by Evert Cilliers aka Adam Ash
First thing, a raft of Guantanamo cases are brought in civil courts. The prisoners who aren't in court, are in a plane on their way to Iraq or Afghanistan. Guantanamo prison turns into a tourist attraction, with luxury hotels, gambling, and highly-educated Marxist prostitutes from Cuba.
Next thing, Bradley Manning is pardoned. He leaves his cell, becomes a hero on the progressive circuit, and breaks up Barney Frank's marriage.
The Glass-Stegall Act is brought back and reinstated. The big banks all break in two, between commercial and investment banks. Their lamentations fall on deaf ears.
After a few Wall Street big wigs are prosecuted for fraud, finance capitalism finds itself hogtied by a weird wave of ethical behavior.
Following the example of North Dakota, all the states start their own banks. They withdraw all the money they have in Wall Street and pour it into their state banks.
Wall Street shrinks. There is a tax on all financial transactions. Many firms go bankrupt or close up for business. They just don't have as much money to play with as before. High-end prostitutes flee Wall Street for Qatar.
All companies registered in America have to declare their profits and losses as single entities. They are not allowed to have branches for tax purposes in other places, like the Cayman Islands. Therapists do a thriving business in tax lawyers when all tax loopholes are closed. For the first time in years, General Electric and Goldman Sachs pay actual taxes — at an actual rate of 30% plus. Their lamentations fall on deaf ears.
The Bush tax cuts are gone. All of us pay more taxes. But millionaires pay the most: a 50% rate. There is a one-time wealth tax of 15% on all holdings of the superrich, which wipes out our deficit in one mighty swoop.
The country has a surplus again, like it did under Clinton. The GOP goes into a megasulk.
Marijuana is legalized, and the economy of California makes a startling recovery.
Medicare for all (aka the public option) becomes a choice in a new Affordable Care Act, replacing the individual mandate. Since it costs only $150 a month, and since many employers pay it as part of their benefits, Medicare for all becomes hugely popular. Private health insurance tries to score profits off the rich, who sue the industry over the new pre-existing condition clause.
The federal government sends enough money to the states to rehire all the teachers and government workers they had to fire, over a million of them.
The Department of Homeland Security is disbanded. Habeas corpus is restored. Parents buy up remaindered surveillance equipment to install in their kids' bedrooms.
A lifetime freeze on hiring new military personnel is instituted. The Pentagon starts to close their overseas military bases, all 800 of them. The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are over. The military is envisaged to shrink drastically, until there are no more than a 100,000 Americans in uniform. The Pentagon itself is turned into a daycare center.
A path to citizenship for immigrants is established. Everyone who registers, gets an immediate green card. After five years they will become citizens and vote for the Democratic Party. The GOP goes into a megasulk.
There is a huge investment in public schools and teacher salaries. College education becomes free. All you have to do is work for the government for as long as your studies took; that is how you repay your debt. Most folks do it by becoming teachers for a few years.
Labor unions gain in strength after a card check bill is passed. The GOP goes into a megasulk.
The government starts a huge infrastructure bank. The government directly employs an entire construction industry of workers who are hard at work repairing and rebuilding our infrastructure.
All renewable energy startups have a tax-free holiday for five years, and get big subsidies from the Federal Infrastructure Bank. Some fail, but many succeed. The deserts of America are paved with solar panels, and a new electric grid funnels this energy everywhere. We dominate the world market in renewable energy equipment. Walmart in China imports stuff from America to sell to middle-class Chinese.
We are so solvent, we start a new space program. We build a colony on the moon. George Clooney gets married — in a ceremony on the moon. The moon turns into a thriving holiday hangout for millionaires. Because of the lower moon gravity, “have sex on the moon before you die” becomes an obsession for everyone on earth. People save up for it all their lives.
The first man walks on Mars. She is a woman.
As a teen model, Malia Obama makes more money than her Dad.
That's it: my dream for Barack Obama's second term. How's that for change you can believe in?
Will any of it happen?
Of course not. Instead, we will be halfway into America's second lost decade; the first lost decade being the Bush years. Our federal legislature — the House and the Senate — will remain do-nothing useless. Any government action that counts will happen on a state and municipal level. Extra-political movements, like Occupy Wall Street, will have a greater impact on the national agenda than the political parties. States like Vermont may thrive, but states like California, not.
In fact, we will never recover. Our elite will always lack the imagination to pay the rest of us enough wages to sustain an actual American economy. We will watch as China and Brazil and Germany replace us as the three new superpowers.
That will be our reality. But hey, I can still dream. Maybe Elizabeth Warren will become our next president.
(Afternote: I have a book out, self-published at the moment, based on my many provocative posts to 3QD. It's called The Real Obama: Progressive Tiger or Wall Street Poodle? It's the book you see advertised here on 3QD. You'll never have more fun reading about politics. Only $12 — order a copy here: lulu.com/product/paperback/the-real-obama-progressive-tiger-or-wall-street-poodle/18939747)