Here's What's in My Dirty Martini

Friday, January 18, 2008

My Contract with America

A local talk radio station host, Chris Core, had listeners call in early last year to see if they could define a new Contract with America. There were a lot of good ideas submitted and some that were not so good. So I started thinking about it and came up with what I will call My Contract with America.

In my almost perfect world the items below would be part of what I would change if I could. The list is not all inclusive. I took parts of the list from the radio show and added a lot of my own ideas.

I don’t write in legal-speak so most of these are just plain-language tenants I would like to see incorporated. I know that this would not be easy and some may need re-thinking but we have to start somewhere.

So, at a minimum, here is the contract I would make with America:

I Believe that America is the greatest country ever:
-Freedom is the root of that greatness.

-In general, government is not the solution to our problems, it is often THE problem.

Balanced budget:
-The budget of the United States Federal Government must be balanced every fiscal year.

All Federally funded programs must show a measurable return on investment:
-Government spending must be treated like household spending (without credit cards).

-Government spending must not exceed the amount of taxes taken in.

-Any program or governmental agency/department that receives federal government funding must show a measurable return on that investment (ROI). Those metrics will have to be determined for each recipient program/agency/department.

-Any program or governmental agency/department that receives federal funds and does not meet a defined measure of effectiveness will have a penalty applied in the form of reduced funding the next year.

-Repeated failure to meet performance metrics may result in total de-funding. Here’s why… Americans have to live within their economic means and so should the government. This means that taxes must not be raised just to have more to spend.

-Any new program or governmental agency/department designated to receive government funds must have a measurable ROI defined prior to receiving those funds.

-The southern border between the United States and Mexico must be secured within one year by fence, personnel and/or electronic devices in order to stop illegal entry into the United States.

-Unless one of your parents is a legal U.S. citizen, a child born here is not automatically a U.S. citizen (of course, this last one would require a change to Constitution).

-Any children who have been born in the United States of parents who are illegally in this country (commonly known as “anchor babies”) will have to pursue the same path for American citizenship as any other immigrant wanting to become a U.S. citizen.

-English shall be designated as the official language of the United States. All ballots for elections shall be printed only in English.

-Anyone who wishes to vote shall be required to provide verified proof of U.S. citizenship at the polling booth.

-NO government forms or business shall be conducted in any other language but English.

-All U.S. citizens that are legally allowed to vote must provide proof of citizenship in the form of a birth certificate or other acceptable form of identification.

-This form of positive ID must be shown in order to vote.

-This Congress will set a maximum of ten years by which time the United States must become fully independent of any foreign sources for its energy supply. We put a man on the moon in a decade and I think we can do this in a decade too.

-This will include, but not be limited to, expanded oil exploration and refining, and production of alternative sources such as nuclear power, ethanol, natural gas, solar, and/or wind.

-All bills must be approved or rejected solely on their own merit (that is, nothing unrelated to the intent of the original bill may be added). If you want a pork-spending bill then do it in the form of a bill that stands alone.

-There is no longer the ability to filibuster.

-All presidential appointments will receive a confirmation or rejection vote within 90 days of their nomination.

-No public office-holder may do business with, or try to influence, the vote of elected officials (lobbying) within 2 years of having left public office.

-Term limits will be set for all federally elected officials. House of Representatives will be changed to four (4) year terms and limited to three terms in office. The Senate will be limited to two terms in office. Unless running for President, no elected official shall serve longer than 14 years (total) in an elected federal office.

-Federally elected and appointed officials that choose to run for an office other than that which they currently hold must resign from their current office before seeking election for another office.

-We will have an honest and open debate on migrating our current tax system to a flat tax, national sales tax or a similar form of taxation.

-Our current tax code is too complex and we need to move to a more simplistic plan.

-All laws that apply to the rest of the country shall apply equally to Congress. This includes such laws as those enacted by the EEOC and OSHA.

-So that members of Congress may better relate to the average American, the Congressional pension plan shall be ended, and Congress will pay into, and receive, the same Social Security benefits as any other American.

-Congress shall receive no health care benefits that it cannot offer to each and every other American citizen.

I know that there are other areas that can be addressed and some of these may be incomplete. So, send my your ideas or recommendations. Then vote for me when I run for President ... why wait, write me in!


Cigar Lover’s Martini
2.5 parts VS Cognac
0.5 parts Tawny Port

Shake over ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Enjoy with a medium-to-heavy bodied cigar.

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