Friday, September 16, 2011

Political program

This is a complete program that the government should start acting upon immediately. Please forward to all your friends! If we don't do this, nobody will.

This is originally coming from an email thread, where I've been debating with one of my friends who happens to be a staunch leftist. I decided to put all my thoughts into a single document, which I present to you below.

1.  Transportation
1.      Roads
1.      Highways, bridges, tunnels:
1.      Federal gov't mandates road surface and bridge construction quality;
2.      Existing:
1.      Privatize through a special long-term leasing program;
2.      Companies have to keep roads and bridges in perfect condition, while only being paid the tolls that are established by the gov’t;
3.      Companies that fail are “kicked out” of the lease and a new management company is sought.
3.      New
1.      Private funding to build roads;
2.      Investors (aka builders) to manage the building;
3.      Gov’t provides assistance where needed for eminent domain, planning, etc.;
4.      After being built, apply the same model as for existing objects for maintenance, except lease payments go to the builders;
5.      The building company can do maintenance,
1.      They effectively “pay themselves” for lease;
2.      If they screw up at maintenance, then they are kicked out of maint.,
3.      New maintenance company pays them for lease;
4.      Tolls
1.      Establish tolls on all highways/bridges/tunnels basing on maintenance difficulty and number of lanes:
1.      Normal roads - lowest amount;
2.      Ramps - more;
3.      Bridges, tunnels - even more;
2.      Remove gas taxes (drivers use gas savings to pay for highway usage);
3.      Abolish manual toll collection, instead mandate transponders;
4.      Allow the option of “pre-paid” transponders which can be purchased and re-filled with cash, without registering any names anywhere, for privacy;
2.      Local roads/streets
1.      Municipality-managed;
2.      If municipality fails to maintain roads properly, federal and/or state gov’ts have the power to fire the maintenance official in the municipal gov’t and hire new one;
2.      Air
1.      Privatize all airports;
2.      More rigorous safety inspection of the planes, plane maintenance, etc;
3.      Rail
1.      Stop gov’t involvement in rail transportation – privatize assets, stop subsidies;
2.      Gov’t should only do safety.
2.  Education
1.      Reduce fed. education dept.;
2.      All schools/colleges privatized;
3.      All examinations done by gov’t in special centers, with no influence by school;
4.      Primary/secondary
1.      School should be 10 years, from 6-7 yo to 16-17 yo;
2.      Program compressed, mandatory:
1.      advanced physics,
2.      calculus,
3.      logarithms,
4.      chemistry,
5.      biology (evolution),
6.      anatomy,
7.      astronomy,
8.      geography,
9.      history;
3.      Poor to receive gov’t voucher to help pay for education;
4.      No "rights" for children not to study;
1.      Gov’t enforcing if necessary by forcefully sending children to special schools for difficult children (kind of youth crime prevention program);
5.      Build non-profit, non-subsidized sport centers for teenagers:
1.      ball games,
2.      Olympic swimming pools,
3.      etc.;
5.      Higher education
1.      Consolidate college graduation exams with license exams;
2.      No subsidies or gov’t loans;
3.      Maybe provide gov’t scholarships;
4.      Where private colleges prices are sky-rocketing due to anti-market factors, gov’t should establish a new, for profit, but not super profit, college with sane prices, to stabilize the market;
3.  Building
1.      Minimum living space: 1 person – 700 sq ft, each additional person over 6 y.o. - +300 sq ft;
1.      Existing buildings (including private homes) with apartments smaller than above standards pay special tax: some amount for each sq ft under minimum;
2.      New buildings with smaller apartments pay even higher tax than older ones;
2.      Force all buildings to have lobby stairs for the first 10 floors (not fire staircase);
1.      Existing buildings without lobby stairs to pay special tax;
3.      All buildings, including private homes, to be able to carry the load of a wind turbine on the roof – unless special plans are in place for the roof (entertainment/pool/balcony/etc.) which are incompatible with wind turbines;
4.      Planning:
1.      Special tax on “new construction”, and prohibit using any new land for urban development;
2.      Subsidize re-building, especially high subsidies for re-building ghettos;
4.  Healthcare
1.      Higher premiums for fat people, smokers, drug users, alcoholics, both private and gov’t HC;
2.      Make it a civil offense to infect other people;
1.      If one has flu, he/she has to stay home;
2.      Make special license for prescribing flu antiviral;
3.      If one has an STD, then having sex is illegal;
4.      Make a special website, where a person can login and demonstrate to his/her prospective partner(s) that he/she was tested and is clean (or as the case may be otherwise, if both have herpes, they’re OK with each other, for ex.);
3.      Medicare
1.      Establish maximum amount allowed for treatment, per month of patient life, on negative progressive scale basing on patient age;
1.      Say, no more than $10,000 per month, after 70 yo, and no more than $5,000 per month, after 80 yo;
2.      Raise eligibility age to 70 together with SS.
4.      Private
1.      Pass federal tort reform laws:
1.      Cap settlements;
2.      Make it doctor’s responsibility, not insurance company’s responsibility (and thus all doctors’ and patients’responsibility);
2.      Make illegal for states to monopolize certain insurance companies;
3.      Establish federal insurance guidelines:
1.      Make 3 levels of insurance :
1.      Minimum – only emergency; this should be mandatory;
2.      Medium – emergency and some care, when care needed;
3.      Maximum – everything covered;
4.      Make it illegal to set “fixed” co-pays – patient has to always pay a percentage of the cost, to force patients to shop around;
5.      Medicaid
1.      Replace with vouchers for poor, so that patients shop around for cheapest one on the market;
5.  Taxes
1.      Tax loopholes should be closed, so that rich have to pay their taxes like everyone else;
2.      Reduce number of deductions/credits;
1.      For personal income:
1.      Only deduction should be children, which should be sizable;
2.      All personal income – payroll, capital gains, etc. – goes through same tax rate (capital gains are not taxes on corporate level);
2.      For corp./business:
1.      Deduct:
1.      Salaries;
2.      Equipment, real estate purchases and rentals/leasing;
3.      Dividends (capital gains);
2.      Do not deduct:
1.      Gas;
2.      Restaurant bills;
3.      Rates:
1.      Option A:
1.      Low and middle class personal income, and corporate tax rates need to be reduced;
2.      Personal high-income tax rates increased, with new brackets - over .5 mil, over 1 mil, over 2 mil, etc.;
2.      Option B:
1.      Personal income taxed at progressive rate, with high tax rates on top brackets (over .5 mil, 1 mil, 2 mil, 5 mil, etc.);
2.      Corporate income taxed at progressive rate, with rates equal to personal rates, but brackets determined by multiplying the personal brackets by number of employee-hours of the corporation;
1.      For ex., if personal tax is 10% for annual incomes up to $100,000, a corporation with 10 people gets 10% tax for annual incomes up to $100,000 * 10 = $1,000,000.
3.      Corporations have the option to keep their income in special tax-free accounts:
1.      They can’t spend directly out of those accounts;
2.      If they withdraw, they have to either:
1.      Make a deductible purchase,
2.      Or pay the tax, according to total non-deductible income in that year.
3.      These accounts are maintained by private banks;
4.      Private banks have the right to invest that money and earn the accounts’ holders interest;
4.      Gradually require that all small businesses just register corporations (which should be free and simple), to simplify accounting and tax collection;
6.  Energy, environment & resources
1.      Energy
1.      New tax on the following, no matter if domestic or imported, if extracted anew (not recycled):
1.      oil,
2.      gas,
3.      coal,
4.      wood,
5.      and pretty much everything else coming out of the ground;
2.      That tax needs to be gradually increased,
3.      Part of the tax will offset the other taxes, and the other part will contribute to special stabilization fund;
4.      If market prices suddenly increase on those commodities (due to war, terrorist act, natural disaster, etc.), then taxes should be automatically lowered, to reduce impact on consumers;
5.      No subsidies for any renewable or nuclear or anything – let market decide what works best;
6.      Abolish Energy Dept.;
2.      Environment protection
1.      Beef up EPA, to stop contamination, where nobody is directly affected right now (a plant polluting the land in the middle of a desert is still a problem);
2.      Add a system of private companies offering water and air testing services;
3.      Results of these tests can be used in courts by property owners to sue the companies that pollute the air/water if said owner’s property is affected;
3.      Trash
1.      Prohibit any new landfills, to force local gov’ts to find ways to recycle;
2.      Country should eventually operate under “zero trash” system: recycle or quickly bio-degrade ALL waste;
7.  Immigration
1.      Marriage shouldn't be this coveted "green light" to "green card";
2.      Instead, marriage (and employment sponsorship) only gets you right to live and work here temporarily, for as long as you're married;
3.      You're only granted a green card after 10 years;
4.      Sponsored people living here legally but w/o green card can't sponsor anyone;
1.      In the short term (and potentially mid- or long-term), only citizens can sponsor through marriage;
5.      Depending on level of immigration, do one of the following:
1.      There should be no waiting periods - if green card holder, or citizens, wants to bring their spouse, parents, or kids, it should be instantaneous;
2.      Or institute limits, much like it is now, but people wait while living here: so when immigrant X marries citizen Y, X lives and works in USA legally, but doesn’t get PR until limits allow them to.
6.      Change constitution – no automatic citizenship for children of illegal immigrants;
7.      Beef up immigration enforcement and deport all illegal immigrants;
1.      Don’t bar them from re-immigration later – all they have to do is wait in line.
2.      If their under-18 kids were born here, then they have to leave with their parents, and come back later when grown up sufficiently;
8.  Foreign policy
1.      Trade
1.      Trade needs to be balanced;
2.      Asian countries pushed into easing import restriction on US goods, both through regulation and currency policy;
3.      Sign as many "true FTAs" as possible with developed countries, like Europe, Japan/SKorea/Singapore, Canada, Brazil. "True FTA" means literally no restrictions and zero tariffs on everything - farming, etc. – and no subsidies on either side for any industry – complete free market.
2.      Rogue states
1.      Deliver a public threat to NKorea and Iran of nuclear destruction if they do anything stupid;
2.      Put renewed pressure on Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, NKorea to open up economy – politically, through CIA, etc.;
3.      Use diplomatic and economic power to push corrupt governments out of office:
1.      Propaganda;
2.      Intelligence;
3.      State Dept. efforts;
9.  Security
1.      Sign amnesty to release inmates serving for:
1.      Drug possession;
2.      Theft under $1,000;
3.      DUI;
2.      Law enforcement
1.      Organizational
1.      All federal law enforcement should be under FBI - no reason to have separate DEA for drugs, ICE for immigration, etc.etc.;
2.      Justice and prison system needs to change to be more of a correctional and less of a punishment institution;
3.      Abolish death penalty, replace with life sentence;
4.      Abolish TSA, make security air companies’ responsibility;
2.      Drugs
1.      Possession:
1.      No punishment or forced rehab (if needed) for cooperating suspects – if dealer pinpointed and arrested;
2.      Big sentence (5-10 years) and forced rehab (if needed) for non-cooperating suspects, regardless of age/morale character/etc.
2.      Traficking
1.      Light prison sentence and probation for cooperating suspects – if distributor pinpointed and arrested;
2.      Huge sentence (life) for non-cooperating suspects, regardless of age/morale character/etc.
3.      DUI
1.      No prison terms (unless someone is hurt);
2.      High fines;
3.      Car confiscation;
1.      Anybody (person or company, like car rental) providing a car to a DUI offender with confiscated car, is liable, with heavy fines, potentially that car confiscated;
2.      If offender lied to obtain a car, then:
1.      The provider of the car can sue the offender for the cost of confiscated vehicle and/or fines;
2.      Or the provider can get their car back and fines cancelled and all punishment transferred to the driver (if the provider proves that the driver lied);
4.      License suspension;
5.      Increase minimum illegal BAC to 0.10, then multi-stage: a simple fine for 0.10-0.12, and higher fine over 0.12, possibly even higher for over 0.16 and then over 0.20;
6.      Only illegal to drive; person has to be caught in a moving vehicle; being in the car, even with engine started, even behind the steering wheel,  is not “driving”, hence it’s ok.
3.      Prisons
1.      Adult
1.      No “gen pop” prisons; instead:
1.      Everyone are in solitary confinement, with unlimited visitation by family;
2.      And/or build “prison camps”, which is like a closed-off city where convicts live just like in a normal place, but they can’t go anywhere;
2.      Build enough prisons – no releasing criminals due to over-crowding;
3.      Encourage inmates to work:
1.      Partnership with private companies willing to utilize prison labor (assembly plants, etc.);
2.      Gov’t work;
4.      Prohibit money transfers to prison – if inmate wants to buy extra food in prison store, he/she has to earn it;
2.      Juvenile
1.      Abolish most juvenile prisons;
2.      Only keep few open for very serious criminals (murder, rapists);
3.      Replace with forced education camps;
4.      Intelligence
1.      All foreign intelligence should be under CIA - again, no reason to have NSA, etc. etc.;
5.      Military
1.      Deployment
1.      Close all foreign bases;
2.      Park 6 air carriers out of 12;
3.      Reduce size of army 4 times;
4.      Get out of all wars;
5.      Protect the borders and coasts 100%.
2.      Weapons
1.      Stop all new weapon programs;
2.      Perfect UAVs;
3.      Reduce number of different weapons (slowly get rid of older F-15s and replace with newest F-22s);
3.      Nuclear
1.      reduce nuclear stockpile to around 100-200 missiles;
2.      Make them all submarine-based;
4.      Consolidation
1.      Merge Coast Guard into navy;
2.      Merge Border Patrol into army;
10.                   Financial
1.      Gradually remove all subsidies:
1.      Oil and gas;
2.      Electric/hybrid cars;
3.      Solar/wind;
4.      Corn farming;
5.      Amtrak, etc. etc.
2.      Medicaid, welfare, unemployment checks, food stamps should be slowly reduced and wherever possible, abolished;
3.      Amend the Constitution to prohibit federal gov’t from borrowing (unless the country is under attack);
4.      Welfare for single mothers with children abolished, instead build special centers for mothers and children, where they can live and/or eat, without getting any money;
5.      Tie dollar to gold again;
6.      Sue China for accumulated losses “since beginning of time” due to IP piracy, undervalued currency, other policies that imbalance the trade, and use the money we owe them to “pay” for the settlement;
7.      Institute tariffs on countries like China which “cheat” in trade:
1.      One tariff will compensate for current policies:
1.      Undervalued currency;
2.      Disregard for environment;
3.      Slave-like labor conditions;
4.      Import tariffs on US goods;
5.      IP piracy;
2.      Another tariff will compensate for past policies: whatever money we can’t recover from them as part of a settlement, get that money back through tariffs, basing on a 10-year re-payment schedule;
11.                   Employment
1.      Re-affirm "employment at will" with or without a contract in all states;
2.      Prohibit unions from bargaining for "future" compensation (pension, etc.),
3.      Change unemployment measurement to capture true unemployment – percentage of all people who can work, 18-65;
4.      Change anti-harassment laws and regulations to protect businesses from “harassment” abuse
1.      Harassment claims should be directed against the perpetrator, not the company;
2.      Company should only be liable when it ignored harassment claims and/or directly or indirectly encouraged such behavior;
12.                   General
1.      Ease visa requirements, to bring more tourists;
2.      Abolish FEMA, replace with private insurance;
3.      Reduce licensing requirements: electricians, HVAC charging big $$$ - big problem;
4.      Make it illegal to give money to beggars; instead, work with each beggar to re-build their lives and re-introduce them to society;
13.                   Government stream-lining
1.      The whole gov't needs to be digital only - literally pass a law that says no printers, paper, ink or pens can be purchased by any gov't agency or court at any level, period;
2.      Abolish ALL paper documents and applications;
3.      Replace all gov’t databases on all levels with a single secure database;
4.      The new database has to be available to all gov’ts on all levels
5.      The new database should only deal with gov’t business and should not be a “national ID” kind of system where every action by each citizen is tracked (people still keep their credit cards, etc.);
6.      The new database will contain:
1.      For people:
1.      Names, photo, other bio-metrics (if needed), DOB, eye color, other ID information;
2.      Criminal record (all levels, federal to local), current incarceration/wanted status;
3.      Health record, including STD information;
4.      Immigration status/visa;
5.      Education degrees/licenses;
2.      For corporations:
1.      Registration information;
2.      Ownership/shares/shareholders;
3.      Employee information – for taxation purposes;
3.      For cars:
1.      Year/Make/model/features/safety;
2.      Owners/mileage/accidents;
3.      “Lemon”/salvage;
4.      Stolen information;
7.      The new database can be queried only with the permission of the “owner” of that record:
1.      for people, it’s the person (for ex., background check for employment);
2.      for corporations, it’s the authorized officer;
3.      for cars, it’s the current owner;
8.      The new database will be updated automatically at multiple levels:
1.      In hospitals during birth, new record created for newborns (no need for birth certificates);
2.      Car sales transfer car ownership;
3.      Immigration/visa applications simply change a person’s immigration status by USCIS or State Dept/embassies;
14.                   Consumer protection
1.      Instead of prohibiting unsafe products and unhealthy foods, warn and educate consumers and let them decide what they want to do;
2.      Beef up FDA;
3.      Food
1.      In super-markets, each shelf has a display which indicates if the food is genetically modified or not, if pesticides are presents, how high it’s on nitrates, etc.
2.      Prohibit calling non-organic foods with their actual names, for ex., non-organic milk can’t be called “milk”, but rather “imitation milk” or “fake milk”, to clearly differentiate it from real, organic milk, and communicate the difference to consumers;
3.      All items that contain sugar should have a big label that says “contains sugar” to encourage consumers to consume less of it;
4.      “Raw milk”:
1.      Foods with minor risk of adverse health effects, like raw milk, should be legal to be sold, with warning labels and education campaigns, telling people to boil it before consuming (in the case of raw milk), etc.
2.      Where company wishes to market milk as pasteurized, that company can’t lie about it, the milk has to be actually pasteurized if the container indicates so;
5.      Inspection
1.      Abolish USDA’s “organic” program (too unreliable, how do we know that the stuff in the store is the same as what was tested on the farm many months ago?);
2.      Instead, FDA will send agents to each store and collect samples and test them in laboratories:
1.      Pesticides;
2.      Genetic modification;
3.      Excessive fertilization (nitrates);
4.      Hormones;
5.      Anti-biotics;
4.      Durables
1.      In dept. stores, similar screens warn of possible safety problems, dangerous chemicals, etc.;
5.      Medications
1.      Stream line drug approval process;
2.      Only deny new drug IF concrete evidence exists of dangerous side effects;
15.                   Guns
1.      Federal law requiring gun license for all;
2.      License should be free and quick and easy to get for qualifying applicants;
3.      To get license, one has to be crime-free, sane, and have an income;
1.      Person attends a special exam, where his answers are stored in a computer system;
2.      3 psychiatrists evaluate the answers and all have to sign off as person being sane, without seeing his/her name;
3.      Automatically perform background check to ensure good income, good credit history and good character;
16.                   Societal
1.      Parenting
1.      No "rights" for children not to listen to parents;
2.      No more parents going to jail for doing something stupid (like leaving kids in the car or punishing kids);
3.      Firm protection against abusive parents – alcoholics/drug users, those who beat kids all the time for no reason, etc.;
2.      Marriage
1.      No lawsuits (gold-digger wives):
1.      both spouses keep all of their liquid income/assets (except for household items);
2.      If family lived in the same house, then it’s determined who paid more by calculating the wage difference between the spouses, and the house is divided accordingly;
3.      If wife didn’t work or worked less or worked in a lower paying position because of bringing up children, that should be taken into account and her share of the home increased;
4.      If the home costs much more than an average home in that area and was afforded by one of the spouses very high income, then that spouse keeps more of it; the credit that child-bearing parent, for example, gets for taking care of children and not making money, it limited by average home cost in that market;
2.      Alimony payments calculated based on living cost – not parents’ income;
3.      If parent has no means to pay full alimony:
1.      He/she is not prosecuted;
2.      Gov’t makes up the missing amount;
3.      The parent that underpaid still owes that money to the gov’t;
4.      Divorce
1.      If family has no kids (no different from boyfriend/girlfriend relationship) – divorce should be easy;
2.      If family has kids, then to protect the children and preserve the troubled families, gov’t should make it difficult to divorce, by using any or all of the following:
1.      fines,
2.      time delays,
3.      legal procedures,
4.      mandatory psychology sessions,
5.      etc.;
17.                   Retirement
1.      Retirement age should be gradually increased to 70yo;
2.      No SS checks for rich, 401(k) holders, etc.
3.      Remove the $106,000 income limit on deductions
4.      Optional private retirement accounts, similar to 401(k)/IRA/etc.
18.                   Politics
1.      Political campaign financing needs to be fixed - not sure how, but something has to be done;
2.      Possible reform options:
1.      Income-restrict voting: only those contributing to gov’t income can vote, dole eaters have no voice;
2.      Offer monetary compensation for not voting;
19.             Science & research
1.      Establish task forces:
1.      To develop controlled nuclear fusion, like the Manhattan Project;
2.      To find cures for wide-spread diseases like STDs and cancer and cold/flu; (in addition to private research);
2.      Task forces will demand results and see to funding being spent properly;
3.      Beef up NASA:
1.      Send people to Moon, Mars and further;
2.      Send unmanned missions in all directions – maybe even send a vehicle every 3 months;
3.      Explore unmanned material mining on the Moon and other planets;
4.      Develop “mass launching pad” – a way to launch vehicles without unreliable rockets, more along the lines of a tower that has a mechanism (read: a system of motors and gears) to “push” vehicles up for at the least the first couple of miles;

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