So we have a stalemate in Washington, what else is new? Since neither the majority nor minority party has demonstrated any leadership to date on controlling our budget maybe they would like to hear from the people about how to go about balancing the budget.
Here is my primer on how to get control of America, our budget deficit and national debt.
1. No Congressman (House or Senate) should be allowed to vote on any bill benefiting their campaign contributors. A very straight forward law to prevent conflicts of interest. It should be illegal to vote on bills where the congressman received campaign money from a special interest. Such a rule does not exist and is long overdue.
2. Consolidate half of the overseas military bases in the USA along the Mexican border bringing home - 20,000 - 25,000 troops and support staff to each of four new bases, one in Arizona, one in New Mexico, and two in Texas strategically located along the border to discourage illegal immigration.
Over 1 million American troops are stationed overseas and NOT in a war zone. By relocating a total of about 100,000 troops back to America we would save billions of lost dollars and substantially reduce the cost of keeping troops overseas. A second phase of this relocation would be to bring home an additional, 500,000 troops over the next five years.
3. Require pharmaceutical companies to provide prescription drugs for 25% less than currently charged for the Medicare and Medicaid programs the first year, and an additional 25% less the second year. If they resist get generic drugs.
4. Require health insurance companies to reduce premiums by25% through eliminating unnecessary testing and treatment and adopting tort reform.
5. Create a National Trust for National Parks as a private, profit making enterprise and require the selling of stock to purchase these national treasurers and make them more profitable. Make stock available to all citizens allowing the purchase of trust stock with tax refunds and other incentives. All National Parks should be highly profitable and services could be expanded with private capital available for expansion. This could save raise several billions in the purchase of the Park property by the private trust and the profits from the operation could earn stock holders significant annual dividends. Right now there is no way for the average citizen to earn a fair return on their money.
6. Reduce foreign aid by 50%.
7. Establish small business development initiative to encourage rapid expansion in small business and innovation. Among components would be free patent service for small business, free trademark service for small business, free laboratory testing of small business products and a senior corps of retired business executives to consult with small business owners. This would eliminate some of the prohibitive start up costs of small business encouraging more hiring and expansion. The cost to the government would be more than offset by the increase in taxes paid by the businesses.
7. Offer free medical insurance to anyone agreeing to work beyond the Social Security retirement age of 62 or 67. Raise the retirement age to 65.
8. Undertake a one year review of all government expenditures, waste, duplication and lack of legal authority for the existence of programs with a goal of reducing agency costs by 15%. This review would give the agencies a chance to offset losses with cost efficiencies and elimination of waste.
9. Expand charter schools to 50% of all public education students within three years establishing performance standards on the charter schools and requiring them to give first preference for teacher hiring on displaced public school teachers.
10. Require an economic impact statement on all new expenditures which documents the legislative right to fund the program, identifies a five year budget for the new initiative, identifies the permanent funding source for the program, and determines the cost analysis of hiring employees versus contracting out for the service.
This is part one of my program to balance the federal budget and begin to eliminate the national debt. I welcome all other ideas from readers to help our congress do the job we elected them to do.