After the election I wrote a blog saying that perhaps it was a good thing for the GOP that President Obama won the election. It wasn’t a cynical piece, but a distanced look at how that loss could re-shape the GOP from the radical Party of “NO”, to the more constructive and moderate party of Lincoln.
Over the past weeks we have certainly seen much head scratching, genuine consternation, and maybe the realization that the party needs to get back to the centre and be more inclusive. Even the Sacred Cow of ‘No Taxes’ is under scrutiny, with Grover Norquist’s Pledge under attack and some senators and congressmen backing away from it altogether.
But it’s not only the Republicans who have to do some soul searching. Democrats have to as well. Nothing will get done in this next two year Congressional cycle unless more of the Sacred Cows from both sides go to the proverbial abattoir.
There is no doubt that Government spends too much money on contracts that are outrageously over-priced, presented by Politicians of both sides in order to boost corporations in their own States and Districts as well as their own re-election prospects. But Government cannot spend money on Defence, Social Security, Infrastructure, Education, Medicare, Medicaid, Veterans Affairs and so on, without an income, and the only revenue source is Taxation.
Now I’m a flat tax advocate. Fifteen percent across the board; raise the threshold to $25,000 remove the lowest income earners from taxation and enable them to buy minimal health insurance, cut out ridiculous tax exemptions that favour the rich, and please penalize American offshore companies who don’t seem to care about the country, simply filling the coffers of senior executives. That would mean Banks and other Financial Institutions would have to share in the country’s ups and downs and not sit in the Cayman’s counting their loot. By having a 15% flat tax, it means that the richest among us would have to pay the same as everyone else, a rise of about 2% for them.
Now do the Republicans really think it unfair to raise the richest peoples’ taxes by 2% so that they pay the same as everyone else? Isn’t that Democracy?
Both Parties talk about reforming the Tax Code, but nobody has the balls to really take it on and cut out the cost of the IRS. Efficiency is what saves money and the current Tax system is inefficient, incredibly costly and unfair.
Another Sacred Cow that probably needs privatising is the United States Postal Service, perhaps one of the most inefficient and unpleasant organisations of the Federal Government. Every time I walk into the Post Office, I feel as if I am on trial. The counter staff are unpleasant, arrogant, lazy and overpaid. I wanted to send a package of Documents for my War Disablement Pension back to the UK by express mail.
I was told I needed a special envelope. OK no problem, give me one.
Then I needed a commercial invoice form. Huh? For Government documents? And the counter clerk said they didn’t have the form so I would have to drive five miles to get one from somewhere else. The cost of Express Mail to UK was $50 and no guarantee of delivery in two days, it could be three or four.
Then I looked at the envelope. There printed in bold letters was “Delivered Internationally By FEDEX”.
I went to FedEx and within two minutes my package was on the way at only $6 more than USPS. And it was delivered by 12 noon the next day in UK. No commercial invoice form required for documents.
Government is supposed to work for us. Government employees are called Civil Servants, but there is nothing civil about them and if those employees worked in the Private sector they would all be fired.
Now is a chance for Politicians from both sides to swallow their pride, bigotry and personal agendas, and work together for the good of People and the Country, not for themselves. Now is the time to destroy some of those Sacred Cows and move the country forward into the future.