Friday, November 14, 2014

An Agenda for the 114th Congress

Midterm elections are over. Time to get busy.

Here are my humble suggestions for legislative action in the 114th Congress and my send off for an ineffective 113th Congress.

Downsize government and cut the overhead.
  • Fewer cabinet-level departments. More »
  • Fewer Congressional committees, more Member expertise. More »
Get rid of antiquated laws that favor entrenched interests, such as ... 
  • Jones Act. More »
  • Oil export ban. More »
  • Dairy Product Price Support Program, a.k.a., the Milk Cliff. More »
Fix benefit spending and show leadership.
Fix the tax code. No, really. Fix. The. Tax code.
End disincentives to employment.
Fix the rigged retirement racket.
  • Parity for IRA and 401(k) plans. More »
  • End high-income and old-age contributions bias. More »
Bonus points for ...
  • A sensible immigration policy. More »
  • A real energy policy that includes resource conservation, resource transportation, and emission abatement. More »
  • An end to all debt subsidies and incentives for personal and corporate debt financing. More »

Being a lawmaker isn't just about making laws. It's also about fixing past mistakes. The 113th Congress failed on both accounts. A recent Lexington column in The Economist put it this way:
Populists peddling false remedies (Close the borders! Quit the EU! Secede!) must be debated and beaten. But let political leaders everywhere tell their publics the truth: the years of easy post-war growth are gone, replaced by competition that cannot be wished away, and so must be met head-on—and ideally harnessed. That will take hard work and new ideas. Time to wake up.
'Nuf said.