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I am delighted to find some of my earlier work being looked at with new eyes.
Intelligence for the President–and Everyone Else: How Obama Can Create a Smart Nation and a Prosperous World at Peace (CounterpPunch, Week-End Edition,Feb 29 – Mar 02 2009)
Fixing the White House and National Intelligence (International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence, 23/2 2010)
The departure of CIA Director David Petraeus, and the imminent departure of the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of State, and in all probability sooner than later, the Secretary of Defense, provide the newly re-elected President with a broader than usual opportunity to reconstitute the government in a manner that eliminates fiscal constraints, re-builds long atrophied capabilities for governance with integrity, and in all likelihood, damps down the flames of civil disobedience, civil unrest, and perhaps even revolution attendance to the socio-economic and ideo-cultural crises that characterize America today.
I can think of no better opportunity for the President to take several specific initiatives — including the selection of a Republican, a Green, and a Libertarian for the new Cabinet — that would rock the Republic back to sanity & wholeness.
Step One: Eliminate all existing taxes, substitute the Automated Payment Transaction Tax. Shock the Speaker of the House by proposing a very rapid joint Senate-House-Executive working group to examine how best to implement the Automated Payment Transaction (APT) Tax while eliminating ALL income and other taxes — do not raise taxes on the wealthy, eliminate taxes on the wealthy and on every citizen and organization across America. This is the linch pin for a new beginning that ends borrowing, provides 3-4 trillion a year for each of the next four years, and makes everything else possible. Ideally but not necessarily it could also include adoption of The Chicago Plan as discussed in the IMF Working Paper of August 2012.
Step Two: Add a Republican, a Libertarian, and a Green to the Cabinet. Restructure the chain of command to create three Secretary-Generals, one each for the Commonwealth; for Education, Intelligence, and Research; and one for Global Engagement (Commerce,Defense, Justice, State). Shock the two-party tyranny by sponsoring the Electoral Reform Act of 2013 that reboots democracy and harnesses the full entrepreneurial imagination of all of our citizens–this also creates for you a priceless non-partisan mandate for second term such as cannot be claimed from the election results themselves.
Step Three: Unscrew the White House and National Intelligence. The APT Tax buys time, it does not buy intelligence and integrity. Those have to be generated by doing three things:
01 Demand Ethical Evidence-Based Decision-Making
02 Create a Smart Nation through Integrated Education, Intelligence, and Research Capability
03 Empower the Office of Management and Budget — create a ruthless Deputy Director for Management with line item veto power over everything and also the power to realign budgets so as to force Whole of Government Planning, Programming, and Budgeting System / Execution (PPBS/E). Also create a Presidential Office of the Inspectors General to orchestrate their going to the next level.
Step Four: Create the Office of the Governor-General. Begin treating all Governors with more respect, with the Governor-General as the direct access voice of the Governors to the President. The APT Tax eliminates state and local taxes as well, and must be shared equitably, ideally with bottom-up collection that forwards shares to the federal level rather than the other way around.
There are four reforms that I have been articulating for over a decade if not two: electoral reform, intelligence reform, governance reform, and national security reform. The brilliance of the Automated Payment Transaction Tax is that it is a TINY tax on EVERY transaction that can be set to yield $4 trillion a year without borrowing. Even if the Chicago Plan is not adopted, at this level of funding the debt can be written off at a reasonable discount, and no money need be borrowed ever again.
In my view, President Obama has a once in a lifetime opportunity. There is nothing about the status quo, be it political or financial, worth saving. I will end with the wisdom of Dr. Russell Ackoff, a reflexive practice pioneer:
“The righter we do the wrong thing, the wronger we become. When we make a mistake doing the wrong thing and correct it, we become wronger. When we make a mistake doing the right thing and correct it, we become righter. Therefore, it is better to do the right thing wrong than the wrong thing right. This is very significant because almost every problem confronting our society is a result of the fact that our public policy makers are doing the wrong things and are trying to do them righter.”