Trust

Ronald Reagan wearing cowboy hat at Rancho del...

Ronald Reagan wearing cowboy hat at Rancho del Cielo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some Republicans are opposed to comprehensive immigration reform because they say they do not trust the Federal government to secure the border if the law is passed. They point to 1986 as an example of government bad faith and resultant amnesty. They fail to mention that the GOP was in the White House for the following SIX years: Ronald Reagan for two years and GHW Bush for four years. Republicans are saying that you can’t trust the Federal government when they are in power and you can’t trust the Federal government when they are out of power because they will do everything in their power in Congress to block effective governmental action. We just can’t trust the GOP. My solution: don’t put Republicans in office in the White House or in Congress. If we reduce their numbers sufficiently, they will not be a factor in preventing the Federal government from working for all of us.

Please see Amnesty

War on government

English: Badge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobac...

English: Badge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

War on drugs, war on terror, war on women. Why doesn’t the media focus on the GOP war on the Federal government? Probably because their owners favor the war as it allows them to make more money and/or they favor it for ideological reasons. Ever since Reagan‘s day when he identified government as part of the problem, the GOP has waged a relentless effort to reduce the size and influence of the Federal government. When they are in office, Republican presidents appoint department heads hostile to the department they are supposed to lead. And when they are out of office, the GOP oppose government funding in order to make government less functional. A case in point, is the ATF, Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, where the department is without a leader and is being systematically starved for funds in order to prevent enforcement of the gun laws already on the books. The GOP is hostile to the Federal government and have adopted the position of Thomas Jefferson, a Founding Father who is out of favor with some on the Right because he was not a Christian.

Hurricane Sandy and charity

100 Million Pennies NYC

100 Million Pennies NYC (Photo credit: Photo Gallery)

Mitt Romney and some of his wealthy supporters want to downsize the Federal government, reducing the safety net for others than themselves, return some programs to the states, privatize other programs and then rely on charity to take up the slack. I think that NOW is a good time for them to demonstrate how that would work from the standpoint of their charitable giving, and I am talking about minimum donations in the $50 to $100 million range. Small change to them, but $50 million here and $100 million there adds up to real money.

Mitt Romney, Michael Bloomberg, the Koch brothers, the Walton family, Peter G. Peterson, Karl Rove’s front organizations, the US Chamber of Commerce, corporate people like GE that pay no Federal income tax, and the private equity and hedge fund billionaires of Wall Street are the possible donors I am thinking about. Wall Street is located in the portion of lower Manhattan that was affected by the hurricane with loss of power and some flooding. If charity begins at home, then the banks that are too big to fail and other firms that benefited from taxpayer bailouts should be among the first to donate. Karl Rove’s front organizations enjoy tax-free status as charitable organizations. They should immediately stop their political attack ads and donate all remaining funds to real charity.

Social Security, a promise or a problem?

English: Scanned image of author's US Social S...

English: Scanned image of author’s US Social Security card. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are two ways of looking at Social Security. One way is to say no problem exists as the trust fund has roughly $2.5 trillion in assets. The other way is to say that the trust fund is broke because the Federal government borrowed the money and spent it, replacing the tax receipts with government IOUs. The people who claim that Social Security is a problem are those who do favor reneging on the promise of a retirement income for seniors because they don’t want to be taxed to redeem the IOUs.

As I used to say to my younger co-workers when we argued about Social Security: If you believe it will still be there when you retire, it will be. If you don’t so believe, it won’t be. That is because you will vote your beliefs and the candidates you elect will either fix the problem or vote to eliminate the program.

Exceptional nation

Washington DC - Capitol Hill: United States Ca...

Washington DC – Capitol Hill: United States Capitol – East front (Photo credit: wallyg)

The US is an exceptional nation with an evil Federal government if you listen to supporters of the second amendment. With a defense establishment second to none, we are the good guys who support freedom and democracy around the globe. Yet at home in the US, we require an armed citizenry to maintain freedom and democracy. Other nations around the globe that possess freedom and democracy don’t require an armed citizenry to maintain their freedoms. If our government is evil, why does it promote freedom and democracy abroad while at the same time planning to extinguish freedom at home, at least according to the fear-mongers on the Right? Why would the Federal government plot to extinguish our rights in the US while at the same time promoting those values elsewhere? It does not make sense.