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Recently, the House passed its version of health care. By any common sense standard, this 2,000-plus page monstrosity is an awful bill. It reduces the quality of health care while increasing its costs, and all 220 who voted for (and probably didn’t read) this bill should be voted out of office in 2010.
Former President Bill Clinton told Congress that the reason Democrats lost seats in the 1994 election is because they failed to pass a health care bill and that a bill, any bill, must be passed.
That sums up the entire problem in Washington. Clinton’s pitch and driving motivation is political survival. Pass any bill — doesn’t matter if it’s a good bill, a cost-saving bill or one that benefits the nation. The primary motivator is what is perceived as best for their political party. It seems that many in Congress have forgotten that they are public servants elected to serve the American people. Instead, their attitude is a "public, serve us."
If the former president wants to make a pitch to Congress, then he should use his old campaign slogan, "It’s the economy, stupid." Our nation’s health is sick and we cannot currently afford either cap and trade or health care, much less both.
The main metric to focus upon to "heal" our nation in this bad economy is jobs. Just get people working and the country will get through this difficult time. There’s actually a simple solution.
There is about $500 billion left of unspent stimulus funds that so far haven’t stimulated much of anything. Reallocate these funds to give all non-bailout-receiving U.S. businesses a tax rebate in 2010 for the payment of matching FICA taxes, under the condition that 50 percent of the rebated funds would be spent on hiring new personnel.
For example, a company that has $100,000 per month in payroll pays 7.65 percent, or $7,650 monthly, in matching FICA taxes. To get the rebate, the company must spend 50 percent of that monthly tax, or $3,825, to hire new personnel. Using an average annual salary of $36,000 per new hire, this program would create nearly 5 million jobs almost instantaneously as companies would rather hire new people than pay taxes.
That would produce 5 million more people paying taxes, and saves states more than $50 billion in unemployment costs. National unemployment would drop below 7 percent. If 60 percent of these new hires receive employee health care benefits, then we just gave 3 million Americans health care.
The direct cost of this program would be about $300 billion. The actual cost would be far less as employed people spend more money (creating tax revenues) than unemployed ones. The program could be continued at a reduced rate for 2011 to provide further job stimulus if necessary.
This is common sense economics motivated solely by helping American business and its people. It would work! Write your representatives.
Our only hope is that government will put our country first and provide a public service by serving us, the American people.