Thursday, November 09, 2006

Things the Democratic Congress* Should Do, But Probably Won't (for the *, see #6):

1) Open things up. This is the biggest sin that the platformless Republican party committed against America, but it's a grave one. More stuff got pushed behind closed doors into committee meetings that only took place when Republicans and only Republicans were in the room. Thousands of pages of things were silently put into a record that the Democrats who opposed the legislation never saw (not that it would matter, it was destined for victory).

2) Create open hearings on the secret prisons and rendition practices of the Bush administration. Listen, I know it relates somewhat to national security, but it's also KGBish. We don't do this stuff in this country, or at the very least we don't get caught.

3) Two words - trade deficit. We used to be a financial partner. We are now a financial purchaser. This is inevitably going to doom our nation unless we do something to correct it. We need to manufacture something other than weapons, we need to export something other than our troops, and we need to spark some sort of industry more meaningful than It's not going to be easy, we're on a downward spiral and the "solutions" that are used to lessen the trade deficit don't help anyone but scions of industry (restrict all 50 non-municipal employees who are in unions, decrease wages, protective tariffs). But something needs to be done, and we could start by being more choosy about our trading partners. There's no reason our country should be funneling billions of dollars in profits to China, when China is the greatest threat to the United States' future survival.

4) The Estate Tax - Wah wah wah, cry me a gooddamn river. If you die leaving $7,000,000 and can't figure out how to avoid the estate tax, you should lose a lot more than they're charging you. For one, being born to rich parents has already entitled you to too much. Secondly, it's not an estate tax, it's a sloth tax. Any idiot can hide money from the estate tax through completely legal means. If you don't prepare for such events, too bad. I don't like the estate tax, but given the deficit 6 years of Bushonomics have caused, we need some money back, and a tax that only punishes the ridiculously wealthy who are also ridiculously stupid is a step in the right direction. Think of it as eugenomics. (both because it's my theory and because it's a mix of eugenics and economics)

5) Rethink our deployment strategies. We can't bring everyone back, the administration has dug its heels into a mass grave in Iraq that will only get worse if we pull everyone out and let the country fall into immediate civil war exceeding what will inevitably result. But we can at least prioritize our deployments and send those who are most reasonably expected to go. No more of the National Guard/Reserve deployment first strategy. Fact is, if you've gotten paid full-time military pay for years, you're the person who should go, not the guy who was willing to join the reserves in case his country needed him. It's not the job of the National Guard to guard other nations or serve in other nations. It's ours. They need to be here for when this nation needs them.

6) Do something to try and keep Joe Lieberman. Blame the blogs for bringing out the Lamont crowd, because lord knows why I'd stay a Democrat if I was Joe Lieberman. The Republicans should be offering him a position of major authority, because it'd give them the unholy power they've wielded unfairly in secret for years. But if Lieberman feels a loyalty to the party which he rarely supports, they will need to do the same. Biden's already cornered the Foreign Relations Committee, but there's plenty of plum deals for Connecticut's favorite incumbent. Make sure he gets one, or you're going to see yourself as a minority in the senate with a mere 50.

7) Listen to Jon Tester. He might be the wisest 7-fingered man in Congress, even if there are others. The Democrats need to consider a more libertarian strategy, or else they'll be back to being the only party without a platform.

8) Insist that every American receive a tax cut in 2007 in the form of a copy of Snakes on a Plane on DVD. It looks good (note the words "tax cut"), but has the same salutory effect that the illusory tax cuts the Republicans put into place had. And it would spark a serious cultural rise in this country.

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