I’m a big Ted Cruz fan, but he’s got one major flaw: he promises too much. Since I am not in the running for the presidency (I’m not 35 yet), I have nothing to lose by listing the policies I intend to enact after being elected (this applies to Trump, Clinton, Sanders, and the rest of them too). Without further ado, here are my dreamy campaign promises:
- Bring our troops home and have them secure the border
This move would kill several birds with one stone. We would be able to reduce military spending and inch closer to a balanced budget, end the illegal immigration disaster, assist veterans by keeping soldiers out of harm’s way in the first place, terminate entanglements with barbaric nations abroad, protect our children and teachers from crazed gunmen, foster a sense of community and trust between citizens and soldiers, and reunite our men and women in uniform with their families.
Bringing the troops home would be easy. We just have to cut our losses and quit while we’re ahead. Upon returning to the US, our military personnel would set up bases on our borders and get used to a life of less action and more safety. Some soldiers, as well as able veterans, could take jobs as armed security for our schools and universities effectively making school shootings a thing of the past. In addition to guarding schools, these soldiers could also assist gym teachers and coaches in ramping up the exercise regimens for our students, which would have a positive impact on childhood obesity and mental toughness which our universities seem intent on destroying.
A radical idea would be to allow our troops to freely engage in enterprise. Reserves and off-duty soldiers could form bands and sports leagues, and charge citizens admission to spectate during live performances. They could also find ways to manufacture physical and digital innovations which could help them figure out what they want to do with their lives after serving. This would help our troops avoid boredom, stay productive, enhance their business skills through practice, and result in extra funding for the military from citizens in a voluntary manner.
Obviously, certain sections of our armed forces would be trained for war and kept away from leisurely assignments. There is no doubt that we need to maintain the most powerful and overwhelming military in the world in order to maintain our freedoms. This is both self-evident and constitutional.
- Halve the salaries of elected officials and federal employees
The term is civil servant. The federal employees who collect our taxes, restrict our rights to free enterprise, and “care for” our veterans cost us about a quarter of a trillion dollars per year. While it is unclear exactly how much more federal employees make than average private sector workers, a recent study suggests that bureaucrats out-earn the people they are meant to be beholden to by 78%.
Regardless of the exact numbers, we need fewer people looking for careers in the industry of destroying our freedom, and more people looking for jobs that enhance our societal prosperity. If government jobs were not so lucrative, they would attract selfless individuals who sincerely desire to improve our state of affairs or people who have been so successful that they don’t need the money. We must be wary of ambitious individuals who seek to micromanage our lives. And we should certainly not incentivize them to attempt to.
On the other hand, businesses that depend on satisfying the market (unlike the government which steals its capital) would attract discontented government workers who leave their posts for greener pastures. Since so many of these people are highly capable and highly educated, businesses would thrive thanks to their contributions and our economy would be more likely to improve.
- Create a simple flat tax
The current tax code has more words than the Bible. Not only do Americans generally need to hire Andy Dufrane-esque specialists to interpret this nonsense, it is highly unlikely that our anointed government overlords have even read the tax code themselves.
The main problem with the tax code (as well as government regulations in general) is that they are too complicated for hard-working people to understand or have time to read. Our country was founded on the idea that our populace must be well-informed. But because civics classes hardly even exist and our politicians write laws in manipulatable, hieroglyphic codes, it’s time to throw out the tax code and replace it with a document that can be read and filled out by anyone within an hour or two.
While it’s sure to drive certain people insane, we should impose a flat tax. There are several reasons this is the best way forward:
- Equality– We should have equal treatment under the law. There should not be different standards for different individuals. This is a moral imperative and a basic American value. We should all pay the same rate.
- Where’s the line?-With a progressive income tax, different people pay different rates when they have different levels of income. But how is it fair to force a person making $150k to pay 39% while a person making $140k only pays 30%? These arbitrarily drawn lines are not reasonable; no one is so wise as to know at exactly what threshold they should exist and when they should be changed. We need more modesty and less perfectionism in government. Simplify, simplify, simplify!
- Closing Loopholes-The current tax code advantages the wealthy as they are able to hire lawyers and accountants who can find glitches in the system to exploit. A simple flat tax would eradicate this unfair benefit and put average and uneducated individuals on the same playing field as the wealthy and powerful.
- Bring the wealth home-Currently, there are trillions of US dollars residing in offshore bank accounts in Switzerland and the Cayman Islands. This does not help anybody in the USA. By establishing a reasonable flat tax, we will encourage our billionaires to store their money here at home increasing our overall wealth. Do we want to fail to tax fleeting wealth at 40%? Or do we want to successfully tax exorbitant wealth at a sensible rate?
- Welcoming investment-While US businesses are wisely moving factories and film studios abroad, we continue to whine and demand job creators pay more. We are creating a hostile environment for businesspeople and investors, and that will hurt all of us. By establishing a simple flat tax, our own businesses, as well as foreign investors, will flood our industries with cash, and increase our prosperity and opportunity to find good jobs.
- Getting some skin in the game-At the moment, nearly half of the country pays nothing in federal income taxes while the richest Americans pay far more than their fair share even after prevalent tax evasion. At the same time, the untaxed portion of the country is granted the right to decide how much other people should be forced to cough up. Tyranny by the majority is not how America was intended to run. By establishing a flat tax, every American will be able to empathize with paying taxes, and will think twice before voting for politicians promising to raise them. We need to act like adults, not entitled children. We should all pay, or none of us should pay.
I also think it would be possible to add a provision to the flat tax which would lower the rate for Americans truly unable to pay. However, they should still be required to contribute a minimal amount of cash or forfeit certain rights.
- Abolish federal minimum wage laws
Federal minimum wage laws unintentionally hurt the poor, women, and minorities, but that’s beside the point. The federal government has no business setting wage standards. We are not Communist slaves; we are free Capitalists. Individuals must negotiate with employers freely, or live by their state’s standards. The minimum wage is a Constitutional and economic failure, and we must realize this before it’s too late.
- Replace all federal welfare programs with monthly cash payouts
Our current system is infantilizing, expensive, and negligent. It encourages bad behavior, an entitlement mentality, and does nothing to assist the poor in moving up the economic ladder. While the intentions of welfare are probably good, the results are deplorable. Assuming that certain individuals or classes of people are unable to manage food, housing, and other needs by themselves and within their communities is what is known as the soft bigotry of low expectations.
By sanctioning monthly cash payouts, we would save money and encourage personal responsibility. Instead of rationing food stamps, assigning housing, and forcing health insurance payments, the federal (or preferably state) government would hand out cold hard cash to recipients that can be used to buy whatever they’d like or put away into their savings accounts. People who may never have had the experience of dealing with money would finally have the chance to educate themselves on the right ways to invest, save, and spend. Additionally, the bureaucracies that incessantly complicate, politicize, and corrupt welfare systems would eventually be removed, and power would return to the people.
While the ultimate goal should be to remove welfare altogether, this is not the time to do it. Unlike progressives, we must progress instead of legislate instant gratification. We must first reform welfare, and at some point down the road, eliminate it for the sake of reason, justice, and humanity.
Drugs are a state issue, not a federal issue. The federal government has no authority when it comes to telling people what to put in their bodies and what they can sell. States, this is your jurisdiction.
- Bite the bullet on social security and immigration
Social security is a mess and there are somewhere between 11 million and 30 million illegal immigrants residing on US soil. There’s not much we can do to improve these situations, so we have to accept a spanking for our mistakes, and set ourselves up for a better tomorrow.
The federal government got in over its head by taking on the responsibility of organizing retirement packages for every US citizen. Aside from the fact that it’s completely unconstitutional in the first place, the program was poorly planned and has been terribly managed like most government initiatives.
But our predecessors made our retirement-aged citizens a promise, and we are forced to keep it. My plan is to make a simple, lump sum payment to all citizens who have paid into Social Security. It’s time to cut our losses, and learn from our mistakes. This will obviously drive the debt up several trillion dollars, but it will put is in a position to lower the debt in the near future. We can ask Americans anticipating social security payments who are financially comfortable to consider sacrificing some of their social security or to forfeit their entitlement altogether as a patriotic contribution for the future of our great nation.
I would apply a similar treatment to the illegal immigrant situation. If elected, I will grant temporary amnesty to all undocumented immigrants. While this may sound crazy to some, a few temporary provisions could be put in place to make it make sense:
- States could be encouraged to tax or fine employers who hire amnestied immigrants over American citizens for the first several years after amnesty is granted. This would keep immigrants from taking American jobs and driving down wages.
- The monthly cash payouts awarded to Americans on welfare would not be available to amnestied immigrants. Without the allure of free stuff, many non-contributing illegals would likely return home.
- All non-English languages would be removed from government buildings and documents. This would force immigrants to either adapt to the local culture or head back home.
- Amnestied immigrants who commit crimes before becoming full citizens could be deported upon conviction, and forbidden from ever returning.
- Repeal the 26th Amendment
With kids living with their parents longer than any time since 1940 and more people continuing to be students after high school, 18-years-old is not what it used to be. The electorate should be well-informed and experienced in the game of life. The youngest voters today are neither. As president, I will repeal the 26th Amendment and push to raise the voting age to 35.
So, can I count on your imaginary vote?