What our great country needs:
- Term Limits –Ending career politicians. Solve problems with the common good in mind, not though party loyalty, partisanship, or pressure from lobbyists. Apply ethical behavior, transparency, and accountability for politicians. Increase the economic global competitiveness of our country.
- Reduce the national debt by minor adjustments to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and the National Defense Budget. These areas represent nearly 75% of the entire budget. Heed the fears of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). Without changes in these programs the government is on auto pilot for a potential catastrophic and deep recession.
- Social Security: Social Security should return to its original purpose as a safety net. No elderly person should live in poverty and no one should view it as a retirement program. When Social Security was enacted in 1939, the age for full retirement benefits was 65 and the average life expectancy was 68. As a benefit percentage you lived 4.5% of your life as a retiree. Today the full benefit age is 66 and the average life expectancy is 85. This equates to 22% of your life as a retiree and a 500% increase beyond 4.5%. The long term trend is clearly unsustainable without changes.There is no one I know under the age of 50 that says “I can’t wait until I’m 66 to live on $1,600 -1,800 a month from Social Security.” However, for those people who have labor intensive careers and perceive an inability to continue such work to full retirement age the early age of 62 can remain unchanged. The individual is responsible for retirement planning not the unlimited tax stream of future generations. The following changes would make SS solvent for the foreseeable future.
- Raise the standard benefit age to 68 for those between the ages of 50 to 55 and to age 69 for those under age 50.
- Increase the contribution annual salary level from $118,500 to $130,000.
- Exclude SS benefits for those having a net worth in excess of $20,000,000. A decision to forego SS is not absolute. Individuals are not shut out of the system if circumstances materially change. They can apply at a later appropriate time.
- Health Care:
- Repeal the Affordable Health Care Act
- Replace with 2 new pools of clients. One for the insurable and one for the high risk previously referred to as the “uninsurable.”
- Both pools would be competitive across all state lines.
- The high risk pool would be subsidized by both state and federal government. .
- Provide for Health Savings Accounts (HSA). These plans have choices of high deductibles and are coupled with a savings account to pay the deductible medical charges. If you do not use money from the account, it rolls over to the next year creating a feasible nest egg. Deposits by insureds (although anyone can contribute to another person’s account) are tax deductible, grow tax deferred, and withdrawals are tax free. Low income insureds could qualify for government subsidies/contributions. These high deductible plans would lower premiums while providing a means to pay first dollar medical costs. After the trial period (to be determined), a detailed evaluation would be made to determine the benefits of this new program.In cases of malpractice or medical errors in this country or abroad, allow insurance companies to pay for medical costs and loss of employment income without legal fees and without patients giving up their rights to sue for pain and suffering. Reduce defensive medicine and legal costs from health care as much as possible.
- Both pools could expand the health provider base for certain high cost procedures. Bone marrow and kidney transplants i.e., are so expensive that sending the patient to another country might be a favorable option. Flight, hotel, and procedure costs are less than the treatment charges in this country. The average cost for a bone marrow transplant in the US is $300,000 and $250,000 for a kidney transplant. In India the average for either is $69,000. Exporting health care can be part of managed competition. The high risk pool would be subsidized by both state and federal government.In cases of malpractice or medical errors in this country or abroad, allow insurance companies to pay for medical costs and loss of employment income without legal fees and without patients giving up their rights to sue for pain and suffering. Reduce defensive medicine and legal costs from health care as much as possible.
- Implement a “trial run” public option insurance plan in one small populated state. This is a Federal Government insurance program designated to compete against the private health insurance market After the trial period (to be determined), a detailed evaluation would be made to determine the benefits of this new program The private health care insurance represents a 22% increase above the health costs because of the administration mark up to cover the payroll of the Company. With the public option the increase is 8%.
Economic Policy Changes:
- Currently there is approximately $2 Trillion of corporate money parked overseas to avoid paying a high US corporate tax. Lower the corporate rate to 25% and return the money to the U.S. Offer tax amnesty for returned money with a onetime tax deduction of $20 Billion.
- Open the discussion of how to pay down the national debt. Invigorate the discussion of the Simpson Bowles recommendations.
- Every child in the United States, born of a U.S. citizen mother thats lived here 5 years prior to conception, will receive a $10,000 lump sum retirement benefit invested by the Government. The money will compound for a period of 70 years and cannot be redeemed for any prior reason other than death. The US averages about 4 Million births a year. This equates to $40 Billion per year outlay. Parent(s) of the child will receive notice to voluntarily reimburse the Treasury for this amount, interest free. If there is no repayment in the first 22 years of life; then the individual will be required to start paying $1,000 a year for 10 years to satisfy the debt. This 70 year investment plan will be similar to the thrift savings C plan provided to federal workers which has worked out favorably for them. If implemented in 2017, by the year 2087, the beginning of the end of poverty will take place as each new 70 year old would have substantial net worth– even by today’s standards. The $40B investment equates to .0114 of 1% of the total federal annual revenue.
- Create a national lotto like no other. There are millions of Americans that can be employed but choose not to work for various reasons. Also, the IRS estimates that somewhere between $250B and $500B of taxable income is not reported as required by law. This deprives the US treasury of substantial revenue. As an incentive to get a job and join the rest of the American labor force, a new federal lotto would be established. Most states have lotteries and gambling to raise revenue for various needs such as education. The revenue comes from purchased tickets equating to a non deductible voluntary tax payment (unless you win).The new federal lotto would be a $1 Billion payout to private sectors workers only with 1,000 winners receiving $1,000,000. Each year the government would randomly draw (on one designated day) Social Security numbers from the previous years’ tax returns until 1,000 qualifying winners are picked. Winning numbers can only come from the pool of individuals with earned income from the private sector. There would be a list of groups excluded from eligibility as follows;
- Adjusted Gross Income greater than $300,000 for single $500,000 for married
- Individuals with a net worth above $5,000,000
- All government employees at any level unless they show additional private sector income.
- Previous winners
- Illegal immigrants
It could never be proven whether this lotto is revenue positive or negative to the taxpayers in general. If 3% or more of the underground economy would become compliant to the law, the revenue would be positive. One Billion dollars represents .000285% of 1% of the 3.5 Trillion dollar tax revenue.
Undertake serious discussion on converting our current income tax system to a flat tax or consumption tax. End crony capitalism by ending current loopholes. Support a greed tax on income and benefits that exceed $5M per year. Exclude the job creator class such as small businessmen or corporate executives from the greed tax. In the late 1970’s President Jimmy Carter said “Our federal tax laws are disgraceful.” No one disagreed .The tax code was over 6000 pages in length. Today it has only grown worse. Nothing is more representative of the failure of career politicians than a history of our tax laws. The greatest driver of this convoluted phony capitalistic system is the influence and control of lobbyists and nothing magnifies more for the need of term limits to create a political culture to put an end to this disgraceful system.
Revise the thinking that every disadvantaged child needs a college education with student loans backed by the taxpayer. Many young people are not academically suited for college and should have careers steered in a different direction. Vocational and technical education should be part of the system. At any given time there are millions of job openings in the service and blue collar industries. This country is in constant need of truck drivers, IT technicians, plumbers, electricians, HVAC specialists, mechanics, just to name a few.
National security and foreign policy:
The battle against terrorism is four dimensional.
- Combat the enemy directly on the ground and in the air. This should be accomplished by consensus among nations to have coalition forces from Europe and Muslim countries. In addition, the United Nations collaborating with NATO should create a small but powerful mercenary army of 15-20 thousand troops. There are many grizzled veterans from numerous countries that would make excellent soldiers and relentless fighters while being well paid. This army could be used in any second or third world country to combat excessive human rights violations like genocide, and very soon inflict terror against ISIS/ISIL.
- Cyberspace. Intelligence and social media is the future of warfare. We need the best software engineers and hackers possible.
- End or reduce the proliferation of WMD and the means of delivery.
- The battle of minds and motivation. Muslim terrorism and Sharia law are tied together as a religious philosophical cult. Work with Arab and Muslim consultants to analyze ways that a 10 year boy would have greater incentives in life than becoming a member of a terrorist group.
Promise Zones: The white house along with the department of Agriculture and HUD have created something known as the “Promise Zone” which recognizes some of the poorest areas of the country that need outside help. There are now 13 areas in the United States that are now approved as a promise zone. One is “South Carolina Low Country.” HUD and the Department of Agriculture work with local business and government with assistance in education, infrastructure, crime reduction, health care, and private investment. As a senator from South Carolina I would work with local governments and private business’s to enhance the low country areas that have been approved as a “promise zone.” This idea originated from the White House and knowing this our current republican congressmen have no interest in supporting such a program. We the American Party can help with the poorest areas of our state.
The current two parties have lost their ability to work together to solve the problems. They have been captured by the ideological fringes of their parties. Career Democrats and Republicans are not the answer to our countries problems. They are the problem. End their careers through term limits. Pass a law where all members of congress have the same rules applicable to them as any other citizen. The obvious are the same health care and no defined retirement benefit plan. Follow the 4 principles of the American Party. Make necessary changes and adjustments that benefit our country 20-40 years from now. It’s all about the children and grand children.