After reviewing the roster of candidates for President in 2012, I'm convinced that America will be starving for a genuine alternative by 2016, because no matter which one of those clowns winds up being president, the American people are going to lose. By 2016, no matter how implausible my candidacy for the White House might be, the fact that I am a genuine outsider and someone who has an utterly different approach to solving this nation's problems will work in my favor. Plus, I have a big mouth and a quick wit.
I'd like to take this moment to formally announce my candidacy for President of the United States in 2016. Now, many of you are likely thinking of various slogans for my candidacy like "The Audacity of Dope" or "Sturm and Drang," but I assure that I haven't used drugs in over four years unless I had a prescription. Granted, I wrote some of those prescriptions myself, but I had a medical issue. Glaucoma or something, whatever.
I'm serious, or as serious as someone who makes his reputation being utterly facetious can be. I love this country and hate all 537 of its national leaders without reservation, and I think that by 2016 the American people will be seeing things my way. Even the elected representatives who are decent people are totally ineffective at combatting the gridlock or effecting meaningful change. Our system of government just doesn't work anymore. We've got serious problems that require serious solutions, and I have some serious solutions.
First off, I intend to dissolve Congress. Yes, that's right. I'm going to build my own army of paramilitary loyalists, and when I'm elected, I'm going to use that army to forcibly dissolve Congress. We pay these individuals $174,000 annually to work 120 to 180 days a year. Some of those days are as short as 20 minutes in length, if you measure the length of sessions. We have everything we need in the Executive Branch to make legislation and even to hold quasi-judicial hearings. Just look at the Immigration and Naturalization Services.
Congress is obsolete. All they do is squabble like little children anyway, and we need to streamline the accountability process. If I fail as President, then it's on me. I don't have anyone else to blame. What America needs is a CEO and executive level heads who answer to that CEO. Think of the Treasury Secretary as my CFO, and the head of OMB as my COO, and you get the picture. Jay Batman, cutting the bullshit and gridlock, 2016.
As far as my specific policy items, they are as follows. First, I intend to curtail military spending. We spend $700 billion a year to fight an enemy that lives in caves. It's ludicrous. The Global War on Terrror is going to be restructured entirely. No longer will we occupy or rebuild countries, we're simply going to use our air superiority and our Special Forces to place small groups trained in discretionary warfare on the ground for targeted missions like the one that took out Bin Laden. We'll extract them quickly, and adopt a get in and get out approach. We will bomb the hell out of any country that supports terror. General Curtis LeMay will be cloned, and he will be placed in charge of Dresden style bombing campaigns throughout the Middle East. Enough is enough. It's going to be Bosnia all over again, without the emphasis on ground forces and reconstruction.
I'm going to eliminate entire commands and consolidate their roles. We don't need EUCOM, SOUTHCOM, PACOM, AFRICOM, and TRANSOM, along with ARCENT and the various other acronymed commands we're currently funding. We will have four commands, with CENTCOM presiding over the other three commands. AFRICOM will be absorbed into CENTCOM's current responsibilities with the Middle East and Eurasia, along with Europe and Russia. PACOM will handle the nations of the Pacific Rim and Asia. SOUTHCOM will handle South American nations. Duplicative weapons programs that provide essentially the same equipment for various branches of the U.S. military will be consolidated as necessary and phased out entirely as necessary. We will also force the retirements of officers rather than cutting the ranks of our enlisted men and women, because we are top heavy with administration in our military. Jay Batman, graft cutter and waste eliminator, 2016.
Our nuclear warhead stockpile will be cut from 5,000 plus to 300. No target set can withstand a 100 warhead effort to begin with, and at any given time, we're only faced with three potential areas that could give rise to a nuclear response. We have China, Russia, and the nations of the Middle East. Those are the potential threat areas, and North Korea is included in China since it effectively operates as a satellite state under the auspices of Chinese influence and funding.
The strategic advantages are breathtaking. Due to our own sharp reduction in warheads, the Russians will have little reason to preserve their own stockpiles. The expense of maintaining and securing vast supplies of nuclear warheads are justifiable only when the United States' own warhead stockpiles are considered, and given our unilateral and voluntary reductions, the Russian government is likely to welcome the opportunity to cut expenditures and secure its nuclear material by reducing the stockpiles it holds. This will lessen the likelihood of nuclear material being sold to terrorist organizations or non-nuclear regimes who aspire to join the nuclear club.
The Chinese are likely to be more open to the idea of curbing their own nuclear ambitions for the same reasons: expense and risk. One warhead in the hands of Uighyurs is not a desirable scenario for Beijing. Jay Batman, nuclear peacemaker, 2016.
I'll also reorient our forward presence in the world by centering our bases in the areas that matter to America's interest today. Right now, our base presence in Europe is a reflection of Cold War necessities. We don't need bases in Europe. That's not where the threat is. I'll establish bases in proximity to the threats that face, be it old rivals like Russia and China or the terror regimes of the Middle East. In essence, I intend to exploit the close alliances and interests we have with the Turks by making our continued supply of their military equipment contingent on overflight rights and an actual base presence in order to give our forces the means of striking any target in the Middle East from a stable and modern nation. Perhaps the carrot of previously forbidden military technology will induce a more cooperative attitude in our Turkish friends. Smart thinking, Jay Batman, 2016.
I'll also emphasize a ring of containment that encircles the Middle East and our rival China from Eurasia. Uzbekistan, Turkemistan, Tajikistan, and other former Soviet republics in this region will be critical to our strategic ambitions going forward because they will afford us the proximity to those regimes that threaten our geopolitical and economic interests. The added benefit will be that China is blocked from establishing its own presence in those countries to expand its physical sphere of influence. Additionally, by shifting our forces out of Arab holy lands and into forward positions in nations like Turkey and former Soviet republics, we'll lessen the provocation to Muslims. Jay Batman, containment advocate and voice of reason, 2016.
In the Pacific, our bases on island nations such as Japan and the Phillipines will be critical to our strategic goals of containing Chinese power and deterring Chinese aggression. Additionally, our presence in South Korea needs to be significantly fortified and enhanced to accomplish this goal. Peace through strength, Jay Batman, 2016.
I believe that by streamlining operations, consolidating and eliminating superfluous commands, and eliminating duplicative weapons programs while reducing the number of nukes, we can halve our military budget and utterly eliminate supplemental funding for ill-advised occupations of countries like Afghanistan and Iraq. The savings will be significant, some $350 to $400 billion a year out of existing spending. That's not some phantasm that relies on cuts in projected increased spending to come up with hallucinations of fiscal discipline.
We can secure America from external threats by being smarter and changing our emphasis to a quick strike, non-occupying strategy built on discretionary warfare and our clear advantage in airpower that targets specific individuals and groups in order to disrupt terrorist plots. Predator drones. Jay Batman, 2016.
The answer to a domestic security and intelligence failure like 9/11 isn't the creation of a new bureaucracy to oversee the bureaucracies that failed to do their job in the years leading up to 9/11. It's the firing of those bureaucrats and agents who obstructed the path to identifying, locating, arresting, and trying the hijackers who pulled off 9/11. It's trying them for obstruction of justice and making them accountable for civil damages to the families of 9/11 victims. You can have qualified immunity only if you do your job. If you're obviously incompetent, even willfully so, you don't get qualified immunity.
With that said, I want to eliminate the Department of Homeland Security and the Directorate of National Intelligence. We didn't need new layers of additional bureaucracy after 9/11; we needed the existing layers of bureaucracy to do their jobs. We needed to hold the CIA, the FBI, the NSA, and various other agencies accountable for what happened on 9/11. We needed to actually fire and discipline people.
Instead, we got an agency that is sprawling in its responsibilities and loathed for its overreaches. We all agree that naked scanners in airports are just absurd. We all know that the Christmas Day bomber wasn't stopped by the TSA or air marshals. Passengers identified him and subdued him. The Department of Homeland Security did not secure the homeland. It's just that simple. Why spend $43 billion a year on an agency that seemingly exists solely for the purpose of funneling money to Michael Chertoff and the security equipment company he shills for these days?
Our own FBI created a bomber out of a troubled young man by recruiting him to bomb a Christmas gathering in Seattle. They even supplied him with the fake bomb materials, and after making their straw man, they then pointed to their arrest of said straw man as proof that they were keeping us safe by first creating terrorists and then arresting them after the fact.
We are going to reinvestigate 9/11, and this time we will spend more money on the investigation than we spent on looking into Bill Clinton's blowjobs. We're going to spend millions of dollars investigating how 19 hijackers who could barely fly Cessnas were able to defeat FAA safeguards, airspace security, and the FBI, CIA, and NSA's considerable powers with just $500,000 in funding and a jones for hookers, strippers, and sex toys. We're going to do it because we owe the families of victims an answer as to what happened and why, and we're going to do it to ensure that 9/11 never happens again. We're going to prosecute actual Americans for their role in the failures that led to 9/11, and we're going to punish actual Americans for dereliction of duty, negligence, and incompetence because their idiocy got 3,000 Americans killed. Jay Batman, accountability in government, 2016.
We're going to identify the specific weaknesses in our intelligence apparatus, such as the relationships between NSA bureaucrats and contractors that led to a $1.2 billion program by the name of Trailblazer being selected for data sifting and analysis over a program developed in-house at the NSA by the name of Thin Thread that cost just $3 million and did a better job than Trailblazer, which despite costing 400 times as much never got off of the ground. We're going to investigate Science Applications International Corporation's penchant for hiring NSA employees to lobby for NSA contracts, and those NSA employee's penchant for returning to the NSA to oversee the projects associated wtih those contracts in order to win their employer more business. In other words, we're going to start addressing improprieties and conflicts of interest. Jay Batman, rooting out corruption, 2016.
Our economy is hamstrung by regulation and a federal tax code that is simply too damned big and complicated. We spent $265 billion in 2005 on tax compliance, and we dedicated 6 billion hours to figuring out how to pay our taxes and remain in legal compliance with the tax code. Consider the following:
"According to Commerce Clearing House, since the inception of the income tax in 1913, the number of pages of tax code, regulations, and IRS rulings that individuals and businesses must comply with has grown from 400 pages to a whopping 67,204! Just since 2000, it has increased 43 percent."
It's ridiculous. We have an estate tax, a gift tax, federal excise taxes, import taxes and tariffs, a corporate tax, a capital gains tax, a federal income tax, withholding for Social Security and Medicare. Americans by and large want to pay their taxes and abide by the law, and it shouldn't be so damned difficult to do that. We shouldn't have to hire a tax lawyer or an accountant to do our taxes, and we shouldn't have to buy tax software every year. By 2015 it is estimated that we will spend over $482 billion on tax compliance.
This is what I propose: scrap the entire code. All of it. We can do what we need to do with a VAT tax or a flat tax, and we can do it with far less hassle and expense. However, even with tax reform, we're still facing a massive deficit. My earlier ideas to halve military expenditures and restructure our priorities in defense spending will only get us part of the way to our goal, and we will have to make tough decisions about spending across the board.
More importantly, you need to understand why a corporate income tax or a capital gains tax is asinine. Let's take the corporate income tax, which in the U.S. is at 35%. Corporations are very good at externalizing costs in the form of lower wages and benefits to labor and higher prices to consumers. In fact, studies have shown that those two demographics bear 71% of the cost associated with the corporate income tax. You think you're sticking it to the man, but you're actually shooting yourself in the foot. Jay Batman, making common sense, 2016.
You also need to understand that the way the corporate income tax is structured defeats the purpose of raising revenues from corporate profits. In some years (particularly in the earlier part of the last decade) we actually spent more on corporate welfare and tax credits than we took in in the form of corporate tax revenues. We went $20 billion in the hole in certain years. Why not eliminate both the welfare and tax credits, along with the tax itself? That way you won't have to suffer the indignity of hearing how profitable companies like GE and Microsoft game the system to collect billions in tax refunds from the federal government. You'll have lower prices, and potentially higher wages. If you're an investor, you'll see higher dividends. Moreover, by eliminating the tax, you eliminate the costs associated with compliance. Companies won't be spending billions of dollars on tax lawyers and accountants to comply with a tax that no longer exists.
Imagine an America with no corporate income tax that functions like a tax shelter for large multinational corporations that come here and hire Americans to avoid taxes in places like Europe and elsewhere. It's just good for business and workers alike. Jay Batman, making the economy work, 2016.
As far as a capital gains tax goes, why would you tax a positive act? Taxation is punitive, and what we want in this country is greater private investment to spur job creation and business. Eliminate the capital gains tax and you'll attract that investment. It's simple economics: if you can invest here and keep your dividends free of tax, as opposed to other nations where you have to pay taxes, you'll invest here as opposed to there. You have every reason to when you consider the tax advantages. To those who oppose this because they want the rich to pay their fair share, I say the following: you can have a job or the satisfaction of class resentment. You can't have both.
Excise taxes on gasoline and other forms of oil comprise up to .50 or more of every gallon of gasoline you purchase. Would you like to see the price of a gallon of gasoline go down by .50? Of course you would! Jay Batman, cheap gas and hot air, 2016.
As far as the type of tax we might choose, be it a VAT or a flat tax, there are benefits and disadvantages to consider all around. The benefit of a VAT tax is that it's easy to collect, and easy to monitor because each link in the supply chain keeps track of what the prior link paid in order to deduct that contribution from its own payment. It's self-enforcing. Unfortunately, a VAT tax is also easy to conceal and tough to monitor. That means it's easy to hike the rate without much negative feedback, and perhaps we don't want our government to have the ability to do such a thing. Jay Batman, limited government and low taxes, 2016.
A flat tax is good in the sense that everyone pays the same rate, but flat taxes in history have not fared well. The people of Athens tried such a tax, and promptly repealed it to bring back the old progressive tax. Perhaps the obviousness of a flat tax is its weakness. At any rate, taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society, and we all have to pay taxes in order to finance things like roads and bridges and national defense and agencies to enforce laws against fraud and malfeasance in our markets. These things have a cost, and my message to the American people is that you can have whatever you damned well pay for in advance or as you go. Jay Batman, balanced budgets from an unbalanced mind, 2016.
Tax reform is vital to the continued prosperity and renewed economic vigor of America, and I'll push it through with ease because I intend to abolish Congress. No roadblocks or filibusters. If you don't like what I do, you can always mobilize to elect someone else, or you can overthrow me. Democracy: revolution by the ballot or the bullet! Jay Batman, choices in representation unless you're against me, 2016.
Tax reform is one part of our economic renewal program, but there are other programs to consider as well. I intend to revitalize America's infrastructure. Fully half of our roads and bridges are either structurally deficient or functionally obsolete, and it is time to fix this problem. If there's one thing I'm willing to spend on, it's maintaining and improving the arteries of commerce that are our roads and bridges. Dams, levees, and all other implements of infrastructure that benefit American communities and our economy are going to be addressed as well in a large scale program to overhaul America's infrastructure. Decades of neglect have a cost: this is not going to be cheap. However, you get what you pay for, and you are going to pay for it because Jay Batman represents fiscal responsibility. Jay Batman, hot tough fiscal love, 2016.
The benefits are obvious: such a program will create jobs, and it will benefit commerce by making transportation of goods easier and more efficient. Additionally, you won't have to worry about New Orleans being flooded by a Category 2 hurricane or going through the collapsing bridge you're driving over. These are good things. The federal government has had a role in infrastructure since George Washington advocated for a national canal system, and it's appropriate that we go forward by exercising our federal responsibility in this area.
We have a problem in this country: our children is not learning, and our Presidents are reflecting such realities more and more as time goes by. However, Jay Batman was educated by competent teachers who taught him to speak and write good English. My syntax won't embarass the nation before the international community. As a former Scholar's Bowl captain, I won't mangle American history, either. Jay Batman, literate and cultured, 2016.
Education is fundamental. It's an investment we make in our people and in the society we want to have. It's non-negotiable. It's also a local concern. The federal government doesn't have any business in education, but I don't like the way states are running education, so I'm going to trample their prerogatives and do whatever the hell I want. Here's how: I'm going to use the law as expounded in South Dakota v. Dole to withhold federal education funds from states that don't consolidate their superfluous districts and start shifting dollars from administration to actual classroom instruction. Barring that, I'm going to tell states outright what I want done and send in tanks to make them do what I say.
I like teachers. I hate unions. Unions are run by bastards who obstruct the democratic process and condescend to parents. I'm going to bust unions with charter schools and vouchers. Parent choice will be a federally mandated reality. This will spur competition and motivate public schools to start getting their damned act together in order to attract students with a quality product that's competitive. Jay Batman, also known as Cincinnatus, 2016.
Union leaders are terrorists, and their control of our educational system is going to end. We're at war with the terrorists, and the United States does not negotiate with terrorists unless it first creates them to fight communists and counterbalance our geopolitical rivals for international hegemony. Unions don't fit that description. They're done. Teachers can negotiate collectively if they want, but districts can and should elect to replace them if the deal can't get done. Jay Batman, tough on terrorism, 2016.
As far as colleges go, I've had enough of their increases in administrative costs and subsidies of college athletics. If your football team can't make enough money from tickets and merchandise to fund its own operations, you aren't dipping into education funding to make up the difference. Additionally, I'll withhold federal funds from higher education institutions that don't implement cost reviews to maximize efficiency and cut waste.
And let's face it: college rankings are a joke. If you spend more money per student, your ranking goes up. Your students graduate with more debt, may or may not be able to get jobs, and you look good in U.S. News and World Report. It's dumb. Really dumb. I don't like it. Jay Batman, straight talk, 2016.
The federal government will rate institutions based on the employability of their graduates and the debt levels those graduates accrue upon matriculation. The former is a positive; the latter is a negative.
We're not in the business of giving Pell Grants and Direct Loans to interpretative dance majors and racial studies majors. What kind of a damned job are you going to get with that nonsense? Get a business degree to go with your art degree, and we'll talk. Jay Batman, your ornery dad, 2016.
We're going to subsidize interest rates in Direct Loans, because socking it to bright enterprising people who are trying to better themselves by gaining skills and enhancing their job prospects is counterproductive and stupid. We're going to cut rates in Direct Loans by applying a formula that correlates your high GPA to a lower rate of interest. We're also going to make zero percent interest rates available to qualified applicants who want to go into engineering and medicine. Get a good MCAT score, and we'll talk.
In point of fact, I'd support a national powerball lottery to fund college and graduate scholarships for those who make above a 3.0. We'll offset your tuition by half. Make a 3.5, and we'll offset by 75%. Make a 4.0, and we'll pay your way 100%. It's merit, it ought to be rewarded, and it's the right thing to do. Jay Batman, rewarding achievement, 2016.
We're going to take the same approach with teachers. If your students do well on their standardized tests and ACT or SAT scores in the subject area you taught, you get a merit bonus. Every grade level. You could get 13 years worth of bonuses if your students go forward and do well and you're a kindergarten teacher. What's more, we're going to give teachers a generous tax credit against the flat tax or the VAT to incentivize their career choice and signify our respect for the vocation. Jay Batman, bringing the bigassed apple, 2016.
There's more to come as I outline my plans for 2016 and the country at large. Jay Batman, the Audacity of Arrogance and Hubris, 2016.