We can do better
The country deserves something better than any of the tax cuts proposed so far
By Tony Staley
Congress needs to pass -- and Pres. George W. Bush needs to sign
-- not only the biggest tax cut in the nation's history, but more
importantly, the most inventive one in human history.
Tax cuts were a focus of last year's presidential campaign and as
President, Bush is pushing a 10-year, $1.6 trillion tax
Democrats have said they too favor cuts, though not as much as
Bush. They had relied on Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan
to limit such cuts, until he gave his blessing last week to a
broad tax cut in testimony to the Senate Budget Committee.
The problem with all the proposals that have come up so far is
that they don't go far enough.
As nice it will be to have extra money in our pay envelopes, our
elected leaders, in both the executive and legislative branches
of the federal government -- and the best and brightest minds
they can call on -- need to think outside the tax-cutting box.
What our country needs is a win-win-win way that would allow more
people on the bottom rungs to climb up without hurting those on
top or in the middle.
Basically, we need to find a way to create a partnership between
those at the top of the economic ladder and those on the bottom.
It will need to provide the wealthiest with tax credits or
similar means for encouraging and making it possible for the
poorest people to get the education and skills they need to find
better jobs or start their own businesses. Figuring out how is
the challenge our leaders and the nation's most brilliant
thinkers need to solve.
The solution would not be a hand out. Rather, it would be a
mutually beneficial partnership. The wealthy would end up with
more money, both through lower taxes and through increased sales
for their businesses and greater profits for their investments.
The poorer elements of society would gain the skills they need to
prosperously live the American dream.
Can it be done? Henry Ford did something like it in 1914 when he
more than doubled his workers' wages to what was considered a
ridiculously high sum of $5 a day, knowing they would use the
money to buy more Model Ts and help fuel the economy.
We need something that will do even more. It will take a great
deal of work to devise the means, but it shouldn't be impossible
for a nation that's been able to convince people that smoking
cigarettes or drinking a certain brand of soft drink is a good
idea. There must be a way, if only we have the will.