Put America Back to Work
The latest attempt of our government to offer tax incentives to employers who expand their workforce is being met with the same yawns that previous unsuccessful new hire tax breaks have received. Is it time to try something new? Here are a few suggestions.
- Start paying interns. Who decided we could exploit our unemployed college graduates by making them work for free in exchange for "a line on the resume?" C'mon folks ‒ this is worse than hiring third-world workers for pennies on the dollar.
- Support local businesses. The next time you start to buy something on the Internet, forget about the convenience of ordering without leaving your easy chair; go out and see if it can be found at a local retailer instead.
- Implement a national sales tax to replace all or at least part of the income tax. Exempt the necessities so that those who can only afford food and clothing can still get by. It's not that I advocate oppressive taxes for the impoverished, I just advocate a system where everyone has a stake. Currently, half of our citizens pay no income tax. Their only stake in the economy is to vote/hope for expanded government benefits which can cripple the system and alienate the welfare recipients from the taxpayers. We don't have to cut the benefits, just make everybody contribute a bit to the greater good.
As long as I'm ranting about the current tax and benefits structure, let's also talk about payback. Benefits for those who are incapable of functioning make sense. Everyone else needs to think of government benefits not as a gift, but as an exchange for community service, military service, government jobs, and helping less capable friends and neighbors. C'mon benefits recipients ‒ let's get busy with paying it forward. When benefits recipients start doing the jobs that state and federal government workers do, we can cut the government workforce and the related cost. The poor still get their benefits, but the society as a whole gets a benefit too.
Perry is a CPA and a former senior tax accountant with Big Four firm Deloitte. She maintains a small tax practice, she is a personal finance instructor, and the author of thirty books, including Surviving Financial Downsizing: A Practical Guide to Living Well on Less Income (Adams Media); QuickBooks on Demand (Que); Excel 2007 Macros Made Easy (McGraw Hill); The Complete Idiot's Guide to Doing Your Income Taxes (Alpha/MacMillan); and, most recently, Mint.com for Dummies (John Wiley & Sons). In addition, she is a former columnist for the Indianapolis Star and Indianapolis News daily newspapers.
Perry is a nationally recognized speaker who advises public accountants on using Internet tools to improve their accounting practices. She also taught a college-level introductory accounting class and was on staff at the Indiana CPA Society as a computer applications instructor. For five years, she was a contributing editor for Accounting Today magazine before taking over the helm at AccountingWEB.
Perry is a graduate of Indiana University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism. She returned to school to study accounting at Illinois State University, passed the CPA exam (in one sitting!), and worked for Deloitte in the Chicago tax department.
Gail has been named one of the 25 Most Powerful Women in Accounting by CPA Practice Advisor magazine and the American Society of Women Accountants.