OK, so last night's debate wasn't for the presidential candidates but for the VPs, but "Cherice for vice president" doesn't have the same ring to it. Anyway, I thought I'd answer the two main questions (briefly) that the VP candidates were asked last night: what would you do to strengthen the economy (and what would you have to give up in your dream policies in order to do so), and what would you do about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan?
Regarding the economy: I would arrange the national budget so that Congress-people and those employed by the executive branch would receive a minimum wage salary with the lowest possible legal benefit package, so that lawmakers know intimately the way their policies effect those who have to live under them.
Hopefully this would stimulate an increase in minimum wage, better laws about employer benefit plans, and better oversight of insurance companies--or better yet, we could get rid of the insurance system altogether and just set fair prices that doctors, etc. can charge for their services. I would set up a health care system that is similar to the socialized health care systems in the UK and parts of Europe, but there would be incentive for doctors who do an excellent job at dealing with patients, doing surgeries, or whatever their specific field needs in order for care to be excellent.
I would set a ratio of what a CEO could make to what their lowest paid employee makes, and require that the CEOs receive the same insurance plan as their lowest paid employees.
I would do something similar to Obama's plan of increasing taxes for those who make over $250,000/year. I think I would implement a flat percentage tax with zero loopholes for individuals who make this much, and corporations with a gross income of somewhere around $5 billion.
This extra tax money would be used to help schools truly come up to par so students have access to a quality education no matter where they live. I would also increase federal need grants for higher education so more students can afford to go to college. This would stimulate our economy in the future by having students trained with competitive knowledge and skills on the world market.
I would offer more readily available small business loans so that people could start up their own businesses. These loans would have no interest for companies who used renewable resources--energy, recycled products, locally grown/made, etc.
I would encourage the building of solar and wind power plants, which would create jobs, thus stimulating the economy. I would lower the government subsidy of oil so that gas cost so much that we had to become more creative in public transportation and services within walking/biking distance. This would create more jobs as a better infrastructure of public transportation was built, it would lower travel costs eventually, and it would create jobs and small business opportunities as people realized the need for neighborhood grocery stores, etc. These would receive government subsidies if they stocked their stores with mostly local products, encouraging local farmers and businesses.
OK, that's all I have time for today. Stay tuned for my foreign policy proposals!