It is becoming clear to me that the only hope for restoring democracy in the USA will require ALL of the following to be codified:
#1 Campaign Finance Reform – This must be in the form of an Amendment to the Constitution. It cannot be in a bill/ law because the changes will be quickly and quietly eroded by subsequent legislation, much like tax loopholes. In the short term, there must be full public disclosure of individual names whose political contributions to political campaigns, PACs and Super PACs, which exceed a certain point, say $5,000.
#2 Complete overhaul of the tax system – Primarily to eliminate corporate and personal tax loopholes, but also to make it streamlined, progressive and humane. I believe Warren Buffett is one of many whom may have a few good ideas on how this could be done. In addition, ALL future changes/ adjustments/ revisions to the tax code be made in separate bills which stand alone, not as a rider clause on some omnibus bill. They must also follow Code #4 below.
#3 Reinstate a modern version of the Glass Steagall Act to separate investment banks from commercial banks. As well as eliminating all companies “too big to fail”.
#4 Require ALL US Congressional bills, which have been agreed upon by both the House and the Senate require a 3 day public viewing period, before they are voted on as is. No rider clauses or last minute shenanigans. In addition, ALL bills will require the original authors of the bills (Congressional members) names be attached and displayed as public record. In addition, Each and Every, I repeat EACH and EVERY line item added or adjusted in the bill have at least 1 Congressional Representatives name who is directly responsible for the specific line item be added as public record in the bill.
#5 Military Industrial Complex: 1. All Defense related spending be fully quantified each year as part of the annual federal budget process: including but not limited to military related debt servicing, nuclear weapons manufacturing/ research/ maintenance/ etc., military pensions, medical expenses for current and former military personnel, R&D, discretionary and non-discretionary expenditures, non-governmental contracts, earmarks (pork spending) and so much more. 2. Subject Defense Department to independent audit and accounting oversight to adequately determine and require accountability to we the people. 3. Require at least 3 year waiting period for all Defense related government employees from revolving into any private sector role having any involvement with Defense Department including, consulting, contracting, lobbying.
#6 ALL forms of Federal Corporate Welfare handouts (as well as every state in the union’s Corporate Welfare) be published in annual reports for public viewing. This would include any and all direct and indirect handout ie tax advantages, property, mineral rights, intellectual property, marketing funds, services/contractual obligations paid for but not fulfilled by corporations. To be disclosed: Each company listed, the $ value of the handout, the type and description of handout in clear and descriptive terms the general public can understand.
#7 End gerrymandering by creating independent commissions to define districts, using Texas as the first role model because it is the biggest joke.