There are a lot of threads about lines in the sand, whether they be personal or what we think society will or won't tolerate anymore. While it's good to know what your limits and boundaries are, I would guess that the vast majority of the members of this site at least would prefer for things to be fixed and simply move on with what is still frankly a pretty good deal. This country is, in a word, amazing and I don't use the word lightly. Yes, it's funny in a Bill Cosby sort of Ha Ha (old routine, paraphrasing Bill Cosby here "God created the heavens and the earth, and it was good. God created all the animals on the land and the fish in the sea, and it was good. God created man, and it was good. Man created the toaster and it was AMAZING."). But yes, it's an amazing country, warts and all. There are threads about, um, watering the tree and prying from cold dead hands and giving up the projectiles one at a time at velocity and coming and taking it but the barrel's going to be hot; but they are almost all couched with something along the lines of but I'd rather it not get that far. If it has to happen, let be on my watch and spare my children and grandchildren but above all, let's FIX THIS! So, the question I have is: What would it really take to fix it. Pie in the sky is okay. Does it include pulling down the international banking cartel? Will it take the aliens who've been faking being dead at Area 51 "waking up" and threatening the entire planet? Is it going to take a third WW (please oh please let it be conventional)? Do we really need to reboot, water the tree and test limbs at the 10-12' height? Can it be fixed? Do you have a list of things that need to happen to put this country back to rights? Is there a single thing that you think could be the lynch pin? Personally I do think it can be saved. I do think it can be fixed. I don't think the country is so far gone that there's no coming back. It's not going to be easy though, and people, everyone, will need to be a part of the solution. We can't continue to be a country of primarily takers. On the other hand we can't continue to be a country that is so ridiculously split between the haves and the have nots. No, I am absolutely NOT saying that we need to redistribute the wealth, no how, no way. But the disparity is unsustainable. So to answer my own question, I have some things I think need to change, in no particular order (nor is this list exhaustive for me personally): Welfare needs to be reformed. I think that there are a couple of religions out there that have this down pat. It's been posted before and after doing some research on it I agree that the Mormons have got this down. A hand up, not a hand out with limits on time for anyone who isn't truly disabled and unable to contribute back. Work for your daily bread. Immigration needs to be fixed and I don't mean comprehensive immigration reform. It shouldn't take 5-15 years to immigrate here. The legal process is flat broken. I know someone personally who took over 12 years to immigrate here and naturalize from the UK (well, Wales but I digress). 12 years and he was an incredible asset to this country through the companies he worked for, paid taxes with and contributed to the economy. That is unacceptable in my book. I have another friend who met a student from Germany (student Visa) and they fell in love and wanted to get married. Took 5 years to get the OK from the State Department. That is just wrong, no matter how you cut it. Taxes. Hoo boy. The tax code is simply too complex and burdensome. I can't make an argument for any progressive tax, period. Flat or VAT (one of the two, you don't get both). I can't make a case for tax breaks either because it will always be abused, always. I can potentially see a different rate (singular) for corporations but even that could be seen as progressive and as such fails my test. What's the %? No idea but no more than 25% (currently I'm at 28 and could maybe see that as the across the board rate. Would I like a tax break for kids? Sure. Will I give it up if it means a flat tax, period? Yes. Do I like my mortgage deduction? Absolutely. Do I need it? Nope. Could I live with a flat tax of 25%? Without question. What does that mean though? It means I can opt out of SS if I want and FICA goes away. It also means that: The Federal and all State governments MUST have a balanced budget. You may NOT spend more than you bring in and that includes interest on existing loans. Figure it out. No, I haven't run the numbers and yes, it's possible we can't get there from here and especially at 28% but the out of control debt creating entity in DC needs to come to an end. Things that could assist to that end: Congress and the President can pay into a retirement fund (401k, IRA, etc.) with a payroll deduction just like everyone else. No more freebies for life (potential exception for security but not necessarily Secret Service for life). The annual wage for congress, House or Senate, will be equal to the previous years median income. They do not get to vote themselves a raise directly but the things they do to affect the GOOD of the nation will be rewarded next year in a raise, just like the rest of the country. Screw up and you take a pay cut. Congress flies Business Class at the going rate that the airline is willing to give them (but it is ILLEGAL for the airline to give them better than a "bulk" or "corporate" rate). Dorm style housing (okay, one occupant per room) for Congress. Congressional cafeteria that they PAY FOR. You can get a discount if you pre-pay for a monthly, yearly or full term food plan card. It's good enough for students, it's good enough for our public servants. Term limits. Don't know what they should be but no more career politicians. Okay, fine, 2 terms tops. Same limits as the President. This is not a club, it's the business of the country! Congress gets three weeks off, paid, as well as the 6 or 8 national holidays the rest of us enjoy, assuming you have a full-time job and your company doesn't suck. 15 days which is about fair for someone with less than 8 years in the job! You will be at your desk or in chambers every other business day of the year. You will not campaign except for during your 15 days off or during national holidays. Your job is not to get re-elected, your job is to run the country, in a constitutional manner as your constituency sees fit. Repeal every single Executive Order written that is currently still on the books and close the loop-hole that was used to create them in the first place. Repeal the war powers act. Repeal the GCA and all associated laws. Since taxes are a one-liner, gut the IRS by 97.35% (no reason, I figure they'll need a few people to open mail) and remove ALL of their authority other than the ability to receive payment to the US Government. Disband every federal agency that has been started since <fill in the blank here>. I don't have a specific date because I'm conflicted. I think the FBI could be a good thing, potentially. I think the CIA could, again potentially, be a useful agency. Likewise FEMA, but it's not done well now. The NEA, EPA, BATFE and a whole host of others are useless teat sucking monstrosities that should be completely, totally and utterly dissolved. They serve no purpose other than self-aggrandizement and continued growth. I don't know everything that needs to be done to fix this but our Armed Forces need to be brought back up to snuff. We need to trust them again (at an administration level). They need to be given the tools they need to get their jobs done and we as a country need to show some damned appreciation. I mentioned above no tax breaks, but I can see some for honorable military service whether it be the GI Bill or no taxes taken out while on either active duty or in harms way for example and yes, our Vets need to be taken care of when they need help! Okay, I've gone on long enough for a first post in a thread. What do you think we need to do to fix this and possibly more importantly how do we accomplish those things?