LET'S FIX AMERICA!
This is our first book, written about three years after we "retired" in 1991. After a brief go at politics in the early 1960's, we tried to keep track of public affairs, and particularly tried to learn why things happened the way they did, seemingly against all normal logic. Then, ignoring what our politicians did or failed to do, and ignoring whatever their motivations may have been, we set about to define what appeared to be our major societal problems, and then to spell out what appeared to us to be rational solutions to those problems. If we managed to evoke a few establishmentarian pejoratives ridiculing our solutions as "simplistic," then we would have reason to believe that we were on the right track. A few words about each chapter appear below.
1. The Many Problems. This chapter introduces our subject by listing and saying a few words about the several problems which are discussed in the chapters which follow.
2. Currency Stability. Here we note that the candy bar which cost a nickel in 1940 now costs about 60 cents. The public, anticipating permanent ongoing price inflation, has given up saving, and is instead gambling on capital gains to provide for future expenditures, like retirement. Without savings, domestic capital to nourish our private economy is drying up. The solution requires the alteration of the country's monetary system, which presently involves the creation of money (to pay for federal deficits) on which interest must be paid, necessitating the further creation of yet more money.
The solution begins with abolishing the Federal Reserve banking cartel, which created this devilish monetary system which hurts everyone except the big banks, big deficit-running government, and bought politicians. The replacement system outlined in Let's Fix America! involves reestablishing a gold standard for our currency, and merging the Fed into the private banking system, individual members of which could then issue their own gold-backed banknotes. After doing the research for Secrecy or Freedom? we were led to materially alter this proposal, to be more in keeping with the wise words of the U.S. Constitution. That proposal is discussed at length in Secrecy or Freedom? and is summarized on our SOF web page.
3. Balanced Budgets. This chapter attacks the federal deficits without which our monetary inflation could not occur. A simple mechanism is proposed for assuring that the federal budget, under "normal" conditions, will automatically stay in balance. The budget process will involve budgeting specified percentages of income for various budget items, including an allowance to pay down on the national debt, with all items automatically adjusted to maintain a 100 percent total, even if additional budget items are later added, and also if tax receipts decline during the fiscal year. The net surplus or deficit at the end of each fiscal year, and shortly before Congressional elections, will be remitted or billed to the states in proportion to each state's population.
4. The Tax Load. Even a balanced budget can be very painful if the total tax load remains too high. We therefore propose in this chapter to cap the total load of federal, state, and local taxes. The federal budget would be limited to a specified percentage of national income (e.g., 30%, perhaps fixed by Constitutional Amendment), less the prior year's total of state and local tax revenues. A fruitful interplay between the state and federal budgeting processes can then be visualized.
5. The Income Tax. In this chapter we propose to eliminate the intrusive horror of the income tax by replacing it with a national sales tax, collected by the states and remitted to the Treasury, one check per quarter per state. The 16th Amendment will be repealed and the IRS abolished. With the passage of time, we would modify only some of the details of the LFA proposal. In our Secrecy or Freedom?, we more tightly define the proposal, including the proper treatment of wages as an added value to a product or service later being sold, and not as the sale of a service to be itself taxed.
6. Social Security and Pensions. Having stopped inflation via the above measures, it is an easy step to solving the incipient bankruptcy of the unconstitutional, intergenerational pyramid scheme which is Social Security. The LFA proposal would phase it out in favor of state-defined privately owned minimum annuity policies of much greater monetary value to retirees, as well as to private enterprises in search of capital. Many of the details are discussed in LFA, all still cogent.
7. Medicare and Medical Issues. The federal government will likewise be removed from its unconstitutional involvement with Medicare and all medical insurance. Medicare will be phased out in favor of state-defined, privately owned, minimum medical insurance policies, having adequate annuity provisions to support the payment of the actuarially expected higher costs during retirement years. Issues involving malpractice, the AMA, and the FDA are also discussed here, all still applicable.
8. The Four-Graybeard Criteria. We paused at this point in LFA to test our proposed changes against criteria defined by four prominent social scientists who had published views on what constituted good law. Our four "Graybeards" were our Founding Fathers, Frederic Bastiat, Albert Jay Nock, and Ayn Rand. Our proposals are clearly in substantial accord with their criteria, while the laws which our proposals would repeal or alter are usually found to be in gross violation.
9. Welfare. The federal funding of individual welfare being patently unconstitutional, as well as a major source of waste and political pandering, this activity will also be phased out and returned to the states to do with as they will. To discourage people from remaining on welfare, it should be administered by no higher a jurisdiction than a county, so that the local taxpayers funding it can maintain a meaningful oversight.
10. Bailout Surprises. In this category are unexpected losses arising from such things as the Savings and Loan bailouts of the 1980's, and the bailout of major banks whose defaulted loans to foreign countries threatened to bankrupt the banks. Federal insurance, price guarantee, loan, and loan guarantee programs are not among the enumerated powers of Congress, are therefore unconstitutional, and should be abolished. Those risking their money should arrange for their own insurance, not finagle bills making taxpayers their guarantors.
11. Drugs. The measures proposed in LFA were substantially limited to permitting state delivery of narcotic drugs or their medical substitutes to certified addicts, in order to eliminate the "repeat market" and thus dry up street demand. Our later research, however, showed that the drug invasion is nothing less than a deliberate attack on our country by evil people, and can never be eliminated by simply helping out its victims. More vigorous counterattack measures are spelled out in both of our later books, as are briefly described in our HTW and SOF web pages.
12. Crime. This chapter proposes certain sticks to deter the entrance of juveniles into a life of crime, and certain carrots to move them toward honest, productive lives. The sticks involve measures for making criminal lives even more uninviting, while the carrots involve making reforms in welfare (chap. 9), drugs (chap. 11), and education (chap. 13). These latter reforms will encourage two-parent families, reduce the availability of drugs, and open more doors to responsible, productive adulthood via access to educational programs which enable and encourage individual excellence. Crime can be defeated!
13. Education. The central element of the educational reform proposed here is the delivery of educational vouchers to parents of school children, for full or partial tuition payment to any school of the parents' choice willing to enroll their child. The state would otherwise be denied any right to interfere with the policies or operations of the school. It is expected that public schools will thereupon significantly improve in response to parental leverage. Secrecy or Freedom? suggests additional ways of speeding up the reform, and extending it over a period of time to college-level institutions.
14. Liability Litigation. Growing numbers in the trial lawyer community have found an easy way to personal wealth via their promotion of liability litigation, costing the public dearly in liability insurance and medical bills, which always contain the costs of malpractice insurance. LFA proposes a rational way to curb the "generosity" of juries under the sway of emotional appeals by parasitic lawyers whose legislative brothers have written the laws under which the liability cases are tried.
15. Abortion. Our chapter notes that the great bulk of the societal strife over this issue was brought on by the unconstitutional act of the Supreme Court in legislating (which is always beyond the Court's authority) a solution to a societal issue which is not mentioned among the enumerated powers granted to even the Congress. We propose that Congress simply exercise its constitutional right to deny the federal courts jurisdiction over matters of abortion, thereby returning the abortion issue to the individual states, where it belongs.
16. AIDS. This chapter in Let's Fix America! was written at the height of the AIDS scare in the U.S., and proposed a more draconian solution than our domestic problem presently merits. Literature is now extant (e.g., Inventing the AIDS Virus, by Dr. Peter Duesberg) suggesting that the syndrome is actually a set of opportunistic diseases which may take hold upon the weakening of a victim's immune system for any reason, including drug abuse and malnutrition. This may explain its virulence in the poor countries of Africa, as well as its well-known patterns of occurrence within the U.S.
17. Illegal Immigration. The prescriptions in LFA to deal with this problem remain substantially unchanged today. Citizenship should be denied to a baby born to an illegal immigrant mother. Publicly funded services should be denied to illegal immigrants. States should be permitted and encouraged to assist in illegal immigration prevention, detection, arrest, detention, prosecution, and deportation. Prosecute those conspiring to return the American Southwest to Mexican ownership or control.
18. Foreign Policy. This chapter proposed the most obvious corrective actions in foreign policy which are visible to the general public, including removing ourselves from the international institutions which want to rule the world, terminating our programs of foreign grants and loans, returning our troops from permanent foreign stations, requiring trade agreements to be implemented only by treaty, and enacting the "Bricker Amendment," rendering ineffective any treaties or other agreements which are in violation of the Constitution. The LFA proposals were substantially beefed up in both of our later books, as are summarized in our HTW and SOF web pages.
19. Congress. Our first proposal to "fix" Congress was to enact term limits, hoping that shortened terms would avoid the corruption associated with long terms in a powerful office. We presently rescind and replace that measure by a much better one described in Secrecy or Freedom?. Other measures in LFA involving carrots and sticks to encourage honesty are retained and beefed up, particularly in the area of campaign finance. Measures in LFA to limit legislation to constitutional issues are dealt with rather differently in SOF, not only by deleting additional areas of federal oversight, but also by enforcing the ongoing maintenance of constitutional behavior on the part of federal legislators.
20. Implementation. The discussion in this chapter remains correct up to and including the point of electing new legislators (as opposed to reforming current ones). Our proposal for accomplishing that goal displayed our good intention, but not much more. We can keep our good intentions, but now have been additionally empowered with a new and potent weapon, fully described in the last chapter of Secrecy or Freedom?, and briefly outlined in our SOF web page. For the first time, a glimmer of light is becoming unmistakably visible on the horizon.
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