Friday, December 23, 2011
The whole Healthcare Reform debate back in 2009-10 at least from the Democratic Party and our Leadership. Was about how do we expand Health Insurance for people who currently. For whatever reasons can't afford Health Insurance or paying for their share of their Healthcare right now. And I would add what's called Health Savings Accounts to that which is know is a Republican Policy that came out. During the Healthcare Reform Debate of 1993-94. But its actually a good idea and I acknowledge good ideas whenever I hear them from whoever they come from. This whole debate is about how do we make Healthcare more affordable for the people who currently can't afford it. And there were ideas that were thrown out and some of them were in the 2010 Affordable Care Act. That Congress finally passed and was signed by President Obama. Like the Public Option which at least in the Democratic House bill passed in November 2009. Which would create a new Independent Non Profit Health Insurer that people who currently can't afford Health Insurance. Could select along with people who currently have Health Insurance could select as well. There was the Healthcare Tax Credit for people who can't afford to cover their Healthcare right now. That they could use to pay for the Public Option or to purchase Private Health Insurance which is a big part of the ACA. And I believe the best part of the 2010 ACA was the Patients Bill of Rights to eliminate and punish the abuses of the Private Health Insurance Industry.
And of course there were the Single Payer Health Insurance Medicare For All supporters. Pushed by the the Progressive Caucus and their allies in the Democratic Party. And Progressives outside of the Democratic Party pushing for that. But I'm going to make an argument thats explains why I'm against Single Payer Health Insurance. But also argue why I believe in a Public Option for Health Insurance but at the same time explain. Why a Public Option would also benefit Progressive Socialists who got this idea lets put all of our eggs in one basket. And if we strike out so be it at least we fought for what we believe in, unintentionally. Because I don't like the idea as a liberal from an Individual Liberty Point of View of government forcing everyone to purchase Medicare and not giving us a choice. I don't like it politically but its also bad economics. But with a Public Option whether we create a new Independent Non Profit Health Insurer thats not run by government. Or we allow people to buy into Medicare, we still keep Freedom of Choice in Healthcare and Health Insurance. Two of the most important things why we need Freedom of Choice. And lets the American People decide for themselves how to pay for their own Healthcare.
A Public Option would serve as a wake up call to Private For Profit Health Insurers, that you either get your act together. Or the market is going to throw you out of business with the customers you would lose as a result. And Progressives would get what they've always wanted in the First Place. An elimination of the For Profit Health Insurance Industry but at the same time leaving in place what liberals, Classical Conservatives and libertarians have always wanted. Which is Freedom of Choice in Healthcare and Health Insurance and let the people make these personal decisions for themselves.
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
If we as a country would just address so called "You at Risk" while they are acting out in High School and so fourth. Perhaps considering dropping out of High School, skipping class, hanging out with the wrong crowds and so fourth. As well as addressing the so called wrong crowds, then we can prevent them from going to prison in the first place. We could get to them before they make even bigger mistakes in the future, jacking cars, selling drugs, Armed Robbery's, raping girls whatever the case may be. Get to them, turn them around before, make sure they stay in school, finish school and get a good education. So they are on course to have an opportunity to have a productive life legally and stay out of the Criminal Justice System the rest of their lives. Because they would understand that they don't need to steal, beat people up, get in fights etc. And realize that if they just got educated, work hard and be productive in life. That they can avoid becoming criminals as adults. And this is what San Quentin Prison in California and other Prisons in the country are doing right now. Using their inmates people as a society we weren't able to get to before it was too late. Before they made some of the awful mistakes that they've made in society and why they are in prison today.
Some of them are lifers some of them Convicted Murderers are now getting the opportunity to give back to society. A society they've illegally taken so much from in their lives and helping to reach again "At Rick Youth" before they make the same mistakes that they've made. Which is what we should be doing to prevent crime in the future. But also a way to rehabilitate the inmates even lifers so they can actually do something productive with their long sentences. By teaching people not to make the same mistakes that they made that gave them a Life Sentence in Prison but more importantly. For the inmates who aren't doing Life Sentences which is the overwhelmingly majority of out Prison Inmates. To give the opportunity to turn their lives around in prison so they don't have to come back to prison in the future. Helping At Risk Youth is just one aspect of Prison Rehabilitation. We should be doing a better job at addressing our Juvenile Inmates and make sure that they are going to school, getting educated, counseling and being productive there. So they can be returned to High School and not have to end up back in Juvenile Hall. Or worse going to Adult Prisons in the future.
Helping At Risk Youth by sending them to prison so to speak, to talk to Prison Inmates so they can talk to them. About making the same mistakes that they made in the future. Is not the only thing we should be doing when it comes to Prison Rehabilitation, because this is about Crime Prevention. And we also have to address rehabilitating the Prison Inmates we have in prison. But is definitely something we should be doing to prevent crime in the future.
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
I support both Freedom of Religion and Separation of Church and State, I've always had and I always will. Religion to me is about Freedom of Choice, whether to practice and believe in religion or not. Which is one reason why I"m insulted when fundamentalists attack atheists for not being believers and when atheists attack People of Faith for having Faith in Religion. In a Liberal Democracy like America people have the Freedom of Choice to make these decisions for themselves. I even support Religious Organizations and other Private Non Profits getting involved in Community Service helping people in need. Even getting grants for that as long as that money is not used to try to convert people or get them to believe in their Religious Message. But just to help them get shelter, food to eat, help finding a job, Healthcare things people need to survive. Especially when they are in need, out of work, lost their home, can't afford enough food to eat etc. We've tried the New Deal approach in the 1930s and the Great Society approach in the 1960s. Where you create all of these Federal Social Insurance Programs to help people in need. But those programs for the most part were design to help sustain people but while they still live in poverty. Rather then helping these people get the tools that they need to help them get out of poverty.
Things like Unemployment Insurance, Welfare Insurance, Public Housing, Food Assistance and others. Were designed to help sustain people while they lived in poverty. Instead of designing these programs to help people in need get themselves out of poverty. That changed to a certain extent in 1996 when Congress passed and President Clinton signed into law the Welfare to Work Act. That limited how long people can collect Welfare Insurance and helped them get Job Training and find a job. The good news in the War on Poverty is what's going on in the Private Sector with Non Profit Community Services. That helps homeless people find homes, Unemployed Workers get jobs. Low Income students get scholarships to go to college, people without enough food to eat get enough food. Because Federal Food Assistance doesn't pay for enough food. This is what we should be doing in the War on Poverty, actually try to win this war that was declared in 1965. By helping people get out of poverty so they no longer have to collect from Public Assistance Public or Private. And don't have to stay on Public Assistance as long and we would be able to serve more people in need.
One thing that we can do in the War on Poverty. Is cut the tape in it and get government out of the way as far as running these programs. Turn them over to the States for them to set up their own Public Assistance Systems. But them convert these programs into Semi Private Non Profit Self Financed Community Services. That would be regulated by the Federal, State and Local Governments just not run by them.
Monday, December 19, 2011
With America being in the middle of the Holiday Season with Christmas coming, Hunger in America. Which is just a part of Poverty in America should get even more attention then it normally does. I would argue a lot more attention that it normally does, because the problems become even more relevant for people. Especially as the weather gets cold, for people to find enough food to eat and feed their families. And with all the Budget Cuts on Food Assistance and other Poverty Assistance in America. Even with the economy improving, there isn't a better time then now that we try to address Hunger in America and the broader issues of Poverty in America. What we can do as a country to help people that need Food Assistance in order to avoid starving in America. Especially with rising Food Prices but also what we can do to help these people help themselves so they would no longer need Food Assistance in the future. All things that we can be doing as a country even in these tough economic and budget times. By simply how we reform how we address these issues in the future by doing them smarter and better. Not by empowering the Federal Government or any other Level of Government to deal with these issues. But by empowering Community Services that are on the ground. That wouldn't have to ask Washington for permission in order to conduct basic operations in their organization.
What I would like to do is take all of the Anti Poverty Assistance Programs that were set up by the Federal Government. Run by the Federal Government or just directed by the Federal Government. For the State and Local Governments to operate and get stuck with the bills. What I would like to do is take all of these Federal Programs and get them off of the Federal Budget. Not to pass them off to the State and Local Governments but convert them into Semi Private Non Profit Self Financed Community Services. That would be in the business of serving people in need. Like with Food Assistance, Public Housing, Welfare to Work, Unemployment Assistance, Job Training for Low Income workers. So they can get a better job and not be stuck working dead end jobs their whole lives but have an opportunity. To move up and get a better job and move to the Middle Class. Transform Food Assistance to not just Food Credit but they would operate Grocery Centers all over the country. Especially in Low Income areas where there are a lot of people in need of Food Assistance. Where they can buy grocery's but also get meals at Discounted Prices. Where individuals and restaurants could also donate grocery's to these places. Volunteer to work at them so these centers can provide enough food for the people who need it.
During the Holiday Season and really any time is not a time when we should be cutting Public Assistance in America. Especially in tough economic times, which is one reason why I want to get these programs off Government Budgets. Put them in the Private Sector, expand our Non Profit Community Service Sector in America. To not only help people who are in need but also help these people so they are no longer in need and become Self Sufficient.
Friday, December 16, 2011
Today I'm a little disappointed in Sen. Ron Wyden Member of the Finance Committee. Who generally I agree with and who's one of the strongest Liberal Democrats in Congress. For going along with Rep. Paul Ryan Chairman of the Budget Committee as well as a Member of the Ways and Means Committee. I'm not disappointed in Sen. Wyden in working with Rep. Ryan, I'm all for Bi Partisanship if it can produce a better Final Product. That can't be produced in any other way, I'm disappointed in what they've come up with. In Reforming Medicare which is basically turing Medicare into a Voucher System. Which is what the Ryan Plan that was produced back in April does, what happened to Freedom of Choice in Health Insurance. What if Senior Citizens actually like Medicare and want to stay on it, shouldn't they have that choice if they want. The Ryan well I guess now the Ryan-Wyden Plan would force Seniors into the Private Sector to purchase their own Health Insurance. With a Medicare Voucher to partially pay for it and that another key, the Voucher wouldn't cover all the Health Insurance costs. I'm all for allowing Senior Citizens to decide for themselves where they get their Health Insurance from. As part of Reforming Medicare, thats what Freedom of Choice is about.
Let people decide for themselves where they get their Health Insurance. But what I'm not for is limiting Freedom of Choice in Health Insurance and other areas. Which is what the Ryan-Wyden Plan does by forcing people off of Medicare and into the Private Sector. This is one reason why I want Medicare to be Independent of the Federal Government. So Congress and the Administration can't mess with it and apply bonehead ideas to it. I would turn it over to the States not to be run by them but for them to set up their own Healthcare Systems. Let each State have their own Medicare System that would be a Semi Private Non Profit Self Financed Health Insurer. That would cover any Senior Citizen that would want it, as well as non Senior Citizens that would want it as well. By having them pay into it like they would pay for Private Health Insurance. I would even continue to allow for High Earners to be covered by Medicare, Senior Citizens and non Senior Citizens. They would just pay more for their coverage.
Let Senior Citizens as well as non Senior Citizens decide for themselves. In whether to be covered by Medicare or not, give them the Freedom of Choice to make these personal decisions for themselves. Do they want to be covered by Medicare or do they want to be covered by other Health Insurance. Instead of forcing them off of Medicare and forcing them to purchase other Health Insurance whether they want to or not. And whether they are happy with Medicare or not.
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
When President Clinton came to office in 1993, he had the opportunity to appoint two Supreme Court Justices within eighteen months. Similar to President Obama in 2009-10 both Presidents having significant majorities in the Senate. Which gave President Clinton a lot of leeway in who he could appoint as long as he appointed someone who was clearly qualified. To not get into trouble with Senate Democrats or attempt Senate Republicans to block a Supreme Court Nominee. Even though they were in the minority and I believe it was Justice Harry Blackmon who was resigning from the Supreme Court. When President Clinton appointed US Judge Ruth Bader Ginsberg to replace Justice Blackmon. Judge Ginberg was appointed by President Jimmy Carter in 1979 or 80 to the US Appeals Court. And she even had the support of Conservative Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch and Senate Republicans didn't try to block her. And Justice Ginsberg has been one Supreme Court Nominee that the President knew what they were getting when they appointed. Unlike President George HW Bush who when he appointed Judge David Souter in 1990. Was probably looking for a conservative and got a liberal instead, which is why he probably appointed Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court. In 1991 to make up for the Souter Appointment that cost him support with the Republican Party. Justice Thomas is probably the most Conservative Justice on the Supreme Court, so that appointment for President Bush has paid off. And he got that appointment through a Democratic Senate in 1991.
President Clinton wanted two Liberal Democrats and a women appointed to the Supreme Court in 1993 and 1994. And thats exactly what he got in Stephen Breyer and Ruth Ginsberg. They are the two most Liberal Justices on the Court right now, the jury is still out on Justice Sotomayor and Justice Kagan. Justice Ginsberg has a long record of fighting for Equality in the Workplace for women going back to the 1950s and 1970s. Leading up to her Appointment by President Carter in 1979-80 and had a solid Liberal Record there. Which led to her Appointment to the Supreme Court in 1993. Who even had the support of Sen. Hatch at the time the Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee. She's had a very good Liberal Record on the Supreme Court as well and has been a very reliable Liberal Vote as well. But now that she's in her 80s and with a Democratic President. Its time for her to think about stepping down as the Liberal Magazine The New Republic argued just a few months ago. So President Obama can replace her with a Liberal instead of waiting until she's not up for the job anymore. And having to step down when there's a Republican President, which could happen by 2013. Not likely with an improving economy and the mess in the Republican Party. President Obama is the clear favorite but its not a given that he'll get reelected.
Justice Ginsberg has had a very good record and has been an excellent Spokesperson for American Liberalism going back forty years. Being appointed by two Democratic Presidents and being confirmed by the Senate twice with overwhelming Bi Partisan votes. Fighting for equality and standing up for Individual Liberty in America and has left a good record for herself. But in practical political terms, she should make one more contribution to the movement and step down while she's still up to the job. And while there's still a Democratic President and Democratic Senate.
Monday, December 12, 2011
|Source: C-SPAN- President William J. Clinton-|
Ronald Reagan had this test to decide if President's were successful, or that the Republican Party used up until 1992. And that test is laid out in a simple question. "Are you better off today than you were four years ago? Is your cost of living better, are you more secure in your job, do you have more economic security today than you had four years ago? Etc, and he used that question in his closing moments of the third presidential debate with President Jimmy Carter in 1980. Americans by in large clearly didn't feel better off in 1980 than in 1976. Which is why they voted for Ron Reagan overwhelmingly with around 56% of the Popular Vote and giving him 44 states in that landslide election. And President Reagan used that question again in 1984 and in 1988, because the country was clearly better off as a whole in 1984 and in 1988 than it was in 1980. But in 1992 America started declining economically especially.
The American economy was just starting to come out of the recession of 1990-91. High unemployment, interest and inflation rates, rising costs in health care, rising national debt and deficit. Similar economic conditions in 1992 than in 1980, which opened the door for a young Liberal Democrat from Arkansas the Governor of that state to give the Democratic Party the presidency and to transform the Democratic Party and get us away from the stereotypes that have kept us out of national office since 1981. I mention the Reagan Test because that's one way President's are judged in whether they were successful or not. Was the country as a whole better off when you left office than when you came into office. And it's a test that President Clinton gave in 1996 and in 2000. American President's are judged by how the country did compared with how it was doing before they became President.
But also how they dealt with situations as they come up. And one more thing I would add, were they able to transform the country, lay down a vision for it that remained in place after they left office. In other words were they able to start a political revolution and under those three tests President Clinton passes overwhelmingly, which is why he is considered not only successful, but I would add a great President. At least on those three scores President Clinton had to deal with a lot. A weak economy, huge national debt and deficit, America looking like it may be declining as a world power, Somalia, Haiti, the Balkans, two American embassy's being blown up in East Africa. And when he left President with a 4.5% unemployment rate, booming economy, record low poverty rate, democracies emerging in the Balkans. The Democratic Party when President Clinton came into office was seen nationally as a Far-Left Social Democratic Party.
With a lot of negative stereotypes that were holding national Democrats back. Tax and spenders, fiscally irresponsible, soft on crime, defense and Welfare. Anti-private enterprise, anti-wealth and success, etc. And he moved the party back to the democratic liberalism of where it was with President Kennedy in the early 1960s. A place that President Obama wants the Democratic Party to be at. Despite pressures from the Far-Left to move the party farther left. Anytime Social Democrats try to move the party even farther left, they should look at the lesson of President Clinton. How the party was seen before he was President and it was seen after he left as President. And then look at how the party did in 1972, 1980, 1984 and 1988. Where they lost four landslide presidential elections out of five presidential elections. Including in 1980 losing so badly that it cost them control of the Senate for the first time since 1952. The Democratic Party needs to be a liberal party that believes in liberal democracy, that's why I'm a Democrat. But we can't be a pro-big government Party that wants the Federal Government to do a lot more at the expense of individual liberty. But we have to be a pro- limited good government Party that believes in good government. In order to be successful now and into the future.
Monday, December 5, 2011
Here's a case where Newt Gingrich is right when he says that the Mainstream Media has an tendency to distort what he says. Newt doesn't believe Low Income people are poor because they are lazy. But that they tend to come from Households where they don't see their parents working. And in a lot of cases from from Single Parent Households where their parent isn't working. Where their parent or parents didn't even finish High School, their kids don't know their fathers. The father walked out on the family, perhaps isn't even aware he has kids and they see their parent or parents. At home a lot living in Public Housing collecting Public Assistance especially Welfare Insurance not working. And they grow up in a Household where work isn't encourage. Well thanks to the 1996 Welfare to Work Law, a lot of that has ended. People on Welfare Insurance are expected to look for work, get help looking for work, go to work. Or go back to school and get the skills they need to get a good job. So they can become Self Sufficient or go to school and work at the same time. But at the end of the day they have to go to work, if they are mentally and physically able. Or they get cut off from Public Assistance and probably lose their kids, because of their inability to raise them properly. I'm not a supporter of Newt Gingrich and I'm not going to vote for him next year, even if he gets that far. But he does has a good idea here, about how to win the "War on Poverty. By sending Low Income people back to school to get the skills that they need to be Self Sufficient. And then sending them to work.
Me personally I'm from a Middle Class Household where work was encourage fairly early in my life. Got to see both of my parents working, my father would take me to his office, he worked for the US Public Health Service. For twenty nine years before becoming a Consultant in the Private Sector. I had three jobs while I was in High School, the last job I had after High School. Because I went to a High School that encourage its students to work at an early age. So they could get a Head Start in the Job Market and have some solid Work Experience early on. Before they went to and graduated from college, I had friends who worked in High School as well. You don't win the "War on Poverty" by allowing Low Income and Low Skill people sit at home collecting Welfare Checks. And then having their kids see them not working and thinking they don't need to finish school either. And can have kids before they are ready because Uncle Sam will be there to take care of them. You win the "War on Poverty" by empowering these people to get the skills that they need to get a good job. And then you help them find that job. So they can become Self Sufficient and be able to take care of themselves and their families. And no longer have to rely on Working People for their Daily Survival.
Newt Gingrich doesn't have all the good ideas in the World but he does have some good ideas. And its one thing not to like someone and he clearly has a club of people that doesn't like him. But its another thing to put someone down because you don't like him, you lose credibility when you do that. Especially when your wrong and when Newt has a good idea like he has here, give him credit for it. You wouldn't be endorsing Newt, just acknowledging that some people strike gold from time to time. And then you can go back to disliking Newt when he actually does something awful.
Friday, December 2, 2011
We are finally starting to see some real good Economic News as we close out 2011 and hopefully get off to a good start in 2012. And hopefully the 4th Quarter not in the football game but in the Economic Growth Rate. Will look good as well, maybe with the Holiday Season and everything else we'll hit 4% Economic Growth. And maybe we'll start to see Job Reports North of 150K maybe even 200K per month. But as the cheesy News Reporter always says, "only time will tell". But when that starts to happen, our Unemployment Rate will stop dropping like rocks from a bridge. And we can finally put the "Great Recession" now three years old to bed, actually four years depending on how you look at it. Because Economic Growth started dropping in late 2007, I know President Obama and Congressional Democrats are certainly hoping for that, because that means they get reelected. And Congressional Democratic Candidates are certainly hoping for that as well, because that means they get elected. Depending if they are sane, of Legal Age, alive, American Citizens and can prove these things. Good Economic News is not just good news for the Democratic Party, because they hold the White House and Senate which are at stake next year. But they want the House back as well and believe they can get these things but more importantly its good news for the rest of the country. Because it means millions of American Workers can go back to work and support themselves and their families again. And stop collecting from Public Assistance and start paying into it again. Which is also good news for our Debt and Deficit Outlook.
I've been saying this for months so this may sound repetitive, despite recent good news with the economy. We still have a long way to go, we are currently at 8.6% Unemployment, where before the "Great Recession". We were at 5.6% Unemployment I believe, so we really need about a year straight or more of solid Economic and Job Growth. To get back to a more comfortable economy with solid Economic and Job Growth each month. And we can either wait for that to happen and sit on our hands or we can try to make that happen through policy. We have a lot of work to do in this country and we have plenty of Unemployed Workers. That can do this work, so thats what we should be doing. First do no harm and not have a Middle Class Tax Hike, House Republicans are making a major gamble in looking like Tax Hikers. By messing around with an Extension of the Payroll Tax Holiday, that needs to be extended as well as Unemployment Insurance. So those people can have some income as they continue to look for work. And as President Obama laid out back in September we need something like the American Jobs Act. With serious Infrastructure Investment with a National Infrastructure Bank, to put our Construction Workers back to work. In the neighborhood of 200B$ a year not 40B$ which was in the 2009 American Recovery Act.
We had a good November and looks like December is off to a good start with Retail Sales up. But this is going to sound old but we still have a long way to go. But the good news is we are finally under 9% Unemployment which is what we've been at for 2 1/2 years now. So progress is finally being made and its progress that can been seen and felt. And hopefully just a good sign of more positive things to come with rising Economic and Job Growth.
Thursday, December 1, 2011
|Source: Liberty Baptist College- The Odd Couple-|
Senator Ted Kennedy, would be one of the few Northeastern Progressive Democrats that could give a speech at a Southern Evangelical university like Liberty University. Because Senator Kennedy was someone who could work outside of his element. Especially when he didn’t have enough power to get everything he wanted on an issue. Because he was a legislature before he was a politician. Which is why you see Senator Kennedy on the same stage not debating with Reverend Jerry Falwell, one of the fathers of the Religious-Right in America. And they make about as odd of a couple as Reverend Jesse Jackson giving a speech at a KKK rally. Something just seems odd about it.
But you have to remember that two of Senator Kennedy’s best friends in Congress were Senator Orrin Hatch and John Boehner now Speaker of the House. Two of the most Conservative Republicans in Congress. But Senator Kennedy was one of the best speakers when it came to truth and tolerance and civil rights in America. You don’t have the legislative record in Congress as a Senator, without the ability to not only work with your colleagues in the Senate and people in your party, but you also have to not only be able to work with Senator’s from the other party, but people in the House of Representatives as well. At least in your own party if your party is in the majority there. Ted Kennedy, understood all of that.
Perhaps not as articulate as Lyndon Johnson, Martin King or Bill Clinton, but you knew when Ted Kennedy spoke about those issues, that he was speaking from his heart that these were issues that really believed in. Which is why Senator Kennedy always had one of the best civil rights records in Congress. And Senator Kennedy’s contribution to the immigration reform debate in 2006-07, is a perfect example of that. Truth and tolerance and civil rights, are just as important as they were in 1983 84 when this speech was given, as it is today. To speak what’s on your mind and tell the truth and what you really believe.
Tolerance and cooperation, is something we didn’t have enough in politics and the rest of the country back then. But at least in the 1980s both parties believed in government and governing. And were smart enough to know they had to work with the other party in order to govern. Now it’s about how do you make the other side look bad so you can score politically. And that has just gotten worst today. Tolerance, treat people as you would want to be treated. Until they’ve proven they’re not worthy of your respect. And judge people by the content of the character, not by the color of their skin. Or the shape of their face or style of their hair or any other thing that has to do with their race or ethnicity.
Don’t judge people by their name, or what religion they practice if any, what gender they are attracted to physically and so on. That we treat people as people not groups. We don’t treat people special because they are a member of a group, good or bad. That we judge all people as people not members of groups. Which is something that Senator Kennedy understood very well for the most part. And is something that as we become even more diverse as a country is a message that needs to be understood and communicated even more today. Seeing Ted Kennedy with Jerry Falwell on the same stage not debating each other and actually being nice to each other.
Ted Kennedy and Jerry Falwell, were the definition of Odd Couple. Perhaps they could’ve had their own sitcom. Like the Irish Baptist, or Out of Place or something like that, Strange Bedfellows. Except they would both be straight. Jerry Falwell getting on Ted Kennedy for falling off bar stools and Ted Kennedy getting on the Reverend for preaching to the choir in their living room, literally as he’s trying to sleep. An Odd Couple that could get along.But even people who are clearly opponents when it comes to politics and have to defeat other side to accomplish their goals, can get along with each other. If they understand that they’re opponents and not enemies that are always in combat seeking to destroy the other side.
Thursday, November 24, 2011
This post was originally posted at FRS Daily Press
On this Thanksgiving and by the way Happy Thanksgiving to everyone out there, I thought it would be a great time to blog about Vince Lombardi, the greatest head coach of all-time, not just in football, but perhaps in team sports period. I think you'll have a hard time finding a better head coach because football is not just a huge part of our Thanksgiving holiday and Vince Lombardi is a big part of football. And the Green Bay Packers are a big part of our Thanksgiving football tradition. The Packers have played a lot on Thanksgiving and Coach Lombardi coached a lot of those games.
When I think of Vince Lombardi, I think of what a head coach should be when they are at their best and when they are the best at they are. Someone who constantly strives at making his team the best that they can, at getting the best effort and performance out of his team all of his players at the same time in the same game.
I mean if you look at it thats what the job of a head coach is, of course they want to win and the head coaches that do win are the successful head coaches, that is win more than they lose and a lot more than they lose. But really the job is to get the best performance out of your players that they can deliver. There have been teams that were 7-9, 8-8, 9-7 and of course missed the playoffs, but their head coach had a good year or a great year. They even had a great record that year because of the team that they had and the players that had to play.
The level of talent that they had to work with and there been teams that were 10-6, 11-5 but they didn't have very good seasons and didn't win championships even though they had the talent to, because their players didn't play very well as a team. They didn't work very well together, their head coach didn't get them to play as well as they could've. And they ended up basically having a mediocre or even a bad season because their head coach didn't get them to play as well as they could've. The job of the head coach is to get his team and all of his players to play as well as they can at the same time as one team and if he has a good team or a great team, like Chuck Knoll had with the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1970s to use as an example, then that will lead to a lot of wins and championships.
The Green Bay Packers of the 1960s didn't have a dynasty in that decade and were the team of the 60s Because they were loaded with talent and great players, they had some of those. And some Hall of Famers, they won five NFL Championships in seven years from 1961-67, because they had the best teams and the best head coach. Best team and best talent are two different things, best talent has to do with athletic ability and skills. Best team has to do with the team that plays the best together and plays the best as a team.
I'll give you an example, Super Bowl 36 between the New England Patriots and St. Louis Rams one of the biggest upsets in Super Bowl history, the Rams I believe were a 10-12 point favorite they still had that great Vertical Spread offense (as I call it) with Kurt Warner, Marshal Faulk and all of those WRs. The Patriots were 5-11 the year before, snuck into the playoffs in 2001, winning their division. Beat the Raiders in a blizzard in the famous tuck game and then upset a very good Steelers team in the AFC Final. They had to beat two better teams just to make to the Super Bowl.
The Rams clearly had batter talent in that Super Bowl, but the Patriots had a better team and played better together and of course they had head coach Bill Bellecheck, perhaps still the best head coach in the NFL. Thats what Vince Lombardi had in Green Bay in the 1960s, he had the best teams, not exactly the best talent when he won those championships. So to use my definition of the job of a head coach, then no one is better than Vince Lombardi at getting his teams and players to play the best that they can at the same time. And he is the best head coach of all-time, because he was the best motivator and perhaps the best motivator ever as well.
And he would put it simple, "you want to play for the Packers, you're going to give me everything you have, or find another job or team to play for". He knew when to ride someone and when to pride someone and do both of those things in a way that showed the player that he's just trying to get the best out of him, kinda like a great father would be. Thats what made Vince Lombardi the best ever at what he did.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
|Source: Joel Austin-|
There so many reasons why the JFK Assassination was a tragedy. First that it was an assassination of what could've been a great man. It was the assassination of a President in the prime of his life. With such a great upside and it showed how vulnerable our leaders can be and to a certain extent shut them off from the public. Giving them less access to the people they serve and pay their salaries. But just from a political perspective, it was a tragedy for American liberalism and the liberal democratic movement.
Jack Kennedy to me as a Liberal Democrat, is the closest thing to what we have that Conservative Republicans have in Ron Reagan. He's the best leader we've ever produced as Liberals and Liberal Democrats. Some might say that person is FDR but Franklin Rossevelt was a mixed package politically. Liberal on foreign policy sure, he was clearly a liberal internationalist on foreign policy. But he was a Progressive and in some cases a Democratic Socialists on economic policy with the New Deal and everything else. And a at least borderline neoconservative on national security with the detainment camps of German, Italian and Japanese-Americans. That sort of thing would not be tolerated today for the most part. It wouldn't surprise me if George W. Bush and his Neoconservatives were inspired by FDR. When they decided to detain all of these detainee's from the War on Terror at Guantanamo Bay Prison. FDR basically introduced big government to America when before that we were a small government country. So for me Jack Kennedy is the leader of American liberalism and our inspiration.
Jack Kennedy clearly was big believer and individual liberty and limited government and saw 70 and 90% Tax Rates as way too high in a liberal democracy, which is why he sent a large tax cut plan up to Congress early in his administration that President Johnson got signed into law. President Kennedy was a liberal internationalist on foreign policy and believed that American foreign policy should be limited. Which would explain his reluctance in getting us involved in the Vietnam War. Had President Kennedy been reelected, we would've seen eight years of a liberal democratic presidency would've looked like. And I don't believe we would've seen American troops involved in the Civil War in Vietnam.
But the other issue with JFK dying and LBJ becoming President, is that President Johnson was able to push civil rights through Congress, especially in the Senate. With a lot of help from Leader Mike Mansfield and Minority Leader Everett Dirksen. Something I doubt President Kennedy would've been able to do at least in his first term. Maybe in his second term with a lot of help from Vice President Johnson and the other two men I mentioned. So the JFK assassination was horrible in a lot of ways, but it did open up a big door for civil rights. With Lyndon Johnson becoming President.
The JFK assassination clearly had a major impact on the Democratic Party and it effected liberalism as well. And also opened up another door for socialism. It affected liberalism because of the civil right movement and the laws that President Johnson was able to pass in those areas. With the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Voting Rights Act in 1965 and the Fair Housing Law in 1968. But it also opened a new door for progressivism in America with the creation of the Great Society. With Medicare, Medicaid, Job Core, Public Housing, Federal Aid to Education, and other laws.
Monday, November 21, 2011
|Source:IMDB- About the life and career of former U.S. Senator and Vice President of the United States, Walter Mondale.|
Walter Mondale to me is someone who was ahead of his time, the way all Vice Presidents since are judged. Because he was the first Vice President with real authority or at least the first since Richard Nixon. But Vice President Mondale designed how the Vice Presidents Office looks today, serving as the Presidents Chief Counsel on Policy and perhaps even politics as well. As well as basically the Chief Operating Officer of the Administration. Something he, Vice President Bush, Vice President Gore, Vice President Cheney and Vice President Biden all have done well. Pre-Walter Mondale except maybe for Vice President Nixon, the Office of the Vice President was basically ceremonial. Counting the days to when their term was over or when it’s time to campaign again or they would preside over the U.S. Senate. When Congress was in session, it wasn’t a very important office.
Today the Vice Presidency is important. When instead of the Vice President presiding over the Senate, they are basically the President’s Chief Representative to Congress. As well as their other duties at the White House. And Vice President Mondale made that office definite. He worked out an agreement with Jimmy Carter when they ran together in 1976, that if he was to be Carter’s Vice President, that he would have to have real responsibility in that office. The Vice President under the U.S. Constitution, is the first officer in the Federal Government. Only the President out ranks him. And that’s how it was in the Cater Administration, except it was no longer just on paper, but in practice as well.
The Carter-Mondale ticket in 1976, worked very well because they both had what the other didn’t have. Jimmy Carter was the Governor of Georgia and ran a major administration there. But had no Federal Government and foreign policy experience other than his time in the Navy in World War II. Senator Walter Mondale had been in Congress for twelve years, but was never governor and never ran a government. Carter was from the South, Mondale was from the Midwest. Carter was an outsider, but with strong civil rights credentials and Mondale had strong ties to the Democratic establishment. With organized labor and the civil rights movement. They are both very intelligent and very good men.
Carter-Mondale, complemented each other very well, similar to Bill Clinton and Al Gore in 1992. The Democratic Party was somewhat concern about Jimmy Carter’s progressive credentials, but with Fritz Mondale on the ticket, they were able to get past that. Because Senator Mondale had a long progressive record. We’ll see what Vice President Biden’s record looks like when he leaves that office. (Hopefully in five years) But as far as I’m concern Al Gore and Fritz Mondale are the two best Vice President’s we’ve ever had and I would lead towards Vice President Gore. Because he helped run one of the most successful administration’s we’ve ever had.
Fritz Mondale to me represents exactly what a public servant should be. He was a politician in the best sense of the word, because he separated politics from public office. Politics was for campaigning and public office was about governing. And had he not run for President in 1984 against Ronald Reagan, when the economy was doing well and just four years after the Carter Administration, which was very unpopular, maybe Vice President Mondale becomes President Mondale. But Fritz Mondale was a victim of his times, but becoming President was also not what public service was about for him either. But serving the public was.
Friday, November 18, 2011
With the vote in the House of Representatives of 261 votes for the House Republican Balance Budget Amendment. At least the House Republican Leadership knows how many seats they have to pick up in the 2012 General Elections. They need twenty nine more votes to pass a BBA, probably won't get them for the next Congress. They probably have a better chance of losing twenty nine seats in 2012 then gaining them. But maybe they'll get the message, not counting on it that its time to get serious about Deficit Reduction. This year pass a plan that can move the Federal Budget towards balance in 5-10 years. Before a Balance Budget Amendment could be added to the US Constitution, not expecting that either. Even if the Select Joint Committee comes up with something later this month and they are running out of time. But what I'm getting at is what House Republicans want to accomplish a Balance Budget, can be done by statue meaning law. They don't have to spend ten years trying to pass something that may or may not pass something that can be done over a couple of months. Or with how this Congress is so partisan and divided, something they can try to pass in the next Congress. If republicans were to hold the House, take the Senate and White House. So what House Republicans are trying to do right now is partly for show, to tell their constituents that they support them. But also see where the votes are on a BBA and how far they need to go to pass a BBA out of the House and send it to the Senate.
To Balance the Budget we first have to get the Federal Debt and Deficit down to an affordable level, 3-5% of GDP. And to do that everyone who's serious and understands this issue. Knows how to do this, stop borrowing, meaning establishing a real Pay As You Go Fiscal Policy. Even for Disaster Relief and put everything on budget, including the wars, as well as ending those wars. Reducing our Defense Budget, closing our Foreign Bases that are in Developed Nations. Europe, Arabia and Asia. Reforming our Entitlement Programs and turning them more into Welfare Insurance Programs designed for the people who actually need them. Tax Reform eliminating most if not all loopholes especially Corporate Welfare and lower Tax Rates in the short term. But I would scrap the Income Tax all together and move to what I call a Progressive Income Tax. Which would make our Tax Code very simple and easy to understand and would benefit our economy. These are the things that we need to do to get the debt and deficit under control. And the problem is the Congress and the country right now the political scene. We are still very divided as a country and a lot of the problems that we have to deal with. We made need an election to decide them, for one party to have enough power to get the job done.
The Balance Budget Amendment debate is not a complete waste of time, its positive in the sense. That just having the debate focus's Congress and the country on the fiscal challenges that we face as a country. And what we need to look at and consider to take on these challenges. But a Balance Budget Amendment does nothing today to bring down our debt and deficit under control. And eventually Balance the Federal Budget something the Federal Government doesn't have a good record at. Because passing a BBA completely is at least ten years down the road. And does nothing to Balance the Federal Budget today or tomorrow or in the short term.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Anyone who believes that taxes are necessary in any country to fund government, understands that governments can't borrow indefinitely. And at some point bills have to paid, not borrow money to pay other bills. But actually pay up your bills, otherwise taxes wouldn't be necessary and we could just borrow indefinitely to pay for anything. And I don't know anyone who believes that, the question is how do we pay our bills and to what point does our credit run out. If the United States were to pass a Balance Budget Amendment to the US Constitution tomorrow, not just Congress but at least thirty four States. Two days from now we would still have a Federal Debt of 15T$ and a Federal Deficit approaching 2T$. A year from now we would still have a debt and deficit approaching those numbers. Because Congress wouldn't agree to cut 2T$ from the Federal Budget for one year. They may agree to cut 200B maybe 500B, pass Tax Reform that raises new revenue to cut the deficit in one year. And do that over five years or so but a year from now we would still have a deficit of over 1T$. And maybe even five years from now we would still have a deficit. So passing a BBA alone does not Balance the Federal Budget, it just requires the Federal Government to do that. But doesn't lay out how to do that, just tells them they have to do it. But leaves it up to the Administration and Congress who lately can't agree on the Time of Day. Or the weather outside on how to Balance the Federal Budget so any BBA would at best be a first step in Balancing the Federal Budget.
The better question is how to Balance the Federal Budget, because a BBA means nothing without a policy to Balance the Budget. Instead of spending at least the next ten years trying to pass a Constitutional Amendment. Trying to find 290 Representatives and 67 Senators or more to pass a BBA in a Divided Congress. And then waiting for thirty four States to get around to voting on the BBA and passing the BBA. How about we just pass a policy by statue meaning law to do this and Balance the Federal Budget within five years. Finding 400B$ a year in Budget Cuts, Budget Reforms and yes new revenue through Tax Reform. Making the Federal Government leaner and efficient by closing Foreign Bases oversees in Developed Nations. Getting out of Afghanistan and Iraq, Block Granting the Safety Net over to the State instead of trying to run the whole thing from Washington. And then turning them into Semi Private Non Profit Independent Self Financed Community Services. With each State having its own Social Insurance System that would have to meet basic Federal Standards. Put in new Federal Budget Rules, that would limit how much the Federal Government could grow and how. Tying it to Economic, Population and Inflation Growth. All these things can be done through statue and could be done within a year.
My main issue with a Balance Budget Amendment is the amount of time that would be spent or even wasted. Trying to pass it and in the meantime while we are waiting for something that may or may not pass. We can Balance the Budget through statue alone, I would be for a BBA if it could be passed quickly and the exceptions in it were limited. The Federal Government could only borrow when the we are in a recession or depression or one of our fifty States or one of our territory's are under attack. Thats it because I would even reform our Disaster Relief, by turning that over to the States as well. This can all be done by statue a BBA is not needed.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
With the decline of the City of Detroit the last twenty years or so, with three recessions including the "Great Recession". That we are still going through, with the Information and Technology Revolution. With the decline of the American Auto Industry which is just starting to rebound. And of course with Detroit being the American Capital of our Auto Industry, something like 1M jobs in the Detroit Area and the State of Michigan. Being affiliated with our Auto Industry and with all of the job cutbacks in the Auto Industry. And with the decline of Public Education in Detroit and the rising Crime Rates. Detroit as a city has been taking a whipping for about twenty years, to the point where they've lost half of its population. In 1990 Detroit was a city of about 1.5M people and a Metro Center of about 5M people, about the size of Philadelphia. The fifth or sixth largest city in America and one of the top ten Metro Centers in America and of the the wealthiest cities in America. To today they are still a big city but about half the size and one of the poorest cities in America. Detroit was so tied to the Auto Industry, sorta how Los Angles is tied to the Entertainment Industry. That when the Auto Industry is doing well, Detroit is doing well and when the Auto Industry is not doing well. Neither is Detroit and when the Auto Industry plummets like the last ten years, Detroit has plummeted. Their Tax Receipts have plummeted and as a result so have their Public Education, crime has gone way up and people have moved out as a result.
If the expression "there's light at the end of the tunnel", and Detroit really needs for that expression to be true. But here's why that expression may be true and I usually don't use Sports News in my blogs. Unless of course I'm blogging about Sports, which then it seems to me to make sense to use Sports News in a blog. But the Detroit Lions the worst NFL Franchise in the last ten years are rebounding and unless they blow it. And I'm not trying to jinx them, I mean these are the Lions I'm talking about. Have a good chance of making the NFC Playoffs this year. They haven't made the playoffs since 1999 or even had a Winning Record since 1997, they actually went winless in 2008. But that of course is not enough to rebuild a city, especially a big city like Detroit. With the Auto Industry declining and now rebounding, this has given Detroiters and their City Government. Led by their Mayor Dave Bing to take another look at their Economic Policy. Instead of just relying on one Auto Industry, bring in several. In High Tech and other White Collar jobs, employees are great to have but Detroiters are becoming Business Mangers and Owners. And Detroit is building an Economic Environment to attract new Private Industry there that bring in good jobs for people in Detroit. A Tax and Regulation Policy to make that happen for Detroit.
Detroit is rebounding because they are building an Economic Environment to make that happen. Low Taxes and Smart Regulations so business's want to do business in Detroit, the Detroit Area and the State of Michigan. And as the new Private Industry's move in and a lot of them will be built by Native Detroiters. And others and as the Auto Industry is rebuilding in Detroit, then Detroit will have the resources. To rebuild their Public Education System so they can produce the workers for these jobs. And be able to fight crime more effectively and people will start to move back and move in to Detroit.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
But LBJ had progressive leanings like on civil rights to use as an example. But didn't push those positions much in the Senate except in 1957, when Leader Johnson was already considering running for President. When he pushed through a civil rights bill in the Senate, but that was voluntary. Because Johnson knew that he would need Northern Liberals to win the Democratic nomination for President. So Jack Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson needed each other or people like the other one in order to win the presidential election. Kennedy needed a Southern Democrat as powerful as Johnson, but there weren't any Democrats as powerful as Johnson at the time. And had Johnson won the Democratic nomination and he got real close, he would've had to of selected a Northern Liberal like Jack Kennedy as his Vice President.
With the Kennedy-Johnson ticket, this meant Democrats could win both the Northeast and South, as well as California. Because Kennedy could work the liberal states and Johnson could work the Southern states. Because the Northeast was probably going to vote for Kennedy anyway, but with Johnson on the ticket, Johnson could convince Southern Democrats that an Irish Catholic Northeastern Liberal was acceptable enough to be President of the United States. And Senator Kennedy's speech to Southern Baptists in 1960 in Houston where he came out for being in favor of Separation of Church and State and that he wouldn't take orders from the Pope in policy and decision-making.
In some ways Democrats in 1960 had a dream ticket, with the future of the Democratic Party. A real superstar in the best sense of the word, not a flash in the pan running with the most powerful Democrat in the country. Someone who was more than qualified to be President of the United States 1960. This not the last or first presidential election where the Vice Presidential nominee was important. It was also important in 1952 with Richard Nixon, 1976 with Walter Mondale, 1980 with George Bush, 1992 with Al Gore, 2000 with Dick Cheney, 2008 with Joe Biden. But 1960 was the last one where the VP nominee was able to deliver votes and states for the ticket.
Monday, November 14, 2011
James Miller Center: FDR Fireside Chat 7: 'On the Social Security Act- The History of Social Security'
|Source:James Miller Center- President Franklin D. Roosevelt and company.|
Source:James Miller Center
When Franklin Roosevelt became President of the United States in 1933, he had a mountain of challenges in front of him that he had to face. Dwarfing anything that President Obama inherited in 2009. The Great Depression was just starting and the country had at the time nothing to deal with it. No plan to get out of it and no safety net other than private charity to help sustain people as they go through it. These challenges were so big that it wasn't until World War II almost ten years later that America recovered from the Great Depression. Which is why President Roosevelt and others developed the New Deal and other legislation to deal with the Great Depression. And to establish a safety net in America.
Like Social Security, Unemployment Insurance and Welfare Insurance. Insurance programs that people can turn to when they can't support themselves. President Roosevelt brought economic progressivism into law in America. Something that we had very little of in America before that. We certainly didn't have a welfare state or even a safety net prior to the New Deal. We were basically an economic libertarian society before that, where everyone was on their own. And of course a lot if not most Libertarians would like to see us move back to that libertarian society. Where all Americans are responsible for taking care of themselves whether they are able to or not. Whether they have access to a pension or not, lose their job, makes mistakes early in life. Like having kids before they are ready to take care of them, etc.
Now I disagree with how a lot of these programs were designed originally. I believe most Americans would reform these programs in some way. Progressives would expand them, Liberals such as myself would decentralize them and turn them over to the states. Presidential candidate Gary Johnson has a plan to do that. Conservatives would privatize them all together and Libertarians would end them calling them unconstitutional. But what the New Deal and later Great Society in the 1960s, did was at least provide a basic floor for people to turn to. When for whatever reason they weren't able to fend for themselves and has been successful in doing that.
All of these programs need to be reformed in the financing like a lot the programs in the Federal Government. They didn't get us out of the Great Depression, at least on their own. World War II did most of the work on that, but the New Deal did for the first time in America, provide us with a basic safety net for the country. But a lot of these programs seventy-five plus years after they were created, need to be reformed. Because of how they were designed and need to be reformed to save them so they are there in the future. Part of President Roosevelt's legacy is that he transformed America into a country where we were basically on our own, into a country where at least to a certain extent we look after each other. Whether we want to or not, as Libertarians might phrase that. But the New Deal is not responsible for getting us out of the Great Depression. World War II and our involvement had a lot to do with that.
Sunday, November 13, 2011
|Source: Time Magazine- It case that isn't obvious enough-|
On paper going into the 1988 presidential election, Governor Michael Dukakis of Massachusetts was a perfect presidential candidate to go against Vice President George Bush. He was a popular successful governor of a major state, a heavily Democratic state. Unlike Walter Mondale he had no ties to the Carter Administration. He was an outsider a governor. Someone with considerable executive experience running a major state. He was an outsider running against the ultimate insider who since 1967 when George Bush took his seat in the House, was working in Washington and the Federal Government in some capacity. Except from 1977-81 when he was running for president and later vice president.
The Democratic Party had just won back the Senate in 1986 and added to their majority in the House. Iran Contra was still fresh in people's minds politically speaking. Governor Dukakis was similar to Governor Bill Clinton of Arkansas. Mike Dukakis was of course a Northeastern or Massachusetts Liberal as he was labeled by Vice President Bush and others. But not some Far-Left Socialist which is how Reverend Jackson was labeled, but a Classical Liberal Democrat. Someone who believed in individual liberty and limited government. He supported things as Governor of Massachusetts that became law by the Federal Government 5-10 years later. Like Welfare to Work, Three Strikes Law that was in the 1994 Crime bill, gun control same bill, deficit reduction. Mike Dukakis's politics were pretty similar to Jack Kennedy, another Northeastern Massachusetts Liberal Democrat.
Mike Dukakis was even likable, reserve and cool sure which hurt him with connecting with voters in the general election. But he was up 17 points over George Bush when the Democratic Convention was over. So the Bush Campaign made a similar calculation that they did when they were trailing Bob Dole back in January and February 1988. That they aren't going to beat Dukakis by showing America how great a guy George Bush was. That the way to beat Dukakis was to make him look like a bad guy, as someone who was Un-American, unpatriotic, soft on crime, etc. Someone who was a Far-Left democrat that's unacceptable to be President of the United States.
That's why we saw the controversial Willy Horton ad, and the commercial of Mike Dukakis in a tank. All thanks to Lee Atwater George Bush's chief political strategist. And with the Dukakis Campaign playing dead on these ads thinking that Americans won't believe them and take them seriously. This is where we heard the term an attack that's not responded to, must be the truth. And these ads killed Mike Dukakis's chances of winning that campaign. Mike Dukakis brought a twig to a Gun Fight and got his head handed to him.
Mike Dukakis represents to me how not to run a presidential campaign. That its good to share your personal story and your family history and how you worked your way up in America. And what you want to do as President, but that you also have to understand that presidential elections are also wars. That if you don't fight back it's just as good as surrendering and you'll get beat. And this is a lesson the Bill Clinton learned in 1992, with his War Room with Jim Carville and others. And while they were so able to respond to any attacks that were thrown at them in 1992.
Saturday, November 12, 2011
From 1933 to 1981 the Democratic Party ran the United States for the most part. Holding the White House from 1933-53, then again from 1961-69 and again from 1977-81. For a total 32-48 years and controlling Congress from 1931-47, 1949-53, 1955-81. For a total of 46-50 years. So when Ronald Reagan gets elected President in 1980 in a landslide of President Jimmy Carter and reelected in a landslide in 1984. And Senate Republicans win control of the Senate for the first time in twenty eight years in 1980. And hold keep control for six years, this was a huge shock for the Democratic Party. That was use to having most if not all of the power in the Federal Government. Under the Leadership of the Democratic Party, they passed the New Deal in the 1930s, won World War II in the 1940s. With the help of President Eisenhower in the 1950s, passed the Interstate Highway System. Passed the Great Society and Civil Rights in the 1960s, impeached a corrupt President in 1974, won back the White House in 1976. Along with large majorities in Congress but by the time the late 1970s came around, rough time to be a democrat. The Democratic Party was becoming divided and running out of ideas in where to take the country. Progressive Democrats wanted to pass the next installment of the Great Society what's called the Fair Deal, Single Payer Healthcare, Universal Higher Education, return to the high Tax Rates of the 1950s etc. Liberal Democrats wanted to freeze new Social Insurance spending and balance the Federal Budget. And Conservative Democrats were becoming Conservative Republicans.
Democratic Socialism was the ruling Political Ideology in the Democratic Party and in the United States from 1933-81. There was a feeling that the Federal Government wasn't big enough. And that we needed a Welfare State to catch up with Europe to provide all of these Social Services provided by government. And financed through high Tax Rates, which up until the Kennedy Administration ranged from 25-90%. But during World War II which is what got us out of the "Great Recession" up until the late 1950s. We had an Economic Boom but then we had a recession in 1958-59, we started pulling out of Vietnam in the early and mid 1970s. Had another recession in 1974-75 with those same high Tax Rates. The economy tanked again in 1978, another recession in 1979-80 again with the same high Tax Rates. Top Tax Rate 70%, lowest Tax Rate 15-20% and because of this there was a Tax Revolt in California. And in other places in the country led by Howard Jarvis and his group, Kemp-Roth is proposed in 1978-79. Which became the Economic Recovery Act in 1981 signed by President Reagan. And after having their clocks handed to them in 1980, the Democratic Party wasn't sure where to go. And I believe they basically settled for Walter Mondale in 1984 who was President Carter's Vice President.
If you look at our Political History, except for the Clinton Administration from 1993-2001, President Clinton who was a Liberal Democrat. But in the true sense of those terms, the last thirty years have been dominated by Conservative Republicans. Both Classical Conservatism with the Reagan-Bush Administration from 1981-93 with a Republican Senate from 1981-87. A Republican Congress from 1995-2001 and then a Neoconservative Administration with President Bush from 2001-09. With a Republican Congress from 2003-07 and its just in the last few years with democrats taking back Congress. And President Obama being elected President that liberalism has come back in America.
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Cutting Wasteful Spending in the Federal Government, wow where to start in a budget of 3.7T$ more money then most economy's in the World. Where some Federal Departments waste up to 50-100B$ a year alone. President Obama signing an Executive Order to do this on his own. Especially since Congress can't agree to do anything right now or the House is not interested in passing. Anything that could become law in this Congress and the Senate can't pass any major Legislation right now. Actually the Senate can't even agree on what to debate right now. I believe this Executive Order will send a message to Congress and the country that he's serious about Government Waste thats funded by Tax Payers. But there are so many areas to cut and reform and the President will need Congress to pass something to make that happen. Like Earmark Reform forcing Members of Congress to pay for their earmarks, which will make it tougher to pass wasteful earmarks. Because they would have to justify paying for an earmark to fund Horse Waste Research and things like that. Forcing earmarks to be relevant to the bills that they are attached. Earmark Disclosure so you know who sponsored and co sponsored earmarks and where they are going. A Line Item Veto so the President could cut out waste on their own thats Constitutional. And Congress would always override the veto's if they have the votes.
We have a National Debt now approaching 15T$ and a Budget Deficit of 1.8T$, we have to find ways to save money. And you do that through cutting back on things that you don't need. Pulling out of Iraq and Afghanistan is a good start but I would add Europe, Saudi Arabia, Japan and Korea to that list. And demand that those Developed Nations defend themselves especially since they all have the resources to do so. Reforming our Entitlement Programs so people who don't need them stop collecting from them. Basically turning them into Welfare Programs and turing these programs over to the States to run. Letting them have their own programs that would be Semi Private Non Profit Tightly Regulated Community Services instead. Creating a National Infrastructure Bank to prioritize our Infrastructure Investment and gather Private Investment to pay for it. Again something else the Federal Government wouldn't have to run and Congress would have less of an opportunity to waste Tax Payer money. All these things would save the Federal Government and Tax Payers trillions of dollars a year. And we could wipe our our Federal Deficit and pay down our Federal Debt.
President Obama made a good first step in knocking out waste in the Federal Government and I hope his. Executive Order succeeds but its only a first step and we need to go much farther. And we are not going to be able to eliminate debt and deficit on waste, fraud and abuse alone. We need much Structural Reform in our Federal Government to accomplish this.
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
To me the US Constitution is an Individualist Document designed to protect, promote and advance Individual Liberty and Limited Government. Limited Government being the key factor, the belief that if government becomes very big. Its gets big at the expense of Individual Liberty, because it makes the people more dependent on government. Thats one of the beauty's of living in a Liberal Democracy especially if your a liberal. But I would argue for anyone who's not a socialist, that Individual Liberty is protected to the point. That we have Constitutional Rights protecting our Individual Liberty. Not a government designed to take care of the people, that we have the liberty to make our own lives better. There is a Welfare Clause in the US Constitution but that doesn't mean that government funded by Tax Payers. But that doesn't mean that government is suppose to protect the country. But more about protecting the country from things that individuals can't do for themselves. Like being attacked by Armed Criminals, being attacked by a Foreign Country, being held hostage, people out of work not able to fend for themselves. Or are disabled and can't work enough to take care of themselves or can't work at all. These are the areas that government can come in and should come in and even has the Constitutional Authority and Responsibility. To step in at Tax Payer expense to help its people.
When you live in a Liberal Democracy like America and America might be the only Liberal Democracy in the World. Individuals have the liberty and responsibility to take care of themselves. That we aren't dependent on government to take care of ourselves but when we do go through tough times. Like losing our job, then government can come in and help us out until we can get on our feet. Or even help us get on our feet. The US Constitution was written by liberals and libertarians who were rebels that wanted to break away from the United Kingdom. That at the time was very authoritarian with their high Tax Rates and everything else. They wanted the liberty to take care of themselves and get the King of Britain off their backs. The US Constitution was not written by socialists or progressives trying to build a "Utopian Society". Where Central Planners in government would plan out exactly how life would be in America. And that government would be there to take care of the people. They designed a Federal Government with three Equal Branches and Checks and Balances. To make is difficult for the Federal Government to govern and pass laws. That the ability of those things to happen would be based on the Leadership of our Leaders. That they couldn't do anything that they wanted to do.
There are "Progressive Values" in the Constitution in the sense that we were coming from under the rule of an Authoritarian Monarchy. And building a Republic in the form of a Liberal Democracy which is what America is today. So we were designing a government in a country that would protect our Constitutional Rights. But the US Constitution does not call for a government to make peoples lives better for them. But to protect their Individual Liberty for them to make their lives as good as they can for themselves. And help people out who can't take care of themselves.
Monday, November 7, 2011
|Source:Learn Liberty- Dr. Nigel Ashford, talking about classical liberalism. The real liberalism.|
At an abstract level, classical liberalism offers three key insights:
1) The goal of life is human happiness and flourishing.
2) Personal choice and individual liberty are crucial in explaining and appreciating how society develops.
3) Commerce, wealth, and trade are preferable to war and conflict.
If you agree with these classical liberal insights, you might be a classical liberal!
The Professor in this video does a pretty good job of laying out what classical liberalism is. That it's about individual liberty and protecting individual liberty and is skeptical of power. Governmental power or too much power in the private sector. Because as the Professor says power is the ability to make people do what they otherwise wouldn't do. And liberalism is also about rule of law, not being so-called soft on crime as people have stereotyped Liberals. But that government should protect people from the harm of others, not try to protect people from themselves.
Liberalism is about individual liberty and limited government, which those being the main two principles. All other aspects of liberalism get to that. How to promote, advance and protect individual liberty. About individualism not collectivism which is about expanding government and spending more on social insurance. Or creating new social insurance programs, but laying out exactly what government should be doing. Socialism is about welfare state programs and using those programs so none has too much or too little, as they would see it.
Again, the role of liberalism is to promote, advance and protect individual liberty. The constitutional rights of individuals to live their own lives and be as successful in life as their production will allow. To take out of life what they put into it and limiting government to doing what it can and does well. And what it only can do and should do. Not having government try to solve every problem that society faces.
And these are the things that liberalism is about, coming from liberty. It's not socialism or even but like progressivism trying to use government to make society better. It is progressive though, because again it's about promoting, advancing and protecting individual liberty for all, not just some. In the early 20th Century during the Teddy Roosevelt era which was called the Progressive Era, there was this feeling that America had to much inequality. And that a lot of Americans were falling through the cracks in the economy and that government should step in and solve these programs.
That government should create things like Unemployment Insurance, National Health Insurance, protecting workers rights and worker Safety. And a lot of these things were achieved in the FDR New Deal in the 1930s. These are all progressive policy's and a lot of Liberals all support these goals. But these aren't liberal policy's, because they are about using government to help people in need. Instead of empowering people in need to help themselves become self-sufficient.
And some so-called Liberals may sound similar as Liberals, but they are different because a lot of people who are called Liberals today, are really not. They have some liberal positions on most if not all social issues. But they tend to have social democratic views on economic policy. And that government especially the Federal Government should be a lot bigger to solve the problems that society faces. It's great that people who actually understand what liberalism is and what it's about speak out about it.
Liberals whether you want to call us Classical Liberals, (which is fine if you're talking about John F. Kennedy) should give speeches and lectures about it and even make videos about it. Because a lot of Americans especially in the media don't understand what liberalism is. And get it mixed up with progressivism and democratic socialism. Which unlike liberalism aren't individualist ideology's, but collectivist ideology's using government through high tax rates to make society equal. Where liberalism is about using government to make people freer so we can all as a society enjoy individual liberty.
Liberalism is a political ideology based on realism and the real word. It's not about perfection and making the world as perfect and great for everyone, but instead creating a society where as many people as possible can thrive and achieve individual freedom for themselves. The ability for as many people as possible to live in freedom and make their own economic and personal decisions and then live with the consequences of those decision for the best and worst of their decisions. Doesn't sound very idealistic or realistic and something that some Hollywood movie would be based on that prefers socialism because of how romantic and idealistic it is. But liberalism is based on realism and how the world really works. Where the best decisions tend to be made.
Sunday, November 6, 2011
Lyndon Johnson was actually in Congress during the Truman Administration both House and Senate. Elected to the Senate in 1948, actually served in Congress during the entire Truman presidency. And was in House during the first four years of the Truman Presidency. Both Truman and Johnson were New Deal Democrats on economic policy. So signing Medicare into law in I believe was a big deal to both Truman and Johnson and why President Truman was at the Medicare signing ceremony.
Health insurance for senior citizens is something that both Truman and Johnson were fighting for a long time. But a couple of Republican Congress’s, one in the late 1940s and another in the early 1950s, as well as the Eisenhower Administration, got in the way of Medicare coming into law. Actually President Truman wanted to go farther and create a single payer health care system, but for the same reasons wasn’t able to get that done.
The legacy of Medicare I believe overall is pretty good, because it’s guaranteed health insurance for senior citizens as it was intended to. It wasn’t designed to become a single payer health insurer. That would essentially be the sole health insurer for everyone in the country. And outlawing private health insurers. If President Johnson wanted to do that, he probably would’ve proposed that. Because he had huge 2/3 majorities in the House and Senate up until 1967. When Congressional Republicans picked up a bunch of seats in both the House and Senate.
So President Johnson basically had three years to propose a single payer Medicare For All health care system, if he wanted to. But chose not to for whatever reasons. Perhaps he didn’t believe in a government-run health care system like they had at the time in the United Kingdom. Perhaps he didn’t believe the country was ready for that type of health care system or even wanted that. Perhaps he believed he didn’t have the votes for it.
Perhaps President Johnson didn’t have the votes for Medicare For All, with probably all Congressional Republicans voting against it, led by House Minority Leader Gerry Ford, Souse Minority Leader Everett Dirksen, Senator Barry Goldwater and others. As well as the Southern Caucus of Democrats in Congress. Medicare has been very positive in guaranteeing health insurance for all of our senior citizens and at the time was considered revolutionary. But today would seem somewhat mainstream like and not trying to upset anyone or chop down a tree. But something that a consensus of Americans would support.
Friday, November 4, 2011
Any drop in the Unemployment Rate is good news especially since we haven't had one since July. And we've had an Unemployment Rate of 9% or higher since 2010. But 80K jobs in a country as big as ours with an economy as big as ours with a workforce the size of ours. Is not a great number, we should be creating twice as many jobs each month. Even in an economy as weak as ours because we have the resources to do so. Its just a matter of utilizing those resources that we have and the President and the Democratic Senate. Is trying to pass things that will stimulate the economy. But haven't been able to work our any Economic Package with the Republican House or Senate Republicans. Senate Leader Harry Reid has brought up three bills in the Senate the last three weeks. But the Senate GOP Leadership keeps blocking them along with a few Democratic Senators. Things like aide to State and Local Governments so they don't have to lay off teacher or Emergency Personal. As well as a National Infrastructure Bank something that has Bi Partisan support at least in the Senate. But is now being blocked there by Senate Republicans. Both bills that would be paid for by a Millionaires Tax but of course House and Senate Republicans are saying no to any Tax Hikes right now.
There are a lot of things that we can do to boost the economy right that we should be doing. Especially with the Holiday Season coming or already here. A National Infrastructure Bank would be one of them to get Infrastructure Investment going in America again. And doing something to relieve Consumer Debt with a Tax Deduction. For people in the Middle Class to write off at least parts of their debt, followed by another Tax Credit. To encourage people to start spending money again and get Consumer Spending going again. And a Payroll Tax Holiday again to encourage Consumer Spending. And since President Obama is not getting much cooperation with Congressional Republicans in trying to pass a Economic Package. The President has moved to moving job bills through by Executive Order to keep people working. Maybe that will get Congress to start cooperating and start working together, which would be good news. Politically as well with all of those incumbents in Congress up for reelection next year. 469 out of 535 members in both parties which may be the only thing that gets an Economic Package passed in this Congress.
A drop in unemployment is good news and had it not of been for all the educators and Emergency Personal. That have been laid off the last few months, which is one reason why the President and Democratic Senate. Have been trying to pass State Aid so these governments don't have to lay off as many people.