dismissable as socialists? What? Meanwhile, we're giving the richest Americans a tax break extension. (I have to say, passing a temporary tax cut was brilliant; the planners evidently knew that Americans would never have the ovaries to let them expire, and so they're basically going to be permanent, it would appear. It's a little bit like how we plan for sustainable growth rate pay cuts to medicare providers, and EVERY SINGLE YEAR we pass stopgap legislation to defer the pain. Brilliant! We can't handle the truth!) Again, I don't necessarily have a strong opinion about the exact perfect tax rate, but when the deficit is soaring and studies have shown tax cuts largely just go into the bank when given to the richest, it seems that rather than making a new tax or doing nothing, letting a temporary tax cut expire wouldn't be crazily unreasonable. But hey, maybe we've got another solution somewhere around here.
3) We're never going to agree on some of these issues, but I would be curious to hear you outline your actual proposal. Right now, too much politics is saying the other people are wrong. Too little is about a meaningful alternative. I have stated here many a time that government efficiencies are NOT going to save us. They are far TOO LITTLE a contributor to our deficit. As such, I've stated my opinion that we need to go after the real stuff: entitlements. Here are my proposals:
a) Raise the retirement age. Nowish. Steadily. Remember that when 65 was chosen that was because it was the life expectancy. Pay for what you get boomers, by WORKING MORE. You want to retire earlier? Save some more damned money. The forever holiday of the golden years is a wonderful luxury we cannot currently pay for.
b) Ration healthcare. The wimps who passed Obamacare did fund some CER research, but they explicitly forbid thinking about cost effectiveness (well, had they done anything more they would have been even more destroyed by misled voters). In other words, cost is no object for American healthcare. The past-due bills reflect this. We must start defunding less cost effective healthcare immediately. At least I am pleased to see Avastin lost it's indication for breast cancer, but that was because IT DOESN'T WORK; it should never have been approved because it doesn't work well enough at low enough cost. What was another cost idea? Get people to palliative care (more humane, better, sometimes promotes longer life!) rather than the American way--expensive invasive uncomfortable disgusting prolonged end of life hospitalization. To this end, the bill was to pay doctors some time to talk about end of life issues (only for preferences, mind you, but would have helped costs). And THIS was shot at by a lie campaign that said it was death panels.
c) Seriously consider improving the numbers of young, skilled workers through immigration. Japan is a great example of an aging, less vital society; we are right on it's heels. The countries with growth that lifts everyone's boats have a better age distribution. Why don't we encourage immigration of good candidates with requirements such as the rule they must serve in the military, learn English, buy a house, have certain skills, and really open the doors? These are hungry and driven people, not the stagnant, slightly spoiled populations of the host country.
d) ask someone else about the best way to encourage innovation, start ups, small business, etc. Not my area of expertise but happy to cosponsor the bill!