Sure, you get my vote with a few modifications:
Terrorism: Looks reasonable
Immigration: An immediate suspension of immigration for a period of thirty years.
Taxes: All taxes will sunset every four years and be re-voted on every four years during the presidential election. Each year as each person pays his/her taxes, they are issued a voting permit. Those without a permit will not be allowed to vote. (Four permits are required to vote in four year elections) Those who do not pay taxes (for what-ever-reason) will not be allowed to vote.
Government Service: Every American at reaching the age of eighteen must begin serving two years (minimum) duty in the military or other appropriate government service. (This two year service will fall under the code of UCMJ)
posted on 11/02/2002 12:13:35 PM PST
Terrorism: we're agreed.
Immigration: Definitely a suspension for a few years while the infrastructure is rebuilt, but immigration built this country and a thirty year moratorium would change us just as much for the worse in the other direction. We would become intolerant and inflexible. I think dropping immigration levels to a relatively slow pace - after the several year hiatus - that we can easily assimilate without risk of cultural anarchy (which we face today). There IS value in immigration, but an overdose will surely kill us. I believe in a one-strike policy. If you are ever caught trying to enter the country illegally, or in the country illegally, you NEVER get to come back. Not as an immigrant, not as a tourist, never. Caught a second time and you suffer additional penalties before being deported (such as a prison term).
Government Service: You must have seen some of my other posts. Two years (consider it 13th and 14th grade if you want). Everybody goes, no excuses, no exceptions, no deferments. If you aren't able to do military service (ability or disposition) then you do some kind of civil service. Many countries, including some that haven't been in a war since the 19th century, have a universal draft for military service. This is not an unfair price to pay for being a citizen of the best country on earth (ever).
Taxes: Four years, fine. But taxes cannot expire simultaneously with the President's term. It should be offset by six months or a year allowing ample time to debate it while clearly setting the tone for the midterm elections. As for the voting part, that simply isn't possible as there are too many people that legitimately don't pay taxes. Only those paying would get to have a say in how taxes are spent, and only in proportion to what they are paying. There would definitely have to be some discretionary funds - we can't all vote on every single dollar spent - which I initially set at 50%. But if you paid $10,000 in taxes and checked off 10 "Military Budget" boxes, then the government should have to allocate $5,000 to the military. All the over and under commitments should cancel out and the final (taxpayer allocated portion, anyway) budget should almost perfectly reflect the intent and attitude of the taxpaying public. If a politician wants to spend our money, he can damn well tell us why it is important. Then we decide if it really is. If you want to commit your tax dollars to foreign aid, fine, 'green' causes, fine, space program, fine - it is up to you. But I don't have to worry about some government sponsored boondoggle that I would never have spent a dime on, because I didn't. Bad ideas will simply wither away from lack of funding. Eventually I'd want to raise the nondiscretionary portion to as close to 100% as possible. And there will always be some people that can't be bothered to check off the boxes, anyway. Maybe even most of them. But, if you care, then you will always know where your money went.
Voting: I do believe, though, that there should be *rabidly* enforced general voting requirements. For example, no voting without mandatory proof-positive of your identity and citizenship, no same day registration, no early voting, extremely harsh penalties for fraud, total reform and national standardization of the absentee ballot systems (becomes a federal issue once you start voting across state lines), and so on. Voting is the fundamental process of our system - free and fair elections allowing us to decide for good or ill our own fate - and if we allow it to be corrupted, our whole system, every bit of it, is also corrupted. Every fraud in voting that occurs is a crime against everyone in that jurisdiction affected by that race (i.e. fraud in a Presidential election is a crime against every single American).
posted on 11/02/2002 9:07:48 PM PST
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