"One public policy proposal! Two--two public policy proposal! THREE--THREE public policy proposals, ahh, ahh, ahh!" - Count von Count, Sesame Street
OK, perhaps "the Count" didn't ever state such a thing, but I am able to claim such a thing. And actually, that would totally exclude the extensive activism, public speaking and policy writing I have performed in freeway policy. That's right--FOUR public policy proposals, ahh, ahh, ahh!
These four policy areas have been developed in different chronological order than they have been taken up by others. Let me list them as others have endorsed or introduced similar measures.
First, I ran against U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) in the Republican Primary in 2010. One of the primary issues I campaigned on was corporate tax reform. Now, I should point out that I stuck my neck out on an issue that is very popular fodder for Democratic talking points. You know the phrases. "Tax cuts for the rich." "BIG, evil corporations." And such.
My proposal goes further than anything any other candidate or elected official has advocated for. And it addresses the fundamental problems that cause companies to outsource and offshore otherwise American jobs. Well, Rep. Sessions actually introduced legislation in January 2011 after being re-elected. Now, his legislation took Ireland's tax rate of 18% as a standard where I advocated for a system in which we would give a 100% exemption for income taxes to any company that maintained a 100% American-based head count. But I have always maintained that Rep. Sessions introduced something that his challenger ran against him on. Did he do so because he was aware of my campaign policy proposal? Probably not. But I chose to give him the benefit of the doubt either way.
It should also be noted that U.S. Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) and eventual Republican nominee Mitt Romney also ran on similar policy proposals, which each called for reducing the corporate tax rate from 35% to 25%. Again, my proposal was more fundamental in nature and went further than anyone else advocating for this issue. And I was the first to stick my neck out on this issue, as well as the only one to address Democratic objections proactively.
The second policy proposal is actually my favorite, personally. My hot-button issue has always been Social Security. I have been passionate about solving the issues in the Social Security system in order to preserve our social security (note the importance of the capitalization there). And I developed a proposal during grad school 9 years ago while studying finance (MBA) that addressed the funding issues of the Social Security system and proposed moving toward a privatized system over a 20- to 40-year period.
So I was understandably shocked and awed when now U.S. Senator Ted Cruz outlined a 4-point plan identical to my own during his campaign. First, nobody loses any benefits they have paid into receiving. Again, this is fundamental to overcoming Democratic objections proactively. Second, we must move to a privatized, individualized investment-centric system more akin to the 401(k) account system. But this will take a very long time to fully implement. This would entail slowly, and at a greater percentage rate year after year, transitioning from the "Ponzi scheme" system the Social Security system represents, including enabling elected officials to "pick" the lock box funds are supposed to reside in, to an individualized system where I am able to customize my investment decisions independently of the next guy, and vice versa. Thirdly, as the privatized system accelerates toward being fully rolled out, gradually the benefits being paid out of the existing system must also be reduced. Again, over a very long time, probably 40 years. And lastly, the retirement age under the existing Social Security system must necessarily be increased, also over a very long time. Essentially, the impact these three stipulations would have is to reduce the role the government has in the system and gradually empowering individual responsibility, control and ownership of our own assets. Sen. Cruz's advocacy for this policy is very encouraging and I am hopeful that I will be able to provide further input for when it is eventually proposed.
Most recently, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus earlier this month endorsed a proposal which I wrote about in 2010 and in December 2012. This proposal calls for changing the Electoral College, instead of awarding Electors on a winner-take-all, statewide basis, to award Electors based on election returns on a Congressional District basis. The problem with the existing system is that neither Republican nor Democratic Party nominees must campaign in all states to be elected. For example, neither nominee had to campaign in Texas in either 2008 or 2012. Not once! And I have a serious problem with that. I want both nominees to have to campaign in more states. And the opportunity to pick up precious Electoral votes in Texas for the Democratic nominee and in California for the Republican nominee provides the incentive that would result in those nominees having to campaign in those states.
Now, I haven't seen anyone at any level take up my analysis on flawed freeway and transportation policy yet, which is disappointing. This has been the sector of my greatest analysis and greatest activism. I was once again the first person to identify that Managed Lanes will not reduce congestion and, in fact, depend on the presence of congestion for the "tollroad-inside-a-freeway" concept and its underlying financing model to work. I further pointed out that both United States and Texas Department of Transportation policies are flawed and directly, patently contradictory. In fact, when I pointed out that regulation # 1 of both USDOT and TxDOT policies directly contradicted regulation #2, TxDOT was forced to completely scrap "The Texas Plan," change its marketing materials and talking points and completely scrub mention of "The Texas Plan" from its website. Yet neither TxDOT policies nor USDOT policies as far as implementing Managed Lanes has changed.
By the way, USDOT regulation # 1 says "reduce congestion." USDOT regulation # 2 says, "Public Private Partnerships," whose primary design incorporates Managed Lanes, which ensure congestion in new freeway designs. So basically, USDOT requires, and TxDOT ensures through slick rhetoric and public ignorance, that regulation # 2 trumps regulation # 1. Don't worry, I haven't given up yet!
But the first three already have advocates--quite a feat, seeing as how I neither work for the government, nor for the People, nor for the policy geniuses at the think tanks. Not bad, eh? The Fortune 500 doesn't know what an asset they've got!
So be paying attention to my recent proposal calling for stripping the Office of Chief Executive of all power by requiring the Vice President and each Cabinet-level official be elected independently of the President. Ironically, also via the Electoral College--so Chairman Priebus had better get that right, and quick!
And to all of those critical of my unsuccessful candidacy of a couple years ago, how many of you are quickly filling up fingers on your first handful of policy initiatives? Yes, I upset a significant number of people in the Republican Establishment. And yes, I ticked off leadership of more than one Tea Party group for various reasons.
But I can point to the impact I am beginning to enjoy. Stay tuned, I'm only just getting started!