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Chadwick: Don’t Rob Peter to Pay Paul

Friday, 5 Feb 2010 | 10:22 AM ET

It is good to see that the President has bipartisan support for the budget proposal to give tax incentives to small companies in this country.

Over half of the workforce in this country is employed by small companies and most of the job creation comes from small and new companies. Tax relief such as recommended in the bill, will help in spurring private sector growth and pulling the economy out of the recession.

However, if simultaneously, the Government turns around and raises income taxes on individuals or corporations, the overall economic benefit will be non-existent.

The Federal Government cannot endlessly pour money into the economy to create new jobs.

Sooner or later it must let the private sector take over.

As the Federal support is withdrawn, the private sector needs to be given incentives to take risks and make investments. Raising income taxes will have exactly the opposite effect.

During the late 1990s, when the Federal Budget went from deficit to surplus, it was after President Clinton had cut the capital gains tax. What ensued was a strong wave of capital investment and corporate profits growth both of which generated huge incremental tax revenues – both income and capital gains – for the Federal Government.

Admittedly, the deficit turned surplus of the 1990s was augmented by the sharp cut in defense spending by the Federal Government, not an option on the table today. However, despite the vocal concerns of many pundits, primarily on the far right, the level of the U. S. Government debt and even the very high current budget deficits, should not necessarily doom us to third world status.

What we need in this country is private sector growth, not Federal Government loans injected into the economy. The Federal Government should do all that it can to augment and support the private sector, so that it can remove itself as the agent of stimulus. Only then will hiring commence and personal income start to grow.

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Patricia W. Chadwick has had more than 35 years of investment experience. She is the founder and president of Ravengate Partners LLC, a consulting firm that provides advice on financial markets and global economics.

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