Our country was just downgraded. The impact of this is yet to be determined, and may not be known for sometime, as the effects will ripple through our country slowly.
I do believe this is the time, we as a country, need to discuss how and what needs to be changed in order for our country to head in the right direction. Here are the things I would put into effect immediately if I could:
- Eliminate all private funding for elected officials. No more lobbying. No more private donations. All elected officials can only run on public funds. The amount they receive to run for a specific office is determined by the type and size of the office they are running for.
REASON: This will eliminate any outside influences, especially those of the corporate nature. Candidates will run on the platform and principles they believe in. Their only worry? The public–the people they represent.
- Institute a balance budget amendment over a course of 10 years.
REASON: Our country should operate just like any other person. Borrowing is still an option, but only if the revenues would allow. Expenses should never be greater than income.
- Everyone should be paying some taxes – business, citizens, and even illegal immigrants – even if that means the lowest tax bracket is 1%. This is related to point #4.
REASON: Freedom is not free. Our country protects everyone in this country regardless of whether you are here legally or illegally. We all work to make this country what it is, and everyone should do a little to contribute.
- Revamp our tax system to make it simple and efficient.
REASON: This will eliminate the enormous amount of waste our government spends on tracking and collecting taxes. We also need to eliminate/minimize the possibility of fraud and collect on earnings made by non-citizens (aka illegal immigrants).
Even if we just implemented point #1, I think we would see some dramatic and immediate changes to our government. I don’t see why anyone would argue against making our elected officials run on a fair, even playing field. Point #2 is also very important. If the US implemented points #1 & #2, our country would be headed in the right direction. Points #3 & #4 are also important, but I think first we need to clean up our government and put rules into place that will help us achieve a more responsible government.