Watching this administration and Congress trying to deal with the financial crisis is like watching a fireman trying to put out a fire with Gasoline. He keeps spreading it around and destroying everything in sight and wondering why the flames keep spreading!
What's interesting to me is the fact that none of this is new, we've all played this game before. If you strip Fascism of it's hatred and racism, one of the core beliefs of Fascism was a philosophy called "Corporatism". It was a system where profits could be private, but losses were public. It was a system employed by the Nazi's to have a sort of "guiding hand" of the government in all aspects of major corporations and to a lesser extent it was employed by FDR in the "New Deal". What most people don't realize is that while other countries had a depression for a few years, FDR's "New Deal" helped destroy the U.S. economy to the point to where it became not just a depression, but a GREAT depression. The only thing that saved FDR (and our economy) was WWII.
Let's get to the point, over 99.99% of all companies in the U.S. have in one way or another simply ceased to exist. It happened with Enron, MCI, Numerous Railroads, Auto companies, Computer Companies, Banks, Candlestick Makers, Blubber Producers, Whalers, Semiconductor Manufacturers and many, many, many other institutions. It didn't cause the "ruin" of the U.S. Economy, sure there were some affected and millions have lost their jobs, but for the most part they found jobs in either their own start-ups, others start-ups or other companies.
This notion that somehow if all these banks failed, or if we don't insure deposits over 100K, somehow it would plunge us into another Depression or destroy the economy is absolute BS. Candidates talk about "fairness" all the time, how is it fair to take money out of my pocket, and give it to some fat cat on Wall Street? Or to someone who foolishly left more than 100K in a single bank, knowing full well he was only insured for 100K? This whole mess happened because of Washington
politics and their accomplices on Wall Street and so now middle America has to pay the price? What happened to Personal Responsibility? I guess just like Capitalism, that's simply out of vogue. It's no longer cool to be a "Cowboy",
these days it equates to being arrogant. We here at "NoSocialism" know the answers and it's for people to take responsibility for their own actions, for their own lives and STOP asking government to do more and more and more for us. Here's how I would handle this mess.
The Personal Responsibility Act.
- Burn all 60,000 pages of the Tax Code. It's a tax code that was designed specifically to give members of Congress powers to bestow upon special interests in an attempt to keep them in power. Eliminate all taxes, including Social Security, Medicare, Unemployment, Death Taxes, Import Taxes and so forth. Eliminate all Payroll Taxes. The only responsibility that Employers have is to keep their business in business. While providing jobs is a nice side effect, it's not their responsibility to provide for things like Retirement, Health care, Unemployment Insurance and so forth. These are things that should be purchased by employees, and they should be fully aware of the full cost of such benefits.
- Replace current revenue with a 10% Sales Tax on ALL Goods and Services except for Cash Transfers (such as Bank Deposits) and a 10% Import tax with ZERO Exemptions. The U.S. Economy is currently running at around 13 Trillion and we import about 1.5 Trillion in goods alone. Current income taxes collect 1.1 Trillion and current Duties (Import Taxes) collect 26 Billion. This new model would collect 1.3 Trillion (assuming zero growth) in Sales taxes and 150 Billion in Import Taxes, almost 6X more than current levels (again assuming zero growth).
- Give Employees their FULL pay. Now that the Employer no longer has to pay all these taxes, he should go ahead and give that money directly to the employees. On average an employer spends approximately 10% on Social Security, Medicare and unemployment taxes and an additional 15% on Health Insurance. Your typical family salary is currently around $51,000.00, but once you take out all the Taxes and Social Security, that family only takes home about $39,000.00, not including their share of 401K's and Insurances, which on average reduces it another $3300.00 a year, but let's just keep the Original $39000.00 since not everyone has insurance today. This typical family would now see their take home pay increase to $63,750, a 61% increase without costing the employer a dime. He simply shifted the money he was ALREADY spending on Taxes and Insurance back to the employee.
Think about this for a moment, what kind of life would your family have if you had a 61% increase in your level of income. All of a sudden, things like Health insurance is affordable. Retirement Savings isn't an issue. Heck you could even get by without the Government paying for your kids lunch!
- Double the current Minimum Wage. Now that employers no longer have to comply with a crushing level of government mandates, he can afford to pay his employees more. He should pass on the savings to his employees.
- Give Employees a choice, but make retirement mandatory. Now that employees are flush with cash, the only responsibility that Employers now have is to offer an SS401K, (Social Security 401K) where they must put a minimum of 10% of their pay into. In addition, employers need to offer insurance, but all insurance premiums would be fully deducted from the employee's pay, again so he knows the FULL cost of these products.
Let's cover the SS401K's first. These special SS401K's will be Government certified to only invest into Grade A Commercial Paper, Midcap to Largecap growth companies and Home loans (NOT SubPrime Garbage). Every year employees must update the year they plan to retire, and at least half of their account must be moved out of the stock market no later than 5 years from retirement to reduce exposure to volatility.
- Issue Bonds to pay for the current crop of Social Security recipients. Currently, the U.S. will have to pay about 17 Trillion over the next 30 years to the people who are currently enrolled in Social Security and Medicare. The U.S. should monetize this obligation and place it in each tax payers SS401K plan on a pro-rated basis, dependent upon how much they've paid into Social Security so far, in the form of U.S. Interest Bearing Bonds (instead of the non interest bearing type they're currently filling Social Security with). Chile has already set a precedence for this and their average retirees are actually worth more than your average retiree here in the richest country in the world. These bonds will require an additional 5% sales tax, but the good news is that once they're paid off (in about 30 years) that extra 5% drag on the economy will be gone.
- Make Employees take responsibility for their Health Care. Pre-existing conditions clauses would be eliminated. Age indexing would be eliminated, all policy holders will pay the same price, regardless of age, sex or condition. While you would think that this would cause rates to rise, in reality it won't because it will balance out with healthy people that currently choose NOT to buy insurance injecting cash into the system. HMO Type policies will also be eliminated because they mask true costs of health care from the general populace, which is why the health care industry is able to get away with increase that are usually 2 or 3X the level of inflation. All employees will have the choice of going with one of 3 policies, a modified Medical Savings Account which has a $5000.00 Cash allotment to be used for medical expenses on a special Credit Card), after which the company pays for all expenses (This would be the closest thing to an HMO, but at least the employee is AWARE of the TRUE cost of services). The second type of policy will be a Catastrophic policy that only pays after a $5000.00 deductible (this will be the cheapest, probably around 2 to $400.00 a month). The third option will be a standard indemnity policy with around a $250.00 deductible and 80/20 coverage, where you file paperwork with the insurance company and they reimburse you 80% of what you paid (usually to 5 or 10K then it covers 100%). All policies will have to cover up to 2 Million. Since Doctors and hospitals will no longer have to hire battalions of Billing Specialist to fight the HMO's for reimbursement, all Doctors that currently take insurance (yeah some don't) will be required to reduce their current prices by 25%. This price control will be in effect for 5 years to give the market time to adjust to the new realities.
- All those who chose to ignore the law (such as illegal Immigrants and the self employed who didn't buy policies) will be transferred to special Government run hospitals if they end up needing care, where they can receive Canadian Style wait for years to get treatment service. This way Hospitals can't use the uninsured as an excuse to charge us $100.00 for a Tylenol.
- Make Employees take responsibility for Mishaps. Mishaps happen, unemployment happens and so employees will have to take responsibility and buy their own unemployment insurance and Accident insurance. Policies like AFLAC pay a certain amount of CASH for every day that someone is in the hospital so they can pay their bills. Unemployment insurance should be offered by private companies with the risk rating relative to how many times someone has applied for unemployment. As an employer, I was keenly aware of employees who would work the minimum of 6 months to qualify for unemployment, they would then get themselves fired and then applied and "took 3 months off". Then went back to work for the next stooge.
Employees that show this pattern of behavior should be charged more for their unemployment insurance. Again, people will be required to buy these kinds of policies, but they shouldn't consume any more than about 1 to 3% of their pay. All of These insurance Policies, Retirement accounts and even savings accounts should be offered as a direct deduction to employees, but none of it should be subsidized by the employer. If the employer wishes to subsidize something, they should simply pay the employee more money and let the employee decide what to do with the cash.
- Move more responsibility towards the States. Things like Welfare and other social programs should be administered by the States. With their constituents flush with cash, they will see a MASSIVE increase in sales tax revenue. Remember, even though the average person has to pay 15% more for their products (between the 10% sales Tax and the 5% special Assessment for Social Security Bonds) they will still have between 25 to 61% more money to spend. The average family won't be spending any more than about 15% to 25% of their pay on Retirement and Insurance, so that should leave PLENTY of extra cash for buying more stuff. The states can use this revenue to increase their
- Reap the rewards. Small Business owners who inherited the business from their parents will no longer have to pay crushing death taxes and sell off parts of the business. With Oil imports permanently costing 10% more than the home grown variety, companies will have more incentives to both drill at home and develop alternatives, such as Wind and Solar. This alone will help to provide Millions of new jobs. The same goes for a variety of other businesses where imports are only marginally lower than the home grown variety. Businesses that relocated to other parts of the world will be flocking back to the U.S. totake advantage of the elimination of the Capital Gains tax. EVERY Multinational Company in the world will relocate their headquarters to the U.S. With 100% of Profits (instead of 65% under the old system) being reinvested in companies, the U.S. will see the most powerful boom in economic activity since the start of WWII, far eclipsing and surpassing any economic boom that we've ever had.
The only reason I feel that this plan will not work, is because it would never be implemented. The current congress would have way too much power to lose if the tax code were eliminated, and special interest groups would no longer have a need for them. Congressmen would lose MILLIONS in donations. The only way something like this would happen is if the people demanded it, and so here's thefirst voice, demanding that we do this.
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