With the presidential election settled, the issues of the federal deficit and jobs remain critical and hopefully will keep alive and intensify the efforts started by Ross Perot.
What may develop as a needed organizing effort toward these goals is the launching of the Concord Coalition by Sens. Warren Rudman and Paul Tsongas. But first, the coalition must drop their idea that consumption is to be discouraged. This is always the argument used to gain favor for a consumption tax, a tax which in most states is already overloaded.I feel that Perot's proposal to increase the gasoline tax by 10 cents per gallon per year for five years may be appropriate for highway-used fuel if that amount is needed for the rebuilding of roads and bridges, but the amount should be no more than what is needed as a user fee.
A consumer tax, whether called sales tax, value-added tax or any other name, is a penalty on production, tending to decrease employment and raise the consumer price level. Any tax that raises the price makes the goal of holding down entitlements more difficult.
The tax that tends to increase employment, and cannot be passed on to the consumer, is the land value tax, whether levied by federal, state or local government. Resulting lower land prices make housing more affordable and commerce and industry more profitable. This becomes even more significant as building and personal property taxes are lowered and removed.
By removing the idea of more consumer taxes and substituting the land value tax, the Concord Coalition will have excellent goals that can remove barriers to more and better paying jobs without delaying needed reductions in the federal deficit.
Earl A. Hanson