It Is Time For a New Contract with America
1. Create a sustainable environment that will support the health and well-being of future generations.
2. Eliminate as soon as possible toxic and dangerous fossil fuels, coal, tar sands, fracking and nuclear power from the energy and transportation mix. Immediately eliminate all subsidies to fossil fuel and nuclear power companies/entities and install a fossil fuel tax that makes such entities pay the full cost of damage to the environment and costs of providing such fuels.
3. Tax any polluting industries in an amount equal to the total cost of their pollution, including clean up, health costs and damage to the ecosystem.
4. Develop sustainable alternative energy, conservation and transportation means at the quickest possible pace.
5. Create a public commons of all essential resources to be held and managed in trust for the health and survival of future generations. For example, water and national lands will be managed by the government to be provided at either low cost or free to assure that reasonable essential needs are met.
6. Provide free high quality public schooling through college for those youth who are reasonably capable and willing.
7. Provide free or low cost health care to all Americans. Control health care price increases and eliminate the wasteful role of health insurance so that the cost of health care is no more than roughly 7 percent of the GDP.
8. Eliminate the subsidies to the dairy, meat and corn industries and develop standards of nutrition not influenced by special interests, but instead driven by the best research. Any agricultural subsidies should be evenly applied to all reasonably healthy foods.
9. Provide useful jobs at a living wage for all those willing and able to work where the private sector fails to do so.
10. Steadily reduce military spending by 5-10 percent per year until our Defense Department is truly managed for defense only.
11. Reduce the roughly 100 U.S. military bases in other countries by 5-10 percent per year over 10 years.
12. Overturn Citizens United. Limit money spent on state and local elections to local sources. Limit the amount of money that any person or entity can contribute to any candidate or party in one year to $1,000. Post publically all contributions. Require that all media, as a condition of receiving their license, provide equal free media access time to all viable candidates within their jurisdiction. Prohibit other political advertising in mass media.
13. Assure all citizens the right to vote in conditions that are reasonable and equal. Assure all votes are reasonably and fairly counted.
14. Restore Glass-Stegal and create reasonable regulations of the financial sector to prevent unreasonable bubbles, fraud, abuse and manipulation of markets.
15. Prosecute all financial and political criminals with the same vigor any other criminal is prosecuted. These should specifically include those, whether in the government or private sector, instrumental in causing the financial crises of 2007-8 and war crimes, e.g. torture, use of weapons on civilian populations, killing of innocent civilians, rendition, etc., in any country where we are not at war.
16. Restore all Constitutional protections. Close all special detention sites, releasing all prisoners who have not been convicted in a reasonable time by a court.
17. Control gun violence by banning assault weapons and large clips. Require reasonable background checks. Stop the sale and transfer of weapons to other countries.
18. Stop mass incarceration and the abuses of the drug “war,” except where the crime truly shows a threat to society.
19. Eliminate racial and religious discrimination in law enforcement and the legal system. Take reasonable steps to control and prosecute corruption.
20. Stop spying on U.S. citizens without a warrant supported by probable cause. Decrease the size of the Department of Homeland Security and other relevant domestic spying organizations and systems by 10 percent per year over 5-7 years.
21. Eliminate covert actions of intelligence agencies.
22. Restore a progressive tax system and inheritance tax to assure a broad distribution of wealth that reflects the actual contributions to society and the economy rather than birth into a wealthy family.
23. Provide reasonable financial security to the old protecting Social Security, Medicare, etc., or their true equivalents.
24. Stop discrimination in practice based on race, religion, national origin, gender, age and sexual preference.
25. Restore, build, and maintain our infrastructure at internationally competitive levels. This includes water, internet, transportation, schools and power.
26. Eliminate poverty so that no American will be without reasonable food, shelter, clothing, energy and health care.
27. Promote peace, justice, democracy, health, sustainability and economic stability here and throughout the world.
Roger Hull is an activist and freelance writer.