Our nation is headed for financial failure and a dark socialist hell in the near future if things remain the same.
The most effective way to make the reforms we need in public spending and policy is to form a broad-based fiscally conservative coalition on the national level that can wield power effectively.
Because it will take a very broad-based coalition to counter the current liberal ruling coalition, we must strip our national platform down to only the ideas that have broad appeal and are not divisive. Things related to religion, guns, abortion, crime, drugs, schools, etc., should be avoided on a national political level. They are best dealt with on a state or local level.
We need to target educated and self-reliant people, who for whatever reason, usually vote left: Successful groups like gay professionals, Jewish people, recent college graduates that cannot find jobs, and middle class blacks and Latinos. Dissatisfied union members (angry over Obamacare and over-regulation overseas) may also be a good target.
Below I will outline some of my fiscal and political beliefs that may, I repeat, may, receive enough support to be on a fiscally conservative national platform. I would like to hear about the ideas of others as well:
1. The Constitution and its amendments as written and interpreted in plain English should be the ultimate law of the land as the founding fathers intended. Every word of it should be enforced, until it is changed under the amendment process. It should bind and limit the federal government’s scope of endeavors, its budget, and its ability to regulate.
The 10th amendment specifically reserves all rights not explicitly written into the Constitution as belonging to the states and to the people. The open-ended entitlement programs that threaten to bankrupt the current federal government truly have no constitutional basis.
There is no healthcare or Obamacare clause, food stamp clause, Social Security clause, or farm subsidy clause specifically spelled out in the Constitution. They have been vaguely found to be constitutional by broadly interpreting the Constitution by left wing, activist judges.
Is a duty to promote the general welfare of the country to be interpreted as a responsibility to provide individual healthcare, food, and housing, etc., to the citizens as an individual right? Is the commerce clause of the Constitution to be used to prevent tariff barriers between states as intended? Or to be used to regulate anything that crosses a state border or affects activities across a state border?
Elimination of extra-Constitutional entitlements is the only way to get federal spending under control. We simply cannot afford to subsidize half of the country. Just because a program is popular, like Social Security, does not make it Constitutional. Besides its popularity will shortly fall as cuts in the program and tax increases become needed to keep it going.
Could strict interpretation of the U.S. Constitution be a broad-based platform for a right-wing coalition? Will enough people be willing to sacrifice their promised (but not deliverable in the future) benefits for the good of the country?
2. Debt can be a powerful tool to build industry, create wealth, and leverage our abilities to be more productive. Or it can be the most vile form of self-imposed slavery. When you take on debt, it is a personal decision. When the U.S. government borrowed, you are just along for the ride. But you are most definitely responsible for that debt.
Your future earning and your assets are all subject to ever higher levels of taxation to pay for today’s irresponsible social spending and vote buying. We are indebting unborn generations to pay for lifestyle subsidies to some of today’s citizens. Your children will be slaves on the government’s plantation for an ever longer portion of each year, until they can finally earn income for their own family’s benefit.
Could deficit elimination and debt reduction be on a national coalition platform? I think there are still more ants (net producers) than grasshoppers (net consumers) in this country. Can they come together on this common issue?
3. Most everyone in the country would agree that immigration policy must be reformed. Of course that is where the agreement ends. However, it is a constitutionally mandated federal responsibility, so there has to be a platform position on it.
In my opinion, first the borders must be sealed to make the only form of immigration available to be the legal form. Then we must decide who we want and how many. I am not talking about racial quotas. Most other countries that accept immigrants chose them based on the country’s needs, not the immigrants’. They take in people with money to invest, with useful skills, or education that is in short supply. They do not accept, in large numbers, unskilled or uneducated labors. It is the 21st century; we need brains more that brawn to compete with the world.
Illegal aliens should not have a path to citizenship as in 1986, period. That just encourages more to attempt to come here illegally. They should receive no government benefits either.
This is my opinion. I know it is divisive as hell. What do others think? Is there not a coalition of people out there who do not want to see our population rise rapidly to a billion or more people. If nothing is done illegal immigration will definitely get worst.
4. To paraphrase, “The road to hell is paved with good regulations.” Believe it or not, we rank as one of the more highly regulated countries on earth. Regulations are like sheets on a bed. One or none and you feel unprotected. Five and you feel hot and restricted in your movement; 25 and you are struggling and immobile; 100 and you are dead.
Like sheets on a bed, every regulation (though it may have a good intended reason) is just another thin layer of restriction when taken by itself. But the cumulative effect of thousands of regulations can stifle freedom and economic activity. It is a tax on our productivity. Most are also put in place without any direct congressional approval.
The consequences of over-regulation coupled with free trade policy with less regulated countries is our habitual and growing trade deficit, our high unemployment rate, and our low economic growth rate. They are literally ruining our ability to compete with places like China.
To reform the regulatory environment will take more than the election of a better group of politicians. It will also require a purge of the entrenched bureaucracy in the agencies of government that are the engine of regulations. You ever wonder what radical left wingers do after college?
Can regulatory roll back in the name of economic freedom and growth find broad-based support? Can we not insist on congressional re-approval of regulations on a regular basis?
5. The government civil service was not meant to become a special class of ruling Mandarins with special rights and benefits. They should not have a higher pay scale than private industry. They should have 401k’s (defined contribution retirement plans) like the rest of us. They should have private health insurance with similar deductibles as the private sector. They should not be able to receive early, generous retirement benefits before 65. They should be able to be hired and fired at will as in the real economy. Ever try to get a corrupt or incompetent civil servant fired? Surely, a broad-based consensus can be formed around reform and reduction of the civil service.
6. The federal system of taxation should be simple, virtuous, transparent, incorruptible, and efficient. A consumption tax such as the Fair-Tax (vs. an income tax) is extremely simple and requires little record keeping. It promotes savings vs. spending. The rate is there for everyone to see and applies equally to everyone. It cannot be tweaked by politicians to sell tax advantages to major donors without leaving a visible paper trail. It is also collected only at one level, the retail level, so it is efficient and requires no army of IRS workers to administer and enforce it.
I think just about everyone hates the income tax and the IRS. This one is definitely a good candidate for a coalition, I think.
7. In the long run, I have no doubt that the technology will one day exist for fusion generators, long-lasting batteries for electric cars, and generally pollution-free living. But the technology for this future is not mature. Wishing it does not make it so.
Therefore we have to have a reasonable energy policy that allows for self-sufficiency. “It is the lesser of two weevils” (not a typo; watch “Master and Commander”). We have pretty well proven the folly of relying on crazy foreign extremists for our oil or other resources.
However, sitting around singing in a circle and simply living without energy does not work either. For example, without petro chemicals for transportation fuel and fertilizer, we would all starve in a month. (That’s about how much food is available in the distribution system at any given time.)
So provide for practical and reasonable environmental protection, but recognize the fact that we have to live as well. Can there be any be any consensus between the SUV guys and the tree huggers? Energy vs. environment?
Again these are just a few ideas I had. I know they are not perfect. I am a flaming libertarian. But I am willing to compromise with more moderate people to get some things done and to ensure the survival of the country. Some needed reform is better than none at all. I would like to hear what others think.