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  • So You Think You Can Govern?

    Figured this would be a nice diversion in a Boiler Room thread.

    So, you have just been elected to your first term as President of the United States/Prime Minister of the UK or Australia or Italy or insert European Parliamentary state here/President of France or such other country as may have a President.

    What do you want to do? For giggles, maybe 5 or 10 domestic policies and 1 or 2 foreign policy statements. And, rather than respond to or rebut each other's, just express your own policy on the same subject and why you think it's the best way to go. I mean, questions about the reasons behind people's ideas are cool of course.

    I'll go first. KoC is POTUSoC now.

    1. Present to Congress a proposed Constitutional Amendment that repeals the 16th Amendment. This would restore the original prohibition on levying a direct tax on income. Our country did fine without it for 110 years or so, and never ran a deficit prior to the Civil War. In its place, I would push for immediate adoption of the FairTax, which is a price-inclusive 23% consumption tax on all new retail goods and services, and fully replaces (with revenue neutrality) the current income, payroll, social security, corporate, capital gains, excise, estate, etc, etc taxes. It is still progressive, but because people that *spend* more money pay more in taxes.

    2. Present to Congress a proposed Constitutional Amendment that repeals the 17th Amendment. This would restore the original design in which US Senators were not directly elected but were selected/appointed/elected as determined by the states. These people are supposed to be the formal representatives of the state governments in Washington. The House represents the people. The 17th was passed because of concern over graft and cronyism. However, in the media age, it is far too difficult to carry on the shenanigans it was written to prevent anyway, rendering it moot. For 100+ years, state governments have essentially had no representation in Washington, and as a result most people have lost the nature of federalism. Since the major concern is moot, it's time to go back to the original design.

    3. This is only a maybe, and I'm stealing it from Neal Boortz, but I would consider proposing a *major* constitutional amendment to Article II (the Presidency) and adopting a parliamentary model for electing the President. In short, the President would be elected by the members of the House of Representatives and subject to ratification by the Senate. The individual citizen would no longer cast a vote directly for this office, but would simply elect their member of the House. This would also shift our political focus back to the House and local representation. The new Presidential term would be a single six year term.

    4. Another stolen from Boortz. Create a 10th Amendment Commission. The purpose of this commission would be to scour through the federal law for every instance where federal power has been exercised outside the Constitution limits. All laws it finds would be put before Congress to be repealed. This commission would be chaired by Ron Paul.

    5. I would propose constitutional amendments that explicitly mandate certain areas of political contention to state law, such as abortion, who may marry, etc. The language would take no position allowing or prohibiting these things, but would simply bar the federal government from intervening in state law on the subject.

    6. An Apollo program for energy independence. Mandating that, within 10 years, our production of domestic transportation fuels overtake our use of imported transportation fuel, including but not limited to CNG and gasified clean coal. Additionally, within 10 years, 50%+1 barrel of all crude oil used by the United States will be produced domestically. In 15 years, 75%+1, in 20 years, 100%. Further, within 15 years, a replacement of 20% of coal-fired power plants with primary wind and solar collection. Within 25 years, 50% of all coal-fired power plants with nuclear reactors. While this program would extend beyond the administration of any one President, it's immediate impact in terms of job creation and current energy costs (as our exporters hurry to lower their price to talk us out of it) would guarantee that it would be seen through to completion.

    7. Serious reform of US participation in the UN, and/or reform *of* the UN through withholding of our beyond reasonably high contribution of funds to its operations. In short, we bankroll the thing, we should get our way more than 15% of the time (which is about the rate at which the majority of the General Assembly supports the US petition). For starters, Saudi Arabia, Cuba, and China are all off the Human Rights Council. The very idea of them on it makes it a punchline. If substantial reform is impossible, then a new international organization should be launched as a counter-part, made up only of free states with representative governments.

    That's a lot of the good stuff for a KoC administration. What's yours?
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  • #2
    Great idea, King. I did not include specifics as to who I would present these ideas to or specific measures that would be carried out by specific extant bodies of government. Instead I just outlined the goals I would want to achieve if I were to ever gain control of our government. As to your post, King, I only have one question:

    1. In number five of your proposal, would different states recognize certificates issued by other states? If Texas, for example, declared homosexual marriage to be illegal, and a homosexual couple from Dallas traveled to New Orleans, where it is legal, to get married, would Texas recognize the marriage certificate?

    I am now President Zane:


    1. Declare American Neutrality: Immediately end all overseas military operations and recall all out of country military personnel; split the funding and personnel involved in these operations between three projects: defense of the borders, increased funding and staffing off the UN, and an increase in funds to state militias.

    2. Immediately Destroy all Nuclear Weapons: Do so without any hesitation or fear.

    3. Institute a Popular Forum: Organized at least by county (maybe by town), but with participation and cooperation possible at a state and at a national level. An online effort of direct democracy wherein the residents of said county or town can, for as long as they show themselves capable of policing themselves and if they are willing to exempt themselves from whichever other federal benefits are required, repeal whichever laws they so choose and pass whichever laws they so choose. Any can involve themselves in their own government and any can organize whatever movements they so choose. If a person can get enough of the forum behind them, they could change anything.

    4. Department of Humanitarianism: A new department to fund and create more programs such as Teach for America, AmeriCorps, and Peace Corps to deploy any willing in country as well as oversees to help those in need. Also create a corps of diplomats/mediators (most likely in tandem with the UN) to facilitate negotiations in any conflicts ongoing in the world.

    5. Legalize all Drugs: They will be taxed (under the Fair Tax, which is an idea I've always thought was very fair) as any other product, and will only be available to adults. Other than that, remove all stigma surrounding them.

    6. Education Reform: On all levels and in all areas. I can't go into it in too much detail, because it would be such a massive project, but some highlights include 1. Begin intense education when children are toddlers and their brains are the most absorbent and they are at their most curious, then a relaxed atmosphere until high school, 2. An atmosphere more collegiate throughout their entire lives, letting the student discover what they are interested in rather than mandating what they must know, 3. Universal Higher Education, available for any who wish to attend.

    This one is my most radical and unrealistic, so I saved it for last, but:

    7. Arrest all Corporations: A corporation is legally an individual, so I would arrest all of them and appropriate their assets. I would not take any money away from any actual person, simply remove all the players from the field, and let smaller businesses grow and fill the vacuum in all the tumult. Employees would all receive enough aid to help their transition into new employment, CEOs and Owners would retain their millions or billions and would be free to found other business after their old ones were executed, and then the game would proceed as it had before.

    Kinda ambitious for my first term, I know. But I believe in getting things done.

    Comment


    • #3
      Xavier, application of full faith and credit would be the only federal question left for the courts to answer (or the language of the Amendment). My instinct on the subject is that full faith and credit would only obligate the state to recognize the benefits accrued in the transferor state -- i.e. if you got a spousal benefit health policy in Connecticut and moved to Texas, it would be exempted from any Texas law prohibiting that specific benefit. Texas, however, would not be obligated to recognize any new benefit that the same sex couple did not already enjoy in the state originating their marriage if that benefit would be contrary to Texas law.

      I'd actually agree with trying to adopt a quid pro quo way of nuclear disarmament, but it would have to be brokered in a way that it proceeds in equal steps. Wholesale, unilateral disarmament while the Russian Federation controls the world's largest arsenal would be far too great a risk for me. I'd rather see the Swiss or another non-nuclear free state appointed by treaty to oversee, in cooperation with representatives from each military, a step for step mutual disarmament of the U.S., China, the Soviet Union, Pakistan, India, the UK, France, Israel, and anyone else in the nuclear club. My only other concern would be you still have the knowledge out there and guys like Ahmadinejad out there trying to get it. If one was to do this, you'd have to be ready to adopt a zero tolerance, no leash policy on new development.
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      • #4
        Any attempt for nuclear disarmament will be fraught with suspicion and stress. I don't think an all-in disarmament by every country with nuclear capabilities will ever happen, especially with the threat of other countries developing their own nukes. That is why I would disarm without any regard for the capabilities of other countries. If I were to completely disarm, I would try not to leave us defenseless, even against an enemy nuke. I would build up border defense in the hopes of stopping any attack whatsoever, especially a nuclear one. In addition, my hope for a complete disarmament would be two-fold: 1. that others would follow our example and disarm unilaterally. 2. that those suspicious and aggressive minds out there whose job it is to consider such things would think, "If they're disarming with such abandonment, they much have something even more effective under their sleeve that they are not revealing." and would not even consider an attack.

        Comment


        • #5
          well, I'm not as eloquent and knowledgable about things as KoC, but I mostly agree with all 7 of his, but I'll restate them in my own (very simple ) terms:

          If I were king of the world.... (or POTUS ) And mind you, I have no real idea about legalities of HOW I would do these things, but in fantasy terms:

          1. I would ban all federal payroll, social security, medicare, etc. taxes and implement an across the board sales tax on MOST products (but not necessities such as food and other grocery items and gasoline, which the states tax enough now as it is). I agree with KOC that this would be a fair way to tax as those who can afford to spend more, pay more, without punishing the poor for buying necessities such as groceries or gasoline.

          2. I'm not sure of the legalities of HOW to do it, but I would return the sovereinty of the states back over to the states in regards to lawmaking (ie Roe v. Wade, etc.). Again, like KoC said, not permitting or denying the law one way or another, just prohibiting the laws from being tampered with on a federal level.

          3. I would help states that do not all ready implement a CHIP program (Child Health Insurance Premium program) start one so that all children have access to health care. In PA, if your family makes under 60K a year for a family of 6 and does not have access to health care than you receive health care insurance free of charge for those children. I believe that a family of six can make up to 90K a year and still get a very low cost insurance premium (like maybe $50 a month per child). I would also encourage expanding the CHIP program at the state levels to cover uninsured adults as well within the same income levels who do not have access to employer based health care. Like I said, a lot of states all ready run this program, and in my state it is run incredibly well, with state funding. I would encourage all states to adopt this program, using their own state taxes for the funding. I would use federal funds to help supplement the costs in the states initially until the states were able to sustain the costs themselves. I would use a portion of the federal sales taxes to do this.

          4. I would impose heavy taxes and tarrifs on companies that ship jobs out of America, including banning NAFTA. I also impose heavy tarrifs on all imported goods, except food items. America has become too 'global' and it has seriously hurt our country's job market and wages due in large part to the outsourcing of a LOT of our jobs to countries like India who pay people pennies a day. American-made companies cannot realistically compete with companies who do this and it drives our wages down. I would give large tax breaks to manufacturers who keep their labor in America, creating jobs that pay a living wage (not minimum wage jobs).

          5. I would lessen our dependence on foreign sources of energy by harnessing our own energy sources including clean coal and off shore drilling and drilling in the ANWAR. I would give huge tax breaks and incentives to build more refineries, nuclear plants, hydro-electric plants, and clean coal plants. I would work to quickly reduce our imports of foreign energy, with eventual 100% reliance on American sources of energy, which may require us to no longer supply energy to the rest of the world. (ie, our oil to Asia).

          6. I would eliminate all for life appointments for judges at both the federal and state levels. As the saying goes, absolute power corrupts absolutely. Judges would only be permitted to serve two terms of 4 years each. Period. Also, I would ban the litmus tests for judicial appointments. I would establish a bi-partisan board of electors that consisted of 4 republicans, 4 democrats, and 2 independents. A simple majority of the 10 would be needed for the appointment to be approved. I would assign the vice president to vote in case of a tie.

          7. I would work to break up the UN. I don't believe it is in the United States best interest. I would work to form a coalition of democracies, like the US, UK, France, etc. with similar idealogies that didn't include countries such as China and Russia. These countries would share the costs of the coalition equally, America would no longer be footing the bills.

          8. I would limit the peace keeping missions. Most countries do not like our interference so why should all of our money be spent on people who do not even like us? I would work to strengthen our military and our defenses and to build up our national guard to strengthen and more strictly guard our borders.

          9. I would put an immigration freeze into effect for 10 years. Close our borders to all new immigrants for that time period in order for us to find and naturalize the illegal immigrants all ready within our borders. I would expand INS for these 10 years in order to help expedite this process without causing undo disruption to the lives of the illegals and their families. I would issue an accross the board pardon to all immigrants in the US illegally and ask them to come forward in order to be naturalized. After a certain time period, say 2-5 years, any illegal who has still not come forward is obviously here on malicious intent and will be considered an enemy of the United States, and then I would not show mercy, but deport them and their families immediately and would impose very stiff fines and even prison sentences to employers that STILL continue to employ illegals after that time period. After the 10 year freeze, I would no longer be in office but would hope that the next Pres would re-write the immigration laws to make them more user-friendly once our borders re-opened.

          Yeah, I'm even starting to bore myself, so that's about it for my campaign promises for now....
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          • #6
            I think I have said before that I sympathize with King of Cretins' desire for limited constitutional government and a mostly free market economy. However a fatal threat to these values is posed by endless wars, huge regular armed forces, and the National Security State. These factors mean big government, an all powerful executive with vast discretion, and a secret police apparatus which ensures that the ghost of J.Edgar Hoover continues to haunt Washington and the whole country.

            King of Cretins wants to be Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton at the same time.

            Comment


            • #7
              Strengthen the European Union and eventually form it into a federal state in its own right.
              Improve the educational system.
              Enforce a stricter immigration policy, especially where criminal immigrants are concerned.
              Work on ways of finding alternative energy sources to end our dependence on oil.
              Higher taxes and stricter control on corporations, and at the same time support of smaller companies.
              Sin is what I feast upon
              I'm forging my crematorium
              Your tomb is waiting here for you
              Welcome to my ritual

              -Judas Priest, Death

              Comment


              • #8
                I sympathize with Bloodsucker except on the question of the European Union. Another great power center out of the control of the people is the last thing I want to see. The federal super state would control us, not the other way round.We are better off as we are, even if the situation is messy half the time. The state should serve us. We do not live to serve the state. The European super state is being promoted by people who think they will be in charge of it and be able to swagger around the world as big time statesmen.

                Comment


                • #9
                  President Risa reporting for duty...hehe. Governing a body of people sounds like a very scary thing, but for giggles here is my agenda.

                  1. Immigration: America say goodbye to thousands and thousands of illegals. I would try my best to round up all the illegals and ship them back to their native countries. If you want in this country, you will have to fill out the proper forms and wait your turn. Once you enter this country, you will only stay as long as approved for. No staying here for years unaccounted for, getting into trouble, and blowing up buildings.

                  2. Federal Financial Aid: If you get food stamps there were be some changes. First of all, no junk food will be bought anymore. You will not be able to buy twenty dollars worth of candy or fifteen dollars worth of soda and ice cream. GO buy real food. YOu will no longer be able to buy alcohol drink mixes on food stamps. Sorry, get a job if you want to buy some margarita mix for your drunk night. If you have kids and you need food stamps that is fine. When you apply you will be given a choice: receive food stamps and get on birth control, or no food stamps. The government is done paying you to pop out more children. If you can afford another child, you can get off of food stamps. If you want federal aid, you will try your best to get a job. It can be the crappiest job ever, but you must try. No more giving aid to people while they sit on their butts drinking, smoking, and driving around in a brand new car.

                  3. Companies and Taxes: I can't name specific policies or laws that need to change, but if I was governing companies would be taxed much higher for sending all their work over to other countries. Hundreds of thousands of people are losing their jobs due to companies sending their work to other countries. If they want to do that, that is fine, however we will tax them up the wazoo. On the other hand, companies that stay in America and employ LEGAl American citizens will get a tax break. Companies will also receive a break if they donate their unsold products to charity instead of throwing it all in the trash and writting it off on their taxes. Hundreds of books, toys, clothes and other merchandise actually get thrown in the trash when a company can't sell it. I would give them a break if they would donate that to charities. Donate the books to local libraries, toys to children during christmas...something besides throwing it all away.

                  4. Foreign Policy: I do not know enough about foreign policies to make actual changes. But what I will change is that more help is going to go to American citizens instead of other countries. We donate millions of dollars of support to other countries to feed the starving, to help the poor and the sick. Well we have hundreds of thousands of our people that need that kind of help and they are not getting it. I want to bring the focus back to our country. Fix our country before we worry about every other country.

                  5. Education: More teachers...more books...more funding. I don't care if I have to cut the salary of every Senator, Congressman, and representative, education would get more of a focus. More money for schools...to spent on educational things, not damn sports. Teachers need more money and so do the schools. If schools could afford more supplies, it would also help out parents who spends hundreds on school supplies that the schools should be supplying. I would want the teaching to be more focused on actual teaching and not on the stupid standardized tests. Those test scores don't show anything except that students can fill in bubbles. I would also make it mandatory for public schools to teach sex education and that safe sex be taught. They should be taught how to use protection and teachers should be able to answer questions the students have, without worry of being sued or jailed. Only teaching a child that abstaining from sex is the only "moral" contraceptive is stupid and ignorant. Kids and teenagers will have sex regardless of how much they are taught that it is immoral, so they should be taught how to keep themselves and others safe.

                  Well that is all for now.

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