DeMint’s Smaller-Government Stimulus

This week, Senator Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), in response to President Obama’s stimulus plan, announced his own alternative stimulus package, which David Weigel, at the Washington Independent, summarizes thus:

• Make the Bush tax cuts permanent and “take uncertainty out of the economy.”

• Let small businesses “write off more of their business expenses.”

• Cut the top corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent.

• Cut the capital gains tax.

• Cut spending and “reign in the out of control congressional earmarking practice.”

This would encourage investment in the most productive sectors of the economy, unlike Obama’s proposed $825 billion of increased spending, which DeMint criticized today at the Heritage Foundation. Of the infrastructure component of the stiumulus, he said that, “Less than 10 percent of this is going to roads and bridges,” with a lot of that money “going to liberal causes.”

DeMint also noted the importance of the opportunity costs, which those who tout the “benefits” of government spending rarely acknowledge. He noted that the costs of government spending extend beyond the dollar amounts government shells out, to the “costs in terms of allowing people to keep money in the private market,” since, “there’s a multiplier effect when the money is out there rather than comes here [to Washington].”

For more from David Weigel on Sen. DeMint’s remarks today, see here.

For more on how to “deregulate to stimulate,” see Wayne Crews’s essay in CEI’s new Agenda for Congress.