REFORMING FOR ECONOMIC FREEDOM
January 21, 2005
President Bush's "ownership society" agenda will help reverse a 75-year hangover of socialist policies -- including out of date entitlement programs, confiscatory tax codes and growing regulatory burdens -- leading to greater freedom and economic growth, says economic commentator Jack Kemp.
Kemp says the threat to economic freedom isn't simply antimarket interventions, but also an unwillingness to eliminate antimarket barriers already on the books. Tax reform, tort reform, and Social Security reform represent pivotal opportunities to make America a freer nation. According to Kemp:
- America needs to follow the eight European nations that have already adopted the flat tax (Georgia has the lowest flat tax of 12 percent on corporate and personal income).
- The Bush tax cuts should be made permanent and the alternative minimum tax should be indexed for inflation.
- America should follow the example of more than 20 nations that have already reformed their retirement security programs, replacing pay-as-you-go systems with personal accounts that workers own and control.
- It is essential, however, to avoid any reform proposal with accounts that are too small to fundamentally reform the system.
Over the past few years, America has been passed by the likes of Australia and Chile in terms of the openness of their economies. Kemp says that interventionist government policies are often the legacy of previous administrations that, when left in place, end up forcing America to "run faster and faster just to stand still while other countries continue to pass us as they ride by in the flat-tax fast lane."
Source: Jack Kemp, "The Road to Serfdom?" Townhall.com, January 10, 2005.
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