I’ve often thought of what I would do if I was the President of the United States. Would I try to be bipartisan, as President Obama has done? Would I be more dictatorial and draconian, like George W. Bush? Something more extreme, in either direction? I don’t know, truthfully.
Upon reflection, here’s what I’d do:
1.) I think the one thing I would like to do, (and I can already hear the reasons why I can’t do it being formulated), is put a limit on the price of gas. That limit would be no more than a 15% mark-up on refinement costs.
That is, if it costs $1.00 to refine a gallon of oil into a gallon of gasoline, then the price of a gallon of gas could, by law, be no higher than $1.15. In addition, the oil companies would have to show that the cost for refinement is increasing before they would be allowed to raise prices.
BOO! HISS! Yes, I know. I can hear your cries of “Communist!” “Socialist!” “Fascist!” and “how dare I infringe on the rights of oil companies to screw me at the pump! I should enjoy paying for their vacations while I cannot afford to feed my family or pay my rent. But who cares so long as THEY make their money, right?”
2.) Also, I’d repeal DOMA. I’d enact federal level recognition of same-sex marriages and enact protections based on gender identity and expression, thus fulfilling the Constitution’s promise of equal protections under the law.
At the same time, I’d make sure that those bigoted religions who don’t want to perform same-sex marriages would not be forced to do so.
3.) I’d enact campaign reform requiring ALL campaign donations to be a matter of public record and place limits on the amount of money a company or person can donate.
4.) I’d also place term limits on elected officials across the board. We’re not supposed to have career politicians. Two terms in the House. Two terms in the Senate. Go home and do something else. (Upon leaving office, they’d lose their universal health care benefits, too).
5.) I believe in a strong military, but not at the expense of other programs. More importantly, I’d bring our troops home. Not only from Iraq and Afghanistan, but from Korea, Germany, and Japan, too. (Except in the case of disaster relief in the case of Japan. But, they would come home after the clean-up is finished.)
Military service would remain voluntary. I’d increase the benefits package, including base pay, to allow for retention and to meet force demands.
6.) I’d close Guantanamo and, more importantly, try those accused in a court of law. No military trials.
7.) I’d close the loopholes for the top 1% and raise their tax rate to 40%. I’d prosecute companies and people who didn’t pay their fair share.
8.) I’d make it illegal for Congress to vote themselves a pay raise. Learn to live within a budget like everyone else does.
9.) I’d enforce net neutrality to avoid price gouging and service denial by corporations.
10.) I’d overturn the ruling that corporations are people and have the same rights and privileges as humans do.
11.) Since so much emphasis is placed on having a higher education, I’d enact legislation making the first post high school degree tuition free. That is, if a student wants to go to college, provided they can pass the entrance exam, they can study at the college of their choice and earn a bachelor’s degree (or associates degree, it they choose to go to a technical school) free of tuition charges. They’d still have to pay for books, living expenses, and whatnot.
Any advanced degrees, (Masters, Doctorates), the student would have to pay for normally.
Enrollment in higher education would still be voluntary, however.
I’m sure I can think of a few more things, but that’s a good list to get the condemnation rolling.