Advice for Obama from Eagle County |

Advice for Obama from Eagle County

Gus Nicholson
Avon, CO, Colorado

Mr. Obama is getting a lot of advice from all corners of the political spectrum. All this tells us is everyone’s worried. If these academics had had it right, it is likely our government would have addressed at least some of the foundational issues by now.

But partisan politics can distract. The last two administrations were anything but neutral in their philosophies. Indeed, an argument could be made that the seeds for this recession, while sown as early as the Reagan era, were well-fertilized during the Clinton years. It should go without saying the current administration threw gasoline on an already smoldering mess and is still doing so with Mr. Paulson’s massive handouts requiring no accountability and only an implied quid pro quo from the banks in the name of expediency.

Early next year, for the first time in a long time, there will be a real opportunity to change all that. Good ideas come from both the left and the right. Strengthening our nation’s ability for capital investing reaps dividends far into the future.

Here, the new president should stick to his guns, but avoid a battle over tax brackets. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to remake the foundations of our economy.

There is great potential in weaning ourselves from old technologies even as we create the bases for a sustainable society.

This translates into the wise application of two tools: tax policy and accountability. The former should favor domestic capital and job formation, while the latter should hold all recipients of government largess accountable for their results.

The president-elect should also resist the call by some from the right to abandon or postpone health-care and labor reform. A worker no longer tied to an employer that can’t fund its health-care or pension plans by mandating contributions into a national pool, perhaps privately managed, will enable our work force to move nimbly into thriving industries and workers to live without fear through what promises to be at the very least an unnerving transition. Here, “portability” and “affordability” are the key concepts. Let the private sector figure out how to make it profitable for everyone. And give them a deadline ” six months, max. No more dawdling.

Last but not least, and this is the toughest one to swallow, we Americans need to recognize that our consumer-driven economy has run its course. Our storage facilities, garages and homes are bursting with stuff. But there’s a whole world out there that needs what America has always been able to provide: ingenuity.

So our transition must include moving the American consumer from a net spender to a net saver in more aspects than just money. Then we’ll have the two best things for effecting this transition and moving confidently through the future: ingenuity and wealth. Sounds tough, doesn’t it? The president-elect knows it, too.

Gus Nicholson

Denver and Avon

Support Local Journalism