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A Simple Proposal

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  • A Simple Proposal

    I try to be an American first. It seems to me that too many citizens are a Democrat or a Republican first, then an American. I also try to be more of a realist, rather than a liberal or a conservative.

    Most people would agree that government spending is out of control, damaging our economy, and threatening our future. One of the big fears of health care reform is the cost. Many fear we can't afford it.

    Maybe we should approach it like with a household budget. If a family wants something, but can't afford it; one option is cut back in other areas. Certainly there is enough wasteful government spending that could be eliminated to pay for health care reform.

    Most likely you are saying, "That will be the day". And if you're like most, your first instinct is to blame the "other" party. But let's face some harsh realities:

    1. Liberals and Democrats won't trust conservatives and Republicans to not show favoratism when cutting spending. Conservatives and Republicans won't trust liberals and Democrats not to show favoratism either.
    2. The people who benefit from wasteful spending contribute money to political campaigns. It's so expensive to get re-elected that Congressmen are afraid to alienate the people who give them money.
    3. Congressmen are actually rewarded more for spending than cutting. People want Federal dollars spent in their state.
    4. Worst of all, too many citizens are locked into the delusion that it's all the other guys fault. They don't blame 'their' party for anything.

    That's why I offer this Simple Proposal:

    Ask former congressmen such as Bob Dole and Sam Nunn, to get together and honestly list the programs and spending that can be eliminated or reduced. Since they are no longer running for Congress, that don't have to worry about raising money. Ask them to rise above partisanship and think about America as a whole. Ask them to honestly think about the future of our country. Then we as a people have to do the same thing and demand Congress make the cuts they recommend.

    Maybe I'm being naive or stupid. But I believe it is the best that could be done for our country. Of course that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.

  • #2
    Re: A Simple Proposal

    Regardless of which people you choose, you get their opinion and what is important to me may not be important to you or Bob Dole or George Bush.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: A Simple Proposal

      Originally posted by Steve Dallas View Post
      Certainly there is enough wasteful government spending that could be eliminated to pay for health care reform.
      Not to put you on the spot, but I hate terms like this. What would you consider wasteful? And when it comes to parring down the budget, your opinion of wasteful differs from someone in New Hampshire who differs from someone in Montana who differs from someone in Iowa who differs from your own. Your idea of meaningful spending is someone else's wasteful. So, as a politician, it is an arduous process to do that.

      Plus, if there is one thing I have learned over the years, people look at some government programs and assume it is wasteful and the private market could do it better. In this country, if they could have, they would have. In my area of expertise, transportation, transit agencies used to be private. Roads were built by private developers and things were in a general state of shabbyness when it came to the car. So government stepped in and built highways. That took patrons from the transit companies, who then became public agencies. Some people who now drive on the government-built and maintained roads look at transit as wasteful spending. Yet, if mass transit were to disappear, the economy would tank, for numerous reasons. There is a whole list of lessons to be learned from that one general example.

      1. Liberals and Democrats won't trust conservatives and Republicans to not show favoratism when cutting spending. Conservatives and Republicans won't trust liberals and Democrats not to show favoratism either.
      2. The people who benefit from wasteful spending contribute money to political campaigns. It's so expensive to get re-elected that Congressmen are afraid to alienate the people who give them money.
      3. Congressmen are actually rewarded more for spending than cutting. People want Federal dollars spent in their state.
      4. Worst of all, too many citizens are locked into the delusion that it's all the other guys fault. They don't blame 'their' party for anything.
      1. People in both parties get along more than you know. Since the only thing that gets attention is the divisive stuff, people think they hate each other.
      2. Yes and no, but again, it depends on what your version of wasteful spending is.
      3. Possibly, but I know some people who have been elected on their basis of fiscal restraint.
      4. True. There is little accountability in many segments anymore.

      Ask former congressmen such as Bob Dole and Sam Nunn, to get together and honestly list the programs and spending that can be eliminated or reduced. Since they are no longer running for Congress, that don't have to worry about raising money. Ask them to rise above partisanship and think about America as a whole. Ask them to honestly think about the future of our country. Then we as a people have to do the same thing and demand Congress make the cuts they recommend.

      Maybe I'm being naive or stupid. But I believe it is the best that could be done for our country. Of course that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.
      Problem is, that type of solution naturally excludes people. Another example, when the highway system was being planned, planners had a chart that would run the process to come to the "best possible solution" for the general public interest. That usually meant build highways on cheap land, which meant running them through the poor neighborhoods. The greater public good meant they were SOL.

      In any system, there will be winners and losers. Sometimes there needs to be losers, but you knock on doors of people who would lose out and tell them they don't matter, then get back to me. It isn't easy to do.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: A Simple Proposal

        I believe if you sat down with people of different opinions, there would be a surprising amount of agreement that certain government programs are wasteful or no longer necessary. Not the big programs like Social Security or the Army, but smaller ones. If you have both a Democrat and a Republican saying the program is wasteful, that's powerful evidence that it is. The problem is that in Congress, there is an understanding, "you vote for my pet project and I'll vote for yours." That's why it will take former Congressmen to get honest answers.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: A Simple Proposal

          Originally posted by FoUTASportscaster View Post
          1. People in both parties get along more than you know. Since the only thing that gets attention is the divisive stuff, people think they hate each other.
          I have a friend who is a dyed in the wool Republican. He will argue until he is red in the face that he thinks for himself. However a sentence or two later, he is regurgitating Republican propaganda. When the propaganda is challenged, he admits to its flaws, yet returns to the Republican stance on the issues. He does not understand that he is just a puppet for the Republicans. The sad part of this is he is not alone.

          The propaganda is out and out lies. He paints the Republicans as saints and the Democrates as villians. I don't see how this type of retoric promotes the two parties to work together. It is so divisive.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: A Simple Proposal

            I am a Republican (and yes I do think for myself), but I do not paint the republicans as saints, we all have our faults now don't we? I don't like the words regurgitate or propaganda being associated with my political views!!! I am very happy that I am not a "puppet" for anyone!! I would be great if we could all learn to live together. It's called democracy!! One nation under God, forever!!! gb

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: A Simple Proposal

              Ask former congressmen such as Bob Dole and Sam Nunn, to get together and honestly list the programs and spending that can be eliminated or reduced.
              This has already been done, BIG TIME, by the Grace Commission, appointed (I think) by Pres. Reagan. The commission duly worked hard and came up with BILLIONS of $ in annual savings that could be had by eliminating wasteful spending that most people have never even heard of. The effort was ignored by Congress, of course, because of the inherent truth of one of your other statements:
              3. Congressmen are actually rewarded more for spending than cutting. People want Federal dollars spent in their state.
              I agree though, with your philosophy of being American first, instead of D or R. Partisan contention divides this country dangerously today, just as those founding daddies said it would. We are supposed to be a Republic, not a Democracy.

              But we have indeed morphed into a democracy, a system which has been said to sow the seeds of its own destruction, when the electorate finds it can vote itself benefits from the public purse. Here's a recent statistic I saw that supports this: more than half the US population now earns its living working in government, or receives public benefits of some sort. This makes it virtually impossible to win any vote to ameliorate that condition, ergo, destruction is now assured. :o

              As an aside, I'll share here a comment I read just today... "to say that our insane congress and administration are spending like drunken sailors is an insult to sailors (and possibly to drunks!)."

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: A Simple Proposal

                It seems many of our representatives in congress are concerned over the cost of healthcare, yet it works in Canada. I believe it will work in the US also. If there is billions of dollars available to fight wars in far off places that don't matter to people in the USA, then there would be that much available if the war was called off and troops sent home.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: A Simple Proposal

                  Originally posted by naturalmanwa View Post
                  It seems many of our representatives in congress are concerned over the cost of healthcare, yet it works in Canada. I believe it will work in the US also. If there is billions of dollars available to fight wars in far off places that don't matter to people in the USA, then there would be that much available if the war was called off and troops sent home.
                  I find it quite funny how the pro-big government healthcare people always seem to tie the war budget elimination to paying healthcare, and this comment comes as quickly and as easily and is predictable as breathing.

                  If the healthcare is so good in Canada why are there always so many stories to the contrary many of them are coming from Canada? I know that I am blessed to be a patient at one of the best hospitals in America, and the world, yet at the same time we see many patients from Ontario and the reason they come here is that routine procedures are easily available here in America as opposed to the Canadian health-care system. Many of these routine procedures are life-saving yet these patients have to go on a waiting list which could actually threaten their lives in the long run and drive down the survival rates of these diseases.

                  European and Canadian healthcare systems have been proven time and time again to be inferior to those in the United States. Now, are there lapses in the system? Yes! There are many lapses in the system, yet our system in many cases is still better then all of the other systems in the world. In one issue that so many people are not covering is the fact that the United States healthcare system has provided more in the way he of development and testing of various medicines and procedures that other countries have not even started to be involved with.

                  Let's not forget that fighting wars in far-off places may be a way to keep these wars from coming to our shores. I'm sure you could ask the Fort Hood soldiers about that one.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: A Simple Proposal

                    Originally posted by blackrebel View Post

                    European and Canadian healthcare systems have been proven time and time again to be inferior to those in the United States. Now, are there lapses in the system? Yes! There are many lapses in the system, yet our system in many cases is still better then all of the other systems in the world. In one issue that so many people are not covering is the fact that the United States healthcare system has provided more in the way he of development and testing of various medicines and procedures that other countries have not even started to be involved with.
                    Inferior? How are they inferior when everyone in Canada and Europe have healthcare from cradle to grave? We have millions uninsured. More will become uninsured as they lose their jobs and cannot afford COBRA (whose rates are outrageous) and then they try searching for affordable health care and find they can't afford it.

                    Our system is the inferior one.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: A Simple Proposal

                      Originally posted by blackrebel View Post

                      Let's not forget that fighting wars in far-off places may be a way to keep these wars from coming to our shores. I'm sure you could ask the Fort Hood soldiers about that one.
                      Not true. Fighting on USA/Canadian turf is almost next to impossible, strategically, due to where we are located on the map and where our military bases are located. The far-off places where we are fighting has nothing to do with what happen with the Ford Hood soldiers.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: A Simple Proposal

                        Originally posted by Steve Dallas View Post
                        If you have both a Democrat and a Republican saying the program is wasteful, that's powerful evidence that it is.
                        I don't think you quite get it. Politics is not, in any way simple. Some Democrats voted against the health care bill. One Republican voted for it. Their constituent make-up is not in any way similar.

                        I'll aks you again, what program(s) do you think is wasteful. I guarantee you I can find someone who disagrees.

                        The problem is that in Congress, there is an understanding, "you vote for my pet project and I'll vote for yours." That's why it will take former Congressmen to get honest answers.
                        I am beginning to think you don't have a solid grasp of how our political system works.

                        Originally posted by Kouak View Post
                        I have a friend who is a dyed in the wool Republican. He will argue until he is red in the face that he thinks for himself. However a sentence or two later, he is regurgitating Republican propaganda. When the propaganda is challenged, he admits to its flaws, yet returns to the Republican stance on the issues. He does not understand that he is just a puppet for the Republicans. The sad part of this is he is not alone.

                        The propaganda is out and out lies. He paints the Republicans as saints and the Democrates as villians. I don't see how this type of retoric promotes the two parties to work together. It is so divisive.
                        I am talking about the process inside not ideaology outside. Look at the vote totals for most bills. They are all usually high. It is stuff like health care, war funding and climate change. Plus, I have experience in this arena and can assure you, Nancy Pelosi and Pete Sessions get along more than anyone thinks.

                        Originally posted by missouriboy View Post
                        We are supposed to be a Republic, not a Democracy.

                        But we have indeed morphed into a democracy
                        Dude, seriously? A Republic is where the people elect their representatives for government. A democracy is where the people are the government themselves. I have thought some of your posts have been off the mark before, but this one takes the cake.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: A Simple Proposal

                          Originally posted by FoUTASportscaster View Post
                          I'll aks you again, what program(s) do you think is wasteful. I guarantee you I can find someone who disagrees.
                          And that would usually be the government official who wants his bill passed for whatever pet project s/he needs money for. I know that there is some wastefull spending that everyone can agree on, except for the one person that whats the project. I saw one program that a congress person got passed, it was to plant flowers in a median on the main road of his hometown.

                          Dude, seriously? A Republic is where the people elect their representatives for government. A democracy is where the people are the government themselves. I have thought some of your posts have been off the mark before, but this one takes the cake.
                          In a democracy the people are supposed to be equal in privileges, duties, and responsibilities and each participating in the government, but that is the purest form, in practice we give control to elective officers.
                          Last edited by nimrod; 11-10-2009, 12:46 PM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: A Simple Proposal

                            Originally posted by nimrod View Post
                            And that would usually be the government official who wants his bill passed for whatever pet project s/he needs money for. I know that there is some wastefull spending that everyone can agree on, except for the one person that whats the project.
                            Please tell me, I just want a real world example where some people (note the pluralism) aren't helped.

                            I saw one program that a congress person got passed, it was to plant flowers in a median on the main road of his hometown.
                            If this is your example, it is rather weak. If this and similar programs were eliminated 1,000 times over, you'd have trimmed about one-millionth of the budget. Not exactly meaningful.

                            And at the same time, you eliminate jobs, the florist who grew the flowers, the landscaper who planted them and the city worker who maintains them.

                            As I said, wasteful to one group is meaningful to another.

                            In a democracy the people are supposed to be equal in privileges, duties, and responsibilities and each participating in the government, but that is the purest form, in practice we give control to elective officers.
                            Democracy - noun - government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them

                            Republic - noun - a state in which the supreme power rests in the body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by representatives chosen directly or indirectly by them.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: A Simple Proposal

                              In a previous post I made the following statement:

                              The problem is that in Congress, there is an understanding, "you vote for my pet project and I'll vote for yours." That's why it will take former Congressmen to get honest answers.

                              foUTASportscaster commented:

                              "I am beginning to think you don't have a solid grasp of how our political system works"

                              My comment was based on a statement the late Sen. Thomas Eagleton made in a column he wrote for The St. Louis Post Dispatch. The column dealt with the reasons it is so difficult to cut Federal spending. As a prominent former U.S. Senator, I believe he knew what he was talking about.

                              I have explained the basis for my statement. Please explain the basis for yours.

                              Comment

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