We deserve a government that is trustworthy, dignified and just.
It is clear to me that the majority of the citizens of the United States want the same thing that I want-a society that is safe from violence and enjoys equal rights and prosperity. It is also clear to me that many members of the US Congress, the Supreme Court, state governments, and past presidents do not support these inalienable rights. I believe that this behavior in our government has to stop. There are too many government officials that represent big business and their own interests, rather than the people. Decisions are based on political party association, greed and bribery, also known as lobbyism. In this country a corporation can afford to persuade enough congressmen to approve their agenda, even when these policies are harmful to the well being of the citizens that Congress represents.
This kind of behavior by our elected officials is immoral and reprehensible and has to stop. It should be classified as treason and punishable as such. As these individuals have robbed many of their rights, the law should take away one of theirs, to have a voice in government. Lobbyism must stop. There is no place for it in a real democracy.
We are in desperate need of complete election reform. Elections are the most important element in a democracy and ours are a joke. The cost of elections contributes to representation by financial backing. The money that is spent on elections could be put to good use elsewhere. As a requirement for doing business in this country, television networks should have to provide a reasonable amount of air time for all candidates seeking political office. A requirement of this airtime should be that all statements made are true and not made to deceive the public in any way. This would help curb the buying of votes as well as the endurance of political advertising that we all dread. Candidates should be required to publish websites that contain clear honest descriptions of their agendas. These websites can contain information on the candidates opponent, but all information must be factual. Any candidate who knowingly publishes information that is meant to deceive should be eliminated from the election. Elections should be conducted online. Election sites could be set up at libraries to assist those who are not internet savvy. Each voter could be assisted by a technician and questioned on an exit poll to ensure that no voter is coached. Gerrymandering must be eliminated.
Once elected officials must be held to high levels of performance or a majority vote by their constituents could replace them. Certain criteria would have to be met to demand such an elections such as fraud or blatant ignorance of the desires of constituents. Daily activity of all elected officials should be monitored by deputy assistants who would not only assist the official, but act as a watchdog as well. These assistants would serve each elected official for one year only and then rotated out to another elected official. Elected officials would be required to serve 40 hours each week with two weeks each year for personal business or vacation. Elected officials would not engage in any stock trades while in office and report all investments to a board of individuals who would monitor them and ensure that no insider trading is ever conducted by elected officials for life. Salaries of government employees should be capped at the average income level of other US citizens. We will not be forced to put you above the rest of us. You will receive no lifetime benefits for serving the government. We will not provide you with a lavish lifestyle while under our employment.
The creation of the laws most citizens obey is unethical and deceitful. Our laws are another important element of a peaceful democracy that is not taken seriously. No more riders. Laws should be written in plain English by an attorney and edited by a committee to insure clarity. The same committee could be responsible for the decision on whether or not to send it to a final vote. Each bill should be considered on its own merit, not to be combined with or traded for approval of other bills. All existing laws should be reviewed in the same manner. There are too many laws on the books that don’t make sense, contradict other laws and are horribly obsolete.
Corporations are not people. The main difference is that people have needs. Corporations should be responsible for helping people live well, not the other way around. Corporations that provide products and services that are essential to live in a reasonable manner such as electricity, water, and food must have limits on what they charge for their product and what they pay to stockholders. We should not be forced to pay inflated rates for services and products that we need so that a handful of stockholders can get rich by exploiting our human needs. Cable TV, phone and Internet should be supplied globally by satellite for a small fee of $10 per person. Costs could be supplemented by advertisers.
The perpetrators of the 2008 financial crisis should be prosecuted. No deals and no leniency should be given to anyone found guilty of crimes linked to this recession. All of their assets should be seized and used to reimburse the people who lost money due to fraud. Corporations that have been bailed out must be made responsible for paying back what they received with interest. People in foreclosure should be forgiven their debt and set up with mortgages based on the value of their home with the lowest rate of interest recorded in the last 10 years and not taxed on the principle adjustment.
The system of taxation in our government is ridiculous. People who make more should pay more. The exact numbers are debatable, obviously, but this table should be a guide to restructuring our system of taxation. This would be the only factor involved in calculating tax. No complicated tax laws should be necessary. No tax would be paid on social security or disability.
Government spending must be regulated by an outside committee. The government should not be allowed to decide how much they earn or spend. Individuals employed by a government will not get huge allowances on furniture or anything else. They will be provided an office. If they are a federal representative they will be provided a local office as well. This local office will be under the same scrutiny of expenses as every other government office.
The last entry in this introductory package of suggestions for governmental reform is a no brainer. No guns allowed except for those that are licensed for hunting. A small handgun could also be licensed for home or business invasion, but should not be carried. No automatic weapons should be sold to the public in the United States. People who obtain licenses for weapons should forfeit their privilege to own a gun if they are found to be unfit.
These changes could reverse the deficit and create a platform for a more profitable and much more comfortable country. We would see a decrease in crime because people would no feel powerless over their circumstances. Our society would benefit because billions would be put to good use because our system of taxation would reverse the deficit and our government would be accountable to the public, therefore responsible for using the money wisely. Technology would flourish. We could enjoy so many things….if it weren’t for the ignorance and greed of a few.
All of you who laugh at ideas like this better get ready. We are on to you. We are no longer passively allowing the descent of our country into poverty. We are armed and ready…..with voting privileges. If you won’t make changes in the way you do things, we will replace you with people who will. We will no longer finance your lavish lifestyle while serving the people. We will not pay for your healthcare and retirement. We will no longer be the laughing stock of the world. We are now informed with the truth. We demand a government that is trustworthy, dignified and just.
Dennis M. Replogle, Awakening Reason