Alright, so I really shouldn't say great, because that's spin. Of course I think its great, its my plan. I can call it great in reference to its size, so be forewarned, its big. I've gradually been hammering out the loose details of a major overhaul of the U.S. Government and the way we work. The basic infrstructure and command structure remains the same and nothing, so fair as I can identify, about this plan changes the U.S. Constitution or is unconstitutional. What I would like, and why I often outline it for people, is to hear serious feedback, either significant, legitmate flaws, or ideas to expand upon it in a positive way. The ideas laid out here are somewhat general and not particularly specific. The idea is to create a structure where numbers are not included so they can be calculated for a specific period in time, should it ever be instituted, where they apply, and not for what works now (one of the reasons why the Social Security Program is flawed). The whole idea lays out like a spider-web, without a clear center, so starting at a particular place is not necessary. I'll take from a recent thread about Social Security, and start with that aspect of the system. To clarify, correcting Social Security is an aspect of the system, but not its sole purpose. Social Security Social Security lacks clear stability. It's origin is socialist Germany where the program was set up as a self-sustaining program. The average lilfe expectancy in Germany at the time was roughly age 63, with Social Security paying out at age 65. Germany used excess funds from Social Security to fund other portions of the government. The two current main plans involve leaving it as is, more or less, which will eventually deplete the resources and become an additional pit of debt, and privatizing individual accounts, which lack the stability of and protection of the current system, most resulting in people having the same amount of personal funding to invest and risking loosing the retirement aid of Social Security to failed investment. My plan for Social Security does involve privatization, but not by individual accounts. While I admit that debt is bad thing and a problem, fixing the whole system requires some additional debt to start. Taking the existing and incoming funds from Social Security taxes, the government collects these funds and turns them over to a number of top investing firms. For about 2 years (exact amount to be determined at that time) Social Security benefits are paid with debt, allowing for the accumulation of a base fund for the investment firms. The investment firms, in order to gain accesses, must sign an agreement paying them based on results. Accountability is the key here. Dept. of Treasury is the oversight. The firms can invest however they choose, but are only paid by a commission based on the fund's increase. Each firm is allocated a portion the firm can reasonable handle, but large enough to allow diversifacation of the fund. Like commodities, all of the funds' investment plans will be considered protected information which use of in planning investments would consitute insider trading (such a large fund could influence the market heavily). The diversification potential of the fund, because of its large size gives it the protection of Social Secutiry, but the investments will, more often then not, yield higher after inflation returns than treasury bonds. The cost of paying the firms who manage the money will be based on the yield, and therefore, self-sustaining. Some of the funds can come from... Reformed Tax System While I do approve of the flat-tax system, it remains imperfect, mainly because of a lack of voter support. I have a preferred system which is similar in benefit but meets the needs of the country and the interest of the people better. Its main flaw, as far as I can find, is convincing wealthy politicians to support it. A national, progressive sales tax which replaces our entire current system of taxation. Sales tax increases significantly under this program, to accomidate for the loss of tax wages from income and capital gains taxes. The sales tax is progressive based on luxury. A specific structure of "Goods Categories" is created which defines the level of sales tax. The greater the luxury, the higher the tax. It would function loosely like this: 1. Education & Foundation: This category is tax free. It includes educational books at all levels, children's clothing, baby fomula & diapers, and similar objects based heavily, not loosely, in eduction and child needs. Additionally, non-educational children's books through roughly age 9 reading level (to aid literacy). 2. Needs: This category has little to no tax applied. It includes items necessary for all human beings. Generic, not name brand, clothing, and basic foods like bread, milk, grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and water. 3. Fundamental Health Care: This category would be tax free. It includes only the most basic and necessary of medications and medical services. All check-ups and routine examinations are included. Also, all need or die medication is included. 4. Services: This category includes the remainder of medical services as well as other paid for services. The taxation of this category is a low to moderate level, based on the service industry's value in job growth to our economy, the taxation is reduced, despite its level of luxury. 5. Everyday Wants: Fast food (healthy or not), name-brand clothing, and other similar items are covered under this slightly higher tax category. Most automobiles are covered under this category. 6. Basic Luxuries: This high taxation category covers the high-end name brand clothing, luxury automobiles, and similar items. 7. High Luxuries: Yachts, private jets, and other extremes are the most heavily taxed. Environment & Sin tax - these are bumps to the above categories which should continue. Anything harmful to your health is what I mean by sin tax. This includes cigarettes, beer & liquer (but not wine), unhealthy foods, and certain drugs. The environmental tax bump is applied to low gas milage vehicles and other things deemed harmful to the environment. Additional categories can be added, this is just a rough outline of the programs. This program all but completely eliminates the need for the IRS, which is a large tax burden under the current system. It also prevents the loopholes that yield low taxation levels. Lastly, it gives people with debt more ability to pay it off, by providing those who have to live on necessity because of debt, more of their own income, and gives those with little to no debt the ability to invest more and more easily. Lastly, it yields a more consumer driven economy where individuals have more buying power. But... What Becomes of the IRS The down side with flat tax and national sales tax programs is the elimination of hundreds of thousands of government jobs. The result would be a painful hit on the economy. With my plan, some jobs, mostly temporary, are still lost. Those in the IRS with a background or understanding for accounting are given an advisor status within the government budgeting programs. Their sole purpose is to find wasteful spending and produce quarterly reports of cuts they found. These cuts should not be of a political nature, but instead ways of reducing costs and yielding the same results. What is Done with the Governmental Waste All, or nearly all, resources found in this manner go toward gasoline and health insurance subsidies. The subsidies are provided on the requirement of reduced pricing for gasoline and reduced health insurance cost to businesses. The key componant to this is a public service announcement calling for businesses which benefit from the reduction of these costs to reduce their retail prices to the consumers and a call for the media to identify and make public the names of any companies which benefit and do not reduce prices. The resulting decreases in pricing should yield greater buying power for consumers and create an increase in overall demand, boosting the economy. The trick here is timing. Given our current situation, this program could be dangerous, we need first, to create some inflation to give us a cushion against both panicking the market and the economic boom. More Investing Between the decrease of costs for retail goods, the increase in take home income (all of it), the increase in personal investing, and the use of Social Security as an investment, businesses are provided with a wealth of resources for funding growth. This creates an excess of resources for businesses which allow the to grow quickly with the increase in demand for goods, due to lower pricing, and a booming economy. One More Government Waste Morallity aside, people use illegal drugs, and the War on Drugs is a failing endeavor. While I don't support drug use as a good idea, I believe there are better ways to address the drug problem. The more dangerous drugs, like heroine, and LSD, should remain illegal. But less dangerous drugs like marijuana and cocaine should be moved to a controlled substance category, with government controlled pricing. Making these drugs initially cost about thrice their current street value, we convert what can constitute routine use recreational drugs to luxuries which would likely be used less frequently due to cost. Some of the funding for the war on drugs is converted into the public announcement campaign making clear the real and accurate dangers of drugs, similar to the anti-smoking campaign. The remainder of the funding goes toward diminishing debt or more accurately, reducing the increased debt caused by the initial Social Security start up costs listed above. Back to Social Security After about two years, when Social Security gets its reset and becomes self-sustaining, the excess funding left over from the costs for the "War on Drugs" is applpied to diminishing the debt or at least the deficit. Cutting Deficit and Debt Over the years, we slowly cut government waste, using the accountants from the former IRS, but slowly so we don't harm the economy. Part of the funding once used for the IRS and DEA are applied against the debt. Economic growth yields higher tax revenues which can further be applied against the debt. Additionally, de-inflation with increase jobs at higher purchasing value wages, due to decreased pricing, creates less need for entitlement programs, saving the government additional money which can be applied against the debt. OK, that's it in a nutshell. Let the bullets, and hopefully good ideas, fly.