- Posted November 2, 2012 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Your vision for America
A Simple Dream
For me, I want one simple thing: progress. I believe that our politicians have fought one another fruitlessly for years or, worse, given up and done whatever will get them re-elected. So progress begins with electing those who are more concerned about the people they represent than they are about staying in power. Leadership, in its truest form, is service.
Ah, but progress to what end? To divide it into several areas:
1. National deficit and debt. I want this country to balance the budget by increasing taxes on everyone over a period of several years, with the largest increases being on the rich. Also, close up loopholes on the rich while making our tax policies friendlier for large corporations (so that foreign companies will want to headquarter here, much like Delaware has done to attract American corporations). Next, cut spending across the board, especially with welfare reform and cutting government redundancy. I believe we should also stop foreign aid and recall our overseas troops. We must take care of our own house before we try to solve the world's problems. Third, with these and other cuts, bring down government spending by 5% per year until it is 5% less than income. Then use that 5% difference, along with the savings in interest during each successive year, to pay down the debt.
2. Economics. Having more favorable policies for large international corporations will encourage them to headquarter here, where they will need people to run their operations, thus creating jobs. I don't believe in tax breaks for companies, such as the small break in SS tax, because I don't think that giving 2% off an employee's income is a make-or-break for most employers. If it is, that company has bigger issues than a tax break. Instead, I propose incentives programs that will offer significant tax savings for small companies who consistently add new jobs. Each successive year of meeting certain criteria grants a higher level of savings up to a maximum.
3. Education. This is the only area in which I would advocate increased government spending, mostly for college grants. I believe that no young man or woman should be prevented from going to whatever college they are accepted into because of a lack of finances. The increased spending could be in the form of grants or could be an addition to the student's taxes for life, of say 1% for every $10,000 paid for the student. The expected increase in the student's income would not only put him or her in a higher tax bracket, but would add an additional percentage on all their income based on the expense of the college of their choice. According to http://www.bls.gov/emp/ep_chart_001.htm, a person with a bachelor's degree should, if single, pay $4,200 more in taxes and take home nearly $17,400 in after-tax income. Not only would we have a higher level of education for our citizens, the government would make more money and this investment would quickly pay for itself. Also, I believe we should introduce two new classes for our younger students: logical reasoning/problem solving and personal financial management. For the former, I think it should start as young as 2nd grade and emphasize ways to solve problems that have not yet been encountered before as well as arguing your position without logical fallacies. This class should be continued through high school. Right now, students are taught how to solve specific problems, but not new ones. For the latter, start this in high school and require at least two years, covering compound interest, various investment vehicles, depreciation, tax basics, credit scores, and budget-making. Lastly, I'd like to see salaries for teachers be based on standardized tests, both overall performance and improvement over the prior year for those same students. It's about time we reward our best teachers.
4. Bipartisanship. It's more likely that some rocket scientist/farmer will strap a bunch of rockets to pigs and send them soaring around the country, but I'd love to see a blurring of party lines. We are not primarily Republicans or Democrats; we are Americans.
5. Election cycle. I think I speak for most of us when I say, Can we please shorten it by several months? I've seen negative campaign ads nearly every time I turn on the TV for over a year now. Can we shorten it to an intense four months? And then, if more people choose not to vote than vote for any given candidate, we nix all the candidates and try again until the people find someone worth voting for. I know this particular change won't happen, and maybe none of them will, but a man can dream, right?