Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Open Letter / Questions to the Tea Party

The Tea Party and it’s bastard cousin the Tea Party Express (which is the highly funded corporate version) have rallies and cry about the spending in America. Unlike a lot of people who mock and make fun of them I have attended two rallies and will ask here what I asked the people at the rallies - since they couldn’t/wouldn’t answer.

1. Where were you from 2001-2008 when a record surplus was turned into a record deficit? If you really cared about the debt there is absolutely no defense for defending the Bush Tax cuts which take trillions away from the Government to pay bills. What is more important that extra couple dollars in your bank account or your kids future? Why not protest the defense spending increase, Medicare Part D, Oil Company handouts, Wall Street bailouts?

2. Why can you support Paul Ryan and Eric Cantor? These 2 men along with many other republicans passed votes that added trillions to the debt including Tax Cuts, Medicare Part D, Auto Bailouts, Bank Bailouts, War Spending and both voted to increase the national debt multiple times without spending cuts. Neither man cared about spending when republicans where in power and they supported the massive expansion of the Government at the time.

3. How can you like Ronald Reagan while not liking Bill Clinton? When Clinton left office we where on a path to pay off the national debt in 20 years, he reformed welfare and for the first time in a long time the government was taking in more money then it was spending. Millions and millions of public sector jobs where created and everyone was doing better. Under Reagan he spent twice as much as all the presidents before him combined and had a massive expansion of government jobs and the military which helped make his unemployment numbers look better.

4. What spending will you cut? Everyone I talked to said they didn’t want their Medicare or Social Security cut, they didn’t want their taxes raised and they thought we should spend more on military defense. If all that is off limits and you cut everything else completely we would still be adding to the national debt.

It’s easy to blame President Obama on the spending but the facts prove that is a lie. Since he took office he has only increased the spending by 300 billion dollars a year over President Bush’s last budget. When Obama took office the country was spending 3.5 trillion dollars a year and this year we are spending 3.8 trillion. Yes I blame Obama for the 300 billion dollar increase but it is a small drop in the bucket and is a slower growth then most presidents. To blame President Obama for the whole debt spending each year you are either lying and know it or you are really uniformed and just believe what Fox News tells you.

Yes the spending is out of control and needs to be reigned in but you can gut all spending but if you refuse to raise taxes or stop expanding the military we will continue to run debt. If Mitt Romney win in 2012 he will still have to pay for all the government programs and his budget while gutting social safety nets will still run trillion dollar debt for years.

If you think republicans are better at running things just look at the state level where 9 out of the 10 poorest states are heavily republican states who have been using austerity measures like they want to at the federal level. At the same rate 9 of the 10 lowest scoring school systems are also in republican run states again showing what they plan would do to the nation. The debt when Reagan took office was 700 billion, since Reaganomics republicans have had the white house for 20 of the 30 years and the debt is now at 15 trillion. Facts are a funny thing and that’s why they are often ignored by both parties.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Brilliance Behind the Republican Party

Since Ronald Reagan the face of the republican party has always been that of down to home bumbling idiots or know nothings. Since Reagan we have had George Bush, Sarah Palin, Allen West and other republicans put in the spotlight reinforcing this stereotype. While the public face of the republican party has been that of know nothings it has all been a ruse to hide their true intentions and disastrous policies.

Ronald Reagan was the original guinea pig, his foreign policy was the worst of any president in the last 30 years, mainly because the puppets pulling his strings where the men and women of wall street. They used the threat of the cold war and protecting America from a fake threat to build up the military to record levels, while Americans where distracted with the threat of the Soviets and our need for a strong defense it was behind the scenes that the party was working to dismantle regulations, give huge handouts to the wealthiest companies and decimate the middle class. It was these policies that went unnoticed even as taxes where being raised on middle class families and the American dream was under attack.

While Reagan was the test run it was under President George W. Bush in 2001 that the foundation was laid to decimate the middle class and safety nets at the expense of the rich and powerful puppeteers. After September 11th 2001 it was all out war with only one side fighting it was over before it started. The middle class had been defeated and the ruling class had become permanent, the whole time they acted and still do like any American can make it and become one of the rich ruling class even though few if any ever will. Unlike the previous puppet president this time both the military industrial complex and the wall street corporate crowd started pulling the strings and running the country.

After September 11th 2001 the military was used to invade Afghanistan, there is reason for and against this war and it was the start of people getting rich off the lives of young men and women sent in to die for this country. When not enough money could be made out of Afghanistan the decision was made to invade Iraq, this stretched our military thin and would require the use of private armies like Halliburton or KBR. Now instead of paying soldiers to do simple tasks we where paying private contractors 10 to 100 times as much to do the jobs that our military used to do. People have always gotten rich off of war but until this time it had never been so obvious.

With most Americans panicked after the attacks it was the perfect time to finish off regulations, Wall Street was allowed to run wild, corporations wrote their own environmental laws and the government was used to squash any real competition. The Casino industry saw online gambling and online poker as a threat to their profits so the republican party made it illegal to fund any online poker sites, did they pass this bill so Americans would know and could voice their opinions? NO they attached it to a military spending bill so that if anyone voted against it they could claim “you don’t support our troops” and with Americans terrified no one wanted that label.

Then came the two most insidious bills ever passed, while both seemed good at the time and where promoted as helping the working man the idea behind them was not that simple. First the republican party passed regulations on the post office that they had to fund the pensions for the next 75 years, they had to fund it for employees who where not even born yet and while they touted this a great legislation the post office is the only company in America who has these regulations. Did they do this to help the postal workers or seniors who retired? Again no they did it to dismantle the post office. The post office had been making a profit and was fully self sufficient, this regulation decimated the profits and put them in debt. Now that they are in debt the republicans are crying the post office is an example of why the Government can not run a business and trying to gut it by closing doors and dropping weekend delivery, laying off thousand of workers and cutting the benefits of others.

While what they did to the post office was bad what they did to seniors was pure evil, they allowed the drug companies to write a prescription plan for Medicare that would allow seniors to get medicine. The only catch was that Medicare could not negotiate prices with the drug companies or buy in bulk like they do in other countries to save money, and they left a huge hole that cost seniors thousands each year. This was done to “help” seniors but like everything they did the last 10 years it was not paid for and added a 7 trillion dollar strain on the program and the national debt. If you don’t agree with Medicare it was a brilliant plan, strain it to the point it breaks then say the government can not run healthcare. This is allowing the republican party to try and destroy the program for seniors and gives them an argument against universal healthcare. They knew when they passed it that it would put a strain on and break the back of the Medicare program and that’s what it did, now they can blame it on everyone else and hope no one looks behind the curtain to see who is pulling the strings.

Since Democrats took over Washington the puppeteers have moved to the state level and are using Governors like Scott Walker as their puppets to pass their radical agendas, if Mitt Romney takes the white house in 2012 we can expect them to move back up to the national level and we will see more of the same from the right wing puppet president including Tax Cuts, deregulation, wars and the end of Social Security and Medicare and if people start to question what is going on we will have a national security issue to distract us from the truth or will invade Iran or another country.

The most ingenious thing the people in power did was run up huge debt so when they lost control they could rally their base that we “can not afford it”. Because of the debt spending that needs to be paid for Iraq, Afghanistan wars, tax cuts, Medicare Part D and other programs passed under Republican they say we no longer have the money and have to gut welfare programs to help the poorest citizens. These plans where true evil genius and they way the executed was to perfection. They distracted America with bumbling idiots while the real power worked behind the scenes and until people wake up and look behind the curtain these people will continue to pull the strings and destroy America as we know it..

Monday, May 7, 2012

Simple Fixes for Social Security and Medicare

I keep hearing republicans crying that social security and Medicare must be fixed and the only solution is the public sector. Their plans will turn social security over to Wall Street and Medicare over to insurance companies. If the Market collapses like it did in 2008 Social Security will be wiped out and their plan for Medicare will bankrupt most seniors as it will add thousand to their health care costs out of pocket. What republicans refuse to mention is the strain on Medicare, like the strain on the post office is 100% their fault, they passed a drug program without paying for it adding billions of dollars to an already strained system. A cynical person would say they didn’t pass this program to help seniors but passed it as a handout to drug companies and knowing it would break Medicare and they could then cry bankrupt and do away with the program (just like they are doing right now).

The first and easiest solution is the FICA tax, right now people only pay taxes on the first 106,800 dollars they make so the max they will pay is 4,485 dollars in FICA Tax. If they make 110,000 dollars or 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 dollars they will pay the same 4,485 dollars in social security and Medicare tax.

Most working Americans currently pay 4.2% in FICA Tax which is still low and should be raised back up to at least 6%. While someone making 100K dollars pays the 4.2% of their income someone making 10 million dollars only pay .05% of their income in FICA tax far less then the average American pays. It’s time to lift the cap on this tax make everyone pay 4.2% on every dollar they earn. This would be a great first step and bring in more money to the government and extend the life of these two great programs.

Second step is to raise the retirement age of seniors, allow them to start receiving Medicare at 62 but raise the age where they can receive full Social Security slowly till the people who are currently in their 20’s or 30’s won’t be able to retire until they are 68. After raising the retirement age they can begin means testing for benefits. If you are working and making over 200K a year or if you have over 5 million dollars in assets you should not receive any retirement payments.

The simplest solution to Medicare we will not see in our lifetime and that is to switch over to a universal healthcare system. This would add millions of healthy people to the system and instead of just having the sick, disabled and elderly on the system. This will immediately drop the price of medical procedures, hospital trips and lower the cost of healthcare in America. The hospitals will no longer have to pass on the bills of uninsured people to the ones lucky enough to have insurance.

If everyone has the ability to see a doctor when they are feeling ill then things like Cancer or Diabetes can be caught early and managed or cured instead of people waiting till it’s to late and needing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of medical care that could have been prevented. Facts show that companies with universal healthcare have a more efficient system, better service and it takes less money then we are spending now just to cover a fraction of the population.

These solution are simple and easy but will never get done as long as we allow insurance companies to write health care laws and to bribe politicians for their votes or rich people who own a whole political party which writes the rules and allows them to get away with paying a smaller percentage of taxes then middle class Americans. So until there are term limits that will allow politicians do what’s right for American not what’s right for their reelection or public financed elections nothing will change.