Commenting on the Bush Plan

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Yes, the Bush plan does provide an incentive to save and invest as a way to be(come) rich — rather than remaining poor and complaining about the government not doing enough to make one rich. For most people in America, saving and investing is the path to wealth and well-being, as it doesn’t matter how much one is “making” on the job, if he spends it all. That person is still living from paycheck to paycheck, albeit on a hundred thousand a year income. And that probably is the crux of many people’s difficulties at the present time — not that their incomes are inadequate. They have no knowledge of personal financial management and responsibility — that allows them to see themselves as employees, investors, as well as owners of their own unique/small businesses — instead of the highly partisan view as labor, management, owner, small businessperson. In order to have a balanced view, we’re going to have to view it from all the perspectives — and not merely hope to achieve that balance from a brutal struggle of one narrow viewpoint dominating another, lacking insight from the other. So it is a shift in this long-term perspective that favors thrift, industry, productivity — and not just demands from those that squeak/whine the loudest. That’s a welcome change. It is not about wealth trickling down to the middle class and poor — but the poor and middle class coming to regard themselves as the wealthy and prosperous because they think in that successful manner — as investors. That’s not so much about money as it is about attitude — and how it is reflected in everything they see and say. The military is not the poor as your editorial hopes to distort. The military, more than any segment of society, defines the middle class. The relevant question in whether we use a draft to staff the military, should be if we have a more effective fighting force through that recruitment process. Common sense would tell all but the most ideological and demagogic that for a position of this sensitivity, you want people who self-select for these qualities and conscription would undermine this effectiveness — which I think is what your editorial writer really has in mind. At least he should be honest with himself about these hodge-podge of rants, half-baked ideas, Democratic Party demagoguery. The rich are rich because they save and invest their money — letting it accrue to prop up stock values and social stability. Then when they die they pass it on to their heirs and charitable institutions of their liking. But they’re not buying $100 million houses every year and drinking champagne out of Rolls Royces — like your editorial intern believes the wealthy does. The major beneficiary really of the non-taxation on dividends would be those fledgling investors in dividend reinvestment programs who would see their dividends compound tax-free until they built up their wealth. If people want to be rich, let them do it for themselves. The problem is when they demand it from others — their employers, the government — everyone but themselves. Which is what? — the entitlement/welfare mentality. ”Mike Hu is a resident of Honolulu and can be reached via email at”