I am participating in the first ever (well at least to my knowledge) Synchroblog associated with the personal finance realm. I couldn’t find a good definition of a Synchroblog so I am going to make one up,
A Synchroblog is joint writing/blogging where a common question or theme is posed to a select group of bloggers to answer in any way they see fit.
I think this idea is going to be a hit throughout the personal finance blog world because at the same time (rather within 1 month of each) a reader can review multiple articles with a guarantee that they will get different views. These views will be based on not only different ideologies and experiences, but because different writers will interpret the question differently. As such, I urge you to read the other answers (found below) and if you are coming from another blogger, WELCOME!
ToughMoneyLove posed the following question,
What is the single most important initiative that the next administration should undertake to improve the economic health of the U.S. middle class?
While I promised TML that I wouldn’t bring politics into my answer, I can’t even imagine how one would answer this question without relying on my political ideology. So a quick overview – I am an Libertarian which is quickly defined by the Libertarian Party (LP.org) in the following manner,
Libertarians believe in, and pursue, personal freedom while maintaining personal responsibility. The Libertarian Party itself serves a much larger pro-liberty community with the specific mission of electing Libertarians to public office. Libertarians strongly oppose any government interfering in their personal, family and business decisions. Essentially, we believe all Americans should be free to live their lives and pursue their interests as they see fit as long as they do no harm to another. In a nutshell, we are advocates for a smaller government, lower taxes and more freedom.
That being said, I think the single most important initiative that the next administration should undertake to improve the economic health of the U.S. middle class is to get out of our lives! I know that this is way to vague statement so I will provide 3 minor political moves which would follow under the umbrella of my initiative.
1) End the pork – Citizens Against Goverment Waste is a taxpayer watchdog group that keeps tabs on the federal government and the crazy amount of spending taking place. The CAGW states to meet the definition of pork the appropriation must meet 2 of the following variables:
- Requested by only one chamber of Congress;
- Not specifically authorized;
- Not competitively awarded;
- Not requested by the President;
- Greatly exceeds the President’s budget request or the previous year’s funding;
- Not the subject of congressional hearings; or
- Serves only a local or special interest.
A simple search of their website leads you to find obscene amount spent on selfish and often garbage projects.
The2008 Pig Book identified 11,610 projects at a cost of $17.2 billion in the 12 Appropriations Acts for fiscal 2008
2) End the invisible lines of health care insurance companies – According to Wikipedia the U.S. spends approximately 15.2% of GDP on health care! One industry controls over 15% of our vast economy…that fact is staggering. Well, with that being said, there are barriers from people obtaining out of state health insurance, which is shocking to even think about. I can’t even come up with a good contention why this barrier would be in affect? Anyone? Lets end this barrier, think about simply – what happens when you have a choice of 5 insurance companies vs. 25 insurance companies?
3) Keep taxes low – We are at historically low tax rates now…KEEP THEM. I couldn’t imagine a more devastating jab to the middle class than changing my income tax rate from 28%ish to 40%!
While I said I would keep politics out of it, I bet any educated reader can guess who this guy is voting for!
Like I stated earlier, I can guarantee that none of the blogs below would have a similar answer so get additional views then create your own:
- Blunt Money: Long-term thinking
- Cash Money Life: Pork-barrel spending
- Clever Dude: Accountability
- Finance Your Life: Energy crisis
- Fiscal Zen: Confidence in banking/lending
- My Dollar Plan: Education
- My Journey to Millions: Less government intervention
- Student Scrooge: Education
- Tough Money Love: Education
I would love to hear comments about whether you agree or disagree with my plan for the middle class!