Random Thoughts from TasT
John Kerry’s Economic Plan for America.
Published on October 6, 2004 By TasT In Politics
’Only if they will let me do it and the money is available’ should be the title of Senator John Kerry’s economic plan for America. While reading through his economic plan I discovered what seems to be an underlying theme of promises that just won’t ever materialize. I do however believe that he has written up quite the plan to get interest and probably some votes from the lower middle-income people and below. I think you’ll see what I mean as we go along, so for now let’s just jump right into some of the issues that are outlined in this plan.

In the section of John Kerry’s economic policy entitled “A Plan To Restore Fiscal Responsibility”, He plans to cut the deficit in half while investing in health care and education. To achieve this his plan is to Close corporate tax loopholes and repeal the tax cuts that President Bush initiated for persons making over 200,000 thousand per year.

This sounds good to the working class voter of course but, with a little thinking on the subject lets consider what happens if you close the loopholes on corporations. In my mind that creates more taxes paid by corporations which in turn means less money to spend on the various operation of that firm such as say the work force. So I would surmise that this would lead to a higher unemployment rate or the possibility that the firm’s product price would rise. Though in a global economy where price is extremely important it would most likely mean lost jobs.

The second point of repealing the tax cuts for those making 200,000 plus a year also are very appealing on the surface to the average voter who doesn’t ever figure to make that kind of money. However after reading some critiques of Kerry’s economic plan and thinking about people that I know personally that are probably in the ball park of 200,000 per year, it appears to me that this will hit the successful small business owner right in the teeth. A small amount of math would tell you that a fractional raise in the taxes of those individuals making say 1,000,000 or more per year would add up to more tax revenue anyhow. So why slam the small business owner?

Also in this section of his plan is a section of restraining spending growth. To do this the plan is to ensure that spending does not grow faster than the rate of inflation by adding constitutional line Item veto and budget caps. In this area of Kerry’s plan I could support him fully, unfortunately there is not enough information yet on either of these propositions to make an educated decision.

The line item veto could be and excellent addition to the president’s power if it were set up as his plan says and the item was returned to congress immediately for a vote to approve or disapprove it. However we’ll have to wait and see how this might be implemented.

Budget caps amuse me, if they were ever followed they would be great, but we all know that no politician ever will. However if Kerry were able to keep spending growth under the rate of inflation, it would be an effective way to shrink the national debt.
Another Section of John Kerry’s economic plan is entitled “A Plan To Strengthen The Middle Class”. In this section of the plan Senator Kerry Claims that he will cut middle class taxes while also cutting costs in everything from health care to education to gas, close the pay gap between men and women, raise the minimum wage, and help all Americans balance the competing demands of work and family. Now that’s a mouthful. Lets look at his plan for implementing all of this.

Senator Kerry’s tax cut is hard to find even in the section entitled “Cut Middle-Class Taxes to Raise Middle-Class Income”. Here, where a tax cut should be outlined there is a Tax credit on up to $4000 dollars worth of college tuition; a tax credit for helping small businesses and vulnerable workers pay for health care with the option to buy into the John Kerry Congressional health plan and a $5000 credit for child care expenses. I understand that for some people that theses may raise their total income but they are not tax cuts. To me a tax cut is this group was paying this percentage of their income in taxes and now were going to lower that percentage. Let’s explore them anyhow.

A 4000 dollar tax credit for college tuition sounds good but, where is the money going to come from? Once again we hear corporate tax loopholes and repeal the tax break for those making 200,000 or more. This is also supposed to pay for $10 billion in fiscal relief to states that hold tuition prices down.

Along with all this he is also proposing a serve your country to pay for school program that is also kind of sketchy. As far as I knew we already had that, serve in the armed forces or the Coast Guard for at least 2 years and earn the GI bill. Once again Senator Kerry’s plans seem hard to pay for and with little information to really explain them.

Kerry’s suggestion that there will be a tax credit for small businesses to help with health insurance is very interesting and would probably help lots. But once again where will the money come from? The option to buy into the congressional health plan reeks of socialism to me and as much as I despise high health care insurance I sure don’t want our country to become anymore socialist. My mother in law lives in Spain where she has basically socialistic health care. She needs a simple cataract surgery, which is common and fairly inexpensive here, but over there she does not have access to this simple procedure.

As far as the childcare expense tax credit is concerned we already have one though I’m not exactly sure how much it is at the moment. My feeling on this is if it is not financially feasible for both parents to work because of the cost of childcare then one or the other stay home. In the case of single mothers I can see how this would help. But are we as a country going to continue to say to everyone it’s OK that you have 3 kids, no husband and an insufficient amount of education to make more than minimum wage? I have watched a case of a mother with 3 children try to make it. The state gave her food stamps, aid for childcare and paid the majority of her rent (On a house much nicer than mine) while also helping educate her. Not to mention she received an income tax refund that was much larger than what she paid in. They already get enough!

Another of Kerry’s subheading under this particular section is “Families have less time” he say that the average number of hours worked per week has increased by 12. To fix this he suggests that we keep schools open till 6pm to accommodate the families. Maybe he should invent something to eliminate the extra 12 hours like raising the mandatory overtime wage to double time or time and ¾. But no he wants to make school a baby sitter. I don’t like this. Besides the fact that school should be about learning and not babysitting who’s going to pay for it? Oh, I forgot those making $200,000 a year and those corporate loopholes again.

Isn’t John Kerry such a nice guy he also wants to make sure that men and women get equal pay. This would be great but once again he is not giving enough information to understand what exactly he means. A little research has brought to my attention that a large reason for the inequality is that fact that many women choose to enter the workforce after their children are in school or work part time to ensure that they are home for their kids. Whith this knoledge I don’t think we need to make an issue of this.
One of the few issues that I can agree with Senator Kerry is Veterans and the active duty military. As much as I dislike the majority of Kerry’s income redistribution policies, I do believe that anyone that completes their military service or is discharged as disabled has earned the right to many things such as government funded heath insurance, educational assistance, job placement assistance. There are a myriad of government-funded programs for veterans already. The problem is they are not well publicized and people getting out of the service are most of the time just ready to be a civilian again and overlook many of them.

Senator Kerry is proposing more funding for the VA, elimination of the “Disabled Veterans Tax”, streamlining the VA, assisting in the problem of homeless veterans, and full accounting for missing Prisoners of war and those missing in action. Each of these items is really the least of what can be done for Veterans and those who are serving now. These men and women most of which are really boy and girls are serving and protecting our country from countless threats, many of which we will never even know about. In my time in the Navy I was part of several missions along our own coast that were all taken care of in silence, no news report, no fanfare. Theses people deserve the best that the United States can offer.

With that I’ll now sum up my thoughts on the John Kerry economic plan for America. I have no real problem with the offers that he has laid out to the American public. The problem I have with the whole thing is, where is the money going to come from? In reading Senator Kerry’s plan the only places that he seems to think he’ll get the funding is from repealing the tax on those making 200,000 dollars or more and closing corporate loopholes. We’ve already been through this and I think that the economic impact of these two things will be an increase in the unemployment rate. In fact throughout the senators plan there are many indications that he will mess with the current trade policies and tax code making it harder for our businesses large and small to compete in the world market. This loss of competitiveness will result in a drag on our economy.

However Senator Kerry has protected himself with a couple of aces up his sleeve. First there is the fact that the Congress is currently republican controlled. He knows that he can send all this income redistribution legislation to congress and it will get shot down handily and then he can blame the Congress. Secondly there is the “Pay as You Go” program he plans on implementing. Basically not asking for something if the money is not there. He even says in his plan that if the money isn’t there for his programs that he’ll wait. So what I see is a candidate that can promise the moon with the stars as a side while mumbling under his breath, “Only if they’ll let me do it and the money is available”.

on Oct 06, 2004
Good article.
on Oct 07, 2004

Now I'm no super genius (or are I?), but I see no way Kerry will be able to do what he says he'll do without enormous tax hikes. I don't see how his repeal of the tax cuts for the wealthy (funny how he won't repeal them altogether, it's clear to whom he's trying to appeal) will be able to fund all his plans. I do (maybe mistakenly) see it doing the opposite of boosting the economy though.

on Oct 07, 2004

Reply #2 By: Messy Buu - 10/7/2004 12:32:24 AM
Now I'm no super genius (or are I?), but I see no way Kerry will be able to do what he says he'll do without enormous tax hikes. I don't see how his repeal of the tax cuts for the wealthy (funny how he won't repeal them altogether, it's clear to whom he's trying to appeal) will be able to fund all his plans. I do (maybe mistakenly) see it doing the opposite of boosting the economy though.

No, you is a genius. It's just more Democratic smoke and mirrors.
on Oct 07, 2004
Thanks Froggy;

From an ecomomic standpoint I would rather have more of the same ( nothing) from Bush. If the economy is left to the federal reserve, who has also been pretty much hands off for the last little while things will even out. However if the politicians start screwing with it who knows where we will end up?

One thing that could help speed things up would actually be another small tax break for the general public and/or corperations. Look at history tax cuts even small ones tend to stimulate economic growth on the long term while actually increasing the tax revenue for the goverment. I know sounds silly, but before you spout off otherwise look through history a good place to start would be 1981-1986 when Reagan lowered taxes considerably. We have been riding that wave of econonomic growth ever since.