A couple days ago, I posted a rant about the state of the country. One of my pet peeves is when people complain about something but don’t offer up any solutions to fix the problem. That being the case, I didn’t want to be accused of doing the same thing so here are some of my own suggestions on how to get this country back on the right track.
1) All elected officials should be subject to the exact same health care and retirement packages as the rest of us. If it is good enough for us, it should be good enough for them.
2) We, the citizens, are in control of when Congressmen get raises and how much they get. Personally, I haven’t seen a raise in almost six years, due to the economy. Why should they be any different?
3) At the state and federal levels, compensation for politicians is tied directly to the economy, unemployment, and the budgets. Salaries are adjusted up or down based on those factors.
4) Welfare and other subsidized benefits should only be available for those who truly NEED them. If you’re on the dole, you should have to prove you are actively seeking employment or have a damn good reason why you aren’t.
5) If the churches want to get involved in public policy, they should be taxed at the same rate as any other commercial entity. Let them pay the same admission price as everyone else.
6) All states should have “shall issue” permits for concealed carry.
7) No more excuses for bad behavior. Caught driving drunk? Mandatory one year imprisonment. Drive drunk and injure or kill someone? Ten years, minimum. Engage in pedophile behavior? First offense — life imprisonment. There should be harsh sentences handed down quickly for severe crimes. No more of these cases that drag on for years. Every criminal matter should be on the “rocket docket.”
8) No more tenured positions in the public school system. Reviews and compensation are based solely on merit, not length in the position. Teachers should be well paid, provided they are doing their jobs effectively.
9) Mandatory retirement accounts. By that, I mean a small percentage of your income is withheld from each paycheck and kept in an account for when you retire. Something similar to social security except that the funds are untouchable by anyone until you retire or die. In the latter case, the funds would get distributed to the estate. These funds would come out pre-tax and not be taxed upon disbursement.
10) Academic teams should receive the same budget as athletics. There should as much focus on debate teams as there is on football. While I’m at it, no more full ride scholarships based solely on athletic performance. If the athlete doesn’t have the grades to enter the college or university, how fast they run or how high they jump shouldn’t matter.
All that would at least get us moving in the right direction, I think.