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Friday, June 29, 2012
Senate Leader Harry Reid Won't Say if ACA Mandate is a Tax: Its a Fee For People who Choose not to Pay for their Healthcare
My only real issue with Senate Leader Harry Reid and even though he has been one of the most effective Senate Leaders as well as Democratic Leaders we've had at least in recent time. He has a hard time admitting the obvious, you could stick an apple in front of his face and ask him if this is an apple. And if he thinks answering that question will hurt him politically, he will dodge it and generally do it in a humorous way. I'm not here to talk about fruits of labor but to pass the Labor Appropriations bill or something like that. Whether you want to call the Individual Mandate a tax or a fee, suit yourself thats exactly what is either one would describe it accurately. Its a price that people have to pay for not paying their share of their Healthcare Costs, even people who can afford to do so. And instead pass those Healthcare Costs onto people who are responsible enough to pay for their Health Insurance. If you are employed, in good health, make a good living and can either afford Health Insurance by yourself or the plan you can get at work. You are essentially, not exactly getting Free Healthcare in America, by going to the Emergency Room because you have a headache and don't feel like paying for medicine.
Because of the Individual Mandate in the Affordable Care Act, Free Loaders as it relates to Healthcare, will now be put out of business. Either purchase Health Insurance or pay a fine lets say, again whatever term works for you and that money would go to reimburse hospitals who are putting up the costs. For people who have decided not to pay for their Healthcare and then passing those costs onto people who are responsible enough to pay for their own Healthcare. If you believe in Personal Responsibility, that we shouldn't bail out people who have chosen not to be responsible. You should be a fan of the Individual Mandate, because its a Conservative idea and one reason why Progressives didn't support the concept back in 2008, actually Barack Obama didn't support it originally either. And why Right Wingers now hate the idea, because Liberals such as myself and others now support it.
So even if Leader Reid can't admit the obvious or has chosen not to, Democrats could even now run on the Individual Mandate. Thats part of the ACA, if they actually take the time to explain what it, that it only affects people who are not responsible enough to pay for their own Healthcare Costs. Especially explain that to people with Health Insurance, which is most of the country and explain to them that they will no longer have to subsidize the Healthcare. For people who have chosen not to pay for it.
Thursday, June 28, 2012
Supreme Court Upholds Affordable Care Act: Right Wingers React to the Roberts Court Decision to Uphold The ACA
Am I surprised that the US Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act, of course I am but as I blogged on Monday. I predicted that the Supreme Court would uphold the ACA except for the Individual Mandate, on either a 6-3 or 5-4 decision. And that Chief Justice Roberts was more likely to vote in favor of this then Justice Kennedy. What I'm surprised by is that the whole law gets upheld not only 5-4, I predicted that it wasn't going to get upheld and if it. Would get upheld it would be 6-3 with both Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Kennedy voting in favor of it, as it turns out Roberts being more Conservative then Kennedy votes in favor of the ACA. And votes in favor of the Individual Mandate and if you are a Conservative first and a Republican second and you look at things based on what's good for the country and for Conservatism in general. Then you should like this decision especially from the Chief Justice, who by the way wrote the Majority Report lets call it, that he and the four Liberals voted for. He voted for the Supreme Court and the US Constitution, by ruling that its not the job of the Supreme Court to save voters from their own politicians.
The Supreme Court didn't vote in favor of the ACA on policy, just the Constitutionality, Right and Left Wingers asked for the Supreme Court to decide on the Constitutionality. Of the ACA and made their arguments for and against and I believed the Right did a better job of making their case then the Left. Even though I disagreed with the Right and thats what they got from the Supreme Court and if Congress and the President whoever that is next year, doesn't like the ACA. They can vote to overturn it but that its not the role of the Supreme Court but of Congress, because they aren't Legislatures, thats why we have Representatives an\d Senators. So if you are a real Conservative you should like this decision at least based on that, they ruled in favor of the Constitutionality of the ACA and explained why and didn't write new law. Because thats not their job.
If you are just a Right Wing Partisan and of course you are on the Right or Far Right politically. And you feel the main job is to defend the Republican Party at every turn, until it hurts you politically and attack Democrats at every turn and not allow them to have a victory on anything, even when they clearly win. Like today at least on policy, which is basically the State of the Republican Party right now, then of course you hate this decision. The guy who was appointed by President George W. Bush and voted for Citizens United and the Patriot Act and other things, is now a Liberal and a Traitor, no facts to that argument. But why let facts and reason get in the way of an argument.
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
How Governor Reagan closed the budget deficit, Welfare reform, all issues he focused on as Governor of California. As well as how he dealt with President Nixon in the 1970s. The fact he considered himself to be a Libertarian up until 1975 and then became more of a Classical Conservative like Barry Goldwater. His failed 1976 Presidential run against President Gerry Ford, what he did when out of office before he announced he was going to run for president in 1979. His involvement in 1978 California Proposition that would have allowed California employers to fire homosexuals because of their sexuality. That Reagan came out against, when he knew he was going to need the Religious-Right to be elected president in 1980.
There are so many aspects about Ron Reagan, that doing an hour and forty-five minute film about him, doesn't really do justice as far as telling the story of Ron Reagan the man. Someone because of his conservatism, couldn't win national office as a Republican today. The Religious-Right as well as Neoconservatives wouldn't allowed that to happen. They would've treated him like Ron Paul. Accusing him of being a Liberal or Libertarian, which is one reason why he still remains one of our most popular former president's. Because except for maybe Progressives, who still go out of their way to speak against him, he has broad support.
Conservatives love him because he's against big government across the board, for the most part. George Will being an excellent example of that. Libertarians like him because he believed in low taxes and didn't want to tell Americans how to live their lives. Liberals such as myself and others respect him because he's a real Conservative and could work with Democrats. Centrists like him because he made government work and was practical. Reagan has support almost across the board. What you get with the HBO film, is a look at certain targeted aspects of his life, intended to appeal to a broad audience of people. Who don't follow politics and history very closely and feel the need to be entertained, which is one reason why this movie focused a lot on his Hollywood career and his two marriages, as well as his kids and Nancy. And there should be a movie about him, which is how LBJ and FDR have been covered where you get a big picture.
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Charles Krauthammer: "Smaller Government is Still Alive and Well": Limited Government vs Big Government vs Small Government
Charles Krauthammer is actually a Right Winger I respect and even kinda like, because he's actually a real Conservative. Not someone who constantly bashes Big Government but wants to tell Americans how to live their lives, he's not a Neoconservative but more like Barry Goldwater or Ronald Reagan. So when talks about Smaller Government, he's not talking about gutting or eliminating the Safety Net but reforming it to make it more effective and give people who depend on it, more freedom. And again he's not interested in telling people how to live our lives and calling for new Constitutional Amendments to do that, like some people in the Tea Party are now doing. But he's wrong about Wisconsin in this aspect, Governor Walker didn't win the recall because Wisconsin loves him or even likes him. Wisconsin Republicans lost the State Senate in that election. Governor Walker's Approval Rating is under 50%, Governor Walker won, because he didn't have a very good opponent in Wisconsin Mayor Tom Barrett, someone who can connect with Wisconsin Voters. They just dislike Mayor Barrett more then Governor Walker and Governor Walker wasn't elected to eliminate Labor Unions either.
As far as Big Government vs Small Government, I'm not a Progressive or a Libertarian or a Neoconservative. I don't believe in either, I'm a Liberal and I believe in Limited Government, which may sound similar as Small Government but is different. Small Government is a Libertarian notion, where you would eliminate most of the Federal Government, basically just keeping in place. Defense Foreign Affairs, Treasury and perhaps Commerce. The Federal Budget would probably be somewhere around 10% of GDP, today that would be like 1.6T$ or a 56.7% cut in the Federal Budget. My plan for Limited Government would make the Federal Government smaller then it is today but I would probably cut around 20-40% of the Federal Budget. And give the States and Non Profits in the Private Sector more responsibility in dealing with our problems in the country. Especially as they relate to the Safety Net but I wouldn't eliminate these programs just reform them.
Both the left and right have their own versions of Big Government but they just practice Big Government in different ways. And they are both about control, controlling how people live their lives, even though they would probably phrase it differently but with Progressives its about controlling peoples money. That they know how best to spend that money and that the country as a whole needs that money more then individuals themselves and with Neoconservatives. Its about controlling how people live their lives, outlawing activities that they don't like and eliminating a lot of privacy. Both wings have their Big Government addicts, they just practice their addiction in different ways.
Monday, June 25, 2012
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi: If Individual Mandate Struck Down, The Rest of Th ACA Won't Work
Here's my best case as well as most likely scenario of the Supreme Court Ruling of the Affordable Care Act on Thursday. The US Supreme Court strikes down the Individual Mandate on a 5-4 decision, with Justice Kennedy voting with the majority but the rest of the ACA, except for maybe the Federal Mandate on Medicaid, survives. 6-3 with both Justice Kennedy and Chief Justice Roberts voting in favor of it, Chief Justice Roberts from sources I've heard, doesn't like the Individual Mandate. And perhaps not the entire bill and does see the IM as Unconstitutional but doesn't see the whole bill as Unconstitutional and doesn't want the biggest decision of his Supreme Courtship if you will, to be decided on party lines. With one vote deciding it either way, if you remember the Supreme Court arguments back in April, Chief Justice Roberts was the most open minded of the Republicans, not only on the Individual Mandate but the entire ACA. And I believe may be willing to uphold a bill, except of the Individual Mandate, even though he may not like the rest of the bill. But that he sees it as Constitutional and therefore shouldn't be thrown out by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court is not a Legislature, they decide whether bills stay in or not, based on the Constitutionality, not whether its good policy or not.
So assuming I'm right for a minute for the sake of this blog, if nothing else. If only the Individual Mandate gets tossed, which is big enough and a big enough problem to deal with but the rest of the bill stays in. Which is clearly not a safe bet but what would that mean, well people who can't currently afford Health Insurance for themselves, would still get help getting that. Through the Tax Credit in the ACA, employers who want to provide their employees Health Insurance but can't afford to, would still get help in doing so, to make their place of employment more attractable. The Patients Bill of Rights thats in the ACA, would still be in there, meaning that insurers would still no longer be able to dump people, because they actually need their Health Insurance. Instead of just paying into it, Lifetime Caps would still be eliminated, which is in the Patient Bill of Rights, as well as denying people Health Insurance, because they have a Pre Existing Condition.
If the rest of the Affordable Care Act remains intact and the Supreme Court doesn't toss it out the whole bill. Thats what Republicans will attempt to repeal in the next Congress, if there is a Republican Congress, all of these previsions that are actually popular by themselves, just not all together. And if this is the case Congress will have work to on the ACA if most of the law is ruled Constitutional, because it won't work very well without the Individual Mandate. Bringing in all of the healthy and unhealthy people in the same Healthcare System, to bring down Healthcare Costs, instead of just dumping a lot of unhealthy people into the system. People who can't afford their Healthcare Costs.
Friday, June 22, 2012
Hoover Institution: Uncommon Knowledge: Peter Robinson Interviewing Charles Moore: The Legacy of Margaret Thatcher
There were political differences, back in the 1970s. The UK Labor Party, was more of a Marxist Socialist Party, that believed in state ownership of the economy. At least to certain extents and there were British industries, that were owned by the U.K. Government. The U.S. Democratic Party, is made up of Liberal and Progressives and have Democratic Socialists. Progressive Democrats in the Party that believe in democratic socialism. Which is different from Marxism, but both parties have their big government supporters as it relates to economics and they were both in charge back then. But both countries were down and weren’t doing very well and were both looking for a change politically and both got it, with Thatcher and Reagan.
So in Britain, what Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher did and what the new Labor Party under Tony Blair continued in the late 1990s, but added their own touch to it, was bring more economic freedom to Britain. Privatized more British industries, cut taxes and cut spending and freed a lot of Brits to live their own lives. One thing I respect about the British Conservative Party, that unlike the Republican Party, is that they are a real Conservative Party. Not a Neoconservative Party. They truly believe in conserving individual freedom, not subtracting from it, or trying to tell people how to live their lives. The British Conservatives, didn’t bring in conservative economics, with authoritarian policies on Social Issues. They wanted to expand British freedom and give more Brits the ability to chart their own course in life, and not being dependent on the state for their lively hood.
That Thatcher Revolution, worked so well in Britain, that when Tony Blair was running and eventually elected Prime Minster in 1997 with the Labor Party, he did not run on Marxism. He didn’t try to convince Brits that capitalism doesn’t work and they need to go back to nationalizing British industries and return to the 1970s. What he did was to run on a different type of capitalism, that would expect Brits who were physically and mentally capable of working full-time, would be expected to be self-sufficient in life. And that even if you were unemployed and uneducated, that you would still be expected to work and be self-sufficient. And that the state will help you get the skills you need to be self-sufficient if you need it. Thats the legacy of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
Thursday, June 21, 2012
Last week I wrote a blog similar to this on why Barack Obama is not a Socialist and his Presidency is really all the evidence you need to know that. So this is I guess a follow up to that and I also point out that in the future I'm going to do like a top ten list of reasons why Barack Obama is not a Socialist. I just wasn't sure if it was going to be a serious blog or if would do in satiric form. If this is the best that the Right Wing can do to show that President Obama is a Socialist, then they are really wasting a lot of time, their time and anyone who would see this. Except for people who have nothing better but to see this or for people who might want to blog about it, such as myself. Or people who just want another reason to laugh at was passes for today's Right Wingers, people that Barry Goldwater, who's considerd the father of Classcial Conservatism, wanted nothing to do with. And that Ron Reagan's only interest in these people, was to get then to vote for him, he was only interested in winning elections when he was running for office. And didn't care who voted for him, as long as they voted for him and would let them feel that he was on their side, without doing anything for them.
Today's Right Wingers dislike or in a lot of cases hate President Obama so much, like in the case of the Birthers. Who don't seem capable of even reading Birth Certificates accuratley, that they can't accept facts when they are right in front of their faces and acknowlege that Barack Obama is not only an American Citizen. But that he was born in Hawaii in 1961, Right Wingers like the Daily Caller and others who haven't gone the Birther route, use a different approach. They've pretty muched accepted that President Obama was born in Hawaii and is an American Citizen but that he's really not one of use, he's not really an American politically or culturally. And try to make him look like a Democratic Socialist in the European tradition and use the Guilt by Association tactic, saying that the President is a Socialist, because he's hung out with Socialists in the past, thats really all they have, Guilt by Assocaition. Thats even weak for Circumstancial Eveidence.
So here's why Barack Obama is not a Socialist my top list, he bailed out the Auto Industry in 2009, instead of Nationalizing it. He's cut taxes by over 200B$ since 2009, instead of raising taxes by at least 200B$, he's bailed out State and Local Governments, insetad of Federalizing them. He's passed regualtions on the Banking Industry, to try to prevent "Too Big to Fail" from happening again, by setting up a process where Big Banks that are in danger of falling. Would shrink and become much smaller and easier to manage, isnetad of Nationalizing big banks. He's expanded Private Health Insurance, insead of Nationalizing the Health Insurance Industry. If Barack Obama was a Socialist, he wouldn't of been elected President of the United States, thats just not the type of country we are, just ask any Progressive Democrat out there. When they try to push for new funding of Big Government programs or try to create new Federal Social Insurance programs.
Oh another reason why President Obama is not a Socialist, Progressive Democrats don't like him or have fallen out of love with him. Because they saw him as our first Socialist President or at least our first one since Franklin Rossevelt and are not crazy about voting for him again. Someone they see as a "Corporate Democrat" or something, someone who's continuing on with Bush Presidency or something. I can close my case now.
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
I saw an interview on the CNBC Kudlow Report, which is lets be honest, its not a report, its more like the Larry Kudlow Point of View, POV with Larry Kudlow. Would be a more accurate description of this show, I learn about as much or less from watching Rachel Maddow or Sean Hannity. Which isn't saying anything, these shows are mostly commentary but I actually did hear some interesting on the Kudlow, Show lets call it. Where the guy guest hosting this show was interviewing Jeb Henserling Chairman of the House Republican Conference, who's basically the Chief Spokesperson for the House GOP Leadership. And Chairman Henserling in this "interview", more like a couple guys taking turns slapping each other on the back, and telling each other good point, just backing up the other in what they were saying. The interviewer was talking about the fact that Congress at this point, has passed a lot less legislation then the previous Congress's at the same point in the Congress. Because the House and Senate haven't gotten together to agree on a lot of legislation, House Republicans and Senate Democrats are just very divided on almost everything. The Senate has had a hard time passing anything out of the Senate, because of how evenly divided the Senate is between Democrats and Republicans.
Chairman Henserling said that its not about how much legislation that Congress passes but the quality of legislation that Congress passes. Which is an obvious statement but very true, Congress's tend to be judged by how much legislation they pass, instead of the quality of legislation it passes. Which is the wrong test and here's why, me personally I don't want to see Congress pass a lot of legislation. Especially anything that makes the Federal Government bigger or our taxes higher or takes away some of our freedom. I just want Congress and the Federal Government as a whole to do the things that we need it to do, do the basic work that Congress needs to do. To keep Uncle Sam in business, which means at least passing Appropriation bills, to avoid Government Shutdowns and defaults and when there are problems in the country like with a weak economy. Passing things that can help improve the economy, which is where Congress has overwhelmingly failed.
Congress can't fix the economy, nor can the rest of the Federal Government but it can pass legislation to encourage Economic and Job Growth which is what the country needs. Like with a long term Highway bill and further Infrastructure Investment, which would also be a boost for our Construction and Manufacturing Industries who need the work and we need the parts to do that work and for this to happen the House and Senate have to work together. Not trying to pass things that the other side won't approve.
Monday, June 18, 2012
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell: "President Obama Seeking to Change First Amendment 'An Act of Radicalism': Why Full Disclosure is Important
Every time I hear Progressives talking about how horrible the Citizens United decision was and that its so awful, that we need a Constitutional Amendment. Which by the way are almost impossible to pass, which is why we've haven't changed our Constitution very often in the last almost 236 years. And was made almost impossible to change intentionally, the Liberals and Libertarians who wrote the Constitution, thought they had written such a brilliant document, with all the Constitutional Rights that were laid out. And didn't want Authoritarians from the right or left, coming in and taking those Freedoms way with a simple majority, the First Amendment being the most important right that we have. So when I hear about horrible that the Citizens United decision was from Progressives and that we need a Constitutional Amendment to overturn it and that we can do this with the "will of the people". I think these people really do live on Planet Utopia and visit America every so often, too often from my point of view, to tell us how bad we are and we should be more like them.
A Constitutional Amendment, even if you were to get it out of a Republican House and over to the Democratic Senate, you would have to get all 53 Democratic Senators to vote for it. And pick up 14-47 Republican Senators, probably all of them by the way, who support the Citizens United decision, to vote for this Constitutional Amendment. This may happen on Planet Utopia, just not in the United States, I don't like the Citizens United decision, because of all the, as Mother Jones Magazine called it a few weeks ago. "Dark Money", thats now flowing into our Political Campaigns, meaning money from undisclosed sources, where we don't know who's funding this candidate or that third party group, because they don't have to disclose their sources. And we don't know exactly what their agenda is, we can get ideas from their commercials but they put out so much nonsense, its hard to follow all of that.
There are ways to solve problems that actually well, solve the problem and there are ways to just keep problems and issues alive to be able to use against the other side. Talking about something that will simply never pass, at least within the next ten years is a way to keep an issue alive to use it against the other side. But passing legislation out of Congress, that can avoid getting thrown out. For example you don't pass something that says so and so, can only raise so much money or can only raise money from these sources or proposing bills that are designed to hurt one side or the other. Especially in a Divided Congress, the right proposing a bill banning Organize Labor from contributing to Political Campaigns, the left proposing a bill that would ban corporations from contributing to Political Campaigns. Does nothing to solve the problem, because it might pass the House but not the Senate and vice versa and just keeps the issue alive.
To solve the problem of too much undisclosed money in American Politics, as well as Special Interest Groups, essentially buying our elections. Where elections are decided based on who can raise the most money, or who's side can raise the most money and make the other person look Unworthy of being elected or reelected. We first have to pass something that will actually fix the problem, 2nd we have to try to pass something that can, well get passed and third but as important. You have to pass something that on its face is Constitutional, Common Sense tells you that and doesn't target one side of the isle or the other. Thats consistent with recent Supreme Court precedents and to me based on everything I've seen from the Supreme Court. There's really only one option, its called Full Disclosure, for all Public Officials, candidates and groups that contribute to Political Campaigns. Having to report how they raise their money and from whom and how much they've raised.
Friday, June 15, 2012
This is about a video I saw on YouTube about Conservatives and Liberals from the past, speaking about the importance of freedom in America. Why we need it and what threatens us from losing it. Ronald Reagan talking about what he saw as the threats of a welfare state, back in 1964, when the debate about the Great Society was underway. Senator Barry Goldwater at the 1964 Republican National Convention, with his famous line, "that extremism in the defense of liberty, is no vice." Dr. Martin Luther King with his I Have a Dream speech, as well as his Promise Land speech, where he had a vision that one day that is children would be treated under law, the same as all American children. And that African-Americans would have their constitutional rights enforced as equally as all other Americans. Malcolm X talking about the need for African-Americans to fight for their constitutional rights and freedom, that they don't have it yet and that they deserve it. President Jack Kennedy standing up for American freedom and saying that Americans can't afford to take it for granted. Senator Bobby Kennedy speaking about the assassination of Dr. King and how huge of a loss that is for America.
I don't want to make this blog completely partisan, but to hear Ron Reagan give that speech, a Classical Conservative speech, about what he saw as the dangers of a welfare state and speaking in defense of individual freedom and describing his own politics as libertarian as late as 1975, coming out against the California proposition of 1978, that would allow employers to fire or deny homosexuals employment, because of their sexuality, just when the Religious-Right was becoming powerful in America. And when he has probably already decided that he was going to run for president in 1980 and he knew that he needed the support of the Christian-Right to be elected president. Which was a big move and big risk on his own part, that he believed that economic freedom was not enough. That government shouldn't interfere with how Americans live their lives, period.
Barry Goldwater coined the phrase, "get big government out of our wallets and bedrooms. A Classical Conservative or Libertarian belief that government shouldn't interfere with how free adults live their own lives. And yet both Ron Reagan and Barry Goldwater would be seen as Moderate-Liberal by todays Republican Party. People who are anti-big government, would be seen as Moderates by todays GOP. Thats how far to the right the GOP has moved today, just a little over twenty years after President Reagan left office. And why neither Reagan or Goldwater could get elected to national office by todays GOP.
Thursday, June 14, 2012
The Republican Party and the broader Right Wing have this broad notion, that President Obama of course a Socialist. And that cutting taxes for anyone is never a good idea and that Americans are under taxed and deserve and need to be taxed more for their own good. So the Federal Government can take care of them, that they have too much freedom and don't know how to handle it and that Uncle Sam needs to make a lot of decisions for them. There are Right Wingers who are actually ignorant enough to believe all of this nonsense and try to use it against the President. What the President was talking about today, is that there are right ways of doing things and wrong ways, there are right ways to cut taxes, to benefit the economy. To increase demand through more Consumer Spending, for people who are being pinched by taxes at all levels of government and actually need a break. And there's a wrong way to cut taxes, by not paying for them, cutting taxes that doesn't encourage Consumer Spending in a time of weak Economic Growth, like right now. But instead encourages people to save that money or send it oversees.
President Obama wasn't saying that Tax Cuts are good or bad but that it depends on how they are done. If they promote Economic Growth like cutting taxes for people who need more money to spend, need another car, have work to do on their homes, looking to take a vacation. Looking to pay off bills, so they don't fall deeper into debt, that those Tax Cuts are a good thing for the economy, then if they are just done in a way that encourages people just to save that money or invest it. But does nothing to encourage Consumer Spending, then thats not how to cut taxes. When Americans are spending money and not worried about losing their jobs or home, we tend to have high Economic Growth, the 1980s and 90s being pretty good examples of that. But when they are not spending because they are worried about getting laid off from work or not being able to pay their mortgage, we tend to have weak Economic Growth. The last decade, as well as right now being pretty good example of that.
At some point I'm going to write a blog on why Barack Obama is not a Socialist, I just need a slow news day to do that. And I'm not sure if I want it to be a straight blog, meaning serious and nothing else or whether I'm going to write it in satiric form and do like a Top 10 List of reasons why Barack Obama is not a Socialist. Stay tune, because there's more then enough evidence to aqquite Barack Obama of the charges of being a Socialist and the fact that he's cut taxes by over 200B$ since becoming President, is a pretty good clue of that.
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
|Source: Liberty Pen-Ann Coulter-|
People who speak in favor of the War on Drugs and thank God we have less people defending the War on Drugs everyday (one thing I love about young people) is that they the drug warriors talk about the dangers of illegal narcotics. Not talking about legal narcotics, but about illegal narcotics. Saying that people who use illegal narcotics get sick and high and cause problems for society because of the dangers of illegal narcotics. Perhaps not aware of the dangers that legal narcotics or not mentioning them, people who get drunk and get into accidents and get several different forms of cancer, relating to alcohol and tobacco, two legal drugs in America. Or the dangers of sugar and caffeine as well and the cancers that are related to those drugs as well. Ann Coulter does make a valid point that she's not in favor of other narcotics becoming legal as long as we have a welfare state in America.
That as long as we have to pay for people who mess up their lives with different drugs, that Ann Coulter is not willing to see other drugs become legal as well. The problem with that argument, is that we are already doing that, with alcohol and tobacco. We are already paying for people who use these drugs and can't afford the health care that they must have as a result of their drug usage. The problems with the War on Drugs, to go along with being stupid, which is its biggest problem and the main reason why it doesn't work stupid things that are designed in a stupid way, tend not to work, you design a car without an engine, you are not going to get very far in that car. And when you design a War where you try to control how people live their own lives, try to stop them from doing what they want to do and then punish them for how they live their own lives, you are not stopping them from doing those things. You are just making those activities illegal, big difference. Which is why prohibition does not work.
One of the reasons why the War on Drugs is stupid, because it's also hypocritical. "Don't use heroin, cocaine or marijuana, but feel free to smoke tobacco until you can no longer talk or breathe properly, or drink alcohol until you destroy the liver. Don't worry the welfare state as Ann Coulter put it, has you're back and will pay for the abuse you committed against yourself." What the War on Drugs needs, is to be ended and instead we apply some common sense and intelligence to how we deal with narcotics in America. I don't want to see a society where our already overcrowded emergency rooms are even more over run by drug addicts, as they are today. But to save our corrections system and other parts of society, that we instill some personal freedom and personal responsibility. That we legalize marijuana, but if people decide to use or abuse legal narcotics in America. That instead of passing the costs of using those drugs onto the people who decided not to that they instead pay for those costs up front, through regulation and taxation.
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
If you want to look at wasteful Government Spending, look at Highway bills, there's plenty of legitimate things in them. But Highway bills tend to be loaded with pork, look at Corporate Welfare, the name alone there is a pretty good clue, look at the Defense Budget, again a lot of it legitimate but we are still paying for things. Because of where they are built, happens to be located in a Representatives District or Senators State, whether those Defense Supplies tend to be built. Or a Defense Contractor knows Representative Smith or Senator Jones, who just happens to be on the Armed Services Committee or Appropriations Committee. And the Defense Contractor has those Members of Congress in their back pocket and know they don't have to worry about those weapons or tanks that they build, being cut from the Defense Budget. Wait but there's more perhaps my favorite one of all, where a lot of Corporate Welfare is located, in the Agriculture Budget, Agriculture Subsidies. Where pun intended a lot of pork is located, subsidizing farmers who can more on their own, not only finance their own Agriculture Insurance but instead get people making 40-45K$ a year, people who are also farmers subsidizing them instead.
I love food as much as the next guy, probably more then most guys and I consider the Agriculture Industry one of the top 3-5 most important Industries in America. We literally can't survive without it and are so efficient at it that we export a lot of food that we produce to other countries, who literally can't feed themselves, countries in Africa and even the Communist Republic of Korea. Doesn't mean I feel we should be force to subsidize farmers that are so efficient at producing food, that they can export a lot of food that they produce oversees. And can finance their own Agriculture Insurance, they should pay for that themselves, either private or public Agriculture Insurance, instead of people who are struggling just to pay their own bills. And them forcing them through Corporate Welfare, to pay for wealthy farmers as well.
Agriculture Subsidies are somewhere in the neighborhood of 40B$ a year, which is about the same price tag as Corporate Welfare. We couldn't balance the Federal Budget on those things alone, of course not with a 1.8T$ Federal Deficit but that would be a hell of a start, that puts you up towards 100B$ a year alone. And then we could go much farther then that in other parts of the Federal Budget as well.
Monday, June 11, 2012
David Limbaugh: "Liberalism is like a Metastatic Cancer": What Right Wingers Don't Understand About Liberalism
I love hearing Right Wingers has I'm going to call them that for the purpose of this blog, not to use as an insult but to explain that the Right Wing is more then just Conservatives. It also concludes Neoconservatives and Theocrats, with Neoconservatives being the most dominant faction of the Right Wing right now. That didn't always be the case, Conservatives use to dominate the Right Wing in America but I love when Right Wingers talk about Liberalism, I love it in this sense. Because its so funny, they are absolutely out of their mind when they are talking about Liberalism and describe it in a way that makes it sound like Socialism or Communism. Two Political Ideologies that are both Statist and Collectivist, so is Neoconservatism by the way, whereas Liberalism is an Individualist Political Ideology, thats built around Individual Freedom, the US Constitution and Bill of Rights and Rule of Law. So to hear Right Wingers describe Liberalism the way it isn't, is like hearing Fidel Castro calling for the need for more Freedom and an Open Society in Russia. What the hell does Fidel Castro know about Freedom, he's never had it, he's never lived under it. The same thing with Neoconservatives and what they know about Liberalism, they are quite frankly speaking out of their ass about Liberalism.
David Limbaugh the brother of guess who and if you said Michael Jackson, you would be incorrect. Is about as clueless about Liberalism as his brother and perhaps as clueless about everything he talks about, to actually right a book about Liberalism, spend the time writing a book about something you don't understand. And to write this book so its taken seriously, seriously by who, High School dropouts, people who can't read, who are dumb enough to believe that Barack Obama is a Kenyan Citizen. I mean is this the audience he wants to speak to, perhaps Mental Patents who if you told them that fire is cold, they'll try to use it to keep their drinks cool. What should be done with this David Limbaugh book, is the same thing thats done with Ann Coulter books, stuff them into the fiction or humor sections, because thats what they are.
Again the Political Ideology that David Limbaugh is speaking out of his ass about, probably because he simply doesn't know about. Because he's too ignorant to understand, is a Statist Philosophy, that has more to with State Dependency then Freedom and has nothing to do with Liberalism. Which again is about, Individual Freedom, US Constitution and Bill of Rights and the Rule of Law.
Friday, June 8, 2012
Representative Jesse Jackson Jr.: "President Obama Should Honor '08 Pledge, Back $10 Minimum Wage": Time for a Living Wage in America?
Representative Jesse Jackson Jr, the son of guess who, I'll give you a clue, they both live in Chicago. Is a Representative who I agree with almost never, about as often as it snows in Los Angeles, well all right maybe a little more often then that but to tell the truth. I don't remember when was the last time I agreed with him on anything, he's about the most farthest left Member of Congress there is, in both the House and Senate. He's in the same ballpark as Representative Dennis Kucinich and Senator Bernie Sanders but who is someone I respect, because even though I rarely agree with him on anything. At least I always know where he's coming from and he's honest about his views and positions, can't say that about most politicians obviously but that can be said about. Rep. Jackson and Rep. Kucinich who are basically the Ron Paul of the Democratic Party in Congress, as far as their honesty on where they are on the issues. Rep. Jackson introduced yesterday a bill in the House that would increase the Federal Minimum Wage, from 7.25$ currently to 10$ an hour. This is one thing that I agree with him and depending on how its written, is something that I could support.
To be honest with you, I'm for eliminating today's Federal Minimum Wage and replacing it with a Federal Living Wage. Of at least 10$ and hour if not adjust it for inflation going back to 1968, where it would be more like 12$ an hour today and this is how I would do it, so it doesn't hurt employers, especially Small Business's. Lets say its a 10$ an hour Living Wage, that would be for anyone 21 and over who's a Full Time worker, everyone else would making lets Minimum Wage, Part Time workers who would otherwise would be paid this. As well as workers who are under 21, so students are incentivized to drop out of High School or college, to take a Full Time job making the Living Wage. And I would allow employers, again especially Small Business's to deduct 30% of the Living Wage and Minimum Wage from their Payroll Costs, so their costs of doing business doesn't go up.
President Obama would be smart to come out for a proposal like this and put it into his Jobs Act, because it would be a boost to the economy. Because people who have to spend most of what they make, just to survive, would have more money to spend and would spend that money right away. Driving up Consumer Spending, which would lead to Economic and Job Growth to meet the new Consumer Demand and less people taking Welfare or Unemployment Insurance, because they don't feel they can survive on their own.
Thursday, June 7, 2012
The whole issue of whether the Federal Government should extend the Bush Tax Cuts or not, will not happen until after the General Elections. And we know who will be in charge of the White House and Congress next year, neither side wants to deal with it in a way that will actually resolve the situation. Where both sides can actually agree on what the final plan will be, House Republicans of course are ready to extend all of the Bush Tax Cuts right now. But Senate Democrats and the President are not and would like to see them expire for the wealthy and President Clinton must understand this. So for him to go off message and to try to tell President Obama what to do in public, only makes the situation more difficult and costs him influence within the Democratic Leadership. President Clinton could be very helpful as far as raising money for the President and Congressional Democrats.
President Clinton is still pretty popular with the country, and could appeal to Independents its really just the Far Right who doesn't like him. As well as be an effective Attack Dog against Mitt Romney sorta the role he played in 2006, and helped Democrats win back Congress. President Clinton could be a very effective Democratic Player, as long as he doesn't say things, like Mitt Romney would make a good President. Or something to that effect, when he's so off message like that, he sounds more like and Independent Political Analyst, like David Gergen, who I do respect. Then someone who's playing the role of helping President Obama get reelected.
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
This Professor from Learn Liberty, a Libertarian Think Tank lets say, nails it in this video early on. That people who are called Liberals in America, would be called Social Democrats in the rest of the World, people who I refer to as Progressives or Democratic Socialists. We have have a Political Party in America that calls themselves Democratic Socialists, people who believe in Big Government Progressivism, using the Federal Government to make society, what they would view as fairer and equal. People who tend to have Liberal views on Social Issues, Progressive Libertarians or Socialist Libertarians or even Progressive Liberals and then there are Progressives who aren't as Liberal on Social Issues. People who believe in what's called by Conservatives, Libertarians and even Liberals such as myself, as the "Nanny State", that is that government not only has a role to make sure that no one has too much in society. And that no one is left behind but that government even has a role to protect people from themselves. The Soda Ban in New York City last week, that Progressives support, is an excellent example of that.
What separates Liberals from lets say Progressive Libertarians, is basically the Role of Government, as it relates to the economy. And we tend to be different on Foreign Policy as well, Liberals believe in Limited Government and Individual Freedom across the board, as long as we don't hurt others with what we are doing. Whereas Progressives believe in Big Government Economics, that the Federal Government has a role in taking care of people. Whereas Liberals believe that anyone who can, should be expected to take care of themselves and that we should empower people who don't have the skills to take care of themselves, to be able to do that for themselves. Whereas Progressives are Statist on Economic Policy but on some key Social Issues as well, like Health and Wellness, Hate Speech, Organize Gambling to use as examples. Liberals and Progressives aren't members of the same club but with just different names but we are different politically as well.
Some people view Classical Liberals, which is how I tend to be labeled, as Libertarian but we aren't, we are Liberals. Libertarians believe that the Federal Government should be no larger, then what's laid out for it in the 10th Amendment, whereas Liberals of course believe in Limited Government but not quite that limited. And people who are called "Modern Liberals" are actually Progressives, viewers and commentators for MSNBC, being a perfect example of that.
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
|Source: AEI-Alan Viard-|
In the United Sates, you can get taxed for basically anything that you do, including not spending money from one jurisdiction or another. You get taxed more making money, unless you live in Florida, where they don't have a state income tax, but you have to pay the Federal income tax. Plus whatever local income taxes you may have to pay, city or county. You get taxed for spending money, sales taxes across the country. Uncle Sam taxes tobacco as well, you get taxed for inheriting money, you get taxed for making money through investments, called capital gains, or selling property, business's get taxed for making money. It's not just Income Taxes that people have to pay, but we also have to pay taxes, incase in the future we are unemployed, don't have an adequate pension, can't afford health insurance as seniors. We get taxed just for being alive and living in a home. Yes America's tax rates are low compared, basically with the rest of the developed world. Which I believe is one reason why we didn't get hit as hard by the global recession, even though we did get very hard, but we pay taxes on basically everything we do.
And one of the reasons why I believe we have so many tax loopholes, including a lot of them just pure Welfare, for people who don't need it is because we have so many taxes. Fewer taxes than perhaps Britain, which isn't really saying anything. It's hard to find a developed nation with more taxes. We eliminate some of these taxes or at least lower the rates, we can eliminate a lot of the tax loopholes, expect people to do more on their own, take less from them and not expect a big check from Uncle Sam every year. I'm not going to say we need tax reform in America, because that would be like saying we need air to breathe, but what I am going to do, is to lay out a plan, that would reform our tax code. That's based on not what people make or produce for society, but instead tax people or better yet bill them for what they take from society. Which would encourage people to be productive and smarter with their money, instead of penalizing them for it.
I'm for what I call a Progressive Consumption Tax. It's progressive and doesn't hit low-income people as hard. Because it would have lower rates on basic goods that people need in life to survive. Groceries, clothing, non-luxury housing, non-luxury transportation, to use as examples. And tax luxury items higher. Luxury cars, yachts, fancy meals, parties, sporting events, alcohol and tobacco, to use as examples. Eliminate the savings tax up to your first 10% of income so people are still encouraged to spend to drive economic growth. And even match lower-income people's savings up to a certain income level. So we can approve on our very low savings rate, instead of taxing people for producing, we would tax them for what they consume. Replace the income tax with a Progressive Consumption Tax, but not scrap the other taxes, at least not with this plan.
Monday, June 4, 2012
If you want to know what a "Nanny State" is, well the government banning not regulating, certain sizes of sodas. Is a hell of an example of it, a "Nanny State", is essentially where the government doesn't trust the people enough to live their own lives and feels the need to protect them from themselves. What they can eat or drink, what Healthcare they can have, basically how they can spend their own money, not money that was given to them by government. But money they worked for themselves and its not just Progressives that are guilty of "Nanny State" Politics, Neoconservatives on the right are guilty as well. And would like to control what we can watch and listen to, what we can do with our own free time and I've blogged about Rick Santorum and Michelle Bachmann in the past. Two excellent examples of what Neoconservatives are but the NYC Soda Ban is a perfect example of what happens in a "Nanny State", Mayor Mike Bloomberg discovers. That there are too many fat people in New York, apparently it took him ten years as Mayor to figure that out and decides that the City Government has to do something about it. And bans certain sizes of soft drinks.
If government can ban soft drinks, then they can ban Junk Food, they can ban tobacco and alcohol, they could ban pornography. They can say that everyone in the city has to be home by a certain time at night and can't go out on weeknights, once you allow government to interfere with what you can eat and drink. You are opening up the possibility of allowing them to control other aspects of our lives, how Mike Bloomberg was a ever a Republican, that at least at one point was a party of Personal Responsibility. I'll never know, perhaps he was a Republican in another country, where Republicans tend to look more Socialist then Conservative and then immigrated to New York. No wonder Progressive Democrats in New York can't beat him, it would be like trying to beat yourself. And its no going to even solve the problem thats its intended to, because New Yorkers are just going to go over to North Jersey or Long Island for soda.
The NYC Soda Ban represents how Progressives look at the World and how they look at problems. They see a problem that must be fixed and right away decide, that we must end that and outlaw it. Not bothering to consider the implications of what prohibition, for example the lost in Sales Taxes, to fund things like schools, roads, hospitals. Things that Progressives support but this Soda Ban makes those things harder to finance.
Friday, June 1, 2012
"Rep. Paul Ryan on Dismal Jobs Report, Bipartisan Failures": The Plus's and Minus's of Bipartisanship
I actually agree with Representative Paul Ryan on one thing and I have no idea when I'll agree with Rep. Ryan on anything again. We disagree so often, that if Rep. Ryan told me it was hot and sunny in South Florida in July, I might go check the Weather Report for South Florida to double check that. But what he's right about, is that there's such thing as "Bipartisan failures", that Democrats and Republicans working together, can mess things up. Which might be a little hard to believe that, when people tend to think about Bipartisanship, they generally see it in good light. Both sides coming together to do what's in the best interest of the country, nice dream but Bipartisanship doesn't always work like that, like with most things there are good and bad with something. Which is why its generally not a good idea to have too much of something and not enough of something. That you to have balance and do what's right, whether doing what's right is Bipartisan or not. The Civil Rights Acts in the 1960s, is an example of good Bipartisanship, Welfare to Work of 1996 would be another example of good Bipartisanship, the Iraq War Resolution of 2002, would be an example of bad Bipartisanship, just to give you a few examples.
Its not a matter of coming together to do what's good for the country, when it comes to Bipartisanship. Its a matter of doing what's right for the country, whether that means working together or one party going it alone, because they have the plan that will work and the votes to pass it. There's also such a thing as good Partisanship, which probably sounds crazy for someone who's an Independent or doesn't follow American Politics very closely. Elections would be an example of that, where a lot of times voters have a real choice in who to vote for. Take Partisanship out of elections and there wouldn't be much of a choice in who to vote for and what would be the point in voting. Partisanship at its best is about choice, one side has this plan and philosophy, the other side has their plan and philosophy and its up to the voters to decide who has the best plan. Partisanship at its worse, is two sides just fighting all the time, because neither side has the votes to pass what they want to do.
Its not a matter of Democrats and Republicans working together or not but what's the right thing to do and who has the plan to accomplish that. And when the voters determine that they don't like either side enough to give them the power to pass what they want to do, then thats where Bipartisanship can come in. Bringing both sides together to pass a plan that works and will solve whatever the issue is that they are working on.