The U.S. government has bailed out banks and other major industries, but they still have work to do for the average hard working, working class or middle class American. Here are a few suggestions for how the U.S. can help U.S. citizens climb out of financial woes in these hard times.
Credit Report Amnesty
When money gets low the first thing to go is your credit worthiness. Many people lost their jobs or lost business when the 2008 financial crisis hit, so they were unable to pay their bills on time. This caused credit ratings to take a dive.
People who have always paid their bills on time and maintained great credit are now suffering with low credit ratings due to late payments and such. So one fix that the government can implement in conjunction with credit reporting agencies is a reprieve from negative credit report information generated in the years 2008 and 2009 (possibly longer depending on how things pan out after 2009). This would benefit consumers who previously had near perfect credit. This action would help consumers regain their confidence and continue handling their business matters professionally.
If the government does not do anything to correct or reduce negative information on credit reports, it could create a new batch of Americans who simply don’t care about the quality of their credit ratings anymore.
Extended Grace Period for Loans
People need more of a grace period to pay their bills as money is flowing less freely after the 2008 financial crisis. So the government could effect new regulations that would temporarily extend the grace period of 30 days to pay to 45 or 60 days before a mortgage or loan bill is considered late.
Tax Credits and Rebates for Middle Income Americans, Even If They Don’t Have Children
Tax time has always been a great time for families with children, but not so much for single middle income folks and married people without kids. Tax rebates and credits should be extended to all middle income Americans to help them catch up with bills and get back on their feet as they look to new horizons. Also, people who usually have their tax refunds immediately taken by bill collectors and other debts should be allowed to receive their money, in hand, at least for the next couple of years to help them get back on their feet.
Tax Businesses Who Outsource
Finally, businesses who have decided to outsource to overseas workers for pennies on the dollar and even hire illegal workers at less than minimum wage should be taxed. The entire outsourcing situation is very ironic, because while U.S. companies are trying to save money by firing U.S. workers and hiring overseas providers, they are reducing their own customer base. Who can afford to buy the products and services sold by U.S. companies if they don’t have jobs?
To get the money flowing back into the U.S. economy, companies have to start rehiring U.S. workers at reasonable wages. President Barack Obama has already mentioned his intention to repeal tax breaks that these companies currently enjoy (Source : Niraj Sheth, “India’s Outsourcing Industry Is Hesitant to Embrace Obama,” WSJ.com — http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2008/11/05/indias-outsourcing-industry-is-hesitant-to-embrace-obama/). To take it a step further, there should be some type of outsourcing tax on businesses who choose to hire non-U.S. workers. The tax would have to be substantial enough to discourage U.S. companies from going the cheap route at the expense of the American economy.
While these suggestions may be rough ideas, and may even be seen by some as impossible to implement, they are viable starting points for getting middle class Americans back on track after the 2008 financial crisis.