Thursday, November 08, 2012

Anchor to the left

Aside from all the bewildered centrist and right media pundits claiming a need to "reach across the aisle" in this next presidential term, I assert that instead, we should reach for the stars and force the GOP to choose between playing obstructionist games (and thus, I hope, frustrate their home base) or compromise and let us make progress.1

As such, I submit for your consideration a number of ideas:
  • Amend the Constitution to remove the electoral college and thus make every vote count equally for the presidency. Make the voting day a national holiday. Require that voting mechanisms be inspectable/verifiable by members of the public.
  • End the drug war. Spend the current funding on FDA approval tracks, social service harm reduction, and nationwide, fully-funded (optional) preschool education.
  • Replace the mortgage tax deduction (via 7 year step-down sun-setting clause) with a per-capita housing/rent-assistance stipend.
  • Single-payer healthcare.
  • Fix the whistleblower protection act.
  • Replace the corporate income tax with a series of fees related to the size of the business, and the number of regulatory areas the business falls in (i.e., to offset the expense of employing regulators, enforcers, etc.) Or at least reduce the corporate income tax to the point where that's effectively what it's paying for.
  • Universal high-speed internet as a federally funded public utility. If it's not available locally (with high standards for fidelity and price to consumer), the fed gov't will install it as an alternative.
  • Protection for LGBTQIA. (Civil) marriage for all. Repeal DOMA, DADT, etc.
  • Establish new rules for non-nation-state-war conflict. Reestablish writ of habeus corpus. Remove disparity for military combatant (citizen or no). Require bilateral nation-state-level treaty to allow US to prosecute such conflict on foreign soil. Citizens must get public (non secret tribunal trial), even in absentia, before being assassinated, and any such effort must show that (1) the target poses additional future risk and (2) that a capture operation's risk exceeds that of assassination operation risk and target's additional future risk combined.
  • Establish a bipartisan congressional committee to oversee exec branch invocations of state secrets.
  • Remove the senate secret hold rule.
  • Go back to the old senate fillibuster rules, requiring an actual senate member to stand and address the floor. At least it'll take away their time to devote to fundraising and other political causes, so it'd better be worth it to them and their base.
  • Treat capital gains as income for tax purposes. Reduce the income tax accordingly.
  • Institute redistricting rules that establish regular redistricting using a computationally fair model. (e.g.,
Thanks to Planet Money, On The Media for several of these ideas. And I'm sure several filtered in from random sources via Boing Boing or Twitter.

1I assert that is what the GOP does anyway, so this is just using the tools of the trade.

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