Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Kitchen Table Economics

The new catch phrase when the rich industrialist talk of the economy is kitchen table economics. They have never sat at our kitchen tables. Some of those most hurt by the recent economic downturn do not have kitchen tables.

I have marveled at all the "economic stimulus" package suggestions and noticed they have missed the one thing that can be done and done instantly to immediately help the economy: Lower gas prices. But with major petroleum companies reporting once again record profits nobody has considered this simple but effective solution. In fact the reverse is being talked about in the form of extra taxes on gas to fund repairs to our aging infrastructure system.

As a kitchen table economist let me propose something here: 1) Delete all price supports and tax breaks now being given to the petroleum companies except for those that support the search for alternate fuels, 2) tax the profits of petroleum companies to repair our highways and bridges and build commuter train systems, 3) set a ceiling for gas prices to the consumer, and 4) for a set period lower the gas prices to the user. This makes wonderful sense. Our country would benefit by the extra taxes coming into our treasury and perhaps we could lower taxes on the middle class. Petroleum companies cannot sell us gas if we have no roads to drive on or if the gas is too high for us to want to drive anywhere but to and from work.

Lower gas prices will have an immediate effect on the budgets of all middle class and lower income Americans and their budgets. It will also allow the lowering of prices on commodities which have suffered price increases due to fuel costs and shipping such as groceries which would further help those most effected by higher prices throughout the economy.

And there would be no waiting to receive the cash rebate checks. This boost to our economy would be NOW. We have to ask ourselves if the people that run this company ever consider the people or just the major businesses. Well, if we are all too broke to buy anything those businesses are going to hurt too.