The Plan

Democrats in Congress have made a $1.14 trillion bet on big government.

With less than 48 hours notice, they passed a 1,073 – page collection of special interest spending and dared to call it a “plan.”

With interest, the $787 billion bill will cost us, our children and their children about $1.14 trillion.  That works out to about $30,000 in new debt for each American household. Worse, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) asked the Congressional Budget Office to estimate the cost of permanently extending the twenty most popular provisions in the bill.  The cost?  $3.27 trillion. 

But we’ve seen Washington bet on big government and big bureaucracy over the American people before.  In each case these bets have failed.  And when this latest wager fails, America will need a plan.

I’m writing today to tell you about such a plan.

The Bush-Obama Spending Frenzy, Part IV

Like I said, we’ve seen this kind of high stakes, big spending, big government and big bureaucracy gambling before.  This isn’t the Obama-Pelosi-Reid Spending Frenzy , this is the Bush-Obama Spending Frenzy, Part IV.

The first three parts of the Bush-Obama Spending Frenzy were on President Bush’s watch.  

The $180 billion stimulus program in the spring of 2008 failed.

The $345 billion housing bailout from the summer of 2008 failed.

And the $700 billion Wall Street bailout from the fall of 2008 failed.

All told, just last year, Washington wagered $1.2 trillion in spending and lost.  And like a problem gambler, Washington isn’t walking away from the casino, it’s doubling down.
What Would Reagan Have Done?  Bet on the American People

My nonpartisan, citizen-based organization, American Solutions, has developed an alternative plan, called “12 American Solutions for Jobs and Prosperity.”

It takes its inspiration from Ronald Reagan.  Our plan doesn’t bet on government.  It bets on the American people.

Callista and I recently completed a movie about the life and vision of Ronald Reagan.  And what we found was that Reagan’s approach to the economy was more thoughtful than most of his critics — and even some of his admirers — give him credit for.

President Reagan had great compassion for the victims of economic crisis.  He spoke often of the Christmas Eve in the midst of the Great Depression when his father learned that he had lost his job.  “To be young in my generation was to feel that your future had been mortgaged out from under you, and that’s a tragic mistake we must never allow our leaders to make again,” he said.

But even as he understood the need for leadership to help Americans suffering from economic hard times, Reagan also understood that government’s role wasn’t to create economic prosperity — it couldn’t then and it can’t now.  

“Government Can and Must Provide Opportunity, Not Smother It”

Government’s role, as Reagan understood it, was to give Americans real incentives to work hard, invest and create jobs — incentives like keeping more of what we earn and the power to create and own our own businesses.

This is how Reagan put it in his first inaugural address:

“Government can and must provide opportunity, not smother it; foster productivity, not stifle it.”

In the spirit of Ronald Reagan, 12 American Solutions for Jobs and Prosperity puts its faith in the people, not the government.  

Our plan isn’t more money for more government, more power for politicians and more make-work for bureaucrats.

It’s a clear and decisive alternative that creates jobs, rewards work and encourages savings and investment.

12 American Solutions for Jobs and Prosperity

1.    Payroll Tax Stimulus. With a temporary new tax credit to offset 50% of the payroll tax, every small business would have more money, and all Americans would take home more of what they earn.
2.    Real Middle-Income Tax Relief. Reduce the marginal tax rate of 25% down to 15%, in effect establishing a flat-rate tax of 15% for close to 9 out of 10 American workers.
3.    Reduce the Business Tax Rate. Match Ireland’s rate of 12.5% to keep more jobs in America.
4.    Homeowner’s Assistance. Provide tax credit incentives to responsible home buyers so they can keep their homes.
5.    Control Spending So We Can Move to a Balanced Budget. This begins with eliminating congressional earmarks and wasteful pork-barrel spending.
6.    No State Aid Without Protection From Fraud. Require state governments to adopt anti-fraud and anti-theft policies before giving them more money.
7.    More American Energy Now. Explore for more American oil and gas and invest in affordable energy for the future, including clean coal, ethanol, nuclear power and renewable fuels.
8.    Abolish Taxes on Capital Gains. Match China, Singapore and many other competitors. More investment in America means more jobs in America.
9.    Protect the Rights of American Workers. We must protect a worker’s right to decide by secret ballot whether to join a union, and the worker’s right to freely negotiate. Forced unionism will kill jobs in America at a time when we can’t afford to lose them.
10.    Replace Sarbanes-Oxley. This failed law is crippling entrepreneurial startups. Replace it with affordable rules that help create jobs, not destroy them.
11.    Abolish the Death Tax. Americans should work for their families, not for Washington.
12.    Invest in Energy and Transportation Infrastructure. This includes a new, expanded electric power grid and a 21st Century air traffic control system that will reduce delays in air travel and save passengers, employees and airlines billions of dollars per year.

I’ve already heard from thousands of Americans who believe that this is the kind of change our economy needs right now.  

I’d love to hear from you.  Please send me your thoughts about 12 Americans Solutions for Jobs and Prosperity using the suggestion box at

It’s not too late to be a part of real change for America.  When Washington’s latest big government gamble fails, we’ll be ready to put our money on a sure thing:  Real solutions for the American people.

Your friend,

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