How I would “fix” the government.
1) Government funds the Presidential campaign. Each prospective candidate that passes a viability test will get $150,000,000.00 to spend however their campaign sees fit. If a candidate fails to receive over 50% of the vote, a runoff election between the two top vote recipients will be held. In that case, each of the two candidates campaigns will receive an additional $50,000,000.00 to campaign.
Any unused funds will be returned to the treasury.
No outside contributions are allowed. No corporate sponsors, no individual contributions. Individuals can volunteer their time only.
Any material items donated to the campaign must be paid for by the campaign at fair market value i.e. a businessman “donates” the use of a corporate jet. The campaign must pay what the fair market value would be. If it leases for $5,000.00/hr then that’s what the campaign must be billed and pay. They can’t have unlimited use of the plane, crew and maintenance/fuel and be billed $1.00.
Another example: Campaign posters, flyers and other material must be paid for at fair market value, they can’t be donated by private individuals or corporations.
2) Eliminate the Electoral College. The President will be elected by popular vote.
3) All candidates are “Independents”. Political parties are banned from participation in elections
4) The Government also funds all congressional campaigns. The amount funded based on the population of the districts. Same restrictions apply for contributions as Presidential campaign, no cash contributions, no “corporate” sponsors, etc.
5) Congressional members are limited to one single six year term only. Once elected to one house the individual is no longer eligible for election to the other house i.e. a former senator cannot run for the house of representatives and vice versa.
6) Once a members term is over, they are banned from being a lobbyist for life.
7) Lobbying members of congress or their staff is prohibited.
8) Congressional pay will be the median household income plus 50%.
9) Any congressional “perks” will be limited to the same “perks” that are available to the average family. This includes retirement plans, health care, reimbursed transportation expenses, etc. Congress will have a 401K plan with a 5% contribution match that they can enroll in. Congress will also have a group health insurance plan they can participate in. Flights on government aircraft will be limited to government business only and only when commercial air travel is not available. All commercial air travel will be coach. A member can upgrade to first class using PERSONAL funds, not funds from their office’s budget.
10) Any member of Congress that has a less than 80% attendance will be brought up for censure and their salary adjusted accordingly.
11) All members must vote on a minimum 75% of the items brought to the floor or face censure and have their pay adjusted accordingly. A vote of “present” counts as “no vote”.
12) All bills introduced in Congress MUST be thoroughly read and understood before voting on it.
13) No amendments will be attached to a bill that doesn’t directly concern that bill. Any amendment that is attached must be attached at least seven days prior to the scheduled vote.
14) ALL laws, rules or regulations passed or enacted by congress or government department (OSHA, EPA, etc.) MUST undergo a cost/benefit analysis, no exceptions.
15) All laws passed by congress will apply equally to congress as it does to the American public, no exceptions.
16) Reform tax laws. Personal income tax will be replaced by a national sales tax at the rate of 15%. Tax loopholes that reward corporations for outsourcing jobs will be eliminated. Restructure tax laws to encourage investment and job growth in this country.
17) Renegotiate all “fair trade” agreements. If terms that are genuinely fair and favorable to the United States aren’t agreed to we will unilaterally withdraw from the agreement.
18) A balanced budget within 10 years. Deficit spending is outlawed. No “creative bookkeeping” is allowed.
19) Restore the social security, highway and aviation trust funds. Using funds from these or any other trust fund for any purpose other than intended will be illegal.
20) Reevaluate our participation in the United Nations.
There are two “tweaks” that I would like to add:
21) Anyone in office or in any agency upper management who is under investigation for wrongdoings or mismanagement will not be permitted to “retire” and keep their pensions and other benefits.
If they are terminated, they will lose all of their retirement and other benefits.
Also, those in upper management are directly responsible for the people who work under them.
22) Any person who is on a committee that has regulatory oversight of an industry is banned from working in that industry for ten years from the time they leave governemnt service.