Gary Null’s Stimulus Plan
What do you think of Gary Null’s Stimulus Plan? I personally like it and if I was American, I’d sign his petition. Here is the original source:
1. By executive order, the Obama administration should place a ban and nullify all derivatives and credit default swaps. As shown above, there is nearly a $179 trillion downside debt among the top four banks alone, and total debt reaches several hundred trillion more when all other banks and financial institutions are tallied. Pumping additional billions of dollars into failing banks will not work because their massive debts are now insolvent.
2. The 1933 Glass-Steagall Act needs to be modified to address the current global economic reality and reinstated in order to place controls over wild speculation, re-regulation of interest rates, and to set a clear division between speculative investment firms from conventional savings and loan banks.
3. The government should assist insolvent banks, including the large banks such as Bank of America, Citicorp, HSBC and JP Morgan, which are now recognized as zombie banks, as well as the auto industry, through easy bankruptcy in order to clear bad debt off the books. Although shareholder and equity investors, and executives, would be wiped out, this is a necessary maneuver to restore whatever assets these institutions have remaining. Bad debts should be sold to private investors, if they can be found. The banks themselves should be restored to their original savings and loan mission as before the removal of the Glass-Steagall Act. Banks should be allowed to reorganize management and return to the marketplace with new mandates. If this fails; banks and the auto industry should be nationalized to eliminate all debt. All new management should be put in place with an independent board of supervisors to monitor the corporation’s direction for three years.
4. There is the need for a Presidential executive order banning speculative trading in those commodities that are essential for the sustainability of human life, such as water, gas, oil and food.
5. Enact an executive order to halt all speculative investment in currencies. In addition, a 60-percent tax should be placed upon hedge funds and equity partnerships. All hedge funds and equity partnerships should be restricted to a 3 to 1 borrowing ratio. This will substantially prevent the massive speculation that has occurred during the past 15 years.
6. Put a complete halt to naked short selling which is nothing more than counterfeiting shares that were never borrowed in the first place.
7. Discontinue all short selling because this is nothing more than gambling whereby an investor is betting negatively against the economy for profit. A case has been made by a noted social activist for fifty years, Stephen Brown, that short selling should continue but be taxed or have a mandatory surcharge applied towards it. I respectively differ. In an ideal society, continuation of short selling might be a good idea. However, corporate lobbyists, hedge fund and equity dealers have been notorious in finding loopholes around such legislative taxing and surcharges. Therefore, the high speculative risk of short selling remains and nothing fundamental changes.
8. Qualified borrowers, with proper due diligence and 20% down payment and proper collateral, should be able to receive loans without being rejected. No one should need to borrow from a bank or financial institution at more than a 3 to 1 ratio.
9. Mandate landlords to reduce rent on all businesses earning less than $5 million per year in gross sales. For example, the average rent in New York City is 100 percent above its realistic rental value. A mandated reduction in business rentals would prevent many businesses from failing and would save jobs.
10. Implement an executive moratorium on all home foreclosures and auto repossessions in order to allow the market to return to a realistic deflated market value. This would permit more people to remain in their homes while benefiting qualified home buyers to afford a new home. Lending institutions would renegotiate with home owners a payment schedule that the owners can meet.
11. By executive decree, all reset mortgages, which lure people into ALT home loans now estimated at $200 billion, would cease. The very banks that made all the wrong choices in high risk speculative investment are now receiving money at zero to one percent interest. This in turn further threatens millions of Americans with losing their homes. If the President freezes all of these lower interest rates for five years, people can continue to pay their mortgages and live in their homes without having them repossessed.
12. Banks and credit card corporations should be provided with at least a 100 percent profit margin between what they borrow from the Federal Reserve and what these financial institutions charge consumers. For example, right now, qualified banks borrow at 0.25 percent. A new cap would prevent them from charging more than 2.0 percent to borrowers. The same would hold true for credit lending firms.
13. Across the board, the government should require all lending institutions to forgive credit card, mortgage and auto loan late interest payments. This would include forgiving interest on student loans. At current estimates, the nation faces a default of $950 billion in personal consumer debt (estimated around $17,000 per citizen). Forgiveness in overarching, predatory late interest payments would relieve the financial burden in cost of living and increase family savings.
14. The student loan program needs to be de-privatized and returned to government cost-only loans to finance students’ education. Predatory profit-making of interest on students completing college in a dramatic economic downturn has only succeeded in furthering debt load by young adults seeking jobs.
15. Increase unemployment insurance by one additional year. All financial indicators point to a further rise in bankruptcies, layoffs and growing joblessness during the next year and half and probably more. Regenerating substantial job growth to offset job loss is still a ways down the road and many citizens will remain unemployed for long periods of time before any true recovery can be announced.
16. Repeal Bush’s 2005 bankruptcy bill that enslaved citizens and virtually overturned the Constitution’s original rationale for bankruptcy to restore Americans to a life of normalcy. This bill was pushed through the Bush Administration and Congress by the aggressive lobbying efforts of the banking, credit and insurance companies.
17. The Administration should make every effort to protect retirement investment, including social security and 401K and other retirement plans, by guaranteeing citizens retirement savings in insured money markets. No private investment firm should be allowed to make risky, speculative investments with citizens’ retirement savings.
18. Implement an aggressive measure to shorten the inequality earnings gap between the nation’s superrich (now at 1 percent of population owning 20 percent of GDP) and the average citizen (one in three workers earned less than $15,000 in 2007) to approximately forty percent. This would include regulation on taxation of corporate stocks purchased by corporate executives and a regulation against short trading and sales in the stocks received from their corporations.
19. Put a halt on tax breaks given to utility corporations who charge taxes to their service customers. For example, citizens are charged a variety of taxes on their monthly utility bills; however, rarely does the utility company pay these over to the government. Xcel Energy, which provides electricity to eight states, collected $723 million in taxes from customers but will likely turn none of that over to government due to corporate tax breaks. This tax policy should be immediately halted and higher legal statutes placed on corporations to turn over customer utility taxes directly to the government.
20. Support and pass The Employee Free Choice Act to restore fairness in labor relations between workers and upper management by permitting workers with the right to organize when they wish to do so. The corporate oligarchy’s argument against organized labor has been that it financially burdens corporations and brings them closer to closure. This has been shown to be an unsubstantiated myth. A large multi-survey conducted at the University of Michigan has shown “zero correlation” between a company’s being unionized and the likelihood of a company failing.
21. The President should institute a reduction of all redundancies in inefficient bureaucracies at all levels of government with due diligence. The current Department of Defense budget is costing tax payers over $1 trillion annually. This needs to be slashed in half by removing obsolete pork. Many defense programs will be obsolete before their completion. Currently, the DoD controls and funds 737 bases in 130 countries; these are manned by over 1..5 million military personnel, including those in the Middle East arena. Aside from the overseas bases, there are approximately 6,000 military bases on American soil and in the US territories. Together, the military owns and/or rents over $600 billion in real estate. Half of these bases can be terminated with substantial savings to taxpayers. They are no longer needed and serve no legitimate humanitarian or democratic purpose other than giving a raison d’etre for furthering a corrupt, aggressive infrastructure that serves only private corporate entitlement programs. Closure of half the military bases would save a minimum of $100 billion per year, and an additional $200 billion would be saved by cutting off funding from ineffective bureaucracies and defense pork.
23. The government needs to immediately implement the groundwork for a universal health care plan. In 2006, healthcare cost Americans $2.1 trillion ($7,000 per citizen), the highest healthcare rate spending in the world.. Yet the US now holds a place at the bottom of the developed nations for its quality of medical care, especially for children. The health insurance industry is utterly incorrigible and corrupt by charging insurers several billion dollars total with padded private profits for coverage fees and drug and medical service costs. The health insurance industry should be forced out of business for the benefit of our nation’s physical and mental health. This would save between 20 and 30 percent of all our nation’s healthcare costs and would easily pay for the demise of the private health insurance industry. It would also be a substantial savings for both employers and employees with disposal incomes.
24. I propose an alternative model. Moving towards a single payer universal healthcare plan can be done incrementally by starting with a Single Payer system for those 50 plus million households earning less than $100,000. In later phases, employer plans can be absorbed into this model with a gradual increase in the household income range that would bring more families into a universal system.
25. Alternatively is a co-sharing model between employer and employee. Let us assume the average American earns $40,000 per year. The single payer premium for health insurance on their income would be approximately $6,500 annually. Depending upon whether coverage is paid fully by the person or co-paid by the employer, insurance represents between 10-15% of total income. We are suggesting a shared model with employee paying 5% and the employer paying 5%, or 10% total. This goes immediately into a universal healthcare plan. This would be scaled whereby wealthier families would be paying more and the people at the bottom of the income bracket would be paying less; nevertheless, everyone would have access to universal health insurance. Any additional amounts not covered could be paid by savings generated from government programs from overpayments. Therefore, this is not a socialist welfare program being doled out for the needy but rather a truly universal healthcare model.
26. The entire federal health agency system requires dramatic restructuring and a return to real science instead of patronizing the manipulated pseudo-science sponsored by corporate medical interests and associations that only support the economic agendas of pharmaceutical claims. Current statistics indicate there are over 790,000 annual deaths due to iatrogenic causes (e.g., adverse drug reactions, hospital and physician medical error, hospital infections and malnutrition, surgical procedures, etc). The cost of erroneous medical interventions is $282 billion. Furthermore, pharmaceutical drug overpricing and health insurance fraud adds an additional $400 billion burden to Medicare and Medicaid costs. These should be clear indications that the present healthcare model is increasingly draining our society and needs to be overhauled.
27. Pass legislation that would immediately enforce the least expensive Medicare and Medicaid drugs to be made available with proper regulatory oversight. This would have a savings of $100 billion per year.
28. A sustainable reform of healthcare policy requires an expansion of funding for prevention, rather than our current over-reliance upon the pharmacological medical model solely based on diagnosed illnesses and drug and surgical treatments. The nation’s current healthcare is primarily therapeutic and pharmacologically burdened. It has been repeatedly shown to increase medical costs for treating severe drug induced adverse side effects.
29. The Surgeon General, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Centers for Disease Control should launch a national prevention program that presents examples of the scientifically proven benefits of living a healthy lifestyle, which includes nutrition, dietary supplementation, exercise, health education and behavioral and lifestyle changes, which have been clearly proven effective and cost-saving by current independent science. After a period of five years, such a program could save government health spending upwards to $1 trillion per year.
30. Medicare and Medicaid programs need to be expanded to include more cost effective preventative and therapeutic treatments in over-the-counter natural products: vitamins, supplements, herbs, alternative therapeutic treatments, etc. Since the start of the current recession there has already been an eight percent increase in retail purchases of natural products. These dietary supplements represent a fraction of the cost of prescription drugs, many which have been proven to be effective for a large variety of health conditions and diseases. In addition, because natural products do not carry the high risk of adverse effects, aside from a few rare exceptions, they should be included in health insurance coverage.
31. Support for biofuel technologies, including the use of land for cultivating fuel crops, should be substantially diminished. First, biofuels hold very little value in moving towards a viable green energy policy; biofuels are still polluting and require large amounts of fossil fuel and essential water resources in their production. Second, biofuels are not economically viable energy alternatives. They result in a massive disruption of food production at a time when Americans are already feeling the effects of food shortages and high consumer costs.
32. The Department of Agriculture needs to move quickly forward with the development and implementation of a new food management system that is sustainable. Such a system should focus on sustainable management of our current misuse of soil and water resources. Such a system would include a gradual shift to an organic farming model in order to increase grains and legume cultivation for American consumption and for export to other nations.
33. There should be a national moratorium to boycott genetically modified crops and livestock, which is known to destroy top soil and rain forests, seriously threatens the planet’s biodiversity, and have yet to be proven medically safe for human consumption.
34. Institute a Marshall plan for a high tech transportation system connecting major cities with a rail system similar to the high speed energy-efficient trains mastered by the Japanese. Our Amtrak system is ineffective and no longer meets our transportation needs. Such a rail system would reduce air travel and the high costs associated with air travel and the maintenance of airport infrastructures. Such a Marshall plan would also mandate incentives for more people to use public transportation.
35. So far, this stimulus plan has been confined with the domestic economy. However, globalization of the world’s financial systems has made America’s financial collapse a global crisis as well. At this moment, many major nations around the world are calling for the removal of the US dollar as the standard mono-currency for investment and trade and are quickly proposing the global financial system be based on a multi-currency model. Although the removal of the dollar’s hegemonic status in world exchange and trade will have an immediate negative impact upon America’s banking system, it is critical that the dollar’s illusory status of global strength be reduced and shared with other currencies for long-term currency sustainability. It also has huge ramifications of international diplomacy with both friends and foes at a time when foreign perceptions about the US are at an all time low. Therefore, the US should enter negotiations with the members of the G20 nations to move forward on a diversified model of global finance and commerce.
36. Approximately two thirds of all treasury holdings are held by foreign nations, amounting to over $2 trillion of which almost half is owned by China alone. This is money not spent on America’s shores. It does not circulate through the America’s domestic economy. Since all of our banking and investment institutions are international players in the world economy, there is a need to for the creation of a Council of Citizen Economists, a network of independent, progressive economists, who would have complete access to records of the Federal Reserve and the Treasury, and all their transactions, to provide oversight that these institution’s financial activities are not opposed to the American public’s economic well being.
The above proposals focus on ways to reduce the debt and increase savings. Next, a comprehensive stimulus policy needs to also bring people back into the workforce by investing in those areas where there will be long term asset generation that will ultimately make those investments sustainable..
1. It is estimated that 80,000 businesses will go bankrupt during the next year. A stimulus package should be launched that would provide two percent interest loans to small businesses if qualifying businesses agree to hire five new employees.
2. Institute a low income micro-credit loan program in our inner city neighborhoods. Such loans, however, would be co-sponsored by corporations that would receive a 2 to 1 tax write off for each business they sponsor. A similar tax incentive would apply to corporations sponsoring basic skills and technological training to impoverished inner city neighborhoods.
3. Obama’s forecasts of generating over 3 million jobs during the early years of his administration are now out of sight. While investing in employment to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure are essential, the construction sector is only a partial segment of job lost. With more retail businesses going bankrupt and a decline in other low-paying service jobs, a job stimulus package needs to also assist in those without a high-level skills and education. The government urgently needs to become more responsive towards the long term investment gained by supporting vocational education at state and city colleges. This includes reforming some of the older models of education from several decades back that were not based upon standardized testing. The entire basis of standardized testing is fraudulent and skewed towards favoring those who have the ability and wherewithal to pass the exams.
4. States and individual cities should donate free abandoned buildings for rehabilitation under the auspices of a new inner city conservation corps, with the proviso that the individuals employed are required to live in that city for three years. Such a program, at a national level, could generate upwards to 3 million new jobs. The greater metropolitan New York City area, for example, has approximately 60,000 abandoned buildings. These can also be corporate sponsored for the sole purpose of being developed into schools, residences, community centers, etc. They would be registered as Trusts in order to prevent sole personal ownership. In the case of buildings converted into low income housing, residents would be charged no more than 15 percent of their disposal income thereby providing low income families with good housing.
5. A corporate sponsorship project to employ men and women to transform inner city areas into parks for sustainable habitat would not only add jobs but also improve the quality of life for many city residents. These neighborhoods would be regulated to prevent outside gentrification, which has historically been shown to contribute to the decay of neighborhoods.
6. A coalition of the states’ governors estimates that between $1.6 and $2.3 trillion over the next five years will be necessary to rebuild physical infrastructures throughout the nation: bridge and highway improvement, upgraded water and gas lines, etc. Such a project would be a long term investment to improve Americans’ health and safety, in addition to saving energy.
7. Employ an environmental clean up work force to tackle the ecological and health problems of designated superfund sites and other high risk toxic areas. For example, such an environmental work force could clean up the pollution of coal mine scalping now devastating many parts of West Virginia and Kentucky.
8. Launch an aggressive reforestation system with the goal to plant 1 billion trees over a 5 year period. In addition, funds should be put into land and water conservation in order to reclaim the land from further development..
9. Turn land back to state governments as a farm land trust. Citizens who qualify would be given an opportunity to organically farm on land starting at 100 acres. Farmers in the program would not be permitted to sell the land since it remains in a trust. However, they would keep 80% of the income earned from the land and would be entitled to 2% loans for further land and farming development. The other remaining 20% of farm produce would be sent to state agencies for redistribution to local food banks. The advantage of this model is that it is self-sustaining and would help to resupply diminishing food stocks. Other advantages include:
· It provides every community in the US with food to fulfill their needs
· An organic farming program would greatly reduce healthcare costs by providing non-toxic produce and would be environmentally friendly to sustain the soil over the long-term.
· It would break up mono-crop agriculture which is devastating America’s farmland
· It promotes individual profiteering because the land cannot be sold.
· It renews the role of American farmers and protects them from losing their occupation
· By focusing on local distribution of food, the carbon footprint is reduced.
10. Creation of a National Farmers Bank which would promote loans for sustainable agriculture and protect American farmers’ assets. Farmers would be permitted to take 2% loans for further agricultural development. Other financial incentive programs would include a forgiveness of all interest on farmers’ existing mortgages. By supporting the small farmer, the government can save $300 billion in pork given to the large agro-industry.
11. Generate incentives for the growth of small communities around farming regions for people who wish to live away from the cities. Adopting a model similar to Israel’s kibbutzim would increase land sustainability and help move farms towards sustainable organic models.
I do not disagree that some of these should be implemented but it cannot be done simply by "executive order". Thank goodness. Any executive order must be issued in the context of existing law. This is why we have Congress.
If Congress were not needed to implement any changes and anythng could be done via executive order then we would have a King not a President. We have to guard against giving too much power to a leader in response to the difficult situation we are in.
I see what you’re saying. Executive orders can be abused and interpreted as dictator-style leadership and they don’t seem to be supported by the Constitution. However, if the US Congress housed more people like Ron Paul, many of these logical steps toward really improving the situation in America today would be supported. The lack of support appears to be due to a tradition of opposing this kind of change due to the efforts of heavily funded lobby groups such as the pharmaceutical companies and large conglomerates like Monsanto. Emancipation was brought out by executive order in 1862. I doubt it would have happened if Abraham Lincoln had to convince the Congress at the time.
I agree wholeheartedly with kenc. In my view, any person who would promote any plan for the president to seize power and abrogate private contracts and change laws by executive decree is a dangerous enemy of our democracy. They apparently favor institution of an elected dictator, rather than an administrator of laws passed by representatives of the people. I am greatly relieved and heartened to hear that you are not a citizen of the states.
Furthermore, the federal constitution expressly states that no law shall be passed impairing the obligation of contracts. The reason why this clause was inserted into the US constitution was, according to Wikipedia, "fear that states would continue a practice that had been widespread under the Articles of Confederation—that of granting "private relief." Legislatures would pass bills relieving particular persons (predictably, influential persons) of their obligation to pay their debts." Sound familiar at all?
Not only is Null advocating the assumption of dicatorial powers by the central government in contravention to law, but he is advocating the exercise of these new dictatorial powers in direct defiance of the constitution. This proposal seeks to destroy what is left of democratic and constitutional government as a means to fix an economic problem. That is the trade advocated by this plan: my democracy in exchange for a quick fix to an economic problem; my democracy in exchange for money.
Incidentally, emancipation was not brought about by executive order. The Emancipation Proclamation eliminated slavery in occupied confederate states then under the control of the army, before they had been readmitted to the Union. Slavery within the United States themselves, and in readmitted Southern states, was not eliminated until the passage of the 13th amendment to the constitution in 1865.
If we wanted to defend the Constitution, as a Nation we should dismantle the Dept of Homeland Security and shred The Patriot Act. These were shoved down the throats of the American people without so much as the Congress saying " open up and say ahhhh"
Look at the Congress and our Representatives and ask yourself if they really care about the American People. What happened last October -their approval of the first bailout package was appalling. Consider that there were millions and millions of emails, phone calls and letters demanding Congress reject the bill, What happened? they approved it anyway.
What may be worse than the bill getting passed against the clear objections of the majority of Americans is that when the November elections rolled around WE RETURNED OVER 95% of these people to their offices after they acted without one ounce of consideration towards the American People. Voting against our best interests has become the new national pass time.
I sincerely hope that Gary Null is successful in getting some items on his list enacted into law, but to say that its unconstitutional to do it by executive order may be partially correct but what does that make the last 8 years?
I should have written the Emancipation Proclamation was executive order number 1.
Well said Bruin36. America has already exchanged freedoms in the name of "so-called" security vis a vis the Patriot Act which was passed through Congress at lightening speed in October, 2001 in response to the 9-11 tragedy just one month prior. I guess there’s more than one way to skin a cat when it comes to fast tracking a political agenda.
On second thought, I agree. Our democracy has weakened considerably in recent years. The central government has gradually acquired more power at the expense of state and local governments, with a corresponding increase in the influence of lobbyists and special interests who like big, centralized government in Washington, DC, which they can easily control.
Certainly, the only reasonable course of action is throw the system of representative legislation away entirely. I see our government deviating from the constitution, and I see the harm that this is causing. The solution is even more trampling of the constitution (in the same way that the solution to too much debt is more deficit spending).
I would certainly rather live under a political system in which I have the security of knowing that democratic government is gone entirely, rather than live under a broken system that has – at least in the past – functioned democratically. I demand the security of knowing that democracy will henceforth be impossible, rather than merely unlikely!
We will continue to have state legislatures and a federal congress, of course, but their participation will not be strictly necessary, since any law can be passed by presidential decree. Their primary function will merely be to stand and give the "Bellamy salute" whenever the president enters the chamber to tell them what decrees he has just made. Where do I go to sign up for this great system?