Temporary Dictator

Via Rachel and Marko comes this meme:
What are 10 laws you would pass/repeal or government programs you would create/tear down? (Assume that you are in office for however long it would take to do these things and that any changes you make will remain in place after you leave office.)

Oh boy oh boy oh boy. I'll approach this one from the Roman perspective, and imagine that I'm open to prosecution for abuse after I step down from the dictatorship. Therefore, I won't put people up against the wall, even if they probably deserve it (hello, Diane Feinstein!). Still the few changes I'd make would, in my opinion, restore the Republic but will never happen in the real world without a dictatorship. First, the big structural changes to create a more federalist system:

1. Repeal the 17th Amendment, which would restore the balance of power by returning the election of senators to the state governments (something I've harped on before.)
2. Expand the number of congress critters to 10,000, abolish congressional pay and staffs. Maybe allow for a small travel stipend, but if they need an assistant, it comes out of pocket. Votes and committee meetings can take place electronically. Most politically active people will know their representatives personally, and if those reps get too far out of line the people will know where they live.
3. Remove the stupid government-expanding precedents that plague our lives, like Wickard v. Fillburn and other rulings that effectively destroy the limitations on the Federal power. OK, maybe I will put a few lawyers up against the wall after all...
4. Transfer all Federal programs, bureaucracies, rules, whatevers that aren't specifically mandated by the Constitution to the state governments. Rather than repealing it all, let the states deal with it.
5. Write out the 16th Amendment, which would abolish the Federal income tax. Let it be paid for by the states!

The next round of changes are more one-off legal/cultural impositions:
6. Remove police exemptions from gun laws. If the cops can drive a frickin' tank down the streets, then so can you! The militarization of the police has been one of the worst legacies of the Reagan revolution.
7. Work for the government? Then you waive your right to vote during your employment.
8. Close all foreign military bases, end foreign aid, and withdraw from all collective security agreements, including the UN and NATO. Offer $100 billion to the first company that comes up with a working continental anti-missile defense. Reduce the number of carrier groups to two, replacing them with destroyers armed with railguns. Leave the Air Force and Marines pretty much unchanged, but disband the heavy infantry divisions in the Army.
9. Reinstitute poll taxes and civics tests for voting, but make sure they're fairly applied.
10. Repeal all federal drug laws. Blanket amnesty for all "victimless crime" felons.

That's about it before I resign and go back to the farm (chanelling Cincinnatus, who was pretty much the definition of a benevolent dictator).


il Tucc said...

Dude, how much of this is real and how much is just bait? You know I'm with you on #9 (that might be all it takes to fix things). Some of these I know you've advocated before (#8, #10). but #2? I'll have to give that a lot of thought.

How 'bout a companion to #9 - end the suffraging of women? Or more seriously, instead of a civics test and poll tax, something more Heinlein-like?

Much to think about.

CounterClckWise said...

Well, I'm not wedded to the idea in #2, but I think it's defensible. I'll do a separate post about it.

By Heinlein, I assume you mean Starship Troopers -- no way, Jose!