Terry Paulson

It’s time to put America back to work! Chances are that President Obama will give his “New” plan after his vacation. Most likely, he’ll announce a new stimulus plan with “shovel-ready” infrastructure improvements, a call for more taxes on the “wealthy,” and a move to extend unemployment benefits forever! Such actions will just put America deeper into debt and generate a marginal return on investment. Even the Congressional Budget Office's own analysis indicated that Obama's first stimulus plan cost the American taxpayer between $225,000 and $631,000 for every job that it 'saved' or created. Americans want answers that work; not more debt. Here are common sense changes that can make a difference now.

Demand they replace baseline budgeting with zero-based budgeting. Who wouldn’t want a budget that is set to go up 8% every year? It’s time to end the gravy train funded by your taxes. Even better, adopt the One Cent Solution (www.onecentsolution.org) that decreases the budget one percent for the next six years. Any increase in one area must be offset with decreases in another to meet the 1% target. It’s time to make cuts real, instead of telling us that a decrease in the growth of spending is a cut.

Initiate a flat income tax rate. Obama has been trying to spread the wealth, and there’s now less wealth to spread. It’s time we spread the cost of government to all voting citizens. Now, 50% of voters get to spend their neighbors’ money on government handouts. Enough of the lies that the “rich” don’t pay their fair share! Make it the same share and cut all deductions. People will complain—but they will soon start screaming to stop unnecessary spending.

Eliminate unnecessary and costly regulations. Start by rescinding the Affordable Care Act, Sarbanes-Oxley, and the Dodd-Frank Act. All are creating more uncertainty and higher costs for small banks and businesses. In short, free up our free-enterprise economy—the engine of our economy and source of most job growth. In Hong Kong, you can do the paperwork to start your own company in a day. We should match that instead of drowning new and established entrepreneurs in a costly and growing bureaucracy.

Lower the corporate taxes. At 35%, America has the highest corporate taxes in the world. Who pays? Customers do. Cut it in half or more. Now, we’re punishing the very economic growth we ought to be rewarding. Companies sit on cash when the risk of return is too high. Let them earn a return that encourages them to take a risk on turning our economy around.

Send a balanced budget amendment to the states. Most states have to balance their budgets; let’s ensure the federal government does. The House has given them the law they need; act on it let the states respond.

Cut the 15 percent capital gains tax rate in half or more. Make it profitable to take cash off the sidelines and invest it in inventing the future. Eliminating the capital gains tax would allow a free flow of investment capital into countless new business startups, and that means new jobs.

Open up our own reserves to exploration and development by domestic energy companies. Environmental excesses are costing us jobs and economic opportunities we desperately need. Stop forcing us to buy energy from others when America is blessed with vast oil, gas, coal, uranium, rare earth and other natural resource riches. The jobs created and the cost savings we could generate by developing those reserves could help turn our economy around.

Set a limit on unemployment benefits and eliminate the minimum wage regulations. Ninety-nine weeks of unemployment support is enough. People want work and a chance to prove their value, not perpetual dependence on government. Let companies hire people at any wage so that they can prove their value and have better opportunities when they do.

Eliminate exemptions, loopholes, and deductions. Let those who are “too big to fail” fail. End corporate welfare where government picks the winners and losers. Stop giving our tax money to allow failing companies to give exorbitant bonuses to executives who don’t deserve them! Make America more competitive.

Repeal Davis-Bacon. Instead of forcing the government to pay inflated union wages, allow governments to pay prevailing private sector wages. The tax money set aside for government projects would go a lot further and more workers could be hired.

Free Americans to be THE ANSWER. Finally, we need to stop looking to Washington to “do more” and “fix” the problem. Put the focus on the real answer to America’s economic malaise—free individual entrepreneurs, investors, and workers who apply their skills to invent the future and reap their due reward. The underlying strength of the American workforce and the unmatched technological depth of our economy will be the basis for our resurgence when, and only when, Washington once again permits our economy to perform at its full strength by rewarding achievement instead of dependence.


Terry Paulson

Terry Paulson, PhD is a psychologist, award-winning professional speaker, author of The Optimism Advantage: 50 Simple Truths to Transform Your Attitudes and Actions into Results, and long-time columnist for the Ventura County Star.

 
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