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Investor Political Priorities - What's On Your Mind?

Submitted by Steve Selengut | RSS Feed | Add Comment | Bookmark Me!

Déjà Vu All Over Again

Here we are, in the midst of another presidential campaign, trying to select a new leader for the still most powerful economy on Earth. The candidates are kissing all the (babies) they can get their lips on and smiling until their cheeks ache; but will they be able to produce any meaningful change? It's hard to believe they want to.

90% of all Americans are investors (really), and there are investment impact issues that we rarely hear about from either of the men who would be king. Neither will seriously address the tax code, social security, tort reform, regulation, term limitations, corruption, estate confiscation, etc. We need to force the issue!

We all want to keep more of what we make, and to spend it as we see fit. It's not clear how the candidates intend to help us. Is investor enemy number one the tax codes, budding foreign economies, scarce commodities, powerful institutions, lobbyists, or the politicians themselves?

Politicians won't support change unless their power positions are threatened. If they won't limit their terms, their benefits, or their empires --- we must do it ourselves by voting them out of office. The United States is a major player in world markets, but protectionist policies, excessive regulation, taxes, and government mandates make businesses move elsewhere for a less restrictive environment.

The vast majority of the very rich, and the corporations that spawn them, are good citizens. Their generosity and social conscience fund the foundations that activate social change. Increasing their costs and raising their tax liabilities is not going to increase the numbers of jobs they provide or the number of dollars they contribute.

Investor enemy number one is an ideology, a class distinction between the super-rich and the not-so-comfortable-yet. You don't help the middle class by stealing from the most creative and successful. You do so by increasing what the work force keeps in their own wallets. You don't put people to work by encouraging them to remain idle.

Here's a list of issues that investors need to be concerned about. What do you think, and/or what would you add? How would you prioritize them?

1) Social Security: If I were to place 50% of my current contribution in a private SSRIA (Social Security Retirement Income Annuity) I would, over time: generate far more monthly income than that provided by Social Security, develop significant cash values for my heirs, and have more spending money to pump into the economy.

No employer contribution would be required; thousands of new jobs would be created; a huge Federal bureaucracy would be eliminated. Mandated contributions could be added to as an option in other private retirement programs.

2) Corporate Income Tax: Eliminating the Corporate Income Tax could redistribute enormous amounts of spendable income to all employees, increase the likelihood of job growth in all businesses, reduce the costs of goods and services and, possibly, their prices, and improve payouts to shareholders.

It could also reduce the amount of money spent frivolously for tax reasons alone and reduce the need for much offshore outsourcing.

3) Executive Compensation: Absurd salaries is nothing short of grand-theft-shareholder, and the source of the disrespect so richly deserved by many corporations. Arbitrary compensation limits would be set for all public companies, and cash only compensation would be allowed --- no stock options, unqualified pension benefits, deferred compensation, vacation homes, golden parachutes, etc.

Above the maximum level, additional compensation could only be paid in the form of dividends.

4) Health Care: Corporations provide health care benefits because it helps them attract and retain employees. The same is true for 401(k) savings plans and other benefit programs. All benefits increase fixed costs, and reduce salaries, profits, dividends, and job numbers --- but better packages improve morale and employee retention levels. These programs need to remain voluntary.

A Government's role should be to: reduce the costs of providing health care, help streamline information systems, and to provide universal, guaranteed-issue, minimum health insurance to anyone not covered by employer packages.

5) Government Corruption: Let's not sugar coat what lobbying is all about. This special interest purchase of congressional favors needs to be banned --- end of story. It would be easier to accomplish through term and staffing limitations in both houses of congress.

6) Tort Reform: Lawsuit awards in all areas must be limited to amounts that are reasonable, and people must be held accountable for their own stupidity, irresponsibility, and clumsiness. Potential suits should be reviewed and arbitrated by non-lawyers before going forward.

If you spill hot coffee on your lap, be more careful next time. All costs, whether they are insurance settlements or legal fees, find their way into the prices we pay --- for insurance, products and services, everything.

Click for Details --> Investor Priorities - Part 2 <--

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