“Who Are You Voting For?”

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Don’t answer. I don’t want to know. What I really want to know is if you’re as frustrated as I am with the entire Political System? As a Middle Aged Man Living in Virginia, where we have been bombarded with negative Television Ads, with four kids, a small business, and significant responsibility, I want CHANGE! No, not a slogan by talking heads (Great Band, by the way!) but “How about we change EVERYTHING about the System” Change! Full Disclosure: I’m an Independent with a Liberal Social Lean and a Fiscally Conservative One. I’m Moderate and look at each topic or issue separately and on its own merit. I despise how we lump people together and assign views to them based on which of the two candidates that they support. It really is the lesser of two evils at this point. Like most of you reading this, I interact with hundreds of people every week and over the years I’ve found that the majority of people who I talk to are similar in thought to me. They’re not locked into only one way of thinking, Liberal or Conservative, but moderate and open to rational discussion and the evaluation of the facts. With that being said I would like to suggest some changes/ideas for you to chew on. Your non-abusive feedback is appreciated.

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  1. “Implement Term Limits for All Politicians!” I propose 6 years for all offices and then you’re done. Are we really served well by “Career Politicians”? They spend all of their time striving for votes and not results. They can’t possibly make the RIGHT Decisions because they might not be popular ones! Also, they waste half of every term running for “Re-Election”! President Obama has been raising money and campaigning for two years! HALF OF HIS TERM! Get to work! The very best part of my idea is that I truly believe that more Americans will see serving as their civic duty and run for office. This will bring in much more talent, creativity and excellence. With only one term everyone will want to leave his or her stamp by truly doing what is right.
  2. cash in hand“Abolish Lobbying”! How is this whole idea a good one? How is this process even legal? Isn’t it really just bribing politicians for their votes with very little consideration for their constituents? It doesn’t pass my litmus test: Is money or sex involved? In the case of Lobbying, it’s money (I sure hope it isn’t sex too!) If so, then decision-making can get murky at best. Let’s make our Politicians earn their salaries and benefits. Our Congress only works 200 days a year. The average American works 250. 25% LESS than we do! Let’s use that time to create “Congressional Evaluations” where Special Interest Groups that have been properly vetted get to present their plans, ideas or needs to Congress in a Formal Presentation. No back room deals at Fancy Clubs, Restaurants, Exclusive Golf Clubs, or even Coffee Shops! Stand up and present your facts and let Congress vote based on the merits of the argument. Nothing Else. If your group wants money, tell us why!
  3. percentage symbol“Institute a Flat Tax System Immediately!” Most Economists agree that 28% is the number that works. If everyone pays 28% of their income in taxes, how is this NOT FAIR? Let’s say LeBron James makes $100 million and you make $100,000 then he’s paying $28 million and you’re only paying $28,000 BUT everyone is paying at the same rate! That’s FAIR! LeBron James IS contributing WAY more than you are but he has it! The RICH will be doing more! You can even take out the bottom 5% and the numbers still work. We would be WELL ahead of our current system in terms of successfully delivering Tax Revenue. I would love it if they just took the 28% out of my check and I never had to think about it again. Now comes the really good part: You could cut out most of the IRS. You wouldn’t need a very large workforce just to verify payments. Tax Lawyers would have no use. Good Bye Accountants. It would be simple, streamlined and effective. “Then why doesn’t it happen?” you ask. Special Interest Groups. The people I just mentioned above are continually lobbying politicians with millions of dollars a month to prevent it. Have you ever heard of the “Bar Association”? These groups stand to lose so they will do everything in their power to block it and keep our VERY complicated Tax Code in place! If we implemented my Number 2, then they wouldn’t be able to lobby!
  4. eagle's head“Form a Legitimate Third Party” It’s time. It’s been time. Our country has a much larger population now and is far more educated and diverse. Americans love choices. We need another one! Does anyone reading this actually feel passionate about their party and not want to change a lot about it? Wouldn’t another choice really shake things up and eliminate all of the Washington Gridlock, Rancor, and Divisiveness caused by this ongoing partisanship.
  5. smaller government“Shrink the Government” We need to do whatever it takes to make our Federal and State Governments Smaller. MUCH SMALLER! Why? Because they’re not very good. Have you ever dealt with the IRS, State Tax Office, City Hall, or the DMV? Of course you have! How’d you like the great customer service? Wait Times? It’s a travesty! I’m sure that the employees themselves are wonderful people but the organizations that they work for are horribly run! We’re $16 TRILLION in Debt! Doesn’t that tell you something? Could your business operate successfully using the Government Model? Of course not. Your customers would leave in droves never to return! What are the answers? Privatize what you can. Americans are Entrepreneurial by nature. People will figure out how to make money filling these voids. Remember, Government Jobs are an EXPENSE. A HUGE EXPENSE! Creating more of these jobs is disastrous. You’re just buying jobs with tax dollars WITH INTEREST! See Number 3. A Flat Tax would dramatically trim Federal and State Taxing Staffs. Let the States make more decisions. Decisions customized for each state BY each state. If you’ve traveled, our great country is very diverse and each state has it’s own set of needs and problems. Let them solve them. They can and they will.
  6. marijuana plant image“LEGALIZE MARIJUANA” I bet I have your attention now! Yep, legalize weed. Full Disclosure: I don’t use but strongly believe in legalizing it! The reasons are many and persuasive. It would become this country’s Number One Cash Crop! It would bring in MANY BILLIONS in revenue! Farmers would make a great living without Tax Payers Subsidizing their crops. If you sold it at “Marijuana Shops” that would be modeled after ABC Stores, you’d create jobs. We’ve lost the Drug War. We lost many years ago. A very high percentage of Americans use and only the criminals are getting rich from this crop! People are dying for it! Remember Prohibition? How’d that work? Pretty Well for the Kennedys but people drank illegally anyway, people died from violence related to the illegal trade of alcohol and yep, the criminals got rich! How did we solve those issues? We legalized it. The system is working very well today 80 years later! How do I know? Because our Comptroller visits the ABC Store every day and tells me (Sorry Pete!)! One final thought: how many Americans are incarcerated today because of non-violent marijuana violations? FREE THEM! This is absurd. This will save us millions!

There you have it. Some ideas to digest, discuss, categorically reject or agree with. Thank you for letting me let off a little steam.

Until next time.

William Prettyman