Saving the USA through a Fair Share Initiative

When I wrote this I did not put the topics in any type of order. I just thought about problems and my possible solutions.  The order is not necessarily indicative towards the importance or the order in which these items should be addressed.  I do feel that they are all important and by no means the only things which should be corrected.  Like I say, I just thought about some of the big problems our great country is going through and how I would go about addressing them to improve our situation.  On my website I have written several articles discussing other topics as well as my Blog where i hope to get interaction and feedback from anyone and everyone. I am including links to the various topics for those who wish to jump around or simply come back and reread or review. I thank you for your time.

Taxes - Political Reform - Entitlements - Education - Healthcare - Immigration - Crime & Punishment

 

 

It has become abundantly clear that the Good Oleí USA is in financial trouble.   The way I see it is that it has come to a time to do things differently than we have in the past.  Or in the words of our President, itís time for change.  A couple other quotes come to mind.  ďIf you keep on doing what youíve been doing, you will keep on getting what youíve been getting.Ē And ďthe definition of insanity is to do things the same way, and expect different results.Ē  Another point that our President makes is that there are people in our country that just arenít paying their fair share.  Well I agree with him 100%.  Too long there have been those who have been fortunate enough to live amongst us and have not really paid their fair share.  Well that has to stop if we ever want our country to be the great Super Power that we used to be.  We have become known all over this planet as the country that has always been there to help when another country needed. Whether it was during a time when some bigger stronger more aggressive country wanted to take over another country and rule them in order to be more powerful or when a natural disaster struck and devastated peopleís lands with destruction from Mother Natureís force.  The US has come to the aid of others.  This has not come cheap though.  Whether it was with financial aid, volunteers to help rebuild, bringing food, machines, supplies and technology or even the greatest sacrifice, their own life. Americans have been known for their generosity and caring all over.  Granted, sometimes we may not have been asked for help and some people resented our ďButting inĒ but it was usually always with good intentions that we got involved.  Our citizens have shown on too many occasions that they exude compassion for their fellow man.  Our country is on the verge of bankruptcy and our elected leaders continue to fight each other.  Well just as our President has said, it is time to put our country ahead of the political bickering. Our elected leaders should take a step back and put every action they do to the ďSmell TestĒ If it stinks, donít even think of forcing it on our people.  If they wouldnít want it for themselves and their loved ones, forget about forcing it on our families.  It is time to become a nation of fairness to all.  Yes we have a difference in our classes.  There are rich people and poor people.  We are a melting pot of different races, nationalities, colors, creeds and religions.  But there is one thing and one thing alone that we all share in common.  Whether or not you believe all people are created equal or your personal prejudices believe some people should be allowed to do certain things. The one common denominator is this, we all live in the USA.  It doesnít matter if you believe in God, Allah, Jehovah, Buddha, or even in evolution without the belief of creationism.  We are all living in the same country.  We are a nation of laws; even if some of them are nuts or you donít happen to agree with them, the law is the law. If you donít like it you have choices.  Try to get laws changed, but only if they will be fair to everyone.  Move to another country, or break the law and be prepared to suffer the consequences.  In our modern day, too many people do not want to be responsible for their own actions.  That is just not right.  Like they say, if you canít do the time, donít do the crime.  People should not expect special treatment because they want it, they should expect it because they deserve and earn it.  Like our President has said.  We have to take care of the less fortunate.  Unfortunately it has become to mean ďGive them money and then we can forget about them.Ē  I once heard a saying, ďGive a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime.Ē  In other words you can take the easy way, just give him the fish. Problem is you have to keep giving him the fish.  We need to start teaching people how to take care of themselves so we can end the dependency system which has overtaken our country and created people that canít take care of themselves because they havenít had to, because it has always been given to them.  After all, who wouldnít really want someone else to go to work and earn the money then give it to you?  But in reality, that is not really a fair system.  Like it says in an old paper that was drafted by our forefathers, Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of happiness.  Happiness is not guaranteed, itís just made available.  Each of us needs to get it in our own way.  As far as Iím concerned, as long as it doesnít affect others, they can do what they want.  Practice your religion or not.  Say your prayer or not.  If I donít want to hear it, I wonít listen.  I am extremely happy with my lifeís partner but just because I choose to be with someone of the opposite sex; it doesnít mean I have to force that on you.  If I wanted to take a drug, as long as it in no way effects someone else, it should be okay.  For the record, I donít want to take drugs, but Iím just saying, if it doesnít harm or affect someone else, what the heck does it really matter anyway.  I was raised saying the Pledge of Allegiance in school every morning; I donít think it made me grow up to be better or worse than anyone else.  The Pledge is our countryís pledge and in a public school, it should be said.  If you have a personal disbelief of God, then donít say that word.  But it is our right to say it, just as it is your right not to say it.  Personally I feel if you donít like our country, leave.  I donít believe they say it in Iran or Russia or for that matter, anywhere else.  Our forefathers thought that God was important in their lives, so it was penned that way.  I think the separation between Church and State was meant not to let any one religion have too much power and control over peoplesí lives.  Religion should guide lives, not control them.

But to get to my ideas for saving our country, here they are.  Like I said Fairness should be paramount.  So letís start with one of the big problems where fairness does not presently exist.

 

  Taxes

 

 Taxes are necessary to pay for administering the Government and its military.  The more we need to spend, dictates the amount we need to take in.  So therefore, if we simply spent less, we wouldnít need to take in as much. How can ANY reasonable individual think that it is fair to penalize anyone for earning money?  Oh wait a minute; they only want to penalize those who earn money over the amount ofÖ And they really want to penalize people who work really hard and sacrifice and take chances the most.  Then lets see, oh yeah, how about not having the people who earn a lower amount contribute or especially those who simply donít report what they earn help out at all.  They say that someone who goes to work and puts in overtime and strives to better themselves to the point that they earn letís say $60,000 in a year has to pay, but if you deal drugs or are involved in prostitution and earn millions of dollars in a year, you donít have to contribute anything.  Who thinks that is fair?   I donít.  I am not what I would consider to be one of the smartest individuals walking around.  I never attended college or earned any degree.  But I tell you what, that just doesnít sound right. Some people think that the rich and successful people should pay 70% of the tax burden for the entire country while others get to not only not pay into the system, but take money out.  Who thought this up?  You would think it was a poor person since they would be the ones to benefit the most.  But in reality it was probably thought of by some of the more well off people like Warren Buffet who will tell you he feels he should pay more taxes because he is rich.  All the while he is actually taking advantage of loopholes that rich lobbyists were able to get installed in the tax code for the ability to NOT pay as much taxes.  Then people like Warren under pay what they are supposed to, according to the code, and tell the IRS that they will just keep it tied up in the courts while the IRS is trying to get the money, UNLESS they want to strike a deal.  It is said that Warrens Company actually has a tax liability for over the last ten years of about 1 Billion dollars.  Sounds strange for someone to say they think they should pay more taxes, but then not even pay what they are supposed to.  Can you say Hypocrite?  Oh yeah Warren, I think if you wrote the government a check to allow you to sleep better so you could feel that you paid your FAIR SHARE, they would probably take it. So now that we have determined that taxing income is NOT fair, what would be?  A consumption tax.  It would be simple enough.  Just as most places have some type of sale tax in place already, just add a flat national sales tax to each sale.  People that have more money to spend will end up paying more.  Sounds fair to me.  Now if you really want to stick it to the really rich folks, then just have an additional tax for lavish purchases.  First of all, no one pays taxes on the bare necessities needed for existence. Your PRIMARY residence that you will live in will not be taxed unless it is over a certain dollar amount.  You see, we all need shelter, a place to live.  But if you want an exceptionally nice place and can afford a Million dollar home, then by all means, kick a little more into the kitty.  Even though we donít need transportation to live, in this day in age it is almost a necessity.  So if you buy a car, a very modest tax will be applied. But if you want the $100,000 whatever, since you can afford it, kick in a little more.  But if you are a business that letís say needs vehicle to conduct business, the lavish tax would not apply for those purchases such as a semi tractor to earn a living transporting goods across our great country.  Clothing, while we actually donít need it, unless you live in colder areas, society really doesnít need to see your business hanging out.  But if you choose to buy suits for $1000 or evening gowns for several thousand, well you can obviously afford to help a brother out.  Jewelry, same thing, if itís lavish, kick in some extra.  How about entertainment?  Well we donít need it to live, but if you add $.50 to each movie ticket and a $1.00 here or there you would not miss it.  If you can afford the ring side $5,000 seat, well then another $100 should not be a burden on you. I think you see where Iím going here.  People that canít afford something shouldnít get it simply because they want it.  And those that can afford it should have no problem paying for what they want.   Food of course which you buy in the grocery store for your daily meals, well no tax on that just like it is now.  After all we all got to eat.  The numbers that I am putting out here are simply ideas to get people thinking about how restructuring where the tax revenue comes from could certainly be made to be a lot more fair.  Also, as you can see, we would receive tax revenue from people who visit our great country from all over the world.  I think we could probably have sufficient revenue to take care of our debts if we couple that with saving a lot of money which is currently being wasted.   Thatís where cutting spending and reigning in fraud waste and abuse comes in.  IBM told our leaders that they had a way of cutting almost a trillion dollars of spending on Medicare and Medicaid per year back in the first part of 2010.  The administration declined their offer, probably because IBM wanted to GIVE the government the system.  Maybe the government couldnít be happy unless they overpaid for it.  NOW they are TALKING about looking into reducing fraud waste and abuse.  What are these people thinking? 

Now that weíve touched on the income portion, letís look at the expenses. Governments by virtue of having so many departments have grown to quite a few employees.  All of which have to be paid for by the revenues from taxes.  They are not a business so they are not run like a business.  Businesses are generally run with profitability in mind. Time and time again, there are reviews and reports indicating that there is so much duplication in efforts and throughout the government, you have to know there is a lot of wasted wages being covered.  Heck, just since President Obama took office there has been more than 150,000 new government jobs. Each of them being paid usually higher than civilian counterpart jobs with better benefits.  Another thing that adds insult to injury is a report that many of the government employees havenít paid their income taxes.  Where is the fairness there?  Especially since it should be pretty simple to collect it, just donít include it in their paycheck until they are square.  So first thing is to determine which people will join the ranks of the unemployed by virtue of their job simply being obsolete.   Letís start with entire departments which have a track record of being ineffective.  Okay, the Department of Energy was formed to keep us from being dependant on foreign energy.  Howís that been working out?  The Department of Education,  well letís see, what was the dropout rate, the literacy rate and the test scores BEFORE it was formed and compare it to todayís numbers.  I think this would prove to be another area of savings.  I think the FDA should be looked at pretty closely too since our television sets are filled with advertisement from lawyers trying to help people who have been injured from a drug they passed.  Iím not saying they are totally to blame and Iím sure some of this stuff could not be prevented, but I feel it should be looked at.  Maybe somebody had their life enriched by looking the other way. Iím sure there are departments that we are not even aware of that we could do without.  So here is another way of needing less revenue.  Now, a biggy.  Special interest interests.  Who is lobbying who to get money for what?  There a tons of subsidies and grants for things that probably shouldnít get a cent, let alone some of the hard earned taxpayer money.  If your idea is good enough, you could probably find an investor who would like an opportunity to grow his wealth.  But let them investigate and take the risk.  Why dump some lame study off onto the taxpayer to fund. A perfect example of a waste of tax dollars is a private for Profit Company was given a loan for $535 million for ďGreen EnergyĒ.  Now this was not some little startup company it was the largest Solar Company in the country.  Now, less than 2 years later they lay off 1100 people and file bankruptcy. How is that fair to the tax payers who laid out the money and now not only will they not get their money back, they have less people in the work force.  People who make the decisions to shell out money like this are unmotivated to ensure it is a wise investment.  After all, itís no skin off their nose.  The government should not be in the market to pick winners and losers in business.  So now we have discussed a couple of money savers right off the top.  The House republicans last year put up a website called YOUCUT.COM.  On it they would list a few places where the government is throwing away the taxpayers money and asked people to vote on which one should be cut.  Then they would bring it up for a simple up or down vote to try and reduce wasteful spending.  Well as you can imagine, since the Democrats were in the majority, nothing was cut.  Billions upon Billions of taxpayer dollars were offered up to save this struggling economy, but some people just couldnít see their way to saving money.  Itís like an alcoholic or a gambler.  They seem to have a disease which goes against common sense and rational thought.  Personally, I was not aware that any of my tax dollars were going to a lot of these stupid things.  If it were up to me, they would all be cut and save trillions in a very short time.  Spending on projects simply because somebody knows somebody in office is NOT FAIR. 

Warren Buffet is one of the Presidents mouthpieces saying the rich should pay more taxes. But when he dies since he canít take it with him, he decided to give it to another Billionaire to manage without the bother of having to pay taxes on it.  I donít know, if he wants to pay more taxes, why doesnít he just do that instead of using ďLoopholesĒ so he doesnít have to.  Would Warren give as much to charities if he didnít get to deduct it from his taxes?  Has anyone ever thought to ask him?  Any way, itís his money; he should be able to do with it what he wants. I think that instead of the Government being in the charity business, they should let the organizations which have done it for many years be in charge.  Let the Churches take care of the needy people.  They spend their time organizing fundraisings and benefits to help people on a daily basis.  Then there is a group like the Red Cross who gets donations from all over and renders aid whenever there is a need, no matter where it is.  As far as Medical assistance, well since so many physicians have received the benefit of government funded education so they could earn a living.  Well I donít think there would be anything wrong with asking them to give back.  But the Health care is an issue I will get into in a bit.  For now we are talking about two main things, bringing in money and paying it out.  I think a long hard look needs to be taken to figure out just exactly what is the Federal Governments responsibility. Just what should they be doing, according to the Constitution?  I know the people who want to abolish our Constitution donít like anybody who wants it to be followed.  Well here is what I say to you.  If you donít want to be subject to our Constitution, LEAVE.  Go somewhere else, anywhere else and leave us alone.  Like it says in our guiding documents, you have certain inalienable rights. One of which is that you have the right to go to any other country that will have you.  Because if you donít like the country our forefathers fought for and you donít appreciate the freedoms our Constitutions grants, take it on the arches.  Iím sure that if you think that a Government should provide totally for all its citizens equally, then you would be happy in one of those countries where it is working out so well.  Government in the US needs to get out of its citizens way and let them live their lives. As an individual I have to look at my paycheck. That is my source of income. Then I have to add up all the bills, mortgage or rent, utilities, food, gas, clothing or whatever I must pay to survive.  Then if I have some leftover I have to decide if I want to just spend the balance, if any, or stick some away for a ďRainey DayĒ. That is what I must do.  If I find I have some that I can afford to give to any charity or worthy organization, then I give what I can when I can.  But if I donít have any money left, I certainly wouldnít dream of borrowing money to give to someone else.  That would be irresponsible.  So if over the years I earned more money so I could afford to buy more things, I would make the decision to buy them with my money.  If on the other hand I decided that I wanted something but I couldnít afford it and I charged it on a credit card and then made payments to pay it off.  That would come out of my earnings. If I was irresponsible enough to go out and continue to buy things that I could not pay for out of my earnings and continued to charge them on a card, then eventually I would be at my spending limit.  At that point a sensible person would probably simply realize they had made some poor decisions and do everything they could to pay off the card so they would not have the additional debt of the interest.  Letís face it.  How many of you would want that $1000 television if they told you that the $1000 television was going to cost you $2000?  Only the people who really didnít plan on paying for it in the first place.  So here we are.  The only way we can hope to save anything for a retirement is to spend less than what we earn.  If there is any economist who disagrees with that, he should turn in his degree and quit working for the Government right now.  As most sensible, logical individuals would agree, the only way to be able to have something in the future is to save for it today.  So that leads us back to the need to spend less than we earn and donít waste money on interest just so we can have it sooner.  Anything worth having is worth waiting for. Our Government should learn this lesson on the first day of employment by its citizens.  You know, a Government for the people, by the people.  Let private industry take the chances on all the new technology.  If it works out, they are the ones who took the risk, let them reap the rewards.  It just isnít fair for somebody in Washington to take my money, give it to somebody else so they can TRY to succeed.  Because letís face it, would I get anything in return for my investment if it succeeds?  No, but I would then be allowed the opportunity to buy whatever that company made, giving them a profit.  But what if the company failed?  I am out all my investment.  Which by the way I didnít want to make in the first place.  The point is, the Government doesnít know how to run a business.  They apparently donít know how to run a country either.  But you look at business men or women.  They may or may not be successful but I guarantee you one thing, they will work hard towards success since their future depends on it.  The Government on the other hand obviously feels that no matter how bad any of their ďinvestmentsĒ are, it will not affect their paycheck so why bother doing due diligence.

 

 

Political Reform

 

Here is another way we can start to correct our country. What I mean by this is this.  We hear about people whining about who contributed how much to which persons or partyís campaign.  Then we hear about how people or companies will game the system to give even more than they are ďlegally allowedĒ to contribute.  The reason for this is to try and prevent people from being politically obliged to someone who donated a lot to the campaign to get them in a position of influence in order to curry favor.  Then you have lobbyists who make the monetary contributions to a politician in order to get a tax break or law passed to advantage their industry.  They say that it doesnít happen, but how stupid do they really think we are?  Another ill effect is that a political seat can be ďboughtĒ by simply being able to outspend the competition.  Here is a plain and simple and FAIR solution to this problem.  Politicians or I should say, our elected officials should be above reproach and have the utmost in integrity.  Anybody or organization can donate however much they want to donate to the election fund.  All money contributed even at the $10,000 a plate dinners for which ever candidate will go into the same election fund.  Then each vetted candidate will only be able to spend money they have in the election fund which will be distributed equally between all candidates.  No one candidate would then have a financial advantage over the other and they could not use any outside resources or they would suffer immediate disqualification.  After all, if they canít play fair trying to get into office, what makes you think they would play fair if they got elected.  Then it would be forbidden for any elected official to have any contact with any lobby group.  This way we could be sure there would be no improprieties or special favors handed out.  Anyone caught, immediate ousting.  Then the person who had placed second in the race for that position would take over, provided they still wanted the job.  We should expect anyone representing us to be of the highest integrity.  Think about it, would you really want some known scumbag sleaze ball representing you?  Then we have to install a type of term limit.  We have one for the Presidency, why not all the rest.  Letís say no individual can serve more than 12 consecutive years in an elected capacity.  That isnít to say that he could not be in position for twelve years, get out then run again after the next cycle.  If he did that good of a job when he was in before, well he should have no problem being put back in after the break in Government service.  I think this would allow us to get some people who would then be in it for the country, not just for themselves and their buddies.  Another biggie is this.  Congress cannot pass any law that they are not subject to and they cannot pass anything for themselves that others could not have.  Like this last huge fiasco with the Healthcare bill where they donít even have to participate in it.  Also, why should they get a special retirement without having to contribute into it just because they served one term?  Stuff like that is just not FAIR.  Iím sure just like the stars have the paparazzi following their every move; you would have people who would keep a watch on the politician to keep them honest.  I think that would solve most of the political problems we currently face.  In fact, why do we even have to have party identifiers attached to any individual anyway?  Why couldnít the candidates simply tell people their own thoughts and ideas without being attached to a party which is considered either Liberal or Conservative?  Just look at what ends up happening now.  People vote for a candidate simply because he is a Democrat or a Republican.  Most people arenít even aware what the individual says.  Strict party lines would not be an issue if they were all simply Americans serving their country and its citizens.  Then, we have to stop the inserting people into important positions simply because heís my friend.  If everybody had to be vetted by Congress, we may be able to avoid ideology from being inserted into places where it just doesnít belong.  Also, once they are in an appointed position, they must have regular performance reviews, just like in any successful company.  This ensures that they donít get lackadaisical in their performance and start to install their own personal objectives into departments. With technology being what it is today, there should be website where every citizen could go to see just what issues are being discussed, what bills are being proposed and read the summarized pros and cons of them so they can make up their own minds about an issue.  Just like on the YOUCUT website, common people can have a say.  Of course, the vote of the elected official is what matters just as it does now.  But instead of all these stupid polls of 600 people or 1500 people being asked a question in whichever slanted way whoever wants to in order to get whatever result they are looking to achieve, how about getting input from potentially millions of people?  Imagine what it would have looked like if we had a system in place like that during the healthcare debate.  What if after millions of concerned citizens logged on and voted with an outcome of 60% not wanting it while 30% were for it with the other 10% undecided?  Then the politicians reviewed those findings, do you still think they would have voted for it?  Everyone knows that was a strictly party vote and some of those votes were bought and paid for.  I donít think we would be having all the discussion of appeal and spending how much of the money that we donít have tying it up in the courts.  Also those same politicians would have to answer for their decision which was obviously unpopular with the masses. I hope you can see how making things FAIR can make things better.

The bottom line is this, if we remove the opportunity for any incentives to be used in political games to favor one individual or company over another because of campaign contributions, it would end.  Face it, how much weight would it pull with any one candidate if someone donated $100,000 to the campaign fund if it was split evenly between the participants?  Obama wouldnít and couldnít be beholden to Solyndra because of their contributions because he did not gain any advantage over anyone else.  That would then be a fair race.  No one could buy an election.  Everyone would be on equal grounds, financially.  Then it would simply be up to the message they give and the way they carry themselves and the confidence they instill.  Also, nobody would be expecting a job because of the amount of money they were able to bundle for any one candidate.  Taken another step, by ending any special interests without pork barrel spending to bring home the bacon to any candidatesí state, there would be no opportunity to bribe anyone to vote in a particular manner.  The bills would have to be passed or failed on their own merits.  Wow, wouldnít that be novel.  The country would win in so many ways simply because only stuff that is truly fair would be allowed to pass because no Senator could bring a couple million to their state to placate the voters.  They would have to rely on their track record and performance to become re-elected. By allowing an easy access and informative breakdown available to the masses without any bias spin by some particular media organization which would be either for or against, citizens could make better educated decisions.

 

 

 

Entitlements

 

The next thing is to help people help themselves and better the country at the same time. Welfare, food stamps and unemployment.  Here is an area that really gets me going.  We give people money and expect nothing in return.  Many years ago I heard an interview with a woman who was on welfare who had been raised in a family on welfare and was perfectly content with being on welfare.  But that was at a time when they were trying to reform welfare to make it into a temporary assistance program instead of a way of life.  Well the interviewer asked this woman, ďWhat will you do when you can no longer receive welfare?Ē  She answered flat out without a bit of hesitation, ďIíll get a job!Ē  I was floored.  Why doesnít she go out and get a job now?  Then I realized, as long as someone was willing to give her money without expecting anything in return, she would oblige them by taking it.   So in other words, if they didnít have somebody giving them the money, they would simply go out and earn it.  This could also be carried over to the unemployment compensation.  As long as somebody is willing to give somebody money for doing nothing, they will take it.  I have heard from people who were on unemployment that they turned down job offers because they could receive more money on unemployment and they didnít have to work.  So here is my idea on this.  If you are getting a check from the government, you need to show up and do whatever job they assign you to do.  Of course the government SHOULD give people with a painting background something to paint, instead of hiring a private contractor to paint it at a much higher rate.  Now that would be fair.  Who would even think about going into a store and giving the clerk $50.00 and not walk out with any food?  Who would go to the mechanic and give him $100 and then take their car to another mechanic and give him $100 to fix the car?  These things just donít make sense yet thatís the kind of stuff going on here.  Of course, if you are getting the government check and donít like the work, then you certainly have the option of looking for work on your own and saving the government the cost.  Now that would be fair.  I donít want you to get the idea that I am not a compassionate person.  I have no problem helping people.  But I think I should be the one to determine who Iím going to help and how much I can afford to give and for how long I would give it.  It has gotten so bad that it has come to something like this. I go to work, earn $800 per week.  Then I give away $700 to help somebody else and then I only have $100 left to take care of my family.  Well it obviously costs me more than $100 so I have to charge money on my credit card so I can afford to keep the roof over our head and some food in the belly.  Then next week I still have to give away the $700, but now I donít even have the full $100 because I have the payment I need to make on my credit card.  Now since I ended up with less money, my needs didnít decline so I have to charge even more.  After a while, I reach my limit on the card.  So I have to get another card to borrow against since each week I ended up with less since my minimum payment kept growing. Eventually I max out that card.  Now I need to get another card or see if I can just raise the limit myself.  Then I start having my neighbor borrow money to give to me and then he has the burden of repaying it, not me. The problem here is doing any of this will never allow me to save for my retirement now will it.  So this means I will have to work until Iím dead.  That is just not fair.  Well what if I had the control over who I gave how much to and how often I gave it?  Then I could have averted this crisis by simply not getting into debt since I earned enough in the first place to satisfy my needs and put a little away for a rainy day and retirement.  Then when I had some extra I could give what I could afford to give to whoever I felt deserved it.  There comes a point when you just have to say no.  Guess what, the person I was giving all the money to finally went out and got a job after I told him I had no more money to give him.  Go figure that.  I hope you understand what Iím getting at.  Instead of expecting someone to give money to someone else, it should be their choice.  Warren Buffet gives a lot of money to charity. Good for him. We need to get our citizens back to where they were years before where they were proud to be able to provide and grateful for an opportunity.  For too long now our society has taught people that all they have to do is stand in a line and fill out a form and magically money will appear for them.  Just as Welfare had become a way of life instead of a temporary means of assistance, long term unemployment benefits hurt the individual receiving them because it teaches them they donít have to be responsible hard working people to get by.  By requiring everyone who receives a check from the Government, be it State or Federal, to work for it, I am sure we would see a decline in the number of checks being cut. That in turn would reduce costs.  Plus it will cause those people to obtain gainful employment which raises their self esteem which has been lost.  Now I am not saying it is a magic pill.  It will take a while to wean people off the Government teat.   But I can guarantee you one thing, if you donít ever start, you will never get there. Sure there will be resistance, but if there is no choice, then what choice do they have.  I think about the movies portraying life during the Depression.  There were many people wanting to work for the few jobs which were available.  Most had to come back daily for a shot at a chance of earning some money to take care of their family.  I guarantee you one thing, if a man got up at 4:00am to get in line to work to be able to feed his family, if he got the opportunity to work, he would work.  And he would work hard just to show the boss that he should be selected to come back tomorrow.  What employer would pick a lazy person over a hard worker?  No successful employer would.  Having hard working employees is how the company grows.  Back in those times there was a lot less work available, and sure there were some abuses by some employers.  So the unions got people to band together to force business to be fair.  In their day they did a lot of good.  The problem is that they became so powerful and influential that they started to abuse their powers.  Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. Businesses had to give in to the Unions to keep their doors open.  It wasnít because they couldnít find people to do the work; itís that the Unions would get physical with any non-union worker to discourage them. Our country has gotten to the point where there are entire states which require people to join Unions just to be able to work.  As we have seen recently in So. Carolina when a major company wanted to expand, not move, their company and employ people in a state where they werenít burdened by the restrictions and controls of the Union, the Unions have actually kept people from getting a job.  Just because they werenít going to get their share.  I say if people want to join a union and give somebody their money for the chance to work at a job, they should be allowed to.  But certainly not forced to.  If the Government wants to do something positive for the country they should pass a Federal Right to Work bill.  You see another thing that the Unions caused is a lack of competition.  The Governments have also contributed to the decline in work habits by mandating minimum wages.  They have also effectively served to de-motivate people and remove incentives to excel in the workplace.  Hereís what I mean.  If there was no minimum wage or Union controlling things, this is the way I see things occurring.  A person gets a job doing what they know how to do because of education or experience.  They start at the company working for an agreed upon wage.  After all, if the company doesnít want to pay someone a certain wage without knowing what they can really bring to the table, they should not be obliged to.  If you donít want to work for that starting wage then you can look to be employed elsewhere.  Nobody can force you to work for a price you donít think you deserve. Thatís fair, both parties have a choice.  After you start working and show how good of a job you can do, then you have the opportunity to renegotiate the wage.  If the employer wonít budge and youíre a good worker, move on.  It would be their loss.  I think that you would see that any intelligent employer would want to keep a good employee just like they would be happy to let a bad one go.  The problem with Unions is it doesnít work that way.  If an employer needs 4 people to do a job, they all get the same wage.  And if one employee works really hard while 2 others do a so-so job and the other one is a real slacker, they still have to pay them each the same wage.  This causeís the person who does a better job to resent the fact that he works harder but gets paid the same, so eventually, he tones down his work ethic to match the others because after all, why should I work harder for the same money.  The slacker sees no reason to bring up his game because he still gets paid the same as if he were doing more.  While the other 2 remain content where they are.  Then they all tell the employer that they want more money just because or they will cause the employer to lose business if he doesnít give in.  So the employers give in and then simply charge more for his product to offset the cost.  Now without the Union, those same 4 guys get the job.  The guy that works really hard gets a raise independent of the others.  The slacker gets let go and replaced so any new guy finds out that slacking will not be tolerated.  The other 2 so-so workers figure out that the only way to earn more is to work harder. Now the employer is more successful so he is able to reward his hard working faithful workers individually as they deserve.  I personally would not prefer my pay based on the efforts of someone else.  I can only be responsible for me and shouldnít expect to carry someone else who wonít put forth an effort.  The employer wins because he only has to raise the wage of the deserving people.  If employees start to quit and the employer has to retrain people and take his chances with new people, then he is the one gambling with his own business.  If we get rid of the Government manipulating business to the point where they find it easier and cheaper to avoid all the regulations and taxes by going to another country, we can keep our jobs here and help our economy.  As far as helping other countries, why should we do much more than provide a good example of a system which can work and be successful for its own citizens?  By forcing companies overseas, those countries get the benefit of having jobs for their citizens.  We should do everything to keep our jobs here and allow them to be able to be competitive with the rest of the world.   I am not saying not to provide aid to other countries.  I am saying the aid should be in the form of showing them how they too can achieve a better way of life by following our example.  Giving other countries money to help their people only feed the ones who get it and donít spread it around.  We especially should not borrow money to give to some other country.  Send our volunteers and organizations over to help them build an infrastructure with money which id donated by the generous successful individuals and businesses in the US. If we show people what works instead of trying to force people into our way of life, I think we would be less resented throughout the world.  By having more jobs here, more people would be employed and then we could keep costs down by having completion which can compete with the rest of the world.  Think about it, instead of giving taxpayer money to a farmer NOT to grow food jus t to keep the price up, we could bring the costs down while employing more people and not creating a society which has to have lots of money to live comfortably.  Much of the expense of things here is due to the inflated cost to provide something due to higher wages mandated by Unions and Government minimum wages.  It is human nature to want more. If they want it, work for it.  Donít expect someone to give you something just because you want it. Our country with a capitalist society allows people the opportunity to get more.  As long as they are willing to earn it.   Look at it this way.  The Government wants to give people things for nothing.  So in order to be able to afford those things, they have to tax people more to pay for it.  So then the business has to charge more to be able to cover the increased expense.  Then the people who work there need more money to buy the stuff so they need to get paid more. Then the business has to increase the cost to cover that loss and the cycle continues. Then the people who have not been doing anything but getting the free money for doing nothing, has to spend more as well because everything is costing more. So then the Government gives them more to adjust for the cost of living increase.  Then the Government has to raise the taxes on the business to cover its new loss.  So again the business raises its price and we see a never ending spiral.  But if there is plenty of competition, the employer can get the best worker for his money.  They produce a better product because the workers want to keep earning and having a good living.  Competition keeps prices down so we donít have to keep raising prices to keep up with inflation which we created in the first place. Because the government wonít have to keep taxing more because eventually people would figure out that they could make more money working than getting the check which they have to work for anyway from the Government.  Government workers shouldnít be paid more because they work for the government.  They should be paid more because they individually earned it by working harder and being more conscientious.  I see that as building a better work force.

As far as the Food Stamp program, this is a system which started out with good intentions, but quickly went awry.  The program has been abused by the people who wanted to game it since the first book of stamps was handed out with its restrictions on what they could buy.  It went like this.  The person got there $400 worth of food stamps. They found that they could sell $50 worth of stamps for $40 in cash.  Then they could spend that money on tobacco, alcohol or even drugs.  So once that became a widespread epidemic, they decided to try a credit card style system thinking they could then not be able to simply sell the pieces of paper.  Well it didnít take long for that to be abused either.  A woman goes to the local deli market, gives her card to the business owner who rings up $75 onto the card.  Then he gives the woman $50 in cash.  She gets to spend it where she wants and he makes $25 for a quick transaction.  It is also abused in this manner.  Person gets a shopping list from the neighbor.  Goes to the store and buys $100 worth of groceries.  Gives the neighbor the food and gets the $100 in cash. Or another one that I recently read about.  Person goes into the store where there is a bottle deposit for the plastic water bottle.  Buys cases of water, card is charged for the redemption value.  Then they go outside, empty the bottles and go back in the store and redeem the bottles for cash.  This is called water dumping.  Someone said why on earth they even allow them to buy water since they can turn on a tap and get their water.  Let alone the people who question the nutritional value of the foods which they purchase. Now youíre starting to get into the Nanny State argument.  Here is the solution.  So you donít think I am against feeding people I want you to understand that I feel we should not let people starve in our country where we have an abundance of food available.  After all itís not like in places where they canít grow food.  Our society wastes so much food on a daily basis that I think all the hungry people in America could be fed of what is wasted daily.  Here it is.  No more food stamp programs.  We simply setup ďSoup KitchenĒ type operations all over town.  The larger the population, the more locations.  Then, food can be prepared cafeteria style where the quality and nutritional controls can be monitored.  Each person who will be on the program for the free food will then have their biometric identity installed into the system to ensure that we arenít just feeding everyone, even those with the means of taking care of themselves.  Right now, not everyone qualifies for food stamps, so similar guidelines that they have in place now.  Maybe people who currently make $50 a month too much in income could be allowed to partake of 1 meal a day instead of 3.  The most economical way to prepare food is in volume.  This way they would also cut down on waste since they would always have someone to consume the food.  It would be much harder to game the system like that.  And we would be able to feed our hungry showing that we have compassion for our less fortunate.   As far as who would work at these locations, well the people who are already getting the Government check, of course.  How about that, we killed two birds with one stone.  Sounds like a Win-Win situation to me.  For those who donít want to be bothered with having to go somewhere to eat I say this, donít go, itís your choice.  Now thatís fair.  This could also serve as the commissary for the Meals on Wheel systems which are in place all over as well.  Instead of facilities which end up throwing out tons of food each year, it could be sent to the locations to be consumed instead of wasted.  Of course, we would have to make Government get out of the way to make this happen.  Too many regulations, even though many are introduced with god intentions, hinder our ability to help each other.  Since we would also have a tax system which no longer penalized people for earning money, more people would have more money to donate at their will to help out these organizations which help people.  If you want there to be less produce on the market so it doesnít cause the prices to drop too much, then a portion of the foods grown can simply be given to the food providers to minimize their costs as well.  Things could certainly be figured out, it only people would allow it.  After all, another benefit to this type of feeding program is energy conservation.  Individuals would not have to prepare all those individual meals.  Plus, it would be like they get to go out to eat, all the time.  How many people wouldnít think that was a big advantage.  No cooking, no cleaning.  Sounds fair to me. The bottom line is this, if you keep on doing what youíve been doing, you will keep on getting what youíve been getting.

 

Education

 

 

Education of our children is important because they are our future.  But allowing teachers who have lost their passion for the opportunity and responsibility of molding our childrenís minds just because they have been doing it a while is ridiculous.  When I hear of a state that has a high dropout rate and kids producing low test scores that signals me that some teachers are not doing their job.  Then when I hear that they are paying teachers NOT to teach students because they have become awful teachers and canít be left to interact with students I get upset.  Then when I hear that they have to hire more teachers because they donít have enough to teach all the kids, even though they are paying for more teachers I get mad.  But what really frosts my jewels is to hear that because they donít have enough money, they have to let teachers go.  But the ones who get let go are not the ones who are being paid to do nothing, but the new ones who really want to make a difference.  All the while still paying the bad ones NOT to teach.  Who in their right mind can even try to argue that this is fair?  The only way you can expect better performance is to have the threat of losing their job on the line.  When a student sees this kind of stuff going on, what do you think they are learning?  Is that really what we want to teach them?  But once again, we see that the teachers Union is the reason for this kind of unacceptable behavior.  I watched a special by John Stossel that he did about students in America.  What he found was that Charter schools which did not have Government and Union intervention had better teachers and they produced students that were more excited about going to school and they also received higher test scores.  They also did it on less money than public schools.  This again shows that if you can just get Government out of the way and let private industry set the course, you will end up in a better place.  Nobody can argue that we donít need better educated students. Charter schools are also in competition with each other so they work harder to be successful.  After all, the proof is in the numbers, test scores that is.

Healthcare

 

Healthcare is another area that needs reform. Not in the manner which they just tried by making people buy insurance, but by making a system less susceptible to abuse.  People try to get easy money by lawsuits, which cause the doctors to spend more on insurance which in turn raises costs.  Having systems in place to help people can be accomplished by simply restructuring things.  First of all, if the insurance companies did not have to lay out such large amounts of money, premiums could be reduced.  By having more members in a group, premiums can be reduced. By educating, not forcing, people to develop better lifestyles, costs could be reduced since people would tend to be healthier.  Mandating this and that only makes people more resentful and rebellious.  But if they could have lower premiums because they attend a fitness club and have a healthier lifestyle, they would receive motivation for that.  By allowing different levels of plans which donít cover the small stuff but take care of catastrophic situations can reduce expenses and thereby lowering premiums. When it comes to Medicare/Medicaid, well here is the thing.     I have talked with EMTís who drive an ambulance and they say that the majority of their calls are from the same people calling because they have Medicaid and donít have to be the ones to pay.  They respond to calls which are not life threatening, costing the taxpayer money. They could have called a cab and been taken to a clinic to see someone instead of calling out an ambulance which is not only costly, but it takes them out of play for someone who really does need emergency assistance.  Itís like the people in the Government mentality, itís not my money so what do I care. Here are some ideas. The amount of money that is taken out of my check each week is not really that much when you think about all the good it does.  I could probably go either way on keeping it or getting rid of it.  But the people receiving the money should be held to some restrictions.  First of all, they should have to see certain doctors at certain clinics for their care.  This can control costs since doctors would not be forced to receive relatively small compensation for their time.  However, physicians should have to work on performance based ideals like other people.  I appreciate them going to school and becoming a doctor, but it should be for the reason of helping people, not becoming filthy rich at the expense of the patient.  I do feel they should be compensated appropriately. If they can get away with charging a lot to those that have a lot and want to pay for it, either out of their pocket or the insurance companiesí pocket, more power to them.  Iím sure the insurance companies can work it out with the doctors and the premiums.  Doctors still have to be accountable for their actions, but I donít think they should have to live in fear of a frivolous lawsuit and pay obnoxious premiums for malpractice insurance all at the expense of the patients who have no problems.  Tort reform could probably go a long way to cutting health care costs.  The fraud waste and abuse by patients and doctors alike accounts for an astronomical part of the overall expenses Iím sure.  Investigation and prosecution should curtail a lot of that, saving lots of money.  Many countries produce doctors and nurses and Iím sure if we had a system in place where they could come to advance their education while serving our citizens, it could be a win-win situation for us all.  We could build dorms by the care facilities to cut down on the expenses of the care givers so they would not require as much pay, which would save money in the long run.  But mainly, it needs to be run by private companies since the Government is a total failure at running any kind of business since they consider turning a profit as important.  The Government has shown time and time again that they donít care about saving any money.

 

 

Immigration

 

 

Here is something that many feel strongly about, one way or the other.  First of all, letís remember that we are a nation of immigrants.  Most of our population has roots from some other part of the world.  The thing that comes into play right now with all the debating about illegal immigrants essentially boils down to one thing.  We have an immigration law.  It is either followed or it is broken.  If you break the law, then you are breaking the law.  Unlike when President Obama said, I am on the side of every law abiding citizen, even if you are an illegal alien.  Makes you wonder what they taught in the school he attended.  In the schools I went to, illegal meant breaking the law.  Simply put, if you are here illegally, it means you did not either come here or stay here by legal means.  In either case, if you are breaking the law, you should not be afforded the same rights and freedoms as someone who is obeying the law.  We actually put people in jail who choose to break our laws. So why on earth do we treat people who are considered illegal aliens with such kit gloves?  If you are a child and your parents put you in a car and then proceed to rob a bank, do we let the parents go because the child was only along for the ride and we wouldnít want to break up a family?  Or do we take the child and give them to a relative to take care of so we can send the parents to jail for their crime.  Then why do we use the rationale that since the child had no active part in committing the crime of coming here illegally we should let the parents go free when it comes to the immigration issue.  Wouldnít we rather have a society that has citizens who follow the law instead of breaking it?  Our citizenship status should be reconsidered when it comes to the status of a child who was brought here by people who chose to break our law.  We have some of the most lax immigration laws in the world, and they are not even enforced.  Iím sorry, but if your parents came here illegally, your ability to be a natural born citizen should be taken away.  Itís kind of like when we take a criminal to trial.  If evidence is obtained illegally, then it cannot be used against the bad guy. I think by this day in age everyone knows that if they are arrested in the US that they have the right to remain silent.  So why then if someone does get their Miranda rights read to them, everything is basically null and void against them?  Here is the thing.  We have people all over this world for whatever reason they choose to use, donít like us.  Many would like to kill us simply because of where we live.  Radicals exist all over the world and they have made no bones of stating that they want to kill Americans, simply because we are Americans.  This is probably the number one reason we need to protect and secure our borders.  Unlike what Congressman Paul said, they can also be used to keep us in; we simply say that anyone who wants to leave can leave.  Unless of course you are running from the law.  But if we protected our borders, we could minimize the opportunity for attacks against us.  That is a role of Government.  To protect its citizens.  That is what our military is for.  So how do we secure our border?  A fence certainly wonít do it.  They have proved time and time again that if you build a 20 foot fence, you only need a 22 foot ladder.  Heck, there have been people who have been able to climb the fences in less than a minute.  So the answer is definitely not a fence.  After all, a fence must be engineered and built to very rigorous standards due to our governmentsí tough fence building regulations.  Not to mention the expense.  My solution would be much simpler.  One thing we do it put the word out that if you are here illegally, we will find you and punish you.  No longer will our society be charged with the responsibility of providing you healthcare, welfare, education and housing at the expense and suffering of our citizens.  So then we let them have 6 months from the date of announcement to report to the facility to turn themselves in and go on record that they are in fact here illegally.  They will then be given the option to return to their homeland on their own and avoid any fines or punishments.  They will also be allowed to re-enter the country legally if they fill out the proper papers and pay the fees which all legal immigrants must do if they wish to come here legally.  Then once they are allowed entry they can pay a fine for having previously broken our law.  They have to learn that we are a nation of laws and they must abide by the laws if they want the benefits of living amongst us.  After the 6 month grace period lapses, anyone caught here illegally will be first imprisoned where we will put them to work on the work detail of digging a big ditch along our border.  We really wonít need to watch them too closely.  Because if they choose to run to the south, let them go.  One less person to watch and feed.  After they have served their sentence they will then be deported back to their homeland, be it Mexico or wherever else.  Iíll bet you itís cheaper to dig a ditch than build a fence since you donít need to use materials, only move earth around.  If the ditch was dug 20 foot deep and 20 foot wide and the material removed was put up on the US side, it would provide a formidable wall.  We simply need to take care of our law abiding citizens and punish those who choose to not play by the rules.  When you think about the fact that we spend something like $50,000 to take care of a prisoner annually, it is mind boggling as to why.  These are people who made their own decision to break our laws, yet we spend more to take care of them than many people earn in a year and take care of an entire family and are law abiding citizens.  That is just not fair.  I think Sherriff Joe in Arizona has the right idea.  He should be in charge of all the prisons.  I think criminals would think twice before going back to the life of crime.  

 

 

Crime and punishment

 

This idea is not necessarily something which will be received by the lawbreakers too well, but I think it would add a different level of fairness to our society that does not presently exist.  When it comes to prisons and prisoners few can dispute the fact that we have some of the nicer prisons in our country.  As well as the care for our prisoners is on a different level than most places.  Letís keep in mind that the occupants are people who made conscious decisions to not play by the rules.  If prison life was less pleasant for the really bad elements in our society it might serve as a bit of a deterrent.  Prison should not be a place for the bad elements to hone their skills as bad guys so they can continue their life of crime with a better criminal education.  I have seen plenty of shows that were showing about the rampant problems they have in prisons with the prisoner population.  Many steps could be taken to eliminate a lot of the inmate problems.  Give them fewer freedoms, so they will appreciate the freedoms they are given even more.  People, who have been placed on death row and given ample opportunities to have their case appealed, should not be left there indefinitely.  Some people consider putting someone to death cruel and unusual punishment, but to me locking someone up for the rest of their life with no possibility of parole is worse.  Since it is very expensive to house somebody in our institutions of corrections and we have so many people who would not like to put people to death, I have a solution.  For those who have been tried and convicted and sentenced to death, they should be placed in a single location.  This location will be sole funded by those people who are against the death penalty.  Since they will have more of the money they earned for themselves and have the freedom to donate to which ever cause they choose to help whoever they choose, they can relieve the long term burden and expense to the others who are for the death penalty.  I think that is fair.  If they want to take care of them for the rest of their lives, let them.  I myself would rather donate my money to helping someone whose life has been devastated by a natural disaster that they had no control over.  People who commit murder by choice deserve no special consideration in my book.  This would allow those who are opposed to the death penalty to have their way.  Of course, they need to be responsible for their actions as well. It would not be fair for someone who feels that an individual should pay for their crime to be saddled and burdened with the responsibility of caring for the scum of our society.  I have other ideas on how the prison system could be improved to cut down on the prison violence, but for that you can visit my website to read about those thoughts.

  

Summary

 

So just in these few pages we have explored things like working towards making government less corrupt and more accountable and reducing the costs of Government we can reduce the need for as much taxes being paid in.  If there are less taxes being paid in, people have more for themselves.  By getting Government out of the way, competition can come back into our market place allowing it to flourish.  By getting people to accept responsibility for their own lives and expecting then to help themselves we end up with a better class of citizen.  By setting a good example and not forcing ourselves on others in the world we may not be as resented.  If they donít like us because we donít just give them pocketfuls of money, oh well.  If we can work towards people being able to live on less money by making food and products more affordable, we can be more competitive with the rest of the world in the market.  Other countries canít afford to buy our product because they donít make as much money. So how can we expect to sell them the goods we produce to get the opportunity to show them we make a better product?  So then if we grow our world market, we take away others.  Our citizens are the most compassionate in the world and if they have more of their own money they will freely give it to help others.  The businesses' will then be more successful and generate more money and they in turn will give more to help others.  So just by being FAIR, we can see a lot of positive changes.  By developing a health care system which can provide more and better services we can serve more people.   I have also touched on ways to make our citizens more responsible which would give us a better class of citizenry.

 

I thank you for your time of reading my ideas and would welcome all criticisms and comments.  I am also not opposed to friendly debate but only when all participants have the ability to use logic and reason instead of ideology. 

 

Respectfully,

Kevin Whitesides

imfedup@areyoufeduptoo.com

 

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