US Financial Policy – I don’t get it

 Totally off topic… But I was listening to Marco Rubio’s interview with Jon Stewart today – I’m a fiscal conservative (but a social liberal, which makes me lean left in most elections). Having said that, there’s some things Mr. Rubio said that really confuse me regarding the Republicans fiscal stance. I am no expert, so please tell me where my thinking is off:

(1) Republicans think the “bailout” of the Auto Industry in 2009 was a terrible idea – Rubio says that this bailout was a bad idea and an example of the Democrat’s desire to “fund” private enterprise. What I don’t get is this – in 2009, the Auto and Financial industries were on the verge of going bankrupt. It was considered a crisis of historic nature. I can’t imagine ANY President of ANY party allowing these industries to fail. What option did Obama have? I just don’t believe that McCain (if he had won the election) would have done anything different. And didn’t George W. Bush provide trillions of stimulus dollars in his last 3 years in office? I’m not arguing that perhaps the Government should NOT get involved in bailing out the private sector, but it seems that the Republican stance right now is the pot calling the kettle black?

(2) The Republicans keep saying that “permanent” tax cuts will stimulate the economy. I’m thrilled to pay less in taxes – but we’re running a huge deficit right now, and I’m not hearing how cutting taxes will help balance the budget and reduce the deficit? If you run a company and you go to your board of directors and tell them you are going to lower prices on your product, and you “think” you’re going to get a lot more deals due to that lower price… and at the same time, you’re not going to cut costs to cover the lower price strategy, do you think they would like that strategy? It seems like a huge risk to “assume” that lower taxes will imply that more people will be employed to cover the difference. And so far, I haven’t heard the areas the Republicans want to cut, so I’m not sure where the cuts come from anyway.

Recently, somebody pointed me to www.fairtax.org. Now, if you want dramatic tax reform, why not look at something like this? It seems like a much better deal than continuing to band-aid our current system, which has way too many loopholes. I love their stance of closing loopholes, but I don’t see how they are doing it with their platform.

(3) How are more jobs going to be created? Unemployment is still over 8% – so while I appreciate that it’s lower than it was 4 years ago, it’s still too high… but what about the Republican platform helps create more jobs? All I hear is that by having companies pay less in taxes they will take that extra money and hire more people. I think that is baloney. Companies hire people when they need them to grow. If they don’t need them, they aren’t going to hire just because they are getting more money back in taxes next year than this year. We need to focus on creating new markets and economies that can organically create jobs due to growth. But yet Romney (who I would think would be much better at how to invest in new markets than Obama given his experience at Bain) seems to think that the government as an investor is a terrible idea. That shocks me! I would think he would say “I created thousands of new jobs as an investor at Bain – I know how to find new opportunities, new markets and how to fund them to achieve success. We’ll help VC’s, Banks, Hedge Funds invest in the new markets to create jobs.” Why not???

So, what am I missing or not understanding? And please don’t jump on me with party line rhetoric – I’m not advocating a Republican or Democratic position here, just want to look at this holistically and figure out the best way to address our economic problems.