One criticism I often have of others is that they critique ideas without offering any of their own. It’s easy to take pot shots at others or to simply say no on philosophical grounds without any other justifications.
Some people talk about government being too big, we have too many regulations, government is the problem – not the solution, they say. They are willing to risk throwing out the baby with the bathwater so to speak. They see government as corrupt, evil and fundamentally flawed. While very few will offer specific examples.
Others, like myself, recognize that there are serious problems with our government, as there is with any government. But there is a proper place and role that government is necessary for a functioning society based on the rule of law and compassion for our fellow man.
Our country is divided in so many other ways; right vs left, urban vs rural, haves vs have nots, old vs young, religious vs secular, and many more less obvious and stark. But we are all Americans and we’re in this thing together. We can either rip this country apart because of our differences, or we can come together to make this country greater than ever.
We’re facing a lot of problems, unemployment, the deficit, the economy as a whole, immigration, the war against terrorism, the war on drugs, crisis in education and healthcare – it’s easy to get overwhelmed by them all. I think many people are scared, angry, confused, frustrated, they are looking for someone to blame, looking for quick and easy solutions. There are those that are capitalizing on that to benefit and enrich themselves. Others are using it to attack and destroy others.
There is a saying that “Money is the root of all evil”. When we look at our most pressing problems we can see that money is certainly a major component of them all in one way or another. So it would make sense that if money is the problem, money is also the solution.
Right now the problems are being approached independently of one another. The solutions offered are limited. Raise or lower taxes. Cut or increase government spending. Basically its fighting over a finite amount of pie. We need to change our focus, we need to bake a bigger pie.
In a previous post I asked the question: “What Kind Of Country Do We Want?“. Much of it was written based on the finite pie scenario. However, no matter how large the pie, we’re going to need to have priorities, certain values that are non-negotiable. For me, and for the purposes of this discussion that means we take care of our elderly, disabled, sick, unemployed and veterans. We value eduction, equal opportunity, self reliance, entrepreneurship, personal liberty, independence and freedom.
Each of my proposals will, save money or increase revenue and adhere to the values and priorities above.
- Remove the cap on income subject to Social Security tax. It may be possible to lower the rate, which would lessen the impact on upper income earners, and provide some relief for lower incomer earners and the self employed who have to pay both the employer and employee portions of the tax.
- Add a Public Option for health care that will allow anyone to buy into a health insurance plan on a sliding scale. This would virtually eliminate society cost of the uninsured using the most expensive health care, emergency rooms, for routine health care that could have been averted with preventative care, or taking care of at a less expensive medical provider, such as a doctor’s office or clinic.
- Remove most restrictions to enter the country legally for the purpose of work. Would have to pass criminal background check. Would not be eligible for public assistance. Required to buy into public option health insurance, if not covered by employer. Would be required to pay all taxes. Persons already in the country would be eligible if they clear criminal background check.
- Employers to be held strictly accountable to ensure all of their employees were eligible to work legally in the country. Requirement would include having picture ID issued by the State or Federal Government on file at all times. Immigrant employees must be paid the same, have same benefits, same working conditions and hours as citizen employees. Violations would result in heavy fines and jail time for employers.
- End all corporate and farm subsidies for products or services to be sold overseas. Subsidies may still provided on in country sales to value added companies. Also end all subsidies and incentives for outsourcing jobs.
- Remove Hemp from the list of controlled substances. Ban the export of non-value added Hemp. Then get out of the way and let American entrepreneurial spirit take hold to create new products from this natural renewable resource.
- Transfer the federal regulation of Marijuana to the ATF to be renamed MATF. License, regulate and tax similar to existing Tobacco and Alcohol operations. States would have the same rights to license, regulate and tax in their jurisdictions.
- Pardon and release all persons currently being held for simple marijuana possession.
- Expand Job Corps with funds saved from not arresting, prosecuting and incarcerating marijuana users. Add training needed in the manufacturing of the 1000′s of products being made from Hemp.
- Make child support payments tax deductible. The more non-custodial parents pay the less dependent single parents will be on State benefits.
- End the Bush tax cuts for the top 2% income earners. Tax all income the same regardless of the source. End the Hedge Fund “carried interest” windfall loophole
So there you go. Have at it. Rip up my ideas, but come with your own. I’m prepared to defend my ideas, so be prepared to defend your criticisms and your ideas.