Make America Cool Again

Make Taxes Easy

Whether it’s city hall or the halls of Congress, it’s hard for governments at any level to build trust with the American people when the most direct interaction we have is something radically painful: tax season. The complex flurry of papers, mind-numbing paragraphs of legalese, and the barrage of bureaucracy makes filing taxes whether for ourselves or businesses a dreadful process instead of a celebration of contributions to our shared society. Instead, we ought to make taxes more fun and easy-going. That means: 

  • Making filing taxes and starting businesses easier.
  • Allowing Americans to opt-in to an online, automatic tax filing system.
  • The IRS releases a “Shareholders Report” to each taxpayer as a rundown of the actual amount of their taxes that went to each major federal spending category such as healthcare or the military.
  • Modernize the IRS website and its filing forms
  • Allow Americans to direct 1% of their taxes to a specific department or activity of the federal government.

The Penny Makes No Cents

Pennies aren’t popular. Brown and small, they aren’t valuable enough to buy anything. And if time is money, you’d be better off using cash or other coins rather than slowly counting them at the checkout counter. Moreover, pennies also cost US taxpayers over $145 million each year to make. Pennies are also made out of zinc and copper, and mining for those materials would be detrimental to the environment and public health of local communities. Most of our zinc supply also comes from China, adding $1.3 million to our ever-growing trade deficit. The penny just simply makes no ‘cents’.

Local Journalism Fund

Local print, broadcast, and digital journalism are dying. In small towns and cities all across America, the local newspaper is a relic of the past. Local media were the bedrock in giving residents a sense of what was happening in their local schools, governments, and communities. For decades, local journalism thrived with the backing of local ads and local entrepreneurs. While that is no longer a viable business model, independent and local media are still the bedrock of any functional democracy. We must establish a Local Journalism Fund to offer grants to nonprofits and local libraries to help local newspapers, periodicals, and websites stay afloat and transition towards a burgeoning revitalization of local journalism.

Revitalize the Arts

The arts are a means of self-expression and creative exploration that words alone cannot convey. Over time, artists have the same effect on communities as entrepreneurs do. Due to budget cuts, art organizations of every shape and form are shrinking in size from museums and theaters to operas and orchestras. Art continues to play a critical role in our daily lives, and it’s time we revitalize how culture and humanity connect with all of us. That means exploring changes to the tax code to spur investment in film, TV, and live theater; as well as working with the Department of Beautification to redesign clunky and out-of-date government logos.

Free Marriage Counseling for All

A happy marriage contributes to longer life spans, increased satisfaction, and a greater likelihood that children have successful socioeconomic outcomes. Yet, there are very few options for those looking to mend their marital relationship. Let’s offer free marriage counseling for all under any healthcare plan offered by the federal government.

Philanthropy Funds

Non-profit organizations play a critical role in our communities, helping to offer solutions to various policy shortcomings of local and federal governments. Yet, not everybody has the means to support local nonprofits. The federal government ought to allow each working-age American $100 per year to donate towards a 501(c)3 non-profit organization of their choice. Paid for by a reduction in tax credits for itemized donations, nearly $21 billion would be funneled toward the critical role local non-profits play in our lives.

Reinstate the Fairness Doctrine

Against the backdrop of surging disinformation and skepticism against mainstream media, Americans find it harder and harder to agree on policy because we cannot agree on facts. In 1987, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) abolished the Fairness Doctrine mandating that required news broadcasters present controversial issues of public importance and to do so in a manner that fairly reflected differing viewpoints. Let’s bring back civility and science back to mainstream journalism.

Ban Brake Checks

Making brake checks illegal is a crucial step in promoting road safety. Brake checks – the intentional act of abruptly slamming on the brakes without valid reason – pose a significant risk to other drivers on the road. These actions can lead to collisions, injuries, and even fatalities. By enacting laws that prohibit brake checks, we send a clear message that such dangerous behavior is unacceptable. This measure encourages responsible driving and emphasizes the importance of prioritizing the safety of all road users. It helps foster a more secure and predictable driving environment, reducing the likelihood of accidents and saving lives.

Redesign the Dollar

The Dollar, in its physical form, is not just a tool for economic transactions; it is a symbol of our collective identity, values, and aspirations. Our currency has a rich history, representing the economic might and stability of the United States. As we move forward in this rapidly evolving world, it is essential that our currency reflects the American spirit of progress, prosperity, and innovation. That includes a top-down redesign through Dream for America’s proposed Department of Beautification to include iconic leaders in American history (such as George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, and John F. Kennedy) and capsules of time capturing our common glory, natural beauty, and technological might (like the Golden Gate Bridge, the Statue of Liberty, the Washington Memorial, the Constitutional Convention, raising the Flag on Iwo Jima, & the Moon Landing).

For potential designs supported by Dream for America, click here.

Make Daylights Savings Permanent

Darker mornings and lighter evenings for longer allow for greater outdoor activity, increased economic activity, fewer night time crimes or traffic accidents, and fewer annoyed Americans needing to reset our clocks. That means passing Florida’s Sunshine Protection Act nationally to make Daylight Savings Time a permanent fixture of our national clock.

American High School Exchange Program

Gen-Z and Americans in general are becoming more socially isolated. The urban-rural divide is now greater than ever, with partisan tribalism causing Americans to lose our collective sense of empathy for each other. One avenue to counter the rising tide of division is to guarantee future generations the opportunity during high school to embark on a three-month multi-region exchange program introducing them to communities and other citizens they’d otherwise not meet as part of their civic education.

Gen-Z's Blueprint for America:

  1. New Deal for the 21st Century
  2. America First in Quality of Life
  3. Life, Liberty, & Pursuit of Happiness
  4. Make America Cool Again
  5. Marshall Plan for America
  6. Wage A War on Poverty
  7. Achieve Universal Health Care
  8. World-Class Education
  9. Defend Our Democracy
  10. A Green New Century
  11. America Open For Business
  12. Stop the War on Drugs
  13. Women’s Rights Are Human Rights
  14. Guarantee Our Rights & Freedoms
  15. Safe Streets & Secure Neighborhoods
  16. Affordable Housing for All
  17. Secure Borders & Immigration Reform
  18. Leadership At Home & Abroad
  19. End the Teenage Mental Health Crisis
  20. Prevent Gun Violence