The Republicans' solution for solving Americans gargantuan unemployment and underemployment problem is to largley to cut business taxes. Leaving aside the unsustainable budget deficit problem which unless overcome should block such an initiative, this solution will not work. Of course it will create jobs but it will not create sufficient numbers of good wage, "middle class standard of living" jobs which is what the country desperately needs! U.S. corporate board rooms have shown time and again that maximizing profit margins guides their business decisions and if making parts, products or locating business operations off America's shores will materially maximize profits off-shoring is precisely what they will do! Americans need to elect people to Congress that see solving this "job" problem in this larger scope than just lowering taxes and reducing government regulation. The following includes some litmus test criteria for candidates in this area. In this years elections, Americans need to not be distracted by this big battle between Democrats & Republicans encompassing the country and focus their attention on the candidates in their district scrutinize their positions on the issues and pick the best candidates, if truth be told the leadership of both parties is atrocious America's fate of succeeding rests with Congress getting enough members who are good citizens that will cross party lines in pursuit of doing what is right for the country! 1) Good candidates support U.S. tariffs on Chinese products imported into the U.S.. The time for talking with the Chinese over this issue is done!!! The U.S. has been talking with the Chinese for over ten years about them stopping their pegging of their currency at a certain exchange rate to the dollar and they evade doing the right thing, offer little changes, take back little gains and pursue all types of shenanigans. This currency control policy by China prevents their currency from rising in relation to the dollar which makes Chinese produced products shipped to the U.S. very significantly lower priced than what they would be if their currency wasn't controlled which gives a very significant price advantage to Chinese producers over U.S. producers for their products sold in the U.S.. This price advantage cost U.S. producers business which costs American jobs and it acts as an impediment to the creation of new U.S. production to compete against chinese producers in some product areas thus costing further American jobs. Experts tell us that China's control over their currency stops their currency from rising in value twenty to forty percent with respect to the dollar, this is no insignificant issue! A specific tarriff on specific Chinese products can correct for this currency unfairness for the tariffed product. The issue, however, is more extensive than just levying a tariff on all chinese products imported into the U.S. a candidate for Congress to hold the right position needs to support that the tariff enabling legislation should limit levying a "currency correcting" tariff to Chinese goods where there is a "competing" U.S. producer and where there is a "reasonable" showing that a "currency correcting" tariff will create a significant number of U.S. jobs in the respective industry; the problem trying to be avoided here is levying tariffs that just hurt U.S. consumers with no discernible gain in U.S. employment. A seemingly good example of this problem which has received a lot of public commentary of late is the tariff on Chinese tires. Chinese tire manufacturers were unfairly competing in selling small car tires in the U.S. so the Obama administration put a tariff on small car tires coming from China into the U.S.; for those of us American small car owners who have bargain shopped for tires over the last two years we have found we have ended up paying around $20 to $25 dollars more for a small car tire than usual and the bargain tires still aren't U.S. made tires. In fact, reports are that employment in the U.S. tire manufacturing industry dropped close to ten percent during the past two years so that the desired good public policy goal behind the tariff of protecting U.S. jobs doesn't seem to have materialized. This writer is not alleging this writer knows all the facts on this chinese tire matter but rather that the right course for the country is that in the tariff enabling legislation there be provisions that mandate the interest of U.S. consumers be balanced against the interests of U.S. workers and when there is no significant benefit to the latter group there should be no penalty to the former group which means no tariff levied! 2) This issue is a little hard to believe but unfortunately its true. The Chinese government is on the verge of mandating that foreign car manufacturers that want to manufacture electric cars in China have to partner with a Chinese partner and have to be a minority partner and have to disclose proprietary product and manufacturing information. Now everyone knows that electric cars are the wave of the future, the world doesn't have the oil reserves to support car industries that use the internal combustion engine much longer. And anyone that has any common sense or is with it knows that the Chinese government's intention with this policy is to have the Chinese people steal the intellectual property and manufacturing "know how" on electric cars of foreign car manufacturers so it can be used by Chinese manufacturers to create a strong Chinese electric car industry employing large numbers of Chinese citizens. There is also one other important detail here which is that in the last few weeks Chinese government officials have announed that it is their long-term plan for their economy to create a domestic electric car industry with three to five major manufacturers selling cars world-wide and having a major domestic electric car battery manufacturing capacity and they intend that $10 to $15 billion be spent to build such an industry. It has been abundant the public commentary assessing that that what the Chinese are planning to do here is to steal confidential businesss information and there should be no issue here that a "big-time" number of U.S. jobs are at stake, but I think what many Americans want to know is what is Washington is going to do about it? If candidates for Congressional office don't support dramatic punitive action against the Chinese over this matter they are on the wrong side of the issue here. Let me give good candidates an appropiate course of action they could adopt and be in the right with. If the Chinese government goes through on this minority ownership/"have to turn over confidential business information" policy, the U.S. government should pass legislation banning all Chinese businesses, nationals, soverign funds and the like from buying ownership in any U.S. business, not even a lemonade stand and a list should be drawn up of currently Chinese owned U.S. businesses whose Chinese divestiture of ownership could realistically result in a significant increase of U.S. jobs and in this legislation it would be be mandated that these Chinese owners have four years to divest themselves of these U.S. businesses or the U.S. government will do it for them. Moreover, the U.S. state department along with the entire U.S. states' government should make it its top priority to lobby every other country around the world to pass a like law and thus send the Chinese government the message their cheating and stealing here will not be tolerated! 3) Mark Zandi Chief Economist of Moody's Analytics recently wrote an article with the theme of the article being that home loan mortgages are at terrifically low rates like 4.5% and under ideal circumstances massive number of Americans should be refinancing their home mortages and saving a huge amount of money on their mortgage payments which they could use on personal consumption expenditures and provide a great stimulus for the economy, but do to the fact that many of these home owners have mortgages under water (that is the principle on their mortgage loan is for more than the value of their home) and some do to periods of unemployment or underemployment because of the recession where maybe they fell behind on their bills for a time they can't qualify for the current low mortgage rates in a refinance. Mr. Zandi essentially makes the recommendation why doesn't Washington tweak just for a couple of years the normal credit worhiness evaluations standards to account for this freak "Perfect Storm" recession so to let these huge number of Americans avail themselves of these historic great interest rates. Of course, most home loans and refinance home loans are bought by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from banks and mortgage loan providers and packaged and sold as securities and as our Republican friends have made abundantly clear the Federal Government largely now owns these "home loan financing" institiutions - and since the U.S. taxpayers essentially own them let's use them for good. Currently, understandably so because they use historic standards Fannie and Freddie now penalize borrowers for being underwater and credit problems during unemployment periods, etc.. Why doesn't Congress and the President pass a law that says for three years Fannie and Freddie and Banks and mortgage providers have to consider any borrower seeking a refinance with their home underwater to the extent that the principle on their loan is 120% to 95% of the subject homes property value as being ninety-five percent of the home's property for credit worthiness and refinance interest rate considerations and for credit scores the three major credit score agencies for these refinance applicants have to compute a credit score with this scaled loan to property value ratio and for periods that the applicant was unemployed or underemployed since the beginning of this recent recession December of 2007 the credit agencies have to ignore the applicant's credit problems during these periods and produce a revised credit score which would be used to compute the refinance interest rate which would of course be better than the current evaluation system's results and again Fannie, Freddie, the banks and mortgage providers would all be bound by this adjusted system. Good candidates for Congress should be supporting legislation like this to avail decent Americans that pay their bills to be able to avail themselves of historic low interest rates and not be bound by normal credit worthiness evalutaion systems! 4) The new home construction industry is in dire straits and many related industries are in not much better shape and to a significant degree this is because there is an overabundance of homes for sale the current "homes for sale" inventory is like twelve months when ordinarily in a healthy industry it should be like six months, this is not even factoring all the homes in the foreclosure pipeline. This whole subject matter is so ridiculous that we have the country's leading economist body declaring that the Great Recession ended in June of last year but we have an abundant of real estate experts that are saying home prices across the nation will likely drop another five to ten percent before home prices bottom out. America needs some profound good changes here, America needs to put a stop to the bleeding here. A good start would be to allow Bankruptcy Judges to reduce the principle on the home loan of a debtor in bankruptcy to the market value of the home and the interest rate to the prevailing thirty-year fixed rate or if greater reduce the principle to what 31% of the debtors income for thirty years at this prevailing interest rate would produce. If the creditor were to foreclose on the house at maximum the creditor is going to get is the market value and realistically much much less! America has to stop this stream of foreclosure prooerties coming onto the market and this manner is a fair method. In the past two years, the Democrats tried to get this legislation through Congress and the Republicans blocked it. The Republicans are absolutely wrong on this issue and this is an important issue America only need to give Bankruptcy Judges this power for like five year to return the housing industry to health and it can be limited to middle class homes homes, homes under a million dollars in value - this issue should be a big litmus test issue for candidates for Congress! Republicans will probably say this is a bad idea because it will create a flood of people entering bankruptcy to get out of underwater mortgages - this line is garbage! Republicans should know since they changed the bankruptcy law during the Bush Administration that for debtors that have incomes higher than the average in their community, a lot of Americans, bankruptcy is a long five year process it takes five years for these debtors to get their debts discharged, a harrowing process that no person would want to go through unless they had to, and a further reason people would not choose the bankruptcy option is that bankruptcy follows a person for at least seven years after they exit bankrutcy it really hurts one's life, Republican fear predictions here are over blown (if truth be told Republicans hold their position because their siding with financial instutions and the rich like they regularly do)! 5) As stated America needs to stop the foreclosure problem and it's really not going to stop the foreclosure problem until it solves the high number of underwater homeowners in America, apparently a quarter of the nation's home mortgages are under water. Because when a borrower is underwater that borrower doesn't have much incentive to keep paying the mortgage and avoid defaulting on the loan thus sending the home into foreclosure. Aside from the health of the housing industry standpoint, there really is an injustice going on here to these underwater home owners - this underwater mortgage problem was largely caused by a housing bubble which was caused by Wall Street greed which facilatated people buying homes they couldn't afford and federal regulators failing in their duty to regulate the industry, so why should these ordinary decent Americans whose home mortgages are underwater being paying for the wrongdoing of others for many years? Washington has practically tried almost everything on this problem. There is one course Washington hasn't tried and to fully solve this problem using this course would be unaffordable for the country but maybe the country can come-up with enough money to make a meaningful difference on this issue. Why doesn't the Federal Government come-up with a pot of $30 billion dollars and put all the underwater homeowners that want to participate in the program in a lottery and the winners of the lottery get the following deal. They get refinanced in a FHA Loan for ninety-seven percent of the value of their loan, the Federal government out of this $30 billion pot will pay these underwater homeowners original lenders for the difference between the principle owed on the underwater loan and the monies from FHA coming from the new loan and the Federal government could add a reasonable fee to the lender to process the pay-off of the loan (the government through legislation could mandate fees and penalties be waived for the early redemption of these loans). To stretch this fund the Federal Government could limit this fund to middle class homes, homes under a million dollars in value, to increase its compassion impact it could limit the program to middle class income homeowners, homeowners with a household income under $150,000.00 per year. The question is how does the federal government pay for this program? Federal tax income would increase because participant homeowners interest and home depreciation tax deductions would be decreased so they would pay more Federal taxes. Because these homeowners mortgage payments would be lower they would have more money to spend thus creating more consumption activity in the economy and thus generating increased wage (from increased employment) and business tax revenue for the federal government. It has often been talked about changing the treatment of hedge fund/private equity fund managers compensation they get for the deals they do, which is often a percentage of the deal, to income that should be taxed at oridnary income tax rates as opposed to capital gains taxed at lower capital gain tax rates apparently that would raise around thirteen billion dollars over ten year; this writer doesn't advocate going that far and isn't a tax expert by any stretch of the imagination but why doesn't the Federal Government treat these managers income in the following manner say they get three percent of a deal three percent of the stock in a company they buy for investors why doesn't the federal government determine the market value of that three percent stake and say one tenth or one fifteenth (spread it out ten or fifteen years) of the value of that stake has to be considered as regular income taxed at ordinary income tax rates to that manager for that taxable year and one tenth has to be considered in a like manner for every year over the subsequent nine years unless the manager sells the stake during the ten year period which in that case the unpaid balance on the first years market value during the sale year becomes ordinary taxible income and the difference between the sale price and the first year's market value is taxed at capital gain tax rates. This tax treatment would increase federal tax revenue and is fair because treating the value of these managers compensation in the first year as ordinary income is not fair because it often isn't in cash form so what do these taxpayers pay the taxes with but nevertheless it is compensation for the taxpayers work and tens of millions of Americans every year treat all their compensation for work as ordinary income, so there is a fairness issue here and this treatment strikes a reasonable balance. Congress could further raise revenue in the following manner, who are one of the main beneficiaries of a healthy housing industry, the banks that make home loans and there is like three banks that sell a huge percentage (I think its around fifty percent) of the home loans made in America on a yearly basis. Congress could raise revenue for this program by soley for these three top home loan maker banks increase their taxes from their home loan making business by ten percent for as long as it takes to pay the cost of this program not filled by other means the federal government utilizes up to a ten year period. Candidates for Congress need to offer a good solution to this underwater mortgage problem America has because as alluded to above it matters!