Kilroy Was Here
January 27, 2003
What Bush Should Propose in the State of the Union
Tonight, President Bush's State of the Union will role out some of the same tired, small-minded policy ploys aimed more at achieving tactical political goals than true social change. You'll hear about the War on Terror and the War on Iraq. And if Condi Rice's opinion piece in the NY Times is any indicator, Bush's State of the Union will be long on rhetoric and short on evidence.

You'll hear about prescription drugs for seniors (but only if they opt out of Medicare and into an HMO), and faith-based initiatives, a a "ploy," David Frum admits in his book The Right Man, designed mainly "to unite conservative evangelicals, urban Catholics, Minority pastors and traditional noblesse oblige Republicans."

But, in the interest of improving our political system for all, here are a few great political ideas that you won't hear about tonight.

But you should.

The 21st Century Homestead Act

In the Atlantic, Ray Boshara re-proposes a great idea--provide every one of the four million babies born in America each year an endowment of $6,000 in an American Stakeholder Account. According to Boshara:

There are several good reasons why a Republican President should propose such a policy program:

Real Election Reform
As a man who holds office under the cloud of Bush v. Gore, the President could and should do more to really improve elections in America. Campaign finance reform may be difficult (and unconstitutional) but improving our current elections need not be. Here are just two proposals:

The good thing about this type of reform is that it's safely within constitutional borders, and, more importantly, it can blunt some of the more pernicious evils of our electoral process. Campaign financing will have less of an impact, because voters will feel safer to go with third party candidates. Lobbyists will have less of an impact because congressional seats won't be as safe and representatives who wish to remain in office will have to pay more attention to their constituents. Congress will get more things done since competitive seats won't harbor the ideologues as much as the pragmatists.

These are just two real proposals that President Bush could propose that would have real meaning and effect for the people of our country. Not to mention the things our government should do to insure access to health care for all Americans, economic stimulus, and corporate corruption.

But let's just take small steps in places where we all could agree.

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