Elected judges

Many on the right complain about the decisions of judges who are not elected. 80% plus of all the judges in the US are elected by the voters. Let’s give the complainers what they say they want, elected Federal judges. I propose a Constitutional amendment to reduce Supreme Court terms from life to elected four-year terms with the justices eligible for re-election; elections to be held at the same time as presidential elections. That would eliminate contentious confirmation debates in the Senate and tend to give the president’s party control of the Court.

Talk is cheap

Paying for more war(s) in the Middle East. Continuing to wage war(s) on borrowed money will lead eventually to inflation. The Vietnam War is a good example.

To help pay for that war, in 1968 LBJ instituted with the consent of Congress a 10% surtax on Federal income taxes for a period of one year. It helped but was not sufficient. Richard Nixon opposed the surtax, and it was repealed. In 1971, Nixon imposed wage and price controls to fight inflation while the Vietnam War continued. The controls were not effective.

To combat the continuing mild inflation, in 1974 President Ford introduced a voluntary program, Whip Inflation Now (WIN) with WIN buttons. That program was not effective. During the Carter administration, inflation accelerated to new heights because of the lingering effects of Vietnam and two oil price shocks. Carter was defeated by Reagan who broke the back of inflation by means of a short and sharp recession.

Today some argue for further involvement in the Middle East to protect us from ISIS or for other reasons. If the proponents of war offer no methods of paying for intervention, then they can be safely ignored. If we are to fight again, I suggest a surtax, modeled on LBJ’s Vietnam era tax. Federal income taxes are computed as they are now. Then a 10% additional amount is added to the total tax. I would add a !0% surtax to the 95% of tax payers at the bottom of the income scale. I would divide the top 5% into two categories, with the group in the top 95 to 99% paying a surtax of 15% and the top 1% paying an additional 20%.

The purpose of the surtax would be to reduce the deficit and pay for the war(s), not leaving payment for future generations and possibly causing inflation, which hurts people on fixed income the most. I actually wrote to President Nixon in 1971 arguing in support of a renewed surtax. He passed my letter to Treasury who responded that a different method of combatting inflation had been selected. A surtax now would have the additional benefit of deterring some of the war proponents from speaking in favor of a war that they might be required to help pay for.


US members of ISIS

John McCain claims that there are US members of ISIS possessing US passports. We should be afraid because those US citizens may vote in our elections, thereby proving to be a threat to the integrity of the vote. We need additional regulations to safeguard the vote from Islamic militants who might be as dangerous as voter fraud, which garners so much attention in GOP-dominated states.