I have been a list-maker for as long as I can remember. My kids used to laugh about Daddy's lists: the notes written on the back of business cards or small notepads I always carried in my shirt pocket. At first the lists were just things to do, but when I started a small business, they expanded into goals.
I had a bucket list -- things to do before I die -- long before the movie popularized the concept. Here's a bucket list for America. These are not things to do before dying, but things to do to keep her from dying.
- Truth -- the unvarnished, non-manipulative, forthcoming kind -- is no longer a stranger inside the Beltway.
- Contracts are once again honored, words kept, and the government stops invalidating valid contracts.
- The government gets off small businesses' backs and allows them to create real jobs.
- People go back to saving for home down payments and making sacrifices in order to own homes. Those who will not save or sacrifice go back to renting.
- Soldiers are no longer prosecuted for bloodying terrorist lips. They are no longer accused of murder (without evidence) by members of Congress.
- Soldiers become more important than politics or a socialist agenda.
- Rules of engagement are changed to allow our soldiers to fight to win and come home.
- The government stops "helping" the economy by creating jobs that must be paid for by the real job-creators.
- Failure is once again punished in the marketplace instead of rewarded in Washington. That will scale back unreasonable pay more than any pay czar ever could.
- The president mistakenly appoints several cabinet members (maybe a czar or two) who have solid private-sector experience. (He would never do it on purpose.)
- Voters begin the process of enacting a constitutional amendment for term limits. Until said amendment passes, they require every candidate to sign a binding personal services contract to serve no longer than three terms in the House or two terms in the Senate. Heavy penalties would apply to transgressors.
- Viable candidates with private-sector experience come forward to run for Congress. Any party? Anyone?
- American voters learn the difference between eloquence and intelligence, education and experience, and charm and leadership.
- Too-big-to-fail businesses are allowed to fail or become smaller. (Guess which one they will choose.)
- Voters wake up from a prolonged slumber and become an informed citizenry once again.
- Legislative and executive branches of government learn that you cannot tax your way out of massive debt.
- Taxpayers begin to starve the beast that has been created in Washington.
- Freedom and national security are longer sacrificed on the altars of social justice, diversity, and tolerance.
- We negotiate with terrorist and dictator regimes from a position of strength, not one of appeasement and apology.
- Marxist voter-manipulation groups like ACORN lose taxpayer funding permanently, not just temporarily.
- Political correctness is rudely swept out of the halls of Congress, out of airports, out of classrooms, and out of businesses so that leaders can govern, business leaders can run businesses, security forces can target terrorists instead of luggage, and teachers can teach.
- Lawyers and politicians are removed from doctors' offices, hospitals, and our health care delivery system.
- Current politicians with no private-sector experience or scientific background stop believing that they are smart enough to run the American economy or change the weather. (Okay, that's right up there with "when pigs fly.")
Jim H. Ainsworth's latest book, Home Light Burning, is now available. He is the author of many books and articles and is a former CPA, CFP, CLU, Registered Investment Adviser, and Licensed Securities Principal. He welcomes comments at jimainsworth.com.