Been watching the Washington D.C. debates on the fiscal cliff, debt ceiling, social security, medicare, and distributing free pens after bill signings, and after many minutes of pondering, have come up with a plan upon which I believe both Congress and the President can agree. Granted this is only one person’s opinion. I do not have a law degree, nor have I ever served in public office (other than being elected vice president of the chess club in high school, but that gave me absolutely no political insights). Apparently, based on the C-Span shared congressional sessions, arguments, filibusters, and displays of bullheadedness & pouting, having no experience is actually a positive thing. So with that assurance, I plunged into drawing up my ten-step plan to reduce the national debt, improve the economy, and eliminate dandruff.
1. Put aluminum siding on the White House. Do you have any idea how much of your tax money is spent scraping, painting, repairing, and washing this huge home every year? According to Sears, it would cost me a fortune to repaint my little home, and the White House is 55,000 square feet. Besides aluminum siding is attractive, durable and comes with a guarantee. I know it’s called the White House, but I would suggest a dark brown siding because it doesn’t show the dirt as much.
2. Eliminate the inauguration celebrations. Did you watch all the hoopla on TV the last few days? Let’s face it, it’s just a big blowout for the winning political party, so they can rub the loser’s nose in it one more time. Have the President-elect, and VP, drop by the chief justice’s office, swear on the bible, reciting the Boy Scout oath & the Ten Commandments, and then get to work.
3. Eliminate multiple terms. Doing so we can get rid of the phrase “lame duck.” I see no reason to continue maiming waterfowl to indicate there is no reason for the politician to be there. This would cut down on election expenses, improve the focus of the politician on the job instead of constantly worrying about fund-raising & kissing ass, plus eliminate attending all those special interest group boondoggles, and lifetime politicians, who can’t remember where they left their keys. I suggest terms of six years for President and Senate, and four years for Representatives. Get these guys out of office, and see if they can find a real job in this economy.
4. Reduce the number of cabinet members and their departments. George Washington only had four cabinet members: Secretary of State, Treasury, and War, plus Attorney General (everybody can use a good lawyer). Today we have twenty-one cabinet-level officials with thousands of employees each. Department of Labor…really? Women have been having babies for years without Federal assistance. Department of Agriculture, why? What percentage of our economy still comes from agriculture? Besides that department must be doing a lousy job, based on the poor farmers’ plight for the last 100 years.
5. Eliminate the current Federal income tax. First of all, they own the U.S. Mint and can print as much legal money as they want, so why do I have to send them mine? If that doesn’t work, I propose a flat tax of 10%. Nothing’s more fair than that. Everybody pays a reasonable percentage of their income, and we eliminate the muddled process the income tax has become, and the argument between Congress & the President on who has to pay more. I realize the IRS, H.R Block, several CPAs, and lawyers will have to be retrained as short-order cooks and Merry Maids, but it’s only fair after all the pain they put us through charging big fees to figure out how much of our money we had to give away.
6. Introduce a national sales tax. I know nobody likes more taxes, but this will really work & it’s fair (and remember you are saving $$s on the flat income tax). States have been cashing in on this tax for years. Even the Feds have used it on gasoline to generate revenue for the Dept. of Transportation. Add a Federal 3% tax to all taxable items and the government could generate millions of dollars per month! If you are buying a Ferrari, you can afford another 3% to get the U.S. out of debt.
7. Socialize Medicine. It works in a lot of countries around the world and there is no reason it can’t work here. Medical lawsuits and drug companies have driven up the cost of health care in this country, until nobody can afford it. Medicare is a joke and it is not funny. Give everybody free hospitalization for serious stuff and we will cover the normal doctor’s visits. Patients have to sign a legal waiver to get treatment…no private lawsuits, but criminal prosecution remains. Drug companies have to offer generic alternative products at a reasonable price.
8. Grandfather the elimination of social security. Not sure what the government does with all the money that we and our employers have sent them over the years, but pretty sure their return on investment hasn’t reached an average annual 10% that most brokerage firms can generate. Starting in 2014, everyone age 40 & under, would have 4% of their wages, matched equally by their employer, automatically deposited in an investment vehicle of their choice, and would stop paying into social security. Have the existing social security portfolio privatized and managed by a firm with a proven track record. No checks issued. All direct deposit.
9. Raise the prices on all vending machines in government buildings. Every little bit helps and politicians have too many perks already. Who else gets to buy a Diet Coke for only a quarter? 50% of every purchase will be kicked back to the Treasury Department.
10. Improve the U.S. debt collection process. The U.S. loans out billions of dollars every year to countries around the globe who do not pay it back. We also should increase the interest rate on these loans to the same daily compounded 21% the rest of have to pay when we borrow money or use a credit card. I also suggest the FBI work with members of the mob, in exchange for immunity, of course, to handle the collection of this debt, as the mob has a certain reputation for getting their money back, plus outrageous interest.
Well, that’s it. If you agree, or not, feel free to pass along to your congressman or other important, influential officials. In the right hands, this plan could have us back on our feet as a nation in no time, and even generate enough extra cash to have a picnic, buy a candy bar, or mail a letter. Rich Allan is the author of the new political thriller, “Party Favors,” coming to a Kindle near you soon.