Today I'm declaring my candidacy for President of the United States. I'll be running as an Independent. Getting on the ballot in every state won't be a problem, thanks to Americaselect.org.

Campaign funding won't be an issue, thanks to the Internet. Any good ideas I might have will be viral, and the bad ideas will die. That's the way it should be. It won't cost me a penny.

You might have some concern about the fact that I have no moral center, no relevant experience, a history of public pranks, and a penchant for flip-flopping. But watch now as I convert those problems into advantages.

Let's start with my lack of experience. Being an outsider probably isn't as good as it sounds. So, as President, I would appoint ex-President Bill Clinton as my only advisor. I'd publish all of his advice to me that doesn't involve top-secret issues, and I'd pretty much do whatever he told me to do. (He could have his own advisors.) In essence, you'd be electing Bill Clinton for a third term. Remember, he had that triangulation thing going for him, where both Democrats and conservative independents liked him. Republicans would support me too if they saw it as the only realistic way to beat President Obama. Unlike President Obama, I'd always give Republican philosophies a fair look, just as Clinton did. The truth, along with most Americans, is somewhere in the middle.

I'd also keep Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, if she were willing. She's plenty experienced, and she hasn't broken anything yet. My second choice would be Bill Gates. He's all about what works. And thanks to his charitable activities, when he says, "I'm here to help," it actually means something.

For my Supreme Court appointments, I'd pick qualified candidates whose opinions map to the majority of Americans. If you don't like where the majority is at, change the minds of your fellow citizens.  If you succeed, and I'm still in office, I'll pick the next candidate to reflect that change in public opinion. The Supreme Court works for the country, not the President. My opinions shouldn't matter. I'd only act as a safeguard in case the majority decided to discriminate against some group in particular. I don't like bullies.

On the budget, I propose a plan to cut every Federal government expense by 10% and increase every Federal tax by 10%. I'd call that the default plan, meaning I prefer a better plan, but I wouldn't expect anyone to come up with one. The advantage of this plan is that it's bad for every American. That's a little something I call "fair."

I'd also call a public debate on the topic of supply side economics, to end once and for all the question of whether lowering taxes increases government revenues. I would host the debate myself, with a Judge Judy sort of approach, and decide the winner. If it turns out that my proposed 10% tax increase would reduce government revenue, I'd cancel that part of my plan the same day.

I'd propose capping the amount any one person can inherit per death at $50 million. Estates can choose to donate the rest to charities, distribute it to stockholders, or give it up in taxes. $50 million is more than enough to turn any offspring into a lazy, self-absorbed, drug addicted, douche bag. Any more would be a waste. That plan needs some fine tuning, but you get the idea.

As President, I would remain deeply committed to flip-flopping. If new information or better thinking changes my opinion, so be it. That's how brains are supposed to work.

I can also promise that I won't try to remember the names of other world leaders, federal agencies, or even my own staff. Only an idiot believes a president can remember all of that stuff.

I'll commit one gaffe after another to keep the media busy with nonsense. I'll appear to confuse China with Japan, suggest withdrawing troops from North Korea, and let slip some ethnic insults around live microphones. The public loves that stuff, and I would not disappoint.

On day one of my presidency I would form a committee of libertarians to recommend ways to shrink government. But I would require them to describe in detail how the country would look when those government functions disappear. When they finish, I'll turn over their recommendations to independent economists and other smart people for evaluation. Then I'd open it up for public scrutiny and debate. Then I'd let Bill Clinton decide which reductions in government passed the common sense filter.

I'd use states as test laboratories for social policies, education plans, healthcare schemes, tax policies, and that sort of thing. If a state wants to try something new, and the change goes against current federal policies, I'd favor giving the state a temporary exception, and perhaps some funding, to try out its plan. I might even encourage another state to try the same plan, just so we have a control group (roughly speaking) to evaluate the results. After a reasonable test period, the state's plan would either be terminated if it didn't work, or encouraged in other states if it did. I see the federal government as an objective broker trying to maximize best practices in the states.

On the environment, I'd try to make America the least polluted place on Earth, and the most visited by tourists. A clean environment is a good way to keep healthcare costs down too. But I wouldn't reflexively say no to pipelines and drilling and fracking if the cost-benefit ratio seems reasonable. We don't live in a risk-free world, and windmills can't do it all. At the same time, I'd also go hog wild for geothermal energy and other clean technologies so we can someday lower our collective risks.

Unlike most politicians, I'll admit I'm in it for the money. I'll only accept $1 per year in salary, but I think I can make it up later in book deals, licensing, and speaking gigs. I'll be the most economical president ever.

If you don't like any of the ideas I just explained, tell me why. There's a good chance I'll flip-flop to your point of view.
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Nov 16, 2011
I will gladly trade you one vote for an embassy appointment in a really nice temperate climate. It wouldn't even have to be a high-ranking appointment, just one that would get me into all of the cool parties and state-sponsored dinners.
+12 Rank Up Rank Down
Nov 16, 2011
All those Clintons are too much power concentrated in one family (again). That might make sense now, but in the long term it sets a bad precedent. If any other country in the world announced the previous president (or his wife) was going to become an "adviser" to the current one, you'd assume they were setting up a shadow dictatorship--just like what's happening in Russia right now with Putin.

I'm willing to stipulate that Hillary and Bill are both competent to do it. That's not my point.

Nov 16, 2011

On a side note, you won't have the power to do almost anything on your list. Budgets, taxes, and environment law are handled by the legislative branch of the government. Having public and private policy debates is cool and all, but without a product, it's just a form of entertainment for armchair pundits.

But you'll have my vote, regardless!
+7 Rank Up Rank Down
Nov 16, 2011
There's a Sandy Adams on the Americans Elect website, but no Scott... Scott, is there something you need to tell us?
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
Nov 16, 2011
Be careful. As soon as you become a candidate, any newspaper that prints your strip is now making campaign contributions that you have to report. The FEC did it to Stephen Colbert, they can do it to you. I am not a lawyer, but maybe you should talk to one.
+2 Rank Up Rank Down
Nov 16, 2011
You have my vote! But eddiek has a good point; you need to change your name. Can you run as Dilbert?
Nov 16, 2011
I like your ideas, but you're wrong about Obama not giving Republican philosophies a fair look. Since becoming president, he's:

-Included an individual mandate to purchase insurance in the Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act, which came from Mitt Romney's plan and before him Bob Dole
-Raised spending on defence
-Provided hundreds of billions of dollars worth of tax cuts to individuals and businesses, as part of the Recovery Act (better known as The Stimulus)
-Renewed President Bush's tax cuts
-Continued the War on Terror with increased use of drone strikes
-Complied with President Bush's Status of Forces Agreement with Iraq
-Raised the exemption for estate taxes to $5million (without which it would have returned to $1 million) and lowered the rate from 55% to 35% for the next two years and 45% afterwards
-Cut government spending on travel
-Frozen non-security discretionary spending for 5 years

These are all Republican proposals that he adopted. Republicans in Congress then voted against them. You may or may not agree with the policies, but you can't deny that they are Republican ideas. The big idea that he won't endorse is Mitch McConnell's primary goal for the nation: For President Obama to be a one-term president
Nov 16, 2011
That $1 salary idea is stupid. I need you making enough money while in office so that you aren't susceptible to bribery.
+11 Rank Up Rank Down
Nov 16, 2011
You have my vote. At least right now. I'm not an idiot and if you change your platform to one I can't support, I will not vote for you. I do like the cut of your jib though. Whatever that means.
Nov 16, 2011
I think the idea of getting advice from past leaders is a good one, but you're missing a prime way to gain even more conservative support. Ronald Reagan. He may be gone, but Nancy's Reagan's psychic is still around. Just ask the psychic what Reagan thinks about the issues. (And, maybe to be on the safe side, ask someone who would actually know also.)

I think a lot of conservatives (particularly the ones who don't pay close attention) would automatically support Ronald Reagan's spiritualist successor!
Nov 16, 2011
Will "The Donald" be your running mate?
+4 Rank Up Rank Down
Nov 16, 2011
The hole in the plan is getting Congress to play along. The President can 't unilaterally do any of that.
Nov 16, 2011
The scary thing is, you might win.
Nov 16, 2011
Why not move everything to the states except the few things that absolutely have to be done at the national level (Defense, Supreme Court, etc.). Then the questions about supply side economics and ways to shrink the government could be tested in different states, rather than left up to a theoretical debate among politicians and economists.

+3 Rank Up Rank Down
Nov 16, 2011
"That's a little something I call "fair."

Fairness is an illusion. Congrats on your first flip-flop.
+33 Rank Up Rank Down
Nov 16, 2011
I say 'run Scott, run'. The only possible votes you'd siphon off as a 3rd party candidate would be Ron Paul fans. eh.

My first flip-flop recommendation would be your supreme court selection criteria: "qualified candidates whose opinions map to the majority of Americans". Constitutionally the SC isn't there to represent the people otherwise we'd get to vote them in. Instead they are there to represent the constitution. Ideally their own opinion should be irrelevant though that is humanly impossible. Theirs is a binary job: Allowed or Not Allowed by the constitution.
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
Nov 16, 2011
My vote is hearby for Adams, Scott. However, there are probably more than 1000 people with that name in california alone. How will you differentiate?
Nov 16, 2011
You've got my vote, but just by having an I after your name you more or less had it anyway, my big issue being a viable third party.

I assume you have some plan for Bill keeping his pecker in his pants? Or is that part of the entertainment value of your presidency?
Nov 16, 2011
You have my vote, and I will express legitimate outrage if I am unable to vote for you.

Get it done, Scott. Change the world in whatever way seems best at the time.
Nov 16, 2011
Times like these I wish I was an American so I could vote for you.

Go Scott! I'll make tshirts!
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