Okay, as the Holiday Season will soon be ending, and as we come close to facing the new year of 2023 (It’s hard to believe!) I started thinking about the situations in our country that cry out for beneficial change. You may have your own list of ten resolutions for our country, but here is mine (with the understanding that, with limited space, it is hard to address all of the details of these often complicated issues):

1. Allow parents to choose where the government money will be spent for the education of their children, whether it is in a public, private, religious, military or occupational school. Parents know far better than government what type of education is best for their children, and choice will bring competition into public education. And this will benefit everyone except teachers who can’t or won’t teach.

2. Repeal the harmful program of Drug Prohibition. Just like the failure of Alcohol Prohibition before it, so many people are harmed or even killed by the lack of quality control of the substances they take. A huge case in point is fentanyl deaths, because almost no one will knowingly put fentanyl into their bodies. Thus deaths by fentanyl are not overdoses, they are poisonings – caused by the inherent lack of quality control of Drug Prohibition! So treat marijuana like wine, and bring all of the rest of these presently illicit drugs under the control of medical doctors, who will provide educational counseling as well as the monitoring of their patients’ health.

3. Install programs for government widely to address and treat the root causes of homelessness, which are mental illnesses and drug and alcohol addictions. And if people do not have the ability to take care of their own health and welfare, they should be involuntarily committed until they do.

4. Repeal the so-called War Powers Acts and require a Declaration of War from Congress before any of our fighting troops can be deployed in war zones for longer than 30 days.

5. Revise our criminal justice system both to require people at all levels of society to take responsibility for their actions and be reasonably punished for their offenses, but also not mindlessly to put non-violent offenders in prison for needlessly long periods of time.

6. Reduce government spending and borrowing so that our children and grandchildren will not face ruinous recessions. The most effective way to do this would be to require Congress to designate where the money would come from to pay for their programs at the same time they enact their implementing legislation.

7. Appoint transparently neutral commissions to investigate and publicly report upon all allegations of voter fraud in our country. We simply must have faith in our voting systems!

8. Reduce the effect of money in our nation’s elections by only allowing real live people to contribute to them – no corporations, unions or PACs. If individual members of those organizations believe a candidate or proposition in an election should be supported, let them contribute their own money.

9. Vastly simplify our income tax system, such as implementing a Graduated Flat Tax. Then, with these numbers just used for illustration, no one would pay any taxes on their first $40,000 of income, but would pay 10 cents of every dollar they earned between $40,001 and $100,000 to the government, 13 cents for every dollar between !00,001 and $500,000, and 18 cents for every dollar above $500,000. No deductions, so the government would have no cause to snoop into our lives about how we spend our money. The benefits would be that it would be straightforward how much we all are being taxed, assured that pretty much everyone was paying what they owed, and the system would be so simplified that our tax returns could be submitted on a post card.

10. Reform our immigration system to allow any people who want to come to our country and pursue the American Dream to do so. But first they would be screened for things like criminal backgrounds, mental illnesses, terrorism acts or sympathies, and whether they share our values. And if they could support their families, let them bring them as well. But no welfare for anyone who is not a citizen or holder of a valid Green Card. If they cannot support themselves, they would have to go elsewhere.

So these are my thoughts for your consideration and discussion, but I would also like to hear yours! Happy New Year!

Silliness for the week: I saw a cartoon of a snow man in a grocery store looking at some carrots, with the caption saying: “Here is a snow man picking his nose.”

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.) Superior Court of Orange County, California 2012 Libertarian Candidate for Vice President

Please listen to our radio show entitled All Rise! The Libertarian Way with Judge Jim Gray as we discuss timely ssues and show how they will be addressed more beneficially by employing Libertarian values and approaches. The series has concluded, but you can still hear any edition On Demand at https://www.voiceamerica.com/show/3883. And, by the way, these 2 Paragraphs columns are now on my website at www.JudgeJImGray.com, Facebook and LinkedIn at judgejimgray, Twitter at judgejamesgray, and wordpress at judgejimgray.wordpress.com. Please visit these sites for past editions, and do your part to spread the word about the importance of Liberty. In addition, my new book with the same title as my radio show is now available at Amazon.com., as is my wife Grace’s and my new novel centered about School Choice entitled 2030 KIDS: We are the Rising Heroes of the Planet. Please read and discuss them with your friends, and send in a review.