Are we serious about the deficit?

February 17, 2011 Leave a comment

For some reason, I get inspired to write over breakfast. Maybe it’s the promise of a new day, or perhaps it’s the juice of the java beans. Today though, it was reading about the deficit, the President’s plan, and the GOP’s plan for combating it.

In my opinion, both sides are right and wrong. There are good ideas there, things that will help reduce the deficit, but neither side seems to be serious enough about it to make real progress. In light of that, here are my ideas on solving this serious issue.

To start, I can honestly say that very few will agree with everything I post here. In fact, I don’t like a lot of it myself. But if we are going to be truly serious about solving the deficit problem we are going to have to take measures we do not like.

1) Compromise is a must – Neither side has a majority or a “mandate”.  To claim the GOP have a mandate because they won a lot of races is folly.  Most of the races won last year were typical GOP strongholds that they got back after the consecutive Democratic victories of 2006 and 2008.   Since neither side controls Congress or the White House, there is no way that a workable budget will pass from just one party.  Therefore, both sides must compromise and work together in order to accomplish anything. It is absurd for the GOP or the White House to believe they can pass a budget without working with the other side.  This is one of several points that will show if anyone is really serious about fixing the budget.

2)  Smart Cuts – Spending is out of control from both parties.  For example, the Pentagon is against the extra engine that is purchased along with the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, so why pay for it?  That’s just one example of many of making smart budget cuts that will save money.

3) Don’t forget the Big 4 – There are four areas of our budget – Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and Defense – that represent the majority of our federal spending and therefore if anyone is serious about wanting to solve our deficit problem, they cannot be excluded from cuts.   I realize that cutting these entitlement programs will hurt the poor more than any other portion of Americans, but we all need to make cuts if we want fix the problem.  Cuts in these are must be well thought out and done with a scalpel instead of a machete.

4) Hold spending – Putting a freeze on spending to past year levels – 2008 or even 2005 – will also help to control the outflow of cash.

5) Job Incentives – There are many ways to encourage employers to hire more workers.  Several good ones are payroll tax holidays, tax breaks for hiring long term unemployed, tax breaks for expanding businesses, and so on.  Also, by getting more people employed there will be more sales and income tax available as well.

6) Regulation and Deregulation – At the State of the Union, the President mentioned how salmon are under the jurisdiction of one government agency when in salt water, a different one when in fresh water, and several different ones when they’re smoked.  By doing a top to bottom overview issues such as this can be fixed, and areas where regulation that do more harm than good can be found and fixed.  In the process, new regulations on areas that are needed can be examined, such as more regulation in the financial and real estate industries so as to not repeat the mistakes that caused the financial problems we’re still recovering from.

7) Tax Codes and Breaks – Let’s face it, the current federal and corporate tax codes are a mess of loopholes.  Corporate tax rates are too high because its far too easy to get around the code.  Therefore, a rewriting of both the federal and corporate tax codes, along with an adjustment to the rates, will help to bring in more income to help pay off the deficit.

Also remember that as of this year, all Americans are paying a much lower tax rate than any time in history.  While it is nice to have all this money, if all of us are serious about wanting to solve the deficit problem, then each and every American must be prepared to sacrifice as well as all corporations and financial entities.  In light of this, one of my ideas is to rescind the tax cuts that Presidents Bush and Obama have issued and roll back tax rates to Clinton era levels.  Between the rewriting of the code, lowering of corporate tax rates since they will be paying more, and the removal of tax breaks there will be more money flowing to the federal government that can be used to pay off the deficit.

8 ) Federal Sales Tax or VAT – Another proposal I have is that a VAT be added to all items with the exception of raw food (supermarkets and such) and possibly clothing.  This is a tax that will not disproportionally hurt the poor, yet help pay down the deficit.

Solving our financial crisis means each and every one of us, from corporations to citizens, must make sacrifices and pay our fair share.  Just cuts alone will not solve it, we also need more federal income to pay it off.  If we are serious about wanting to solve the problem of the deficit, then we must take serious actions to solve it.

What are your thoughts?  Are my ideas sound, need work, or do you have creative ideas of  your own?  Feel free to post your comments here or email me at fapolitics@gmail.com.  I look forward to hearing from you.

F

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As an aside, I’ll be taking a week or two away from the blog to work on some personal stuff and try to unwind a bit.  Before I go, I want to leave you with a quote to think about over the next week or so…

We are blessed as Americans with the Freedom of Speech.  We are allowed in this great country to say what we think and how we feel.  But we must remember that the people to our Right and to our Left also share that same freedom and we must respect that as well.

— Frank Vicari, political blogger, 02/17/2011

Categories: Domestic Issues

GOP didn’t get the message

February 11, 2011 2 comments

While I was reading the newspaper over breakfast, I read about what the GOP have been working on since they took over the House. In the past month or so they have been busy, but not on what they were sent to do.

I never considered the change of power in the House to be a “mandate” but more of a message that it’s time to change the focus to jobs, the economy, and the deficit. So far, besides attempting to repeal the so-called “job-killing” health care bill (which more and more Americans actually want to see stay in place, just changed), their so-called “important mission” has been to send three bills to the floor to further limit abortions, all of which do nothing but restrict a woman’s reproductive rights.

When the Republicans took over, even though I was against it, I was hopeful for events similar to when President Clinton lost his Congressional majority. I thought that this would give the GOP a desire to actually work with the Democrats instead of blocking everything. However, in the past 39 days of GOP control, there has been zero activity on helping Americans get back to work. No mention of any program or bill to encourage businesses to hire.  No mention of anything that will help Americans who are already out of work or to help those who are out of unemployment.  No mention of anything except the usual “culture war” that the Conservatives have waged for decades.

Speaker Boehner, your “Plan For America” is nothing more than the same old Conservative Crap that has been tried and has failed since the Reagan years. You and your “mandate” was nothing more than a smoke screen to hurt a President you do not like and to stop his policies that are honestly good for this country.

Since 1948 it has been the domestic and economic policies of the Republican party to make the richer even more richer, at the full expense of the middle and lower classes.  The Democrats have been accused time and time again of being “distributors of wealth”, when it is really the GOP who are completely at fault for doing so.  The GOP do not care about the economy, job creation, health care, or even the deficit.  The only thing the GOP care about is making themselves richer at the cost of everything and everyone.  Over the past decade or so they have perfected their spin machine, their ability to give out false information, and in doing so have done the American public a great disservice.

I know there are some good Republicans and some smart members of the Tea Party who really want to see positive change and do not play partisan politics.  They want to reach across the aisle and work with the Democrats in order to make a better America.  The problem is that their voices are being drowned out by partisan politics, the right wing spin machine, and the continual pushing of the same domestic and cultural policies the GOP have pushed for years.

Reaganomics and “trickle-down economics” was shown to be an abject failure, yet the GOP since President G.W. Bush pushed the same upper end tax breaks that were one cause for the deficits we’re experiencing now as well as not being any help in a ten year period of the economy shedding millions of jobs.  The same President Bush led us into two wars, one of which was completely based on false intelligence, that has not only helped to bring us to the economic ruin we are in now but has also tarnished our international reputation as well.  Even though we are over two years since the end of the Bush Presidency, it will take us much more than two years of sound economic policy in order to get us out of the hole we are in.

Unless there is a fundamental shift in the way the GOP governs, I do not see anything positive coming out of Washington in the next several years.  The GOP obviously did not get the message that was handed to them on Election Day 2010.  They do not see or understand the real issues that need to be addressed today.  The blocking of all the sound economic policies during the 111th Congress and the policies that they are putting forth since they have taken over have only shown to me, and hopefully to the American people, that the GOP do not have any interest in solving our problems.

What is your take on the situation?  Do you see the GOP pushing any policies or programs of substance or are they still waging the same economic and cultural wars of the past several decades.  Let me know at fapolitics@gmail.com or post your thoughts in the comments.

I want to hear what you think and what you have to say.

F

Egypt and America – Parallels

February 3, 2011 Leave a comment

Just like a lot of you, I’ve been transfixed watching the events unfold in Egypt this week.  I see them on the cusp of a revolution, which will be televised.  As I’ve listened to all the commentators and talking heads, I’ve seen a lot of similarities between Egypt and America on a number of issues.

1)  Economic Bubbles – An economic bubble is when items are traded in high volumes at prices that have been inflated in some way.  When the bubble bursts, the values of the items being traded rapidly diminish to below their original values.  We’ve seen this in America in the stock market, housing market, and in commodities trading.  When the stock market and housing bubbles collapsed, they were considered as major reasons for the depression we’re still digging out of.  The commodities bubble concerns the trading in futures of corn and wheat, which for now is keeping food prices somewhat stable, but there are signs that this bubble is about to burst.

The deregulation of the futures market happened during the Clinton administration – the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999 and the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000.  These two laws allowed financial institutions to get deeply involved in commodities speculation, which has allowed financial institutions to hold more and more of the commodities futures.  It also took away any oversight by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission of overseas electronic exchanges such as Britain’s InterContinental Exchange.  As a result, there are no position limits on trades made on exchanges  and practically no reporting requirements thereby allowing traders to buy and sell as much as they want with virtually no restrictions.

Since 2008, Egypt has seen occasional rioting over the increasing prices for wheat, corn and fresh vegetables.  In the past year however, food prices have been skyrocketing.  The price of bread has jumped 30% and corn has seen the same levels of increase.  Egypt is the leading purchaser of American wheat and more than 50% of our corn exports head there as well.  There have been warnings of increasing unrest over the price of food since November, according to Hamdi Abdel-Azim, an economist and former president at the Sadat Academy for Social Sciences in Cairo.

2)  Lack of Reforms – As most people who have studied American history know, it was years of pressure from King George III and the lack of representation in the government process (taxation without representation, the quartering of soldiers against the people’s will) that were factors in the American Revolution.  It took many years and thousands of deaths on both sides, but Americans earned their freedom from an oppressive government.

Over the past ten years in Egypt, there has been a lack of political, social, and economic reform in Egypt.  President Mubarak was elected for three successive six-year terms, but the results of those elections, with the exception of the most recent one in 2005, has been questioned due to the fact that Mubarak was the only listed candidate for President.  His political party, National Democratic Party, has held an overwhelming number of seats in the Assembly.  With this level of control over the government he is considered by many to be an autocrat.  It was only recently through new press freedoms that we’ve heard that Egyptians have been subjected to brutal police tactics, and a spate of economic reforms that trickled down to only a handful of Egyptians.

3)  US Support – President Mubarak came to power in 1981 after the death of Anwar Sadat.  It took years to regain the trust of the other Middle Eastern states because of the peace treaty that was brokered with Israel.  He then saw the influence of Egypt wane due to the rise of Hamas and Hezbollah.  But during all of this, Egypt was still a very staunch ally of the United States.  Egypt was part of the coalition put together by the United States to invade Iraq.  They have received billions of dollars of US aid over the years and was a key negotiator during the Palestinian crisis.

So far during the protests, there have been no direct signs that there is any anger directed toward Americans, though there have been reports that pro-Mubarak forces have been trying to keep the press from reporting the events.  There are concerns however that a change in regime in Egypt, along with the unrest in Tunisia and Yemen, may change the face of the Middle East and Africa toward a more anti-American sentiment.

Just like the change of regime going on now in both Iraq and Afghanistan, there are no guarantees that it will be peaceful or even pro-American.  It may be a case of dealing with the Devil you know, compared to the Devil you don’t.

As you watch the events unfold, what are your thoughts?  Do you see other similarities between Egypt and America?  Let me know here or email me at fapolitics@gmail.com.

F

 

Categories: World Issues

GOP and Tea – Same Old, Same Old

January 29, 2011 Leave a comment

I finally sat down and watched the Republican and “Tea Party” response to the State of The Union and I was really hoping for something new, especially since they were supposedly put into office because of a “mandate”.  But unfortunately all I heard was the same old, same old.

I was expecting a lot of substance in the response from the Republican Party, but I can sum it up in two words, “Cut it”.  There was no real policy, no “thinking out of the box” to solve our problems.  Everyone knew that going into the State of The Union that our deficit was one of the most important problems we are facing.  While I agree that we need to cut spending, we also need to keep certain programs such as Social Security and Unemployment Insurance as priorities in order to sustain and grow our economy.

If you ask just about any economist, they will tell you that cuts in unemployment insurance will do more damage to our economy than will the massive spending cuts that are being proposed.  It has been shown that for every dollar spent on UI, there is an economic effect of nearly double that in local spending.  The money is very rarely saved and is used primarily in the local economy, helping to keep local businesses open and local people employed.  When that money stops, there is a ripple effect that hurts a lot of businesses and people.  For some, UI is their only source of income, the only money keeping a roof over their head and food in their belly.

One of the telling statements that Rep. Ryan mentioned was that..

If we act soon, and if we act responsibly, people in and near retirement will be protected.
– Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), Republican Response to the State of the Union 2011

What that says to me is that their plan for Social Security is to privatize it and allow Wall Street maintain this important safety net for our seniors.  Do you realize that if this happened several years ago as the GOP wanted to do that there would of been a horrendous loss of value in the Social Security program when the stocks crashed?  Do you really want to see millions of seniors lose their only source of income, or for some an important part of it?  Social Security, since its inception in 1935, has not missed a payment to millions of seniors.  According to Wikipedia, it’s responsible for keeping roughly 40% of all Americans aged 65 or older out of poverty.

We cannot allow this important program to become another carcass in the Republican butchering of America.  To even think about this shows how little the GOP thinks about seniors.

When Rep. Ryan mentioned that the stimulus program was a failure (which by all accounts was really a huge success by keeping businesses and the auto industry going), I knew that there would be nothing of substance in this rebuttal.  It was nothing but rehashing the lies and half-truths of the past couple years concerning the stimulus, health care, Social Security, and “limited government”.

Turning to the “Tea Party” response given by Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-MI) – which was “authorized” by Sal Russo’s  Tea Party Express and Tea Party HD – claimed that it wasn’t competing with the offical Republican response, yet it sounded like it with the repeat of lies we’ve heard for several years.

To start with, there was no mention of Rep. Giffords and the Tuscon incident.  There were no kind words for a missed colleague or a hope for her recovery.  Rep. Bachmann went right out of the gate attacking the President.

While I will agree with her statements about the ballooning deficit and unemployment numbers, the statement she made about the 16,000 new IRS agents that will be needed for the Affordable Health Care Act has been proven to be a complete fabrication.  The part that the IRS plays in the Affordable Health Care Act is to hand out job credits to small businesses that will pay up to 35% of the health care costs for their employees.

Then she moves to the same old attack that unless we completely repeal “Obamacare” (though I will agree that medical malpractice reform is something that does need to happen, and it’s a way to cut medical costs) the entire country will fall apart, deficits will soar, and we’ll stop being the greatest nation on earth.  It’s the same old fear-mongering we’ve heard for the past few years for anything that the President wants to accomplish, even if the Republicans thought of it first.  For example, you do realize that the basis for the Affordable Health Care Act was the health care reforms put in place by Former Govenor Mitt Romney (R-MA), right?  Same thing with Cap and Trade.  It was promoted by Sen. McCain during the ’08 Presidental Elections, then he abandoned it once President obama said he was interested in it.

Every single time any idea is promoted by President Obama or the Democrats, the GOP goes into lockstep “I’m against it” mode even if the idea is the best thing for the situation at hand.  That right there sums up the past two years of Congress.  When the President or the Democrats come up with ways to move this country forward, the GOP does everything in their power to stall it, hamstring it, or outright stop it.

Another point that Rep. Bachmann brought up as a way to help businesses was the removal of the over 130 regulations put into place during this administration.  What she forgot to mention was that the President recently ordered a top to bottom review of all regulatory functions to see what works and what doesn’t.  You remember the salmon regulations mentioned during his speech? How that there is one regulatory body for when they’re salt water and the other fresh water…and don’t even start talking about when they’re smoked.  There are good regulations that help protect businesses and people, and ones that do nothing more than complicate.  I agree with Rep. Bachmann that we need to cut back on the over regulation, but we can ill afford to go back to the days of the Reagan and Bush, Sr. administrations that removed a lot of the consumer protections we had in place.

To close, I really wanted to hear some new ideas from either the GOP or the “Tea Party”, but in the end all I heard was the same old lines they’ve been parroting for the past two years.  Nothing but the same fear-mongering and faulty ideas that will hurt the country, not help it.  All the talk of lower taxes and limited government and nothing of substance about job creation or the economy.  If this is a preview of what the next two years in Washington will be, then I have little hope that things will get any better.

Now that I’ve said my thoughts, what are yours?  Do you think things will get better or will it be two more years of the same old, same old?

F

State of The Union 2011

January 26, 2011 Leave a comment

I watched the State of The Union last night, and there were a lot of good things said by The President.  While it didn’t delve into details, I felt  that the direction he wants to move is a positive one, and I hope the changes that need to be made can be accomplished.  I completely agree that as a nation, we are at a turning point, a “Sputnik” moment as The President mentioned.  This is our chance to make meaningful change and put our feet on solid ground and get ready for the future.

Some of what I thought were highlights and my thoughts on them are…

1) Elimination of the Oil subsidies – When I heard this, I was both shocked and amazed.  Congress has been subsidizing the oil industry for years. Those oil companies haven’t needed the tax dollars for years.  Last time I heard, the oil companies were doing just fine.  In fact, several of them had their best year ever in 2010 with billions of dollars in profits…not revenue, but real profits.  With that much money, they no longer need any government subsidies.  Mr. President, that is the best idea I have heard from any politician from either side in years.

2) Education – It’s no secret that we have very poor schools around the country, along with high drop out rates and abysmal test scores.  We need to make schools and teachers more accountable for the students they teach.  We need to encourage teachers to teach better and get rid of those teachers who don’t, even if it means angering the teachers unions.  Only by doing so can we achieve better graduates and be better prepared for the challenges of the future.

3) Infrastructure – The President was spot on that our infrastructure is in serious need of repair and renovation.  The President’s proposal to repair the infrastructure is a great idea.  This will not only help the hard hit construction industry, but help get the nation on a sound base for future growth.  The use of high speed rail in this country could not only more people around the country, but goods as well.  This is something that will benefit us all and I see it as something we should work toward in the near future, not decades away.

4) Corporate Tax code – This is a huge step forward, if it can be done.  If the tax code can be rewritten and loopholes eliminated, then the tax can be lowered because more tax income will be received instead of it being hidden offshore or sent through other countries.  Once the corporate tax rates are lowered, that will hopefully free up more investment and expansion capital that will encourage job growth.

5) Review of Government Regulations – As much as people may not want to hear this, I feel that there are a lot of good and sound regulations.  There are also tons of wasteful and overreaching ones as well.  A top to bottom review to see what is needed and what is not makes sense and will save money in the long term. It will also help to encourage a more common sense approach to lawmaking that can spur growth and innovation without the government getting in the way.  If we want to move forward, this makes a lot of sense and I hope this gets done in a hurry.

The President also stated that in the coming months he will submit a proposal to reorganize the government in a much more efficient way.  When he mentioned this proposal, I saw what looked like a pleased look cross Speaker Boehner’s face.  I think this is something that he supports as well and I don’t want to see this getting drowned in bi-partisan bickering.  If this is coupled with the changes in the tax code for both citizens and corporations, along with the review of regulations, I can see an America that is out of our current depression, back on a very solid financial footing, and with our infrastructure repaired we are a nation that is ready to take on the challenges of the 21st century.

6) Health Care Reform – He advocated what I have already stated before, that the Affordable Health Care Act is a good start but it is not perfect.  Instead of repealing it completely lawmakers should sit down and fix what doesn’t work, starting with the unnecessary bookkeeping burden on small businesses mentioned by President Obama.  I also do not want to see this nation go back to the days where insurance companies were the real “death panels” – denying care and coverage because of preexisting conditions or treatments deemed too expensive.  We all deserve better care and the Affordable Health Care Act does that.  There is no need to repeal it when it can be fixed.

He also mentioned real medical malpractice reform as a way to reign in rising health care costs.  If tort reform can actually be accomplished, this will help reduce health care costs across the board.  I honestly have my doubts about the success of real tort reform since most of the lawmakers are lawyers, a lot of whom benefit from the way things are now.

7) Deficit – The President rightfully stated our more serious issue, the mounting deficit and the need to correct the simple fact that the government spends more than it takes in.  One of his ideas is to freeze domestic spending for the next five years, including military spending.  I see some problems with this right out of the gate, as he did not want this to cause an undo burden on the poor.  One of the largest portions of domestic spending is on entitlement programs.  If the cuts that need to be made to keep spending at these levels is too deep, then you burden the poor too much.  He also mentioned that domestic spending is a very small portion of our budget and if we are serious about cutting the deficit, we need to not only make smart and meaningful cuts, but to also end unneeded tax cuts and other tax loopholes.

Social Security is another large portion of the budget that needs a serious looking at, and The President said he wanted to do so but not at the cost of those currently receiving benefits.  There are varying reports about the solvency of Social Security, and I agree that this is a program that should not be handed over to the whims of the stock market and the financial sector.  We need to protect this important program, and the promise that it is to not only those hard working Americans that are currently receiving benefits, but to those who are currently working and for those who will be working in the decades to come.

8 ) Tax cuts for the wealthy – This was wrong ten years ago and it is wrong now.  If there is anything that needs to be repealed immediately, it is the waste of money that is the extension of the tax cuts for the wealthy.  I agree that if someone earns a lot of money, that they are entitled to it, but in this time where we all need to tighten our belts and make sacrifices for our fellow Americans, the wealthy have seen their fortunes rise far faster than anyone could of ever imagined.  The government give away that is the Bush Era Tax Cut has done absolutely nothing to either reduce the deficit or produce jobs.  During the past decade, this country has seen the slowest job growth that has ever been recorded, and it did so with the largest tax cut in history to the wealthy.  There is no reason those tax cuts need to continue and by repealing them back to Clinton era levels (which by the way is a paltry 3 – 5% increase) it will bring needed tax dollars to the federal government and help reduce the deficit.

Overall his speech was definitely made to the center-left rather than to either side and done so with a definite lack of any bi-partisanship.  It was a more CEO type of speech, which was designed to build unity and morale.  There were statements and ideas made that both sides can like but the real test of the new-found unity will be how much both sides will put away the venom and rhetoric and actually work on the real problems that face us as a nation.

I’ll be talking about the Republican and the “Tea Party” responses in another post, but until then let me know what you thought about the President’s speech.

F

Don’t Repeal…Repair!

January 18, 2011 Leave a comment

Today, the Republicans in the House started their debates about the “job-destroying” health care bill.  Since the town hall debates last year, the Republicans have done everything in their power to block and fear-monger the Affordable Health Care Act into submission.  Since the President made this bill one of his priorities it’s not surprising that the Republicans tried to stop this bill from getting signed.

However, and I honestly looked for this so if I missed anything please email me or leave a comment, the Republicans have offered nothing even remotely better…nothing…nada.

As for the so called “job-destroying” part, a  recently released report from the Congressional Budget Office states that the figures used by the GOP to claim that the bill is “job-destroying” is not all that accurate.  It seems that the GOP is toying around with the statistics to make it look like a huge job loss, when in fact it will save some jobs and even grow jobs in the health care industry.  To me, that really doesn’t sound like “job-destroying”…

A recent report by the Department of Health and Human Services has stated that anywhere between 50 and 129 million people have preexisting conditions and would either lose their health insurance or would be unable to get health insurance.  Even at the low end, that is one-fifth of the entire population of non-elderly Americans who would not be able to take care of their basic health needs.  Just by keeping the Act as law, one out of every five Americans under the age of 65 who would not be able to get any health care insurance because of such conditions as diabetes, high blood pressure, or even pregnancy can get coverage and stay on their medications.

Another aspect of the Affordable Health Care Act is that children under the age of 26 can be kept on their parents health care plans, even if the child is no longer living at home as long as they do not get health insurance from their employer.  This can be a huge relief to parents who send their children off to college out-of-state.  They can rest easier knowing that if they need to see a doctor, its just a simple visit (and co-pay) away.  Another benefit is that the insurance companies cannot jack up costs or limit coverage.

There are other good portions of the Affordable Health Care Act such as helping seniors in the Medicare “donut hole” with their prescriptions, helping small businesses with tax breaks to cover their employees, and in the future the health care exchanges that will cover millions and lower costs across the board.

Now, the Republicans have stated that “ObamaCare” is nothing more than a tax on the wealthy who can afford the “Cadillac Health Care Plans”, and even with that tax the Act is not revenue neutral and will end up costing the taxpayers billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of jobs (being a “job-destroying” health care bill).  There are also statements that abortions will be funded under ObamaCare, which has upset those who are pro-life.  They are also saying that the requirement that every American much purchase health care is unconstitutional.

I will be the first one to stand up and say that the Affordable Health Care Act is far from perfect.  I know without a doubt that there are a lot of things that can be done to make it better, but there is a lot of good in the bill and repealing it will hurt far more than keeping it as law.  How about instead of repealing the bill, that both sides sit down and try to make it better.  I know that there are good people with good ideas on both sides of the aisle, so how about they work together on making this bill better and stop the partisan politics.  Since the shootings in Tuscan there have been positive steps in getting rid of the partisan divide.  I present to both side a change to move those positive steps forward and help millions of Americans as well.

What do you think.  Do you see the Affordable Health Care Act as a positive first step in making health care available for everyone, or do you see “ObamaCare” as nothing more than a liberal take over of our country.  Tell me what you think…

F

Categories: Congress, Health Care

Tucson – Rhetoric and Revolvers

January 12, 2011 Leave a comment

I took the past couple of days off so that I wouldn’t contribute to the rhetoric and also to think about the events in Tucson.

Unfortunately, what I’ve seen and read over the past few days is not the decrease that myself and others had hoped for, but more of a doubling down on the terse and often violent statements from both sides.  I’ve seen posts on Tea Party sites that call for a push back from the attacks that the Left is doing, and a call for some of that push back to be violent.  I’ve seen and heard posts and commentary from the Left that the remarks and rhetoric from the Right are a possible reason behind the shootings because of a form letter from Rep. Gifford’s office that was found in the suspect’s home that had “die bitch” and “die cops” written on it. and I’ve read some statements that violent actions need to be responded to in violent ways.  I have also heard of knee-jerk reactionary bills being proposed for more gun control and limits on firearms near Congressional members.

There are members of the Tea Party Nation, including founder Judson Phillips, that have called the events in Tuscon part of a war between the Tea Party and the Left.  There has been  talk about using the events to fuel fighting between the Tea Party and the Liberal media to stop the take over of the country by Progressives.  The absolute last thing that this country needs is another round of violent talk from either the Right or the Left.  There were members of the Tea Party who attended the town halls on health care reform last year who were armed, and other who carried signs that said they weren’t armed, this time.  This kind of response does nothing to further the discussion.  The only thing it does is incite the other side to either the same response or one that is more violent than the one presented to them.  The only real way to change minds and influence people is by open and honest discourse, and that is not possible at the end of weapon.  When discussion is furthered by violent methods or intent, it does nothing but up the response from the people you are trying to talk to.

Several bills have been spoken about since the shooting to change the current gun control laws that are in effect.  One of the bills would prohibit people from carrying weapons within one thousand feet of members of Congress.  Another of the bills being circulated would prohibit large capacity magazines like the one used by the shooter.  Also, there is talk of bringing back the Assault Weapons Ban from 1994 that has expired.  While I can agree that gun control laws do need to be looked at, we also need to remember the simple fact that a gun by itself does not shoot anyone but it’s the person behind the trigger.  We need to remember that the mental condition of Jared Lee Loughner needs to be taken into account.  According to reports he has a history of mental problems yet he was able to walk into a gun store,  pass the required background check, and buy the weapon he used.  If we are to have background checks and waiting periods in order to purchase firearms, how safe and secure can any of us feel if someone like Jason Loughner can purchase a weapon so easily?  I feel that we should have such precautionary measures in place before purchasing weapons, but those measures should actually work.

What do you feel about the increase of rhetoric since Tuscon?  Do you see the need for push back?  Are both sides guilty of pushing the conversation into even more violent responses?

How about changing the gun control laws or the background checks?  Do you feel they are broken or are they working as they should?  Leave a comment or email me at fapolitics@gmail.com

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