…and a couple other non-tax ways to raise revenues in a new economy
Well, the President unveiled a new budget to much scorn from the Right Wing pessimists and many kudos from the Left Wing loyalists. Then, Paul Ryan submitted a new budget. Raise taxes, cut spending, provide tax breaks, reallocate this, concede that, subscribe to one theory or another, etc., etc. If you don’t want to hear about it, tune your TV to Bravo or Disney.
I’m offering a different tact from the standard partisan party-line proffers.
The questions: How can we increase revenue? decrease debt? make government smaller? bring our message of democracy to a world wide audience? address immigration concerns? and create jobs?
(1) Sell California. Now, before all my west coast friends who now call the Golden State their home get their collective panties in a bunch, hear me out.
Why California? Well, we need to sell something worth buying. From it’s sandy beaches and desert resorts to the wine regions and Sequoia forests, the property is very attractive. It has plenty of coastline, for sure, and opportunities for ports. The real estate alone is a fantastic selling point, but add the infrastructure and the established reputation, and it’s the must-have holding for any country anywhere in the world! For discussion, let’s put a price tag of $150Trillion, with a 50-year mortgage agreement. Of course, the buyer would have to be a long-standing and strategic ally with the resources to properly transact the purchase. I’m thinking Saudi Arabia, and the newly dubbed Saudi California.
The agreement would include our rights to keep our military bases for 30 years, with options for lease renewals. In the meantime, the Pentagon could look to build new bases in Oregon, Washington, and other neighboring US States. The cost of building the new state-of -the-art military bases would stimulate the economy in the selected areas and allow for more efficient, up-to-date, state-of-the-art military operations management.
How does this increase revenue / decrease debt? — I think it’s obvious. Revenues go up by $3Trillion per year, which is used to pay down other debts to China, etc. As part of the transaction, Saudi Arabia would forgive all debt to the USA.
Smaller government? – There would be 2 fewer Senators and 54 fewer Representatives, for starters. While California is tax-positive (they pay more into federal tax coffers than they receive in benefits), the anticipated population shift to nearby states should provide positive tax buoyancy to those areas. Couple this with consolidation of a few other states* and we’ll begin to see operational efficiencies across the country. [*See #2, below]
Democracy in action! What better way to bring democracy to the world than to bring the world to democracy? The government of Saudi California would have to learn to deal with population and resources beyond it’s isolated world of sand and oil in the Middle East. Agriculture, exports, imports, and other “western world” realities would land right in its lap to be properly managed. Plus, with first-hand sensitivity to the needs of Saudi Californians for petroleum products, then the oil reserves in Saudi Arabia would open up and the international cost of oil would be reduced. This in itself would be an economic stimulator.
Jobs – of course! For those citizens who would leave Saudi CA, there will be a boom for housing and commercial space, perhaps even revitalizing Las Vegas or stimulating economic growth in the Pacific Northwest. The film and TV industry most likely would relocate… hey! There’s already a city called “Hollywood” in Florida! By moving the industry there, then Florida would enjoy a revitalization and economic bonanza. Construction of homes, retail, office & commercial space, and film/TV/recording studios and sets would also create jobs and create a blooming, booming environment. With development comes new opportunity for economic growth.
2. Consolidation of states: Once we’ve been able to book revenue from the sale of California, we should (1) combine all states with ordinal compass points, North and South Dakota combine to become The Dakotas; North & South Carolina become Carolina (it already has an NFL team and an NHL team!); West Virginia erases its southern border and there is one united Virginia; (2) Combine the cluster of mini-states in the northeast; Maine +Massachusetts +Vermont +New Hampshire +Rhode Island +Connecticut = 1 state, called “New England” — heck, they already have an NFL football team, too!; (3) combine the three midwestern “I” states — Illinois, Indiana, and Iowa — into one heartland state called “Ionoisia” (pronounced “I-annoy-ya” — there’s no saying we couldn’t have some fun with the process!) or perhaps more simply, “Heartland;” and (4) the new Gulf Coast state would be the consolidation of Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama, all of which were united by the public and media in the wake of the Gulf oil spill in 2010 anyway. More consolidation options are welcome, of course! The goal should be to get to 30-35 states.
The USA has had 27 different flags since 1776, so the redesign of the flag shouldn’t be viewed as anything but the natural progression of a dynamic and vibrant country. It’ll be a spike in the economy for flag makers and retailers, too. More economic benefits!
Consolidated state governments and a smaller Congress should produce more efficiency in all of the Capitals.
3. There are new democracies popping up throughout the world, and they are in need of solid consultancy on government. Well, we have 60-70 Senators and a couple hundred Representatives in the New Congress, so we’ll loan them out to the newly created democracies. Equal numbers of Dems and GOP’ers to each country, in teams of 8 or 10, with a steady rotation of Libertarians, Independents, Greenies, and Tea Partiers for good measure, for 2-yr stints as surrogate governments to our fledgling brethren and sister-en in the upstart democracies.
Certain existing democracies could use some coaching, too, (Greece, anyone?) and really, who better than our elected and capable Congresspersons to fulfill those roles? Meanwhile, the countries pay the USA for this service and revenues go up! Our officials can introduce the Constitution to these countries, with adaptive elements to suit the particularities of the sovereignty. I think the VicePOTUS should oversee this effort and earn his/her keep, too.
States can participate at their discretion, voting such that elected governors, for instance, would have to spend a minimum of 1 year of their respective terms oversees getting a fledgling democracy up and operating. The lieutenant governors can stand in for that period, properly grooming a potential successor (or possibly weeding him out!).
These new bastions of democracy will encourage the world’s refugees to find other places to call home. Immigrants will no longer only seek the shores of the USA, but will find the American dream alive and well throughout all continents!
4. Legalize certain narcotics. These arguments, for and against, already exist and do not need to be rewritten here, especially in light of the other outstanding ideas #1 – #3 above! Besides, having the new narcotic distribution networks (formerly drug cartels) deal with the IRS in lieu of the Border Patrol would be great entertainment! The market pressure, along with domestic production, would drive the price down and bankrupt the drug lords in other countries, forcing the operations to set up in the US (of course, NOT in Saudi California, because the import tariffs would be too much on slim margins). More jobs, more revenues, and a way to reinvigorate the agricultural sector — it’s a winning plan, likely to be embraced from New England to Heartland to Hollywood (FL)!
The same old arguments and plans are just not effective anymore. Thinking big and thinking about other revenue streams might give the US a better way out of the recession. Now, can anyone recommend a good real estate attorney on the West Coast?