~~What to Do, What to Do? When the Administration of this Country becomes self determining it is time for serious change.
THE ISSUE IS COMPLEX AND THERE ARE NO EASY ANSWERS
Not everyone agrees. How deep into our lives do we want the Federal Government to penetrate? Are we already past the point of no return? And even if we all agreed that significant changes must occur, what on Earth would we do, where would we start, and on what fundamental basis would we build the new structures of Government.
That was a trick question. We already have a Constitution, A Declaration of Independence, and a Bill of Rights. We already have a House of Representatives, A Senate, an Executive Branch and a Supreme Court. Each State has its own structure and has all of the power to govern itself that is not specifically assigned to the Federal Government.
So where does the infringement of our liberty come from? What form does it take? Is it serious?
Yes it is serious, it comes slowly with ernest rhetoric of help, guidance and "fair share", and soon you are embraced by the arms of an octopus that cannot be unwrapped. It is not lost on anyone that the IRS has demonstrated a complete failure to regulate itself. It is not lost on anyone that the Administration, during an election cycle, manipulated the situation or misinformed the public about the loss of lives in Lybia. It is not lost on anyone that the new facilities to store surveillance data is only the beginning foray into our private lives. There are several concerns of a very serious nature that are imbedded in these invasions and that are visible in other areas if we but open our eyes to see and understand.
Obama-Care is law. The fact the the IRS was named to control and manage the taxes and fines associated with this law , after the recently revealed behavior of the IRS, is at the very least, scary. That bureaucrats will be managing and overseeing our Health System is not only scary but really wrong in so many ways. Our Tax system can be manipulated at will, it is opaque to everyone as is spending, and it does not serve the interests of the people of this country. Everyone knows this. The administration of this country, the size and power of these administrative entities, overwhelms the best minds on how to dismantle and disarm these agencies.
We will try to tackle this nightmare in as coherent a way that we can, but the processes cannot be without some pain. The real question will be, do we have the stomach for serious change: to again follow the vision of the framers of this great country, to increase transparency in government, to whittle down the Bureaucracies, to tax and spend within our limits, and to honor Equal Opportunity not Equal Outcomes. To honor the pursuit of Happiness not happiness. To protect life and liberty.
When our President declares that part of the Affordable Care Act need not be implemented in 2014 but can be put off till 2015 (after the elections) that is an example of massive over reach of the Executive Branch. The Program has been signed into law and just because its implementation will cause embarassment or serious difficulties during an election cycle this does not give the Executive Branch Carte Blanc to change their mind and correct only that part of the mistake that will cause discomfort to the Democrats. The media needs to step up to the plate and not let this over reach go unchallenged. Can the House and Senate do the same?
Yup, you guessed it, this will be about Life in the Surveillance Lane. or, put another way "We are trading security for Constitutional Freedom". And it is a false sense of Security. But, it is not just eavesdropping. It is a total invasion of the Federal Government into every aspect of our lives. Now an invasion sounds like attacking, like a battle with some people on that side and some people on this side duking it out over something important to each side. A battle or invasion also implies both sides know what they are fighting for or against. Regretfully this does not seem to be the case. Regretfully the invasion comes without fanfare, without the noise of warfare, but slides in under the radar. Stuff is happening and only a few are paying attention. What makes it more complicated and very difficult to address is there are facets of the invasion that seem to be good as well as bad. Note I said seems to be.
A few Complicating Factors
The size and complexity of the Agencies and Administrative arms of this Government. The overwhelming numbers of people supported by Social Security and Medicare and soon to be The Affordable Care Act. The real costs of our future commitment to these programs (in the Trillions of Dollars). The real penetration of the Administrative Arms of the Government into every facet of our lives.
Yes we live in a diluted Democracy that our Founding Fathers envisioned and tried to protect us from. It is a loss of our independence and civil liberties through the deep and complex penetration of the Administrative State. Regulations, Entitlements, and complexity where fines and enforcement are imbedded in our daily lives. We do what we are told and we follow the rules, even those we have no knowledge of until we have broken them.
The economic climate that is close to dire for many people who now have no choice but to depend on the Federal Government for Aid.
The aging population that cannot afford the cost of medical care in the last years of their lives.
The warping of the free market as the government intervenes in the name of helping out: Student Loans at low interest impossible to pay back with few jobs and no incentive for the educational institutions to lower tuition and become more competitive; Subsidies of many different kinds (oil, technology, food, agriculture, transportation, International Trade, and probably a host of others), the forcing of fuel distributors to incorporate bio fuels and the thousands of regulations that direct traffic in Finance, Health Care. Education, Construction, Transportation, food, waste treatment, housing, plumbing, electrical, lumber,.........).
The real problem in addressing the size and extent of the Federal Government is how do you reduce or eliminate the agencies that run this country and how do you stop the two branches of government from creating new ones.
A Starting Point, A Real Beginning
General Protection. The protection of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights to insure our Freedoms and our Democracy.
What do we want from the Federal Government? Let's consider for a minute some of the issues we face or could face that we as individuals do not have the resources or time to deal with on our own.
Crime and Punishment. Whether white collar, theft, armed or unarmed burglary. Whether drug selling at our schools or on the streets. Human trafficking for prostitution, illegal entry with forced labor. Protection payments. Gangs. Corporate manipulation of the Free Market. Personal threats, abuse, killings, arson. All threats of violence where one party wants what we have and has the will and means to take it by force against our will.
Foreign Threats. War, Terrorism, Stealing, Disruption of services, Pirates on the open seas, Treaty Violations, Sabotage, Assassinations.
Corporate Excesses and Violations. Fair Wages, Pollution, Monopolies, Product Safety, Environmental Disasters, illegal immigrants, sweat shops, Product Integrity, Eco System mismanagement.
Disaster Recovery. Storms, Floods, Tornadoes, Forest Fires, Earthquakes, Volcanos, Disease Control.
Food Chain. Infestations, Agriculture, Aquiculture, Harvesting, storage, distribution, labeling, Quality Control, Disease Control, Genetic Modifications, Species Integrity.
Special Programs (Health, Unemployment, Retirement, Subsidies). Many in old age or of any age cannot afford their health care costs, Retirement savings are not always there, unemployment can destroy a families finances, subsidies are meant to assist areas of the economy that need help (Farming, education, exploration, research, individuals in trouble (welfare and food stamps).
Some Generalized Changes (Must do as part of overall change and reduction of Centralized Government)
* Place Controls on all give away programs, bailouts, subsidies, foreign assistance. welfare/child support, food stamps, loans.
Note: Phase down the amount of money given to welfare recipients for each child. Place a limit on the number of children supported. Food stamps are for food and essential supplies. Stop the sourcing of bio fuels from food sources specifically corn and other grains. Phase out the student loan program as this seriously dampens the educational institutions need to become competitive and reduce costs. All loans and bailouts must have strict requirements (no bonuses, reduction of compensation, all compensations contracts are suspended until the loan is paid off). Revisit everyone on food stamps and upgrade the requirements for receiving them. Revisit all farm subsidies and phase them out.
The objective of these changes is to reduce or eliminate Federal responsibility for managing food, fuel, people in need, higher education, foreign subsidies and give aways, and to force well thought out management of spending.
* Revamp the Legislature: All local legislation must be financed. No National Bill can include State specific projects. All Representatives must sign off that they have read and understood the legislation they are voting on. No National Legislation can include any representative sponsored additions not directly related to the specifics of the primary bill.
* Term Limits: Two terms only or no more than twelve years in office.
* IRS and the Tax System. The Progressive tax system is broken. To get control of spending we need a fixed tax. Sales, consumption, flat. Everyone knows this. Set up a bipartisan committee to put the plan together to make this happen within 2 years.
* No Unions for Federal employees it is a conflict of interest.
* All legislation must apply equally to all citizens and all representatives of those citizens and all government employees and sub-contractors. In other words there are no exceptions. All special exemptions such as Obama Care, Social Security, laws and legislation are no longer permitted. All legislation applies to everyone, all rules apply to everyone, all regulations apply to everyone.
Note: Based on the recent comment by President Obama "Phoney Scandals" and the inability of The House of Representatives to complete their investigations in a timely manner it is time for change. When those that are being investigated can thumb their noses at Congress, stall and lie without consequence, it is time for change. By a 50% vote the legal arm of the system should be invoked with the power to apply criminal charges against those who would obstruct investigations into wrong doing. Question? Does the Constitution itself offer a peaceful way out, a way to stop the flood of centralized control and regulations. For it is these regulations, thousands of pages of them, that have a strangle hold on our society, our economy, and our liberties. Are regulations needed? Yes. But, when the Administrative arm of the Government completely over shadows, even smothers, the legislative arm of the government we become imprisoned in a complex web of regulations that are almost impossible to unweave, escape, or even in many cases to understand.
Article V provides the people and the states an avenue to propose, submit and pass amendments that shall be valid to all intents and purposes as part of this Constitution. Whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary the Congress shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposed amendments. Ratification will be by the legislatures of three fourths of the states or by conventions in three fourths of the states.
In other words not only Congress but the states can assemble and propose and pass amendments to the Constitution. While getting that many to agree may be a daunting task we the people are not held hostage by any arm of the government. When Congress, the Judicial Branch or the Executive Branch fail the people this avenue is open and can be acted upon. It would be in all our interests to begin reminding our state Legislatures that they have the power to change what needs changing. All that is needed is the will.
Rhetoric over Substance
Selling ObamaCare. First of all I am not happy with the spending of millions of dollars to sell to the public something that is so large, so cumbersome, so filled with excess, so complex and so wrong for the American people. Nancy P. should be fired for her comment that "we have to pass this bill to find out what is in it". So now we are learning and it appears that it is both a nightmare and a disaster. THIS IS AN INSURANCE BILL NOT A HEALTH CARE REFORM BILL! We did not need thousands of pages to fix some of the issues that needed to be resolved.
The List: All policies are valid in all states and can be migrated. The insurance company not the employer is responsible for this migration. Preexisting conditions. If you have to change insurance companies the new company cannot pretend you have a preexisting condition. There is normal insurance and Catastrophic insurance. One helps pay for the other. All young people get a lower rate (pick an age or age range).
The New Insurance (my example)
My Company has moved from Group Policies to individual private policies. I am in Texas and have signed up through an exchange for my and my wife's health insurance. We chose to both go with blue Cross Blue Shield. We had to ;listen to a 4 min recording that effectively told us that our privacy for any data submitted was not to be expected. Before we could continue we had to acknowledge and agree to this lack of privacy. While my policy was equal to what I had last year through Aetna my cost (premiums) went up 400% (without a prescription Drug plan).
Despite the promises by Democrats and our President the following is a real issue for me:
* The ACA (Affordable Care Act) Does nothing to reform our medical system. It does de-incentivise doctors by determining what they can charge for their services. It is obvious from my example that the cost of my insurance has gone up by a considerable amount. Doctors are already refusing NEW Medicare patients. I am convinced this will only get worse.
* all records must be digital and available by another doctor or hospital. This stops duplicate testing and procedures and may save lives.
* Forcing an agreement on lack of privacy is a deep concern. Governments are not to be trusted. Our leaders promises are empty and should be treated that way.
* The scary arm of the Government (IRS) must not be allowed to enforce ObamaCare (taxes and fines).
* The current fines (year 1) will only increase in year 2 and 3 and further especially if the young cannot sign up (lack of jobs, lower pay, personal choice).
* It must be remembered by all that the (welfare, Nanny, Big Brother) Government model has never worked in the past and will not work in the future. The Federal Government is there to protect us not to enslave us with taxes, fines, regulations, and administrative overload. Do not confuse our Democratic System with its checks and balances, its freedoms and responsibilities, with our Capitalistic Economic System. Our current leadership believes that The Government can solve our problems. This is false. The more the Government gets involved (Fixing things) the worse everything gets. Take a minute to digest the hundreds of millions of dollars that the President has spent on the development and marketing of the ACA, the money spent to investigate its failure and the money yet to be spent to fix it, run it and enforce it. The Government WASTES Money, it never conserves it. It has an unending supply of money: Your hard work and the money you have earned (your pockets), or the money borrowed from our children and their children. Seventeen trillion and counting. Please think about this number. It is impossible to run this country if this number continues to grow at the current pace. Seventeen Trillion. That is +- $2,400 for every man, woman and child on this planet, all 7 billion of us. Approximately half of that number exist on far less than that $2,400. Seventeen Trillion (and growing) is a very dangerous debt load.
In 2014 and again in 2016 we all have the opportunity to reassess who we want working for us and who we want managing this country. It is a choice, a choice each of us must make. I can only suggest that each of us is choosing who we want running things...Is it not time to change who represents us, who spends our hard earned money and on what they spend it on?