Friday, September 3, 2010

TANF: Epic FAIL and the stupidity of congress.

According to the Huffington Post, Nancy Pelosi is absolutely livid at Senate Republicans (what else is new, right?) for allowing the TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) Emergency Fund to expire. Pelosi says that allowing it to expire will cost 240,000 jobs and and is screaming for the Senate to extend the benefit by authorizing a funding extension that would cost 2.5 Billion dollars. This fund subsidizes the payroll of companies so that they can hire workers and when it ends many of the owners of the businesses who use this program say they will have to let some of the workers go.

OK...I think, Madam Speaker, that you just don't get it, so I will try to explain it. In the economic environment we have today no business person in their right mind would hire employees they don't need...Right? So, if these employees are hired, it is only because they are needed...Right? What this fund does is allow these companies to hire a person for $10 an hour while only paying $5 an hour for them. The Government is picking up the tab on the remaining $5 an hour and buying 2.5 Billion dollars worth of labor for these companies. I have some issues with that.

Issue #1: Since the end of 2008 over 1.5 TRILLION dollars has been given to businesses to provide credit so people could get credit to purchase things, to subsidize company payrolls and help with a variety of other corporate induced problems. The problem is that for the most part the companies and corporations haven't kept their end of the bargain. Instead of using the money for what it was intended, Big Banking Interests used it to buy smaller local banks instead of extending credit to the public. HUGE corporations used it to pay equally HUGE bonuses to the very executives that caused their companies to nearly fail. Small businesses are sitting on the little bit left so that their profit margins improve. The fact is, we have learned, that when you give money to businesses they keep it for themselves...they don't stimulate the economy. I would think that you of all people, Mrs. Pelosi, would understand the failure of "Reaganomics".

Issue #2: The last I heard, 70% of our economy is CONSUMER driven...this means that if the middle class has no discretionary income (income over and above what the bills cost) or are too afraid to spend said income, then 70 % of our economy suffers. We, the middle class, are broke Madam Speaker...so until we have some discretionary income, and the confidence in our job security to spend it, 70% of the economy is going to remain stagnant and not move forward. It's really simple...if I don't have money, I don't spend money...if I don't spend money, businesses can't make sales...if businesses can't make sales they have to let people go...the more people who don't have money the more we don't spend and the more jobs that are lost. Ya see how that works...it's all about the people not the businesses.

Issue #3: This program costs 2.5 Billion dollars. Who, exactly, is going to pay for that? The poor don't have money to pay for it. The wealthy don't pay taxes. Did you not hear Warren Buffet brag about how he, one of the wealthiest men in the world, paid a lower tax rate than his secretary? How does that work? A secretary making less than 80K a year pays a higher percentage of her income in taxes than a Billionaire? It just pisses me off to know that. Madam Speaker...the middle class is broke...we have no money to spend on another entitlement program...and as a matter of fact, in protest of the unfair tax burden we have, I am never gonna buy another Diet Dr. Pepper again. It's my way of giving Big Business the old middle finger.

The truth is, you folks in congress are going about the whole idea of stimulus the wrong way. If you had divided the Trillions of dollars you have given away in the last two years by the number of citizens in the United States, legal citizens, and just sent everyone a check, we could have paid off our homes or sent our kids to college or bought a new car. The truth you are failing to realize is that if you put money in the middle class' pocket we instantly put it back into the economy, and if we use it to pay down our personal debt we have more discretionary income to keep stimulating the economy for a long time to come.

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