And while we are at it, here's a list of things I'd like to see immediately change in our government and our country. This was previously listed on my "Like to See" page but it deserves it's own page. Some of these would be implemented over a period of several years, and others immediately.
If I were king, I'd ...
... immediately institute strict term limits for all government officials, federal, state, and local. - There is something going on that's not right when people leave a high paying industry job for a lower paying political position and then they stay in that position forever, reaping "benefits," running their own agendas, and ignoring their constituents. No career politicians allowed-ever! Four or 8 years and out. They are supposed to serve the citizens and not build an empire.
... tie all federal government salaries to a balanced budget and GNP levels and freeze all spending increases and government salaries until the budget is balanced. Mr. Senator, you can't live on $100,000 a year? Gee, that's too bad. I'd also require a balanced budget within 2 years, forbid deficit spending, or congressional salaries would be cut 25% across the board.
... forbid anyone who is employed by any local, state, or federal government (military forces are excepted), or who is directly related to a politician (wife, partner, sibling, or child), or a staff member, from voting in the respective elections--conflict of interest. In addition, anyone on public assistance ("welfare") would be ineligible to vote until they were self sustaining.
... end all direct political contributions to all federal, state, or local candidates. All political contributions would go into a federal, state, or local general blind fund and then be distributed, anonymously and evenly among the political parties. You want to spend your own money, that's fine. Anyone caught making a direct or indirect contribution to any specific candidate or party would get 10 years in prison and the funds would be forfeit. Any candidate who accepted such funds would get 10 years in prison too.
... formally define a citizen as one who was born of parents both of whom were documented citizens, whether born either inside or outside of the country, or one who has taken and completed the steps to become a citizen and renounced all ties and interests in any other country -- period. A child born of a citizen & non-citizen anywhere, would be considered a non citizen until they or the non-citizen parent became a citizen. No non-citizen is eligible for any government assistance programs and may not vote in ANY elections nor serve in a public office.
... require that anyone seeking any local, state, or federal public office to be a citizen (see above), and have to provide open, verified proof of such to the public before running; have served our country in the military or a national service program for at least 3 years; have held a real, producing, non-political job in the private sector for a minimum of 5 years; have had their primary residence in the state or district they represent for a minimum of 5 years prior; and have to give FULL and open disclosure on their education, background, and finances - nothing allowed to be sealed.. They must also be able to recite the Bill of Rights from memory, and swear allegiance to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights with a penalty for failure to comply with them.
... end government pensions for all political offices. Since there will be no "career" politicians there is no need for any political position pensions. Retired politicians and government employees currently receiving huge pensions will have them trimmed back to realistic levels over a period of 3 years. This includes presidents.
... institute consequences and full equality for local, state, and federal governments and their agents. Hold the governments and all of their employees and agents to the Bill of Rights, the Constitution, and all laws passed by congress or the states. If they violate any law, they go to jail, just like the rest of the people. Stop their exemptions from health care, social security, and the like, and hold all government employees to the same standards of conduct, liability, and responsibility as the rest of the people--no more immunity or get out of jail free privileges for agents of the state. You're an off-duty cop and you get pulled over for speeding or DUI - here's your ticket, just like the peons get.
... limit the Senate and Congress to submitting and voting only on bills which affect the entirety of the US population in-whole. All laws passed must apply equally to all citizens and to the government and its agents, and no laws may be passed that relate only to the government or its agents exclusively, or that exempts them. That puts an end to the special interest groups, vote-buying, pork barrel projects, short-term thinking, etc. The secret ballot will apply to all Senators and Congressmen – end to closed-door wheeling and dealing. If any one colludes on a bill to benefit a special group or individual, they are both fired and jailed.
... limit all new bills (at the federal, state, and local levels) brought for consideration to one (1) subject each. No hidden agendas, regulations, or riders as an example you could not imbed a new tax law in a healthcare bill . (Hmmm! Where have we seen that?) and require all bills to meet the test of Constitutionality. In addition, all bills must written in plain English and in a form that the average citizen can understand and be published in their entirety in the major news papers of the country or online for a 30 days prior to any vote. For any new law passed an "old" law has to be removed from the books. An alternative would be to have all laws expire after 5 or 10 years. If they are truly needed they can be presented and voted on again.
... drastically downsize or eliminate the alphabet soup agencies like the ATF, IRS, DEA, EPA, TSA, Department of Education, congressional staffs, and all the other little fiefdoms that serve no truly useful purpose. Every government agency and all members of Congress would have to specifically justify the need for every single employee or staff member. Those individuals identified as surplus or non-essential would be terminated within 90 days. They've lived off of the government teat too long.
... review all current state and federal laws and regulations for constitutionality and duplication and remove duplicates, those not in Constitutional compliance, or those that are meaningless or invalid from the books. Pardon and fully restore all rights of anyone convicted of their violation. (With a little training they could use some of those surplused federal employees and create a Department of Redundancy Department to ferret out duplicate and useless national and state laws and local regulations and to convert verbose documents into plain English.)
... institute strict attendance requirements for legislators. Any legislator who misses 3 consecutive, or 5 non-consecutive sessions in a 365 day period for other than being in the hospital gets terminated, and fined.
... make all previously issued "executive orders" null and void. Any new "executive order" would only be effective for 1 year, may not reinstate a previous order, may not be renewed, must pass a constitutionality test, and could not be used to create a new "law" that would affect the citizenry or incur penalties. Fully pardon and restoration of all rights for anyone previously imprisoned for violating those illegal "laws."
... end all regulations illegally promulgated and illegally enforced by various government organizations (like the IRS, ATF, EPA) that can result in criminal prosecution and grant a full pardon and restoration of all rights for those convicted of such violations.. Only congress can make and pass laws.
... disarm all agencies not in direct law enforcement work. No armed squads of FDA, HUD, IRS, Dept. of Education, BLM, etc "SWAT" teams to intimidate people. Let the US Marshals do their jobs.
.... institute a flat rate personal income tax on all earnings. Just because YOU work harder and make more money why should YOU have to pay a greater percentage of your income to taxes? (And then have to find all kinds of sneaky loop holes in the tax code to keep what you have earned.) If we had an across the board flat rate tax on every individual, with few, if any, exemptions, life would be so much simpler AND we'd have more than enough money to run the government. Let's say a flat 8-10 percent of your gross income from all sources for the year--no deductions with the possible exception of up to 10 percent total of your gross to certified non-profit charitable or religious organizations, and no tax on inheritances to a family member. For corporations the tax would be 7% of the net profit after paying employees' salaries. For those with gross income below $15,000 there would be a token tax of 1 -2% tax to re-enforce the idea that everyone is expected to contribute. With the reductions of excess spending mentioned above we'd have more than enough money to run the country. Think of the money the government would save just by downsizing the IRS to a staff to just process the payments!
There are many who dislike the idea of an "income" tax whether flat rate or the poorly thought out "graduated" version. The alternate might be a national sales tax, -- taxing what you spend. Without any income taxes perhaps a total (federal and state) sales tax of 12 - 15% with a possible exception for basic foods, medicines and medical procedures. More study is needed, but I think either is easily doable and much better than the current system.
... make payments to "social security" optional but require private investments or savings accounts for retirement for those who opt out.
... return to the gold standard for all monies.
... drastically revise the criminal code. Only malum in se crimes (crimes in and of themselves like murder, manslaughter, arson, robbery, rape, kidnapping, piracy, forgery, etc.) would result in imprisonment. Malum prohabitum crimes (crimes by statute) could only be sentenced to restitution, public service, fines, or indentured servitude. Fully pardon and restore all rights for all malum prohabitum offenders past and present.
... drastically reform the prison system. With malum prohabitum offenses no longer jailed, we could turn our attention to the really bad folks. No more TVs, sex change operations, or a cushy life. You'd get basic medical and dental care, 3 boring but nutritional meals a day, basic toiletries, exercise, access to a chaplain if wanted, access to a decent library, and 12 hours of HARD productive labor. You are being punished for a crime -- you are not on vacation!
... end the privatization (and the money making setup) of prisons and put all prisons under the control of a National Board of Prisons. Those deemed too dangerous for hard labor programs could be incarcerated on a remote island, in shark infested waters. (Preferably on another planet.)
... institute general restoration of rights process for "felons." Persons currently convicted of "felonies" or misdemeanors, either state or federal, where the sentence could be 18 months currently lose their voting and 2nd Amendment rights for life. They have paid for the misdeeds once they have completed their sentence yet they can't (at least very easily) get their rights restored. An attorney friend tells me that the vast majority of "felony" convictions these days are, and have been, non-violent convictions, mostly malum prohabitum offenses, so there is no real reason to deny restoration of all rights. Actually, I see no reason why even some "violent" felony offenders shouldn't be able to have all their rights restored, perhaps after a period of say 5 - 15 years with no further offenses or indictments. To permanently deny rights after the completion of a sentence makes no sense and seems like "cruel and unusual punishment" after the fact. Personally I'd feel safer living next door to a "felon" (even a "violent" one) who had his gun and voting rights restored, than next to most current government employees, politicians, or agents of the state. Actually, such a provision exists in federal law but every year any funding to do this is denied so people have no recourse. Some states do offer a restoration of rights process but don't advertise it.
... end the NFA '34, GCA '68, and all other ridiculous state and federal antigun regulations and paperwork. "Things" should not be regulated nor banned, only the misuse of them. It doesn't matter if you own an 300 mph car, an "assault rifle," a .50 caliber rifle, a .50 caliber M2 machinegun, a "silencer," a flame thrower, a short barreled rifle or shotgun, a fighter jet, a tank, a hammer, a knife, a 40 rd magazine, a book, a model rocket, 10,000 rounds of ammunition, 5 gallons of gasoline, 40 pairs of shoes, or anything else. In addition there should be no registration of what you own--the government has no need or right to know what you own. If you misuse them then you suffer the consequences, until then who cares. Also, saying that "you don't need xxxx" or "there is no legitimate use for xxxx" is a REALLY stupid comment. You don't need a 6,000 square foot house, million dollar diamond jewelry, a $90,000 car or a half dozen vehicles for personal use, a 70" HDTV, a $3,600 dress, a cellar full of expensive wine, a library full of old rare books, 5 kids, 15 pairs of sneakers, designer clothing, or a double-chocolate fudge cake either. Of course the real reason for banning "things" is to try and control people. Those who would want to control us have an innate fear of people who show self control and self reliance.
... end all "gun free" zones nationwide since they have no effect on those who would harm others (other than allowing them to act without fear of reprisal) and mandate that anyone who can legally be armed be allowed anywhere if they are carrying discreetly (a.k.a "concealed"). Prisons and/or court rooms might be an exception.
... mandate that no state or local jurisdiction could prohibit the carriage or possession of arms in their state by a non-proscribed resident of any other state, and any state or entity that did so would be punished by having their chief executive jailed for a minimum of 180 days.
... end all the politically correct crap and restore common sense to everyday life and the government. Someone says something that upsets you? Here's a hankie to dry your eyes. By the way, no one alive today is responsible for the fact that your ancestor's people sold your ancestors as a slave to my ancestors. Put on your big girl panties and get on with your life and do something productive.
... mandate that the term "xxx-American" be forbidden in any publication or document that is produced. You are either an "American" or you are not. Such terminology emphasizes racial differences instead of national unity.
... end the ridiculously over done environmental "regulations" that do nothing but waste money, and destroy businesses and people's lives over inconsequential things.
... tighten our borders and our immigration policies. Whether by building a fence or high security monitoring with a "quick reaction force" we need to stop the assault on our country. Other countries limit access to their country and have tight restrictions on non-citizens. We should too. Just because you don't like things in your country doesn't mean you should get free access to ours. If you want to come here legally, become a citizen, and a productive member of our society, that's fine as long as you are not a fugitive from justice, have something to contribute to our country, and have a means of support or sponsorship. If you want to come here from a hostile foreign country, you must pass a high level background check, and submit to monitoring.
... get rid of the TSA and the misnamed department of Homeland Security, and turn responsibility for all border and continental security to the Border Patrol. Use the military reserve to fill any gaps on the border until the Border Patrol is fully staffed. End the so called "wars on terror." With strengthened borders and tighter visitation / immigration policies the TSA and DHS supposedly "fighting" this "war" could be eliminated.
... round up the illegals and send them back In the case where one member of a family was an illegal, that individual would have 45 days to start the citizenship process and 1 year to complete it - otherwise they'd be gone--too bad, so sad.. No anchor babies. All immigrants and all visitors would be subject to background and medical checks and be required to report their whereabouts and status every month until they become a citizen or returned to their country, and must be either self-sustaining or sponsored. Visitors can stay a maximum of 90 days unless an extension is approved prior to the end of the 90 day period. All legal immigrants would have 45 days to start the citizenship process A tight limit would be put on the amount of money they could send out of the country. Mandatory English language classes (perhaps taught by some of those surplused federal employees) and no voting until they were a citizen and could pass a basic English literacy test. Heavy penalties followed by deportation for deliberate immigration violations and not reporting.
... end unverified voting by people. Only a US citizen may vote in any election and proof of citizenship and positive photo ID would be required.. Copy of a birth certificate with the proper raised seal would do for citizenship and there would be a mandated no charge for a birth certificate copy for use as voter ID or to get a verified picture ID. (Funded by all the money saved by down sizing the IRS, etc.) Using or creating a false ID or birth certificate would be punished by immediate deportation and/ or 10 years in prison.
... bring business back to our country. Put a tax on products made overseas by US companies rather than here in the US, when there are any US based companies making a similar product. And ABSOLUTELY NO off-shore production of critical infrastructure or military items allowed.
... limit union pensions and benefits to the same levels everyone is entitled to. Getting a lifetime pension equal to what you were making is ridiculous, as is passing that along to your heirs in perpetuity. Reigning in out of control pensions would go a long way to lowering the prices of goods and services. "Right to work" without union membership or payment of dues would be mandatory nationally.
... end all government financial assistance to what are effectively political organizations like National Public Radio (NPR), Planned Parenthood, the MSM, National Arts Council, and others, that are just propaganda arms of the socialists. Let all propaganda organizations pay for their own air time like the rest of the folks do.
... end permanent welfare entitlement. If you are physically able to work at any job you must do so to receive welfare benefits. Even if it is just working on a county road or park cleanup crew or school cleanup squad a couple of days a week you must do so and your welfare payment is your salary. You are not entitled to endless welfare support while you sit on your ass and pump out babies while watching your big screen TV. If you refuse to work or fail to show for your appointed "job" you lose your welfare payments and are on your own. Normal holidays and weekends off. Mandatory drug testing for all welfare recipients and mandatory use of birth control for all females on welfare. If you have another kid while on assistance that's your problem, you don't get extra money. A work exception could be made for anyone in school to learn a trade and maintaining a "B" average, and their assistance payments would stop the day they got their first paycheck (rather than the day they graduated) so they'd have continuity of income. If you are caught buying or using drugs while on welfare, you loose it and go to jail for 5 years at hard labor--if you can afford drugs you don't need assistance.
... tighten the purchasing restriction on assistance payment (like the current EBT cards). Strongly limit their use to real food items (not junk stuff). Prosecute anyone who sells or buy non-essential products like, cigarettes, junk or luxury foods, and booze via assistance payments.
... end the adoption process mess and make it easier and much less expensive to adopt a child and protect the adoptive parents from being forced to return the child after its birth parent gave them up. A simple irrevocable form would do it. No need for the money grubbing lawyers.
... end quotas or preferential treatment for anyone or any group. If you can't make it on merit and skill, tough luck. Get training. (We'll gladly help you get reasonable basic training if you can't afford it.)
... clean up the educational system mess. No more common core/teaching to the test idiocy, women's studies, political correctness classes, and end blanket adoption of experimental educational systems. Bring back "reading, writing, and arithmetic," along with civics, social studies, and geography and then add in technology based subjects. Encourage critical thinking, responsibility for one's actions, and consequences for ones actions. Institute mandatory safety education classed in all grades on driving, fire, firearms, drugs, and alcohol. Institute mandatory "life education," and responsibility classes in high school prior to graduation to teach students how to budget, manage their money, and how do basic cooking, home/car repairs, and childcare - for both boys and girls.
... remove all of those useless "Government Warnings" from food products and consumer goods. (Nutritional labeling on bottles of water?) I don't know anyone who actually reads them and besides if you don't know that knives are sharp, that the car doesn't come with the box of cereal, that there is milk in a container of milk, that consuming alcohol impairs your judgment, that a jar of peanuts contains peanuts, or that you shouldn't put your cell phone in the microwave, you shouldn't be allowed to roam free or reproduce.
... reform the tort system. If you bring a suit against anyone, for any reason (including medical malpractice) and you loose, you get to pay for their legal fees. Commit a criminal act and get killed or injured in the process? Neither you, your buddies, nor your heirs can file a suit against the person or their families you committed the act against and who just may have shot you. Restore common sense. If you cut yourself with a kitchen knife, be more careful next time. Indemnify companies against user's stupidity, unless it can be proven that they deliberately deceived the public about their products. End malpractice suits for anything but deliberate deception or misdeed.
... Get the government out o the healthcare insurance business and return to the free market health insurance system, with the caveat that insurance does not mean free healthcare. Everyone need to take responsibility for their own well being. Mandate coverage for pre-existing conditions, and a no-cancel provision while under treatment. Allow, with the patient's consent, the use of experimental treatment and indemnity for the providers. Limit "malpractice" suits to those cases where it was proved that a deliberate misdeed resulted in death or injury. Reign in drug price fixing and costs to what the global average is, or less. Institute a uniform yearly family deductible of 3 - 10% of the policy holder's household gross income for all medical/dental insurance payouts before insurance kicks in, but allow a higher deductible if the policy holder asks for it. Medical insurance is not for free normal healthcare, but for extraordinary events.
... end the blanket, no warrant data collection and snooping on ordinary citizen's lives for any reason, by any one. PERIOD! No warrant for actual criminal activity, then no data collection. SEVERE penalties for any violations. This would also include the automatic info sharing by manufacturers that you now have to "opt out" of. The blanket setting would be NO SHARING of information outside of the actual company. Violation would get 15 years at hard labor.
... require that all state level and below law enforcement personnel be a resident of the state, county, or town where they serve, before they are hired. Implement training to make them aware of the fact that they work for the citizens and that they are not above the citizenry. Require meet and greet events to get to know the local folks.
... end the "war on drugs." Decriminalize the personal use of most drugs and then tax them like cigarettes for persons 21 or older. However, it would be mandated that while using them or under their influence, or for that matter, under the influence of alcohol, that if you harm yourself you get no free medical treatment, and your insurance rates would be raised, and/or your medical insurance would be null and void. If you harm another person while "under the influence" you get 10 years at hard labor--and I mean HARD labor on top of any other penalties. If you kill another person while "under the influence" you get 25 years or the death penalty. If you give or sell drugs to anyone under 21 you get 10 years hard labor. You slip someone drugs without their knowledge, you get the death penalty. YOU alone are responsible for all your actions. No wimpy excuses any more.
... rename the "Department of Defense" back to its original title of "War Department" so there would be no misunderstanding that we were serious about any hostile festivities.
... pull the majority of our military out of foreign places and stop trying to be the world's policeman. Then, if some country needs US military support and intervention they get billed for the actual cost of our assistance (in gold, petroleum, or precious metals), with $50 million up front. In addition, they have to pay $5 million cash to each family who had a family service member killed or maimed, and $2 million for an injured or wounded family member in such requested actions.
... dramatically curtail foreign technical and financial aid. Limit technical aid to those countries that have proved their friendship and support to our country. All foreign financial aid is a loan and must be repaid. If there is slightest inkling that a country might not, or could not, or would not repay the loan in a timely manner, "too bad so sad." Repayment could be in gold, other precious metals, petroleum, or other items useful to our economy Default on payback and we'll ruin your credit with the world bank and either seize what we built or turn what we provided you into dust. A country that declared up front that they need the help but admitted that they probably couldn't repay the loan in a timely manner might be a fair risk . After all, they were honest enough to tell us their situation. Maybe a modest loan or assistance, just to see what they do, but that's it.
... kick the UN out of the United States and end monetary contributions to it. It's become nothing more that a global "hate the US club." Let another country host it for a while, or rotate its location amongst all the member countries on a 10 year basis
... use the money saved by not supporting the world with our military to ensure that our troops and veterans, including their families had the very best weapons, equipment, training, medical care, and support possible. Put warriors and not politicians in command of the services. Active military folks pay only 1/2 the normal income tax rate. (I'd even consider no tax for theactive combat arms.)
... protect our citizens. If some country attacks, or harms any US property, or detains or harms any US citizens anywhere in the world, or allows groups that do that to go unpunished, "the Marines" would be sent in to recover our citizens and/or precision munitions used to ruin any infrastructure involved. I don't care if any another country likes us, as long as they respect us and are afraid of what we can do to them if they cross us.
... encourage research organizations to study and perfect viable technology, especially nuclear fusion power, that would truly help our country to become more self sustaining and advance the public good, and then once proven, affordably release such technology gradually into the system.
So it is written, so it should be done.
I'm sure you can think of a few more ideas.
I can hear the socialists whining, "But it isn't fairrrrrr.)
(Wake up! Fair is a place you buy cotton candy.)
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As far as I know all the information presented above is correct and I have attempted to insure that it is. However, I am not responsible for any errors, omissions, or damages resulting from the use or misuse of this information, nor for you doing something stupid with it. (Don't you hate these disclaimers? So do I, but there are people out there who refuse to be responsible for their own actions and who will sue anybody to make a buck.)