Thursday, January 20, 2011

Useless rhetoric isn't solving poverty problem

In response to this letter in the Sun, I sent this letter to the editor.
In his letter about solving the poverty problem, Bruce Carper asks for solutions. He points out the poverty is obviously on the rise. I suggest that there are 3 major reasons for the increase.

One is that welfare isn’t working because it encourages people to live off the government instead of encouraging them to improve themselves so that they are more qualified to be hired. The program should require welfare recipients to participate in training or learning programs so that they become qualified to get a job. Another idea would be to put a limit on how long you can receive welfare. For instance, allow 5 years of welfare for a person’s entire life. Then if they are on welfare for 2 years, they would still be able to get 3 more years welfare should another unfortunate event occur.

Secondly, consider the effect of taxes on the need for jobs. In 1950, one could graduate from high school, get an average job, and support a family. Now, it takes 2 people working at an average job to support a family. The main reason is that taxes have almost doubled. Therefore, it takes 2 jobs to support a family. If one job could support a family like in 1950, we wouldn’t need as many jobs. Unemployment might still be high, but less families would be homeless and starving. Less people on assistance would reduce the costs of assistance and require less taxes.

The final major reason for increased poverty is the government regulations and fees on businesses. Here in Nevada, the unemployment tax paid by businesses just went up and they are considering another increase near the end of the year. Do you really think that businesses are going to be thinking of hiring more people when their cost of hiring just went up?

Many unemployed people could start a business to earn some money, but it is too expensive and time consuming to get the business license and complete all the red tape. For instance, a barber could cut hair in his home, but it would be illegal. A house painter could paint homes, but it would be illegal.

By cutting regulations, red tape, and fees, more businesses would open or move to Nevada to help reduce the unemployment problem.

These are just a few suggestions of how to how the less fortunate improve their standard of life.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Report: Nevada’s financial position ‘precarious’

This report by the NPRI points out how Nevada legislators have been ignoring state law. This is a problem at all levels of government.

This article states
The Chicago-based Institute for Truth in Accounting today called the financial position of the State of Nevada "precarious" and said past Silver State governors and legislatures had evaded the state's balanced-budget law.

"If governors and legislatures had truly balanced the state's budget, no taxpayer's financial burden would exist," said Sheila Weinberg, founder and CEO of the Institute. "A state budget is not balanced if past costs, including those for employees' retirement benefits, are pushed into the future."
It is not only our state that is in trouble. Our country is over 14 trillion dollars in debt because it spends more than it receives in income. It doesn't make any difference if the Republicans are in control or the Democrats are in control, they both spend our money.

We have to elect conscientious legislators and then hold them responsible for following our laws. It is time for a strong third party.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Sandoval off to a rocky start with budget decisions

In this Sun letter to the editor, the writer states
Education cuts? Really? Is that what our new governor is proposing? Reducing our public school spending, which is currently ranked 46th in the nation, one that has our students ranked last in chances for success?”

Later he states,
The people of Nevada want a balanced budget, oh yes we do. However, it needs to be done smartly and no one gets any smarter by cutting education.
We do not need any more money for education. We need more education for our money.

We need to stop social promotion and demand that students pass or they will be failed and held back. This should start in the first grade. Stop worrying about the students self esteem and worry about their education. What hurts self esteem is when you cannot get a job because you cannot read or write.

We need to cut back on administration expenses and put the money where it belongs on teaching and in the schools. Clark County just hired a new superintendent and paid him $30,000 more than they paid the last supervisor. If they would have paid him the same as the last supervisor, he would have still received $20,000 more than he was making. In addition, they paid him about $75,000 more in expenses.

These are just a few of the things that could be done to the education of our children without spending more money.

"Good for business'? Not hardly

This is an article written by a reader of the Review Journal. It points out how the Nevada bureaucracies hinder businesses and actually drive them out of the state.

The article has many examples of the problems that Nevada bureaucracies caused businesses. For example, it states,
I had to wait four months for the Fire Department to inspect my building so that I could receive my business license and start operating. I received this inspection only after I went to the County Commission meeting and complained during the open forum -- and it still took an additional two weeks for the inspection. I paid rent and employees' wages for four months waiting on the county.

If county officials truly wanted to have my business, they would have an immediate inspection or a temporary business license.

It had other examples, but this example demonstrates how Nevada is losing businesses. I have a family member who has a small business in Clark County that employs 20 taxpayers. Their firm provides services and goods to companies in every country in the world. They recently had a county employee (unknown to them as such) sit in on a baking demonstration at their building. After the demonstration, the county employee asked if she could purchase a set of the tools that were used in the preparation of the pastries. She was offered the tools at no charge. She insisted that she pay for them. They sold her the tools for less than $10 and no receipt was given.

The next day a representative from the county business license office showed up at their plant and fined them for having violated zoning ordinances. The day after that, someone from the Clark County Health Department showed up and fined them as well. The next day an official with the county Fire Department showed up and also fined them. The following day they contacted their Realtor. They're planning to move to Texas. "Good for business"? Yeah, right.
How can Nevada attract new businesses if we treat are existing businesses like this. I had a business which was almost forced out of business because, although I was perfectly legal, I had 3 complaints filed by one person and the state was going to close my business. Luckily, I was able to prove that the compliant was false.

Nevada must reduce the red tape and remove unnecessary regulations to stimulate the economy and encourage new business.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Constitution is a bill of limitations

This article in the Review Journal states,
Here's the House of Representatives new rule: "A bill or joint resolution may not be introduced unless the sponsor has submitted for printing in the Congressional Record a statement citing as specifically as practicable the power or powers granted to Congress in the Constitution to enact the bill or joint resolution." Unless a congressional bill or resolution meets this requirement, it cannot be introduced.

If the House of Representatives had the courage to follow through on this rule, their ability to spend and confer legislative favors would be virtually eliminated. Also, if the rule were to be applied to existing law, they'd wind up repealing at least two-thirds to three-quarters of congressional spending.

I agree. All bills should be constitutional because all legislators take an oath to uphold the Constitution so why not submit the article or amendment that supports the bill.

The article continues,
John Adams warned, "A Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever." I am all too afraid that's where our nation stands today and the blame lies with the American people.

Once again, I agree. I am afraid that the American people may have let things get too far out of hand.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Social Security and Medicare rip offs.

Social Security (SS) and Medicare (MC) are both paid for by workers during their working life. They were not designed to be welfare programs. However, they are both being treated by the government as if they were welfare programs.

The government pays disability to people who have not worked or worked very little. The government gives MD coverage to people who have not paid into the program.

However, for the people who have paid into the program, the government tries to reduce or delay payment of their SS.

If you consider that SS and MD payment is about 15% of a workers salary and that amount invested at 6% for 40 years would amount to well over $1,000.000 even at minimum wage, you will begin to see how we are being ripped off. Now you can get 3% interest in most any bank with a CD. This would amount to $30,000 a year in interest. This is almost twice what a person would get with SS plus they would have 1 million dollars in the bank to leave to their heirs.

The government is also changing the age for retirement so that you have to work longer to get less. The government also increases the annual amount that you have to earn before you don't have to contribute any more that year. These are just ways to get more money and pay you less.

Another way that the government rips you off is that they look at the MAGI on your 1040 tax return. This is the amount your earned before deductions. We live is a gambling state. We have casinos everywhere. So we gamble. If you get W-2Gs for winning a big jackpot, you have to report all you winnings on your 1040 as income. The amount of W-2Gs is usually overstated because on machines, you put money in to play and what you are paid includes the money that you put in the machine to play.

The IRS (government) requires that you list all your W-2Gs and all you winnings which is OK for taxes because you deduct your losses or the money put in the machines to determine your taxable income.

However, you do not get to deduct the money put in the machine or money lost for SS and MC. You will have to pay extra for MC as you MAGI increases. You can pay as much as $341.82 extra every month.

Your SS and MC should be not be adjusted because you paid into it and you deserve to get what you paid for. In fact, I would guess that the higher income participants paid more and receive less than the lower income participants because the higher income are probably more healthy.

Chronological age model outmoded

This letter to the editor states,
While it may be possible to put into service a testing program from existing resources for a reasonable amount of money, what does increase the funding level are the resources in both materials and personnel to carry out the remediation programs necessary to bring nonproficient students to proficient status.

I taught in the public school system in Florida while their program was administered. Such programs are easy to conduct when there are relatively few students identified as nonproficient.

This is typical of how people and the government make a mountain out of a mole hill. As that has to be done is that if the student fails the curriculum for the grade, they fail and have to repeat the grade. If you do that the first time they fail, they will be able to learn the curriculum as they repeat it. You really don't need any special testing or additional programs.

As things are now, the student is promoted until he/she doesn't have any hope of catching up and eventually they drop our. That is why we have such a high drop out rate. If we would demand that students learn the curriculum before they are promoted, they would try harder because they do not want the embarrassment of failing.

When I was in school, one of my friends failed the third grade 3 times. Once he learned to read, he was promoted up and he went on to become mayor of his city.

We must graduate educated students. We cannot continue to graduate students who cannot read, write, or do math.

Friday, January 14, 2011

An interesting article on the economy.

I received a newsletter that was very interesting to me. It was about the situation that the United States is experiencing. The article suggested this link to an article entitled "The Fed-Caused Disaster is Here."

I think that this article explains the cause of the current economic situation. Dollars were incorrectly invested in real estate which caused the real estate bubble. The Fed was the cause of the problem, not the solution.

It is an interesting read.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Light reading

This editorial really hit home. I just had to mention it in my blog.
On Thursday, members of the House's new Republican majority read the U.S. Constitution aloud -- the first time in the nation's history that's been done during a session of Congress.
First of all, I cannot believe that this is the first time that the Constitution has been read in a session of Congress, but then when I think of the bills that have been passed, maybe I shouldn't be surprised.

The article goes on to say that the the venomous response from some was too much. I ask why would anyone object to the reading of the Constitution in Congress when everyone in Congress takes an oath to uphold the Constitution.

The it points out that most of the people objecting don't even know what it says and they misquote it. How sad that we have elected officials who object to the reading of the Constitution and who don't even know what it says.

The article concludes by saying,
And all this condescension, all these patronizing snickers, would seem to reveal some nervousness on the left that the people are indeed starting to go back and read it -- and understand it.

We must start to elect people who will keep their oath to uphold the Constitution and who know what it says.

Is smaller government really wanted?

In the Sun, there were 2 letters to the editor about Americans and smaller government. One states that Americans have shown that they want less government by their vote in the 2010 election.

The other says that Americans don't have the will power to give up their big government. It states,
Every dime the government spends goes into someone’s pocket. The vast majority of federal government expenditures go for programs such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, the veterans system as well as national security. I haven’t seen any indication that Americans are willing to give up any of these things.

Then there is an article about Americans freedom choice and lack of discipline.It states,
Wonder why you have already broken all your New Year’s resolutions? Do not blame yourself — heaven forbid. Enlist modern sophistication and blame your brain’s frontal cortex, affluence, the Internet (the “collapse of delay between impulse and action”) and “the democratization of temptation.”

This is the problem that America is facing. We want a quick fix. We are not willing to sacrifice and be disciplined. We look for the easy diet to lose weight. We look for the easy way to get rich. We look for the government to solve all our problems.

It is time for Americans to take responsibility for their lives. We must do it while we still have enough freedom to plan our lives and to succeed. Soon we will be working for the government like the serfs worked for the king in feudal times.

Reading exams

This article supports something that I have promoted in my campaign for State Senator last year. It states,
And that is: Don't promote from third to fourth grade those who can't read.

The article then points out that this is what Florida has done.
In 1999, Florida instituted secondary education reform, including performance-based pay for teachers, grading schools, annual tests and, most importantly, curbing social promotion. Florida students must pass the reading portion of the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test before being promoted to the fourth grade.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush notes that in 1998 nearly half of Florida's fourth-graders were functionally illiterate, while today 72 percent can read.

Florida has improved their education standards while Nevada continues to fail to adequately teach our children. The article finishes with this statement.
But data already available, including the judgment of qualified teachers, might be adequate to make the responsible decision to hold back children who have not mastered the material.

The problem is stated very well by a comment to this article.
At the end of the school year my wife will be blamed for having a large number of D and F students who can't pass the CRT tests, and those kids won't be held back for remediation because CCSD doesn't want to hurt anyone's feelings. God forbid any teachers here set high - or even mediocre - standards and expect students to meet those standards. There is no support from CCSD, the schools, the parents, or the community. You reap what you sow, which unfortunately will be a semi-literate population good only for service-industry jobs, welfare, and prison.

His wife is a teacher that is trapped in a system that doesn't demand that children learn. If we continue this way, we will have a state of illiterates unable to get a job.

The achievement test for government

This is a very interesting concept. In this article, David Brooks proposes that government action should be judged by what it will achieve. It states,
The best way to measure government is not by volume, but by what you might call the Achievement Test. Does a given policy arouse energy, foster skills, spur social mobility and help people transform their lives?

David then discusses past actions by the government and their consequences. He says that the size of government isn't important, it is what the government is accomplishing that matters. He states,
How big will the resulting government be? That is a secondary issue. If a policy enhances achievement, we should be for that thing. If it displaces investment, we should be skeptical of it. Quality, not quantity, matters most.

I agree that we should only pass bills that will be beneficial to our society.
However, we should also consider the Constitution and only pass bill that are Constitutional. We should not be expanding government by a loose interpretation of the Constitution.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Good health care benefits everyone.

A letter to the editor in the Sun, states,
Mr. Kolander goes on to support his view by referring to the founding of the nation and American history.

While the Sun’s editorials and I disagree with Mr. Kolander on the Constitution and on American history, we are arguing the wrong issues here.

This is in a letter discussing health care. I agree with his contention that
all people want is a good quality of life for as long as they can have it. That quality is largely dependent on good health care.
I just do not agree that the government must provide it.

The Preamble to the Constitution says,
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Please note the it says provide for the common defence and promote the general Welfare. It does not say provide the general Welfare. This is also in the Preamble and the Preamble does not grant any particular authority to the federal government and it does not prohibit any particular authority. It establishes the fact that the federal government has no authority outside of what follows the preamble, as amended.

Therefore, when the writer states disagrees health care can be unconstitutional, he is indicating that he doesn't understand the Constitution.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Fifty years of bad liberal policies.

This article blames the liberals for all our problems. It states,
For the past 50 years, the Democrats — and many Republicans who should know better — have been wrong about virtually every major domestic policy issue. Let's review some of them:

I agree that the Democrats have some bad policies, but the Republicans are also at fault. That is why I think that we need a strong third party and maybe even four strong parties. Now, the Republican and Democrats do not have any competition and are playing good cop and bad cop with the voters.

They actually read it?

This is the entire letter to the editor in the Review Journal.
President Obama and the lame duck Congress pushed the START treaty through, and we've not been told how many in Congress read the accord.

Now the treaty has won initial approval in Russia's Duma (the counterpart of our Congress), but its members pointedly say that final approval won't occur until Jan. 11 at the very earliest, because they intend to study it.

Given the tendency of Congress to pass bills lawmakers haven't read, I find the Russian Duma's attitude refreshing.

It is a shame that our legislators aren't as interested in our country as the Russian legislators are in their country.

Should we be casting blame at the rich?

This Sun letter to the editor states,
But why despise the rich for this? I can see intelligent people showing anger toward the greedy Wall Street gang that created toxic assets that resulted in them getting richer and millions of middle class people losing their savings. I think most of us admire the people who gain wealth by working hard, competing against each other and getting ahead, but it is not easy to admire people who get rich because of oversights by our government.

Maybe the blame is unfairly put on the very rich and should be redirected toward a federal government that is failing to make the right calls far too often.

The next letter to the editor talks about government bailing out the banks and blames them for our financial crisis.
The U.S. government has spent the past two years bailing out banking giants and Wall Street that created the mortgage crisis all by themselves. Now that the banks and Wall Street are reasonably secure, it’s time to have government intervention to help people who are underwater on their mortgages and were left holding the bag and suffering greatly.

While I do not agree that the banks and Wall Street created the crisis because the government pushed them to make the bad loans. I do not agree with the bailout.
The next letter is a reply to a New York Times’ Thomas Friedman article that I commented about in a previous post. It states,
Congressmen have the most resources to determine the best ways to cut the deficit. I am going to type a short e-mail, asking my Nevada members of Congress to give priority to cutting the deficit. If you agree, please join me.

I agree and we have to get involved and let our legislators know how we feel.

Citizen of nowhere

This article in the Sun is about a young lady who is an illegal alien. She is a model student and would make a great citizen of the United States. However, she is illegal and cannot become a citizen.

The article states,
Jessica, whose name has been changed in this story to protect her identity, is one of hundreds of thousands of undocumented residents whose immigration was their parents’ decision and not their own. She was 4 when her father used a work visa to move their family from Mexico to Los Angeles and then to Las Vegas a year later.

It is her parents fault for not doing things legally. They are the ones who have caused this problem for their daughter. Our Country is not responsible for her parents ruining their daughter's life.

However, our Country did enable her parents by allowing them to remain here and providing schooling and other assistance. We should get tough on illegal aliens and not provide them with services.

However, I do not believe that we should punish their children. We should allow them to return to their country and then apply for immigration without any repercussions for living here illegally.

It is time to face this problem head on and do something about it.