OPINION | Get Money Moving Again

GET MONEY MOVING AGAIN 

Any candidate that proposes increasing taxes will be crushed at the polls —not because the American people don’t want to face the harsh reality, but because it is the wrong policy. Increasing taxes on an economy that is already stagnant (and heading even further south as we write our commentary) will not boost revenue for the government. On the contrary, such a move would increase the level of fear and uncertainty that has all but paralized commercial activity, including and especially banking, in this country, blow unemployment into the stratosphere, and put even more American families out on the street.

Instead of taxing people into a precipice, what we need to get money moving again is to:

1. Cut tax rates. Give households and business more access to and control over their funds. Instead of hogging their hard-earned dollars, they’ll have the confidence to spend and invest.

2. Get banks to take risks and open up lending. Immediately after the devastating 1906 earthquake in San Francisco, Amadeo Giannini, the founder of Bank of America, set up some wooden planks on a sidewalk and started LENDING CASH ON A HANDSHAKE AND A SIGNATURE to those willing to rebuild the city. That’s the kind of banker we desperately need nowadays.

3. Whip some sense into government spending. Households and companies are now surviving on less, and so should the US government. Perhaps trying to balance the budget is going too far, but Congress and the White House must realize that the nation cannot satiate Washington’s voracious appetite for pork.

4. Bring manufacturing back. Can’t you hear the chorus of sucking sounds coming from China, India, and all those countries that have “attracted” US corporations onto their fold? Provide tax and investment incentives to manufacturers that sell their wares in the US market. If that doesn’t work, tougher for them. Pass a law that requires them to produce 20-50% of the items they sell in the US… in the US! Protectionism? No. Survival? Yes. Is it fair? Sure! You want our money and we want yours.

5. Re-think foreign aid. The old adage “charity begins at home” still makes sense today. How can we help the rest of the world with its problems when we cannot even help ourselves? Again, this is not protectionism. It’s survival and just plain common sense. Plus, it’s a fact that most of the monetary assistance we provide is, let’s say, mishandled. Keep the cash; send US personnel, machinery and other resources.

6. Re-structure the welfare system. Since human beings do not value what is not earned, set time and funding limits, as well as conditions and responsibilities to receiving government assistance. Prepare recipients to successfully leave the system through job training/placement and require that they do community/volunteer service while on welfare.

7. Implement truly fair taxes. Abolish the IRS and the idiotic tax structure that we have now. Charge a consumption tax on everything and do it across the board. Whoever buys something, whether it be a yacht or a loaf of bread, would pay a fixed percentage on the item’s price. No ifs, ands, buts or loopholes.

8. Fine Congress and the White House into doing their jobs. No more bickering, finger pointing, impasses or overdue budgets allowed. Implement hefty fines (on a personal and/or party-wide basis) for negative attitudes, stalling or other non-productive behavior. Payment of these fines must come from personal or party accounts (not from official funds) and be allocated to paying down the national debt. Cut vacation time and benefits, and, since they’re all “management,” they must be on the job (without overtime or perks) until the job is done to their client’s —We, The People— satisfaction. That’s how business works.

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