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A Blueprint for Prosperity Market-based Alternatives to the Obama Blueprint for Change Paperback – October 29, 2009
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From the Author
If you have ever thought that a bit of common sense and basic logic was lacking in the area of US economic policy making, regardless of which political party was in the majority, I am right there with you. Whether it's Newt Gingrich's Jobs Here, Jobs Now program, Paul Ryan's Roadmap for America's Future, BBANow.orgs spending cap based on GDP, or Obama's healthcare or stimulus programs, all of them are either too little too late, or are riddled with inconsistencies if not outright fatal flaws. I thought it should be possible to come up with a simple, workable economic plan that actually fixed the chronic problems that have afflicted our country for so long. At the very least, I doubted I could do much worse.
This book is based on the premise that solving the budget problem first would facilitate all the other reforms. Nearly every one of the chronic problems we have with taxes, social security, healthcare, and welfare in this country was either caused or prevented from being fixed by the failure of the federal government and the states to spend within their means. Furthermore, with the national debt approaching 100% of GDP and unfunded obligations over $100 trillion, merely balancing the budget each year will not be enough. We would need to have surpluses in most years for the foreseeable future. Furthermore we need to do it in a way that doesn't depend on either predictions of ever higher federal receipts each year or raising taxes.
Deficits are not a tax and revenue problem; they are a spending and cash flow management problem. By properly managing current-year spending, it is possible to achieve surpluses in most years, reduce(and eventually abolish) the income tax, rescue Social Security, and create a performance-based welfare system. The budgeting solution presented herein should be recognizable to anyone who has ever had to make ends meet for a business or household. As any of the many people who have had to dig themselves out from under a mountain of debt know, the hardest part would be getting started, particularly the first year or two. But it would get easier and easier after that as the problems were actually solved and the inherent costs of chronic debt, overspending, wasteful entitlements, and high taxes were worked out of the system.
With a sensible budget system in hand, the solutions to the problems in the tax system, pension system, healthcare, and welfare systems practically devised themselves. The focus is on redesigning economic policy to allow people of all incomes to more easily amass their own personal capital base from which they can afford to create a personal safety net of their own to which they, and not the federal government, have full legal title, including a retirement pension, healthcare, health insurance, and a robust safety net in the event of economic or physical hardship.
If you want to see just what a non-partisan, practical, common sense, internally consistent economic policy looks like, read this book.
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Top Customer Reviews
I opened the book and found the author misspelled Barack Obama's name. Duh --- what competent writer does that? And, there were a few other, more minor misspellings and clumsy usage of the English language. Some upper case, bold text when ordinary text would have been preferable.
But then I read the book.
The author claims he's a plain Joe. He's not an economist. He's neither a Democrat nor a Republican -- not even a Libertarian. But what he is, is a guy who really does have the answers!
If you've read Murray Rothbard or Mises as I have, you know the type of thinking that would get this country out of its self-imposed, growing mess. "A Blueprint for Prosperity" is very much an idea whose time has come and of which Rothbard and Mises would, I believe, approve. The difference? It's written in plain, simple language that the average person (even a politician) can understand.
The author argues for a consumption-Tax. He has a simple cure for the health care mess. He has a way to successfully deal with Social Security. He wants to abolish the income tax! Hey, I'm all for that and I've been behind that for a long time. And yes, we can do it.
Here's some of what the book will offer solutions for . . .
Balance the budget and have a surplus.
Abolish the income tax.
Avoid the coming meltdown in Social Security.
Put capital into the hands of individual workers and allow them to amass their own personal income-producing nest eggs.
Put the consumer back in charge of the cost of health care.
Make health care affordable and portable.
Create a performance based welfare system.
Regarding health care, his solution is a really extraordinary one that I believe will work. It's simple. And I see no way it could fail.
With some keen editing and some polish, with some great marketing, this book would be a bestseller. Why? Because the solutions the author lays out will work!
Of course, that would take the government out of our lives and the government is loath to allow that.
This book offers, to my way of thinking, a free market, libertarian, Austrian school of economics way of handling the serious problems we face. No, the author is none of these things (sans free market). But, his solutions are indeed.
This is a well-documented, highly authoritative and extremely interesting book and I highly recommend it.
- Susanna K. Hutcheson
Chapter One: Getting Past Partisanship - Correctly and succinctly identifies the connections between individual freedom to choose and economics.
Chapter Two: Balancing the Federal Budget - Describes different budgeting methods (advantages and disadvantages) and then describes his receipt-based budgeting (RBB). Congressional budgeting should be based on GAAP. Discusses his 90% rule.
Chapter Three: Generating Revenue - An explanation of Flat Tax versus Fair Tax and VAT. I really like his Flat Tax Form Example and the charts showing today's average tax rates versus a Flat Tax rate.
Chapter Four: Fixing Social Security through development of Personal Income and Retirement Accounts (PIRA) and identifies that PIRAs would be a direct stimulus to the economy.
Chapter Five: Fixing Healthcare - Very good explanation of government "meddling" in the healthcare and the harm done by the McCarran Fergusson Act (1945). Provides a discussion of monopsony, and provides recommendations to fix the current system.
Chapter Six: Welfare - Interesting background on PRWOR, AFDC, and the Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF). Provides a new course of action to correct the currently bankrupt system focusing on incentive systems.
Chapter Seven: Putting it All Together - Ties together the preceding chapters with numerous examples of impact upon future solvency of the Federal Government.
The author has to make some key assumptions to make his model work, such as reduced government spending, but this blueprint is better than anything that has come out of Washington DC in the past 10 years. In addition, I found his folksy, irreverent quotes and quips to be entertaining ...
This book should be read by current and future political appointees because the author demonstrates more sense than the numerous Ivy-League tax cheats currently serving in senior level government positions.