A good exercise in determining your political position.
I was asked what exactly my political views were so I decided to write most of them down. Other and sometime, more in depth information can be found on this site in other pages.
I’m neither a liberal nor a conservative, I’m both. On so many social issues I tend to hold a more liberal view, yet I am pretty conservative when it comes to the government, taxation and legislation. I do not believe for a minute that I’m alone, and in fact, if there was a real political party that held the same positions, I believe it would become a majority real soon. I have outlined some of my views below.
I believe in the Constitution – not just the easy parts. I believe I understand what it means and I’m tired of people trying to twist it into something it’s not. I also believe the process to change it is very clear and if it needs changing just start the process and stop whining about it.
Taxes: Taxes are necessary for a government to serve, protect and lead the people. Our current tax (Federal) code has evolved into a tangled, unmanageable mess that’s filled with so many special interest loopholes that changing any part of it will make the lawyers richer and keep the lobbyists very busy. But, in any event, it needs simplifying. Taxes should easy to understand both in what owe and what you get back in government services.
I’d like to see a flat tax for both the federal and state but in two parts. First part would be if you are employed, your taxes are paid by payroll deduction and you only file a return if you meet a very limited, simplified set of tax credits such as; dependents, donations, home interest, catastrophic event to your home or community and one-off legislated incentives. All one-off incentives must be renewed by a 2/3rds vote of Congress each year. The second part would be for businesses and independent contractors. Business taxes would be two parts. First, set at a specific rate bases on the businesses gross profit. (The different between cost of sales and sales.) This can get very complicated as keeping it simple does not always equate to keeping it fair. Second, a stable flat tax percentage based on sales.
Make illegal any special purpose tax use outside of its stated purpose. Highway tax goes to fixing highways. Sin Taxes (Alcohol, tobacco and others) must break down to 20% administration, 60% actual use and 20% to recovery and healthcare for those affected and paid the tax. (Prevention programs need to be funded by the admin’s 20%)
Corporations & Imports: There should be a significant import levy on all products manufactured in another country. Multi-National Corporations that have US manufacturing plants should get a tax incentive based on the percentage of US manufactured goods vs US sales.
Multi-National corporations and US Corporations stashing earnings over-seas need to pay a tax based on their US sales numbers. However, if they choose to have their base in the US and/or stop sending earnings off-shore, then add some tax incentive to do so.
We should not allow any products to be sold here nor buy products from a country is currently violating basic human rights or engages in the oppression of its people. This would include countries that oppress women.
Like it or not, corporations both large and small provide employment, pay taxes and they also lobby like crazy. They also support candidates that they believe will further their cause. We, as a nation thrive when they thrive and suffer when they fail but make no mistake they do what is best for them first and most care little for the ramifications of their by-products. A certain amount of government regulation is required to insure they all play well together and keep the public safe from their products and business practices.
Tax breaks and incentives do work if they are managed properly.
Immigration: We need a rational guest-worker program and a clear, rigorously enforced immigration policy that takes our (lack of enforcement) role into consideration when deciding to deport someone that is part of a functioning, productive family. Immigrants convicted of any class one felony are to be deported promptly. Anyone who served honorably in our military gets automatic citizenship if they want it and their families must not be forced to separate. If they are killed while serving, their families get the same benefits. Increase the border surveillance and add more physical barriers where practicable.
Guns: If the people who want them, and not convicted felons, should be able to buy them. Strong background checks, licenses required for concealed weapons and common sense laws must be applied. The general populace does not need machine guns, tanks, grenades or bazookas. If you are on the no-fly or other terrorist watch-list well sorry – no gun for you. Law-makers need to learn the difference between a machine gun, assault rifle and a semiautomatic firearm. Even the least lethal appearing rifle will kill just as easy as the meanest looking assault rifle.
While politicians and the press glom onto senseless killings and want to restrict access to guns, they only do it to further their products. (Re-election and ratings.) They know full well that the lunatic could care less about any gun law.
Global Climate Change: We should immediately start building more hydro-electric and nuclear power plants. Geothermal, wind, solar and other renewable plants also need federal fast-tracking for construction. It’s disingenuous to complain about carbon emissions and still stand in the way of nuclear and hydro power.
Special funding programs need to be established to further research methods to reduce carbon emissions. These programs need peer review along with government oversight.
We need to get better prepared for longer droughts and less fresh water for everyone.
Environmental Issues: Special attention should go to cleaning and keeping clean our oceans, lakes and waterways. More stringent controls need to be employed to reduce factory fishing, foreign government’s abuse of our oceans and fisheries. If China and Japan cannot find enough fish to feed their people then they need to fix it in their water’s and stay out of everyone else’s fisheries.
Ban all disposable fast-food plastics and Styrofoam. Wood and paper products will work fine but we have to watch de-forestation. Leave room in the legislation for a high-tech alternative. Maybe a plastic that dissolves in saltwater.
Stop killing whales and dolphins. Stop doing business with countries that do.
Our forests and other woodlands need more attention paid to them with an emphasis on re-planting at a 100x or 200x ratio. Cut one – plant 100 new.
Military: Our military needs to be the best in the world and always be ready to protect us. We need to establish a fixed budget number for its support based on the GNP and only change that in times of a declared war. All manufacturing contracts (over a specific amount) need to be reviewed by a civilian oversight committee made up people familiar to the products being made.
All old-computer tech needs to be tossed and upgrade everything. They still are using computer tech from to 1980’s!
Veterans get a free pass on any medical issue. They should be able to go to any hospital, doctor they want (including the VA) and get their medical issue resolved.
NASA and Science: We need to move this up to a much higher level of priority. Cooperate with public corporations but we need to move much faster in all the sciences. Expand the grant programs and fast track to money to those proposals that target health and enviro-science.
Medical: All Insurance carriers, including health, must not be exempted from anti-trust laws. Insurance should not be required by force of law. Mandatory minimum health care requirements should be part of Medicare, and paid by employee payroll deduction for those who are working but not to exceed 5% of income, free for anyone who makes less than 40K a year (or so). Health service providers (doctors, hospitals, emergency care, convalescent facilities, ect.) can no longer utilize multiple billing structures that vary more that 15% between a cash paying hospital patient and one covered by any insurance. All medical bills must be treated like any other expense. If you need surgery for a busted arm, the hospital/doctor would be required to give you an estimate that you must approve before the surgery is done. Emergencies and non-consent procedures must be discussed, including the costs with either with a parent, guardian, spouse or responsible party as soon as reasonable. Emergency rates must fall within a reasonable percentage of non-emergency procedures of similar types.
Limit all malpractice to a max of $1 million and all malpractice claims must have a jury that has 33% of medically trained people. Any successful case must also include a permanent revocation of the license(s) to practice.
All hospitals and doctors may get extra (federal) funding for experimental and unusual treatments if they further medical research.
More on my website about this.
Education: All schools must adopt a voucher system that allows a student to go to a school of their choosing, public or private.
Student Loans must have a cap on the interest rate that is 1.% above prime. The student must have a provable family income that would determine the qualifications for a loan.
All school districts must fund a music/performing arts/art class for each grade beginning with the 4th grade – through high school.
All school districts must also have the trades as a core part of the curriculum in the high schools.
The Drug War: Stop it. Legalize and tax the crap out of the drugs. 90% of the tax money will go to fund rehab and drug related medical issues. Change the property seizure regulations to return the property if there is no conviction.
Election Reform: This will take both sides to fix. Citizens United is not the problem, what they buy is. I say that the only campaigning for any office must be done on-line, in print and in person. No air time (TV or Radio) allowed for any campaign ads. (It won’t work but I needed to write something!)
Random Thoughts: No law should be created that allows an attorney to file a law suit to blackmail the plaintiff to conform. (“I’ll sue you if you don’t fix that ramp and pay me $5,000.00 to go away.)
Small Claims Court should move the limit to $25,000.00. This will stop 90% of the nuisance suits filed today.
If a State (like CA) requires a minimum amount of auto insurance under a penalty of law, it should be paid for by a fuel tax.
If a tort case is filed, the loser has to pay everyone’s legal fees.
Make all term-limit illegal in all state and federal elections. (Except for POTUS)
I don’t care who or how many you marry as long as they are over the age of consent.
Abortion is a horrifying thought but it’s the law of the land. One thing I don’t understand is that women do not want the government to control what’s going on in their womb but are perfectly happy to allow laws that control what they can do with the other parts of their bodies.