Posts Tagged ‘president’

Obama Will Now Protect Us in Cyberspace, Too

May 29, 2009

President Obama can do it all.  He can fix the nation’s economy, bailout banks, prearrange bankruptcies for the automakers, and now he can protect us all from “cyberattacks” and the “epidemic of cybercrime.”  He is going to create a “cyberspace czar” to make sure we are all safe.  I say this is more needless government intervention that will not help anything at all, and will lead to a huge waste in taxpayer dollars.

All you have to do is look at the FDA and SEC.  These are two government agencies that are supposed to protect us who fail miserably.

The FDA is supposed to “keep our food safe” but they are always reacting too late.  With the last peanut salmonella scare, they forced the company in Georgia to issue a recall.  If they were supposed to be monitoring our food, shouldn’t they have caught that?  Only after people got sick did they react, and then it took a long time for them to track it back to the plant in Georgia.  What did they do to protect us?

The same goes for the SEC, who are supposed to protect investors from fraud and unethical business practices.  They had information on Bernie Madoff, that basically outlined the entire ponzi scheme, but they chose to ignore it.  They also were way behind on the Enron case, and definitely were absent when dot com companies were defrauding investors left and right.  What protecting did they do?  They talk tough about regulation and oversight, but then they miss a $64 billion ponzi scheme right under their nose.

Now the “cybersecurity czar” is supposed to protect us?  What a joke.  The last president didn’t even use email but now the White House is up to being able to monitor cybercrime?

First of all, most “cybercrime” is fraud that just happens to use the internet.  Check cashing scams and the “long lost relative in Nigeria” scams could happen anywhere.  Also, phishing schemes rely on user error, not hackers.  Unless the White House monitors every email and every click we make, they will not be able to protect the victims of these crimes.

Also, wouldn’t it make sense to leave this task up to the professionals?  There are multimillion dollar companies like Symantec, McAfee and Norton that already patrol cyberspace.  They keep our computers safe and secure.  They have the best people and are on the leading edge of the field.  What good is the government going to do competing against or marginalizing these companies?

When the government recruits their staff, they will lure workers away from these companies with high salaries, paid for by taxpayers.  This will lead to an artificial rise in the cost of labor because government is distorting the price.  This will only hurt the private companies who need to make money to survive.  Since the government can just keep printing money, they can be allowed to misallocate resources in this manner.

Instead of a czar, we need education so people know to update their computers and their virus software.  If they did not go to the phishing sites or be duped into a scheme, we’d be better off.  By creating the czar, we are saying the problems are too big to be solved and that they are just a fact of life, so we need to regulate them.  This is band-aid government at it’s best and it will just lead to a bigger waste of taxpayer money, and no benefit to society as a whole.

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Are We Really Safer?

May 27, 2009

President Obama and his team have been going back and forth with former VP Dick Cheney on whether or not we are safer as a nation now that Guantanamo Bay has closed and we say, at least, that we will no longer torture.

My answer to this whole debate:  Who cares!

Our safety as a country won’t change at all because we close one prison that holds 240 inmates.  And, our enemies have known for a long time that we torture, so this is nothing new.

The bigger debate should be if we are safer now than we were before we put all of these measures in place after 9/11.  Really, it’s been almost 8 years, and we haven’t gotten too far.  That’s the problem with fighting a war with an ideal.  How do you suppose we actually win a war on “terror?”  It’s the same thing with the new war on greed we have going after all the bailouts.  There is absolutely no way you can win a war on idealology.

I would agree with Ron Paul and others that our actions in the Middle East are actually making the situation worse and making us less safe.  Our intentions there were good, but the blowback is creating more and more people who hate us.  If we drop some bombs on civilians, which we have done numerous times, we are giving hundreds or thousands more people a reason to rise up against us.

There is an easy solution to the problem in the Middle East – Bring our troops home, close our military bases, and stop all foreign aid to Arab nations and Israel.  Let the people of the Middle East rule themselves.

If we are gone, they will have no reason to hate us.  Don’t believe the idea either that they hate “freedom and liberty” and the “American way of life.”  If they hated freedom, why wouldn’t they attack the Netherlands or New Zealand?  What they hate is our foreign policy, our bases in some of the holiest parts of the Muslim world, and our unwavering support for Israel.

Instead of actually getting into a real discussion about foreign policy, though, our media focuses on Guantanamo and that’s it.  It is like the extent of our entire foreign policy is one little prison.

It’s time to wake up and start asking bigger questions.  The sooner we do, the safer we all will be.

Obama Needs an Econ Lesson

March 12, 2009

Today, in a meeting with business leaders, President Obama said that he wanted to avoid future “boom and bust cycles in our economy.”

When I read that headline I nearly fell out of my chair.  Could he finally be getting it?  Did he read a text book or visit a website about the Austrian School of Economics?  Did he have a chat and really listen to Ron Paul?

Unfortunately, no.  His next line was something along the lines of “with more regulation and oversight.”

So Obama thinks we can solve the boom and bust cycles with more oversight and regulation?  How naive.  Someone needs to send him an email link to mises.org or a copy of Ron Paul’s book, The Revolution.  Give him an economics textbook that shows the Fed’s monetary policies are responsible for the booms and busts.

We might need more oversight, but last thing we need is more regulation and intervention.  We need to stop the root of the problem, which is the central planning of the Federal Reserve.

Maybe if he is so serious about ending the boom and bust cycles, he will help promote Ron Paul’s HR1207, a bill to allow for an audit of the Federal Reserve.  If we can not end the Fed immediately, the next best thing is to take back control of their actions and halt the printing press they have.

Alas, I’m pretty sure this was all lip-service by Obama to the business leaders.  He’s just saying this, and not meaning any of it.  Just like all of his campaign promises.  He says the right thing a lot of the time, but the methods he uses to attempt to reach these means are ill-fated, self serving, and bound to fail.

Already Tired of Obama’s Changes

January 21, 2009

Yesterday was a very important day in American history, don’t get me wrong.  Having a black president is amazing, and it happened a lot sooner than anyone thought it would.  This should be an event that is celebrated as an example of American diversity and open-mindedness.

However, Obama ran on a platform of “change” and so far, it all sounds like a lot more of the same.  The changes he wants to make is just to add to existing programs that already aren’t working.

His speech yesterday called for developing sources of alternative energy, lowering the cost of healthcare, and bettering our education system.

While these are great goals for the country, I wonder why we all believe that the Federal Government is best suited to fix all that ails us.  We can all agree that the current systems are horribly inefficient and do not accomplish what they are supposed to do.  Why should we trust that bureaucrats tweaking the current models is the best way to go?  Who made politicians experts in these fields overnight?

First, if we are to truly to explore forms of alternative energy, we need the government and lobbyists to get out of the way and let the market take over.  There is no reason every new home built should not have solar panels or that new electric car companies should not be emerging.  However, the regulations in place stifle competition and the innovation that made America the great manufacturer it once was.

The big oil and car makers have created a competitive advantage to keep the same cars on the road.  How have we not innovated the basic gas engine in 90 years?  Finally, solar and wind power are gaining ground, but because we are demanding it, not because government is pushing for it.  Let market forces and demands of consumers dictate our energy policy, not lobbyists for companies that stand to profit from one specific alternative energy source.

Second, the only way we are going to bring down the cost of healthcare is to start paying for it ourselves.  I’m not talking about co-pays and premiums, I’m talking about doctor visits, prescriptions, and other routine health services.  We also need to turn health coverage back into health insurance, just as Ron Paul has suggested.  Insurance is for disasters, not going to the doctor for a cold.

Currently, the government or big healthcare corporations pay for doctors, drugs and treatments.  We only pay into the system, but we do not make any direct payments.  This completely distorts the costs because a third party is making the payments.  They have no sense of value and “bang for their buck.”  They have set up payment structures and just collect money.  They do not try to control costs for the patients as long as they make money.

Think about what happens when  you go to a body shop for your car.  The first question they ask is if it’s going through insurance or not.  If it is, they crank up the price, and if you aren’t, they usually have a lower price.  Why can’t we see the same thing is happening with our healthcare?

In order to provide “universal healthcare” we need to make it affordable to everyone, not having government foot the bill for the current cost of care.  Insurance could be purchased based on your needs which would be for catastrophes.  The rest could be set aside in pre-tax health savings accounts.

Also, you should be able to purchase malpractice insurance before you undergo any procedure.  That way, everyone is not paying for someone else’s malpractice suit.  You only pay if you are undergoing surgery or another treatment.  It makes more sense than raising everyone’s cost for one case.

The system would be put back in the hands of doctors and patients, not big corporations, accountants and lawyers.

Finally, the same needs to be done for our Department of Education.  We need to get rid of it.  How does an office of bureaucrats in Washington know what’s best for the education of children in your neighborhood?  Why do we pay taxes for education into a huge pot and not know what projects it is going to?  Why do we teach our students to be good test takers and not free thinkers?

People think of education in this country as a right, and not the priviledge it really is.  Also, it’s not free.  We pay taxes that go towards education.  However, those taxes go to pay Department of Education employees and other expenses that have nothing to do with teaching kids.  Why not pay those taxes as fees to your local school?  Wouldn’t the money go directly to the school your children are attending?  It would also be much more efficient because there wouldn’t be so many layers.

We need to get rid of state mandated tests as well.  The No Child Left Behind Act sounded like a good idea, but the entire year is built in preparation of a standardized test.  Rather than raising “thinkers,” we develop good test takers.  How are we supposed to compete in the global economy if they are just learning test questions and not the fundamental subjects behind them?

Obama might have great intentions, but his efforts are destined to fail.  Central planning has not and will not work.  I know he won’t, but he needs to impart on a real path of change, one where the government gets out of the way and lets the market work.  If this is the change we all voted for, it’s not going to change anything.  Instead, we’re going to need a revolution.

A Must Read for Any American Citizen

November 5, 2008

Last night, after the election, we heard about how “anyone, if they dream big enough, can be the President.”  Obama had overcome all the odds and was now the President.

Well, sorry to burst your bubble, but it’s not that easy.

You have to read this, and watch the Youtube videos it links to.  Pretty amazing if you ask me.  This is definitely a must read for anyone who gives a darn about the political process in this country.

http://www.reason.com/news/show/129852.html

Don’t Let This Stop the Momentum

November 5, 2008

Tonight, we witnessed history.  Barack Obama became the first African-American President.

It was an amazing electoral season that lasted from the primaries until tonight, and there are still many races and propositions here in California that are still undecided.

The population has been energized and become more politcally involved than ever before.  What we need to do now is stay motivated, and keep this energy going.

Now is the time to educate many of these people on the goals of the founding fathers and the Constitution of the United States.  While they might have supported Obama because of his personality and attitude, the message of Freedom and Liberty will influence beyond words and empty promises.

While government might get bigger over the next four years, it’s not like McCain was going to make it any smaller.  Real change will not happen until more peoples’ eyes are opened and our voices are heard.  We still need to remove career politicians and put the Constitution first.

We need more politicians like Ron Paul, and more movements like the Campaign for Liberty.  We need real change and more choices.  We need bigger ideas and more imagination.  We need less taxes and less government spending.  We need less government intervention, a sound monetary policy and an end to our foreign empire.

So, no matter who you voted for and how excited or disappointed you are, don’t get complacent.  Now is the time to act and to really make a difference in our Country’s future.

No Interest in the President

October 30, 2008

I feel kind of un-American, but I really don’t care who wins the Presidency this year.

Haven’t we been bombarded with all this election drama for almost two years now?  First it was the primaries, where McCain won pretty easily and Barack and Hillary went at it.  Now we have this election with Palin and Barack’s connections with old domestic terrorists.  In the meantime, the economy went down the drain and all they’re talking about is saving $75 a month on taxes.  Yeah, that’s going to fix things.

Maybe I’m so apathetic because I don’t feel that my views are represented.  Throughout my life, I’ve known that I did not belong with one of the major parties.  I knew they were virtually the same and were there only to preserve the status quo, and not really do what’s best for America.

In high school, I thought being a libertarian sounded great.  Small government, less taxes, and less intervention sounded great.  The party at the time though, was a mess, and their message sounded more like anarchy than a real political platform.

Then, I thought Nader was the answer and that his policies would save the country.  He had some good ideas, but I found myself voting for him because he was against the establishment and corporations, not because of his political views.

Now, I think I’ve found myself with the philosophy of Ron Paul.  His belief in the Constitution and what the Founding Fathers wanted is beautifully simple.  It makes so much sense and it makes me want to be part of the revolution he is starting.  The groundwork is there, now we just have to spread the message.

The message of the Constitution reaches beyond any sort of social status or group.  Everyone can come together behind the document that set forth the plan for this great country.  The goal now should be to get this country back on track and back to looking at the Constitution and what the Founding Fathers wanted.

I guess I don’t care about McCain or Obama because they want to continue the same policies.  They might tweak taxes or healthcare, but are they really invoking change?  Not at all.  They both voted for the bailout.  They both want to keep our military empire intact.  Neither has challenged the Federal Reserve.  Neither has questioned the validity of all the taxes we pay.  Neither has tried to address our welfare state.

We need a voice that counters the political establishment.  Until this voice is heard, it doesn’t matter who is the President.

What the Debate Taught Me

October 16, 2008

Tonight, I managed to watch the third presidential debate live.  I didn’t have to DVR it to watch it later.  This gave me the opportunity to watch it without the bias of reading about it first.

After all the back and forth between Obama and McCain, I realized one thing:  Americans want the Federal Government to do EVERYTHING for them.

There is a sense of entitlement that the government will provide health care, defend them from enemies, create jobs, educate their for their children, provide welfare, and make moral decisions for them.  Of course, all of this comes with lowering taxes.

As Americans, we all agree to the list above.  It is part of our core values.

There is one question we have to ask:  Is the Government the best organization to do this?  I don’t think it is.

How can roughly 700 people in Washington decide what is best for your local elementary school?  How do they decide where to allocate their resources?  Also, since they are spending taxpayer money, they are not going to find the best product for the best price.  If you or I were shopping for health coverage or schooling, we would research and find the best price for whatever fits our needs.  The government has no incentive to do this since they are just spending a pool of money.

So, instead of watching a debate about healthcare and education provided by the Federal Government, we should be debating if the Feds should be involved anyway.  Instead of arguing about a $100 a month tax break, why not argue if the income tax is necessary at all.  Not once did the candidates mention the huge unfunded burdens that Social Security and Medicare are going to become.

I’m not saying that we should abolish the Federal Government.  I just think we need to rethink what it’s role should be.  I also don’t believe in no taxes.  I think that our taxes should be paid locally, and not to a central government.

Imagine, instead of having 6% of your paycheck going to Social Security and Medicare, it could be going to an optional retirement savings account with pre-tax dollars.  Of course, there would need to be a transistion period to help fund those on Social Security, but eventually, the system could be replaced with a much more efficient one.  Your money could be stored in treasury bills or other very safe investments.  Also, since it’s optional, you would be able to stop funding your account if times got tough.

Also, why does part of our income tax go to the Department of Education?  How do politicians and bureaucrats in Washington know what’s best for your local school?  Why not have a tax that goes to schools in your area?  Also, since it will be local, there will be less waste and naturally, more oversight.  I don’t want people sitting there second guessing our local officials, but at least there would be dialogue.  Now, it is a huge Federal department where are schools are just numbers.

Probably the only part of the Federal Government that is really needed is our military.  However, it is not needed in the capacity it is used now.  We need to bring our troops home.  Not just from Iraq, but from all 150 countries they are in.  Part of the troops can be deployed to protect our borders and really make us safer.  Others can be put into reserve status or be retrained for new jobs.  This will save us billions of dollars a year.

While these proposals aren’t really that thought out, it is just a starting point to really think about the role of our government.  Americans have this sense of entitlement for their welfare.  It’s time to take control and start showing some initiative.  We need to use our imaginations and come up with real ideas of change, not just tweak the existing big government mentality we have.

I’m not saying putting these decisions in the hands of local governments will solve all of our problems.  I do think though, that it will help improve efficiency and put our tax dollars to the best use.  Who do you think knows what your community needs more – politicians in Washington?  Or people in your neighborhood?

My Three Priorities

October 10, 2008

Inspired by the “debate” last night, I wanted to think about what I would say my Top Three Priorities for helping turn this country around would be if I were running for President, or any public office for that matter.

First, let me tell you that I’m an independent.  I don’t care for what the Republicans or Democrats say.  I think it’s stupid and petty to make small differences into major divides just because of party lines.

I want my plans to be common sense, and not one party or the other.  I think there is a big base for these views, especially among young people.  Look at Ron Paul.  He’s technically a Republican, but his ideas and philosophies cross over parties, races, and philosophies.  So, I don’t want these priorities to be a Republican or Democratic view, I want them to be the Common Sense view.

So, without further adieu, here they are…

Number 1:  End Our Empire

We have troops deployed in over 150 nations.  Our expenditures each year on maintaining our military in these countries is close to $1 trillion.

While the debates and campaigns have focused on troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, the American public deserves to learn about all of our foreign commitments and entanglements.  Instead of arguing about a surge and how many more months we need to be in Iraq and Afghanistan, we need to think about if we should be there or in all these other countries in the first place.

The doubter in me says that this view is naive.  It says that if we pull back our troops, all of these dictators and hostile regimes would be emboldened to make aggressive moves at their neighbors and cause a lot of trouble and harm.

A bigger part of me though, says that our presence around the world and especially in the Middle East is hurting our cause and not helping it.  Our continued occupation in Iraq is only creating more radical insurgents. Our presence is helping reinforce the ideals of Iranian President Ahmajinidad, Hezbollah and Hamas.  You  have to ask one simple question, “is our presence in the Middle East making us more or less safe?”  If you step back and look at it, you’d have to say less safe.

These radicals do not hate Western ideals and freedoms.  If they did, they would be targeting Amsterdam and the Netherlands and Canada.  What they hate is US Foreign Policy.  Not only did we stage coups and place unpopular leaders in power in the Middle East, but then we turn against those we supported and villianize them.  Then we put troops permanently in Saudi Arabia (the holiest place in all of Islam).  Finally, in our bombings, we kill and wound thousands of civilians, and don’t appear to have any remorse.

We need to pull back our troops and have a non-interventionist approach, as put forth by Ron Paul.  This not isolationism.  This approach just means we do not get militarily or monetarily involved in other countries.  We can still hold peace talks and have real diplomacy.  Even if we do not agree with the ideals and stances of some regimes, diplomacy is much better than punishing civilians with cruel sanctions and indiscriminant bombing.  Since when have sanctions worked?  How many civilians have been killed by our unmanned drones?  It only adds to the problem by turning people against us.

Another part of our nation building empire is foreign aid.  We spend almost $18 billion a year on foreign aid.  This money could be well spent here at home.  Many times, this aid ends up in the wrong hands and it does more harm than good.  Let well run, private charities and organizations help those in need in other countries.

I also think we need to stop our unbridled support of Israel.  We need to hold them accountable for their actions as well.  If they sign an accord and then violate it, we need to use our diplomatic ties to make them stop.  We also need to stop donating about $3 billion a year to Israel.  It has been said that our aid prevents real change from happening there.  We need to support Israel by helping her support herself.

Finally, we need to stop our foreign policy hypocrisy.  We uphold liberty, freedom and democracy, until a leader like Ahmajinidad gets elected in a democratic election, or until Hamas wins an election and gains seats in Palestinian Parliament.  Then we need “regime change.”  We also critcize socialist countries like Venezuela and Russia for nationalizing oil fields that US companies were exploiting, then have the Federal Government take over AIG, Fannie and Freddie and spend a trillion dollars bailing out Wall Street.  Our socialist takeovers and bailouts dwarf anything Hugo Chavez has done.  This only adds fuel to the agendas of radicals like Chavez and Ahmajinidad.

Also, by bringing home our troops, we will not only save trillions of dollars, but we can use them to help secure our borders at home.  Our border patrol is spread too thin, but if our military helped out, they could significantly deter illegal immigration and enhance our national security.

In summary, my foreign policy would be to end our empire and our monetary and military commitments, bringing all of our troops home and cutting our foreign aid commitments.  We also need to use diplomacy instead of sanctions and threats.  Finally, we need to stop our blind support for Israel and our hypocritical stances towards other countries.

Number 2:  Health Care

You hear the candidates talking about health care reform a lot during their speeches and the debates.  I don’t want to reform health care, I want to throw the whole thing out and start over.  I had some views on the healthcare system and have read the plan put forth by Ron Paul.  His views kind of shaped and solidified my view.

The first thing we need to realize is that “insurance” is different from “coverage.”  Insurance is supposed to be for large scale, unforseen, medical emergencies, not just to go to the doctor.  The healthcare companies have gotten “insurance” and “coverage” to be synonymous.  We need coverage for seeing a doctor or getting antibiotics when we’re sick.  The worst part is that they’ve got they system going with so much momentum that we fail to even think about alternatives.

There is an economic theory that when “A” pays and shops for himself, he looks for value and quality, since it is his money he is spending.  When “B” pays “C” to shop for “A”, “C” doesn’t care as much about value or quality, since he is neither paying for the good or using the good.

This analogy works for our healthcare system.  For the most part, our employers pay our healthcare companies to provide coverage for us.  There is no incentive for the providers to shop for the best deal, or to care about the quality of the service.  You’ve all heard stories about an insurance company not wanting to cover certain procedures or treatments.  Since when is it acceptable for an accountant at a healthcare provider tell our doctors what they can and can’t do.  That is fundamentally wrong.

Also, since providers are always trying to cut costs and squeeze doctors, the doctors push back by charging the maximum allowed for almost all treatments.  If the maximum for a visit is $250, then that is what the doctor bills.  This leads to an outrageous spiral of costs.  Insurers claim that all the new technology also drives up the cost of our care.  Is it just me, or is healthcare the only industry where technology causes costs to go up?

We need to get the third party, whether it’s medicare, medicaid, or our HMOs.  As you can see, they don’t care about our health or our wallets.

The only way to do this is to pay for our basic healthcare needs by ourselves.  Before HMOs were basically mandated by the government, people paid for their doctor visits out of their own pockets.  The costs were contained though because people could go to any doctor they wanted.  So those that provided the best service for the best price were the most popular.

Isn’t this common sense?  The more competition, the better the price.  Our HMOs basically create monopolies on our health, so we have no leverage. If doctors had to charge indviduals instead, they would have to lower their fees to remain competitive.

I’m not saying we will get healthcare for free, either.  If we paid a small monthly fee for insurance, and paid out of pocket for doctor visits, we would all save money.  We could also put our money into health savings accounts, using pre-tax dollars.

Right now, my employer pays for me, and I pay $7,000 a year for my wife and son.  My employer probably pays $3,000 for me a year, at least.  This means that health coverage for my family runs about $10,000 a year, before co-pays for visits and prescriptions.

If I were allowed to save for my medical costs using pre-tax dollars, and paid $200 a month for insurance, and paid $100 for doctor visits and went to the doctor 15 times, my total would be $3,900.  Also, since it is pre-tax, I actually am getting about a 20% discount, so in my real income, it is only $3,100 a year.  That is $7,000 more that could go back into my pocket, or into my company.

This is a huge savings over any plan that either candidate is proposing.

Also, as Ron Paul suggested, we should offer malpractice insurance before any major surgery or treatment.  It should be inexpensive and then if something goes wrong, you’re covered.  It does not make sense to raise costs and spread them among everyone, when most of us are not in a position to experience malpractice in the first place.

This is not rocket science, it is just a common sense approach to health care.  We are so stuck in the system we are in, that I don’t know how long or difficult it would be to change.  All I know is people everywhere are fed up with their insurance companies, hate HMOs, and are scared to go to the doctor because of the costs.  Change will happen, but we have to demand it.

Number 3:  End the Welfare State

In Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, we have nearly $40 trillion in unfunded obligations.  Right now, the money being taken from each of our paychecks for social security is not going into a trust for when we’re older.  It’s going straight to a current recipient.  By the time I’ll be eligible for these programs, they’ll most likely be bankrupt.

We need to privatize the social security and medicare systems.  Most people think this means putting all the funds into the stock market.  As we’re seeing right now, that is NOT where we want to put our future retirement benefits.

When I say privatize the programs, I want to put in control of civilians, and not a government bureaucracy.  This will lead to streamlined system with better managment and better control.  If they had local offices, they would be able to distribute funds and oversee programs much better than a huge nationwide program.

A private system will have to have regulations placed on the programs to make them the most conservative investment funds possible.  They could just be regulated to US and state bonds, or high grade company bonds.  They should have to report their holdings to keep a level of transparency.

Also, these should be optional.  You should be able to opt out if you want, or if you are in a situation where you need the extra money each month.  This will just affect the amount of money you will have at retirement.

With Medicare and Medicaid, the systems are rife with fraud.  A more local branch or company would be able to better combat fraud and keep the participants in the program safe.

In the meantime we could fund the programs with the savings from ending our empire and from streamlining the current system.  Bringing home our troops would save billions of dollars and a reformed system would allow for less waste and greater efficiency.

Rather than ignoring the problem or talking around it, we need to come up with a real plan to tackle the problem.  This program could be instituted over 5-10 years to make the transition seamless.  At least then, we would know we could meet future obligations.

Number 4:  Reign in the Federal Reserve

Ok, I lied about the three priorities, I also have a fourth one – putting a system of checks and balances on the Federal Reserve.

Right now, the Federal Reserve is run by unelected officials and can not be audited.  Also, they no longer report M3, which is the total money supply.

So when Bernake prints money to help bail out banks or fund our entitlement programs, we have no idea what kind of impact all of that inflation is having on the supply of money.  We could have added 10% more dollars to the system in the last round of bailouts. We have no idea right now.

In our Constitution, only Congress can mint money.  They passed this power to the Federal Reserve Act in 1913.  However, Congress needs still hold the Federal Reserve accountable.  Just because they have passed the buck does not mean they are not ultimately responsible.

All of this printing of money is going to erode the purchasing power of our dollars.  For every dollar printed, the less each of our dollars is worth.

Also, our dollar is the reserve currency of the world.  Other central banks hold their reserves in dollars.  If we keep printing money, their dollars become worth less too.  Eventually, these banks are going to get fed up and will switch to a different currency.  When this happens, all the dollars coming back home will cause the prices of goods here in the US to rise dramatically.

What we need to do is make the Fed report the M3 at least once a year.  Once we establish that, the Fed should only be allowed to expand the money supply a fixed amount every year.  That way dollars will become more scarce, and their purchasing power will rise.  This will help restore faith in the dollar and will lower the price of goods we buy.

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These four priorities are not meant to be written on a certain party line.  They are meant to be proposals in common sense.  They might seem radical, but it’s because we are so engrained in the status quo that we lack the imagination to come up with better ideas.

These are the issues that really need to be debated as well.  The current parties create a debate over particulars of the status quo, but never raise bigger questions on any issue.  As Americans, we need to demand more discussion and viewing issues on a larger scale.  With the current state of our country and the entanglements we are in and the dissatisfaction in the systems in place, now is a great time to start promoting real change and real debate on issues.

Debate Tomorrow Night

September 26, 2008

Tomorrow night, in Oxford, Mississippi, the first of three presidential debates is scheduled.  At first, it looked like McCain was going to try and postpone the event, but now it looks like it will go on as scheduled.

Even though I will be watching, I have a big problem with the debate process.

Other parties might be small, but their candidates have ideas the nation should be able to hear.  It is not fair to these candidates or the public that they get shut out.  They still represent a portion of the voting population.

Especially now, where the candidates have very similar views on almost every issue, the need for outside ideas is larger than ever.

There needs to be a more open forum, so everyone feels represented.  Instead of informing voters, the closed debates turn a lot of independents and undecideds off.

Last election, Ralph Nader called for open debates.  It’s not that crazy of an idea.  I just can’t believe that I’m in such a minority.  Is the rest of the country that satisfied with the two parties?  Do they even know there are other parties with new and fresh ideas?