My Dream for America
Here, I will detail a conservative vision of the United States of America, one that incorporates our beliefs and analyzes the facts to generate an accurate picture of a country that truly embodies our Constitution, as well as the fundamental beliefs espoused by conservatives.
We have a vision of a truly prosperous America, one in which justice is carried out and in which the government takes a limited role in the daily affairs of citizens and businesses. We support the notion of an America that is involved in the world’s events without needlessly expending money on overseas involvement efforts such as foreign aid.
Preferably, there would be no liberals in such a utopia. Given the success of conservative policies, anyone who opposes conservatives, in this hypothetical scenario, would be converted to our cause. Liberals would abandon their beliefs because of the example set by conservative success.
The hallmark of conservatism is, of course, personal liberty enhanced by limited government. In this scenario, the federal government would be limited in scope. It would perform basic functions such as maintaining a powerful national defense without massive bureaucracy. There would be limited overlap in the functions of security and law enforcement agencies because of increased efficiency.
Members of government would also respect the principles of personal liberty that are endorsed by conservatives, as well. There would be term limits imposed upon members of Congress, as well as an end to lifetime appointments to federal courts, notably the Supreme Court. Representatives would be permitted to serve a maximum of six terms, totaling twelve years. Members of the U.S. Senate would be permitted to serve up to two terms, also reaching a maximum of twelve years.
As a result, our elected officials would not be in their positions as a career choice. Rather, they would be citizen-legislators who would promote their principles rather than pursuing politically expedient actions.
Of course, it is human nature that some would enter office in order to obtain power. However, these individuals would, under a system with term limits, be unable to remain in power beyond a certain period. In addition, with an environment that discourages power-grabbing and encourages principle, these people would be marginalized in their influence.
States would be banned from infringing on basic constitutional freedoms. Cities such as New York City would not be able to impose unconstitutional restrictions in gun ownership. Every state would allow its citizens to own firearms for hunting and protection.
As a result of the reestablishment of constitutional government, the economy would be very prosperous. There would be ebbs and flows in the market and, as a consequence, in the economy as a whole. However, limited regulation would mean that the government would not be in a position to destabilize industries, as in the case of the Clinton Administration, which caused the subprime mortgage crisis by forcing companies to provide mortgages to those who were unable to afford them.
One reason for the prosperity is the fact that taxes would be low. All citizens would contribute to the federal income tax system. We would also eliminate double and triple taxation by abolishing the capital gains tax, the Alternative Minimum Tax, and estate taxes. By reducing taxes in those who already spend and invest in our economy, we will increase the possibility of consumer spending and business development. This is a critical step toward a prosperous America.
Furthermore, the limitations on government would naturally constrain its spending. In addition to not having to finance as many ventures as it currently does, which naturally reduces expenditures, there would be a constitutional amendment limiting non-military spending, preventing it from exceeding tax revenues each year. Beyond that, it would require that there be an annual surplus that enables our country to service its interest on the debt, as well as reducing the debt by a certain amount each year.
Our healthcare system would not be subject to government involvement. Optional health savings accounts would provide our citizens with a useful tool for financially supporting medical expenses. The dangers of frivolous malpractice lawsuits would be reduced with the passage of state and federal tort reform laws.
This would decrease the need for high malpractice insurance in addition to reducing the number of procedures conducted by medical professionals seeking to protect themselves from potential lawsuits. It is estimated that 23 percent of procedures occur as a result of defensive medicine. Insurance companies would be permitted to sell across state lines, increasing competition and reducing prices.
With new military policies, we would be able to reduce defense spending. One reason why our current wars have been so costly has been nation-building. The fact that our government insists on building infrastructures in other nations has led to increased spending for protracted military operations, as well as a greater loss of life among our men and women in uniform.
A conservative government would be able to limit defense expenditures by increasing financing for research and development, thus expanding the technological advantage possessed by our military. This will serve to increase our soldiers’ safety and enable our military to more achieve battlefield success more efficiently than it can at present. Pursuing more aggressive strategies will also mean that it less time and fewer resources will be consumed during military operations.
We would also support Israel. As the only true republic in the Middle East, Israel represents hope for improved circumstances in that region. We would provide Israel with our wholehearted support, both rhetorically and with materiel and resources. Israel has every right to to land in which it is located, as well as the right to defend itself as it considers to be necessary.
Government would not be involved in entitlements, either. If states desire to establish their own forms of social insurance, they possess that option under the Tenth Amendment. Government does not have a role in Social Security or health insurance, despite the fact that it has created massive programs to accomplish these very functions.
The simple truth is that government never properly predicts the unintended consequences of its actions. According to official Social Security Administration statistics, there were 159 workers for every person receiving benefits; in 2010, there were nearly three workers paying into the system for every individual drawing benefits. With the Baby Boomers retiring, there are more individuals who must now be supported by a dwindling proportion of workers. This is simply unsustainable.
Furthermore, American life expectancy in 1960 was 69.77 years. In 2009, it was 78.09 years. With further advances in medical technology and quality of healthcare, this figure will increase. In addition to an increasing number of Social Security recipients, there is also the fact that each individual is receiving benefits for a longer period of time. This greatly contributes to increased costs.
It is now projected that Social Security will begin to run a deficit by 2012, and that it will become insolvent by 2037 (if not earlier).
This example should clearly demonstrate that government is unable to successfully sustain massive programs of this sort over a long-term period of time.
With a national debt of over $15.6 trillion, our country is already in a predicament. Federal unfunded liabilities dwarf this statistic, having reached $61.6 trillion in 2011. Needless to say, this cannot be maintained to any extent. The only way to avert a budget and economic disaster of epic proportions is to abolish the entitlements and eliminate the pension promise to future federal employees. With reductions in the size and scope of the federal government, there will also be fewer individuals to whom financial obligations are owed.
In a conservative America, the education system would also have been reformed. Our children are not competitive with those in other nations, falling to the middle of a ranking of industrialized nations. We have to end federal involvement in public education, something that is best left in the purview of the states.
We must increase daily academic standards, rather than emphasizing standardized test performance, as No Child Left Behind does. Increasing the competitive attitudes of our students will be important, as well as tailoring class placement for individual students based upon their performance. We will also have to promote the competence of teachers with the implementation of far more stringent standards.
One critical step toward reforming our public education system will be to increase students’ financial involvement in their education. If families are required to contribute to their children’s educations, they will be more likely to encourage increased performance.
A truly conservative America will also have strong borders. We would apprehend illegal immigrants, sending them back to their nations of origin, except in extreme cases such as the possibility of harm upon those who return.
We must strengthen the border infrastructure. Increasing the number of personnel patrolling the borders, as well as developing physical barriers to unauthorized access to this nation will both be important strategies. Sanctuary cities would be banned.
Despite claims that illegal immigrants pay taxes, it must be considered that most illegal immigrants are far below the threshold for federal income taxes. Indeed, even in California, a state that, one might say, encourages illegal immigration, the majority of illegals likely pay a very low tax rate. Using statistics from the Federation for Fair Immigration Reform and the Tax Foundation, an individual illegal immigrant would pay a two percent tax rate. With 2.6 million illegal immigrants residing in California in 2009, comprising 55 percent of the illegal immigrant population in the United States, it is clear that this has created a drain on government finances.
Illegal immigration presents an economic drain that can rather easily be eliminated with the proper enforcement of laws.
In addition, illegal immigration presents a security threat. There is always a possibility that national security threats may enter the United States, using methods identical to what illegals use to enter our nation.
In addition, states must be permitted to enforce their own immigration laws as they see appropriate, as long as they uphold the stringent policies that we envision in this scenario. States such as Alabama and Arizona have been criticized for passing laws that permit law enforcement to take measures to curb illegal immigration. Under the Tenth Amendment, they have every right to enforce this nation’s laws.
We would also be more religious. As a nation founded upon Judeo-Christian principles, we have witnessed widespread opposition to these principles. With mass abortions, the passage of gay marriage, and rampant corruption, as well as a coordinated effort to remove Christian beliefs and imagery from our schools and the public forum in general, this nation has begun to progress toward a European-style secular state.
In a conservative United States, these would not be issues. Our citizens would adhere to Christian beliefs such as standards of absolute morality. Abortion would not be legal. Furthermore, our nation would adopt a constitutional amendment defining marriage as being between one man and one woman.
Secularists attempt to assert that this would cause our country to resemble fifteenth to sixteenth century Spain. Rather, such a system would bear a resemblance to the early days in our nation, with regard to culture and principle. We would be a more respectful society, one not polluted by the immorality that, presently, faces us every day.
This is what a “conservatopia” would look like. It would be a prosperous land emphasizing individual liberty.