I wrote this in response to Rachel Maddow asking viewers to post a “to do” list for President-elect Obama. Let me know what you think!
First: Publicly ask prominent Republicans to join the administration in the cabinet or advisory posts. The old adage is to get the acceptance for the offer privately than announce publicly. In this particular case, I think the opposite would make better political sense. Ask publicly and let the person asked refuse publicly. It would comfort the nation to see that the promise of bi-partisanship was not just a buzz word. (Imagine the fun if the administration asked Ben Stein to join the economic advisory team, or if Bill O’Reilly were asked to join the administration’s media relations team. Do you think they would do their patriotic duty and do it for their country?)
Second: Ask Congress to do away with ALL earmarks and, instead, implement a higher discretionary funding system. Each legislator would be given so much money per year to use at his or her discretion for infrastructure or other programs within the legislator’s state. And then, require each legislator’s expenditure to be placed on a publicly accessible website for transparency. I think this would increase the American people’s confidence in their congress and would eliminate bottleneck that are inherent on major legislation because of the fighting over pork-barrel projects.
Third: Implement an International Parity in Trade bill that installs trade restrictions on imports from X country that mirrors its restrictions on our exports to that country. For example, Japan has long practiced tricky restrictions on American imports that place us at a disadvantage. If America were to mirror those restrictions, this would have a negative impact on Japan’s economy. They might loosen those “safety” inspections that cause our imports to rot on the docks.
Fourth: Implement a tax on capital gains realized on investments in foreign countries then earmark those tax dollars to paying down our debt owned by countries like China. Although taxes are not popular, I think that a consortium of large investors could be convinced that a small tax on this type of capital gains is indeed patriotic as long as the trust that those tax dollars would go exclusively towards this purpose is maintained.
Fifth: Speak to the troops. Let them know that although we are working towards drawing down in Iraq, we need their service in Afghanistan. We have one mission and one mission only: Get Bin Laden. I honestly believe the troops would be proud to follow that mission. It’s a mission with a definite goal. It has an “exit strategy.” It’s attainable.
Just my $0.02
the Okie Pundit