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Monday, September 17, 2012

Election is fast approaching

My family and friends, I must advise you that we are about to commence with the same ritual we completed 4 years ago, and will in every 4-year interval for the presidency. President Obama, as unshockingly obvious as this sounds, is running for re-election. I know that many of you wish to sit out this election by not casting your vote at all, thinking that you have no voice in the process. In all seriousness, don't! This is exactly what people like the Koch brothers want you to do. They want to silence your voices and make theirs heard, so that they can continue their scam of taking away our rights and our money.

I want everyone to know that we have a stark choice this year between the visions of Pres. Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney in their fight for the presidency. I won't make the specious claim that a presidency under Romney would mean the end of the Earth, or that the sky will crash upon us, as those likelihoods are very minimal (try the odds of 1 in 100,000,000). Anyhow, what may happen is that life will become much harder for the middle class as the Republican mantra for the time being is for the middle class to sacrifice various needed programs and deductions (for taxes) so that they can give the top 5% of income-earners another $1,000,000,000.00 in new tax cuts which they believe will stimulate the economy, and that we should not tax this class as they are the job creators. I don't know about you, but to me, this is complete nonsense. First off, it's a hollow argument in the sense that spending $1.00 on a tax cut (or tax break) for the wealthy only brings in like $.60 of revenue. Compare that to at least $1.60 in revenue for every dollar spent on unemployment insurance to the middle class. Secondly, we've tried this method when George W. Bush was president from 2001-9. Believe me, it failed miserably as incomes declined severely and prices shot up much higher than the rate of inflation. Another factor to look into is taking out various regulations desparately needed to protect consumers from fraud, or to give them a legal recourse to settle a dispute with a large corporation. Think about the recent financial crisis as a clear example of what I'm talking about. This came upon us by maintaining very weak regulatory oversight of various portions of the financial markets, including in the commodities and speculations markets.

Gov. Romney has made it clear that this is the only solution for getting us out of the mess we're in. That Pres. Obama's method of propping up working families has done nothing, but take a pretty penny out of your portfolios and been a large waste of your tax dollars. He thinks that your tax dollars would be spent better subsidizing big business, and paying it to handle your money and benefits, from Social Security to Medicare to Education. Speaking of education, I've been in the private education system, and can tell you from experience, it's even less efficient than the public system. In highschool, I had a math teacher who was trained to be a test proctor, and as such was insufficient in teaching us both trigonometry and advanced mathematics. In fact I remember in senior year, where every American student got D's and F's on their midterm exams, while the International students got A's and B's. If you're going to argue that the school I went to was unionized, you'd be dead wrong. There was no union, the principal was adamant about not firing the teacher in question, retaining full confidence in them (this was after both students and parents complained). Anyway, I'm getting sidetracked, but that should highlight my point that private does not generally equal efficient. In the case of these areas, public is generally better, as it helps to give a more expanded range of options for teaching our children. Do there need to be some structural reforms done? Of course, and how to do it is a debate I would gladly welcome. I'd love to hear either educational or psychological experts duke it out over policy changes, or structural changes/consolidations. However, what we don't need is money going out to parochial (faith-based) schools from the federal government as it clearly violates the 1st Amendment (Congress [or for that matter the states per 14th Amendment] does not have the right or authority to promote religion nor to trample on someone's right to religious freedom). Separation of church and state has long been a traditional American principle, going back to the Founding Fathers.

Pres. Obama, however, has tried, and largely unsuccessfully in some cases, to make the case that we can still make structural changes to the economy and grow it up. We need jobs, which he's been on target about for the past 3-4 years to help the economy recover much faster. However, he's been dealing with the recalcitrant and obstructionist Republican-dominated 112th Congress (Republicans control the House of Representatives and have larger blocking ability in the Senate), which has for the most part refused to budge on any kind of job-producing bill, save for a transportation bill that passed. Pres. Obama has pressed for more action to alliviate the high unemployment rate (currently about 8%), but the Congress has refused to budge, with the Republicans' goal being that they should make him a 1-term president like Pres. Jimmy Carter (1977-81). In some cases, I think Pres. Obama deserves a lot of credit, especially in saving the auto industry and passing healthcare reform. I'll admit that it's a start, and that more people using it will realize that their costs will come down. However, I think that it needs some more tweaking. I mean this in the sense that we need to take out the insurance industry's special exemption from Federal Anti-Trust Laws. It's a mistake to keep it, and that was 1 component to how costs grew faster than the rate of inflation. Let's for argument's sake say that medical care costs $1.00, but your insurer charges you $3.00. I know from working in the industry (I'm an admin assistant in a small insurance sales office), that $.60 of every dollar goes to claims (torts). However, that formula was never the case, especially considering the fact that 1 in every 3 dollars for insurance costs went aside to claims, meaning that the other $2.00 went to non-medical purposes. That's right, $1.00 went to political contributions (to bribe various politicians to look the other way) or to denying care to people, while another would go to the CEO's bonus. Think about it, that made up about 90% of the cost. Anyway, watch this race carefully, is what I can tell everyone.

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