Category Archives: Dictator

Dictator For A Day – Part II

If you did not read Part I you’re going to have some difficulty figuring out what I am doing here. You can probably guess what you need to do now.

Rising from my brief nap I am a little fuzzy so I will take on a rather simple issue: the dollar coin. Most countries that I have visited have one, two and even five dollar (equivalent) coins. The reason for this is quite simple. Paper money wears out many times faster than coins and who wants to carry a wad of paper singles in their pocket? In my youth we called this a “Michigan bankroll”… a big wad of bills, all singles. The US has made several attempts at introducing a dollar coin: the Susan B. Anthony dollar, the Sacagawea dollar and now the Presidential dollar. [Not to mention the Eisenhower dollar (1971-1978), Peace dollar (1921-1935), Morgan dollar (1878-1904; 1921), Trade Dollar (1873-1885), Gold dollar coins (1849-1889), Seated Liberty dollar (1836-1873), The 1804 dollar, and the silver dollar coins from 1794 to 1803. This dollar coin business is a failure more than 200 years in the making. –ed.] All have failed for one simple reason: the government refuses to simultaneously remove the paper dollar from circulation. Several years ago the Canadian government introduced the two-dollar coin (the one dollar coin, having the image of a Common Loon on the back side is often called the “Loonie”; similarly, the two dollar coin is fondly referred to as the “Twonie”). The banks pulled all paper two-dollar notes out of circulation when they came in and within two weeks all the paper notes were gone. I’d immediately have the Treasury stamp out millions of one-dollar coins and have the banks pull the paper bills. While I’m at it, I’d have them create a two-dollar coin. Maybe the Bill Clinton coin?
The War on Drugs: Started during the Nixon Administration in the ‘70s and expanded ever since, you would have to agree that the war has been lost. My criterion for this is quite simple: if any high school kid in North America can get any drug he wants in 24 hours (and he can), then I’d say you’re pissing up wind and getting your shoes wet.
The Feds spend some $20 billion annually on the effort and the states spend another $30 billion, almost all for enforcement. This does not include the costs of prosecution and imprisonment of offenders. Half of all the people in Federal prisons are there because of drug offenses and 17% for crimes committed to get cash for drugs. Officials anticipate that in 2009 over 1,841,000 people will be arrested on drug offenses. In 2007 there were 872,000 arrests for cannabis violations alone. In 1986, during the Reagan Administration, a mandatory minimum was enacted for drug offenders. As a result the average sentence for drug offenders is 75.6 months while violent criminals serve an average of 63 months. (Figures from War on Drugs Clock and an article by Christina Gleason).
Dan Gardner of the “Ottawa Citizen” has written an excellent series on the drug issue and points out that there is no relationship between the cost of production and the retail price for drugs because of the “risk cost” to the industry, including the need to corrupt judges, police and government officials. Many users could continue to function in society and not resort to crime to support their habit if the cost were not so out of whack.
So, for my first big pronouncement after lunch I would legalize all drugs (except crystal meth). They could be imported (or home grown) and sold like liquor i.e. Taxed and confirmed for quality. This would quickly destroy the illegal market for drugs and all the violence and graft that goes with it. Druggies would be able to pick up clean needles and that would require rescinding the Federal ban on needle exchanges. Dirty needles cause some 4000 new cases of HIV/AIDs each year that cost $618,000 each for a lifetime of treatment.
Next I would release from prison all except the violent drug offenders. The dealers could not re-offend because the market for their services no longer existed. Clearly, this would free up lots of prison space to hang on to the real dangerous predators to society like rapists, murders, pedophiles and various scumbags. It would also allow the ATF and the FBI to concentrate on potential terrorists and man the border to stop illegal immigration. Not happy with this? Sorry, I’m Dictator today.

Potty and liquid refreshment break.

Energy independence: This is another old saw begun during the Nixon Administration in the ‘70s. The result: the US has gone from about 16% imported oil to around 60% with the US sending some $700 billion annually to countries that hate us. The solution is to drill offshore and in Alaska and to exploit the tar sands in the West. This morning I added a $.50 tax on gasoline and would mandate that another $.50 be added in five years. I would also reduce the tax on diesel to make it less than the tax on gasoline, and tell the UAW to pound sand and allow the import of low cost high mileage diesel cars from Europe or South America. While were at it, might as well eliminate the CAFÉ standards for gas mileage. (Good piece on this in the 6/22/2009 “National Review”).
To keep the cost of electricity down I would immediately authorize the construction of 20 nuclear plants and open Yucca Mountain repository for nuclear waste. To do the drilling and building of nuke plants it would be necessary to pull the teeth of the well funded environmental groups and their cadres of lawyers. So, I’d cancel the “citizen lawsuit” provisions of environmental laws and subject proposed drilling and plant building to a commission of scientists and business leaders. I would also make environmental groups taxable entities and donations to such groups subject to a 20% tax. To be fair I would extend those provisions to all the many K Street lobbying groups. Unless there is a serious issue… let the drilling and building begin. The sale of drilling leases and the royalties resulting from all the new wells would be a great revenue source for states and the Federal government. Clean up of any oil spills would, of course, be the responsibility of the drilling companies.

Time for a cigar. All this Dictating has me restless.

The cutting of taxes, reining in of the lawyers and providing cheap energy would certainly bring in massive amounts of investment capital from around the world and result in rapid economic growth. As always, the lower rates would bring in increased revenues for the government. However, there would be a lag, so spending must be cut substantially. Anyway, government is too big, too expensive and redundant. The federal government employs 1.8 million civilians plus another 785,000 at the beloved post office. I’d put an immediate freeze on all hiring. For the USPS, I’d let any business deliver the mail and let the post office go out of business.

I eliminated the Education Department this morning, but there’s lots more low hanging fruit that I want to pick off right away. The Drug Enforcement Agency for example. I legalized drugs so this group is now unnecessary. As Ronald Reagan observed, “The Department of Energy has never produced a single barrel of oil or a lump of coal.” I’d eliminate 90% of the Dept. of Energy and transfer the remaining 10% over to Interior to keep track of energy. That leaves the Departments of Agriculture, Interior, Commerce, Labor, Treasury, Vets Affairs, State, Transportation, Homeland Security, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development and Defense. Except for Defense, I would appoint a commission of businessmen to combine functions, eliminate employees and streamline operations such that the cost of government would be reduced by 50% in five years. With the aggressive growth of the economy there will be plenty of job opportunities for these federal employees in the private sector.

While we’re in the cutting mode, let’s have my “Efficiency Commission” go through the budget and eliminate corporate welfare, farm subsidies, funding of NPR, the NEA, ACORN and all other groups not considered a Federal function. For Congress, no more tacking on earmarks legislation to build a bike path or airport in your district. Absolute no-no, boys.

Social Security: This Ponzi scheme makes Madoff look like a two bit thief. First off, I’d forbid Congress from spending the money put into the SS Trust Fund. I guess I’d first have to set up the fund since it doesn’t exist. Having former illegal workers now covered under the Guest Worker program and paying taxes will help but, social security needs to stop hemorrhaging money by sending checks to drunks, druggies and immigrants who never worked in the US. There will be plenty of money left over at the end of the War on Drugs to weed out the undeserving. I would also let people opt out of the system on the terms of the Republican proposal of a few years back.
Medicare: This is a black hole that needs to be closed and a very difficult task. Unlikely to be fixed by the Dictator today. I have already given doctors relief from medical malpractice and that will help. I would also let people set up medical savings accounts, make medical insurance available across state lines and make it portable when workers change employers. Self-employed people would be able to deduct insurance premiums and able to buy at group rates through associations. Free medical care would not be denied illegal aliens in emergency situations but they would be immediately deported when mobile.

Welfare: Another difficult and long standing problem unfixable by single pronouncements. First, no illegals should be collecting welfare. That’s an insult to honest taxpayers. Same goes for otherwise able-bodied individuals and there will be plenty of jobs available in the rapidly expanding economy.
Justice: I would immediately expand the Supreme Court to 15 justices and appoint 6 new jurists that believe in the Constitution and not legislating from the bench.
And finally, as the day draws to a close, I would pronounce that none of my Dictator Mandates could be changed for 10 years.

Time for a beer. That’s enough for one day.

Note: One of my three faithful readers suggested I tackle the Media in this piece. I decided not to because: 1. Freedom of the press, and 2. The media is comprised of private businesses and should succeed or fail by their own hand. People are already getting frustrated by the biased liberalism of the MSM and their drooling, slavish support of Obama. They are turning off network news and canceling their subscriptions to left leaning newspapers (the NYT, Boston Globe and others are on life support. CBS just reported the lowest ratings ever for their evening news program. Ever.). When citizens fully realize the impact of BHO’s policies and global warming is finally exposed for the massive hoax that it is, the MSM will pay a heavy price. In other words, they don’t need any help from me.

1 Comment

Filed under Dick, Dictator, Politics

Dictator for a Day – Part I

Long drives, I have found, give your mind plenty of opportunity to wander aimlessly down improbable paths and dream up unlikely scenarios. Such was the case in the four and one half hour trip over the mountains and back on my recent jaunt in search of the regal rainbow trout. I was thinking specifically about the almost daily announcement out of the Obama Administration to take over yet another industry or institution. One day they’re taking over the auto industry while simultaneously shafting the bondholders and giving big chunks of equity to their friends in the UAW. The next, they want to take over the health care business, or the banks, or impose a mammoth carbon tax on everything. Sobering thoughts.

On the long ride back and in the pleasant afterglow of a week of fly fishing, an absurd thought popped into my head, namely: if I were the Dictator of the US for a single day, what would I do? What changes would I make that politically cannot get done the way things are currently organized? Here’s how I fantasized my day as Dictator would go.

After rising early and the requisite morning ablutions and pouring the first cup of coffee, I would take Shakespeare’s advice and “… kill all the lawyers”. Not literally, of course. The little remembered Dick the Butcher uttered these famous words to Jack Cade. Jack envisioned himself the sole autocrat overseeing his version of a quasi-communistic social revolution. Dick was simply making a helpful suggestion. (Henry VI, Part 2, Act 4). Funny…. Jack sounds a bit like Obama.
My method for dealing with the lawyers who have taken over nearly every aspect of our lives, would be to impose “loser pays” rules… just like every other civilized country except the US. You sue and you lose, you get to pay the other guy’s fees plus a reasonable sum for wasting his valuable time. The estimated cost of litigation in the US is 2.7% of GDP plus adding 10-15% to the cost of everything. While I am at it, I would protect doctors from medical malpractice suits and turn over patient complaints to a review board. Egregious cases would be prosecuted and bad doctor’s licenses revoked. Harmed patient would be compensated at a sensible level. I’d mandate the same for drug companies.

After a second cup of coffee: Education.

There can be little serious argument that the public education system is broken and the teacher’s unions won’t allow anyone to fix it. My solution? All per student tax money stays with the kids and they can choose whichever school they want. In other words, if government spends $10,000 per pupil per year to educate her the money would go with the student to attend the school of her choice. Denmark has this system. This would encourage competition by schools to recruit not only students but also the best teachers. Thousands of new private schools would be created.

For Step Two, I would eliminate the Education Department and all the administrative claptrap they require of school systems. In its place, I would create an Education Commission made up of volunteer college entrance officials, educators and business people who would establish a curriculum for grade school, junior high and high school that is heavy on reading, math, science, US and world history and civics. To keep schools from reverting to the multi-cultural, anti-American, diversity heavy and environmental nonsense currently being taught, the Commission would establish national tests for each level and subject. Results of student success must be published so that parents can see what the teachers and students are doing. Students at schools that continued to teach the nonsense so common today would have substantial numbers of students who would fail to graduate. Recognizing that not everyone is destined for college, tech high schools could operate on a modified standard.
For Step Three, I would eliminate the Teacher’s Union. (*Little known fact–37 states do NOT allow teacher strikes, while others allow up to a month of empty classrooms year after year, such as Pennsylvania.)
While I’m at it, I might as well forbid all unions for public employees. They are too powerful as both a voting block and an inordinate drain on the resources of governments at all levels. I’d go back to the civil service system and bring salaries and benefits in line with the private sector. At this time it’s almost impossible to fire an incompetent government worker. I’d establish a system whereby a fired worker got a review within one week and immediately terminated if found deficient.

Time out for another cup of coffee and a little breakfast.

Taxes. They are too high and too complicated with too many breaks for special interests of all stripes. I would eliminate the AMT and the Death Tax and impose a flat tax on all income levels above $35,000 at 15%. Corporate taxes would be set at 15% with no special breaks or deductions and capital gains taxes set at 10%. I’d raise the gas tax by $.50 a gallon and designate that entire sum to the development of a nation-wide system of high speed rail between major cities. I would have private companies run the passenger rail system. Note: gas taxes are already sufficient to maintain the Federal highway system, especially if the Davis Bacon Act were suspended permanently. So, I’d do that too.

Congress: As I pointed out in a previous blog, members of Congress in most all instances are careerists and lawyers. I’d impose immediate term limits on these professional politicians. Two terms for Senators and three two-year terms for the House seem like plenty. Any member exceeding those limits would retire at the next election. This would eliminate a lot of pompous assholes.
The President: The current primary system is too long and way too costly. Let the parties select their candidates and start the campaign for President no earlier than six months prior to the election. I would also eliminate the contribution limits to candidates (McCain Feingold) but, require full disclosure of all contributors. Everyone has figured out how to get around the spending limits anyway and it restricts the “little guy” in favor of deep pockets like unions, lawyers and mega billionaire nut jobs like George Soros.

Potty break.

Immigration: this is a toughie but must be done. First, I would empty the prisons of all illegals and send them back to their country of origin. Our prisons are overcrowded anyway and, why should we feed and house these guys who should not be here in the first place? Mexico and other South American countries where most of these criminals come from would certainly object. Tough. If they refused, I’d get all the old parachutes in the possession of the military, strap them on the prisoners, fly them over Mexico (or wherever) and kick them out the back door of a C-130.

No immigration policy can work unless you stop the flow of illegals across the southern border. I’d immediately order the ATF forces that worked on drugs previously (when I get to drugs you will see why these guys are available), plus the National Guard and the Army if necessary to the southern border. To assist in stopping the flood of illegals, I would widely broadcast in Mexico that people caught trying to sneak in would not be eligible for the guest worker program.
Guest Worker Program: With some 12 million illegals living in the US at a cost of hundreds of billions of dollars annually in welfare, medical and school costs, it’s obvious that many need to be sent back. I would establish a guest worker program that gives preference (on a points system) to people who speak English, have a job and/or a home and have been in the US for a long period. I would give them a Social Security number and require them to pay taxes like everyone else. Any other illegals would be sent back and not allowed to apply for guest worker status. Those leaving voluntarily could apply for GW status in the future. Police and immigration officials must check for citizenship of all suspected illegals. For those haughty mayors who harbor illegals in their “sanctuary cities” I would order their immediate arrest.
While this program might cause some difficulty for wealthy southern California homeowners in getting cheap lawn care and house cleaning services, it would create jobs for inner city youth.
In recent years the US has restricted the number of highly educated immigrants from certain countries while favoring the uneducated and poor from undeveloped countries. I’d reverse that policy since the booming economy from the tax policies and the reining in of the predations by the lawyers would certainly vastly increase the demand for skilled workers.

OK. Time for lunch and a short nap. More after.


Filed under Dick, Dictator, Fishing