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Friday, December 23, 2011
If you want to know how bad the "Great Recession" was and still is to a certain extent, its officially over. But we haven't fully recovered from it, Middle Class people as of 2008 are now living in poverty. Collecting things like long term Unemployment Insurance, Medicaid, perhaps seeking early Retirement Income from Social Security. Food Assistance, some of these people have gone back to work but are making maybe half of what they use to or not even that. Which is why its even more critical that when it comes to our Safety Net. That we use it in a way to get people off of Public Assistance as soon as possible. For one so they no longer need because they can support themselves but also to make our Safety Net more affordable. Meaning that we don't have people collecting from it indefinitely like with Welfare Insurance pre 1996. That are designed to help people get through whatever crisis in their lives they are going through. Like losing their home or job etc, spouse dies leaves them with no money or not enough money. And you do this through Job Placement helping these people get back to work by helping them find a job. And if they are on Welfare Insurance, they probably don't have the skills to get a good job. So we have to help them get back in school and with Job Training. So they can get themselves the skills that they need in order to get a job, get off of Public Assistance and become Self Sufficient.
What we need is basically a National System of Food Banks where each State would have their own Chapter and System. Not run by the Federal Government but by our Non Profit Community Service Sector. And target these Banks in all of the poorest areas in the country, with the areas having the most poor areas. Getting the most Food Banks with the most food and these Food Banks could be financed through. Tax Free Donations where people would get a Tax Credit for the amount of food they donate. Perhaps even a Tax Credit for volunteering at a Food Bank. Get our Food Assistance Program off of the Federal Budget as well, give that to the States. Let each State set up their own Food Assistance System, that again would be run by the Non Profit Community Service Sector. Food Banks to provide grocery's for Low Income people, people on Public Assistance or the Working Poor. Food Assistance to help them finance their grocery's, at Food Banks and other Grocery Stores. Food Assistance could be paid for by a Sales Tax on grocery's. After we move abolish the Federal Income Tax and hopefully move to a what I call a Progressive Income Tax.
But at the same time while we are helping people who are collecting Public Assistance survive. We are getting them Job Training and Job Placement to help them find good jobs. So they no longer need to collect Public Assistance but so they become Self Sufficient instead. This system would a much better way to fight the "War on Poverty", because this way we can actually move people out of poverty. And actually win the war.
Thursday, December 22, 2011
As long as you have what's called a "Corrections System", then that should mean something. That if you send people to prison for years and decades at a time. But you know they are one day going to get out because they do their time and don't get additional time. By avoiding committing more felony's in prison. Then we should make the term and system and "Corrections System" actually mean that. Otherwise we no longer have a "Corrections System" but a Prison System or a Human Warehouse System. Where we just send people way to Warehouse them do our best to make sure their Human Needs are met. At Tax Payer expense at the expense of people who work for a living. And have made good decisions with their lives and avoided g
And there are several factors we have so many Prison Inmates, our Education System isn't doing a good enough job preparing our Young People for life as adults. These kids don't get the education they need to survive in life and prosper in a legal way. So they end up hanging out with the "Wrong Crowd", Organize Crime getting into trouble. If you look at our Prison Inmate Population, maybe half of them even graduated High School, very few have even ever been to college. We don't do a very good job of rehabilitating our Prison Inmates or even make the effort in some cases. San Quentin Prison in California is an example of a prison that tries to rehabilitate its inmates and they've had some success. And they ned up in prison with very little if any education and leave prison with the same situation.
What we should be doing is several things, I'm not making the argument for being "Soft on Crime". Or giving Convicted Felons amnesty and slapping them on the hand and hoping they don't do it again. Its called Crime and Punishment and Prison for a reason and Prison Inmates need to know they are in Prison and why they are there. They shouldn't feel like they are getting a Free Vacation or going to Summer Camp for free either.
But having said all that it needs to be a Productive Experience for, the Tax Payers who are putting up the bills. And deserve to have some security in their lives, the Prison Staff to make their jobs a little less dangerous. But also for the Prison Inmates so they know why they are there and get themselves the skills that they need. To avoid coming back to prison in the future, by putting an end to their Criminal Careers. And having the skills that they need to get a good job and live a Productive Life legally in the Free World. Something like 2/3 of all of our Prison Inmates end up back in Prison. About the same percentage end up being released from Prison while they are still living. We can do much better with our Corrections System.
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Now that we are just four days away from another Christmas and with an improving economy. Christmas will be a lot better for more families in America but we'll still have people. Living on the streets, wondering where their next meal is coming from. Addicted to alcohol and other drugs, having Mental Issues, unemployed. And all going through these things on the street, because they don't have a job and they can't afford a place to live. So if they are lucky they'll be able to stay in a Homeless Shelter for maybe one or two nights. And get enough food to eat while they are there but then going through the same experiences all over again. That they were going through before they went to the shelter. Because they don't have the means to get a good job that will allow them to have a place to live. Whether they rent or own, live with roommates or with family or live by themselves. So as we get closer to Christmas literally just a few days away, we should take a minute at least, to think about are we doing all we can to help people in this situation. And if so great and we should keep up the good work but if not, what exactly can we do more or better to help homeless people. Because a lot of americans right now are a paycheck or losing a job away from being in the same situation as a lot of homeless people. And a lot of homeless people in America are educated, had good jobs but then were laid off. Perhaps got addicted to drugs. Couldn't find another job, lost their home or didn't have money for a hotel and found themselves living on the street. If you want to call that living.
The way to help homeless people is not to put them in a Homeless Shelter for a night or a couple of nights. Give them a cot and a bite to eat and then send them back on the streets. But give them a place to stay, where they can stay not be out on the street the next day. But where they can be while they are getting help getting Healthcare, ID, counseling, Job Training. Help looking for a job, their own housing at like a Housing Center or in a Motel Environment, Motels for Homeless People. During the day getting the help they need to get the skills that they need so they can have a good job and their own home. And all these things can be paid for through the current Public Assistance System, things like Section Eight Housing to cover their stay at a Housing Center or Motel. Medicaid to cover their Healthcare, Welfare, Disability or Unemployment Insurance to cover their income. Food Assistance to cover their other grocery's. As well as giving them jobs at the Housing Center or Motel so they can contribute and having them work as volunteers or employees. Once they graduate from the program.
We need a new approach to how we handle Homelessness in America as well as the broader "War on Poverty" in this country. Thats more about helping the homeless get back to work and into their own homes. Instead of letting stay for a night or two nights and some food and then sending on their way and hope they survive.
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
If it were to somehow start snowing in hell with a blizzard and everything and Ron Paul were to win the Republican Nomination for President. Meaning Religious and Neoconservatives were basically to get out of the way and allow that to happen. The two main obstacles preventing Rep. Paul from winning the Republican Nomination. Then Sen. Tom Coburn who he and Rep. Paul obviously don't agree on all the Social Issues. But they agree enough especially on Economic and perhaps even Foreign Policy and National Security. For Paul to select Coburn as his Vice Presidential Nominee, I believe Obama-Biden would beat that ticket. The Republican Party would have an excellent ticket that could bring in Independent Voters and even Democratic Voters. Especially Young Democrats to tend to be Liberal to Libertarian such as myself. And doesn't like where the Obama Administration is going with the War on Terror. With the Patriot Act and Indefinite Detention, as well as the War on Drugs and doesn't like where the country is going on Fiscal Policy. And would like to see a ticket take these issues more seriously and not take some of our Individual Liberty away from us. And a Paul-Coburn Ticket would go along way to focusing Independent Voters, as well as liberals, libertarians and Classical Conservatives. Sen. Coburn represents where the Republican Party used to be on Fiscal Policy and truly believing in Fiscal Responsibility.
Sen. Coburn believes that everything needs to be on the table when it comes to Deficit Reduction and looking for ways to reform and look for savings. Ron Paul and Tom Coburn represent exactly what the Republican Establishment is scared to death of. Two Members of Congress that are Anti Establishment and willing to take on everyone. Including people in their own party when they believe they are wrong. Sen. Coburn reminds me of Sen. John McCain from 5, 6 10 years ago. When Sen. McCain was the Head of the "Straight Talk Express" and Sen Coburn has taken that to the next level. Especially on Deficit Reduction where he says everything should be on the table. Including Defense Spending, Entitlements and even Tax Hikes on High Earners. He doesn't want to raise taxes on anyone but is willing to do that to get our National Debt and Deficit under control. And I don't agree with him on everything but he has a lot of ideas that are worth considering. And had the Republican Party had more Tom Coburn's in Congress back during the Bush Administration. They would have a lot of credibility when it comes to Deficit Reduction today.
I'm a Liberal Democrat so clearly there are some areas where I disagree with Ron Paul and Tom Coburn. But some of the Senate Republicans I respect the most and respect several of them. Even though we don't agree very often, are some of their Junior Senators. Like Sen. Coburn, Sen. Rand Paul the son of Rep. Ron Paul, Sen. Mike Lee and Sen. Ron Johnson. And again if the Republican Party had more Members of Congress like this back during the Bush Administration. They would have a lot more credibility on Deficit Reduction because these Senators wouldn't of voted against the Borrow and Spending of those Republican Congress's and the Bush Administration.
Monday, December 19, 2011
If you look at the Washington skyline, especially downtown Washington, you’ll see a big beautiful city with lots of big beautiful buildings that take up a lot of space. Most of those buildings paid for by Federal tax revenue and most of those buildings are Federal property. To house the thousands of Federal agency’s we have and thousands of Federal workers who work there. Do we need Federal campaign and lobbying reform, of course we do. But campaign finance and lobbying reform in America is not a silver bullet to fix the corruption in our Federal Government.
But as long as the Federal Government is as big and powerful as it is, lobbying will always be an issue in the Federal Government. Members of Congress will always be looking for the easiest way to get reelected and the fastest way to move up in the House and Senate and be planning their post Congressional careers. Well the few members who actually leave Congress will be doing that. The others will concentrate on the easiest way to get reelected, move up in Leadership, perhaps land a sweet Cabinet position or look to run for President themselves. Progressives, especially make the arguments that our Federal Government is small compared with Europe. As far as what their federal government’s spend on GDP compared with ours. And that they don’t have the same campaign, lobbying and corruptions issues that we do.
Well, today’s Progressives are correct in a sense, but most of those countries compared with the United States are fairly small. If Europe were to unify then they would match up pretty well with us in population and with their economy. Also Europe’s freedom of speech protections, are not as liberal as ours. And some of the things that American lobbyists do in Washington would be illegal there. European company’s and organizations that do business in America, lobby Washington like when it comes to mergers, trade, taxes and those sort of things. The Federal Government now spends 25% of U.S .GDP. Up from 18-19% in 2000. If we got back down to 18, 19 or even 20% of GDP, we could eliminate a lot of the corruption in Washington, because the Federal Government wouldn’t have as much power and control. And lobbyists would have to spread out and go to over places, if we simply decentralized the Federal Government. And passed more power down to the state and local government’s and even the private sector.
Friday, December 16, 2011
When the Republican Party both lost the White House and the Democratic Party kept sizable majorities in Congress in 1992. Giving them a United Federal Government, it gave the Republican Party an opportunity to make a transition. From being a Political Party thats Power Base in Washington was centered around them controlling the White House. At least since 1987 when Senate Democrats took control of the Senate and really its where all of their power was centered when they had any. The democrats held Congress from 1955-81 before Senate Republicans took over the Senate. Because in that period there was always a Democratic Congress, which meant the GOP had to have the White House to have any power. And they went twelve years as being both an Opposition and Minority Party at the same time. From 1961-69 with Kennedy-Johnson and a Democratic Congress. And again from 1977-81 as an Opposition Minority Party under President Carter and a Democratic Congress. So when Ronald Reagan became President in 1981 and took the Senate with them that brought Republicans back in power with a lot of power. With the Presidency and the Senate controlling the agenda in the Senate including on Executive Appointments. With a Democratic House having to confront a Republican Senate and White House. And the Republican Party held this power from 1981-87 before they lost the Senate. So from 1987-93 the Republican Party had to have the White House to have any power as far as controlling the agenda. So 1992 changed the Power Structure of the Federal Government sending the GOP back into the Opposition Minority and a chance for them to recover.
What the Republican Party did from late 1992 to 1995 was figure out how they were going to confront. The Clinton Administration and Democratic Congress, where House Democrats had a large majority. And where they could work with President Clinton and the Democratic Congress. And they had some success especially politically, President Clinton got a lot passed through the 103rd Congress. People tend to forget that or not be aware of that. Like the 1993 Deficit Reduction Act, Foreign Trade with NAFTA and GAT, Family Medical Leave, the 1994 Crime bill. But Democrats also paid a heavy price for some of this legislation like with the DRA that had a large Tax Increase on High Earners, the Crime bill that had Gun Control. And they also failed to get some Legislation passed that Senate Republicans led by Minority Leader Bob Dole were able to block. Like Healthcare Reform that President Clinton wasn't able to bring the country with him on. And some of the Legislation they did pass had Bi Partisan support like with Family Medical Leave and Foreign Trade. When your an Opposition Minority Party, you have to be united when you try to block Legislation. And of course you also need enough seats to obstruct especially in the Senate. Which is what Senate Republicans had with 44 seats.
Newt Gingrich once said that had President Bush gotten reelected in 1992, that Congressional Republicans especially in the House. Wouldn't of won control of Congress in 1994. And Newt is probably right because generally the Ruling Party loses seats in Congress in the Mid Term Election which is what 1994 was. And House Republicans had something 178 seats and Senate Republicans had 44 seats. So unless President Bush was very popular in 1993-93, Congressional Republicans probably would've dropped seats like they did in 1990. So in 1993-94 Congressional Republicans worked with Democrats where they could, obstructed in other areas. And saw Congressional Democrats pass some unpopular Legislation and then made their move. And they played their hand brilliantly winning control of Congress in 1994.
Thursday, December 15, 2011
If you look at Newt Gingrich's Political Style back in the early and mid 90s when he was the House Minority Whip under Bob Michael. Who was House Minority Leader then and then when Newt became Speaker of the House in 1995. Its very similar to his Political Style today, these are the issues and problems as he sees them. And this is what he would do to address them, if you look at the Contract with America that the House GOP Leadership put together under Gingrich's Leadership. Whether you agree with that agenda or the policy's in it or not, it was a very Positive Agenda. Because it was about ideas these are their solutions to the problems that the country faces. Which is similar to the Gingrich Campaign for President today which is about ideas. And why Newt is doing so well in the Republican Primary's today, leading Iowa and with a competitive shot at New Hampshire. I still believe the 1994 Congressional Republican Campaign which was really two Campaigns, if you look at it. House and Senate Republicans, I'm sure Bob Michael and Newt worked with Bob Dole in the Senate. Was a brilliant Campaign, now of course they got a lot of help from President Clinton and Congressional Democrats. With some political mistakes they made with Healthcare Reform.
Some policy's that President Clinton and Congressional Democrats pushed and passed as well like with the 1993 Deficit Reduction Act. That had a large Tax Hike in it, as well as the 1994 Crime bill that had Gun Control in it and a Weapons Ban in it. Both laws I support but both hated with the Conservative Movement that woke them up to work for and vote Republican in 1994. Newt Gingrich understood that House Republicans only held 178 seats or so in 1993-94 in the 103rd Congress. And saw that they were Under Represented as a Political Party. That there were 50 Plus Seats in the South and other Rural Areas that House Republicans could pick up and those were the seats they should target. Thats how they picked up all of those seats, they concentrated in areas that used to be dominated by the Democratic Party. That Barry Goldwater proved that Republicans could win in 1964, that Dick Nixon picked up on 1968. That have been moving Conservative Republican ever since that the Republican Party has dominated since the mid 1990s.
What you see now in the Gingrich Campaign is an attempt by him and his Presidential Campaign. Is an attempt to make the whole Presidential Campaign about policy's and ideas. This what the problems are and this is what I would do to fix the problems. And especially with their tight budget, taking their message directly to the people. And so far at least lately in the last month its paying off and a lot of republicans like what they are hearing. The question is how long can Newt Gingrich keep it going.
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
What Occupy Wall Street has done has stepped up and put on the table what a Consensus of Americans now believe. That Corporate Executives making money by abusing others, running their company's into the ground. And the walking away with huge bonus's after laying off a lot of their workers. They have spoken out for a lot of americans that are out of work because of the "Great Recession" and the collapse of Wall Street in 2008. Where over three years later no one has been prosecuted for as well. Where OWS is not speaking for the country and quite frankly just speaking for their faction in the country. And not even speaking for an entire party, at least not a major Political Party. Is what to do instead how do we get out of the "Great Recession" and get the country moving again. They are speaking for a faction in the Democratic Party the Progressive Caucus in the House. But they only have fifty or so seats, they are not even a majority of the Democratic Party thats in the minority. President Obama the last week or so has spoken to the movement in the last week or so. But doesn't back their agenda at least as a whole or even many parts of it. So OWS contribution has been to waken up a lot of americans at the abuses of Wall Street and that America needs to move forward. But the country is not behind a lot of the Policy Positions that OWS or the Progressive Caucus have taken. Which has left OWS basically without a party and only some space in the Democratic Party. But they don't have enough members to pass their agenda.
America does not want to see the Federal Government that already has a budget of 3.7T$ to raise another 1T$. When we already have a National Debt and Deficit of 15T and 1.8T$ respectfully. To spend on new Federal Programs, they want to see americans put back to work in the Private Sector. Sure see funding to prevent layoffs in educators, Law Enforcement, Firefighters and other people. But Government Workers aren't the only people that have been laid off. And at least not yet anyway, that could change if the Progressive Caucus ever got their way. Aren't the only jobs in the economy, the Construction, Auto and Manufacturing Industries have all suffered as a result of the "Great Recession" which is why President Obama proposed to Congress the American Jobs Act in September. To encourage more Consumer Spending in the Private Sector to generate more Economic Growth. To lead to more Private Sector Job Growth. And the last month or so we are starting to see some of that with an Unemployment Rate now down to 8.6$. After a Jobs Report of 150K that were created in November, Government Jobs were lost. So more funding for Public Sector Workers at the State and Local Governments would make sense. But that can't be an entire Economic Policy.
President Carter always had a great ability as President to analyze what a problem and situation exactly for what it was. He's easily one of the most intelligent Presidents we've ever had to go along with Bill Clinton, Dick Nixon and others. But what President Carter wasn't very good at, was figuring where to go from there. What are the solutions to the problem and then bring the country behind him. Only Energy and the Middle East Peace Process, did he seem to have an idea of how to bring different sides together. And thats where I put OWS, they've laid out the problems but don't have a consensus to put their agenda through.
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
So-called Progressives on the opposite end of the political spectrum, will tell you the reason why we have a weak economy, is because the Federal Government doesn't tax and spend enough. Or impose enough regulations that if it just did more of these things and we became more like Europe with the Federal Government doing more to create economic and gob growth. By spending money and building things, creating new Federal programs that hire people to build things. More government works projects. Like a Public Works Administration or a Job Core and other Federal programs.
That the Federal Government should play a much larger role in economic and job growth and put people back to work. Liberals such as myself want to see a combination of things, but nothing that restricts individual liberty. Like new taxes or restrictive regulations, but with things like tax cuts to encourage consumer spending. To drive up new consumer demand, infrastructure investment to put more people to work and expanding foreign trade.
This debate has been going on for at least thirty years actually back to the 1930s or longer during the New Deal. What should The role of government especially in the economy and what should the role of the Federal Government be as well. Should it be doing less or more, do we tax and spend too much or not enough. Do we regulate too much or not enough basically. How should we reform the Federal Government or not. Or should be cut back the Federal Government and pass more power down to the states and private sector.
I believe the best way to make the Federal Government better and more efficient, is by reforming it. Figuring out what exactly it should do by what's laid out for it in the U.S. Constitution. And what should it be doing based on the U.S. Constitution and what it can only do. And what it does better than state government's and the private sector and then go from there. And to me that gets to defend, protect, represent and regulate. Cut back in the areas of the Federal Government shouldn't be doing at all that any government shouldn't be doing.
And give more authority to the states and private sector in the services where there's a clear need. But could be run better than the Federal Government. Slash and burn doesn't take care of the problems it just passes them on. This is a debate that's been going on forever and will never be solved probably unless some type of consensus or compromise is reached. And is a debate that's important and that we should have especially in election years to figure as a country which direction we should be going in.
Monday, December 12, 2011
Looks like the House GOP Leadership took a trip up to Atlantic City over the weekend and put some money down. On what it would look like if they allowed the Payroll Tax Cut Expire without an Extension. Lost badly and concluded they don't want to make that gamble for the 2012 General Elections. And look like Tax Hikers especially with 60 Plus House Freshmen up for reelection in 2012. As well as being the party thats suppose to be about Fiscal Conservatism. They made the right decision whether it was about politics or and even decided to do their impression of Santa Clause. By offering to Extend Unemployment Insurance, I haven't read the bill myself and lets see what kind of votes it gets tomorrow. And whether the Tea Party Caucus votes against the bill and kills and do any democrats vote for it. Senate Democrats having been trying to pass a similar bill but keep getting blocked by the Senate GOP Leadership. If the House passes the bill maybe that will loosen the grip that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has on his Conference. And Senate Democrats will finally be able to pass their bill. Its one thing to try to play gridlock to make the other party look bad but its another thing to play gridlock. When you have seats up for reelection especially in the neighborhood of over 60. I believe 63 to be exact 1/4 of the House Republican Conference.
Thanks to the Tea Party 63 House Republican Freshmen up for reelection in 2012. And the last thing you want to do when you have Tax Cuts at risk in weak economy, is to allow for a Middle Class Tax Hike. Especially when you've gone out of your way to argue that Tax Hikes on High Earners would hurt the economy. And risking allowing for a Tax Hike on the Middle Class when they can't afford it and then get blamed for it. Which is what I believe this is about. Congress has to pass an Extension of the Payroll Tax Cut and I would even make it permanent and add employers to that. Because its a Regressive Tax on the Middle Class and hits Small Business hard as well. As well as an extension of Unemployment Insurance so people who are struggling to find another job right now. Would at least have that as they are looking for work and I would even add to that. Allowing these people to go back to school as well as work Part Time jobs to keep their skills in check. While they are looking for a Full Time job, something that Obama Administration already supports, as well as Newt Gingrich.
We look like we are about on a verge to getting this economy going and break out of the "Great Recession" completely. With the November Jobs Report with the falling Unemployment Rate and thanks to the Holiday Season and other things. We'll probably have a decent Fourth Quarter Economic Growth Report as well. So the last thing we should be doing is to allow for a Tax Hike. Or cut people completely off from any income, just because they can't find work.
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
The Budget and Accounting Transparency Act: Where's the Boldness in the House GOP Budget Reform Plan?
I'm actually disappointed in this new House GOP Budget Reform Plan and I know to be disappointed you have to expect something good that didn't happen. Like getting a new job, buying a house whatever the case is or something awful happens to you. That you weren't expecting like your kid being arrested or someone not able to come to your party or something. I would never vote for any of the House GOP Budget Plans, because it would force a lot of people. Who are unfortunately dependent on these Federal Programs to drop out and go to the Private Sector. Instead of giving them the Freedom of Choice to do that for themselves but I do like the new Line Item Veto Plan. That was proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan and Rep. Chris Van Hollen the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Budget Committee. That I support but thats it from the House GOP. And I like the idea of them trying to force the Federal Government to pay for all of its operations. I just wish they felt the same way during the Bush Administration when they controlled Congress and not just the House. And then they would have come credibility and we probably wouldn't be in the budget mess that we are in today. But thats a different story, I do give them credit for at least being bold with the Ryan Plan, even though I would never vote for it.
But this new plan is not only not a good idea, bringing all of these failing Federal Agency's under the control of the Federal Government. But its not bold either, the US Postal Service is going bankrupt right now. Because instead of being run as an Independent Service, its has to ask Congress when it can go to the bathroom and thats just one example. If you want to win support of the American People be big and think big by going big, while at the same time doing it in an intelligent matter. Don't come out with broad reforms at one point without thinking them through like turning Medicare into a Voucher System. And then the next plan bring more control back to the Federal Government. If you want to give more americans the Freedom of Choice with their own money and in the economy. Great I'll be there with you but don't do it in a way that limits competition, if they want to stay in Medicare. And be heavily dependent on Social Security for their retirement, then they should have that option as well.
This new plan by the House GOP is weak and kinda going back from how they started off back in the Spring and Summer with new bold proposals. Again that apparently didn't spend much time thinking about but at least they put new ideas on the table. This is new plan is not only weak by giving the Federal Government more power. Over the Postal Service and Government Sponsored Enterprises but boring and makes for great Bedtime Reading Material for insomniacs. More of the same that hasn't worked in the past and won't work now.
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
David Horowitz:"Creepy Marxist Take-Over of the Democrat Party": The Far Left of the Democratic Party
Far Right Commentator David Horowitz is right about one thing about the Democratic Party. And how the Far Left Faction of the party came into being in the Democratic Party in the late 1960s. Over the Vietnam War, George McGovern as Leader of the Party when he won the Nomination for President in 1972. Reformed the party allowing more people to be active in the party, he wanted it to be a true Democratic Party. That wouldn't just appeal to Anglo and Jewish Voters but that could also appeal to African, Latin, Asian and other Americans as it does today. To the point that the Republican Party has to dominate or when a heavy percentage of the Caucasian Vote. In order to win National Elections in America, because Racial and Ethnic Minorities. Overwhelmingly vote democratic because the DP thanks to Sen. McGovern and others helped bring all of these new voters in to the party. Which is one reason why Jimmy Carter was elected President in 1976, Bill Clinton in 1992 and reelected in 1996. Both Electoral Landslides and Barack Obama in 2008 another Electoral Landslide and how Senate Democrats held the senate until 1981. Won it back in 1986, won it back again in 2001 and 2006 held the House until 1995 and won it back in 2006. Because with the Civil Rights Laws and the Great Society in the 1960s, Lyndon Johnson and others like George McGovern, understood that would cost the DP. The South and millions of voters, so they had to appeal to other voters, who didn't vote democratic before or didn't even bother to vote at all. Because of discrimination and other reasons.
The McGovern Reforms at the 1972 Democratic Convention brought in new millions of voters to the DP. Not fast enough to save the McGovern Campaign for President in 1972. Where the Senator only won 37% of the Popular Vote and lost 49 States including his own. But by 1974 because of these reforms and Watergate, House Democrats picked up something like 25 seats. And Senate Democrats picked up five seats both adding to their majorities. And in 1976 Congressional Democrats held their majorities and of course Jimmy Carter was elected President with huge majorities in Congress. Forcing the Republican Party to reform itself in the late 1970s. But these reforms are positive, the Democratic Party can speak and appeal to all Ethnic and Racial Groups in the country. And can even still win in the South but they've also paid a price for it. The Democratic Party basically went from being a Liberal Democratic Party, especially after Southern Democrats became Republicans. To a Liberal Democratic Party with a Progressive Socialist Faction in it, the Progressive Caucus. That politically is more inline with the Progressive Party or Democratic Socialist or Green Party then Democratic Party. But they stay democrats to have a voice in a major party instead of being part of a Third Party.
The Progressive Caucus thats now part of the Democratic Party instead of being part of one of these Third Progressive Parties. Is not big enough to run the Democratic Party. Liberal Democrats still run that party, just look at most of the Leadership except for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. But they are big enough that if they don't vote with the Leadership, because Legislation isn't "Progressive Enough". They can kill Democratic Legislation on their own or when their voters don't bother to vote at all. They can cost the Democratic Party elections which is what happened in 2010.
Monday, December 5, 2011
To answer the question are Property Rights important, you should first think of what a country or World would look like without Property Rights. That would mean the State owns everything, I mean think about it without Property Rights, the State would control everything. You would live in an apartment or house, probably an apartment. I mean think about life in the Soviet Union, where the State would own the place you live at, your basically just a renter. The State owns the Apartment Building so they could come in at will, sorta how Corrections Officers. Can enter Inmates Cells at will, the State wouldn't need Search Warrants because they own the property. The car or truck you drive, if your lucky enough to have one, would be own by the State. You couldn't run your own business, because the State would own that and the only new business's that would pop up. Would be new business's set up by the State, even if your more qualified to run a business then the State. No such thing as Private Property means no such thing as Individual Liberty, because the State would own everything. No such thing as Political Liberty, because again the State would own the Political Parties. And you could only vote for Political Candidates approved by the State.
Thats why Property Rights are so important, you can't have a Liberal Democracy without them. The ability of people to control how they move and where, where they live, how they get around. Who they work for if anyone or do they run and own their own business. Without Property Rights, the State can come in and take things from us at will. Forget about the Constitution once the State has all the power, because once they have all the power. They no longer need a Constitution, because who's going to stop them. The only way Authoritarian Governments have been stopped in the past. And replaced by Constitutional Democracy's, has been through Violent and Non Violent Political Revolutions. By the people stepping up to the plate and deciding that they aren't going to take it anymore. Which is what happened in Poland in the late 1980s, not because the State decides. You what we've been holding our people down for too long and now its time for us to loosen our grip. Liberal Democracy's are built around Individual Liberty, Limited Government and Constitutional Law, as well as Rule of Law. And without Property Rights, those things mean nothing, because the State is left with all of the power.
With the whole Arab Spring thats going on right now or what's left of it. We'll know what the agenda of the Muslim Brotherhood looks like very soon. If Property Rights isn't part of their agenda, then this whole notion of Democratic Revolution over there. In a region thats not familiar with democracy, other then Turkey and Israel. Means nothing because they would just be replacing one dictatorship with another. Because the State would be left with all of the power.
Friday, December 2, 2011
Sen. Harkin: "No Christmas for Congress without an Unemployment Insurance Extension": Playing Hardball
I believe I've figured out where the House Republicans are taking their Holiday Vacation. They are all headed for Las Vegas and doing some gambling together and are practicing their gaming skills in Washington first. The Party of no New Taxes, is going to gamble on looking like Tax Hikers on the Middle Class. By putting an Extension of the Payroll Tax Cut at risk, 1000$ Tax Hike for someone making 50K$ a year. Because they believe its too expensive, that the Federal Government can't afford it. Even though they've been arguing for thirty years or more, that its not governments money to begin with. I agree with them its the peoples money that they take to fund government, so why are they going to take more money from us. Have they been reading Carl Marx and have gotten socialism in their blood now. They've also been making the case that Tax Cuts pay for themselves. That we don't need to cut government to fund them, so why are they saying we now have to make more Budget Cuts. To pay for an Extension of the Payroll Tax Cut which is of course a Tax Cut, Payroll Tax Cut being a pretty big clue there. The other gamble that House Republicans are making is looking like they care more about people. Who are millionaires then they do people who can't find a job right now. And are risking letting the Extension of Unemployment Insurance expire as well. Which is one reason why I believe the Federal Government shouldn't be running Unemployment Insurance. And let the States and Non Profit Community Services run it instead. So neither party in Congress would be able to mess with it.
The other gamble the the House GOP Leadership is making and they are getting plenty of help. From their allies in the Senate, even though the Senate GOP Leadership has played more of an obstructionist role. Because they are still in the minority, is now that they are seeing signs of improvement in the economy. Lets not do anything that can pass Congress and get signed by the President that will help the economy. Lets block what we don't like in the Senate and not take it up in the House and instead pass what we want. Knowing that Senate Leader Reid will block it, so we can at least say we are for something. They believe their Path back to Absolute Power, White House, House and Senate, is for the economy to be as weak as possible. To get as many republicans elected in 2012 as possible, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said as much. When Barack Obama became President that his number one goal was to see that President Obama is a one term President. And he would use whatever power he has in his office to see that happen. So the GOP Strategy is pretty clear right now, make Washington look as incompetent as possible. Believing that the voters will take their anger out on the Democratic Party because there's a Democratic President. To elect as many republicans as possible.
The Republican Party is making a very risky gamble right now, they are not a lock on winning the White House back. Especially since they are headed for very divisive Primary Campaigns in the Winter. They are not a lock at retaining control of the House next year, with 60 plus Freshmen Republicans up for reelection. Thanks to the Tea Party and they are not even a lock to take control of the Senate as well. Senate Democratic Fundraising is up and they are beating the Senate GOP right now, Democratic Incumbents are going to be well funded in 2012. And President Obama will probably help them with that even more, especially with an improving economy. Which means his own Approval Rating will go up as well, risky bet by the GOP and lets see how long they keep it.
Thursday, December 1, 2011
I kinda like and respect Newt Gingrich, not that I would ever vote for him, unless my life depended on it. And even then I would still take at least a moment to think about it. But I like him because he has a big mouth, something I personally know something about and he's honest and very intelligent. Just not the sharpest tool in the shed when it comes to running his own campaigns. For example basically the same day he takes the lead over Mitt Romney in Iowa, New Hampshire and nationally in the Republican Party. He says that we have poor people because they don't work hard, forgetting the fact that without. Low Income workers, we wouldn't have much of an economy because we need people to do these Low Skilled jobs. But a Gingrich/Obama Presidential Election would make for great TV, great speeches. Great National Conventions and great Presidential Debates in the fall. Two men going back and fourth and because Newt Gingrich and Barack Obama would be the debaters. I believe they would be done differently in Town Hall Format, perhaps without even a moderator or a small role for the moderator. But the winner of the Presidential Election unless the economy tanks, we fall back into recession with rising unemployment. I don't believe it would be in doubt, I think the President would win by 7-10 points, carry 35 plus States. And take a bunch of Congressional Seats, in the House and Senate. Democrats take back the House with a small majority, retain the Senate but without enough power in the next Congress to ram their agenda through. Two more years of a United Government but with gridlock and I'll explain why.
For House Democrats to win back the House in 2012, President Obama has to get reelected. One party winning the White House but losing a Chamber in Congress, never happens. They tend to go together, either way with 60 plus House Republican Freshmen up for reelection in 2012, thanks to the Tea Party. They are bound to lose at least some of those seats, especially with House Republicans picking almost all if not all the. Conservative House Districts in America in 2010 , there's just not that much ground to gain for House Republicans right now. And if a republican were to get Elected President in 2012, with 20 plus Democratic Senators up for reelection. Senate Republicans would hold the House and take the Senate with a small majority but probably drop seats in the House. So if your a democrat such as myself, you want the Republican Party to nominate Michelle Bachmann. But that aint going to happen, I would like a Free Trip to Hawaii with all expenses paid for but I'm not expecting that. But as far the Presidential Candidates that have a legitimate chance of winning the Republican Nomination, I want Newt because of his lack of Political Discipline. Flip Flopper would be promising as well but he's slick enough to seem electable to Independent Voters. And there's still a chance but I believe small that the GOP will decide that winning is more important in 2012.
With a Newt/Barack Presidential Election, I just see the Political Ads that would be used against Newt. From changing his positions on the Ryan Budget, where one point he was against it. But now he's for it, Immigration Reform he used to take a stronger position. Now he's in favor of allowing Illegal Immigrants that have made a contribution to America that have families. Stay in the country as long as they register with Immigration. Newt used to be in favor of the Health Insurance Mandate before it became law. Newt has a tendency to speak his mind whether is positions are popular or not. Which I believe is admirable in politics but when he sees that those positions are unpopular. Especially in the GOP, he has a tendency to try to get around them and I believe he would provide the Democratic Party with great ammunition. And force Congressional Republicans to either back Newt or run from him, giving the General Elections to democrats.
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Is the Line Item Veto the Silver Bullet to fixing our Debt and Deficit Issues, of course not, even if we were able to eliminate all Congressional Earmarks. Because those Earmarks only, only in Washington would 20B$ be only but compared with a Federal Budget of 3.7T$. 20B$ i
Hopefully as Rep. Paul Ryan and Rep. Chris Van Hollen, Rep. Van Hollen from Maryland by the way. My US Rep. in the House who I respect a lot and have voted for all five times he's run for the House. Has said about talking to be the people that won the last case in the US Supreme Court. Where the last Line Item Veto case was thrown out back in 1998, after Congress had pass a Line Item Veto that President Clinton signed into law in 1995 or 96. Hopefully they have talked to the lawyers that won that case and even gotten their approval about their bill. So they don't pass something in the House that the Senate passes, that President Obama has already said he was in favor of. But then gets thrown out by the Supreme Court 2-3 years from now. And we are back in the same position then as we are today looking for ways to eliminate Wasteful Spending. Which is the best way to cut a debt and deficit, cut spending or eliminate things you shouldn't be spending money on in the first place. Instead of cutting back on things that you should be spending a good deal of money on. Or increasing taxes on people that can't afford to pay them.
Glad to see Rep. Ryan and Rep. Van Hollen Chairman and Ranking Member of the Budget Committee. Hopefully their roles will be reversed in the next Congress, which is a different debate. Actually working together on something because they've already proven that they are great at taking the opposite position. So to see them actually work together, shows that the Hope for Bi Partisanship in Congress isn't dead yet.
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
I’m not against Welfare Insurance or a safety net. I just don’t want it run by government, but have government regulate it instead. And instead have government do the things that they are traditionally efficient at. National security, foreign policy, law enforcement and regulation. Including regulating semi-private non-profit self-financed community services that are in the business to help people in need. Yes be able to sustain themselves in the short-term while they are working to get themselves on their feet. But empowering them to get themselves on their feet. With things, like education, job training and job placement. Instead of allowing them to stay on public assistance indefinitely where nothing is expected of them. Collecting public assistance checks financed by people who work for a living.
What I would like to do with our safety net instead is turn all of these programs over to the states in the short-term. Including things like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Unemployment Insurance. For the States to set up their own safety nets and public assistance systems. That would be run by semi-private non-profit, self-financed community services. In the business to help people in need sustain themselves in the short-term, but empower them as well. To get themselves on their feet and become self-sufficient taxpayers with jobs and paying their own bills. Because they got assistance to get themselves educated and get job training. And help finding a good job that could support themselves and their families.
Also things like public housing, Food Assistance and other programs that are in the business to help these people get by. But also help them become self-sufficient so they can take care of themselves and no longer need these programs. And I would also include homeless assistance through housing centers that give people a place to stay in the short-term. But also help them get a job and their own place to stay. I’m all for helping people who are down get themselves up. I believe a 20% poverty rate is a disgrace in a developed liberal democracy the richest country in the world is a disgrace. The difference being that I actually want to help these people empower themselves so they no longer have to live in poverty. Not stay on public assistance indefinitely and then complain about how many people live in poverty in America. And what to do about it, we know what to do about it and how to help these people and we need to do these things. Instead of just complaining about our high levels of poverty.
Thursday, November 24, 2011
This post was originally posted at FRS Daily Post
What's the definition of perfect? I guess it's someone or something that lacks weakness and doesn't make mistakes. That's an impossible accomplishment, especially when we are talking about human beings. If we were perfect, what would be the point of living? We've accomplished everything and therefore can't learn anything else because we are perfect. I guess we could show the world what we know and spread our perfection around so to speak. Hey, look at me, I'm perfect, be like me. This is all nonsense.
None of is perfect and I wouldn't have it any other way, because we learn whether we are intelligent by making mistakes. The 1972 Miami Dolphins were not perfect, but they did have a perfect record. They played 17 games and won 17 and, when it comes to sports, that's the best you can do. But they didn't have a perfect team, they just made fewer mistakes then anyone else in the NFL in 1972 and had a perfect record. They played the best as a team that season, so much better that they went undefeated, and they did this by being the best team.
They didn't have the best talent. I would argue that the team they beat in the 1972 AFC Final, the Oakland Raider, had better talent and a better team even though they lost 2-3 games that year and the Dolphins lost none. I would also argue that the Washington Redskins, the team they beat in Super Bowl 7, had better talent and a better team as well. If their quarterback, Sonny Jurgenson, who's one of the best QB ever and in the Hall of Fame (a better QB than the Dolphins' QB Bob Griese, who's also in the Hall of Fame) had been healthy and played in that Super Bowl, I believe the Redskins would have won, but of course we'll never know.
The 1972 Miami Dolphins were exactly what a great team should look like. They understood what kind of team they had, the type of talent they had, and the type of players. They didn't win because of the overwhelming talent they had, not including their Head Coach Don Shula. The Dolphins had five Hall of Famers from all on offense, except for MLB Nick Bonoconti. QB Bob Griese, FB Larry Csonka, WR Paul Warfield, and OG Larry Little. They ran a Power Ball Control Offense that ran the ball about 70% of the time. Their No Name Defense was exactly that. Most of the players on that defense weren't known outside South Florida very well until they won that Super Bowl. Perhaps not that many people in South Florida were familiar with the No Name Defense, but they were all very good players, defensive tackle Manny Fernandez, middle linebacker Nick Bonoconti, safety Larry Anderson, and others. Head coach Don Shula knew what type of team he had in 1972, that they weren't going to blow teams away with their talent and had to beat teams as a team, run the ball well, and run the ball a lot, Bob Griese hitting key passes off of play action, don't turn the ball over, and play great defense, stuff the run, attack the QB, and get a few takeaways.
The 1972 Dolphins, the team with the perfect record, won because Don Shula knew exactly what type of team he had, what type of system to have, and how to utilize his players to get their best performance and execution every week for all 17 weeks. And he had the players who understood that if they made 1972 about themselves rather than the team, they were going to fail and maybe even not make the playoffs. But together as a team, with every player and coach understanding their role the best that they could and playing their part, they would be champions.
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Back in the early and mid 1990s a lot of Conservative Americans who've always viewed that there was a "Liberal Bias" in the American Media. Especially with CBS News with Dan Rather, the Washington Post, New York Times, PBS and other News Organizations. And decided that it was time to fight back and Roger Ailes. Who I believed work for both President Nixon and President Reagan, he and Rupert Murdoch another conservative. Who runs News Corp a Media Company that owns the Fox Broadcasting Network, the New York Post a very conservative newspaper, Sky TV and other Media Organizations. Decided it was time that conservatives had their own voice in the American Media, their own News Network. They started by putting together this Sunday News Shows on FOX called Fox News Sunday that was originally hosted by Tony Snowe. A long time Conservative Commentator who died from cancer a few years ago, thats now hosted by Chris Wallace. Who's one of two Straight News Anchors on FOX News, straight in a news sense not sexuality. In case you weren't sure, along with Sheppard Smith. FNS is Fox News version of Meet The Press, or Face Nation or This Week, this show came on the air in 1994 or 1995. And then in the Summer of 1996, Fox News Channel goes on the air, with people like Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity and others. To represent the Conservative View Points on the News and Current Affairs. And from time to time even report a little news but with a slant, when there's a big issue. They would look at a story from a conservative perspective but getting commentary from conservatives mainly.
I'll give FNC a lot of credit even as a liberal who calls FNC, RNC the Republican News Channel. Because if you look at their demographics, most of their viewers are republican or live in a very conservative part of the country. But FNC does a decent job of putting their shows on showing it in a more watchable way. They are interesting and not dull, its just that I disagree with most of their commentary. Its not just that they are conservative but they tend to be Neoconservative. And not just that most of their commentators are conservative but so are most of their anchors as well. Megan Kelly, perfect example of that, great to look at but what else does she bring to the table. Her commentary is awful and she sounds like she makes up a lot of the things she says on air. How do I make the President and Democrats look bad today, even though only conservatives and people farther to the right. Watch my show, same thing with Sean Hannity how do I make the other side look bad to draw in as many Conservative Viewers as possible. At least with Bill O'Reilly who I can watch from time to time and even though he's conservative. He's a Conservative Independent and he's not a Neoconservative or a theocrat. And he's also Anti Establishment who goes after both sides unlike the others.
I understand that there's just not a Conservative News Bias, that the Far Left or Progressive Movement has their own bias as well. With MSNBC Prime Time, with Rachel Maddow and Ed Schultz. But their shows are barley watchable and at least FNC brings on the other side from time to time. Whereas with MSNBC the host will spend five minutes doing their commentary and then bring on a guest to back them up. Instead of reporting the story and asking an expert what they think about it, not knowing what they believe going in. FNC and MSnBC aren't really News Organizations, except for their updates. And with their real reporters but are in the business to commentate on news from a Political Slant. They are not 60 Minutes or Nightline or Meet The Press but Political Commentary and should be treated as such.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Property Rights are essential in a Democracy especially in a Liberal Democracy, its one way people can limit the Power of Government. Because they have property and they can limit what government can do to them. In America Government has to have permission under law and the US Constitution to enter or take property from individuals. Without Property Rights the State would essentially own everything, even the Communist Republic of Cuba. Has recognized the need for Property Rights in a functioning society. Now Egypt, Libya may decide and I'm guessing they will that Liberal Democracy is not for them. That they want government especially the Central Government to play a large role in peoples lives. Maybe they'll decide that they want Democracy but a different form of Democracy. Perhaps they'll choose to have a Socialist Democracy which is common in Europe. But even Socialist Democracy's have Property Rights at least to a certain extent and even have a Private Sector. Its just that their Federal Governments play a much larger role in the peoples lives then they do in America. That their Federal Governments play a large role in providing Healthcare, Health Insurance, Education, Pension, Unemployment Insurance etc. But that the people can decide where they work, run and own business's. Control their money and own their property, homes, cars, business's etc. I believe this would be a great way for Egypt and Libya to go, if they don't choose Liberal Democracy. And would be a much better course for them then choosing Theocracy or another Military Dictatorship.
Without Property Rights and I believe Egypt and Libya would be smart to put Property Rights into their Constitutions. Egypt and Libya I believe will have a very difficult time moving away from Authoritarian Rule. They'll basically be replacing one Authoritarian Government for another one. Where the Central Government basically runs the entire country, where Provincial and Local Governments. Don't have much of a role in Egypt and the State controls everything and decide who can run for office. Because without Property Rights and a Constitution to protect them, the State can pretty much do whatever they want to with peoples property. There isn't a check to stop and prevent the State from stripping ones property. Unlike with Property Rights and a responsible government that respects and enforces the Constitution. Its that Constitution thats preventing the State from invading peoples property and stripping them from it. Without Just Cause because they have the Constitution and Court System as well as the people that they have to answer to. This is why Property Rights are so important it serves as a Check on the State against Abusive Power. Its that old saying that "Power Corrupts and Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely". Which is so true and why Property Rights in any Civil Society are so important.
Whatever type of Democratic System that Egypt and Libya select, assuming they go in that direction. And its not a given they will at least not yet, Property Rights needs to be part of their new Constitution. To serve as a Check against the State to hold off Abusive Power from the State. To hold the State in Check and then the State comes into regulate how people interact with each other. To protect Innocent People from the Abusive Power of others. But that the State doesn't try to protect people from themselves or their government from the people. In order to stay in power.
Monday, November 21, 2011
Former President Bill Clinton hit the nail on the head a few months ago when he said you can't count out Newt Gingrich yet. And this was just a few months after Speaker Gingrich made his honest but damaging comments about the Paul Ryan Budget. And after Newt's campaign collapsed in the Summer, with key Staff Members quitting. President Clinton worked with Speaker Gingrich in the 1990s, they worked well together after the 1995 Government Shutdown. With Welfare to Work in 1996, the Balance Budget Act in 1997, Medicare and Social Security Reform that same year. They actually worked together in 1993 when Newt was still Minority Whip in the House. Because the President needed House Republican Votes to pass NAFTA and GAT. Two Trade Agreements even though Democrats controlled Congress his first two years. Clinton didn't have enough votes to pass the Trade Deals. They worked together in 1995 before the shutdown to bail out Mexico when it was facing bankruptcy. They cut taxes together in 1997 Capital Gains and Middle Class Tax Cuts for college and Child Care. And the Monica Lewinski Scandal broke in January, 1998 and that pretty much ended that. So Clinton and Newt knew each other pretty well, because they were forced to work together. To get anything done because Clinton was President and Gingrich was Speaker of the House and they actually became friendly. Probably more friendly then Newt was with Bob Dole who was Leader of the Senate, even though they were both Conservative Republicans. And Bill Clinton is a Liberal Democrat.
Bill Clinton knows Newt Gingrich pretty well and Newt represents exactly what the Republican Party is missing right now. In a Presidential Candidate and if it wasn't for Newt's personal weakness's. Which are weakness's in politics unfortunately like speaking off the cuff and saying exactly what your thinking when you first think it. Which is what America Voters tend to say they want in their Public Officials. But Newt's problem is that not everything he has to say is always popular, with the country or the Republican Party. And without these weakness's and if Newt was just a little smoother, that he would bring his debate skills. Which are excellent to his interviews, not only say what he believes and knows but why he believes those things. He's done very well in the debates so far but then when a story about him appears and is mentioned in an interview. He tends to make it worse by not acknowledging obvious things and trying to get around them. Which makes his look worse its the old Nixon Lesson from Watergate. Without these issues that will keep him from becoming President and even the Republican Nominee. Newt Gingrich represents exactly what the Republican Party is looking for in a Presidential Nominee. And those strengths are why he's climbing in the polls.
For a republican to be elected President of the United States and not just be the Presidential Nominee. You have to be able to appeal to the new Tea Party, the Religious Right of course. Economic Conservatives the Mitt Romney's of the World who don't care that much about Social Issues. Neoconservatives who still have some influence on National Security but have lost influence. And then win enough Independent Voters to be elected President. These are the skills that Ron Reagan and George W Bush both had and something that Newt Gingrich has. And without out these little freshmen mistakes that he makes, he's the best Presidential Candidate the GOP has.
Saturday, November 19, 2011
Scandinavia, spends closer to 60% of their GDP on their public sectors. Especially Sweden and Norway, who've traditionally at least since World War II have had socialist governments. Democratic Socialists in charge of their governments, so of course their welfare state's are going to be a lot bigger. Especially compared with America, or even Canada. The culture in America is just a lot different in America than it is in Europe. The state motto in New Hampshire, "is give me liberty or give me death". We have a strong liberal and libertarian tradition in our country. We tend to be big believers in limited government and individual liberty. And you keep government limited to protect individual liberty.
Europeans, tend to be collectivist that they are all in this together, we are only as strong as our weakest link. That you need to pay high tax rates to preserve "economic justice". To make sure no one gets too strong, or too weak. That you need government to provide a lot of social services that you can't trust the private sector to perform. Health care, health insurance, education, pension, Unemployment Insurance, etc. They like their governments and trust them to do the right things. Whereas Americans, just hope that government doesn't screw things up. And we don't tend to trust government and basically want to be left alone to live our own lives.
Americans, have also been lied to a lot by government. Things as serious as national security and war. We've had abuse of powers from our government. So we basically have this idea that we want to be left alone to live our lives. And leave government to enforce rule of law, protect the streets and country, keep our taxes down. And help us out when we are down with a hand up, not a hand out to help us get back on our feet. But not try to control how we live our lives. This is what liberal democracy is about. America is very individualist as a country, whereas Europe tend to be collectivist as a society.
What I would say to Socialist Americans that are trying to make America more like Europe, but never really have had the power to do so, because they keep getting out voted by Liberals, Libertarians and classical Conservatives, that one of the reasons why we are an immigrant nation and have always been, which is one of the reasons why we are a country of 310M plus people in the world with the largest economy in the world, is that people come to America to get what they don't have at home. Individual liberty and economic opportunity. And want that same opportunity to live their own lives as Americans have.
Friday, November 18, 2011
Yesterday the House Republican Leadership introduced their first serious jobs bill in this Congress. Introducing an Energy and Infrastructure Investment plan that has Bi Partisan support in the House. That would open more parts of the country to Energy Production including Oil Production. And use the revenue thats collected from that through leases to pay for Infrastructure Investment. So we would be able to put more people to work in the Oil and Gas Industry as well as Construction Workers. In the Construction Industry. Now I would expand this plan to include other Energy Sectors, Natural Gas, Electricity, Nuclear Power, Solar, Wind put everything on the table. Not pick winners and losers and use the Lease Revenue from these Energy Sectors. To pay for Infrastructure Investment in the short term but also create a National Infrastructure Bank to fund our Infrastructure Investment. For the long term which would also help our Manufacturing Industry in the short and long term as well. Because of the equipment that it would take to do all of this work. But this plan that the House GOP Leadership introduced Thursday, is a good first step. And something that should be considered by the Democratic Senate and White House. And at least House Republicans are finally taking the need for Infrastructure Investment in America seriously and even proposing their own plan. Perhaps they are hearing this from their constituents and perhaps even Construction Company's in their own House Districts. That there's a lot of work to do here and we would like to be hired to do this work.
We've let our Public Infrastructure Investment decay for far too long without investing in it. Roads, bridges, airports, dams, schools, buildings and we've paid a heavy price for it. With these things falling apart and now is the perfect time to be addressing these issues in a way in this economy economy with a high Unemployment Rate. Putting unemployed Construction and Energy Workers back to work as well as hiring additional workers in these fields. And expanding these industry's and finally bringing our Unemployment Rate down by jump starting Economic Growth and creating new demand in the economy. Building and repairing roads, bridges, airports, dams, schools, buildings and everything else that we should be working on. We've also needed our own National Energy Policy for about forty years now to get off of Foreign Oil and Gas. And the only way to do that is by producing our own Natural Energy Resources, which includes Oil and Gas including Natural Gas. But also resources like Nuclear Power, Wind, Solar all things that we can produce a lot of in America. Putting americans back to work and to work in the future. Working High Trained and High Paid jobs that would make our economy strong in the future. And put us on path to compete with our competitors in the future.
All this talk about Deficit Reduction Balance Budget Amendment even, I believe is all positive. But those things mean nothing and won't happen, if we don't have a strong economy. With the Economic Growth to produce strong Job Growth to bring down our Unemployment Rate. And to do this we need to create jobs in America by producing things that we can sell and use in America as well as export. Which would also help us bring down our Trade Deficit which is in the trillions of dollars. Which is why Job Creation and making things in America has to be our number one priority right now.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
The 2010 Affordable Care Act wasn't about Healthcare Reform in general but about Health Insurance Expansion. And regulating the Private Health Insurance Industry with a Patients Bill of Rights. And these things will help bring down our Healthcare Costs with everybody contributing to their own Healthcare Costs. As well as some reforms in Medicare and some other reforms in Medicaid. Which were less positive because it made millions of more people eligible for Medicaid. But without paying for it leaving the bill to the States which they aren't going to like. So the first round of Healthcare Reform as I call it was about Health Insurance Expansion and Regulation. Not so much about bringing down our long term Healthcare Costs. And that gets to things like expanding Healthcare more hospitals and clinics, taking better care of ourselves as a country. So we don't have to consume as much Healthcare in the future and only getting Healthcare that we actually need to stay healthy and survive . And discourage things that are more on the luxury side of Healthcare, like certain Plastic Surgery's, massages that sorta thing. Because we spend around 19% of our GDP on Healthcare twice as much as any other country in the Developed World. And we can do basic things that I just laid out to where we can get our Healthcare Costs to a manageable level. 10-12% of GDP and free up a lot more resources for the rest of the economy. And perhaps even bring down our taxes because our Healthcare could consume less revenue in the future.
What I would do first is what we should've done eighteen months ago in Healthcare Reform that Conservative Democrats and Senate Republicans blocked. Create a Public Option for Health Insurance, not a Public Mandate or a Single Payer Healthcare System. But a Public Option not run by the Federal Government or any Government. But a Public Option that each State would be able to set up for their own population. that would be Independent, Non Profit, Semi Private Self Financed Health Insurance Service. Thats paid for by its customers that anyone who can finance their own Health Insurance would be eligible for. Including people eligible for Medicare that would have to operate under the same rules and regulations as any other Private Non Profit Health Insurer. So there's no unfair advantage, to provide more competition to the Health Insurance Industry. And then what I would do is create a new Healthcare Service not to take over Private Hospitals and Clinics. But to operate in areas that don't have enough hospitals but operate all over as well. So we can expand to our access to Healthcare in America to make it Universal or close to it. Again allowing each State to set up their own Healthcare Service that would run hospitals, clinics and offices. That would be Semi Private Non Profit Independent and Self Financed paid for by its patients.
One of the reasons why I support what I call a Progressive Consumption Tax to replace the Progressive Income Tax. Is so it can be applied to Healthcare, so we can encourage not demand Healthy Behavior with discounts. And discourage Unhealthy Behavior through taxes. To bring down our Healthcare Costs and get them to a more manageable level. Health Insurance Expansion definitely has to be part of bringing down our Healthcare Costs. But its not a Silver Bullet just a part of a much larger puzzle that is the American Healthcare System that we have to solve.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Our Founding Fathers deliberately designed a Governmental System and Federal Government to make it difficult for them to pass laws. And make the Federal Government more powerful and intrusive. With things like the the three Co Equal Branches, Executive, that carries out laws and can propose them. Congress that writes laws and oversees the other two branches including themselves. The Judicial Branch that obviously decides cases in the Criminal and Civil Justice System. And sometimes passes on cases as well as ruling on the Constitutionality of laws that the Executive and Legislative passes. And of course forcing the Executive and Legislative Branches to work together to pass new laws. This is what Checks and Balances are about to make it difficult to pass laws and even harder to pass laws. Because even if one party controls both the White House and Congress. If the Opposition Party has enough Senate Seats, they can block legislation that the Senate Majority Party is trying to pass. And even if one party controls both the Administration and Congress, to amend our Constitution. That takes a Two Thirds Majority in both Chambers of Congress. As well as 67 States to pass and Amend the Constitution. To me as a Liberal Democrat and a big believer in Limited Government, these tools are necessary to prevent government from becoming too big and powerful. And preserving Individual Liberty and Constitutional Rights from eroding, by people who believe America is too free. And Liberal Democracy doesn't work and we need Big Brother protecting us from ourselves.
The reason why the Federalist Society and other Classical Conservative groups are in favor of creating what's called Sunset Provisions. To laws that are passed by the Federal Government. Meaning that after a law is passed, it would have to renewed every 5-10 years or so. To give the Administration and Congress a chance to revisit laws that they passed. Which to me makes sense and would give the Administration and Congress a chance to take another look at their laws and policy's. Across the board and to see what's working, what's not working, what needs to work better and what should be eliminated. Instead of keeping in laws and policy's that don't work very well or no longer work. Just because the President and Congress passed that law a long time ago. The Elementary and Secondary Education Act is an example of a law with a Sunset Provision. To reexamine the Federal Government's role in education and see if they are helping or hurting Public Education in America. And what if anything they can do better, the Welfare to Work Law of 1996 is another example of this. The Bush Tax Cuts that were passed in 2001 and 2003 are other laws with Sunset Provisions. Instead of just keeping laws in place because they were passed a long time ago.
I would go even farther then Sunset Provisions and call for an Executive Review of all Federal Laws, Policy's and Programs. And exactly see what's working and what's not working. What can work better, what needs to work better and what needs to be scaled back and even eliminated. And call for a new Federal Constitutional Convention to come together to see what the Federal Government does well. What they don't do very well and what they can and should do better. And just limit the Federal Government to do what it does well that the Private Sector shouldn't be doing.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Glen Beck using Ben Franklin to make his case that Healthcare Reform at least at the Federal Level is unconstitutional. By saying that Ben Franklin's vision of Healthcare was to raise Private Money to build hospitals. And apparently thats all it takes to give people more Healthcare in America. And that government at least not the Federal Government has no role in it, is interesting but not accurate. Another thing that Glen Beck uses to make his case is the US Constitution. And says that no where in the US Constitution does it give the Federal Government authority in Healthcare. Not to expand Health Insurance or expand Healthcare by financing through taxes. Community Health Centers and other infrastructure, which were part of the 2010 Affordable Care Act. What Mr Beck doesn't mention is the Commerce Clause and the Welfare Clause. Which clearly gives the Federal Government the authority to regulate Interstate Commerce which Healthcare clearly is. So that means the Federal Government can regulate both hospitals and Health Insurers. The Welfare Clause gives the Federal Government the authority to look after the welfare of its citizens. Which means things like Unemployment Insurance and Medicaid are constitutional, to help people to are out of work. Get by while they are looking for another job, Health Insurance for people who can't afford it who live in poverty. I'm not making these points as someone who''s a believer in Big Government because I'm not. Just to say that just because you disagree with something. Doesn't mean exactly its Unconstitutional, it just might be a bad idea instead.
I don't disagree with aspects of the New Deal and Great Society, because I believe they are Unconstitutional. But I disagree with how they were set up and managed. Unemployment Insurance, Social Security, Welfare Insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, Public Housing. Aren't things that should be done with a one size fits all solution. This is not Cuba or Ireland, we are a huge country of 310M people, the third largest population in the World. As well as the third largest country in the World physically, we also may be the most diverse country in the World as well. The populations in New York, Florida, Colorado, Texas, California etc are all different from each other. And they know better then people thousands of miles away in Washington. How to serve their people when it comes to Social Insurance and they could do a better job of it, with less Red Tape and everything else. A lot of libertarians have called for the elimination of these Social Insurance programs calling them Unconstitutional. I believe they are Constitutional but could be managed a lot better if they were Decentralized. Which is why I would send these programs over to the States in the short term for them to run. By Block Granting them but then long term make them Semi Private Non Profit Self Financed Independent Community Services. With each State having their own Social Insurance System.
The term Constitutional and Unconstitutional gets thrown out a lot to make a case for or against something. Generally against something, when the Federal Courts decided these cases a long tome ago and ruled them Constitutional. Under the Commerce Clause and Welfare Clause, which I believe should end the debate there. Whether people agreed with those decisions or not and if they do disagree with them. Maybe they should try to pass Constitutional Amendments to overturn these decisions. What I'm interested in is what is the best way to run these programs and how to reform them instead.
Monday, November 14, 2011
When so many people in America, in 1994 roughly 40M people are unable to pay for their health care, which means the rest of us have to pay their health care bills for them. The hospitals pick up their health care for the people who can't afford it and pass those costs onto people with health insurance. Which makes people's health insurance more expensive, because now they have to pay not only for themselves and their kids. But to pay for people who don't have health insurance as well. Just backing up libertarian commentator Milton Friedman's notion, that there's no such thing as a free lunch. We all pay in one way or the other. What President Clinton was successful in doing in health care, was passing SCHIP- State Children's Healthcare Program. I don't agree with the design of the program, like relying on people to smoke to finance it. But it did give more children health insurance as well as reforming Medicare in 1997 with a Republican Congress.
I believe bringing down our healthcare costs are fairly simple and something we have to do for our economy. 18-20% of GDP is way to expensive especially when most of our competitors spends half of that. And it gets to expanding health insurance or health savings accounts for everyone, so we all pay for our health care one way or another. And the individual mandate is a way to do that, as well as a public option not mandate. That people could go to for their health insurance. Not a one size fits all solution from the Federal Government. But having each state set up their own health insurance system to meet the needs of their own population.
And then we also simply have to do a better job taking care of ourselves and this gets to individual responsibility. So we don't have to consume as much health care in the future, encouraging healthy behavior and discouraging unhealthy behavior. One of the reasons why I'm in favor of what I call a Progressive Consumption Tax to replace the income tax. So we could tax unhealthy behavior and encourage healthy behavior. President Clinton did a good job of at least advancing the health care reform debate in America and putting ideas on the table. Like the health insurance mandate that was in the 2010 Affordable Care Act. But screwed up the selling if his plan and tried to make it be everything to everybody. And didn't do a very good job of selling his own plan and defending the attacks of his plan. From Congressional Republicans and their allies.