Nemo me impune lacessit

No one provokes me with impunity


No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.

Article 1, Section 9, Constitution of the United States

If this is the law of the land...why in a republic (little r) and as republicans, do we allow mere POLITICIANS to the right to use a "title of office" for the rest of their lives as if it were de facto a patent of nobility. Because, as republicans, this should NOT be the case...just saying...

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Monday, November 23, 2009

It's the Economy Stupid

Unfortunately for the country, they Keynesian economic model this president is following failed in the 1930's to end the great Depression. WW2 ended the Depression. As time slowly ekes away, this president is gaining the appearance of Jimmy Carter 2...Spending tremendous amounts to end a recession can only work if you actually spend the money wisely.

The economic stimulus package that was passed last spring, was unfortunately targeted as a pay off to Democratic constituencies. None of the money has gone to the kinds of big ticket job producing infrastructure projects that would provide long term jobs. Additionally, this new transparent way of running the country had to bribe a Senator from Louisiana with $300 million just to get her to vote to CONTINUE debating a health care bill that a majority of the populace doesn't want. "Just shut up and get out of the way" isn't how this country works.

ITS THE ECONOMY STUPID, jeez, even SNL gets that much. You don't try and make over 1/6th of the economy in a period of economic crisis. The CBO has said that both of the health care seizure plans presently under consideration will end up costing hundreds of billions of dollars. We can't afford that. There are far more cost effective ways of doing this within the current framework.

Health Care
If you have to absolutely screw around with the system, here's a way within the present framework to modify the system that will increase health insurance coverage far beyond what it is now.

1. Portability, remove employment as a means of health insurance. Allow the 1300 companies to offer insurance regardless of state lines. This will allow genuine market competition.
2. Tort Reform, lawyers have boosted the costs medical coverage by 20% or more (some say 30%). It should not be a gigantic crap shoot. Limit damages to actual loss, and only with gross negligence. Loser pays.
3. Make health costs 100% tax-free. Additionally, by allowing portability between states and permit ALL of the health insurance organizations to provide insurance regardless of state lines. The moment you do this, people go out and join co-ops and get great rates. Places like the Elks, Kiwanis, etc... were all set up originally for the purpose of allowing their members to get group health discount rates.
4. Force the Pharmaceutical companies to sell to other countries at the same rate as they charge their biggest customers here. They will then pay more, and we'll pay less. This will institute immediate savings, because America presently permits other countries to provide drugs at a vastly reduced rate, while we foot the full bill plus the difference they pay.
5. Fix SS/Medicare. Move the retirement age back to 65 as a minimum for eligibility for Medicare. Vigorously prosecute all fraudulent disability claims. Tack on a sales tax to pay for it. This will eventually end the Ponzi scheme, while honoring the obligations. We have to stop adding people to the roles.

Fixing the economy is difficult because quite simply no one understands how it works. It's become such a complicated area of expertise, that no one can possibly master it. On the other hand there are a few simple solutions that do seem to work well.
1. Return the unspent Stimulus Funds. If Congress can't keep their greedy hands off of it, then at the very least it should be used as small business loans with fairly low interest rates. This will have the effect of freeing up funds that small business needs in order to conduct their operations. Additionally, by allowing small business those funds, they will increase their hiring. It costs small businesses an average of $330k to create full time positions. Under the stimulus, the government has spent $2.4 million each to create temporary positions that will need to be refunded every year. That's an 8-1 spending ratio, not cost effective in the long run.
2. Reduce taxes across the board, better yet, overhaul the "progressive" (or rather the REGRESSIVE) income tax system. My preference would be for a flat income tax rate for all individuals, businesses and or corporations. End end any and all federal tax breaks for business. Tax all businesses equally with no exceptions. Do the same for individuals. The ONLY exception on individual taxes would be for those who earn below X dollars (i.e. the poverty line).
3. Reign in government spending by eliminating those departments which are merely jobs programs in disguise. Education, for one, combine HHS, HUD and vastly reduce their mandate. Eliminate Labour. Use the money saved to pay off the debt, return those workers to the public sector where they could be producing wealth instead of sucking off the government tit.
4. Permit localities and states to grant incentives to those who wish to build manufacturing concerns so that we can rebuild our manufacturing base. A base that is rapidly siphoning off to Mexico, China and India.

Political Reforms
1. End ALL EARMARKS. Stop spending money outside of the constitutionally required framework.
2. Support a balanced budget amendment.
3. Seriously revamp the bureaucracy to make it easier to terminate those who are inefficient.
4, Hire managers who will run the government as if it is a business and not a jobs program.

There in simplistic terms is my prescription for fixing "things" I doubt anyone of importance is listening but I can always hope for change, right? After all look what "hope and change" got us so far...


Anonymous said...

While you mention many interesting ideas, you are making a mistake with the suggestion that you can hire people to run government like a business. You can't. As Harry Browne explained in his book Why Government Doesn't Work, the reason you can't run government like a business is the nature of the beast. Business must persuade you to purchase their products. Government forces you to pay for their programs. The incentives in place for efficiency, customer service, etc. for business are completely missing in government.

Rich Vail said...

that may be true, but you can run Gov't more efficiently, IF you use some of the same principles as if you were running a business.