Originally Posted by BR
1) cut the defense budget. It's currently larger than the rest of the world's combined.
It depends on what the reductions are. I'm not in favor of it increasing at this point, unless we get into some kind of emergency military situation. Efficiencies do need to be found. Last...I would remind you that Defense is a Constitutional responsibility of our government.
2) legalize all drugs. What happened to individual liberty?
I'm more of a libertarian as well. That means I don't like the government telling me what to put in my body. However, I also think some substances are extremely harmful and dangerous, which means we can't have them being sold at Walgreens and Target, lest we risk a public health epidemic. I would favor decriminalizing use and even purchase. However, I would favor punishing possession with the intent to distribute. Certain "herbal" substances should be legal
3) legalize prostitution. Selling is legal. F#%^ is legal. Why isn't selling f8$%^ legal? (RIP George Carlin)
Agreed, though I think laws would be needed to prevent open solicitation in public (e.g. "street walkers").
4) remove the restriction of the sale of alcohol to certain days of the week?
Blue laws like this are less and less common. There are some places where they still exist (in the South, mostly), but yes, I agree.
Please answer yes or no to the above 4 and the following 3 below.
And to really test your views...
5) eliminate public education?
No, though I'm a PS teacher, so I'm biased. Public Education has many flaws, but also does many things right. Certainly, reform is needed. School choice in some form would go a long way. Children shouldn't be tied to a failing school because of lack of income and/or where they live. Then again, current government efforts (NCLB) aren't doing the job. We're approaching "blood from a rock" with the current testing regimen.
6) eliminate social security?
Yes, but....it won't happen. We're not even talking about it, and we have politicians putting seniors in campaign commercials saying that "Mike RunningForOffice wants to cut my social security 50%. I can't buy my food and medicine with half my SS!"
I do think this: The notion that we all have a "right" to retire is absurd. The notion that we are all forced to contribute to the system is absurd. I think the system should be phased out over 30 years, to ensure that everyone who was promised SS gets it. People like me (35 years old tomorrow) would get a greatly reduced benefit in exchange for gradually phased out SS tax.
Obviously it will never happen. So, what is the realistic solution? In addition to major income tax reform, fund SS through a national sales tax. Eliminate SS payroll taxes entirely. This way, the rich pay more because they buy more. People above a certain income level should receive reduced or no benefits. This needs to be done in conjunction with income tax reform, though. That's another matter.
7) eliminate all government funded healthcare (including medicare, medicaid, et cetera)?
Of course not. These are perhaps the only programs that should be based on income rather than ability. If you're of lesser means and/or unable to get insurance, I believe the government should be helping you get health care. You should be able to buy into a program at a reduced cost.
This dovetails into welfare/assistance reform at the federal and state levels. IMO, we should change the system from a need based system, to an ability based system. Unemployment insurance aside, we should be providing cash assistance only to those who do not possess the mental/physical ability to work and provide for themselves. Because we are not going to let people starve, we should maintain and improve programs such as food stamps, which would be redeemable for...ACTUAL FOOD. A similar program should be created for housing and clothing. In other words, this help make homelessness a thing of the past. People who claimed hardship would be given enough to live at the most basic level dignity requires. You want anything more? Get a job...again, if you're able.