- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 12, 2009

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Compared to the bailout package passed by Congress, prior government handouts that appeared an egregious waste of taxpayers’ money barely amounted to a waiter’s tip. Had the bailout plan succeeded, everyone - including the father of this failed strategy, former Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. - would have been shocked. The fact remains, however, that the bailout strategy didn’t work, and despite its hundredfold bloated state, this strategy won’t work now.

The Federal Reserve Board under the past administration had no idea of how to right the economy that was worth the hot air expended to defend it. The new cast of characters in Washington is equally idea-challenged. Not a single new approach to solving the unemployment and business-closing problems afflicting the nation is on the table.

This nation runs on the work ethic of the middle class. Tossing spare change in the form of a new federal commission to dispense nice-sounding but equally hollow ideas is just so much political pap.

I humbly propose a six-month moratorium on all deductions from employee paychecks. That’s right - no federal or state tax deductions, no Social Security, no forced contributions to retirement schemes. Just a full paycheck for hours worked placed directly in the pockets of working citizens. Similarly, businesses would have a similar short-term break paying their burden of taxes, etc.

Jobs would be saved, businesses could grow, and bailouts would cease because they would not be needed.

Repayment to the government is simple. When the government ceased to bail out failed companies, federal dollars would remain where they belong, in the nation’s vault. Other new ideas to stimulate the economy, should they emerge, can be implemented. After the six-month hiatus, the fiscal system will resume its normal function.

GEORGE A. PETERSEN

Annandale

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