Influence over the agenda in each Chamber of Congress will need to be shared, instead of dictated by Party leadership without even pretending to conduct Regular Order.
Policy Standards must always be applied to consider the overall impact of Federal laws on the People of the United States of America. After considering if proposed policy is a affordable priority of most Americans, we must ask these common-sense questions. Then the list of priorities must literally be prioritized to determine which policies can we afford with the available tax revenue.
Common-Sense Policy Standards:
- Is it an Affordable Priority of most Americans? Do we really want it?
- Does it Unite Us with actual liberal listening and considerations?
- Does it Keep Us Safe?
- Will it contribute to Economic Certainty?
- Will it create Equality of Opportunity?
- Does the policy avoid favoring one group over another group?
- After all the bills are totaled, can we still afford it?
- Indebting future families should only be considered if we can’t afford to wait until another budget period.
- Every Department in the Federal Government will be vulnerable to cuts or elimination based on these standards.
- Every Department will be required to share resources with other Departments, as determined by Congress.
- Each policy should be offered on its own merits, in its own bill. Omnibus bills are anti-productive.
- Above all, does the policy firmly adhere to the principals of the US Constitution.
A Reset to Establish Harmony
Political messaging, even during campaigning, has the effect of creating policy without ever becoming law. Political messaging that announces conduct contrary to law must stop. This bad governing has had the effect of creating many undesirable situations whose reality can’t be ignored. Nor should these situations continue to be politicized or stalled. Policy marked as (Reset #) are the situations that must be addressed in the 118th Congress.
Policies that should be considered for the 118th Congress. This list will change as I gather more information and learn.
—Randell S. Hynes
Roe v Wade—Most Americans agree that we can’t go back to the way things were before 1973. The 118th Congress will address erosions to our 14th Amendment rights to privacy and liberty for abortion and overreach during the pandemic.
Total Medicare for Seniors—Consolidated healthcare decisions and administration into a government as large as the United States is impractical. Pursuing a no way back path would lead to unneeded economic uncertainty and stifle innovation.
What is affordable, needed and I believe would be a priority of most Americans is Total Medicare for Seniors. No American drawing Social Security should have to spend a dollar of that hard earned money to pay for any healthcare.
Immigration (Reset US #1)—Political messaging has created certainty that we will not govern entry into our country, and has long been a beacon for anyone around the world to enter and live here anonymously. That policy has lead to millions of people living and working here as residents. It can’t be ignored they are residents of the country. The governing party inviting them here and little resistance in keeping them out, practically makes them common law residents. Ignoring that millions of people are living here anonymously makes no sense. Let’s reset and bring them out of the shadows.
We MUST know who is entering our country to keep us safe. The odds have been against our safety for decades by allowing anonymous, undocumented entry and unaccountable release. Any program to normalize the relationship between this largely anonymous population must be written with an immediate cut-off date and a zero-tolerance for not participating in the documentation process and further entry into the country outside a legal port of entry. Tightening border security to reduce smuggling of all kinds should be modernized and strictly enforced.
Programs to arrange temporary labor and asylum should all be funded to conduct increased processing at our embassies or other locations established outside of the United States.
Equality of Opportunity to reduce Poverty (Reset US #2)—The more important education that the Federal government should otherwise focus on is perpetually under-resourced Transitional Training. Which can broadly be characterized as any 18 and over education needed by Americans who are experiencing a change, student to adult, prisoner to freedom, military to civilian, foster care child aging out, someone who has been out of the workforce for many, many reasons, like a recently divorced Mother. So much more.
Any American who needs help making it to the next level of life or needs help getting established. Training for people in these situations is usually non-existent, unaffordable and distributed. Any type of training that can be anticipated, then centralized, structured to share resources and offer temporary support to large groups of students would work to help Americans quickly learn skills and find related work.
Department of Education resources should be redistributed and the department eliminated.
Education Department repurposed—This will get the most pushback from the public and Democratic Party, until discussions are completed. The Department of Education provides about 10% of the funding for most school districts and uses that influence to dictate standards. Unfunded costs pile up while districts pay to keep that Federal funding, which erodes with admin costs. A transitional training program should be prioritized to gives K-12 students more options after graduating high school.
Congress created the student loan crisis for millions of Americans by making huge loans as easy as dropping gum on the counter. Loan amounts should be re-adjusted to 3% interest and 1999 tuition rates. That relief will help. Participation in future Federal programs will require renewed commitments by each institute of higher learning.
Taxes—Little that the Congress does effects the federal revenue levels received from taxes. Each Census year since 1930, except for after the 2008 recession, tax revenues have doubled. Even after the 2017 tax cuts, revenues have risen each year. Obsession with percentages that the wealthy pay and the gap between the wealthiest Americans and what the rest of us pay are over dramatized for politics.
The fact is, the IRS collects about $4 Trillion a year, which works out to about $12,000 each. The average head of household didn’t pay $48,000 for a family of four, simply because the wealthy do pay more. The wealthy follow the laws to pay the least amount of taxes by law. Congress makes the laws. A rational minimum tax that caps deductions might be the only relevant change to consider in tax laws for the 118th Congress. Unless that 117th Congress fails to make the Child Tax Credit permanent.
Annual Budget—Budgeting of $4 Trillion with a sort of fill in the blank method to simply fund everything that exists without detailed reviews will need to stop. Completely rebuilding the budget is the keystone of being able to eliminate waste, redundancy and share resources across Departments.
The Military does training better than any organization in history in both efficiency and scope. A peacetime military could share resources and help ramp up the Transitional Training program at central locations discussed above.
Energy Policy & Planet Stewardship go hand in hand—Congress must make steps to establish economic certainty of the oil industry in order to keep natural gas affordable during a transition away from all coal burning to generate electricity.
A comprehensive plan that considers all of the impacts of actions taken and barriers must be made. Before any tax dollars are considered, the low hanging, low cost actions available to us must be immediately be crafted into policy.
As a giant first step for Planet Stewardship, foreign policy should be established to shut down or retrofit to natural gas the dirtiest 1400 coal-powered electric plants around the world. Poor health, death and massive CO2 output can be related directly to this activity and should no longer be tolerated. The US has set the example by making this transition and has reduced the number of coal-burning plant to 241. Compared to 8,500 coal-fired electric plants operating elsewhere. Just 5% of those plants produce 75% of the World’s CO2 in that sector. US policy to encourage those plants conversion is critical.
We’ve been using Nuclear Energy safely for decades, with over 400 plants generating electricity around the world on very little land and zero CO2 emissions. US policy and enthusiasm for nuclear energy should be adopted quickly and development incentivized to construct a true nuclear nationwide electric generation grid as soon as possible.
Americans who believe that wind and solar energy are viable solutions. They are not practical for the grid, yet have local installation uses that are practical.
Political messaging and policies adopted to make the oil industry not viable will make oil products expensive and unaffordable. Expensive oil and a ruined oil industry will make it impossible to defend the United States during the balance of the 21st Century. In a sense, whichever country controls the oil and maintains a fossil fuel based military will dominate. And simple matters like heating homes that depend on heating oil, filling our auto tanks, and a myriad of oil related costs will cause most Americans unneeded hardship.
All good things with Moderation.