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A basic question confronts voters each Election Day: What kind of country do you want for yourself and your children?

The open-ended wording invites many responses. But for this election, at this moment a decade removed from the Great Recession, here’s an answer: Voters want more job opportunities for all—and they want more responsible, responsive government. Put another way, Americans want to live in a country where everyone can afford to pay the bills, including taxes.

These are not esoteric whims. They are the building blocks of a prosperous, caring society.

Our concern during the years of recovery following the 2007-09 financial crisis has been growth too poky to make up for the lost years and to pay for everyone’s future needs. The stock market came back, but average U.S. economic growth until 2016 was a sleepy 2 percent. That’s not good enough. The U.S. nearly fell back into recession in late 2015. On the other side of the ledger—the government spending side—Medicare and Social Security remain on perilous paths toward insolvency in 2026 and 2034, respectively.

The positive news is that the American economy is dynamic and efficient, capable of great reaction time. Give employers incentives to bet on their future business success and they’ll go for it: They’ll hire, expand operations, seek out new markets, buy new equipment. That’s happening. America is booming, and the reason is tax reform and business deregulation driven by President

Donald Trump and the Republican-led Congress. They’ve given employers reasons to invest.

The economy is growing at 4 percent. Unemployment is at 3.7 percent, the lowest since 1969. The jobless figures for African-Americans and Hispanics are near record lows.

We recognize the Republican-backed tax cuts don’t come free of charge. If surging employment and business growth don’t generate enough new federal revenue, the cost over a decade could reach $1.5 trillion. Still, it represents an important investment in the country’s present and future. The tax code was outdated.

Ideally, Congress also would have found ways to control federal spending and reform Social Security and Medicare to not exacerbate the nation’s $21 trillion of debt. There are ways to do so, such as limiting benefits to the wealthy, without hurting vulnerable people. The country still needs to rescue those programs.

But Republicans had a window in which to cut taxes to spur growth. It was the right move because without a robust economy, the country goes backward, not forward. Without significant job growth, Social Security and Medicare will begin to run short of funding. More years of 2 percent growth would doom America to mediocre employment levels, with no good possibility of ever collecting enough new revenue to curb the debt.

So what kind of country do you want? One that provides the maximum number of jobs. That’s important to remember on Election Day.

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Comments

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  • mozarky2
    October 29, 2018 at 5:17 a.m.

    Jobs, not mobs.

  • PopMom
    October 29, 2018 at 6:34 a.m.

    We've got to pay the debt sometime. The "tax cut" was artificial for middle Americans. The long term tax cuts go to the Hussmans. As the editorial hints, the Republicans need to start cutting Social Security and Medicare so that the ultra wealthy can keep their tax cuts. Mozarky, when do you plan on collecting SS and medicare?

  • 23cal
    October 29, 2018 at 6:46 a.m.

    About "But Republicans had a window in which to cut taxes to spur growth.'
    *
    The Republicans has a window in which to start decreasing the national debt which they had spent the last eight years screaming was the end of the world.
    *
    We went from tax and spend Democrats to borrow and spend Republicans.
    *
    Obama reduced the deficit just about every year. The Republicans have increased it when it could and should have been decreased even more.
    *
    About "So what kind of country do you want? One that provides the maximum number of jobs. That’s important to remember on Election Day."
    Job growth under Obama was at a higher rate and for about eighty months in a row, the longest expansion since WWII.......and he was handed a nation on the brink of another Great Depression, not one which was already humming and all he had to do was not screw it up.

  • rback57
    October 29, 2018 at 7:22 a.m.

    The problem is not tax cuts. Tax revenue is up since the tax relief was passed. The problem is spending. Cut the entitlements which does not include Medicare and social security.

  • Foghorn
    October 29, 2018 at 11:13 a.m.

    Medicare, SS and Military/Pentagon represent 85% of the budget. The entire remaining 15% could be cut and it wouldn’t have a material affect on the debt.

  • mozarky2
    October 29, 2018 at 4:32 p.m.

    Been collecting SS for four years, dread going on Medicare. Still have insurance through employer, and will have until I retire in another 10 months or so. Wish I could work 'til I die, but this 70-yo body is finding it harder and harder to meet the demands of a coal-fired power plant.
    And, although I'll miss the job and the people (co-workers AND management) tremendously, I'm accepting of it. I can honestly say I looked forward to going to work every day.
    SS and Medicare will be permanently fixed under President Trump.
    Ironically, I turned down an offer to work at a State-owned electric utility, which would have allowed me to avoid SS, and instead put my, and my employer's contributions into a private fund. I talk to some of the people who did go to work there from time to time and they are doing VERY much better than my SS.
    The ONE bad thing President Reagan did during his two terms was ending that program.

  • RBear
    October 30, 2018 at 6:31 a.m.

    moz says, "Been collecting SS for four years, dread going on Medicare. Still have insurance through employer, and will have until I retire in another 10 months or so." Wait, you said you retired 4 months ago. You lie bigger than anyone I know of or are about as crazy as a loon. I've always suspected you were telling lies about most things, but this confirmed it.

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