I realize that the Washington elites could care less what a common man thinks but our Tea Party movement is forcing them to listen. So while we have their ear, I wish to express the things I would like to see in a new and improved Contract with America. I truly believe, if followed, these precepts would help in returning our nation to the greatness it once had.
Item #1: Let's bring God back into the public square. In this regard our Constitution has been badly misinterpreted. It's true that there is a provision for separation of church and state, but that provision was put into place so that there would not be a government formed church such as the Church of England and so that no one's freedom to worship would be infringed upon. It did not mean that God was to be taken completely out of mainstream society. If atheists do not believe in God, why are they so offended when someone mentions Him or prays to Him. Would they be as offended if we put up a public display honoring the Tooth Fairy? I doubt that their nonbelief is as strong as they claim. There has to be some belief for them to be so afraid of His mere mention.
Item #2: Let's reorganize and significantly reduce the size of the federal government. The feds have their hands and noses in areas where they do not belong. Our federal government is bloated, badly mismanaged and too full of overpaid and underqualified bureaucrats. The Department of Education should be done away with. Education concerns should be handled at the state and local level. In a perfect world all schools should be privatized but of course we know that will never happen. Other unnecessary departments such as Health and Human Services and Housing and Urban Development should go bye-bye. They're not needed, and they waste a lot of taxpayer money. Federally run money-pits such as the U.S. Postal Service and Amtrak should be privatized. If they can't compete in the open marketplace, they should go away. We need to seriously trim the fat in Washington.
Item #2A (it goes hand in hand with #2) : We've got to greatly reduce government waste and spending. Each dollar that is spent by the government should be closely scrutinized. Any spending that isn't absolutely necessary for the government to carry out its constitutional mandates should be stopped. People in government talk about billions of dollars like they're talking about pocket change. Now trillions are creeping into the conversation in a similar way. It's ridiculous. Our government funds the most ludicrous and nonsensical studies that anyone can imagine. Who cares how cocaine affects the sex lives of monkeys? And why do we fund so-called artists that can't make a living on their own with their art? If you ask me, art can be their hobby, and they can get a day job like the rest of us. We shouldn't have to send our hardearned money to Washington so deadbeats can pee in a bottle containing a crucifix and call it art. It's time that we force more people to be contributors to society so that we can reduce the rolls of the drainers of society. The bottom line is we need a Balanced Budget Amendment. It's time for the government to live within its means like the rest of us.
Item #3: We need to revamp our income tax system. The current system is complicated and completely unfair. It punishes the achievers and rewards the underachievers. We need to adopt a flat tax or go with the fair tax. I prefer a flat tax system but the fair tax seems to be gaining momentum at this time. Either would be much better than what we currently have. It would allow us to do away with at least 90% of the monstrosity that is the IRS. It would be more fair for all citizens, and it would generate more tax revenue. Also, the capital gains tax rates should be greatly reduced. People would be astonished at the economic stimulus and jobs which would be created if this occurred. Our government would have more than enough tax money to meet their needs.
Item #4: Our borders must be secured. Every day our nation is being invaded, and our government cannot or will not do anything about it. How can we feel safe when our borders are so wide open? If we can't keep out poor Mexican peasants then how can we keep out sophisticated terrorists and drug cartels? And the answer is, we can't. A nation that cannot control its borders certainly cannot adequately defend and protect its citizens. We should do whatever is necessary. Build walls, build fences, build barriers, beef up the Border Patrol and use the National Guard if necessary. This is one area where tax money can be wisely spent. Immigration reform shouldn't even be discussed until our borders are secure.
Item #5: We must pursue energy independence. Dependence on foreign oil cripples our national security and economy. We should significantly increase our drilling for domestic oil. We should better utilize natural gas which we have in abundance. We should pursue building efficient and safe nuclear power plants. We should take advantage of the new clean coal technologies. We have vast supplies of coal. We should utilize wind and solar technology as clean energy supplements. We need to build more oil refineries. And we need to conserve energy whenever and whereever possible. With a little resolve, energy independence is an easily obtainable goal.
Item #6: America needs trade agreements which are fair to American companies and American workers. I know many of my conservative brethren will disagree with me on this but all free trade agreements are not the same. Free trade agreements with nations that have a similar standard of living such as with Canada or Western Europe are fine. But free trade agreements with third world countries is ridiculous. Why would a factory owner pay $10.00 an hour in the U.S. when he can pay less than a dollar an hour in Mexico? And the answer is, he wouldn't. NAFTA completely destroyed the textile industry in the south and took a lot of people's livelihoods away. They weren't great jobs but many people depended on them, and some have had difficulty in retooling and recovering. I know some of them. Plus, NAFTA has allowed illegal narcotics to cross our borders unchecked by the ton. I'm for free trade but it also has to be fair trade with common everday horsesense mixed in.
Item #7: We need common sense tort reform in this country. Trial lawyers have way too much power and influence in our society. Tort reform would be one of the easier problems to fix. We don't need caps on awards. We don't need complicated negotiated settlements. All we need is a loser pays system. Under this system you can still sue anyone for anything and for any amount. But if you lose, you would be liable for all costs which would include your lawyer fees, the defendant's lawyer fees and all court costs. This system would immediately do away with all frivolous lawsuits and would unclog our court system better than liquid plumber.
Item #8: We need term limits for all elected offices at all levels of government. This is another area in which many of my fellow conservatives will disagree, but I don't care. I'm right, they're wrong. Too often elected officials forget that their office or seat belongs to the people and not them. That is the very reason why we have an elitist ruling class in Washington that is appalled at our grassroots tea party movement. And the elitist have R behind their names almost as often as they have a D. Semipermanent government officials often ignore the will of the people and pursue their own personal agendas. Once they have been in office for a certain time, they have enough money, power and influence to hold it indefinitely. It's time our elected officials are made to realize that they serve the people at the people's convenience. It's time that we truly make it once more a government of the people by the people and for the people. Hopefully, November 2nd will be a big first step in that direction.
Item #9: I have listed this last but it certainly is not least. We need to do whatever is necessary to make certain that we have the best paid, the best equiped, the best trained and most technologically advanced military anywhere in the world. And we should always give our military men and women our undying love and support.