What are your top political issues?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by jefhatfield, Jul 2, 2004.

  1. jefhatfield Retired


    Jul 9, 2000
    ...if you were running for governor of your state?

    as mayor of your town?

    as president of the united states?
  2. jefhatfield thread starter Retired


    Jul 9, 2000
    governor of california, 30+ million people

    ...get out of the red, but less aggressively than gov. arnold
    ...do not gut the k-12 school system and make class sizes small
    ...stick to any legislation that eventually calls for hybrid cars starting with la

    (though i am a democrat, i like arnold better than the previous governor)


    mayor of my small town of 4,000 people

    ...control growth and limit new structures
    ...keep existing structures the same size or nearly so when remodeling
    ...keep out the interests of major malls...neighboring cities within 10 mi. all have them

    (currently, both sides of our local govt. agrees on the first and third point, but what i don't like are the huge remodels on small 40 by 100 lots...it looks too crowded and all appears to be in the same architectural styling and almost all tan-like on the outside...ugly!!)


    president of the united states, 275 million people

    ...get post occupation troops out of iraq, but keep hunting al qaeda
    ...reduce tax cuts to rich and help pay off the defecit with those monies
    ...design a long-range changeover to national healthcare plan

    (you can see i won't vote for bush ;) )
  3. Neserk macrumors 6502a


    Jan 1, 2004
    Any of them: Education, Education, Education!
  4. blackfox macrumors 65816


    Feb 18, 2003
    As governor (of Oregon): (roughly in order...)

    1. Job creation
    2. Education funding (or re-funding)
    3. Re-funding/reconsituting health-care coverage, social programs
    4. Revenue issues (there is no sales tax in Oregon, high property taxes). The general tax/revenue structure of Oregon make it particularily vunerable to recession-related revenue dips.
    5. Supporting popular state initiatives on assisted-suicide and medicinal marijuana
    6. Adequate funding/training for Police/Fire services, including Highway Patrol
    7. Fostering business investment in Oregon, especially high-tech

    (It should be noted, that before the recession and the subsequent budget catastrophe here in Oregon, Oregon was a model progressive state on nearly all of these issues, but the reluctance of voters to embrace tax-hikes to continue funding, has caused major cuts in almost all programs, from education, to health-care, social services and Police...)

    As Mayor (of Portland):

    1. Job creation
    2. zoning issues/smart growth/gentrification (Portland is pretty good here)
    3. Affordable housing
    4. Police overhaul/accountability (there have been a lot of fatal shootings here w/o justification, and a lot of public outcry/mistrust between citizens and Police)
    5. Education (local-level)
    6. Parking/mass-transit (Portland has one of the best, if not the best public transit on the West Coast) despite this, with a lot of commuters coming in from the suburbs, there is a lot of congestion, and parking downtown is a joke, although people continue to try...)
    7. business investment/ revenue issues.

    As President (of Canada...oh, wait...of the USA)

    1. Foreign Policy
    (advocate limited intervention on strategic basis, fostering ties with cultural/ideological allies, as well as with economic ones. Increase ties with Latin America, support balance of power in East Asia to balance China, withdraw from ME, but continue with policy of economic and intellectual aid [ to balance influence of aid from Islamic charities] Increase ties with Russia [ common ties with relation to Islam, and strenghtening China] Support EU integration to the degree that it suits US interests/Common interests...publicly apologize to the world for the last administration [ I wish...]...overhaul Cold War treaties/organizations/pacts where applicable. Pay our UN fees. Deal with Sudan.)

    2. Health Care
    ( health care for the maximum amount of people, franky, not sure of a system...might employ something like Canada. Pay for it by commensurate tax-hikes to what such services might modestly cost in the private-sector, by eliminating gov. programs that have less priority...)

    3. Education
    (abolish NCLB and most types of standardized testing...adequately fund needs of school districts in terms of realistic appraisal of supplies, schools needed to reduce class-size, and give teachers a raise but higher standards of competence. Put Apple computers in every classroom. Make school from K-14, with the last two years optional [thanks Jef]...subsidize college tuition rates. Eliminate Affirmative action in college entrance, but also Alumni preference. Invest heavily inbuilding high-tech scholastic resources)

    4. Economy
    Concentrate on eliminating Defecit, at the possible expense of full-implementation of other programs, to deal with interest rates and inflation concerns, and to give more flexibility later on...concentrate on the promotion and growth of high-tech jobs to replace manufacturing sector. Possibly promote/offer re-training in this regard. Increase Corporate tax-burden/accountability (perhaps modestly). Increase Federal low-interest loans for Small Business.

    5. Taxes
    Simplify tax law. Possible tax-increases commensurate w/cost of equivalent services in private sector. Increase Corporate taxes, capital-gains. Tax cuts possible, if deficit under control and programs adequately funded (later on).

    6. Security
    Fully fund Homeland Security, cater funds to individual States' needs. Eliminate Patriot Act, although possible keep some watered-down provisions. Build Giant Armored wall around Country with gun-turrets and missle batteries (kidding). Possible National ID card. Move the Nations' Capitol to Denver(also kidding).

    7. Energy
    Aggressively move forward on fuel-alternatives. Mandate all public transport to be alternative-fuel based in four years. Raise gas taxes (modestly). Require at least half of all car models sold by particular company to acheive 40 mpg, the rest above 30mpg. Require Trucks and SUVs to be above 27 and 22 by same proportion. Heavily regulate energy providers, upgrade infrastructure, make grid more semi-autonomous (like Texas). Aggressively promote energy-saving measures in the marketplace. Possible limited rise in use of Nuclear power.

    Frankly, I think I'd be a pretty bad politician at any level...but I have given a rough synopsis of my priorities, and in the case of President, some specifics as to how I might deal w/these.

    It should be noted that these are non-professional opinions, and are not always firmly rooted in reality. Take as you will...

    Interesting thread idea, though...
  5. jefhatfield thread starter Retired


    Jul 9, 2000
    your welcome

    i love the idea of the associate's degree as a valid college degree and as a college degree for the masses...after world war II, tons of soldiers and their wives wanted something more, in the modern world, besides just a high school education

    the 4 year bachelor's degree, back then, was for the financial elite and as rare as today's phd/jd/md/dds so the associate's degree fit the bill for the middle class american

    it only makes sense that one day, let's say 25 years from now, that all can have easy access to this "first" college degree called the AA or AS

    the second degree is now a bachelor's, third a master's, and fourth a phd

    there is talk of a fifth degree, called a chancellor's degree which would entail perhaps up to 20 years worth of education and work experience past high school and be geared towards the highest end research scientists and college deans
  6. Neserk macrumors 6502a


    Jan 1, 2004
    If it is done correctly it does! The problem is that the politicians making the decisions are uneducated about education. They don't do it right.

    The long term benefits of every person having at least a high school diploma that actually means something is unbelieveable!
  7. Krizoitz macrumors 65816


    Apr 26, 2003
    Tokyo, Japan
    One of the rare times Neserk and I agree. Preach it girlfriend!
  8. Neserk macrumors 6502a


    Jan 1, 2004
    I think Georgia does the same thing!

    Absolutely. I think it is a good idea. To save money the administration in my district has to sub 3 days a year.

    Now to a more serious discussion.

    I've seen the same. Part of it is the strings attached. Instead of letting schools "save" money for when times get lean they are forced to use it *now.* THat is a dumb policy. Also dumb? A lot of paper is wasted in schools (and businesses). Lots and lots of waste -- and that is only what little ole' me knows about ;) The problem in the mentality, too. I've seen the same problem in the churces and the synagogue I've worked in. Waste, waste, waste.

    That happens too, those trying to "Help" don't know how to help properly.

    Money isn't the answer to everything. The problem lies more in the policies, I"m guessing. Or too little money is going to the right places (like reducing classroom size and giving extra support for children with needs but who don't qualify for special ed., etc.)
  9. Toe macrumors 65816


    Mar 25, 2002
    This is a plutocracy

    Campaign Finance Overhaul!

    As long as politicians are owned by the people/interests with the most money, all other political issues are a joke. I just wish more people understood this. Your issues mean nothing compared to the issues of the people who are pouring millions into the political system.

    We seem to be trusting the politicians to take care of this for us. Can we honestly expect them to take away their own money? Or the powerful interests to let that happen?
  10. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Dec 25, 2003
    Northern Virginia
    Well I don't live in a incorporated town, so no mayor. And living in Virginia, we are a Dillon Rule state/commonwealth. Meaning that the localities can not have any powers that are not granted by the state. That being I will concentrate on Governor and President of the US. They will not be in any particular of of importance.


    - Eliminate the "Car Tax" (property tax), which is optional for the counties to collect. Replace it with a county income tax, that the county just as with property tax can choose whether to collect.

    - Improve education. First, provide free a college education to anyone willing to be a teacher for 10 years after receiving the bachelor degree - until adequate teaching staff levels are achieved. After those leevels, the offer would be available on a staffing needs basis. Post graduate degrees add another 4 to 5 years of service. My vision would be for the student to pay their way first, meet the criteria to be a teacher, and then get a check to pay off loans and out of pocket expenses. Make teaching something that people want to do, and make it worth doing well. Second, try to bring a parity to all of the counties schools. No reason for a poor county to have less in the way of materials than a rich county.

    - Make Virginia more Gay friendly. Rewrite the sodomy law so that it matches the SCOTUS ruling. Allow businesses to offer at their own choosing whether to allow for partner benefits for same sex partners. Roll back the recent law that restricts the ability of same sex partners of doing wills and powers of attorney. (NOTE: I am leaving the issue of gay marriage to the federal level)

    - Fiscal issues. Taxes, bring about a flat state income tax rate. Reel in spending. Being disabled or elderly does not mean one is poor as an example. Reduced or eliminated fees for the disabled or elderly would be based on need. State Police would get more funding and troopers through "self-funding". Fines would be based on income. And the fines would be so as to be a real deterrent, not a minor inconvenience. Fines collected would go to the Police funding, not to the general coffers to be fought over.


    - A budget that does not include deficits. Reduce spending on foreign obligations till things are right at home. Demand that defense weapon contracts be for fixed terms, ie., if it is felt that the project can and should be completed within five years - then it is or it is cancled. Push for a flat income tax rate. All federal tax obligations (FICA/MEDICARE) would be handled by the one flat rate.

    - Healthcare that is affordable, for everyone. Make it so someone does not have to be near death before they seek care.

    - Defense, should be just that defense. Any offensive use of the military will be curtailed. If attacked, there will be a response. Otherwise any "coalition" will have to have equal footing based on population and fiscal factors of the "partners".

    - Political reform. Term limits. Real limits on campaign money. Push to have the electoral college eliminated, let the people choose by direct vote. This will allow for viable third party candidates to have a chance.

    - Character issues. I would not take more than two weeks vacation a year. Many people don't even get that. Plus the trips that are truly needed for policy reasons are enough to begin with. And those trips would be limited to an as needed basis. Any income earned as President that was above what I needed to live on (maybe someone here will correct me, but what expenses does a president have that is not already covered?) would go to an Educational Foundation. That same foundation would receive most of what I earn for speaking engagements once I left office for I would hope that the pension would allow me to live a secure enough life somewhere. I live a simple enough life as it is, and would not want to start "living large" now.
  11. Backtothemac macrumors 601


    Jan 3, 2002
    San Destin Florida
    As President

    - Energy. Fund technology that will find alternative sources of fuel. Cut ties with the middle east completely after tech is developed.

    - War. Get out of post war Iraq. Force a stand-off with Iran and N. Korea. Invade if necessary. Continue to develop missile defense systems. Continue the war on terror.

    - Social issues. Try to make people realize that it is not the responsiblity of the government to take care of them but their own responsibility to do so. Cut medicare, cut social security, cut aid programs.

    Taxes- Get rid of the current tax structure, and system. EVERYONE, and every business would pay a flat rate of 10%. No write offs, no deductions, 10%.

    Waste- This is where I would have a field day. No more pork barrel. I would put it to a stop.
  12. Mav451 macrumors 68000


    Jul 1, 2003
    Sweet. When republicans agree that fuel alternatives are needed, FINALLY, we (as Americans, dems and republicans alike) can begin the transition. We gotta work together, otherwise legislation to influence this energy change/transition (or whatever you want to call it) will never get passed thru Congress/Senate...so I am honestly happy for it.

    Anything to rid us of our SEVERE dependence to oil and fossil fuel. If in 20 years we are down to "casual" dependence, even that would be great progress. I'm not saying completely, NO OIL...but less oil. I'm not going to preach efficiency, but if we are less dependent on oil as a whole...its already a huge start.
  13. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

    Feb 14, 2004
    OBJECTIVE reality
    In my small town, the mayor is largely ceremonial. The power resides with the city manager, so I'll respond to that. I'd do what the present guy is doing...taking care of flooding issues caused by an antiquated sewer system, and seeking a moratorium on new building projects (because of wetlands removal). I'd also concentrate on upgrading our town's look; right now it's a hodge-podge of old and new designs. I'd try to make things more uniform and upscale (though keeping it friendly towards middle-class families).

    As governor (of Ohio), I'd try to rejuvenate the Democratic party, since EVERYTHING is controlled by the Republicans. I'd harass the legislature to come up with some kind of equitable school funding issue. (The Ohio Supreme Court has ruled the property tax method unconstitutional, since it gives richer communities an unfair advantage over poorer ones.) And I'd try to get us into 21st century businesses, since job growth is stagnant here at best.

    As president...as Toe said, first get the goddamn corporations out of Congress. Let them represent the people. Repair relations with foreign countries and the U.N. Concentrate on al-Qaida, not Iraq. Use the bully pulpit to get Congress to repeal the more Draconian sections of the Patriot Act. Get ALL Americans covered with health care; heavily tax those sections of the economy (phamaceutical, medical equipment and insurance companies) that are driving up medical costs if they don't get their own costs under control. Since the middle class (the backbone of the economy) is disappearing, make rebuilding the middle class a priority; in line with that, tax the wealthy more heavily and use the money to subsidize businesses that are creating new, good jobs. Establish a living, not minimum, wage. Heavily penalize companies that move good-paying jobs offshore. I'm sure there's more, but that's what I can think of at the moment. Oh yeah, and just to p--- off the conservatives, make Jim Hightower my running mate and appoint Michael Moore to run the Department of Justice. :D
  14. jefhatfield thread starter Retired


    Jul 9, 2000
    to elaborate on a national health care plan

    spend more time with preventative medecine
    use generic medications more to save money
    expand the duties of nurses and physician assistants
    spend more money on education for obesity, heart disease, and cancer

    i know the money cannnot magically come out of nowhere so in order to expand the healthcare system, other areas need to be tightened up

    political interests on the conservavtive side will fight a complete overhaul of the current medical field to a nationalized one, especially if it costs too much money...a changeover will take many compromises and require a lot of hard debating for many years

    in politics, compromise is the name of the game if you want to get anything done in washington...baby steps towards a goal makes more sense than making wild claims and promises and then not being able to deliver on them...that's a great way to not get re-elected and destroy your political legacy
  15. Neserk macrumors 6502a


    Jan 1, 2004

    not so simple. Generics are not exact duplicates of the real thing. They only have to be close (I'll try an find a link). The interesting thing I discovered (from a forum I was on years ago). Is that people will find relief from one med and not another. For some only the brand name works well, for other only the generic works well. Others can't tell the difference. It depends on the person's sensitivity to medications in general and to a specific medication. For example: if I take CLaritan (a very mild 24 hour allergy medication) I can't sleep at night. It is rare, but that was how it effected me. If I take psuedefed I can only take 1/2 of a 4 hour dose because more than that makes me jittery and the med lasts me all day! I have to take a lot of ibuprofen to get the same effect as a small dose. (with my doctor's supervision, of course ;) )

    Agree with that! At least for GP's. I had a great Nurse practioner I used to see. The PA, otoh, sucked. But that was just one ;)

    I don't know if more education is the answer. But I'll go for it!
  16. jefhatfield thread starter Retired


    Jul 9, 2000

    i know that the generics are not always the same, or as effective in some people...but somewhere corners need to be cut to get an initial national health care plan on board for all of us

    senator clinton showed that a "too" ambitious plan will only get soundly shot down by the knee jerk conservatives

    as time goes on, the liberals can fight for better meds and better care...right now, tens of millions do not get any care or meds, so even a watered down form of medicine/care is better than nothing

    there will be a lot of growing pains along the way...bad doctors, bad medical decisions, and wasted money...but with the nightmare we have now with only the richest americans being able to afford full medical insurance, any change for the rest of us would be good overall
  17. skunk macrumors G4


    Jun 29, 2002
    Republic of Ukistan
    I see nobody has tackled balancing the budget.
  18. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Jul 16, 2002
    No, what it really showed is that any plan that doesn't transfer a sufficient number of public dollars to the insurance industry will be beaten back at any cost. Remember the "Harry and Louise" commercials? Excess ambition had almost nothing to do with the defeat of the Clinton health care plan. The Clintons tried pandering to the insurance industry. They simply weren't able to go far enough to make them happy.
  19. blackfox macrumors 65816


    Feb 18, 2003
    I did (though not in specifics, although the rest of my priorities were not specific in how-to's either...) As far as specifics, I cannot comment other than the general "eliminate waste", scale-down proposals, cut funding to existing programs depending on perceived need, raise taxes...
    It seems many Americans do not understand the sacrifice(s) they might be required to make for the economic health of the nation...currently, with a huge deficit, those on the right generally still want lower taxes, and those on the left still want increased funding to various "safety net" or educational initiatives...and almost everyone is opposed to higher taxes(even for a little while) all these at the expense of US Fiscal health...

    Of course, I am generalizing BTW...
  20. Voltron macrumors newbie


    May 9, 2004
  21. skunk macrumors G4


    Jun 29, 2002
    Republic of Ukistan
    Give it a rest, VT. Stick to the topic, which is YOUR priorities, not Kerry's footwear.
  22. Voltron macrumors newbie


    May 9, 2004
    One of my major political issues is that we have a candidate that knows how to lead and that we don't end up voting in someone that pretends to be one kind of person while running for office and is a totally different person while in office. I'm talking about Kerry and my previous post points to issues I'm specifically talking about.
  23. blackfox macrumors 65816


    Feb 18, 2003
    I'm sorry to further contribute to an off-topic point, but...
    Voltron, how is this different than Bush? Do you remember his platform from 2000? Compassionate Conservatism? Being a Uniter not a divider? Being for smaller Government? Seems to me he is the one you should be leveling your "pretends to be one thing while running for office...another in Office" criticism. Even conservatives, either in government or simply those who voted for him, are surprised (and some dismayed) by the differences between what they thought they were getting and what they(we) got.

    Furthermore, Kerry is not the President (yet), so no-one can say that he will be that different in Office, than he is on the Campaign trail...and every politician is somewhat different while campaigning...such is the nature of the beast.

    As far as flip-flopping, many of those charges cqan be leveled at Bush. As far as Kerry goes, as a member of Congress for a good chunk of time, it is natural (and desireable imo) that his opinions change over time or in relation to new evidence related to that issue. It is calledflexibility .

    Sorry again guys...

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