And a hearty good evening to all of SUFA. I must again apologize for my sporadic posting lately. To say that things are hectic right now is an understatement. I have a lot of things that are transitioning which has made my schedule chocked full for the majority of the last month. I don’t see it really slowing down for another month for reasons that I will share later. As promised earlier this week, I tonight offer the third installment from Jon Smith’s fantasy candidate series. Tonight’s addition deals with new legislation that should be proposed, but not including anything that would be a repeal of current law, as that will come in a later section. I highly encourage everyone to talk out the proposals that Jon offers below. Would they work? Are they the best step in each of their respective areas? Are there other forms of legislation that should be offered that Jon has missed. With a government as bloated as the US federal government, there should be no shortage of legislation necessary to start paring things down.
Fantasy Candidate Part 3- New Legislation
by Jon Smith
This section of the series will focus on what new legislation should be proposed. This does not include repealing of things (that comes next, and may well be the longest section), nor does it include any of the congressional limitation legislation that I mentioned in part 2. There are some things that the government needs to implement that I think will be steps in the right direction. Even though most of these are limitations, they would still be proposed as new legislation in most cases.
1) School Vouchers: There are a lot of problems with the schools, some of them may not be a direct result of them all being government run. But regardless, many of the issues may be resolved by introducing more competition into the system. Vouchers are a stepping stone, helping people get from powerless to being able to have a say. Helping the free market have customers other than just the wealthy. And, vouchers save tax dollars. Vouchers would be issued to persons who chose not to utilize public education, and would be less than the current per child cost. States could, of course, do this as well, but the Federal level would be a good example for states to follow. School vouchers had massive popular support from everyone except for the NEA and other teacher unions and administrators. Unfortunately, that particular special interest group was able to override the blatant support of everyone else.
2) Another proposition that would likely meet a lot of support, at least 61% according to polls, is a proposal to block all business bailouts and rescues unless it is related to a physical catastrophic event. I would make it universal, but we are talking about baby steps here. If a business makes bad decisions or fails due to the economy or technology, too bad. If they are hit by a hurricane, I won’t take away FEMA just yet, although it would be better if it was gone. Still a block to subsidy and bailout would be good.
3) A proposal to cease all military action that is not for defense. Actual attacks against the US, or full invasion of an ally may be considered defensive action. Policing the world is not our job, not our business, and is the biggest contributor to our foreign affair issues.
4) A gradual phase-out of all overseas military bases. An exception would be made for bases whose territory is permanently granted to the US as actual US territory. This gradual retraction would be spread over a minimum of 10 years to minimize the impact of returning soldiers on the US job market. We do not need to be spending money on overseas bases and propping up countries that cannot defend or support themselves. The cold war is over.
5) Implement a bonus program for governmental departments to save money. All departments receive a percentage of their savings in a payroll bonus, with additional percentage for the person(s) whose idea it was. A portion of the money saved will be kept in the budget for that department for the next fiscal period. Bonus percentages should be 20% department wide, split according to position and hours. 5% goes to the person(s) who offered the idea. 50% is kept in the budget for the following fiscal period to make certain the saving were real, and to discourage people from not saving for fear of a loss of budget levels. 25% is returned to the taxpayers or used to reduce national debt. This is to be done every year. The budget for the department, now reduced by 50% of the previous fiscal period’s savings is treated in the same manner as the previous period. The exception being the idea person only gets the one year bonus on those savings. Suggestions would be presented directly to an independent firm for analysis and to make sure an honest reckoning of whose idea something was, as well as to make sure ideas do not get pigeon holed by management levels.
That’s it for new stuff I think, although, like the last section, input and inspiration will likely lead to a lot more ideas. The thing is, I want to keep the range and number of things down to a manageable level, both in realism of the impact of the legislation on the current culture, and the realism of broad appeal.