By Wayne Spencer - October 10, 2001

As promised last week, I will return today to traditional Democratic issues.

The President has shown leadership in his handling of the anti-terrorist campaign. Whether his decisions will be regarded as great leadership in the future will be totally dependant upon the outcome. If the objective of eliminating terrorism is successful without starting a new world war, his place in history as a great leader is assured.

The President has now called upon Congress for a "stimulus package." Now is the time for all Democrats to stand up and be counted. After giving him just about everything he has asked for, the Democrats must now take a leadership roll as well and tell the President that the stimulus package will be a Democratic one.

Let's face it, the Republicans have never in history come up with a stimulus package that actually stimulated the economy. Relying upon the Republicans to provide us with an economic stimulus package is a bit like sending a number of untrained coal miners to Europe to represent the United States in a ballet contest. Their heart just isn't in it.

The stimulus package should be one which is constructive. It should solve one of our country's most serious domestic long term problems as well as providing a short term stimulus for the economy.

Democrats can do this by solving the Social Security problem for good with the following plan:

  1. Eliminate Social Security withholding tax.
  2. Fund Social Security through the Personal Federal Income Tax.
  3. Increase the minimum wage.
  4. Rescind the 1.3 trillion dollar tax cut passed earlier this year which does nothing to help stimulate the economy.

Eliminating the Social Security tax would greatly increase the amount of expendable income for all wage earners and also eliminate this same amount paid by employers.

Employers would be able to easily pay their employees a higher minimum wage from the savings in the employer paid payroll tax.

Using the Personal Federal Income Tax would provide a broader base and more equatable means of funding the Social Security System. It has already been made quite clear in recent months that there is no "Social Security Trust Fund." This would end the Social Security shortfall forever.

A carefully crafted adjustment to the present income tax brackets is all that would be required. For expedience, temporary one year tax brackets could be established while permanent new tax brackets are studied and debated.

The needed stimulus to the economy could be immediate upon passage.

Our Democratic leaders together with fair-minded Republicans have an opportunity now to take on a true leadership roll.

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Copyright © 2001 by Wayne Spencer - This article may be freely distributed with this copyright notice attached.