How to Fix the Country...
First, my leanings... I'm an Evangelical Christian first, and by default, a member of the Conservative movement. Contrary to what many think, Conservatives don't long for the days of a mainly agrarian society with plantations and slavery. So what does it mean to be a Conservative? Put simply, Conservatives believe:
- In a limited, responsible federal government, whose powers are defined in the Constitution.
- In a fair and open, or "free", market economy, where the primary law that applies is the law of supply and demand.
- In personal responsibility, where individuals accept the consequences of their action and are responsible for their destiny, and the only role of government is to get out of the way of individuals trying to realize their potential.
- In the rule of law, and that laws should be applied fairly to everyone.
The United States Government has abandoned the roots set down by the founding fathers and defined in the documents that shaped our republic: the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.
Problems and Solutions
Our government is the biggest: the biggest spender, the biggest employer, the biggest consumer, and the biggest waster of money in the history of government. The only jobs it creates is within itself, increasing the size of the bureaucracy. Federal budget deficits are the norm, and deficits are getting bigger every year. The strange thing is, a corporate leader who runs his business this way would likely face jail time, whereas those who are responsible for overspending keep on spending money they don't have, and for some reason, the majority of American people think there's nothing they can do.
In the past, our elected leaders have come from many walks of life, including farmers, merchants and businessmen, and doctors. Today's elected leaders are primarily lawyers or professional politicians. Lawyers and politicians have no experience with the business side of government, and run the largest Ponzi scheme in the world.
The solution is not very simple, since it requires a change of thinking in the Washington establishment, and the American people need to adopt this philosophy as well, holding their representatives responsible for reckless spending. Good luck with that!
So how do we responsibly cut spending, reduce the size and scope of the federal government, and give economic power back to the private sector? Below are 12 topics that I believe should be addressed to bring common sense back to our government and our country:
- Reduce government spending
- Keep government money out of the private sector (or STOP THE MADNESS!)
- Cut taxes, institute the flat tax, or institute a national sales tax
- Eliminate Social Security (hold your boos and hisses until you read my recommendation)
- Eliminate the U.S. Department of Education
- Roll back union-centric legislation
- Disassociate the United States from the United Nations
- Re-open the debate on climate change
- Put together a realistic energy policy
- End illegal immigration and stop benefits to illegal immigrants
- Revisit the issues surrounding healthcare
- Make English the official language of the United States
1. Reduce government spending
No brainer. How is it that during tough economic times, our government wants to spend money on useless programs (like the New Deal) in an attempt to jump-start the economy? The New Deal made the Great Depression worse, not better. After all, where does the government get the money it spends? It either raises taxes, or prints more money. The former means that average people have less to spend on products that actually drive the economy, and the latter causes devaluation of our currency, meaning more money is needed to buy the same things.
So while the rest of America is finding ways to reduce spending, shouldn't the government do the same. Instead of ramping up an inherently inefficient bureaucracy, putting more people on the government's payroll, shouldn't they do what businesses do in difficult times?
Have a small team of financiers and independent accountants go through the federal budget, evaluate every program for its effectiveness and efficiency. Those that are deemed inefficient or innefective should be cut. Then, for those that are left, have a small (very small) team of Constitutional attorneys review the Constitutionality of those remaining programs. Those that exist without Constitutional authority should be cut. Reduce budgets, reduce payroll, and become more efficient.
Spending is out of control, and to say that Congress spends money like drunken sailors is an affront to drunken sailors. At least drunken sailors don't spend more than they have at the time!
2. Keep government money out of the private sector (or, STOP THE MADNESS!)
So, there's a situation where a company has been mismanaged and failing. Should the government bail it out, basically invest in the security of the company?
I know, that sounds harsh. Without government money, a company could fail.
A healthy economy is one in which companies that are failing should be allowed to fail. Whether the failure is due to mismanagement or other reasons (a lack of desirable products or services, for example), it is not in the country's best interest to have the government invest tax dollars into a failing venture. Sometimes you have to abandon a sinking ship.
Nature abhors a vacuum. This axiom is true in government and business. If a company fails due to mismanagement, another company that offers the same product or service is likely waiting in the wings to step in and fill the void.
Take automobiles, for example. Let's say that automaker Alpha, a very large manufacturer, has been run into the ground by management because it doesn't know how to deal with its union labor and modernization.
Should a failing entity be propped up? No, because automaker Beta, a smaller, more efficient, more modern manufacturer can grow and fill the void. That's better for the economy, too. If Alpha fails, Beta picks up the slack, employs some of Alpha's employees who are willing to retrain with modern techniques, and increases parts orders from its suppliers, then the only people who lose with Alpha's failure is the management team that caused it to fail, and the union leaders who were complicit in its failure. Auto companies have failed in the past. Why shouldn't the market decide which companies are viable?
What happens when the government "bails out" a private company? The government then has strings to pull regarding the company's business. Take AIG, for example. In September 2008, the federal government gave AIG an $85 billion "loan" in exchange for a 80% equity stake... The Federal Reserve provided another $38 billion loan in October and access to another $21 billion. The total bailout package, after the loans were restructured, comes to $150 billion to AIG alone.
AIG is a company with a couple of significant problems. First, AIGs managers couldn't seem to manage the company's finances, putting it into financial peril. Second, AIG had too large a portion of the financial industry as clients, meaning that if AIG failed, then all of its clients would be in danger of failing through no fault of their own. So if you let AIG fail, will all of its clients fail? No.
AIG provides insurance to other financial institutions, insuring the debt that those institutions held. Wait a minute. Insurance on debt? Here's a good policy that will help with that - don't get into so much debt that it needs insurance! Those clients that AIG has that use debt insurance are probably in the same boat as AIG - mismanagement and speculation has led to massive debt, so AIG steps in and insures the company's debt, allowing it, ostensibly, to get further into debt. Oooooh - spiraling debt, leading to financial instability...
Certainly, there are financial institutions out there that have not made so many bad decisions that failure is imminent. AIG's clients need to do what any other company does that can't pay its debt - restructure. Sell off parts of the business. Get new leadership. Or wither and die.
This process would be painful, but that's part of the problem with a free-market economy: you take the good with the bad. But don't punish the good by bailing out the bad, since that goes against the very concept of capitalism. If you can't make money, go away and let those who can step in.
Aside from throwing good money after bad with these bailouts, which are doomed to drag the economy down, there's also the problem of who has fingers in the private-sector pie now. The federal government. Before you know it, there will be a commission, a committee or a department put together to monitor and manage those companies that the federal government has a stake in. Then those governmental agencies will start running the business (after all, if you own an 80% stake in a business, don't you have the right?). And common sense dictates that an entity that fails in every effort to manage money should NOT be in the business of business.
Government money spent is money wasted. It's our money. I don't want to prop up businesses that, if left alone, would fail. It's the law of natural selection: the weak die out, the strong survive and flourish!
3. Cut taxes, institute the flat tax, or institute a national sales tax
Cut Taxes For Everyone (Who Pays Taxes)
Ask yourself this: Who do you trust more with your money? Yourself, or the government?
If you said yourself, you should be in favor of tax cuts, and not just reductions in personal income taxes, but reduction of capital gains and corporate income taxes. Contrary to what the Democratic leadership says, it's not just rich people who pay capital gains taxes.
Now, about corporate income taxes... What do corporations do? They produce a product or service that people want and will purchase. To produce that product or service, they hire people. They are in the business of making money. If taxes are raised on corporations they need to keep their margin in order to stay in business. To do that, they either need to lay people off, which increases unemployment, or raise their prices, which makes their product or service less affordable. Either way, raising taxes hurts our economy. Reducing corporate income taxes has the opposite effect. With more cash available to them, companies will hire people or reduce their prices (which rarely happens). Either one is good for the economy.
How's this for sharing the tax burden? According to the IRS, in 2003, the top 5% of wage earners paid 54.36% of the total income taxes. The top 10% of wage earners paid 65.84% of the total income taxes. The top 50% of wage earners paid 96.54% of the total income taxes. So, essentially, the bottom 50% of wage earners paid 3.46% of the total income taxes collected by the IRS.
Consider the table below. This table shows the tax rates by income level for 2008:
|If your taxable income is between...||Your tax bracket is...|
|$0 and $8,025||10%|
|$8,025 and $32,550||15%|
|$32,550 and $78,850||25%|
|$78,850 and $164,550||28%|
|$164,550 and $357,700||33%|
|more than $357,700||35%|
Institute the Flat Tax Rate
The problem with our current tax code is that it's inherently unfair. It's complicated, full of loopholes, both for the wealthy who can afford a tax attorney, and for special interest groups.
A flat tax rate provides a single percentage rate for all taxpayers, with no deductions and no loopholes. The current proposal is to institute a flat tax rate of 17%, with people making less than $25,000 per year being exempt from income tax.
Instituting the flat tax rate has other significant side benefits:
- The IRS will have to down-size. The IRS employs 115,000 people, with a majority of those (57%) involved in making policy, supporting their computers, and answering taxpayer questions. The flat tax would allow the IRS to cut their workforce in half. Yes, that means more than 50,000 people suddenly without jobs, but these are people who have skills useful in the private sector - we hope.
- Taxpayers will no longer need to employ accountants to do their taxes, or purchase tax software. This money can be used for other more useful purhcases. Again, more people unemployed who likely have skills to do other work.
- Employer tax burdens are reduced, meaning they have additional cash to put into other benefits, such as health insurance or retirement plans.
- No more April 15! Well, the day will still exist, but it won't be faced with dread anymore.
Whether we cut taxes or institute the flat tax rate, reducing taxes has always somehow increased income to the federal government. Look at what happened to the U.S. Treasury during the Reagan and GW Bush presidencies. Increases. Learn from history - high taxes choke an economy, low taxes cause an economy to grow and flourish.
Institute a National Sales Tax
A National Sales Tax can take the place of income taxes with relative ease. It's a simpler approach to taxation, and it's fair.
Let's say, for example, there was a National Sales Tax of 8%. Yes, all goods would go up in price by 8% (except for those that are exempt, such as food staples, reasonable clothing and education), but you would no longer have the 10% to 35% taken out in taxes.
How could this work? Easy. Everyone who buys something pays the tax. This includes foreign tourists, citizens who currently don't pay taxes, immigrants who are legal and not currently paying income tax, and illegal immigrants. You've increased your tax base by roughly 50%. People have more money to spend due to a lack of income tax, and revenue will increase. Exempted products would have to be very clearly defined, but this approach to taxation is the most fair.
4. Eliminate Social Security
Again, who do you trust more with your money? If you said "the government", try examining what's happened to Social Security over the years.
Social Security was started by Franklin Delano Roosevelt during the "Great Depression". It was challenged in the Supreme Court in Helvering v. Davis, and would have been ruled unconstitutional, but Roosevelt forced a measure through Congress that would allow him to appoint a new justice for every justice who turned 70 and didn't retire. This would have allowed him to appoint a maximum of six justices, enlarging the court from 9 to fifteen justices. Now, prior to this, the court ruled against Roosevelt in several social programs he began, which enraged FDR. So in an act of self-preservation, the Court upheld the pro-labor Wagner Act and the Social Security Act, despite the Court's opposition to the expansion of the government's power, because if they didn't, Roosevelt would be given the power to add justices and pack the court with justices who would deny any challenges to his policies. Wow!
So what to do? Millions of elderly Americans rely on their meager Social Security checks to get them through. But, here's the kicker, there's no money in the Social Security Trust Fund. Can you say PONZI? Millions of working Americans have had taxes taken out for years, supposedly put aside for their retirement. What about them?
Here's what I propose...
- For anyone still receiving Social Security, he/she will keep receiving benefits until death. And cost-of-living increases will be included along the way.
- For anyone who is 50 years old or older and not receiving Social Security benefits, they have the option of opting out of Social Security, or staying with the system and receiving retirement benefits as planned. If they opt out, a direct rollover to a personal 401(k) or IRA can be completed, providing them with all funds that have been taken out since they started contributing, plus interest.
- For anyone who is 49 or younger, they will receive a direct rollover of funds, including interest, into privately-managed 401(k) or IRA accounts, and will no longer be required to contribute to the Social Security system.
So we'll still have, for close to a generation, people receiving Social Security Benefits. But since no one will be putting money into the system, how will it be funded? Government downsizing! Currently, the SSA budget is $10.46 billion for Administrative Expenses (!), with the overall budget request being $45.2 billion. By eliminating citizens from the program through privatization, a large percentage of this budget can be reduced, but since the government promised to pay citizens, any budget surplus realized by eliminating jobs and streamlining the Administration would go directly to providing payments to beneficiaries. Downsizing other government agencies would also provide surplus funds to be directed toward providing benefits. More recommendations on downsizing the government are provided later...
5. Eliminate the U.S. Department of Education
The Department of Education originally began in the days following the American Civil War. It was made part of the president's cabinet by Jimmy Carter. But the federal government should have no role in education. Many argue that the ephemeral phrase in the Constitution, "to provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States", gives the government the authority to get involved in Education. But the Constitution is clear, that whatever powers are not explicitly identified in the Constitution fall to the States, and education is not explicitly identified.
So what does the Department of Education do? Great question! Even the department's website, www.ed.gov, states that "Education is primarily a State and local responsibility in the United States." Most of what the DOE does is provide grants, many of which seem to be, well, pork projects. For example, $33,315,000 each for "Education for Native Hawaiians" and "Alaska Native Education Equity". Total appropriations for the Department of Education in 2008: $68,574,593,000, with $59,181,468,000 being in the category of "Discretionary Funds".
And the biggest joke is, the schools are still failing!
Totally eliminate the Department of Education and pass those responsibilities back to the state and local authorities. Reduce taxpayer burdens by cutting federal taxes, and the state and local authorities can tax for education at a lower rate and make back all of the funds that they no longer receive from the federal government, with more to spare.
Think about this: a portion of your tax dollars are allocated to the Department of Education, sent to Washington, swirled around in political soup for a while, then filtered back down to the state and local level, minus the administrative costs incurred at the federal level. How much is your district getting back? Not much. Also consider that the money people in your district pay actually goes somewhere else because your district doesn't qualify for federal aid. So your money goes to a district in another state where you don't have any stake in the quality of the education.
Again, according to the Department of Education website, only 9% of the total budget spent in the United States on education is provided by the federal government. Make the teachers teach, the students learn, and don't say that every student has a "right" to attend college. I was a teacher for 8 years, and not every student had the desire or the ability (yes, I said it) to succeed in college. So don't force them into a situation where they'll likely fail - after all, you don't want to damage their self-esteem, do you?
Other departments in the federal government don't have a constitutional mandate to exist and should likewise be eliminated, but the Department of Education is the first, most obvious extraneous department.
6. Roll back Union-Centric legislation
Unions were necessary during the Industrial Revolution, since managers and owners took advantage of immigrant labor and working conditions were horrible. Read Upton Sinclair's The Jungle or, to a lesser extent, John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath if you doubt this. But laws passed in the 1940's by the Roosevelt Administration gave labor unions new power, and management has been licking the boots of labor unions ever since.
Licking the boots? Pretty strong language. Take, for example, the auto industry. For a long time, contracts have been negotiated whereby management can't terminate an employee, but the employee must be offered a job in a "job bank". Meanwhile, the company still pays the employee for not working. If the employee doesn't want any of the jobs in the job bank, he doesn't have to take it.
So as a result of keeping non-working employees on the payroll, U.S. auto makers have to raise prices of their vehicles. Japanese auto makers don't have this problem, so they can sell vehicles of the same quality for less money.
Other unions employ "collective bargaining", which is a way to blackmail management to capitulate, and a way to guarantee that even low-performing employees get paid the same as good employees. Other unions have restrictions regarding termination, and in the case of teacher's unions, tenured teachers can do whatever they want without fear of being fired. These agreements fly in the face of the free market economy we are supposed to enjoy.
Workers should be hired and fired on the basis of their performance. If a teacher isn't effective, he or she should be able to be terminated and replaced with one who is capable. If a baseball player doesn't meet performance criteria, a team should be allowed to release the player without repurcussions.
Union laws need to be repealed because unions are no longer needed in the United States to protect the worker. Unions are now political entities, encouraging or even threatening members to vote for certain candidates. More to the point, unions support democratic candidates who support their own agenda. Their agenda - to eliminate the difference between management/ownership and workers. So who else promoted eliminating the difference between management/ownership and workers? Brace yourself... Karl Marx, Josef Stalin, Leon Trotsky, to name a few. Ohhh, yes, I said it. Unions are pro-socialist entities! Socialism is anti-capitalism. OUCH! The truth hurts!
So what laws should be rolled back? Oddly enough, most of them were signed into law by Democratic presidents, including Roosevelt and Clinton, with Obama now taking up the cause of the unions. Some of the blatantly anti-business laws passed that should be repealed include:
- The Norris-LaGuardia Act 1932 - prevented yellow-dog contracts (whereby employees signed away the right to unionize as a precondition of employment) and banned federal injunctions in labor disputes.
- The Wagner Act 1935 - created the National Labor Relations Board and prohibited company anti-union discrimination. The NLRB's purpose is to facilitate the formation of unions and to enforce the provisions of the Act and punish any violations by employers.
- The Fair Labor Standards Act 1938 - which established a minimum wage and a maximum workweek.
Unfair labor practices should fall under the jurisdiction of state law, or in the case of companies that exercise unfair labor practices across state lines, the Department of Justice. They should be addressed on a case-by-case, individual basis, and only in the area of discrimination. If the conflict relates to wages or benefits, that is between the employee and the employer. If the employee doesn't like the wages or benefits provided, he or she is free to find another job. That's what we call a free market.
7. Disassociate the United States from the United Nations
Let's face it. For years, the United Nations has been anti-American, anti-Semitic, and abusive of its own power and funds. UN "Peacekeepers" in Africa habitually rape and murder, and the blue-helmeted peacekeepers (reminds me of characters in the Beatles' movie "Yellow Submarine") are ineffective everywhere else, mainly due to the hand-wringing sycophants in the UN bureaucracy.
Tell the UN to move its headquarters to some place like Darfur or Teheran. Then tell us how we're violating human rights! The American taxpayer is the biggest contributor to the UN coffers, and time after time we hear dictators thumping their chests and telling the U.S. that we're evil and should apologize for one thing or another.
I say to them... stick it.
Why should we bow to the altar of a corrupt, anti-American organization? To what effect are dozens of resolutions designed to punish a "rogue" nation without the willingness to back it up with force? The main reason for invading Iraq was not because of weapons of mass destruction, it was because of 19 UN Resolutions passed, warning Saddam Hussein that he had better straighten up, or else. He laughed at the UN, gave them just enough to appease them for another few months while they debate another resolution. Yeah, that's effective! GW Bush provided sufficient warning that unless the Iraqi government comply with those 19 resolutions, we would invade. (Gee, where do you think the WMDs that Saddam admitted to having, and even used, went during that time?)
This is not an argument about the validity of the Iraq War (which we're winning, by the way), but the ineffectiveness of the United Nations.
Then there's the "Diplomatic Immunity" trash that we get. We are required to abide by the laws of other nations when we're there, whether as diplomats or tourists. So why should "diplomats" from countries that don't like us get away with everything from illegal parking to murder?
Kick them out. Withdraw from membership. Don't supply hard-earned taxpayer money ($5.3 billion in 2006) to support corrupt agencies and individuals. Use that money to pay Social Security recipients. We already engage in diplomatic relations with most nations already. How would pulling out of the UN hurt the United States? It wouldn't - they need us more than we need them. Without U.S. support, the UN would fall apart under its own weight. Let it.
8. Re-open the debate on climate change
It seems that those in Washington of both parties have swallowed the Kool-Aid of climate change. And it was green! Al Gore and some of the academics who are receiving federal funding to research climate change have said that the debate is over. Who are they to stop debate? Especially when it isn't settled, like gravity.
I'm in favor of conservation, of promoting a cleaner environment, but the idea that man controls the cyclical nature of... nature, is totally absurd and arrogant. Everything in nature runs in cycles. The cycle of days, the cycle of seasons, and yes, the cycle of the earth's heating and cooling.
I remember as a child being told that the Earth will experience another ice age if we didn't change our ways. That was a theory promoted by a NASA scientist. But wait! Twenty years later, Al Gore is telling us that if we don't change our ways, the Earth will burn up and all life will cease to exist in 10 years. He amended that in 2006 in order to add on years to his prediction. Now the Earth is going through a cooling phase. Ironically, Al Gore had to postpone a speach on global warming due to a heavy snowstorm. And what agency is fueling this absurd notion? NASA, the same organization that told us another ice age was coming.
Here's a quote from the Michican State University website:
Fossil fuels such as gasoline, methane and propane contain mostly carbon. When these fuels are burned, they react with oxygen and produce carbon dioxide.
Because of our heavy use of fossil fuels, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has been increasing since the industrial revolution. The destruction of forests which use carbon dioxide also contributes to the increase in carbon dioxide.
Lansing State Journal, August 31, 1994
Wait a minute! Don't cars and other consumers of fossil fuels release Carbon Monoxide? Whereas all animal life exhales Carbon Dioxide? I agree with the last sentence, that deforestation increases Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere, but cars emit Carbon Monoxide, right? Or were our science teachers in high school all wrong?
This is the biggest joke of all: Carbon Dioxide is the main pollutant (according to the Green movement)? Carbon Dioxide is used by plants, which in turn release oxygen. My fifth grader is learning this now. Hey, here's a novel idea: plant more trees!
This is not, by any means, a scientific argument. Just a look at an absurd idea pushed on us by an absurd man and an absurd media. Consider this: In 1988, Roger Revelle (the man who taught Al Gore about global warming in the 1960's) sent two cautionary letters to members of Congress, wherein he wrote:
My own personal belief is that we should wait another 10 or 20 years to be really convinced that the greenhouse effect is going to be important for human beings, in both positive and negative ways. ...we should be careful not to arouse too much alarm until the rate and amount of warming becomes clearer.
It is reported that Roger Revelle, shortly before he died, basically recanted his position in a presentation in the Summer of 1990 to a group of policy makers from Washington and Wall Street at the Bohemian Grove in Northern California. He died in 1991 from a heart attack.
So if Roger Revelle proposed the theory of global warming in the mid 1960's, during a time of global cooling, why, since then, has the earth not been baked? Certainly, if the rate the earth is warming is as dire as the alarmists say, and it's been warming since the early 1970's, why isn't the median temperature at the poles still below freezing? When questions such as these are presented to the alarmists, they dismiss the questioner as a buffoon instead of answering the question.
Global warming has been a fact of the earth's life for many years, as has global cooling. There was a time when over half of the United States was under glacial ice, but that melted before the Industrial Revolution. In fact the warmest year on record since such records have been kept was 1922.
The global warming / climate change proponents are alarmists, using junk science to support their views. More and more scientists every year are speaking out against man-made climate change, but they are squelched by academia and the main-stream media.
9. Put together a realistic energy policy
Alternative energies and fossil fuels - topics that could I could take pages and pages to write about, but the overall point is this: We don't cause climate change, and energy policies should not revolve around it.
Here's the problem: by claiming we're responsible for climate change (the new term, since the Earth is now cooling), legislation is being passed that will put a damper on manufacturing. More taxation, increased prices, less productivity, the same old story.
I'm not saying we should ignore the environment, I'm saying we should be responsible while we drill or dig for local sources of energy. And while we are using the non-renewable energy sources, alternatives should be developed and made accessible to all. Who can we rely on to develop alternative energy sources efficiently? Certainly not the federal government. Private industry is the best at developing new technologies, because if it's viable, it's profitable, and if it's profitable, it's worth the investment to develop.
Some new fuel sources are already in development, including the hydrogen fuel-cell. Sounds promising - cars that run on water! How cool is that... until we face a drought that would cause the price of fuel to go up. Electric cars show promise, but most of those are very small. Nothing beats the size and power of a vehicle with a good internal combustion engine!
Solar energy is an old technology, limited only by its cost and availability of sunshine. Many companies are making photovoltaic shingles that can be used to power your house and even be plugged into the energy grid. "Photovoltaic shingles can be installed in the same way as conventional shingles. About 500 square feet of them produce three kilowatts during peak sunlight, enough for most residences." My house has roughly 2,500 square feet of roof surface, so my house alone could provide enough power for up to 5 houses. Photovoltaic shingles are a relatively new technology, and I can see this getting better and cheaper over the next 10 years.
Reduce our dependence on imported fuels by developing alternative renewable energies (solar, wind and hydroelectric) to power our homes and businesses. This would reduce the need for fossil fuels in some sectors of the economy, and allow those industries that currently don't have a viable alternative (the auto industry) to further develop those alternatives to the point that they're efficient and affordable. Also, allow clean-burning coal and nuclear plants to be built. There... energy problem solved!
10. End illegal immigration and stop benefits to illegal immigrants
Few issues lately have evoked stronger emotions (besides abortion) than the question of illegal immigration.
Conservatives, being the proponents of law and order, see this as a very simple problem. If people cross our border illegally, regardless of what you call them (illegal immigrant or migrant worker), they broke the law. It doesn't matter if they've done nothing else wrong. They broke the law to get here, and they're breaking the law while being here.
Yes, millions of illegal immigrants are hard working. But here's another point we Conservatives make: if the hard working people can cross our borders at will, so can those who have more nefarious purposes, including drug and human trafficking, gang activity, and yes, terrorists.
I remember when Ronald Reagan offered amnesty for illegal immigrants in the mid 1980's. That's one of the only times I ever thought he was wrong. That policy didn't stop illegal immigration, it basically became an invitation.
Ask any border governor what the biggest problem facing his or her state is. Illegal immigration is in the top 5 in each state.
Conservatives have nothing, absolutely nothing, against immigration. People from other nations are welcome to come to the United States. As long as people come here by following the laws, they're welcome to come and stay until either their visas expire, or they break a law, or they become tax-paying citizens.
So, what's wrong with illegal immigration? After all, according to the media and LULAC, they take jobs Americans won't do. They contribute more to our society and economy than they take, after all. Wrong! Here are some statistics that prove otherwise:
- $11 Billion to $22 billion is spent on welfare to illegal aliens each year by state governments.
- $2.2 Billion dollars a year is spent on food assistance programs such as food stamps, WIC, and free school lunches for illegal aliens.
- $2.5 Billion dollars a year is spent on Medicaid for illegal aliens.
- $12 Billion dollars a year is spent on primary and secondary school education for children here illegally and they cannot speak a word of English!
- $17 Billion dollars a year is spent for education for the American-born children of illegal aliens, known as anchor babies.
- $3 Million Dollars a DAY is spent to incarcerate illegal aliens.
- 30% percent of all Federal Prison inmates are illegal aliens.
- $90 Billion Dollars a year is spent on illegal aliens for welfare social services by the American taxpayers.
- $200 Billion Dollars a year in suppressed American wages are caused by the illegal aliens.
- The illegal aliens in the United States have a crime rate that’s two and a half times that of white non-illegal aliens. In particular,their children, are going to make a huge additional crime problem in the US.
- During the year of 2005 there were 4 to 10 MILLION illegal aliens that crossed our southern border also, as many as 19,500 illegal aliens from terrorist countries.
- The National Policy Institute, “estimated that the total cost of mass deportation would be between $206 and $230 billion or an average cost of between $41 and $46 billion annually over a five year period.”
- In 2006 illegal aliens sent home $45 BILLION in remittances back to their countries of origin.
- “The Dark Side of Illegal Immigration: Nearly One Million Sex Crimes Committed by Illegal Immigrants In The United States.” The cost of this is impossible to calculate.
The total cost is a whopping $338.3 billion dollars per year, all provided by the American taxpayer. And the costs go up every year the border is open. Personally, I'd be willing to pay more for a loaf of bread or some fruit if it means it was harvested by a legal immigrant or a citizen.
Stopping illegal immigration is not a racial issue. Conservatives don't care what the race, color or creed is of the people violating our national sovereignty. Everyone should obey our laws. After all, if a U.S. citizen crossed into Mexico illegally, that citizen would be put in jail in a heartbeat. Talk about double-standards! Mexico shouldn't demand that we allow its citizens to cross our border while they close theirs.
Amnesty is not the answer. Think about this: if you are an illegal immigrant earning less than minimum wage, why would you want to become a citizen and start paying taxes on those wages? Studies show that a vast majority of illegal immigrants would not want the "path to citizenship" even if offered, since the benefits illegal immigrants enjoy would no longer be free. In addition, they would likely lose their jobs, since employers are looking for the cheapest labor they can find, which means paying people cash, off the books, and not paying federal taxes.
11. Revisit the issues surrounding healthcare
First, a couple of things to point out about healthcare:
- No one who is in need of healthcare is denied healthcare, regardless of the ability to pay.
- Our healthcare system is the best in the world. If it wasn't, people from all over the world would be flocking to Cuba for healthcare. Instead they go to New York, Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles, and a host of other cities with first class medical facilities.
Yes, we have problems with our healthcare insurance in the United States. That's different from saying we have a healthcare problem.
Now one major question: how much does it really cost for the doctors to provide their services? Does a visit to the office really cost $75, when the nurse practitioner takes your vitals and the doctor sees you for five minutes? Probably not. Actual costs need to be established, with some padding for reasonable revenue generation. Work out a fair cost to the insurance companies so the doctors get paid a reasonable amount for their services. Those costs should also be made public, so if I would rather pay for a test that costs $150 out of my own pocket, I can.
The problem is that insurance companies, rightfully so, are run like a business. Businesses only survive if they run at a profit. They negotiate with doctors what they'll pay the doctor for services, and it's usually very low.
Why does insurance cost so much? Doctors need malpractice insurance.
Instead of trying to nationalize healthcare, why not address the most expensive cost that doctors face - malpractice suits. Really, the government has run Social Security so poorly, why would anyone trust them with making decisions about our health?
Here's an idea: modify the way lawsuits are brought. If a suit brought against a doctor is dismissed, rather than saddling the doctor with legal bills to be covered by malpractice insurance, have the complainant and his/her attorney pay the doctor's legal fees. Instituting this policy will make attorneys look hard at a case to see if it has merit, thereby reducing the load on the court system as well.
No simple solution exists to the problem of healthcare insurance, and nationalizing it is the wrong thing to do. A free-market solution should be established with input from doctors and hospitals, insurance companies and patient advocates.
Personally, I've had just a few issues with health insurance, besides the overall cost. First, the insurance companies need to pay promptly so I don't get two or three bills from my provider. Second, the insurance companies need to cover an entire procedure, not just parts of it. If a hospital that takes my insurance uses an anaesthesiologist, then the anaesthesiologist should be covered as well. I don't have a choice about what specialists a hospital uses, so why shouldn't my insurance cover it?
Bottom line: DON'T nationalize healthcare. If we want to keep our high quality of service, and keep development of new technologies and treatments moving forward, keep it in the private sector. As I said earlier, if it's viable and profitable, it will be developed. If not, don't even bother.
12. Make English the official language of the United States
How ridiculous is this? The United States is the only country without an officially sanctioned language.
What's so important about making English the official language of the United States? The main reason is that English is the international language of business (and aviation). For a legal citizen of the United States to achieve his or her personal best in our society, English is the language to know.
Many of those who oppose designating English as the official language claim that it's a racial issue. This argument is baloney! Since when is a language a definer of one's race? If someone speaks English, does that mean the person is an Anglo-Saxon with light skin and blue eyes? That's absurd!
Another argument opponents make is that making English the official language will hurt those who don't speak it. That's also baloney. It's a commonly held belief of pro-English advocates that, especially in areas of safety and public health, information should be disseminated in multiple languages. Other documents, such as ballots and official government publications not related to public health and safety would be printed in English only.
So why make English the official language?
- Bilingual Education
- Bilingual education programs have been around for more than 30 years. Despite the fact that billions of dollars have been spent on bilingual education, these programs have failed to do an adequate job of teaching English. Too few students are able to transition out of these programs. These students consistently score lower on standard achievement tests, and many of the students remain socially isolated and frequently drop out. Millions more graduate without learning fundamental English skills. This deprives them of opportunity in an English-speaking country. This also overtaxes an already failing public education system.
- Total immersion programs work. That's how adults best learn a new language. That's how the Berlitz School of Languages teaches. With English immersion programs, students spend one full school year intensively learning English. After that, they continue to perfect their English skills by using them in English-language classrooms.
- Immigration and Cultural Identity
- The idea of this country being a "melting pot" of cultures has long been abandoned. A cultural melting pot essentially lets people retain their cultural uniqueness within the American culture. This has always been the strength of our country. At the beginning of the 20th Century, when people immigrated, they typically did what they could do to learn English (if they didn't know it already), or at least make sure their children knew English. They retained their cultural identity, while adapting to their new home by learning its language. Promoting English as the official language is vital for preserving our national unity and strength, allowing successful assimilation of immigrants into our culture (no Borg reference here).
- Reduce Cost in Government
- How many languages are ballots printed in? It used to be a criteria of naturalization that applicants know how to speak English, so ballots and other government documents would only need to be printed in one language. Today, however, misguided public officials sometimes conduct naturalization ceremonies in languages other than English. This undermines the English requirement for citizenship and sends a false message that new immigrants do not need to know English in order to participate fully in American public life.
Reduce costs to government by printing documents in one language, as well as highway signs and other public-facing verbage.
- Promote Individual Achievement
- The U.S. Army's mantra used to be "Be All You Can Be". How far can individuals progress without knowing English? Not very. Public primary and secondary schools may cater to non-English speakers, but American colleges and universities don't. Non-English speakers are relegated, therefore, to low-paying, usually no-benefit jobs. That's a serious waste of human potential!
All throughout this country's history, there have been enclaves of citizens who speak their own, native language, but found it prudent to learn the language of the majority in order to do business and assimilate socially. Look at these statistics (courtesy of ProEnglish.com):
- 87% of Americans support making English the official language of the United States.
- 77% of Hispanics believe English should be the official language of government operations. 
- 82% of Americans support legislation that would require the federal government to conduct business solely in English.
- 74% of Americans support all election ballots and other government documents being printed in English.
- 83% of Americans believe new immigrants should learn English.
- 85% of Americans believe it is very hard or somewhat hard for immigrants to get a good job or be successful in this country without learning English.
- 79% of Republicans and 59% of Democrats reject the idea that all Americans should know multiple languages. Among unaffiliated voters, 68% say their fellow citizens do not need to know a language other than English.
Overwhelming numbers, which should send a message to the bureaucrats in Washington, DC. I'm even for making it an amendment to the Constitution! If 87% of Americans support this, what easier way to gain political points with constituents, unless elected officials are more afraid of the 13% minority (who probably don't speak English).
Government spending and taxation is out of control. Government intrusion in everyday life is out of control and un-Constitutional. Common sense is lacking in all levels of government.
Obviously, with these notions, I could never be elected to public office, since I've probably angered labor unions, the "Green Movement" and a large block of federal employees who know their programs are a joke. But the notion that the government can be all things to all people is a fallacy promoted by Socialists and the Democratic leadership.
These ideas are mine, things that I've been thinking about and researching for some time. But, keep in mind, it's my Constitutional right to voice these ideas. To quash alternative viewpoints, regardless of what they are, is a violation of the Constitution. What we need is fewer lawyers, lobbyists and professional politicians running our government, and more people with business experience and common sense (particularly common sense). And a willingness to stand up to the stupidity of those who have been running our country into the ground.