Who me? Really. Absolutely. I am all for a balanced budget and enhanced national security. I think we need to absolutely balance our budget, by passing legislation, for example the Fair and Balance Budget Act: for every dollar we gift a corporation as a subsidy, one dollar to education. For every dollar to defense, one to health & welfare. Every dollar to fossil fuel companies, one to renewable energy companies. And every dollar to animal based agriculture, one to plant-based. Now that is a balanced budegt.
And that is why I believe the only true conservative and responsible national policy is health care reform that will be self-funding. How? First, we must resolve ourselves to the reality of a national health care system. And we must accept the need for federal guidelines on wages for all public service employees, including teachers, police, firefighters, doctors, nurses, hospital staff & technicians, and most importantly, congressional members and their staff. Same pay, same benefits. Except combat troops, who would be paid double when in harm’s way.
That’s right, let’s use the same pay scale, based upon education, experience and performance for all public employees. I’d also add a phase out for anyone with a certain amount of passive income. They would opt out of all publicly funded pensions, and receive nominal compensation, based upon the amount of annual passive income they receive.
Second, change Social Security to the Social Security, Health and Education fund. Simple changes to our current social security funding mechanism will allow us to fully fund Social Security, health care and education. First, raise the wage base for the payroll tax to $5,000,000, or do away with the wage base altogether. This has the added benefit of taking away the tax welfare incentive for excessive executive compensation. We create the Social Security, Health & Education fund, establishing an endowment that will self-fund the administrative costs, and allow for cost increases over time. The fund will not be managed by an Investment Bank per se, but by a public non-profit that will invest the funds for the public good and manage returns in the public interest.
Third, we will ensure the balanced budget is resolved by utilizing current tax law and not by establishing any new taxes. First, we will limit tax deductions for executive compensation & benefits to average employee compensation and tax the excess as a dividend. Next, we will limit tax deductions for travel & entertainment to federal per diem, again taxing the excess as a dividend.
This is how our system worked for decades, until Reagan and his “democratization of money”, that was the beginning of the end. (See my earlier essay, How Trickle Down Theory Is Ruining Our Schools And Closing Our Libraries, Thank You Ronald Reagan)
Last, each of us must resolve to contribute not only financially via taxes, but intellectually to our political system. We must fight to add civics, ethics, government, economics and public policy classes as requirements at every level of education.
We need to ensure participation in our democratic process by addressing low voter turnout and working to increase the number of voters at every level. We need to become a citizen lobby and remember, this country was founded by community organizers. We need to draft legislation to protect our rights, for example, in order to protect our civil rights and constitutionally mandated 2nd amendment rights, we need to ensure adherence to the spirit of the law, and ensure the right to bear arms is equated with an educated and registered “militia,” by insisting gun owners register as a part of an actual militia, like the National Guard for training and annual license.
There is not a dichotomy in my stance as a socially liberal progressive fiscal conservative feminist. So go ahead, call me a fiscal conservative. I welcome it.