I heard Senators Reid and Kerry both say, on Meet The Press, that tax cuts for the rich have not created any jobs over the past ten years, and thus it is foolish to continue to lower taxes on the rich for the purpose of creating jobs.
Says Senator Kerry, we cannot "cut" our way to competitiveness, we need to invest in our future.
Here in New Jersey, Steve Sweeney and Sheila Oliver are promoting a "Back To Work NJ" legislation program of about 30 bills. These bills include reforming business tax codes to base corporate business taxes on a company's sales in New Jersey (called "single sales factor"), eliminating a company's share of employees and physical assets in New Jersey as factors in determining a tax bill; a job training program for the unemployed which allows for up to 24 hours a week of workplace training from a potential employer for up to six weeks; and giving senior citizens whose total earnings fall under $100,000 an exemption from state income taxes on any income from a pension or deferred compensation plan.
Finally, a major political party recognizes that there is more to this debate than discussing how much to tax and how much to spend. Like the recent debt commission report, there is the understanding that strategic tax changes, strategic spending and fresh ideas are what we need. Please, can we stop having the same discussions we've been having since Reagan's first term.
I can only hope that this is the beginning of some adult conversations in the run-up to 2012.