A CITIZEN'S PLATFORM – 2018 Edition
In 2013, I, with the help of like-minded friends, began developing a full Progressive Platform to address the growing concerns about the future of this nation.
Today, I present the updated version tailored for our current situation.
Ultimately, this is what I, as a self-styled Liberal Progressive would do to fix the issues facing the USA were I handed the power necessary to do so.
CONGRESSIONAL BEHAVIOR, ELECTIONS & PROCEDURE
- Ban all Federal Lobbying and remove all Lobbyists from Federal Buildings. Lobbying shall be considered a form of Bribery, with the penalty for such being full seizure of all Lobbyist’s assets and the removal of the bribed official from Office. SuperPACs to be completely disbanded and "Citizens United" to be overturned in law.
- All Incumbent members of both Congressional Houses to immediately resign. Hold emergency national elections to replace them, allowing only Independent/Third-Party candidates on the ticket.
- All funding for Elections for Public Office will be provided publicly and all private monetary donations to campaigns will be banned. Campaign contributions will be in the form of personal time commitments only. Full Voting rights to all unregistered citizens who can provide a Birth Certificate, Passport or two forms of State/Local ID. All those already registered to vote will only have to sign on-record register at the polls.
BANKS, ECONOMICS & WELFARE
- Reinstate Glass-Steagle and break up the “Too big to fail” banks into smaller, more competitive entities. All tax havens will be seized entirely. All corporations that made record profits after receiving bailout money from the government to be nationalized until such time as those funds are entirely paid back.
- Raise Federal Minimum Wage to match the local cost of living.
- Create a Federal Maximum Wage of $10M/year using the tax code to enforce the latter.
- All Senators, Congressmen, Supreme Court Justices and Executive Branch Department Heads (including President) to accept salaries at Federal Minimum Wage (travel benefits to remain intact). Savings to be used for Deficit Reduction.
- Welfare benefits to be redesigned to focus on job training, education and temporary relief, with benefit cutoffs to end after a recipient has successfully maintained a standard of living above the economic poverty line for 2 full months. All beneficiaries of Federal Welfare must serve a mandatory 1 year with AmeriCorps if receiving benefits for longer than 6 months.
- Creation of an infrastructure fund to be distributed to local government agencies directly based on proportion of citizen and businesses without regard to taxable contribution of the inclusive group in an effort to recognize businesses and employees need sustainable, safe and effective roads, bridges, etc. to ply their trade, etc. and balancing small community vs large community needs. This fund will be overseen by a board of Federal, State, County and local citizen representatives on a regular basis.
- Program of public works projects for domestic infrastructure improvements:
- Transformation of the American public transportation grid to 21st Century standards: electromagnetic bullet trains, etc.
- Transformation of the American energy grid to 21st Century standards: renewable energy investment, increase carbon taxes
- Redesign the tax code on a scale similar to Eisenhower era framework, with increased revenue divided as follows:
- Increased revenue divided into thirds: 1/3 for Deficit Reduction, 1/3 for Domestic Infrastructure Improvements, 1/3 for Public Health Option and Education funding
- Forbid moving money from one domestic program to another.
- Return to the tax brackets of the Eisenhower Era for corporations.
- Double taxes on Businesses that:
- Outsource American Jobs or damage American Ecology.
- Tax rewards for business that do the following:
- Bring jobs back to impoverished American areas.
- Are Unionized, with programs to allow for new members to join the Union.
- Use Green technology and go above-and-beyond EPA regulations in Environmental Safety
- Give back to local communities and invest in local economies.
MILITARY POLICY AND BUDGET
- 50% reduction of military spending, with reductions of the Standing Army and Foreign Bases accordingly. Remaining resources on augmenting and streamlining the Navy, Air Force, CyberDefense, Special Forces and AmeriCorps.
- Take 1/3 of the savings to increase funding for NASA and Tech R&D. Use 1/3 of the savings for Deficit Reduction and 1/3 for Domestic Infrastructure Improvements. Low-ranking Army Personnel still under contract to serve will serve the rest of their time with AmeriCorps and receive a 1-grade promotion in rank.
- Full disclosure to Congress of all Intelligence & Military Activities, Treaties (both secret and public), Deals, Slush Funds and Black Ops. Failure to do so will result in summary prison sentences for all personnel who refuse to disclose. All who willingly disclose this information can do so anonymously.
- Creation of a National Single-Payer Health Care Option to cover Basic Medical Care, Catastrophic Illness or Injury, Generic Prescriptions, including Generic Birth Control/Women’s Health Services and Annual Physicals
- This is to be a Public Option alongside Private Insurance, comparable to the Public/Private School System. Private Insurance would be subject to the same regulations as the Public Option. Elective Procedures will not be covered under the Public Option but could be covered by Private Options. Abortions will be covered in cases of rape, incest, minors and medical emergency, but will not be covered if deemed by the physician to not be medically necessary.
- Lifetime medical care to be covered, with doctors being given final say over their patients’ care, subject to Medical Review boards of their peers.
DOMESTIC SOCIAL JUSTICE
- Reinstitute the Assault Weapons Ban, with limited exceptions for Veterans and Law Enforcement, subject to strict regulation.
- Gun ownership to be placed under the same basic universal regulations as are commonly seen with automobile ownership as regulated by the States
- Training and licensure specific to each type of weapon
- Licenses to be reviewed for renewal every 5 years
- Mandatory Liability Insurance against the foreseeable accidents inherent in their use.
- The sale of Ammunition to be limited and subject to high sales tax. Sales tax on handguns and hunting rifles to be increased -- and split between the individual state in which they're sold and the Federal Government -- along with increased oversight and harsher penalties for unlicensed gun possession and trafficking.
- Federal Recognition of Marriage as defined as “a legal union of adult human beings” with all accordant benefits.
- Federally Prohibit the Death Penalty, and change sentencing protocols for Non-Violent Offenders to focus more on Community Service and less on Incarceration. Violent Offenders, Grand Theft, Fraud and White Collar criminals to face stiffer penalties. Penal management to be returned to direct State control, with Private Prison Companies relegated to minor support with no control over policy.
- Reinstate secular curriculum for all Public Schools. Full immersion tri-lingual education in all public schools, K-12: English, Spanish, French. Create an education fund which is used to reimburse new network of National Universities offering both academic and vocational degrees
- Payment of institutions to be withheld until post-graduation under a set flat rate for 2, 4, 6, 8-year programs. All institutions to be subject to regular audits to prevent artificial price-gouging.
- Repeal the Patriot Act and NDAA.
- Universal Voter Registration, with compulsory voting in all elections, to be Administered by the local States and Counties.
- Institutional Reparations for American citizens of African and Native descent
- Ban all religious trappings from Federal Buildings (including X-Mas decorations, Ten Commandment statuary, etc), while allowing Federal Employees time off for religious observance.
- Religion can not be used as a cover for bigotry and such arguments are to be considered illegitimate in Judicial proceedings.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM
- Legalize, License and Tax Marijuana, placing it under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of ATF and similarly regulated. Tax revenue to be used to help fund the Public Health Option. All non-violent convicts currently incarcerated for Marijuana possession to be immediately released with time served and given jobs in the new legal industry.
- All local police precincts to turn over their military-grade equipment and weaponry to the local National Guard.
- All local police precincts to be subject to financial penalties for every single fatality that happens in their jurisdiction, regardless of justification.
- All officers in a penalized precinct, from the Commissioner to the youngest rookies to be penalized along with their unit for the actions of any member of their unit, as a recognized means of fostering proper discipline.
- Any officer who is found to be abusing their authority to be stripped of rank and privilege, without appeal or benefits.
- Nationalize all prisons and put them under local civilian review. For-profit prison companies to be immediately dismissed.