JOE, KAMALA, GO BOLD OR GO HOME
Congratulations on your victory and for getting off to a great start. I have some advice for you going forward. Most of these proposals are things that need to be done but can wait until next year to tackle. What is more important than anything else right now of course is COVID pandemic recovery. Once the economy starts turning around and the COVID pandemic is behind us it will be time to turn to these other critical issues.
infrastructure including the new green deal,
health care reform,
reform to the Federal budget,
college education paid for through national service,
Statehood for DC, PR, VI, Guam including splitting up NY, Illinois, and California,
Rebuild our alliances
Offer a grand bargain with North Korean
Offer a grand bargain with Iran
Bring our troops home.
Space exploration including setting up permanent colonies on the moon and Mars within ten years
Call for The Legalization of Marijuana, Emptying the Prisons of Drug Offenders.
Infrastructure including Call for The Green New Deal
I would gradually reduce military spending and devote resources to rebuilding America’s crumbling infrastructure. This must include high-speed trains, and must include perhaps hyperloop technology or Maglev trains? And the next generation of airplanes as well. We must rebuild our mass transit systems. We must embrace the development of driverless vehicles. and as mention, we must beef up health care spending and assuring universal access to higher education. These must be the new national priorities. I would throw the republicans a bone offers to look at modest reductions in another government spending for example decreasing spending on NPR but not eliminating it, and a slight decrease in foreign assistance, and UN contributions, etc and other government programs could be trimmed down a bit to pay for higher priorities.
Point out time and time again China, Germany, and other countries are building the green energy resources of the future while the U.S. which invented green energy is moving back to the 19th century.
When critics say we cannot afford this, tell them we cannot afford to ruin the world for our children’s future. We cannot afford to continue burning fossil fuels. Climate change is real, and the U.S. must lead the way forward. That is what great nations do, lead the world in embracing change, in embracing the promise of the future. We can do no less.
Call to Fix Obama Care
Point out time and time again that we still have a broken down too expensive too burdensome a health care system. Point out time and time again that we have the most expensive system in the world, yet we are about 25th in terms of health care outcomes. No one in this land should fear going bankrupt if they need to get medical care. We can do this right and we must do it right.
I would acknowledge that Obama Care is not perfect and that if you had a chance to re-do it you would make it much less bureaucratic and less burdensome. But be proud of what you and Obama accomplished. Promise to fix it and make it work.
One potential fix would be to open the Federal Health Care system to anyone who needs insurance and continue to provide subsidies to keep the premiums down.
Another option would be an expansion of Medicare, so it covers about half the country.
Enact paid sick leave for all Americans.
and tie this into the pandemic and how if we had universal health care and paid sick leave people would not feel that they had to work even when sick
and contrast Trump’s inept handling of the pandemic with your handling of HINI and Ebola and how you would restore the American economy after the second great depression recedes after the pandemic fades away
call for a slight reduction of military spending and national security spending, a slight increase in taxes including corporation taxes to beef up spending on infrastructure, and health care.
When Republicans claim that we cannot afford this, challenge them. What is their alternative? Do they think it is just that we have such a broken health care system? Do they want to go back to the days when getting sick meant you would be faced with bankruptcy? Is that what they want? And why the hell cannot the rich pay a little bit more to ensure health care for and to ensure we rebuild America.
Reforming the Federal Budget
This is perhaps boring to voters but very important to the long-term stability of the country.
I would call upon Congress to change how they do budgets and shift to a two-year budgetary cycle. The first year of congress would be devoted to passing the two-year budget, the second year would be devoted to oversight and supplemental budget requests.
Coupled that shifting to a calendar year budget. Eliminate the possibility of government shutdowns by enacting automatic CR’s if budgets are not passed on time. But also require budgets to be passed on time – December 1 in the prior year. If a budget is not passed on time, keep congress in town until the budget is passed. And if for some reason the budget is not passed, dinge congressional salaries until the budget is passed.
Second commission a study to look at our tax situation and make suggestions for common-sense tax reform. Start by figuring out how much money the government spends in a given year, then reform the tax code to generate most of the revenue from taxes. Consider a national sales tax as well. Reserve borrowing for large scale infrastructure, and military spending. And consider a surcharge on income about 10 million per year, raise the top corporate tax rate a fraction. Reward corporations who hire Americans and punish those that shift jobs overseas.
I would also look at federal spending and ask that all departments identify lower priority projects with a required 5 percent reduction in federal spending per agency, except for health-related and education-related agencies which would be given a considerable bump up in spending. I would do this for five years so that in five years overall spending has been reduced by about 5 percent. Leave it up to the agencies to identify lower priority projects -that should not be micromanaged by the White House.
Revise the Re-inventing government initiatives including solicitation of ideas from both employees and the general public. Require agency heads to report on progress made in re-inventing government.
Consider reorganizing government agencies and functions. I would create a new department called the Department of Consular and Immigration affairs which would consolidate the visa function, naturalization function, citizen services into one agency.
For the defense, the department considers eliminating such things as golf courses, domestic PX and commissary stores, and another non-essential spending.
Finally, consider turning over some federal government functions to the states. For example, the states could manage the national forests and perhaps the national park service.
The conservative idea of moving federal agencies out of Washington DC has considerable merit in my opinion.
Call for Free College Education Coupled with National Service Requirements.
It is time to change the game plan in Washington DC. You need a new bold proposal that will unite the country and heal the divisions. My proposal is for you to embrace mandatory national service for three years. Everyone finishing their service would receive full funding for college, technical training, or a grant to set up their own business because after all not everyone needs to go to college, we need to encourage technical training and starting up a small business as well.
the key is that the service would be universal and all citizens and LPR’s between age 18 and 25 would serve three years – no exceptions. Most would be military, but people could serve as fine fathers. adjust police officers, adjust border patrol officers, adjust teachers, peace corps volunteers, or serve in the state/local and federal government positions, including a revival of the civilian conservation corps to put people to work in the parks and forest lands.
Call for all Americans to serve three years in public service either in the military or in the government or NGO sector and return, they will get four years of college paid for. For recent graduates, they can serve and get their college debt forgiven. To those who say we cannot afford this, say we cannot afford to continue to put our college students in crippling debt they cannot afford. And everyone, especially the rich, should shoulder the burden of national service. and point out that shifting to a mandatory national service requirement would save the Pentagon money on salaries. the cost would be modest – minimum wage, housing, medical care, and college tuition after their service. People would serve between age 18 and 25 one year of training and two years of service, with an optional second enlistment for three more years of educational benefits through Ph.D./professional degrees. Starting at age 18 until age 25 people will be randomly selected to begin service. those who are 25 will have until they turn 26 to report for service. They would have one year to report for service.
Free College/technical training or money to open a business in exchange for national service
Most people will start college, or tech training institute, then do military or other service and then return to college to finish their college. That is fine. Ensure that colleges will not only accommodate that but will also offer college credits for military and other on the job training acquired during national service. This would also cut the cost of college attendance for most people to a manageable three years instead of four to five years. And of course, ensure that people can go to technical training institutes instead of a traditional college as we need to grow the next generation of technical workers as well. and also ensure that those who wish financial assistance in setting up a small business would receive that assistance as well as we need to encourage the small business start-ups as well.
All Must Serve
And most importantly, shared national service will help restore America’s sense that this is our land, this land belongs to everyone. The rich and the poor alike. We are all in this together. We have lost sight of that. The military has become an army of paid mercenaries recruited from the lower classes. If everyone serves, there will be less temptation to send troops into harm’s way. This will be a win-win for everyone except for the student loan vultures. everyone who is a citizen or permanent resident must serve, Foreigners on student visas or other short-term visas could serve and receive a green card for their service.
Establish New Service Academies for the Diplomatic, Intelligence Services/ Space Force/NASA, and law Enforcement
I would also call for four new national service academies to be set up. One would be for diplomatic and intelligence service, the other would be for law enforcement, the third would be for the Space Force/and NASA, the last would be more technical scientific agencies of the Federal government focusing on science and technology issues. These academies like the military academies including a coast guard academy, and beefing up the maritime service academy, would take only those who finished their military basis service. this would be a great way to restore our diplomatic corps and intelligence services as well as our law enforcement personnel.
National Service Will Bring US together as one nation
I believe that this proposal could be enacted with widespread bipartisan support. It would go a long way to help heal the divisions of our country and bring us all together as a nation. I hope you will fully embrace this proposal and I look forward to discussing it with your staff.
Call to repair our alliances
Declare that our allies are our allies and our friends, and we will work with them to solve the world’s problems and restore American leadership. We will rejoin the Paris Climate Change and work to make sure it works. We will rejoin the Trans-Pacific Partnership. and we will figure out how to work with China and even Russia to solve problems of mutual interest such as climate change. Vow to restore partnership with Mexico and Canada and Latin America as well as India and Southeast Asia. and restore ties with Europe as well. Rebuild the UN and international organizations. and join the international criminal court. Finally, close Gitmo as an affront to the American system of justice and human rights. Israel vows to work with Palestinians and Israelis alike to restart the peace process.
Offer a New Deal to North Korea
We will continue to negotiate with the North Koreans, offering them a way towards reunification with South Korea and rejoining the world economic community. You can damn the President here with faint praise. Say that it was good that he took the initiative to break the log jam and talk to the North but due to his inexperience and his naivety he was unable to make a deal. You can finish the job.
Offer to Talk with The Iranians
Tell the Iranians we are ready to talk with them and want a new deal that would benefit them and the U.S. along the lines of what we are offering the North Koreans.
Bring the Troops Home
I would call for most U.S. troops to return to the U.S., where they will be reposted along our borders and serve as adjunct border patrol agents and first responders as part of their mandatory new national service. I I would keep a residual force in Korea, Japan, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Europe.
Challenge the Republicans on their “you are weakening national security” BS. When the Republican scream you are weakening national security calls them out on their BS.
Ask them how repositioning troops to help deal with national security issues at home weakens national security? How does going to universal military service weaken national security? How does getting out of endless wars weaken national security? How does closing a few bases in Europe weaken national security? Or closing a golf course? Or a commissary? Point out that we already spend more on national security than any other nation on earth. How does rebuilding America’s failed infrastructure weaken national security? How does providing medical care or universal higher education which benefits the entire nation hamper national security? Challenge them to produce a better plan.
Call for Comprehensive Immigration Reform
Start by acknowledging we need to improve security at the border, but the wall is a waste of time and money that will not solve the problem. We need a comprehensive 21st-century immigration policy that balances the need for continued immigration with the need to ensure that immigrants contribute to our country and enrich our country as they always have and always will. Again, throw the republicans a bone offers to ensure that E Verify is widely used by all employers and punish employers who hire illegals. I would also consider getting rid of the diversity visa program and the sibling immigration category but grandfather people in that category giving them two years to complete the immigration process with no new applicants being accepted. I would also push English language skills for immigrants as one of the new requirements – they must be able to handle the immigrant visa interview in English. That is something I agree with Trump on.
Challenge the Republicans to come up with a better plan and work with you to implement it.
Call for A Return to Space Including Lunar Colonies and Martian Colonies
It is time for the U.S. to lead the world again in space exploration. Offer to lead the way in building lunar and Martian colonies with the participation of the world’s other space powers.
Call for The Legalization of Marijuana, Cocaine, Emptying the Prisons of Drug Offenders
End the endless war on drugs. Repeal marijuana prohibition, and cocaine possession. Empty the prisons of marijuana offenders. End the private prison for-profit system. End the prison pipeline that sweeps up brown and black youths and sucks them into prison for life. Reserve prisons for the most dangerous offenders, all other prisoners should be sentenced to community service, drug treatment, or other non-prison sentences. Use the money saved by closing prisons for rebuilding infrastructure.
Tax marijuana at both the state and federal levels. Use the revenues to beef up health care including drug abuse prevention programs.
Decriminalize cocaine and other drug possessions and empty the prisons of drug offenders. Future drug offenders would undergo mandatory rehabilitation paid for through insurance.
Finally, require all vehicles in the U.S. to have installed anti-DUI technology. The technology has been around for decades and would cost about $150 per vehicle. The cost is modest but the benefits in fewer deaths, and almost complete elimination of DUI prosecution would be tremendous. Why this has not been done before is beyond me.
That would save both the states and the federal government a lot of money.
Pitch ending the war on drugs as both a criminal justice initiative and as a way to raise much-needed revenue. Remember prohibition ended because due to the Great Depression, the government was desperate for money.
In short, Joe and Kamala
Go bold and ensure that we will rebuild America and once again lead the world. Be cautious and timid and risk being a one-term president.
GO BOLD OR GO HOME IN FOUR YEARS
Jake Cosmos Aller
I retired from the State Department in 2016 after serving 27-years in over ten countries. Before my FS service, I taught overseas in Korea. I hold an MPA and MA degrees from the University of Washington. My spouse, Angela Lee, retired from the U.S. Army as a major.
I went to too a few years before you did. 1962, and 1964.