Putting Our Broken Country Back Together Again

Our country is broken.  We have been lurching from one bad president to another, from one war to another and from crisis to crisis.  Our government spending is out of control and so many people are out of work that tax revenues are in the tank.

Our country has huge negative momentum and that’s bad for America and the American spirit.

We had the crash of 2008 driven by a failure of government to properly oversee the housing market and a failure of regulators in preventing speculators from creating a hugely leveraged, virtual debt pool that nuked companies and markets right and left.

Jobs  disappeared all around us as companies scrambled to cut costs.  Bush and Obama bailed out the banks, the big car companies and their unions, while doing nothing for Main Street.

In Washington, the Democrats raised spending like crazy and became obsessed with passing a health care law that is one of the worst pieces of legislation ever.

People got angry, got organized and sent the Tea Party to Washington with a single mission of getting our budget back under control by cutting the ridiculous spending spree.

From there, we’ve had a continuous fight over cutting spending that has paralyzed the country and the government on a number of occasions.  A fight that has yielded just tiny spending cuts that are real. All the big numbers are BS fake cuts from some imaginary future budget.

This past Friday the nation was dissed by S&P when they downgraded the US debt rating from AAA to AA+.  They did this despite the fact that they have countries with even worse debt problems, like France, rated AAA .

I found it both sad and amusing that  Sen.John Kerry declared that this was a Tea Bag Downgrade.  What a jerk.  Even though I voted from him instead of Bush, I never liked the guy.  The Tea Party folks didn’t create this problem, it’s lifers like Kerry that created this problem.

And to top things off,  Alan Greenspan, former head of the Federal Reserve, was asked if T bills are still safe and he responded “Yes, we can always print more money.”

Somehow, this has got to change.  Our government leaders are stuck in a mind set of no compromises and blaming the other guy.  Our business community has frozen up due to all the uncertainty about what’s going to happen next.  Our national attitude is one of doom, gloom and the pain of austerity.

We, the people, elected the 536 people who run our national government. They created this mess with their decisions. If our debt is too high, its because they decided to make it too high.  If our spending is out of control, they decided to spend way too much. If  our tax system is all screwed up, it’s because they decided to screw it up.  Everything comes down to their decisions.

These 536 people are also the only ones who can make the decisions needed to get us out of this mess.  From my perspective, each and everyone of these people should be forced to tell us their plan to fix things or to stand up and be counted for someone’s plan.  Whether you like it or not the House Republicans came up with a plan and stood behind it.  The Senate Republicans should do the same.  The Democrats should do the same.  And most of all the President should have some plan that is more than just talking points about shared sacrifice.

Personally, I don’t want more sacrifice, I want it to feel like it’s  “morning in America again”.  And I think that’s doable.

My plan would be simple:

  1. Make growing our GDP is the top priority to create jobs and enable us to enjoy the privileges of this country. To do this I would focus on 2 policies:
    • Figure out a way to eliminate the tax on jobs.  It makes no sense to tax jobs here at home, when companies can outsource and not pay the tax. It’s simply a bad tax that kills jobs and we should get rid of it.  The temporary reduction in payroll tax rates is a start, but the whole tax should go permanently.  It should be in the constitution:  Government  should not tax people or companies for providing jobs.
    • Eliminate the capital gains tax on the first $5 million in gains from the sale of a small company.  IMHO this would do more than anything else to spur investment in small business.
  2. Set spending and revenue targets at 18-20% of the GDP, and everyone should sign a pledge that compromise that gets to that range is the right thing to do for America.  To do this I would:
    • Reform the personal and corporate  income tax system to fewer, lower tax brackets with few or no deductions
    • Put all spending is on the table and force it fit within the 18-20% range within 5 years.  If we want more health care, we have to spend less on defense and vice-versa.
  3. Put the country on a path to positive momentum.    Start making changes in a positive direction.  Start small and keep making decisions that make things better.  Rinse and repeat until we turn this nation of around.

From my perspective, if your  Congressional, Senate or Presidential candidate can’t come up with this plan or something else that fixes the mess they created, then they don’t deserve your vote.  They certainly aren’t getting mine.

BTW.  If anyone else has a better plan, I’d love to hear it.


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