Category Archives: Laws the GOP should pass

A Compromise We Should Offer Liberals If We Want To Win

Did we forget we're conservatives and we want to limit the power of the federal government?

A couple of years ago I did a series on laws the GOP should pass and in that I did a series of compromises I suggested we conservatives should suggest some laws that give liberals what they say they want but in such a way that we also get something in return and even though we’re giving them what they want we’re doing it in a way that does not violate our values (for instance make marriage a religious issue that government has nothing to do with, government only offers civil unions—they get the equality under law they want, we get the religious nature of marriage untouched by government).

 

And in this vein I have come up with the ultimate compromise, one that will in the end mean the decimation of Democratic and progressive power, but one that will be just too good an offer for the stupid liberals to turn down.

 

Lately there has been a call among the libs, idiots that they are, to overturn the 22nd Amendment…now to save you the time (because I’ll be honest after 19 they all get a little mixed up for me too) the 22nd is the one that limits any person from serving more than 2 terms (technically 10 years total) in the office of the president.  Why?  Because the liberals are so enamored of their divine savior that they think that His Holiness the transcendent Obama should just be allowed to serve 3 or 4 or 10 terms.  He is just that good.  (Yeah because that doesn’t sound like a dictator at all.)

 

And I say we give it to them.  Pass an amendment that overturns the 22nd Amendment.

 

What!  Do I want this nation to be destroyed?  Do I want us to have a GDP lower than a hunter-gatherer tribe lost in the Gobi?  Am I looking to spark a 2nd Dark Ages?

 

No. Hear me out.

 

For this, in the same Amendment (because this has to be an all or nothing thing) we overturn the 26th (the idiotic one that says unspeakably stupid and immature 18 year olds can vote).   And not only do we overturn it we replace it with the new bar that no one younger than 30 can vote* for a federal office (House, Senate, Electoral College)** AND that all states must verify their electoral votes by making voters show valid ID.

 

Okay so?  Why would that make allowing Obama have a chance at a third term acceptable?

 

Gosh...how can I best kill my base and help Romney's?

Because it will mean the end of the liberal movement.  It should come as no shock that the young, the immature, and the stupid from lack of experience tend to be liberal.  Also people who have not built up any property (again mostly the young) tend to liberal—yes I know it’s a shocker that the correct (read, conservative) governments, for whom one of the central functions is protection of property rights, isn’t popular with the people who haven’t been alive long enough to earn much. Also strangely the age group that finds the Daily Show to be their primary source of information tends to be the most liberal.

 

Okay, so we know that young people are dumb, big deal.  So what?

 

Well the benefits of Voter ID alone are almost too good to pass up. We all know that liberals have stolen an obscene number of elections through illegal voting.

 

I’ll tell you so what.  If voters under 30 had been barred from voting Romney would have won by nearly 70 Electoral College votes. Obama would have only won California by about 9 points (I could pull up the charts with all the math, but I don’t want to make your eyes bleed)…that’s right California would be at just the edge of swing state territory.  Swing states would become solid red and states that haven’t seen a Republican in ages would suddenly be battleground territory.  (And that’s before you take out all the illegals voting through Voter ID…if you had those 2 things it’s conceivable that California could once again be the state that gave us Reagan).

 

Almost every single thing that makes a person more inclined to be fiscally conservative (experience, marriage, children, income, wealth, employment, spirituality) is tied to age.  And think about it when the voting age was 21 in the colonial era, it wasn’t because people were so much more mature than by nature it was because the life expectancy was around 45.  You were already living on your own by the age of 19, still two years before you could vote.

 

By doing this conservatives gain an easy majority in the Senate and likely a consistent veto-proof majority in the House.

 

Now social issues will probably continue to lean a little left, but that’s just the evolution of society.

 

Now you may say, okay that will work for now, but once those 20 somethings get older they’ll be liberal with a vengeance in their 30’s.  Not so, because after a conservative Congress and conservative president institute real pro-growth policies, these otherwise idiotic young people will actually have something to work for and earn in their 20’s, will have families to care for, will have experience to guide them, and statistically they will vote for conservative economic policy.

 

Or you may say, the Democrats will never fall for it.

 

To which I have to say, you’re forgetting these are the idiots who fell for Obama’s shtick, deep thinkers they are not. If you offer them the chance to re-elect their God-king one more time they’d do things far worse than destroy their own party.  They’re deluded to think that he’ll get re-elected every time no matter what.  Yet the numbers show that’s not the case, but these idiots don’t understand numbers very much (as shown by their economic policies).

 

Now some of you still probably believe they’re not dumb enough to fall for this.  That they’ll see through the ruse and just vote for Obama-lite in 2016 and 2020.  Let me just point out that some of his idiot followers are attributing a cure for AIDS to the man, trust me they’re well beyond the point of being dumb enough. They really think this man is their lord and savior.  They’re well beyond dumb enough.  Well, well beyond.

 

They’ll fall for it.  And they’ll destroy their party in doing so.  So who’s with me on this?

 

 

*I’m more than willing to include an exception for active duty members of the military and veterans under 30.

**If states want to let the immature vote in state and local elections that’s their stupid choice.

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The Outlook on Control of the Senate

The time has come the Walrus said

To speak of many things

Of Senates—Of races—and filibusters—

Of polls—and vicious slings

And why Harry Reid still reigns–

And whether liberty rings…

Now as I’ve said before the Electoral College seems to be leaning to a Romney win, but that win will mean nothing if the Democrats remain in control of even a house of Congress.  Keep in mind Obama is already blaming Republicans for doing nothing in Congress when it is the Senate under Harry Reid that is not bringing  any bills up for vote even though House has passed bills that the Senate needs to vote on (but remember, in defiance of all facts, the Republicans are obstructionists). 

So, while the presidency isn’t a sure thing (although the odds are in our favor) it might be best to look at the Senate races before we start ushering in a new era of conservatism with Romney.  (I’d look at the House but with the economy, the lack luster coattails of Obama and the threat of putting Nancy Pelosi back in charge, I don’t think we’re likely to lose the House).  Granted what we would really like is 60 votes to ensure we always have cloture on votes (we can get them voted on).  But I always figure there are seven or eight blue dogs (or at least a few Dems who have to run in 2014) hanging around so we’ll probably be in decent shape if we can get to 53 votes in the Senate. 

So where do we stand right now?

Well According to RealClearPolitics, based on current polls we are at 47 safe or leaning  Democrat seats and 45 safe or leaning Republican states (when you count the seats not up for a vote) and 8 tossups.

 

But as with all things there is always a deeper level. RealClearPolitics, like any news agency survives on advertising, and as such makes money the more it brings you back to their site. If they declared that the Senate was going to swing Republican and there is nothing you can do about, no one would bother to keep checking the Race for the Senate seats more than once a month.  Non-battles don’t get press….so it is in their best interest to have a wide definition of toss up so as to get more people looking for information.  It’s not lying but, it’s also not a straight reporting of the facts.

So let’s look at some of these Toss-Up States.  (Keep in mind I’m working off limited data here).

First a word.  Now with the Electoral College I’ve been using the assumptions that in the end undecided voters tend to break 2 to 1 against the incumbent.  This logic doesn’t always apply here.  There are several seats that are open. Further, will people be voting against the incumbent Senator or the incumbent party (i.e., Democrats)?  Now if the incumbent is a Democrat it might be easier to assume that the undecided vote will break for the challenger, but I can’t be sure of the 2 to 1 ratio.  Whereas as of right now, with the limited data I have, it might be safe to assume that if the incumbent is a Republican the undecided vote is probably going to split pretty evenly. 

You have Wisconsin.  Now the Wisconsin Republican Primary hasn’t been held for the Senate Race but currently it looks like Thompson is ahead by double digits and will likely face off against Baldwin…at which point Wisconsin continues to favor Republicans like Scott Walker and Thompson will win, possibly by double digits, in “toss-up” Wisconsin.  Dems 47-GOP 46.

 

Next we have Nevada, where Heller is consistently up even in heavily biased PPP polls. Granted, there’s nothing terribly recent in terms of likely voter polls…but I get the feeling that so long as we aren’t running a Palin picked candidate (liberal at heart Palin can sure pick losers) Nevada is probably tired of Democrats constantly insulting their state and hurting business.  Dems 47-GOP 47.

 

North Dakota comes next.

Yes in a more recent Mason-Dixon Poll the Democrats are up, but given that it’s within margin of error and given that it is currently controlled by a Democrat (hence the undecided vote will go against the Democrats), the anti-Obama feelings will likely push N. Dakota into the red column.  I’ll admit this is a weak prediction, but I don’t have a lot of data to work with here.  Dems 47-GOP 48.

 

We follow this with Missouri.

Now Missouri is a tad trickier…the GOP primary hasn’t taken place yet and there is no clear winner yet.  However, given that all three candidates outdo the sitting Democrat, it’s probably a safe call to say that Missouri is going to switch to the GOP.  Dems 47-GOP 49.

 

And to round off 50 votes we have Montana where Republicans lead in legitimate polls and hold their own in BS PPP polls.  Dems 47-GOP 50.

At this point with 50 votes the GOP would control the Senate as Romney’s VP (oh please let it be Ryan) would be the tie breaking vote.  But let’s look at the other races.

In Massachusetts we have Scott Brown vs. Elizabeth “Dances with Bullshit” Warren.  As Warren continues to dig herself a deeper and deeper grave with the Pow-Wow Chow, while still up in the air, I think Brown, with the help of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, should be able to pull out a win.  47-51.

 

Turning down South we hit Florida, the source of so many election headaches.

Now technically the polls show the Democrats up in all of the polls, but notice that one is PPP, which can just be thrown out, and the others are registered voter polls, which means move the final number two or three points to the right.  Another close Republican victory…assuming we don’t have a rigged recount Dade county again.

 

And of the toss up states all we have left is Virginia…which I have no idea. The most recent polls has the GOP up…but it’s one poll in a sea of polls having the Democrat up (much older polls) but I have no reason to not believe this most recent one is an outlier…time will tell.  So with Florida and Virginia we could be as high as 47-53 (but that is could, not will unless we dedicate time, energy and money to all of these).

 

Now let’s talk about some long shots.  Now Connecticut and New Mexico are close, not spectacularly close, but not out of the realm of possibility to see a shift. Depending on how much the GOP wants to spend and how much time Romney spends in these states (New Mexico especially, it’s a weaker state for Obama) I would not be surprised to see one of them turn (keep in mind the Connecticut seat is the one being vacated by conservative-Democrat Joe Lieberman…a liberal Republican could stand a chance).

 

 

And last but not least I want to talk about three really long shots. Ohio, Washington and California.  Ohio has Democratic Sherrod Brown defending his seat.  This is a man who has railed against the correct Supreme Court Citizens United decision since the day it was passed because it doesn’t allow him to have the advantage union money used to give him.  This corrupt piece of shit deserves to go down in whatever the political equivalent of the phrase “to the pain” is.  It is unlikely that he will lose his seat, but I would be very happy to this man go.  As for the two west coast states with a Senator up…they’re pretty safe…except that even liberals are getting tired of their rhetoric…and we could manage to pull off a Romney landslide (not impossible) that is if it is clear Romney will win hours before the California and Washington polls close that might be just enough to discourage liberals from coming out to vote and swinging those seats in our favor…long shots, but stranger things have happened.  My point with these last three are if you have some spare cash and want to make a long shot investment…look to the GOP senators in the West.

Overall we are looking at a safe bet of taking back the Senate…not have the 60 votes necessary to push everything through without making deals, but back in control to where we let things come up to vote.  But we are close enough that this is not a hopeless fight…we are close enough that giving all we have for every last vote will actually lead to results.  Now again this should not be taken as a call to relax…no, with every vote closer to 60 we get in the Senate, more and more conservative proposals can get through without Democratic compromises.  We need to get as close as possible, and time, energy and money will get us there.

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The Possible Future of the Republican Party

 

“Look at Europe, you fool. Can’t you see past the guff and recognize the essence? One country is dedicated to the proposition that man has no rights, that the collective is all. The individual held as evil, the mass – as God. No motive and no virtue permitted – except that of service to the proletariat.

That’s one version. Here’s another. A country dedicated to the proposition that man has no rights, that the State is all. The individual held as evil, the race – as God. No motive and no virtue permitted – except that of service to the race. Am I raving or is this the harsh reality of two continents already? If you’re sick of one version, we push you in the other. We’ve fixed the coin. Heads – collectivism. Tails – collectivism. Give up your soul to a council – or give it up to a leader. But give it up, give it up, give it up. Offer poison as food and poison as antidote. Go fancy on the trimmings, but hang on to the main objective. Give the fools a chance, let them have their fun – but don’t forget the only purpose you have to accomplish. Kill the individual. Kill man’s soul. The rest will follow automatically.”—Elsworth Toohey, The Fountainhead [emphasis added]

 

Believe it or not Rick Santorum’s campaign gives me hope.   Why?  Because it proves beyond the shadow of all doubt that religious fundamentalists do not control this party.  Let’s be honest cowards are voting for Ron Paul, social conservatives for Santorum, (I haven’t the foggiest clue as to why anyone is voting for Newt) and fiscal conservatives are voting for Mitt Romney.

 

 

But listening to Santorum’s speech did make me think about his new theme: Freedom.  It’s ironic that this would be his theme as it is something that he is opposed to in every area of existence.  We know that Ricky is a social conservative and thus opposed to liberty in the social arena…no we need government laws and regulations backed with up with fines and jails and guns to control that part of the world.  From his earmarks, pro-union stance and wish to control the economy through loopholes and regulations we know he is opposed to economic freedom.  And while you might say at least he’s a conservative on the foreign policy arena, but you’d be wrong, as he doesn’t believe in holding the line against Islam-fascists or Communist China because of the relevant communist or fascists part…he opposes them because they’re Muslims and atheists…after all he has said it’s a “holy war” (his words not mine) that we’re fighting right now.  Rick Santorum, American Jihadist.  He’s not interested in beating back tyranny; he’s interested in beating back non-Christians.   In every form of political thought this man is opposed to liberty and freedom in every way possible.

And while Santorum may be in the running for worst politician in the history of presidential politics, it did start me thinking about the nature of freedom in relation to political parties (yes I’m weird and the most boring conversationalist…deal with it).

 

So, contrary to that two axis graph the libertarian love so much (with one axis being economic freedom and one being social freedom) modern politics is actually a balance of three axes.

  1. Economic Freedom ranging from zero freedom with socialism/communism (the name changes the government doesn’t) to full freedom (anarchy) with true capitalism being about 80-90% of the way to complete freedom.
  2. Social Freedom with communism/theocracy/fascism being at the zero end and again capitalism in the 80-90% range of full freedom.
  3. And finally you have the third access which I will call interventionism (for a much more protracted discussion see Republicans and Reincarnation).  This is the idea of whether or not we feel that freedom should be extended throughout the world as “all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights” at the full freedom side or feel that tyranny, socialism and oppression are fine so long as they stay outside our borders at the zero freedom side, we call this side isolationism.

Sadly, right now each political party embraces at least one of these evils.  Democrats embrace the evil of restricting freedom in the economic sphere.  Libertarians embrace the evil of allowing oppression in other nations so long as it doesn’t bother them (much like Whigs in antebellum America or isolationist pre-WWII who didn’t mind 6 million people dying so long as it wasn’t them…we all see how well those policies worked)…and the Republican party embraces the evil of government intrusion in the social sphere.

 

And this is why I chose the quote I did to open this post.  The system seems rigged (more by human nature to want to control something not by nefarious evil conglomerates trying to control our every choice) to leave us with a between government control in the social sphere or government control in the economic sphere…and if we’re too disgusted with those we go to a party that turns a blind eye to evil, no matter how atrocious and antithetical to our most basic principles,

 

But there is hope.  Because right now we are seeing a rejection of that very evil represented in Rick Santorum (yes he embodies all three evils, but he’s running on his social “conservative” agenda).

 

But there is more hope than just the destruction of Rick Santorum and the defeat of the social conservatives in this election…but the possibility of the defeat of them for all time.

 

Look at it this way.  Almost every Tea Party candidate who ran in 2010 won.  The ones who didn’t, the ones who cost the GOP in the Senate (most notably Angle and O’Donnell) were portrayed not as fiscal conservatives but as wacky social conservatives (I’ll not be getting into whether that depiction is correct or not).  So it appears that when Republicans run on fiscal issues they win. 

 

 

Or to look at it another way.  The highest Santorum has ever been is 39% of Republican voters who make up only about 36% of the voting public.  In other words social conservatives who place their social conservatism above all else make up only 14% (39% of 36%…and those are kind of high end estimates, it’s probably lower in reality) of the electorate.

 

Only 14%.  14% that has no choice but to vote for the Republicans or let a party that allows its economic liberalism turn into an excess of social liberalism.  Do you really think that 14% of the electorate that identifies itself as independent or libertarian aren’t driven from the Republican Party by its perverse adherence to social conservatism…to a belief that the government should tell people how to live their lives.  Hell, I know a few blue-dog Democrats who are fiscally conservative and whose only argument against Republicans is the pointless social concerns.

 

If we drove them out of power now, if we made this a party of fiscal and foreign policy concerns, and only of social moderation, that the government takes no sides in social issues (you know, as the Founders wanted)…and leave social issues to individuals, churches and local communities,  then we would experience not a drop in election results, but a surge, a powerful surge that would not only be a death blow to psychosis that is social conservatives desire to rule over people’s bedrooms but also to the evil that is the Democrat desire to rule over our wallets.

 

Or we can just keep going as we always have and let these lunatics have too much influence in our party.

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Romney Wins! An Open Letter to the Republican Party

Okay Romney won.  (Even with Rick call in the Dems).  For those of us who support Romney (i.e. those of us who actually looked at his record instead of swallowing what the media is trying to force feed us) this is a good day…

Mr. President

But to the rest of the Republican Party, the Newt supporters, the Santorum supporters (those who aren’t Democrats), the Paul supporters, we need to talk.  Guys, look, you’re just not going to get it.  The wins tonight give Romney another boost and hurt your guys even more.  Before tonight he had 99 delegates.  Tonight he got 29 from Arizona and will probably get around 15 for Michigan.  Add to that he’s ahead in Puerto Rico (23 delegates), Maryland (37), D.C. (19), Delaware (17), California (172), New Jersey (50), and Utah (40) and those are all winner-take-all primaries.  That’s 501 delegates of the needed 1144.  Wisconsin is the only other winner-take-all state with only 42 delegates.  Now add in his commanding leads in Massachusetts (41) and Virginia (49) and Mitt’s already got over half of the votes he needs locked down.  (When you factor in all the proportional votes from Super Tuesday (480, counting MA and VA which we know Mitt’s going to win) and add in all the other winner-take-all states Mitt will likely have close to 700 (quite possibly well over 700, but I’m being generous to Newt and Rick) delegates locked down by the end of Super Tuesday.  Which would mean of the 1103 delegates up for grabs Mitt would only have to get another 444 (give or take how many off from 700 he has) .  Wow, only 40% of the delegates.  I’m sure that will be so difficult especially after Newt and Rick go bankrupt as they’re about to any day now.  Face it.  Romney is going to be the nominee.  There will be no brokered convention, there will be no split party.  Romney’s it.  He’s also the one that Obama is afraid of!

Now you have three options.  You can pout and do nothing.  You can continue attacking Romney and do Obama’s work for him.  You can work to make sure we win the House and the Senate.

I understand if you can’t get behind Romney (well actually I can’t in this particular case, but as I would not vote for Santorum if he were the nominee I’m not going to say you must vote for Romney or work to get him elected if he were the nominee…although my anti-Santorum stance is based on reason, facts, and patriotism…your anti-Romney bias is based on what again?  Lunacy?  Anyway…) .  But even if you don’t like Romney pouting helps no one.  Civic duty requires that you participate actively in government in any way you can.

And attacking Romney is also not a valid option as it only helps Obama.  Levin, Hanity, Malkin, Shapiro, Murdoch, Limbaugh, Michael Reagan* I’m talking to you.  Shut the hell up.  Don’t like him.  Fine, don’t support him.  But that doesn’t mean you help our mutual enemy.  Even all of the Newt and Santorum supporters out there need to get a clue that as many problems as they have against Romney (all of them justified by lies, half-truths and misinformation) he’s better than Obama.  If you don’t like Romney, please just spend the rest of the year until November attacking Obama and his cronies and ONLY Obama and his cronies.  Hell, day after the election I’ll join you in being a critic of President Romney when he does the wrong thing, as I will critique any president when they screw up…but until we get Obama out hold off on attacking Romney, please, for the good of the country—you know that thing you claim to love (although by supporting Santorum I’m not really seeing it).

The third option, the one everyone who doesn’t like Romney should be taking, is making sure you do everything in your power to make sure that the House stays in Republican control and that the Republicans  take hold in the Senate.  According to RealClearPolitics 5 seats up for election are safe Republican seats with another 8 in the toss up category (and 4 Democratic seats are in the Lean Democrat category).  The goal, for those of you who don’t want to back Romney should be to make sure that both House and Senate are staunchly conservative, Tea Party Conservative, not just Republican.  So, playing in your ball park for just a second, if Romney is the flip-flopping politician you claim he is (even though he’s not) then he will have no choice but to always veer conservative as that is the only thing he will be able to do with a conservative Congress.  Hitting Romney will only waste resources in getting what you want, conservative policies.  And to those commentators I mentioned, given that you’re all very well off and you’ve already hurt this party with you divisive rhetoric, you should be donating the maximum to every major Senate and House race you can—that is the only way you can make up for this draw out violation of the 11th Commandment (especially considering most of you are backing an extreme economic liberal like Santorum).

So it’s up to you.  Show you care about this country or continue hitting Romney.  Your choice.

*On a side note I would like to take the time to point out that Michael Reagan’s endorsement of Newt shows that intelligence may be more dependent on genetics than environment.

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Marriage, Religion and Society… (And in a roundabout way, another reason why Santorum’s a jackass)

Ugh…I hate social issues.  I would love it if everyone could just keep their personal lives personal and not worry about what other people are doing so long as they’re not hurting anyone.  And while I am quite the civil libertarian in caring about other people’s lives it might have something to do that my personal life could not be more bland and conservative…which may be why I couldn’t care about other people’s lives.

But because of Tweedle-Dumb and Tweedle-Dumber (otherwise known as Obama and Santorum, I’m not sure which is which) and their ilk there will be no end to the discussion of these otherwise stupid topics for weeks if not months….no, no let’s not talk about saving the economy or dealing with absolute evil abroad, birth control and gay marriage is far more important than whether or not there will actually be a first world society in a generation. Far more important.

I’ve dealt with Obama’s overstep of executive authority in the guise of an attack on religious freedom so I guess it is now time to once again take on Santorum.  Of course that’s a whole mess of issues right there.  Well…let’s go to a few quotes:

“Marriage is not about affirming somebody’s love for somebody else. It’s about uniting together to be open to children, to further civilization in our society.”

“Two people who may like each other or may love each other who are same-sex, is that a special relationship? Yes it is, but it is not the same relationship that benefits society like a marriage between a man and a woman[.]”

“The basic building block of a society is not an individual. It’s the family. That’s the basic unit of society.”

“Do they have a right? Should society do their best to make sure that that child has the best opportunity to be raised by that mother and father? The answer is yes.”

…and if you think those quotes have a distinct communist/collectivist call for 1984, Brave New World, or Anthem I wouldn’t blame you.  Really I’m fascinated to hear that marriage has nothing to do with love (makes you wonder what his home life is like…I’ve got an idea let’s see if his wife or daughters ever smile while on camera in a way that isn’t obviously forced to see how happy that home life is.)  So in Rick Santorum’s mind you are here only to have children to propagate society and we give special privileges to these breeders…(It makes you really frightened of his call to TRIPLE the tax credit for children…because in a time when any right thinking conservative wants to lower taxes and CLOSE all loopholes, he wants to open loopholes with a crowbar so as to encourage massive overpopulation because it’s working so well for the third world).   Okay we can agree that Rick Santorum doesn’t have a single neuron firing in that head of his.  But that still doesn’t put the general issue of marriage off the table even if I’m Santorum is lord high king of the idiots.  So let’s talk marriage…

Yes marriage is an important function of society.  Rick is wrong about it being the basis of society, that has always been and always will be the individual…but individuals need human companionship (usually in the form of friendship and marriage, and if they’re one in the same, then you’re blessed).  Now is marriage only for the “uniting together to be open to children, to further civilization in our society”?  Not really.  People were having children and caring for them long before marriage, although marriage does help raising them, certainly, no one would argue that.  But it is not having a mother and father that helps, it’s having two parents that helps (increased income, increased ability for child care, increased experience) and anyone who thinks that gay people make bad parents isn’t just crazy, they’re flying in the face of a boat load of research (Just one example here).  But raising children isn’t the only thing marriage is for.  If Santorum wanted to ever crack a history book (which I don’t think he has ever done given his perverted views on the Founding Fathers view of liberty ) he might learn that property rights have traditionally had far more to do with marriage than children do…but that would require Santorum to care about property rights, which are an individual right and as he has much respect for individual rights as any communist or Asharite.  And while history is filled with moments where society progressed just fine without any strict government rules on marriage I would be foolish to say that marriage isn’t a great support for society.  However if Santorum and his followers think that gay marriage is a danger to marriage, or even if it’s that  relevant in the face of other government hits at marriage, then they’re idiots.

Granted, as I’ve said before, I would like the federal government and all the states to say that marriage is a religious institution and thus strike the term marriage from every law on the books…civil unions for everyone!  It’s up to your church whether to call what you have a marriage or not, not the government.  This has the advantage of A.) not letting government dictate what a religion can do (we’ll come back to this) (social conservatives get what they want) B.) Everyone will be equal (social liberals get what they want) C.)Nobody gets to win (because I hate people who think social issues are a function of government) and D.) Jackasses like Santorum will have to shut up (everybody on the planet wins).  All the legal privileges of the marriage could be easily transferred to these civil unions, but as it lacks the name it lacks the attack on a religious institution that expanding it encompasses.

But I will still admit that marriage, and a two parent family is important to a functioning society. You’d be a damn fool to deny that…but then again both social conservatives and social liberals are damn fools given how they act. Social liberals are idiots for what they’ve already done to weaken those social structures (and I’ll get to that in just a minute) and social conservatives are idiots for fighting a defensive war against gay marriage (which has nothing to do with the strength of the social institution, but it is very visible which suggest that their cause is more cynical demagoguery than heartfelt concern) rather than an offensive war against the liberal policies that actually have done harm to marriage and society.

But back to my statement about liberals actually having done some stuff have actually done to undermine the social institution of marriage (hint gay marriage isn’t going to be anywhere on this list).

Welfare and the Great Society.  Let’s pay unwed mothers money for having children.  That makes sense.  Because every economist from any school, be it Keynesian, Chicago or Austrian, will tell you that when you subsidize a behavior or product you get more of it.  Subsidize unwed children, guess what, you de-incentivize actually getting married or waiting until marriage to have children.  (This would also be tied to my opinion that Rick Santorum’s idea to triple the child tax credit when we have an over population problem is, well, brainless).  Really brain dead is that we pay for anything more than the first pregnancy.  I can see an argument for a safety net to help women who have had an accident, been dumped by the loser who got them pregnant, and need some help…one time is an accident (although I would prefer these to be run by counties and cities…not a distant bureaucracy in states and at the federal level).  But not two times.  And definitely not more than two.

Now if social conservatives really wanted to care about the well being of children and the defense of marriage as a social institution they would once again push for welfare reforms.  One that cut people off after the first pregnancy, ones that vigorously track down deadbeat dads (I wouldn’t mind upping what the minimum monthly payment is and bringing back debtors prison for those who won’t pay).  Or requiring the welfare recipients attend GED or job training to help ensure they get off welfare if they want to continue getting their check.  Or how about this one—we’ll keep track of every dollar you get in welfare payments you get from the government and the minute you start making over let’s say $25,000 a year the government will deduct 1% of your check until you’ve paid back what you took out, interest free because we’re not monsters (and the percentage of your check would go up slightly say 3% at $30,000 so forth and so on) this way no would ever view welfare as a free ride, thus removing many of the incentives for taking it.  But right now I’m hearing more about those evil, evil gays (who seem to be decent parents and no worse as couples than their straight counterparts) as what is ruining marriage.  Yeah couldn’t be the financial incentives against being married when having children.

Oh and speaking of financial incentives, why is that the call to end the marriage penalty at all levels has kind of disappeared?  As I recall the law passed under Bush to end the marriage penalty had a sunset date…isn’t that coming up?  How about this, offer a tax discount for those who get married.  Watch people get married and stay married when there are real financial incentives to do so.  Will some people get married for reasons other than love?  Probably, but how is that different from right now?  If you want to promote something don’t punish it.  But you haven’t heard that from social conservatives, now have you.  Hell, given the fact that children of single parent households have a higher likelihood of committing a crime, then financially incentivizing marriage would probably pay for the reduction in revenue via a drop in paying for imprisonment (among a whole mountain of secondary benefits, that was just the first one that came to me, trust me it would pay for itself ten times over).

I could go on, how Social Security and Medicare encourage people to dump bonds with their parents when they got old rather than bringing them into the household in a more stable extended family, how the government support for the liberal Teacher’s unions worked to destroy parental responsibility in raising their children, and a few other programs…but I think you get the point.  If social conservatives really cared about the state of marriage and the social benefits that the family brings there are things they could be doing that would be incredibly effective in strengthening the social institution.  But they would rather focus on something that has NOTHING to do with the strength of marriage.  (And liberals don’t go feeling self-satisfied about that last sentence, you actually have done some damage to the social institution of marriage, just because the conservatives are idiots and not calling you on it doesn’t make you less guilty.

Now social conservatives will probably come back with some stupid “gay marriage is the straw that will break the camel’s back” kind of argument.  But as we know in this case I think social conservatives are idiots.  If they really cared about the state of marriage and the need of married couple to properly raise children they would be attacking the liberal entitlement culture and not worrying about what gay people do.

Up next, why the Court decisions on Prop. 8 is actually the last thing the gay community should want because it’s going to hurt them…because the social liberal also need to be hit (with a peppering of insults against the right)

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Stupid Liberal Quote of the Day…

“Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion.”–Edmund Burke, considered to be the father of modern Conservative thought

No, that’s not the stupid quote.  I don’t think Burke ever said a stupid thing in his life.  Even the points I would disagree with Burke on vehemently would still be genius.

I just quotde that to frame this idiotic statement from last night’s GOP Debate.  This little tidbit comes from lover of big government, regulations and unchecked executive power, uber-liberal Rick “What Constitution?  I have my wacky interpretation of the Bible!” Santorum.

 And with right-to-work, look, I represented the state of Pennsylvania, which is one of the — which is not a right-to-work state. If you look at who voted for the right-to-work bill in the Congress, those who came from right-to-work states voted for it. Those who came from non-right-to-work states represented their states. I wasn’t going to vote in Washington, D.C., to change the law in my state.
I support right-to-work. I actually, as president, will sign and advocate for a right-to-work bill, but when I represented the people of Pennsylvania, I made the decision that I wasn’t going to do in Washington and change the law in my state when my state didn’t want to have that provision in their laws.

So let me get this straight, you support right to work, but you voted against it?  Oh I’m sorry, I misspoke.  Rick Santorum filibustered a right to work bill.  He didn’t just vote against it, he tried to prevent it from even getting a vote.  Way to support your supposed values, Rick.  This wasn’t like Romney’s excuse of “I had a liberal legislature, let’s see you do better.”  This was “I joined the enemy to actively prevent you from engaging in a basic capitalist right which is covered by your right to pursue Happiness.”  It was “I thought my getting reelected was more important that the Declaration and Constitution and reason.”

Oh yeah, I trust this guy.  I trust him to not only try to legislate every aspect of my personal life, but to continue to sell us out to the unions every chance he gets.

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Democrats Brand New Plan: Raise Taxes On Rich, No Spending Cuts

Say hello to the new Democratic plan, same as the old the Democratic plan

So the new Democratic plan, as laid out by resident scumbag Chuck Schumer is to raise taxes on the rich and cut nothing.  I’m glad the Democrats aren’t a broken record that have only one policy, but rather embrace a myriad of different ways to improve the economy and never stick to a plan after it has already failed the last 100 times it was tried. 

 

Senator Schumer, who has never met a tax hike or Constitutional violation he didn’t like  is suggesting this new tax hike on millionaires to offset the cost of continuing the tax break on the payroll tax we have all enjoyed for the last year.

And you know what, I like the payroll tax break.  Better that I get to keep my money than it goes to the Social Security system where it is guaranteed that I will never see it again.  I’m kind of like that; I prefer my money to remain in my wallet instead of the wallets of highway robbers.  I guess I’m just greedy.

But how about this we don’t need to raise taxes on anyone.  Do you know why?  Well first because Schumer’s tax those who make more than a million a year plan is just laughable.  You could tax everyone in the country who makes more than a million a year and still not have enough to shore up social security.

Let’s take a look. [2006 figures]  U.S. Census figures don’t list go above $250,000 a year but let’s use that.  After all $250,000 a year is rich and those bastards deserve to have everything taken from them anyway.  So there are 2.2 million households with an income of $250K or higher (There are 116 million households so this group is about the top 2% of the number of households).   The whole group has an average income of $448,687 (which if you take the time to think about it means most of them are below the million dollar mark, but they’re still evil rich bastards).  So the total income for this group is 987.1 Billion dollars.  So if Chuck put an additional 10% on their income that would yield 98.7 Billion next year.

 

But that won’t solve much.  You see Social Security was already taking in 29 Billion less than it was spending in March of 2010then in December of 2010 Obama signed the 2% Payroll tax holiday for a year, which is what Schumer wants to save.  That saved Americans about $100 Billion that wasn’t sent to the thieves at Social Security.  Oh wait, we were already spending more than we were taking in, then we cut income by a $100,000,000,000.00.  Hmmm and if Chuck got a 10% hike on everyone at $250,000 or more that would supply 99 Billion.

But Chuck only wants to tax those making over a million.  Which, since they’re a small portion of that top 2% means the tax rate will have to be even higher to make up the difference.  So we’re at what, a 20% increase?  30%?  And you’re still not making up for the initial $29 Billion shortfall that we started with before the payroll tax cut.

And let us not forget the baby boomers are starting to retire.  A massive generation of losers who expect to be taken care of.  Yeah I’m sure that won’t jack up costs.

And I’m sure a 30% tax increase on income won’t possibly slow down the economy at all.  No, not at all.

And it’s even more ridiculous as most people who make over a million a year make it through investments which is an entirely different type of income than the type Schumer is talking about.  So don’t worry Warren Buffet, your Democratic pals aren’t coming after a single cent of your income.

How about this, Chuck.  Instead of your plan which won’t work and is only there to stir up the class warfare, how about a plan that works.

If you’re on Social Security right now, you’re taking a 10% cut in benefits.  If you’re going on it in the next 3 years you’re taking a 15% cut.  If you’re not retiring in the next three years, guess what you’re really not retiring in the next three years because we’re raising the retirement age from 67 to 71…and look forward a 20% cut in benefits.  And if you’re under 50 right now you’re retirement age is 75 and a 25% cut in benefits.  This will get costs in line.

And then we should lower benefits for everyone 45 or younger even further but offer these people a privatized system that is self sustaining and not a ponzi-scheme like entitlement program.
But that would actually work.  And Chuck Schumer isn’t interested in things that work…he’s interested in things that get him and his ilk elected so they can be exempt from all payroll taxes and all insider trading laws.

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Laws for the GOP to Pass: Last weekly blog in the series, Stop subsidizing bad behavior

Basic psychology. If you reward a behavior you will get more of it. If you repeatedly reward a behavior you will get more of it. So the worst thing anyone could do is reward bad behavior…and even the dumbest person in the world, even before B.F. Skinner, knows this. So how stupid do you have to be to be a government that does just that?

So while I have covered bits and pieces of this basic concept, the entire U.S. government needs to adopt a policy that we need to stop subsidizing and encouraging bad behavior.

Let’s take a look at some ways we do this. Do you run a crappy business? Is it about to go belly up because you make the worst product in your field, have the dumbest advertising, the most inane management and you pay unskilled workers more than most college graduates make. Well don’t worry because someone in the government will say you’re “Too big to fail.” So you get to keep doing everything that made you a business that is eventually going to fail. Why do we do this? Do we think that businesses succeeding or failing is just something random and not directly a result of the choices made by that business? Businesses succeed because of good practices, not because of bad luck. Bailing out the losers only rewards the losers and prevents the people who have good practices from expanding to fill the gap.

Or how about this one?  Have you done something absolutely brain dead like not save for retirement? Don’t worry we’re going to pay you 140% of what you paid into to our Ponzi scheme. Why should you save, you’ll have life subsidized no matter how poorly you planned or saved. And for the kicker, not only did you raise terrible children who won’t let you come and move in with them (thus also hurting all of society by the fact that you didn’t teach them even a small piece of charity) but you’re now going to screw not just your children again, but also your grandchildren by having to pay for the fact that we like to reward your inability to plan for something that there is actually no question will occur.

Then of course there is Medicaid and Medicare. Yes we all get sick, we all get old and our bodies all break down and die. But let’s be honest here most of the money is spent on entirely preventable conditions (heart disease, lung diseases, Type II diabetes…hell most cancer have a certain amount of behavior and bad habits as their cause). The more idiotic your decisions the more rewarded you get with more and more money spent on your numerous medical problems.

And then of course we have welfare. Did you not study in school and are thus completely un-hirable? Well let’s give you money. Do you not go to find a job no matter how far below your ideal job it might be? Don’t worry we’ll give you money. We won’t require that you get an education, do a certain amount of community service, or even go look for a job…no we’re just going to give you money.

Now with all of these we need to stop rewarding bad behavior. Some of these programs we just need to kill (Bailouts, social security, Medicaid and Medicare) and others like welfare we need to require certain things like requiring good behavior (like making all payments dependant on education and community service).

With every single expenditure made by the government we need to start asking are we encouraging good behavior or subsidizing bad ones? And if the answer is we are wasting money encouraging bad behavior we need to not pay for it. If we just followed this basic principle then it would save us trillions of dollars in the long run.

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Laws for the GOP to pass…rework the entire bureaucracy…and by rework I mean fire just about everyone

We’re winding down weekly law blogs.  Next week will be the last one that will be published every week…not that I won’t have any more law blogs but they just won’t be on a weekly basis.

So what am I going to suggest this week?  Well I have suggested a few departments be disbanded.  Now if you noticed the theme, I would argue that most of the departments should just be disbanded, with their few useful functions either handed to the remaining departments, given to the states, or simply privatized.  Now we’ve covered Transportation , Education , HUD , the Post Office , the TSA and the USDA.

But that still doesn’t cover a lot.  Why doesn’t it cover a lot?  Well take a look at the current U.S. Executive Branch.

This would be the definition of madness.  And technically one man controls all of that.  I don’t care it if it’s Obama, Bush or George Washington risen from the grave.  No one can possibly lead all of that or should be trusted with all of that.

So I suggest we just get rid of most of it.  The federal government should be there to protect our Constitutional rights, police crimes that cross borders, defend the national borders, resolves conflicts between states and a few other things that are too big for individual states to do.  Most of what’s on that list does not fall into the area of things states can’t be trusted to do.

In fact Congress should make it its job to make this look more like this:

You’ll notice that only the Departments of State, Defense, Treasury, Justice and Homeland are left.  And quite frankly if I had my way Justice would be all the legal ins and out and Homeland would have the FBI and all other federal police forces (ATF, DEA, ICE, etc) all rolled into that large FBI–it frightens me that numerous organizations are out there with the same purpose to catch criminals which results in numerous overlaps, wasteful spending and of course turf wars.  Also can we please change the name of Homeland Security?  It’s the dumbest name ever.  It’s sounds like Fatherland or Motherland (remind me which two countries referred to their nations that way).  How about Department of Internal Security.  That way you have a federal police force (Internal Security) and a federal prosecutor (Justice) without the two being the same department (you know how every city, county and state does it).

But as to the Departments I will be getting rid of, I will be brief (If you would like a full justification of why just about everything in that Department needs to be destroyed, I will be more than happy to write a whole blog for each request).

Scrap the Department of Transportation: Last week I had a blog saying infrastructure needs to be handed over to the state, that’s most of the Department there…the only thing that’s left and of value is the FFA and that can be regulated by Internal Security but mainly it just needs to be privatized

The Department of Energy serves no useful federal function other the fact that they hold all the nuclear stuff.  Defense and Internal Security can handle those.

The Department of Commerce is entirely unconstitutional right now, but the commerce clause needs to be clarified so even a liberal can understand it only applies to commerce that crosses state borders.  Its only useful parts are the Census Bureau and Patent Office (which can just be operated as independent federal offices), and NOAA which can be privatized.

Health and Human Services is not the concern of the federal government (FDA can be privatized, CDC over to the Department of Internal Defense)

Department of Interior…utterly useless…especially Indian Affairs.  The states can clearly handle all of this.

Department of sucking up to unions…I mean the Dept of Labor…does nothing relevant, kill it.

The Department of Veterans Affairs can be rolled back into Defense.  I think people in the Pentagon will care a hell of a lot more for veterans than bureaucrats in an office.

And then of course there are a lot of independent agencies I’m getting rid of.  I’m not going into all of them but here are a few highlights.

  • Kill the Peace Corp…if we didn’t send them all to Iraq and Afghanistan to help rebuild those places why the hell do we have them?  They serve no legitimate function.
  • Kill NASA and let the private sector take over.  We’ll be on Mars before the next generation if we let the private sector take over…we’ll never get anywhere if we let government continue to handle this.
  • Kill the African Development Foundation…really, does it look like we know what we’re doing with this?
  • Kill the Foundation on the arts and humanities…again this is a private concern.
  • Privatize Amtrak
  • Kill the National Science Foundation…again this should be a private concern.  Not to mention that this thing has become a liberal propaganda wing.
  • Kill OSHA…Two or three times just to be safe, and burn the buildings…I think all the employees should be put in jail (solitary for life) just to be safe, and probably have the bodies burned after they die to make sure they don’t come back.  No government office is as harmful to business, worker happiness and safety as this office which had to have been imagined in the 10th level of hell.
  • Office of Government Ethics…Huh?  Try not laugh when reading that.
  • Selective Service System…yeah we have a volunteer system now…and if it wasn’t too hard to set up in WWII it won’t be too difficult to set up again if we need it.
  • Small Business Administration…you know how best to help Small Businesses?  Stop having an administration that constantly gets in their way. Kill this thing too.
  • Social Security…I think I’ve been clear that we need to phase that out completely.
  • Why is the TVA still around?
  • US Commission on Civil Rights…if there is a real civil rights violation then that’s the domain of the Justice Department so you don’t need this redundant excuse.
  • Office of Drug Control Policy…uh-huh, and that’s worked so well…

Yes there are legitimate functions of the federal government.  But right now it is overstepping those functions, usually at the price of those functions.  The states and the private sector can handle a lot of these things more efficiently, cheaper, with less corruption, less paperwork and at a greater benefit to the public.

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Law for the GOP to pass: Get the government out of the economy

“If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.”—James Madison Federalist No. 51

Read the above.  It makes clear that people are not perfect.  That the system needs to be made so as to encourage the best and keep the worst down, because if we could expect people to always be at their best we wouldn’t need government.  So when people do bad things, yes, they are to be blamed, but when they do bad things because the government set up a system that ENCOURAGED that bad behavior then first and foremost it is the government to be blamed for making the game one where bad behavior is rewarded.

Which is why these Occupy Wall Street people are such idiots.

Besides  apparently having a large portion of anti-semites in their midst  the Occupy Wall Street people and all their fellow whiners in other cities seem to be complaining about the wrong things.  They complain that the cost of college is too high…ignoring that it was government interference with college tuition that led to high prices.  They complain about bailouts…yeah, thanks for being a couple of years late, the Tea Party already has been bitching about that one for some time now.  Of course the Tea Party realizes that it is the fault of the government for giving out the money that is primarily to blame and not the banks for taking the money (not that the banks and corporations are without blame).  But the government is the one that is primarily to blame.  When you set up a system that can choose winners and losers (which any system with loopholes, regulations that serve one industry or company over their competitors, useless laws and tariffs that keep competitions from sprouting up, give loans to people) you’re going to have the companies this affects try and work the system to their advantage.  Businesses are in the business of making money.  If a government doesn’t get involved in picking winners and losers then the only way to make money is by making a superior product with superior customer service and a great marketing campaign.  That’s hard.  Bribing politicians through campaign cash to work the rules in your favor is so much easier.   It’s not the ethical choice, it’s not the long-term thinking choice, it’s not even a good choice…but it’s the choice that most people will make.  If you set up a system that makes it easier for people to give into their worst inclinations, don’t be surprised when they do. Thus government needs to set up a system where it makes more sense to worry about product, service and marketing than on which candidates to back.

If we had the right system, one where it wasn’t in the best short term economic interests of businessmen, then they would just have to focus on their business.  (Yes I would prefer it if they acted in a long term economic way directed by ethics…but you know I’m dealing with humans, humans don’t always do what’s right, thus we need a system that encourages the best in us and does not give opportunities for the worst in us).  So how do we get that system?

No loans.

Loans to banks and corporations.  Or bailouts…a government loan by any other name would smell just a rancid.  These need to stop.  All of them.  Without question, without exception.

While Bush and Obama weren’t the first to use them, they are the most recent and most egregious examples.  Let’s look at that waste of legislation called TARP.  That worthless half brain Bush would whine “but it would have destroyed the entire financial system.”  This is one of the two reasons Bush was a moron (the other being that he had no plan for the occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq).  No it wouldn’t have.  What would have happened was that one bank would have collapsed.  Immediately everything that Bank owned would have been up for sale at fire sale prices.  All of that bank’s competitors would have been buying up notes on loans for a tenth of the price of the loan from the bank that collapsed.  Let’s remember that all the banks were forced to take money not because they all needed it, but to hide which banks were unstable.  Most of the banks were stable and would have been able to buy those notes.

So what?  Well if a bank bought the note on a loan for a house that sold for $200,000, the house would probably have been worth only $120,000 after the crash, but as the new bank got the note for probably somewhere around $60,000 they can work with the homeowner and probably re-fi the cost of loan down to something more reflective of its current value and hey they still make a profit.  So suddenly the loam market is more stable and the remaining banks are probably on more solid ground.

Does this happen overnight?  Nope.  There would probably be a couple of down years, maybe even three, but by the end of the third year (about now) the recession would be clearly over.

But we didn’t do that.  We chose winners and losers and decided, like a bad elementary school teacher, everybody was going to be winner!  Everybody gets gold stars!  What does that invisible hand know anyway?  It’s not like bad businesses with bad business practices should go the way of the Dodo.  No let’s keep the bad businesses around, because despite all the time during their fall into instability they never had the good sense to change their policies and do something intelligent, well that doesn’t mean they won’t be good now that we just rewarded them for bad behavior.  No I’m sure they’ll be a much better business now.  Uh-huh.

But, sadly, next to Obama, Bush is a Rhodes Scholar.  No let’s give out even more money.  Let’s continue picking the winner we want to win, not the winners who can make things like a profit or things people want.  No.  Let’s give a shitload of money to a company that builds solar cells for $6 apiece and sells them for $3 apiece.  I’m sure that business model will work wonders.  Let’s face it, yes Bush was a moron for thinking the financial system couldn’t handle the collapse of a major bank…but Obama giving out money to his cronies thinking it will help the economy was both immoral and somewhere far beyond just stupid.

And let’s not forget that with loans comes the same problem as we saw with college loans.  It ruins the nature of prices.  Costs for the consumer go up, profits go down, quality gets screwed and everybody winds up getting the short end of the stick.

The market (the collective whole of billions of economic choices) knows far more than any government planning ever can.  All you need to do is look at how well the Soviet system worked for both Russia and the satellite nations or at China right now which has built massive city expansions that no one lives in, they provide no economic growth, and show that if we can just keep avoiding shooting ourselves in the foot China will go the way of the Soviets and we won’t have to worry about their economic superpower.  If you need more proof see Thomas Sowell’s Knowledge and Decisions.  Central planning never has and never can work.  It will always make the wrong choice; it will always screw up the system.

And as long as the government is giving out money, it will inevitably go to those who buy influence.  Is that wrong?  Of course!  But the government is the one who set up the game.  It may be unethical, but you can’t seriously expect human beings to act against their own interests when there is a way they can make money.  Human beings at both the top and bottom, and every slice in between, have people who are unethical.  That’s why we have government because we’re not all saints.  If you have a system that gives out money it will always go to those who pay for it.

So let’s stop giving money!

No tariffs

I hate taxes in general, but I hate few as much as I do tariffs.  Tariffs are put in to help American businesses when they don’t want to compete with foreign goods that are made better and cheaper.  You know, those things as a consumer you want.  So do businesses make better products themselves?  Nope.  They contribute to campaigns and get politicians to tax their competitors so they don’t have to make a better product.  If we didn’t have tariffs, Government Motors would have collapsed decades ago as it should.  (There is probably nothing more un-American than GM, a company that has used tariffs to avoid competition, given into the bully tactics of unions and taken government money rather than gracefully die.  With the exception of GE there is probably no company I can think of so opposed to capitalism).

Again this is a power of government being used to help those who can afford to buy it to the detriment of the public.  Yes, it’s done by rich people and they can all go to hell for their unethical behavior…but if government didn’t play this game, then businessmen would have no choice but to make better, cheaper products.

No subsidies and a flat tax with no loopholes.

Again, I think it was conservatives who have been beating the drum for years about how we need to do a flat tax without loopholes.  Why do we want flat taxes and to lower the tax rate…well because taxes are too high but the only people not paying them are the ones who can to pay off politicians.

I’d prefer to go to a completely sales tax model, but short of that I would take a completely flat tax, and short of that I’ll take Paul Ryan’s lower taxes (because high taxes are killing everyone) with no loopholes (so the people who aren’t paying taxes, like Obama’s cronies Warren Buffet and GE will finally actually pay something).  Any of those three systems would be better than the current system where you can buy your loophole and screw the small and medium sized businesses.

No control of anything that doesn’t cross state lines.

The federal government has better things to worry about right now than whether or not the Amish are selling unpasteurized milk.  While I would prefer a constitutional Amendment clarifying that the commerce clause only covers commerce that actually does cross state lines, for right now I will settle for that as a simple law.  States can run their own business without the interference of the Feds.  Federal oversight of commerce only helps to over-regulate, over tax, over burden and destroy business of all sizes (except you know if you can buy the right legislation in your favor).  If the federal government would get out of ALL intrastate commerce you find a sudden and massive jump in economies of 49 out of 50 states (California is beyond saving, mainly due to over taxation, over regulation and too much control of the economy).

The 17th Amendment…

…is perhaps one of the dumbest ideas in history.  Yes, let’s take Senators who are appointed by state legislators and make them publically elected.  So now they’re beholden to the whims of the mob and wants of campaign contributors.  I’m sure that will always make for better government when we stop choosing who is best and go for who is popular.  Repeal this joke of an Amendment and replace it with a hard and fast states can only appoint Senators via the collaboration of legislators and governors (no public election whatsoever).  And to keep them in check give the people the right to recall.

Sunset dates on all regulations with Congressional Oversight.

Here’s a radical idea.  Make every regulation that comes out of the executive branch, be it executive orders or just policy by the different departments open to Senate Veto.  And in addition to that make every single one of those regulations come with a 5 year sunset date.  It would not be in most corporations’ best interests to keep pushing for regulations every few years, it would just be too expensive—making better products would finally be cheaper by comparison.  Further this would get a lot of useless regulations off the books.

In short—GET THE GOVERNMENT OUT OF THE ECONOMY.  As long as it is in the economy, people will want to buy government power to exploit it to their own ends, and they will succeed.  If you want honest government and honest business then you need to eliminate the power of the one to so heavily influence the other.  If government can’t interfere with the economy and provide free cash, err, I mean corporate welfare, err, I mean bailouts and loans and can’t regulate your competitors out of business then there is no point in getting involved.  If you get the government out to the economy business will for the most part have no choice but to worry about business and the products and services they sell.  Businesses behave badly because the government provides an incentive to do so, take away the incentive and most of the behavior will follow.

Yes government has certain responsibilities and duties in a free market.  We crossed that line almost a hundred years ago and it’s not even visible anymore.  When you have no loan, no tariffs, a book or regulations that doesn’t take up an entire stadium and the government not looking into every legal act of commerce as if it’s a crime against humanity we can talk about where the line should be, but right now we’re so far off that it’s not even a pertinent discussion.

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Laws for the GOP to pass: Copyright and Patent Sanity

I’ll be honest, I’ve been doing this series of laws since the November election of last year. One a week. You come up with 48 individual laws on a wide range of subjects. I’m ending this at 52 laws. Just FYI.

This week we’re going to cover copyright and patent law. And this, believe it or not is a case where I will say that the government having been bought by corporations is to blame. Yes I’m actually going to attack corporations.

First a word on what copyright and patent law is. It says I created something, thus I am entitled to any profits that come from that idea. If I write a book, I have to get paid for the selling of that book. If I create a new microchip, I get to get paid for any sales of that piece of technology. I get make money on the ideas I come up with (Communists, having no respect for the human mind call this profit “surplus value” and think the creator has no right to it, but as we all know communists and socialists are stupid…and if you listen to people who have to work on Wall Street, they smell too).

Congress is empowered by the Constitution to come up with laws to govern this. Why? Because the Founders were smart enough to know that if there is no incentive to invent, no profit in it, there would be no one who invented things. However, as with all things just because one extreme (no protection) the other extreme (eternal protection) isn’t valid either. If ideas stay in under copyright or patent forever (especially for technology) stagnation begins to occur. You need incentive to make things, but you need the freedom to use what other people have done.

For instance Shakespeare, while motivated by his urge to decry the unjust treatment of Catholics in his plays, he also was heavily motivated by profit. However, if we still had to pay some distant descendent of his every time a book was published, a play was staged, a movie was made do you think Shakespeare would have the opportunity to reach as many people? Probably not.

Same with technology. How much would have been produced if we still had to pay the Watt family for every engine (as everything was derivative off the steam engine).

Now in 1976 copyright was extended to life of the creator plus 50 years (because you do have the right to leave something to your kids for a while). Creations of corporations had a 75 year shelf life under copyright. (And honestly I think 50 years was a bit much…25? 30? Sounds much nicer—50 years just sounds like it’s not just your children living off of your inventions but also your grandchildren…which I don’t know seems a bit much).

However, while this law was a major advancement (it got rid of the rather silly requirements of having to register to have copyright rights and having to renew every couple of years) it apparently wasn’t enough for some companies. Because in the late 90’s one corporation in particular started plastering both houses of Congress with money to get an even further extension to the copyright law. And they won, getting up to 120 years for corporations and life +75 years for individuals (and I’m sorry but I won’t ever really know my great grandchildren, why should people I don’t know personally benefit from my creation?) Can you guess which corporation lobbied for this rather insane law? If you said Disney, you’re right. That’s right, Steamboat Willie, the original Mickey Mouse Cartoon (the one where he whistles Turkey in the Screw). I like Disney. I even understand why they would want keep the rights to that cartoon, Mickey is a trademark (which doesn’t expire), but that still doesn’t mean they won’t lose a lot of rights the minute that cartoon enters the public domain. From a business perspective it makes sense, they probably spent less money than they would have lost if it entered into public domain. But a 120 years? Are you insane?

For better or for worse copyright law needs to go back to the 1976 levels (again I wouldn’t mind cutting it back to life +25…and I’m an author). Overly long copyright laws stifle creativity and originality. (Why is Hollywood remaking so many movies? Because they want to get as much as they can out of the copyrights they have while they still own them…don’t believe me that expiring copyright motivates companies and individuals to do strange things with their works do some research into the copyright surround Superman, it makes Finnegan’s Wake look like an easy read.)

Conversely patent law, which covers technology and invention, is often, but not always too short. The worst case is of course patents on pharmaceuticals. Remember when you pay for an expensive drug you’re not really paying for the research that went into that drug, you’re paying for all the failed research that didn’t pan out. If patents lasted longer, companies wouldn’t have to gouge you as much because they would have a steadier source of income. But, people say, they make huge profits. Yeah they do. Because so many drug companies go out of business. You have to have a huge incentive to go into a business that is almost guaranteed to fail. And you have to pay people huge salaries to justify learning something so mind blowing boring as biochemistry at a Ph.D. level. If you had lower incentives you would have far fewer new drugs.

I would go as far as to say that patents need to be put on complete par with copyright…after all why is a book or movie worth more protection than a pill or microchip. Both are the creation of the mind, both can only be done by a relatively small group of people (I’d argue more people have the potential, but few live up to that potential).   And all patents need to have the same length, none of this drugs have different rules than technology, have different rules from other fields.  An idea is an idea.  Are you really going to trust government to say that ideas in this field are better than ideas in that field?  No.

Extending patent law would help create a new environment for growth and innovation as there would be more incentives.  This in turn would spur more economic growth.

Now two other things need to happen, and this is a little more difficult. First this needs to be an international thing. A lot of countries don’t uphold copyright and patent law. China has grown rich on it. It’s just amazing what you can accomplish when you steal all the technology you use and have a massive slave labor force. If China had to pay for every patent and copyright they have stolen and grown fat on, the U.S. Debt (and that includes the debt of all 50 states) could be paid off and still have some money left over. All countries need to uphold these laws (and I realize this will be almost impossible to do, but we need to keep trying to move toward this).

The 2nd point is I think China should pay for all its violations. And until it does I don’t think we owe them anything.

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Laws the GOP Should Pass: A Requirement of Court Ruling for Punishment

So we took out Anwar al-Awlaki with a predator drone.  Good for us.  I won’t be shedding any tears over this filth….however, this does leave me feeling a little queasy in the legal department.

Now this is strangely one of the few things I will not critique Obama over.  He did the right thing and it was completely justified.

And Ron Paul is an idiot, what a shock, for calling for Obama’s impeachment over this issue.

The guy was a terrorist, had already declared war on all humanity and civilization, so the fact that he was an enemy of the U.S. was kind of a given.  And even if you have a problem with that logic there is the more common belief of Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges (In War the Laws are Silent) the idea that laws are not suicide pacts and that the safety of people, when seriously in jeopardy, it’s never a bright choice between to choose following the letter of the law over following what is right.  Okay the guy didn’t have his finger on a button to a nuke at that very moment, but he was a major figure in al-Qaeda and we’re at war with them (although I would prefer a formal declaration to come out of Congress about that).  Still we were completely justified in doing this.  Ron, there are lots of reasons to impeach Obama, this is not one of them.

But…

The scum was technically a U.S. citizen and this does set a dangerous precedent.  And as I heard on Red Eye, TV’s Andy Levy suggested that we could have easily tried him for treason in absentia and sentenced him to death.  It’s not like everything the man has said and done wasn’t the textbook definition of treason.  The whole trial wouldn’t have taken 2 days.  It’s an open and shut case, we could have easily done it without problems.  Then the predator drone wouldn’t have been carrying out the will of the executive branch but rather a court ordered punishment.

Would that have been a huge hurdle?  No.

And I don’t want to give the government a carte blanche to kill anyone.  Granted there is probably no one I trust less than Obama and he has yet to turn a predator drone against anyone I care about (that I know of) but this is still a bad precedent.

Thus I would like Congress to pass a law requiring the administration to seek treason trials against any U.S. citizen thought to be a terrorist.  Hell most of them won’t show because they’re busy plotting terrorists acts so I don’t see these triasl taking a long time, but it just would ensure that predator drones aren’t misused in the future.

It’s not a big thing, but I just don’t want to give this executive or any future executive this kind of unchecked power.

…but on the issue of non-U.S. citizens who are terrorists I can only say, I love the smell of Napalm in the morning.  Obama feel free to keep the drones flying, I have no complaints.

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Laws for Conservatives to pass: Encouraging innovation

As I have stated before I want the tax code rewritten. Ideally I would prefer going entirely to a sales tax (no corporate tax, no death tax, no income tax, no capital gains tax, no luxury tax, no tariffs, nothing but a flat sales tax). Short of that I want a flat tax rate with no loopholes (and again most of those other taxes eliminated). But if we can’t even have that, or at least a stepping stone to those other programs, we need to A.) lower the tax rates and B.) eliminate ALL loopholes. All of them, even the ones that encourage things we like, like mortgage deductions and child tax credits. ALL OF THEM.

However, I have proposed a very special kind of exemption in “Republicans and Reincarnation” that I will stand by.

That exemption was that Congress should offer a multimillion dollar prize to anyone who can create an engine that can replace the internal combustion engine that is cheaper and has fewer emissions. In addition to the prize they will be exempt from ALL taxes for the rest of their life. I do this because the kinds of people who tinker with this kind of technology in their garage don’t always think long term enough to consider the advantages of compounding royalty payments and thus they don’t see what should be the obvious incentives to spend time coming up with inventions that we need. The scatterbrained genius needs immediate incentives to work or at least to channel their energies. The only thing they would have to give up is the right to negotiate price on selling the rights for this invention. They will still be paid for every use of their invention, but I want these inventions in use yesterday and I don’t want them held up by negotiations, (and if we’re paying that kind of money for it Congress will not be able to hold it back if it knows what is good for it). (Especially since there is a mild conspiracy theorist in me that isn’t willing to fully dismiss those stories that better engines have already been invented but bought up by oil companies and kept out of the public’s view…I have no proof beyond hearsay and personal accounts. But given the short sighted nature of a lot of companies right now it wouldn’t surprise me).

Yes I fully understand the nature of capitalism, that it will always create the thing we need, when we need them. I understand that. But there are some things we could use right now even though we haven’t reached the level of absolutely need. I would prefer to get around the necessity for that kind of need and the temporary hardships it brings to an economy. For instance we all know that eventually the internal combustion engine will be replaced when the reserves of gasoline start going dry, and we know there will be a period of hardship in that change over period, so I would just like to skip the hardship if we could.

So here is a list of inventions I think congress should offer a $100 million dollar prize for, plus having to pay no taxes if you’re the first to come up with it. And I will justify why all of these would save us more money than the costs.

1. The first is obviously the replacement for the internal combustion engine that actually works. I don’t care if it’s electric, a brilliant new type of internal configuration on the internal combustion engine, hydrogen fuel cells or the static electricity engine from Atlas Shrugged—I don’t care if it’s long lived hamsters on steroids and meth with a tread wheel…all I care about is the following: It costs less than $100 to build. It can power truck or SUV with a full load for 300 miles, without being refueled, while going at 65 miles per hour or higher. It must be able to be refueled in less than 10 minutes from a completely empty and a full refill can cost no more $20. Oh and it has to have 20% less emissions than the cleanest internal combustion engine available. This is the problem with all the current alternatives electric cars have no speed or ability to pull large loads (not to mention they take too long to charge). Hydrogen fuel cells are too expensive. I want powerful, fast and cheap. If you can get those standards on a fully loaded SUV then the figures for a small sedan should be even better. The advantages to this are obvious. I don’t really care much about the emissions because I don’t believe in the BS that is global warming, but I live in Phoenix and so I do know the problem that is smog so I would like to see that lowered. Obviously if we weren’t dependent on oil (or at least as much oil) then that will hurt the bottom line of oil sales in the Middle East, which means less money going to terrorism, which means we might not have to spend so much fighting terrorism. Further with less money being spent on fuel and shipping this will of course save money in your pocket,  which will bring cost down and profits up…and you can figure out how that cycles through the economy and works better for everyone.
2. A battery that will work and survive for 7 or more years in temperatures ranging from 30 below 0 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit. It also needs to hold at least 3 times the charge of a battery of comparable size can do now. This is one of the biggest problems of electric cars. Here in the South-west you can’t have an electric car because everything is so spaced out that you risk using an entire charge before reaching your destination and it gets so hot out here that car batteries need to be replaced every two to three years (expensive enough in a regular car, outrageously expensive in an electric car). On the east electric cars won’t function when it gets too cold. If you could overcome these problems with electric cars, even at their current levels of horsepower would be far more efficient and useful and thus worth the cost. The benefits then become the same as invention 1. However improved batteries that store more would have additional uses that would save us all money even if we had improved battery technology. Just for example how much power does it take to power every street light in the world every night? Right now it’s prohibitively expensive and bulky to power most of those with solar cells and batteries…but it might not with much smaller, more efficient batteries that didn’t have to be replaced. Apply that same idea to numerous other small things that could run off better batteries. That’s a lot of saved energy, which means a lot of saved money.
3. One of Obama’s BS ideas to help get more jobs was infrastructure improvement. Wow more jobs for unionized construction workers, I’m sure that will help the economy. However, this does bring up a fact that infrastructure is a large and continual part of federal, state, and local government costs. One of the reasons why is because that crappy asphalt and concrete we put on the roads keeps wearing out, develop pot holes, become road hazards and need to be replaced. And replacing them takes time (lots of time, which hurts traffic and destroys productivity, not to mention all the wasted money just sitting there letting the engine idle in traffic) and lots of money—those workers are union and government. They are about as overpriced and overpaid as work gets in this world. So here is what I want, I want someone to come up with some kind of chemical that can be added to the concrete or asphalt, or some new substance all together, that will prevent it from wearing out or at least radically slow the decay. If you could make every road last just 10 years longer than they currently do the saving in government expenditures alone would pay for that prize for inventing the stuff.
4. We haven’t come upon it yet, but more than oil we have another natural resource that is getting very, very sparse. Water. “What?” you say, “The Earth is covered in the stuff!” Yes it is, but that’s salt water. Clean, desalinized, drinkable water is becoming more and more rare (especially with continuing growth of world population). There is not nearly enough drinkable water to support 7 billion people at first world level (and it should be our goal to get everyone up to first world level) at present. We need more drinkable water. But most processes for desalination are prohibitively expensive as it currently stands. Trust me we will need a cheap and quick way to desalinize massive amounts of water within the next 50 years. Let’s make sure we have the technology to do so without having to first have millions die from not having enough to drink. Further if you could cheaply do it, then you could easily do it to supply areas suffering from drought which always causes economic problems.
5. Cars that drive themselves. We all saw Minority Report (and a few other films) and have seen cars that just take verbal commands and take you to your destination while you can spend your time reading, working, talking, doing anything other than have to pay attention to the other insane people on the road. The average American spends about 130 hours in a car. Think of what you can do with an extra 130 hours, about 5 and half days (just for comparative purposes if you’re Jack Bauer you can save the world a half dozen times and kill 143 people in that amount of time…so there is a lot you can do in that amount of time). So an average extra 5 days worth of time for all 300 million people in the US, less stress from driving the freeway. This system would have to be based on being able to avoid accidents, so lower insurance rates and less money wasted on fixing cars. And let’s not even talk about the fact that you’d never have a drunk driving a car, so the loss of life from driving goes down drastically. Yeah I think that’s worth $100 million.
6. The fruit picker. To hell with making robots walk and talk. I want someone to develop a robot that can 90% of the time recognize if a vegetable or piece of fruit is ripe and then harvest that plant without damaging it. People complain about the plight of the migrant worker…well this would eliminate the need for that kind of work. Which would in turn eliminate this country’s terrible habit of keeping a pseudo slave class in the form of illegal immigrants. The saving for this should be more than obvious.
7. Plants with over active metabolisms. Think about it. Think of how much the lumber and paper industry could benefit from trees that took half the time to grow. Or what plants which convert carbon dioxide into oxygen twice as fast could do for any future space programs…which could in turn open up space itself for exploration, mining and colonization. I know I’m stretching with this one…but it has possibilities. I’m a little worried about this being brought to the food industry, but it has possibilities as well. In the end it would pay for itself I think.
8. The transporter. All the other things on this list I think are actually possible but just have yet to be invented (okay I’m stretching with number 7, but it’s not out of the realm of theoretically possible). This one, well, what I know of quantum mechanics tells me that this is never going to happen. Still I want one. I don’t even care if you never figure out how to get it to transport organic material. Think of what you could do just in terms of shipping with a transporter. It would of course be prohibitively expensive up front, but long term I think this could pay for itself.

Why is there nothing from the medical field here? Yes I know that most of our current government expenditures are in the medical field, but this is to encourage people to start tinkering in their garages on their off time. Do you want medical experiments going in people’s garages? Hell no.

Why are there no flying cars? Because while the flying car is cool there are two big problems. First it offers no additional economic value. Second because how do you brake something that’s flying?

And yes we would all love a light saber or a time machine or a holodeck, but again those are not exactly scientifically possible and I’m not sure they would be good for society.

I might also like to see a Roomba that can clean bathrooms and kitchens, but I’m not sure that will save $100 million in the economy.

What other inventions could redefine the world?

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Filed under American Exceptionalism, Budget, Capitalism, Congress, Conservative, Economics, Environmentalism, Laws the GOP should pass, Long Term Thinking, Selfishness, Taxes

What I want to hear Obama say…but he won’t…

I’m not going to have a law of the week this week. Rather I’m going to talk about what I want to hear out of Obama’s mouth this week when he brings out his “jobs plan.”

 

He states that his new plan will create jobs. This is a fascinating concept as the government has never been able to do such a thing except for a short period of time and always at a detriment to the overall economy and not to its benefit. Always at an increase to our debt.  But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a way to stimulate the economy to recover…although, and I know no one wants to hear this but it’s true, that before we hit a recovery we need one last dip in the economy (the stock market, the housing market, all other commodities markets will probably take a hit and we’ll see another rise in inflation and unemployment) and we need to get through it but our only options are either bring on the next dip now and get through it as quickly as possible or to delay this last dip and every day we delay it means it will be longer, deeper, and hit more people when it comes. I’ll take the shorter pain now than the worse pain later, thank you.

 

So what I do I need to hear from Obama if he was A) intelligent enough to know how to improve the economy and B) willing to actually do it?

 

First ObamaCare has to go. It must be overturned in its  entirety. There is not a single line worth keeping. This will allay a lot of fear about hiring new employees and get businesses to start planning to grow again. Further it will keep health cost down.  With this needs to come laws that will allow insurance companies to cross state lines (and not just medical insurance, I mean every kind of insurance). This will drastically and immediately lower the costs of insurance across the board. Not only will this reduce the overhead of all major insurance companies (meaning they can charge less and still make a profit) the added competition will drive down the prices even further and all companies that offer insurance to their employees will quickly be paying less for every employee which will make expansion even easier.

 

The U.S. government needs to cut income tax, corporate taxes, and capital gains taxes by at least 5% across the board. Further the death tax and marriage penalties need to be permanently eliminated. To accompany these cuts ALL loopholes will be removed from ALL tax codes (yes that means GE will finally have to pay some taxes).  I’d really love to see a flat tax, or even better switching to all sales tax, but I’m willing to take a baby step in this area. The sudden influx of money to both personal and business bank accounts will help spur further economic growth and expansion.

 

Federal money for unemployment benefits needs to be ended for anyone who has been out of work for more than six months.   To avoid some unnecessary pain we can of course give them a 90 day notice, but this perpetual dole needs to end.

 

Everyone employed by the federal government (except the military) is taking a 10% pay cut. You’re overpaid sons of bitches deal with it.  (Elected officials can take a 100% pay cut).

 

In addition to the 2.4 trillion we have already agreed to cut as part of the debt ceiling agreement, for every dollar of tax revenue that we are no longer taking in because we lower the tax rates the federal government will cut $100 dollars of spending from its budget. Not only will that keep us solvent, it will improve our credit rating, reduce the debt, strengthen the dollar and improve the economy.

 

The law needs to be passed that within the next 10 years the Federal Reserve  will raise the prime interest rate to 6% and then never touch it without the express permission of congress and the President and only then for a limited period of time. No industry can grow with the interest rate being this low; it discourages all investment and risk taking. Yes we’ll have some inflation but it will also stimulate growth that should outpace the inflation.

 

Alaska and the Gulf Coast are open for full drilling, but any environmental damage will come with a fine equal to 10 times the cost of the clean up (that will ensure the oil companies quadruple check every safety measure), which will lower energy prices and thus offset most if not all the inflation caused by the raising of the interest rate.

 

All the insane regulations that stop the construction and running of oil refineries.  Right now it is next to impossible to build an oil refinery and all the regulation is based on horrendous my of global warming.  Yes there do need to be a lot of regulations about running oil refineries because they deal with a lot of chemical that could be very harmful to the environment if released…sadly about 10% of the regulations we have in place.  The rest is BS.  Oh, and while we’re on the subject of oil refineries, did you know that every state requires different blends of gasoline.  This is insane because it requires the refineries to refine 50 different kinds of oil.  We need to come up with one national set of requirements, it can’t be done by federal law, but it needs to be done by the states on their own because it will drop the price of gas by several cents.

 

The Departments of Commerce, Agriculture, Energy, HUD, HHS, Edu, Transportation, Interior and Labor will cut their staff by at least half (although I’d prefer firing just about everyone in these useless sinkholes of red tape and tax payer money).

 

The EEOC, National Labor Board, and EPA will undergo a full review of their powers and have most of their authority stripped.

 

A Constitutional Amendment which will guarantee nationwide “open shops” for all businesses will be proposed.   Also all unions for federal employees need to be disbanded.  (Also I wouldn’t mind if the heads of the teacher’s unions were brought up on treason charges as their continual actions to destroy the U.S. education system is at best treason—crime against humanity might be more accurate.)

 

 

A Constitutional Amendment redefining the Commerce Clause as applicable only to commerce that actually moves across state lines will be proposed. Further the defined commerce clause will limit the scope of the federal government to acting in ways only to prevent impediments to the free commerce and economic activity between states, not to put up new barriers of its own.

 

All U.S. trade tariffs will be abolished. Tariffs only hurt the consumer and protect failing businesses.

 

All government regulations will be up for review (I’d say put Rand Paul and Michele Bachman in charge of this committee) with the purpose of reducing all federal red tape by at least half if not more.

 

Tort Reform Laws must be passed immediately.

 

The federal government needs to A) stop forcing banks to make subprime loans (which means the Community Reinvestment Act needs to be scrapped) and B) it needs to stop suing banks for making those loans.

 

Finally those wastes of space and volume known as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac need to stop being quasi government organizations. Either the federal government needs to buy up all private shares or it needs to sell its own stake in the company. Either way right after that the entire assets of Fannie and Freddie need to be liquidated at Fire Sale prices and the organizations disbanded. Yes this will cause housing prices to drop once again, but it will also provide stability to the market, make houses affordable, and encourage banks to finally loan money again. And to everyone who bought a house for more than it was worth…I don’t care, you bought a house when all the signs were there that the market would collapse, you bought a house when it was stupid to do so, you did not think, time to face the consequences of not thinking ahead.

 

Now if Obama did all of that you would have three things happen. First, the country would be back to 2% or less unemployment within 5 years. Second, the economy would grow like never before and this growth would actually permeate the entire world and even Europe’s financial problems would be nearly gone in a little over a decade. And third, I would actually vote for Obama in 2012.

 

But we know that Obama isn’t bright enough to know what will actually fix an economy.

 

Nope, I predict what we will hear is more of the same. Stimulus. ‘Cause that’s always worked before (at least in the delusion fantasy world that liberals live in).

 

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Laws for the GOP to pass: Sane Teacher Certification

I don’t know if this could be a federal law or just have to be 50 state laws. Let’s have it be both so that we never have to deal with the BS I’m about to deal with.

So I went to go renew my teaching certificate today. It was a fairly painless process but I was reminded that I need to get more hours of “professional development” before my next renewal in six years.

Let me run down what I’ve had to do so far to get my credential in Arizona.

I had to have a credential in another state (I had two, California and Washington, they have since expired). To get the Washington Credential I had to earn a degree in English, minor in Education, pass a background check, and complete a student teaching program.

I had to have 60 hours of Structured English Immersion training. (60 hours of learning how to help students for who English is not their first language…it boils down to having some idiot tell you to treat high school students like elementary school kids with lots of games and visuals. It was 60 hours of my life that was wasted and I’ll never get back. Actually more than 60 if you count travel time.)

45 more hours of professional development. More being told to draw and act out and play with high school students. I have never used a single thing I learned in any of this because to do so would be to insult the intelligence of the slowest student I’ve ever had. I’m an English teacher, not one of these hours was dedicated to learning anything about English, grammar, writing, or literature above a 3rd grade level. Given that I primarily teach Juniors and Seniors this was all but another 45 hours of my life that was wasted.

I had to take a test on English Literature. The SAT’s were harder. And given that I have a degree in English from one of the best colleges in the nation, this too was insulting. 3 hours of my life wasted. Plus the money I had to pay to take the test.

I had to take a test on teaching skills. It was half vocab test and half what would you do in this situation questions. A trained monkey could have passed it. More money and more time wasted.

And my favorite, I had to take a test on the U.S. and Arizona state Constitutions. Because that’s relevant to my job as a teacher of English (primarily British literature if I have anything to say about it). There was actually a question about the article in the AZ state Constitution that deals with mining rights. HOW IN THE NAME OF GOD WOULD AN OBSCURE ARTICLE IN A STATE CONSTITION BE RELEVANT TO MY SKILLS TO TEACH?!!!! More time and money wasted.

Just about the only legitimate thing I had to do since leaving Washington was A) complete two years of teaching full time, and B) get my background check renewed.

Everything else was an utter waste of my time.

The tests, the hours of professional development, all worthless. Now I might respect the tests if they had been relevant to teaching, but they weren’t. Just about anyone who went to college should be able to pass those tests (of course I do live in Arizona, home of ASU)

And just to show that this isn’t just me bitching, here’s another person pointing out the system is broken. 

Teaching is an art, not a science. There is no way to test on paper whether someone is going to be a good teacher or not. Yes, there are some basic classes that everyone needs. They need classes in their subject area. They need at least one class in every subject they will not be teaching (the four subject primary and secondary education are English, History/Social Sciences, Science, and Math). They need classes in general psychology and developmental psychology. They probably need at least one class in acting because good classroom teaching involves putting on a persona that is not necessarily who you are in real life. You need a course or two in curriculum development and implementation. And maybe a course on the history and philosophy of education. There, that’s your major and minor right there.

But no, states all seem to think you need more and more and more useless “professional development” which develops nothing. You know what actually develops a teacher? Teaching! Actual teaching. It’s an art form; the only way you get better at it is by actually doing it, followed by moments of reflection and discussion with other teachers. But certainly not so-called professional development! Now I’ve been lucky and the schools I have worked for have provided this requirement for their teachers (at great cost to the company) but if you aren’t so lucky then you have to take college courses at your own expense (courses which will likely teach a teacher nothing!). So really it’s all a big scam for the colleges and states, they get to charge money for all these courses.

Do you think all this worthless education, much of it at your own expense, is going to drive out some people from the field? Probably does. Not the great teachers, no. They’ll stay because to them teaching ranks up there with breathing and water as basic needs. And it doesn’t drive out the incompetent teachers either, because they usually know they have nowhere else to go…but it drives out all of the mid-level teachers—the ones who may never inspire a student, will get the job done and teach something. You think that may have any negative repercussions…like not being able to fire the morons because you can’t replace them with anything other than another idiot.

Trust me teaching hasn’t changed much in the last few thousand years. One of the single best forms of teaching is called Socratic Discussion, it was a form of teaching used in fifth century BCE by Socrates, it hasn’t changed much since then. You don’t need to be caught up on studies or professional journals; you just need to be passionate and self-reflective.

All these piles of requirements and tests and professional development and hoops and money are a farce. States need to change their requirements to be as follows:
A) B.A. or higher in the field you’re teaching (or at least it’s tangentially related).
B) An education minor
C) A background check every few years
D) Completing a student teaching program
And for that you get a provisional certificate.

Add on three years of teaching experience and you’ve got a life time certificate because this is not something that needs to be renewed ever. If you knew it at one point you will know it until senility fully sets in.

States, get rid of all this BS….oh and make all teaching certificates for all 50 states completely reciprocal in all states.

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