Rebooting the American Dream

By Thom Hartmann

Notes made by Russ Faure-Brac

1.  INCREASE AMERICAN MANUFACTURING & CREATE NEW JOBS

a.  Discourage imports by charge an Import Tax [Tariff] on goods that compete with                     American manufacturing.

 

b.  Keep Import Taxes low on raw materials needed by domestic industries.

 

c.  Pull out of WTO, NAFTA, CAFTA, etc.

 

d.  Mandate that all government expenditures for goods and services be

provided by American workers, employed by US domiciled

and incorporated businesses on American soil.

 

e.  Support new and emerging industries (through tax policy, direct grants and                    government funding of research).

 

f.  Encourage people to save (by offering US government Savings Bonds with a                  guaranteed Rate of Return [inflation + 3%?] to people with a net worth under                       $5M at a maximum of $1M per person).

 

2.  CHANGE THE TAX STRUCTURE

a.  Increase the top marginal tax rate to 70-90%.

 

b.  Eliminate stock options as a form of compensation for top corporate executives (or tax                        the capital gains as ordinary income).

 

3.  BREAK UP BIG BUSINESSES

a.  Aggressively enforce the 1890 Sherman Anti Trust Act

 

b.  Deny federal highway funds to local and state governments that offer huge tax              incentives for businesses to move or stay (to prevent corporations from playing                  off one city or state against another).

 

c.  Require corporations to pay the US tax rate on overseas earnings.

 

d.  Support truly small new businesses (by restructuring the Small Business Association               [SBA] so it can avoid manipulation by large corporations).

 

e.  Discourage or ban major corporations from their merger and acquisition mania.

 

4.  BRING BACK REAL NEWS

a.  Break up the media monopolies and foster more competition, innovation and                 creativity in the media industry.

 

b.  Provide elementary through university education to every American at no cost.

 

5.  REFORM HEALTH CARE

a.  Extend Medicare to cover everyone from birth (Single Payer health insurance).

 

6.  REFORM THE BANKING SYSTEM

a.  Set up a system to audit the Federal Reserve (eventually nationalizing it so the US can                         regain control and production of its money supply).

 

b.  Have states create their own state-chartered and state-run banks (as in North Dakota).

 

c.  Institute a 0.25% Securities Turnover Excise Tax (STET) on every stock, swap,                        derivative or other trade.

 

d.  Move personal banking to local banks and community credit unions.

 

7.  REDUCE OUR OIL CONSUMPTION

a.  Shift transportation from oil-based to electric-based, mainly trains.

 

b.  Require all vehicles be “flex fuel” (capable of burning gasoline, ethanol, diesel or                        biodiesel). Create incentives for development of 500 MPG flex-fueled plug-in hybrids.

 

c.  Mandate increased use of electric only or plug-in hybrid cars.

 

d.  Increase gas taxes (to recover “externalized costs”).

 

e.  Increase use of solar power (as in Germany’s 100,000 Roof Program where banks are               required to provide low-interest 10-year loans for homeowners to install solar                panels and require power companies to buy back the power at below-market rate              to equal the cost of the loan payment).

f.  Institute a Carbon Tax (by assigning a tariff at some point in its use cycle or by                         taxing emissions with a “cap and trade” policy).

 

 

8.  REFORM MILITARY POLICY

a.  Downsize the Pentagon (by cutting defense spending 50%).

 

b.  Bring back the draft (institute two-year mandatory service in military or civilian                       work).

 

c.  Bring our military forces home from bases overseas.

 

9.  REVISE IMMIGRATION POLICY

a.  Crack down on employers who hire illegal emigrants (to eliminate the demand for                      cheap labor).

 

b.  Have all non-refugee immigrants go through the same citizenship procedures (no                       amnesties, no “guest workers” and no “legalizations.”

 

c.  Ban any government services other than urgent medical care to illegal immigrants (no                 public education, government job or other government help).

 

d.  Lower the Social Security retirement age from 65-67 to 55.

10.  LIMIT CORPORATE POWER

a.  Amend the US Constitution to say only humans are “people.”

 

b.  Roll back Taft-Hartley or at least pass the Employee Free Choice Act.

 

c.  Require that every corporation have at least 50% labor representation on its Board of               Directors.

 

11.  DEVELOP A NEW ECONOMIC MODEL

a.  Create worker-owned businesses (like the Mondragon Cooperative in Spain).

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