Book Contents & Previews

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CONTENTS

Prologue

Part I 
Our Great Nation and Who we Are
Chapter 1- The Purpose of Government
Chapter 2- Who We Are
Part II
Finding Balance
Chapter 3- Applying Balance
Chapter 4- Balancing Our Debates
Chapter 5- Economies Unbalanced
Part III
Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
Chapter 6- Taxes and Their Effects
Chapter 7- Current Problems and Arguments
Chapter 8- What We Need to Do
Chapter 9- Our Government At Work

Conclusions
Notes/References
Index
A Few Additional Rants
Acknowledgments
About the Author

Prologue:

Just turn on the TV to a news talk show. If the host is interviewing a politician or commentator with a little (R) or (D) next to their name, can you guess what words are going to come out of their mouths next?  You and many other Americans probably can.  Simplicity used in debates on today’s TV news shows is not the complete the fault of our politicians. In today’s sound-byte driven media with strict time frames, the use of quick talking points and generalizations are required.  This book is intended to be a more in-depth discussion concerning the issues of today, which many of us only hear and understand from the quick talking points we see on TV.
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Birth of a Nation; Our Founding Father’s Intentions

Do you want to form a more perfect Union?  Do you want to insure domestic Tranquility, promote the General Welfare, and secure the blessings of Liberty?

If we read the preamble to the Constitution it contains the phrases “perfect UNION” and “general WELFARE“. Wow! These sound like words and terms used to describe socialism!  What about the term “COMMON defense”? The word “common” is also often associated with socialism. But what about “Freedom” and “Free markets”?

It wasn’t until The Bill of Rights was added to the Constitution in 1791, that we see the word “freedom”.  Freedom isn’t mentioned in the Constitution at all, not once! Not until the amendments were added did the word “freedom” become associated with the Constitution.

So now we have two ideas from the Constitution: we have Freedom and we have the General Welfare. When thinking how these words should pertain to our economic system, from the word “freedom” we interpret it to mean “free market” or as it’s also called, “capitalism”; the freedom to make money.

Unfortunately, we find many instances where the general welfare and people’s liberties are often in conflict with the theories and outcomes of capitalism and free markets. These conflicts of interests will be an ongoing theme we will continue to analyze throughout this book…….

…….. What I hope to accomplish here is to show that there is a middle way. These things don’t have to be so black and white. There is a grey area, which most American’s beliefs fall under.  A 2009 Gallup poll conducted shows that 42% of Americans call themselves Moderate, a Liberal Republican or a Conservative Democrat. An additional 17% call themselves Moderate Republicans or Moderate Democrats. These people all believe in some form of balance between ideas; and that is Social Capitalism. We cannot let the extremist of either party sway our voices or our votes to support one extreme theory over the other. There is a middle way.
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Role of Government: Big or Small?

There has always been debate considering the size of our government, its budget and how far its reach can affect the markets and our personal lives. Should we have big government or small government?  Should there be high taxes with vast social programs or should there be lower taxes, leaving certain needs and services to be provided by private industry and the free market.  Extreme capitalists argue for smaller government, allowing private industry to handle all needs and services.  Extreme socialists argue for bigger government, thinking that private businesses cannot be counted on to provide certain services and needs for the people……

………… Here is another example of where there is a delicate balance that needs to be reached. The government needs to both protect the individual freedoms of people as well as ensure the welfare of its people. Policies or laws that grant or favor the concepts of freedom in the marketplace could infringe upon the freedoms and well being of other people. In the converse, too much attention or priority given to the well being of society as a whole can limit or encroach upon the freedoms of individuals.
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Balanced Market Economy?

What policies best promote the prosperity of our country? To reach our goal of obtaining a “balanced market” what policies will allow most of our citizens to flourish? To answer this we first must use a comprehensive approach towards judging the prosperity of our economy.  We cannot look only at numbers of GDP or unemployment. We must look at the overall economic picture.
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Despite our differences, We Are All The Same

Even though many of us differ in our ideas and thinking, remember that we are all Americans with a common purpose. In order to work together, to find solutions for our problems, we must first establish our common goals. Conservatives and liberals don’t differ because of opposing goals. We have political division because we disagree on the methods that should be used to achieve our common goals……..

……..To start we should try and find those things that all Americans (and I would like to invite the rest of the world as well) can agree upon

-We should all be free to live our lives.
-Hard work should be rewarded.
-Laziness should not be rewarded.
-We should encourage innovation.
-Everybody who wants a job should be able to have one.
-Everyone who wants an education should have one.
-An educated society is necessary to spur development.
-People who would do ill to others should be punished.
-We don’t want to wrongly punish those that have done no wrong.
-Being part of society carries certain responsibilities.
-We don’t want to waste our time, effort, or money.
-We all want to live in peace and security, free of fear for our safety.
-All should have an equal opportunity to achieve their dreams.

Maybe you can think of some more general goals or ideas that we can all agree upon.

I am willing to bet that everyone who reads this list, no matter if you are Republican, Democrat, Liberal, Conservative, White, Black, Buddhist or Christian, will all agree with the following broad statements.
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Geographical Influenced Beliefs

Typically people in more urban, highly populated areas tend to be Democrats, with heavy concentrations along the coastal areas and other metropolises. Rural areas tend to be more Republican. Even a heavily red Republican state like Tennessee is dominantly Democratic in its urban cities of Nashville and Memphis.

Why are people from rural America more likely to identify with Republicans and people from higher populated areas more likely to be Democrat?  Let’s start by coming up with a frame describing each of the political parties……..
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Nature vs. Nurture

One of the biggest fallacies in capitalistic theory is the idea that we are who we are only because of what we decide to do with our lives.  While we would like to believe our lives and personal situation is the result of our own doing, one has to consider factors of chance and the effect our environment has had on us.  It is what we do with those chances that help to shape our prospects in life.  Therefore, our present situation in life is based on a mixture of both nature and nurture.

America and the American dream has been made possible because of the environment we created together that allows businesses to thrive and people to do well.  The wealthy have become so not just because of hard work, but also because of the environment they were able to do it in.
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Majority Rule While Protecting the Minority

In the Democratic controlled state of Illinois and in the city of Chicago, which has a heavily Democratic population, a ban on handguns was imposed 30 years ago. This ban certainly angered many Republicans and the NRA.  In 2010 the Supreme Court declared the ban unconstitutional.  It is in the Bill of Rights that we all have the right to bear arms.  Just because you may live in an area where a majority of people want to outlaw guns does not mean they can simply vote to ban guns.  This is the beauty of our system of balance working……..

…….The only way the right to own a gun can ever be revoked is by an amendment to the Constitution. This would require not a 51% majority but a super majority of votes; meaning 75% of Congress would have to be in favor of any change to the Constitution.
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Equal Vs. Equal Opportunity

Under capitalism we are all free to work and strive to be the best we can.  Our capitalistic system entices us to work hard, so we may achieve that high standard of living. (Further discussion on Standard of Living in Chapter 7)  Should a high standard of living be automatically granted to everyone?  Not at all. We get what we work for! Should those who are lazy be afforded the same standard of living as those who do work hard and put forth more effort? Of course not! These are some of the core beliefs behind capitalism that most people would agree with. It is what we are all taught as Americans. Work hard and you will do well.

But why is this not always the case?  Why can two equal people do the same thing, put forth the same amount of effort and not receive the same returns? It is because there is a lack of equal opportunity.
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Debating the Debate

………Using key terms or frames that are simply labeled as good or bad disrupt the possibility of coming up with any good ideas. The extreme left has deemed that any law or regulation put forth against illegal immigrants would be “racist“ and “discriminatory” towards Mexicans and Latinos. The extreme right has concluded that anything other than full prosecution would be a form of “amnesty” which undermines our laws and law-abiding citizens.  We are stuck in a stalemate where nothing is done and no workable solutions arise due to extreme thinking. Continued use of simple frames distracts from forming any constructive debate……….

………..One group says “No to amnesty!” which sounds good and another group says “Stop discrimination!” which also sounds good.  Both of these phrases have merit that most everyone could agree with. But the problem being debated isn’t “discrimination” or “amnesty”. The problem is illegal immigration!………….
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How The Religious Became Right?

This is one of the driving principles behind capitalism.  Hard work= doing well.  Laziness= being poor.  While this is what we believe and hope to be true, it is not always the case.  Being taught these rules from young has distorted our views of what actually happens to many people around us.  People tend to automatically assume that if you are rich, then you must have worked hard and if you are poor then it means you are lazy.  Yes, many who are wealthy are so because of hard work and many who are poor are so because of laziness.  However not everyone fits neatly into these categories.  There are some who are wealthy due to means other than their hard work and there are those poor who have worked hard, but due to circumstances beyond their control remain poor……..
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Naming our Fears: The Results of Extremism

………Many see their viewpoint as correct and the opposite’s viewpoint as wrong. We become fearful of what can occur if the opposing ideology takes form in its extreme……

………….Conservatives fear and foresee the following issues if extreme liberal laws are passed.  These fears are not without merit as we have seen occur before in history, with the extreme socialistic policies of the former Soviet Union and other communist countries.

Conservative fears of Extreme Socialism:

-No ownership of private property
                  -Lack of profit motive
                  -Hard workers supporting the lazy
                  -Lack of individual freedom
                  -Little to no economic growth

Just as conservatives have their fears of an extreme socialist agenda, so too liberals have their own fears of a nation based on extreme conservative and purely capitalistic ideologies.  The fears of liberals also have their merit based in history. We have seen the problems that extreme unregulated capitalism has led to in the past such as the U.S. Great Depression and mass poverty in South America during the 1970s.

Liberal fears of Extreme Capitalism:

-Increases in wealth disparity
                  -Stifles equal opportunity
                  -No protections for health and safety
                  -Pure profit motives that go against the collective good
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 Monopoly, it’s not just a game!

…….If a lack of government regulation supported by extreme capitalism allows monopolies to form, but the existence of monopolies hampers competition and fair pricing that is needed for capitalism to function, how do we deal with this paradox?………
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The One Ticket Theory

There is a general rule called the 80/20 split that is used in many aspects of business. In the concert business an 80/20 split was used as a typical assumption for budgeting; that all pricing, budgeting costs, and revenues would be based on selling 80% of tickets in any given venue.  Deals were made between artists and promoters that assumed selling 80% of a venue’s capacity would cover everyone’s costs and the extra 20% was profit to be split among the artists and promoters. They would still negotiate ahead of time who would assume what part of the risks, costs, and rewards, but the main point is that budgeting was based on being able to sell 80% of the house.

Assuming that costs, ticket prices and budgeting were set based on this standard 80/20 theory, you could look at a typical concert crowd and figure if the promoter was making money or not.  If the house were less than 80% full, we’d figure someone was losing money.  If the show was more than 80% full we could be sure the promoter was making money.  This was standard concert business practice for years and then a new system with new practices emerged; one based on support from large corporate profits and a new wealthy class of people………
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Faults in the Laws of Supply and Demand; when Laissez-faire Doesn’t Work

Let’s first look at what happens in an economy where there is a huge gap between rich and poor. What happens to health care for example when there is a large disparity of wealth? When there is a wider gap between rich and poor, prices can inflate higher and higher. Certain goods and services that were once affordable by a middle class, no longer are. Let’s look at an example with a simple business plan working to maximize profit.

Assume a company is selling cars at $10,000 a piece and sells 100 cars to produce one million dollars in revenue. But what if that company could start charging $25,000 per car? They would only have to sell 40 cars to earn the same revenue and can reduce their costs at the same time by producing less. Due to a high wealth disparity, they were able to find 40 people from the higher income bracket that were willing and able to pay $25,000. Here the company only had to make 40 cars instead of 100 to earn the same amount of revenue……..
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A bit of scary economic facts.

Before we can look at how taxes affect the economy, we need to come up with a control group.  We need an ideal! What is our country’s economic goal? What does the ideal economic situation in a free-market economy look like?  What would that ideal situation look like on a graph? After we’ve established what the ideal economic situation should look like, then we can examine where we have been economically as a country and if we are moving away or towards that economic goal which we established as the ideal.

Once our ideal has been established and we have seen the direction our economy has moved in respect to that ideal, finally we can look at factors such as taxes that have helped to push our economy towards or away from that ideal situation……..
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Taxes: Sustaining the Great Divide

……..To find an answer to the question “how much people should pay?” let’s first look at what tax rates have been in the past.  We do this to see if there is a relationship between tax rates and the trend of growing income disparity……….

…………The next chart below shows what the tax rates were for people in the upper and lower tax brackets. Listed are the rates for someone earning in the lower percentile, around $36K per year in 2010, with equivalent amounts adjusted for inflation during previous years. Then I show tax rates for the higher percentile of income earners at $250K and their equivalent amounts adjusted for inflation. As an example, today’s $250,000 is equal to $33,900 back in 1960 when adjusted for inflation. The tax rate for someone earning a very respectable $33,900 in 1960 was 65%. (Tax rates used are for single filers.)

After taking tax rates from the upper and lower income earners, we divide these numbers into each other and come up with what I call a “Tax Disparity Coefficient” or ratio. For example, by using tax rates from the 1960s, which was 65% (upper tax rate) divided by 26% (the lower tax rate) we come up with a number: 2.5 in this case. This number represents how equal (or unequal) the tax rates were between the lower and upper income earners.  If both groups were paying the same rate, as happened in 1990, the Tax Disparity Coefficient is 1.  1 represents equal tax rates for everyone. As the coefficient moves higher than 1, the further the gap grows between tax rates for the upper and lower income brackets…………
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Capital Gains Tax; A Loophole for Individuals

We can continue to grow and improve people’s savings by increasing limits and opportunities for tax-deferred retirement savings.  Retirement savings could have their own classification of income, which is not taxed at all or taxed very low…….

………But the biggest beneficiary of low capital gains tax is the wealthy. It is what allows people who have significant investment income to pay lower effective tax rates then middle class Americans. The upper class has large amounts of disposable income tied up in investments. They are able to earn exponentially more money without actually doing any work, which is why I call it “unearned income”.  It is what allows someone like Warren Buffet to pay a lower percentage on his income than his middle class secretary who pays a higher percentage.  How does this work?  Here is an example:………..
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Taxes & Morality

“Isn’t it fair to pay the same rate?”  Well, no and here is why.

Earning money is exponential! One simple phrase comes to mind; “It takes money to make money”.  In other words, the more money you have the more money you can make.  If everyone invested their money and saw a 10% return on their investment, the average person who was able to save $1000 would earn $100 on their savings at 10%.  The wealthy person who has done well and was able to save and invest 10 million dollars would earn an additional 1 million dollars over the same period.  So two people did the same thing.  They both invested their savings and earned a 10% return.  The average person made $100 and the wealthy person made $1,000,000. They both did the same investing, yet the person who had money was able to make a whole lot more, 10,000 times more by doing the same investing, putting in the same amount of effort.  If someone can earn 10 thousand times more money just because they already had money, is it wrong for them to pay a higher percentage of tax on those earnings?………..
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Who Pays Taxes?  The 50% Republican Spin

You may have heard GOP members use the statement “Only 50% of Americans pay income taxes and the other 50% doesn’t pay any income taxes”.  While there is some truth to this statement, it is a grossly simplified remark designed to make the public think that the top half of America is fully supporting and already paying for the bottom 50%, which is simply not true. Let’s break it all down.

Yes it is true that only half of Americans pay federal income tax.  But if you look at all federal tax revenue, which was 2.2 trillion dollars in 2010, only 42% of all federal revenue came from income taxes.  The other 58% of tax revenue comes from other sources. 40% comes from payroll taxes.  Everyone who works, no matter how much or little earned contributes to payroll tax revenue.
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Class Warfare

Recently in the political arena there has been a loud scream from the right anytime there is talk of raising taxes on the wealthy.  They scream, “Class warfare!”  Anytime in the past few years that the administration has suggested raising taxes, John Boehner the Republican leader of the House was on the frontlines calling any such move to raise taxes on the wealthy a sign of class warfare. My question here is: Who started the war?

Over the past few years, anytime someone on the left proposes raising taxes on the wealthy, Republicans try to convince the public that this is class warfare and a punishment on the rich.  Is trying to get the wealthy to pay their fair share, when they enjoy numerous tax breaks and a low 15% rate on capital gains so much a war on the rich? If the wealthy pay effective tax rates that are lower than rates for middle class Americans, is asking the wealthy to at least pay the same rate class warfare?  What if we were to show that increased taxes on the wealthy are a clear means to grow the economy and not so much a punishment as some would claim?
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Keep your Gov’t Hands off of my Medicare

One of the most important pro-business growth regulations that the government passed was the Bankruptcy Act in 1898, amended in 1938 and again in 1978.  The Bankruptcy Act helps encourage business growth by minimizing people’s financial risk when going into business. This law protects people and their businesses from creditors if the business fails. This law is one of the biggest contributors that encourage people to take risks and helps spawn new innovation and growth. If we were to take a position of true free-market policies then The Bankruptcy Act should be seen from the right as a horrible intrusion of government into the free-market.
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Standard of Living  (by Whose Standards?)

Most of the numbers used to describe the standard of living are figured as averages. So if there is a high-income disparity or a large gap between rich and poor, then averages won’t give you an accurate representation of what is going on. I do not want to break apart the system that economists use to gauge standard of living, but wish to better define the factors we use to assess standard of living.

To determine our standard of living we normally look at the overall income level that the population earns. In 2010 the average household income was $49,445, just about the same as it was 20 years prior in 1989. But what about the factors it took to earn that income……..
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Unions & Collective Bargaining

Typically liberal Democrats support unions and conservative Republicans are against unions.  This is a generalized statement that we use to label and categorize people’s beliefs when it comes to unions. Republicans tend to see unions as a burden to business growth, an over-excessive expense to governments that hire public unions, and a strain on worker’s freedom.  Democrats view unions as a necessary way to organize support for workers rights. They believe unions are a means to combat powerful business interests.

This is one of those arguments where there are strong opinions on both sides. We need to take a step back in order to see that both sides are correct in their arguments. Both may have valid points but we can’t just look at a few points on one side of the argument and make broad policy decisions for all…….
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The National Debt

We all know that America has a huge national debt and large budget deficit. For those of you who don’t understand the difference between debt and deficit: The national debt is our total bill; the total amount of money we currently owe as a country. Our deficit refers to the amount of money we are short on a yearly basis. The deficit is the difference in the amount of money we spend verses the amount of tax revenue collected by the government each year.

Our overall debt is around 14 trillion now, with no sign of shrinking.  Few could deny that this is a huge problem. Due to our large debt the United State’s credit rating has recently been downgraded. Why is our credit rating so important?  We need to keep a good credit rating in order to attract investments into our country and our businesses.

Both Democrats and Republicans over the past 12 years are equally to blame for this looming issue. The biggest factors contributing towards this huge debt has been…….
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Lost Revenue, The Bush Tax Cuts, and other Fiscal Irresponsiblity

Back in the 1990s things were looking up for our country and our fiscal house.  We had a balanced budget with yearly surpluses that could have been used to pay down our debt. Around that time our total debt was about five trillion dollars. Bill Clinton accomplished this by making cuts in certain areas, most notably defense spending which is our number one government outlay. The other part of fiscal policy in the 90s that allowed us to have a balanced budget was our revenues. The government was taking in enough tax dollars to cover our expenses.  So what happened?

While our current fiscal problem cannot be attributed to one thing alone, there were a few major policies enacted in the 2000s, turning our fiscal house upside down……..
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Democrats Aren’t Blameless Either.

One of the biggest burdens to businesses, especially small businesses can be taxes. As discussed earlier, corporate tax rates can be lowered for all businesses big and small, as long as loopholes are closed for the larger corporations.  Another big obstacle to small business growth can be outrageous licensing requirements and the fees attached to them.  Most business licenses and fees are imposed at the state and local levels of government.  While most licensing is required in order to protect consumers, entrepreneurs in certain cities and towns can face grueling paperwork, a lengthy list of requirements, and heavily imposed fees.  Democrats in state legislatives need to take a good look at their laws and make sure they are not over burdening small businesses with lengthy, unnecessary, and expensive licensing requirements.
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Our Country’s strength, A Growing Middle Class

As mentioned earlier the strength of our country as a whole is dependent upon the strength and size of our middle class.  The more people prosper the better our country is.  This isn’t just a moral objective but an economic objective.  We need to understand that in order to sustain our country’s growth we have to sustain the middle class.

I have already shown and few could argue that we have a serious problem with a shrinking middle class.  The income gap is growing as the historical facts have shown us. Our previous chapters have given a good understanding as to what’s been going on. Now let’s connect the dots………..
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The Stalled Economy’s Biggest Hurdle…Our Politicians.

There is still high unemployment and a looming debt that is still growing.  While these problems need to be addressed, relatively nothing of any significance has been done recently because of our politicians.  The ones who are supposed to be fixing our problems can’t do anything because of their politics……
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Where’s the Job Creators?

In March of 2012 the Federal Reserve estimated that American non-financial companies had 1.7 trillion dollars in domestic liquid assets. A more recent study by David Cay Johnston, who looked at IRS figures from 2009, gives a much different figure. The numbers Johnston compiled from the IRS enabled him to see all cash reserves for American companies held worldwide.  Johnston’s total estimate for cash held by U.S. companies in 2009 was 5.1 trillion dollars.  5.1 trillion!

You may say to yourself, “So what if companies are holding some cash in reserve?” Well, “some” cash is one thing.  5.1 trillion dollars of cash is another story.  Let’s put five trillion dollars into perspective…..
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Education, Education, Education!

Another big problem facing our country and our economic future is our decline in education at all levels.  This is an issue that should concern all of us, those with and without children.  It is not just a problem for our children but our whole economy, country and future.

The facts are that America’s grades at all levels, when compared to those of other countries have been slipping significantly. Out of the OECD countries (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development), the United States ranked 17th in reading and didn’t even make the top 20 in both Math and Science. Why is this a big problem?  Because in today’s global economy American workers and workers from around the globe are all competing for the same jobs……..
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 Fiscal Conservatives? Then Pay Our Debts!

In order to get our future yearly deficits under control we need to cut spending in the things we don’t need and that are wasteful. But we still have to pay for the things we do want and need.  The question now is who’s going to pay for the things we’ve already bought? Our children or us?……..

…..We constantly hear our politicians using the phrase “kick the can down the road”.  Republicans have used this phrase as an argument to cut future spending. They say that if we continue to rack up deficits it will fall on our kids to pay. I agree that if we don’t make cuts we will continue to add to our debt. But even the Republican idea to only cut future spending is still kicking the can down the road.  It means that future generations will still have to pay for our past debts, not by paying more taxes but by receiving fewer services in the future. The only way to not “kick the can down the road” is to get the people of today to pay for the debts we have accrued. Anything short of raising taxes today or even retroactively raising taxes over past years, would still be a form of “kicking the can down the road”……….
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 Social Security & Medicare, as it relates to Deficits

Social Security and Medicare are paid for with separate payroll taxes not federal income taxes.  Not only have separate payroll taxes been used to fully pay for all Social Security and Medicare spending, there is even a surplus of 3.5 trillion dollars.  These programs have taken in 3.5 trillion dollars more over the years then it has spent.  What happens is these payroll taxes go into the Social Security Trust Fund? The excess money not spent has been given back to the government in the form of bonds, to help pay for other government expenses. Over the years the government has used our payroll taxes intended for Social Security and Medicare on other things.  Don’t worry, the government is supposed to pay back these bonds.

This shows that past and current fiscal problems are not due to Social Security and Medicare……..
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Facing the Facts on Social Security & Medicare

While I have just opposed Social Security and Medicare cuts as a path for today’s debt reduction, we still cannot deny that the future of Social Security and Medicare themselves are in trouble. These programs have done remarkably well. They have funded themselves and served its intended function of providing a safety net for those in retirement over the past 70 years. At current levels it is estimated that they can still sustain themselves until 2033 for Social Security and 2024 for Medicaid. These deadlines are quick to come upon us, and something needs to be done before these programs start contributing to our debt as well.

There are a few factors threatening the continued path of these programs.  The first and biggest problem is not the fault of any politician or party; it is demographics……..
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Separation of Merch and State

We in the United States however have a free press.  It is believed that one requirement for a functioning democracy is where the public could be informed with information and opinions free of government censorship or control.  This is why many have referred to the press as an unofficial fourth branch of government. This fourth branch keeps a check over the other three branches of government by giving people factual, uncensored information, empowering the people to make informed voting decisions concerning their government.

But over the years our information has started to become controlled; not by the government but by money………..
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Obamas Policies (Failed?)

For the first time in history we have seen a truly global economic recession.  In this modern world of globalization, what happens in one country or region now more than ever significantly affects other countries and regions.  While the United States has had its recession, so has Europe and Asia experienced their own economic slow downs.  Even though the U.S. is still facing hard times and unemployment above 8%, we are faring much better than our European counterparts. The only counties that grew faster at the beginning of 2012 were China, India, Japan, Australia and Canada…..
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Our Tax Dollars at Work.  Things We Did Together.

NASA: Our space exploration program.  As I am writing this, CNN is showing the space shuttle Discovery being retired to the Smithsonian museum.  This is the last of the space shuttles being grounded forever.  NASA and its space program has been one of the great American achievements that was only made possible due to a collective initiative by our country and our collective tax dollars.  But NASA didn’t only fly big machines into space.
Over the years, research and development that went into the space program spawned many other innovations that most of us don’t readily know about. NASA has thousands of technological patents that are used extensively by today’s private companies…….
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Military Aren’t the Only Ones Protecting Us

While the military protects us from foreign threats, we have the FDA, the FAA, the CDC, the EPA, and FEMA, all of which are federally funded programs designed to protect our safety and security. This is just a short list of government organizations designed to protect us; there are many others as well.

Today, we hear strong rhetoric by Republicans who claim the only thing these organizations do is hamper business growth, unnecessary, and hence should be cut. While each of these programs may have some of their own shortcomings, they were each set up to oversee and tackle real problems that occurred in the past. This means there were other real threats that our government saw a need to protect against……….
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Deficiencies in Efficiency

One final point to address is the argument or belief made by those on the right who say “private enterprise does it better” or that private industry can provide services more efficiently. This belief is one of the arguments used by the Republican Party to support the idea of turning government functions over to private industry to handle. My question is; who says private industry is more efficient? Where’s the proof?……….
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