Amending our system
51 a) In past postings I have addressed issues and possible solutions. The following is a summary of many of these (will continue for several weeks’ postings):
Issue: Elections are determined more by dollars than the will of the people
Solutions: 1. Term limits (no more than 3 or 4 combined congressional & senate) 2. Eliminate the EC, popular vote rules. 3. Limit campaigning to only the 90 days prior to elections. 4. Limit individual and company and organizational campaign donations to $1,000. Remarks: Elected Public office should be about “service”, not career.
Issue: The budget deficit and the alarming national debt (not to mention the unfunded liability)
Solutions: The initial challenge is to require a budget that is close to being balanced. That is the deficit, if any, cannot exceed a rate in excess of the prior year’s rate of price inflation. Any Congress that fails to pass this form of a balanced budget would not be allowed to stand for re-election. A private auditing firm would be contracted to audit all governmental administrative functions with a stated goal of improving any audited area’s productivity by a minimum of 10%. Documented adjustment recommendations would be binding and the audit would be funded out of savings. Since this process might well take many years or even a decade the process needs to be binding on all future administrations. Civil service wages need to be frozen at current levels and need to stay that way until they equate to levels for comparable positions in the private sector. Future incremental spending for new projects needs to be funded out of savings achieved through cost containment.
Issue: The extremely high cost of health care and relatively low quality of care.
Solutions: The simple solution is to study the healthcare systems of those countries that are doing a good job in both per capita cost and quality of care. I’m not suggesting that we copy a system, but rather am suggesting that we look at a hybrid system that incorporates the best features of those that are doing a great job in this area. The answer is not to require that everyone a government mandated form of insurance and penalize those who do not. Good examples of countries that do a great job of quality are: France, Italy, Spain, Austria & Japan. Good examples of countries that do a very efficient job in this area are: Spain, France, South Africa, Australia & New Zealand.
more on issues & solutions next week