When I become president . . .
Don’t worry, I never will. But it might be fun to fantasize. Perhaps you might have thought: “If I were president, what would I do?”
- Let’s play president
. I doubt if you would do exactly the same things I list here. Maybe I would become president, realize the weight of the office, and do some of these things differently.
Things to decide before taking office:
You must pick key people for your administration, people who can help shoulder the burden.
Vice President: Mitt Romney. I want someone with proven leadership capabilities – I don’t want to leave the country in the lurch if I don’t make it through the term.
Secretary of State: Do I want someone tough and outspoken, like John Bolton, or someone capable but extremely likeable? Let’s go with Mike Huckabee.
Secretary of Defense: David Petraeus – someone who knows the army, understands how it works, and what it needs.
Secretary of Homeland Security: Here, we need a bright, energetic lawyer. Rick Santorum comes to mind.
National Security Advisor: I want the most savvy mind around. I’d ask Newt Gingrich to fill the role.
Health and Human Services: Here, we need a doctor and a legislator. Ron Paul.
– I’d ask for recommendations from the above. I’d try to find a good job for Mitch Daniels.
Administrative – I’d go for the best and most capable people I could find – not excluding Democrats.
OK, I’m about to take office. I’ll have a sizeable majority in the House and a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate. Then, I’m sworn in.
- What to do?
First day, I want to get Congress started on major tax reform. I want a combination of flat tax and sales tax with low rates. Sales tax (not the already written Fair Tax, which seems to have some strange provisions). No sales tax will be taken on food, utilities, or medical services. A maximum of about $1000 will be required on home or auto sales. We will tax services as well as merchandise. We’ll tear up the current tax code and simplify taxes. Everyone who buys anything will pay a small federal sales tax, say 4%, although purchases by state and local governments will be exempt. The flat tax would apply to everyone, say around 19% after a deduction of about $30,000 for a family of 2. There will be few if any deductions, but there might be a surcharge of say, 10% on taxable income over say, $120,000 for a married couple.
We will eliminate inheritance and capital gains taxes to allow business to prosper.
We will cut the corporate tax rate to 25% or less.
All federal regulations will expire in 2 and a half years. I will direct each department of the Executive Branch to review their own regulations and submit a list to Congress for their approval.
We will stop supporting the states – existing block grants to states will be reduced 20% per year after the first year, and will be gone after 5 years. The states can raise their own money.
All federal subsidies and block grants (except to states) will expire in 2 years. They may be restored, individually, by legislation before expiration.
We will close the borders with Canada and Mexico, by putting more resources on them. Border Patrol will be authorized to shoot (to wound) people illegally crossing the border (if they are carrying weapons) on sight, or if they run` from state or federal officials. At the same time, we will continue to allow legal immigration, and eventual naturalization.
We will take whatever action we can to reduce drug and weapons traffic across our border, and will assist Mexico in fighting drug gang activity if we can.
We will welcome assistance from the states in locating and expelling illegal aliens.
We will increase domestic energy resources – open all areas for responsible drilling for oil and natural gas. We will set up a fast track approval process for new nuclear power plants. We will encourage new coal-fired power use, but will insist on low emissions.
We will reform social security for those under the age of 55. Generally, we will means test so that people who make more than $50,000 after taxes will see reduced payments, and those who make more than $75,000 after taxes will see none.
We will reform medicare for those under the age of 55. Generally, we will means test so that people who make more than $50,000 after taxes will see reduced payments, and those who make more than $75,000 after taxes will see none. We will raise copayments somewhat as well.
We will repeal Obamacare, but will extensively revise federal health care support so that the poor will have some form of coverage. This is a very complex subject, and I will try to provide details of my plan in a later post.
We will leave all abortion policy to the states. The federal government will provide no support or legislation whatever on abortion.
We will gradually trim budgets, workforce, and mission for the federal departments of Education, Commerce, Energy, as well as the Internal Revenue Service and the Environmental Protection Agency. The Department of Education seems to have made no difference in grades in the time it has existed. It is difficult to find any benefit to the United States for the Departments of Commerce and Energy. The IRS will be downsized as a result of greatly simplified tax forms, and the EPA will become merely an advisory body. Needed laws and regulations may be proposed by the EPA but will require legislative approval. Police powers to insure that such regulations and laws will be under the Department of Homeland Security.
We will address America’s balance of trade problem. Countries such as China, which use unfair practices to achieve a trade surplus at our expense, will be reined in by high tariffs, or quotas on their imports, if necessary.
We will reduce or eliminate foreign aid, except for disaster relief. We will pre-budget funds and stockpile supplies for assisting other countries after natural disasters.
We will proclaim the doctrine that any country attacking another country with weapons of mass destruction will in turn be subject to attack by the United States, which may involve whatever level of force we may deem appropriate, including up to the full weight of our nuclear arsenal. We will prohibit nuclear testing by any country that doesn’t already possess nuclear weapons, with the same potential response by the United States. We won’t wait for the UN or coalitions to support us.
We will greatly accelerate our withdrawal of troops from Iran and Afghanistan.
We will reinstate the “don’t ask – don’t tell” policy in the US military forces.
I will request that congress grant the Line Item Veto to the president.
We will proclaim the doctrine that should any country officially or surreptitiously sponsor terrorist activities against the United States, they will be considered as having perpetrated an act of war.
So, there’s the list. I’m sure I forgot something. You may disagree with my list, and have your own list. I present mine as food for thought.
- Gosh, the presidency is a tough job.