* stimulate the economy by investing in infrastructure, research and teachers;
* spur more start-ups; and
* offer more people postsecondary vocational or college education.
We must have job-creating infrastructure investments tied in with a program to stimulate more start-ups (which have slowed), followed by a credible deficit-reduction plan, which would be phased in only as the economy recovers . And all of this needs to be accompanied by an aggressive effort to get more Americans postsecondary education.
Third, the country needs a tax plan that is fair: The wealthy must be made to pay at a significantly higher rate than the rest of us, not at their current lower rate, which is manifestly unjust. And, fourth, the country needs a plan that is aspirational -- a plan that is about making America a great country for the next generation, and that is not just about "balancing the budget."
The presidential candidate who offered such a plan would win the election! If neither offers it, one of these men will still win of course -- probably narrowly -- but the country will lose by a mile.