Tuesday, August 30, 2011
I have a wild idea, instead of waiting for Natural Disasters to occur every year, which are as predictable as having to pay your taxes in April every year. Or snow in Minnesota or Heat Waves in Texas, hurricanes in the Southeast and then borrowing the money from China or Russia to pay for the Disaster Relief. Which is what we've been doing the last ten years if not longer, Hurricane Katreena of 2005 in the Gulf Coast comes to mind. Lets pay for these things up front and yes that actually means putting money down and I'm about to use an evil term in America. Tax Increases, plural because not just one but two Tax Increases even in this rotten economy and I would be fine with cutting taxes and spending somewhere else to make up the difference. All rational people know there's plenty of waste in the Federal Government to make up the difference and I'm not advocating for a Middle Class Tax Increase, at least not a plus Tax Increase. But Revenue Neutral and anyone who reads my blog, knows that I'm not a socialist. I would actually be an insult to socialists and socialism and so this is not why I'm advocating for two Tax Increases to pay for Disaster Relief. Not just for Hurricane Irene but all Natural Disasters in the future, I'm doing this because I believe in Fiscal Responsibility and I know what that term means as well. Paying for what you do and only doing what you need to do and can afford. And if you can't afford to pay for what you need, you go get the revenue somewhere else. Thats what Fiscal Responsibility is and Disaster Relief is clearly something we need. We can't as a country let our people suffer, especially for no fault of their own, that would just be immoral. Government clearly has a role but limited here in addressing the suffering and damage of disasters like this. Hurricane Irene was actually pretty mild compared with its potential, I live in Maryland in the Washington Area and all we got out of it, was some rain and wind on Saturday. And I didn't even lose power except for thirty seconds. Then it was back to warm humid and sunny which is normal for this area on Sunday.
I believe in Fiscal Responsibility so much that I don't even believe government should borrow money to pay for Disaster Relief or wars. If we get a disaster or get attacked. Of course we should respond but we should pay for it and actually put the money down up front, so its there exactly when we need it. Instead of cutting something or raising taxes later on. This is what I'm for in dealing with Disaster Relief, set up a National Emergency Management System to replace FEMA as well as whatever Disaster Insurance Programs. Flood Insurance being an example of that. This NEMS would be a cooperative between Federal, State and Local Governments as well as the Private Sector. The Federal Government would just regulate this system not manage it. The States and Local would manage it, the part of it thats in their jurisdiction. So when they get hit by a disaster, they would then have the resources at their disposal to respond to it, instead of coming to the Administration or Congress for the money. And then they would contract out to lets say Non Profit Community Services to do the work of the Disaster Cleanup that they would also regulate.
I would pay for this with like I said two Tax Increases and then like I said I would cut taxes and spending somewhere else so this is Deficit Neutral. It would probably actually save the Federal Government money in the future, because they would have one less agency that they would have to administer. These two Tax Increases would be a Property Tax on all homes and places of employment. To fund the Disaster Cleanup, that anyone who owns or rents these property's would pay into. And they would pay the tax based on how much the property is worth and much they are at risk to disaster. And then a Payroll Tax to cover Disaster Insurance that people and organizations would be able to decide for themselves. From whom they pay for their Disaster Insurance with a Non Profit Public Option thats run independent of government being in each State as well. Again that tax would be assigned based on worth and risk.
We are past the days hopefully for good that we can afford Borrow and Spend Economics, the Bush Administration left office two in a half years ago. And its been time we put that Fiscal Policy to bed and never wake it up again. We have an economy of over 14T$ and can more then afford to pay for things like Disaster Relief without borrowing the money to do it.
Click on the link of the blog to see a video from the Aloyna Show on Disaster Relief
Monday, August 29, 2011
The best way to sum up the American Economy the last ten years, can be done in two words, "Cowboy Economics". What that is in case you were wondering is an Economic System with essentially no rules, or where the rules that are necessary. Like anti Monopoly Laws aren't enforced, where people can make as much money as they can essentially get away with. No matter how much people screw innocent people out of their money. With rotten investments that plummet and then resign with huge bailout check from either the company or from Tax Payers. I'm speaking of the Enron Scandal of 2001-02 and the of course the Wall Street Scandal of 2008 that led into the "Great Recession".
Cowboy Economics along with Supply Side that I would call Borrow and Spend Economics, were the Economic Policy's of the George W Bush Administration. That to a certain extent the Obama Administration has continued on both fronts in their first two going on three years. So there's no wonder why three years later we are still trying to recover from the "Great Recession". And why we have a National Debt and Deficit of 14T$ and 1.8T$ respectfully. Because we haven't regulated the people with a lot of the money and the Federal Government hasn't been paying its bills going back to 2001. And as a result as a country we are paying a heavy price for it that we are still trying to as a nation, figure out how to get out of it. Look I'm a Liberal Democrat and I believe in American Capitalism and our Free Enterprise System and people being able to go out and make as much money as they can earn. Without any limits on how much money they can make, after taxes of course, as long as they do it as individuals. Which separates me from socialists who believe in collectivism, that no one should have a lot more money then others. But just as long as they earn that money and that they don't screw others out of making a living and that they have unlimited, free and fair competition and that there's a referee. Meaning government to step in when others hurt people by screwing them, which is what separates me from libertarians.
Socialists democratic as well as classical, put too much faith in government, libertarians on the other hand put too much faith in markets and Free Enterprise. So what we need instead is to have Free Enterprise, the ability for company's and individuals to go out there and make as much money as their production will allow them to earn. To earn not to take, earning the money you make, not screwing others out of making a living on their own. And walking away with a huge payoff for your work, big difference. Free Enterprise is the ability for individuals and business's to go out and makes as much money as they can earn. So long as they have free and fair open competition as well as anti Monopoly Laws. And where government is there to not try to protect people from themselves but to protect innocent people from the harm of others.
The problem with America is not American Capitalism our Free Enterprise System, the problem with America is that we've gotten away from it. And moved to a system of Cowboy Economics and Corporate Socialism where we subsidize company's just for making a profit. And then bail them out when they fail, the whole notion of "Too Big To Fail" is the whole problem right there. The point being they should've never been "Too Big To Fail" in the first place.
Click on the link of the blog to see a preview of the movie the Inside Job
Sunday, August 28, 2011
Knocking the Gaddafi Regime out of power in Libya is great but Libya still needs a National Government. as well as Provincial and Local Governments. To govern this very large country as well as defend it from Foreign Invaders and Gaddafi Fighters. And that will be the main issue that the Libyan Transitional National Council, essentially Libya's interim Federal Government will have to manage. As they work to form a long term government both from an interim basis and then once the Libyan People writes a National Constitution and forms its own form of government. A Democratic Government to govern the country thats respectful of Human Rights. But of course the TNC is only made up of, I don't maybe 50K people and a lot of their members are the Libyan Rebels themselves. That successfully fought to knock Moammar Gaddafi and his regime out of power. The Gaddafi Military was 100K people that the new Libyan Government is going to have to rebuild and have a military that size or bigger. And the entire Gaddafi Regime was maybe 500K people, so the TNC has a lot of work ahead of it without the manpower to do it on their own. And to be able to govern the country in the short term and then later long term. They are going to need international help to accomplish this. And this is where the Arab League especially Egypt can play a big role, with security and then later forming a long term government in Libya. And this is where NATO and the European Union, United Nations, perhaps even the African Union and to a smaller extent the United States can step in and play a positive role.
The number one thing that Libya needs and this of course is coming from an Western Outsider, is security and stability. One of the biggest mistakes that happened in Iraq during the Iraq War, was that they moved to National Elections and forming the new government and constitution. Before security and stability were established in this big country of 25M people at the time, plus the fact that the United States didn't have enough forces to secure the country. And they moved to eliminate the Hussein Regime and its Armed Forces and Security Forces, without having anything to replace it. Which left Iraq wide open for attacks both domestic and foreign and became a country that didn't have any Al-Qaeda members pre 2003 Iraq War. To a country with perhaps the largest Al-Qaeda membership during that Iraq War. As well as all of the different Ethnic and Tribal Groups as well as Religious Groups that hated the Hussein Regime. That wanted their revenge against them.
So what Libya is going to need is security as well as respect for Human Rights and to move past the Gaddafi Regime and stability. As they work to write a National Constitution and form a more lasting National Government. That can govern and secure Libya in a responsible way that the Libyan People and International Community can respect.
Click on the link of the blog to see a video from Russia Today not very objective on Libya
Friday, August 26, 2011
If you want to look at the decline of the American Economy, it actually goes back to the late 1960s with the Vietnam War and the Great Society Entitlement Programs. Where Federal Government spending went up way more then our Federal Government has traditionally spent. Pre 1970 it wasn't uncommon for the Federal Government to balance its budget but starting in 1969-70, balancing the Federal Budget became uncommon. Because of all of the money that we were spending at home and oversees. The 1970s was probably the worst decade we had economically post the "Great Recession" and it came after the 1960s which was one of our best decades economically. President Nixon inherited a slowing economy and the Nixon Administration didn't do much to help with expanding the Vietnam War. Price Controls and the Energy Freeze, the Ford Administration which inherited a recession with High Unemployment and inflation. As well as an Energy Freeze but at least they tried to address these issues without much success. The Carter Administration inherited a bad economy as well in 1977 again with High Unemployment, which of course got worse in 1978 with another recession in 1980. With High Unemployment, High Inflation, High Interest Rates. As much as you want to criticize Ron Reagan as President and I criticize him a lot for his Supply Side Economic Policy, not paying for his Tax Cuts or Government Expansion. The economy approved in the 1980s, we went from low Economic Growth to high Economic Growth by 1984. From 10% Unemployment to 7% by 1984 and 5% by 1989 when he left office with Low Inflation and Interest Rates. The Reagan Administration inherited a bad economy and left office with a good economy but left office with the highest National Debt and Deficit in American History. Due to his Supply Side Economic Policy. The Tax Cuts and Defense Spending would've been fine fiscally had he paid for them.
Democratic Socialists in America like to blame Ron Reagan more then even George W Bush for today's "Great Recession" and perhaps every other problem were facing as a country. And not to grant President Reagan the fact that he inherited a horrible economy that had just come out of recession. Like the third one of the 1970s and about to go into another one in 1982, because he cut taxes from 70% to I believe 36-39% somewhere in there. And of course have this overall economic view that the main problems with our economy. Is that americans including the Middle Class, don't pay enough in taxes and the Federal Government doesn't do enough. Our problems have to do with fact that we don't have 50-60% Tax Rates like in Britain and Sweden. And our Federal Government doesn't spend enough, that our Private Sector is too large and that our Public Sector isn't big enough. Where its spending around 50-60% of our GDP like in Europe. But we tried a similar approach with a 70% Tax Rate from the mid 1960s to 1981 and our economy didn't do very well in that period. Plus with the Vietnam War and the explosion in Entitlement Spending.
Ronald Reagan has become for socialists what FDR is for conservatives and libertarians, their favorite whipping boy. That they use every time a problem comes up. To throw another dart at whether the facts are on their side or not and this may work with people who don't follow Current Affairs and American History very closely who don't know any better. And of course for the ideologues who think like them but not for people who are factually based who follow these things.
Click on the link of the blog to see a video of Thom Hartmann on Ronald Reagan
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Why should millionaire and billionaires be collecting from Social Security, people who've done very well for themselves and can finance their own retirement. If they should decide to retire when a lot of them don't and end up making a lot of money their whole lives. How can we call a Pension Insurance Program which is basically what Social Security is not a Pension Program. Social Security. when it only pays out for the people who actually need it, about 66% of the Federal Poverty Rate around 14K$ a year. And this program is for the people who need it as well as disabled people who can't live without the program. What we need to do tell the people who wouldn't miss collecting from these Social Insurance Programs, who wouldn't miss this assistance and perhaps rather not collect it at all. That you'll no longer be collecting from them and paying more into them. So the people who actually need them can have more Financial Security when they retire and not have to live in poverty. Because they didn't make enough money to put away for their retirement and didn't get a pension either. These two reforms alone would save both Social Security and Medicare and be a big help in the US Government getting its debt and deficit under control and we can stop borrowing from countries that don't like us to fund our Governmental Operations. Including things like Unemployment Insurance that we've been doing in the "Great Recession" and Grocery Assistance.
But these are just a few reforms that I would like to see in Social Security and our broader Welfare State. I would actually like to end our Welfare State by phasing it out but replacing it with something better. So no one who depends on these programs in order to survive gets hurt by my reforms but is actually helped by them. And I mentioned this several times already in a few other blogs but I would do this by first reforming the financing of them, as I've already mentioned. But them taking them off of the Federal and State Budgets and turning them into independent Semi Private Non Profit Community Services all of them. The ones that already have their own Revenue Source would keep it but be reformed. Like Unemployment Insurance, Social Security, Medicare to use as examples. But then the Social Insurance Programs that don't have their own Revenue Sources would get one. Like Welfare Insurance, Medicaid, Agriculture Insurance to use as examples and then they would all help the people who are eligible for them. Unemployment and Welfare Insurance would help the people who are on them get by but also put them to work so they can support themselves to use as examples.
I believe there's a faction of the country, people who I would call the Socialist Left in America. That believes that all Social Insurance Programs should almost never if ever be reformed. Because then they would have to admit that there's something wrong with them. That there are areas in the Welfare State that are actually not perfect and could work better then they already are. Except to give them more money and this is a big reason why they are so hard to reform.
Click on the link of the blog to see Thom Hartmann on Social Security Reform
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
As a liberal who has no interest in making the Federal Government any bigger then they are and actually wants to make it smaller. Both the budget and workforce to make it smaller and more efficient. But with the irresponsible behavior of our Private Banking System and the fact they can bring down our economy like in 2008. With their irresponsible behavior and how large they are and important they are to our economy. They literally have a part of our entire economy so we have to have a healthy Banking System that the banks and consumers benefit from. In order for us to have a health economy and we don't have either right now. I'm someone who believes in competition not monopoly whether its a Private Monopoly or a Public Monopoly. To me monopoly's look like what Microsoft used to look like before it was broken up. Or what a State DMV looks like today and to a certain extent our Public Education System in America. If a large organization again private or public doesn't have enough competition. Its going to perform and be efficient as it should be because it doesn't have the Financial Incentive in order to succeed. One of the reasons why I'm not in favor of Single Payer Health Insurance where the Federal Government controls our entire Health Insurance System like with Medicare. Or Single Payer Pension where the Federal Government controls our entire Pension System like with Social Security. Large organizations or any organizations need competition in order to succeed or they get complacent and greedy. Thinking why do we need to improve our service or even perform a good service, our customers don't have any other choices to turn to. Our Public Education System is an excellent example of this where most of our students are stuck going to certain schools based on where they live and not what's the best school for them. So I'm not in favor of having the Federal Government taking over the Banking System in America or even allowing our States to do so either.
But what I am in favor of is leaving our current Private Banking System private and even For Profit if they choose to stay that way. But regulating it better so they are no longer "Too Big to Fail". As well as providing the Private Banking System with more competition, similar with my position on Health Care Reform. With a Public Option in the Banking System but not a new Federal Bank but what I would do is set up a new Federal Banking System. And in that allow all fifty States plus the territory's to open up their own Public Banks that would all be operated independently of the Federal and State Governments. That would be regulated by them and be Non Profit as well and then let the consumers decide for themselves what bank they want to use. Stick with their current Private Bank, pick another Private Bank or choose a Public Bank. And let the market the people decide for themselves and give them the Freedom of Choice to decide who they do their banking with. The market is a beautiful thing when you let it operate properly.
Community Banking is a great idea to provide more competition not less in the Banking System. Just as long as you don't end one monopoly by creating another and having less choice in the market. And giving people less Freedom of Choice in where they do their banking but have maximum Freedom of Choice instead.
Click on the link of the blog to see a video on Community Banking and on a Personal Note this is my 100th Blog for FRSFreeStates
I'll put this as simply as I can, no American Troops on the ground in Libya! We have way too many problems as it is and are already over committed around the World. And need to start bringing troops home from around the World and not just in Afghanistan and Iraq. But in Europe, Saudi Arabia, Japan and Korea. All Developed Nations that are more then capable of defending themselves and have the Financial Resources to do so. Which is a big reason why we have a 14T$ National Debt because of all the money we've borrowed over the years to defend these Developed Nations. Libya is probably going to need Foreign Troops now and into the future to help the Transitional National Council but thats going to have to come from other sources. The Arab League being a great start, as well as perhaps the African Union, if Libya could handle having African not Arab Troops in their country. As well as the European Union, with the NATO No Fly Zone already being popular there. As well as perhaps a United Nations force and allow other Foreign Troops to go along with this. With the approval of Libya of course, its the Libyan Peoples nation now especially with Moammar Gadhafi out of power. Libya physically is a very large country, about the size of Algeria which is just next door. Saudi Arabia and Iran and the Gadhafi Regime had a military of 100,000 troops even in a country of 6M people. And a fairly well developed military as well that was professional and even had Weapons of Mass Destruction. They are going to need Foreign Troops there in the short term to defend the nation and to try to prevent Civil War. And to prevent Foreign Terrorists from invading the nation to try to take it over. They are also going to need Foreign Troops to help rebuild the Libyan Military and retrain them, because they'll probably need a military of around 100,000 troops in the future as well because of its physical size. Its neighborhood and especially if the new government in Libya ever develops the nation and its population expands. Which could definitely happen, Iran similar size physically, was a country of 20M people in 1979. Less then twenty years later they had a population of 75M people.
The United Nations, European Union, Arab League, African Union should all step into Libya with troops with Libya's approval. To help defend that nation in the short term as Libya builds its new government and why these people are helping to rebuild the Libyan Military. So they can leave Libya and Libya can once again defend itself. While the United States can help with resources, like weapons, planes that sorta thing as well as Foreign Aide. So Libya can build up its country but we are already over committed as a military. And its time we bring our troops home because we are already over committed. And rebuild our own country instead as Libya builds its own country and their new form of government.
Click on the link of the blog to see a video about Foreign Troops in Libya
Monday, August 22, 2011
|Source: Vila Web- Naomi Klein-|
In 1989 or so a new Center-Left movement emerged in the Democratic Party. People who are called New Democrats who are Liberal and Progressive Democrats, who wanted to take the Democratic Party back from the social-democratic New-Left McGovernites who emerged in the party in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Who saw the Democratic Party just lose three-straight presidential elections for the first time in like sixty years. Going back to the Calvin Coolidge Administration, as well as losing control of the Senate for the first time in a generation in 1980 with the Reagan Revolution. As well as the Republican Party holding on to the Senate for two more elections in the 1980s, for the first time in probably sixty years. And their were a group of Liberal Democrats who were somewhat moderate, led by Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Gary Hart, Dick Gephardt to a certain extent, Bob Kerry, Joe Lieberman, etc. Who in the 1990s would get dubbed as New Democrats. Who saw their party get hammered in election after election and decided it's time they fought back. They concluded that the Democratic Party was still a viable party, but that it started to move out of the political mainstream of American politics.
The Democrats became unelectable as a party on the national level, because they were seen as tax and spenders, soft on crime, soft on defense, soft on welfare, soft on corruption, etc. You can go down the line perhaps you've heard these terms before. And decided to put organizations together to promote their new way of thinking and their policy's and recruit political candidates who think like they do. Organizations like the Progressive Policy Institute that's still in business, notice that word progressive. That's still business today thats not a social democratic institute as that name might indicate. But a moderate-liberal institute, left of center, a little too moderate for me, but that's a different story. As well as the New Democrat Coalition and they wanted to promote a new way of thinking to deal with the issues that the country was facing. And then recruit the political candidates to run on these policy's and try to put them in place once they are elected. That wasn't government centered and focusing on creating new Federal social insurance programs. But that was people centered focusing on empowering people to handle their own problems. The 1996 Welfare to Work Law is a perfect example of this.
Moderate Liberal New Democrats wanted to promote a new agenda that wasn't government centered, but still hold true to the values of the Democratic Party. Using government to help people in need help themselves and move past the days of indefinite public assistance and empower people in need to get themselves on their feet. But Welfare to Work wasn't their only objective. Things like fiscal responsibility and government living within it's means. The 1993 Deficit Reduction Act being a perfect example of this, that had a lot of budget cuts in it as well as tax hikes on the wealthy. Getting rid of the soft on crime image that killed the Democratic Party in 1968, 72, 80, 84, 88 by getting tough, but smart on crime. By having violent offenders serve out their sentences and serving long sentences for serious crimes. But also measures to prevent crime and addressing at risk youth with after school programs so they could be constructive after school. As well as free but smart trade so we can sell our products oversees at low tariff rates. NAFTA and GAT in 1993. And national security, so we can still be strong, but be intelligent in how we send our troops. And not send them everywhere.
The Democratic Socialist Left in the Democratic Party saw this movement and saw New Democrats take over the Democratic Party and saw their power and influence diminish. Because New Democrats were getting elected governor and to the Senate and not Democratic Socialists. Where most of them are still in the House representing House districts and not being able to get elected statewide for the most part and especially not nationally. The last Democratic Socialist that won the Democratic nomination for President, was Senator George McGovern back in 1972. How the Democratic Party has changed and for the better for my perspective as a Democrat. But I wish our leadership was more liberal on social issues. So what Democratic Socialists like Naomi Klein and others, when they are critiquing neoliberalism, they are talking about New Democrats who are not socialist enough for their point of view.
Sunday, August 21, 2011
The House Progressive Caucus developed a similar plan back in the April during the official House Debate on the Budget. That got around forty votes in a 435 Member House, which should give you a pretty good idea of how many people voted against it. Not all of the forty five member or so Progressive Caucus in the House voted for it, they weren't even united behind their own plan. The plan back in April also had a Tax Hike of over 1T$ in it including on the Middle Class when they can least afford it in this bad economy. Where they are struggling just to pay their current bills, so a new tax bill doesn't make that any easier. I'll give Rep. Jan Shakowsky credit for not putting in a Middle Class Tax Hike in her latest plan. But her Jobs Plan is essentially centered around creating new Federal Government jobs, creating all of these new Federal Agency's to go out and hire all of these new people to do these Public Works. And have very little if anything to create jobs in the Private Sector thats hurting right, people who actually have to meet payrolls and live within budgets or risk going out of business. Unlike the Federal Government that controls the National Currency and can just Borrow and Spend to pay for its operations. Because it can print money. Had Rep. Schakowsky, great name by the way especially for someone from Chicago but thats a different story. But had her plan been centered around fixing and expanding infrastructure in America, then I would have a lot more respect for it. As well as Tax Cuts to encourage Consumer Spending which is where the real weakness in our economy is. Economic Growth or the lack of it, because not enough people in America are spending enough money. For us to have enough Economic Growth to create enough jobs to bring down our Unemployment Rate. The debt and deficit are big issues in the economy today as well because they relate to the weakness of our dollar. With all the money we owe other nations but without a strong economy, we'll never be able to bring down our debt and deficit to the point. Where we can manage it in a healthy way.
A solid economic plan to me is in the neighborhood of around 1-2T$ over five years thats centered around infrastructure, like a National Infrastructure Bank that I've mentioned and pushed before that I'll being doing again in the future. That repairs and builds roads, bridges, airports, waterways, schools etc. With kids going back to school in the next few weeks, now would be a perfect time to spend 50B$ or so right now on fixing and building new schools. And a NIB could fiance all of these projects through the Private Sector and then hire Private Company's to do the work and then they would hire the workers to do the work. As well as focusing on our Consumer Spending or lack of it, with Tax Cuts for the Middle Class to do that. Like a Payroll Tax Cut or a Consumer Tax Credit, a Tax Credit that people would have to spend automatically and make it big enough to make a difference. And then passing the Central America, Columbia and Korea Trade Deals that are stuck in Congress. So we can start exporting again. But then pay for this entire plan and not put it on the National Debt Card.
What we need right now as a country more then anything else and we need a lot, is Job Growth where we are creating around 200K jobs a month again. And the only way to do this is through Economic Growth of around 4-5% and to do this we need start building and exporting things again. And as people we need to start spending money again, not expanding the Federal Government.
Click on the link of the blog to see a video Rep. Jan Schakowsky's Jobs Plan
Saturday, August 20, 2011
I love Gary Johnson's idea of cutting the Federal Government by 43% not because I'm a pardon the term, a Cheap Bastard who wants to throw poor people on the street and Senior Citizens out of Senior Citizen Homes. But to reform our Federal Government in a way to make it as effective as possible, which by itself would bring the costs of the Federal Government down. Because they wouldn't be doing as much, and the Welfare State is a great place to start when it comes to Government Reform. But we also need to cut back our Defense Budget not to make us weaker but so we have less responsibility and demand that these Developed Nations play the lead role in their own National Security. As well as Agriculture Welfare and Corporate Welfare, we shouldn't be subsidizing at Tax Payer expense company's and individuals for doing well. But tax them at a rate that encourages them to do well in the future, big difference. What I would like to do is reform our Federal Government in a way that its doing much less in the future without hurting anyone who depends on these Public Services in the future. But do it in a way that makes these Public Services more Cost Effective as well as more efficient in the future. But having others play a bigger role in providing these Public Services and bring down the costs of them in the future. Which keeps taxes down on everyone in the future and makes these Public Services more beneficial for everyone who depends on them now and into the future. And then reforming our Tax Code in the short term and long term. In the short term to help bring down our debt and deficit and in the long term after the Federal Government is reformed, to provide the necessary Tax Revenue to fund the new and improved pardon the expression, Federal Government. A Tax System that based on consumption and paying for the Public Services that people consume, rather then taxing people by what they make which discourages making and investing money.
When it comes to Government Reform, to start with defense cut the Defense Budget by 200B$ a year which might sound real high. But in a Defense Budget of 700B$, is very doable, do this by ending the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and have NATO and the Arab League play a bigger role in developing these nations. I was for the No Fly Zone in Libya from the beginning but with President Obama's latest position on the War Powers Act, where he essentially believes he doesn't need approval from anyone to commit American Troops. Its time that we wrap up that operation and let NATO take over completely. And with out other troops oversees, bring them home and demand that these Developed Nations play a bigger role in their own National Security. Europe, Saudi Arabia, Japan and Korea and transform NATO into the European Defense Alliance or something that would work with us, Canada, Scandinavia, the Slavic Republics, Turkey in partnership but that where Europe defends Europe not America And everyone else defends themselves.
And then get the Welfare State off of the Federal and State Budgets all together and convert them into Semi Private Non Profit Community Services for the Less Fortunate. That would all be Self Financed and run independently and regulated to the extent that they would have to serve anyone eligible who applies.
As far as Tax Reform, I would eliminate all Tax Loopholes including Corporate Welfare in the short term and then lower Tax Rates. To help bring down the debt and deficit but in the long term, I would throw out the Tax Code and replace it with a combination of Payroll Taxes and Consumption Taxes. A Payroll Tax to fund the new Defense Department and then force the Defense Department to live within the National Security Tax and not be able to collect from other revenue. Thats one example, Tax Reform really should be another blog but another example would be a Border Fee to enter or exit America to fund the Border Patrol. And then Consumption Taxes that would cover everything with Low Income people still being able to receive the Earned Income Tax Credit. And make it progressive as well, more expensive goods would be taxed higher the cheaper goods. Luxury Cars taxed higher then grocery's to use as an example.
The idea of tax Reform is great if its done correctly and doesn't result in a net Tax Increase especially in this bad economy. But Tax Reform doesn't make much sense without Government Reform to make the Federal Government as Cost Effective and as efficient as possible. And then you can figure out how much revenue you need to fund the new government.
Click on the link of the blog to see a video of Gary Johnson on Tax Reform
Friday, August 19, 2011
When I look at Political Ideology's as a Political Junky and as a blogger, as a liberal myself I have more respect for the Political Ideology's that respect Individual Freedom and the US Constitution. And I'm not just talking about Economic Freedom but Social Freedom as well, the ability not just for people to make their own economic choices in life. But how they live their own lives as a whole, who they can marry, what they can do with their money, what they can do to their body's, make their own Health Care choices etc. And that brings me to liberalism obviously but in this blog I'm going to focus on the differences between Classical Conservatism, the Barry Goldwater's, Ron Reagan's, Everett Dirkson's, Bill Buckley's, Bob Dole's of the World. And libertarianism the Ron Paul's, Peter Schiff's, Milton Friedman's of the World as well, libertarianism and Classical Conservatism also being Political Ideology's based on Individual Freedom and the US Constitution where they both believe which is were americans get their freedom from. And that people essentially have the right to be stupid and let birds fly to chart their own course in life. And that they shouldn't get bailed out for their bad decisions either. I got this idea for this blog from a friend of mine on Facebook and they know who they are and I'm dedicating this blog to that person.
First what do Classical Conservatives the Rand Paul's of the World today have in common with libertarians the Peter Schiff's of the World today. Respect for the US Constitution and Individual Freedom, the idea that our Founding Fathers who were made up of libertarians and liberals when they wrote the US Constitution pretty much got most of it right when they wrote it. And that they wrote one hell of a document and that Constitutional Amendments that have been written since improved the Constitution. But that its a great document for anyone who believes in Liberal Democracy and that excuse the expression. That we shouldn't dick around with it and try to limit peoples freedom. Like Constitutional Amendments to ban homosexuals from getting married or taking the power away from the people to decide who we can for vote for to represent us in Congress. Or pass laws that are Unconstitutional like the Patriot Act that violates the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution as far as I'm concern. That what the Federal Government can do is already laid out for them in the US Constitution and that Congress can't pass any law that they want even if it might be popular. If it violates the US Constitution, which is what separates Classical Conservatives and libertarians from Democratic Socialists. Socialists who I believe see the US Constitution as more of a Advisory Document then anything else and have a collectivist approach to politics rather then an individualist approach. And the Constitution is basically an Individualist Document centered around Individual Freedom to begin with and this gets in the way of their politics.
The differences between Classical Conservatism and libertarianism has to do with the economy and Foreign Policy. Classical Conservatives prefer a Free Market and decentralization approach to our Welfare State opening up these Social Insurance programs to the Free Market. Giving the people a choice in how they consume these programs, Social Security and Medicare being perfect examples of this. And letting the States take over the rest of our Social Insurance programs, Welfare Insurance, Unemployment Insurance and Medicaid being perfect examples of this. Where libertarians want government out of the economy all together and see all of these Social Insurance programs as Unconstitutional. When it comes to Foreign Policy, Classical Conservatives aren't Neoconservatives obviously and see our Foreign Policy as having to do with protecting our National Interests around the World. And not getting involved with other countries conflicts like Civil Wars or promoting our form of government around the World either. Where libertarians tend to be isolationists on Foreign Policy and only want us to use Military Action when we are directly under attacked.
Classical Conservatism and libertarianism are both similar Political Ideology's because they are both based on Individual Freedom and the US Constitution. But they are also different in a sense because libertarianism is borderline Anti Government and perhaps just a couple steps away from anarchism. Where Classical Conservatives want government there to protect innocent people from the harm of others. So innocent peoples freedom isn't compromised.
Click on the link of the blog to see a video about the difference between Classical Conservatism and libertarianism
Thursday, August 18, 2011
If you really believe in Social Insurance programs, entitlements and otherwise and you believe they've made a positive contribution to American Society. Then you should be in favor saving them and reforming them in a way that they will last indefinitely. How do we do this, we eliminate the biggest threat to them, what's the biggest threat to them. Congress the people that spend the taxes that are "dedicated" to them, on their own laundry list. Get Congress's hands off of them and I'm not being partisan at all here, get democratic and republican hands off of them. Get the House and Senate off of them, get the Administration away from them, so they can't offer plans to "save" them. And I'm thinking of President Bush's 2005 Social Security Reform plan that was DOA before it was born. And probably played a role in the Republican Party losing control of Congress in 2006. And again I'm not being partisan here on purpose here, there been bad ideas to save our Entitlements from both parties. Like and idea coming from Democratic Socialists to tie all Individual Income to the Payroll Tax, which would represent a Trillion Dollar Tax Hike that our economy can't afford right now. Get Congress's and their allies greedy hands off of Social Security, Medicare and others and you save these programs its that simple. And they would no longer be able to spend the Tax Revenue thats suppose to be dedicated to these programs on their Pet Projects or used that money to fund wars or to give to their highest Campaign Contributers. The Federal Government has a workforce of around 8M people, about 2M of that workforce are in the Armed Forces alone. They have a budget of around 3.7T$ where they borrow 40% of the revenue that they need to fiance its operations. They have too much waste not because they are bad people or incompetent but because they have too much responsibility and have to manage too many different things. With around 1.5T$ Social Insurance programs alone.
What I would like to do with our "Welfare State", even though I would prefer a Safety Net which are different. A Welfare State is a collection of Social Insurance programs for everyone that pays into them, even if they don't need them. A Safety Net which I would prefer, would again be a collection of Social Insurance programs. But they would only be for the people who need them, that can't support themselves on their own. What I would like to do is have a Safety Net where you Means Test and dedicate these services for only the people that need them. And demand that the people who can afford to, pay more into them and collect less from them. And take this Safety Net off of the back of the Federal and State Budgets and make them independent. Turn them in to Semi Private No Profit Community Services for the Less Fortunate essentially. Or people that are retired who aren't eligible for Welfare Insurance but don't have a big enough of a Retirement Account to fiance their own pension to use as an example. And regulate them to the extent that they would still have to serve anyone thats eligible for them.
If your serious about saving our Entitlement and other Social Insurance Programs, then you do that by eliminating the biggest threat to them. And that unfortunately is the people that represent us in Washington, our Congress and Administration. And you do this by taking their power away from them and give it to the people instead.
Click on the link of the blog to see a video of Steve More debate Thom Hartmann on Entitlements
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
As a Liberal Democrat with a strong belief in Liberal Democracy, who believes Free People in a Free Society should be able to live freely. Without government interfering in how Free People should live their own lives as long as we are not hurting anyone else with our freedom. I get worried every time I here Big Government democrats or republicans, socialists on the Far Left and authoritarians on the Far Right. Come out in favor of policy's that restrict our freedom, whether its Economic or Social Freedom. And thats exactly what you get from Republican Presidential Candidates Michelle Bachmann an Rick Perry two candidates who both believe the fastest route to the Republican Nomination for President is with the Religious Right and getting their support. In Michelle Bachmann's case at least she truly believes in the Religious Right Agenda and with Rick Perry. I just don't know enough about him to decide if he's playing politics or if he truly believes in this agenda. But with Rep. Bachmann's case you have a long record going back to 2004 when she was in the Minnesota Senate. Coming out against Equal Rights for homosexuals to use as an example. And then in I believe July signing that pledge from a Far Right Religious Group coming out for laws banning pornography and a Constitutional Amendment to ban Gay Marriage. What happened to States Rights in this case, they've always regulated marriage straight and gay. Every time I here Michelle Bachmann say she's a "Constitutional Conservative" I feel like flushing the toilet literally. Constitutional Conservatism is not about amending the Constitution but living within it especially government and not trying to get around it. At best Michelle Bachmann is a Religious Conservative or even a theocrat, replacing the Constitution with an interpretation of the Bible to govern the country. While Rick Perry has decided he's going to be a Religious Conservative at least for this Presidential Campaign. As well as a Fiscal Conservative on Economic Policy, even though his Fiscal Record as Governor of Texas suggests otherwise with pile of debt Texas piled on. As well as all the Texas Government jobs he created.
Every time you here a Religious Conservative say they are anti Big Government and a Constitutional Conservative. Please do yourself a favor and take that with a grain of salt. As well as look to see how many Constitutional Amendments that would restrict our freedom that they are in favor of. Religious Conservatives in America believe that our problems as a country have to do with some as former serial Political Candidate Alan Keyes said. Our "Moral Crisis" and that our problems have to do with our "Moral Character" as Republican Presidential Candidate Rick Santorum has said this. Rick Santorum is in favor of empowering the Federal Government to regulate marriage in America, he's in favor of one Marriage Law for the whole country regulated by the Federal Government. As well as a Constitutional Amendment to make this happen. They believe that we have too much Social Freedom in America and that the Federal Government should restrict it and even pass Constitutional Amendments to make that happen.
So when you here Presidential Candidates come out against Big Government, don't take the word at Face Value if your not very familiar with them. And take the time to look into their record especially as it gets to what they've said in the past. Because you remember they are politicians or Aspiring Politicians. And are politicians unfortunately are prone to say what they believe we want to here.
Click on the link of the blog to see a video from Jack Cafferty on Dominionism
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
To answer the question that Thom Hartmann asked Peter Ferrara, is Shared Sacrifice socialism. The answer is yes, Shared Sacrifice is a form of collectivism to fund the government that our Congress and Administration decided that we should have. And I'll give you another one, a progressive Tax System that America still technically has. Is another form of socialism as well but my point is so what and I'm a liberal and I believe that Free People in a Free Society which is what America is. Has the right to go out and earn as much money as their skills and production will allow but pay taxes based on what they earn. With the wealthy paying the most and go down from there. But that are Tax Rates should still be low enough to encourage the making of wealth in America. So everyone can benefit from it but as MSNBC Anchor Lawrence O'Donnell who I call Larry because I'm not a preppy snob that he apparently is. Said and by the way I agree with Larry O'Donnell as often as I drink a dry glass of water. But he's dead right here, there's good capitalism and there's bad capitalism and there's good socialism and bad socialism. Its not often as far as I'm concern that socialists get anything right at least not in America, europeans can speak for themselves. But Shared Sacrifice is a form of good socialism, because it demands and lets be honest here, its rare if ever that government asks people to do anything. They always demand it and with Shared Sacrifice they demand that people contribute to the financing of government based on their ability to pay for it. But not to the point that it discourages people from earning a good living. And Shared Sacrifice is also very important when we are as we are now talking about Debt and Deficit Reduction. Because when we need to cut back as we are doing now, we have to do it in a way that hurts the least and doesn't hurt anyone in a way that devastates them. And that includes the people who've benefited most from America and our system, Constitution, Economic Freedom and everything else. Shared Sacrifice is about everyone contributing to pay their fair share but not in a way that devastates anyone.
So again to answer the question, Shared Sacrifice is a form of socialism but a good form of it. Not the form that try's to nationalize industry's or limit peoples Economic Freedom or any other freedom. Or tax people to the point that there's not enough incentive in the economy for people to work hard, be productive and be successful. Which would be a form of bad socialism.
Click on the link of the blog to see a video about Shared Sacrifice
Posted by Derik Schneider at 11:49 PM
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Democratic Socialists in America like to use the "Great Depression" not "Great Recession" and make the case that the New Deal Legislation of the 1930s. Got us out of that and thats what we should do as well should be the answer of the "Great Recession" of today. Because of how successful the New Deal was. But the problem that they have is simply credibility, they use the Government Spending argument to make their case for every tough economic situation. They also like to use every tough economic situation and try to make it look as bad as possible, also to make their argument for more Government Spending. More spending on Social Insurance programs and more Social Insurance programs. But to get back to their credibility problem, America was still in the "Great Recession" or at least a very bad recession by the time we got into World War II in late 1941 or early 1942. Its really World War II that got us out of the "Great Recession" because of all the money we spent to finance that war. And the money we gave to Ford Motors, General Motors and Chrysler Motors to build all of those tanks and other automobiles and the people they hired to do this work. World War II was horrible in a lot of ways but it was great for our economy and Auto Industry and created a lot of Private Sector jobs. By the time we went to war in World War II, we still had an Unemployment Rate of around 20%. The New Deal did put a lot of people to work but these were all Public Sector jobs that the Federal Government as only they can in America. Borrowed all of that money because of course we were still in the "Great Recession" to finance Public Sector jobs in infrastructure and other areas to finance all of these new Social Insurance programs from the New Deal. The New Deal did have some success in providing a Safety Net like Unemployment Insurance like in tough times like a depression or recession. But it did not get us out of the "Great Recession" that came later.
What the Federal Government should be doing instead is pass the three Trade Deals, Central America, Columbia and Korea. Lets start selling exports again which would be a boost to our Manufacturing Industry and create jobs there. Yes lets pass a National Infrastructure Bank and spend around 250B$ on our crumbling infrastructure. And create hundreds of thousands of jobs in America, that would be Self Financed and independent of the Federal Government. Because it would raise its capitol in the Private Sector with investors. And then hire Private Company's to do the work. Lets pass Tax Cuts that encourage people to spend money which I believe is our biggest economic problem right now. The lack of Consumer Spending and the lack of demand. Lets pass a Tax Cut to get people spending again. And lets finally have a National Energy Policy and start producing our own Domestic Energy with our own vast Natural Resources. Which again would create hundreds of thousands of jobs and make us Energy Independent because of all the new Energy Industry's that would get started up as a result.
We already have a National Debt that represents most of our current GDP, we don't need to add to that and go back to the New Deal days. And still be stuck in the "Great Recession" ten years from now. What we need to do instead is make Strategic Investments into our economy not government. And put Private Sectors workers back to work.
Click on the link of the blog to see a proposal on dealing with the "Great Recession"
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
The modern version of "Slave Labor" is a bit extreme, Prison Inmates are technically compensated and actually do get paid. Wages that you might see in I don't Haiti to use as an example, 20 Cents and hour. But they do get free Room and Board, food, Health Care, laundry, recreation etc. Fine I can go along with that but the fact is their Living Conditions wouldn't be tolerated perhaps anywhere else in the Developed Free World. And we can do much better then this to the point that would help the inmates, the prisons, society and our Governments Budgets. By giving our Prison Inmates real jobs and compensate them based on what they produce and have them do jobs that they are educated, trained and qualified to do. Jobs that just keep the prison running and then prisons wouldn't have to bring in Private Company's to do the work. Jobs like the Mess Hall like maybe turning Mess Halls into real cafeteria's with real food and making inmates pay for their food. Laundry make the inmates do the laundry and then charge the inmates for their laundry and clothing. Jobs in construction, have the inmates to the work when it comes to renovation of prisons or Prison Expansion. Jobs like real Wood Shops and factory's that would build the furniture for the prisons but also the furniture in other Government Offices and have these agency's pay for the work and then compensate the inmates for their work. Jobs like Auto Mechanics like with the Prison Buses and other automobiles as well as bring in private automobiles for repairs as well as police cars. Barbershops, you could also have inmates working in jobs on the street, well supervised of course like Street Repair and other things but pay them for what their work is worth. And not the 20 cents an hour that they get, but what a free person would be making for that work. If we just had a Corrections System that brought back real Prison Industry's that didn't compete with Private Industry's unfairly. Our prisons could pay for themselves and wouldn't have to compete with education and infrastructure and other priorities for Tax Payer funds. Because these industry's would make money and the inmates would make money do the jobs and could then pay for their Room and Board.
Not all inmates are qualified for real jobs and some of them need to be in tight supervision until they are ready for General Population. But our General Population inmates should be working and working full time to pay for their Room and Board. And to keep the prisons running where they live and to make our Corrections System less of a burden on our Government Budgets. Also not all inmates are ready to work once they get there and it might not just be they can't function in General Population. Its hard to find a group of people in society that has as low as an Education Level then Prison Inmates. Thats a main reason why they are in prison to begin with because they don't have the skills to make it legally on the outside. So these people first need to be educated in prison before they are ready to work but we can do this as well. High School and college that they could later pay for.
America unfortunately already had a Slave Era and we certainly don't need to try to repeat that or come anywhere close. But our inmates need to work, for their good, for the good of the prisons and for the good of society once they get out of prison. But we need to do it in a way that benefits everyone involved and as humanly as possible.
Click on the link of the blog to see a video about Prison Labor
Sunday, August 7, 2011
The type of Economic System that doesn't work at least in America and other countries can speak for themselves. is what we've been doing the last ten years, which is called "Cowboy Economics". Which is a system where you don't regulate the economy well if at all and then when "Too Big to Fail" company's fail and go down. The Federal Government steps in and only then to bail these company's out IE TARP of 2008. You essentially let people behave badly and then bail them out with people who've played by the rules. But you don't even pay for your Bail Outs, you rob people of the future by borrowing the money to pay for the bailouts. And then you also cut taxes so far as well as Tax Loopholes, where the wealthy are essentially paying less in effective Tax Rates then the Middle Class. Where you also has a Fiscal Policy that you want government to do big things but you don't want to pay for them. Because raising taxes in America are still very unpopular, almost as unpopular as socialism as an ideology. And you don't want to cut government either to pay for your Government Expansion. Because you might have to cut popular Government Programs and that could hurt you politically. We have ten years of evidence of this and to a certain extent we are still doing the same things today. One of the benefits of the Debt Debate is we are moving away from a discussion of how much we can Borrow and Spend and moving towards a discussion of how much we can afford. And how to pay for it and what we can no longer afford and what we need to cut back on and what needs to be reformed and how.
The Economic System that does work is called American Capitalism, its not European Capitalism or Chinese Capitalism or Japanese Capitalism. But American Capitalism where have vast Economic Freedom but where we regulate the economy well to prevent people from unfairly abusing innocent people. Where everyone pays taxes based on their ability to pay, with the wealthy paying the most and go down from there. But where are taxes are low enough to encourage people to work hard and earn a good living, get a good education and so fourth. Where we have an Education System that educates everyone well enough to go out and get the skills that they need to be Self Sufficient and successful. And where we have a Safety Net that catches people who fall so to speak but gives them a hand up so they can get themselves on their feet. This is the Economic System America had from the 1940s or so up until the last ten years or so. That made us the number one Economic Power as well as Military Power in the World. Because almost everyone would be able to to a shot at making it in life on their own and not be dependent on Public Assistance.
Its not that America needs to scrap its Economic System and move to some type of Socialist Economic System thats common in Europe. That Democratic Socialists in America would like to see us move to. Its that we need to get back to American Capitalism the system that made our economy what it was just ten years, we need to go back to what works. And scrap what we now have ten years of evidence to know what doesn't work.
Click on the link of the blog to see Socialist Economist Richard Wolfe on the American Economy
Its hard to argue that the 2009 Recovery Act was a success, if you look at the fact that today's Unemployment Rate and Economic Growth is both lower today then it was in late 2009. When the "Great Recession" officially ended but we would be a hell of a lot worse off without the Recovery Act even though its not a success. But why wasn't the Recovery Act successful, because it wasn't big enough and wasn't targeted properly. Which is what happens when you legislate in Crisis Mode and you try to and I'll clean this up, fly by the seat of your pants. Without a gage to tell you where your going and how to get there but the fact is we needed something like this but it should've been done better. I argued in a blog in early 2010 at the one year anniversary of the Obama Administration as well as during President Obama's first 100 Days that the Recovery Act wasn't big enough and not properly targeted. And if your going to have a Borrow and Spend Economic Policy which I'm generally against, except in an economy this bad where no one has any money to spend. And the Federal Government is the only one capable of printing money with their control of the currency. That you should borrow as much money as it takes to deal with the "Great Recession" to get Economic and Job Growth going again. Instead of borrowing 45B$ for infrastructure, that you should borrow about ten times that, to fix a lot of these projects that the Core of Engineers said has to be done. That instead of cutting taxes and regulations and expanding Lending Authority for Small Business in the Summer of 2010. That you do that during the Heart of the "Great Recession" and this is not Monday Morning Quarterbacking on my part, I wrote this in a blog on this site two 1/2 years ago. This idea of a National Infrastructure Bank that has a Bi Partisan bill in the Senate that would be Self Financed. And prioritize a lot of these Infrastructure Projects, should've been in the Recovery Act and we could've borrowed the money to start it up and it would've had a two year Head Start and up in running right now. And be taking care a lot of this work and putting a lot of people back to work today and our Unemployment Rate would've fallen.
And because the Recovery Act was badly designed, today we have an economy thats as bad or not much better then when the "Great Recession' started. And we are left with a bad economy and National Debt and Deficit that have to be dealt with at the same time. Partially because of the Recovery Act but also because of a lot of bad Fiscal Policy's that the Obama Administration inherited from the Bush Administration. So we are in a situation today in the Summer of 2011, where we have to both, stimulate the economy and pay our bills and cut our costs. The Debt Deal of last week is a solid start but should've been a lot better and hopefully Round Two of Debt Reduction will be a lot better and more balanced. But as we are doing this we need to put people back to work and spending money again, which is the easiest way to pay down our debt with Economic Growth. A National Infrastructure Bank, Free Trade, and Energy Bill more targeted Tax Cuts to encourage Consumer Spending. Would be a good start and we can pay for all these things as well, without hurting the economy.
Click on the link of the blog to see a video on Stimulus and Austerity
Saturday, August 6, 2011
Is the era of Big Government over and what I mean by that is not just Socialist Big Government as well as Authoritarian Big Government with limited Social Freedom. Well thanks to President Ronald Reagan whether you think this is a good or not, the era of Socialist Big Government has been over for thirty years. And you know what it aint coming back, because a Democratic Socialist can't get elected President of the United States anymore and they can't even get elected Governor anymore as well if ever. And they can barely get elected to the US Senate now with maybe 3-5 Democratic Socialist Senators. And the entire Democratic Socialist Power Structure right now is in the Lower Chamber of Congress in the House of Representatives, with about 40-45 members. Where almost no one outside of their House District and Washington knows that they even exist. Unlike Senators where the most of the State knows who you are and perhaps the surrounding region as well. Every time a Democratic Socialist runs for President its either out of the House or they are Political Activist or academic. And with how unpopular the term socialism and High Taxes are in America thats needed to fund socialist Social Insurance Programs. Its hard to imagine how socialism makes a comeback in America. What we have when it comes to Social Insurance, is what we have and if anything those programs will be reformed to make more Cost Effective and hopefully more efficient and if anything competition will added to them. So when President Bill Clinton said back in the 1996 State of the Union Address that "the era of Big Government is over", he was stating a fact but that statement was about fifteen years late. Bill Clinton did not run for President to expand Big Government in America to begin with and did not set out to expand it either.
Even though the era of Big Government Socialism is over and as a liberal I see that as a good thing. The era of Big Government Authoritarianism from the Far Right is alive and well. With the Far Right pushing legislation to make Collective Bargaining harder or impossible. The Far Right pushing Anti Pornography Laws, Anti Gay Marriage Laws. Laws that would actually make adultery illegal, Anti Gambling Laws, marijuana is still illegal in America. The Patriot Act that I believe violates the Fourth Amendment with government being able to search what people read just because they might seem suspicious to them. Or being able to search people without Search Warrants. With the rise of the Christian Right thirty plus years ago pushing their "Moral Agenda" on what they believe all americans should be like. And with the rise of Neoconservatism ten years ago, believing National Security is more important then Constitutional Rights. The era of Big Government is alive and well in America but in a different form and is one thing that liberals, libertarians and Classical Conservatives all agree on.
Click on the link of the blog to see a video from Thom Hartmann on the "Era of Big Government"
Friday, August 5, 2011
Apparently Bill Maher is making the argument that President Obama should forget about 40% of the electorate and act more like a Party Leader like in Europe. With their Parliamentary Systems where the Prime Minister or President there just runs to keep their party happy, because they know they don't need 50% or more to get reelected. The problem with that is that only 53% of the electorate voted for him in 2008. You can't screw off 47% of the electorate and just concentrate on 53%, because that would leave the President without a lot of room for error. And with an economy that will still have an Unemployment Rate of at least 8.5% Unemployment going into the 2012 General Elections. And with no President ever getting reelected with an Unemployment Rate higher then 7% at least in Modern Times. The President is going to have to broaden his base, not to win everybody but to get as many votes as possible. He's going to have to lock down the Democratic Party and win the Independent Vote to get reelected. And its possible that the President could get reelected with a Republican Congress. Especially since 2/3 of the Senators up for reelection are Democratic Seats. And I believe the chances are good better then 50-50 that democrats will win back the House but with this economy, thats not a guarantee. The biggest thing that President Obama has going for him right now, is his competition or lack of it. Which doesn't highlight a strength of the President but the weakness of the Republican Opposition right now. The Republican Party right now doesn't have a Presidential Candidate that can both win the nomination and the General Election. There best candidate in the General Election is Mitt Romney but both the Tea Party and Christian Right really dislike him if not hate him and probably believe he's as bad as Barack Obama. Which is why Mitt Romney has been going out of his way to look like a Social Conservative, with coming out for a Constitutional Amendment against Gay Marriage. But its all politics, he's Northeastern Republican and they tend to be moderate-liberal on Social Issues. The President's biggest strength is Republican Weakness.
But this is what President Obama can do to win the Democratic Socialist Left back or enough of them to get reelected. Make the next fifteen months about jobs. Along with the Democratic Senate, all they should be doing right now is pushing legislation to create jobs. And the President and Congressional Democrats both have a Jobs Agenda to do this. Infrastructure, energy and Free Trade which would all be a boost to our Manufacturing Industry. Because we would need new supplies for our Infrastructure Projects, repairing old ones and building new one. A Comprehensive Energy Plan would be a boost to our Manufacturing Industry because again the supplies that would be needed. There's three Trade Deals stuck in Congress right now, Central America, Columbia and Korea. Which is a Bi Partisan problem that the President should try to fix. That would be a boost to our Manufacturing Industry as well, because we would be able to sell more products in Foreign Markets. The next fifteen months should be all about jobs for President and the Democratic Senate and the House Democratic Leadership should be pushing a Jobs Agenda as well. And using that against the House GOP by telling then what have you done to create jobs and what are you going to do. It would also be a great campaign issue as well.
President Obama is clearly not going to win everyone back, the entire Republican Party won't vote for him most likely. But he can't get reelected without the Democratic Party united behind him and voting for him. And then communicating a Jobs Agenda to enough independents to win the election. And to do that going forward is has to nothing other then about jobs, pushing jobs legislation through the rest of this Congress. And going forward on the Campaign Trail.
Click on the link of the blog to see a video of Bill Maher on the President
Anytime your involved in Deficit Reduction you have to look at the entire Federal Budget to get the most savings as possible while hurting the least as possible. And you especially have to look at areas where you spend the most and the Defense Budget represents around 20% of our Federal Budget and 5% of our GDP. But you shouldn't cut defense in ways that hurts your National Security obviously but what you do is cut in areas that you don't need to spend as much or shouldn't be spending at all. According to I believe the GAO or Government Accountability Office, we can't even get an audit of the Defense Department and we don't know how large our Defense Budget is. And the Defense Department also wastes around 100B$ a year in a 700B$ Budget which should be more evidence for the need to cut here. Because they are not very good with the money they get as far as spending it properly. What we shouldn't be doing is cutting in areas that directly relate to our National Security if we were under attacked in some way. And we needed to respond right away but where we can cut is in some of the areas where we are currently responsible for the National Security of other nations. And I'm talking about defending Developed Nations, Europe, Saudi Arabia, Japan, Korea and demand that they play a bigger role in their own National Security. And bringing our troops home and using that revenue to help pay down the debt and deficit. Libertarians and Democratic Socialists believe that since the United States spends the most on defense then any other nation in the World combined. That we should move towards a European Style Defense Budget, where they on average only spend around 1.5% of their GDP on defense. But the problem with that is the reason why Europe only spends around 1.5% of their GDP on defense, is because they know America has its back in their own National Security. If we took that money away from them, as well as personal and other resources. They would have to make up the difference or see their defense get weaken. I don't want to see America go down to 1.5% of our GDP on defense. We still have too many threats facing us and need to be strong. But we could get by with 200B$ a year less on defense 500B$ a year for our Defense Budget or 3% of GDP and be fine.
What America needs to do as a country is take a bigger lead in securing its own National Security and deal with its own domestic problems, which we have plenty of. And let these other Developed Nations take the lead and responsibility in defending themselves. This saying is starting to sound old but thats because of only how true it is. America can no longer afford to be the Sole Policemen of the World other Developed Nations need to step up to the plate and play their part as well.
Click on the link of the blog to see a video from Lawrence Corb of CAP on cutting the Defense Budget
Thursday, August 4, 2011
Thom Hartmann: "How did the Tea Party take over the GOP": How Democratic Socialists can have a bigger voice
I'm guessing Fiscal Conservatives who would be the Tea Party Movement before 2009 when they became a Political Movement. Actually were pretty angry or disappointed about the Bush Administration's and the Republican Congress Spending Binge during their eight years. And the years where the GOP had the White House and Congress from 2003-07, I'm thinking about the 2003 Medicare Advantage bill 500B$ on the Credit Card. Because the House GOP Leadership held that vote on for something like six hours, because they didn't have the votes to pass that bill going in and knew it. And after the Democratic Party took Congress back in 2007, Republican Members of Congress started criticizing the Bush Administration over Afghanistan and Iraq in 2007, I'm thinking of Rep. Walter Jones and Sen. Chuck Hagel both Military Veterans. But pre 2007 President Bush didn't veto one damn Spending Bill from Congress and most of them especially with the wars, were are all borrowed. And none of these Fiscal Conservatives said a damn thing about it and they had plenty of opportunities to do so. But perhaps they were always pissed as hell and the bailouts of Fannie and Freddie plus TARP in 2008 was the last straw so to speak. And they were "mad as hell not going to take it anymore" and when they saw a Liberal Democrat become President in 2009, to go along with a Democratic Congress. They figured this was their opportunity to speak out and try to take the Republican Party back from the Neoconservatives and Christian Theocrats. Which at first I believe was a brilliant strategy, until they brought the theocrats back in.
The Socialist Left however you want to define them, just don't call them Liberal Democrats from my perspective. I call them Democratic Socialists to be respectful, could have a bigger voice in American Politics and one day have a shot at sitting at the Adults Table. And actually being in the room during Debt Negotiations. But perhaps not in the Democratic Party which is run by liberals, the Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, John Kerry's , the House and Senate Democratic Leaderships, the DNC, Democratic Governors of the World and they have most if not all the money in the party. These are the democrats who actually get elected Statewide, all the Democratic Governors are liberal or moderate liberal , liberal in my Governors case. There's not one Socialist Governor democrat or otherwise in America and there's only one Senator. Unless you consider Sen. Tom Harkin, Sen. Sherrord Brown but they almost always vote with the Democratic Leadership. Especially when they need them to, even Sen. Sanders. The Power Base for socialists in America is in the House of Representatives but they only have 45-50 members . And and they don't have a member in the Democratic Leadership except for maybe Leader Nancy Pelosi but she represents the whole Democratic Caucus not just the Progressive Caucus and does a great job. And other then maybe Barnay Frank and Sandy Levin, they don't have one Full Committee Leader, meaning Chairman or Ranking Member of a Full Committee not Sub Committee.
My point is if Democratic Socialists in America want a bigger seat at the table in American Politics and I promise I'm almost done with this analogy, then they have to get more people elected. Because right now they look like a Third Party like the actual Democratic Socialist Party, instead of a small faction of the biggest party. And that means actually winning some Senate Seats and knocking out some republicans not democrats. And winning some Governorships if they ever want to have a serious Presidential Candidate. Because right now their entire base is in the House and its very small there anyway and not enough to force their Leadership to do anything, more seats in the House as well will help.
Click on the link of the blog to see a video from Thom Hartmann on how "Progressive Democrats" can have as much power as the Tea Party
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
This will be the fourth time I'll say this in two days but this is not a good deal that no one likes, that both the Far Right and Far Left dislike. But both sides got some things that they like. Here's the list, for democrats and liberals, and eighteen month extension in the Debt Ceiling but there's still a possibility of a Government Shutdown in November and December. Because the Federal Budget of course is still not done, that can be blamed on both the White House and Congress. Democrats and liberals also cut about a trillion over ten years in Defense Cuts, something we've been fighting for, for over four years now or since the start of the Bush Administration. And democrats and liberals were able to protect Entitlement Programs from drastic cuts. What did republicans and conservatives get, 2T$ in Budget Cuts and cutting more then the Federal Government will be allowed to borrow with the Debt Ceiling. And they were able to keep Tax Hikes out of the Debt Deal including cutting Tax Loopholes and Corporate Welfare. And both sides get to be able to negotiate Tax and Entitlement Reform in Round Two of Deficit Reduction, which both sides want. That includes cutting expensive Tax Loopholes and cutting Corporate Welfare, they'll be on the table.
What the Socialist Left in the Democratic Party America as well as apparently Sen. Bernie Sanders who generally understands these things well. And doesn't take a "my way or the highway approach" to legislating, is that thanks to the 2010 Mid Term Elections. Where a certain group of voters didn't even bother to vote and left the Democratic Party shorthanded going up against a United Republican Party. And even with all of that, we held on to the Senate, is that we now have Divided Government and this is what it looks like. This is what happens when you put the Far Right in America in charged of the House Representatives. Where the Speaker who's generally a responsible adult but is now scared as hell of the Far Right. Because he doesn't want to lose his job, which means he's willing to go to the mat for them, even if that means risk sending the United States Government in default. Which is what happened here, the President and the Senate Leader had to give the Senate Minority Leader and the House Speaker a lot of what they were asking. Or the House would've never passed anything that would pass the Senate or get signed by the President. And the Senate Minority Leader with his 47 votes would've blocked anything that Senate Democrats would've tried to pass on their own that the President would've wanted.
If Democratic Socialists in America want more of their policy's in place and get to sit with the adults at dinner time. Instead of sitting at the Kiddy Table, then they are going to have to get more members elected to Congress including in the Senate where they only have a few out of 100 Senators. And get more members elected Statewide, this is something the Far Right has already done with people in the Tea Party and now Theocratic Tea Party with Michelle Bachmann and others. Otherwise the Democratic Leadership is going to continue to take the attitude. What can we pass without the Progressive Caucus if we need to. Thats how liberals treat the Progressive Caucus today and for a long time.
Click on the link of the blog to see a video of Sen. Bernie Sanders on the Debt Deal
Monday, August 1, 2011
Unless your a libertarian in America and I believe that some libertarians actually do want some form of socialism. Even Libertarian Presidential Candidate Gary Johnson has said that he's for Block Granting are Welfare State. Essentially turning over our Welfare State over to the States to ru
What I would like to see America as a liberal and an american, have is an Economic System with vast Economic Freedom, thats well regulated to prevent unfair abuses in the system, with no Corporate Welfare. And we continue to have Low Taxes and a Safety Net that catches people who fall through the cracks of the economy so to speak. But helps them up and doesn't try to take care of the indefinitely just because they are poor and Low Skilled. But empowers them to get the skills that they need so they can become Self Sufficient. For people who say America should become more like Europe especially Sweden lets say the Socialist Utopia. For that to happen socialists in America are going to have to convince a lot more americans, especially the Middle Class where most of us live. That your taxes are two low even though you might be struggling right now maybe just to pay your taxes. And that your better off with less freedom to take care of yourself and set your own course in life and that you would be better off letting the Federal Government take more care of you.
For American Socialists they have a very tough Political Battle ahead of them if they want to convince a majority of americans. That we would be better off living in a Socialist Democracy like Sweden. And having the Federal Government take more care of us and living with less freedom. Because we are a country that was founded by rebels that was trying to get away from a British System like this. And we like our Individual Freedom.
Click on the link of the blog to see a video from Bill Maher on Socialism