Monday, October 22, 2012

Why Nothing Works

Here are some proposals to avoid going Greek that are far better than anything I'm hearing from the candidates, and that could appeal to median voters. Republicans could even keep the Bush tax cut, and Democrats could keep most of their programs for the poor.  Doubtless friends would have more but these would be a start. But no candidate would pass this package.

1. Make Medicare means-tested so that upper and upper-middle class seniors do not get government assistance for health care. (Incidentally, Republicans in the 1990s suggested this but didn’t get very far). Crap, I just lost Florida.

2. Treat marijuana like alcohol. The sin taxes would bring in new revenue. Crap, I just lost the Bible Belt.

3. Release all nonviolent drug users from prison and all nonviolent 420 sellers. This will save a ton of money in incarceration expenses. Crap, I just lost the prison guard unions.

4. Eliminate corporate subsidies and farm subsidies. Corn farmers can make high fructose corn syrup on their own dime, not with taxpayer money. Crap, I just lost the cow states.

5. Make birth control available over the counter. Then we can stop this silly debate over government funding of it.

6. Upper class college students pay actual cost at state universities and colleges.

7. Cut defense spending by 1/3 or so. We'd need to cut the overall budget by 1/3 to get the budget balanced and defense is one of the largest items. We’d still be the best-defended nation on Earth.

8. Eliminate George W.’s prescription drug benefit. Every Bush did was bad, right? (Kidding aside, it was the most expensive program since the 1960s). Crap, I just lost Florida and Arizona, too.

9. Liberalize immigration. Once immigrants are legal, they will form a larger tax base and a base for social security retirees as our young population dwindles. Crap, I just lost the Tea Party.

10. Eliminate the mortgage tax deduction and child deduction for the wealthy.  

If you think a candidate could never win with this package, you’re right. So, tell me, if you think they are otherwise good ideas, why are elections are a good way of making rules for other people and allocating resources?