Name: Tom Julian, 35
Profession: Director of electronic media at Emblem Health
Location: Hamilton Square, NJ
"The current mood of the country is making us rush to bailouts for various reasons in order to kickstart the economy. But if you give individuals money in an attempt to affect our country as a whole, it should be structured so they buy something that makes a difference -- not flat-screen TVs.
When government gives you funds, it should be coupled with an idea of service. What you buy should be something for the long-term good, in the tradition of asking `not what you can do for yourself...'
I've been a homeowner for the past three years, and in wintertime my wife and I have large heating bills. It is very expensive to weatherize your house with windows and insulation, and we wouldn't see a return on our investment for 10 or 15 years. People need a push in the right direction.
Congress should give a 100% refundable tax credit for making green improvements to your house or business. Any money spent on items like energy-efficient windows, insulation and solar panels would be paid back by the government over a four-year period.
This would stimulate the local economy as entrepreneurs set up shop to deliver these improvements. Home owners would see the values of their homes rise instantly (many back up to what they bought them for). And Americans would instantly begin saving money on energy, and our country's carbon footprint would begin trending down.
Green initiatives can reduce carbon footprints on both a community and countrywide scale. They create jobs for your neighbors, which is the point. You've purchased something that helps the economy and the future of world.
I support extremely generous tax cuts that encourage people to do things that are good for our country. Green initiatives could be the start -- maybe we could do the same thing with cars and certain types of college education." - as told to Julianne PepitoneNEXT: Invest in infrastructure and jobs