Monthly Archives: April 2014

Solving the country’s problems…

So, I’ve been following some interesting discussions on Facebook lately – about health insurance, about the benefits of being poor, etc. It got me to thinking. If I were the benevolent dictator, how would I solve the most pressing problems?
Hmmmm.
Well, first I would raise taxes. Yep, that’s right. Raise taxes. Everybody would pay, rich, poor, profit, non-profit alike. Flat rate fees. Say, 25% until you make over 75 Thousand, and 50% after that. Or maybe 50% for everyone. I can hear the screams now. Just wait. Hear me out.
No tax credits for anything. A personal deduction. Deduction for charitable giving. Real Business expenses, of course, for businesses. That is it. No farm credits, no subsidies…
Now, what do we get for that excessive tax rate?

Everybody, rich, poor, whatever, gets a SNAP card. With the same base amount on it. Everything equal. Say, $100/month/person in the family. That should be enough to cover basic nutrition. And, of course, anyone with a snap card is eligible, should they choose, for surplus food.

Everybody gets the same base health insurance. Each state should have a state insurance plan for everyone. If you are wealthy, and you want to buy your own, go for it. You are free to do that. And the state will pay the amount of your insurance fees that it would have paid if you had stayed on the state insurance. You would pay whatever was above that.

State school system? Free. Trade school, 2 year, 4 year – Free. If you want to go to a private school, the state will give you a grant equivalent to what the state school would have received for your attendance. If the private school costs more than that, you have to figure it out on your own, because no more Pell grants or student loans. Whatever the private schools want to offer is great. Corporate grants? Awesome. Nothing, other than that base amount, from the government.

Housing? Everybody gets the same housing allowance, also. Rich, poor, the same for the area you live in. Yes, this will be different from state to state, and even from city to city, because, let’s face it, it costs more to live in Silicon Valley than it does in Ramona, and more to live in DC than in Montana. What you do with it depends on you, and your circumstances. Rent, mortgage, stash it away and save – depends on you.

So, what does that do? It puts everybody on an even footing. The rich are still richer than anyone else. But they can’t complain that the poor are living off of the wealthy, because they are getting the same amount that the poor are. The poor can’t complain about the 1%, because they are getting the same amount that the rich are. And hopefully, with decent nutrition, not having to worry about being homeless, and free education, they can break the cycle of poverty that too many are in now.

Now, Drugs? Decriminalize them. Yes, make it an offense to use most of them – but instead of a prison sentence, you get counseling and rehab. On-going counseling.

Spend more money on schools – for more teachers, lower classroom sizes. Emphasis the arts – so many studies show that arts based education lead to higher graduation rates, higher test scores, and more college entrances.

Instead of paying farmers not to grow food, why don’t we pay them to grow food – and then use it to feed the hungry?
If people did not have to worry about their next meal, about a roof over their heads, if they had educational opportunities – how many Rembrants, Leonardos, and Einsteins could we be producing?

OK, there is my idea. What do you think?

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What is important to politicians? What is important to the people?

OK, I don’t often talk about politics on my blog. But I saw something today that I decided I wanted to address.
Mitch McConnell, on his facebook page, posted a statement.

“If I am privileged to lead a Republican Majority in the Senate in 2015 there are many crucial issues that we plan to address. Comment below and tell me what issue is most important to you!”

He had a picture along with this statement of a Blackboard, and on it was the question

“What issue is most important to you?
1. Repealing Obamacare
2. Ending the War on Coal
3. Protecting Life
4. Defending the Second Admendment

Comment and tell me below!”

Now, if any of you want to go to that link and comment on what evidently he feels are the most crucial issues facing the country, that page may be found at https://www.facebook.com/McConnellForSenate/photos/a.454617221227460.101200.259130650776119/717432878279225/?type=1&theater

I read some of the comments. I read several of the comments. I scanned far more than I read. I did not see a single comment (no, I did not read all of them) that was concerned with the four big issues that he had listed. Many comments were addressed at his lack of intelligence, to think that these were the big issues for the country. Many comments were statements of voting to see that he was not in office in 2015. At least one person identified himself as a staunch republican – and said that one of the problems with the republican party was people like Mitch McConnell. Another stated that the last few years had driven her long Republican parents away from the party. Many comments dealt with the far more important issues – jobs, immigration, education…things that McConnell’s list did not touch on.
It is distressing to see that someone who stands a chance at being Senate Majority Leader feels that the most important issue facing the country is to repeal Obamacare. I know that for many people, Obamacare did not work out the way they thought it would. For me, it did. I now have, for the first time in many years, affordable health care insurance.
My own father is a registered Democrat, but he is a non-judgmental, able to see both sides of the issue kind of person, and has always voted for the person he thought would do the best job, regardless of the party they were from. He told me a year or so ago that the last few years of republican politics has pretty much made him determined to not vote for a republican ever again. He said it made him very sad to feel that way, but he had seen so much harm for the country come from the Republicans, that he didn’t see how he could ever vote for one in the future.

I guess this rant is because politicians, from all parties, have been at loggerheads for so much the past several years. They have forgotten who they are supposed to be serving – the American People – and instead are only serving their party platform. In the upcoming elections, let your votes express your feelings about this. Vote for the people that you believe will do the best for America, not just the best for their party.