A note to President Obama while you’re here in Dayton

Barack, hope and change worked last time. And, yes, you’ve done amazing things in the first 4 years- like the affordable health care plan.

But, we’re still hurting here in Dayton Ohio. This is the Main street you talked about- the one where jobs aren’t what they used to be. Where our homes are losing value because the banks threw our neighbors out, and then the houses had their copper plumbing and wiring stripped bare. We’re the ones who’ve had to pay for $4 a gallon gas while the oil companies made record profits. We’re the ones who continue to see our health care costs rise.

Mitt Romney isn’t the enemy right now. What the enemy is people who’ve lost hope. They aren’t as likely to go out and vote for you as last time.  You’ve failed to clearly talk about what you can do if re-elected. Concrete, clear, concise changes that will make things get better. So, here’s a short crib sheet:

  • Stop corporate welfare through “economic development” tax breaks, job creation breaks, relocation assistance by any government entity lower than the federal level- where all incentives will be available to anyone who qualifies- not just the big donors to campaigns (yes, there is a correlation and we look like a pay to play state). Mitt’s right, government has to stop picking winners and losers.
  • If you want to see small business take off- it’s time to give the GSA a lesson in what’s reasonable for a small business to fill out to do business with the federal government. We need a GSA EZ schedule for true small businesses, $6 million a year or less is a start- but, I’m talking about $1 million or less. 250 pages of paperwork isn’t doing anybody any favors.
  • Speaking of government contracting- we have these areas called HUBzones that are struggling to see investment. How about an innovative way to force investment- unlimited H1B visas for companies that locate offices in these distressed areas- as long as the employees all live in the zone? I think we could eliminate HUBzones a lot faster that way and solve some immigration issues as well.
  • Then there’s Wall Street. It’s time to change the culture upside down. Investing isn’t done in a flash and you don’t invest in a company for 12 seconds. That’s roulette. Either put a transaction tax in place, or tax the hell out of anything held less than a year. And to remove volatility, let’s start with the only tax break on stock holdings is on actual dividends- not on trading values.
  • When it comes to the commodities markets- take the speculators out and shoot them. If you aren’t actually purchasing corn, sugar cane or jet fuel, you can’t bid on it. End of story.
  • Health care is totally screwed up as well. Since when were hospital administrators worth 10x a year more than actual doctors saving lives- and all, while calling their hospitals non-profits? Let’s get honest, if you are a non-profit, you aren’t going to get to skip out on paying property taxes etc and pay your CEO $4 million a year. That’s for profit. It’s 10x what you make. And, don’t tell me a company like CareSource, which is entirely funded with tax dollars should be paying their CEO $3 million a year because they are saving the taxpayers money, the VA doesn’t pay their people that way, and they are doing a much better job with a much less healthy community. Non-profit means non-profit. Let’s get that straight.
  • While you and Mitt keep arguing about tax rates- most of us don’t really believe that’s the enemy. We get taxed plenty and the cuts you make aren’t really as important as reeling in credit card interest rates, bank fees, and when the bank slaps on an insurance policy at 8x the cost of the one you’d have bought had you still had a job.  Tax rates aren’t the problem- the gap between the haves and the have nots is the problem- and it’s time to talk about it in real terms. So- above and beyond, while the poor kids have been off fighting in America’s longest war, the rich haven’t had to sacrifice a thing. They’ve gotten richer by shorting America. Buying up devalued real estate, playing positions on Wall Street than encourage offshoring jobs. This has to stop. It’s pretty simple too- just explain that until unemployment drops below 8% there’s a rich people tax. It can also be in place as long as US men and women are dying protecting their wealth. War used to cost everyone, now, it’s only affecting the poor.

These ideas don’t make for sound bite slogans- or slick promises that can’t be kept like creating millions of jobs (I’m in advertising and we’re not allowed to make claims we can’t back up- you should have to live by those rules).

Anyway- you will be speaking in Island Park in 30 minutes- and I’m not there, because I have to work in my small business that employs 7 people. But, I wish you the best on November 6th. Unfortunately, I can’t believe that we can count on the best man winning, thanks to Citizens United, and us having the best politicians money can buy- but, I hope your backers can out spend Mitt’s people so we might have a chance at not going backwards.

Thanks for reading. Now, go out and talk about specific plans you can implement. I’ve given you some starting points. You’re welcome.

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