Keith Ottinger for President of the United States of America
Vote Keith Ottinger in the 2020 Republican Primary for a better vision for America.
(and because Donald Trump isn't doing nearly as good a job as he says/could be.)
First acts once sworn in:
- Nominate and get confirmed an Attorney General that will appoint a special counsel to investigate the Federal Bureau of "Investigation" and the Department of "Justice" as a whole for fraud and criminal violations. The investigation will look into actions related to the opioid epidemic (and related issues) which has killed over 100,000 Americans; especially the vast conspiracy drugging and manipulating people basically 24/7 for extended periods of time which is likely a major cause of the opioid epidemic and a serious civil rights issue on its own regardless.
Included in the victims of this conspiracy are children who are being deprived of the ability to learn basic skills needed for successful participation in society and this is even happening in public schools and universities making the conspiracy essentially a state sponsored scheme to inflict cruel and unusual punishment (also I believe that, as a matter of course, a ban on the government inflicting cruel and unusual punishment must also be a ban on the government treating the innocent/not-guilty in a cruel and unusual manner so it need not be punishment to be illegal) and also deprive people of other rights. The conspiracy regularly manipulates people into doing things to, in their eyes, justify yet more drugging. Also, many people visiting or working for the federal government in areas under federal jurisdiction are being drugged which is a direct violation of 18 U.S. Code Section 113.
- Have the non corrupt elements of the FBI/DOJ investigate local police, sheriffs offices, and others working for local and state governments and also the federal government for violating peoples constitutional rights with respect to this conspiracy. In addition to obvious constitutional and federal law violations will pursue prosecutions for cruel and unusual treatment, including willfully refusing to stop members of the conspiracy from drugging/torturing people (will also investigate the FBI/DOJ for the cruel and unusual practice of not stopping cruel and unusual treatment).
- The pursuit of happiness is a human right and therefore it is illegal to assault, sexual assault, torture, rape, kidnap, and murder another person in every state and territory of the United States of America. States must make reasonable efforts to prevent these crimes and punish perpetrators. This amendment creates rights for victims and if states fail to enforce these rights victims may sue their state in federal court and the judge for the case may award monetary damages as appropriate and order the state to take action or if the state is unwilling or unable to act the judge may order the federal government to intervene (except for minor assaults and sexual assaults not part of a pattern or resulting in serious injury for which monetary awards and/or local/state action shall be the only remedies). The federal government can sue local or state law enforcement agencies for costs incurred investigating and prosecuting crimes in their jurisdictions and for imprisoning anyone convicted if the local/state government refuses to imprison them or it is determined the person would receive preferential or otherwise unfair treatment in such a facility.
- Repeal birthright citizenship: Only children with at least one citizen or permanent resident parent at their time of birth get automatic citizenship. If a parent of a minor child living in the United States attains permanent residency or citizenship before the child's 18th birthday the child shall receive the same status. All children born in the US and while under the age of 18 and located within the territory of the US qualify for the same benefits as children born to citizen parents, except that they can be deported with their parents if so ordered by an immigration or other court. Benefits that necessarily go to a parent or an entire household on a child's behalf such as housing subsidies may be prorated based on the number of qualifying individuals in the household.
- The presidential electors of each state shall be allocated proportionally based on the statewide results in the general election in the state. The number of electors for each state shall be increased to 10 for each member of the House of Representatives and Senate the state is alloted. The 23rd amendment is repealed and Washington DC shall receive the same number of electors as the least populous state (consistent with the 23rd amendment). States need not choose actual electors and can instead have the governor or other official send a report to congress showing the electoral votes granted to each candidate based on the previously described proportional allocation.
- Primaries for federal offices shall be jungle primaries including all candidates on every ballot. Caucuses can be partisan as long as any registered voter can attend the caucus for any party. Political parties can use the overall results of these primaries and caucuses as they see fit. Would prefer to have the top 2 vote getters run in the general election and will push for that if there is enough support to pass it.
- The president shall be a nonpartisan office. The primary shall also be nonpartisan. Candidates shall be bared from publicly declaring their candidacy or raising money for their campaign prior to one year and one month before the general election. All donations received before this date shall be returned but still count against any contribution limits and any public declaration prior to this date shall result in being barred from one or more primary debates with the number of debates for a particular violation being decided by the supreme court prior to the first debate. Eight four hour federally sponsored primary debates shall be held between the first day of January and the last day of March in the year of the presidential election. The first two of these debates shall include the top ten candidates, the third and fourth shall include the top eight candidates, and the last four shall include the top six. If there is an incumbent candidate they shall be barred from participating in the first four debates and shall not be counted against the number of participants for those debates.
Congress shall pass rules for a nonpartisan primary system for the presidential candidates with primaries to be held in the months of April, May, and June following the debates. A primary shall be held in each state, territory, or other division of the United States whether granted electoral votes or not. The results of each primary shall be weighted based on the number of electoral college votes the division has and the overall results in divisions with no electoral votes (if any) shall be used as a tie breaker. Within six months of receiving the results of a census congress shall split the states and other territorial devisions of the United States into six groups with roughly equal numbers of electoral votes via a joint resolution of the House of Representatives and Senate. Primaries shall be held in all states in a group on the same day with at least two weeks between the primaries in each group. The order of the groups shall be selected at random two days after the final debate in March (or the first weekday thereafter if the second day falls on a weekend) for the first primary after a census. For the second primary after a census the first two primary groups shall be randomly selected from the fifth and sixth groups from the previous primary, the third and fourth primary groups shall be selected from the third and fourth groups from the previous primary, and the last two groups shall be selected randomly from the first two groups in the previous primary. If there is a third primary between censuses the first two primary groups shall be selected randomly from the third and fourth groups from the previous primary and the order for the last four primaries shall be selected randomly from the remaining groups. Congress can allow more debates within the primary months as long as the number of invited candidates is at least three and not more than six. The top two weighted vote getters in the primary shall select an eligible vice presidential candidate to team with for the general election. The electoral college shall vote on these teams instead of separate ballots for the president and vice president. In the event of an unbroken tie resulting in more than two candidates receiving the top two numbers of weighted votes all candidates receiving the top two numbers of weighted votes shall be allowed to run in the general election.
Notes: The purpose of this amendment is to create a more representative presidential primary and also to compress the presidential campaign so that more focus is given to what the current government (congress and the president) is doing to help the American people. Some of the exact numbers are just examples that may be refined in the future.
- The internet is a utility and shall be regulated as such.
- Privacy is a right.
- Broaden the US Government's tort liability and extend the statute of limitations to 10 years after the tort ended and life or 20 years after the tort ended for cases involving long term false imprisonment, serious permanent disability, or death. Also, require the government to proactively make reasonable settlement offers when government officials know someones rights have been violated.
- The federal government shall guarantee every citizen and legal permanent resident residing within the United States and between the ages of 18 and 65 a minimum 36 hr/week job at or above the federal minimum wage. If necessary the federal government shall provide jobs itself. Any jobs provided by the federal government under this program can only be paid for using money from contracts for the work being done, fees on legal or illegal immigrants, fees or fines assessed on employers hiring temporary immigrant workers or people not legally authorized to work within the United States, or tariffs imposed on goods imported into the country. Immediately on learning of a shortfall in funding for this jobs program the president shall notify congress who will have 60 days to pass legislation to make up for the shortfall. If no such legislation becomes law within 60 days then the president shall make up the shortfall from the afore mentioned sources as they see fit until such legislation becomes law. The government may pay people the minimum wage they would make in lieu of providing them a job if employment is not feasible due to disability or other constraint. These jobs are exempt from state and local minimum wage laws, but state and local governments can partner with the federal government to create programs that pay a minimum wage higher than the federal minimum wage as long as the cost to the federal government does not increase. People serving a sentence in local, state, or federal prison lose the right to exercise this guarantee.
- Increase federal minimum wage to $9.00/hr in first 90 days and study further increases, indexing the minimum wage to inflation, and/or possibly converting it into a geographically dependent value based on the local cost of living. Note that the federal minimum wage is only the minimum and needs to take into account the lowest cost of living areas in the country and cities and states are free to set a higher minimum wage for their jurisdictions. Democrats that want to increase it much more than this are just trying to perpetuate the myth that they (and the government) are responsible for people making more money when in reality if they would just let us have and enforce an immigration policy for the benefit of citizens and permanent residents wages would be much higher and the minimum wage would be irrelevant except as a tool to prevent people from being taken advantage of. Plus bigger increases will potentially eliminate millions of jobs (likely 1.3 million and up to 3.7 million for $15/hr in 2025 according to the Congressional Budget Office) which will disproportionately hurt the most needy. A high federal minimum wage will also disproportionately hurt rural/low cost of living areas, which is likely where most of the predicted job losses will occur. Basically I want to increase workers bargaining power by reducing low skill immigration (legal and illegal) so that workers can get higher pay and better benefits without the need for potentially making a million plus people unemployed. Also, several pieces of my platform aim to reduce the cost of living which raises the real value of everyone's pay or at least everyone that takes advantage of the changes.
- Require grocery stores to provide the government a 5% discount at the register on SNAP benefits spending. Cut benefits by 4% to give beneficiaries ~25% of the savings to the government. Stores will not be allowed to limit available products for SNAP beneficiaries beyond what is already required by law.
- Will spend roughly 80% of time on non-partisan good government reforms to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of government and reduce its cost where possible.
- Mandate all devices containing lithium ion battery packs with a capacity greater than 2000mAh and all battery management systems for external lithium ion battery packs with more than one cell have a charge voltage of 3.9V and if a voltage above 4.1V is included as an option a 4.05V or 4.1V option must also be included. This will reduce e-waste and save consumers money by extending the useful life of rechargeable batteries. May have a somewhat higher capacity threshold for batteries in devices that can be easily replaced by the user and are available from the manufacturer at a reasonable cost.
- Implement a 10% excise tax on non-consumable items that have a short or no warranty and/or are not user repairable (preferably with a modular "plug-n-play" design and cheap replacement parts and easy disassembly for internal cleaning if applicable). This would have a 1-2 year implementation period to allow time for manufacturers and designers to update products and sell old stock. Important because many products with low prices and very short warranty periods don't represent a good value and thus hurt the United States' competitiveness and needlessly waste resources. This will also create more decent paying jobs repairing stuff that won't be able to be outsourced. Not an ideal policy but the market is failing because many of these products could be made to last much longer and/or be more easily repaired with only a small increase in price.
- Modify social security to reduce the long term gap in benefits for people that start payments before reaching full retirement age and live past 90.
- Parks for Makers: Create a grant program to fund the creation innovation centers (basically huge maker spaces with no or very low fees) in US cities. Have these be partially funded through the sale of materials, components, and consumables commonly used in such facilities (ideally this would cover day to day operations). Federal government could offer insurance with, for example, a 10% copay if the center is determined not to be at fault and a 30% copay if they are, which could be reducible down to 20% if they agree to take additional measures to try to prevent future accidents.
- Push for immigration policy for the benefit of American workers (to increase wages) especially for low skill occupations.
- Will secure the border and also push to prevent new visa overstays.
- Build a barrier on the Southern border where appropriate to help secure the border.
- Push for immigration policy for the benefit of American workers. Reduce the amount of permanent legal immigration automatically allowed each year to 500-600k and make allowing more immigrants in based on employment and wage growth metrics. Would set this up so that permanent immigration would decrease slightly to 800-900k under conditions similar to current conditions. Will also evaluate the amount of temporary work visas allowed each year especially for non-agriculture year round jobs.
- Improve the accuracy of E-Verify and mandate its use nationwide.
- No amnesty for illegal immigrants unless new illegal immigration (both border crossers and visa overstays) is essentially halted.
- Modify asylum law to create a straight forward process that allows people to apply from their home country and disallow people that illegally entered the country from either Canada or Mexico (both of which are relatively safe) from applying.
- Hire more immigration judges to eliminate case backlog.
- Fine employers up to $250k for saying "jobs Americans don't want to do", or any equivalent statement, because it's illegal discrimination based on national origin and also untrue. Americans are willing to do any job if the pay and benefits are commensurate with the difficulty and conditions of the work. If there are jobs that for the greater good we as a country would like to have low payed immigrants to do then we should create a temporary visa program with a pay withholding system so that they do not get a significant portion of their pay until they have left the country and will therefore be very likely to leave when their visa expires. (Note: the interesting thing about that statement is that it is usually used as a justification for illegal immigration "because Americans don't want to work in agriculture" but if there is a shortage of agriculture workers clearly illegal immigrants prefer not to work in agriculture as well.) Not really going to try to implement the fine but want to draw attention to this issue and will definitely prosecute employers for illegal employment discrimination of all sorts.
- Pursue fair trade.
- Reciprocal trade act (proposed by President Trump).
- Look into ways to make it easier and cheaper to import small shipments by sea in a shared container (LCL). Will likely include eliminating the need for a customs bond on low volume and value shipments and/or creating a tiered pricing structure for such bonds. This would be a big boost to small businesses engaged in international trade.
- Perform a national security review to make sure the US has the ability to manufacture all important products for military and economic operations or could quickly develop such ability in the event of a large scale conflict. Important because cargo ships haven't gotten much harder to sink but modern technology makes them very easy to locate and target such that ocean freight to and from the US would be very unreliable if possible at all during a large conflict.
- Create, or get an international development agency to create, a wholesale e-commerce website where producers in developing nations can list items they produce for sale to developed countries and also other developing countries. As part of this would offer help with translation and possibly other services such as logistics, internet access, photography, etc. Initially would charge no or low fees to attract businesses, but would aim to make the platform self sufficient over time. Would help level the playing field when it comes to selling stuff to small and medium size importers where China currently gets most of the business because their products are the easiest to find.
Environmental Policy/Climate Change
- Fair trade as a solution or at least necessary step in combating global warming. Paris deal makes no sense because it promotes offshoring by giving developing countries a pass even when the emissions are created producing products to be shipped to developed countries. Because of this current deals will not solve the problem and will actually make it worse at least as far as manufacturing is concerned.
- Increase the federal motor vehicle exemption for electric bicycles to roughly 40 mph, 1000W, and 100 lbs (exact values to be determined). Also, add safety standards for this new category including: high quality disc brakes, lights, helmet use, etc.
- Create a new class of low speed vehicles (LSVs) with improved safety features compared to existing requirements but still below the safety standards of standard cars and trucks. Preferably would create a single regulatory system for the entire country to allow for mass production but would pursue incentives for adoption of the new standards if there isn't enough support for that. These vehicles would be allowed to travel up 40 mph (or possibly 45 mph or may create 2 classes with one having an upper limit of 35 mph and the other 45 mph) and on all roads with speed limits at or below 45 mph and, subject to state approval, on roads with speed limits up to 55 mph if there is no feasible alternative route (not including interstates except under extraordinary circumstances). Initially would only allow these vehicles to be driven by people over 18 (or maybe even older ie 21) to determine if the safety standards and regulations are appropriate. The hope is that these can be significantly lighter, cheaper, and more efficient than standard cars and appeal to government and business fleet operators that don't all their vehicles to have highway access and also to budget conscious consumers that don't frequently make long trips.
- Increase fuel efficiency standards for highway vehicles.
- My platform in it's entirety will probably do as much to combat climate change as anyone else running for president including Democrats if you take into account the likelihood of implementation and I'm not even focusing on it that much. Note that candidates proposing to meet a goal in some year when they will not be in office is meaningless and you should only consider the policies they are actually pushing for and will be able to implement. However, if you're not convinced of that, my plan to eliminate fossil fuels by 2031, 2032, 2033, and 2034 (for each successive year of my presidency, respectively) is fusion energy which as everyone knows is only 10 years away and will be so cheap we won't even need to meter it.
- This is greatly dependent on what congress is willing to pass. Possible policies include:
- Medicare pricing for all (not necessarily current rates but cheaper than the current average) including negotiated prescription prices but keep current mixed public private system (health care price controls but still have private insurance companies) (half the socialism with 90+% of the benefit)
- Will increase efficiency by eliminating all of the negotiations between health care consumers/insurance companies and providers of health care and medicines. Will also allow for a system to be built so patients can easily determine the cost of a procedure at various facilities.
- Will eliminate special insurance plan networks by requiring insurance companies to have the same policy for payments to all providers. Thus there would be no more out of network charges.
- The Medicare price would be the maximum anyone could charge. Health care providers would be allowed to offer lower prices as long as they are publicly posted and offered to everyone.
- Will actually increase competition in the health care market by eliminating the incentive for creating large provider networks (more bargaining power in negotiations with insurers).
- Medicare pricing for all including negotiated prescription prices with government provided high deductible or coinsurance plans for US citizens and permanent residents
- Deductible would probably be based on income from the previous year i.e. 10% of income over 20k up to 500k and possibly a reduced deductible if you payed all or most of it in the last year. Would also have secondary wealth based cutoffs to prevent the rich from getting free health care.
- Instead of a high deductible could have plans with no or low income based deductibles combined with a tiered co-insurance rate starting at 10% and going up by 1% for every $10k in income with an income based out of pocket maximum somewhat higher than the deductible in the previous example.
- Could also have a fixed deductible, for instance $10k, with free gap coverage similar to Medicaid for low income people.
- Private insurance would still exist and be the primary claim processor for most people with the government simply paying for covered expenses above the government plan deductible.
- Might allow people with incomes below approximately $50k to be able to go without private insurance and simply submit health care expense information to a government contracted claim processor for reimbursement or direct payment above the deductible (basically this would be a public option of sorts).
- Push for legislation to require the CBO to put out statistics on the job performance of congress members (both the House and Senate) every January and July. As part of this the CBO would rank the significance of each bill and amendment submitted by a member from 1 to 10 based on the significance of the changes proposed in the bill with anything over a 6 being considered major, 4 through 6 being considered moderate, and everything else being minor. The statistics would include the following for minor, moderate, and major legislation and amendments separately: fraction of votes present for, bills/amendments submitted, bills/amendments submitted that were brought up for a vote, bills/amendments submitted that passed the members chamber, and bills/amendments submitted that became law. For bills and amendments with more than one author the score would be divided by the number of authors. (Instead of the major/moderate/minor classification could just weight the bills and amendments by the numeric score which would be more accurate but necessitate more accurate scoring).
- Monetary penalties for states or counties with excessive wait times to vote in federal elections. It will no longer be a money saving strategy to underfund elections.
- No cuts or increases planned at this point. Will consider reforms, cuts, or increases on an as needed basis.
- Large cuts very unlikely given the governments financial position.
New States/Territory Reform
- Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands - push for state hood for Puerto Rico and allow the US Virgin Islands to join the state outright or as a self governing territory similar to the status given to Native American territory within existing US states.
- DC - Return residential areas in DC to the state of Maryland (possibly under exclusive federal control). This would let the people of DC vote for President and Senators through the state of Maryland and have representation in the House and possibly their own congressional district. OR Could pass a constitutional amendment giving DC a congressional district and allowing them to vote for President and Senators as if they were citizens of the state that controlled the land on which they live before it became part of DC. Also would count them as part of the states population for determining how many electoral votes the state gets. This would not be a separate apportionment but an add on based on some reasonable measure of population per representative in the house.
- Pacific Islands - Create a process whereby islands in the Pacific Ocean that are US Territories can join the state of Hawaii as self governing territories so they can have a say in the US government.
- No unnecessary wars or police actions.
- Create incentives for high schools to offer meaningful career training for students (especially people that don't want to go to college).
- Low interest rates for medical school and/or low rates for people that go into specialties or work in locations where there is a shortage of their specialty.
- Create a system to promote cheap learn on your own internet courses with testing leading to actual degrees.
- Will develop a plan to address college cost
- Will not support a broad write off of student loan debt but will consider lower rates and targeted debt relief.
- Require the DOJ/FBI to do their jobs if they want to get payed.
- Look into creating a hybrid military/government employment service to allow military spending to be more equipment based with soldiers in the new service being payed primarily by other agencies. This would be a substantially more rigorous version of national guard or reserve service with full time employment by the federal government. For example, enrollees could spend 2 months a year on active duty and 10 months working for and being payed by another government agency (also could do 4/8 or 6/6). The active duty periods could be offset so the agency would always have the same number of enrollees on its payroll. Training during the off-duty period could be minimal or regular depending on a variety of factors including the type of work being performed and its relevance to military service and how well the employee maintains their physical fitness. People participating in this program would make the same or more than they would just joining the military. This would be primarily targeted at active duty, enlisted army personnel stationed within the United States. Note: The DOD spends about the same on personnel as the entire budgets of the next 2 highest funded departments of the US government combined (~ $150 billion ) so even a 10% savings would be substantial.
Potential Policies that need more Research
- Build high speed rail on Interstate right of ways (likely the median most of the way) and/or existing rail right of ways.
- Have the Post Office create various sizes of small to medium, long life, reusable plastic shipping containers with embedded prox card type tech so they wouldn't require labels (this would allow them to be very small relative to current packages and thus be cheaper to ship). These would ship at reduced/very competitive rates for first class and priority similar to the savings offered by their current flat rate priority offerings. There would likely be a fully refundable deposit paid by the shipper and if they were shipped when picked up at the post office the deposit could be discounted. The receiver of these containers would need to place them back in their mailbox and the deposit would be fully refunded once the Post Office received them back. If successful this would greatly reduce plastic and styrofoam shipping waste as well as cardboard usage.
Paid for by the Committee to elect Keith Ottinger