Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Paddywhack Platform

I wrote this quite awhile ago and have edited and updated it. It's meant both as public policy prescription and sometimes just to offer suggestions to private entities. I hope it's not too difficult to tell the difference. I'll post this on the forum (link on the sidebar inviting comments) shortly so stop by and tell me what you think! I am of course open to suggestions and revisions.

  1. Budget
    1. The highest priority of any government will be to balance the budget. The government may save up surpluses for emergency spending issues. If any priority is higher than balancing the budget, spending must necessarily get out of control and this is unacceptable.
    2. Government spending and revenue will be limited to 20% of GDP.  No exceptions, including military spending. If an emergency requires more spending, this money is to be raised through issuance of bonds (debited from future budgets automatically as they come due), donations or raising money in other ways, not increased taxes, borrowing from foreign countries or printing money.
  2. Healthcare and entitlements
    1. Obamacare will be repealed.
    2. Ask Paul Ryan.
  3. Immigration
    1. The borders must be secured and we must work with the Mexican government to reduce violence on their side. U.S. military ground, naval, air, space and cyberspace forces are authorized as necessary to secure the border. In the same way as the Coast Guard, a branch of the military, guards our coastal borders, the rest of the military will guard our land borders. This is a right and proper use of the U.S. military if there ever was one. No other immigration provision will be enacted until this provision is completed. If laws cannot be enforced, it is meaningless to change them.
    2. All illegal immigrants living in the United States at the time of implementation will be allowed to apply for citizenship in the same manner as any foreigner living outside the U.S. would be. 
    3. The federal minimum wage will be eliminated and other regulations will be modified so state government may allow immigrant and other workers to continue to work for market controlled wages and benefits as they have been while illegally residing in the United States.
    4. The yearly immigration limit into the United States will be increased to at least five million legal immigrants per year, including those applying for citizenship under b. In a time when the birthrates of modern industrial powers is declining, the United State should count itself lucky to have so many immigrants wishing to live here. Economic success has historically depended on population growth and the modern world is no different. In many cases the best option for the world’s poor and downtrodden is to immigrate to the United States, and therefore this provision satisfies humanitarian concerns as well. This provision may require increased funding to the INS and other government agencies.
  4. Foreign aid
    1. Foreign aid will only be allowed for countries with 75% or more of their population living on subsistence farming or less. All other foreign aid, including military aid, will be stopped immediately. No exceptions except under b.  
    2. In the case of aid, either humanitarian or military, to volatile or unstable countries or regions, aid will be reduced 10% in two years, 20% in four years, 30% in six years and 40% in eight years for a total of 100% reduction in no less than eight years, unless of course said country or region falls under point a.  
    3. Funding for all organizations engaged in foreign aid will be phased out as soon as tax cuts can be approved in equal amounts. Private, non-profit organizations are far better at helping the world’s poor than government, tax-funded organizations because in nearly every case they have lower overhead costs. If executed properly, this provision will likely increase the amount of aid the people of the United States provide for the world’s poor. This draw-down of government funding for humanitarian concerns must coincide with a draw-down of tax revenue so the American people themselves through their own proven spirit of generosity can use the extra money to help the world’s poor without the limitations of government bureaucracies.  
  5. Foreign policy and military policy
    1. War is the last resort for conflict resolution. War will be pursued only when all other prior conflict resolution methods have failed. The purpose of war is permanent conflict resolution. It is unsuited to all other purposes. The military is an instrument of war, and like war, it is unsuited to all other purposes. If a war cannot or will not provide a permanent resolution to the conflict, it should not be pursued. This determination requires a clear statement of the reasons for the war, the goal of the war, and the strategy being employed to reach that goal.  If the determination can be made that conflict resolution is possible through war, and war is the only possibility, then it must be pursued to the end. When the United States makes the decision to go to war for any reason, the goal of the war must be a decisive victory aimed at permanently resolving the conflict over which the war was fought. When the goal is reached, and not before, the war will be declared over, and U.S. military forces will be withdrawn immediately and be moved quickly into full compliance with the other points of this policy.
    2. The U.S. will commit to protecting the territorial integrity of NATO members, Israel, South Korea, Japan and other nations considered as U.S. allies. Military aid in any form will be restricted to instances in which these allies are invaded by a foreign hostile force. The U.S. will not maintain military aid or presence for allies during peace time. The U.S. will not intervene in civil wars or other wars which do not involve these allies for any reason, including humanitarian.
    3. The U.S. will remove all military forces from around the globe which are there for no reason or whose only purpose is to project U.S. military power across the globe for undefined future conflicts.  The primary examples are U.S. bases in Germany, Saudi Arabia and Persian Gulf countries, Japan and South Korea.  If a threat to NATO occurs the U.S. will deal with it when it occurs and will require permission and assistance from any host countries near to the hostilities.  The new NATO is a line in the sand which once crossed will be enforced with all the power the U.S. and its allies can muster. But until it is crossed the United States military will not be used as a global police force and will not be held in a constant state of mobilization and/or deployment.  
    4. The U.S. will no longer engage in “nation building” regardless of the reason. The imposition of a stable government in any particular country will be viewed as the responsibility of the citizens of that country, not the responsibility of the United States or the “international community”. The current missions in Iraq and Afghanistan will not be affected by this provision on the understanding that those missions will be ended in a reasonable amount of time.   
    5. The U.S. policy towards terrorism will be treated as an international law enforcement problem requiring no organization other than the cooperation between the national governments of countries affected. No wars will be justified by the excuse of fighting terrorism in a host country, however offensive and temporary special operations missions will still be allowed with or without host country authorization.
    6. Peace-time defense spending will be reduced to reflect the reduced peace-time mission of the United States military.  This provision will be enacted immediately with exceptions for Iraq and Afghanistan spending.  These exceptions will expire once the current missions in Iraq and Afghanistan are completed.  
    7. The U.S. will cease primary military and monetary support for the U.N.  The U.S. will contribute military and monetary support for the U.N. equal to the amount of the highest non-U.S. contributor in each category unless and until the United States economy falls below second in the world, in which case the United States contribution will be lower. Any U.N. resolutions which would require a higher contribution from the United States are to be rejected out of hand for more manageable goals.
    8. Nuclear policy – Nuclear policy will depend on Mutual Assured Destruction and not the prevention of nuclear proliferation.  Efforts to prevent nuclear proliferation will not of course be ended or even reduced.  However in accordance with the new war policy no wars will be declared in order to enforce non-proliferation policies.  Again, offensive and temporary special operations may be approved similar to e.
    9. A sixth branch of the military will be created called Space and Cyberspace Command, or SPACERS Command.  This command will be in charge of all U.S. military and national security concerns in space and the internet.  Clear guidelines on internet freedoms accorded to U.S. citizens will be established.  SPACERS is primarily concerned with national security on the internet, and this is intimately related with satellite communications networks.  This includes any cyberspace intrusion into U.S. government networks as well as any foreign espionage or terrorism which occurs in cyberspace. SPACERS will assimilate various assets of NASA as well as existing space and cyberspace government and military resources according to this mission statement and the U.S. constitution.
      1. All SPACERS operations will be offensive in nature, with the obvious exception of protecting its own assets. Defensive operations must be the mandate of private companies and individuals as before. This provision will both allow current cyberspace security organizations to remain in business as they are as well as to protect against government intrusion upon the traditional freedom under which the internet has operated. This provision is also a simple recognition of the nature of cyberwarfare. Offensive operations by SPACERS will focus on those forces, be it states, organizations or individuals, that have attacked the United States and her interests in cyberspace.
      2. Cyberwarfare will be conducted under separate Rules of Engagement, much like the difference between nuclear, conventional and special ops warfare.  A cyberwar should not necessarily precipitate a conventional or nuclear war, but should either occur of course cyberwarfare may also occur. If the United States is attacked in cyberspace, SPACERS Command will respond in kind with offensive operations. Cyberwar once declared shall have no limitations except that it take place in cyberspace only and directed against a specified target for specific reasons and towards specific goals as under a.  
    10. The National Guard will be returned to the control of state governments and will no longer exist as an arm of the federal government but will instead be once again a system of state government operated and controlled militias. No exceptions. All federal funding will immediately cease and states must each on their own decide whether to pick up the tab or not.
  6. NASA
    1. NASA will be dissolved and its assets either eliminated, such as the areas associated with climate research and extraterrestrial biology, or divided and distributed to various organizations as is appropriate.
    2. All of NASA’s funding will be immediately eliminated and reevaluated.
    3. Assets useful for national security will go to the newly created SPACERS Command. Assets which go to SPACERS Command will be funded in a similar manner as they were before and added to the budget of the Department of Defense. SPACERS Command will receive priority on all NASA assets relating in any way to their new mission statement.
    4. Remaining assets useful for scientific research and not useful to SPACERS will be distributed to academic organizations capable of running those research programs as normal academic programs receiving funding in the normal academic manner. Again this will occur on a case by case basis and only if academic institutions step forward who are interested in taking over these types of programs.  
    5. Any fiscal advantages obtained from the elimination of NASA will be used to pay down the national debt.  
  7. Education
    1. The Department of Education will be phased out. Education of citizens will become the responsibility of state governments or private enterprise and no national educational standards will be enforced. Education in the United States will change from an attitude of compliance to an attitude of excellence.  
    2. State governments are highly encouraged to develop sustainable educational models given budgetary constraints, with the goal being fully self-sustaining educational models which can then be disconnected from the government entirely. Throwing more public money at education does not work. It is time for new ideas, and the legal restrictions governing all public funding of education are a hindrance to innovation in education, just as they are in other sectors of society. This disconnection is also attractive due to concerns over religious liberty.
  8. Marriage
    1. All legal references to the term “marriage” will be replaced with the term “civil union” and refer to an agreement between any two individuals. All laws concerning marriage will remain the same.
    2. Churches will be the sole determiner in what constitutes a Biblical marriage and what does not, since the term “marriage” has been divested from its legal implications. Religions other than Christianity may of course use their own definitions. Marriage is a Christian and a Biblical concept, and if the government cannot for legal reasons uphold the right definition than Christians should boycott government marriage. It is hoped that by changing the legal name of government marriages to civil unions this controversy can be avoided.
    3. Christian marriage counseling will always include advising couples to read the Bible and pray together daily. This criteria has been shown to change marriage from a coin flip (50% divorce rate even among Christians) back into a covenant until death (nearly 100% success rate). This provision is of course a suggestion only and will not be enforced by any government.
  9. Abortion
    1. A human life will be legally defined by scientific and philosophical means. A human life begins when a new set of DNA existing within the context of a cell has the potential to develop into a member of the species Homo sapiens. Any life which fits this definition will have all the legal and other protections legally understood as being extended to human beings.
    2. According to a., rape and incest are not exceptions allowing abortion. Rape and incest are crimes. Rape is a crime of one person against another and incest is a crime committed by more than one person, but in neither case has any unborn child committed a crime for which they can be legally punished, much less given the death penalty.
    3. In the case of the health of the mother, in no other point of law is it suddenly legal to kill someone against their will to protect the health of another person. Therefore this is not an exception to legalize abortion.
    4. In the case of the life of the mother, it seems obvious that when the lives of both the mother and child are at stake then both ought to be considered equal under the law. If it is necessary to kill the mother to save the child or vice versa, then that decision must be made by the mother or next of kin or doctors in the same way as any other dual life-threatening medical decision such as operations to separate conjoined twins. In most cases, the choice is not so stark and stringent medical guidelines will be established governing under what circumstances abortion or similar medical operations are legal under this provision.
    5. All government funding for embryonic stem cell research will be immediately revoked and become funding for adult stem cell research, which is not only morally unobjectionable but also has provided far more actual advances in healthcare then anything accomplished by embryonic stem cell research.
    6. Cryogenic storage of human embryos will be illegal because it constitutes a death penalty and cruel and unusual punishment of a human being.
    7. In vitro fertilization will be made illegal due to the loss of human life required for a successful procedure. There are plenty of children in the world in need of adoption for couples unable to conceive naturally or using other fertility methods.