I don't know what all the Dodd/Frank regulation is, but I do know that investors have been gulled into thinking the subprime slippery interest rate mortgages were well documented legitimate loans made by a morally responsible lender. Something needs to be done, like a reorganization of the regulatory apparatus first as the new rules are implemented. Possibly the regulatory problems are related to the structure and hierarchy of the departments, which has apparently fallen victim to incompetency or bribery or indifference to what actions would produce positive results for the economy. What was the true mission of the regulators?
Tax reform should be accomplished in conjunction with this new regulation. Tax those 'investments' that throw the money back and forth way up above that never hit the ground in the form of jobs. Derivatives, mortgage securities, credit default swaps and the like should be taxed at an extremely high rate due to the damage done to the economy and the rise in unemployment. Regulation of them should demand transparency and extensive documentation every time they are sold or insured, like a performance audit of every component.
Reform of the institutionalized government agencies is necessary to implement Rep. Paul Ryan's suggestion that the government must be downsized. Downsizing will not take place without reform of the structure of the bureaucracy. It is interesting that President Obama and Rep. Paul Ryan made the same suggestion, coming at it from other directions. This is an opportunity for bipartisanship.
A down-sizing of the debt load needs to be a focus, by whatever means necessary.
Due to the world situation, cutbacks to the military seem unwise. A reduction in spending can occur as the two wars wind down, but our military is vital to our continued existence and should not be downsized. Full numbers military plus more high tech R&D. Tech is not a replacement for sheer numbers. Expensive, yes. Our military should cut out waste and frivolity.
The space program should be funded for the R&D and jobs and the possibility of lucrative mining ventures on the moon and asteroids. Public and private investment in interplanetary research is integral to world security and international cooperation in this research is needed now. Military outposts in space are crucial.
Long range planning must confront the possible futures of a closed world with a population explosion and increasingly scarce resources and the painful need for sustainability planning in a finite space. Not that infinite space exists, but there is more next door, complete with exploitable resources and presumably no competition other than among ourselves. I hope the USA stakes claim to the best ore deposits but it won't happen if we don't fund more exploration, manned and unmanned. Stuck here or out there exploring, these are the choices.
Create more wealth with more material resources. Colonize the local habitats, then aim for the stars. Any other vision turns us to dust.
TUCSON EQUINOX 2010