A Republican congressman is looking for cosponsors of a bill he says could "electrify the American economy" by declaring a "tax holiday" for U.S. taxpayers in legislation that would use the remaining unspent bailout funds, about $350 billion, to provide a tax-free period for those who have paid for the current bailouts.
Louie Gohmert, a second-term congressman from Texas, proposed the plan last week, and while it may seem a little radical at first glance, Gohmert’s reasoning is compelling. He says, "We can save more home mortgages, increase employment, and boost economic growth for a lower price tag with this plan than with any centralized bureaucratic program, all by giving the power back to the taxpayers."
Clearly, it was an idea borne of frustration. "I am sick of Washington millionaires trying to decide which of their cronies should get the next wad of taxpayer money," Gohmert said in a statement.
Gohmert’s frustration, and his plan, have taken business-friendly tax cuts and melded them to the anti-bailout sentiment among taxpayers who pay their own bills and are now forced to pay the freight for big corporations who aren't paying theirs. A free-market populism of sorts.
His proposal is sure to strike a chord with those who recognize that bailouts are the opiate of government dependent corporations, but the question is, Will it be too aggressive for the timid GOP? If Republicans were smart they would grab hold of Gohmert’s idea, sharpen it to a point, and dare Democrats to oppose it.
What an amusing image that would be: The Democratic Party, which has ridden to power on a platform of class warfare, caught turning their backs on the people they claim to represent — the middle class — in order to help the very billionaires they have taught their constituents to hate.
This idea could help Republicans reclaim the mantle of free market economics that they forfeited by backing the bailout to begin with. It would also leave Democrat hypocrites looking more like Boss Tweed than Robert La Follette.
Political posturing aside, Gohmert’s idea should be embraced by Republicans because it is the right thing to do for the taxpayers, and as he has also pointed out, the plan makes more economic sense than bailing out large corporations, "Those in lower-income brackets who are hit the hardest by the FICA tax would see huge money back, and then they could choose who should benefit from their hard earned money."
He adds, "Even the self-employed and small business owners would receive a fantastic amount of their own much-needed money, and they will be able to invest that back into their businesses and even create the ability to hire more people."
Scott Wheeler is executive director of The National Republican Trust PAC (GOPtrust.com).
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