Taxes and the Economic Stimulus
The wait for the stimulus has an emotional roller coaster effect, if the economic impact of how the numbers are reported isn't made clear, as it will affect our markets, and those around the world, it's only going to get worse. Many families of different sizes and income, based on the number of incomes in the household, and the number of persons in the household, worry what the tax burden will be.
The United States gov't has lots of assets the American public, even the world often forgets about. It's not just the gold in Fort Knox, it's the millions of acres in our national parks, it's the crude in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) ... Every country with ocean frontage has, by international law, a 200 mile economic zone to explore, develope, and use to that country's benefit, fishing, shipping, commodities exploration, etc. The USA has a LOTs of coast and millions of miles of economic zone, the gov't has chosen to block oil exploration ... and only recently seemed to wake up. Technology has come a long way, and the search can be done without harm to the environment.
Why can't our gov't look at all it's assets and strive, where econonomically feasible, to use those assets to earn income. Income to offset and reduce the tax burden and the debt loads. I'm sure the People would feel a lot better about the stimulus if the gov't focused their attentions on all the assets and explored ways to get those assets to produce income to relieve the burden on the taxpayers. The crude in the SPR produces no income. We should mandate ( We paid for the crude in the SPR) the US gov't sell crude from the SPR when crude prices overheat, forcing prices down, and refill it with the lower prices. Profit opportunity 101.
Back when crude hit $100+, I started e-mailing elected officials. I suggested selling some of the crude in the SPR, the SPR was worth $97 Billion at the time I made the suggestion. I said to look at mothballed military bases near areas of the country that are having power problems and build new nuclear power plants on the bases, retain the ownership of the plants, and sell the power as a supplier to the power companies. The US gov't would have a steady stream of income, and could re-fill the SPR from the earnings. The new nuke plants would put people to work and reduce our need for crude. I also pointed out that I believed the price of crude was overheated, was going to damage the global economy if it didn't drop, and the gov't's sale from the SPR would hasten that drop, benefitting the world. I got some nice thank yous ... they'd consider my concerns. But, nothing happened, and rounding the numbers for sinplicity sake, look what the gov't lost:
Crude hit, then dropped from $147 to it current $40/bbl.
(1) $107 x 700 million bbls in the SPR = $75 BILLION lost through missed opportunity.
(2) Plus, the missed oportunity to head off the global meltdown, the job losses, and even the need for the stimulus ...
Inspite of demand, the US Mint keeps halting the sale of gold coins (excuse: lack of blanks - with all the gold bought and paid for in FT Knox? ) People are willing to pay the premium (income to the gov't) , and the gov't lack of motivation to make it happen should concern us all.
We need a gov't that looks for economic opportunity like a good business does.