Wednesday, December 17, 2008

10 Rules for the Future: An Obama Suggestive

  1. Cap tax-deductible CEO remuneration at a maximum of 30 times the salary of that public company’s lowest paid worker. Thereabove, salaries will not be tax deductible as an operating expense for an employer. In addition, no bonuses (in cash or shares) for top management of a public company will be tax deductible if the company suffered losses by the end of the relevant year.

  2. Limit the amount of airtime (on both public television and radio) eligible for advertiser tax deductions, to about 90 percent of the current level. Any advertising time above this level will not be tax deductible, reducing the cost-effectiveness of additional advertisements and helping to stem our country’s advertising epidemic.

    By way of both suggestions 1 and 2, companies can allocate resources exactly as they wish. However, the government will cease to incentivize obviously counterproductive decisions.

  3. Tax all raw materials, particularly oil and other energy products, according to a formula that factors in all of their indirect costs, including recycling, pollution and security impacts. The tax on oil, for example, will take into account global warming, other pollution, the use of the American military to provide a protective shield in the Middle East, and so on. Use the revenues from these taxes to tackle the country’s most urgent needs: reducing alternative energy costs, improving and extending incentive-based education, and reducing our national deficit.

  4. Re-define the tax code: tax all workers at a flat 8 percent, bumping the rate to 18 percent and 28 percent for earnings over $80,000 and over $250,000, respectively (including capital gains). Create a standardized national sales tax of 8.8%. Abolish the inheritance tax, loopholes and all.

    This simplified tax code will save taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars by removing unnecessary accounting, audit, and tax collection fees, as well as reducing the costs of maintaining a large tax bureaucracy. In addition, it will ensure that all Americans, irrespective of income, contribute to the country and have a stake in its well-being.

  5. Eliminate pork—and this is not a halal or kosher issue. Ban all unrelated and irrelevant earmarks in any budget vote. Establish Congressional sub-committees to vote on minor expenditures individually, ensuring that every line item is voted on and not advanced circumstantially by inclusion in larger, otherwise unrelated bills.

  6. Implement a ‘Bare Bones’ universal healthcare program, fully covering only workers’ compensation and emergency healthcare, and including sensible co-pays for all other services. Allow private insurance plans to cover these additional and premium services as well. This “Bare Bones’ program (to be named in a more euphemistic manner) must be freely transferable from job to job and from state to state.

  7. Require all penitentiaries to have two “tracks” for inmates: ‘bones only’ and ‘full service.’ All inmates are guaranteed only the minimum, ‘bones only’ services, rights, and opportunities—a basic, “one star” jail experience. If inmates want better food, recreation, education and facilities they must work in some manner to earn those rights and help re-pay the penal system for these additional luxuries. No better way exists for rehabilitation than this kind of incentive-based, pay-as-you-go system. As an added bonus, local manufacturers will be allowed to set up cost-effective, low-wage satellite factories in (or attached to) low security prisons.

  8. Implement tort reform—finally. Allow judges and juries to charge a plaintiff (i.e., the initiator of a legal action) with all costs when they deem the action to be frivolous or based on avarice. Include a ‘three strikes’ approach to lawyers’ pursuit of frivolous lawsuits, after which one’s license to practice law is put on ice for a significant period.

  9. Require naturalized citizens to pledge an unequivocal, demonstrable and written commitment to integrate into our broad society, accept the primacy of our laws and our Bill of Rights and Constitution, and agree to learn a minimum functioning quotient of the English language. Similarly, define more pragmatically the invitation to citizenship for individuals born in the USA to two non-citizen parents, and as well as those with familial relationships, to reduce abuse.

  10. Include in the definition of “tolerance” the preventing of a vociferous minority from imposing its will on the majority; do not define our universal religion as political correctness and appeasing multiculturalism. Respect those “antediluvian” citizens who prefer to remain patriotic, religious, strong, independent, conservative, heterosexual and/or free.

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