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Dunedin man wins cash, trip to Washington

A Dunedin businessman's suggestions on how to balance the budget has won him $2,000 and a trip to Washington to pitch his ideas to lawmakers. Mike Morris, 39, owner of the pHish Doctor, won Lokey Motor Co.'s contest for some of the best suggestions to solve the national budget crisis. Morris, along with about 1,000 other people, took their suggestions to the U.S. 19 dealership Thursday.

The dealership closed for the day and turned its telephones over to people who wanted to call their congressional representatives with budget balancing suggestions.

"He seemed to have some unusual ideas and they were real clear," said Bonnie Agan of Devine Communications. She helped judge the entries.

Some of Morris's suggestions:

Tax money that political action groups send to candidates as if it were income.

Exempt all savings and investments from tax so people only pay taxes on savings or investments when they are withdrawn.

Allow small businesses to run government programs on a competitive basis.

Let taxpayers designate as much as 10 percent of their taxes for the agency or program of their choice, or to pay off the national debt.

Base tariffs on the balance in trade _ charging higher tariffs to those countries that send the most items to the United States.

Morris said he plans to put half of his winnings into his business, which makes small devices for aquariums that show the acidity or basicity of the water. The other half will go for family Christmas presents.