This began as a response to a fellow commenter on Propeller, but it got longer than I had anticipated, so decided to do it this way. The question he had posed to me was “What would you do to make America better and stronger?” Below is my answer, but always open to improvement and additions.
I am a citizen of America, one who staunchly defends it (not its government always). I admire the independence on which our country was founded. It disturbs me we (individuals and government) no longer depict that independence. Our forefathers’ big concern was “freedom”, and they warned against a government that became too strong, too large, too threatening. They knew the nature of man and vice.
That said, what would I do to make America better and stronger?
I would start with removing bunches of the laws we now exist under. Many are in fact unconstitutional, or so I believe. Many are impossible to adhere to in any meaningful way. Most are a waste of the trees cut down to provide the paper they are written on. Our Congress is totally and completely incompetent.
I would push for term limits. I would push for actual vetting of all candidates and that vetting would be displayed in advance of elections for all to see before they have to vote on a person. I am not just talking about Obama. I am talking about everyone who wants to hold public office and write our laws. They should be squeaky clean, and we know for a fact they are not. I would weed out duplicate programs. We don’t need multiple agencies fiddling with everything. I would eliminate all agencies that are not constitutional. I would eliminate the word and effect of “czars”, a term begun years ago and which gets more bizarre as time goes on. I would push for community unity, NOT party unity.
I would eliminate income taxes. I would put out a lean and mean annual budget and advise the people that that which isn’t paid for will not be done – asking for donations. Make your donations however and whenever you choose, in any amount you choose and signify where you want each dollar to go. If it is for environment, say so. If it is for welfare, say so. If it is for military, say so. And I would audit that agency collecting the money monthly – and every infraction would land someone on an unemployment line. All vat’s would be eliminated. All sales taxes would be eliminated.
Support of the “national need” would be totally and completely voluntary. Elected officials and the bureaucracy would be paid along the same lines as private industry = and the people would expect the same level of competence.
I would expel the UN from American soil and I would discontinue supporting them with tax dollars. People who want their tax dollars to go there, could send it directly there.
There would be a totally free and open market and anyone could trade with anyone. I would call off the drug war which everyone should have known could not be won before it was even passed. Let any adult buy any drug he chooses whenever he wants it. It would get drug dealers off the street, it would eliminate a lot of violent crime, and probably would be no more harmful than alcohol. I would fire the first federal employee approaching people and telling them how to live. It is NONE of government’s business.
I would bring home all military people and (I owe this statement to poster, slate) task them with routing out terrorists who are currently in the United States. I would want a fine missile system in lieu of spies and/or military in foreign countries.
I would quit advising other countries what to do, what not to do. I’d let them do as they pleased, but it would be without our dollars, and if America became threatened, we would deal with it in a fashion costly to them.
There would be no Medicaid or Medicare programs. People could buy health insurance or not, and if needing help to offset catastrophic illness or injury costs, provide it – case by case. And I would have to see if the claim was truly legitimate.
There would be no “welfare” programs. Many new businesses could be formed to keep tabs on jobs available and notify those needing jobs. Turn a job related to your field down 3 times and you receive no welfare. Until a job is found, person would be entitled to a monthly stipend that would be sufficient to live on, and in exchange for that, he would perform meaningful public service.
There’s a lot more that I could find to do, but time and space prevent my putting all of it down. I, too, contact my representative and senators on a fairly regular basis. Mostly that seems to be a waste of time, but who knows? One of them may one day listen.
I am sure you will find some of my thinking too draconian for today’s world, and given so many have gotten so soft and weak, it probably is, but it’s fiscally sound, it gets the job done, and it makes people independent, NOT dependent on government.