Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Solving sequestration is a click away

Don't believe the hype. You can solve the sequestration problem that purports to send our economy over a fiscal cliff in a few weeks. It's easy - really! I did it. It takes minutes. It's called priorities. Make them.
The New York Times put together this very good online budget puzzle that was released a little more than two years ago and asks if you can solve the $418 billion FY15 budget shortfall. What's great about the puzzle is that it totals up all your tax increases and spending cuts and gives you a rough dollar amount. 
This puzzle is incomplete. It doesn't, for example, allow for tariffs, something I would implement if I were president or a Representative to Congress. It doesn't allow for the implementation of a transaction tax on Wall Street, another thing I would consider. It doesn't allow you to cut specific departments. But it's a good start towards balancing the federal budget.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Nader: Implement speculation tax to stave off 'fiscal cliff'

By Ralph Nader
In the debate over the “fiscal cliff,” President Obama and congressional Republicans have returned to the proposals that they were sparring over before the election. They remain at odds over key elements of revenue and spending. Yet both sides are unwilling to consider a minuscule tax on financial transactions that could be a major source of income.
A financial transaction tax would apply to purchases and sales of derivatives, options and stocks. The tax would be small, half a penny or less on each dollar of the transaction value, depending on the product. This idea is often called a “speculation tax,” because it would hit hardest at frothy high-volume trading as opposed to sober long-term investment.