Practical not the way to describe government

by

Published: September 11,2011

Tags: MBJ column, Nancy Anderson

I’m getting ready to climb out on a limb.

For the past few years, I’ve kept my mouth shut and listened to piles of manure being spouted by both sides. I’m not a small government or a big government person. I’m a reasonable government person. In fact, I’m just a reasonable person — practical to a fault.

TARP makes me want to vomit, but I know that Bush and Paulson’s plan to save the banks, affectionately known as TARP, worked. We bailed out the very guys who got us into this mess, but an economy cannot function without a well-functioning financial market. It was a bitter pill to swallow, but when all is said and done, we’ll make money off the deal.

And I didn’t particularly cotton to the idea of bailing out the auto industry, especially after those bozos traveled to Washington in their private jets. Who do they think they are? But I remembered the stories of my first husband’s family. They were from Detroit, and GM and Chrysler are revered names in that household. I knew I had to choke down that pill because there were real people who depended on that industry. GM was dead three years ago. At the end of last quarter, their earnings were up 89 percent.

And that stimulus package? Seven hundred and eighty-seven billion of federal dollars to keep us from getting over 8 percent unemployment. We’re at 9.1 percent and holding, but the millions of dollars pumped into state coffers kept us from massive lay-offs of government employees.

How about that $14.3 trillion deficit? Don’t we need to cut our spending to get out of this mess? No, no and NO! We need jobs. While the private sector has seen steady increases in jobs month over month, we are bleeding government jobs. We have lost about 5,000 government jobs in Mississippi alone this year. We cannot afford to put more people in the unemployment line. It will make things worse. And the only entity big enough and with enough resources to put a bunch of people to work is the government, like it or not.

So forget about the deficit for now. If you really want to get out of this mess, give the states two more years of relief by pumping in more federal dollars. Stanch the lay-offs any way possible. Throw everything at the wall and see what sticks.

Uh-oh. I think I hear the buzz of saws behind me!

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