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Massive Impediments Standing in the Way of Solving America's Greatest Problems

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That massive impediment is the combination of the dysfunctional U.S. government, Corporate America that controls it, and the bloated military establishment. Operating independently each of these entities is essential to the well being and safety of this nation. But when their functions become heavily intertwined, they, collectively, become the greatest impediment to instituting viable and effective solutions to this country's greatest problems.

There is no way in which the members of this powerful consortium, those primarily responsible for creating America's many problems, are going to seriously address and solve them; that's become very evident. With these many problems in mind, from uncontrolled government spending to joblessness to inequality of wealth and income, let's list some very logical, rational solutions that need to be implemented and then discuss how exactly to accomplish that task.

*It's way past time to rein in the vast, enormously costly U.S. military empire and significantly reduce the more than 750 military bases in 63 countries. Remove the majority of 178,000 troops currently stationed in Afghanistan, Japan, South Korea, the U.K., Italy, Germany, and Spain; thereafter remove troops from most of the other 100 countries where they are now deployed and create a new military structure with no more than 10 strategically located bases around the world.

*End any further development of the Lockheed Martin F35 fighter program which will, if allowed to be fully completed, cost somewhere near $400 billion, a colossal, totally unnecessary waste of taxpayer dollars.

*Stop interfering with other nations' internal affairs and their election processes; stop trying to remove heads of state that will not bend to the will of the U.S. government.

*Eliminate the National Surveillance Agency, the NSA; completely stop the enormous spying on the American people. Take the other 12 U.S. intelligence agencies and combine their functions into one. We have the CIA and the FBI and Homeland Security to monitor imminent or longer term dangers to this country.

*End President Obama's drone launching program which is against international law and the principles of morality, and discontinue the White House kill list that can include American citizens.

*The Justice Dept. needs to initiate investigations leading to prosecutions and jail time for white collar crimes committed by the CEOs and complicit officers of Wall Street banks.

*Restore the Glass-Steagall Act which prohibited commercial banks from participating in the investment banking business. Get the banks out of highly speculative schemes which endanger the savings of Americans.

*Put an end to unlimited, unrestrained outsourcing of American jobs; overhaul the corporate tax laws, use tax penalties, tax concessions or any other means necessary. Enact laws and regulations over corporate business practices to make them conform to the needs and interests of the American people and this country rather than continuing to allow them to operate in any manner they deem is in their own special interests.

*In the Senate amend the filibuster rules so that they revert to the old established method of having opponents of pending legislation present their objections on the Senate floor, have their say, and then bring the legislation to a vote whereby the majority rules. There is absolutely no excuse why the current filibuster tactics of obstruction should be allowed to continue.

*Establish limits on Senators and Representatives tenure in Congress to only two terms. This is a very necessary way to accelerate the cleansing of this Congress of its corrupted politicians and bring in fresh blood and new ideas from individuals that will not allow themselves to be controlled by corporate power, influence and money.  

*Restructure the makeup of the Senate membership; change the current system from two senators from each state to representation based on each state's population; put in a new structure by which populous states such as California and New York would have far more senators than those of tiny Rhode Island and Utah, resulting in a much more equitable representation of this democracy.

*Find the ways to reverse the Supreme Court's decision on the Citizens United case that have allowed corporations' massive campaign contributions to become the deciding factor in elections. This can be done by the power of the electorate forcing the Congress to institute campaign finance reforms, by replacing Supreme Court justices who retire or die with those who will protect the principles of the Constitution; also work to accomplish this through the Constitutional amendment process.

*Ban lobbyists from operating within the halls of Congress. Limit their communications with members of the House and Senate to letters and emails, the same as is the case for the American people. Make it illegal for members of Congress to accept gifts in any form and prohibit them from taking part in corporate sponsored and funded trips, either domestically or to foreign countries.

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Michael Payne is an independent progressive activist. His writings deal with social, economic, political and foreign policy issues; and especially with the great dangers involved with the proliferation of perpetual war, the associated defense (more...)

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This is not a question of whether we should do th... by michael payne on Thursday, Feb 27, 2014 at 11:50:30 AM
As usual, an excellent review of the many problem... by Pal Palsimon on Thursday, Feb 27, 2014 at 1:55:52 PM
We never have had an election system that was mean... by Pal Palsimon on Thursday, Feb 27, 2014 at 2:24:03 PM
You said, "The real solutions rest with leadershi... by michael payne on Thursday, Feb 27, 2014 at 2:53:22 PM
I agree with you for the most part. But I have re... by Pal Palsimon on Thursday, Feb 27, 2014 at 3:29:59 PM
Excuse me. The listing of those courageous people ... by Pal Palsimon on Thursday, Feb 27, 2014 at 3:38:37 PM
"the American people ... have to stop sitting on t... by John Rachel on Thursday, Feb 27, 2014 at 8:48:16 PM
John: You said, "I have spent 2 1/2 years comi... by michael payne on Thursday, Feb 27, 2014 at 9:26:40 PM
I agree, and before John Rachel  accuses peop... by Pal Palsimon on Thursday, Feb 27, 2014 at 9:41:39 PM
Let's wait for his detailed strategy and then we c... by michael payne on Thursday, Feb 27, 2014 at 10:05:42 PM
Pal:John Rachel seems to have disappeared. But tha... by michael payne on Friday, Feb 28, 2014 at 6:40:35 PM
Agree with your solutions. It may be hard to ... by Jean-Luc Basle on Friday, Feb 28, 2014 at 2:36:02 AM
Michael Payne does an excellent job here, outlini... by Stephen Unger on Friday, Feb 28, 2014 at 9:27:59 AM
I am all for seeing some third party come to the f... by michael payne on Friday, Feb 28, 2014 at 9:55:17 AM
"'s much harder to figure out just how to do... by Stephen Unger on Friday, Feb 28, 2014 at 10:43:13 AM
Try as I might I can't think of anything or any wa... by michael payne on Friday, Feb 28, 2014 at 4:30:22 PM
You are correct, these are the only two options we... by Pal Palsimon on Friday, Feb 28, 2014 at 8:42:30 PM
You are absolutely correct! I have written about ... by Hosea McAdoo on Saturday, Mar 1, 2014 at 6:52:32 AM
I agree that as a first step we need to rally more... by Pal Palsimon on Friday, Feb 28, 2014 at 4:28:07 PM
Excellent suggestions, except for the idea of term... by Jim Arnold on Friday, Feb 28, 2014 at 11:58:11 AM
If we had term limits I would not want them to be ... by Pal Palsimon on Friday, Feb 28, 2014 at 4:33:37 PM
The third part of my article  on A Revolut... by Pal Palsimon on Saturday, Mar 1, 2014 at 5:11:10 PM