Tax Cuts as Stimulus?
A chief criticism of the $787 billion economic stimulus bill, enacted in February, was that too large a portion went to tax cuts in lieu of spending. Critics, including some conservative economists, argued that people would simply save that money, rather than spending it to stimulate the economy.
Showing signs that they can learn from history, lawmakers are now eying another tax benefit, but only for businesses that create new jobs. That proposal, still in the nascent stages, is designed to address the runaway unemployment numbers that plague many regions, while having the additional advantage of appealing to members of both parties. Indeed, House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) told The New York Times that there’s “a lot of traction for this kind of idea.”
If the White House will take the lead on this, I’m fairly positive it would be welcomed in a bipartisan fashion.
There’s good reason for Congress to do something. On Friday, the Labor Department reported that the economy shed an additional 263,000 in September, knocking the unemployment rate up to 9.8 percent — the highest level since 1983.
The good news here, if Cantor’s comments are indication, is that Republicans, while poised to exploit the jobless numbers to their advantage in next year’s elections, also wouldn’t stand in the way of every proposal addressing the problem.