No, I am NOT running for President. You guys wouldn’t like my master plan. In order to fix the economy, we would have to work harder, for less money, especially in the short term.
Make In America
Unions will hate me, even though I would be providing more jobs with fewer benefits. Corporations will hate me, because I will penalize them for practices that takes jobs and resources out of the country, forcing them to renegotiate higher labor and production costs for products that will (or should) proudly display the long-forgotten “Made In America” banner. I would push to make it harder to exploit existing flaws companies use to remain competitive in the global marketplace
The Latinos will hate me because, while I will fight for DREAM ACT benefits, I will clamp down HARD on illegal trafficking of drugs, consumer goods, weapons, and people. My focus will be more on stopping the illegal entry than on deportation. But, if you break the law and you aren’t supposed to be here, expect to be fast-tracked once convicted. However, I would have a more flexible VISA program for labor and academic reasons. Again businesses will hate me because it will be harder to exploit an illegal workforce.
It will also mean that recruiting international talent won’t be as lucrative, and they will have to go back to investing in talent locally. We should see an uptick of vocational and academic programs. 4H and science fairs will become the new reality shows. It’s one thing to sing and dance, it’s another to change an industry from the inside out.
While I wouldn’t proactively affect the fight for same-sex marriage (sorry gays, you won’t vote for me either), I would sic the AG on any ban against it. My fight would be for the equality of ALL American citizens. Having said that, gay couples should have the same equal right to the benefits and responsibilities of civil unions as anyone else. If you’re old enough to marry, you’re old enough to marry.
Having said THAT, I would also work to make it harder (or at least more rigorous) to get a civil union license (marriage would be left to traditional interpretations), and even more expensive to divorce. If we are going to hold the institution on a higher pedastal, then we should set a higher standard for it as well. Now, since I’m straight, I’m not sure how I feel about sexual preference as a checkbox on federal applications. I have to admit, I would lean on my advisory committee on gender preference/identity issues. And yes, I would try to establish a cabinet-level agency to better identify which issues are relevant and which are bs.
I would be willing to offer more federal grant money to state and local academic systems, but I would attach a few guidelines. One of them would be to slash administrative costs. I am not funding more bureaucracy, I am investing in our kids’ future. The trade-off is that the schools will have to be held to a high standard of accountability. Zero tolerance on truancy (before the parents applaud, keep in mind, it’s ultimately your responsibility to make sure your kid goes to school). In conceding to the current economic conditions, I would recognize a broader support for charter schools, but only for programs that have demonstrated proven success. And religious schools can fall under that unified charter definition, assuming that they have an open door policy and that the basic academic requirements are met. Charter schools can be a part of the school system, but we can’t allow it to replace it. There are Constitutional issues involved if the only local school available is a Catholic school. Practicing Muslims run into an immediate conflict of interest.
I would crack down on the aftermath of the foreclosure scandal. I would conference all state AGs to meet with mine and we would go hard. Banks that borrowed stimulus money and continued robosigning foreclosures will find my wrath. I would even go as far as to prosecute the individuals who were hired to forge signatures on illegal eviction notices. I would liquidate any entity, no matter how large, if it can’t make good on the money it made ripping off homeowners. There may not be a BofA when I’m done. And you can surely kiss Wells Fargo goodbye.
I only lump these two together because of the social relevance of #BlackLivesMatter. I recognize this as a national issue that, while disproportionate in its effects, still impacts all demographics in our country. While the White House can’t police the police per se, i would put my AG in charge of reviewing cases of police brutality to look for systemic behavior. I would look at how federal funding can be used to influence law enforcement agencies practices and policy, in an effort to re-write a few unwritten rules. By the same device, I would encourage SBI to work with FBI to identify systemic abuses of leo authority, and while race may be a recurring theme, it won’t be a consideration in pulling cases. Injustice is injustice, no matter who’s being violated.
I would also have my AG review the Constitutionality of asset forfeiture. If I can ban it with a stroke of a pen, I will.
To clarify, the above review for systemic behavior won’t be just to discover how corrupt departments are, but also to find ways where the feds can assist local and state agencies be better at their jobs. Violent crime is rampant, and the challenges of keeping the peace are considerable in a land where we feel like we’re almost at war. While I won’t tolerate abuses of power, my administration will be cop-friendly.
I would establish a review of existing treaties between the federal government and the indigenous tribes of America. I would want to to know how many are being enforced, and how many are being ignored or neglected. I would want answers on the short and long-term impact of absolute enforcement. Some of that may be impractical, but once we have some homework done, I would sit down with the respective tribes and start negotiating towards a resolution where we can establish a better relationship worthy of our partnership. I’ll sign off on it, but this will probably by my VP’s pet project.
I would retool a national gun registry, modeled similarly to the DMV’s auto registration and enforcement. While that may be the ire of gun-rights advocates, my concession is to allow that Department of Firearms to oversee the Constitutionality of state/local gun laws, to make sure they’re in line with 2A-compliant federal guidelines. In short, you can pretty much own anything you want, but it must be registered. Like the DMV, there will be a general registration/license for most handguns, rifles, shotguns. Specialized weapons would require specialized licensing. Licenses and current registration would require basic proficiency and regular renewals. Failure to register/license is not an automatic forfeiture – that would be unConstitutional. However, if any crime is committed with an unregistered firearm, or by an unlicensed shooter, the civil and criminal penalties will be “special circumstanced.” Responsibilities have to go in-hand with rights. And live DMV, DoF would promote safety and proficiency.
Gun manufacturers and distributors will be as liable for registration enforcement of weapons bought/sold/traded. Steep punitive action for those who break the chain of custody. That aside, DoF will be pretty hands-off on how they run their businesses. Free to sell as much ammo to anyone without bureaucratic headaches.
I intend to put the NRA as the civilian taskforce to help shape and monitor my DoF, but only after agreeing to some guidelines that will de-politicize its leadership, and wean off lobbying influences, to avoid obvious conflicts of interest.
I would have my Dept of Justice review each state’s policy on capital punishment, and focus on the effectiveness of due process. While the White House cannot interfere with states rights issues, I still can control the federal funding purse strings. I will make it harder to consider a death penalty case, for two goals: 1. shorter stays on death row, 2. fewer wrong convictions. If you’re on death row, you won’t be there long enough to get comfortable.
I don’t yet have answers for some of the other challenges, like healthcare, terror, Wall Street, abortion, etc. Much of those solutions will be dependent on states rights, and the Supreme Court. I can’t make promises I don’t know enough to keep. My cabinet will have a lot of head-scratching to do, and I won’t even consider tackling some of those unless my party has a long-term baton-passing election strategy for give us 8-16 years to fully implement. We can’t fix healthcare in four years and have it repealed by the next guy.
People not parties
Many of the solutions above aren’t my personal best choices. However, I would be the President of the people, not party, and I would have to contend with a potentially hostile Congress. So, what I outlined above should give enough wiggle room and compromise to win bipartisan support in whatever the final bills are, and move swiftly enough for the American people to see actual results before they vote again.
My government would be smaller and leaner. My message to the American people will not be pretty. I would be lucky to survive the first year. I would be compared to a dictator. Rich people will call me socialist behind my back and in the headlines. I will be accused of hindering the economy rather than helping. The reality check of my programs will show horrible numbers in the beginning. Yes, unemployment will escalate, so will interest rates, and the cost of living. Gas prices will skyrocket. Walmart will suspend its rollback pricing and find a nicer way of saying roll forward. The critics and haters will call me the worst President ever.
But if we’re lucky, I believe I can make significant changes within the first four years. I doubt if I get another. I will probably get 20. in federal prison.