Sunday, August 27, 2006

What Would You Do If You Were President?

This is the title of a post I have borrowed from Rock at Truth, a conservative blog that I visit regularly. He asks readers to list five things they would do if they were President, right now. For me, this assumes that I am playing the fantasy role of Commander In Chief (picture Geena Davis), after W has been impeached and imprisoned for crimes committed while in office. I couldn't do it in five, but I have hit the high points in this Twelve Point Plan. So here goes.

1. I would convene a summit of all the nations in the Middle East, including Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Iran, Syria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and all the other vital players in the region, plus a representative from Palestine. The summit would be ongoing until satisfactory compromise was reached between all players, for a plan to restore peace and prosperity . It's framework would be left in place, to deal with future problems in the region.
A plan for withdrawal of our troops from Iraq would be first on the agenda.

2. A push for clean, alternative energy sources would be the priority for domestic policy, giving a boost to the economy, and freeing us from all oil terrorists, both corporate (ours) and unfriendly oil producing nations (theirs).

3. A campaign finance reform initiative, with financing for primary campaigns *only* by indiviual donations capped at $1,000. General elections would be financed by the federal government using funds formerly used for corporate welfare handouts, in addition to individual donations, again capped at $1,000. Candidates would be guaranteed air time on public access TV, in which civility would be adhered to.
Lawmakers would be prohibited from taking any perks from lobbyists, or face jail time and ineligibility for future government service.

4. A balanced budget would be adhered to, and the tax code would be simplified, giving tax relief to lower income taxpayers and closing loopholes and offshore tax schemes for corporations and the wealthy. Money put into non-profit foundations, by wealthy m(b)illionaires would be taxed first. Social Security funds would be invested and kept separate (Al Gore's lockbox) to be used for future retirement benefits, rather than looted and squandered.

5. An equitable immigration plan would be formulated to deal with the millions of economic refugees who have illegally entered the U.S. Heavy fines would be imposed on employers who hire those without proper documentation. All guest workers would be given work visas and ID by thumbprint database (or some other high-tech system) used to track entry and exit into the U.S.

6. Free trade would be abandoned. A Fair Trade policy would be implemented that gives U.S. workers well-paid jobs and benefits, and gives U.S. companies a level playing field on which to compete. SBA loans and support for small business would be increased. The WalMartization of the U.S. would be curtailed.

7. Healthcare would be made available to all U.S. citizens. Primary Care Doctors and Nurse Practitioners would be held in the highest esteem, and given educational priority and financial incentive. Every public school would have an adequate nursing staff, and health, nutrition and physical fitness education would be required for all students.

8. Public education assistance would be given to states with equal emphasis given to pre-school, elementary, secondary and higher education. All qualifying students desiring training beyond high school would be given access to college or vocational training, through a combination of grants and loans, or scholarship for lower income families. Salaries for teacher will be increased commensurate with educational status and importance of the vocation. Vouchers for people who want religious or private instruction for their children will not be considered as a viable option.

9. Poverty is addressed with emphasis on giving shelter and assistance to the homeless and disabled. Able bodied families are given assistance in job training, transportation to work/school, and child care issues solved by pre-school programs attached to every elementary school.

10. Separation of church and state will be adhered to, giving religious freedom to all, and favoritism to none. Tax exempt status will be granted only to church buildings and educational institutions; business enterprises run by churches will be taxed. Non-profit charitable organizations who give a religious sermon with their aid will not be eligible for government funds.

11. Workers would be guaranteed the right to organize and unionize to advocate for their working conditions, wages and benefits. Any interference with these rights would be met with enforcement of fines and jail time for offenders.

12. Our honor and status in the international community would be restored with an increased emphasis on diplomacy and dialogue. Support for and participation with the United Nations to address corruption within that organization, peacekeeping efforts, human rights abuse and global environmental issues that affect us all. Support for Peace Studies programs in every college and university would be initiated, plus a strengthened Peace Corps, and humanitarian aid programs to combat famine and disease.

There are a few other areas of concern that would be high priorities, including free and fair elections, equal rights for all citizens, rational homeland security, restoring FEMA's independent status to deal with aid in disaster relief, an approach that works to the drug problems that are so hurtful to our country, and a reform of the prison system focusing on rehabilitation to break the cycle of violence that we are experiencing. Maintenance of a strong military would be accomplished by a doubling of National Guard units who would be willing to be activated in times of national threat or emergency. Military and civilian lives would not be sacrificed needlessly in pre-emptive wars or military action, and all-out diplomacy would be used to address any external threat before force is considered.

I would invite all bloggers to pay it forward and formulate their own presidential scenario. I've had it with reality, let's create the platform for a new golden age.

With hope and optimism for the future,

Betty B.

3 comments:

Rock said...

Betty B., I can honestly say that I agree with much of what you want. I think we just disagree about how to get it, and how to pay for it. I'd certainly be willing to use this as a blueprint of goals for the future, and it would indeed be a plan for a golden future. Unfortunately, I am busy today too, and can't go point for point in responding. Just wanted to say that your Pay it Forward idea is great, and also your spirit of fantasizing a better world. I think this is worthwhile.

So, thanks.

Rock
Truth—The No Spin Politically Incorrect Zone

The Libertarian Guy (tm) said...

"That which governs least, governs best."

It's a sad fact that the above tidbit of Founding Father wisdom, has been as forgotten as Franklin's "a Republic, if you can keep it" quote.

We expect government to be the ultimate savior, to soothe our boo-boos and give us stuff, to save us from any calamity, to mollycoddle us and guide our every step lest we poke our eyes out with scissors.

Having said all that, I'll go on record with this: We do need a "social safety net", but it needs to be a bare-bones, absolutlely last-resort, no other choice option.

However, we can't continue the slide into a Nanny State, nor a Daddy State. "Soft paternalism" (look it up) is just as insidious.

Just for fun, if you're a fan of subsidies (or, if you're a fiscal conservative/sadist): Pick up a copy of the Matthew Lesko book - the guy on TV with the jacket festooned with question marks and dollar signs. It's a list of the gov't goodie giveaway programs. It's HUGE. Untold billions of our dollars fund this mess. It's sad, really.

Seriously: If gov't collapsed tomorrow, would we be able to take care of ourselves?

igor said...

Betty...

have you noticed that your stance on the Presidency is rather dictator-like one, to say the least, because much of your to-do list is actually a legislative action - that's the Congress's domain.

but, it's not what I want to ask you about.

My question is: all that stuff is just reaction to crises at hand.

What is important is your long-term vision.

What would you like America (and humanity) to become in 100+ years, Madam President?