Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Is a VAT Tax Back on the Table?

By Gerard Lameiro

It has been reported that President Obama might consider a VAT (or Value-Added Tax) - essentially a National Sales Tax. Recently, former Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volker brought up the topic of a VAT tax as a potential way to boost taxes. But others thought much differently, including the U.S. Senate that voted overwhelmingly 85-13 last week in a non-binding resolution to state that a VAT "is a massive tax increase that will cripple families on fixed income and only further push back America's economic recovery." After that Senate vote, it sounded like this bad idea would go away. Now, we learn it might be back on the table. What is a VAT tax? What would a VAT tax really do to America and to our struggling economy? A VAT tax is a type of excise tax that works much like a National Sales Tax. However, it’s actually worse than a sales tax. A VAT tax charges a tax on a product at each stage of production, up to and including, the final sale to the consumer. [more...]

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Green Jobs vs. Blue Jobs - Which Jobs Are Better for America?

By Gerard Francis Lameiro

An article in The Wall Street Journal this week discusses the fact that despite considerable hype over green jobs and government spending, green jobs are just plain scarce. Indeed, renewable energy rhetoric has run into real world reality! Is anyone surprised?

The President wants to create millions and millions of green jobs, and, in fact, some money from the $787B stimulus spending package specifically targets green job creation. Earlier this year, a new $100M government program was also announced for the purpose of giving out renewable energy job-training grants. Yet, few green jobs have been created. So, where are all these green jobs? What’s the problem?

America does need new jobs. Since the beginning of the Great Recession, we have lost about 11,000,000 jobs. That’s terrible, especially if you or a family member have been impacted. The answer is not government spending and it’s not green jobs. The answer is blue jobs. Blue jobs are the jobs created by the Free Market. (Blue is the color associated with Freedom. It’s the color of blue skies. It’s the color of optimism.) [more...]

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Is the Outlook for Jobs Very Bleak?

By Gerard Lameiro

An opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal this week paints a very gloomy picture for jobs in America. According to the article, at least one third of the 162,000 new jobs created in March were temporary census jobs and the actual new jobs created were insufficient to keep up with population growth. In addition, the American Economy has fallen behind by 11 million jobs since the start of this “Great Recession” and if job growth were to take off in the near future, it still might take up to eight years to catch up to where we were in 2007. Finally, Americans with jobs are accepting lower pay and lower benefits just to keep their current jobs. Is the outlook for jobs really this bleak? More importantly, is there anything we can do to fix this situation? [more...]