As a nation it is imperative that we assess, across the full spectrum of our diverse population, how well prepared we are to address the incredible challenges facing not only the U.S. but humanity as a whole in this ever-more complex Twenty-first Century.
The key, we believe, is increasing revenue not reductions in spending but we are not talking about tax increases. From public education, the poor, healthcare, the environment, and our nation’s crumbling infrastructure, anyone who believes spending cuts are the solution is living in a fantasy world.
All businesses face challenging times. The most common strategy of a business in financial trouble is to cut costs and, sometimes, it is an unavoidable necessity. Businesses do have another option, however and that is to increase sales revenues. This can be done by adding new customers and also by increasing sales volumes to existing customers.
Increasing revenue is almost always the preferred option but it is also the most difficult. One of the reason why increased revenue is the preferred option is because deep cuts can have a significant, adverse impact on a business’s capacity to produce and its ability to innovate. Very often, the outcome in these situations is business failure and when this happens, everyone loses. Businesses that lack foresight often do not even contemplate increasing sales, so challenging is the prospect.
Governments are often faced with similar decision points. More often than not, the option of choice for governments is to cut spending because tax increases are one of the quickest ways to insure that an officeholder is not re-elected.
Just like businesses, however, tax increases are not the only option to governments operating at a deficit. Another way to increase tax revenues in a way that need not involve increases in tax rates or adoption of new taxes is to increase the tax rolls; the number of people paying taxes. Consider two over-simplified examples:
• By taking a person who exists on a government subsidy and helping them find a job, you not only increase tax revenues but you reduce entitlement liability.
• Grant amnesty to an illegal immigrant and then help them find a job and become a taxpayer.
One of the ways to get a business to consider a sales increase strategy rather than cost cutting is to help them view their employees as assets rather than liabilities. Governments can do the same thing. All it requires is a paradigm shift in which the focus switches to pulling people up rather than cutting them out; inclusion rather than exclusion.
Children attending our most challenged public schools, most of whom are failing, provide a great example. They represent one of the two best untapped natural resources available to the American people. We simply must abandon the “politics of abandonment” that are destroying public education. The inevitable outcome of our current educational reforms are destroying the faith in the American dream for the students of our public schools and their parents.
The other great untapped natural resource for the United States are the millions of illegal immigrants who are desperate for the American dream and who risked everything they have to get here. These men and women want work so desperately that they will stand on a corner seeking day jobs from passersby. How ironic is it that some of the people who believe most fervently in the American dream are denied amnesty.