Your Big Ideas on Fixing The Economy

Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - 12:33 PM

Michael Horodniceanu, head of the MTA capital construction company (left), Mayor Bloomberg (center), and Jay Walder, Chairman of the MTA. Michael Horodniceanu, head of the MTA capital construction company (left), Mayor Bloomberg (center), and Jay Walder, Chairman of the MTA.

In Washington, a 12-member "super committee" of legislators is haggling over spending cuts and generating tax revenues. Confidence in Congress to get the job done on our stumbling economy is at an all-time low. But America's strength has always been about the democratic discussion of big ideas. In a free society, one person can change the world with creative problem solving. So we want to hear more from you: what are your big ideas for solving the economy?




On Facebook, Kimberly Bunting wrote: 

The world has changed. Whole industries and job types are gone forever. Our society has to evolve from the industrial age to the info age.

Johnpaul Barrabee advocated for more public election funding and an overhaul of the voting system to allow more third party candidates. He also added this idea. 

I would move away from globalization and institute Tariffs on goods manufactured outside the US. That would put us back to work in America. Sure prices would go up on many many things but we would be creating jobs in America and that is what we need, not cheap electronics. The money raised by the tariffs can go towards education programs for all the jobs we would be creating. We must focus on SUSTAINABILITY. If we make our own goods and can operate within our energy supplies our new way of life will be SUSTAINABLE.

Susan from Pittsburgh called in to put forth this idea: 

Integrate Medicare and Medicaid. Some states are already starting that process but if all did it it would save millions and billions of dollars.


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Comments [16]

ikkari from NY, FL, NC created building new revolutionary ideas
* housing communities
* country connecting bridge ideas (promote tourism and possibly citizenship)
* alternative energy sources with financial tracking group and regular reports
2.swear congressmen and senate to complete respect for executive in chief
(president) was the norm tillright and left decided to draw such
obscure lines outside of what they use to stand for not allow oil companies to add such a mark up (they show profit when they
raise the price and seem shocked?) more bailouts without guaranteed acountability and nonstop tracking of
said funds
5.abolish the terms low, middle, and high income when referring to people
(we are now in this together) housing council voted by people
7. invest as much government money as possible to improve the schools
(we have ruined the country with ignorance, at least give the kids the
education needed to crawl their way out) lobbyists
9. remove filibuster from the politics (very childish....if i dont get what
i want...then no one does!! really??? these are the people we elect to offices?)

May. 16 2012 03:13 PM
Fred Pierre from Ohio

Start a national health care cooperative, chartered as a non-profit corporation, with one share issued per member (fair-share, instead of one share per one dollar). The board of directors will consist of doctors, nurses, hospital administrators and patients. All claims will be filed through an internet portal and costs and outcomes will be available in an online database. Membership will be developed in one of two ways: Members will pay annual dues to join, or shares will be distributed to all citizens free-of-charge, backed by the government and/or private donations (Universal Health Care).

Nov. 29 2011 04:50 PM
Ronald Gascon from nomadic

Some really good ideas going here, now we need to figure out how to implement them. My Idea? Trickle up!
Pay it forward, give money to the needy and the rich will figure out how to get it back...
1. Accept that the American People have Value.
2. Give that value an accounting name like goodwill.
3. Give the people the power to use that goodwill to repair the middle class.
Interested ? see

Oct. 19 2011 08:47 PM
Alan Lenseigne

Allow people with 401K money to withdraw UP TO 50% to buy or pay down on exisiting home or purchase a second home. Do not charge any penalty or taxes on this money as long as its used in the real estate market.

Alan Lenseigne
Scottsdale Az

Aug. 24 2011 10:51 PM
Bob True from Wisconsin

Now for a different idea - eliminate the corporate tax and replace it with a federal sales tax to be paid by any entity that sells anything in the US. A credit against the tax can be taken equal to the federal income tax paid on the first $100k of salary for each of the entities employees. This would encourage corporations to hire people instead of outsourcing. It would wipe out unfair corporate tax loopholes and give companines an opportunity to lower their taxes if they hire people. It would quickly broaden the tax base and not set up a system that unfairly chooses winners and losers. When we approach full employment, the tax rate can be reduced so there is flexibility in manufacturing and labor cost bubbles aren't created. This policy would protect America's greatest asset - the wealth accumulated over the past several decades. Soon it will be too late and there will be only the rich benefitting from outsourcing. The middle class must stand up to the greedy.

Aug. 22 2011 09:31 PM
Tim Kellie from Michigan

It appears to me that there is not enough money to go around to fund all the services that people are used to, or the improvements that are necessary to maintain our infrastructure. So my vote is to get rid of the barrier: Money. Go to a universal barter system (eventually planet-wide, hopefully) that will ensure that all people have their needs (and wants) met with regulation (for recycling/reusing) to ensure our landfills will not become bigger than the livable space. Our consumer-driven economy is mature enough to maintain viability in a barter environment.

Aug. 20 2011 02:17 PM
Robert Colón from Miami, FL.

There are a number of things we can do besides raising the tax rate a little for the top 1%. We can also raise the income level to which we stop paying Social Security Tax from $100,000 to $200,000. Another idea is to eliminate known tax loopholes; Increase the budget for the IRS so that enough agents can be hire to conduct proper screening and tax audits; Conduct random investigation of Medicare and Medicaid recipients and payments to Health Care Facilities; Eliminate Oil Subsidies. Create a Flat Tax or reinstate the Luxury Tax. Just a few ideas to consider.

Aug. 19 2011 12:03 AM
Robert Harmony from Oklahoma City

We must take back, preserve, and refine our use of public airwaves--public television and radio:

So many public programs of considerable expense flow directly from inadequate preparation and socialization of our children--there should be far more programs directed at improved parenting. Just now, you can turn on any cable or broadcast program and there is nothing of value of a useful public health nature, NOTHING! ....and the cost of this vacuum is very high.

Aug. 18 2011 01:44 PM
Marc from Miami

1) repatriate foreign profits from us corps now resident overseas at a one time flat rate 10% tax. use that money to build an infrastructure bank - the money would be required to be spent on american workers and american products to build physical and information infrastructure.

2) make government processes more efficient, not necessarily cheaper. i'm tired of hearing about smaller governmen, and want to start promoting the idea of smarter government.

3) stop no bid contracts, and make the contracting process truly competitiive. this includes military contracts.

4) remember, a flat tax would be regressive. the poor and middle class would end up shouldering more of a percentage of their purchasing power. that's economically contractionary.

5) declare a tax holiday for products produced in the united states by american workers.

6) the banks need to lend. the process of marking to market of everything from tax assessment to asset valuation should start, with economic risk mitigation processes included in the solution mix. this would help close the fed window trough for distressed debt that's enriching banks, but not flowing through to the real economy.

7) provide tax incentives to businesses that grow the main street economy, and close or reduce non productive low tax policies like the carried interest loophole.

8) provide tax incentives to companies which provide decent and affordable health insurance to employees.

9) write legislation to keep major corporations from treating their tax departments as profit centers.

i have a lot more. these are just the ideas that i can think of, just off the top of my head.

Aug. 18 2011 10:36 AM
Faye Kennedy

Appeal to all the corporations that have re-located their headquarters abroad to avoid the exorbitant corporate tax rate and tell them if they will bring their business back to the states and pay the (35%?) corporate taxes for 2010, their corporate tax rate will be cut to 20% for the next ten years. Not only would the U.S. get a huge amount in taxes, the companies would enhance the entire economy via their building or renting space, purchasing business/office goods in the U.S., and employing people in the U.S., who subsequently pay income tax themselves, buy or rent homes and purchase their goods, patronize the restaurants, attend entertainment venues, etc. which again passes the enhancement on to the people who supply, provide services and work in the U.S. Not only does this country lose huge dollars from the inability to collect corporate taxes, they lose all the trickle-down that is spent by companies and their people in other countries.

Aug. 18 2011 10:06 AM
Nick from SC

Mandatory Recovery Bonds

Instead of raising taxes create mandatory recovery bonds purchased by every tax paying entity in the Unites States. This should be put in place till all the National debt is owned by US citizens or US corporations. The Bonds would be paid back to citizens or tax paying entities later by the US Gov't. Like the war bonds of world war 2- except mandatory.

Aug. 18 2011 09:35 AM
Craig Simon from Dania Beach, FL

Before we can make an intelligent decision as a civic-minded online public, we need better mechanisms for deliberation and debate. Assigning an editor to pick through potentially thousands of tweets and blog comments and then broadcast a handful on the air won't scale to the size of our community or the size of our problem. I've proposed an approach that I believe is up to the task. It involves an interactive crowdsourcing technique I call coalescent bubbling. Is anyone interested? Find me via

Aug. 18 2011 09:27 AM
Eric from Bronx

Susan from Pittsburg has the right idea. American workers face competition from countries with no healthcare or union rights for their workers, and little environmental regulation of their industries. Let's rate countries by those standards and impose levies based on low rating. Just to show our heart is in the right place, we should spend the proceeds on development and aid abroad. The other thing we should do is require businesses to share their profits with their workers, so workers are able to buy the things produced; no more super bonuses for the bosses.

Aug. 17 2011 09:13 PM
Douglas Brent Smith from Colorado

Major reforms such as:

- Reduce the interests rates that banks and credit card companies charge on debt by pegging it to the savings rate. No debt interest should exceed savings interest by more than 4%

- Require all corporations to pay their fair share of tax. There should be NO loop holes.

- Eliminate "balloon" payments on mortgages. Freeze all existing adjustable mortgages at the first payment level rate. Cap all future adjustable rate mortgages at no higher than 4% over the Fed Funds Rate.

- Eliminate payroll tax for companies with fewer than 50 employees

- Stop "mergers" and company take-overs with any combination of companies than involves more than 20K employees

Aug. 17 2011 12:08 AM
Axel from NJ

What exactly are we trying to fix? The economy is always defined in terms of growth. Everything has to grow. Even NYC needs to have population growth! "Everyone" agrees - fast growth good, slow growth bad, shrinkage disastrous.

But the planet is not growing, the resources we mine and burn are not growing, the air and water supply is not growing.

We need to think big and think much smaller. Growth is so 20th century...

Aug. 16 2011 08:14 PM
Mary Moloney from Oklahoma City

One idea would be to tax arms production. The producers of arms would pay a higher rate of tax than the producers of food, clothing, etc.

Aug. 16 2011 01:36 PM

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