Deficits

It is important to get the problem right. As soon as it is about the money, you play into the arguments of Republicans and their wrong-headed compulsion to austerity.

The Budget should reflect people's wishes, but it does not. It's more in line with the wealthy funders who increasingly influence Congress direction.

When Republicans were in power, Vice President Cheney famously said deficits didn't matter. Since the Clinton economy was good, we were headed for surpluses. But then we embarked on two wars without paying for them, the Bush tax cuts exceeded the cost of those two wars, drug legislation gave huge breaks to pharma, after 9/11 we created a bloated homeland security bureaucracy, the economy went into a downward spiral, and maybe worst of all, we experienced huge climate disasters, sure to increase in the future.

Even though money is not a good measure of our well being, Republicans are using it for extortion. We are not dealing with real challenges.

Our dysfunctional institutions do not deal with slowly developing threats: peak oil; glacier melt; droughts; rising sea levels; violent storms; overpopulation; and income inequality. We are headed for resource wars, food shortages, violent unrest, mass migrations, and the likely mother of all market crashes, climate collapse.

Many species are going extinct, next could be us.

Republicans are largely to blame. They will do one thing for us though, they will be sure we are well armed.

Change tax policy:

  • Why is it that unearned income is taxed at a much lower rate than wage income from hard work ? Tax unearned income instead of payroll taxes.  Eliminate Payroll taxes to put more money into the hands of lower income people and improve demand. Without sufficient demand, business doesn't hire.
  • New financial transactions taxes on high-speed trading, a Tobin Tax, and others to reduce speculation and its associated volatility.
  • Considering the dire warnings of climate scientists, we need to rapidly reduce use of fossil fuels. Impose a carbon tax.
  • Raise the inheritance tax so that we don't get an aristocracy.
  • A stiff graduated income tax would damp down income inequality. We had a marginal tax rate of over 90% under Ike, and the economy did well.
  • Stop corporate welfare. The fossil fuel industry should not be subsidized.

Reduce Government expenses

  • Slim down our worlds largest military. If there is justification for international war, then there should be international support.
  • Pre-emptive war is a crime. Stop gratuitous wars.
  • Solve problems with diplomacy, not the military. Live up to international agreements. Since we are faced with global problems, quit undermining the UN.   
  • Stop building the nuclear arsenal. Live up to the NPT (Non Proliferation Treaty).
  • Stop spending money on star wars. MIT experts don't think it will ever work.
  • Shut down the NSA and other black operations that have demonstrated the corrosiveness of secrecy in government: Surveillance, like unjustified secrecy, threatens freedom, civil liberties, journalism, privacy rights, and can only lead to totalitarianism.
  • Shut down secret prisons, stop renditions, recognize torture for the crime that it is, and bring some transparency to government activities.
  • Close the “School of the Americas”. The US has a shabby history of supporting dictatorships in much of the world. Start supporting democracy instead of corporate interests.
  • Wind down the empire. The economy is no longer healthy enough to support it.

Reforms:

  • Fix our crumbling infrastructure. Put the unemployed to work fixing it while interest rates are still low.
  • We should have high speed Internet as good as South Korea's. To do that there should be fiber to the curb. Private entities, like a combined Comcast and Time/Warner, will not do it, and anyway it should be public infrastructure not subject to Corporate policies. Continuing business as usual, corporations will slowly eat away at net neutrality.
  • Support and encourage the use of Free Software. It is crowd-sourced, open, and therefor more trustworthy. It is essential for the integrity of voting machines.
  • Most of our problems with healthcare are directly attributable to private entities like pharma and the insurance companies. We pay twice as much as any other country for healthcare. Single payer would be best. There would be massive savings if we had a system comparable to other advanced countries.
  • The US is number one in incarcerations. Surely there is money to be saved by reducing the prison population. It would be cost effective to stop the “War on Drugs”. Our black agencies have a history of actually running drugs. They are out of control.
  • The fix is in now that the Supreme Court consistently sides with Corporations and against the public interest. Campaign finance law is the foundation of all other law and it can only function if Citizen's United is overturned. There need to be more judges on the Supreme Court, it should be held to the same ethical standards as are the lower courts, 

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