Thursday, October 01, 2009

IF I WAS KING (and in no particular order)...


Withdraw from the UN Not only does the UN bestow legitimacy to some real lousy folks and serve as an anti-American forum, with modern communications, we no longer need the convenience of having each nation maintain a physical presence in one city. We don't need the UN to consult with our friends, to warn our enemies and to explain our actions to everybody else.

Change the tax code Lower the top marginal tax rate to 25% (nobody, regardless of how much money they make, should have to hand over more than 1/4 of what they make). Eliminate all deductions other than charitable donations and gifts (I wouldn't charge tax on money earned but given away) and expenses incurred to produce income (for example, unreimbursed business expenses and child care expenses so both parents can work, but only to extent of the earnings of the lower paid of the two). Eliminate the Alternative Minimum Tax. Eliminate personal deductions. Change the rules so the IRS has to prove its case rather than requiring the taxpayer to prove theirs. Allow deferral of investment gains that are immediate re-invested (you're only taxed if you 'take' the money).

Tort Reform Loser pays the reasonable legal fees of the winner (if you sue someone and don't win, you have an obligation to make them whole).

Iran Failure to prove - to our satisfaction - that they have dismantled their nuclear program would result in military strikes against all known and suspected facilities.

Government spending Cap government spending at a given level with no adjustment for any reason. Unanticipated 'needs' would only be funded with money shifted from other programs.

Government bureaucracy I Eliminate the Departments of Education, Labor, Health and Human Services, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, Agriculture, Energy, with 75% (and declining by 5 percentage points every two years) of the money spent in these areas being given to the states as grants. I would also eliminate the Departments of Veteran's Affairs and Homeland Security (both brought back into the Defense Department) and Commerce (incorporated into the State Department).

Government bureaucracy II Eliminate the EPA (fold its responsibilities into Interior), all funding for the NEA and similar organizations (it is not the role of government to support the 'arts').

Post Office Sell off to the public, eliminate the Postal Commission, the postal monopoly and the requirement that the Post Office serve all locales (someone wants to live in the middle of nowhere, they don't get the same conveniences as those living in more populated areas).

Government workers Eliminate government worker unions.

Fannie and Freddie Eliminate their government subsidy (and for the other similar entities such as the FHA).

Term limits two terms for Senators, six terms for Representatives. One six year term for (future) Presidents, with a recall election at the halfway mark (55% needed to remove a President, replacement election held 60 days following recall).

Congressional Staffs Twenty staffers per Senator, 4 staffers per Representative.

White House Staff Maximum of 250 staffers, employed however the President wishes.

Campaign finance Eliminate all restrictions on donations, other than immediate public disclosure of contributors (no money could be spent until 14 days after public disclosure of that contribution).

Abortion Reverse Roe-v-Wade and leave to the states to regulate and/or restrict.

Drug laws Eliminate all federal restrictions on drug use, leave to states to regulate (if, for example, West Virginia wants to allow meth use, they can do so... and they can clean up the mess).

Immigration No government benefits of any kind provided to illegal immigrants. Verification of residency for employment, government benefits, drivers licenses, home purchase or rental.

Welfare no benefits without work of some kind (picking up trash alongside roads, etc). Limit of 2 years of benefits at one time, lifetime limit of 8 years of benefits.

Military Rules of Engagement the military exists to protect America and American lives and will ALWAYS be allowed to take whatever action it feels appropriate (and will receive the benefit of the doubt in any dispute) to protect American lives. In simple terms, Americans come first, everybody is a distant second.

Foreign Policy the State Department will exist to represent American interests abroad, not to represent foreign interests in Washington.

Israel and the Palestinians no pressure on Israel, it is up to them and their neighbors to work things out... or not work things out.

Energy Eliminate bans on off shore drilling and open up untapped areas within US borders. Allow construction of nuclear power plants.

Global Warming tell advocates to go away until they can provide verifiable proof that (1) global warming exists and (2) the consequences to America are a net negative and (3) the costs of reversing or mitigating the warming are less than the negative consequences.

Criminal Law Consistent with the 'loser pays' rule in civil law, anyone who is acquitted of criminal charges will be reimbursed their legal expenses plus an amount to compensate them for the damage to their reputation and earning capacity (this will, as it should, make prosecutors think real hard before they indict someone).

More to come with time.... and here they are...

Historical designations eliminate any restrictions that limit the changes a property owner can make to his property (if society thinks it is critical to maintain historical properties, then someone can step up and buy the property themselves)

Discrimination law keep the rules that ban government from discriminating, eliminate laws that apply to the private sector (if someone wants to be stupid and discriminate against a particular group, then they can suffer the resulting consequences)

Wage laws Eliminate both the minimum wage law (if workers want more money, they can go work for someone willing to pay more) and Davis-Bacon (jacks up the price of government projects)

Crime Eliminate 'three strike' laws and replace with system where a criminal's record is taken into account when deciding the length of a prison term (it's similar to three strikes but focuses on the totality of a person's record rather than just the number of convictions)

Torture Allow 'enhanced interrogation' to be used for purposes of gaining information needed to detect terrorist attacks.