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Stimulate This

It seems like all the members of the new Congress have their own ideas on how to properly boost the economy and stimulate job growth. It's their number-one agenda item.

Problem is, they tend to fall into two opposing camps on how to best achieve that. The Democrats, in general, seem to think that the best way is to find those who still have money, take it away from them, and then spend it in ways they think will best help the economy. The Republicans, in general, want to let folks keep their own money and spend it in ways that they think best. It boils down to who you believe will spend people's money more wisely -- the federal government or the folks who currently possess it.

 OK, not quite. "Who has the right to spend the money people currently possess" is a bit more accurate.

Anyway, there's an option that hasn't been kicked around much. There's one thing that has, traditionally, always prompted economic growth and development. It's something that the government can do quite easily. And it's one thing that I haven't seen or heard proposed.

Cheap energy.

Think about it. What would happen if Congress were to act and make creating and using energy substantially cheaper for everyone?

And it wouldn't be that hard. Just look at ways where the government makes energy more expensive or difficult to access or create or use, and cut them out.

Such as, say, fuel taxes. Cut 'em. Even a 10% or 25% cut on tax rates for fuels would make a huge difference.

Or restrictions on new energy sources. Get rid of the ban on offshore oil drilling and ease up on some of the regulations for energy exploration and development.

Speaking of regulations... there are at least a few dozen different gasoline blends legally mandated around the country, by region. Cut back on a few of those, make gasoline more fungible and less expensive, and that would be a nice boost for most Americans.

And, needless to say, get rid of "cap and trade." Even its supporters admit that one of its main effects would be to jack up the cost of energy across the board.

Historically speaking, cheap energy has been the greatest driving force for social, technological, and economic development. It has been the greatest boon to humanity imaginable. Unleashing just a smidgen of its power on our current economic state could work wonders.

The biggest obstacle, of course, is that it would require the federal government to give up power and money (which is just another form of power, really), and that is one of the hardest things for the government to do. But it would be a hell of a way for the new Congress to demonstrate that it really does intend to be different.

And it could work wonders for the nation.

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Comments (9)

As far as the current admin... (Below threshold)
Upset Old Guy:

As far as the current administration is concerned - ain't gonna' happen. Further, if the Congress were to pass bills to accomplish this noble (and needed) goal, Obama would veto them. Even if a veto were over-ridden in Congress Obama would counter them with executive orders and by fiat through new regulations from various agencies.

Why? Because it's got to be the "right" kind of energy for Obama. It has to be something he can claim is "green." Is Obama that committed to "green energy?" In a word - no! But he's arrogant and pig-headed, he must have "his way" at any cost. The country's best interests be damned.

All true. But the response... (Below threshold)
tomg51:

All true. But the response may be it just encourages waste. So the the supply must be not only more than adequate, but limitless over time. Nuclear. Energy is power, freedom, and good living.

"Energy is power, freedo... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

"Energy is power, freedom, and good living. "

The Eco-nuts are against the first - unless it comes from the lowest-impact sources. And even then, they may block those to avoid impacting the environment.

The left is against the second, because you'll just misuse those freedoms in ways they don't like.

And the 'progressives' are against the third, because unless YOUR idea of 'good living' matches theirs they don't want you to have it.

It's about time to tell the luddites to piss off.

I have been ranting about t... (Below threshold)
Sharon:

I have been ranting about this for years to anyone who would listen. Not only would cheap energy spur business, especially in the Northeast where energy costs are through the roof, but the building of the infrastructure would put thousands of people to work. It is one of the reasons I love Sarah Palin as I think she is the only one who really understand the business and what it can do for the economy. I don;t care what they do to create jobs, nothing would work as well as this to change the entire course of our economy.

Thorium extracted from coal... (Below threshold)

Thorium extracted from coal would be sufficient to run reactors to provide massive amounts of energy at reasonable prices to the US, not to mention all the coal that would still be left to burn.

"...Democrats, in general, ... (Below threshold)
oldpuppymax:

"...Democrats, in general, seem to think that the best way is to find those who still have money, take it away from them, and then spend it in ways they think will best help the economy."

Are you quite serious?? Democrats wish to confiscate money from those who earn it and use it buying votes and generally keeping people dependent upon Big Brother. "Helping the economy" does not enter their minds!!! Sure to GOD you've learned this by now!!!

Shutter the EPA.Or... (Below threshold)
John S:

Shutter the EPA.

Or ban ALL imports that don't meet the MILLIONS of regulations in the Federal Register. Enforce the ban by torpedoing container ships in Chinese waters. Reopen the 20,000 U.S. factories closed since 2000. Instant jobs.

And consumer spending will rise because a pair of shoes not made by slave labor will be $800. And we'll finally be free of the scourge of cellphones because it is physically impossible to manufacture one while also meeting onerous EPA regulations.

In the 1990's, the Democrat... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

In the 1990's, the Democrats in Sacramento "de-regulated" electricity - it was going to 'save' everyone money. We all know how well that worked out.

Jay, you talk about "cheap ... (Below threshold)
john:

Jay, you talk about "cheap energy" and "new energy sources", but all you mention is gas and oil. Do you have any new ideas?




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