Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Your Civic Responsibility

Just do it.


No excuses.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear friends,

I hope you will take a moment to read through my thoughts on why voters, including myself have been disappointed and disengaged with our government and how we can change that pattern starting with this election

With all the political rhetoric, grand marketing campaigns and pandering promises made by our candidates it's easy to get frustrated and lost in the clutter of an election. I believe most politicians want it this way as they want us voters to feel a bit helpless so we feel dependent upon their power to help us and thus we will vote for them. In this quest for power politicians over step their bounds and blur the lines of their powers by promising many things that they have little control over nor can deliver on. It's time we called them on this charade we need to take a closer look at what powers we give them and then vote according to the issues that each can truly change.

Who's in power and who are we really voting for?

Politicians love to take credit for everything good and place blame for everything bad on others. Many are making promises they have hardly any influence over at all. After a while one might forget the true reach and power our elected officials actually have. We can break down the control of power in to two parts, the office of the President and our Congress. The President has a direct and obvious impact on Foreign policy and our military yet has little to no control over domestic economic issues. The House of Representatives and The Senate have direct control of and responsibility for our economy and many national social issues. Keep these two roles in mind as you think about who you are voting for and what they have promised.

The President and what we elect him to do

The president has virtually no control over our economy. Reagan had no direct control over the booming economy of the 80's, nor did Clinton in the 90's, nor did Bush in the past 8 years. The President can only express his wishes, he or she is a cheerleader; our economy is controlled by the House of Representatives and the Senate. Every tax law, every spending decision, every health care issue, every regulation on business and every bit of pork barrel spending is decided by the House and Senate - NOT THE PRESIDENT. As we know the president can veto legislation, but the House and Senate can override him/her with a 2 thirds majority vote. If you are angry about our economy the recent stock market crash, bailout bill, mortgage mess, insurance, health care, special interests and lobbyists corrupting the system and many economic issues; your anger should be directed mainly at the House of Representatives and the Senate. Congressmen and Senators are the ones responsible.

When deciding who to vote for president you have to put aside many of the promises both candidates have made because they are not the ones with the power to make them happen. John McCain can't give you 5 grand for health care, he can't promise homeowners facing foreclosure a bailout - ONLY CONGRESS CAN DO THIS. The same is true of Barack Obama, he can't promise health care for everyone, he can't promise you a tax break, and he can't guarantee you that there will be 5 million new jobs in alternative energy companies. CONGRESS writes the legislation and makes the laws about where OUR money will be spent, NOT the president.

So please don't be mislead by our presidential candidates who make these promises every 4 years and then break them.

Congress = Economy, Taxes and National Social issues
President = Foreign Policy, Military, and International issues.
Vote accordingly.

Foreign Policy

The Office of the president has a high degree of control over foreign policy. How we are perceived and who we do business with is directly influenced by the Office of the President. Obviously the President is commander in Chief and naturally directs our military forces. How we fight terrorism, how we defend our country all are the responsibility of our President. Remember, the president can't FUND our military, again this is a power of our Congress. If you are mad about how much war is costing us, direct your anger at our Congress. When you choose to vote for President you should consider who has the most experience in Foreign policy, and in these times, military strategy to get us out of two wars with dignity. Presidents should be voted for based upon their international effectiveness and the policies that they have direct influence over and not their domestic promises where they have no direct influence or power over.

Supreme Court Appointments.
The next president will likely have to fill two spots on the supreme court. The president appoints the supreme court justice(s), but again CONGRESS approves these individuals. If you are concerned about who will be a supreme court justice then you should be looking at who you vote for in congress.
Summary: Supreme court justices = CONGRESS.

Economy and Taxes:
Let's face it, when we talk about economy we're talking about taxes. Let's all agree at least on one thing.

You and I; wage earners, called tax payers, pay ALL TAXES to support our government.

This may shock you but, corporations PAY NO FEDERAL TAXES. You heard it right, NO TAXES. Corporations simply collect taxes from their customers and pass it on to our Government. The government has been very wise in the past to hide how much they are taxing individuals, one of the best ways was to hide it was to add it to the cost of doing business and thus corporate taxes were born. Corporations charge you the amount they are taxed by the FED and pass that on to the Federal Government.

Lets oversimplify for second and look at this equation that describes how a corporation works.
Corporation revenue - cost of production(Employees and goods) - TAXES = Profit.
Profit in corporations are then paid to Shareholders.

Now let's look at tax policy that is being floated around and see how it impacts this equation on corporations.

Increase taxes on the corporation results in three actions by corporations:
#1 Shareholders profits decrease.

Sales Revenue stays the same - cost of doing business goes up = Less profits for the shareholders.
Now who are the shareholders? If you own a 401k or mutual fund IT IS YOU AND I. Yes, everyday people like you and I, the tax payers pay for it in lower returns.

# 2 The price of the products/services the corporation sells increases.
If the corporation does not want to upset their shareholders and risk that they will no longer invest in them, then they will simply pass the new tax on to the customer in the form of higher prices. They increase the cost of their products. Result - You and I, the tax payer bear the cost of the tax increase.

#3 Fire employees and increase pressure on surviving employees.
If the corporation feels they can't increase the price of their product or service without losing customers and they don't want to hurt shareholders well then they will simply cut jobs. Fewer jobs hurt everyday people like you and I not wealthy corporations. The tax payers get nailed again.

#4 Move to a place where taxes are lower.
The corporation may simply decide that hell, we have locations all over the world so why do business in the second highest taxing country in the world? Let's go to India or Ireland where taxes are low.
Result: Massive layoffs in the U.S and once again the tax payer bears the cost of higher taxes on corporations.

Any situation you come up with ultimately results in YOU AND I, the taxpayers, paying for ALL taxes in this country. You may not like big corporations, you may hate wealthy CEOs, but that does not change the fact that increasing taxes on their companies does not hurt them it hurts us the people who pay the taxes.

Sole proprietorships will be hit hard with new taxes. Since all profits generated by sole proprietors is considered taxable and personal income they are the ones who will see the largest impact of tax increases. Again the results are still similar to corporations, they will be forced to find a way to recover those taxes in the form of higher prices, lower wages paid to employees, fewer employee benefits, layoffs or simply going out of business. All of these result in higher costs for middle income Americans.

The opposite is also true.

Decrease Taxes on the Corporations
Shareholders returns go up, consumer prices go down, increased investment in new jobs and purchases go up and in all cases the taxpayer benefits. We may also attract companies from other countries to do business here in the USA creating new jobs and growing our talent pool.

Health Care
We all want health care and in a nation with so much wealth and technology NOBODY should be left sick and without proper care. This is disgraceful.
The reason we have been unable to be successful implementing some form of basic coverage is because no politician will define exactly what Health care is. They give us general plans and feel good stories, but no details.

Have you heard either candidate say that their health care plan will cover vision? What about dental? Mental health? What about preventative care? Are these not health care issues? What about new and exploratory treatments? Where will the government draw the line? They won't tell us, because what they will exclude from coverage will be FAR more than what they will cover.

What is elective and what is a covered condition:
Can either politician tell me; What is an optional treatment that is not covered and what is a covered treatment? If I lose all my teeth in an accident will I get beautiful naturally looking porcelain implants, or a cluster of silver rocks, or since I get nothing as dental is not "health care". Is child birth elective? Abortion? Fertility treatment? What about alcohol and drug dependency?

Who gets covered?
Neither candidate has spoken about illegal immigration. Will the government now pick up the cost of illegals using our medical system? If an illegal runs across the border and has a child within an hour, that child is now a citizen under current law. Are we now responsible for the health care of mother, child and that family? What if I'm a smoker, refuse to stop and develop cancer? Will tax payers have to pay for my treatment? These are tough issues and hotly controversial, but they need to be directly answered in order for everyone to buy in on the national health care model.

Conflict of interest:
If I have a right to basic health care and the government is providing it and I am harmed by negligent care who do I sue? The government is both the accused and the judge.

No Infrastructure
How many of you have heard there is a dangerously low number of doctors, nurses and surgeons. Why? Because they are a being sued to death. Hospitals are closing and our youth are no longer pursuing careers in the medical profession.

If nearly everyone 200 million plus people in this country suddenly had a right to health care who could take care of them? We have absolutely NO infrastructure to handle them. We don't have the physical buildings, doctors, nurses, surgeons, we don't have the administrators, technology nor processes in place to handle it.

Yes I say we need to provide basic health care to all, but our current candidates are simply lying to us. They have no real plan to address the real issues. Neither has offered a public and detailed plan that addresses the issues above. Each are implying that this health care plan is going to happen fast. BULL SHIT. It will take a decade for real change. They are simply making the same promises politicians have made for the past 40 some odd years knowing they will never be able to deliver and perhaps have no intention in doing so.

Until you hear a candidate address the real issues in specific detail, all this talk of providing health care to all via big government or government payments is pure pandering for votes. Do not decide on a president based on Health Care in this election.

And once again, who is going to write and implement these health care laws?


This is obviously a very difficult issue for all. Although some candidates are pro this or choice that the bottom line is that nobody wants abortion. In any case the president can't change Roe Vs Wade. Only the supreme court can decide on laws like that and once again who confirms the supreme court justices? CONGRESS. If this topic is of extreme importance to you, please double check your senator and congressman's position. There are many democrats who are pro life but you won't hear them tout it, the same is true for Republicans who are pro choice who are not going to shout that out either.

They Hold All The Power

American's have been hit with the largest economic collapse since the great depression. NEITHER presidential candidate has said they will find, prosecute and punish the individuals and corporations who are responsible. Congressional leaders have made many statements to the media about who is to blame, but NO action on prosecuting them has taken place.
They would only be prosecuting themselves!

We Are Truly Free to Fail and to Succeed

It is no accident that America has had the most successful start of any country in all of history. With only about 232 years under our belt we are VERY young and our freedom is still very fragile. Over the past two centuries it was no accident that poor immigrants came to this country only to rise to greatness and created the spirit of entrepreneurial ship that stirs our own dreams of success today. It is no accident that I can work from home, be with my family full time, live in comfort , feel safe, and look to a prosperous future. It is no accident that there is a Jewish temple, a Mosque and a Christian church all within a few miles of each other in our town and all work together to help our community. It is no accident that 94% or more of our country has a had a job for the past 28 years. It is no accident that we are the most giving nation in history supporting poor and defenseless nations around the world without any other motive than to show them that freedom and democracy can do great things. It is no accident that American's without requirement or force would give their life to defend our way of life. I believe this is all because of one simple principle.

We have the individual freedom to choose.

We have the freedom to take risks and fail and to take on impossible dreams and succeed. That is the simple beauty of America, we are not controlled by anyone and yet we always seem to do what is best for all.

I hope that when you vote tomorrow you will keep in mind which politicians can make the changes we need and want. Please vote for those who will support an individual's freedom and independence that has made our country great.

Thank you for taking the time to read through my thoughts. I would be honored to read your thoughts and comments as well.