If I Were President

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Something I've put together over a few years while collecting ideas. I know full well a president could only do most of this with the support of Congress and of course a good chunk of the American electorate. But a president should have bold goals in the first place.



If I Were President
The platform I would run on and what I would seek to do.
1) Cut the U.S. federal budget deficit by 50% each year. (This assumes the annual U.S. deficit is running at about one trillion dollars a year when I take office). 1st Year -250 billion dollars in budget cuts, 250 billion dollars in new revenue Mainly through economic growth (see #6) 2nd Year-125 billion in budget cuts, 125 billion dollars in new revenue
Cut federal education spending, agricultural subsidies, targeted, not general infrastructure spending, all “corporate welfare”, lifetime limits on welfare benefits and federal unemployment benefits. Steadily raise eligibility ages for retirement programs. Freeze federal civil servant hiring.
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2) Cut the number of illegal immigrants entering the U.S. each year by 50% before I leave office. Enforce existing immigration laws. Build better border security. Help Mexican economy especially in the border regions. Work with employers in Labor intensive industries to introduce more mechanization.
3) Cut the number of elective abortions performed in the U.S. each year by 50% before I leave office. Give states incentives to lower number of abortions locally by whatever means they are able to implement- Use media to marginalize and stigmatize abortion Impose tough (but politically reasonable) regulations on when, where and how abortions are conducted, Streamline federal adoption regulations dramatically. Make adoption radically cheaper for prospective parents.
4) Grow the U.S. economy by 50% before I leave office. (5.2% a year). (MOST vital) A) Freeze and rollback of regulations (except for emergencies) B) Vast tax code broadening and simplification-including Social Security C) Government/industry partnership on things like refinery building & nuclear power plant construction, open nuclear waste storage facility D) Emphasize a strong dollar-possibly higher interest rates. E) Push free trade in targeted areas using reciprocal trade agreements. F) Strong federal investment into research & development G) Heavily promote trade with African nations. H) Promote dramatic growth in domestic fossil fuels production
5) Increase Americans purchasing power by 36% before I leave office. (4% a year) mainly by holding down increases in prices of health care and education Make gasoline less subject to extreme price fluctuations by 12.5 or 25 cent federal Tax increase annually, eliminate over the road diesel fuel taxes
6) Commit the U.S. to 4% for Freedom- Defense spending at a minimum of 4% of GDP. Maintain 12 U.S. Army divisions & 4 armored cavalry regiments, 12 Carrier Battle Groups. 400 naval vessels, 165 heavy bombers, 1,800 nuclear weapons (including 200 new ICBMs & 9 SSBNs with 16 missiles each) 2,700 USAF combat aircraft available, 4,000 ABMs, make a serious commitment to U.S. civil defense against both attacks & natural disasters. Including Comprehensive protection against EMP attacks & CME events, and comprehensive preparations to prevent & recover from cyber-attacks. Triple the number of U.S. mine warfare vessels and the U.S. offensive mine inventory. _____________________________________________________________
7) Commit the U.S. to launching 3 manned space missions and 1 unmanned exploratory mission each year. Manned would include four manned missions to Mars, eight manned Lunar missions, & two manned missions to asteroids. Remainder (10) would be long duration (180-300 day) orbital missions. Unmanned includes 1) Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter, 2) Neptune Orbiter, 3) Horizons II (Uranus)-possibly piggyback a Uranus orbiter on a second TAU mission (see below) 4) Thousand Astronomical Unit (TAU) with Pluto orbiter aboard, 5) Solar Sample Return, 6) Venus Multi Site Lander/Sample Return, 7) Mercury Rover, 8) Titan Orbiter/Rover. Also develop manned rated nuclear propulsion systems. Nuclear thermal, VASIMIR, and/or nuclear saltwater rockets. Build & deploy a space telescope capable of closely imaging Earth like extra solar planets.
Develop & build a new Shuttle system closely along the lines of the original STS system design. 3-5 orbiters __________________________________________________________________________________
8) Cut the number of U.S. Cabinet level departments by 25% Eliminate 1) Homeland Security 2) Veterans Affairs 3) Education 4) Energy 5) Agriculture 6) Commerce 7) Labor 8) Interior 9) Labor
9) In foreign policy, emphasize naval/air power and surgical ground strikes. Push for a global ban on all unmanned nuclear weapons delivery platforms of more than 2,500-mile (4,000 kilometer) range and for a global ban on all nuclear weapons with yields greater than 100 kilotons. Verified through unscheduled onsite inspections. A global ban on all weapons sales and transfers would be a great idea.
This would be a very good legacy to leave America by any means. I will pray for it.
 
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Unstated agenda
Build and deploy a total of 9 combination large hospital/search & rescue ships. Station one (1) in the western Indian Ocean, one(2) in the eastern Indian Ocean, one(3) in the south Atlantic Ocean, one(4) in the western Pacific Ocean, and one(5) in the south eastern Pacific Ocean. Four additional ones are available for emergency overseas deployment or refit and training cycles. This allows the U.S. to respond quickly to natural disasters in Africa, Asia, South America, and the Indian subcontinent. Note, these large hospital/search & rescue ships would also be massively useful in the United States in the event of a massive EMP or CME event.
Build several nuclear reactors aboard barges that can connect to various points of the U.S. power grid in an emergency. Including high capacity desalination plants aboard might be a good idea as well.
3. Drastically increase funding for the Humane Society and/or the ASPCA. Determine which organization is better at helping prevent and alleviate cruelty to dogs, cats, horses and other animals.
4. Create a Federal Broadcasting System (FBS). Basically, a government run television network available online as well with original programming designed (subtly if necessary) to promote good values and conduct among the American people.
5. Build the Rapid Roadway/Runway Repair Vehicles to assist in the repair and maintenance of public highways and airport runways around the United States.
6. Build and deploy the Firecat fire break building excavator system in wildfire prone areas of the United States.
7. Revitalize the U.S. fleet of aerial firefighting tankers.
8. Build and deploy five or six advanced U.S. ice breakers to the Arctic Ocean. Create an “8th Fleet” of the U.S. Navy specialized for Arctic operations. This is to deal with future expansionism plans in the region by the Russians as well as protect and promote U.S. interests in the Arctic Ocean.
9. Create an advanced armored regiment of no more than 6,500 troops with integral air support that can be easily air or sea lifted to a trouble spot within 48 hours that is fully capable of defeating a conventional military force numbering up to 50,000 troops in size.
10. Create small but advanced light armored regiments of no more than 2,000 troops with air support capable of providing security for humanitarian and relief forces in dangerous regions with minimal support. Develop at least eight of these units and base two in Africa, two in the Middle East and one in Southeast Asia. Three at large.
11. Make it the unofficial (though very real) policy of the United States that whenever another country kills large numbers of its own citizens, the U.S. will destroy without word or warning the largest military base of that nation completely with massive air strikes. No admission or even acknowledgement of the attack given.
12. Construct and deploy an average of 500 ABMs annually (total of at least 4,000 over 8 years). Also deploy comprehensive antisatellite weapons systems.
13. Radically increase funding for nature preserves and natural habitat zoos. Acquire natural habitat territory in regions of Africa, Asia, and South America.
14. Force the United Nations to remove its headquarters from New York City. Istanbul, Geneva, Vienna, or Singapore would be some possible alternatives.
15. Store emergency equipment to restore the U.S. power grid in the case of a massive EMP attack or CME event well outside the U.S. in somewhere like Diego Garcia. Include emergency communications equipment and vehicles.
16. Use various means to encourage Americans to return to following New Testament based morality and Christianity and being a good example and positive influence on the remainder of the world in like manner. Increase American fertility rate to 2.3 children per woman.
17. Eliminate puppy and kitten mills as well as other things in the U.S. that encourage the abuse and maltreatment of animals. Use social pressure heavily.
18. Have the GOP convention that renominates me at Verizon Arena in North Little Rock. I can stay conveniently in the nearby Clinton Presidential Library. This is one of my “gifts” to Arkansas.
19. Two other “gifts” to Arkansas would be a large refinery in Eastern Arkansas as well as a large amusement park in East Arkansas.
20. Wage all out war on pornography in all its forms using the full power of the U.S. federal government to do so. Keep it under the radar early on if necessary.
 
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21. Establish a fund to deal with nations and their population centers threatened by ocean rise, weather extremes and desertification. Each nation would contribute to the fund based on a combination of total and per capita carbon emissions. A group of officials appointed by the UN General Assembly and approved by the members of the Security Council would administer the fund and govern its disbursements
Regarding the above, I would fund it by a program where each nation would contribute to the fund approximately 200 million dollars for each percentage point of global carbon emissions their nation contributes to the global total. So, if the U.S. emitted 20% of global carbon then it would be obligated to supply the fund with 4 billion dollars a year.
This would give even developed nations the ability to reduce their contributions by reducing their carbon emissions. Likewise, if a developing nation felt that continued developed required the increase use of fossil fuels they could simply bit the bullet and accept paying an increased carbon emission fee.
22. I would love to direct that a nonnuclear test explosion be conducted out west equivalent to 100 kilotons (100,000 tons of TNT). From what I've read the largest planned nonnuclear explosion ever conducted has been equivalent to only 4 kilotons (4,000 tons of TNT). This test explosion would be a great opportunity to obtain knowledge on everything from the construction of nuclear attack shelters to adoption of new disaster relief procedures not to mention gathering information about the structure of the Earth by examining the seismic waves created by such an explosion.
International observers and even participation would be encouraged.
23. My presidential library/museum.
One in my hometown. In the location and with the look of the school where I and my sisters went from first through twelfth grades (except my 3rd grade year). And to give it something of serious practical benefit I would have a tornado shelter incorporated into hit capable of holding up to 1,000 people. And a time capsule. I really like time capsules.
The second I would put near the campus of the college where I, my three sisters, and my mother all graduated from (and my wife attended for a couple of years). I would like to go with the design of that building in China meant to look like the Starship Enterprise. There are plenty of hills and valleys in that area meaning incorporating the terrain to support the pylons and structures wouldn't be that difficult to do.

It would be very cool to see my home and pets reproduced holographically. Or even football games I played it. That would probably be doable.
24) Make the teaching about World & American history, law & government heavily America centric, promotion of traditional American values and capitalism.
25) Dramatically reform and rebuild the United Nations (perhaps under a different name). Including equipping the new U.N. with a standing naval force of surface ships divided into three forward deployed fleets of 8 warships each. Each fleet deploys with two ships carrying four cruise missiles that carry nuclear warheads with 5-10 kiloton yields. Security Council is reformed to have 12 nations as members on a two-year rotating basis (48 nations in the rotation) with 11 out of 12 nations required to agree to authorize military action by UN forces or UN members. To have a vote in the Security Council a nation must commit one of the following to be on call for UN duty: one regiment of troops (3-5,000), three warships, or a squadron (24 aircraft) of combat aircraft.
26) Pressure the International Astronomical Union to reclassify Pluto as a regular planet.
27) Reduce the average number of mass fatal shootings by 50%.
28) Reduce the rates of plant and animal extinctions around by world by 50%.
29) Institute a nationwide policy of “Presumed Consent” when it comes to organ donations. The policy of many European countries, this policy is that consent to harvest a deceased persons organs for transplant is assumed unless the next of kind specifically refuses permission to do so.
How to revitalize the U.S. economy
1)Freeze and rollback of regulations (except for emergencies)
2) Vast tax code broadening and simplification-including Social Security
Note this includes broadening payroll taxes to apply to ALL of income rather than just the first hundred thousand plus it does now. With the increased revenue from applying it to all income including that of the ultra wealthy, an overall average rate reduction for everyone should be doable. This will dramatically cut not only the taxes paid by lower income employees but also lower the hiring costs for potential employers.
3) Government/industry partnership on things like refinery building & nuclear power plant construction, open nuclear waste storage facility
renewing nuclear power plant construction will stimulate production in heavy industries that support the nuclear power industry. Likewise building more refineries will help insulate the U.S. from sudden price shocks in the oil industry which are largely caused by refinery capacity bottlenecks. by "government/industry" partnership I do not suggest the federal government outright funding nuclear power plant or refinery construction but acting to streamline the licensing and regulatory environment and partial assumption of risks.
4) Emphasize a strong dollar-possibly higher interest rates.
Higher interest rates, at least modestly higher ones makes U.S. government securities more appealing and encourages the flow of foreign capital in to the U.S.
5) Push free trade in targeted areas using reciprocal trade agreements.
reciprocal trade agreements rather than generalized "free trade" makes it more likely that trade agreements will be mutually beneficial to the U.S. and its trade partnerships and not just nations where the "cheapest labor" can be found. Also it helps keep the U.S. economy from being the de facto funder of the economies of nations that abuse their workers and their environment.
6) Strong federal investment into research & development
in terms of applied R & D heavy emphasis on the exploitation of off world (space) resources and those from the sea beds, but the major investments should be in basic science & technology both through the university system and partnerships with private researchers. Make massive efforts to protect the intellectual property rights and the rights of American researchers and those working in American facilities.
7) Heavily promote trade with African nations.
Beyond the pivot to Asia, Africa is a massive future market (something the Chinese are already working on) and it behooves the U.S. to seek out the markets there. Also in the long term African nations are a massive potential buyer of American government securities thus enabling our debt to be financed in the future.
8) Promote dramatic growth in domestic fossil fuels production
While renewables will no doubt continue to grow in importance, fossil fuels are likely to remain dominant for most of this century. So developing and exploiting those resources to the max as the transition to renewables takes place providing a reliable source of energy makes considerable sense.
 
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9) Reduction of the U.S. annual budget deficit
Will dramatically increase the amount of capital available for economic development in the United States. One of the Clinton Admin. key economic advisers said this was key (and inadvertent) in the large scale economic growth in the 1990s
Policy changes to reduce the federal budget deficit. Amounts are over a ten year period
Reduce the federal workforce by not filling vacancies as workers retire. In 2015 the federal government employed 2.2 million civilian workers, excluding Postal Service employees. About 45 percent work in the Department of Defense and 15 percent in the Department of Homeland Security. The rest work in agencies providing a variety of public services, investigating crimes, collecting taxes, administering programs for the elderly, poor and disabled, and more. This option would reduce the number of federal civilian employees by 10 percent by allowing those agencies to hire no more than one employee for every three who retire. The president could exempt an agency under certain conditions such as a national security concern or an extraordinary emergency. Supporters of this change believe agencies could reduce unnecessary management positions while also eliminating services that are not cost-effective without hampering overall performance. Effect on deficit: -$50 billion.
Eliminate or reduce funding for certain grants to state and local governments. Washington provided $624 billion in grants to state and local governments in 2015. Such grants redistribute resources among communities around the country, finance local projects that may have national benefits and encourage state and local policy experimentation. Although grant money goes to a wide variety of programs, the spending is concentrated in health care, income security, education and transportation. Some grant programs give state and local governments broad flexibility while other programs impose stringent conditions. Supporters say leaving the funding decisions to state and local governments will lead to a more efficient allocation of resources because they will weigh costs and benefits more carefully. . Effect on deficit: -$78 billion.
Expand access to child care program. The Child Care and Development Fund provides subsidies to some families below 200 percent of the poverty line (approximately $40,000 for a family of four) to purchase affordable child care. States administer the program using state resources and federal funding. This option would expand it cover all eligible families who want the subsidy -- an additional 1 million children by 2025. Supporters say investments in early childhood care are good for the economy in the long run because they set children up for success in later schooling and their careers. Opponents believe it is not the federal government’s responsibility to provide child care and that it should be left to parents and state governments. Effect on deficit: +$78 billion.
Establish a National Infrastructure Bank to support road improvement. The National Infrastructure Bank (I-Bank) would provide loans and grants to private entities to support individual projects. The politically independent board of directors would determine the worth of projects. The I-Bank would be data-driven in measuring which projects offer the biggest value. Supporters say this funding methodology would be a substantial improvement from current practice, which often results in the funding of projects solely because of a particular legislator’s power in Congress or a state’s population. The private sector would choose the projects for investment with the government just providing financial support. Effect on deficit: +$30 billion.
Eliminate Affordable Care Act subsidies for those earning between 300 and 400 percent of the federal poverty level. The Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare) allows individuals and families to purchase private health insurance coverage through health insurance exchanges or “marketplaces.” Those with certain income levels (roughly between 130 percent of the federal poverty level and 400 percent) are eligible for tax credits to cover portions of their premiums, and they can receive additional subsidies to reduce out-of-pocket cost sharing expenses. In 2013, 300 percent of the poverty level represented incomes of $34,470 for an individual, $46,530 for a couple, and $70,650 for a family of four. This option would cap the income level at which premium subsidies were available at 300 percent of the federal poverty level. Supporters say that employers will offer better alternatives than the options available on the exchanges, meaning that this change would reduce the deficit without necessarily increasing the number of uninsured. Effect on deficit: -$109 billion.
Add a “public plan” to the Affordable Care Act health insurance exchanges. This option will create a government-run insurance plan to compete with private plans. The public plan would charge premiums to fully offset its costs. The plan’s payments to providers would be about 5 percent higher than Medicare pays but lower than what private insurance plans often pay. This will allow the federal plan to charge lower premiums and thus reduce government spending on insurance subsidies. Supporters say a public plan, not driven by a profit motive, would force other insurers to compete honestly and increase their efficiency. The Congressional Budget Office estimates this would lower premiums and encourage more than 1.5 million additional people to join the exchanges. Effect on deficit: -$158 billion.
Limit malpractice awards. This option would impose nationwide standards on malpractice lawsuits limiting non-economic (“pain and suffering”) damages to $250,000. Punitive damages would be limited to $500,000 or twice the amount of the economic damages incurred, whichever is greater. The statute of limitations on malpractice lawsuits would be one year for adults and three years for children (from the date of discovery of injuries). Supporters say limiting malpractice lawsuits would reduce the overall cost of health care, a major driver of projected deficits in the coming decades. . Effect on deficit: -$64 billion.
Provide seniors with “premium support” to purchase private health insurance. In this option, people who turn 65 could leave traditional fee-for-service Medicare and receive a fixed dollar amount to purchase private health insurance on an insurance exchange. Savings would arise because the federal contribution would be smaller than under the current, traditional Medicare program. Given the assumed influx of seniors into the private market, this policy option could increase private sector competition and bring down insurance plan costs. Supporters say this option could ease some of the financial pressure on Medicare while also giving seniors more flexibility than standard Medicare. Effect on deficit: -$61 billion.
“Bundle” Medicare’s payments to health care providers. Currently, Medicare payments are made primarily through a fee-for-service system, with separate payments for each office visit, lab test, surgical procedure, etc. delivered by providers. This creates incentives for providers to deliver unnecessary services. This policy option would provide for bundled payments to cover all services delivered during the course of a patient’s treatment over a defined period of time and would be based on the disease and average treatment costs. Supporters say this would encourage providers to hold down costs and coordinate care to avoid complications. Effect on deficit: -$47 billion.
Raise premiums for Medicare Parts B and D to cover 35 percent of program costs. Medicare Part B’s Supplementary Medicare Insurance Program offers coverage for physician and hospital outpatient services. Part D (started in 2006) offers prescription drug coverage. Benefits for the programs are partially funded from monthly premiums paid by enrollees. General federal revenues pay for the rest. Although the Part B premium was initially intended to cover 50 percent of the cost of benefits, that share has greatly declined because premiums were not allowed to increase at the same rate as benefits. Currently, beneficiaries pay only 25 percent of Part B program costs. Part D was set so that premiums cover about 25.5 percent of per-capita costs. Over five years, this budget option would raise the premiums that enrollees pay to 35 percent of the programs’ costs. Supporters say that even under this option, the public subsidy for most beneficiaries would be greater than intended when the programs began. Effect on deficit: -$331 billion.
Cap the federal Medicaid contribution to states. Washington and state governments currently share the costs of the Medicaid program, which provides health insurance primarily to low-income families with dependent children, the elderly and the disabled. The share of federal support ranges from 51 percent to 80 percent of costs, depending on state income and how many individuals got coverage from the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. Under current law, almost all of the federal funding is provided on an open-ended basis. This means that increases in the number of enrollees or in costs per enrollee automatically generate more federal payments to states. This option would cap the amount a state would get. States would get more support if enrollees increased, while the amount per-person would go up every year to keep pace with overall inflation. Since medical costs tend to increase faster than general inflation, this would lead to much less federal financial support over time. Supporters say that capping federal spending would give states more responsibility for managing health spending. Effect on deficit: -$577 billion.
Increase the maximum taxable earnings cap on the Social Security payroll tax. Social Security is largely financed by a payroll tax on employees, employers and the self-employed. Only earnings up to a specified maximum, however, are subject to the tax. That maximum, which was $118,500 in 2016, automatically increases each year by the growth of average wages in the economy. Despite that indexing, the overall percentage of earnings in the country subject to the payroll tax has slipped in the past decade because earnings for the highest-paid workers have grown faster than the average. Thus, in 2016, 82 percent of wages fell below the maximum taxable amount. This option would increase that figure to 90 percent -- where it was set in 1983. Supporters of this option do so because increasing the maximum taxable earnings for the payroll tax improves Social Security’s long-term financial outlook. Opponents believe raising the earnings cap could weaken the link between the taxes that workers pay into the system and the benefits they receive. That link has been an important aspect of the Social Security system since its inception, but the increase in benefits under this option is modest relative to the increase in taxes. Effect on deficit: -$633 billion.
Use “chained CPI” to determine COLAs in Social Security and other programs. Each year the Social Security Administration adjusts monthly benefits based on the increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The Consumer Price Index is designed to track price changes for consumer goods. Over the years, there has been evidence suggesting the CPI overstates inflation. This policy option would slow the growth of Social Security spending by using an alternative measure of inflation -- the “chained CPI” -- that many economists believe better captures price increases and related changes in consumer behavior. CBO estimates the chained CPI is likely to grow 0.3 percentage points more slowly than the standard CPI, which would mean smaller benefit increases for recipients in the future. Effect on deficit: -$182 billion.
Use “progressive price indexing” for initial Social Security benefits. The initial levels of an individual’s Social Security benefits are designed to keep up with economy-wide wage growth. This makes benefits more generous than if they were set to simply keep up with economy-wide inflation. That’s because wages tend to rise faster than inflation. Future beneficiaries are also scheduled to receive more benefits because of increasing longevity. Under “progressive price indexing,” benefits for the lowest-earning third of workers would continue to be indexed to wage growth. For the middle third, benefits would be determined by a blend of wage indexing and price indexing based on inflation. For the highest third of earners, benefits would be set based only on price indexing relative to inflation. Such changes would save more money over time and could solve over 70 percent of Social Security’s long-term funding shortfall. Supporters believe this is a way to improve Social Security’s finances while holding harmless those most dependent on benefits. Opponents believe this proposal would rely too heavily on benefit reductions to deal with Social Security’s shortfall and impact the middle class too much. Effect on deficit: -$72 billion.
Limit the deduction of state and local taxes. In determining the amount of income someone gets taxed on, a taxpayer can choose to take the standard deduction (a flat dollar amount) or itemize and add up certain expenses, then deduct the total amount from their income prior to figuring out the taxes owed. Spending on state and local taxes for income, real estate, and personal property can be itemized. This deduction is effectively a federal subsidy to state and local governments; the federal government essentially pays a share of people’s state and local taxes. This option would limit the deductibility of state and local taxes by capping the deduction at 2 percent of Adjusted Gross Income. Supporters of this option argue the federal government should not subsidize the spending of state and local governments because state and local taxes are largely paid in return for services provided to the public. . Effect on deficit: -$955 billion.
Convert the mortgage interest deduction to a 15 percent tax credit. The tax code helps homeowners by giving them a deduction for mortgage interest, lowering the amount of their income that is subject to the income tax. Only about 30 percent of taxpayers itemize their deductions and thus can avail themselves of the home-mortgage subsidy. And the more income one earns, the larger that subsidy will be. This option would gradually convert the tax deduction for mortgage interest to a 15 percent nonrefundable tax credit. That means 15 percent of a taxpayer’s annual mortgage interest would be subtracted from taxes owed, but it would only apply up to the point where it erased all of that person’s tax liability for the year. The credit will be phased in over six years to avoid large, immediate impacts on the housing market. The maximum amount of mortgage debt that could be included in the credit calculation will be $500,000, and the credit could be applied only to interest on debt incurred to buy, build, or improve a primary home. Supporters say the current mortgage-interest deduction greatly favors higher-income individuals and thus is a poor and inefficient way to encourage broad-based home ownership. Wealthier households are more likely to itemize on their tax returns and the higher the tax, the higher the subsidy for home ownership. Effect on deficit: -$105 billion.
Limit the amount of tax-free employer contributions for health care. Most employees’ health care benefits are a major component of their compensation, yet health insurance premiums are exempted from income and payroll taxes. Furthermore, large health benefits tend to reduce employee salaries and other taxable benefits -- an outcome that is often hidden from employees. As health care costs grow and consume larger portions of employees’ compensation, the amount of income that goes untaxed grows, resulting in substantial revenue loss to the federal government. Employee cash wages also shrink, as more compensation is paid in the form of health insurance. Finally, more health insurance leads to faster growth of health care costs for the nation as a whole. This option would impose a tax-free limit at the level under which 75 percent of health insurance premiums in the country fit. This option also replaces the high-cost insurance tax from the Affordable Care Act because this option acts as a greater limit on the tax deduction than did the “Cadillac tax.” . Effect on deficit: -$174 billion.
Increase taxes on alcoholic beverages to equalize treatment of different types of alcohol. Current federal excise taxes treat alcoholic beverages in different ways. Taxes are much lower on beer and wine than on distilled spirits and are figured based on different liquid measures. This option would standardize the tax on alcoholic beverages by using the proof gallon (a standard measure of a liquid's alcohol content) as the measure for taxation. It would also increase the tax to $16 per proof gallon. On average, this would raise the tax on a 750 milliliter bottle of distilled spirits from about $2.14 to $2.54, the tax on a six-pack of beer from $.33 to $.81, and the tax on a 750 milliliter bottle of table wine from $.21 to $.70. Supporters say this tax increase would reduce the social costs of alcohol consumption and require consumers to pay a larger share of the expenses. Opponents counter that taxes on alcohol are regressive because taxes on alcohol take up a greater percentage of earnings for low-income families than for middle- and upper-income families. Effect on deficit: -$70 billion.
Increase the gas tax by $1.00/gallon and index it to inflation. Revenues from federal taxes on motor fuels are credited to the Highway Trust Fund, which finances highway construction and maintenance. Those federal taxes are currently 18.4 cents on each gallon of gasoline purchased and 24.4 cents on each gallon of diesel fuel. Eliminate taxes on over the road diesel. It is estimated that the highway account faces $125 billion in deficits over the next 10 years. Effect on deficit: -$720 billion.
Impose a 2.0 Percent Value-Added Tax. A value-added tax (VAT) is a type of consumption tax that is levied on incremental increases in the value of a good or service during each stage of its production and collected at those stages. A VAT is economically similar to a sales tax in that the full tax is ultimately paid by the consumer. This proposed VAT would exclude certain goods and services that are considered necessities or that provide broad social benefits. For instance, purchases of housing, groceries, health care and college would not be subject to the VAT. Supporters argue value-added taxes are very efficient ways to raise revenue because they don’t discourage saving and investing the way income taxes or other taxes do. . Effect on deficit: -$708 billion.
Total deficit reduction of all these measures combined would be roughly 5 trillion dollars over ten years or a 500 billion deficit reduction per year. Even if these measures were only 75% effective the average annual deficit reduction would be 375 billion annually. A substantial chunk of the annual deficit.
Another great policy goal would be a 50% reduction in the American trade deficit. It could easily be added to the existing nine goals. How to do it?
The United States runs a trade deficit, not because of bad trade deals, but because its citizens spend more than they earn and finance the difference with foreign credit. In 2016, the households, firms, and government in the United States earned $18.6 trillion but spent $19.1 trillion on goods and services, resulting in a disparity of $500 billion.
 
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Since the deficit is about production and consumption, the tools that will be most effective in reducing it are those that impact how much US citizens, businesses, and governments save.
Three ways to reduce the trade deficit are:
Consume less and save more. If US households or the government reduce consumption (businesses save more than they spend), imports will drop and less borrowing from abroad will be needed to pay for consumption. This means that consumption taxes—like those that nearly all other countries in the world have—could help reduce the deficit, by discouraging consumption, increasing saving, and reducing the government deficit. In contrast, an unfunded tax cut, such as the one proposed by the administration, will expand the deficit because the government will be consuming more relative to its earnings.
Depreciate the exchange rate. Trade deficit reversals are typically driven by a significant real exchange rate depreciation. A weaker dollar makes imports more expensive and exports cheaper and improves the trade balance. Given the dollar is the world's reserve currency, and still regarded as the safest for investors, it tends to run stronger than other currencies. But when foreign governments actively push the dollar up to maintain their surpluses, the United States could counteract intervention by selling dollars and buying foreign currencies. The administration could also encourage the adoption of other major currencies, such as the euro, yen, or renminbi, as alternative reserve currencies. A weaker dollar would be good for the US economy but relinquishing the role as the dominant currency would reduce the power of the United States in global markets and the seigniorage (profit) earned.
Tax capital inflows. One of the reasons that the United States runs a trade deficit is because borrowing from abroad is cheap and easy. If it were more expensive, US citizens and the government would borrow less. A tax on (non–foreign direct investment) capital inflows that rises with the size of the inflow could reduce excessive borrowing for consumption and help close the government imbalance. While some worry that capital controls could distort asset prices and reduce investment, they could also curb excessive speculative investment, such as happened before the financial crisis.
If the administration is serious about reducing the trade deficit, there are ways to do it. Trade policy, however, is not on the list. Although it seems intuitive that trade policy should be the appropriate instrument for a trade deficit—just as fiscal policy is the right tool for a fiscal deficit—the economics do not work that way. Higher tariffs on one country or product divert trade to other countries or products, distorting consumption but leaving the trade balance roughly unchanged. Higher tariffs on all countries will reduce imports, but they will also reduce exports, again leaving the trade balance roughly unchanged.
The key to reviving America’s manufacturing might be reviving domestic mining.
The U.S. Congress may stand in recess, but the deeper discussions of how to craft public policy to revive the American economy continue: Witness a new report, Mines to Market, produced for the National Mining Association by global mining analyst SNL Metals & Mining, that highlights in stark terms how much America’s manufacturing renaissance will depend on a reversal of a generation-long decline in mining production.
The NMA report begins by noting:
“…a gross structural mismatch between domestic mineral supply and demand. Although the United States is a major mining country, it enjoys a much higher global ranking as a manufacturer than it does as a miner.”
That mismatch has emerged in less than a generation:
“In 1990, the United States was the world’s largest producer of metallic and industrial minerals. By 2013, the country had fallen to seventh place in the global ranking, with output accounting for less than 5 percent of the value of global mined output.”
What countries have leapt ahead of the United States? China, Australia, Brazil, Russia, Chile and South Africa.
And that’s where the dream of a revived manufacturing sector collides with the reality of resource dependence.
Because the fact is that, however New! and Improved! – or precisely because it is typically both – American innovations may be, as in the old George Carlin monologue, our stuff is still made of stuff. Without access to the requisite materials in the required supply, the United States will continue to be a place where the stuff we buy may say “Designed in the U.S.,” but “Made in China,” or some other country, as factories move to where the metals are.
Take the energy sector, for example. Today’s technological transitions are often cast in terms of departures from our old petroleum-driven resource demands, as if extractive industries are to be relegated to the past. But efforts to shift towards alternative sources of energy only add to our metals dependency.
Case in point: solar power. Advocates may wax poetic about “harnessing the sun’s rays,” but the actual process of capturing solar power and moving it into the national electric grid requires metal and mineral resources, and plenty of them. Thin-film photovoltaic modules are typically constructed of a compound material known as CIGS – Copper-Indium-Gallium-Selenium. The annual U.S. copper shortfall – the difference between domestic mine supply and foreign imports – is around 600,000 metric tons. As for indium and gallium, the U.S. is presently 100 percent and 99 percent import-dependent, respectively, while selenium is derived from the copper recovery process (loop back to our current copper shortfall).
That’s the sun. Maybe wind is different? Not so much: for a single industrial wind turbine, as much as 8,000 pounds of copper, and one ton of a single rare earth element, neodymium.
Then there are electric vehicle (EV) batteries, of the kind Tesla Motors intends to manufacture at its Nevada GigaFactory. Each battery will need lithium (the U.S. is 75 percent import-dependent), cobalt (76 percent import-dependent), titan percent) and tin (73 percent). Add in manganese and graphite, for both of which the U.S. is presently 100 percent import-dependent, and you can see that Tesla’s Elon Musk will need to be a mining proponent in order to become the new EV manufacturing mogul. New modes of energy mean new demands for metals and minerals.
Turn from the energy sector to national defense, and it’s the same story. In a 2012 study titled “Rare Earths Elements in National Defense,” the Congressional Research Service finds significant need for the elements in defense platforms that collectively encompass every major capability used to project power via ground, sea, air and space: “Guidance & Control, Electronic Warfare, Targeting, Electric Motors and Battlefield Communications.”
And that’s just the rare earths.
The irony is that, for every one of the metals and minerals mentioned above, known resources exist in the U.S., and in the case of copper, proposed mines that could close the copper gap are stuck in permitting limbo. As long as it takes 7 to 10 years to bring the average American mine through permitting and into production, the U.S. will be at a competitive disadvantage to other countries – from rivals like China and Russia, to allies like Canada and Australia – for steady, secure access to the raw materials that are the foundation of manufacturing.
Those are the real consequences of a generation of resource development neglect. And it’s the reason that any serious discussion of America’s manufacturing renaissance has to begin with an examination of how we can reverse decades of decline and revive American mining
Other things I hope to accomplish:
I've wondered for some time where I would put my combination presidential library/museum after leaving office and what I would like it to look like. Assuming I lived for any length of time post presidential (given I would be 77 at that point it might be problematic).
I would hate to have to be stuck with something like President Bill Clinton's "giant house trailer on the Arkansas River" though if the Secret Service had not overruled him it might've looked more appropriate had it extended halfway across the River thus embodying the whole "bridge to the 21st century" idea.
No, I think I would go with two separate locations and structures.
One in my hometown. In the location and with the look of the school where I and my sisters went from first through twelfth grades (except my 3rd grade year). And to give it something of serious practical benefit I would have a tornado shelter incorporated into hit capable of holding up to 1,000 people.
And a time capsule. I really like time capsules.
The second I would put near the campus of the college where I, my three sisters, and my mother all graduated from (and my wife attended for a couple of years). I would like to go with the design of that building in China meant to look like the Starship Enterprise. There are plenty of hills and valleys in that area meaning incorporating the terrain to support the pylons and structures wouldn't be that difficult to do.
I seem to remember Steven Spielberg offering Bill Clinton the opportunity to include in his museum something akin to a holodeck and featuring Bill Clinton leading troops into combat, but Clinton declined as he thought it was "in bad taste". I would probably opt out of the "leading troops in combat" holo recreation as well.
But it would be very cool to see my home and pets reproduced holographically. Or even football games I played it. That would probably be doable
I would love to direct that a nonnuclear test explosion be conducted out west equivalent to 100 kilotons (100,000 tons of TNT). From what I've read the largest planned nonnuclear explosion ever conducted has been equivalent to only 4 kilotons (4,000 tons of TNT). This test explosion would be a great opportunity to obtain knowledge on everything from the construction of nuclear attack shelters to adoption of new disaster relief procedures not to mention gathering information about the structure of the Earth by examining the seismic waves created by such an explosion.
International observers and even participation would be encouraged.
Establish a fund to deal with nations and their population centers threatened by ocean rise, weather extremes and desertification. Each nation would contribute to the fund based on a combination of total and per capita carbon emissions. A group of officials appointed by the UN General Assembly and approved by the members of the Security Council would administer the fund and govern its disbursements
 
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Odd. 40 views and no response. Not even criticism. No one telling me how unrealistic I'm being. Of course my response is always in regards to cutting the U.S. federal budget deficit has always been that the U.S. has cut the deficit from one year to the next dramatically before. IIRC from 1997 to 1998 the deficit was reduced by something like nearly 70%.
 
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StanStill

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Odd. 40 views and no response. Not even criticism. No one telling me how unrealistic I'm being. Of course my response is always in regards to cutting the U.S. federal budget deficit has always been that the U.S. has cut the deficit from one year to the next dramatically before. IIRC from 1997 to 1998 the deficit was reduced by something like nearly 70%.
Do you think you could whittle it down? I’m not reading all that shit!

Bullet points, please. In fact, maybe just pick one idea. We’re not going to debate the long form outline of your self published book.
 
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Do you think you could whittle it down? I’m not reading all that shit!

Bullet points, please. In fact, maybe just pick one idea. We’re not going to debate the long form outline of your self published book.
The most important stuff is in the first post. The rest consists of basically extra things that in my view "would be nice" and in the case of the 3rd and 4th post details about how to do things like cut the U.S. federal budget deficit and grow the U.S. economy (not nearly all my ideas of course. gleaned from other sources that I t hought useful. ).
 

StanStill

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Dec 2013
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The most important stuff is in the first post. The rest consists of basically extra things that in my view "would be nice" and in the case of the 3rd and 4th post details about how to do things like cut the U.S. federal budget deficit and grow the U.S. economy (not nearly all my ideas of course. gleaned from other sources that I thought useful. ).
Even the first post is a rambling laundry list of thing you don't really explain how you would do, aside from "praying for it". You still need to narrow it down to something you want to discuss.

The thread should have been titled "If I Were All Powerful Supreme Ruler and Sole Decider of Everything". The President, while powerful, doesn't have the power to do 90% of what you listed even if he wanted to do it. For example 1 "Cut the U.S. federal budget deficit by 50% each year." is in direct conflict with 6 and 7.

It's a case study in magical thinking.