Doing good things directly and giving to well-run charities will always be more efficient than giving to a huge bureaucracy, such as our federal government, and watching what they do with the money. Why is that? It’s because the money is filtered through way too many people who all want a piece of the pie, without necessarily doing anything to deserve it.
If the government were run more like a great charity, however, perhaps things would be different. When I pay my tax dollars to the government, I don’t want them to simply own that money and do with it what they please. I want to see where it’s going, and what is actually being done with it.
— Kristen Dyrr
READ DYRR’S FULL PROPOSAL ON YAHOO NEWS.
My big idea would be to mandate comprehensive mental health screening in the schools as part of the health requirements for enrolling your child in school. You can’t register your child for school without proper immunizations, dental and vision screening, why not have psychological screening be a part of that?
If a child is deemed to be at risk in these evaluations, or exhibiting dangerous behaviors, then they will be required to have an individual program plan implemented by the teaching staff at the school. Perhaps children screened in kindergarten, who show antisocial and aggressive behavior that wouldn’t be on a typical spectrum like autism, can be worked with before their behavior becomes a dangerous issue.
— Jennifer Sale
READ SALE’S FULL PROPOSAL ON YAHOO NEWS.
What is this belief that one set of people can dictate how another set live their lives? It seems to me that by passing simple legislation that one group of people can decide who can marry whom. I speak of same-sex marriage and the groups which seek to eliminate it or force it through.
My idea would be to remove government from the question of marriage all together. What role does government have in deciding how and with whom one can live their life with? And if government is given a role, is that role moral and just? Can one set of people force another set to live a life they would rather not live?
— Christopher Salas
READ SALAS’ FULL PROPOSAL ON YAHOO NEWS.
Yes, you have the right to bear arms. But let’s make them reasonable for a purpose that’s rational. Hunting for sport and to eat is rational. In fact, if you’re not going to eat the animal you’re hunting, why do you need to kill it. I’m a catch and release fisherman, although sometimes I eat the fish. Fortunately, the fish I release live. The fish I eat don’t. The argument gets a little weak for hunting on that point.
To me, our choice is simple: Yes you have the right to bear arms. The same ones our revolutionary forefathers bore: “Single-shot rifles made mostly for hunting.”
— Steve Nubie
READ NUBIE’S FULL PROPOSAL ON YAHOO NEWS.
What if a single, common-sense solution were available that would reduce federal spending, taxpayer health care costs and the rate at which our nation incarcerates people? Such a solution exists, but it requires open-minded conversations about the best interests of the citizenry.
An additional benefit to the proposed solution is that our nation would eliminate one major instance of legislating individuals’ morality. The laws of the United States have always been intended to protect individuals from harm from one another; laws created to protect a person from his/her own actions are based on a morality judgment.
The proposed solution? Legalize drugs. Begin by legalizing marijuana, then move forward.
— L.L. Woodard
READ WOODARD’S FULL PROPOSAL ON YAHOO NEWS.
The nation is dealing with unemployment, fiscal issues, health care, and many more problems, but it seems the major task at hand right now is dealing with the gun issue and crime. Our nation has seen some of the worst mass shootings in recent years with the Virginia Tech shootings, the Aurora massacre, and the Sandy Hook tragedy. So while everyone is discussing whether Americans should be able to possess guns, the real argument should be about regulation.
— Janoa Taylor
READ TAYLOR’S FULL PROPOSAL ON YAHOO NEWS.
As most Americans opened up their paychecks in this brand-new year, we all discovered something. We’re rich! Not laughing? In short, we’re not.
However, we were told throughout the elections and this “fiscal cliff” thing that only the rich making more than $400,000 would be affected. Now you’re missing money (from payroll tax increases) it’s because the government does fancy accounting work to make it look like you’re not really being taxed. “It’s not a new tax,” they’d say. “Just one that we let expire.”
What can we do as an American public? I have two solutions: first, institute a flat tax and, second, increase accountability for Congress and the president.
— Joanne Durann
READ DURANN’S FULL PROPOSAL ON YAHOO NEWS.
If citizens receive government assistance, they should be required to give back to their community through volunteer work. Government should approve pay-back activities (similar to being on parole). Activities can be anything from picking up trash on the side of the road to volunteering at a day care to processing tax forms for the needy. There are many, many needs in all communities, especially those suffering financially. It is only fair that if you are given assistance, you give back to the citizens that helped you through their taxes.
Work project hours should be about 10 to 20 hours per week, depending on the amount of assistance received but also the abilities of the worker. Persons with disabilities, students or single parents should be given considerations such as shorter hours or tasks that can be completed with the abilities of the worker in mind. Also, if the government gave tax breaks to companies that allowed these “payback workers” to work alongside a mentor, the payback workers could actually gain valuable experience to help them get a steady job later.
— Kerri Kessler, Halifax, Pa.
My idea involves an adjunct to the proposed Keystone oil pipeline. Since there must be a right of way for this oil pipeline, and as this oil pipeline goes from Canada to the refineries of Texas, and as the oil companies that want to build this pipeline are going to make a bundle of money on the oil they send down it, why not build another pipeline parallel to the oil pipeline and on the same right of way? But this pipeline will be designed to carry spring floodwater from the Missouri River to Oklahoma and Texas, and specifically, to replenish the Ogallala Aquifer which is thesource of water for most of the southern Midwest?
It will not remove water from the river at any other time except during flooding, and this may assist in reducing flooding downstream and actually capture this water instead of letting it just pour uselessly into the Gulf of Mexico.
Since it is the oil companies that expect to substantially gain from their oil pipeline, they could gain a lot of good will from the American people if they also built and paid for the water pipeline at the same time. In fact, it might be a good idea to put that into the contract that allows them to build the pipeline in the first place, making it a requirement for them to do so. Thus, the Ogallala Aquifer gets replenished, farmers get the water they need when they need it for agriculture (during drought), grain production is increased, flood waters are reduced, and the net cost to the U.S. taxpayer is zero.
— Eric Husher, Portsmouth, R.I.
The solution to border security is simple. A large number of those crossing our border illegally are just looking for work and to improve their situation.
So, stop fighting the problem. Make it legal for any citizen of Mexico or Canada to come into our country and work. The only requirement is a Mexican or Canadian passport.
This will free up our customs and border patrol to look for real problems, such as drugs and terrorists. It will stop the crime and crimes associated with smuggling illegal aliens across our borders and deprive criminals of a source of income.
Understand clearly, the terrorists that we are concerned about will be crossing our borders with good documents, look, speak, and smell “American.” Drugs are being smuggled in by highly skilled paramilitary organizations. Customs and border patrol don’t need to have resources and time to catch some guy or gal who is just trying to get a better job.
— Victor Anderson, Elk Grove, Calif.