I’m honored and humbled that you've elected me President of the United States. Needless to say, I'm flattered to have received ninety six million write-in votes in the recent special election. I'm surprised and gratified that so many people are reading my blog. I'm also pleased that I’ve been provided emergency, temporary powers to effect real, lasting change. I hope that I can meet the high expectations that you’ve set for me and indeed, that I’ve set for myself. The American people can expect no less.
You’ve given me one year to turn this thing around, so I don’t want to waste any time getting started. However, before outlining the initiatives to take effect immediately, I do want to recognize all of the positive accomplishments of my predecessor. By having been elected as the first African-American President of the United States, Barack Obama has provided an example to all minorities that race is no longer a barrier to achievement in our country. And by agreeing to step aside with his country in crisis, he has shown us his patriotism and his good sense. I wish him well in his new career, one that he’s well suited for, hawking household products on TV alongside Billy Mays. Now to the business at hand.
First, I'd like to explain the rationale behind my decisions. As is always the case with severe economic downturns, our current situation was caused by the misguided policies of an overbearing government. It was initiated in this case by the Federal Reserve's strategy of keeping interest rates too low for too long following the 2000-2002 recession. It was propagated by the illusory derisking of trillions of dollars worth of highly risky assets due to Congressional promotion of Government Sponsored Enterprises. By the way, Frank and Dodd. You're both fired. And under arrest. Sergeant-at-Arms, please take them away...Sorry for the commotion, folks...
The cure for excessive, wrongheaded government influence is not more government but less. My decisions were influenced more by the Milton Friedman model of limited government rather than the more austere models advocated by Adam Smith and Ayn Rand.
Now to specifics. All Federal Departments are hereby eliminated except the following. Defense, Justice, State, and Treasury. I am also creating a new Department of Domestic Affairs. This Department will incorporate all the functions of the former Interior, Transportation, Health and Human Services and Commerce Departments as well as regulatory agencies such as the FDA. I expect that budgeting for the new Department will be far less than that of the sum of the Departments it replaces. All other Departments are hereby dissolved. All government employees terminated by these changes will get 30 days notice, more than enough time to find real work.
The office of the Vice President will be occupied by the eminently qualified Newt Gingrich. My chief of staff is Karl Rove, reprising his successful role in the Bush administration and Dick Cheney has agreed to act as my Press Secretary. I expect that CSPAN will now have the top rated TV program, White House Press Briefing. It will be fun to watch. I am naming as Secretary of Defense, Joseph Lieberman, Attorney General, Miguel Estrada, Secretary of State, John Bolton, Secretary of the Treasury, Steve Forbes and Secretary of Domestic Matters, Jack Welch.
The 44,000 page federal tax code is hereby declared null and void. It will be replaced by a two page document. One page for individuals and their families and one page for businesses. There will be two personal income tax rates, 20% on all income over $100,000 ($150,000 for couples) and 10% on income below $100,000 ($150,000 for couples). Capital gains taxes are eliminated as is the estate tax. The business tax rate will be lowered to 20% from the nearly worldwide high of 35% we have currently. I’ve instructed Secretary Forbes that whatever modifications are deemed necessary or desirable for the new code, deductions, credits, exemptions, allowances and the like, will be constrained by the one page specification – 12 point font, double spaced.
The defense budget will be doubled to roughly $1 trillion per fiscal year. The budgets of the other departments will be decided following reviews by my capable cabinet members and their staffs. However, my goal is to reduce non-defense spending to one-half its current level.
My new jobs program contains three components. The first is the new tax policy, which by promoting explosive economic growth will create millions of new jobs.
Second, the minimum wage is hereby abolished. We cannot continue to abide the job destruction, productivity losses and revenue diminishment that this ill-conceived policy has inflicted on our country.
And third, we will provide extensive job training and job placement programs with the goal of employing every able bodied American who wishes to work. Unemployment benefits will be provided only so long as training continues and no job offer has been extended, in no instance to exceed 20 weeks. With our soon to be realized booming economy there will be no excuse for not working.
The Social Security program as it exists today will end. In its place will be substituted a 401K type program where employees will be allowed to invest up to 10% of their income, tax deferred, any way they wish. Employers will be required to match the employees contribution up to 3% of the total invested. All workers presently contributing to Social Security will be required to transfer the full value of their accounts to other investments. All Social Security participants presently receiving benefits will continue to do so. Alternatively they may opt to transfer the full value of their account into other investments and collect the income generated from those investments.
All direct government sponsorship of medical programs will end. With our tax reform plan, companies will no longer get the tax break that allowed them to offer discounted health insurance to their employees at the expense of the unemployed and underemployed. The skewing of medical costs and pricing will also be reduced by the termination of Medicare and Medicaid. The government instead will offer a tax credit ranging from $5,000 to $15,000 to be used to purchase private medical insurance or to pay for any other medically related cost. The exact credit amounts will be determined by Secretary Forbes and his staff and will be income related. Above some income level to be determined, no credit will be offered. Correspondingly, below a certain income level, health insurance will be free. There will be no geographical or other restrictions from where a citizen may purchase insurance. Insurance companies will be required to provide policies to potential customers irrespective of their existing medical conditions, though they can make limited adjustments in premiums to reflect their higher liability. In addition, as is the case with auto insurance premiums reflecting driving habits, health insurance premiums will be based on the insured’s health habits. Factors to be considered will include smoking status, blood pressure, cholesterol level and weight.
The state of education in this country is a disgrace due in no small part to the government monopoly of the education industry. To rectify this situation, I am ordering the following approach, the exact budgeting details of which will be worked out shortly. The federal government will collect taxes from the states, local governments and individuals. It will then apportion these revenues back to families in the form of vouchers. These vouchers may be used at any educational institution of the families’ choosing regardless of its location. I estimate an initial voucher value of $6,000 - $8000 will be sufficient to purchase quality education for each student. This sum should drop once competition improves educational efficiency. Schools will not be allowed to pick and choose their students. As long as it has openings, a school will be required to accept a valid voucher holder. This direct funding of schools by their customers will incentivize excellence. Schools not satisfying their customers’ expectations will fail. Those that do will thrive.
Racism, racialism and sexism have no place in a free society. Accordingly, I am prohibiting all race and gender based programs that attempt to meet arbitrary quotas in schools, the workplace and elsewhere. Any institution practicing racialism or sexism will be severely penalized – the penalties to be determined by Attorney General Estrada.
As the Wall Street Journal has pointed out, the state of Texas created more new jobs in 2008 than all the other 49 states combined. Why? Two reasons - low taxes and tort reform. We must follow Texas' lead and put an end to the destructive effects that unjust litigation results have had on our economy. To this end I am creating a Tort Review Board to examine all lawsuit judgements in excess of one hundred thousand dollars. The board will have the power to reduce or throw out any and all judgements it deems were wrongly decided. And don't try to slip any $99,999 settlements past us. While the hundred thousand figure sets off a mandatory review, any judgement may be reviewed. The board will be headed by noted author and lawyer Philip K. Howard.
For the long term security and economic health of our nation, we must reduce our dependence on foreign energy sources. To accomplish this, I am removing all restrictions on offshore drilling and drilling in the vast wasteland of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge or ANWR. Additionally, I am setting a national goal of getting at least one hundred new nuclear power plants online by the year 2020 with more to follow. To do this, the federal government will offer financial assistance to and expedite the certification of any and all nuclear power projects. I am also increasing federal appropriation for alternative energy sources threefold. If and when this investment bears fruit, we’ll be able to utilize efficient wind, solar and biofuel technology. Until then, any attempt by Congress to punish carbon production - the byproduct of our prosperity - with the imposition of a cap and trade type tax program, will be vetoed by me and laughed out of my office. Again, I wish to thank the people for providing me with absolute veto power. A wise move.
And, oh yeah. Almost forgot. All outstanding Free Trade Agreements that haven't yet been approved by Congress are hereby approved.
My foreign policy prescriptions will be presented shortly.