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“If a man has an apartment stacked to the ceiling with newspapers we call him crazy. If a woman has a trailer house full of cats we call her nuts. But when people pathologically hoard so much cash that they impoverish the entire nation, we put them on the cover of Fortune magazine and pretend that they are role models.”
-– B. Lester
Joined: May 03, 2007 Posts: 372 Location: The fields and plains of LaMancha
Posted: Sun Nov 16, 2008 10:30 pm Post subject: The "If I were President" roundtable
Let's all post what we would immediately do if we suddenly found ourselves POTUS and comment on one another's ideas.
I'll start. If I were President, I would promptly become the most hated man in the world, making Bush look like he's canonized.
1.) I would immediately, via executive order, remove all armed forces and state dept. people from all other countries. This means, abandoning all bases and embassies. Regardless of standing, treaty, or alliance. The exception would be, if a country WANTS us there and is willing to pay the TOTAL tab for it. We'll have a "rent an army" program which I am sure no one could afford or would take us up on if they could. Let the rest of the world just get bent and find out how life is without our kindly security influence.
I would establish a 200 nautical mile territorial boundary in the waters around the United States, (exemptions for waters of countries who are closer than that, such as Cuba for example) nothing comes in or out without inspection by the Navy if by water, Air Force if by air, and the Marines/Army if by land. I would merge Border Patrol into the Marines, making it a branch of the service, and establish secure bases on all border land, and we will patrol our borders. The Coast Guard as we know it would be abolished, their forces and assets moved into the Navy.
With our armed forces off foreign soil, we can use our military to completely control our borders and defend us against attack. We'll lock thos mother up tighter than a drum and say, "If you don't like us, come and get us."
2.) Cease any and ALL foreign aid, no matter the reason. That trillions is better spent here, for our people. Let the rest of the world get bent and find out what life is like without our kindly, neighborly assistance. This doesn't mean that private and public charities and citizens cannot send assistance monies. In fact it's encouraged.
3.) Stop ALL imports of Oil from countries who don't like us. Would you keep going to a restaurant if the owner consistently said he hates you and wished your death? Of course not. So, if you want to trade with us, better make nicey nicey and really mean it. We'll use that $700 billion a year to develop our own energy system which is clean and takes care of our needs. This means $20/gallon gasoline for awhile, but some of the money saved will be given instead to the taxpayer in the form of fuel vouchers. We'll develop solar, wind, nuclear, hydrogen and electromotive transport. Let the oil-rich despots get bent and find out what it's like dealing with China and Russia exclusively.
4.) Abolish any and all treaties and foreign entanglements. This means the UN can find itself a new home off our shores. NATO can get bent, so can every other treaty organization. They'll find they can get along nicely without us.
1.) Regardless of financial standing, job situation or condition, everyone will be entitled to any and all health care they wish. In fact, I'll propose a constitutional amendment making health care a right under the constitution. Until it's amended, this right will be in force via executive order. We will launch a health care doctrine which requires nothing from the people, not even participation. But you will have a right to it, should you choose to use it.
2.) Abortion on demand. I have no problem with this, except in repetitive cases of elective abortion. The first two are free, and so is the third. But the third comes with a bonus -- sterilization. A free spaying job courtesy of Uncle Sam. Abortion isn't birth control. Of course, abortions which are medically necessary to save the mother's life or are the result of rape or incest don't count in the tally. These are always free for the asking with no strings attached whatsoever.
3.) Hospice care. The elderly deserve to be cared for just as the newborn do. We will make sure their late years are spent in safety, care and love.
We'll start by abolishing any and all income tax and install the Fair Tax Act. No longer will there be state or federal income tax or FICA. Nothing will ever come out of anyone's paycheck. Instead, there will be a 25% federal sales tax on anything purchased, with some exceptions. There will also be a tax REBATE for those making less than $50,000 annually, so that they have zero tax liability other than state and/or local sales tax and property tax, licensing and vehicle registration, etc. The IRS, which will be greatly reduced in size and expense needed to operate, will still have a role -- seeing that the sales tax is charged and collected properly, enforcement against fraud, and verifying rebate recipients.
It's estimated that this alone will boost revenue by more than 100% over the current system, and everyone making above $50K pays the same percentage of their consumption. The goal of taxation is to raise revenue to the Fed, not to punish success. This will also encourage and motivate our citizens to be thrifty and not wasteful in their spending habits. You only pay tax when you buy stuff. It's your money, not ours.
Ok, this is a start. I'll add more with other posts, such as the justice system. Please let me know what you think do far and add your own "if I were POTUS" posts.
Posted: Mon Nov 17, 2008 1:48 am Post subject: Taxation Policy
OK .... this sounds like some fun. So here's my first entry.
I may set up a tax structure like this.
Flat Tax with Deductions for Households.
Based on the Negative Income Tax.
Set a flat tax rate ... say 20% for example.
Set a realistic standard of living, let's say 60,000.00 for a family of 4.
Set a standard deduction ... say 15,000 per person.
So, a family of 4, earning $60,000.00, would pay $0.00 taxes.
A family of 4, earning $90,000.00 would be taxed on the extra 30K.
A family of 4, earning $30,000 would receive a check for $6,000.00.
The purpose is to benefit low income households.
Every entity pays taxes on income. No loop holes. No exceptions
Minimum wage would be set near $25.00 per hour.
A minimum wage earner would recieve a tax check for $1,600.00 per year
according to this model.
Corporations are taxed a flat 20% on profit.
I beleive this would increase our (the US) revenue. Mainly because the no loop hole statement.
A simple formula that could fit on a single page tax form for people and corporations.
No tax write-offs, no exceptions .... simply all people and all companies pay tax on income.
I tend to think that we do not need a 100% increase in revenue .... we need to spend what we have more wisely. _________________ "Artists ain't easy to love, they're hard to hold, and they'd rather give you a song then diamonds or gold."
Obviously, I cannot tell what to do if I were the president of America, but here some comparison of the American and Swedish taxes and ways of thinking...
(International readers report)
"Swedish Taxes: You Get What You Pay For--and Then Some More (int'l edition)
I left Sweden in 1980 because I found it too socialistic. I believed the U.S. was the right place for my family and business. I have experienced both nations' social policy and see advantages and disadvantages in both. I love America but still I love and understand Sweden (''Companies may vote with their feet,'' European Business, Oct. 19).
Taxes are high in Sweden, yes, but you get something for what you pay to ''Mother Svea.'' Every citizen and business has to participate in paying for everybody. I can say they get better service for a better price than what Americans get for what they pay to Uncle Sam plus all insurance expenses.
If you move to Sweden, your chances of becoming a billionaire are small. But that is not why people live there. People who want to work and live in Sweden have to accept the values and the ways of life the Swedish system offers. If they prefer to work for Swedish companies elsewhere in the world they can do so. Hiring top executives or consultants is not a problem for Sweden's industries. Most Swedes, including top executives, are generally better educated and better adapted for working internationally than their American colleagues.
Brain drain--nonsense. All countries miss skilled citizens trying to find greener meadows elsewhere. But new good ones immigrate. You don't need to earn a lot to live a decent life. Competition is tougher because the home market is smaller and the government has little patience with ''smart'' people cheating others with falsified or substandard goods, foods, and services. A bad doctor or lawyer cannot escape the consequences of malpractice.
Some Swedes move some money abroad, of course. Taxes in Sweden, as in the U.S., come more from the working masses than from the high-income takers. Employers collect taxes and insurance premiums for a variety of social services that do not interest investors of fast, hot money. Investors interested in intelligently developed quality products and socially responsible enterprises will always be interested in Swedish companies, inventors, and engineering.
The Swedish krona dropped a few years ago, not through mismanagement but because it was hit by sharks with headquarters in the U.S. Enormous personal profits, later lost in other parts of the world, had to be paid by the Swedish people. The same thing happened to the Mexican, Thai, and other currencies. Such coups will not hurt Sweden after it joins the European Monetary Union.
The opposition--Greens and Communists--are not a bunch of economic illiterates. Their hesitancy to join the EMU is a sign of the slow way of thinking, often ridiculed as typically Swedish but which often results in finding good solutions. They have good reasons to distrust the way big money acts internationally. It is a myth that profits to business always serve the interest of society. It is also a myth that all state or community-managed activity is bound to be less effective than privately run activity. In Sweden, it has been proved that a state-run, nonprofit insurance can be cost-effective and still be generous and include low-income people.
In Sweden, generosity and solidarity are deep-rooted. People believing that egotism and greed are accepted routes to economic success will find it difficult to understand that generosity pays."
Joined: May 03, 2007 Posts: 372 Location: The fields and plains of LaMancha
Posted: Mon Nov 17, 2008 4:26 pm Post subject:
My tax plan recognizes that earnings and profit belong to the folks not the government, and that taxation is designed to bring revenue to the fed, not to punish success.
Shabby, your tax plan for corporations is exactly what I'm proposing, on the business side. However the $25/hr minimum wage will kill job creation. I wouldn't have a federal minimum, I would leave that up to the states. We're not looking to "properly" divide the pie and enforce "social justice" we are looking to GROW that pie so that everyone gets a bigger piece of it.
We are looking to not take anything whatsoever out of anyone's check, instead let them decide by their consumption, how much tax they pay with their money.
Example: If Joe the Plumber needs to buy coats and shoes for his kids, that's exempt from the federal sales tax no matter how much he makes. But if he wants to buy a boat, the Fed gets the 25% markup.
This consumption tax eliminates class warfare while funding the government which WILL need around a 100% revenue increase over present day, in order to do what's needed for energy independence and security, infrastructure rebuilding, housing, (govt loans for government built housing available to all) the national healthcare program and various other services.
Job creation in the energy and health care sectors will explode, manufacturing jobs as well, and really just about every kind of job will see more creation, so long as you're NOT making it impossible.
Can't put a cap on success or wealth, if you want to remain free. But you CAN have a fair tax system that the folks control, the people have the wisdom to decide what to do with their money they earn. So long as the Fed gets its cut from business and corporation profit, as you suggest, the rest of it is left in the hands of the state legislatures.
I'll be back later with the justice system proposals, chief of which is legalizing all drugs. Yes, freedom demands that people get to decide what to put in their bodies and what not. Their responsibility, their consequences. Not the governments.
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