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report print email Source: Editorial: Obama’s economic experiment has failed — time to get back to what works
Time to end all failed programs
June 22, 2011 | 08:33 AM


The current economic situation started long before Barack Obama became President. Here is a list of things that have not worked in terms of stimulating the economy:

Tax Cuts / Tax Rebates: During the Bush administration we had not only tax cuts but tax rebates (remember the $250 rebate checks). Even with these steps, the economy continued on a downward spiral.

Bailouts in addition to the failed Obama stimulus act: The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (the $700 billion bailout for the financial sector) has caused mainstream America to lose faith in our government and economy. This was crony capitalism at its worst; Former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson falls in line with a group of large financial institutions with a “too large to fail argument” and the need for a bailout. As I look around our own community with shuttered businesses (the industrial park on the South end of Elkhorn looks like a setting for a post apocalyptic movie set), I have to ask why do large financial institutions get a bailout after their leadership made bad financial decisions? Why do the leaders of these institutions get to keep their six and seven figure salaries, receive taxpayer funded year-end bonuses while many working class people who paid taxes now find themselves unemployed?

For the economy to improve we need confidence in our nation’s leadership. Without this confidence people will not want to buy (or keep) homes, cars and other big-ticket items. Without consumer demand, businesses will not hire new workers.

Here are a few suggestions:

Congressman Ryan argues for tax cuts; what we need is tax simplicity and tax fairness. It is now estimated that our current tax system allows 51% of Americans to pay no income tax. This includes profitable businesses and wealthy Americans who paid no income taxes due to deductions and loopholes, along with lower income individuals whose earnings are not taxed. In order to bring equity to our tax system, it is time to bring an end to all deductions and loopholes and to adopt a flat rate tax system in which all incomes, including payroll, business profits, capital gains and inheritances are all taxed at the same rate. As for the rate of taxation, this rate should be set during the annual budget process with the goal of having revenues meeting expenditures (the way in which local governments determine annual property tax rates).

An end to crony capitalism. No more bailouts, subsidies or grants to the financial sector, the auto industry and all other businesses. This includes subsidies to farmers, grants for “green energy”, etc.

Once we achieve tax fairness, it is time to bring an end to deficit spending – even if it means raising tax rates. Otherwise, we will fail to eliminate the fear and uncertainty that our nation’s debt will eventually destroy our economy.


James from Lake Geneva
Community Bank CBD
LAKE GENEVA AREA REALTY
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