12 Steps for Curing the Country’s Addictions

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Hattie_squareENOUGH IS ENOUGH (hey, that rhymes with the name of my column)! Anyway, as I’ve been telling Goodie—and he even agrees with some of my ideas—I’ve been thinking about all this stuff for a long time and it’s time to just say it. Things don’t seem to be getting better, so I might as well.

Now don’t go jumping off the roof when you read my steps. I ain’t the most articulate, but some of these notions have legs. You’ll see.

(The only problem I anticipate is that our elected officials would have to be the ones to actually do this stuff.)

O.K. Here goes:

  1. Turn the tax code. Replace income tax with an escalating sales tax. Tax citizens when they spend, not when they earn—especially since large corporations pay so little income tax). The bigger you spend, the more tax you pay. No loopholes or entitlements for the biggest spenders. (But make basic foodstuffs nontaxable.) Real quick this would realign a financial system run amok.
  1. Abolish the BIG bank. Take the printing of money out of the Fed’s hands and put it directly in the government’s hands. As dangerous as this sounds, it would be better than having the government (in reality, we citizens) borrow money at interest from a private bank.  How the Federal Reserve Bank (an interesting name) operates and who benefits is a whoreriffic (correct spelling) arrangement. It’s time to throw this free cash register for someone else in the junk pile of history.
  1. Bury federal borrowing. Just set a limit based on realistic abilities to pay back. In short, hold the government to the same standard that it and the banks hold us to. What’s not to understand?
  1. Starve federal spending. If there is no budget, don’t spend. Alternatively, readjust priorities. Just do it. The endless overextending is going to come back to haunt us.
  1. Charge banks interest (my favorite). After all, we are lending them our money which they in turn lend back to us. The only difference is that they get to charge interest. So, whatever rate they set for lending, that should be the rate they pay us for depositing our money with them. This would reign in risk taking, encourage personal savings (are you kidding?), and reduce the absurd advantage that banks have over depositors. (Just stop and think about compound interest for a few minutes. How crazy is that, and when did we agree to such nonsense?)
  1. No more bailouts—ever. Let any and all banks fail, always. Don’t worry; they’ll figure it out and our economy will be better off in the long run even if it hurts for a while.
  1. Limit term limits. Two terms is enough for public servants if they want to do real good. Real good—whatever happened to that by the way?
  1. Crush committees. Put the power of decision-making directly in the hands of all elected officials, not those with committee power. Right now there is no balance of power in Congress. Are you kidding?
  1. Erase earmarks. These are a joke. More truthfully, they border on being a crime against taxpayers. Get rid of them and focus on the main matter of each bill. Come on. Run the country. Stop running away with the country.
  1. Gut gerrymandering. Redrawing voting boundaries is another joke on us. Just let everyone vote and deal with the results.
  1. Exorcise the electoral college. Talk about the need for better education: this college is one we don’t need. Just let people across the country vote. Let each vote really count.
  1. Stop treating elected officials like gods. Especially when it comes to health care and retirement plans. Think about it: what makes them so special? This is our money and we elect them to serve us. They are elected—not elite.

Whose party is this anyway?

Oh, yeah, and someone please remind me what “democrazcy” means.

Hattie_2inGoodie_2inHarriet and Goodwin Nuff are occasional columnists at CharlestonToday. “Hattie” is a social critic and technology watchdog who comments on local issues, corporate incompetence, consumer frustrations, and more. Her husband “Goodie” is a part-time gardener who takes life pretty much as it comes, especially on the weekend. Not as acerbic as his better half, he nevertheless scrutinizes the news to form his own conclusions. You can follow them here.

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