Name: Howard Butler, 56
Location: Palm Beach, Fla.
"After working in a hospital for more than 15 years, I went off on my own in 2003 to build Davinci Diagnostic Imaging. I sold the building in January 2008.
I've worked hard, and I've seen this country lose its way. If the Framers could see what's going on, they wouldn't roll in their graves - they'd spin. We should get people to invest instead of penalizing them.
I hope Obama's tax incentives will go to growth instead of just being put in people's pockets. The Big Three automakers have themselves to blame, so I'm not in favor of a bailout. Obama should give people and businesses a two-year tax credit equal to the price of any American car up to $40,000, to be purchased in 2009.
But the really big issues are Medicare and Social Security. It's time to call it an entitlement program.
Phase out people 50 and younger; grandfather in those already on SS and Medicare; Phase out people between the ages of 55 and 65, proportional to the years toward their promised benefit; replace the current payroll tax with a pay-as-you-go tax for the needy, based on net worth and income qualifications.
Means testing, including net-worth testing, is the only way to rectify this mess. Let's stop taking money from people who are working to pay for these programs we can no longer afford." - as told to Julianne Pepitone
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