There has been fierce debate across the aisle about how to fix our deficit, about the need to grow our economy, about the need to create lucrative and rewarding jobs, and about the need to – through a host of smart economic policies and programs – replicate the Clinton-era balanced budget and economic surplus.

By the way, as a Republican, acknowledging that a democrat achieved the great fit of securing for us economic surplus, and in partnership with a Republican House Speaker, achieved a balanced budget doesn’t make my politics bad. It rather reinforces my professionalism and statesmanship. Giving credit to whom credit is due is not bad politics. And should not be viewed as so.

So how do we reduce our deficit, create jobs, and accrue excess revenue for the treasury?

First, by incentivizing our youth to go to school to acquire the skills relevant for the 21st century economy. And how do we do that? By making access to funds for education easier for them. For all American youth and be it for graduate school, college, or community college education.

There are so many jobs in the IT and health sectors that are out there waiting for folks to fill them up. But we have a dearth of professionals who have the skills for these specific jobs. The caveat however is that some of the times folks are enthusiastic for these kinds of jobs but most of the times do not seek to pursue a career in them because they presume that these kinds of jobs are not for folks that look like them. The role my administration will play in this situation will be to encourage employers, especially those in Silicon Valley, to demonstrate through their recruiting processes that these jobs are up for anyone who have the required skills and not just for certain people. I will also encourage the institutions that grant funds to acquire these skills to make their process impartial so that anyone who is desirous of further education can have easy access to funds.  When more Americans are gainfully employed, the costs on government of social welfare such as unemployment benefits and food stamps will be reduced. When folks are gainfully employed rather than depending on government for handouts, the more money government will be making through taxes that folks will be paying. And the more the people who are employed and independent of the government, the more money that can be freed from the social nest to tackle other pressing needs the country do have, such as fixing our infrastructure. And fixing our infrastructure also creates jobs. This is an all-round win for the economy.

We have deficits because our revenues are less than our expenses; hence our need to borrow money to offset our budgetary deficits. To fix our deficit – that is, to stop borrowing more money and to start repaying our debts – we have to find more ways to generate more revenues. That is it. There is no other way around that. And one of the ways to generate more revenues for the government would be to raise taxes on Americans. So read my lips. I am a Republican and I will raise taxes on the rich. The poor and the middle class are already paying their fair share. Some are paying more than 25% of their gross income on taxes. I am not seeking to punish the rich because they are rich. But I will make our tax system fair. Hence as your president, I will propose to Congress an across-the-board flat tax rate of 25% for all Americans. I will not simply propose it to Congress and abandon the fight just like most presidents do after their State of the Union address. I will work hard with men of good conscience in Congress to make it a law. That is a promise.

I have already mentioned educating our youth to equip them for the 21st century economy jobs as a way, in the long run, of generating more revenues for the economy. The jobs are already there and needs professionals with the right skill sets to fill them in. A working guy is a tax paying guy. The more folks that are paying taxes, the more money government will have. The more money government has the less need for it to borrow. When government doesn’t borrow, there will be no debt to service or repay. There will be no, deficit!

Another way to generate more revenues for our economy would be to reform our criminal justice system. Besides being a morally imperative thing to do, it is also a fiscally responsible thing to do.

How so?

Many men and women locked away in our criminal justice system are not there because they deserved to be there. They are there because of the color of their skin. Everybody knows that.  Some needed to be there but they are there for a much longer term than their offenses warrant. But for policy’s sake, let us concentrate only on those who are there who are not supposed to be there.

I do not know the exact number, but statistics have it that over 1 million Americans are locked away in our criminal justice system who are not supposed to be there in the first place. Men and women who should have been out in the civil society working like every one of us, daily, to provide for their family and pursue their American dream. But they are condemned for looking a certain way and locked away for good. Morally wrong and fiscally irresponsible.

And that brings us to the question – how much does it cost the government to maintain one prisoner each day in prison? Remember, unlike most regular working class American family, prisoners eat 3 square meals. Meals of their choice. That is well cooked. They drink juice. They have change of clothes. They bathe. They have toothpaste and toothbrush. Their clothes are laundered. Their bathing and laundry requires water, soap, and electricity. They have beds, bed linens, pillows, and I believe comforters they use during winter. To maintain all these logistics costs government money. Let’s say it cost government $25 per day to maintain a prisoner in prison. We know it costs more in certain cases because prisoners also have access to medical care. But let us just work with the barest minimum   – $25. So at the cost of $25 per day, it costs government $9,125 per calendar year to maintain a prisoner. For a thousand prisoners, it costs government $9,125,000 per calendar year, and for a million prisoners, it costs government $9,125,000,000 per calendar year. Almost ten billion dollars per calendar year to maintain prisoners who are not even supposed to be prisoners by any standards. And we seem surprised why our deficit is blowing through the roof!

Now ponder for a minute if these 1 million prisoners are out here in the civil society with us, working hard like every average Joe and paying their taxes. That would be $10,000,000,000 that would be freed to go towards paying off our debts. That would be $10bn freed that could be utilized at fixing our roads and bridges. And that would be $10bn freed to be invested in research and development. Or in education funds for our youth. However the money would be spent, the most important thing is that the government would have extra $10bn to use on fixing the country. And this $10bn is what government spends in just one calendar year to maintain prisoners in prison who are not supposed to be in prison.

So for every year these wrongfully accused spends in prison, we as a country adds $10bn to our deficit. Now on the other hand if the wrongfully accused were not wrongfully accused and left alone and free, not only would government have extra liquid $10bn on its coffers to spend each year, it would also have much more cash money on its coffers courtesy of the taxes these free Americans would be paying.  Each year, as they work and pay their taxes. By our judicial system indiscriminately throwing minorities into prison, it is losing billions of dollars in revenues. Both ways.

So who says racism is not a drag on our economy?

As your president, I will work with Congress to reform our criminal justice system to make sure that those who go to prison are only those that the prison system is meant for. I will also work with Congress to set up a commission that will review the cases of all prison inmates across the land. The commission will be empowered to recommend those inmates who are sent to prison under questionable circumstances for immediate release, compensation, and re-integration into the society. The commission will be empowered to recommend those inmates who should also be released immediately, they (the inmates) having served reasonable time for their offenses. And the commission will also recommend those inmates whose sentences should be commuted.

Elect me your president and I will make America greater than it already is.

Let the debate continue…





Author: Ezeocha Post

I am passionate about politics and the social challenges that faces our country. As a firm believer in the goodness of man, and at the risk of sounding naïve, I am convinced that when people of goodwill driven by gallant ideas come together to fashion out a better world, and pursue these ideas with energy and vigor, that somehow they will prevail. My blog will seek to provide a platform through which these gallant ideas can be birthed for a better and equitable world.

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