If I Ran America
I was chatting with an idiot in a Pogo games chat when he said, "If you're so smart, how would you run the country?"
I thought about it a while and realized I could do a better job than most politicians. Here's how:
1. No more Internal Revenue Service. I'd introduce a flat tax. If you make $25,000 or less, you'd pay no taxes. From $25,001 to $150,000 you'd pay 10%. From $150,001 to $500,000 you'd pay 15%. Anyone making more than that would pay 20%. No more deductions of any kind. Same breakdown for corporations.
2. No more job outsourcing without substantial penalties.
3. Legalize marijuana. Tax the hell out of it and sell it in licensed liquor stores, to ages 21 and up. License fees go to the state. End farm subsidies by having farmers grow pot instead of nothing.
4. Non-college bound youth must perform two years of trade school, approved civil, social or military service.
5. Tuition is free at state universities for students studying education, nursing, pre-med or social work.
6. Prison for violent criminals only. All other convicted criminals would be sentenced to infrastructure duty: maintaining public green space, removing graffiti, roadwork, maintaining homeless shelters, help to the aged, etc.
7. No more lobbyists. Federal campaigns would be financed by proceeds from income taxes, marijuana taxes and federal funds. No politician may receive more than $100 from ordinary citizens and $500 from corporations.
8. Single Payer health insurance for all. Existing insurance companies would have to rely on property and auto insurance policies for their income.
9. Tuition free schools for blind, deaf and severely disabled in every major city. State and federally funded.
10. Reduce defense budget by 20% immediately. Start by eliminating cost overruns as part of defense contracts, eliminating outmoded projects and firing companies implicated in crimes such as human rights violations and price gouging.
11. End the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
12. Massive funding for alternative fuel research. Rebates for buying high mileage or hybrid vehicles. Gas guzzlers like Hummers must pay an additional $1,000 annually in road use fees.
13. Increased sales taxes on foods using high fructose corn syrup, sugar, transfats and no nutritional value.
14. Public school teachers should be paid on a par with other professionals such as CPAs, engineers, architects and nurses.
15. Churches pay property taxes on any buildings or real estate holdings except for chapels or other central places of worship.
16. Equal rights for all taxpayers. Straight, gay, disabled, whatever, if adults are paying taxes, they all should enjoy the same rights as other citizens.
17. Increased funding for the arts.
18. Cash incentives for households using less electricity, gas and water.
19. Amnesty for immigrantswho can prove residence in the U.S. for more than five continuous years. They must agree to pay back income taxes. For new immigrants, they must apply for citizenship, be employed, pay taxes and have no criminal records.
20. School children (K-12) must be enrolled in foreign language classes. Proficiency in a second language must be part of high school diploma requirements.
21. High School Dropouts would be drafted into the military or a civilian corps of public service.
22. Free pie for everyone.