Sunday, May 7, 2017

What issue do you car about the most?

Everyone has their own priorities and most of us only have the time, money and energy to fight for a few, especially after taking care of our own lives and perhaps families.
So what are your top issues? Health Care, Environment, the economy, jobs, wages, national security, civil rights, First Amendment, Gun Control? References The US Constitution
In Alphabetical order the main ones I hear people talking about....

Civil Rights

Our Founding Fathers felt this was a vital issue and put in place a lot of specific protections. Freedom of religion, speech and the press. Right now our pres is under attack and open and public derision by the government, threats have been made to them and to our right to Free Speech. Below are excerpts from the Bill of Rights.
  • Article the third... Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
  • Article the fourth... A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
  • Article the sixth... The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
  • Article the seventh... No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
  • Article the tenth... Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
  • Article the eleventh... The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
  • Amendment XIV, Section 1 All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
  • And you might want to read the Declaration of Independence.

Climate Change

The overwhelming majority of scientists agree and frankly if your old enough or just look at records you can see for yourself that the world is warming. Melting icecaps and rising sea levels will have the largest impact on coastal regions but higher temperatures supply more energy for severe storms and we have seen more suffering and destruction from those already. The Republican party has proposed to remove the EPA on Dec 2018 and President Trump has proposed to cut funding, rolled back regulations and taken down information from the EPA website as well as issuing them gag orders. He even tried to prohibit them from talking to Congress. The main justification for allowing this to continue is that it will be bad for large business and the economy as it hurts Automotive, Oil, Gas and Coal industries. You can abide by that oversimplification and choose the Environment and your kids or those industries.  However we can strive for renewable energy and simply change the nature of those industries and jobs. Transforming and innovating could make us world leaders in new technology which would boost the economy while still allowing those industries to sell to other countries.  This group has some good ideas and an actual plan on the subject.
Another item is the Paris Accords, we already are ahead of the game here so backing out just hands over the credit and leadership position to other countries.


The GDP and overall productivity of America has gone up year over year (generally in terms of actual dollars) and this chart shows actual numbers in dollars, percentage and major events.
As you can see major tax cuts, recessions and banking or S&L failures led to drops. Deregulation led to gains though caused later losses such as the banking bailout due to excessive bad loans and investments. It is my position that we need to regulate Banks and other industries to keep them from defrauding their customers and needing another big bailout. Wage increases have been shown to increase consumer spending.  Infrastructure spending will increase growth, though I think it would only be short term so I oppose that if it also increases the debt. Trickle Down Economics has proved to be a failure and I oppose that.


Section 8 of the Constitution address this in part "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;" so apparently they thought Science and the Liberal Arts were important to a great country. 
The Department of Education was founded in 1979 by Jimmy Carter so getting rid of it is a predictable Republican goal. Personally I think the concept is good but the execution was poor and more authority should be left to the States and local communities. A good education is important to individual liberties and the pursuit of happiness and makes for more productive workers which benefits the overall economy.  How we achieve this is a good debate. Progressives want free college tuition, and Republicans want more private and charter schools, deregulate education so schools are not held to any standards or accountability.  Recently they even talked about restricting the GI bill for veterans.  You do not have to side with either extreme, for example I feel that the Department of Education should be a watchdog and reporting agency so we can see how well the schools are actually doing and make informed choices.

Government Reform

Our Founding Fathers were very concerned about this issue.  A Free Press and states being able to convene for constitutional amendments were considered vital to keeping government honest and working for the people.  I feel this is also a part of why they wanted a well regulated militia.
  • Section 9 "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 II, Section 1 "The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation, which shall neither be encreased nor diminished during the Period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them."
  • Article II, Section 4 "The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors."
To me the biggest thing we can do to reform the government is get money out of politics. WolfPac is working on this, though they are opposed by Common Cause and of course politicians.

Health Care

The right to life is in the declaration of Independence and Health Care is probably the most talked about thing in politics.  President Trump even said Australia's system is better than our system. So apparently he favors universal health care or Medicare for all, which would be the only way to live up to the promises he made during the campaign.  The idea here is to take the insurance companies out of the equation and go with a single payer system.  So we see the same doctors but instead of fighting with insurance to pay we use government systems.  This would raise taxes, though that would be offset by no longer paying insurance premiums.  However some oppose it because they think insurance companies are better than the government and feel health care should be an individual thing you earn by having a good job, not a right.

Job Growth

I think everyone wants to see strong job growth, the trouble is people cant agree on how to make it happen. Republicans say that giving larger tax breaks to the wealthy and corporations will work. Progressives are for raising the minimum wage and improving education. Democrats want more infrastructure spending.  I lean towards the Progressive side.  History shows raising the minimum wage promotes consumer spending and businesses sell more stuff. History also shows the tax breaks just lead to more stock buy back, dividends and executive pay raises not new jobs. Infrastructure spending does create new jobs but there short  term. What we really need are new jobs and new industries.  Automation is decreasing jobs in many industries and it will only get worse over time. Eventually all the mining and manufacturing jobs will just be machine operators and a lot less of them.  Senator Sanders is the only politician I have ever heard even talking about that issue but if you work in those fields you have seen it happen and increasing.  We need to invest in new industries or else all of America will suffer.

National Security

We need a strong military.  However most of our spending is not on people but expensive systems and even more expensive maintenance programs. We outspend more than any other country by a significant amount.  Do we really need to spend so much? Cut $200 billion from the budget and we still outspend China by $226 billion, almost double what they spend!  Russia comes in at a 'mere' $44.6 billion.  Imagine how wonderful things would be if we spent that money on America! We could invest in Clean Energy  to insure our energy independence and not worry about the Middle East, Medicare for all, and invest in new infrastructure and technology.  We would be safer, more popular with tourist income (new jobs), live better lives (Cheaper energy and health care, better infrastructure) and who knows what kinds of benefits we would see with new technology.  Remember no other country can take over America, especially if we keep our own guns and a strong navy and Air Force to defend our shores and foreign interests.  NATO was founded in part because of our desire to prevent another world war and if one did happen it would happen in other countries not ours. Our Military industries already sell to foreign countries so they wont suffer unduly and they are positioned for moving into many of the higher tech industries.


No one really wants polluted air and water so why is this even an issue?
The answer of course is that some business think it would hurt their bottom line.  It certainly does cost more to not pollute, though many companies are actually for reducing pollution and improving fuel economy.


Republicans want to cut taxes for the wealthy and corporations, Democrats want them to pay more.
If you feel that wealthy people should pay lower taxes than middle class fine.  If you feel that corporations should be taxed less ok as well.  Just be clear on the results and expectations and dont fall for the lies.  Trickle Down Economics have been proven to fail so lowering these taxes will not improve job growth.

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