President-elect Barack Obama is proposing the correct method of restoring the nation's economic health, and it has nothing to do with bailing out the greedy rich and everything to do with helping the average American.
As the Bush administration winds down by throwing trillions of dollars into black holes, Obama is proposing a jobs creation program, which reminds us quite a bit of the programs FDR used to bring the country out of the Great Depression.
We're not in a depression -- yet. We're simply in the Great Recession. But action to prevent it getting worse will have to be taken.
Bush believed in "trickle down" economics. The theory was, give tax breaks to the rich and they'll use the money to re-invest in business expansion and more jobs. It's not the first time that theory has been tried -- and every time it has failed. The rich don't ever invest their own money. At best, they use it for collateral. But instead of investing in jobs, they've tended to pour the extra money they got from the tax cuts into high-risk high-return investments, and when those went belly up the taxpayers are now bailing those investments out. The little guy got hammered while the rich got the money and skated.
Meanwhile, really horrible corporate decision-making is now coming home to roost. So far, almost none of the CEOs who've sought bailouts for their firms have even lost a spare condo or two in Aspen, but at least a million and a half jobs have disappeared.
The one set of programs that have been shown historically, not only in this country but in other nations around the world, to actually improve an economy spiraling downward, are government jobs creation programs.
Like FDR and his CCC and WPA, Obama is planning on investing in infrastructure, fixing the nation's deteriorating roads and bridges, building schools, and creating the infrastructure for a new, "greener" energy base for this country.
That's using tax dollars to give people the dignity of a job and to rebuild America's ailing infrastructure. It kills two birds with one stone and the paychecks it will provide will show up on Main Street, not Wall Street. It's not cheap, but it is a far better investment -- an investment in the American people -- than the current seemingly endless series of corporate bailouts.
It's a silver parachute for America, rather than a golden parachute for greedy, stupid CEOs.