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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Ten Winning Ideas (My Contract With America - Part One)

Always remember America is great because it strives to “Reward Hard Work, Offer Opportunity For All And Is Fair and Compassionate”. When I am Emperor, My Contract With America will encourage and support the following:

  1. Every legislative proposal must clearly disclose the price or cost per citizen.

  2. Mandatory term limits for state and federal elected officials.

  3. Establishment of a standing education commission (like the census bureau) that will analyze and evaluate the cost to adequately educate a student, Publish a report that lays out its findings and mandate a minimum (or recommended) spending per student. School districts can continue to spend more than the recommended minimum per student because it is still a free country!

  4. Outlaw gerrymandering of voting districts. It creates an unfair advantage for political parties and candidates and serves to disenfranchise the district’s citizens.

  5. A uniform, nationwide voting period for all federal elections. The voting period will start at 10AM EST on a Tuesday and ends 24 hours later at 10AM EST Wednesday. And do away with the “big party lever”. Voters do not have a constitutional right to be able to cast a single vote for a party’s entire slate. If you support a candidate, find his name on the ballot and vote for him. If that is too difficult, remember I am Emperor. Every voter must present a valid government-issued photo ID before they will be allowed to vote.

  6. Make Social Security Solvent. Under my plan, those over 45 years old will help by paying 2% more; 1% will be deducted from your paycheck and your employer will pay the other 1%. Their benefit plan will not be changed. Those under 45 will do their part by paying 1% more with ½% deducted from your paycheck and ½% paid by employers. Their benefit plan will be re-structured into a simpler, fairer plan called “The Yours, Mine & Ours Plan”. One-third of their money will go into the “Yours” pool and will be used to fund the cost of benefits for those who are disabled and their dependent children. One-third will go into the “Mine” pool. This is entirely your money, a type of personal savings account. You can bequeath this money to a beneficiary of your choice even if it’s a gay partner (just don’t disclose that part). One-third will go into an “Ours” pool. That money will be divided up among all those born in the same year. I will leave it to actuaries as to payouts but everyone will get exactly the same benefit amount from the “Ours” pool regardless of their lifetime earnings. You can opt out of paying into social security once your lifetime earnings have reached $5 Million. Does this plan sound fair and equitable to you? That’s what I thought.

  7. Right size government. The state of Pennsylvania has way too many state legislators. Take my word for it. I say the state can be as effective and more economical to set a normative standard of one state senator for every federal congressman and three state representatives for every state senator. That would eliminate more than 100 current legislators and save taxpayers more than $25 Million a year. Replicate this idea in 50 states and the big cities and we could save billions. And the best part is no one would even notice they were gone!

  8. Simplify all other retirement savings plans: Universal IRA, 401K plans, etc. Everyone is eligible. Eliminate every “if”, “and” or “but” from the current regulations. Keep it very simple.

  9. Change the name of The Billionaires Club back to the U.S. Senate. We must put a limit on the amount a candidate can give to his own campaign. Aren’t you sick of all these billionaires self-funding their own campaigns? Is Jon Corzine’s political career that much different than the Outer Limits episode where the overgrown kid (on another planet) gets her father to travel to Earth so he can bring back a couple tiny humans for her dollhouse? Let’s face facts. About six years ago, Corzine tired of his Wall Street job and decided he’d like to buy a U.S. Senate seat. But he soon tired of that senate job and he decided he’d like to buy a state governor’s office. I say no candidate should be allowed to contribute more than one term’s salary to his own campaign. That may be unconstitutional but don’t forget I am Emperor! Let’s start with the senate and work our way down to the sheriff of Mayberry (you know he got filthy rich from the TV reruns, coffee mugs, theme park royalties, etc). And I suspect that’s how he kept those campaign coffers filled.

  10. Form a commission to find ways to slow the increase in healthcare costs, make healthcare insurance more affordable, encourage and motivate citizens to get and stay in shape, mitigate the ties between healthcare coverage and one’s employment.

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