Despite my better judgement that the economy is not in such bad shape as we lead ourselves to believe, I'm pleased to hear that most of Bush's original economic stimulus package will soon make its way into the hands of most taxpaying Americans. I'm certainly not going to turn down any dollar amount that the government offers me. After all, the money is essentially ours, and although this plan tacks on yet more debt to the US Government, I've never been one to believe that running deficits on a nation's balance sheets is an inherently bad thing.
Considering that this package will dump a whopping $168 billion into the US economy over the next 6-8 months, surely it will provide a much needed dampener to the current path toward recession. It may even serve to head it off completely. But exactly who will benefit the most from this package is an underlying question. Presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee had it right when he raised concerns that we may be doing more to help the Chinese economy with this stimulus package than our own. It is clear to me that Americans need to make a larger effort toward supporting American companies, and more specifically, American made goods. It would seem to me that we've become far too tolerant of our current trade situation, and I think in the long term the greatest threat to the American economy is the eroding middle class and the loss of important industrial jobs. "Buy American" ought to be the mantra of every single citizen of this country. We need to send a clear message to the US Government and to American companies that we don't want to send our jobs away, and that cheaper is not better if it means we'll all be standing in the bread line.
We need to get rid of Most Favored Nation (MFN) status and impose higher tariffs on goods entering the US. We need less regulation and lower corporate taxes which would make it more cost effective for companies to operate and reduce the incentive for American companies to outsource manufacturing. Moreover, we need to scrap NAFTA and CAFTA which continue to sell-out American jobs.
If we truly want to survive as a nation and thrive as a great economy, Americans need to adjust their priorities. "Made in America" is a label we should encourage retailers to stock their shelves with. When you spend your rebate check, the thought should occur that buying American with as many of those dollars as you can, and making a habit out of it, will have a more profound positive impact on the economy than anything else we could possibly do.