President Perot: Budget Buster, Debt Crusher, Education & Entrepreneurial Investor

President Perot: Budget Buster, Debt Crusher, Education & Entrepreneurial Investor

Washington : DC : USA | Jun 14, 2012 at 1:44 PM PDT
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Aside from Ralph Nader winning the presidency, the most interesting candidate who didn't win, would be Ross Perot. The repercussions of a Perot Presidency would have drastically altered the political landscape. Based on where he stood on the issues, it is not hard to imagine the direction he would have taken America.

Perot's two biggest problems were his persona and lack of governmental experience. While he had a folksy charm, his appearance and demeanor made it hard to take him seriously. If he had thought ahead about his presidential aspirations, he should have ran for governor of Texas in the 80s, which would have polished his political skills.

The goals Perot set for United We Stand America (UWSA), the nonprofit organization he founded in 93, provide a glimpse of what his administration would have focused on.

  • To get our economy moving and put our people back to work.
  • To balance the budget.
  • To pay off our nation’s debts.
  • To build an efficient and cost-effective health care system.
  • To make our neighborhoods and streets safe from crime and violence.
  • To create the finest public schools in the world for our children.
  • To pass on the American Dream to our children, making whatever fair shared sacrifices are necessary.

A shocking statement about Perot by Michael Kinsley in the book, Perot : The Populist Appeal of Strong-Man Politics, by George Grant, is that he sided with the 99% and had a socialist side:

"H. Ross Perot is widely considered to be an archetypal Texas right-wing kook. Yet he is prepared to endorse strongly redistributionist policies. Even more startling, he is willing to promote them with rhetoric no leading Democrat would dare to indulge in for fear of being dismissed as hopelessly out of tune with the times. Even leftist politicians rarely say as clearly as Perot does that what they have in mind is taking money from you and giving it to someone else. He urges a massive new transfer program designed to take money from the prosperous and use it for the benefit of the poor. The banner under which he proclaims all this was nothing less than equalization."

A quote by Perot himself from his book, Not for Sale at Any Price - How We Can Save America for Our Children:

Top US executives overpaid compared to foreign competitors

"In Japan, the upper level managers earn about 18 times more than the average Japanese worker. In Germany, it’s about 25 times. In the US, the upper level managers in our largest corporations get paid almost 120 times more than the average American worker earns.

Theoretically, the compensation of most upper level management in US companies is tied to the performance of their company. But in fact, bonuses get paid even though the company didn’t have a good year. That’s not good for the companies; that’s not good for stockholders; that’s not good for the country. It may be time for board members to exercise a lot more discretion when determining compensation for the managers of our domestic companies.

If these management guys want to make the really big bucks, they need to be TV anchormen, basketball players, or rock stars. Overpaying company executives damages morale and splits the team. Our overseas competitors understand this."

Perot would have pumped up the Small Business Administration and boosted entrepreneurship. A quote from his book, United We Stand: How We Can Take Back Our Country:

Change rules to foster small business investment & growth

Most new jobs won’t come from our biggest employers. They will come from our smallest. We’ve got to do everything we can to make entrepreneurial dreams a reality:

  • Free up credit. The deregulation of our savings & loans was poorly thought through and poorly executed. Now we have to repair the damage. Our small businesses are starved for credit.
  • Stimulate investment. We can establish incentives through the tax code and in other ways to stimulate the creation of capital pools for small business where the risk is spread out and thereby reduced. Most new businesses are founded on less than a $100,000 investment.
  • No capital gains tax for small business investment. This is the quickest and surest way to convince investors to take the risk of backing entrepreneurial ventures.
  • Establish mentor programs. Small businesses fail for two reasons: lack of money and lack of experience. We have a huge resource in our talented retired people. Let’s put them to work.

Just how successful would Perot have been in pushing his agenda as an Independent going up against the Washington establishment? If he had managed to win the battle of the budget and focussed on jobs & the economy, along with education to start with, he might have gained some traction. If he achieved and maintained a high approval rating, other parts of his agenda may have garnered support.

Another factor on whether Perot could have bucked the system, would have been if the Reform Party had won seats in the House and Senate during the midterm election. Perot first ran as an Independent and the nonprofit UWSA morphed into the Reform Party which was his vehicle for the 96 election. So, if he had won in 92, would he have still gone ahead and created the Reform Party to keep the movement going and to gain support in Congress?

Would Perot have been a one-term president or would he have had an economy on the upswing on his side and get a second term as the Reform Party candidate? If the economy was slumping would he have lost to Ted Kennedy or Bob Dole? If he served a second term, would the Reform party be on a roll with a successor winning the 2000 election and adding further seats in Congress? Or would Bill Clinton have followed the example of Nixon and have made a triumphant return to politics, sparring us the Bush years? The "What Ifs" are endless.

The biggest legacy of a Perot Presidency (even if for one term) would have been opening the public's mind to the possibility of an Independent/Third-Party candidate, being able to win the White House.

PaulHorton is based in Detroit, Michigan, United States of America, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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