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October 2, 2014

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Letter to the editor:

We need more than one approach

Another view?

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The election is over, and we are as far away from the next one as ever possible. Now is the time for our government to govern. The “fiscal cliff” is rapidly approaching. Our re-elected president is reaching out to Democrats and Republicans in order to take action now. The president is advocating for a balanced approach to our nation’s fiscal problems.

As a small business owner, I could not agree more with the president’s approach — everything must be on the table. In the depths of the recession, I didn’t look for one single solution to keep my doors open. I cut costs everywhere I could, but I also invested in things that could increase revenue in the long term.

The millionaires and billionaires in our country could easily afford to pay taxes on their additional income over $250,000 at the same rate as they did in the 1990s. Our country needs all hands on deck to pay down our debt. Everyone’s contribution is essential to our nation’s ability to invest in infrastructure and education — crucial ingredients to our nation’s ability to continue to be competitive in the global economy.

I have invested in my employees, my equipment, my building, my website, and advertising to hold market share and increase sales. I could not have just cut my way out of the recession. We cannot, as a nation, rely purely on spending cuts for balancing our finances and achieving fiscal responsibility. We need to cut where we can and invest where we must. We need to ask those who can afford to pay a little more to do so, as the rest of us have been forced to tighten our belts.

As a small business owner, all I need right now is more consumer demand. Consumer demand is partially contingent on certainty. Our politicians must act and provide the American people with certainty in our government and our economy. We must take action that protects our fragile economy. Inaction is not an option.

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  1. Ron Nelson calls for 'more than one approach' and a 'balanced approach', but then he uses the rest of the letter to call for higher taxes on the wealthy.

    Some Americans really need to go back to school and take a math class. 16 trillion dollars is as much as our entire GDP for a year! We add another 1 trillion dollars or more each year.

    I don't think asking those making over $ 250,000 to pay higher taxes is going to tank the economy, but I also know it is woefully inadequate to address our problems. Even combined with what President Obama calls his 'balanced approach', which is little more than a reduction in 'the rate of growth' of government spending is it going to be nearly enough.

    It's sad that Americans are willing to reject Mitt Romney's inadequate solution but are willing to accept the President's inadequate solution because it means that events will control us instead of us controlling events.

    I unhappily and with trepidation wait for the financial tsunami that continues to head our way.

    Real spending cuts are coming, ladies and gentlemen, not the 'fake' cuts proposed by the President's plan or the Romney plan, but the ones we could and should institute voluntarily and under some control, but instead, the ones that circumstances will now force upon us.

    Michael

  2. Americans continue to believe this foolishness that we can slightly reduce the rate of growth in government spending and eliminate the deficits and reduce the national debt. That really is 'voodoo economics'.

    I guess people don't really believe that our government is never going to deliver the real truth about government spending and the economy until they are forced, either by voters or circumstance.

    The only candidate for President that told the truth was Ron Paul.

    Michael

  3. Ron - An excellent letter and I heartily agree.

  4. RefNV sez "The Obama administration is virtually alone in their assessment that we should raise tax rates now."

    Really? Polls suggest that up to 65% of us favor increasing taxes on the wealthiest 2%. Perhaps your view is lonlier than the Obama administration's. No need to repeat your irrelevant factoid on the votes of 20 democratic congressmen out of 190. As propoganda, that's pretty weak.

  5. Michael

    I'm curious about your views on the fiscal cliff. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that, if nothing is done, the 2013 deficit would be reduced by $590 billion and unemployment would rise to 9.1%. This only requires inaction by Congress...something they already excel at. To me it's tempting. What do you think.

    Jim

  6. Put me down as someone who believes that plunging over the fiscal cliff will constitute a much needed first step in bringing America's fiscal dilemma under control.
    A balanced approach is certainly required. I've listened to extremely knowledgeable commentators on TV who argue that simply growing the economy won't solve the mess (because the politicians will just squander the extra funds). Others argue that just raising taxes won't be enough, and still others claim that just cutting spending won't work.
    Given the extremely mixed results of this past election, I think that the poster Jim Weber might be correct. Congress is so adept at inaction and gridlock that fighting among themselves may force America over the cliff. If that happens, I predict that good things will follow.

    Donald W. Desaulniers (FromBellevilleCanada)

  7. The letter writer fails to understand that the unemployment rate today as opposed to the 1990's is 8 percent and more in many states and regions of the country and economic growth now has been an anemic 1-2 percent as opposed to 4 and 5 percent and more then. These are substantial distinctions for the higher tax rates then versus now. The president's insistence on higher tax rates for the rich is a symbolic gesture not a realistic one. Sadly, the USA, thanks to the letter writer's thinking and those like him, are following the same path to economic destruction that Europe did: Spend spend spend debt debt debt. We are burdening future generations with a huge bill for our extravagance now that they will have to pay later. It's a formula for economic self-destruction and implosion.
    CarmineD

  8. Jim,

    Going over the cliff is tempting to me as well. I will be very surprised if that happens however. Any way you look at it, the R and D parties each have partial control of a very wealthy and powerful Federal government. They each have approximately 50 % of Americans who believe that 'their' party represents their interests (not true for either party but that's another subject). The possible backlash against either or both parties is too great a risk for either party to take.

    I suspect what we will get is a kick the can down the road agreement that does not address the bigger issues.

    Michael

  9. RefNV - I think you underestimate the public's understanding of tax policy and a large number recognize the difference between tax welfare for the wealthy and alleged tax warfare. Your attitude toward the public is exceedingly patronizing.

    If we can't stop the tax welfare for the rich created by the Bush tax cuts any other way, I favor ending them for the middle class too. I'm tired of tax policy for the 98% being held hostage by 2% and their advocates in Congress.

  10. "I suspect what we will get is a kick the can down the road agreement that does not address the bigger issues.

    Michael"

    You are absolutely right. The USA is following down the same path as Europe. Believing that governments can spend their way out of the current and longstanding recessions by reliance on increased future growth. This is the same optimistic thinking that lulled Franklin Roosevelt and the European governments into the failed economic theories of John Maynard Keynes and his followers. President Obama and the Democrats are falling prey to the same economic myths. And they are too near sighted to understand and believe it. But then again, in 2016 Obama will be history and it won't be his problem anymore, it will be ours.

    CarmineD

  11. Carmine,

    I agree with part of what you say, but not all of it. Our biggest problem is that we have two parties who just will not control government spending.

    You are correct in that growing our way out of trouble cannot be a successful strategy if government spending isn't controlled. But it is as true that we can't tax cut our way out of trouble as it is that we cannot cut spending as our 'only' way out of trouble.

    If there is one truth that would help if the public embraced it, it is this: When our government talks about cutting spending, the real definition of that (for politicians of both parties) is that we will just slow down the 'growth' of spending. THAT just isn't going to get it anymore.

    Michael

  12. "If there is one truth that would help if the public embraced it, it is this: When our government talks about cutting spending, the real definition of that (for politicians of both parties) is that we will just slow down the 'growth' of spending. THAT just isn't going to get it anymore.

    Michael"

    Agree. In Washington parlance, "cutting" is merely slowing the growth thereof. It's a concept we learned from European governments. It didn't work for them and won't for US.

    CarmineD

  13. Late Friday afternoon, the Treasury Department published the official report on the U.S. budget deficit for the most recent fiscal year: $1.089 trillion. While that's obviously still a very large budget shortfall, the deficit is $200 billion smaller than it was last year, and is nearly $300 billion smaller than when President Obama took office.

    To add a little historical context to this, over the last four decades, only two presidents have reduced the deficit this much, this quickly: Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. (Posted by Steven Benen)
    -------------------------------------------------

    Believe it or not, the federal deficit has fallen faster over the past three years than it has in any such stretch since demobilization from World War II.

    In fact, outside of that post-WWII era, the only time the deficit has fallen faster was when the economy relapsed in 1937, turning the Great Depression into a decade-long affair.(Posted by Jed Graham)
    ----------------------------------------------------

    Note: This reflect the actions taken by the Obama administration in the face of extreme opposition from House and Senate Republicans. Just a little cooperation from Republicans would place the country in a position for accelerated growth. However, things are about to change, read below.

    Senator Saxby Chambliss told Georgia television on Wednesday:
    "I care more about my country than I do about a 20-year-old pledge."

    "If we do it his way, then we'll continue in debt and I just have a disagreement with him about that."

    Referring to activist Grover Norquistant anti-tax pledge supported by Republican lawmakers.

  14. Obama's class warfare makes no sense. Kill the goose so there will be no more golden eggs. With the need to START spending cuts, go after the safety net of Americans by cutting food stamps. What's next? Eliminate any and all benefits for Americans, at least "traditional" or Americans with roots here and accelerate giving to foreign governments that pretend to be democratic, to illegals, to any and every other country that expresses a need or interest in our income.

  15. I'm with Belleville 6:12: Time to end the insane payroll tax cuts. Further, eliminating the tax cuts also eliminates SOME of the refundable credits to those who pay nothing in--something Congress seems incapable of addressing. It's ridiculous that a "family" can live better on social welfare than by both adults working. The rest of us cannot support all of them in the style they are demanding. So let them support themselves and all their kids without our help.

  16. Thank you, Mr. Nelson for the excellent letter. There's not a better connection with economic reality than running a business in the last 5 years. The high income earners that will be paying higher taxes will be sharing the pain with the rest of us that will be feeling our own pain due to federal budget cuts that will come.

  17. Eliminate non-profits. Business income tax is based on net income so if a business is actually dispensing everything for those in need, there is NO NET INCOME on which to pay tax. Restrict compensation to reasonable levels--if you pay a CEO something over a million a year, it would NOT be a tax deductible expense, not a legitimate business expense. And, if you are dispensing to those in need, there is no excuse to compensate executives excessively, even if you are the RED CROSS. Apply payroll taxes, employee portion, to ALL COMPENSATION including stock options, gold-plated health care for execs.....

  18. Mr. Nelsen:

    Your letter is encouraging. You are a small business owner, possibly one in a very small minority who does not blame Obama for his difficulties.

    Your positive tone suggests there are those who can look at reality, make adjustments, and face the times with alacrity.

    Thank you for writing and I hope there are many like you to keep this country going forward.

    Please ignore the doomsayers who think they have the answers to this country's problems. They don't. You have better ideas than they ever will.

    Good luck.

  19. We cannot increase demand for products and services when we don't know what the taxes on our incomes will be. We're just not going to spend much until we know how much we have. The dependent whiners will spend every dime they get from us--but they've been doing that--so it doesn't increase demand.

  20. Obama's approach surely isn't going to work, we're DOOMED.

    The only winners will be the free loaders and the illegals sucking off those of us who pay taxes.

    It's time to grab your kids and hide your wallets; Obama and the rest of his nutcases are going to further desecrate America into a cesspool of free loading no good for nothing lazy pathetic whining self righteous welfare loving blood sucking liberals.

    I hear Obama and his wife now:

    These Motha's are stupid! I bet they'd even put you in here. You can be the first woman president and we'll run this country for 8 more years!