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More political thoughts… March 12, 2017

Posted by JP in Politics, Stupidity, Uncategorized, Venting.
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As I have been reading news reports regarding the various issues facing our Nation I am continually amazed at the inability of people to see truth through all the rhetoric, obfuscation of facts, and to employ a bit of common sense. It seems to me that too many people are blinded by their ideology and refuse to be objective in viewing the issues, and solutions to the problems that face our country.

I am by no means perfect, or completely unbiased in my thoughts and feelings about many of the issues being discussed in the media, however, I try to be balanced, fair, and objective before forming an opinion. I actively seek out contradictory opinions, and information regarding an issue before I take sides on a particular issue and often times because of this practice, my ideas and opinions fall out of the ‘norm’ of my usual conservative viewpoint.

Looking at some of the issues I see that reasonable, and commonsense solutions are entirely possible, if one steps away from the ideology and inflammatory rhetoric of the vocal extremists.

Immigration:

Entrance into this county illegally must be ended, completely. We have laws that govern immigration and those laws must be enforced, consistently and completely, albeit, with a hand of compassion.

It is said that this nation was built on immigrants, and immigration is a cornerstone of the concept of America. To this I agree, however, we no longer ‘need’ immigrants to build the Nation so it makes perfect sense to ensure that those who do enter our country can be a benefit to our society and intend us no harm. Subsequently, the Administration’s temporary travel ban is a logical, and acceptable, precaution to take while the Government improves our vetting process to better ensure that those immigrating here in the future benefit the country and intend us no ill will.

Current illegals should be subject to current laws governing residency and deportation. Those that are productive, beneficial, members of our society need to be provided with an opportunity to attain legal status and become contributing residents (taxes, etc.). While those who are apparent drains on our society (ie; criminals, those receiving public aid, unemployed, etc.) should be sent back to whence they came.

State and City governments who refuse to cooperate with Federal Immigration rules and law must absolutely have all Federal funding withheld. Sanctuary city policies must be eliminated and those officials refusing to comply with the laws should be removed from their positions and/or prosecuted.

It is important to remember this: When the federal government abolished slavery the US economy did NOT collapse, despite the protestations of the slavery proponents. The same will be true by the elimination of the illegal alien labor force. It will require some economic adjustment, but it will not be a devastating blow to the economy as some have suggested.

Health Care:

The Affordable Care Act, implemented by the Obama administration through force and lack of proper legislative process was doomed to failure at its inception. The idea was good, I believe everyone should have access to adequate health care (preferably at little or not cost to the recipient – and yes it is possible). The problem was the law itself was flawed and unsupportable as written.

The new health care law being touted by the GOP is not much better than ‘Obamacare’. There are some improvements, but overall it is still lacking. What needs to happen is for Congress to launch into a full-scale, bipartisan, assault on the issue, partnering with the health care industry leaders and develop a system in which everyone receives coverage at low/no cost and allowing those who wish to pay for their own coverage to do so.

To do this there are a few things we all need to understand:

Businesses (drug and insurance companies specifically) will NOT be making large profits – the best they could hope for most likely would be to break even on the provided coverage and perhaps more profit on the voluntary/optional plans.

Tort reform MUST be implemented. We cannot reduce health care costs effectively if doctors, clinics, and hospitals are subject to outrageously high settlements, or are continually defending suits from claimants not happy with the care they received.

Federal, State, and City governments (specifically Congress) must have the same coverage as the average citizen. What is good for one must be good for all.

Elective procedures (including abortion) should NOT be covered under the provided policies. Of course they should be made available, but at the consumer’s cost.  If I want to have a vasectomy, or a  nose job, or a butt implant, I should be able to do so as long as I am willing to pay for it.

Individual rights:

Women’s rights, LGBT rights, Minority rights, etc. must NOT preclude anyone else’s rights. This includes religious tolerance. Above all else, this nation was founded upon the ideal of religious freedom. That freedom must remain a hallmark in our pursuits of rights and freedoms. To force a person, or business owner, to comply with a practice that violates the dictates of their religious beliefs is abhorrent. One cannot assert that a Christian baker who refuses to make a cake for a gay wedding is discriminating unless one can show that the operation of their business is discriminatory as well (do they refuse to employ homosexuals? Do they refuse to sell cookies, or cupcakes to people based on their color, nationality, sexual orientation?)

We are all equal, we all breathe the same air, bleed the same blood, and are citizens of the same country. We must all be treated equally, fairly, and without extra consideration, or less consideration.

So many out there today throw around the words ‘racist’ and ‘fascist’ and yet fail to realize that their very actions are definitive of what they accuse others. Any organization that promotes the advancement of any group above any other is by definition ‘racist’.

Of course, I do recognize that at times there are practices that do not comply with this Country’s laws and philosophy’s of equality and fairness regardless of race, creed, color, nationality, gender, etc. but those practices needs be reconciled specifically and not made to appear as a national fault.

It comes down to the same idea as immigration; we are a nation of laws, and we must comply with those laws, and enforce those laws.

Taxation, Budget and Economy:

So much of what we do, want to do, or should do, in this country revolves around cost. The issue is that we seem unable to conceive of how to pay for the things we should do (health care and education for instance). While the problem is not simple to solve, it is solvable.

Taxation: A flat tax rate on individual income is the most equitable solution. In our current taxation scheme an individual with a higher income is taxed at a higher rate than those with lower incomes. My question is this: does that individual with a higher tax rate receive a higher level of representation in the government? Does my 25% tax rate entitle my vote at the polls to carry 25% more weight than someone only taxed at 10%?  No, it does not. Consequently our tax system contravenes our nation’s founding philosophy protesting ‘taxation without representation’.

Federal grants to foreign countries: Our government sends billions of dollars to other countries. While this is not necessarily a bad thing in terms of global stabilization and promotion of peace and cooperation, the reality must be faced that much of our internal needs can be paid for if those monies were directed inward instead of outward.

Funding of Public Assistance programs: If we discontinue providing Public Assistance to those who are in our country illegally we could saves millions of dollars in Public Aid. It makes no sense to me that our government would give someone money who is not a citizen, or legal resident. Why pay someone to violate our laws?

Tax subsidies to businesses that are profitable already.  Why should be give money to a business that makes a profit? Can they not utilize their profits to pay for whatever the subsidies are paying for?

Tax subsidies to US business moving operations out of country: While this practice is being addressed by the current Administration I must mention it here; if you move your operations out of country you should lose all government assistance, and have your products taxed upon entry into this country.

The bottom line for me comes down to this: My family budgets our money in order to pay for the things we need to live. If I do not have the money for something I want, I do without. If there is something the family needs we revise our budget in order to divert the necessary funds to that need. We do not live outside of our means and we prioritize needs and wants in order to live within our means. The government should do no less.

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