I’ve been having discussions with a number of political people recently. Let’s say that they’re political junkies. Many, like me, are avowed Independents. There are those remaining few who are brave enough to admit that they are a party hack…ahem…Republican or Democrat. Those brave few are always the few who argue most vociferously for their obsolete ideology.
I can’t really recall one argument I’ve had with an Independent. Maybe the Hacks are right; we don’t argue because we don’t stand for anything, except maybe fence-sitting.
Perish the thought. Here’s what I stand for, and here’s what I would strive for if I were President:
* End the Bush tax cuts. Anyone who believes we can solve our debt problem by cutting spending alone is naive, or reasonably insane. There is no argument one can make against raising revenues when all we’re talking about is less than four percent in tax rates.
* Reform the estate tax. Yes, there needs to be an estate tax. Money “won” in an estate is income…and almost always, unearned income. Being a member of a wealthy family doesn’t give you a pass to perpetual wealth without taxation. If I earn $5,000,000 in one year, I get taxed on it. So should you. Especially since you probably DIDN’T earn it. America wasn’t built on inheritance, and Capitalism isn’t based on inherited wealth. It’s not a death tax; it’s an income tax. We’re not taxing the dead guy. We’re taxing the income that the living recipients receive free of charge or labor. Husbands and wives, of course, would pay no estate tax, as our government views the rights of the surviving spouse to be an equal owner of the estate, and still living.
* Extend Congressional Terms to four years, and limit the number of terms to two. No more career politicians.
* Reduce Senatorial terms to four years, and limit the number of terms to two.
* Write a Free Trade Equity Act. Simply put, demand that in any trade agreement that our nation makes or currently holds, an equal number of jobs have to be created between the two parties. If American factories move overseas and create 1000 jobs in that foreign nation, that nation must reciprocate in kind. No deviation is to be allowed. Free Trade isn’t free if the results are as lopsided as they have been for the last twenty years.
* Write an Amendment to the Constitution that guarantees the Bill of Rights only to Natural Persons. Corporations may be an assembly of natural persons, but they aren’t a natural person in and of themselves, and therefore, do not have the same rights that Natural Persons have; such as Free Speech. This ought to end the debate about whether corporations or special interests (such as unions) can contribute big money to our campaigns. While the people within those corporations or special interests may have an individual vested interest in the outcomes of elections and deserve their voices to be heard, the entity of corporations and special interests do not have vested interests and shall have no voice in our system of government. The Bill of Rights pertains to the individual, not to groups of individuals. The right to worship as one sees fit, for example, is an individual right, not a corporate right. Individuals have the right to organize according to their method of worship, but the organization itself has no say, no free speech with regards to our system of government. Our Founders didn’t write a Corporate Bill of Rights; they wrote a natural person’s Bill of Rights, and defined what that Natural person is within it.
* A Tax code that is simple, equal, and fair, without loopholes for the wealthy. What that tax rate may be would need to be determined, but whatever it ends up being, no one except the very poor would escape its full effect. If we can find a rate near 17-19% that helps us maintain our budget and our social programs, that would be optimal. But for the time being, if that rate needs to be one or two percent higher to help us pay down our debt and balance our budget, I think most Americans will be accepting of it.
* A program of employment for the long term unemployed. We cannot pay unemployment benefits perpetually without return. Our nation has massive infrastructure deficiencies, and employing the long unemployed toward this end would go a good way toward solving this need, while paying a fair wage and giving the newly employed a sense of contribution to their society.
To be continued