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Dear President-elect Obama,

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Dear President-elect Obama,

You have captured the imaginations of much of the world’s people.  Americans are waiting to see what your first bold moves will be to get the economy moving again and provide a new vision for other issues such as Iraq, energy policy, health care, and immigration.  I have a couple of ideas I hope you will consider to help with the economy.  I believe that you have to show the people that their priorities are your priorities. 

First, the auto industry badly needs help.  But, Americans are fed up with bailouts.  The country also badly needs to reduce its use of foreign oil and consumers badly need help just getting by.  You can address both the economy and energy policy by establishing a tax deduction for the purchase of American made hybrid vehicles.  Allow Americans to deduct from their income the purchase price of such vehicles over a period of 3 years.  This will help the American auto industry and the consumer.  It will also help the country as a whole by reducing the consumption of gasoline, thereby reducing our dependence on foreign oil. 

While you’re at it you might want to eliminate the 100 % write-off in the year of purchase for businesses for the purchase of the biggest of SUV’s that president Bush established.  We don’t need to be encouraging the purchase of gas-guzzlers any more.  Even with that complete write-off capability in the year of purchase they are pretty hard for car makers to sell these days.

Second, their seems to be much concern over your plan to increase the capital gains tax.  I don’t understand why.  Who the heck has any capital gains to realize in this market?  What we should be concerned about is capital losses.  When we have capital gains we have to claim all of the income in the year they are realized.  When we have capital losses we can only take $3,000 per year for as many years as it takes.  We should allow the complete write-off of capital losses in the year they are realized.  This will help Americans greatly at a time when they need it most.

I hope you will consider these ideas and are able to get them implemented as quickly as possible.  Congratulations on your victory and good luck.  Our prayers are with you.

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John Basel

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A graduate of the State University of New York at Buffalo with an MBA in 1980, John went into the banking business from 1981-1991. John went into the gymnastics business with his wife, with whom he has two children, in 1992 and grew it enough by (more...)

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