Q&A With 3rd District Candidate Joseph Puente: Part 3 | Buzz Blog
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Q&A With 3rd District Candidate Joseph Puente: Part 3



Part 3 of 5

BB: What is the best way for Congress to promote recovery from the current economic crisis?


JP: I think there are a number of things that Congress could do to put people to work in the short term were it not for the born-again deficit-hawk hypocrites who comprise the Republican party and so-called Blue Dog Democrats who thought that deficit spending was OK under Bush, but now consider it anathema under Obama.

I’m not an isolationist by any means, but I think we need to seriously reconsider our trade policies with other countries. Many nations that we trade with have policies in place to make sure that jobs don’t leave their country. The U.S. has no such policy.

On top of stemming the flow of jobs from our country, we need to figure out ways to encourage industries to keep jobs at home. A lot of people like to complain about the corporate income tax, which many corporations simply pass on to their customers, resulting in higher prices for their products. I think we should start cutting the corporate income tax -- only instead of doing it across the board, we implement it in such a way that companies that hire domestically are given the tax breaks.

We can also help raise incomes by making certain types of companies like nonprofit corporations, mutuals and cooperatives exempt from corporate income taxes. This can help our economy transition away from the economic fiefdoms of corporate cultures and really use the free market in a way that benefits all participants, not just a few executives at the top.

It blows my mind that Republicans have no problem spending hundreds of billions of dollars they don’t have to destroy the infrastructure of another country, but when it comes to spending that same amount to rebuild the infrastructure of their own country, somehow that crosses a moral line.

The economy isn't going to recover -- it's going to transform into something completely different, and that transformation is going to be painful. Congress could make it less painful if it wanted to by putting Americans to work during the transformation. But, thanks to Republicans, that probably won't happen.

As a result, Americans are going to suffer and Republicans are going to try and cash in on the suffering they cause by blaming it on Obama and the Democrats. If the members of Congress cared more about serving the public good than they did about getting re-elected, we wouldn't have this problem.

Unfortunately, hypocritical Republicans who thought nothing of deficit spending in the interests of war and securing their positions of power by buying the votes of senior citizens with Medicare Part D have now anointed themselves deficit hawks who do everything they can to block efforts to put Americans to work through much-needed upgrades to our nation’s infrastructure.

It blows my mind that Republicans have no problem spending hundreds of billions of dollars they don’t have to destroy the infrastructure of another country, but when it comes to spending that same amount to rebuild the infrastructure of their own country, somehow that crosses a moral line.

The government is the spender of last resort. When the economy is in the tank, the government is able to put people to work through short-term deficit spending -- emphasis on short-term. That was the idea behind the stimulus package. Unfortunately, it was gutted in order to win Republican votes that, for the most part, never came.

Stimulus critics like incumbent Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, like to argue that the government can’t create jobs, just bigger government -- which is ironic since he himself has a government job (as did I when I was in the military).

Chaffetz even requested stimulus funds in the interest of creating jobs. When the President proposed spending cuts on programs like the F-22 and NASA’s Constellation program, Republicans were up in arms because that spending was vital to jobs in their home states, including Utah.

Republicans like to have their cake and eat it too. They refuse to take a definitive stand. Either government spending can create jobs or it can’t -- you can’t have it both ways.

Seeing how the GOP's actions rarely line up with their rhetoric, it’s obvious that the government can indeed create jobs. Republicans managed to kill legislation that would have extended unemployment benefits because it would have required more government spending. I figure, if we’re going to spend more money for the sake of helping people who are out of work, why don’t we just put them to work until the economy reboots?

I wouldn’t mind seeing a second stimulus package. A recent Gallup poll showed 60 percent of respondents in favor of additional stimulus spending -- but it’s probably not going to happen, because Congress is full of hypocrites who say it would be too expensive.

Meanwhile, we’re going to keep wasting money on two wars we should never have gotten involved in, as well as corporate welfare programs such as farm subsidies. If Congress had the cojones to cut out all of that waste -- which keeps getting spent year after year -- we could make a one-time investment in our own infrastructure, putting Americans to work, giving our economy time to reboot.

Then, once it does, we’ll be in a better position to really tackle the deficit and bring our debt-load back down to manageable levels.

Next: In Part 4, Joe takes on political extremists.

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