American Reformers updated their profile picture.
The day before Social Security’s 83rd birthday we are reminded that attacks on our earned benefits are nothing new FDR called the GOP out on this years ago and they’re still up to the same old tricks today.
Check out more Truths from the founders in our President’s newest book The Truth About Social Security, available below.
This is what we believe in!
The blueprint for a better future, brought to you by American Reformers
This is the first draft of the updated Next Deal. Please let us know what you think!
Campaign Finance Reform – Reform the campaign finance system so all candidates receive equal amounts of public funding regardless of party affiliation for a given office. Candidates can receive no third party funds of any kind. Overturn the Citizens United decision and disallow all spending on political races from groups other than the candidate’s party running for that office.
Ballot Reform: Make Election Day a national holiday and keep polls open 16 hours. Standardize voting computers to be tamper proof, votes will be counted by the computer and by hand with paper backups. Make interfering with, harassing, or intimidating voters and/or election officials a Federal felony. Election officials may not be affiliated with any active campaign.
Public Debates and Media – All candidates who are on the ballot for a given position should be allowed to participate in debates regardless of party affiliation. Final debates will be between the top four candidates determined by independent polling sources. All debates will be held on public broadcasting stations, and played at multiple time slots to allow everyone an opportunity to listen. Fully fund our public media sources to eliminate the need of corporate funders. Reinstate the Fairness Doctrine.
Electoral Reform – Amend the constitution to allow for a proportional representation in the House of Representatives [seats will be awarded based on percentage of vote received for each party]. End the Electoral College system and elect the President by popular vote.
Lobbying Reform: Any former representative or appointed public official must wait five years to work in an industry that was directly affected by a law voted on or enforced by said official. Official’s family members cannot be lobbyists or be hired / promoted at a firm in which related official votes on or enforces legislation regulating that industry.
Student Debt – Immediately refinance all existing student debt at 0% interest rates. Allow parents who refinanced or took a home equity loan to qualify for 0% refinancing on debt incurred paying for their children’s schooling. Work towards making higher education tuition free for all qualified students(based on High School GPA and aptitudes).
Jobs and the Economy – Institute programs to make it easier to start new businesses. Award growing businesses with favorable tax rates and advantages, end corporate subsidies and welfare. Stop enforcing patent rights on companies that move their manufacturing and operating facilities overseas. Break up large monopolies, trusts, and cartels by enforcing anti-trust laws and re-regulate industries that provide basic needs such as utilities, healthcare, and telecommunications into non-profit entities.
Tax Reform – Make the income tax more progressive while excluding the first $50,000 earned from taxation. Institute a Value added Tax on goods and services, excluding basic needs such as medicine, electricity, food, etc. Institute a tariff on foreign made goods from countries that exploit workers or pollute the environment. Simplify the tax code, eliminate loopholes and the use of offshore tax havens for corporations and wealthy individuals. Create three new brackets for high-income earners with the following rates, 45% on income above $1 million, 55% on income above $5 million, and 65% on income above $10 million. Tax capital gains over $70,000 annually as income excluding retirement accounts and sale of primary residence. Restore the estate tax, but exclude family farms and businesses that continue operations for a minimum of five years after inheritance. Institute a 1% Wall Street sales tax on all stock purchase excluding retirement accounts.
State Banking – Nationalize the Federal Reserve. Loan money to the States at 0% interest for infrastructure projects and repair, green energy projects, re-industrialization, student debt refinancing, small businesses, and family farms.
Infrastructure – Invest heavily in public transportation systems, green energy infrastructure, and redesign / repair our aging infrastructure. Create an Interstate high-speed rail system along congested corridors. Protect and securitize our critical infrastructure sites (water supplies, energy system, and communications).
Financial Reform – Break up “too big to fail” banks, reintroduce the Glass-Steagall Act, and prosecute criminal banks and their leaders. Institute a financial transaction tax of 1% on all stock, bond, and fund purchases and sales (excluding retirement accounts).
Workers Rights – Enforce existing labor laws and allow all employees to organize or join a union that are willing. Repeal the Taft Hartley Act. Allow union workers to engage in general strikes without fear of being fired. Enforce labor laws for all workers, including people working on visas and those here illegally.
Minimum Wage – Raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour for all publically traded companies and for privately owned companies with over 25 employees.
Drug Policy – Begin treating drug abuse as the health problem it is, not as the criminal problem it is claimed to be. Create a prison release program for nonviolent drug offenders. Tax and regulate marijuana while allowing individuals to grow.
Education Reform – Shift the focus of primary education from standardized testing to fostering creative thinking. Students should be taught how to think and not what to think. Reinstate art and music programs, create a maximum student to teacher ratio, and restore tenure. Stop funding for profit Charter Schools with taxpayer funds. Repeal common core standards, but create a minimum curriculum level that students must learn. Basic curriculum must include civics, history (US and Western Civ), basic finance, life sciences, and philosophy.
Civil Rights – Immediately pass a bill reaffirming the Bill of Rights to all citizens. End Government overreach and spying programs on all US citizens, end and roll back police militarization, institute a technological bill of rights to protect citizens in the digital age. Shift focus of policing from enforcement to community service.
Welfare Reform – Reform existing welfare programs to incentivize working. Begin a work for welfare program in which people are allowed to work in exchange for basic necessities while receiving training to help them find full time employment. Lift the cap on assets to qualify for Medicaid. Remove the cap on income taxed for Social Security and increase the maximum pay out. Pay back he money owed to the Social Security Trust Fund
Veteran Care – Create programs to ensure no veteran ever goes homeless, hungry, or without a job. Allow the VA to bargain with pharmaceutical companies for price, and end the privatization efforts against the VA. Revamp the VA so it provides world class service for our veterans. Stop the exploitation of veterans by the for profit university system, and continue funding veteran benefits programs such as higher ed grants and home loans.
Health Care – Allow Medicare, Medicaid and the VA to bargain with pharmaceutical companies for prices of prescription drugs. Create a Universal Health Care system to provide basic and catastrophic coverage for all citizens. End price gouging at hospitals. Break up pharmaceutical monopolies and cartels using anti trust legislation. Revise patent laws on life saving and critical medications
Foreign Policy – Begin scaling back on military spending and use the savings for debt reduction, green energy projects, infrastructure, research, and education. Close unneeded and redundant military bases. Stop supporting dictators in third world countries and promote true democracy abroad. Propose mutual disarmament treaties with other world powers to minimize global military expenditures and create an atmosphere of peace.
Environmental Policy – Restore the Clean Water act to include regulation of the oil and gas industries. Institute a green projects initiative to increase the supply of renewable energy to 50% of demand by 2025. Create a pollution tax on products manufactured in areas with poor environmental regulations. Support organic farming through tax credits, and enforce anti-trust laws on agricultural monopolies.
Prison Reform – Shift the focus of our prison system to rehabilitation instead of punishment for all non-violent offenders. Treat drug addiction as a health problem instead of a criminal one. End all for profit, privately owned prison systems. Treat people with mental illness as mental patients and not as criminals.
Energy – Create a highly diversified energy system not reliant on fossil fuels. Allow citizens to install distributive generation (solar) with no penalty from utility companies. Actively pursue and foster the creation of industries that produce renewable energy technologies. End the export of all fossil fuels and maintain our supplies as strategic reserves. End Clean Water Act exemption for Oil and Gas industries. Institute a green projects initiative to increase the supply of renewable energy to 50% of total demand within a decade.
Maternity / Paternity Leave – Institute a national maternity leave policy for both men and women. Allow mothers one year of maternity leave, and fathers eight months.
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