Category Archives: Broken in the USA

guns & gas

When a tax cut is not?

When a tax cut is not?

In order to have a perspective on this you need to view our country like you would your family. Admittedly the country is a quite large “family”. You are wanting to have more disposable income available but you can’t figure out where you can cut back on your current expenses. You hope that your income will increase over time, but you really do not have any guarantees. You decide to borrow money to fund this desire and you count it as extra disposable “income”. Is it really? Remember that you will eventually be required to pay back loan and to make matters worse you will have to pay interest on this “income”. You also decide that since you are the primary earner in your family that most of this extra income should be at your disposal and you will only share a small portion of this windfall with your remaining family members.        This is exactly how the tax reduction measure of 2017 worked for our larger family.  We decided to reduce our taxes by approximately $140 Billion a year, but we did not address reducing any of our expenses. The theory was that this money would be used by investors and consumers in a way that would boost the economy and offset this “loan” through new taxes on “incremental” income (resulting from a vibrant economy).  Initially it appeared that this theory might hold water (it did not when President Reagan made a similar effort). The GDP rate picked up during 2018 and actually reached 4% during one quarter. However, that appears to have been a very short-term reaction and 2018 should end up at 3%. This is a very good rate and at the top end of what most economists believe is sustainable. The 2 – 3% range is considered “healthy”. Higher rates have not been sustainable without fueling higher rates of inflation. The trick is to maintain a moderate, sustainable (2 – 3%) rate of growth. The projection for 2019 is 2.5% and 2.0% for 2020. While this is good is would be inaccurate to assume that it is the result of the tax rate adjustment.                                                                 “President Trump promised to increase economic growth to 4-5 percent. That’s faster than is healthy. Growth at that pace leads to an overconfident irrational exuberance. That creates a boom that leads to a damaging bust. The factors that cause these changes in the business cycle are supply, demand, capital availability, and the market’s perception of the economic future.” The average rate from 2000 to 2017 has been 2.25%, despite the 2008 disaster which was the result of prior loose banking regulations fueling a glut of unreasonable loans.            One other noteworthy item regarding the tax cut is the distribution of the approximate $140 billon of annual savings (actually borrowings). Who got the money? Middle & lower class tax payers (incomes under the $183,000) only received 1/3 of the total with the remainder going to the wealthy. Like my small family example, the wealthy have received the same benefit as my head of household! 010

The Ideal Candidate

The Ideal Candidate

In this week’s posting I am asking for a couple of special favors. I have penned a “white paper” on The Ideal Candidate and is much too long to include the entire narrative in this posting. My goal is to use it as the basis in facilitating a grass roots movement. If consider yourself a moderate independent, Republican, Democrat or a Libertarian I believe that you find the vast majority of this candidates position to your liking.

What I am hoping is that you will use the following drop box link to access the paper and take the time to read it (it is quite long). If you believe that a candidate with this Presidential platform is one that you would vote for in 2020, then please forward the drop box link to a minimum of 10 of your friends via Facebook or any form of social media. When you do this please ask them to: “Please take time to review the “white paper” at the following drop box link https://www.dropbox.com/s/d6leve5mb43p6tg/IPC.pdf?dl=0. If you believe that a candidate with this Presidential platform is one that you would vote for in 2020, then please forward the drop box link to a minimum of 10 of your friends via Facebook or any form of social media.” And do so using the text inside of the preceding quotation marks (“…..”).

Discussion and solutions in the following areas are included in the paper:

  • Election & Term Reform
  • The National Debt
  • The National Defense, Security & Veteran support
  • Healthcare
  • Tax Reform
  • Income Security
  • Energy Dependence
  • Climate Change & the Environment
  • Immigration Reform
  • Infrastructure
  • Social Security & Medicare
  • International Relations & Foreign Policy
  • Criminal Justice & Incarceration
  • Human Rights
  • Gun Control
  • Education
  • Illegal & Prescription Drugs
  • Population & Resources
  • Right to Life

Many folks will consider this approach naïve and they might be right. Going up against two heavily funded and entrenched Parties will be extremely difficult. Consider that our current approach to selecting candidates is the reason we find our country in such a mess. If each individual that reads the paper is willing to take personal responsibility for change then we can do it.

The part of the favor will require you to take some action. Obviously, the Ideal Candidate is now just hypothetical. That leads me to the 2nd favor. I am asking you to take at least one more of the following actions: 1. We need nominations for potential persons that are willing to adopt the platform. If you would like to nominate an Individual please send the nomination, with the word “Nomination” in the subject line, to sophiessoapbox@gmail.com. Please include the email address of the person you nominate. 2. If you have social media skills and would be willing to volunteer your services please send an email to sophiessoapbox@gmail.com with “Social Media” in the subject line. 3. If you are willing to assist with the campaign in your state please send an email to sophiessoapbox@gmail.com with “Volunteer” in the subject line. Please include your state in the email.

The Patriot Amendment (PTA)

The Patriot Amendment (PTA)

Many of you are familiar with the reference to Amendment 28, which was, while fictitious, did contain a few worthwhile provisions. Since the legislature will never take corrective action it appears that the amendment process is our only hope of repairing what ails our country, unless we can elect a non-partisan President.

Our ailment begins with the election process as it is now structured. We often hear that “we have the best representation that money can buy”. Elections are almost entirely dependent on financing and the amount required is outrageous. Outcomes are, in large measure, dependent on perception rather than reality or facts. If elected to congress your primary focus, almost immediately, is the next election.

I am firmly convinced that we could repair our broken system of governance by strenuously reducing the influence of both “special” interests and election funding. Along with reasonable term limits. Our founding fathers, in my opinion, did not envision career politicians.

I am officially proposing The Patriots’ Amendment to our constitution:

  • No election campaigning, for a National position, can commence prior to 180 days prior to the date of the election.
  • Political Lobbying is abolished. Violations will be subject to a minimum of $10 million in fines and termination of elected representatives’ term for any participation.
  • Per campaign donations are limited to $500 per individual and $5,000 per company, trade and/or industry organization. If a company were to “bonus” their employees with the intent to make a directed campaign donation the company would be subject to a minimum $5 million in fines. These limitations also apply to direct donations to a political party.
  • House and Senate terms would be limited to a combined total of 14 years.
  • Retirement benefits would be limited to 1/40th of their high salary times the years of elected service.
  • Change the house terms from 2 to 4 years with 50% of the positions up for election every 2 years (similar to Senate procedure)                                                                                                                                         *   Current representatives will be grandfathered to a certain extent, yet to be determined.

I realize there are several issues that could be included, like requiring all elected officials to play by the same rules as the voters, but I think we have a good chance of getting these issues addressed through a non-compromised legislature.