Here are a fistful of policy changes I support. I am sure that these will make excellent fodder for political debate, and welcome any of our readers to open threads in the forums relating to any of these they’d care to discuss or debate further.
Always a source of excellent political debate, and it may surprise many uber-conservative readers (who no doubt view this as being a member of the family of liberal blogs), but I support the “Drill, baby, drill!” paradigm. Sure. Absolutely. With a couple of caveats that I regard as being sensible.
First, don’t come crying to me that the gummint isn’t approving permits fast enough when you’re sitting on more than seven thousand of them right now (the current state of the oil industry as of this writing).
Second, we can “drill baby drill” without committing whole hog to the strategy. That is to say, I’m all for additional drilling, but we need to balance that against future needs. The bottom line is simply this: Oil is a strategic resource. Until we have a clear path for where we go AFTER oil, the more of ours we can keep in the ground, and the longer we can keep it there, the better off we’ll be.
Third, offshore, and other extraction techniques, but inform drillers that they will be held 125% liable for any damages done. We’ll use the surplus to help retire debt.
And fourth, levy a 1 cent per gallon, 10 cent per ton tax on gas/coal. Use these funds to subsidize alt. Energy infrastructure, with a focus on solar and wind, and a lesser focus on bio-D (split the funds roughly 40/40/20 in those three areas). Enable a government profit sharing plan with regards to profits gained from oil harvested from federal lands (ANWAR, The Gulf, etc). Let’s do it, starting today.
This one’s easy, but my position here will no doubt anger people on both sides of the political spectrum and I’m sure this one will be excellent fodder for an ongoing political debate. I’ve not seen too many people on either conservative OR liberal blogs talking much about matters of ethics, but as I see it, this is sorta paving the road. Taking on this issue will make tackling many of the others our nation faces worlds easier, so here’s what I think we ought to do:
No lobbyists allowed within 500 miles of Washington DC. No lobbyist communication with politicians (which basically means, no lobbyists period, since I’ve just killed their entire reason for being). Make it a Federal crime to give any politician, or any staffer WORKING FOR a politician a “gift” of any size whatsoever. Make it a Federal crime for any person who has ever held an elected position IN HIS LIFE to ever register as a lobbyist, or carry out any lobbying activities whatsoever. Cap donations to political campaigns at $300 per person, PERIOD. Corporations or other organizations are disallowed from giving AT ALL. See? Told you it was inflammatory. And excellent kindling for all manner of colorful political debates!
Changes in law regarding Corporations:
Conservatives will no doubt want to flay me alive for these, and I suspect that this short paragraph alone will be enough for them to forever condemn this site as being among the family of “commie” liberal blogs, but again, in the interest of sparking a lively political debate, I’ll put my ideas “out there,” and see what happens:
I believe strongly in increased regulations in nearly every aspect of corporate life. Contractually obligate them to be good community citizens, since the vast majority seem utterly incapable of doing it on their own. Laws to force full accountability on them. Shut down tax loopholes, stop all corporate welfare (as above, see the exception where fostering native renewable energy sources are concerned), corporations ARE NOT people, and should no longer be considered as such, and money should no longer be considered a form of speech.
Sound off! If you have something to say about anything you’ve read here, then we invite you to participate in our political forums!
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