Washington, DC (TFC) – Campaign promises are a candidate’s way of saying “If I was dictator for a day, this is what I would do.” Due to my rather vocal opposition to every major candidate, I was challenged by a reader to provide a realistic platform that even I would support. It was a little more difficult than I imagined it would be. Having to play by the rules of a system I don’t necessarily agree with on an ideological level was difficult to say the least. Making it “realistic” was difficult, because one of the requirements that was imposed after I started was that this platform would have to be one that could realistically win an election. That precluded my “burn it all and start over” campaign.
So instead of a slash and burn policy (as well as suggesting the internment of most of the current government), I established as moral a government as possible. I then broke out my calculator, balanced the budget, and found a way to eliminate the national debt. Keep in mind, I was able to finish this in less than four hours. That alone should be a clear indication that those in Washington do not represent you.
So here’s the Justin King Party of One white paper:
The chief goal of the Untied States shall be to protect the inalienable rights of its citizens, while simultaneously promoting the highest standards of living possible.
Criminal Justice: The Federal Government will immediately refocus all efforts on crimes that have a definable victim, and it will encourage state and local governments to do the same.
Mass incarceration: Any inmate in the federal system designated for a minimum security facility will be released on an ankle monitor. This accounts for roughly 20% of the federal prison population, even though only about 17.4% are currently housed in minimum security facilities. It should be noted that prisoners housed in minimum security facilities do not have a fence separating them from society and inmates are not locked in cells. They are not violent prisoners. If they can be trusted to not escape the facility, they can be trusted to be at home working. The cost of the ankle monitor will be paid by the prisoner. A twenty percent reduction in federal prison expenditures would be roughly $1.7 billion.
For-Profit Prisons: The federal government will use every means at it’s disposal to discourage states from employing for-profit prisons. The federal government will not contract with for-profit prison providers.
Police Accountability: It will be the policy of the United States to act decisively to end police brutality.
Militarized federal agencies: Given the reputation and a loss of public faith in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE); the agency will be disbanded. The responsibility for regulating alcohol will be given to the Food and Drug Administration and the responsibility for Tobacco will be given to the Department of Agriculture. Firearms and Explosives will fall under the jurisdiction of the FBI. All three of the agencies absorbing a section of the BATFE have bloated budgets, and will not receive a budget increase. The elimination of a redundant and aggressive agency, will save $1.2 billion per year.
Extrajudicial killings: Any federal, state, or local official that kills an unarmed person will go before a federal grand jury.
Liability insurance: All law enforcement agencies at every level of government will be required to carry liability insurance for each individual officer. Every settlement and disciplinary action will be reported to the insurance company. If an officer cannot be insured, the officer must have their employment terminated.
Immunity from prosecution: A person who uses force against a law enforcement officer who is executing a raid on the wrong address or attempting to otherwise violate the rights of a citizen shall be immune from prosecution.
1033 Program: The 1033 Program will be cancelled completely. At no point will weapons purchased by the Department of Defense be provided to law enforcement agencies.
Whistleblower protection and “lesser of two evils” defense: Those exposing government abuses will not be prosecuted under any circumstances. Those already prosecuted will be pardoned. Likewise, those exposing corporate criminality will also be immune from prosecution and those already convicted will be pardoned. If the whistleblower was the architect of government abuse, whistleblower protection will not apply.
Drug War: The drug war will cease immediately. All non-violent drug offenders will be immediately released from federal custody. All of those convicted of non-violent drug offenses will be pardoned. 60% of savings from the drug war will be reallocated to treatment and prevention, providing a net reduction of spending of about $10 billion annually. Disused minimum security facilities mentioned above will be used as treatment centers.
Intelligence: The United States will have no domestic intelligence gathering program. This prohibition does not interfere with traditional law enforcement investigations, or counter-intelligence operations such as background checks.
Mass surveillance: Unwarranted surveillance is antithetical to a free society. As such, the entire National Security Agency will be disbanded. The legitimate roles of cryptography and foreign signals intelligence will be absorbed by the Central Intelligence Agency and the Defense Intelligence Agency. Cyberwarfare will fall under the purview of the US Cyber Command. Disbanding the National Security Agency eliminates about $11 billion dollars from the budget.
State and local surveillance: Any government official organizing, conducting, or failing to report any form of unwarranted surveillance or search shall be arrested and prosecuted for federal civil rights violations.
Native Affairs: Native reservations are sovereign territory that exist within the confines of the United States. They will be treated as such. Their territory is their own and cannot be seized by the United States. Tribal governments are to regulate their territory as they see fit.
Economy: It will be the policy of the United States to provide incentives to grow the US economy, without legislating to subsidize or protect monopolies. In furtherance of this goal, the IRS will be abolished and replaced with a point of transaction sales tax designed to provide the US with a $3.8 trillion dollar budget (the amount spent in FY 2015), adjusted yearly for inflation. The US will use the power of that $3.8 trillion dollars in spending to encourage equitable treatment of workers, domestic production, and fair trade.
Domestic production: Government contracts will only be awarded to companies based in the United States. All material purchased by the US government must be made in the United States. This policy will take effect two years from date of enactment to provide companies time to relocate manufacturing capabilities to the United States. Raw materials and components may be sourced from foreign nations.
Equitable treatment of workers: Government contracts will only be awarded to companies that provide at least 90% of their workers with a “living wage”. While not all industries do business with the government, the wages offered by companies that do will encourage other businesses to raise wages to stay competitive.
Fair trade and human rights: Companies that source materials from exploited populations overseas will be barred from government contracts.
Miscellaneous domestic spending cuts: All “corporate welfare will immediately cease, providing an estimated savings of $100 to $110 billion dollars per year. Any bill with pork barrel spending will be vetoed, creating a $4.2 billion dollar savings. Pork barrel spending is, in effect, an attempt to buy votes for reelection. The Department of Justice will investigate every proposed pork barrel project and the finances of the bill’s sponsor. In effect, those in Congress that attempt to use taxpayer funds to purchase votes will suffer constant investigation.
Encouraging domestic charity: During government contract awards, preferential treatment will be shown to companies that fund charitable organizations from profits. If two companies produce an equivalent product or service, the company that has donated the highest percentage of their profits to charity will be awarded the contract.
Environmental and Consumer protections: If a company is found to have behaved in a systematically criminal manner in regards to the environment, or to have engaged in corrupt business practices, the CEO and board of directors will face criminal charges.
Education: It will be the policy of the United States to encourage higher education. The administration will consistently seek spending cuts in addition to those listed elsewhere. The funds from those cuts will be reallocated to the Pell Grant program. As funding increases, the eligibility requirements for Pell Grants will become less stringent. As an example, the sale of unused federal buildings, replacing the V-22 Osprey with the MH-60, and reducing crop insurance subsidies would save roughly $44 billion dollars per year; more than doubling the Pell Grant budget.
Gun Control: It will be the policy of the United States to encourage responsible firearm ownership. It is the policy of the United States to avoid prosecuting people for victimless crimes. Therefore, it will not be a crime for anyone other than a person convicted of a violent felony or sex crime to possess a firearm, however using a firearm while committing a federal crime will result in longer sentences. Regulation of firearms will remain primarily the responsibility of the states.
Prohibited or heavily regulated items: Fully-automatic weapons and destructive devices, as defined in the Gun Control Act, will remain effectively prohibited.
Encouraging responsible gun ownership: Ammunition, Weapon, and or Firearm accessory manufacturers will be shown preferential treatment when bidding on government contracts if they fund training courses that stress firearms safety and proper storage, or if they provide discounts to customers that regularly attend such training.
It will be the overall policy of the United States to use its economic, military, and political might to promote freedom, human rights, self-determination, and self-governance for all people. In furtherance of this goal:
Freedom & Human Rights: Any nation that has an active slave trade or system of indentured servitude will be barred from any form of trade with the United States. Any nation that engages in a system of apartheid or employs separate legal systems for people of different racial or ethnic backgrounds will be barred from any form of trade of the United States. Any nation that engages in ethnic cleansing will be barred from any form of trade with the United States and may suffer military action.
Self-determination & Self-governance: The US government will recognize any new nation that can demonstrate a majority of the population within a defined geographic area who wish to establish a new nation. Immediate recognition would be granted to Palestine, Catalonia, Kurdistan, and Basqueland.
Immigration: It shall be the policy of the United States to encourage a system of immigration that allows lawful immigration to occur without unreasonable waiting periods or discriminatory practices.
Immigrant visas: The US shall make available a number of new immigrant visas no less than 0.75% of the current US population and no more than 1% of the current US population each year. These visas will be issued on a first come, first serve basis irrespective of the country of origin of the applicant. The applicant shall undergo a background check and be admitted. If after three years, the applicant has not committed any crime, a permanent residence card will be granted. Three years later, the applicant may apply for citizenship.
Asylum requests: It will be the policy of the United States to liberally grant asylum requests. In accordance with American tradition, international law, and human decency; if a person is subject to persecution based on religion, gender, ethnicity, social group, political opinion, race, or sexual orientation, they will be granted permanent Asylum. If a person is fleeing a war zone, they will be granted temporary refugee status.
Illegal Immigration: A simplified immigration process should drastically cut down on illegal immigration, however some will undoubtedly occur. Illegal entry is a misdemeanor. If at the time of apprehension the suspect can prove they have lived in the United States for three years without committing a felony, they will be given a background check and granted an Immigrant Visa. They must then wait an additional three years before applying for permanent residency. It is hoped that the risk of having to start the three year period from the beginning and a simplified process of immigration will encourage people to follow the appropriate channels. If the suspect has committed a felony, they will be imprisoned for one year and deported. If the suspect has not committed a felony and has not been in the United States for three years, they will be imprisoned for three months and then deported. If the person has a child born in the United States or has married a US citizen, they will be granted an Immigrant Visa upon successful completion of a background check. In summary, the policy of the United States will be to make it more beneficial to immigrate legally than illegally.
Defense: It will be the policy of the United States to aggressively pursue persons and organizations that pose definable threats to the lives of US citizens or those engaged in crimes against humanity. At no point, will the US preemptively invade another nation, nor will it use military force to obtain an economic advantage.
Drone war: The use of drones will replace the use of manned aircraft over a battlefield when appropriate, they will not be used for assassinations. They will not be deployed inside nations with which the United States is not currently at war.
Military aid: The United States will cease all military aid immediately to any country not currently at war with a defined threat. The United States will cease all military aid to any non-state actor. This will create a savings of about $5 billion dollars per year.
Guantanamo: After more than a decade, either the prisoners can be proven to be terrorists, tried, and executed; or they will be shipped to their country of origin.
Peace and Security aid: The State Department will no longer subsidize regimes in the name of “peace and security”. The entire program will cease to exist, saving $9 billion.
Military spending: Defense spending of the United States will be capped at 200% of the country with the next largest defense budget in the world. That nation is currently China, which spends $145 billion. The cap would allow the United States to spend $290 billion. This policy would allow the US to outspend the next two largest militaries in the world in the event of a multiple front war. This policy would create a savings of $287 billion dollars.
In addition to the above spending cuts, the F-35 program would be cancelled. It is expected to cost $1.5 trillion dollars over the next 55 years, or roughly $27 billion dollars per year.
National Debt, Tax Adjustment, and The Federal Reserve: It will be the policy of the United States to operate with the least amount of expense to the American people.
The national debt: The budget of $3.8 trillion dollars was the amount spent in 2015. That includes $229 billion in interest on money already borrowed and running a deficit of $439 billion. The reduction in spending as outlined above amounts to a little more than $456 billion per year. Since we set our tax rate to equal the whole $3.8 trillion needed to run our bloated government, that means $456 billion dollars each year can be used to pay towards our $18 trillion dollar national debt. This would allow the US to be debt free in about 40 years. More spending cuts could obviously be made to pay the debt off faster. There is currently no plan to pay off the national debt. It increases every year.
Tax Adjustment: Once the national debt has reached zero, the tax rate could be lowered drastically.
The Federal Reserve: It will be the policy of the United States to move away from unbacked currency and to a currency backed by some form of precious metal or other tangible asset. The Federal Reserve will be abolished.