John Feehery: Speaking Engagements


Another Congressional To Do List

Posted on October 27, 2014
111th US Senate class photo.jpg

"111th US Senate class photo" by U.S. Senate, 111th Congress, Senate Photo Studio - Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Here is my recommended agenda when Republicans take back the Senate:

1)   Tax reform:  Lower the corporate tax rate, make it easier for companies to repatriate money from overseas, slap a five percent tax on billionaires.

2)   All of the above energy: Build the Keystone pipeline, expand tax credits for solar and wind, clear way for nuclear energy, bolster research for clean coal, allow for liquid natural gas to be exported.

3)   Small business revival:  Suspend all Federal regulations for any business that has less than one million dollars in revenue.  Make it much easier for businesses to get started.

4)   Modernize the Patent system:  Our economy wastes billions of dollars in defensive litigation all because of a flaw in our patent system.  Trial lawyers make money, but the loss of economic productivity kills jobs.

5)   21st Century infrastructure:  We need to do more than build roads and bridges.  We need to reimagine where people are working (can more of them work from home?), how they get there, how we pay for all of this and who gets the jobs.  We need to make certain that people who are here legally get the work and we need to make certain that we get the most bang for the taxpayer’s buck.

6)   Retirement security:  We aren’t going to successfully reform Social Security by cutting benefits or by increasing taxes in the near-term, but we can take steps to insure that more seniors have greater retirement security using the power of the stock market by installing private accounts.

7)   Mend Obamacare (if we can’t end it):  Repeal the Medical device tax.  Insure that you can keep your health care if you are happy with it.  Allow for insurance to be purchased across state lines.  Keep moving forward on health care reform.

8)   Reform Government Bureaucracy:  Every government agency and department needs to be dramatically revamped, piece by piece.  Here are some examples:

  1. The FDA:  This agency all too often, through bureaucratic inertia and a CYA philosophy, keeps life-saving drugs off the market.  The bias should change from keeping drugs off the market to putting drugs on the market.

  2. The FCC:  It has way too much power to screw up an ever-evolving marketplace.  Regulators should have a light touch, but all too often they squash innovation through ham-handed regulations.

  3. The FEC:  Do we even really need the FEC anymore, especially in light of the Citizens United decision?

  4. The Department of Labor:  You would be amazed how the Labor Department goes out of its way to make it harder to business to create jobs.  That place needs a thorough going-over.

  5. Move the Departments of Labor, Agriculture, Transportation, Energy and other big Agencies to different parts of the country.  Move Energy to Houston, Agriculture to Kansas, Labor to Cleveland and Transportation to Chicago.  Get them out of the DC to decentralize power.

9)   Refocus the War of Drugs:  This is a public health crisis.  We have lost the battle when it comes to the war.  We are losing the battle when it comes to public health and productivity.  We need to invest resources into finding out why people become addicted and why they turn to drugs in the first place.  Then we need to come up with better solutions than we currently have.  Throwing people in jail actually costs the taxpayers a lot of money, doesn’t seem to change behavior very much, grooms the next generation of criminals and hasn’t made a dent in drug use in this country.  We should treat it like the health epidemic that it is has become.

10)   End race-based affirmative action:  We should be helping poor Americans get a chance at the middle class, no matter what their race is.  I am all for class-based affirmative action.    In fact, I think that is a worthy endeavor.  I am against race-based affirmative action, which I think breeds resentment among the races, undermines success and pits black America against everybody else.  There was a time this was necessary.   That time has passed.

11)  Make college affordable:  Make it easier for kids to get into college in their own states or better yet, end the discrimination against out of state students, so that college can be more affordable for the Middle class.  Right now, State schools allow only a small percentage of in-state applicants so that they can charge more for kids who are from either out of state or from out of the country.  It's a rip off and it hits the middle class the hardest.