Monday, January 10, 2011

Happy New Years...and some thoughts on 2011

Well, the new Congress is in place and there are already signs that the newly elected House members are more interested in the trough full of pap than any sort of real reform. The trumpeting of a bill to repeal ObamaCare makes for a damn good sound bite, but even if it made it to the President, Obama would veto it, and  the GOP doesn't have the needed two thirds to override the veto. Is this a ploy to arrive at a lesser soultion like defunding the measure or is it something like 'Okay, we tried to repeal the bill, but we with it , America!' I am interested in why my readers think about this...

Even at this point, partisan lines are being drawn in the sand as the Congress (allegedly) is debating about actually cutting spending. As usual, the same insipid concessions are being touted while no one will target the areas that actually need targeting. Farming subsidies, various Federal agencies that control usurped powers that belong to the state and yes, our idiot tax system would be good targets for reducing spending. I will not support any 'compromise' (a word that has become most foul) that involves raising taxes because Congress won't take the initiative to make the hard choices.

I also want to say..congratulations! With Japan lowering its Corporate Income Tax (Actually, individuals pay taxes, not business entities), the USA now has the highest corporate tax rate in the world. When the Federal 39% level is added to state tax liabilities (12% in Iowa), the hit can be as much as 51%. For years the left and the right have blamed each other for the loss of jobs in the USA, but now the true culprit has been revealed. Why in hell should I start up a business if 51% of my profits are going to be taxed away? Taxing Capital and Labor is STUPID. All that it acomplishes is to drive capital out of the country with a resulting decrease of actual and potential labor opportunities. It is estimated that 3-8 trillion dollars are held in Offshore Financial Centers (OFCs) due to the tax situation in the USA. OFCs represent  one of the myriad ways a taxpayer can legally cheat. If you want labor and capital to come to the USA instead of leaving it, a consumption tax in place of the costs of current compliance is the way to go and explains how it would work. Not only would this method generate more revenue than the current system we have, it would make the money trail far more transparent, allowing for waste to be cut without stepping on too many toes. I have no intention of holding my breath regarding this matter though because Congress no longer works for the people. If they did, passing the FairTax and abolishing the IRS would be a no-brainer.

There is debate as to whether the 14th Amendment should be modified so that illegals can't gain US citizenship for their babies born in the USA. Its those darned illegals again! I was 23 years old when they passed an alleged 'final' amnesty in 1986, but look how 'final' it became. The only reason that there are less illegals in the USA is because our economy is in bad shape (see above), but eventually our economy will improve. There are some facts that need to be addressed regarding this matter (Don't expect these to be uttered in the hallowed halls of Congress.)

The USA represents something called opportunity. If you work hard and smart, you will get ahead. That is something that doesn't exist in most parts of the world, so regardless of how things are in the USA, they will arrive.

Bothe the Democrats and the GOP benefit from the porous border we have with Mexico. While illegals represent (illegal) votes for the Democrats, the businesses that support the GOP can use illegals to increase their bottom line.. As a corollary to that, do you think businesses that hire illegals but also purchase Congress members are going to pay any actual fines for hiring them?

Our porous border with Mexico is a threat. Some also say the Canadian one is as well, but crossing from Canada to the US is a more daunting task. First off, Madame Winter patrols the US/Canada border for 6-8 months of the year. On top of that, many farms and ranches are right on the border and those areas are patrolled with armed guards. There also is the matter of bears and wolves prowling the wilderness. If you want to solve the problem regardin illegals, dealing with them after they are here is inefficient and wasteful. The problem needs to be dealt with before they arrive.

The solution is pretty simple on the surface (but don't expect Congress to embrace the concept). Ellis Island processed almost 200,000 immigrants a year from 1892 to 1954 using analog technology. If a system of IIC's (Immigration Intake Centers) were set up across the USA, that would kill the incentive to illegally emigrate. You would go to an IIC, fill out forms, be fingerprinted (Yes, so we can keep track of who is where) be charged a processing fee (Perhaps 75 Dollars) and if all went well, you would emerge with a Green Card. The US/Mexico border needs to be fully sealed with Watch Houses constructed to keep it all under surveillance. If criminals use force to breach the barrier, they need to be met with sufficient counterforce. Once the IIC system is in place, you could choke off 95% of illegal immigration for a simple reason: Why enter illegally when you can pay $75 to enter legally? Canadian citizens should be allowed express immigration to the USA and quotas need to be discarded.  The less political footballs there are to kick around, the more work that actually might get done.

Not only is our Foreign Policy inane, our Foreign Aid is even more so. What is one of the main reasons other countries like having a US Military presence on their soil? The Answer: The US troops can be used as a single target for the anger of the populace, diverting the populace away from the problems that need to be solved. There is also a solution to this mess as well (but not one Congress would ever propose). We should withdraw all ground forces from the Middle East and Africa and then cut off all governmental aid and support to those areas. Israel can survive on its own both economically and militarily, but if the other countries can't...well they had better learn. Africa has had several decades to learn the proper methods of government, but if they aren't electing murderous thugs into office, they choose embezzlers and thieves. Whatever aid we send them will only wind up in a numbered Swiss bank account. If they actually need help, then tell them to contact their former overlords in Europe (who were initially responsible for the mess in Africa). Because of the strategic importance of the Gulf area, a Watch and Observe policy should be implemented using an AC Fleet. Without US troops around to act as scapegoats, maybe some progress would be made.

Last (but by no means the least), something needs to be done about  the career politicians that inhabit the halls of Congress. Though they state that their experience is needed to craft governmental policy, a career politician serves only themselves and the ones who have purchased them, not the people. The definition of a 'hack' is as follows:

"A politician who belongs to a small clique that controls a political party for private rather than public ends."'

but that needs to be refined. A career politician who has become part of the system due to their time in office should also be described as such. A person such as this works not for the people, but against them due to what favors they must repay for getting elected in the first place and the special interests they represent. (This is a real violation of Freedom of Speech). Anyone that has held more than two terms in the US Senate or five or more terms in the US House I consider to be a hack. While some are voted out of office, many only leave when they die. The President is term-limited, the Congress should be as well. One father and son team has held the same House seat since 1933; will it be passed down as real property in a last Will and Testament? I wouldn't put anything past Congress at all.

A Jaded Bard