Here are two questions that I would love to see aimed at the presidential candidates when they debate tonight in Nashville.
For Barack Obama:
Senator Obama, you insist that 95 percent of Americans would receive a tax cut under your plan and that only the fabulously wealthy would see a greater tax burden. But your tax “cuts” for lower- and middle-class Americans come in the form of tax credits that expire as a family moves up the income ladder, resulting in, some researchers have shown, significantly higher marginal tax rates for some families. If we really want to encourage people to start businesses, shouldn't we make the tax code simpler and easier to plan around, rather than stuffing in more exemptions that could cause a potential entrepreneur to wonder if boosting his or her income is worth it?
For John McCain:
Senator McCain, you actually sounded like a maverick when you told a crowd in Michigan that lost auto jobs “aren't coming back” and that Michigan workers should develop new skills for a new economy. But, having voiced support for $25 billion in loans for the Detroit auto industry, your actions seem to express the opposite sentiment: that we should hold on to the old economy for dear life. How can Michigan develop a new economy if large, failing companies are receiving a bailout from the government that small entrepreneurs could never hope to receive because they don't have the same political clout?