Posted by: Scott Groves | March 6, 2012

Thoughts from a fellow Republican

A friend of mine recently wrote in with some interesting thoughts about how to fix the Government.

I thought I would share them here and expand on them a bit based on previous conversations we’ve had.

Scott – Here’s my plan for America’s recovery and success going forward

The very simple goal should be to reduce federal spending by 40%.  I’m not ignorant enough to think we could do this by just “trimming the fat” or getting rid of the 10 layers of bureaucracy that riddle every Government Agency (although this might account for 10-15% of our total goal); we need to re-examine every department and cut several of them completely.

Most of this can be done via cutting out both unnecessary functions and dead-weight employees.  Some of it can be done by taking away civil service and union rights for public employees (at all levels).  There are 5 or 6 government laws, programs or agencies I can think of off the top of my head that already protect employees throughout the US (both Private and Gov’t).  Government employee unions have become a source of political fundraising and not a voice for beleaguered workers.  Some can be done by giving functions back to the states, who can (if they have the will) do them more cost efficiently.

  • Eliminate public  (government) education – simple.  The Madison Wisconsin School District is a perfect example of how a true voucher system can work in even the worst district in country.  The movie Waiting for Superman and an evaluation of what’s going on with the LAUSD should be evidence enough that our current top down eduction model is an epic failure
  •  Massively reduce business and labor regulations.  Require Federal regulation to fall into one of three limited categories to qualify for passage (safety to employes bodily health and welfare, protection of the natural environment, safety against true industry monopolies)
  • Strengthen the military via the Reagan doctrine of increased technology and increased financial leverage against our enemies.   This includes deterrent strength operations, security of space-based assets, increase of specialized urban warfare units like the Rangers and Seals and strong missile defense protecting our allies like Israel
  • Change immigration law to allow a marked increase in visas (and ultimately citizenship) for applicants with the post secondary education and hard skills we need to excel in business and scientific development.  It doesn’t make a lick of sense to turn a blind-eye to a wave of low-skilled illegal-immigrants entering our country, while simultaneously increasing the barrier to entry of skilled immigrants who can get here legally and help grow the economy
  • Markedly increase domestic energy production.  The goal should be a 50% increase in domestic energy production by 2020 by any means possible (drilling, fracking, solar, whatever).  This is not so much for energy “security” as it is to drive down world-wide prices and achieve a positive trade balance for energy against countries who generally hate us.  Think of how quickly GDP would double if we got a gallon of gas down to $1.10 a gallon.  For the last 30 years democrats have been holding up production of new energy producing plants using the argument “it won’t change things today” – Well now we are here and it’s time to plan for tomorrow
  • Implement a rational and pro-growth tax policy
  • Probably this means a combination of a low, flat, unitary tax on all income – all brackets, investment gains and corporate profits (say, 10%) and
  • A low, flat national sales tax (a much-scaled down version of the Fair Tax, say 5%)—a consumption-only tax with elimination of all income taxes (and the IRS) would be feasible with a few tweaks to eliminate tax on house purchases and a break for retirees (since they already paid tax on their savings during their working years).  Eliminating the IRS alone could save billions of dollars in government spending and wasteful intellectual capital in the private sector
  • If we retain an income tax, eliminate all deductions:   mortgage interest, state and local taxes, charity – NOTHING.  Everyone pays their fair share
  • If we retain an income tax, have unlimited IRA contributions so those who save are rewarded for investing in the markets

There is probably lots of other stuff, but I’m out of time…

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