There’s no doubt about it our country needs fixing. Poll after poll confirms that we’re heading in the wrong direction. In a country where people carry more technology in the palm of their hands than the astronauts had when they went to the moon, surely we can do better. Here’s my prescription
1. Phase out Social Security
Here’s how … let everyone already collecting Social Security or close to qualifying continue to receive their benefits. But buy-out anyone under … you name an age … say 45. In exchange for a total release from any and all future claims, give them their money back … every penny they put into Social Security plus interest. Let’s be honest with the younger generation, it’s better for them to start saving now for their retirement and put off buying that BMW than living their golden years in a sleeping bag on a steam grate. The fact is, Social Security is in a death spiral and it’s dragging the whole country down with it. Let’s kill it before it kills us.
2. Pass a second national health care bill
If you didn’t like the first one, you’ll love the second one. We need a national health care bill that actually does something to make health care more affordable while helping medical professionals succeed. The new bill would start with tort reform. Imagine watching TV without being bombarded by lawyers telling us to sue someone for a medical problem, whether real or perceived. Picture doctors practicing aggressive medicine, not defensive medicine. Let health insurance providers compete in the marketplace the way they do for homeowners or auto insurance. Competition will bring prices down. I’m feeling better already.
3. Go back to the gold standard
It would solve our fiscal problems overnight. The dollar would be strong and stable; the markets would have predictability; and the Federal Reserve would no longer be all powerful. You can’t print Krugerrands.
4. Stop the war on carbon
Carbon is the core of all life. Carbon is good. Climate change is natural. Global warming is political. NASA will tell you that the earth is not warming but even it was it might solve many of our problems … more fresh water; lower heating costs; more abundant crops; and fewer fools re-building homes on shorelines after every storm. A banana tree in every front yard.
5. Let people and companies fail
It you insulate people from failure there is no incentive to succeed. People learn from failure … it’s one of the best motivators. Just look at how many elections Lincoln lost before he became president.
6. For every new law Congress passes, make them repeal two
Soon only the laws we really need would be in effect. Barry Goldwater got it right when he said:
I do not undertake to promote welfare, for I propose to extend freedom. My aim is
not to pass laws, but to repeal them. It is not to inaugurate new programs, but to
cancel old ones that do violence to the Constitution, or that have failed their purpose,
or that impose on the people an unwarranted financial burden.
So let’s get started because less really is more.
7. Encourage Americans to travel more
If two-thirds of Americans have never been outside of the country perhaps that’s why so many of us think the Old Country is part of Busch Gardens. A better understanding of the world comes from learning first hand that the British drive on the other side of the road, not the wrong side, and that in Tahiti Santa you more likely to arrive in an outrigger canoe than a sleigh. Be the foreigner instead of just talking about them.
8. Teach our children not to use the word “fair”
There is no such thing as “fair.” It’s just a concept that perpetuates misery. Life is not “fair” and the sooner young people learn that the better their lives will be. The truth is, being honest with them about how the world really works is the only “fair” thing to do. Trophies only for winners, not losers.
9. Limit presidency to single six year term
American presidents spend their first term too focused on getting re-elected. If they succeed in getting a second term they only have two years to get anything done before they become lame ducks. Two productive years out of eight is no way to run a nation. A single six year term would be long enough to fulfill a mandate and deliver on an agenda. Conversely, it’s too long for the opposition to wait them out. Everyone wins.
10. Embrace capitalism
It’s the only system that works. Soviet-style Communism failed; Socialism has destroyed Europe; and the Utopia perpetuated by American Progressives is a pipe dream doomed to fail as well. When someone takes their own money, not taxpayer money, and creates jobs we should embrace them, not demonize them. Want a job? Hug a Capitalist.
Tom Edmonds is a veteran Republican media consultant. He is a past president of the American Association of Political Consultants and current Chairman of the International Association of Political Consultants.