Liberal Democrat

Liberal Democrat
Individual Freedom For Everyone

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Heartland Kicks Off Climate Change Denial: An Energy Policy would be the best Climate Policy



I don't believe anyone in their right mind believes that there's no such thing as Climate Change. Of course I'm not a mind reader but thats my feeling. All you have to look at the weather to see that, with longer summers and colder winters and with ice melting in areas with Frigid Weather. The question is at least from the United States point of view is, what should we do on our part about it to fix it. Should we pass Cap and Trade and force American Business's to live under regulations and taxes that Foreign Business's don't live under. Or should we do something that would make us more competitive in the Energy Industry both at home and globally, that would also benefit our economy. As a liberal who believes in Free Markets and capitalism, I lean towards making us more competitive, economically but that would also make us more competitive when it comes to Energy Policy as well as our Foreign Policy. A National Energy Policy for America, that moves us towards Energy Independence and finally off of Foreign Oil, would accomplish three things by doing one thing. First it would benefit our economy in multiple ways, because we would open up new Energy Industry's which would create good jobs. It would get us off of Foreign Oil, because would be relying on Domestic Energy instead, which would create jobs. But it would also create more competition in the Energy Sector. Because of just oil, gas and electricity which are the three main Energy Industry's right now. With a comprehensive National Energy Policy, there would also be a Solar Industry, Wind Industry, Natural Gas would be bigger in America, Nuclear would be bigger in America and so would Clean Coal. We will need to still drill for oil and gas in America for at least ten years after we create an Energy Policy. But at least we would be drilling for American Oil and Gas and no longer importing it.

A comprehensive National Energy Policy would benefit our economy because of the good jobs it would create. It would benefit our Foreign Policy because countries that we are currently importing oil from. We would no longer have to do that, giving them lest leverage over us. And it would benefit our Environmental Policy because we would be finally using cleaner sources of energy. If we are going to have some Climate Change Policy, it should be a Global Treaty. So that everyone is operating under the same rules.

Click on the link of the blog to see a video with Mike Papantonio on Climate Change

Why Does Cenk Criticize Obama?: Because Leaders should Lead



President Obama said in his Press Conference on Wednesday Afternoon that leaders should lead. My response to the President would've been that starts with you buddy! Now perhaps I wouldn't of called him buddy, don't know that for a fact, perhaps I would've said that starts with you Mr President! We'll never know no point in discussing it. But my point is the same leaders have to lead or nothing gets done, successful Presidents don't sit on the sidelines and let others work it out and then weigh in later to see what the people who actually did the work came up with. Leaders don't look to compromise right off the bat, like the President's sorry excuse for a budget back in January. What leaders do when they know they have to compromise in the end to get anything done. Which is what President Obama obviously has to do with a Divided Congress. Is put on the table what they want to do, this is my plan, if you don't like, come up with your own plan. Then the other side puts down a counteroffer and lays out what they want to do if they had all the power. And then both sides come together at the end of the day and work out a Final Agreement. This is what lawyers do and this is what skillful negotiators do and this is why successful Presidents are successful. This is what President Clinton, President Reagan, President Eisenhower, President Truman, President FDR did and why they were able to accomplish so much in their Presidency's. You don't sit on the sidelines laying out goals with no plan to accomplish it. Which is what the President has been doing on the Deficit Reduction and other issues since he's been President, Health Care Reform would be another one.

Presidents have to be President, Leaders have to Lead or nothing gets done. They are the Chief Executives for a reason because the buck actually does stop with them, its not just an expression. And that means taking a stand once in a while and taking heat for it to do what's right for the country at the end. And then they get rewarded for their right decisions.

Click on the link of the Blog to see Cenk what's his last name editorial on the President

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Thom Hartmann: What is the Tea Party plan to take over the GOP



If the Tea Party Movement and that's what it is right now a Political Movement not a Political Party. Is truly about Limited Government not just about expanding Economic Freedom and Fiscal Conservatism. As well as protecting Individual Liberty, not just Economic Liberty but Individual Liberty in general which includes Social Freedom. The ability for people to live their own lives as they see fit as long as they are not hurting anyone else with their freedom. And not about discriminating and punishing people because they are gay or are Single Parents or divorced or are interested in pornography and want more limitations to the First Amendment. And want to make the adultery illegal, all things that the Theocratic Right Christian Conservatives in America want to do. Then the Tea Party has a big future in American Politics as either the Libertarian or Conservative Libertarian Faction of the Republican Party. Or perhaps merging with the Libertarian Party in the future or or creating their own Political Party. Thats about Individual Liberty and protecting Constitutional Rights and Limited Government. Things that the Republican Party was truly about up until twenty years ago or so. And not about Corporate Welfare, then the Tea Party Movement could have a bright future in American Politics. But if the Tea Party is not about Conservative Libertarianism and instead is in bed with the Christian Right but with an Economic Message. Like the Michelle Bachman's, Sarah Palin's, Jim DiMints's of the World, then they will just be seen as another Fringe Movement by voters outside of the GOP.

But if the Tea Party is truly about Limited Government and Conservative Libertarianism and just Anti Regulation and Fiscal Conservatism. Then the Tea Party Movement could do what the Libertarian Party has never been able to do in American Politics. Which is be taken seriously by Independent Voters and by republicans and democrats. Because independents tend to be somewhat liberal to libertarian on Social Issues and don't like to be told by government how to live. And want their Low Taxes and want government to be Fiscally Responsible and not waste Tax Payer money. Things that the Libertarian Party have always been in favor or but never been able to get across to Independent Voters up until Ron Paul of the last few years.

Click on the link of the blog to see Thom Hartmann interview Mark Williams formerly of the Tea Party Express

Supreme Court Ruining Democracy?: Full Disclosure is the only Realistic Campaign Reform



How Chief Justice John Roberts makes the argument that a State matching Campaign Contributions of Political Candidates as unconstitutional, because it limits what Third Party Groups can do is beyond me. And sounds like more of an ideological argument to me then anything else. Saying look we really don't have a credible justification for our case and this is the best we can come up with. We are really making this argument because this is how we want things to be but we don't want to say that at least in public. Its sort of a because I said so argument, (no offense mom and dad) that you make when you can't think of anything else to say. I'm really sick in tired of hearing the States Rights argument, especially from conservatives who don't believe a damn thing that they are saying. And only make the argument to prevent the Federal Government from making them do something that they don't want them to do. Whether its constitutional or not and they use it purely as a convenience and nothing else. But when States pass a law that they don't like, like with the Arizona Campaign Law. They throw the States Rights argument in the trash and come up with whatever argument they need that they feel will suit their needs and interests at the time. Especially as a liberal myself who believes in States Rights but actually understands what States Rights is. That the States essentially have the authority to pass any law that they want as long as it complies with the US Constitution. As a liberal I'm not a big fan of centralization and the establishment and prefer to see more diversity with power and lean towards more personal liberty.

Every time a court strikes down a Campaign Reform Law its just more evidence to me that the only Campaign Reform that could ever be passed and stand up to Constitutional Scrutiny. Is Full Disclosure, meaning that Political Candidates and Incumbents as well as Third Party Groups. Would have to disclose where they are getting the financing for their activities. Because every other reform that restricts Campaign Financing, generally gets struck down by some court. Whether the argument is credible or bogus.

Click on the link of the blog to see a video about the Supreme Court decision on Campaign Financing

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Reason Party: Noam Chomsky on Libertarian Socialism

As Author Noam Chomsky has said a Libertarian Socialist sounds like contradiction in terms at least in America. Because socialism is about collectivism and equality, making sure that no one has too much more than anyone else. And that government should be used to essentially take care of society so people don’t have to do too much on their own. Whereas libertarianism is about individual liberty similar to liberalism. That the people should have the freedom to live their own lives and have maximize freedom both socially and economically. And that people should be able to make as much money as they can legally without paying high taxes.

Whereas Socialists believe that no one should make a lot more money than anyone and that they use high taxes to keep that from happening and give that tax revenue to the less-fortunate. And to finance a massive welfare state, at least by American standards. A Libertarian Socialist would be a contradiction, if socialism was just about economic policy, but its not. Socialism is not just an economic policy, but a developed political ideology that also has other political views. Like on social policy, law enforcement and foreign policy.

Socialists and I’m not talking about Communists, because communism is a separate political ideology from socialism, tend to be liberal to libertarian on social issues. Just look at Sweden for example, a social democracy that has a lot of social freedom. And they tend to be dovish on law enforcement and foreign policy as well as isolationist on foreign policy like Libertarians. Classical Socialism or Marxism, tend to get mixed in with democratic socialism. Tends to get mixed up with liberalism. But liberalism is a different political ideology from both classical and democratic socialism. See, socialism is a diverse and multi-demential political ideology. Its more than an economic policy.

I’m not a Socialist in any form, classical, or democratic. Not even a Libertarian Socialist. I’m a liberal and been described as a Classical Liberal, but one thing that I respect about socialism is it’s diversity. There’s classical socialism, where the state owns the means of production in society. Meaning the economy. And then there’s democratic socialism with a private sector, but that’s highly taxed and regulated. Again by American standards, to finance a massive welfare state, again by American standards. It’s not just an economic policy, but a developed political ideology.

Thom Hartmann: Private Prisons in America: Incarceration is a Role for Government



If you look at what the Role of Government is, protecting society and Law Enforcement which includes corrections meaning prison. Is something that most if not all sane sober people can agree is a Role for Government. Whether your left, right center, confused, blue, red, purple, green whatever. Protecting society which is the main role of prisons, so inmates can't commit more crimes against society then they already have, is the number one job for government. If government can't even do that right, which is where they generally do a good job. Then they are useless and we don't need government for anything. People should not be making money, that is have a Profit Motive to keep people in prison. Prison is designed to keep criminals off the street to protect society, not designed to be profitable. Private Business should not have motive to lobby government to pass more laws that ends up incarcerating more people, just so they can make more money housing more inmates or to keep people in prison longer just so they can make more money incarcerating them. The idea behind behind Private Prisons and Private For Profit Prisons, is that the American Corrections System is too expensive. The Federal, State and Local Governments are all under tight budget crunches and are looking everywhere to save money. Including in Law Enforcement and Corrections . All right point taken at least on my part, I'm not going to pretend I'm physic and speak for everyone else.

But lets examine why shall we. We have 2M people in prison in America where we are now spending more money on prisons then on Public Education and Public Infrastructure. An easy but correct answer would be that we arrest too many people for too many things. Things that are technically crimes but that don't hurt anyone. But since government feels the need to protect us from ourselves and show us the way so to speak. They arrest us for things for the good of our health but then throw us in prison which is bad for our health. Which is a contradiction the size of the Grand Canyon. Things like gambling our own money, smoking or possessing or selling marijuana and getting paid to have sex, meaning prostitution.

I agree that our Corrections System is too expensive and a Money Pit in a lot of cases. Fine but before you try to solve a problem and before a good doctor anyway writes a prescription. For their patients Medical Condition, they give the patient a diagnosis first so they well uh, know exactly what the problem is they are trying to fix. Which is exactly what we should be doing with our Corrections System. We arrest too many people for too many things that shouldn't be illegal in the first place. We don't prepare our Prison Inmates for life on the outside, so once they get out and most inmates do. They end up back in prison because they don't have the life skills that they need to be successful in life legally. For our Non Violent Offenders that need some type of Public Supervision, like robbery, shoplifting to use as examples. We send them to prison and in a lot of cases for long sentences and they take up space that should be saved for our actual dangerous criminals.

All right thats you diagnosis from Dr Erik, here's my prescription. Lets stop arresting people for crimes that don't harm others in society and I would start with the examples that I mentioned. Lets prepare our inmates for life on the outside, the inmates that we can work with. With education, Job Training and work and make our Prison Industry's exactly that. Something that can benefit the prisons, inmates and society. And lets establish Alternative Sentencing for our Non Violent Offenders that don't represent a major threat to our economy. Like with Drug Rehab, Halfway Houses, Boot Camps. Things that would pay for themselves by the inmates themselves.

Crime and Punishment actually represents a Role for Government, because we are talking about Public Safety here and is something that we have to get right. And is not something we should be putting profit over safety. Which is what Private Prisons are about.

Click on the link of the blog to see a video with Thom Hartmann on Private Prisons

Friday, June 24, 2011

Papantonio: How Capitalism Has Failed Us: How we can get American Capitalism back



The reason why American Capitalism hasn't worked very well the last ten years, is because we as a country and especially our government. Has moved away from what works well, we stop paying for our Government Operations, we stop regulating American Corporations and Wall Street and we stopped education our students. And we cut taxes for the wealthy thinking they would spread the wealth so to speak for the rest of society.To the point that we no longer have enough well educated students in America and we now have to import Foreign Workers to fill the good jobs that are left, that 10-15 years ago would've been filled by well educated American Workers. 10-15 years ago America had the strongest economy the World not just the largest, because we did what we are currently not doing. And where our economy was growing around 4-5% a year, 4.5% Unemployment Rate, no inflation and a Federal Budget Surplus and actually talking about paying down our National Debt too soon. Because we paid for the government we had, we were well regulating American Business as well as Wall Street, we had good Public Schools across the country and High Earners were paying their fair share of taxes.

This is the system that works, why American Capitalism works. Our current Economic System is not American Capitalism, its Corporate Capitalism. American Capitalism is about Maximize Choice and Fair and Free well Regulated Competition. That puts the people in charge of how they live their lives and how much money they make, where everyone including High Earners pay Low Taxes compared with the rest of the Developed World. But we all pay our fair share of taxes based on our income. Where people can make as much money as their skills and production will allow while paying their fair share of taxes. Because we have a Public Education System and College System that produces enough High Skilled workers.

What we shouldn't be doing as a country is move from Far Right Cowboy Capitalism to Far Left Collectivist Capitalism. With Higher Taxes and a larger Welfare State, to the point where the people are dependent on government to pay their bills. Instead of having the Economic Freedom to make as much money as their skills and production will allow. We need to return to American Capitalism not move to Democratic Socialism.

Click on the link of the blog to see a video from Mike Papantonio on why Capitalism has failed

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Robert Reich Explains The Problem With The Economy In Under 3 Minutes: He makes a good diagnosis with a bad prescription



Economist Bob Reich is right as far the economy not improving for the Middle Class the last thirty years and that most of the benefits have gone to the High Earners. High Earners income has gone up substantially the last thirty years, while income for the Middle Class has been flat or has gone down overall. He's also right that for America and probably every other country in the World to have a strong economy, they have to have a strong Middle Class. Because thats who most of the population is in a Developed Country, so for a country to do well as a whole overall, the Middle Class has to do well as a whole as well. Where I disagree with Economist Reich, the House Progressive Caucus and other Progressive Socialists in America. Is their prescription for fixing the economy, which starts with increasing taxes on everyone, including the Middle Class, who we all know are struggling right now and can't afford a Tax Hike. Especially since they are already paying Tax Hikes in a lot of places at the State Local and Levels to close the Budget Deficit's there. Not just return to the Tax Rates of the Clinton Administration, but go back to the Carter Administration in 1980, with a top Tax Rate of 70%. And where Tax Rates on the Middle Class were also high as well. And they make the case that since the economy was doing better then, then its doing now. That we would be better off with those Tax Rates. Which is a simplistic argument because what they don't mention is that the Middle Class is already struggling right now and can't afford a Tax Hike.

We have a unique problem, a huge Budget Deficit, National Debt, to go along with a weak economy. With the weak economy fueling our deficit and debt. And we need to fix them at the same time which can be done but isn't easy. What we should be doing instead is raising taxes on High Earners but go back to the Clinton Administration for them or go up to 40% as the top Tax Rate or even 45-50% for billionaires. But leave the other Tax Rates where they are. To pay down our deficit and debt while making strategic Budget Cuts and reforms in the Federal Government to make it more Cost Effective. As well as rebuild our economy, our infrastructure and Manufacturing Industry by encouraging things to be "Made in America". One of the reasons for the weak Economic and Job Growth is because people aren't spending money like they did in the past and are spending a lot less. Another reason for the weak Economic and Job Growth, is because people aren't spending money. The demand in the Private Sector is very low, so what we should do instead of raising taxes on the Middle Class. Is encourage them to spend more money instead with some type of Tax Cut or Credit that encourages spending.

At first don't make things worst then they are, so lets not raise taxes on the Middle Class, the people we need to spend more money. Instead lets raise taxes on people who can afford to pay them and rebuild the economy instead.

Click on the link of the blog to see a video from Robert Reich explaining the economy in under three minutes

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Real News: Paul Jay Interviewing Naomi Klein- Barack Obama in 2008

Source: The Real News- Naomi Klein-
Source: The Real News Network: Paul Jay Interviewing Naomi Klein- Barack Obama in 2008

When Barack Obama ran for President as back in 2007-08 as Senator Obama from Illinois Democratic candidate for President, most of the entire Far-Left, the social-democratic faction of the Democratic Party threw all of their resources into electing then Candidate Obama President of the United States. Because essentially they saw him as one of them. A McGovernite Democratic Socialist a European style Democrat who was one of them. Anti-war, protecting the welfare state and if anything expanding the welfare state in America and making America more like Europe. Breaking down what they see as the national security state, etc. But if you look at the presidential campaign then Candidate Obama ran in the Democratic primaries he was running to appeal to that movement. But if you look at the policy positions he took even in the primaries, he was running more like a traditional Center-Left Liberal Democrat in the mold of a John Kerry or Jack Kennedy or Walter Mondale.

Instead of running to the George McGovern Far-Left wing of the party. Like  a Dennis Kucinich, Jerry Brown (from 1992), a George McGovern Democratic Socialist. Then Candidate Obama wanted to be seen as one of them. Someone who came from the progressive socialist faction of the Democratic Party. Instead of someone who comes from the faction of the party that generally nominates the party's presidential candidates. The Progressive Liberal faction of the party and they are two different factions, that are similar on social issues, but are very different on economic and foreign policy. Remember then Candidate Obama ran on keeping the middle class tax cuts and expanding our role in the War in Afghanistan. Two things President Obama has already done. Whereas Democratic Socialists want all of the Bush tax cuts to expire and to get all of our troops out of Afghanistan now. Essentially Candidate Obama wanted to be someone who would be seen as the Democratic Socialist candidate, but someone who was mainstream enough to appeal to the rest of the Democratic Party as well as Independent voters.

And then Senator Obama did that brilliantly. Winning something like 35 States in 2008. No one has ever accused Barack Obama of being an unskillful politician. He's clearly one of the most skillful politicians America has ever produced. He managed to unite both the Far-Left and the Dead-Center (as I put it) behind him running for president. Something he'll have a much harder time doing in 2012 as he runs for reelection as president. As the country has a much better idea of what type of politician he is as President Obama. I don't believe Democratic Socialists in America can accuse President Obama of misleading them. If you look at his policy positions that he ran on to become President back in 2008 and his policy positions he has as President, except for Guantanamo Bay, they are very similar. Barack Obama is clearly not a Democratic Socialist and never has been, as a U.S. Senator and now as President of the United States. His faith in the welfare state is clearly limited. He's not a dove on national security or law enforcement. He believes in tough enforcement in those areas.

If it's a Democratic Socialist that the Far-Left was looking for back in 2007-08, never existed. Even though Representative Dennis Kucinich was there for them the whole time. Both in 2003-04 when he was the strongest opponents of President Bush at least in the House if not Congress as a whole. Representative Kucinich should've been who they thrown their support behind. They had a couple of options in Representative Dennis Kucinich and former Senator Mike Gravel in the Democratic Party. But they selected then Senator Barack Obama, because he sort of talked like them and they saw him as a winner and the anti-Bush. It was a political calculation on their part. So they really don't have anyone they can blame. But for one thing at least you can't blame the Far-Left in who they supported in 2008. Because their candidate wouldn't have gone anywhere. The Democratic Party is still a Center-Left party and not the social democratic Green Party that is a third-party. And maybe they decided that Barack Obama would run to the center and govern from the Far-Left.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Glenn Beck: Road to Socialism: Democratic Socialists: What is Socialism



What is socialism especially in America, as a confessed Political Junky who perhaps depending on who you talk to needs help with this as I would call hobby or profession or both even. Others perhaps would use less nicer terms to describe Political Junkies. But now I'm off track and I'll get back, I'm serious. What I respect about socialism, as someone who's not a socialist in any form. I'm not a Classical Socialist or a Democratic Socialist and I'll explain those terms later, if your still awake. But I'm not a Classical Socialist or a Democratic Socialist but a liberal but what I respect about socialism as an ideology and myself as a Political Junky. Is its diversity, there are multiple forms of socialism, just like there are multiple forms of conservatism and libertarianism. See with the more diversity in an ideology, the more creativity that it has and the less predictable it is. And the more ideas that can come into it.

There are Classical Socialism that believe that the State meaning the Central Government, in the United States case the Federal Government. That believe the State should own the Means of Production in Society. Meaning the economy, that there is no such thing as a Private Sector because the State owns the economy and all the property. That there are no such thing as Property Rights because the State owns everything. North Korea or as I like to call them the Communist Republic of Korea, is the perfect example of a Socialist Economy. Because there's no such thing as a Private Sector in North Korea. But then there's Democratic Socialism which is very common in Europe and even Canada but perhaps to a smaller degree. That believe the country should have a Capitalist Economy but that where the people are essentially Highly Subsidized. They believe in the Welfare State, something that Classical Socialists believe in as well. But that there's a large Private Sector where people have Property Rights. But that its Highly Taxed and Regulated by American Standards, to finance a very large and generous again by American Standards, Welfare State. That provides Health Care, which isn't free, Health Insurance, which isn't free, pension, which isn't free, education, which isn't free, transportation which isn't free and other State Owned Human Services. Provided by the Central Government that financed by High Taxes by once again American Standards. Sweden is a perfect example of Democratic Socialist country.

A lot of Americans and American Politicians, especially in Congress but in other places as well. Have been labeled as socialists and there also other people and American Politicians. Who've been labeled as liberal but who are actually Democratic Socialists, the House Progressive Caucus, Rep. Dennis Kucinich from Ohio, Sen. Bernie Sanders. There's actually a Political Party in America called the Democratic Socialist Party, that I believe Sen. Sanders is a member of. And as a liberal I find this insulting because I have a lot of policy differences with socialists, classical or democratic. Liberalism and socialism are two different ideology's. Democratic Socialists in America would essentially like to see America become like Sweden. Where the State provides the Health Insurance and Health Care, education, pension and so on.

So I'm not a fan of socialism except for the fact they believe in protecting Workers Rights and having a Safety Net that people can go to when they need it. But as a Political Junky I find it fascinating and wouldn't even mind seeing it grow in America. To the point that the Democratic Socialists in the Democratic Party, leave my party and move to the Democratic Socialist Party.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Living wage debate in NY: Replace the Minimum Wage with a Living Wage



Personally I'm against the Minimum Wage and before you accuse me of being a conservative or libertarian, let me explain why. For the simple reason that it doesn't pay enough and people with just one job making Minimum Wage without any other income, can't live on it. If you believe in a Safety Net as I do and not a Welfare State as I do as a liberal. You believe that there should be floor in the economy that no one should have to live under. And the Minimum Wage in America is under that floor, especially if you live in large Metropolitan Areas like Washington, New York, Miami, San Francisco, Los Angeles and others. What I'm am a for is what's been called a Living Wage that would mean that Minimum Wage workers would get a large Pay Raise, that wouldn't put them in the Middle Class on its own. But would make their lives a hell of a lot easier and would also encourage people on Welfare and Unemployment Insurance and give more incentive to work or go back to work. Because they would end up making more money making the Living Wage then being on Welfare or Unemployment Insurance. But this wouldn't just help Low Income workers but the economy as a whole. Because these people would automatically end up making more money. Which they would spend right away because they aren't making enough money on their own to begin with. And this money would automatically go into the economy, which would create Higher Demand which would result in more Economic and Job Growth to meet the new Higher Demand.

The current Federal Minimum Wage is around 7.15-25$ an hour, I apologize for not knowing the exact Minimum Wage but thats real close. I would get rid of the Minimum Wage and replace it with a Living Wage that would be around 10$ and hour. Or move it up to what the Minimum Wage was in 1970 and Index it for Inflation. Where it would be around 12$ an hour in 2011 dollars. And I would Index for Inflation the Living Wage indefinitely. And allow employers to deduct 30% of that cost from their taxes so their Payroll Costs don't go up. This would be an example of a good War on Poverty program that works because it would be encouraging Low Income people to work instead of collecting Government Checks.

Click on the link of the blog to see a video about the Living Wage proposal in the Empire State

Saturday, June 18, 2011

70% Tax Rate Solution?: Is this for real



Every time I hear a case from people who I would call Democratic Socialists, the Bernie Sanders and Bob Reich's of the World. Talking about returning to the Pre Reagan Tax Rates. I find it very entertaining, because they make the argument that before the Reagan Administration the top Tax Rate was 70%. On the wealthiest americans, so we should return to that rate today and they make the case that things were more equal then and we had more Economic Equality. So we should repeal all the Tax Cuts of the last thirty years, including the Middle Class who are really struggling right now after ten years of Bush Supply Side Economics. What they fail to mention is the economy today is a lot worst off in 2011 then it was in 2000 or 1980. What worked back then so to speak and its hard to make a case that the Tax Rates before the Reagan Administration worked well. I mean does anyone remember the 1970s, I only lived four years of that decade and only remember the late 70s and even then I was just starting what was called then Nursing School, perhaps its called something else now. But that was a real bad decade economically where America was in decline and Japan was on the rise to the point where they had the 2nd largest economy in the World up until a couple of years ago when China passed them. We had two recessions in the 70s with those high Tax Rates and High Unemployment of 7% or higher for the entire decade including 10% in 1979. And of course Double Digit inflation and Interest Rates. To the point by 1978, I believe Newsweek or Time Magazine produced an article is America in Decline. Anyone who loves America should hate that question.

I'm not a conservative or libertarian by any means, I'm not a fan of Supply Side or as Howard Dean a man I have a lot of respect for. Dubbed Borrow and Spend Economics or as a friend of mine on Facebook. Who will hopefully read this blog, knock on wood called BS Economics and no thats not Bob Stewart Economics whoever Bob Stewart is. But as a liberal I'm also not a fan of Tax Increases on the Middle Class who are struggling just to pay their current Tax Rates, if that. I do believe that we have to raise taxes on High Earners to get our deficit and debt under control as well as strategic Budget Cuts. Rep. Jan Shakowski Democrat from Illinois and a Key Member of the Ways and Means Committee has the best plan I've seen to do that. That would raise taxes on High Earners and create new Tax Rates Something like 40% on millionaires, 45% for people making like 100M$ a year, 50% on billionaires. I'm not sure these are the exact rates she's pushing but I'm in the ballpark. While keeping the current Tax Rates for the Middle Class, thats the way to do it without hurting the economy or the Middle Class.

People who support Tax Increases in general, need to understand that Tax Increases effect people especially people with limited income. And raising taxes just to spend more money on government or pay down deficits and debts. Have serious consequences on people who are struggling and can't afford a Tax Increase. Because it means less money for them and less money to spend just to survive.

Click on the link of the blog to watch a video with Bob Reich debating Larry Kudlow on CNBC

Friday, June 17, 2011

FDLs Jane Hamsher, and Jonathan Capehart: How to save Medicaid



I'm not a fan of cutting Medicaid just to cut it even in a broader Deficit Reduction package. Because of the fact that so many people depend on it for their Health Insurance. Low Income workers, the unemployed, Low Income Senior Citizens who have to depend on both Medicaid and Medicare for their Health Insurance. And this adds up around 70M americans unfortunately in America obviously, not Canada, Brazil, Sweden, hopefully you get point. But I'm also not for throwing millions of more people as what happened with the Affordable Care Act of 2010, at least until we reform it in a way to make it more Cost Effective. Since the Federal Government doesn't even want to Fully Fund the portion of Medicaid its required to under its own Medicaid Law of 1965. Because of how expensive it is, which means States because they are required by law from the Federal Government to fund its portion of the program. But they also get stuck having to fund what the FEDS don't come up with the revenue to fund. Making Medicaid an Unfunded Mandate for the States, an Unfunded Mandate is a mandate that the Federal Government puts on the States. Without providing the funds to pay for it, which creates an Unfunded Mandate. So we have a problem where the White House and Congressional Democrats throwing more people on to Medicaid without providing the resources to pay for it. And now we have Congressional Republicans going out of their way to cut back the Safety Net in America, with apparently Medicaid being their next target. Which creates a new problem for Medicaid and the 70M people who depend on it.

So what would I do with Medicaid is leave in place as far as the Health Insurance service its provides but change the structure of its Management. By getting it off the backs and budgets of the States and FEDS and make it an Independent but Publicly Owned. Either by the Federal Government or we could set up a State Medicaid System. Where each State would have their own Medicaid Health Insurance service. Where there would be a National Medicaid Office in Washington that would serve to provide oversight but not to manage each Medicaid Service. So each Medicaid Service in all Fifty States, would be Independent not run by government, with its own Management and Board of Directors that they would select. And be Self Financed as well so the States and FEDS would no longer have to worry about how to finance it. I would finance Medicaid through its patients and their employers. And the Low Income workers on Medicaid who can't afford their share of their Medicaid Costs, would get their EITC or Earned Income Tax Credit expanded to pay for their share of their Medicaid Coverage. Or these workers could use their Health Insurance Credit to pay for their share of private Health Insurance. And people on Welfare, Unemployment, Disability or Social Security Insurance would get their checks expanded to pay for their share of their Medicaid Coverage.

Lets not ruin Medicaid by throwing too many people on it without paying for the coverage and lets not cut it to peaces without an alternative for its patients. Lets reform it in a way that finally saves the program for everyone that depends on it instead.

Click on the link of the blog to see a video from Fire Dog Lake talking about Medicaid

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Proposal to Create a State Bank in Oregon: A way Non Profit Banking could work



As I've said before I'm not a socialist in any form, Democratic Socialist or Classical Socialist. Because I believe in unlimited free and fair competition thats regulated properly. That if you give people choice and let them have all the options, they'll make the best decisions for themselves. And you get that through free and open competition thats regulated properly. Not through monopoly whether its State Monopoly or Private Monopoly, because with monopoly's there's no such thing as competition of any sort, which goes without saying. Because they are a monopoly. I'm not a conservative either because even though Conservative Libertarians believe in Limited Government and that governments role is to protect Constitutional Rights for individuals, which is what liberals and libertarians also believe in. I'm a liberal because I believe in Maximize Freedom and Responsibility for the Individual and Equality of Opportunity for all individuals. But I also believe that government can play a role in insuring that there is unlimited free and open competition thats regulated properly. As well as empowering people who are down to get themselves back up, through education and Job Placement. But that government can play a role in making sure the Private Sector has enough competition to be as efficient as possible especially through Non Profits. Like in things like education and Health Care, like Public Education and Community Banking in providing competition. See I'm not a socialist who believes in nationalizing things when they don't work well or there's abuse in the system. Like company's taking advantage of their customers. But I'm also not a libertarian either, someone who believes that government should completely stay out of government. I'm a liberal and one reason why I'm a liberal is because I believe in free, fair and open competition thats regulated properly.

During the 2008 Financial Crisis that led to our "Great Recession" as well as during Wall Street Reform debate of 2010 that produced the Dodd-Frank Financial Regulatory Reform bill. There were calls from Democratic Socialists in America to nationalize the banks in America or at least the big banks. This is probably something that socialists have wanted to do in America for a long time now. But the Financial Crisis was a big opportunity for them to do that. Conservatives of course were arguing that the reason for the Financial Crisis was that government was doing too much. The actual reason for the 2008 Financial Crisis was that the Federal Government was asleep at the switch, they weren't doing their jobs. Both the Administration and Congress, hopefully the Obama Administration is awake in dealing with regulating Wall Street but we'll see. The Dodd-Frank Law is a good start but we need to go farther.
What Oregon is trying to do or what the Workers Party in Oregon is trying to accomplish and pushing there. Is creating a State Owned by Oregon State Bank that would be Non Profit. That would give oregonians another choice, again creating more competition for the Private Sector. Not taking away from it with nationalization and I hope that they succeed, because it would even be Self Financed and Self Sufficient.

What I would like to see in America is a system of Non Profit Community Banks set up by the Federal Government but where each of the Fifty States could have their own Community Banking System. As long as it meets certain Federal Standards. A Community Banking System would be State Owned banks in each State that would be Non Profit, Self Sufficient and Self Financed. Government wouldn't have to spend a dime to run these banks, because each of these Community Banks would have their own Management and Board of Directors. And these Community Banks would provide competition rather then a replacement to Private For Profit Banks. And then American People would get to decide who they do their banking with. Again unlimited free and fair competition thats regulated properly. And government could play a role in expanding it in the Banking System.

Click the link of the blog to see a video about creating a State Bank in Oregon

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Thom Hartmann: School choice? Gov Christi orders for profit corps to take over Public Schools: What Public School Choice is



I love the idea of Public School Choice that parents can send their kids to the school thats best for their kids. Instead of being forced to send their kids to a school based on where they live. And if they live in a Low Income area, that means sending their kids to rotten Public Schools. I love the idea of Charter Schools, independent Public Schools that are owned by the Public School System but operated independently of the Public School System. I love the idea of Non Profit Private Schools, that Private Schools raise enough money just to cover their expenses. And everything in their system is about having the best school possible and delivering the best education possible for their students. But what I'm not a fan of is For Profit Private Schools, not that I would be for passing some law to outlaw them. Because again the market the people should decide where parents send their their kids to school and For Profits Private Schools are just an option that parents have to select. Its not an education option thats forced down anyone and I especially don't like the idea of privatizing Public Schools which of course are Non Profit and turning them into For Profit schools. Which is what GOV Chris Christie is apparently trying to do in New Jersey. Public Schools are just that public and Non Profit for the public and are Public Goods and Services and that of course aren't doing very well in America right now. But that doesn't mean we turn them into Private Corporations, we reform them to make them work better and we give them competition to force them to work better in order to stay in business.

One way to make Public Schools work better is to bring in competition to them. Force them to do a good job in order to keep receiving students and to stay in business. And the Public Schools that aren't able to compete with good Public School and Private Schools, will end up going out of business. And the Public Schools that do a good job, will of course thrive and end up receiving plenty of students every year. Because parents will see how good those schools are and will want to send their kids to those schools. If States and Localities want to fund Private School Choice, meaning vouchers for Low Income students who are stuck in bad Public Schools. To go to Private Schools fine, thats their Tax Revenue and they can do that. I'm personally not in favor of that. Because I believe that Public School Revenue should be used for Public Schools. Money thats going to finance Private Schools, can go to pay for Public School Choice, Charter Schools, Pay Raises for quality teachers. Better Starting Pay for teachers, money to build new Public Schools or to finance crumbling schools. Which also creates more jobs etc. Money by itself can't repair our Public School System, its about how that money is spent and what its spent on that matters.

Last time I checked New Jersey yes has a Republican Governor but a Democratic Controlled Legislature. So Legislative Democrats in New Jersey should be able to stop what GOV Christie is trying to do in some of these areas. GOV Christie to me represents exactly what the Tea Party stands when it comes to Economic Policy. Privatizing Public Schools is an excellent example of this and you would think he would be their perfect Presidential Candidate. But apparently he's smart enough to realize that he's not ready to be President of the United States. And this plan to privatize Public Schools is a perfect example of that.

Click the link of the blog to see Thom Hartmann on Privatizing Public Schools

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Far Right Doesn't Get The Constitution: Con Job



I find it funny, well sad when, well funny and sad when so called Conservative Republicans speak in favor of the US Constitution and how much they believe and support it. When a lot of them don't even understand what they are talking in favor or misrepresent what they claim to be in favor of. There are conservatives who support and believe in the US Constitution, because they understand the Constitution for what it is and know what they are talking about. Back in the day and even today where the Republican Party of now is more of a Theocratic or Authoritarian Party. People who I would view as Conservative Libertarians not Pure Libertarians like the Ron Paul's of the World. But people who are conservative in a libertarian sense, people who are constitutionalists who believe conservatism's job is to protect and defend Constitutional Rights not some of them but all of them. They don't believe conservatism should be used in an authoritarian sense like the Far Right, that government's job is to enforce morality and how people live their own lives. But that conservatism should be used to liberate people. Something that Barry Goldwater, Ron Reagan, Bill Buckley back in the day. And people like George Will, Rudy Giulani, John Huntsman Mitt Romney, Kay Bailey Hutchinson even of today. People who would've represented the overwhelmingly majority of the Republican Party thirty years ago. But today find themselves in a party today dominated by Theocratic and Neo Authoritarian Conservatives.

Mainstream conservatives are Conservative Libertarians not Classical Libertarians and there's a difference. The Far Right when they speak in favor of the US Constitution, the Sarah Palin's, Michelle Bachman's, Rick Santorum's of the World. Either don't understand what they claim to be in favor of. Or are only actually speaking in favor of parts of the Constitution that they like. Like Political Speech, Freedom of Religion, the Right to Bare Arms and the 11th Amendment. That limits what the Federal Government can do. With the rightward drift of the Republican Party, there's been a real brain drain. Where today they look more like a Far Right Fringe Party, where candidates like Sarah Palin, MIchelle Bachman, Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum. Are taken seriously, when thirty years ago they would've seem like Fringe Candidates like Pat Robertson. Where back in the day candidates like Rudy Giulani, Mitt Romney, Kay Bailey Hutchinson, John Huntsman would all be the Front Line Candidates seeking the Republican Nomination for President. They would be conservative on Economic and Foreign Policy but at least tolerant to moderate on Social Issues. Where homosexuality and abortion wouldn't be driving issues to them. I mean Mitt Romney introduced Civil Unions for Gay Couples back in 2003-04 as Governor of Massachusetts. John Huntsman and Rudy Giulani still support Gay Rights today for crying out loud and they are republicans.

So when you hear conservatives speak in favor of the US Constitution, ask what parts or are they in favor of the document as a whole. Because if they sound like they know what they are talking about and speak in favor of the Constitution broadly. Then they probably understand what they are talking about. But if they only speak in favor of parts of it or speak in sound bites. Then they probably don't have much of an idea of what they are talking about.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Huffington Post: Opinion: Richard Eskow: If the President Won't Do Something About Jobs, Who Will?: The On The Other Hand President

Huffington Post: Opinion: Richard Eskow: If the President Won't Do Something About Jobs, Who Will?

This post was originally posted at FRS FreeStates on WordPress

Ever since the mid-term elections of 2010, the President has been in full reelection mode. Thinking that if Democrats can lose the House, he could lose the White House just as easily. And every decision and policy position and speech he’s given, has been based on that. Only when President Obama has to take a stand on anything, it’s after endless concentrated thought on every possible proposal and idea that’s out there. Libya being a perfect example of this and then after finally taking a position on anything.

Watching Barack Obama make up his mind on anything, from a distance anyway, is like watching a midget try to tackle an elephant. It is really difficult and painful thing to see that you want it to end and for some resolution to the matter. “If we do this, than that will happen and that will be bad. But if we don’t do this, than this could happen and that might be worst”. Politicians who try to please everybody tend to be the most unpopular. Because they end up offending everyone. And that is sort of where President Obama is right now.

It’s the weakest position possible designed to offend the very least. It’s Independent voters that the President is targeting. Meaning that he can’t seem too strong on anything, because he might offend those who look for the middle ground on everything­. Which means that President Obama ends up doing what he wants the least, which is looking weak. Because he can’t figure out what the hell he should do. Right now President Obama who’ve I tended to agree with on foreign and economic policy, is the On the Other Hand President.

“Well if we do this, it could work, but on the other hand if we do this instead, it might work better. And costing the country economically because we have a weak economy that needs strong action”. Sometimes you just got to say, screw it! And do what you think is right and let the chips fall where they may. That is what leadership is about and what being President of the United States is about. The On the Other Hand Presidency might turn out to be Effective Leadership in the long-term. But it’s definitely weak leadership in the short-term. And costing President Obama popularity and the ability to lead a large divided country.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

AlterNet: Opinion: David Morris: "Why You Want Government Running Health, Education an d Defense"

AlterNet: Opinion: David Morris: Why You Want Government Running Health, Education and Defense

This post was originally posted at FRS FreeStates on WordPress

The title of this blog from the AlterNet that I read is called “Why You Want the Government Running Health, Education and Defense”. No for real, just look up top incase you missed it. Yet the whole blog is about comparing the American health care system with foreign health care systems. This blog had nothing about education and defense. Because I believe this writer understands that the American public education system isn’t very good right now. We’re ranked I believe by the United Nations, and organization that the Left especially the Far- Left puts a lot of faith in, 39th in the World.

And no one is calling for privatizing the Defense Department. Except for perhaps Dick Cheney, Ron Paul and Libertarians in the Tea Party. Another issue I have with the AlterNet blog is some of its facts. I know, why would the AlterNet care about fact or let them get in their way of a good ideological argument. But saying that in America the private sector runs our health care system and in the rest of the developed world the public sector runs their health care systems. Which is purely false, Holland, Switzerland, France, Germany, Italy, Taiwan and Japan to use as examples, France, Germany, Italy and Japan all being large countries, all have private/ public health care systems. America has a private/public health care system. It’s just different and not nearly as effective as these other countries, with its health insurance.

Socialists like to say that government ownership or management of the economy and other key services, is the best way to go to have the best country possible. And they point to Sweden as their example of how well this system works. Not recognizing or realizing the fact that Sweden has a very large private sector and a lot of their economy is privatized. What Sweden does have and why I call it a social democracy, well because that is exactly what it is, speaking of facts. But what they have is a very large welfare state at least by American standards with very generous benefits financed through high taxes again at least by American standards. In other words the Swedish Government or Swedish Socialists tax most of their people’s money away, so they can give that money back to take care of them. Or another way of putting it, they tax people to death and them bring them back to life with their own money.

The economy’s that work best are the economy’s that privatize most of their economy, but regulate them well to prevent and punish abuses. That has unlimited fair and open competition and a substantial and affordable safety net for people who fall through the cracks. That empowers them to get on their feet. America used to have an economy like this, but we moved away from it and look where we are now. What doesn’t work well in an economy are monopoly’s, whether they are public or private. Where Big Government, “my people are essentially if not officially, because my public school monopoly doesn’t teach them very well. So what I have to do is take most of their money from them to prevent them from spending it unwisely, to take care of them”.

And you can just look at the former Soviet Union, or Cuba or North Korea today. What also doesn’t work well is what I and others would call “cowboy capitalism”. Which is capitalism with essentially no rules or the rules aren’t enforced. Or the referees are paid off and essentially taking coffee breaks over at the closest Starbucks from the stadium the whole game and they allow whatever to happen to happen, the free market being everything that is. Except that it is not free when the government at taxpayers expense pays these companies for the hell of it, who play by no rules. And I give you the Bush Administration of 2001-2009 as the only example I need. And look at where we are today.

Government should let the people be free to live their own lives as long as they are not hurting anyone else with their freedom. Thats the economy that works the best, freedom with responsibility. I don’t and I imagine most Americans don’t want a federal, or for that matter a state, country or municipal babysitter, meaning government to take care of us, for us, at of course our expense. Big Government to its taxpayers, “give me your money, so I can take care of you for you”. Uh no, just give the people the tools they need in life to be successful and allow for them to take care of themselves. Freedom and responsibility, reward good behavior and discourage bad behavior.



Baltimore Sun: Sports: Jeff Zrebiec: Brian Matusz Good Enough as Orioles Beat Oakland 4-2

Baltimore Sun: Sports: Zeff Zrebiec: Brian Matusz Good Enough as Orioles Beat Oakland 4-2

This post was originally posted at FRS Daily Journal on WordPress

Another decent outing from starting pitcher Brian Matusz as he went 5.1 Innings and gave up two runs. Especially since breaking his arm last year and this being his second game this year. The Orioles got 1 run in the 1st Inning and 3 in the 2nd Inning and that’s all they needed to beat Oakland Athletics and extend their long losing streak. This game goes to show you that when the Orioles score early and take the lead and get timely offense, meaning they hit and score when they need to, they can beat anyone in MLB.

Because of the Orioles starting pitching, the bullpen that they have on paper, that struggled early, but is now improving with two solid middle relievers in Jim Johnson and Kogi Uehara and of course their closer Kevin Gregg Mr. Dangerous, who seems to need runners on base for him to do his job. And with of course their defense especially with Derek Lee coming back at 1B, the Orioles can play with anyone when they get timely offense. It’s just makes their pitching better especially when they score first and early. Because their pitching can just do their jobs and not have to try to be perfect.

The Orioles in 2011 will go as far as their offense plays its role. Because they have the pitching starting and relieving and the defense and the coaching staff. And they have a good lineup on paper with depth. But their offense has struggled most of the season which is why they are 4 games under 500 right now. And hasn’t played up to its capability by far. But if it comes around, the 2011 Orioles will probably have a winning season.