Monday, January 7, 2013

The National Agenda That Never Was

The following is a list of what SHOULD happen in the first months of the next Presidential term but won't:

The Next Presidential Term's First 100 days
  1. Sponsor the first federal budget in 4 years.  Freeze Federal spending on all programs for one year. Freeze benefit increases for federal workers at the same time. 
  2. In his inauguration, the President should hark back to the days of John F Kennedy and call for energy independence for the US (maybe independence from OPEC oil?) in ten years, which can be this decade's version of JFK's ambitious goal to "Land a Man on the Moon in 10 Years." Open the US East and West coasts to energy exploration by re-initiating permitting on those offshore areas. Open ANWR to exploration.  Accelerate delayed permitting  in the US Gulf Coast hat has been bogged-down by the last term.
  3. Invite Boone Pickens and energy company leaders to the White House and support a private enterprise plan to build CNG filling stations (compressed natural gas) across the country to enable substitution of natural gas for gasoline and diesel transportation fuels.  Converting cars to CNG could be a good growth industry as conversion kits are available.
  4. Work out a Grand Bipartisan Compromise on Individual and Corporate Tax Reform.  As in Simpson Bowles, reduce marginal rates but broaden tax collection.  Limit individual tax deductions at some maximum amount at $15,000 or $17,000. Limit and/or eliminate certain tax credits  Maybe eliminate all deductions/credits for incomes over $500k.  
  5. Work out a Medicare and Social Security compromise by means testing both of these programs right away. 
  6. With Corporate marginal tax rates lowered, make a patriotic call for bringing manufacturing and jobs back to the USA from Asia.  Make a deal with WalMart to re-institute a "made in USA" policy again.  Make a big patriotic splash on the steps of the White House to make republicans, democrats and business leaders look like heroes.
  7. Approve the Keystone Pipeline extension.  
  8. Call for a moratorium on increased business regulation.  Reverse EPA's regulation of carbon dioxide since carbon dioxide in flue gas is not harmful to human health in any reasonable sense of the term.
The Next Presidential Term's First Six Months
  1. Limit the cost of ObamaCare and pass a new laws that focus on medical cost reductions such as tort reform, increased competition where possible, and expand the number of doctors through immigration and more MD graduations.  
  2. Pass a long term Medicare Reform that caps government cost growth (vouchers or block grants to the states) and garners bipartisan support. 
  3. Plan to increase the Social Security and Medicare eligibility age slowly over time starting 10 to 12 years from now.
  4. Modify Dodd Frank and/or break up the big banks into investment and banking entities and limit leverage to about 12 times capital, require everything to be indicated on-balance sheets, and mark-to-market all hedges daily.  Pass financial malfeasance laws that require jail terms and 7 year salary claw-backs for bank executives and high level management should a bank fail or serious fraud occur.
  5. Eliminate a number of Federal government departments including Dept of Education, NLRB, Dept of Energy, Homeland Security, and the Dept of Agriculture.  Consolidate and reduce the size of the various intelligence agencies.
  6. Eliminate agriculture subsidies to large corporate farmers.
  7. Invite population growth by encouraging qualified immigrants with valuable skills. Offer 10 year work permits and visas for 'qualified' foreigners who buy a USED house in the US.
  8. Replace Bernanke with someone who is committed to normalize monetary policy and raise interest rates to more "normal" levels relative to inflation.
  9. Eliminate money in politics. Go with all Federal money for national campaigns--no private contributions permitted. Ban lobbyist money too. No SuperPacs.  Make 2012 the last year of billion dollar campaigns! 
For a more complete suggestion list for a national agenda, please see my Mega-blog Series, called Solutions to Big Problems which has links to a total of four blog entries. 

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