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Tuesday, February 01, 2011


By Stephen V. Cole

The state of the Union is not much better than I reported last year. (My report then listed it as "dire.") We still have all of the ticking time bombs of a year ago (national debt, state debt, balance of trade, illegal immigration, credit card debt, mortgage crisis, energy imports, unemployment, failed public education, and the rise of the dependency class to power). Not much has been done to fix these things -- actually, nothing was done -- and while I have hopes that the new Congress will do so, I also have doubts that the Republicans can return to their ancient "cut spending" policies. We can but hope that they will.


President Obama's speech on the subject shows he has not changed. He still thinks that the solution to everything is a government program (this concept is a proven failure), and he wants to subsidize green projects (by political supporters) that the free market knows are not ready. High-speed rail is not needed or wanted and is a trillion-dollar boondoggle; Amtrack has proven that much. Freezing spending at the inflated levels he created isn't going to accomplish anything (and neither is the Republican plan). I don't think spending will be cut until the inevitable collapse, since every program has a constituency, a lobbyist, and a crying family ready to be on television complaining about the cuts. President Obama says that the recession is over, but 80% of Americans do not agree. (Most expect it to get worse when one or more of those ticking time bombs explodes.) By the way, you'll get patted down on those trains the first time somebody blows one up or the first time someone realizes that someone could blow one up. President Obama mentioned cutting spending in passing, then spent an hour listing new programs to spend money on. There was, frankly, no plan to fix the economy or create actual jobs, but then, President Obama claims things would be worse if he hadn't wasted two trillion dollars on programs that proved to be failures.


So, here's the speech I would give, were I President (not king, not dictator, just president; my speech as dictator would be somewhat different).


My fellow Americans: I want to begin by thanking my predecessor for realizing his failures and resigning, turning over the office to me. The situation is bad, but it will get better because this government will, with the help of a bipartisan Congress, begin to take real, practical steps to get the economy moving and create jobs.

First, all discretionary spending is to be reduced immediately to 2008 levels for the year 2011, and to 2007 levels for the year 2012. When we balance the budget, and will shall do that by 2014, money will go into retiring the debt, not new spending. I don't want to see any more pork projects or earmarks in the next budget. I have no problem with shutting the government down. Don't push me.

All Federal employee pay, including merit raises, cost of living raises, and step increases also known as longevity increases, are frozen. Anyone promoted to a new job will remain at their present salary until such time as my administration can review Federal employee pay rates and adjust them to match the marketplace. The original idea was for Federal pay to be less than market pay, compensated by benefits, retirement, and defacto guarantees of continued employment. Federal pay is now 15-30% higher than market pay. Any employee hired in the last two years at a salary of more than $100,000 per year will, if Congress acts as I will ask, see a 10% pay cut. All Czars are fired, their staffs are also fired, and their offices are closed.

I have assigned a panel to review all government spending and find waste, not to mention programs that are doing more harm than good. This will mean that entire cabinet-level departments will be shut down; more on that in a moment. Over time, I want to end almost all government subsidies other than limited research and pilot programs. It's great to fund enough research into wind energy or electric cars or biofuels to make some serious scientific and engineering progress. It's just dumb to pay tens of billions of dollars to push industries into doing things that currently make no economic sense. When the technology arrives, the free market will spend money without any encouragement.

Second, I want Congress to reduce business tax rates to match those of Europe, and to repeal the Sarbanes-Oxley bill that drove ten thousand high-paying jobs from New York to London. Further, any and all unspent stimulus money is frozen. It won't be spent, but will be returned to the treasury, or rather, not borrowed. There will be no more bailouts, and the states need to take care of their own business. They need not expect a bailout while I hold a veto pen. What I will do, however, is everything I can to eliminate unfunded mandates on the states, and to ask Congress to eliminate any of them that I cannot. States should manage their own business and their own budgets.

We need businesses to hire people and invest in new products, facilities, and equipment. All new regulations imposed in the last two years are canceled effective immediately, and I will assign a panel of experts to look into what pre-existing regulations can be removed without harm. My goal is to eliminate a third of government regulations over the next two years.

Third, the disastrously expensive healthcare bill passed last year should be repealed before it can destroy the economy. In its place, I am asking Congress to move swiftly to fix the healthcare system by effective tort reform and allowing inter-state sales of medical insurance. In the meantime, I have ordered a freeze and ban on all spending or hiring relating to that bill. The provision requiring mountains of 1099 forms will require congressional action to remove, but for now, my government will not process such paperwork or punish anyone who fails to file it.

Fourth, the war in Iraq is winding down nicely, and the combat mission for our troops has ended. I intend to discuss with the government of Iraq if they would consider inviting us to maintain a mechanized division in their country indefinitely, as we did in Germany for over 60 years, in order to stabilize the region and protect them from their dangerous neighbor to the east. If so, we'll move to make that happen in a manner based on mutual national respect. If not, we'll arrange to get all of our troops out of their country by the end of this year.

The war in Afghanistan is another matter. The government there needs to reform their economy to eliminate corruption. If they are willing to do that, then I will see that war through to a conclusion. If not, we're wasting our time trying to fix a country that won't help itself. I ask President Karzai to meet with me as soon as practical in order for us to review things that need to happen in one direction or the other.

Speaking of Iran and North Korea, I have no plans to attack those nations, but will also take steps to prevent them from building or selling nuclear weapons. My administration will support any move by the Iranian or North Korean peoples to free themselves.

While on the subject of national security, I will undertake a review of the Homeland Security department and the TSA with the view toward eliminating some of the silly and ineffective measures they have imposed. Guantanamo will remain open and military tribunals will be convened within 90 days to begin trials for the inmates thereof.

Fifth, illegal immigration is a major problem in this country, and I am going to put a stop to it, although that won't happen in one day, or one year. The expansion of the Border Patrol will continue until they have the resources to control the border. I have ordered that the Defense Department deploy a brigade of regular military troops on the border, in whatever sector is currently the most critical, within 30 days, and a brigade of National Guard troops within 90 days. These will occupy an outpost line, rotating troops as needed, to identify and apprehend smugglers and illegal immigrants. Anyone they apprehend will be turned over to the Border Patrol for processing. These units will be rotated every six months (and individual soldiers every week), since living in a foxhole is not easy. We will move forward with fences, cameras, sensors, and other security measures as quickly as possible.

Anyone apprehended trying to enter the US illegally will be subject to 60 days of incarceration. It has been proven that this discourages those who enter the country illegally from trying to do so again. Military holding facilities will be made available to hold these people.

Illegal aliens found in this country will be held until their hearings, not released to disappear. Implementing that policy will take some time, as there simply are not enough holding facilities available right now, but I want these facilities created as soon as possible, no later than the end of this year. If Congress won't act, I'll use military resources.

And that is not all. Effective immediately, the US government will no longer treat anyone born on American soil to two parents who were not citizens of the United States as a citizen. There are no more "anchor babies" in this country, not until the Supreme Court says I am wrong. The people who wrote the 14th Amendment made it clear that this was not what they intended. The Justice Department will prepare a case for the Supreme Court which will resolve this issue. Until such ruling, this will apply to anyone in such a situation, regardless of when they were born. Yes, that means this policy is to be enforced retroactively, since the error in creating this policy was made long ago.

Sixth, we have a looming crisis in two areas, the trade deficit and in energy consumption, and I have one solution for both. This solution will also help with dealing with the deficits and the debt. The solution is: "drill, baby, drill." My administration will make available all areas which are currently blocked from drilling by regulations. I will ask Congress to remove roadblocks to other potential oil supplies. All drilling will be done responsibly and will full civil and criminal penalties for environmental damage, but we can, in two or three years, start seriously reducing our dependence on foreign oil.

Seventh, the domestic economy needs some attention. I will ask Congress to move forward with a new program to reduce the number of mortgage foreclosures, and to limit the amount of unsecured consumer credit that anyone can have. The recently passed regulations on the financial industry should be extended by Congress to include Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and to prevent those organizations from making campaign contributions. I will also look into merging the new regulations and watchdogs with those previously in place to eliminate waste and duplication. The unemployment situation is a tragedy, but infinite extensions of unemployment benefits are doing more harm than good. Rather than ending such benefits, I will ask Congress to pass legislation that any extended benefits are to be on a steadily reduced scale, say five percent for each month of the extension beyond two years. Sooner or later, unemployed people will accept the jobs that are available, and move to better jobs when the economy rebounds.

Eighth and finally, I want to see education in this country improved. Quite frankly, the teacher's unions haven't helped and public schools have largely failed. The point of school is to teach students the skills that get them jobs, not nonsense like self-esteem. Congress should support, and all states should encourage, charter schools and vouchers for qualified private and parochial schools. The Federal government has done more harm than good in the case of education, and I hereby ask Congress to de-fund and shut down the Department of Education (as well as the equally useless Department of Housing and Urban Development). Anything worth saving from either of those departments can be sent back to the Department of Health and Human Services.

There are other problems to solve (Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid), but we will deal with them in the future. Let's start by fixing the hard things and we'll discuss fixing the impossible things next year. These are tough fixes, but we cannot continue spending more money than we have. We do not "owe the national debt to ourselves" and the American people do not have bottomless pocketbooks to fund whatever program comes along, no matter how worthy. We will have a balanced budget, and then pay off the debt, and then history will record what freedom, democracy, and free enterprise can really accomplish!