Wednesday, September 10, 2008

My own policy positions

In order of importance:
-Health care reform, based on market principles and changing incentives to reduce the amount of unnecessary health care Americans use. Means limiting doctors to fee-for-service, tax credit for health care, and taxation of employee health benefits.
-Education reform, based on stronger federalism principles. National standards on a national test, an individual tax deduction/voucher that can be used at a licensed school system of the parent's choice, and no federal funding for states that don't sign on to the program
-A harder line stance on Iran that includes the application of hard military power
-A sensible withdrawal of the majority of combat troops from Iraq, with the permanent presence in the nation being minimal
-An extension and regularization of the tax credits for solar and wind energy, plus a renewed effort to completely revamp the nation's power grid
-A hard push to add Ukraine and Georgia to NATO
-A reconciliation with Syria
-A broader and more defined economic policy with China, to include obvious rules for improvements with clear punishments defined, in addition to assistance to help China develop its local administration so it can more effectively police its rogue local governments
-A carbon tax on all power and commercial polluters, coupled with increased CAFE standards (over the increase that is already planned)
-A simplified FAFSA form, and simplified financial aid system at the college level to a single form of loan capped at $10,000 annum, indexed at inflation. Simultaneously, the addition of two years of general education to the normal "high school" system.
-GAAP only. No friggin' International accounting standards, regardless of what the SEC suggests
-A raising of income taxes...50% increase at the upper tax bracket, 15% increase for the lower tax brackets. Implementation of a sales tax at the 10% level nationwide. Similarly, the AMT will be abolished.
-No more public housing
-Adjustment of the tax code to eliminate the mortgage tax deduction, instead only allowing only property taxes to be deducted at a to-be-determined percentage rate (not sure if the government already allows deduction of property taxes)

Missing from the list that may be important:
-Increased/decreased military spending
-Social Security Reform

More in-depth thought later, but for a brief moment, let me explain the rationale:
The idea of this reform system to simultaneously address the long-run issues of a globally competitive environment, sustainable public finances, and preventing the erosion of American health.

Hence, the concentration, by and large, is on education and health care reform, both of which are eating away at the incomes of American families. In addition, the tax burden would likely increase significantly under this particular plan (basically everything raises taxes to some extent), but the tax burden is allocated in such a way that it should address other issues too: issues like low savings rates, overinvestment in real estate, externalities of pollution, and malinvestment in the health care sector.

I think it's a bearable plan. ;)

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