Congress is already getting some heavy duty anxiety about the high unemployment rate and the upcoming election. The most alarming element of this is Congress may attempt to get some short term job spikes before the election in a misguided attempt to prevent a voter backlash. i.e. Lots of short term social programs that will disappear as soon as our borrowing from China runs out.
What would be the best form of stimulus? The best thing Congress could do to create jobs and make America more competitive would be to fund the conversion of the nation's auto fleet to natural gas. We are currently flooded with a glut of natural gas int he United States with over 100 years of supply discovered right here domestically.
This would mean jobs produced here, a more competitive economy, lower fuel costs, and we could stop paying so much attention to trying to fixing the Middle East. Guess what, the middle east is complicated, we are not going to be able to fix it and all the oil money sloshing around doesn't make fixing it easier.
As more articles are published, I think more of our representatives in Congress will realize there is a real opportunity to provide longer lasting job stimulus, a boost to the dollar, as well as claim real progress on energy independence. This means a immediate conversion of our long haul trucking fleet, followed by a conversion of the auto fleet over the next 10 years.
This policy shift would have a couple of impacts. Specifically, we would get i) an immediate rise in the dollar, ii) a drop in the price of oil and iii) new hiring for jobs in exploration, production and natural gas infrastructure and distribution.
While a program like this might cost money up front, it would pay for itself unlike all the other nonsense we've tried.
We need to stop opting for quick fixes and social programs that do nothing to improve the long term competitiveness of our country. We need to think strategically about what will make America stronger and more competitive. A conversion to natural gas is the way-- the sooner the better.