Charting Your Responses: Big Ideas on The Economy

Thursday, August 18, 2011 - 05:30 PM

WBUR

We've been asking listeners all week for their "big idea" to fix the economy, and we've received a lot of responses. Maybe more importantly, a lot of substantive responses — real ideas that you have thought through. Along with discussing some of them specifically, we wanted to give you a sense of the kind of ideas that were presented most often. Here's a graph showing the topics covered (scroll your mouse over the bars to look at each topic):

Here's another version of the same data in a pie graph with percentages. Some of the most popular topics and ideas were legalizing marijuana, cutting military spending, and of course: reforming the nation's tax codes. We also heard varied and interesting ideas on ways to develop green energy and other technologies, or to use the skills of the unemployed and currently deployed to rebuild the nation's infrastructure. Scroll your mouse over each pie piece to see each topic and percentage:

Here is a master list of your ideas your ideas, organized by topic:

 

Topic Comment
A) Business Development

 

Small Business Administration 7 A Loans. Those are the key. We need to put as much attention on getting credit to small businesses as we have to the real estate industry Fannie May, Freddie Mac. What the Real Estate Industry needs now is for people to have jobs, and they should be in the private sector, and we need to pull the plug on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. We need to stop worrying about credit for mortgages. We need to start worrying about credit for small businesses. Right now, it is a it is a long waiting period when you apply for small business administration 7 A Loan and you usually don't get them unless you can fully collateralize the loan.

A) Business Development

 

Why don't we build the companies that depend on open shipping routes for the cost of the navy rather than cutting the pay and compensation of our troops?

B) Cut Government Spending

 

Instead of capping private business that creates wealth how about capping government budgets that only take wealth?

B) Cut Government Spending

 

Isn't anything less than a balanced budget amendment to the US Constitution unserious and an additional waste of time and money?

C) Housing Reform

 

The federal government has become cash poor and property rich due to the Housing crisis, (Fannie Mae , Freddie Mac, and the real estate in default that the treasury department has had to absorb in closing insolvent banks). Since we are going to wind down operations in Iraq and Afghanistan Why not let any member of the military have first dibs on any residential, commercial, industrial, or farm land in the governments possession by allowing them to take an advance on their military pensions (with their total benefit reduced by the same amount). Some of these young men and women have spent most of their young adult hood in the service and this would allow them to play catch up with people there own age, bring stable and responsible people to distressed neighborhoods, or give them a leg up on starting their own business/ farm, etc.. It would also allow the government to get out of the real estate business and reduce the amount of money for future pension benefits, and bring some stability to the real estate market which seems to be in fear of the government suddenly unloading all this property driving property values down further.

C) Housing Reform

 

There is no need to raise housing prices, rather there should be opportunities for homeowners to refinance there mortgages down to make them more affordable and keep people in the houses that can and want to be in them. At the same time, people that want to "drop off their keys" on an underwater house could be put on a fast track foreclosure process to get the house out form under them and onto the mortgage holders' balance sheet, ready for resale (this should NOT be mandatory).In any case, the housing market needs to be put on firm footing and regional markets need to hit bottom so people have a reasonable idea of what houses in a given street, neighborhood, city, etc. are worth when either buying and selling. This will help stabilize the market, keep people in their homes, reinvigorate the real estate market both buying/selling, give homeowners a reason to makes home improvements since they know what their house is worth, and allow for people that don't want their homes a responsible and quicker way to get out. Since the housing bubble was the primary cause of this economic meltdown in the US, and housing normally leads the way out of recessions (although not in this case), this shows a a way out of the morass.

D) Population Control

 

Population decrease/sustainability. Too many people = resource-drain, occupational-impossibilities, and lack of actual property-available.

D) Population Control

 

The problem is demographic: we need more young people. Do everything to support families and women having children, make abortion illegal. The state can have an interest in the fetus in the third trimester, according to Roe v. Wade even. Young people start companies and this leads to jobs. A capitalist economy has never worked in a society with a declining population.

E) Financial Reform

 

The first thing you have to do is open up and audit the Fed so that we can see what they are doing and what is wrong with the economy. It would help to have a complete diagnosis of the problem before embarking on a solution. Having legislators who have some understanding of economic issues and not tied to political rhetoric and interest groups who do understand economics.

E) Financial Reform

 

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%.

F) Cap CEO Salaries

 

Why don't we use the media to ask or call out to these CEO's and companies to look into making these changes and trying it. This might be a much better way to make it more of a popular thing to do for the greater good of America. I think that few of their advertising folks could make it into a really positive thing to help boost company morale and people's outlook on companies.

F) Cap CEO Salaries

 

Why don't we suddenly start a campaign to ask the CEO's to limit their pay in order to reinvest the funds in the company to build the business, to expand on the number of jobs that they need instead of making a law or making a policy?

F) Cap CEO Salaries

 

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.

G) Free Education

 

Forgive student loan payments in exchange for part time WPA-style work. Similar to the time commitment of the National Guard, or even a part time job.
G) Free Education

 

The U.S. should create and fund a free online university. This university should grant credits and degrees for people who take the courses and perform sufficiently well in them. The university should issue transcripts like normal universities. Transfer credits for its courses should be accepted by any university which receives federal funds. Acceptance of its degrees as indication of qualification should be required of all government employers and any employer which receives government funds or contracts. The degree standards should be rigorous. This will make a university education available for free to any American who is willing and able to pursue it.

G) Free Education

 

Free education. An intelligent society (bad for those in power now, who conserve their pleasurable-dominant-lifestyles, not our public interests, duh), is the best policy. We learn ethics, we learn mathematics to understand the effect we all have en masse, the value of the human experience through art, music, plays, film, scientific advance in health, space travel, and metaphysics, etc. Its about efficacy, unity for human survival, and pleasure ultimately, when we are all safe and happy, we are -all- safe and happy.

E) Financial Reform

 

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.

H) Miscellaneous

 

Instead of reporting on a daily basis The Dow Jones Industrial Average let's have news reports on the plight of the working class. It will raise the consciousness of the workers, and they will then in turn get things done in this country because it won't come from the politicians.

H) Miscellaneous

 

Whatever happened to converting into the metric system? That would create tremendous number of jobs; good solid jobs changing sides and things like that. It would also make us more productive and more competitive in the world because the rest of world is on the metric system. It's also a lot easier and students to learn because it's on a based 10 and not 12ins and 3ft. So I think that would produce many jobs and help the economy.

H) Miscellaneous

 

Stop trying to fix it and let the market reach it a natural level of economic activity - stop hitting the gas and brake pedals and enjoy the ride!

H) Miscellaneous

 

Integrate Medicare and Medicaid. Some states are already starting that process but it's all good. It would save millions and billions of dollars.

I) Trade

 

"Free Trade" agreements need real reciprocity.

I) Trade

 

If the U.S. ended it's embargo of Cuba and allowed Americans to travel there it would be a big boost for the US travel industry. It would also be a big boost for American companies that would export goods that American travelers would want. It would also provide an opportunity for the Cubans to upgrade their economy and do a lot of construction and the most logical place for them to get those supplies are from the big neighbor the United States. That would help both countries.

I) Trade

 

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.

I) Trade

 

(1) Stop paying more than other countries for the same goods.
Intellectual property - including patents, copyright and trademarks - are government granted monopolies - which exist only for the public good to incentivize innovation. Unfortunately, IP holders systematically overcharge U.S. consumers. A poor U.S. citizen pays more for medications, textbooks, DVDs, software, trademarked clothing than wealthy people in so-called developing countries (our competitors like India and China). This should stop. It damages our international competitiveness. Any IP monopoly holder who charges U.S. consumers more than consumers in other countries should lose their IP right in the U.S. (eg. the US should stop enforcing this government granted monoploy if it is abused).

(2) Tax IP based on U.S. sales regardless of where the IP ownership papers are held. Google and others pay almost no tax. Why ? They transfer their IP ownership outside the US and transfer price to tax shelter countries. This unjustly robs the US treasury of revenue. Any IP *SOLD IN THE US &/or to US consumers* should be taxed in the US - based on the REVENUE from the SALE. (Otherwise, companies can simply transfer all taxable revenues abroad and evade all US taxes).

J) Reform Congress

 

Collect the funds from all the campaign 'warchests' for the 2012 elections and spare the US voters from all the mind numbing political ads while helping to balance the budget.

 

J) Reform Congress

I would create a reality TV show where  people who have great ideas for job creation would come on and compete against each other. This wouldn't be about partisanship it would be about the strength of the ideas. Judges would be Warren Buffet Bill Gates the Google guys, Ben and Jerry. Congress wwould be locked up until the ideas were implemented and if that goes past the next election, well that's just too bad. Prizes 1,000,000, 500,000 and 250,000 plus the right to see your idea implemented and work on it. The president would have the opportunity and power to authorize these ideas and the expenditures to get them done. They could be in biotech technology, green technology, anything infrastructure building anything that create jobs.

 

J) Reform Congress

I think we need tax Congress's pay and benefits packages to (reflect) the way the economy is doing. Let them get a tax.

 

J) Reform Congress

Jackie Mason probably had the best idea. Put all elected officials on commission. If the country makes money, they get paid, otherwise ...This includes the president as well.

 

J) Reform Congress

We need to get Congress's mind back on the people instead of funding their next election. Congressional Reform Act of 2011: 1. No Tenure / No Pension. A Congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they are out of office. 2. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security. All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people. It may not be used for any other purpose. 3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do. 4. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%. 5. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people. 6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people. 7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen are void effective 1/1/12.

 

K) Energy/Technology

Enact federal legislation creating a formula based on the size of a home and/or building that would split its power usage between the grid and solar/wind power. Along with government subsidized construction and installation for solar panels/windows and wind turbines this should create domestic jobs in those industries (via Buy America clause). Unlike oil, coal, and shale related jobs these new jobs would be nationwide requiring little relocation for workers. It would also decrease dependency on foreign oil. And would lower energy costs for families which could provide more spending money. It could also help in cases of catastrophic power failures by making each dwelling a source of emergency electricity.

 

K) Energy/Technology

Create a huge solar and wind farms in United States using military personnel. Tie it into our nation's power grid in teaching an entire generation of people these two technologies which certainly play a part in our energy future.

 

K) Energy/Technology

I have 2 ideas that can save our economy. One is the self generating electric car. I already have the plans for that. This way you're not depending on oil whatsoever from automobiles. You'll still need the oil for tractors and heating houses like in the north east for burning the fuel but as far as automobiles the whole gasoline thing is ridiculous and has been for the last last 30 years. The other idea is to start using salt water and separating out the hydrogen which is a lot more stable than propane and you can use that to generate electricity. The by product of this is oxygen that's so pure you can breathe it water that is so pure you have to actually add minerals to drink it and then of course when you separate the salts you can use that.

 

K) Energy/Technology

The biggest and best idea for fixing our economy in a big way is obvious and can be found by a quick look back into our history. What really lifted us from the depths of The Great Depression was an entirey new mega-industry. Our lack of preparedness at the onset of World War II literally required us to build the huge armament and materiel machine that not only powered the war effort but fueled an economic engine that set us on the path to decades of economic growth and technical advancement. HELLO???!!! GREEN ENERGY! The benefits, really urgency, of a national Manhattan-Project like mobilization to convert the country to green enrgy are so obvious that not doing so is tantamount to collective national suicide.

 

K) Energy/Technology

Create a new public work program centered on renewable energy such as solar collection, storage facilities and required transmission lines. Costs would be offset by unemployment comp reductions, fossil fuels not imported. This is something we need to do eventually, so why not now when there is slack capacity.

 

K) Energy/Technology

We need a comprehensive plan that merges old & emerging technologies that helps businesses provide more jobs, save on healthcare and R&D cost. This plan must effectively touch upon the issues of education, healthcare, infrastructure, green-energy, manufacturing... I have a plan, it requires commitment and no cost to all Americans. Try me!

 

L) Infrastructure

The Civilian Conservation Corps cleared a lot of our state parks. Our state parks now could use a lot of rehab. There's a lot of other work that that such a corps to do. I think we need to bring it back.

 

L) Infrastructure

We need to build up our infrastructure. Our highway, our power grids--everything that makes America run needs to be built up and if we had a government program that did that I think it would get people back to work with benefits.

 

L) Infrastructure

Automate the highways. Create an elevated automated electrified highway system. This will create thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of good jobs here in America. Once built it will reduce our dependence on foreign oil, make driver induced traffic jams a thing of the past, make us more productive, and reduce the daily stress in our lives. Automating the highways should be this generations Apollo program.

 

L) Infrastructure

Go to every blighted neighborhood and fix them! Add parks and new schools. Manufacturing jobs,construction jobs, Eco jobs would all follow. Start with The gulch in Atlanta!

 

L) Infrastructure Repair all infrastructure & build more alternative energy and transportation alternatives ... More spending.
L) Infrastructure

Put people to work building congestion-busting TRANSIT systems, to decrease America's dangerous, economy-strangling over-reliance on cars and oil.

 

M) Legalize Marijuana

One way to remedy the economy would be to legalize marijuana to create a whole industry in the United States. And the government could get money from taxing it, and we'll also save money by not having to prosecute people they arrest and paying for them to stay in prison.

 

M) Legalize Marijuana

Legalize marijuana and tax it appropriately.

 

M) Legalize Marijuana

Make local municipalities financially responsible for the incarceration costs of sending people to prison and jail. This would make local police and prosecutors have to think about the cost of locking up nonviolent offenders before arresting and prosecuting people that should not be incarcerated. If we stopped locking up innocent drug offenders the country would save billions every year.

 

M) Legalize Marijuana

Remove Federal restrictions on Marijuana.

 

M) Legalize Marijuana

Legalize marijuana. Revenue will come from taxes on it and the govt will save money on law enforcement and prisons.

 

M) Legalize Marijuana

Legalize marijuana. Tax it like cigarettes.

 

M) Legalize Marijuana

The economy could get a big boost from the "green"! The legalization of Hemp and Marijuana, I mean! There is money to be made, but it's yet to be seen Our government doesn't believe in the "American Dream"! Grow hemp outdoors, And Marijuana inside... The economy will be boom! and dealers won't hide. No longer considered criminals, but entrepreneurs... How many people will be employed by their stores? The uses for hemp are too numerous to list. But, they say Marijuana is bad...What? is there something I missed? The side effects of weed is cottonmouth and the munchies! I'd like a drink and something crunchy! Think of the grocery baskets being filled! Oh, the greenhouses, the grow rooms, the dispensaries they'll build! The 40,000 less Mexicans killed! It's mind-boggling, the profits to be made! President Obama won't talk about it because he's afraid! We all know it will happen one of these days! I can't believe this isn't backed by Hostess and Lays! The time is now and the laws are unjust! The "War on Drugs" is a failure and legalization a must! God made the plant! Now who do you trust? Stand up, America! Go Green or Go Bust!

 

L) Infrastructure

I think Obama should initiate an “America the Beautiful” program using federal, state and private money to support public and private programs to restore the natural beauty of the country. It would emphasize renewal of natural habitats, clean up of water, air and land, carbon reduction and growth of sustainable urban to rural agriculture. The goal would be to make America the greenest country in the world.

 

N) Change Employment Standards

Abolish all union contracts. Let them get paid what the market will bear just like the rest of the labor force. It will bring lots of jobs back into the country.

N) Change Employment Standards

 

The problem is not unemployment, it is maldistribution of employment. Going back to the days where one parent or one spouse works instead of two to reduce the supply of employees, raise their wages and give families the opportunity to save and manage household costs instead of rushing around rushing to work and spending willy-nilly in an attempt to get there on top.

 

N) Change Employment Standards

A 4 day work week would spread employment and would stimulate spending. Alternatively, one could require that the extra day be used for either community service or education/retraining.
This would encourage full time employees to retrain and keep their skills up to date. Since a large percentage of the work force is part time, the US would need to create laws that grant a PAID day off for every 12 to 15 hours worked. This would prevent employers from firing full time employees to switch more to part timers. Part-time employees should also be granted - by law - a pro-rata share of the cost of benefits for full time employees.

 

N) Change Employment Standards

Simply forbid discrimination on the grounds of education, and you'll see a flood of smart ambitious people, finally freed from the constraints of college, moving into jobs where their talents and energy can really make a difference.

 

N) Change Employment Standards

The way to do it WAS a creation of a civilized society with mandatory vacation, sick days and legal (functioning) protections against exploitation (no 70 hour work weeks pretending to be 40 hour work weeks).

 

N) Change Employment Standards I was hired as a contractor (temp) for a company located in rural area above Pittsburgh, they made gear box units for trains. They had a union. I worked hard and fast and was too productive. The union voted me out 3 months later from being too productive. A number of workers compained, I was going to work myself out of a job. The goal of any american is to simply work hard and keep a job. I lost mine due to the union, because I worked too fast! ABOLISH UNIONS AND PUT AMERICA BACK TO WORK. The minimum wage was meant to protect. Unions create a "lazy" attitude among workers, especially if the company owners are required to pay a certain wage. This is counter productive for America, PERIOD.
N) Change Employment Standards

 

Hi this is Marianne from Staten Island. My husband owns a small business, and he has to be Union in the state or he won't get a job which in itself should be on constitutional but the Union. I think we should get to save the economy let's get rid of the unions.

N) Change Employment Standards

 

Fix the Economy Bring back the jobs that have fled overseas. I rarely hear anyone address this taboo issue, afraid of the repercussions of losing the big business votes. We need jobs to stimulate the economy, yet more and more companies outsource a great deal of their income-generating jobs.

O) Cut Military Spending

 

Tell Iraq and Afghanistan they have one year. Then we take 90 percent of the troops out.

O) Cut Military Spending

 

All the military get out of Afghanistan out of Korea out of all of the nations where our military is currently. Really we have no need for the military in my opinion.

O) Cut Military Spending

 

I feel the best way of saving a great deal of money and getting our economy back on the road is to stop the senseless we're involved with in Iraq and Afghanistan as quickly as possible. The wars are causing us a fortune and lives and money.

O) Cut Military Spending

 

I think you should stop pouring our money into external countries and wars. Save money by focusing all that towards our deficit, and become more central to our own country and we can afford to feed ourselves we should be feeding our deep bone. We shouldn't be pleasing the world that have to prioritize.

O) Cut Military Spending

 

 

One way I think that we can actually straighten up the economy is by getting control or our foreign policy in the Middle East. It's all about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. We're already lost close to over a trillion dollars in our worth of our GDP. So pretty much what we could do is take a neutral form policy in the Middle East and save ourselves a tremendous amount of money with regard to our taxes but more importantly we'd actually have a policy that would actually secure the domestic front and reduce our exposure to terrorism.

 

O) Cut Military Spending

 

 

 

 

Many of us have mentioned that we need a new version of the WPA. Talking with people with much more information than myself explained that our present government doesn't have the money to support such a program. Another issue for me, has been the continued drain of money due to our military involvement in so many conflicts. I was told that one of the reasons our military is kept "over there" is that our country would be overwhelmed with soldiers coming home with no jobs available. Here's my answer. Bring our military home. They are still getting paid but put them to work doing repair/construction on our infrastructure. We would be saving so much money being used to support wars that will never be won that could be used over here. Continuing to pay our soldiers to build at home, instead of destroying somewhere else should be a viable solution to a new WPA. It doesn't help the job situation but adds another piece to the puzzle we have to solve.

 

O) Cut Military Spending

 

 

Perhaps the US can no longer afford to be the policeman for the world. There are over 40 US military installations in Germany alone plus others in Europe. Who are we defending Germany against? The Cold War ended more than 20 years ago. We have 50,000 troops in South Korea. South Korea has a prospering economy. Why can't they shoulder the burden for their own defense?

 

O) Cut Military Spending

One cost that we could cut would be cutting the pay that we give to West Point students to attend school. There's no other college in the country where we paid students to go to school."

 

O) Cut Military Spending

Hi, this is Mike from Cape Cod. Nobody seems to be talking about the effect of the wars on the economy and the recession. I think we need to remember what happened to the Soviet Union after their debacle in Afghanistan. We need to get out of those wars right away and start re directing those funds.

 

P) Tax Reform

If the government were to come up with whatever amount of money, let's say $10000 per taxpayer that's paid taxes for the last 3 years, and send it out in the form of a debit card. They would have to spend the money within 3 months of getting the debit card. You divide each state in the four quadrants and every 3 months during the year another quadrant gets that $10,000 per person who pays taxes for the last 3 years. That would stimulate the banks, that would stimulate the stores, we'd have to hire more people and obviously the paper are gonna feel really good about buying things. That's what our economy is all about.

 

P) Tax Reform

So the US Government is losing they say 1.2 trillion dollars of tax dollars that they could be collecting if the United States would only reduce the corporate tax rate to what the overseas countries are charging. Right now we get zero if we at least allow these companies to come back to the United States at lower tax rates than what exist presently. We would collect all that money and we'd have all these jobs back in this country.

 

P) Tax Reform

Jackie Mason probably had the best idea. Put all elected officials on commission. If the country makes money, they get paid, otherwise ...This includes the president as well.

 

P) Tax Reform

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.

 

P) Tax Reform

The way to change what's going on here is to make corporations responsible for their their tax shelters, that shelter them from paying their taxes that they owe this country and this government. They don't. They send their employees overseas, they don't pay taxes and that's a huge amount of lost revenue and lost jobs.

 

P) Tax Reform

I would like to see incomes taxed for Social Security the same rate, without an income ceiling, so that everyone pays the exact same percentage. I understand now that the ceiling is near $130,000, and it should not be, and that would bring additional revenues obviously to social security. What do you think the result of that would be?

 

P) Tax Reform

Require all corporations to pay their fair share of tax. There should be NO loop holes. Eliminate payroll tax for companies with fewer than 50 employees.

 

P) Tax Reform

We charge higher taxes on fast-food, cigarettes and grant tax-breaks for those who (undiagnosed with glandular issues, etc) exercise and stay healthy. We all put money in our own ways in to this society, our world - let's charge those who choose to be a greater drain. Equality, true.

 

P) Tax Reform

Tax profits from goods and services made in the 50 states at the lowest rate. Tax profits from paper transactions and financial speculation at the highest rate. No exceptions.

 

P) Tax Reform Pay for social security and medicare with a Goods and Services Tax, and a Value Added Tax, and Dont let it get raided so interest builds. And put Congress on 401k--no pension.
P) Tax Reform

Tax reform, reduce entitlements & leave more money in the pockets of people to use for inovation & job creation... Gov't has failed us on this part. Julian the Apostate raised taxes on the wealthy and fed his troops & improved the economy of the territory where he governed!

 

P) Tax Reform

A tiny tax on stock transactions or just a tax on people who make over a million dollars a year no matter how they make it will provide enough money that the government could provide critical services and get people back to work, because the millionaires are not really creating jobs. We can't keep hoping that they will.

 

P) Tax Reform

Bloomberg Businessweek reported that 30 percent of the nation's economy is controlled by less than 1 percent of the nation's population. Warren Buffet said the tax code for the wealthy is rediculous. Why not have that 1 percent that control the 30 percent pay their share? They use the same resources we do.

 

P) Tax Reform

I think we should ask the bankers on Wall St., big corporations and really rich people to chip in for a stimulus that will boost the economy, which will benefit them too.

 

P) Tax Reform

The $5M cap on CEO's sounds great, but didn't the old $1M cap divert money to stock options and spur the focus on next-quarter planning not next-decade thought? No, we have to pay for these $3T wars in Afghanistan & Iraq just like the $3T WWII (in today's money). The top marginal income tax then was 91% on money above $3M (in today's money) lowered to 74% under LBJ after closing loopholes. Corporations = people, so tax capital gains at least 35% not just 15%. New brackets: over $1B income/profit = 91%, over $500M = 74%, over $100M = 50%, over $20M = 39%, over $1M = 35%. Raise the hourly minimum wage $1/year from 2007's $7.25 to $10 (the 1968 level in today's money) to $15 (Ralph Nader's estimate based on productivity). Combine these tactics for a strategy of full employment, with single-payer healthcare like China and free education like pre-Reagan California. This would encourage charitable giving and re-investment like the old cartoons about capitalism.

 

P) Tax Reform

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.

 

P) Tax Reform

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.

 

P) Tax Reform 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.

 

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Comments [5]

terry Bowring from australia

I am an Australian who worked near Detroit for 4 yrs and have made occasional business trips back to USA . Below are my comments
1) Many of your business men have sent production to China to reduce costs. Now you are ooking for jobs
2) Couldnt understand why our countries went to war in Vietnam. The US has a huge armed forces sometimes wonder if they are really necessary
3) G Bush said lower taxes on wealthy and they will create new jobs. Still waiting ! Go for a fair days work for a fair days pay.
4) 5% of world population in US consume 25% of world resources, we all should be producing mainly products we need. Tell the retailers If we dont need it dont buy it.
5) Look to generate energy efficiency and renewable powerand biofuels. Work out how to export your expertise to 3rd world to improve image and reduce need of war
6) Investigate doctor managed health services, concentrate on preventative health measures to reduce bureaucracy and costs

Aug. 28 2011 03:34 AM
Jason Isbanioly from Charlotte

If you're talking about re-creating the manufacturing jobs that built the middle-class, it's got to be building green energy infrastructure. The GOP has neither the imagination nor the incentive to push for these jobs. Emphasis on these jobs requires at least tacit acknowledgement that the old energy structure is outdated and insufficient for this century. Even discussing wind energy brings scorn and derision from their tea party handlers, and God forbid the republican candidates even discuss global warming.

Aug. 21 2011 12:48 PM
listener

The Takeaway of listeners "big ideas" was once succinctly expressed by William F. Buckley.
"I should sooner live in a society governed by the first two thousand names in the Boston telephone directory than in a society governed by the two thousand faculty members of Harvard University".

Aug. 19 2011 07:37 PM
Caitlin

We might have a better chance at recovery if news media organizations would stop reporting every other minute how bad the economy is. That is what every news station leads with - including you - talking tough about what the American people want from their politicians to turn the economy around. Get another story and maybe the masses might feel a little bit better and treat themselves to a coffee and then Wall street will feel better too.

Aug. 19 2011 08:22 AM
AM Hate Radio from Georgia

OJT Program:

A National On The Job Training Program

Federal, State, County & City Governments

Working Collectively, Along With Willing Private Sector..

Truly Training & Hiring Unemployed Americans

Aug. 18 2011 06:20 PM

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