Even though the U.S. government is in a mess right now due to runaway spending and regulation, there are several ways the country can get back on track, both economically and politically.
First and foremost, Americans must elect politicians that will look after the liberty and interests of all Americans, rather than just the big corporations, labor unions and other special interest groups. Ron Paul comes to mind as a person who would definitely help set this country back on the right track. Even though he didn’t win his presidential bid last November, there are a few similar politicians rising on the national political scene: people like Dr. Rand Paul who’s running to be a Kentucky Senator (and is Dr. Ron Paul’s son) and Peter Schiff who’s running for a Senate seat in Connecticut (the person who also successfully predicted the housing-bubble crisis).
Besides electing the right politicians to the nation’s highest offices, Americans need to bring our troops home. Although they’ve done a lot of good work for this country in Afghanistan and Iraq, it’s time for them to come home. They can do so with both dignity and honor right now. The Republicans’ definition of “victory” is so vague, the country can’t wait for it to be achieved to bring troops home. Didn’t Bush already declare “mission accomplished?”
The Democrats’ thoughts on Afghanistan and Iraq are a little confusing. They are supposedly of the belief that America should end the wars, but have gone oddly silent upon the election of Obama while troops remain engaged in conflict.
In addition to getting troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan, military forces in places like Germany, Japan, and South Korea should be allowed home as well. As of late 2007 there were 32,000 active duty American troops stationed in Japan, 27,000 in South Korea, and 57,000 in Germany. I’d venture to say that most Americans weren’t aware of those numbers or that America has one million active duty troops in more than 150 countries stationed on more than one thousand bases around the world. It’s time we bring them home.
As for a domestic change that needs to be made , the Patriot Act needs to be repealed and all detainees must be brought to trial or released. The idea of endless detainment without due process is very un-American and disturbing to me. If there are crimes to charge the detainees with, then we should do so, but if not, they should be released. We cannot hold people indefinitely simply because part of our government believes them to be a threat.
To help improve our economy, the U.S. should abolish the Federal Reserve, the central banking system that influences both monetary and credit conditions. The Fed is responsible for monetizing debt which allows the Congress to spend without having to directly tax the American people but rather by devaluing the dollar. This is an extremely dangerous practice. As one of our founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson said: “I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies.” The Fed also controls interest rates, which were near 1% during the Greenspan era, which in part allowed the malinvestment of the real estate bubble, and are now currently near 0% under Bernanke in an effort to revive our economy, but with the same potential to create a bubble as was created by Greenspan’s artificially low interest rates. We need the free market to set interest rates, not a central bank, and monetization of debt must come to an end before it ends our currency.
Since we’re talking about getting back to the way America used to be not too long ago, we might as well talk about abolishing the IRS (which was formed in 1953) and the 16th amendment (ratified in 1913), which is the income tax. I purpose we go with the FairTax, which “abolishes all federal personal and corporate income taxes, gift, estate, capital gains, alternative minimum, Social Security, Medicare, and self-employment taxes and replaces them with one simple, visible, federal retail sales tax administered primarily by existing state sales tax authorities” (Fairtax.org). Taxes are way too complicated as it is and not nearly transparent enough. The amount of time and money each year preparing tax returns is disgusting. Under the FairTax, April 15th could be a normal day.
All in all there’s plenty of work to be done (or more often than not, work to be undone). There’s also healthcare, education, and Social Security that I have omitted here that could all use some major changes, but I’ll save those topics for a later date. Overall, I think we need to go back to the basics when it comes to government. The government should be there to protect our life, liberty and property. In our politicians’ attempt to do more for us, they have managed to do more harm than good.