IMPORTANT! - This is a VERY preliminary platform. Please read the getting involved and sharing page.
CORE GOVERNMENT REFORMS
- 8 years president (already the law) - 12 years congress any combination of Senate and House.This needs to be retroactive so if congress people are already past this they are ineligible to run again.
Some would argue we have this de facto now as voters could just do the math and vote accordingly. But the truth is, that incumbents have a HUGE advantage. Media coverage, name recognition and political power. Elected officials need to be assured that they only have a finite amount of time so they will spend their time in office working instead of working to be re-elected.
One subject legislation
- Large "comprehensive" legislative packages go nowhere fast and are impossible to understand. We don't need any more mega page laws that should be "passed so we know what's in it".
- Bills should be directed at ONLY one issue. No riders or add ons otherwise known as "pork."
- Failing the above, the President should be allowed the line item veto that some state Governors have.
Eliminate Legislative gridlock:
Government shutdowns, meaningless filibusters and other political ploys need to be done away with.
- Committees should have a time limit to pass legislation on for a vote or send it back for a re write. A few people have the power the let bills "die in committee".
- Chamber leaders should not have the power to stifle or prevent a bill from coming to a vote. If it passes, the President always has an opportunity to veto and the Senate has an opportunity to over ride the veto. These are the checks and balances built into our constitution.
New laws should have a time limit
Laws should be subject to review at the end of their limit. Or sunset provisions can be built in so they expire at a set time.
- A cabinet level department should be set up to review existing laws and recommend them for confirmation or elimination.
Eliminate or curtail government perks and pensions.
There is no need for the extravagent and exclusive pensions and benefits congress receives. They can set up their own IRA's, SEP's etc.
Allow congress and the president 3 weeks vacation only. Allow two one week recesses in which they must be at their state offices to hold town meetings or personally interact with constituents.
- No elected official or their family or extended family should be allowed to do business with the government or benefit directly from a law passed by the congress.
- No former member of the US government should be allowed to lobby for a private company or a foreign government. This is very similar to "no compete" clauses most employees are asked to sign.
- PAID lobbyists representing Corporations or limited view special interest groups have no place in Washington and should be regulated or eliminated. The only people who should lobby congress or the White House should be their constituents or volunteers. This is big money influencing our government.
Ban or regulate all TV, print media and radio ads.Especially negative "attack" ads.
This will greatly diminish money as an election influence. Purists will argue First Amendment right to free speech, but the FCC already bans many forms of advertising including tobacco and alcohol. Also language use.
Require major media to publish candidate's website address's
Hold federally funded debates for any congressional or executive position. And publish the transcripts on-line. This should cost very little as the media will want to gain profit from the debates via advertising revenues. News program hosted debates and their moderators are intrinsically biased toward the viewpoints of their networks.
Public personal attacks on opponents can be punished by disqualification. Even on "talk shows".
Substitute banned political ads with a national and local election channels to allow equal access of all candidates at federal, state and local levels to communicate their position clearly needs consideration. No commentary or "round table" discussions by talking heads allowed. We have enough of those. Any debates by the candidates would be included on this voting channel real time and re-aired at various times.
This has been done on public access channels but with very little viewership.
Some will argue that the less informed public does not and will not pay attention to this. If they are not bombarded on commercial television with endless negative attack ads, they may take time to inform themselves.
Create cabinet level position
to eliminate redundant and out dated departments.
Allow departments to keep surpluses
to eliminate "use it or lose it " waste.
Require the Executive branch to send a balanced budget to congress for approval EVERY fiscal year.
Close tax loopholes for corporations, non-profits and PACs
Cut costs including internal waste and largesse, foreign aid to warring factions and if necessary raise taxes until public debt is under control. A cabinet level position could be created to review every department from the Pentagon with it's notorious 65 dollar hammers, to "bridges to nowhere"
Humanitarian Foreign Aid
- oversight must be increased to be sure that humanitarian aid gets in the right hands. If warring factions are taking or holding such aid it should be stopped.
Simplify the tax code.
Restrict the power of the IRS to punish and intimidate taxpayers. If it is small write it off ... if it costs more to collect than it is worth that is bad business.
Print currency only to replace currency turned in for destruction. It is unlikely we can return to the gold standard, which would be the best, but simply printing more paper currency to cover our debts is absurd and erodes our economy. Once we lose our status of the past 50 years as the world's reserve currency (universally accepted), the value of the US dollar will go down faster than the Titanic did. If the treasury does it, they think it is okay. But if you do it it is called counterfeiting.
SOCIAL PROGRAMS a.ka. "entitlements"
- Social security, Medicare and welfare are not in themselves the problem. They have been law for a LONG time. Continuing to fund them is the problem. Making reasonable adjustments to retirement age, and parameters for receiving public funds can be found. Simply continuing to raise payroll deductions will eventually cripple young people financially.
- One solution may be to raise the "cap" on Social Security and Medicare taxes. Lower and Middle income persons pay a MUCH higher portion of their income than high end earners.
- Return Social Security revenues as a untouchable INVESTED fund. - Not Federal Government I.O.U.'s.
MORE SPECIFIC ISSUES
These are more subjective, controversial and timely than the more general reforms in the left column. As such, they need to be added to and altered to fit current events...
HEALTH CARE REFORM
The affordable Heath care act is the law
- Obstructionist politics are not the answer. As it unfolds problems will occur. They already have. They can be addressed by ONE SUBJECT bills to correct the problems.
- One such solution would be to allow an 100% individual tax deduction or a sliding scale tax credit for health insurance premiums and costs. For people using short form returns, this could be added to the "standard deduction" section based on income.
This will minimize employer insurance issues and help make health insurance more affordable for the average person. Especially self employed people and under employed people. If the tax credit exceeds taxes due it becomes a subsidy and a refund will be issued accordingly. It has the added bonus of dealing with this through an already established branch of government.
The system of employer provided health insurance is rapidly becoming out dated. Employer provided health insurance goes back to the 1950's as a way to get around wage and price controls and cemented in the Nixon era wage and price freezes.
- Possibly allow the Federal Government to set up a one pay health insurance pool and either bid this group out to a major insurance company or administer it Federally.
- TORT reform: put a cap on lawsuits and/or make lawyers charge a flat fee instead of a percentage of damages awarded.They know how many hours they will have to spend. This will reduce the incentive for huge settlements.
IMMIGRATION REFORM - Each of these to be dealt with as separate legislation.
Issue a non citizen ID card for work purposes ONE time. No card no work. Privileges of citizenship like voting and welfare NOT available. After a short grace period, no card and you are deported.
Allow an eventual path to citizenship with same rules as other applicants. Pass the standard citizen's test. Trying to deport 11 million or more people is absurd.
One time "dreamer" path to citizenship. Same rules as above but on a much faster track. We cannot continue to punish people for crimes their parents committed when they were children.
Reconsider automatic citizenship to babies born in the US
Few other countries allow this. Early in our history it made sense and of course after the Civil War when African Americans were freed. But today it leads to "anchor babies" and tearing families apart.
Australia has an unusual compromise worth considering. Birth in the country doesn't, by itself, grant citizenship to a child, unless one of the parents is an Australian citizen. However, if the child resides in Australia until he/she turns 10, then the child automatically acquires citizenship, regardless of the citizenship/immigration status of the parents.
And Australia is similar to the United States in that they are also a country formed largely by immigrants.
Illegal immigrants committing a felony go to jail,
directly to jail - they do not pass go or the border.
- unless there is a direct threat to our national security, stay out of other countries' civil wars. Including sending arms and munitions. We have a bad track record of picking the "correct" side to back.
- If we invaded every country with a strong presence of terrorists, we would have to conquer half the world.
- Slowly eliminate bases overseas, especially Europe, and re-open closed bases here. This will keep associated revenues here instead of in foreign countries.
Review and/or revoke patents held by corporations that block environmentally sound ideas for clean energy
Give tax incentives (not loans) to companies to encourage green energy production.
Put forth reasonable goals and incentives (not mandates) to achieve lower carbon emissions
Use some of our "foreign aid" money to clean up pollution, thin forests, and fund research on clean energy and other environmental issues.
- Only one generation ago this was not an issue. Today it is a very divisive one. It is however, as a rancher might put it "closing the barn door after the horse has run away" Criminals will get guns no matter what laws are passed because by definition: criminals break the law.
However there may be some things that could be done:
- Increase penalties for the unlawful use of a firearm
- Hold gun owners responsible for their gun and take reasonable precautions to secure their weapons or be charged as an accessory. Especially parents if their child takes a gun to school.
- Gun safety classes, and possibly gun education in schools to educate kids that guns aren't toys and what to do if you come into contact with a gun without a parent or adult in charge.
- Invest in social programs to combat mental illness, social isolation and violence insensitivity.
Just like prohibition of the 1920's, the war on drugs as proclaimed by Richard Nixon in the 1970's is a LOST CAUSE. Drug use and abuse has not diminished - it has increased along with crime and broken lives.
- STRONGLY consider legalizing some drugs or at least decriminalizing them. Marijuana would be a good place to start. Prisons are full of people there because of mandatory sentences for drug possession. This is a waste of money and LIVES.
Tax and regulate it - This will increase revenue and safety and also minimize drug sales (i.e. cartel) crime.
- Allow ATF or the FDA to inspect and regulate any legalized drug for quality and safety. Drug purchasers will KNOW what they are buying.
- Any legalized drugs could be purchased at drug stores.
- Set up panels to free all federal inmates on drug possession crimes. Encourage the states to do likewise.
- Use a portion of tax revenue for drug education and rehabilitation (just like alcohol and tobacco.)
- Stay out of religious issues. Period.
- Eliminate tax breaks for religious institutions -
Religion should pay for religion. The constitution makes a clear case for the separation of church and state. What it allows for is freedom of religious choice.
- eliminate tax deductions for contributions to religious institutions unless it is a direct charity like a food bank, women's shelter, free counseling center, homeless shelter etc. Churches, Temples, Mosques and the like should not be tax exempt.
- NO laws should be passed that override personal choice except where public safety is compromised (i.e. immunizations etc. )
- Personal choice includes dress, food, drink or dangerous pastimes among other things.
- Persons should be allowed to marry same or opposite gender partners - This is largely a religious argument and is not the business of the government .
PLEASE NOTE - THIS SITE WAS CREATED IN JANUARY 2014 - AND IS IN THE PROCESS OF UPDATES.
NOTE that ONLY the HOME link and PLATFORM link have been activated.
(the CLICK HERE link to the left)
If you want to contribute ideas
please e-mail them to
BUT include Common Sense in the heading.
as the Hippie Dippie Weatherman:
" Tonight's forecast: dark.
Followed by increasing light in the morning."
-- George Carlin
Most politicians will tell you what their
forcasts are and hope you believe them.
We take every "news" story with a LARGE grain of salt. Newspapers, TV, Radio, Newsmax, Move On, conspiracy theory postings, alternate news websites, Yahoo, and MSN. The last two barely constitute news anymore. Only a very small portion of these sights cover real news.
These Senators are "poster children" for TERM LIMITS. Each has been in the Senate since the 1980's!
One, John McCain, took nearly half a term off to run for President. He is now talking about running again in 2016 when he will be 80!
The other, Dianne Feinstein, has very little to show except sitting on committees and co authoring the so called assault weapons ban in the '90's. More recently she pushed through a bill authorizing the sale of unneeded US Post office buildings. A good idea perhaps, except that her husband's real estate firm will garner the real estate commissions worth millions of dollars.
This was verified through Snopes.com
Twelve years is plenty of time to learn your job, represent your ideas and then retire to private life. The originators of our constitution did not foresee professional lifetime politicians.