Frustration with the government has reached an all time high. Rasmussen recently released a poll that showed that the number of people who believed that Congress was doing a good or excellent job fell to a mere 9%. The lowest in the history of their polling. Neither side seems to be able to get anything done. Republicans were accomplishing very little and the Democrats seem to be biding their time hoping that this next election will give them large majorities and the White House.
The huge mistake that Republicans made when they were in power was kowtowing to special interest groups, giving unequal tax, and regulatory advantage to their supporters. The Democrats swept into power with a little idealistic fervor to change all this, but they too have succumbed to the same pressures. They let their union devotion shut down a very good trade bill with our ally in Colombia, and their anger towards “Republican” Big Oil has stopped them from easing our price problems with gasoline. Neither party has the muster to stop these bad habits.
It is not merely a problem with politicians, it is a problem with the power that we have given them. Anyone who is given a position of authority where they can help themselves, their friends or their ideology with other people’s money will be tempted to do so. This is the human condition. The only solution is to limit that authority.
Here are my 3 plans –
Ban Earmarks – Craft a bill that prevents any Congressman from submitting a bill or addition to a bill suggesting an allocation of funds to any specific organization or geographic local. A Congressman can not be bribed or cajoled to offer funds when he does not have the authority to do so. Lobbying of Congress would fall significantly.
Enact a Flat Tax – The shorter the tax code the more transparent it becomes. Having a flat tax that offers few or no deductions would stop the lobbying for special tax treatment by numerous groups. Right now the tax code punishes the new wealth accumulation at the highest tax rates, but the myriad deductions help shelter those who are trying to preserve their wealth. Lobbying of Congress to offer tax breaks for this person, but not that person would disappear.
Scrap the Corporate Income Tax – When ExxonMobil makes $40 Billion a year, their tax bill without deductions and account techniques would have been $21.5 Billion at the current 35% tax on profits. This gives a huge incentive for every corporation on earth to hire an army of accountants to cut this amount down. It also gives them a huge incentive to hire an army of lobbyists to fight for tax deductions and favorable tax accounting techniques. The income from the corporate tax should be shifted to the individual taxpayer. Wealthier individuals own more stock so their burden should be higher than those with less income so that each income group pays as close to what they already effectively pay right now. When this is done, corporate lobbying will drop precipitously.
We must take away the power of Congress to hand out money. We must take away the power of lobbyists to affect the tax code. We must take away the power of special interest groups to prosper at the expense of others. Our Congress should be focused on issues of importance not the appeasement of well-financed beggars.
The Republican Party was embarrassed out of office by too many scandals. Before we can hope to regain power and regain the public trust, we must cut off the supply of money. Legislators can not fall into corruption if they lack the power to hand out money.
Ban Earmarks, Enact a Flat Tax, and Scrap the Corporate Income Tax