I have to say that I was deeply troubled over the weekend to read a viral Facebook manifesto written by a conservative Texan in which he opines about how to solve the problem of Social Services. His solutions included sterilizing the poor, forcing the poor to surrender their property to the government, forcing the poor to relocate to "barracks" (might as well be concentration camps), and forcing the poor to subsist on beans and rice.
That's not the kind of America I want to live in. Personally, I think an 8-year-old girl born with cerebral palsy should be allowed to own toys and eat nutritious food. But then, I'm not Christian nor am I conservative.
I do, however, have ideas of my own concerning structural changes to how America operates.
1. Tax the Church. Collectively, organized religion (particularly the Mormon and Catholic varieties) sit on tens of trillions of untaxed dollars. The fact that they *have* tens of trillions of dollars in their caches should make it obvious that charitable works hasn't been a meaningful part of the Church mission for centuries (if it ever truly was). Churches are businesses and should be taxed as such.
2. Tax Businesses. And the above topic dovetails nicely into this topic. Since the Supreme Court made the terribly flawed decision to allow corporations to be considered "people", then these virtual "people" should pay taxes just like flesh-and-blood people. BP, Exxon, GE, and many other corporations payed 0% tax last year while making tens of billions of dollars in profit. Let corporate profit be taxed a the same rate as an individual.
3. Fix the tax code. Presently, the wealthiest 1% is paying the lowest taxes they've had to pay in nearly a century. As a result, our nation has incurred a trillion dollars in debt every year since the Bush tax cuts for the rich. A better tax system would be one that removes ALL tax credits, adjustments, and rebates (thus no loopholes) and have four tax brackets: Less than $20,k (5% tax); $21k-$50k (20% tax); $51k-$250k (35% tax); Above $250k (50%). Furthermore, a 10% national sales tax would replace all other forms of taxation. Thus, property tax, cell phone tax, etc would be eliminated. The new federal income and sales tax model would displace any State models for taxation. Individual states would no longer collect taxes. The Federal government would collect all taxes and apportion funds to the States based on population and need.
4. Create a market-based socialized medicine system. This system would utilize existing insurance companies but require them to make substantial allowances for people with low income. Under the socialized insurance plan, no insurance company could charge more than 10% of the applicant's income. That would ensure than healthcare wouldbe affordable to everyone.
5. Fine business that outsource. The tax on outsourcing should be directly proportional to the value of the outsourced job. Thus, if a company outsources 1,000 jobs that paid $35k, the tax should be 1,000x $35,000 per year until those outsourced jobs are eliminated overseas or returned to the United States.
6. Fix executive compensation. No executive should be paid more than one hundred times more than the lowest paid worker. If he wants a raise, he needs to give his employees raises too. It's that simple.This would also have the effect of raising the minimum wage, since most CEOs are greedy and thus would have to raise their employees' pay so that they could have pay raises.
7.No company should be permitted to have more than 250,000 employees. Super-corporations stifle competition and lower wages, When a company get to 250,000 employees, it should be split in two. That would ensure cometition and innivation.
8. Protect Medicare and Social Security. The sick and the elderly need to be taken care of -- even at the expense of popular Oil Wars.
9, Enforce secular law. No religious reason can ever be the basis of any secular law. If an elected official cites having a "spiritual" or "holy" or Biblical" reason for voting on a bill or law, that official should be expelled from service and his/her vote negated.
10. Jail time for criminal CEOs. Finally, when CEOs cut corners and get people killed, the executive staff should be prosecuted criminally. For example, the CEO of BP should have been prosecuted for murder or manslaughter.
care/Social Security. Social programs for seniors and the disabled is part of what seperates Americans from