Mr. Garlock’s column last Wednesday expressed frustration and anger at the state of America, its future, and those who would see it brought low. I just saw the movie “America” as well. I don’t blame him one bit for feeling the way he does.
That said, I wish to offer suggestions of reforms regarding the policies, laws, expectations, and beliefs that must change to restore our nation:
1. The “nanny state” – It is crushing us fiscally, culturally, and morally. I do not owe you a living, and you do not owe me one. Anything we voluntarily do to help each other is fine. Gov’t must get out of it. They have no business in the healthcare, retirement, or disability industries (either running them or subsidizing them). There is no Social Security clause in the Constitution. Give us back the freedom to succeed or fail on our own!
2. The “800 pound gorilla” in the federal budget is debt, and future unfunded liabilities are middle class entitlements. Not unlike the famous line from “Animal House” the movie, when the frat boys trashed the car and told the owner, “face it, Flooder, you F—d up and trusted us”; we all trusted the feds with our payroll contributions. And boy, did we screw up. They under-collected taxes, over-promised benefits, mis-invested the trust fund in federal bonds, and diluted the funds through fraud, waste, and abuse. We will be lucky to get 30 cents on the dollar out of the system.
3. The “fiscal cliff” — As the baby boomers retire, the Social Security and Medicare trust funds will cash in federal bonds to try to pay promised benefits. To meet this demand, the feds will have to raise taxes massively (and destroy the economy), sell more bonds at much higher interest rates to foreigners (who are already questioning whether treasury bonds are truly default proof), or print money (causing hyper-inflation). Confiscatory taxes, high interest rates, hyper-inflation, or a combination of all three will destroy our children’s future, erode our savings, and drastically lower our standard of living. Any questions?
4. Original intent – The Constitution must only be interpreted through the “original intent” of the founding fathers. Not what they would have believed if only the founding fathers had received a Berkeley education, had bleeding heart parents, and read Saul Alinsky and Marx. If interpreted correctly, there is no constitutional support for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, welfare, Obamacare, farm subsidies, corporate subsidies, etc. Under original intent the federal government could not grow above 5 percent to 7 percent of GDP. And most of that would be for defense.
5. Immigration – It is actually a constitutionally supported function of the federal government, one that has been ignored by both the left and right for half a century. The right wanted cheap labor, and the left saw illegals as undocumented, future Democrats. Well, it should be plain to all that it is a damned mess now. The time has come to admit only people America needs, not those who desperately need us. Change the state of liberty to “give us your intelligent, your self-reliant, your entrepreneur looking to make a buck.” As for illegals, send them back (no matter how long they have been here), turn border control over to the military, and amend the Constitution so that the children of illegals born here are not automatic citizens. If this upsets the Hispanic vote, so be it. It will only get worse when there are another 20 million voters in their block.
6. Term limits – Yes. 12 years in the Senate or House, max.
7. Congressional delegations – Make the financial support of senators, representatives, and their staff the responsibility of the individual states. That will be a constant reminder of who they work for. No more voting themselves raises; no more federal benefits and pensions.
8. Many federal agencies that were started with good intentions do not pass the “original intent” constitutional test. They have also become tools for extortion, control, and intimidation. The Dept. of Justice, EPA, OSHA, Education Dept., Agricultural Dept., SEC, etc., are used for partisan political advantage or to crush the opposition. If EPA can regulate carbon dioxide, they can regulate everything in your life. F.Y.I., when you breathe you exhale the stuff.
9. Balanced Budget Amendment – Hell Yeah! Except in times of “Declared War.” Even that debt should be retired within 20 years of declaration of peace. What makes sense on the family level also makes sense on the federal level. Contrary to what they tell you, countries are not exempt from financial reality. Don’t let them steal from your children anymore.
10. Strengthen our republic by limiting democracy – Sounds un-American? The founders didn’t think so. They distrusted democracy. It was considered “the rule of the mob.” Democracy is highly unstable. A democracy will always bankrupt itself once the regular citizens realize they can vote themselves money. A democracy is unjust. In a democracy the majority can go to Bill Gates and confiscate everything he has to split it up among the rest of the people. The majority has ruled!
Our constitutional republic is a limited democracy. Majority rule is only supposed to be applied to constitutionally mandated functions of government. That is not the case today.
Part of the problem, in my opinion, is universal suffrage. Originally only people with skin in the game voted. They tended to think longer term, and they were all self-reliant. Obviously excluding people due to race or sex is not fair. But perhaps the voting age should be raised back to 21. Maybe voters should have to take and pass a multi-choice test on our constitution and form of government.
I think government workers should be excluded from voting in the level of government in which they are employed; i.e., if you work for the feds, you should not vote in federal elections. The premise being that you should not be able to vote for your own boss. Public unions should be banned for the same reason.
11. Mr. Garlock discussed, jokingly, about partitioning the country into a red state nation and blue state nation. But if we stripped the federal government down to its “original intent” form, then each state could reinstate whatever “Nanny State” programs their citizens demand. Then people that did not like their states offerings could simply vote with their feet without having to change countries. We would see which system worked best fairly quickly.
12. Trade deficits – Do you wonder where foreigners get the money to buy our federal debt? They sell us far more than they buy from us. Trade is great, but only if it is balanced. Otherwise it is fiscally and strategically disastrous. What if we had to go to war with China in the future and they had all of the manufacturing capacity? If trade deficits are no big deal, why don’t the Chinese, Japanese, Germans, etc., ever run trade deficits themselves?
13. Taxes – We have got to replace our federal tax system with a consumption based tax such as the Fair Tax. Income taxes, capital gains taxes, and estate taxes all promote consumption and discourage savings. We need a much high savings rate in this country. Also, too many federal taxes are manipulated thru the sale of political influence, to favor one group over another.
14. Energy – Thanks to fracturing and directional drilling we have the opportunity to be self-reliant in energy again. But not if the feds throw up barriers. One day alternate sources of clean energy will be technologically and economically feasible. But until then the feds need to get out of the way of coal, oil, and natural gas.
15. Lawyers – We have far more per capita than any other country. Our litigious practices cost the economy hundreds of billions of dollars annually. This makes us less competitive internationally. We need a loser-pays system to stop frivolous law suits.
These are a few of the reforms I think we need. I think they are obvious. You may not agree. If not, what would you do? Let’s not allow the entrenched special interested and slackers stop us from saving our country.