Sunday, July 19, 2015

America's To-Do List Updated

Here's my new list of important reforms ordered by most urgent or important:
  1. Bring back manufacturing jobs from Asia. We desperately need more manufacturing jobs. Lower the corporate tax to something like 12 to 15%, reform the corporate tax code.  High marginal corporate tax rates in the US, now the highest in the world, create an incentive for companies to move and/or stay overseas. Apply the new and lower corporate rate to individuals filing as S-Corp and LLCs as small businesses and upstarts create the most jobs in this country
  2. End the dual mandate and reform the Federal Reserve now -- before the next crisis.  Their sole functions should be to maintain zero inflation and be a lender of last resort only.  See Booms and Busts Due to the Federal Reserve. They are now creating the 3rd financial bubble in 15 years! Outlaw wholesale "money printing" now before the "printing presses" really heat-up in next downturn. Monetizing gov't debt enables undisciplined spending by Congress and prevents fiscal reforms. The Federal Reserve is perversely targeting higher inflation when they should be controlling it! The Federal Reserve has become our biggest 'evil'. Their money printing has been largely responsible for income inequality by overheating bond and equity markets which benefit the rich.
  3. Reform immigration by securing border, bring the best and brightest to this country, bring illegals out of shadows and give them reasonable options. Marco Rubio has the right ideas.
  4. REALLY reform our country's health insurance marketplace to end the current cost spiral and our path to hell and improve portability.  With ObamaCare, we've doubled-down on a broken system.  Also see here on why States and Federal government spending are driving up health care costs.  Consider block grants to States for Medicare and Medicaid along with real spending discipline.
  5. Re-regulate banks and revert to a super-Glass Steagall act that separates investment banking (high risk) from traditional banking activities. Do this before the next crisis requires another big bank bailout.  Set maximum leverage for both entities at conservative levels. No off-balance sheet items. Bring back "mark to market" accounting. Put most derivatives on exchanges.
  6. End Federal guarantees for student loans and end Sallie Mae. It has put an entire generation in debt. It's also created a huge bubble that is beginning to burst as we speak and we're still cranking them out!  Nothing is ever fixed in Washington!  Let local and regional banks make such loans at a interest rate that reflects reality and each individual situation. Get the government out of the student loan 'business'.
  7. End FHA, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac. Let banks make home loans like they used to do. Get the government out of the mortgage business. Government has "stolen" nearly the entire mortgage market, leaving banks taking "hedge fund" risks for profitability.
  8. Reform the entitlements of Medicaid and Medicare in light of the demographic shift taking place. Now there are only 3 persons working to support 1 beneficiary--headed to 2 to 1.  It used to be 5 workers per beneficiary in the 1960s (16 to 1 at inception).  Right now, there's nothing but red ink for all entitlements as far as the eye can see -- totally unsustainable. Social Security and Medicare now show $25 Trillion and $28 Trillion of future deficits (unfunded liabilities).
  9. Eliminate Federal laws against marijuana possession.  See my blog: It's Time to Legalize Marijuana.  Legalize and tax marijuana. Take power away from Mexican cartels, Empty prisons by releasing those with simple possession charges. 
  10. Create an alternate path for High School dropouts.  About half of minorities are not graduating our current "academic" high schools----so let's focus on teaching them reading, writing and arithmetic but also practical job skills.  We need to create a "vocational high school" path for young people who can not graduate an "academic" high school.  It should all be voluntary. See Game-changer #12 here
  11. Eliminate the stupid and phony ruling that Carbon Dioxide is "harmful or a threat to human health" since it's actually required for plant life and not harmful like sulfur dioxide or nitrous oxides.  Global warming is real but not a crisis.  The EPA is out of control.  The clean air act is being highly misused. 
  12. Downsize and basically eliminate the NSA.  Repeal the Patriot Act.  Our government can't be trusted to prevent malfeasance, mission creep and "security" agencies running roughshod over our constitutional rights.  Change the focus of the NSA to the monitoring of all the financial transactions, emails, and phone calls of our national politicians and bureaucrats.
  13. Give the States "block grants" of money to spending on Medicaid and Medicare.  Cap the growth of these Federal entitlements to 2% or less.  Let the States spend the money and take steps to better take care of their citizens.  State money would be added onto Federal money as is seen fit by each State.  Devolve power back to the States where it belongs.    Limiting government expenditures would truly slow medical cost inflation.  
  14. Pass a law to require the Federal Government to balance the Federal Budget. Do this before the next crisis.  A constitutional amendment is not needed, just pass a law like most States.  More deficit spending and debt will do us little good going forward.
  15. End public unions at Federal and State levels. Even FDR agreed that unions didn't belong in Government.  Pass nationwide 'right to work' law.  Scrap Bacon-Davis Act.  Total compensation for Federal workers is now some 40% higher than private sector. End that.

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