Since Dec 9, 1997
If called upon to serve, I would be happy to be your President.
I believe that I would make a very good President of the United States. Not that I am going to pursue that office on my own as I have no stomach for the grueling campaign that is necessary these days, but if the people of America were willing to forgive me for not running a conventional campaign and elect me on my merits, I'd gladly serve and give 100%. With respect to my comment on my reluctance to campaign in the conventional way, I should remind you that George Washington felt the same way and never actually campaigned himself. I have a lot more in common with George Washington also.
Over time, I will post my platform here in detail but for now, I offer the basics of my platform below and will revise, expand and edit as I see fit. I look forward to serving as your president someday.
- Taxes - I believe that the tax burden should be shared disproportionately by our citizens. Those at the lower income levels should pay a higher tax rate wheras those at the higher income levels should be paying a progressively lower tax rate as they move up the economic ladder.
I will be posting some proposed tax tables later but for now, allow me to illustrate my point with two imaginary taxpayers. One taxpayer earns an income of $30,000 a year and the other taxpayer earns an income of $300,000 a year. Well, under my system, the person making $30,000 a year should pay at a 33% rate and the person making $300,000 a year should only pay at a 7.5% tax rate. By the way, those tax rates are simply for shock value and for the purposes of explaining my plan. Actual tax rates may well be significantly less than that as I intend to shrink the size of our federal goverment enormously (with the exception of the military which will be explained later).
Why do I propose this "upside-down" tax structure? For the simple reason that the taxpayer at the higher income is contributing far more for the economy of the country than the person at the lower income. As well, the person at the lower level is far more likely to require government services and handouts and should rightfully shoulder a higher tax burden.
Thus we set up an incentive for Americans to do well and contribute to the economy. As one makes more money, one is "rewarded" for doing so well by enjoying less of a tax burden while those who choose to remain at a lower income are in effect "penalized". So much for people trying to take advantage of the current system by keeping their income low so they don't have to pay taxes. Now they will be penalized for this decision with higher taxes while others who choose to increase their incomes through hard work are rewarded with a lower tax burden.
That said, allow me to state that senior citizens should pay zero taxes. Our senior citizens have worked and paid taxes all their lives. So once they reach a certain age, they should have the right to retire in comfort (or keep on working) without worrying about being taxed any futher. Currently I would set the age to qualify as a senior citizen at 67 years old but that can be revised upward later should our lifespans continue to increase.
Consider the following statement backing up my controversial tax plan. When one increases one's income, a "multiplier effect" is put into play that helps the economy grow. More people are put to work to build yachts, luxury automobiles, and mansions. More people are put to work in restaurants, stores and vacation resorts. Under my administration, my tax policy will create millions of millionaires!
As for those who scream "unfair", consider that in my example, the person paying 7.5% on $300,000 in income is still paying more in net taxes ($22,500) than the person paying 33% on 30,000 ($9,900). My advice to the latter taxpayer is to make more income so that their overall tax burden can be reduced.
One more thing I will do as president with respect to taxes is to simplify the tax code. All citizens will have a one-page form to fill out each year which essentially asks them to state their total income and pay the appropriate tax at their income level. No more complicated schedules and tax forms to fill out. Taxation should be cut and dry and nobody should be finding loopholes and tax shelters. This would greatly increase our total revenues as we grow our economy at a rapid clip. So in this manner, we have given the government a real incentive to grow the economy as should the economy tank, so will the revenues flowing to the government.
Taxpayers may choose to have their employers withhold money from their paychecks to pay for taxes but this will now be their choice as I also plan to abolish mandatory withholding of taxes from paychecks. Citizens need to see how much money is being taken from them for taxes.
- Gun Control - I am a firm believer in gun control. For example, it is very important to relax and s-l-o-w-l-y squeeze the trigger. It is also a very good idea to hit your target on a consistent basis.
As your president, I will encourage all citizens to own firearms and also to know how to properly control them. Of course, citizens may choose not to own and operate a firearm, but they will miss out on my proposed tax deduction for those who own firearms and know how to use them. On that simplified one-page tax form I mention in my Tax platform, I will have a line where a taxpayer can claim a $1,000 firearms deduction. All the taxpayer needs to provide is proof of ownership of a gun and a recent target score achieved at a certified shooting range.
- Crime and Punishment - There are two types of criminals: Those who can be redeemed and those who cannot. These two groups must be separated and never allowed to mingle together in a prison environment. We cannot have career criminals who are incarcerated for life having any influence at all on those with whom we wish to redeem and put back into society as good citizens. The incarceration of the former should focus on acquiring the job and social skills necessary to be a productive member of society once the prisoner is released. The incarceration of the latter should be considered permanent and focused on being as productive as possible behind prison walls.
Private corporations should be encouraged to setup shop in both of these prisons with a view to taking advantage of the cheap prison labor to produce goods and services that can be marketed outside the prison with some of the profits being used to keep the prisons in operation so that the taxpayers need not be shouldered with the burden. All costs of the prisons including food, guards, contruction, etc., should be provided for by the profits deriving from the goods and services produced there.
I believe that when a criminal achieves three felony convictions, that person should in most cases be incarcerated for life with no parole. This would necessitate being moved out of the population of prisoners who are considered redeemable and into a population of prisoners who are there for life.
With respect to the death penalty, it should be reserved for only the most atrocious capital crimes. In those cases, justice should be swift and any appeals should be escalated with the highest priority. In this manner, we prevent convicts from delaying their sentences with years of appeals.
For those convicts who we have determined to be redeemable and who we have put back into society, no stigma should follow them. Once they have been released back into society, they should have full rights that all citizens enjoy. The right to vote, the right to bear arms, the ability to get a respectable job and so on. We should consider that these people have already paid for their crimes and they should truly get a clean slate so that they can have a fair chance to live a good, productive life. Otherwise, we should not have released them in the first place.
- Campaign Reform - I believe that there is too much big-money influence in politics. The result is that our elected officials do the bidding of their big-money donors as opposed to those that they were elected to represent - the American people. It seems that if you can't afford the $2,500 rubber chicken dinners or the $5,000 PAC donations, etc., you do not have access to the officials that represent YOU. I propose that we take the big money donations out of the political system.
Here is a way we can do that:
Limit ALL campaign donations to any given candidate to a maximum of $25 a month up to a maximum total of $300 for any given campaign.
Example: Candidate Jane Doe is running for president. She may accept campaign donations from individuals up to $25 a month for a maximum of 10 months (in which the $300 maximum will be reached). These donations will be tied to the donor's Social Security number to help ensure there is no cheating the system. Also, the names of the donors must be publicly available and each candidate's records are subject to independent audit and verification.
Under such a system, nobody with deep pockets will be able to have undue influence with our public officials. As most households can afford $25 a month to donate to their favorite candidates, the playing field will be leveled and whether you are a multi-billionaire or a plumber from Brooklyn, you will be on equal footing with respect to your elected representatives.
Of course, in order for such a system to work, there must be very severe criminal penalties for those candidates who attempt to circumvent this system. (Jail sentence of at least 5 years.)
- Government Transfer Payments (Welfare, Food Stamps) - I strongly believe that welfare and food stamps should not be a lifestyle but a SHORT term situation to get somebody through a tough time.
I would propose that the Federal government remove itself entirely from the welfare and food stamp business. Allow the states to run their own programs at the local level with no federal funding whatsoever. This would force the states to administer programs geared to get people off welfare and food stamps as quickly as possible.
I believe people on these programs ought to be required to volunteer their time to assist the program or perform other community-based functions. This will keep them engaged with society so that they can hopefully find gainful employment that will get them off the dole. They should not be allowed to sit at home and watch television while collecting public assistance.
Lastly, we should consider doing away with the food stamp program in which recipients are handed ATM-style cards where they can purchase any food they like. They should instead be issued rations for staple items such as flour, rice, sugar, cheese, poultry, etc., so that they can feed themselves and their family in a cost-effective manner. People on food stamps should have enough to eat but they should not be allowed to eat better than those who are out working for a living. All of this is not meant to be mean-spirited but to encourage people to get off the dole quickly so that they can improve their situation in life. People are happier when they are making their own living!
- Imperialism - I believe it is the destiny of the United States of America to extend from the Arctic Circle to the Panama Canal. This would mean eventually incorporating Canada and Mexico into our union as well as some smaller countries such as Cuba and Panama.
Of course we will only admit new states into the Union who have agreed to honor the Constitution and pledged their allegiance to our nation. During my Administration, I will work towards incorporating our neighbors to our north and south into our union. While I may well not realize the conclusion of this policy during my Administration, I intend to get the ball rolling so that it is all but a done deal by the time I leave office.
I also believe that over time, English-speaking nations from all over the world such as Australia, New Zealand, India and Great Britain will join our union as states. But that is still very far off and an issue for my successors to deal with.
- Military - As much as I favor shrinking the federal government overall, eliminating entire departments at the federal level, I believe that the United States of America should continue to field a kick-butt military and remain the absolute undisputed superpower of the world. In my administration, no expense will be spared to achieve this end. The rest of the free world depends upon us and we owe it to them to keep the world safe for trade, capitalism and freedom.
One thing I will do immediately upon assuming office is to ask Congress to double the military budget. For starters, I would like the U.S. Navy to increase its carrier fleet to 32 carriers, giving us at least 24 carrier fleets always on duty with up to 8 carrier fleets in for maintenance at any given time. This will allow us to have maximum control of the seas and give us the ability to project our forces anywhere in the world at a moment's notice.
My proposal to ramp up the military should not be interpreted as a "free ride" by military contractors. I realize that military contractors have been overcharging our government for decades and I intend to crack down upon this. Any military contractor caught cheating the government will be subject to the most severe criminal and civil penalties that can be imposed, with CEO's and other top executives of those companies joining the likes of Ken Lay (of Enron infamy) in prison.
Another factor to consider in my military buildup is that military technology often results in innovation in the civilian sector as well. As our military develops ever faster jet engines, better peforming satellites and more durable electronics, just for starters, these technologies will eventually find their way into private enterprises, helping to keep the United States on the cutting edge of technological expertise.
Lastly, with regard to the never-ending wars we have become mired in, immediately upon my swearing-in, I will call together the Congress and demand that we state our goals so that we can achieve them and get our troops back home. Going forward, no troops will be committed to a shooting war without an official declaration of war by Congress and clearly stated objectives of such a conflict.
I will post more on my military platform in the future.
- Calendar Reform - I always thought the calendar we use is outdated and not consistent at all with the modern age in which we live. January "hath" 31 days and February "hath" 28, except on Leap Year...you get the picture! This type of calendar might have been acceptable in the Middle Ages but it clearly needs modernizing so that our private sector can operate with a degree of precision.
Here's what I would propose to do with the calendar. I would have 13 months of exactly 28 days each. That is exactly four weeks in each month for a total of 364 days per year. The extra day can be recognized as New Year's Day and should be a holiday for all. It will not fall under any particular month but just be it's own day. This means that on Leap Year, we will get a two-day holiday in which to begin our new year.
This will make for more precise fiscal periods for businesses. Each month will have exactly 20 weekdays and 8 weekend days. Nice and neat. Businesses can still post quarterly results for the periods of Jan-Mar; Apr-Jun, Jul-Sep and Oct-Dec. That 13th month will simply be a "vacation" month that I will speak more about next.
Now what that extra month? Put that extra month in the middle of the summer. So you have January, February, March, April, May and June - each 28 days long for a total of 168 days. Now is the time to insert that "extra" month. We can call that month "Midsummer". This will be a time for people to take vacation and slow down a little bit. Businesses will still need to post profit and losses during this time but it will be considered a neutral fiscal period. The object will be simply to break even. Then the business cycle will begin anew in July and the fiscal year will conclude at end of December.
Going to a calendar like this would reduce the need for holidays throughout the rest of the year. So I would eliminate such holidays as Martin Luther King Day, President's Day, with respect to having off from work. We can still observe them but since we now have the extended holiday during "Midsummer", it should not be necessary to close down schools and businesses. I would still retain Thanksgiving and Christmas as holidays during the workweek in which businesses and schools close. Bear in mind that Independence Day would fall during Midsummer and New Year's Day would be it's own day outside the normal calendar.
- Space Travel - It is a disgrace that we retired our Space Shuttle with no program to replace it. Now we must rely on the Russians to get us to the Space Station!
As president, I would not only revamp and re-energize NASA but I would encourage private enterprise to get into space so that they can pursue ways to monetize space. Manned space exploration would be resumed and we would greatly increase the number of unmanned space probes to explore the farther reaches of space.
We are still benefiting from the technologies that the space program of the 1960s introduced. With an invigorated space program, we will continue to develop technologies that will help us here on earth. For example, we would greatly accelerate our efforts to harness the power of solar energy.
- Interstate Highway System - President Eisenhower did a good job bringing the interstate highway system to fruition and it has generally served us well. But the highway system is now antiquated and overutilized. It is time to overhaul the entire system and restore it to a condition that will carry us through the next century.
I will propose that the existing system be completely overhauled and rebuilt over existing right-of-ways with one that has a capacity of 16 lanes in each direction (32 lanes total) with a large median strip that can be used for rest areas, restaurants, motels and other businesses. As well, our new prisons can be placed in these median strips making escapes more difficult as well as not imposing them on the general populace.
Each subset of 16 lanes will be divided as follows (working from right to left): The rightmost four lanes will be dedicated to local traffic only. The leftmost 6 lanes shall be dedicated to interstate traffic (having easy access to the rest stops and motels on the median). Of those six, trucks will only be allowed to use the rightmost three and will have their own on and off ramps (from the right) to access facilities in the median. This separation will increase road safety. Regarding the remaining six lanes, two will be dedicated to emergency vehicles only (including military use) and the other four will be held in reserve for peak traffic hours or to be used as alternate lanes for road construction projects and other maintenance.
Capping the project off will be a dedicated strip along these right-of-ways to accommodate high-speed railroads for those private corporations who wish to invest in such an endeavor.
In this manner, we will resolve the problem of congestion in our major cities and will greatly increase the speed and reliability of our transportation system to deliver needed goods to fuel our economy.
I understand this project is a huge undertaking and will be by far the greatest civil engineering project in the history of the world. But it must be done if our economy is to grow at the rapid rate which I will project should I be elected president. I also understand that many businesses and homes will be displaced by the inevitable eminent domain that must be imposed to accommodate such a massive project. But most of the businesses displaced, especially roadside restaurants, motels and gas stations, will see their business increase once they rebuilt next to the new superhighway being put into place.
- Copyright Law - I believe strongly in the right for inventors and artists to capitalize on their creations but I also believe that copyright laws have been abused. As your president, I will limit copyrights to 25 years. This is sufficient time for copyright owners to benefit from their creations. After that, it is time to put these creations into the public domain. For example, this would mean that compositions by The Beatles, who last released a record in 1970, would now be in the public domain.
MORE POLICY PLATFORMS COMING LATER...