Nov. 10th, 2016

From NPR:

Corruption

* FIRST, propose a Constitutional Amendment to impose term limits on all members of Congress;

The parties tell the Congressmen what to say and who to give favors to or else they don't get support for their next campaign and they don't have a job in two years. Congressmen are already interchangeable cogs in a corrupt system. The proposed remedy only regulates the time of their replacement with new cogs. It does not address the corruption.

Alternative: Zephyr Teachout found that lobbying used to be a crime. Legal historians should conduct further research in this area to see if such a law could be enforced.

* SECOND, a hiring freeze on all federal employees to reduce federal workforce through attrition (exempting military, public safety, and public health);

So Trump is promising not to add any of his own people to government? I don't think he has thought this through.

Alternative: Seek out corrupt individuals and wasteful departments and cut them. Seek input from federal employees about wasteful spending and guarantee new jobs for anyone whose reports lead to the cutting of their own job.

* THIRD, a requirement that for every new federal regulation, two existing regulations must be eliminated;

Such strict requirements usually cause more harm than good.

Alternative: Seek out and streamline poor regulation.

* FOURTH, a 5 year-ban on White House and Congressional officials becoming lobbyists after they leave government service;

I would extend this to all managerial-level employees.

* FIFTH, a lifetime ban on White House officials lobbying on behalf of a foreign government;

The same 5-year ban may be enough. We also need to be clear about what kind of lobbying for foreigners is already illegal. What law was used to charge Tokyo Rose?

* SIXTH, a complete ban on foreign lobbyists raising money for American elections.

Is this not already illegal? They will simply launder money through an intermediary as they already do. We need more prosecution of money laundering.

Labour

* FIRST, I will announce my intention to renegotiate NAFTA or withdraw from the deal under Article 2205

Good. This gives us a large amount of room to change our mind if we need to. A renegotiation may be all that is necessary.

* SECOND, I will announce our withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership

Good. That treaty was horrible.

* THIRD, I will direct my Secretary of the Treasury to label China a currency manipulator

I am unsure of the implications of this.

* FOURTH, I will direct the Secretary of Commerce and U.S. Trade Representative to identify all foreign trading abuses that unfairly impact American workers and direct them to use every tool under American and international law to end those abuses immediately

It's good to investigate and counteract such abuses, although a too-aggressive approach can cause diplomatic problems.

* FIFTH, I will lift the restrictions on the production of $50 trillion dollars' worth of job-producing American energy reserves, including shale, oil, natural gas and clean coal.
* SIXTH, lift the Obama-Clinton roadblocks and allow vital energy infrastructure projects, like the Keystone Pipeline, to move forward

Some of those restrictions are in place for a good reason. The industries will want you to lift everything that gets in the way of them making more money quicker, regardless of the risk. If something goes wrong, the cost is eaten by everybody else but them. The government has a duty to make sure they don't work so cheaply that it risks an environmental disaster.

Law and order

* FIRST, cancel every unconstitutional executive action, memorandum and order issued by President Obama

I assume that a list of such orders has already been drawn up. Otherwise this is campaign rhetoric masquerading as a policy.

* SECOND, begin the process of selecting a replacement for Justice Scalia from one of the 20 judges on my list, who will uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States

As expected.

* THIRD, cancel all federal funding to Sanctuary Cities

I can support this, but is it legal?

* FOURTH, begin removing the more than 2 million criminal illegal immigrants from the country and cancel visas to foreign countries that won't take them back

Letting ICE know that they are allowed to do their jobs will be a big step forward.

* FIFTH, suspend immigration from terror-prone regions where vetting cannot safely occur. All vetting of people coming into our country will be considered extreme vetting.

Yes, this was a campaign promise. We should also begin the process of developing a vetting system, which will require in-country humint willing to leave their hotels.

100 days measures

Middle Class Tax Relief And Simplification Act

Simplification is more important than tax relief, in my opinion. The middle class wants a smaller tax workbook and to cut a smaller check.

The bigger taxation problem is tax evasion by the wealthy moving money offshore and avoiding taxes. We need to close loopholes and give prosecutors a green light to investigate tax evasion.

Tariffs

My opinion on tariffs is that they should be kept low to open a window of market opportunity for domestic producers without wholly freezing out imports from people who may want them.

I also oppose tariffs on raw materials. Raising the cost of the basic building blocks of our industry will increase the costs of everything. Also, we can let other countries ruin their environments before we do.

We should consider a tariff based on labor conditions, where we task the State Department to see whether any country effectively enforces its own labor laws and send annual reports to Congress which has the final say on lifting or imposing the tariff. This could discourage slave labor practices by international industries, make outsourcing less competitive, and appeal to the foreign working poor which could have long-term diplomatic benefits.

American Energy & Infrastructure Act

This is too vague to have an opinion on, but I have some concern about what those "public-private partnerships" might be.

School Choice and Education

Parents want vouchers for private schools because the public schools stink. This cannot be fixed from Washington, but we can certainly make it worse if a reform plan goes wrong. We should keep an eye out for fraudulent abuse of the voucher system, like any other government program.

Common Core can be done away with. The "Commie Core" conspiracy theories turned out to be true, the data collection is dangerous, the new materials are notoriously poor. Free the school districts to keep whatever works and discard the rest.

Repeal and Replace Obamacare Act

The problem with American healthcare is that something is unnaturally driving up medical prices. Many problems go away if we can fix that. Some suggestions to begin to address the issue: enforce antitrust law, carefully reduce the volume of regulation, ask office clerks from the medical industry to send suggestions to HHS.

As for Obamacare, any centralized medical care system becomes inefficient due to the lack of competition and the inability to compare it to a neighboring system. The fact that there is a medical system is itself the problem. Single payer is the best system on paper. It works for one generation and then the inefficiencies of a sedentary industry start building up. We should distribute policymaking decisions out to the states to allow different ideas to succeed or fail.

End Illegal Immigration

I have no idea how Trump plans to get Mexico to agree to pay for the wall. Seizures of drug gang assets? That will require legal work.

We should punish businesses that knowingly encourage illegal immigration. There is a black market for labor. Some businesses hire illegals because they can screw them over and the workers cannot file suit.

The other side of the immigration coin is to encourage legal immigration. The process should be quicker and have less paperwork. Some form of the old Bracero program could be used to address the need for farm labor and add legal oversight so that workers' rights are not artificially suppressed by employers exploiting immigrants.

Restoring Community Safety Act

Some police training programs backfired and created the "shoot first" policy that has reduced trust in police. That's something the program administrator should be aware of.

In some areas there simply aren't enough people to deal with crime problems. In some areas morale is an issue. In others the gangs are inside the police force. It's a mess and I don't have answers.

Organized crime is probably a bigger problem than violent crime. A good educational policy will address both in time.

Restoring National Security Act
Clean up Corruption in Washington Act

Both descriptions are too general to criticize.

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