What Would You Do…

In response to a reader question, Angus at Kids Prefer Cheese lists the five things he would do if he were the supreme ruler of the USA.  Here they are:

1. Increase the inflow of skilled immigrants.

2. Increase school choice, especially for lower income families.

3. Big tax reform with a broad base, low rates, and a carbon tax included in the mix.

4. Use a combination of size limits, leverage limits, and capital requirements that move with size/leverage to reduce the frequency with which finance blows up the economy (instead of trying to micro-manage a la Dodd-Frank / Volcker rule).

5. De-porkify the Federal Government (Dept. of Agriculture, Ex-Imp bank, small business administration, military procurement).

This has internet craze written all over it.  So I’ll jump in early.  But first, I wonder why Angus would only increase school choice since he’s the supreme ruler and all??

Here is my off-the-cuff list (my first instinct was to have only one thing on it: declare it impossible for anyone to be the supreme leader):

1.  End sugar subsidies in the US.  This would save consumers and other sugar users about $4 billion or so (see here for more on this).

2.  Repeal the 17th Amendment to increase the power of the states in the federal government.

3.  Declare victory in the Cold War, retire NATO, and bring back all of our soldiers from Europe (though I would still have a bilateral deal with Italy to keep a Navy base in the region).  Obviously, this would end our Article 5 treaty obligation that currently commits the US to the collective defense of states such as Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia – among too many others – against armed attack.

4.  Rewrite the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution so that precedents such as Wickard v. Filburn will by logic be overturned and ObamaCare clearly ruled unconstitutional. 

5.  Strengthen protection for private property by adding an explicit ban on the use of eminent domain for private purposes to the takings clause of the 5th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

As you can see, I’m bigger on structural reform than specific policy prescriptions.  What are your suggestions?

12 thoughts on “What Would You Do…

  1. The part I take issue with is the skilled immigrants part. It depends on what skills you refer too. The skills I see in short supply are the traditional trades an Medicine. I would recommend we allow in as many plumbers, carpenters, mechanics, HvAC techs, electricians, Doctors and nurses as possible. There is this theory that says if you increase the supply of something and demand remains constant then the price of that something will fall.

    Otherwise what we need are more unskilled laborers to do the basic things that a high school grad either can’t or refuses to do.

  2. I would, in the land of the brave, prohibit the financial regulations to discriminate against those perceived as risky, as if the markets normal risk-adverseness was not enough.

    Here explained in red and blue http://bit.ly/mQIHoi

  3. 1. Be like Andrew Jackson. Abolish the Federal Reserve Bank.

    2. Get the government out of the money business. Allow competing forms of currency.

    3, Enact the Resolutions of ’98.

    4. Combine the branches of the military.

    5. Replace the income tax with a land tax following the ideas of Henry George.

    6. Have the US House and Senate meet electronically from their home districts.

    1. I’m skeptical of the virtues of #1 and #2 even though I’m open to discussing these options.

      I really dislike #4 — competition and specialization are worth the costs. Plus good for CMR to divide and rule.

      #5 is interesting given that even Milton Friedman had kind words for it – though I haven’t thought long enough about such an unlikely thing to have a strong opinion.

  4. Pingback: Some Links
  5. 1st. I would arrest and put under protective custody about Ten Thousand American citizens. These citizens would be made up primarily of Bankers,high ranking government Bureaucrats, Federal Congressmen and Senators,Federal Judges,high ranking military and law enforcement officials,high ranking CIA officials plus anyone involved at higher levels with the Federal Government. 2nd.I would vet and investigate all of the above. Any of the above that were innocent of any crimes would be let go. Any of the above that were found guilty,after a fair and swift trial, of such crimes as malfeasance or misfeasance in office or carrying out their duties while violating their Constitutional Oaths or committing treason would face either jail time or execution depending on the crime. 3rd. I would abolish the 16th and 17th Amendments to the Constitution. this action would include the ending of all withholding taxes plus the release of all Federal Tax liens and the pardoning of anyone convicted of any “tax crimes.” 4th. I would add 2 Amendments to the U.S.Constitution. One Amendment would separate Education from the State and the other would separate Medicine from the State(except in the area of individual State licensing for the competency of physicians). 5th. I would abolish all “New Deal” and “Great Society” legislation or any other legislation along Welfare State lines. I would,however make provisions for citizens to be phased out of these Welfare Programs as to not do any harm for the truly indigent or elderly. 6th. I would pull out of the United Nations and get it off American soil. 7th. I would end all UnConstitutional wars,return the troops to defend American soil and drastically reduce military spending and at the same time end draft registration. I would also set up Grand Juries to investigate corruption in the Military Industrial Complex. 8th. I would abolish most of the Cabinet Positions created since the Civil War. At the same time I would hand over vital services such as food and drug inspections plus pollution problems to the States. 9th I would abolish the Federal Reserve Banking Cartel,seize all their assets and repudiate the National Debt. Individual Citizens and Foreign governments who held U.S. Treasuries would be compensated. At the same time,I would abolish all Legal Tender Laws. 10th I would restore the Constitution as written,except in areas where items like Slavery,Woman’s Suffrage and term limits were involved. 11th,and finally,I would cancel any laws on any level that violate the Federal Constitution’s original intent and Bill of Rights.

  6. 6. Re-arrange tax system to provide ‘living wage’ to everyone with a progressive phase-out.
    7. End all education subsidy. Sell all public educational institutions. See 6.
    8. Get rid of HUD and all welfare systems. See 6.
    9. End the Fed. Abolish Legal Tender Laws and FDIC.
    10. Convert Medicaid and SS into true investment vehicles conforming to current insurance law.
    11. End all zoning laws and suggest individual neighborhoods can make their own and administrate them if they wish.
    12. End all government involvement in licensing.
    13. Make all management proxies for voting shareholders at Director and above financially responsible for fraud. The audit industry will clean up immediately.

  7. Grover Cleveland,

    Regarding #1, $4 billion is chump-change in the world of today’s hyper-profligate U.S. political economy. Why do you focus so narrowly on sugar subsidies?

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