The Ideal Government: Small
It's a simple concept that was embraced by nearly all of our Founding Fathers. Alexander Hamilton disagreed, and found things like the federal banking system in the words "ensure the public good." But, as far as I'm concerned, I'd hold firm and fast to what the Constitution lays out.
The Ideal Government: Armed Forces
First, providing for the national defense. Okay, clearly we need an armed forces capable of protecting our shores and our overseas interests. History has taught us it must be capable of fighting on two fronts simultaneously and be modern and capable. I believe that it was George Washington who replied when Thomas Jefferson asked, "can we limit the army to 5,000 men?", and said, "Only if you can guarantee that we're never attacked by an enemy with over 5,000 men in their army."
National defense is expensive, but forms one of the few, legitimate purposes of the Federal Government.
Waste within a government agency is inevitable, but we do need a level of oversight within the Armed Forces to minimize it as much as possible. This is an area that I still need to put more thought into, but is definitely important.
The Ideal Government: Customs and Immigration
This is another area specifically laid out in the Constitution. We must provide for customs at the border, and a means of immigration. Right now, this system is horribly broken. I suggest three ideas to help fix it.
One, a fence. Yes, a fence. We can start with a 6' cyclone fence along both the northern and southern borders. If it gets breached, we replace it with a concrete wall where it was breached. We add electronic countermeasures, etc. If we finally end up with three layers of concrete walls separated by "moats" with crocodiles, lions, and machine guns, that's fine with me. But we shouldn't have to, because of part two.
Two, if you enter this country illegally, then you are a criminal. A felon. You can never get a job, you can never earn money. If you are found you are deported. If you attempt to re-apply, you can't get in because of your felony status. If you ever cross the border illegally, you're never going to be allowed to cross it legally. And, if you are found employing an illegal, then you are also a felon. You will go to jail. If it's a corporation, then the entire HR department goes to jail, along with the CEO. I would make it so painful to get caught hiring an illegal, that no one in their right mind would dare do it to save a few dollars.
Three, customs is broken. We have 5,000 pages of regulations on the importation of cabbage. Who cares? It's not the government's job to protect the people from a bad cabbage. Customs should be looking for illegal weapons, illegal substances, and illegal goods, not worrying whether a cabbage is the right shade of green. If a company imports bad cabbages, it's not going to be able to sell them anyway. That kind of inspection should be done at the plant, not at the border.
Four, tariffs are simple. Mirror them. If country X charges an import tariff on our goods, we charge the same tariff on their goods entering our country. Any nation can, therefore, establish free trade by simply removing all tariffs on our goods entering their country.
Five, H1-B visas should have a limit of zero. If we truly need a worker that only can be found abroad, then a company should be able to pay for their travel and their immigration and citizenship paperwork, and has to pay them at 3 times the going "average" wage. The definition of a worker taken on an H1-B visa is that the worker cannnot be found in America. It does not say "cannot be found cheaply." I want it to be cheaper for a company to get a local worker and pay to train them then to simply go overseas and raid other country's talent pool.
Speaking of companies...
The Ideal Government: Corporations
Corporations, like many things, are good ideas executed poorly. Corporations have their place in the real world, because businesses rarely are one person. Corporations allow entrepreneurs to take a risk on something without necessarily risking everything they have and own. In that respect, I like corporations. However, they've been poorly executed.
We have created a society where a corporation stands entirely on its own, and faces no consequences. You cannot throw a corporation in jail. You can't hold a corporation responsible for it's actions in any meaningful, criminal sense. So I propose the following changes.
One, Corporate officers are directly responsible for the actions of their corporation in a criminal sense. If a corporation knowingly ships tainted meat, knowingly poisons a river with toxic waste, or knowingly hires an illegal alien (as examples), then the CEO and the people who directly made the decision are now criminally responsible for those actions. How much more careful must a CEO be when they are personally responsible for the actions of their employees?
Two, Officer level compensation cannot exceed 10 times the wages of the median salary at the company. In other words, if you're the CEO of a 10,000 person company, with a median salary of $20,000 then you cannot receive more than $200,000 in direct salary. This means that a CEO can not get a raise without also providing raises to the majority of workers.
Three, An officer of the corporation can receive a bonus package -- with the following caveat. Any corporate officer who is to receive a bonus package, must distribute, as part of the annual voting of shareholders, a yay or nay vote on whether that officer should receive their bonus package. The officer will receive the portion of said bonus package based solely on the percentage of shares voted from that referendum. In other words, if 60% of the shares vote that the officer should receive their bonus, then they will receive 60% of their bonus package. If more than 50% vote that the officer should not receive a bonus package, then all the money for said bonus must go back into the corporation's profit and the officer receives no bonus.
Four, at no time may the combined total of all officer bonus packages exceed 90% of net profits for the corporation. This will prevent any bonuses at a corporation where there are no net profits.
Five, no other corporate perk, via per diem, moving expense, etc. may exceed 90% of annual salary. This keeps a CEO honest and prevents the "I only took a $1 salary, but I got a $10,000,000 housing allowance."