Friday, January 30, 2009

The View from Fly-over County: Panic of 2008 >> Depression of 2009-2016

Today, for the seventh time in my career, I survived a corporate layoff (actually the 8th if you include the 1975 episode, but those were transfers to avoid layoffs). Today we went from a firm of 140 or so people to a firm of 105 people, plus or minus a couple. I will have another 10 percent pay cut (after the 10 percent pay cut I took last April), the three upper managers are taking another 15 percent pay cut after the 30 percent cut they took last April.

These cuts are deep. A couple of single moms are now gone. A couple of promising non-professional-level staff are gone. Our CFO will have to pick up her accountant's tools again. I will have to be more involved in projects and try to bill time, rather than being 100 percent overhead.

I have news for my senators and congressmen, for Pelosi and Reid, and for Barrack: The stimulus package you all are mindlessly shepherding through a glazed-over Congress is not going to work. It is pork, pure and simple. It is money for every failed plan from the last six decades.

What we need now is tax relief, not in 2009 but in 2008. Immediately Congress should pass a tax cut retroactive to January 1, 2008. Every tax bracket, every income level, corporate and personal. Cut rates, increment brackets. Index exemptions. That will put money back in people's hands in a jolt, and do more than all these programs.

How can this be done retroactively? Especially after all the tax packets for 2008 have been mailed? Easy: Clinton rammed a retroactive tax increase through Congress in 1993, so the precedent has been set. Just do it, and let the bloated bureaucrat bags at the IRS figure out how best to disseminate the information.

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