What do you think are the most important steps government can take to promote job creation?
Paul Krugman and other noted economists from the PERI Institute indicate that for every $100,000 ingovernment spending, we create 1 job. They show that spending in education creates the most jobs andspending in defense creates the fewest. I propose that we begin construction of a nationwide high-speed rail system, begin the mining of rare-earth minerals on the moon, rebuild our decrepit roads andbridges, and begin construction of 5 new ultra-modern urban centers to house the more than 100million new Americans that will come to our nation over the next 40 years. By borrowing funds throughan infrastructure bank and issuing loan guarantees for new clean-energy power plants we can create 20million jobs over a three-year period. These jobs will not be in competition with the Chinese or Indiansand will pay a real-living wage. Job creation is not only critical to getting our economy turned around, itprovides the motivation for our youth to work hard and stay in school. Many pundits and politicalleaders believe that only the private sector can create jobs, that is, simply not true. When the private-sector fails to create the jobs America needs, then it is incumbent on the government to step-in andtake the necessary steps to create jobs. I cannot accept the notion that American workers should beabandoned and forgotten because political ideologues are not willing to compromise.
How would you reform the Federal Tax System?
For the past 30 years beginning with President Reagan, America has steadily cut taxes for the wealthy.This was done because some believe lower taxes boost growth and that by boosting growth, everybodywins. The truth is that the only winners have been the wealthy; whereas, the rest of America has gonein reverse. Middle-class incomes have stagnated and despite the rhetoric, income for most peoplecontinues to fall. The biggest consequence of this march to lower taxes has been an explosion in thedeficit. Congress has been unable to control its addiction to spending and we need to bite the bulletand reverse this thirty-year trend. The first step we need to do is reverse the Bush Tax cuts. The secondstep is to eliminate all deductions and simplify the tax code. By eliminating deductions, we stop thedistortion that exists in the tax code. When we make this change, we will need to reduce the tax ratesand we propose 7 brackets eliminating taxes for people earning less than $20,000 and increasing the taxrate progressively up to $500,000 in income per year. To help solve the current deficit issue until oureconomy regains its legs, we propose a surtax on income of 10% for all earned income above $500,000for a period of 5 years. Finally, we propose a corporate flat tax of 15% and the elimination of industryspecific deductions like the oil and gas industry currently enjoy.
Do you believe corporations should be more heavily regulated, even if it means higher compliancecosts?
More regulation does not mean that corporations will become better citizens and less regulation doesnot mean that our economy will improve. With the deregulation of the banking industry, Americaexperienced its worst economic downturn since the great depression. I believe we need to reinstate a