A Modest Proposal

Stephen P. Watkins
3 min readJul 8, 2020

Every so often, I look at America through the eyes of other countries. Every time I do, what I see looks worse than it did before. Having lived (and continuing, for the present, to live) through the coronovirus pandemic, I am more convinced than ever that it’s time for some housecleaning here in the good ol’ U.S. of A. To that end, I’ve come up with a little list of things that our Congress needs to do — and We the People need to REALLY pressure Congress to do — to get us back on track. Here goes.

Take the money out of politics. Private money (e.g., the Koch brothers; the Hunts; Sheldon Adelson; et al.) should not be used to fund public functions, such as political campaigns and governance.

Repeal the Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United. (This will require new appointees to the U.S. Supreme Court, which won’t come until and unless we elect a progressive President.)

Restore the Internal Revenue tax rates to where they were during the 1954–1964 period, when we had the best military, best educational system, best infrastructure in the world, AND a strong, vibrant Middle Class. Sure, the rates were high — -but people didn’t mind paying, since they got value for what they paid for.

Restore the Tariff Schedules of the United States to what they were before we joined the World Trade Organization. For 180 years of our country’s history, virtually all of government revenues came from Customs duties (tariffs). Then, during the Reagan era, we gave away the store, shipped well-paying Union manufacturing jobs overseas — -thanks to G.E.’s Jack Welch, who started the trend — -and destroyed the Middle Class.

Amend the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to insert the word “natural” immediately before the word “person.” That would do away with the pernicious doctrine that “a corporation is a person” for Equal Protection purposes, and it would allow states to restrict “commercial free speech,” which means that billionaires like the Koch brothers could no longer buy elections and politicians.

Enact universal, single-payer health care (“Medicare for all”). It works, it’s economically-viable, and it’s the right thing to do. ‘Nuff said.

Enact universal, free education. Here’s how we do it. We swap the Dept. of Defense and the Dept. of Education budgets…

Stephen P. Watkins

Top Writer in Politics. Author of “The ‘Plenty’ Book — the Answer to the Question: What Can I do to Make This a Better World?,” available on Amazon.com