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Liberal Democracy

Liberal Democracy
The Free State

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Reps. Paul Ryan & Chris Van Hollen On Advancing Line Item Veto: Good start if done right



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
n the larger scheme of things qualifies as only. But what it does is help with our debt and deficit because it could eliminate up to 20B$ a year in Wasteful Spending. And thats just in the Federal Budget alone, Congress Appropriates all the time out in Emergency. They'll Appropriate under in Emergency just because they don't feel like paying for things. And what a Line Item Veto would do is empower the President, whoever the President is. To eliminate things from Spending bills that are wasteful and have nothing to do with the Spending bill that its attached to. A Line Item Veto is not good enough, we also need Earmark Reform as well, getting rid of Earmarks that have nothing to do with the bills that are attached to. As well as Earmark Disclosure, meaning a Member of Congress that authors an Earmark, their name would be on the Earmark. That they are offering and where the Earmark is going and what its for. Along with forcing all Earmarks to come under the PAGO Policy including in Emergency bills. Meaning that all Earmarks would have to be paid for, these things alone could save the Federal Government and Tax Payers 20B$ a year. I don't think we can ever eliminate Earmarks as much as I would like to, because Members of Congress use them to get reelected. And when Candidates for Congress run, they'll tell voters if you vote for me, I'll get you the Earmark you need for your business or whatever the reason is.

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

Commonsense Capitalism: Milton Friedman- Free to Choose- The Welfare State



This video lays out why I’m against the welfare state, especially run by government. Because of the built-in incentives that incentivizes people to go on Welfare Insurance, and not continue to work. Because they can collect more money collecting Welfare, or Unemployment Insurance. No Welfare or Unemployment check should be worth more than money that person would make if they were working. Because it encourages people not to work and collect public assistance instead. Paid into by people who work for a living and making people on public assistance dependent on public assistance for their daily survival.

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

NFLN: The 1972 Miami Dolphins Perfect Season



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

"Fox is NOT News: The Factual Errors of Roger Ailes FNC": The Role of FNC



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: "The Forgotten Spark of the Arab Spring": Why they Matter in a Liberal Democracy



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

Bill Clinton: "Can't Count Newt Gingrich out of the GOP Race": Sounds smart today



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

Common Sense Capitalism: Milton Friedman- Limiting The Role of Government



Classical Liberal-
If you look at the Federal Government in America and its size post-World War II, we've generally spent around 20% of our GDP on the public sector. Defense, law enforcement, foreign affairs, social welfare, etc. And then you add state and local governments, government total in America at all three levels have spent around 30-35 of our GDP on the public sector. And then you go to the Federal, or national Government's in Europe, except for the United Kingdom, which basically has basically unitarian government without much if any provincial or local governments, they generally spend around 50-60% of their GDP on their public sectors. And thats just as their national level. Its even higher then that if you add provincial and local governments. Its higher than that in the Euro States like Germany, Holland, France, Spain. They spend around 50% or more of their GDP on their public sectors.

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

"GOP Highlights American Energy Production & Infrastructure": We can do both to create jobs



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 Next Phase of Healthcare Reform": Providing Low Cost, High Quality Care



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

Federalist Society: A Federal Sunset Law: How to maintain Limited Government



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

Glenn Beck: Ben Franklin & Healthcare Reform: Interesting Editorial



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

Firing Line: William F. Buckley- Are Health Care Costs Controllable?- From 1994

President Bill Clinton did a smart thing and made a solid contribution to the health care reform debate back in 1993-94. When he put it on the national agenda and actually offered his own plan. That he sent to Congress, unlike President Obama in 2009-10 even though it crashed and burn. When Senate Republicans were able to block the legislation in the Senate let by Minority Leader Bob Dole. But to be fair Senate Democrats probably didn't have the votes to pass the bill. And the Clinton health care plan never made it out of the Democratic House either. But what President Clinton was able to accomplish was to let Americans know how serious a problem it is.

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.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

PBS MacNeil/Lehrer Report: Iowa Caucus 1988: Bob Dole's Peak



When then Senate Minority Leader Bob Dole while he was running for President back in 1987-88. Won the Iowa Caucus, beating both Vice President George Bush who was considered the Establishment Candidate. As well as beating Rev. Pat Robertson who was the Religious Conservative Presidential Candidate. That made the 1988 Republican Primary Race for President a two candidate field. Between Minority Leader Dole and Vice President Bush, giving each candidate a target to shoot at. And now they know who they had to beat to and it would come down to New Hampshire. A neighboring State for George Bush who grew up in Connecticut and was the favorite going in. But Bob Dole was polling well enough there to make it competitive. And I believe the Bush Campaign led by Lee Atwater and others calculated that they had to win New Hampshire. In order to be able to win the Republican Nomination, that even though they were the Frontrunner and the favorite. Had a lot of money and were the Establishment Campaign, with a popular President behind them. That if they were lose both Iowa a State they won in 1980, just eight years prior. And add New Hampshire to that list, again a neighboring State to Connecticut, that they would have a real tough time. Going South with Bob Dole up and Pat Robertson still in the campaign. The Bush Campaign wanted a quick and smooth Primary Process to prepare for the General Election. Against whoever the Democratic Nominee was, they got a quick but not a smooth campaign.

Winning Iowa for Bob Dole meant that he was definitely in the Republican Primary Race and that he was a serious contender for the nomination. And nobody new this better then George Bush and his campaign especially Lee Atwater. And their number one objective going into New Hampshire. Was to bring down the Dole Campaign and head South with all of the momentum to win the nomination. Accusing Bob Dole of all things of being a liberal and a Tax Hiker. Even though Dole had one of the most conservative Voting Records in Congress. All made up attacks basically the same Hatchet Job they pulled on Mike Dukakis in the General Election. When they were down by 17 points to him, this was not about Peace and Prosperity. Or the New Frontier, Opportunity Society or any Grand Vision that George Bush could offer the country. The Bush Campaign was about I'm Vice President of the United States the 2nd Ranking Officer in the Federal Government. Vice President to a very popular President in Ronald Reagan. My opponents are unamerican and unqualified to be President of the United States, so vote for me. George Bush and Bob Dole were the two highest ranking Republican Public Officials in America. That were eligible to run for President in 1988. And Bush beat Dole by bashing his head in, not by offering a better agenda.

Had Bob Dole had what the Clinton Campaign coined the War Room in 1992, an operation thats purely designed to Counter Attack. Respond to any Negative Attacks that are thrown at them as well as being a Research Operation to dig up negative information against the other side. That Bill Clinton had in both 1992 and 1996 and that Al Gore had in 2000 to a certain extent. Then Bob Dole perhaps wins New Hampshire or does well enough to keep his campaign alive. And at least be able to force George Bush to offer their own agenda and vision in where they want to take America. But they didn't have that.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Firing Line: William F. Buckley Interviewing U.S. Representative Newt Gingrich- Where is The GOP Headed?

By 1985 the Republican Party was doing as well as it ever had perhaps in the entire 20th Century. With President Reagan just being reelected in a landslide over Walter Mondale in 1984. And Senate Republicans retaining control of the Senate and electing Bob Dole as their Leader. And House Republicans while still in the House minority, but with 190 or so seats. Giving them a chance to win control of the House in 1986. And make Bob Michael who was the Minority Leader the next Speaker of the House. The Republican Party had Ron Reagan as President, Bob Dole as Senate Leader and Bob Michael as their Leader in the House. With a popular President the Republican Party was probably at their height of power in 1985.

And the GOP also had young leaders in Congress that would lead the GOP in the 1990s working their way up the ranks. Like Representative Newt Gingrich who would later serve as Minority Whip and then Speaker of the House. Representative Trent Lott who served as Bob Michael's Whip in the 1980s. Elected to the Senate in 1988 and then serve as both Majority Whip and Leader of the Senate in the mid and late 1990s. Dick Army was elected to the House in 1984 and of course serve as House Leader in the mid and late 1990s. So the Republican Party was looking pretty good in 1985, but they were also looking good for the future. But the question was where would the Republican Party go in the future. George H.W. Bush was Vice President and the presumptive frontrunner for the Republican nomination for president in 1988. Would they nominate him or go in another direction.

The conventional wisdom politically in Washington in the 1980s and early 90s was that there would be a Republican president. And a Democratic Congress or at least a Democratic House. That this situation worked very well in this period and that Americans preferred divided government anyway. But then Representative Newt Gingrich who was basically still a backbencher in the House put together what was called the Conservative Opportunity Society. Or something like that along with other House Republicans like, Bob Walker from Pennsylvania, Connie Mack from Florida, Trent Lott from Mississippi and others.

And the COS would work to elect enough Republicans to the House to win the majority there. Concentrate in areas like in the South, rural Midwest and West where the Democratic Party had seats there for a long time. But were moderate to conservative Democrats. And Representative Gingrich got the idea how come they could elect Conservative Republicans instead in these conservative districts. Gingrich saw these voters as naturally Republican anyway, why not bring them over to their camp instead.

It would be another ten years of course until there would be a Republican Congress the first in forty years House and Senate. But that work didn't start in 1993-94 after the Republican Party lost the White House as well. With President Bush losing in an electoral landslide to Bill Clinton. But this work started really in late 1978 after Newt was just elected to the House. Thats when he put his group together. Representative Jack Kemp was also part of this working group. And had it not been for the recession of 1981-82, Iran Contra in 1986-87, that cost Senate Republicans the Senate and another recession in 1990-91, maybe there's a Republican Congress pre-1995.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Firing Line: William F. Buckley Interviewing U.S. Senator Charles Mathias- The Role of Liberals in the GOP


Sen. Charles Mathias who was a Republican Senator from the great State of Maryland from 1969-87. And before that a Representative from the great State of Maryland from 1963-69. For a total of twenty-four years in Congress and yes I’m familiar Maryland political history. Probably should’ve been a Democrat all along which is why Senate Leader Bob Byrd or his deputies in 1978, tried to recruit Senator Mathias to run for reelection as a Democrat in 1980. Because Sen. Mathias supported things like the Panama Canal Treaty in 1978, civil rights in the 1960s and I’m sure several other things and probably voted with President Jimmy Carter as much or more.

Then Senator Mathias voted against President Carter and may have voted against President Reagan as much as he voted with him. Jimmy Carter and Ron Reagan being extremely different politically and both fit in well with their parties. Sen. Mathias was a Liberal Republican if there is such a thing from again the great State of Maryland. A very liberal Democratic state where the voter registration is something like 70% Democratic. To get elected as a Republican in the State of Maryland, especially statewide. Senator Mathias had to vote Democratic. Or at least vote with Senate Democrats enough to seem liberal enough to Marylanders to get reelected. Moderate Republicans or people who I would call classical Conservative Republicans can get elected and reelected in the Republican Party. Because they vote republican on economic policy.

People in today’s Republican Party the elected officials and insiders in the party who influence Republicans, but from outside office, like General Colin Powell and members of Congress like. Senator Olympia Snowe, Senator Susan Collins. Senator Scott Brown and former Senator Lincoln Chafee and Jim Jeffords and others, former Governor Bill Weld of Massachusetts, should consider becoming Democrats. Because of the states they represent, but also how they vote and they would probably be Liberal Democrats, but in a good sense. Not how it’s stereotyped today that looks more socialist than liberal.

But in the actual classical sense like Jack Kennedy who was a Liberal Democrat in the best sense of the word. A believer in individual freedom and limited government, not collectivism or socialism. These New Democrats would piss off Progressive Democrats or as I call them Democratic Socialists. People who get called Liberal Democrats today, but actually aren’t. They are Democratic Socialists instead. Because they would support things like individual liberty, low tax rates and be against single payer health care and other things. That Democratic Socialists have been trying to accomplish for what seems like forever now. But that’s not a bad thing because they would just be representing liberalism at it’s best. And why I’m a Liberal Democrat.

The term Liberal Republican just doesn’t work in today’s Republican Party that’s dominated by the Religious-Right. And people who like to mix in economic libertarianism with religious conservatism on the social issues. And maybe a little neoconservatism on national security. Like elements of todays Tea Party. Not saying that the whole Tea Party movement is mixed in with Religious and Neoconservatives. But there’s definitely that element of the Tea Party that is led by Representative Michele Bachmann, Sarah Palin, Senator Jim DeMint and others that is. Which is one reason why Liberal Republicans should be Liberal Democrats instead.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

World Ahead Publishing: Casey S. Pipes- "Dwight Eisenhower, Not Lyndon Johnson, Was First Civil Rights Champ"

Dwight Eisenhower, was not the first President to come out in favor of civil rights or human rights for everyone in America. Abraham Lincoln deserves the credit for that for the Civil War that ended slavery and freed the African slaves. And Harry Truman allowed soldiers of different races to serve together with an executive order in I believe in 1945. What President Dwight Eisenhower deserves credit for and I believe it’s accurately reported in his presidential legacy, was enforcing rule of law in America for all the people. Rule of law as a Conservative Republican, a Classical Conservative, is something that Dwight Eisenhower believed in deeply and I believe he picked that up in the military. If Rule of law is not properly enforced, then rules and laws become meaningless.

Ike Eisenhower, saw his job as President to enforce rule of law. Something he did very well as President, with enforcing all of those U.S. Supreme Court decisions. That allowed students of different races to go to school together and sending the Army into Little Rock, Arkansas to make sure the Governor of Arkansas allowed those African-American students go to school. With the Caucasian- American students there at Central High School in Little Rock. And these types of decisions not just enforcing laws that you agree with, but enforcing all laws which is what rule of law is about, would not play well today with Neoconservatives and the Religious-Right. Which is one reason why I believe Ike Eisenhower wouldn’t be able to get the Republican nomination for president today. Because he was a Classical Conservative instead.

Dwight Eisenhower came from the Classical Conservative wing of the Republican Party. The faction that used to dominate that party. That is the real anti-big government and fiscally conservative wing of the party. That doesn’t want government trying to tell people how to live their lives, economically or civilly. Dwight Eisenhower, would probably be against the New Deal, Fair Deal, Great Society. But was also in favor of civil rights, human rights, Separation of Church and State, only committing our military when it’s in our national security interest. President Eisenhower pulled us out of the Korean War. I don’t believe President Eisenhower would’ve taken us to war in Vietnam. Sending in military advisors and aiding South Vietnam, would’ve been as far as he would’ve gone.

President Eisenhower, was a true budget hawk and wouldn’t have supported supply side economics. And out-of-control spending anywhere in the Federal Government, including the Pentagon. Other than civil rights its hard to tell the difference between Ike Eisenhower and Barry Goldwater politically. Eisenhower’s politics is also very similar to Ron Reagan. Both men considered champions in the conservative movement. If it’s a Conservative that the Republican Party is looking to nominate for President in 2012, than they should take a long look at Newt Gingrich or John Huntsman. Huntsman fits that label perfectly, a true anti-big government Conservative. Or find someone like Dwight Eisenhower, Barry Goldwater, Gerry Ford, or Ron Reagan. If they want George Bush SR, then select Mitt Romney, but President Bush was a lot more consistent. If it’s a Religious or Neoconservative, they have plenty of candidates to choose from. Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, Herman Cain. Otherwise they should keep looking.



Wednesday, November 9, 2011

"What Are Some Smarter Ways to Pay for Health Care?": Put the people in charge of their Healthcare



The 2010 Affordable Care Act passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama. Represents a good first step in Healthcare Reform, mainly because of the Patients Bill of Rights in it. Stopping Health Insurers from laying people off because they get sick and need their Health Insurance, ending Lifetime Caps. Things like that are all excellent first steps in Healthcare Reform, as well as the Tax Credit for people who can't afford their own Health Insurance. Make too much money to be on Medicaid and aren't old enough to receive Medicare yet. The AFA did nothing to reform Medicaid and Medicare, except to make millions of more people eligible for Medicaid. But without a way to pay for it, which will be something unless fixed. That the States who are already strapped will get stuck paying the bill. It does close the Doughnut Hole in Medicare that was created by the 2003 Medicare Drug Benefit. But does nothing to fix the financing of both Medicaid and Medicare. Which are both fixable problems to fix but the solutions to fixing them aren't popular. And that may be why the President and Congress didn't fix those critical programs. And perhaps intentionally realizing that the AFA is simply a first step in Healthcare Reform. And the first step was about expanding Health Insurance for people who can't afford it. And regulating the Health Insurance Industry to stop the abuses in it.

Step two in Healthcare Reform in America should be about expanding Competition and Choice in Healthcare and Health Insurance. Freedom of Choice, Consumer Choice and fixing the financing of Medicaid and Medicare. One thing that I was in favor in Healthcare Reform in 2009-10, that we didn't get. Thanks to Senate Republicans and Conservative Democrats was a Public Option. But this is how I would set up and no not create another Federal Entitlement Program. My Public Option would look similar to what the House of Representatives passed in November 2009. Where they would create an Independent Semi Private Non Profit Health Insurer, that would be financed by its customers. But I would take it a step farther and have the States create their own Public Option and set up their own Healthcare System. That they would regulate that would have to meet basic Federal Standards. But again each Public Option would again be Semi Private Non Profit Self Financed paid for by its customers. And this is where the Freedom of Choice comes in, let the people who consume Healthcare. Decide for themselves how do they pay for it, Health Savings Account, their current Health Insurer, another Private Insurer. Or they could go with the Public Option in their own State, basic competition would bring down our Health Costs.

AFA overall positive and is something I believe President Obama should run on in his reelection. Which I expect and hope he'll get reelected, but he'll acknowledge that even though AFA. Will be part of his Presidential Legacy but it can't be that last step in Healthcare Reform which I believe he would also acknowledge. If we want to get our Healthcare Cost down to a more manageable level of around 10-12%. And to do that we need a lot more reform in our Healthcare System and reforming our Entitlement Programs. To fully fix our Healthcare System.

Click on the link of the blog to see a video from AEI on the Affordable Care Act

Monday, November 7, 2011

Guy John: Two Friends Talk- Ronald Reagan and William F. Buckley

It’s good to see Ron Reagan together with Bill Buckley. As far as I’m concern two of the fathers of the modern classical conservative movement. Who both had a role in making that movement national starting in the mid 1960s. With Barry Goldwater’s 1964 presidential campaign that went a long way in putting classical conservatism on the map in American politics, because of the states that Senator Goldwater was able to reached. Winning Southern states that up until 1964, the Democratic Party had owned and Senator Goldwater was able to win a few of them. And of course Richard Nixon was able to win a lot of Southern states in 1968 as he was elected president.

And the Republican Party was able to pick up a bunch of seats in Congress. Not only in this period but were also able to build on it to the point that they won back the Senate in 1980. The first time since 1952 that Senate Republicans won or held control of the Senate and would hold their majority for two more elections. And Ron Reagan was elected President in 1980 in a landslide and reelected in a landslide in 1984. George HW Bush President Reagan’s Vice President was elected President in 1988 in another landslide.

The Republican Party wins control of the House for the first time since 1952 in 1994. And win control of the Senate for the first time since 1984 in 1993. And a lot of this success came in the South. And Ron Reagan and Bill Buckley, as well as Barry Goldwater and other Classical Conservatives had a lot to do with their Republican Party’s success. By building the classical conservative movement and using the Republican Party as it’s vehicle.

They were talking about what’s been dubbed ‘Reaganomics’ which is supply side economics. Deep across the board tax cuts, deep cuts in regulations, but you don’t cut government spending. No matter how supply siders say otherwise, that’s how it was done in 1981. And the years after the 1981 Economic Recovery Act and they of course had President Reagan and a Republican Senate. But what did they do ten times after the ERA was passed in 1981, along with a Democratic House, raise taxes and increase the Federal budget in defense and in several other areas. Part of President Reagan’s ‘peace through strength’ foreign policy.

But the country paid a heavy price in debt and deficit.s Because those promised budget cuts that President Reagan promised in 1981, never came. But what came instead was a hell of a lot of spending. Dwarfing anything that President Carter or President Clinton could come up both Democratic president’s. Richard Darman one of the President Reagan’s budget directors, also a Conservative Republican, said that President Reagan didn’t like debt and deficits. What Howard Dean dubbed, ‘borrow and spend Economics’. But if it was a choice between a balanced budget or peace through strength, he would live with the debt and deficit.

Ron Reagan did a lot to build the modern classical conservative movement, as well as the Republican Party. And President Reagan does deserve credit for turning the economy around in the 1980s. And the Economic Recovery Act did play a role in that, as well as the defense spending especially with defense contractors and military jobs. But it didn’t pay for itself. The economic recovery did not pay for the Tax Cuts. And President Reagan and his allies have said well they had a Democratic House and later a complete Democratic Congress to deal with. Well that’s true but they had President Reagan and a Republican Senate for six years and he signed those bills into law.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Reagan Foundation: President Ronald Reagan's 1982 State of The Union Address

President Ronald W. Reagan
If you listen to President Reagan’s 1982 State of the Union Speech and then listen to President Obama’s 2009, or 2010 State of the Union speeches, they are similar at least in this sense. “Times are tough as they were during all three speeches, we passed a program to deal with the bad economy. Which is true in both cases, things are improving a little bit and had we not passed our program, things would be worse had we not done anything.” Same thing was said in 1982 from President Reagan and President Obama said the same thing in 2010. Because the situation was similar, an awful recession and high unemployment in both cases.

The country probably wasn’t buying either speech that much, because President Reagan’s Republican Party dropped thirty plus seats in the House in 1982. And I don’t know how they managed hang on to the Senate. (Maybe that’s a future blog) And President Obama’s Democratic Party dropped sixty-two seats in the House in 2010. Both Presidents inherited awful economy’s big reason why they were elected President. The economy’s so bad that it wasn’t until late 1983, that the economy began to take off again. With high economic growth and a falling unemployment rate. A big reason why President Reagan was reelected in a landslide. And in President Obama’s case it may be four years before the economy takes off again, Economic growth picked up in the third quarter, but President Obama will probably have to get reelected in 2012 to see the economy take off under his watch. And be able to get credit for it which of course at this point is no guarantee.

I believe one of the reasons why Barack Obama respects, or admirers however you want to put it quotes from Ronald Reagan is because the situations that both faced when they became President. And their first terms were both pretty rough. Both had low approval ratings, both got whipped in their first mid-term and both were considered one-term President’s. But President Reagan of course was reelected in a landslide in 1984. Senate Republicans held the Senate and lets see what happens in 2012. But the best thing that President Obama has going for him and it has almost nothing to do with him except for how President Obama looks compared with his competition, or as I would call it lack of competition.

When a talk show host with no political experience as far as running for public office, up until now is considered the frontrunner and tied with the guy who should be the frontrunner and reminds me of George H.W. Bush in Mitt Romney. But we’ll see how it works out. 2012 may be one of those typical presidential elections where the President is defeated, because of a bad economy. Or untypical and gets reelected in a bad economy, like in 1936, or 1940 with FDR. History is critical and important obviously because it allows us to see where we have been. What was done in the past and when similar situations come up in the future like today. Compared with 1981-82, we can see what was done in the past and if that worked, or not. And if that should be done now to try to solve similar problems.



Friday, November 4, 2011

Wide World of Wisdom: The Phil Donahue Show: Milton Friedman- Freedom vs. Fairness


Milton Friedman has a point when he talks about freedom vs. fairness. When he says he’s not for fairness, but for freedom. Give people the freedom to live their own lives and resources to make that happen for them. And that gets to things like quality education and rule of law and what’s been called quality of opportunity. Not quality of result, but quality of opportunity is where everyone, or most people, no economic system is perfect, they all have their strengths and weakness’s, but where all the people have the power to make the best out of their lives. And have a quality of life based on what they put into their lives, what they produce for society.

Thats what you get in a liberal democracy which is individual liberty. Quality of result, is where we all put our money into one pot essentially and government passes some of that money, perhaps not much of it back to the people based on what they feel they need to support themselves. Which is what your would get in a socialist society, or a social democracy. With freedom, people can live their own lives and make the best out of them based on what they do with them. And you give them a quality education, then they’ll have a good opportunity to make a good life for themselves. And the fairness comes from making sure that everyone has an opportunity at a quality education. And with rule of law and that everyone is treated fairly under law.

Fairness, is not about some people doing great in society and then taking some, or a lot of their money, to give to the less-fortunate in life who aren’t self-sufficient and don’t have a great life. And perhaps have to collect public assistance for them just to survive. Fairness, would be empowering the less-fortunate so they can become self-sufficient. Empower them to go back to school, or go to school so they can get the skills and job training that they need. To get a good job, make a good living and become self-sufficient in life and not need public assistance in order to survive. Fairness, is not about taking money from people who went to school and made themselves productive in life and giving to people who can’t support themselves and collect public assistance.

But reforming our public assistance system that does this, that just doesn’t give people Welfare checks for an indefinite period of time and expects nothing from them, but uses those resources to empower people so they can support themselves. And again that gets to education. If you get a good education, your chances of doing well in life are so much better than people who don’t. Milton Friedman once said that if it’s a choice between freedom or fairness, he would choose freedom. Because without freedom there is no fairness, because then everyone would be the same. And not have the freedom to make the best life for themselves that they can. Because we would all be dependent on government.



Thursday, November 3, 2011

James Miller Center: President Ronald Reagan- Address on Tax and Budget Legislation August 16, 1982: A Reverse of Course?

President Ronald W. Reagan- Borrow and Spender
In the late 1970s 1978 or 79, Republican Senator Bill Roth who was on the Senate Finance Committee and Republican Representative Jack Kemp, over in the House, together introduced the Kemp-Roth bill in the House and Senate. Which was deep tax cuts across the board. Supply side tax cuts, meaning there weren’t budget cuts to pay for them. Neither Member of Congress was the Chairman, or Ranking Member of their committees. They were also Conservative Republicans serving in a Democratic Congress with a Democratic President. So they both knew that their legislation wouldn’t pass at least in that Congress.

Kemp-Roth was about the 1980 general election. Hoping of course Ronald Reagan is elected President and that Republicans pick up a lot of seats in Congress and even take over the House, or Senate, or both. Congressional Republicans picked up a bunch of seats in the 1978 mid-term elections, especially in the House. But they had a long way to go going and Democrats kept control of Congress for 1979-81. But Kemp-Roth help set the stage for the 1980 general elections with high taxes becoming unpopular across the country. With a very weak economy with high unemployment, the recession of 1979-80 and everything else. And Ron Reagan knew this and made Kemp-Roth part of his 1980 presidential campaign.

Ron Reagan becomes President of the United States in a landslide in 1980, Senate Republicans take control of the Senate pick up thirty seats in the House. President Reagan is pretty popular from the beginning, the assassination attempt in 1981 actually helped in a sense. Because his approval rating went up. Senate Republicans had the votes in the Senate, the question was whether they can pass Kemp-Roth in the Democratic House. Which was controlled by Speaker Tip O’Neil who was a very Progressive Democrat to put it mildly. And didn’t believe in tax cuts.

But with President Reagan’s popularity, House Minority Leader Bob Michael along with President Reagan, were able to find enough Conservative Democrats in the South to go along with all the House Republicans and Speaker O’Neil made the mistake of allowing for a vote on Kemp-Roth. Because he believed he had the votes to defeat the bill along with I believe House Leader Jim Wright. The President’s approval rating was so high, those Southern Democrats all wanted to get reelected and Kemp-Roth passed in 1981. But the economy didn’t improve right away, actually there was another recession in 1982 that was even deeper.

But in 1982 with yet another deep recession and the debt and deficit skyrocketing and with the budget cuts that the President promised that never came around at least early in his presidency. President Reagan, House Speaker Tip O’Neil and Senate Leader Howard Baker and I believe Senate Minority Leader Bob Byrd worked together and agreed to raise taxes I believe across the board. And actually President Reagan also the President of Supply Side Economics, raised taxes ten times and increased the size of the Federal Government during his Presidency. And left office in 1989 with a record Federal debt and deficit. President Reagan became President as an ideologue, but left office as a pragmatist.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Senate Democrats Propose Amendment to US Constitution on Campaign Finance: Thats what they need to do what they want



Ever since the Buckley V Valejo 1976 US Supreme Court decision relating Campaign Finance to Political Speech. And as many times as Congress has attempted to pass Campaign Finance Reform. And regulate Campaign Finance, the way to accomplish and as far as I'm concern there has always been only one way. And the Citizens United decision of 2010 makes this more clearer, is through a Amendment to the US Constitution. Which of course are almost impossible to pass which is the main reason why so few of them has been passed. Two Thirds Super Majority Vote in both Chambers of Congress. And then sixty seven States and their Legislatures having to pass the Constitutional Amendment. Within seven years of Congress passing the Amendment, the Founding Fathers thought they wrote one hell of a Constitution. And the didn't want the Federal Government messing with it and every time Congress or a State has passed some type of Campaign Finance Reform. Regulating Campaign Finance, the Supreme Court has stripped some aspect out of it. The latest decision in February 2010 calling corporations a person. A group of people, sure thats obvious but one person, you might as well call a building a person or car of person. Because there are people who go inside of them.

Here are some of the problems with the Constitutional Amendment approach to regulating Campaign Finance. And they all relate to why proposing one now is not about passing it now. Or passing Campaign Finance Reform through statue meaning law. One it won't pass in this Congress, you got a Republican House and even with a Democratic Senate. But they have 53 seats 14 short even if they all vote for it, which probably wouldn't happen. They have members who are probably interested passing Campaign Finance Reform. But would prefer to do it by statue and trying to pass something that would hold up to Constitutional Scrutiny. And I believe Senate Leader Harry Reid and his Deputy Dick Durbin and the people who are proposing this Amendment know that. So this Amendment is about politics, the relationship between the Federal Government and Corporate America. And this feeling that Special Interests have too much influence in both parties is real and a reason why Congress is so unpopular right now. And these Senators are trying to capture some of that feeling and use it to say that we hear the people. And we are trying to do something about it but the Special Interests have too much power. So give us more power and we'll fix the problem.

If Congress was serious about passing Campaign Finance Reform, then they would be talking about Full Disclosure. Full Disclosure of Campaign Contributions that candidates and incumbents receive. When they received them, for how much, who they talk and do business with. Their Voting Records, Amendments to Legislation and Legislation that they propose. And then let the people decide for themselves based on all that info. If that person should be elected or reelected or not but what they are doing instead. Is proposing something that they know won't pass.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

US Rep. Jan Shakowski: "Wealthy should pay higher taxes": She has a plan to do it



Rep. Jan Shakowski Democrat Member of the Progressive Caucus. Which should give you a pretty good idea of where she is politically. Not as far to left as Rep. Dennis Kucinich but definitely pretty far to left, similar to Sen. Bernie Sanders. Has a Tax Reform plan that keeps the Federal Income Tax which is my main problem with it. I would like to replace the Income Tax with what I call a Progressive Consumption Tax. But what Rep. Shakowski does is brings in a couple of new Tax Rates, one for people making over a million dollars. And a higher rate for people making over a billion dollars. What I like about her plan is that the uses the extra Tax Revenue to pay down the Federal Debt and Deficit. And doesn't increase taxes on the Middle Class which is something that her Progressive Caucus colleagues want to do. They want to go back to the pre 1981 Tax Rates, with the highest Tax Rate at 70%. Or even go back farther to the 1950s when the Tax Rates ranged from 25-90%. And use all of that Tax Revenue not to pay down the debt and deficit but for more and new Social Insurance spending. Rep. Shakowski who is on the Ways and Means Committee the Tax Writing Committee in the House. And has large jurisdiction over Economic Policy. Wants to leave the Bush Tax Cuts in place but push the old highest Tax Rates back up to I believe 36 and 39%. But then create new Tax Rates that are even higher, I believe 40 and 45%.

Lets look at politics of the Shakowski Tax Reform plan, Rep. Shakowski is not even the Ranking Member. Top Minority Member or Chairman top Majority Member of the Ways and Means Committee. Meaning she can't force a vote or a hearing on her plan, let alone get the votes for it, especially in a Republican House. So its not going to pass in the House in this Congress, especially with almost every Republican Member of Congress. Against Tax Hikes right now, now if President Obama is reelected and the Democratic Party holds the Senate, and wins control of the House. Then maybe 2013-14, probably 13 because 2014 will be another Mid Term Election. But maybe by then the Congress and the President will be serious about Deficit Reduction then. And Tax Hikes on the wealthy and real Entitlement Reform will be on the table then. But thats over a year away and at least Rep. Shakowski has a real Tax Reform plan. That doesn't make her look like a socialist, progressive sure. But in a responsible way coming out in favor of a Tax System based on what people can afford to play. Not increasing taxes on people who are struggling right now.

I give credit to Rep. Jane Shakowski for putting a serious Tax Reform plan on the table, though I wouldn't vote for it. As a long term Tax Reform plan but something that can be useful. As we are trying to get our debt and deficit under control, as long as it also addresses. Tax Loopholes and closing those as well, which are very expensive along with Corporate Welfare. And then we would be able to lower Tax Rates on everyone including business's long term.