By Tom Flake
I announced about a month ago on Brutally Honest that I was running for President on Votocracy and I could still use your support. But before deciding on whether to support me, I think you need to know how I would propose fixing the various problems that currently face America.
The next President's most pressing problem will be how to put millions of American's back to work and end chronic 8+ % unemployment. Many of you have read my posts before will recognize my "The Right is Wrong and Left is Wronger" bi-partisan approach.
Eight Step Plan
1) End H1B Visas - There is no reason to import citizens of other countries to perform jobs that American's will do if given the opportunity and training. American companies must work with universities to ensure that they are turning out graduates with usable skills, NOT simply throw up their hands and hire from abroad.
2) End Pell grant and Stafford subsidies for degrees that America doesn't need and which won't result in an education with long term employability outlook. Google the term STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) America needs more graduates with this type of training and currently has openings. Don't believe me? Go to Monster or Hotjobs and search on Engineering. There isn't a lack of jobs or opportunities in America, there is a mismatch between what we are training American's for and what the marketplace needs. Why isn't Pell and Stafford selective in what we are funding with taxpayer monies?
3) Create a windfall profit tax on the largest 1000 companies that are profitable, but don't increase employment by 10% between Jan 1, 2012 and Dec 31, 2012. The tax shall be equivalent to 100% of profit earned during that calendar year. Some reading this will say, that it isn't up to the company's to create jobs. Normally I would agree and suggest that the role of companies is to maximize profits for the benefit of their shareholders. However, this unemployment has reached crisis proportions for two reasons 1) In order to balance the budget, we need to not only cut spending, we need to increase revenue. In order to increase revenue we can either raise taxes or grow the tax base. In order to grow the tax base we need to employ more people. 2) People who are unemployed for long periods see their sellable skills atrophy and therefore they become less and less likely to EVER be employed. It is predictable that the jobs created will be low paying (except for those hired to replace the H1B visa jobs that are discontinued) However, this moves people off of the unemployment roles and gives them the opportunity to re-build atrophied jobs skills. This needs to be a war on unemployment and the drastic actions necessary during war need to be employed. Half measure won't work.
4) Mandate that all government regulatory bodies freeze new regulation and reduce existing regulation by 25% before writing any new rules. They have 90 days to comply.
5) Reduce the civil service workforce by 10% during 2012 and reduce the pay of those remaining on civil service pay by 10%. This may seem counter intuitive at first, but this again goes to the heart of getting government off of the back of small and medium sized business. By reducing government spending, you reduce the crowding out affect and make capital available to business.
6) In recent years, massive flooding has caused billions in damage and lost productivity. I propose a massive government spending program (paid for by number 5 above) and by a surcharge on Insurance companies profits. This program, similar to the construction of the Eisenhower highway system, would pay for the construction of massive pipelines between the Mississippi River, it's tributaries and the west. Texas and Oklahoma have faced drought and its associated cost, massive reservoirs in Nevada are at record lows while at the same time we have experienced record flooding on the Red and other rivers . If there were reservoirs in place and transfer capability in place we could move the water during floods and have it available during droughts. This would be a massive undertaking would cost Billions but would save lives, replenish aquifers and reservoirs, create jobs and ultimately save insurance companies billions.
7) A sane national energy policy. Over five years, phase out the import of oil or petroleum products from outside the Western hemisphere. At five years make it illegal to import oil or petroleum products from outside the western hemisphere and to export oil or gas from the U.S. or its territories. Mandate duel fuel cars that run on both liquid natural gas and traditional gasoline. Mandate an increase in domestic drilling. Subsidize the construction of a national pipeline infrastructure with two goals: a)Move LNG to market b) move petroleum from the Green River Formation and Tar Sands in Canada to market. The massive changes in infrastructure (construction of pipelines, and construction of LNG distribution infrastructure) will result in significant job creation
8) Rather than paying people on unemployment to sit around and simply be unemployed. Require that all citizens receiving unemployment compensation be enrolled in a job training program and only provide training for jobs where there is a demonstrated need for employees in a particular field. Fund the training program in addition to unemployment and provide the training at no cost to the trainee (unemployed). Technology and the marketplace are moving so quickly that job skills mismatch and obsolescence are a real threat to America's competitiveness and expectations about jobs skills training and the way we fund them have not kept up.
This isn't an all inclusive list, but my analysis suggests that this combination of approaches would create almost 3 million net of civil servant layoffs new jobs in 2012. Compare and contrast that with President Obama's job creation plan when it is announced in the next week or so. If you like my plan better, support my candidacy on Votocracy.
Next time, how you balance the Federal budget within four years.