So we have all this talk at the water cooler, in our homes, and churches about the economy of our nation. Each of us have a very unique thought about this subject. Lets get one thing clear…yes this country has NO MONEY…and yes we have to find ways to find revenue.
Having said this, if we truly had no money everyone, including our local, state, and federal government would be shut down. Not like the “pretend public stances” paraded year in and year out by our elected officials, but really shut down. Little boys and girls would not want to grow up to be fire fighters, police officers, teachers, or even President. Why? The jobs wouldn’t be there. You know how it is in your house…if you have no money, what do you do? Run to your credit card? It’s maxed and the bank isn’t going to loan you another penny. Dive into your savings? Already did it. So what is your option? Just say no. If you can’t afford it you can’t do it. Obviously, our government has money. In fact, if it runs out, they only make more (how would you like that in your life?).
We are hearing from the right that we have to slash our budgets by cutting education, taxing pensions, eliminating thousands of jobs…but be sure to give higher tax breaks to business. Really?
Lets see if I understand how this works. If we break education with more unfunded mandates (No Child Left Behind), tax senior pensions, eliminate jobs (making our unemployment numbers rise), end the rights of a fair wage and compensation for millions are we really growing our economy? Making our kids dumber by not educating students..how does this make for a smarter and competitive workforce? Further, if we cut education how can we expect to see higher paying jobs in our communities with an under-educated workforce? Eliminating jobs? This might be the stupidest idea, if you are not eliminating jobs that are repetitive. By eliminating jobs, you are doing nothing more than pushing more people on an overburdened system (Unemployment or Welfare). I’m not sure how that’s saving taxpayer money, but in someone’s mind it is.
Given the way the talk about slashing budgets is going, how could we do it? How could we have a budget that is about the needs of a country, while being fiscally prudent? First we have to realize the needs of our people. Education, affordable housing, jobs w/a living wage, health care and law and order. These need to be fully funded. Stop playing around and get it done.
Education-Fully fund Early Education (age 2-5) as well as k-12 and Post secondary education. Education holds the key to low crime rates, better communities, better paying jobs, and urban revitalization.
Affordable housing is a necessity. Housing should only be 30-35 percent of the household income, yet for many households it’s really 50 percent or more. This means our families are having to choose between rent/mortgage, food, bills, transportation, clothing, and other necessities. This is unacceptable. We are a country of too much. We pay farmers to not grow crops for cryin’ out loud. Why should our lower to middle class have to live paycheck to paycheck..or worse..payday loan to payday loan.
Jobs-Nationwide we are over 9% unemployed…this # doesn’t include those who have been out of work for more than 18 months. We have to find a catalyst to secure real jobs that pay real wages. Our government shouldn’t be able to tout 35k new jobs when those jobs are minimum wage at best. You cannot sustain a household when you make minimum wage. Hell you cannot sustain yourself on minimum wage without a lot of help.
Proposal: A Flat 10% sales tax. This tax would affect everyone…it would also get rid of the IRS which would be a huge savings. You could also get rid of most of the State Depts of Treasury divisions…keeping a skelton staff as it is sales tax that you pay not personal/commercial taxes. States could impose a tax rate as the 10% would be a national figure.
Proposal: A fee on business start ups and renewal business. Might think this might be excessive…but a small tax or fee for business licenses…as there would be a tax on services and sales made by the business would be there to ensure that the business is legite and the people are protected.
Proposal: A national toll highway system. By having a toll system nationwide, this was make the cost of gas to go down. As it stands, almost $1 of the price of gas/gal is tax alone….as of now that is 33% of the price..actually more. Think of what we could do with an extra $400 per person per month or more if you are a commercial driver or happen to drive an SUV or van.
Proposal: Health Care Tax on cigarettes, alcohol and fast food. These are the major contributors to the health care bubble burst that we have experienced. Therefore tax it. The proceeds from these items would help fund national healthcare.
Proposal: Elimination of Homestead Taxation and implementing a Housing Trust Plan. This tax would actually be used to implement true affordable housing. And instead of taxing homeowners, homeowners would be “investing” in their community to provide rentals or low mortgage housing. Homeowners would then receive a dividend on the housing credit received as a community. Renters would pay a 2% financing fee that would go towards upkeep, and neighborhood revitalization.
As you can see these are outside the box ideas. Definitely not things being talked about or even whispered about. But these could be real options to providing revenue. We have to think this way if we are going to be pointed in our discussions and real in our decision making.