If you are loyal to either party at this point--if you really think that, on a national level, either party represents anything beyond its own bloated self--if you still think anything along the lines of Democrat good, Republican bad (or the reverse)--then you are frankly too stupid to continue reading this and I happily invite you to leave and never come back and yes I just insulted you in a run on sentence and you totally deserved it you stupid idiot. PS: I'd tell you to go to hell, but your intellect is already rotting there. PPS: This is the strident, melodramatic, rhetorically irresponsible, attention grabbing opening paragraph. Which is the last traditional political tool you will read in this entry.
And which I will not retract.
But seriously, if there was ever a need for a third party, it is now. If ever there were two parties desperate to spawn a third to reign in their tired, weak-sauce excuse for governance, we are witnessing them in action now.
I therefore propose a new party. One with a platform simple enough to believe in, because of the beautiful complexity of the changes it will make. One with achievable, measurable goals which will produce powerful, obvious results. With special thanks to Jason Adair for the working name, you are witnessing, here and now, the creation of the New Federalist Party. (I had thought of calling it, simply, Party Town, or the No Fear Party, because those are hype names, and for reasons that will become clearer in a minute, but New Federalism was too good to pass up.)
Our philosophy is simple: POLITICS IS ABOUT GOVERNMENT. The national level is simply not the place to debate or make policy over the majority of issues. The federal government is not designed to help you feel good (or bad) about yourself--or really, to do anything that effects your life directly. We're not going to waste your time blathering on about hope, or strength. Government can be about one thing: Efficiency--leave moral debates, bureaucratic oversight, and policy making where they belong: WHERE YOU LIVE.
Our action plan is simple. Given that we are not interested in the overarching (and yet somehow petty) moral principles that you should be adopting and discussing in your own home and in your town hall, we can leave beliefs out of our modus operandi.
Furthermore, since we have no desire to regulate aspects of local life that we cannot see from inside the beltway, we have, thankfully, nothing to say about education, or infrastructure. Trusting such things to the federal government is like filling a bag full of quarters, poking a hole in the bottom, and appointing someone to drag it to Washington D.C. He drags it there sure enough, but of course leaves a trail of money you'll never see again behind him all the way there, where blind bureaucrats run their fingers through it, lose much of it, poke a few more holes in the bag, and finally send it back. The only thing left when you open it is a wrinkled piece of paper with their useless recommendations on it. This analogy applies to ideas as well as money. You can't tell me this isn't true and that this isn't the way we are currently trying to run the country.
Finally, you have to face it: most of the so-called issues you care about, and have attached to grandiose, hyperbolic political machines, are out of place in the form of federal legislation, which almost always takes the form of some feckless, unfunded mandate. An excuse for partisans and ideologues to argue and make themselves feel important. We feel that if we actually focus on a few ideas with real impact on the American public, we can get the country back on track.
Hence, our three pronged plan of action.
FIRST: Institute a national sales tax and abolish the IRS. Imagine a world where you get you keep your entire paycheck. Imagine the era of freedom that will dawn when we are made responsible for our own income and rewarded for our efforts in full--in a world were we don't have to live in fear of an audit, or a slip up on a form. There are simply no disadvantages to this. And the advantages are legion.
a)The mechanism to collect it is already in place. We're getting rid of billions in spending and replacing it with total simplicity.
b)Tax loopholes and sleazy accounting practices disappear.
c)You still get to punish the rich, who cannot escape taxes with high paid shysters who know the creases in the tax code. And imagine the tax on a yacht, while necessaries like food and medication, etc. are exempt!
d)At last we extend the privilege of participating in our government to pimps, prostitutes and pirates--not to mention illegal aliens, tourists, and convicted felons with Internet access. We'll pay of the national debt in a matter of years.
e)Consumerism, finally the engine of the free market system it should have funded long ago, also becomes something we should be a little more scrupulous about. You might wash a few dishes rather than pay the tax on the stack of paper plates you would have otherwise added to the land fill. Every time you buy, you get to feel good about helping make the government work. And every time you don't, you get to feel good about not contributing to the egregious waste we have been too eager to produce.
f)People might actually save money. Forget about the ridiculous idea of tax exempt accounts, which really amount to them taking money, then giving it back to you after fooling around with it. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Everything will be a little more expensive, but you'll have a lot more money to spend. I personally cannot wait to put money in a savings account knowing that the money is all mine. That the government cannot touch it unless I decide to purchase something with it. All the while knowing that that same government, under this plan, will have more money than it knows what to do with.
SECOND: Legal Reform. Our justice system is crippled by greedy idiots and their greedy clients using it to make a buck. This is not just the only thing more stupidly immoral than the IRS--it's an issue that actually effects your life, where the federal apparatus can take logistically feasible action. Our proposal is simple. Eliminate frivolous lawsuits with a federal law, which stipulates that a judge or jury can deem your lawsuit frivolous, making you responsible for all legal costs (yours AND those of your legal victim), and levying a fine (a percentage of what you were seeking). This solves a host of other problems you might not even think are related. A medical system that doesn't have to concern itself with being sued by every litigious ninny that passes through it might actually be able to take care of people. A restaurant that can serve coffee without having to worry if the customer is going to make a million dollar profit by spilling it in his groin could actually lower its prices and serve decent food. Think of the ink and paper we could save. Think of the common sense that might prevail. I offer the following brief illustration. Your daughter's friend breaks her arm on your trampoline. Her idiot parents consider the idea of trying to take a little money out of your pocket, (or the pocket of your insurance company, which is the same thing). They call their lawyer who says: "Listen, there is an accepted risk when you jump on a trampoline. There is a good chance the judge or jury would think your claim to $30,000 in pain and suffering for a simple fracture is frivolous, at which point you'd owe me, their lawyer, and the American People a big chunk of change. They were not negligent in letting your kid jump on their trampoline, they were being nice. Why don't you just call them and tell them she's OK, invite them to dinner and remain friends?"
THIRD: Abortion! Finally, a way to resolve the unresolvable debate. Take it out of the hands of the federal government, where even Obama said the issue was "above my pay grade." Every state gets to vote. If your state votes against it, and you don't want to live with people who think they can tell a woman what to do with her unviable tissue mass, get out. Start an abortion clinic on the state line. That'll teach 'em. If your state votes for abortion, and you are against it--tough. If you don't like it, and you just can't live in a place where people can callously destroy miniature humans in good conscience, then move. (Then when your daughter gets pregnant, you can drive her across the state line to the clinic.) Either way, the feds are out of it. They will never fund another procedure. And we never have to listen to a presidential candidate dance around the world's most delicate topic. We give the abortion issue as an example of how New Federalism will deal with a host of formerly difficult topics. The legalization of Marijuana, (or just hemp if you want). Speed limits. Education. Even Welfare. These are not federal issues. Washington has a 0% success record managing them effectively. So neither your communist co-worker nor your stuffy conservative blowhard uncle can make a "federal case" about them. In fact, we might lose that particular figure of speech entirely.
And that's it. For the time being, those three points are all we as a party need to believe in. I hear you asking: "What about foreign policy? International Trade? Terrorism?" These are precisely the province of the federal government. Can you imagine the international efficiency of a streamlined, unencumbered national machine? Can you imagine the influence a solvent administration could wield for good in the world? Could you imagine the diplomacy that could be accomplished by a diplomat who was officially not concerned with moral issues that are out of his or her purview?
FOREIGN DIGNITARY: Mr. Secretary, we find some of your citizens' views on homosexual marriage to be old fashioned. [or vice versa]
AMERICAN DIPLOMAT: With all due respect, that's really got nothing to do with my duties here. Let's get down to business . . . [insert substantive discussion of international issue here]. By the way, while we are aware that we no longer have a national debt, we are no longer authorized to give you millions of dollars in aide without oversight. It isn't efficient. Perhaps if you can prove that the money is feeding starving children and not arming warlords, we can authorize a small amount.
FOREIGN DIGNITARY: No one ever checked on us before.
AMERICAN DIPLOMAT: We didn't have the means, but now that we're streamlined and focused on tasks that make sense, we have the time. I used to work for the IRS. . .
NEW FEDERALISTS IN 2012!
We hope we can rely on your vote.