I actually laughed during Obama's speech the other night when he said there is not one single earmark or "pork" in the bill. It's one huge earmark, mixed in with some tax cuts. It's payback time for the liberal groups who helped elect him and it's the Democrats wet dream coming to reality after not being in the majority for so long. It's not only disingenious, but is an outright "stretching of the truth" when they say this is going to creat or save 4 million jobs through the liberal spending programs that have been covertly snuck into this bill. We can debate on wether some of these liberal spending programs have some social merit and are good for the future of our children and this country. But to include these programs under the guise of stimulus spending that is required to avert catastrophe is sneaky and underhanded -- even for Congress. These programs should be debated through the normal appropriations process for the new budget -- not slipped in while no one is looking (and did not have the opportunity to look at it). And whatever happened to Obama's campaign promise of transparency and allowing the public 5 days to review any legislation before signing it into law??? Is this the change you promised? It seems like more of the same to me.
The economy is in crisis...the financial system is in shambles. Foreclosures are increasing every day. More people are losing their jobs. People have been living above their means for a long time and so has our government -- wonder which came first??? Something has to be done, right?! Or does it? There is some debate as to whether or not the economy will lift itself out of its malaise without any intervention. I tend to think it will as long as we let the failures, well...fail. But let's consider that you believe some intervention is necessary by the government. We will agree to disagree.
The Obama administration and the Democrats in Congress have said from the beginning that this bill is about creating jobs. They predict it will create anywhere from 3.6 million jobs to 4.5 million jobs. I have not quite figured out how they got this number and frankly I am interested to see their formula -- but I digress. So let's get back to the issue of creating jobs. Small businesses are the backbone of the economy and there is much ado about nothing in this bill for small businesses. Here's a few things to consider....
Small businesses employ about half of U.S. workers. Of 116.3 million nonfarm private sector workers in 2005, small firms with fewer than 500 workers employed 58.6 million and large firms employed 57.7 million. Firms with fewer than 20 employees employed 21.3 million. While small firms create 60 to 80 percent of net new jobs, their share of employment remains steady since some firms grow into large firms as they create new jobs.
Of the 23 million nonfarm businesses in 2002, women owned 6.5 million businesses. These firms generated $940.8 billion in revenues, employed 7.1 million workers, and had $173.7 billion in payroll. In addition, another 2.7 million firms were owned equally by both women and men; these firms added another $731.4 billion in revenues and employed another 5.7 million workers.
- In 2007, there were 27.2 million small businesses in the United States, according to Office of Advocacy estimates.
- Represent 99.7 percent of all employer firms.
- Employ about half of all private sector employees.
- Pay nearly 45 percent of total U.S. private payroll.
- Have generated 60 to 80 percent of net new jobs annually over the last decade.
- Create more than half of nonfarm private gross domestic product (GDP).
- Hire 40 percent of high tech workers (such as scientists, engineers, and computer workers).
- Made up 97.3 percent of all identified exporters and produced 28.9 percent of the known export value in FY 2006.
- Produce 13 times more patents per employee than large patenting firms; these patents are twice as likely as large firm patents to be among the one percent most cited.
In the end, it pays to keep in mind what Senator Mitch McConnell said, as quoted in the February 11 USA Today: "This paints a picture of the Europeanization of America. I do think it's important to focus on the larger question of, ‘Where are we going to leave the country in two years if we take all of these steps?'"
This ain't the change I believe in!