Save Our Skins (or: 7 Low/No Taxpayer Cost Ways to Create Jobs and Grow the Economy)

August 8th, 2011

President Obama, you know I’m a fan,

But everybody says we need a plan.

 

Today, the stock market took another big drop.

We need to come up with something fast to make it stop.

 

Here’s my own humble proposal,

Which I hereby place at your disposal.

 

Readers: if you agree, please sign this petition

And send this proposal to your own politician.

***

Here’s a summary of my proposal, with links to more detailed descriptions for each component:

  1. Give the “Super-Congress” debt committee a chance to succeed by asking each of the Congressional leaders to appoint at least one moderate/centrist member from their party (for details on how that could easily be accomplished, read Naming Names);
  2. Encourage the Super-Congress to come up with a balanced agreement that will both provide for long-term fiscal health and allow for significant job-creation activities to take place in the short term, with total deficit reduction above the $1.5 trillion target (read Bring Back Big for more details on that); a strong package could also have the additional potential benefit of getting the U.S. our AAA credit rating back;
  3. Remove repayment of interest and principle on the national debt as a political issue by creating a new independent trust fund, the Comprehensive Lockbox to Ensure Achievement of National Sustainable Liability Amortization Trust (CLEAN SLAT), into which special tax payments would be made. These revenues would be used for no other purpose (i.e., they would not fund current government spending), and would replace an equivalent amount of current federal income tax (e.g., federal income tax rates would be reduced by x percentage points, and x% would be paid into the CLEAN SLAT fund) such that total tax rates would not increase for most/all taxpayers (read My Plan to Solve the Debt Crisis for more details on CLEAN SLAT);
  4. Implement the “Chris Matthews Jobs Plan” to create jobs by fixing our crumbling bridges, roads, schools, and other public infrastructure through creation of a new infrastructure bank which would be self-sustaining and require $0 in taxpayer subsidies (read You Can Bank on It and Highway to Economic Hell for more details on that);
  5. Provide additional funding to state and local governments to stop the hemorrhaging of jobs (a half million teachers, firefighters, police, and other state and local government employee jobs have been lost so far, and a million more are in danger of being lost this fiscal year). For people providing crucial public services to lose their jobs because of temporary shortages in state and local government revenue weakens local communities, costs taxpayers more in the long run, and undercuts our national recovery (read First, Do No Harm for more on that);
  6. Adopt a zero-cost change in the tax law for people who have been forced to rent out their homes because of the soft housing market, giving them the option to defer any gain on sale for a longer period of time, so they’re not forced to sell when they don’t want to and depress the market further (read A Modest Proposal for more details); and
  7. Create the American Consumer Credit Equitable Savings Support (ACCE$$) to address the crushing consumer debt load that is making it hard for Americans to make ends meet, and choking off economic recovery by reducing the amount of cash people have to spend.  Consumers wanting to “access” the fund would take their credit card statement(s) and a copy of their most recent pay stub (or statement of benefits if unemployed) to an authorized program administrator, where they’d fill out, sign, and submit the application. If the simple program criteria were met, the Treasury would then issue a check directly to the applicant’s credit card company, paying down the applicant’s debt in full or in part. The cost to the consumer (beyond a minimal processing fee) would be a 2% fee (comparable to bank balance transfer fees) added to the balance at the time of account creation, which (along with the original balance) would then either be paid off in full the next April 15, or through salary deductions over a multi-year period. The loan would be interest and payment free for a 6-8 month grace period, and ~5% interest thereafter. These payments would more than cover the interest paid by ACCE$$ to the Treasury, so the program would probably return a profit, leading to significant job creation and greater economic growth at no cost to the taxpayer (for more details on ACCE$$, read Where’s My Bail-Out? Right Here).

 


Here’s the President’s statement on the S&P downgrade, stock market drop, and state of the economy. You’re going to develop a plan? Maybe my ideas will help.

Here’s Hardball’s 8/08/11 panel discussion on what we should do.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Click HERE to sign the Change.org petition.

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