Shame on both of them.
The President and the Speaker of the House both behaved like school children in the scheduling of Mr. Obama’s address to the Joint-Session of Congress. Once the scheduling conflict between the President’s Address and the GOP presidential debate was evident why didn’t these two erstwhile leaders of the free world simply agree to make the presidential address early enough on that same date, September 7th, so the debaters later that same evening could debate what he was proposing.
Instead, the Republicans will debate hypothetical’s the day before the President speaks to a nation, which will be watching the NFL opener on another channel.
Their flap makes them seem petty, dysfunctional and spiteful. It also increases the already astronomical odds that the so-called Super Commission on Debt and Deficit Reduction will agree on anything.
So a pox on both their houses.
And here is my jobs plan. Note that everything I propose pays for itself, at least partially.
1- Renew the payroll tax cut which temporarily reduces the rate from 6.2% to 4.2%. that will make it cheaper for employers to hire. BUT, make up the revenue lost by abolishing the ridiculously low payroll tax ceiling of $106,800. Why should Warren Buffet’s secretary pay the same dollar amount as he does in pay roll tax? Whether you make $100,000 or $100,000,000 per year, you should pay 4.2% of your gross salary in payroll tax.
2- Extend unemployment benefits beyond the current 99 weeks. The Democrats argue that it is the most efficient way to get money injected into the economy. Although I think that two years unemployment insurance is a sure way to discourage people from getting off the sofa to look for a job, let’s go along with the extension. BUT, everyone who receives the extension must do work/training/unpaid internships for four hours every day. There are no free lunches.
3- Infrastructure must be rebuilt; BUT all roads, highways, bridges, tunnels etc. that are built under this plan will be profit-making. That is, they will charge tolls or other user fees that go toward maintenance and retiring the loan or government grant that paid for the project.
4- There should be a tax credit for employers who hire returning veterans, BUT, it should be paid for out of cuts elsewhere in the Defense Department’s vast budget.
5- Corporate profits should be repatriated, BUT at a reduced rate of taxation provided those corporations agree to hire domestically and reduce international outsourcing.
6- The approval of patents should be streamlined. And all trade agreements should be passed to stimulate business at no cost to the federal government.
See, there is a way to be compassionate and be in favor of smaller government.
Geraldo Rivera is Senior Columnist for Fox News Latino.