Jobs, economic growth, and prosperity used to be the hallmarks of the Democratic Party. Today’s Democrats, however, have given us unemployment, protectionism, higher taxes, and more regulations. Economic growth in the U.S. is at a standstill. Whether one is talking about President Barack Obama or California Governor Jerry Brown, the results are the same: stagnation, high unemployment, and economic failure.
Such post-World War II Democratic presidents, as Harry Truman, John Kennedy, and Bill Clinton helped America produce jobs and prosperity.
California Governor, Pat Brown, a Democrat, was the architect of low-cost, high-quality education, freeway construction, and water projects. Pat Brown (Jerry Brown’s father), who was governor from 1959 to 1967, provided a golden economic age, during which finding a job and obtaining a college education were easily possible. During Pat Brown’s tenure, one could attend a University of California campus and pay tuition of less than $200 per year.
The old Democratic Party (Truman, Kennedy, and Pat Brown) wanted economic growth. While the old Democratic Party was willing to have the government pay for the construction of roads, hospitals, bridges, and dams, the costs, especially in the 1950′s and 1960′s, was affordable. Public employees received decent wages and reasonable pensions.
Progressive Democrats against economic growth
These days, ultra-progressive faction of the Democratic Party wants more government-funded social programs for such services as pre-school (nursery school), child care, and a cradle-to-grave health care. This faction has not been able to control government spending. Such spending must have a lid on it.
Why are some public employees able to retire with pensions of $300,000 per year plus an adjustment for inflation? Health benefits are also covered.
Some — perhaps many — public employees can retire with a “three percent at 30″ formula. This means that a public employee whose last year of work provided a salary of $200,000, can receive a pension of $180,000 per year. (3% of $200,000 = $6,000. Multiplying $6,000 by 30 years = $180,000).
The progressive faction been not able to place a limit on taxation. When Pat Brown was governor of California, the sales tax was 3%. Today, in cities like Concord and Orinda the sales tax is 9%. Moraga has gone to 9.5%.
The Democratic Party ought to adopt policies that spur economic growth proven by Democratic Party leaders of the past.
4 ways Democrats can spur economic growth now
First, build the Keystone XL oil pipeline, which will move oil from Canada to Texas, right away. The pipeline project will create good jobs at good wages. The oil, once refined, can be sold abroad to earn foreign exchange (money). Having sufficient oil will make America independent of tyrannical and unstable oil producers like Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq.
Second, the Democrats can propose elimination of the corporate income tax. Today, if a company has a profit of $1 million, 40% of that money ($400,000) will go for taxes. Why not let that company keep the money if the firm invests in new products, new jobs, and productivity-enhancing technology (like computers)? If the company pays out its profits to owners, then let these owners pay tax as part of their personal income tax.
Third, allow government-funded entities to compete with private enterprise. Monopolies like BART, AC Transit, and County Connection should compete for customers’ dollars. And it’s time to stop using taxpayers’ funds to subsidize these entities.
Fourth, permit greater free trade with Asia and Europe. Tariffs on all imports must be eliminated. Democrats like Franklin Roosevelt, John Kennedy, and Bill Clinton were all opposed to trade barriers. Imagine what Silicon Valley firms, with all their brain power and innovation, could export to other countries.
Implementing these four ideas to spur economic growth will help return the Democrats become — again — the party prosperity for all.