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Friday, March 1, 2013

Solving America's Problems

      With America's leadership allowing us to flounder from crisis to crisis it is a strong indicator that something is wrong with the system.  The leadership is not leading.  It is working for its better interests and the interests of the lobbies that allow them to get elected.  The interests of the average American are not even considered in their decisions.  As we enter the era of sequestration it is quickly becoming apparent that the needs of the people are not the focus of America's leadership.  As roughly two million people are cast into the unemployment lines I am seeing a side of America I do not like. Those who are making or have made the sacrifices for America are being thrown under the bus.  Furloughs without pay seems to be the catch phrase of the day. Does a furlough exempt people from applying for unemployment benefits.  That is like sticking in the knife and then giving it a twist for extra effect.

      When I was in the military we had a saying, "Your either part of the solution, or part of the problem." There is no middle ground. If you say I do not care, you just took sides and are part of the problem. The whole Federal system needs to be looked at and some real changes need to be made.  While I want America to remain the number one world power. I do believe our military could stand some restructuring to make it more effective and less costly.  What is cut out is the key.  Cutting military pay, retirement benefits and medical care should not even be on the table. Programs for ships, planes, bases and other expenditures should be fair game.  Cutting benefits to military personnel should be considered an act of treason against everything America stands for.  Social Security is in the same category. The people getting it supported the system and paid their dues. Cut Congressional pay.

       The leadership needs look at all expenditures and determine if they are actually working.  The last three Presidents, which includes the current one have admitted experimenting with pot. Our founding fathers Washington and Jefferson both grew marijuana (hemp) as a cash crop.  Somewhere America lost focus of what is important.  Evidently the war on drugs is not working.  Does that mean we end it?.  How about if we change the focus and tax the drugs and grow and manufacture them here. It would beat sending all that money abroad.  Legislating morality does not work.  That was proven with prohibition during the twenties and thirties. When prohibition ended and alcohol was legalized the gangsters went out of business.  The profit motive was gone.  The present method of dealing with the drug problem definitely needs to be looked at.  Incarcerating people with addictions instead of providing treatment is just another sign of the failure drug enforcement. The trend toward legalization needs to be evaluated as one possible step to raising some major money for the government.  All the dollars that are hidden in the present drug system would suddenly be back in the system.  It is estimated twenty percent of the population uses illegal drugs. If those sixty four million Americans are using just six dollars a week you are talking about an expenditure of roughly twenty billion dollars a year nationally.  That is a lot of lost revenue. My guess is that, that number is way under the actual cost.

     A solution that might be more agreeable to the majority of Americans is fixing the tax system.  Eliminating all deductions and exemptions and making a flat and equal tax that applies to every American and every dollar in the economy.  That has to be coupled with eliminating all waste in the government.  Helping the poor and needy is not a waste and is covered in the Constitution in Article 1, Section 8.  It states it is the duty of the government to provide for the welfare of the nation.  There have always been indigents and people who needed help from the system.  The problem today is that there is a attitude of resentment towards anyone who gets anything without working for it.  The Christian values of sharing are being tested from both sides. There is a segment of society that wants to live off the system.  A balance and a way of means testing needs to be established.  Testing for drug use is controversial.  It is not discriminatory, it simply eliminates those who have poor priorities from being a burden on the working class.  People who want to do drugs need to be self sufficient.  The present system actually generates more dysfunction in the system as drug users steal to support the high cost of their habits.

     The medical system needs a complete overhaul.  It is clear that down the road the present system is not a sustainable system. Every American should be able to get medical care.  It should not be a choice between eating and taking your medicines. The insurance system needs to be completely restructured.  The present system of deductibles is ludicrous. They charge you for insurance and then force you(in the form of co-pays) to pay to get the service they are charging you for.  Whoever came up with that piece of insanity should be shot.

    The education system needs to be restructured in America  It needs to produce workers to fill the skilled jobs that are needed.  While the arts are nice, they do not necessarily support the values the country needs supported.  The present system is not cost effective. The quality is falling while the cost is increasing.

     All these problems require leadership. The present leadership is part of the problem in America.  They are not part of the solution.  There are problems that need to be addressed.  The budget needs to be balanced.  To do so will be hard, painful and costly.  Failure to deal with the problems will turn America into the next Rome. The leadership needs to either be part of the solution or get out of the way of those who are willing to take on the job.

    The present cuts over a ten year period are just a drop in the bucket. America needs to come up with to a balanced budget.  That will require cutting or replacing over five trillion dollars in debt.  A plan to live on just 95% of income and spend the remaining 5% towards reducing the debt only works if excessive spending is stopped.  Taking the keys to Air Force One away from the President would be a good start.  His job is in Washington.  Vacations are understandable, but running all over the country while failing to provide ideas to solve Americas problems, means he is part of the problem.  Just as are the members of Congress.

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