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ToddDH September 8th, 2011 09:20 AM

What Would You Do To Restore our Economy?
 
Regardless of where one stands politically, it's obvious that our elected representatives in Washington simply, as yet and for whatever reason, cannot reasonably and responsibly come up with concrete solutions to address our debt problem that isn't (as most folks believe) merely 14 trillion dollars but when extrapolated out over the now planned pay out date, is in reality around forty-seven trillion dollars!

Since they can't do it, maybe we can come up with some concrete viable possibilities. Everyone has to understand that this will not be pain free, every Amercan is going to have to suffer a lof of pain anyway you look at it.

So, what are your specific suggestions you would offer to help solve this all important issue. Please, keep politics out of it. Just concrete suggestions. This will by nature probably require a little on-line research as there is absolutely no simple short answer. Nevertheless for those who wish to try, the forum is now open.

Have at it!

Todd

Kamloops Cruiser September 8th, 2011 10:03 AM

As a Canadian looking in , first I would get rid of Obama (didn't like him from the getcho) then scrap Obamacare. Obama doesn't know his basic economics . Consider voting out your elected officials and getting fresh blood in both chambers.

Manuel September 8th, 2011 10:36 AM

I am doing what I can. :D

We just bought a house in Palm Coast, Fl. and now we have to buy furniture for it. :-P A new car might be in the works as well. :cool:

TM

Aerogirl September 8th, 2011 10:46 AM

One word….. Tariff’s

Snoozeman September 8th, 2011 10:59 AM

Quit spending. Flat Tax.

Move most regulations to state level. Eliminate the Dept of Education, Eliminate the Dept of Commerce, Eliminate the Dept of Labor, Eliminate the Dept of Energy, and many more.

Just guard the borders and deliver the mail.

DougR. September 8th, 2011 11:27 AM

1. Pass a balanced budget amendment requiring congress to pass a balanced budget except in emergency and wartime which would require a congressional supermajority to approve. A presidential line item veto power should be included as well as a provision requiring Congress to pass a budget by September 30 or the previous fiscal year budget would be enacted automatically.

2. All new programs must be revenue neutural.

3. All agencies should be required to evaluate each of their programs over a period of ten years and report results annually to the President for the purpose of determining their future and/or adjustments.

4. Repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax or index it to wage inflation.

5. Reform Tax Code to eliminate loopholes for both individuals and corporations.

6. Repeal Bush tax cuts for those with high incomes.

7. Remove the wage ceiling for Social Security and Medicare taxes.

8. Enact a minimum tax for corporations based on profits.

9. Reward companies who create jobs in America and penalize those who move jobs overseas.

Snoozeman September 8th, 2011 11:58 AM

I agree with all of Doug's too---even #6.

Sistersolo September 8th, 2011 01:22 PM

Gee, I just got here and all the best ideas are listed already! Though, of course, a flat tax would eliminate the need for Doug's #'s 4, 5, and 6. I especially like the idea of automatically re-instating the previous budget if they can't get their act together enough to pass a new one.

Of course, the real current problem is getting them to pass ANYTHING.

ship2shore September 8th, 2011 01:35 PM

Maybe being abit more choosey about the wars we get involved in, for a BIG start?

Mike M September 8th, 2011 02:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DougR. (Post 1391441)
1. Pass a balanced budget amendment requiring congress to pass a balanced budget except in emergency and wartime which would require a congressional supermajority to approve. A presidential line item veto power should be included as well as a provision requiring Congress to pass a budget by September 30 or the previous fiscal year budget would be enacted automatically.

2. All new programs must be revenue neutural.

3. All agencies should be required to evaluate each of their programs over a period of ten years and report results annually to the President for the purpose of determining their future and/or adjustments.

4. Repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax or index it to wage inflation.

5. Reform Tax Code to eliminate loopholes for both individuals and corporations.

6. Repeal Bush tax cuts for those with high incomes.

7. Remove the wage ceiling for Social Security and Medicare taxes.

8. Enact a minimum tax for corporations based on profits.

9. Reward companies who create jobs in America and penalize those who move jobs overseas.

Good ideas Doug and I do agree with them. The only things I would change are:

#5. Reform Tax Code to lower the corporate tax structure but eliminate "most of" the current loopholes for both individuals and corporations. Number 9 is creating a "loophole". :D

#9. Reward companies who create and "retain" jobs in America and penalize those who move or expand jobs overseas.

I am also a strong proponent of the flat tax.

Take care,
Mike

Paul Motter September 8th, 2011 02:54 PM

You guys know I am not a "liberal" but I am also finding I'm not much of a Repubican either.

I would raise taxes on all individuals - do you know over 50% of our population pays no income tax at all? And they say the rich are not paying their fair share?

My taxes are unbelievably low for what I make, I can't believe anyone would be complaining about paying income taxes these days.

But I would also eliminate any taxes that inhibit business - capital gains, corporate taxes, etc should be eliminated or highly curtailed.

I would create tax incentives for companies providing jobs to Americans - and stop hassling good American companies who agree to provide jobs. The recent developments with Gibson Guitar and AT&T seem unbelievably stupid (of course, I do not claim to have all the facts, but puleeeze). Bottom line - what we need are domestic jobs from US companies, not "shovel-ready jobs for union members".

I would fix the housing market. How? The whole process of reposession and re-selling houses is too opague. WE tried to buy a condo at auction and it was canceled from the auction literally 20 weeks in a row (we had to have $10,000 cashiers check ready each week). WE gave up and just found out it sold for $10k less than we were prepared to pay.

I would let people re-negotiate their mortgages at current rates. They had no problem refinancing when homes values were rising. They should re-finance everyone at the current home values. Yes - the banks would lose a lot of money, but they have already lost it - its gone. Better to let the whole housing market just start over.

I would let health care providers sell across state lines, and make exclusions for pre-existing conditions illegal. But aside from that I would go back to the old system. Eliminate the uncertainty. Why is it that even with the passage of Obamacare my healthcare is far more expensive and now worse than ever?

UNcertainty is now killing this country. No businesses want to invest now. Most companies (like Apple, Google) are sitting on huge stockpiles of money, yet they are not hiring or spending - except in China where iPhone and iPads are made (I assume, I really don't know where they are made).

Chuck Palm September 8th, 2011 03:30 PM

1. Rapidly scale down paying for infra structure in the middle east and start spending for bridges, roads, schools, etc. at home.

2. Raise taxes on wealthier taxpayers and restore a progressive income tax.

3. Reduce military spending and stop picking battles and starting wars over seas when our own house is not in order.

4. Plug corporate tax loop holes such as the ones allowing fake home offices in the Bahamas to avoid taxation.

These foue simple remedies would go a long ways in reducing the deficite. Bill clinton had it right and his policies led to the first budget surplus in many years. There is very little dispute about that.

DougR. September 8th, 2011 03:58 PM

I guess I could be classified as a "Blue Dog" Democrat, fiscally conservative but moderate on social issues. The Republicans offer no lure for me as long as they insist on pro-life and anti-gay as requirements to join thier little gathering. I am also disturbed by the Republican's inncreasingly strident and shrill pronoucements against Social Security and Medicare. Their union busting is disturbing also. I am equally disturbed by the far left of the Democratic Party who would cheerfully spend us into oblivion in the name of social justice. There is precious little room for people like me in the Democratic Party too, but acres more than in the Republican Party. We either need to rescue one or both of these parties from the hyperpartisanship we see these days or create a moderate centerist party which mirrors the beliefs of the majority of our citizens.

hfdad September 8th, 2011 04:55 PM

lower the price of gas and fuel oil about 75%. Then everyone would have lots more money to spend, creating more jobs.

Rev22:17 September 8th, 2011 05:46 PM

Todd,

Quote:

Originally Posted by You (Post 1391415)
So, what are your specific suggestions you would offer to help solve this all important issue. Please, keep politics out of it. Just concrete suggestions. This will by nature probably require a little on-line research as there is absolutely no simple short answer. Nevertheless for those who wish to try, the forum is now open.

Have at it!

You asked for it, so here goes!

>> 1. Enact a constitutional amendment limiting the federal income tex to a maximum marginal rate of ten percent (10%). I suspect that the scriptural tithe was set at this amount because it is about the maximum of the Laffer Curve.

>> 2. Enact a constitutional amendment restricting expenditure of revenues from excises that amount to user fees to cost of construction, maintanance, and operation of the respective infrastructure (including servicing of bonds issued to pay the cost of building or reparing that infrastructure). Thus, for example, the federal gasoline tax could be used only to build and maintain highways and aviation taxes could be used only to fund the Federal Aviation Administration.

>> 3. Enact a constitutional amendment requiring investment of all federal trust funds in commercial markets in a manner that is financially sound and that all positions held by such funds be voted in a manner that is neutral to the outcome of the vote. By way of example, the Social Security Trust Fund and the Medicare Trust Fund might be invested 50% in the manner of a total stock market index fund, 25% in the manner of a total bond market index fund, and 25% in the manner of an international monetary fund split among major currencies, with rebalancing. By "voted neutrally," I mean that if a measure requires approval by 2/3 majority to pass, that 2/3 of the trust fund's position is voted in favor of the measure and 1/3 of the fund's position is voted against the measure so that the outcome will be as if the shares owned by the federal trust fund did not exist.

>> 4. Enact a consitutional amendment limiting federal expenditures other than from trust funds to the average of the general tax revenues collected during previous five (5) fiscal years and restricting borrowing to(1) issuance of bonds for the construction or repair of infrastructure, provided that there be a trust fund with a dedicated revenue source to repay such bonds, and (2) issuance of bonds to fund the incremental cost of fighting a war declared by the Congress. This amendment should further require the Congress to fund armed forces and federal law enforcement at levels adequate to protect our national interest and to combat federal crime.

>> 5. Enact a constitutional amendment permitting the President to veto any amount of any line item in an appropriation without vetoing the whole bill.

>> 6. Enact a constitutional amendment forbidding the states from levying any taxes on interstate or international commerce other than excises that are substantially a user fee for services and infrastructure provided by the state. This amendment would prohibit taxes on the sale of any article or on the use of any article pruchased in another state, taxes on services provided to travellers (such as lodging and meals in restuarants), and taxes on transportation other than those used to develop, maintain, and operate infrastructure.

Norm.

Donna September 8th, 2011 06:57 PM

I think the biggest hurdle to get over is to somehow give companies some kind of incentive to hire people. The more people working, spending dollars and the government collecting taxes would be a huge help. Now, how to do it....In the last few years health care has increased way too much, and I think that is one reason companies are hesitant to hire new workers.....

In a little while we have our Prez. talking on TV, we'll see what he has to say...

ToddDH September 8th, 2011 07:39 PM

Thus far, the overwhelming of the suggestions above are reasonable, in many cases overlap and involve I think people of most political persuasions.

I think even though I'm sure (and hope) there will be more, many of the proposals above deserve serious consideration by our Congressional Representatives and Senators. There is no doubt that we, as Cruisemates could, if necessary, sit down for dinner somewhere and solve many of our financial problems.

Just for the record, my main complaints involve explosive increases in entitlements combined with unbelievable government over regulation and an abominable tax system. I for one don't see a problem with extending the age for collecting Social Security for people somewhere between 45 and fifty and progressively for those younger as people live so much longer. Such changes even as proferred, do not effect in any way anyone 50 or over. As some of you will recall, I recently wrote that when Social Security was enacted, the average life expectancy was 64, a year BEFORE anyone even became eligible for Social Security benefits.

A number of you are not fans of the Fox News Channel but you may want to stay somewhat tuned into next week as they are devoting the week to showing just how ridiculous an extent, to which government regulations have risen (and that involves both parties). I worked with governmental regulations both "on the job" and especially Federal ones with my retirement job. They are beyond incomprehsible and I'd hit the floor if Doug R. doesn't agree with me because he deals with them every day. I found the process absolutely mind boggling. One of the more oxymoronric phrases in government is, "In keeping with the paper reduction act of 19.." as government paperwork is exploding.

I also totally agree that taxes of some level be levied against net profits of major corporations whether that be through outright taxes or closing loopholes. General Electric, for one instance, paid no taxes despite billions in net profits.

Please, keep your ideas coming!

Todd

katlady September 9th, 2011 01:29 AM

I would hire more IRS tax collectors to close the tax gap. The tax gap is made up of people who fail to file and report. But it's also made up of people that file but fail to pay. In fact congress might consider doing a tax amnesty. Where tax debts can pay a lowered amount to clear there outstanding IRS debt. The tax amnesty program would be a limited time deal. Like 6 months this is a possible way to get long time tax debtor to voluntary go back to paying their taxes. Generating more income and using it to pay down the national debt.

BTW IRS I'm available if you need a good tax collector in California. :D

katlady September 9th, 2011 01:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Snoozeman (Post 1391435)
Quit spending. Flat Tax.

Move most regulations to state level. Eliminate the Dept of Education, Eliminate the Dept of Commerce, Eliminate the Dept of Labor, Eliminate the Dept of Energy, and many more.

Just guard the borders and deliver the mail.

Well no way could California afford to hired all those people handle the regulations. :shock: Wait a second if companies violate the regulations they get hit with fees. So if the States are doing the regulations they are picking up the non compliance fees.:D So the Federals might lose quite a bit of money to the States by moving it to the State level. Well shoot California needs more money. Of course now we need to hire new inspectors, set up a computer system to track the businesses, amend code section to allow us the authority to do these regulation enforcement and hire more tax collectors to collect the past due fees.:-x Nope the one time costs would be a nightmare. I think the Federal made the regulations they should enforce the things. :mrgreen:

kaneals September 9th, 2011 04:18 PM

I think a lot of these ideas would help the economy a little, but that's all they would do. I believe it's still goes back to what broke the back of the economy to start with, which was housing and then the price of oil.

I don't know exactly how to fix them, but I believe the economy will stay flat until it happens. For example, see Japan's lost decade which I think is what's happening to us.

I think that we need some kind of incentives to buy houses, not just refinance those already in homes or investors. More than just first time home buyers also. Housing has a huge affect on jobs and tax income. Oil speculation has got out of control and needs to be addressed.

Of course, I realize that there are a lot of other issues that need to be taken care of such as the deficit, jobs going to other countries, etc...Plus no one wants to purchase a house until the feel secure in their job or even just the price. But until housing is fixed, the economy will be flat.

Rev22:17 September 9th, 2011 05:01 PM

Todd,

Quote:

Originally Posted by You (Post 1391530)
Just for the record, my main complaints involve explosive increases in entitlements combined with unbelievable government over regulation and an abominable tax system. I for one don't see a problem with extending the age for collecting Social Security for people somewhere between 45 and fifty and progressively for those younger as people live so much longer. Such changes even as proferred, do not effect in any way anyone 50 or over. As some of you will recall, I recently wrote that when Social Security was enacted, the average life expectancy was 64, a year BEFORE anyone even became eligible for Social Security benefits.

Yes, this is absolutely the real "budget buster." Federal "entitlement" programs, of which Social Security and Medicare are the lion's share, now account for over two thirds of the federal budget.

Quote:

Originally Posted by You
A number of you are not fans of the Fox News Channel but you may want to stay somewhat tuned into next week as they are devoting the week to showing just how ridiculous an extent, to which government regulations have risen (and that involves both parties). I worked with governmental regulations both "on the job" and especially Federal ones with my retirement job. They are beyond incomprehsible and I'd hit the floor if Doug R. doesn't agree with me because he deals with them every day. I found the process absolutely mind boggling.

Yes, this is another major problem. The cost of filling out and filing government paperwork, most of which is of dubious necessity, typically doubles or triples the cost of most projects. A lot of the cost is direct labor of highly paid professionals -- lawyers, accountants, engineers, etc. -- to ensure that all the T's are crossed and all the I's dotted correctly, lest someone spend a few years in the federal pen and pay thousands, or even millions, of dollars in fines due to some obscure oversight. Additionally, our taxes pay the salaries and overhead of the government bureaucrats to process and file this mound of mostly needless paperwork who produce nothing. The bureaucrats could instead be employed to produce real wealth by the private sector.

In the nuclear Navy, we used to jest that if we were to burn the paperwork necessary to support the reactor plants, we would generate more power than the reactors.

Quote:

Originally Posted by You
One of the more oxymoronric phrases in government is, "In keeping with the paper reduction act of 19.." as government paperwork is exploding.

Isn't that the law which requires every new federal form to explain why the form and the information on it are necessary, thus ensuring that each form will be longer than the form it replaces?

Norm.

Rev22:17 September 9th, 2011 05:32 PM

Donna,

Quote:

Originally Posted by You (Post 1391516)
I think the biggest hurdle to get over is to somehow give companies some kind of incentive to hire people. The more people working, spending dollars and the government collecting taxes would be a huge help. Now, how to do it....In the last few years health care has increased way too much, and I think that is one reason companies are hesitant to hire new workers.....

That's really a simple question of economics.

Fundamentally, we need to understand each a corporation exists for one reason and one reason only -- to generate profit for its shareholders. Thus, a corporation will hire a worker only if the managers expect that employing that worker will add profit to the corporation's bottom line.

Now, profit is the difference between the apportioned revenue generated by the worker and cost of employing the worker. The cost of employing the worker includes:

* Wages (Salary), Including Paid Time Off (Vacation, Sick Time, Personal Time, etc.),

* Apportioned Cost of Training,

* Cost of Insurance (Life, Disability, Medical, Dental, etc.) and Other Benefits,

* Apportioned Overhead Cost of Office or Other Workspace, Including Rest Rooms, Break Rooms, Meeting Rooms, Laboratories, and Other Shared Areas,

* Apportioned Cost of Utilities (Water, Sewage, Electricity, etc.),

* Apportioned Cost of Tools, Equipment (Including Computer Sytems and Software), and Company Vehicles, as applicable,

* Payroll Taxes (FICA, Medicare, Unemployment Insurance, etc.) Levied on the Employer, and

* Apportioned Cost of Administrative Expenses Incurred in Filing Government Reports, Processing Payrolls, Obtaining, Maintaining, and Documenting Certifications/Qualifiations and Training (Including Security Clearances for Government Contractors who Require Them), etc.

In many businesses, the total burden on the employer is now over twice the employee's salaries and wages due to the cost of regulatory mandates.

Government mandates that cost employers money tip the balance so that employment of workers who are marginally productive ceases to be profitable, so corporations respond by laying off the marginal employees. Additionally, many corporations have resorted to hiring a lot of part time employees rather than fewer full time employees to reduce the cost of benefits.

It's also important to remember that most companies require two to four years of visibility of profitability to hire permanent employees. Lacking this visibility, they will use overtime or, if necessary, contract for temporary help through an agency rather than hiring permanent staff.

Norm.

Paul Motter September 9th, 2011 05:49 PM

Doug R....

Quote:

The Republicans offer no lure for me as long as they insist on pro-life and anti-gay as requirements to join thier little gathering.
Can I ask you to amed that to "Those Rublicans who insist on pro-life and anti-gay as requirements to join thier little gathering offer no lure to me."

I have to say that there are MANY Republicans who never bring up social issues - including John MCCain - because we are "Goldwater" Republicans (as Reagan was) who believe government has no place in private life at all.

I agree with you - whether you call it Blue Dog Democrat or whatever, I am sure that vast majority of Americans are fiscally conservative and socially liberal.

The required alignment of all policy beliefs according to party makes NO sense. Just because you believe in any one thing does not mean you should have to agree with everything either party believes. But I do seriously believe the left goes MUCH MUCH farther in their attempt to paint all conservatives with the same broad brush as the other way around.

For example, I am fine with people having Christian faith - but I don't think it should be a factor in politics. In the same way you just painted republicans with the same brush, I could say all liberals seem to think the only acceptable religious expressions now are Islam or Atheism - anything else gets you labeled as a wacko or worse.

I did mention a LOT about housing above, also. I feel it is the #1 issue in our depression - families have lost most of their wealth because investing in homes used to be the best thing you could do. Somehow we managed to ruin that. Regardless of how it happened - it needs to be fixed.

Donna September 9th, 2011 06:23 PM

I grew up being told, the best investment you can make is in land/housing and for most of my life, that was true, until recently...I agree, we have to get that back along with job security and just plain jobs...

Sistersolo September 10th, 2011 09:45 AM

Paul, I think that major media groups greatly contribute to the labelling of all Republicans as religious zealots and all Democrats as liberal union flunkies. But one of the reasons I got out of politics is because each year the party organizations, particularly at the upper levels, have actually moved further away from their basic principles. It's become a red team vs. blue team game, where loyalty to the leaders matters more than anything else.

Certainly New Hampshire fits in with your comment that most people are fiscally conservative and socially liberal. And that's regardless of what party they claim allegiance to.

ToddDH September 10th, 2011 11:58 AM

Sistersolo,

Your reasons for getting out of politics approximate mine. I was only a town councilman but at the end of my only term, I was absolutely disgusted with both sides, although I fulfilled every single one of my campaign pledges (an achievement most elected officials are never able to accomplish). I always put the Town first and by that I differ from most because I did that to the best of my ability in a literal sense while most will only operate within the constraints or desires of their party.

In so doing I completely alienated my own political party big shots although my constituents were behind me. Every elected official states they do the same thing but they conveniently leave off the, "...as long as the party approves."

Todd

balabusta September 10th, 2011 03:15 PM

It's easy to talk about solutions but I would suggest; jobs, jobs, jobs! When people are working they have money to spend. The result is that their spending gives work to other people. (an injection into the circular flow of income). The next thing would be to get rid of government waste. If corporations were run like the government, they would go bankrupt. I believe that those people elected to public office should be held accountable for the overspending and misappropriation of government funds. Lastly, and I know that this is very idealistic, I would hope that our elected officials would learn to work together, putting party differences aside, for the betterment of our country.

Sistersolo September 10th, 2011 05:40 PM

Actually, Balabusta, it's NOT easy to talk about solutions. Everyone agrees we need more jobs; what they disagree about is what kinds of jobs they should be, and how to create them. More government jobs? More manufacturing jobs? More "green" jobs? More high-tech jobs? Maybe all of the above?

So what do we do to get them? Our president seems to think that government just needs to spend more money and they will magically appear. Even worse, we'll spend the money this year and "pay for it" 5, 10 years from now. Sure, there are always roads and bridges that need work, but does anyone really believe a project of that type could just get turned on tomorrow?

Some members of Congress seem to believe that if we just eliminate all the rules, the jobs will pop out of nowhere.

The solution lies somewhere in the middle, but agreeing on what it is has been and apparently will continue to be distressingly difficult to do.

ToddDH September 10th, 2011 07:04 PM

To quote Peggy Noonhan, "Put a Federal agency in charge of the Sahara and it would soon run out of sand."

Todd

Fern September 10th, 2011 08:57 PM

I think the WPA should be brought back. Those on "entitlement" who can work, should. It would benefit the infrastructure, too. We have many bridges, parks, etc., that were built by the WPA. Many need repair and updating. I'm tired of paying for those who are able to work, but prefer to live off the dole. And, yes, I know some of those people. They're really proud that they can get something for nothing :(.


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