President Obama has become afflicted with premature capitulation. While his avowed enemies within the ascendant G.O.P. seem intent on a Bush restoration of sorts. The supine executive has agreed to a continuation of the Bush tax cuts, in a deal short on benefits for the middle class, while adding to the mountain of debt the Republicans claim to abhor. That party's abhorrence attends when the debt helps the lower classes, it ends when it helps the upper class.
Since the President made a bad deal, I figure he was simply lacking the perspective of City Council members from cities around the country. As most people recognize, the nation's City Councils are the great repository of deep economic and political theory. So, hearing the call of duty once again, here goes my plan to pull the president's Nusse out of the fire.
I respectfully suggest that someone within the Democratic leadership should offer a proposal containing the following basic elements:
Taxpayers earning below $250,000 will keep 90% of their current tax cut. These taxpayers would lose 10% of their current tax cuts.
The "average" taxpayer, according to the President, would see their taxes increase by $3,000 if the entire tax cut expired, therefore, if they kept 90% of the cut their taxes would increase just $300 (three hundred) per year.
Every penny of this increased tax revenue would be dedicated to deficit or debt reduction.
Taxpayers earning between $250,000 and $1,000,000 would keep 50% of their current tax cuts. A person in this bracket earning $625,000 per year would see their taxes increase by about $11,000 per year. Those fortunate enough to earn a million dollars would see an increase of about $22,500 per year.
Half of the increased revenue from these increased payments would be dedicated to deficit or debt reduction. The other half would go toward funding infrastructure improvements.
Those earning above $1,000,000 would see their tax rates revert to the rates in effect before the Bush tax cuts--an increase from 35% up to 39.6%
Half of this increased revenue would go to deficit or debt reduction and the other half would go toward funding infrastructure improvements.
All segments of the population would share in the sacrifice needed to get our fiscal affairs in order. All segments of the population would benefit from a revitalized infrastructure.
The unemployed would be put to work in all phases of the gargantuan task of getting our infrastructure up to par and up to date. The improvements would include a viable, 21st Century rail passenger and freight system worthy of a First World power, highway improvements, public park restoration, power grid improvements, urban revitalization, seashore cleanup and buffering, removal of tinder from forests which fuel dangerous forest fires. The list is practically endless and the needs are great.
Work which focuses on such basic improvement of our nation pays immediate dividends because it is work which must be performed in this country, by this country's workers, many of which are currently unemployed or under-employed. The components of these improvements should and must be domestically produced. This could be the engine which drives a long term and sustainable recovery and a sustainable economy.
It makes more sense than padding the bank accounts of the wealthy.
Might that be hard for Republicans to vote against, Mr. President?