Instead of just criticizing and rebuking all the senseless politicos that run the USA and most countries of the world as I usually do...I end this year with a simple (and yes, oversimplified) checklist of what should be done to recover the positive values our country used to have.
First and foremost...just because you are the Federal Government doesn't mean you can operate without a sane budget. We must have responsible financial people in government who know how to balance a budget and reverse the deficit spending and take away the blank checkbook these politicos see to think they have. That also means the government cannot make commitments or entitlements it cannot fund.
Part of re-balancing the budget should include reduced global military spending and refocus those military budgets on more cost effective defensive technologies and weapons. With Satellites and drones in our arsenal now, we don't really need thousands of boots on the ground in scores of different countries...unnecessarily putting soldiers in harms way with costs that are wasteful and ineffectual. If our armed forces support a foreign state, that foreign state should have to pay the tab for those resources, not the American people.
Put more of the federal budget into Research and Development of new businesses, technologies and industrial production. Instead of bailout moneys to failing corporations and banks, a federal government should simply incentivize private enterprise to domestically compete more effectively in the global marketplace and provide more jobs for the massive underemployed populations of our country. Small, competitive business is the key to this, not slow moving, elephant sized mega corporations. The government should NOT be the fastest growing enterprise in the country. Reduction and streamlining should be the mantra of the day. Free and open markets need to be re-enforced by government...not controls and more regulations.
Governments cannot mandate or legislate morality. Morality comes from the core of the society...its families and local institutions such as schools...and yes even churches for those who need them to control their darker sides. Quit prohibitions such as the war on drugs...and reapply those funds and efforts to education, trade schools and medical/psychological care for addicts and substance abusers. The substances are only symptoms of the problem...not the problem. It is a false sense of order when order is based on laws and punishments. People have the potential to regulate their own behaviors in a society of true values, mutual responsibility and education.
Social securities of all forms should be paid and settled at the local level with gaps working their way up to the national level. Instead we have created an inverted pyramid where 500+ federal legislators are responsible for all the welfare and problems of the whole country. You have to break this up to where local communities and each state has more responsibility...and resources...to handle the social needs and economic gaps in their communities. Washington DC has obviously shown its inability to handle the welfare state we have become.
The USA needs to become the most competitive tax country for doing business. This means DECREASING versus INCREASING taxes on productive businesses and corporations. This also means EQUALLY taxing all industries and businesses. The USA tax code is hideous and full of exceptions and reductions for special interests and cronies of politicos in Washington. We need simplification of taxation and incentives to hire American workers...not more regulation and costs put on the back of business leaders. You are killing the cow in order to get more milk!
We need reductions of Federal powers and turn their focus to simply protecting our borders and foreign interests of our citizens...the federal budget could probably be reduced in half...and most of these congresspeople can be part time, voluntary positions for SUCCESSFUL Americans who don't need to be paid to serve their country in leadership. No lifetime entitlements or extraordinary POWERS for legislators. No "Cadillac" healthcare plans that their constituents can't also qualify for. This will bring the great leaders of our country forward, and send the cockroaches of cronyism scurrying back to the holes they came out of.There you have it:
- Balance the federal budget
- Reduce external military spending in the world
- Spend more on R&D for business and technology leadership in the world
- Stop trying to legislate morality...especially that which is based on religion
- Social programs should run from the local government level, not vice versa
- Become more tax competitive in the world
- Reduce Federal powers by keeping more leaders local and more in touch with their constituents instead of serving big money interests in DC
Sure...these points are simplified macros...but they are doable. The current government leaders of the USA cannot begin to turn things around in our country until they agree on the fundamentals. With no fundamentals agreed upon, all the complicated detailed solutions they discuss and argue about have no chance of providing a long or permanent solution.
So...there you have it...my 2013 wish list of changes I would like to see if the USA government is to have any chance of recovery. Only by agreeing on the fundamentals for recovery do we have a chance for restoring peace, love and prosperity to a country of people who have lost their way towards liberty and the pursuit of happiness.