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A Stimulus That Works


Location: Washington, D.C.

A Stimulus That Works

Today, one out of seven people in Michigan are out of work. Nearly one out of every 10 in the country are out of work -- and those numbers don't even include those that have given up hope and stopped looking for work.

So far, not even 15 percent of the so-called stimulus money has been spent. What's more, what has been spent has gone to questionable projects: $3.4 million to a turtle crossing in Florida; $1.5 million in sidewalk improvements outside a casino in Detroit.

At this rate, it's going to take nearly four years to spend all the stimulus money, and on what? That remains to be seen. This country cannot afford to lose jobs at a rate of a quarter of a million a month while we wait for the President's stimulus package to kick in.

We need a stimulus that works.

First, we must repeal what isn't working: The President's stimulus includes record levels of government spending that will substantially increase the current deficit. My stimulus package includes a provision precluding any tax increases now or in the future to pay for this new spending. Stimulus spending should be paid for by reducing wasteful government spending, not raising taxes.

Make buying and selling homes possible: The real-estate market is paralyzed as potential buyers wait on the sidelines waiting for prices to fall even further. In order to encourage responsible buyers to enter the market and stabilize prices, I propose a home-buyers credit of $7,500 for those buyers who can make a minimum down-payment of 5%. These are the real shovel-ready projects that will put people back to work immediately.

Immediate Tax Relief for Every Working Family: We should reduce the lowest individual tax rates in the lowest brackets; as a result every taxpaying-family in America will see an immediate increase in their income. That means a married couple filing jointly could save up to $3,200 a year in taxes.

We must help America's Small Businesses: Small businesses, those with less than 500 workers, employ about half of all Americans, yet are subject to tax rates that can siphon away one-third or more of their income. We need to give small businesses a tax deduction equal to 20% of their income, immediately freeing up funds for small businesses to retain and hire new employees -- instantly cutting our unemployment numbers and putting Americans back to work.

Get Moving on Shovel-Ready Projects: The original focus of the stimulus plan was "shovel-ready" transportation and infrastructure projects, yet vital improvements such as the I-675 ramp in Saginaw are still stalled six months after the program was enacted. Not only will such projects bring jobs, they will encourage traffic to downtowns and tourist destinations, and will help get our economy moving again. We need to focus the stimulus efforts on such shovel-ready projects immediately.

There is a Better Way: Many better ways, as you can see. If we focus on helping families, and helping small businesses, we can climb out of this recession.

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