I'll be the first to admit that the Bush campaign's recent TV ads appear to be a huge waste of money. With references to Sept. 11, they appeal only to his core supporters, while giving his detractors misplaced but effective ammunition with which to attack both the president and his political tactics.
Aside from all these commercials and their lack of a clear message, however, the truth is that life in the United States isn't all that bad. Yes, there is unemployment, but for many years it's been widely accepted by economists that anything under a 6 percent unemployment rate signals a robust job market. We continue right now at under 6 percent.
And yes, we have faced plenty of crises of late, including that of corporate corruption. But slowly, the Bush administration is addressing these problems one by one. The Martha Stewart conviction, although in my mind an effort to single out a celebrity, nevertheless broadcast an important lesson: Don't lie to the government (a lesson that wasn't clear during the previous administration).
Sure there's plenty of second-guessing that can take place over Iraq; many people question whether our own leaders fudged the truth about weapons of mass destruction. But few can deny that Bush's boldness on the international front has done anything but strengthen our hand in the high stakes game we play with despots and terrorists. They now know that when the U.S. speaks, it means business.
Despite all this, we now have the likes of billionaire sage Warren Buffett telling us how the Bush administration's tax policies favor wealthy people and big corporations. That's intriguing commentary from a fellow who just this week was quoted in a newspaper as bemoaning his corporation's excess of cash. Buffett says there's nowhere to put it all!
I for one would be happy to tell him where to put it. It seems that rather than see more money invested in America, Buffett would make it impossible for small businessmen and women who are just starting out to make decent money, much less to have a chance one day to enter his stratospheric league.
Here's a good idea, Mr. Buffett: Instead of labeling as "wealthy" anyone who is creating jobs as their fortunes increase, or who is inheriting resources earned by their families, let's create an "Untouchable Super Wealth Tax." Let's say that anyone with a net worth of more than $500 million must pay, say, 75 percent tax on the balance of their net worth. That way, Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, the two wealthiest people in America -- both of whom take the ironic, populist stance of railing against "tax cuts for the wealthy" -- can join forces and help to truly equalize our tax system.
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