I have been “stewing” on this article for numerous months, as I read, hear, and investigate events so much more the angst I feel concerning the status quo in Washington increases exponentially. So finally I have forced myself to sit down and put these thoughts and feelings in print. Perhaps the tipping point was a statement made by a Bernie Sanders supporter who posted on social media that they were still proud of him for “standing up to the system” in DC. Well, ok, if you say so, he’s been there 40 years what’s he done all the while?? But that’s another whole argument. If the miracle happened that would allow this author to be “king” for a day and be able to make a monarchal decree that would make changes in the constitution of these great United States [yes, I do believe they are great!!] -- then the following policies, law changes, and amendments would be my platform. I only wish that “We the People…” had some influence on the representatives of our respective governments these days. The corruption, deal making, and general chicanery starts as low as the local dog catcher and only proliferates as you climb up the ladder. So here goes… these are not in any order of importance, I will leave that determination up to the reader. TERM LIMITS All political positions will have term limits. City/county/states will have a max of two year terms and re-election will be based on a graduated scale of percentages. This way if you should happen to get a great statesman in office there is a way to see them remain for some time, but not indefinitely. First term election candidate must carry a 55% (two parties running) or 35% should there be a three party ticket. Each term thereafter the incumbent must carry by a percentage of 10% more…i.e. 2nd term 65%/45% -- 3rd term 75%/55% -- 4th term 85%/65% -- see the pattern? Of course the chances of one person carrying those percentages would be very difficult to progress much beyond two terms. All candidates will have been established in residence for a minimum of 5 years within the district. Meaning their primary place of living and working [tax returns], not just a “vacation” home. SALARY CAPS/BENEFIT LIMITS Each government representative to State or Federal legislature will be bound by all the laws pertaining to the common man. No exclusive banks, perks, exclusions, waivers, etc. to ANY regulation. Salary will be the same as the average mean wage of those persons whom they represent within their respective districts. They will be required to return to their districts upon leaving office and receive 6 months of “unemployment” just like everyone else, pay into Social Security and income taxes. All securities trading will be scrutinized and no trading of any stocks allowed for/of companies doing business with the government while seated in office. Each district will provide a residence and vehicle in the capital where the lawmaker must work. Public transportation will be used to travel to/from on long commutes I.E. to Washington DC from distant states. State legislature’s should be able to travel by car or local air services. LOBBYING PROHIBITED All lobbyists will be on un-employment lines!! Anyone buying influence with a legislature member will go to federal prison!! No exceptions!! Lawmakers/council members of any govt. caught receiving “lobbyists’ favors”, or influence monies, bribes, gifts, etc. are banned from public employment FOR LIFE!! [even dog catcher, road crew, any govt. job] END CORPORATE WELFARE The idea that taxpayers should subsidize any for-profit organization is simply preposterous!! End it all, NOW! Walmart receives $30 million in “tax breaks” annually?? Not one red cent should be reduced for any corporation or company. If the company is mismanaged and faces failure, then let it be sold on the bankruptcy courts steps. The funding for “research” so a drug company can rake in millions on a new pill should not ever be paid for by the taxpayers. We have health organizations and universities that can perform needed research and then make it “public domain” for all to benefit from. Cities and counties giving free periods of property taxes are over!! Let them pay their share like everyone else. TAX SYSTEM REFORM Abolish the antiquated, convoluted, tax code we now have, like several candidates have said, make it so simple that a 5th grader can take care of it! Close the loopholes for the elite and the large corporate/banks/insurance firms. Make it a sales tax that not one person or corporation is exempt from. Everything that is purchased, regardless where from, has a sales tax added. These taxes are distributed to Counties/States/ Federal budgets as they are collected and each entity is required by law to “live within their means” In essence there will be NO DEFICIT SPENDING!! The only caveat will be during a time of a war [declared by Congress]. This provides a level playing field for all parties who reside within the country, if you make $100 a week and spend it, then you pay your share. If you make $1 million, and spend it, you pay your share. If you save it or invest it in mutual funds etc you do not get taxed, this will drive the economy and promote healthy “savings” habits. MILITARY COMES HOME Our constitution allowed ofr the establishment of a military for defense. That’s for the defense of our country, not the police force for the entire planet!! Bring our troops/ equipment/planes etc home to US soil. Why do we have 25K troops in Korea, are we being paid to provide security for South Korea?? Europe?? When has Germany ever repaid the war debts from the Hitler days??? There is no reason for us to jump into every little squabble around the world, [except that big corporations make money doing it, and they buy the Congressional votes!!!] A strong defense of our own borders and territories is of course adamant, but that is all we need to concern ourselves with as a nation. CONSOLIDATE LAW ENFORCEMENT Combine all city police departments into one county wide agency, with an elected Sherriff that answers to the voters, not a city manager or mayor. The facilities, assets, and taxes required will be reduced. In all, it will streamline law enforcement, and make accountability the responsibility of the people. BOOT THE UNITED NATIONS Time to take out the trash!! The UN was just like any other union, it had its place at the time, but the world has evolved and there is no longer a viable reason for it as it exists today. UN has turned into a cabal of third world dictators and useful idiots to the elitists of the world. The US pays for the majority of the bloated budget for these leeches on the governments of the world. Turn them out, end the lease in New York, we have a World Court in The Hague, any squabbles between nations can be brought before this Court, and every country can assign one of its “Supreme magistrates” to participate in this court when needed. The savings to not only our taxpayers, but those of many nations would be astronomical. REFORM IMMIGRATION POLICIES Immigration is the life blood of this country in the 200 plus years we have prided ourselves on the welcome arms open to the oppressed peoples of the world. That should not end of course, but it should be controlled. The process of legal immigration needs to streamlined, just like any federal program the bureaucrats have made the red tape so monstrous that most just come in and take their chances in getting caught. This is not new, there were reforms and bills/laws passed in 1986 to curtail the practice of employment of illegals, but almost never has the law been enforced. First , close the borders!! Time to demand that the laws be enforced and all persons, regardless of age, race, religion, etc. [no discrimination] who are found in country without proper “papers” be given a one way flight to the country of origin. We can use all those military planes and military pilots / security forces as part of their training. Military intelligence can also do “background” checks on all visa applicants [again, training programs] Immigrant applicants will be required: 1. To have an “in country” sponsor/employer who is a citizen, in good standing, no felons. 2. Have a gainful employment skill/experience that allows them to be employed upon entry. 3. All applicants within military age and ability will enlist in and serve minimum 2 years in service. 4. Will pledge solemn oath of allegiance to the US, its flag, and laws. Failure to maintain this oath will result in life long expulsion. 5. Political asylum claims will be investigated, verified, and all avenues to relief other than immigration must be exhausted prior to visa issue. 6. “Student visas” will be tracked, monitored, and verified like a probation office. Each school will be set up with such an agency for this purpose. End of school? Go home, apply for “work” visa before graduation if wanted, must have a sponsor/employer. JUDGES GET ELECTED, TERM LIMITS Just like lawmakers, judges will be elected representatives of the people. Same term limits as legislatures will apply. No more political favors and lifelong appointments to the bench. Society has progressed in education enough to know when our best interests are being served, the law abiding citizens deserve to see that those who do not are summarily punished. It is time that judges uphold the laws we as a people pass, not deny them. When a law referendum passes an election, it is not the purpose of a “sitting judge” to nullify that duly passed legislation. If a judge is too lax on the perpetrators of crimes within the community it is only fair that the community has the right to relieve that judge of the position. Any judge caught in “unlawful” activities is banned from practicing law for life. STATES RIGHTS / DUTIES It is beyond time to return the sovereignty of the States to their respective houses. The Federal government has overstepped its bounds in so many ways it’s not possible to list. The proliferation of bureaucratic agencies that stuff thousands of regulations an requirements down our throats every year to, in effect keep themselves in position [employment/power] simply is a waste. We have departments of health, education, environment, etc. etc. etc in each state, funded by State monies and the duplication is redundant. Not to mention the misuse of said govt. agencies by successive administration after administration in DC. Bring the control of these things back to the States where they have belonged. END FEDERAL LAND OWNERSHIP Other than a military base, or an office building [where needed] there should be zero ownership of properties by the federal government. The National Parks system should of course be maintained, but all wildlife/wilderness areas should be turned over to the State in which it rests. These agencies know far better how to manage the resources in their boundaries than some plutocrats in Washington that has never spent a day in the “wilderness”. The very idea of a Bureau of Land Management in DC is ludicrous. The people who live amongst these lands should not be forced to take on Washington, DC lawyers to see their fair and equitable use. Well, the list was lengthy, but the unconstitutional abuses of powers by the overgrown, bloated, corrupted, and generally just plain useless Federal government would take reams and reams of paper [like most of their regulations] and, quite frankly, down deep, we and they know it. I’ve had my rant, its been a long time coming, but I certainly feel better having had my "say".