The time for small thinking has to be over.
The time for hearing what we can't do because it isn't politically expedient for some goon is over.
The time for saying that what we need is more bad policy to fix the mess is over.
We need change. Radical goddamn change.
Here's an idea:
Give every household with an income of less than $200,000 a raise. Tie it to nothing. Just here's $40,000 over the course of 2012 to spend as you wish. Take income taxes out of it.. So each month, every household with income of less than $200,000 would get an additional paycheck. And then, in 2013 when demand has helped create new jobs and there are more people paying income taxes and more people spending money and the economy is humming again, the payments stop. It's a finite thing from the very beginning.
Take the Goldens, for example, if you do a standard withholding, with deductions for Medicare and Social Security and including state taxes, we would net an additional $2,641.91 per month.
Here's what the breakdown would look like for someone in Georgia:
Monthly Gross Pay $3,333.33
Federal Withholding $330.42
Social Security $140.00
Dude! Do you know what we'd do with that money?
We'd spend it!!! I already have a long list of things we don't spend money on because we don't have money. Let's start with the orthodontist. Don't you think he'd like us to pay our bill? Of course he would! And guess what? After we pay off Nate's teeth, we'd have Sophie right in there getting the wires put on her crooked teeth.
We'd get the refrigerator fixed, buy me a laptop, make payments on MathMan's student loans, go to the dentist, buy new eyeglasses for MathMan, pay off our private loans, take a vacation that doesn't include a cat, remember to buy birthday cards, help Chloe with her tuition,buy some clothes for MathMan and me, repair the dented car and perform regular maintenance on it, go to the movies have dinner out, join the local gym again, and I might even take a class or two to help me find a new job.
And that's just off the top of my head. We also need a new mattress, I could use some new running shoes and my undie drawer is looking pretty dismal these days.
And we'd also save. A little. Not a lot. I won't lie.
For those people who would fuss that they aren't included in this scheme, I say you win, man, you win! Your boat will be lifted with this tide, as well. Dr. Orthodontist gets his scratch, for example. Without some kind of radical change, I can assure you that Dr. Ortho is not getting his money and Nathan will die an old man wearing vintage braces.
How do we pay for this? Well, it's a socialist idea to be sure -a transfer of wealth, but isn't it about fucking time that the flow go the other way? We've spent the last ten years transferring the nation's wealth to the very wealthiest and the ship is tipping. We need to balance things or we're going down. So yes, the wealthiest are going to have to pay a little more, but for heaven's sake, they've enjoyed a windfall since President George W. Bush cut their taxes. They can afford it. Trust me.
And when it's all said and done, those with the most also have the most to lose. You'd think they'd be ready to get this economy working again, wouldn't you?