THE BLOG
12/30/2014 03:41 pm ET Updated Mar 01, 2015

2015 Solutions

Bloomberg via Getty Images

The nuclear weapon has checkmated the military in foreign policy. Time and time again, the United States proved in the Korean and Vietnam Wars that we would never use our nuclear power except to defend the homeland. Today, any military conflict with China threatens to "go nuclear" and should be avoided. This means that we must have a strong economy for the economic to take over in foreign policy and to beef up our Good Neighbor Policy. Given a balanced budget in 2001, Presidents Bush and Obama refused to pay for government, borrowing and increasing the national debt $12 trillion in 14 years. The United States has always paid for government, and it took over 200 years to incur a national debt of $1 trillion in 1980. Corporate America knows that taxes are going up and withholds $2 trillion in offshore profits. Corporate America offshores not only its research, technology, production, jobs, and payrolls, but also its headquarters to avoid taxes. Corporate America keeps building China's economy as the president, Congress, and Corporate America weaken ours.

This nonsense can be corrected with a tax cut replacing the 35% Corporate Income Tax with a 7% Value Added Tax (VAT). Last year's Corporate Tax produced revenues of $288 billion. A 2013 7% VAT would have produced $945 billion, permitting Congress to pay for government and balance its budget in two years rather than 10. One hundred sixty countries compete in globalization with a VAT. The average VAT in Europe (OECD members) is 19%. The OECD just praised Israel for its 18% VAT (Haaretz 12/11/14). This tax cut releases $2 trillion in offshore profits for Corporate America to invest and produce in the U.S., jumpstarting the economy and creating millions of jobs. Replace the 35% Corporate Tax with a 12% VAT, and do away with the payroll tax. Now if President Obama will enforce our trade laws against the closed markets and predatory practices of China and Japan; enforce the Defense Production Act of 1950, it will make it profitable for Corporate America to stop building China's economy and start building the economy of the U.S.

Bipartisanship pays off in a legislative body. You never know when you're going to need a vote from the other side. In 1966, when I entered the U.S. Senate, Republicans and Democrats partied together, traveled together, and in a 1973 bipartisan vote, limited spending in elections. President Nixon signed the law, but the Supreme Court in Buckley v. Valeo reversed the law, equating spending with speech. Everybody knows the difference between spending and speech. Renting a headquarters, taking a poll, spending for travel, is spending, not speech. Walk into a TV station and tell them you want your "free speech," and you'll find yourself back on the sidewalk. With the Buckley decision of unlimited spending, Republicans and Democrats in the Senate started raising money against each other, partisanship set in, and soon -- gridlock! Thousands of lobbyists in Washington hold fundraisers for Senators morning, noon, and night. Today, lobbyists have taken control of government from Congress. On important votes, lobbyists tell the Majority Leader when to call the roll. That's why you can't get a vote on climate change, economic inequality, and immigration. The lobbyists are not ready. Fundraising all the time, Senators meet only supporters and never find out what's going on. Worst of all, no one can run for the U.S. Senate without first positioning to buy the office -- exactly what we prevented in 1973.

Congress has tried for 30 years to correct the Supreme Court's mistake with McCain-Feingold, public financing, a constitutional amendment, etc. A bipartisan majority vote to amend the Constitution in the U.S. Senate occurred in 1988 and in September 2014, but not the two-thirds required for a Joint Resolution. Only an amendment to the Constitution will give Congress the power to limit or control spending in federal elections. Once empowered, Congress can limit spending to so much per registered voter like Senator Thurmond and I were limited in 1973. Once Congress limits spending, fundraising in Congress is limited, partisanship is limited, gridlock is broken, control of the government is returned to Congress, and candidates can run for office rather than buy the office.