Hello again. I’m back with more mental muscle flexing. This is actually something I started over the weekend so today’s post actually didn’t use that many brain muscles today. As always these aren’t fully thought out ideas just a bunch of sentences and me thinking about topics other than myself.
I watched President Obama’s press conference at 11:30am this morning. It covered quite a few topics including gay marriage and the debt ceiling. I listened as he talked about revoking tax breaks for people who own their own corporate jets and wondered why do people who can afford their own corporate jets need a tax break to begin with. Seriously who woke up one morning and said to themselves, “I’m going to introduce a bill to offer people who own corporate jets tax breaks”? This is the kind of nonsense that leaves me shaking me head in disbelief.
I’ve spent my lifetime wondering why we spend so much time trying to follow party lines and get politicians reelected and not just working to make this the best country it can be. Chuck, who is not at all political-minded always says to me during election years, “This is the best we can do?” in regard to the people running for office. I can’t help but wonder what would happen if we sat down the best and brightest of each generation regardless of party affiliation and said this is what we need …
- Jobs with fair pay and benefits
- Healthy crops and livestock
- Clean water and air
- Good schools
- Affordable healthcare
- A fair and balanced justice system
- A strong military
How do we make it happen and how can be make it happen under budget?
I always come back to one of the last episodes of West Wing where CJ accepts a job from a billionaire who wants to use his money to save the world. In the episode she says that the reason the food and medicine sent to Africa almost never reaches the people is because there is no infrastructure, no roads to get it to them. Infrastructure, ours is crumbling. The bridge that collapses in Minnesota a few years ago, the gas main explosions in Philadelhia and Allentown this past winter, holy hell the potholes. Tax breaks for the rich seem to be what keeps the Republican party in office and our richest people seem to prefer giving their substantial wealth to other countries. Oprah, Bill Gates, Madonna I’m looking at you. So I propose this, for every infrastructure project you fund you pay no income taxes for the years you are funding the projects and in addition to no income tax for your main business you’ll also pay no payroll taxes for any employees of the infrastructure project. The same goes for funding the hiring of more police and firefighters. Oh and each job you create, train and hire for in your main business you’ll pay no payroll tax for those people for the first 5 years they are employed by you. Bring your call centers back from India and South America and you’ll pay no property taxes or payroll taxes for 5 years. Build, staff and operate hospitals and schools in Appalachia or the inner cities and we’ll talk about personal wealth and estate taxes. You want a school named after you? Fine! You want the Walt Whitman Bridge to become the Steve Jobs Skyway? Sure! Just fund the re-decking project and reduce the tolls to $1 for 5 years so the middle/working class folks can breathe a little easier and reach into their pockets a little less.
Target and Walmart and Best Buy and BJs, for every local product you buy and sell you too will have tax breaks. Hire more cashiers and stock people and we’ll knock off their payroll taxes.
Now for those companies who insist on sending yet more jobs overseas or continuing their overseas operations you’re welcome to do so because this is in fact a free country but with me as president (yep, I just elected myself) you’re going to pay me or more precisely you’re going to pay the state that you took the jobs out of. You’re going to pay for each employee’s unemployment benefits and health insurance for 2 years. After all you did put them out of a job to protect your bottom line.
Now then …
President Obama and members of Congress here is where you come in. Take all the money that the private funding of infrastructure projects, schools and hospitals and healthcare frees up and pay down the debt. Also as quickly and safely as possible end the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and get out of Libya so that all the money going to fund those wars can be used to fund social services and Social Security and Medicare for the American people.