As for what passes for constructive debate in Washington over taxes and spending, well, it looks from Broad Street like the equivalent of World War I trench warfare, not class warfare.
Which brings me to reaction to Friday's column from two executives about whether more government action is needed. Neither wants to see another federal stimulus program, but each offers other suggestions that they believe would goose the private sector into growth mode.
Roger Colley, a former president of two local environmental com-
panies - Betz Laboratories and Envirogen - would try to reduce uncertainty for business by doing the following:
First, put all new regulations on hold and freeze federal spending, both for five years. Next, cut the corporate net income tax rate to 15 percent from a top rate of 35 percent and make the current rates for individuals permanent.
Finally, Washington needs to "start all over again" with its changes to the nation's health-care system, Colley said in an e-mail.
Tom Callahan, senior vice president of Bristol's Modern Group Ltd., which rents forklifts, cranes, and other heavy equipment, tallied up a similar set of actions, starting with a reform of the tax code "so it makes some sense."
He would also cut the corporate tax rate so that businesses are not "incented to do business overseas all the time." Instead of a freeze on government spending, Callahan suggested it be cut, saying, "The wars should be ended."
It all sounds as simple as that old Steve Martin joke about how to become a millionaire and never pay taxes. ("First, get a million dollars.")
But nothing has been simple about this weak economic recovery.
Contact columnist Mike Armstrong
at 215-854-2980 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or @PhillyInc on Twitter. Read his blog, "PhillyInc," at www.phillyinc.biz.