If You Were President Obama?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 05, 2008 5:44 PM GMT
    In the last week I have broken my own promise about not getting into a flame war with another RJ member (my apologies to flexonyou).

    So in the interest of moving forward and looking at ways of dealing with the most urgent problems facing the USA, I have come up with a list of ideas. BTW I work in government (finance) and I take a lot of interest in economics and world events, that is why I find this topic so interesting.

    I am attaching the latest budget results for the US government for your own edification.

    http://www.treas.gov/press/releases/hp1213.htm

    One final request. let us make this a forum topic that stays away from the blame game. Thanks.

    Taxes:
    - let the Bush tax cuts lapse, but keep the middle class tax cuts and reduce the tax increases for those other 250,000. When the economy is tanking is not a good time for big tax increases for anybody.

    - phase out deducting mortgage interest from taxes; Americans should be encouraged to pay off their mortgages faster and reduce their debt load. One thing this latest crisis has proven is that too many people are overleveraged.

    - phase-in corporate tax reductions over a period of years. Corporate tax reductions help boost productivity.

    - introduce a value added tax or consumption tax and further reduce income tax. Americans need to save more and consume less.

    Health Care:

    - all Americans must be insured. I am not sure how this can be accomplished, but the uninsured going to the ER is a very expensive way of delivering health care;

    - tort reform needs to be implemented. The cost of health care in the US is partially due to the outrageous settlements that litigation lawyers are managing to get awarded by juries.

    - a cap on the price drug companies charge for prescription drugs.

    Entitlements

    - the President and Congress are going to have to start educating the American people about the looming crisis in entitlements. Social security, medicare and medicaid are going to explode in about 10 years when the oldest of the baby boomers is 72 and everyone born between 1946 and 1953 is 65 or older. I personally thought that President Bush's idea about private accounts for social security was not that bad. At least he tried to get the dialogue going. Unfortunately by that time his political capital was gone.

    Trade

    I hope that President Obama resists the push by unions and others to increase protectionism. In the long run it does not help the country. For every job that is loss because of free trade others are created (Boeing selling airplanes to China because of their growth for example).

    Education

    The public education system in the US is underperforming it seems. Giving parents more choice on what schools they can send their children to, increasing teachers pay to attract better teachers, and making teachers and schools more accountable for bad performance might help turn things around.

    The US Budget

    Reading through the attached document is a real eye-opener. $91 billion for the Department of Agriculture, nearly $600 billion to Defense, over $450 billion to pay for interest on the debt, over $660 billion on medicare and medicaid. The US Government is starting to drown in red ink!

    A couple of areas I think need to be looked at. Subsidies to farmers for producing ethanol (which lost McCain Iowa) and the Department of Defense. Does the DOD need all of the expensive equipment it wants to fight the war on terror? Or is its' purpose more broad? Each F-22 Raptor is extremely expensive. Would it be better to buy cheaper aircraft in greater numbers?






  • Timbales

    Posts: 13993

    Nov 05, 2008 5:53 PM GMT
    I would make it do that anything imported costs more than something produced here. It's better for the economy and the ecology.
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    Nov 06, 2008 3:25 AM GMT
    Timberoo saidI would make it do that anything imported costs more than something produced here. It's better for the economy and the ecology.


    and when every other country turns around and puts import duties on everything produced and exported from the US and higher Corporation tax on US based multinationals operating in their countries...
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    Nov 06, 2008 1:27 PM GMT
    AMT87 said
    Timberoo saidI would make it do that anything imported costs more than something produced here. It's better for the economy and the ecology.


    and when every other country turns around and puts import duties on everything produced and exported from the US and higher Corporation tax on US based multinationals operating in their countries...


    Yes that is the down side of protectionism isn't it. If people really want to pay for local produce then they should also be willing to pay a bit extra for something that is fresher. Importing farm goods from poor countries makes more sense then sending over billions of dollars of aid to them. The aid often ends up in corrupt government officials swiss bank accounts!