It just makes you scratch your head and wonder, what the hell is wrong with us? It seems that our three branches of government have become Moe, Larry and Curly and if you include the Tea Party -- Shemp. We have lost the ability to solve our problems as every issue becomes convoluted. Every issue becomes a wrangling, partisan, bickering festival.
The political parties seem to have forgotten that their purpose is to protect us -- to protect us from all enemies foreign and domestic. To protect us not just from bombs and bullets but to protect our livelihoods and our industries as well. Their motto is -- government which serves least serves best. The wealthy and the powerful will always have easy access to government, it's the other 300-million of us who have a hard time being heard.
Germany began a program a decade ago to encourage the use of alternative energy, and the number of wind turbines have multiplied so quickly that infrastructure is having a difficult time keeping up. Germany reports that solar energy will be cheaper than fossil fuel-generated electricity by 2013. Once alternative energy is below the cost of fossil fuel the subsidies can be withdrawn. Germany will not have to burn coal or import natural gas and, for the first time since the industrial revolution, Germany will become practically energy independent.
In this country however, nothing is quite that easy. Legislation to extend grants to encourage renewable energy projects have been curiously tied to the renewal of the Bush tax cuts. Solar, wind, geothermal and biomass power companies fear that, with the Republicans in control of the House of Representatives, these grants are history. Here's the lump in the pudding, the grants might have already been passed had it not been for objections raised by Democrat Nancy Pelosi and and Senate Energy Committee Chairman New Mexico Democrat Jeff Bingaman.
It is all about their pound of flesh; so the President not only has to fight with Republicans, he has to fight with his own party members as to who gets to wet their beak. This seems to be standard operating procedure, the TSA (Transportation Safety Administration) has contracted with Rapiscan Systems to purchase 150 full-body scanners. Rapiscan Systems is a firm represented by the Chertoff Group. The Chertoff Group is headed by the same Michael Chertoff who was formally George W. Bush's Secretary of Homeland Security.
The largest single hole in our foreign accounts deficit is made by the purchase of petroleum. In 2009 it was 9,667,000 barrels of oil per DAY! People make a lot of money by importing that oil and it gives them a lot of leverage in Washington. So much in fact, that they whisper to our congressional leaders, "maybe grants to encourage alternative energy isn't necessarily a good thing. Maybe what you want to encourage is more drilling in the Gulf of Mexico."
Let Germany develop its solar and wind potential. Let Great Britain develop enough wind energy to power every home in the country by 2020. So what if American companies are moving to Europe? Partisan interests with lots of money think that drilling and spilling is better than blowing and going.
I've beat this drum so long you could call me Ringo, but buying machines to look under people's clothes isn't a stimulus. Giving people tax credits to buy cars or homes isn't a stimulus, it's trickle down economics. I give you a tax cut to buy a new home and the benefits will trickle down to the rest of the economy. The President has proposed a 100% instant depreciation on business purchases. That means if the boss buys a 100 new computers for the office, he can deduct the full $40,000 from his taxes. The boss picks up the phone and orders the computers with American nameplates but the computers were actually built in Asia.
The company that sells the computers must pay the bulk of the sale to its Asian supplier. The computer company makes an $8,000 profit on the sale and sends $32,000 back to Asia. So we just gave a $40,000 tax break for $8,000 in profits added to the economy. The boss is so pleased with himself that he buys an $80,000 Mercedes Benz. The dealership earns a $12,000 profit and Mercedes Benz in Germany gets $68,000 added to the German economy. It's not a stimulus -- it's Christmas -- and it all depends on whether the boss has any business.
If the boss has laid off half of the staff, then there are plenty of extra computers lying around. He's not planning to buy that new car unless the company buys it for him because then it's almost free. Tax cuts are a way for the federal government to say that they are doing something without actually doing anything at all. Tax cuts won't stimulate an economy that isn't stimulated already. How about a $1,000,000 tax credit for every American that buys a Boeing 747?
NYT SAN FRANCISCO -- Solyndra, a Silicon Valley solar-panel maker that won half a billion dollars in federal aid to build a state-of-the-art robotic factory, plans to announce on Wednesday that it will shut down an older plant and lay off workers.
We have made protectionism a dirty word but stupidity is an even uglier word. If you think you are going the go to France and sell discounted wine and cheese, you're out of your cotton picking mind. If you think that you're going to sell Kia's in Berlin, think again. You say that you want to sell Buicks in Beijing? Sure, come on over build a factory, staff it with Chinese workers and management. Then you must take on a Chinese partner and train them and share with them all of your trade secrets.