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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Gary Johnson: Gary Johnson on The Fair Tax

This piece was orignally posted at FRS FreeState Now: Gary Johnson: Gary Johnson on The Fair Tax

Anyone who believes the American tax system is a sound efficient system, has never had to fill out their taxes in America and pay American taxes. We subsidize things that aren't productive, we subsidize things that are doing very well and don't need subsidy's. We have so many tax loopholes that some people end up paying such a low effective tax rate. That they end up paying lower percentage of their income in taxes. Than people making a lot less money than them.

So we end up having higher tax rates then we would have to have otherwise to fund our Federal Government. To make up the difference in lost tax revenue from the people who would otherwise be paying higher taxes. But can afford to hire a smart accountant to get them off in paying those higher taxes than they would otherwise have to pay. Because of all of the tax loopholes in our tax system. I'm not arguing for high taxes on anyone in America because I don't believe in that, but what I am arguing is for system that eliminates most if not all of our tax loopholes. And then in exchange we could bring down our overall tax rates on everyone.

But where no one would be able to escape what they owe in taxes because we would eliminate most if not all of our tax loopholes. We need to develop a tax system like this in the short-term to help get our debt and deficit under control. But also in the long-term for our economy, to encourage more private investment in America that we need. For economic and job growth and also so we have a tax system that most of the country if not all of it that has to deal with our tax system. Including the people who write our tax laws, which is Congress and the people who have to enforce them the Administration, can understand.

Before we reform our tax system we should reform our Federal Government to make it smaller and more efficient and where one program is no longer wasting 100B$ a year with your money. Once we do that, than our Federal budget would be much smaller and we could afford to eliminate most of these tax deductions. As well as lower our tax rates, because our Federal Government wouldn't need as much tax revenue to fund themselves. And this starts in national defense by bringing our troops home from Afghanistan and Iraq, but also in developed nations like Europe, Saudi Arabia, Japan and Korea.

But also reforming our social insurance programs, our entitlements programs, but also our anti-poverty programs. To make them more cost-effective. And I would do this by reforming Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. So they are saved going forward, but also reforming our other social insurance programs like Unemployment Insurance, Welfare Insurance, Agriculture Insurance, Disaster Insurance, etc. By giving all of them their own funding source and then taking them off of the Federal budget all together as well as state budgets. And turning them into independent state-run, instead of Federally-run government services. That would be regulated to the extent that they would have to serve anyone whose qualified, but would operate on their own.

Once the Federal Government is reformed, then we could move to permanent tax reform that's based on consumption rather than on income. Both private and public consumption pay for the private and public services, that you use by when you use them and then paying a tax on them. Paying taxes when you by a car or a home to use as examples. And then having a consumption tax that's based on how much you spend not how much you make. So grocery's would be taxed lower than luxury cars to use as an example. But also pay for the public services you use when you use them by paying a fee for when you use them.

Like the Border Control would be financed by the people who leave and enter the country. People who travel would pay for the Transportation Security Administration with a fee on their ticket, to use as examples. And the consumption tax wouldn't replace the payroll taxes, just the income tax. Tax Reform as well as government reform, is essential if we want to have a strong economy in the future, want to get our debt and deficit under control. And want to have a cost-effective and efficient Federal Government going forward in the future to make us more competitive with our foreign competitors.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Associated Press: Gadhafi "Rule Is Over": What Libya Could Look Like Post Gadhafi

Associated Press: Gadhafi "Rule Is Over": What Libya Could Look Like Post Gadhafi

Now that it looks like Moammar Gadhafi's rule is over in Libya and the forty year reign of the Gadhafi Regime has fallen and now it just might be a matter of capturing, or killing Moammar Gadhafi, its not too soon to look ahead at what Libya could be in the future. Assuming that the Libyan Rebels the Transitional National Council of Libya are democrats. And not just another authoritarian faction trying to install its own version of authoritarianism and its own authoritarian regime. Libya has a lot of challenges unlike, Egypt which already has a functioning national government and it was just a matter of replacing the leadership. President Hosni Mubarak and his people.

Libya doesn't have that. They don't have a constitution, or other government institutions that can balance the country until a permanent government can take power. Actually Libya doesn't even have state or provincial governments, in a country thats physically the size of Iran a very large country. But with only 6M people, so whatever Transitional Authority emerges in Libya will have a lot of challenges facing it right way. Not just creating a new national government, but a national constitution, as well as establishing provincial and local governments. Because all of the power in Libya was based with the Gadhafi Regime in Tripoli.

I don't claim to be an expert on Libya and saying that this would be the perfect system and form of government for them. But when you're talking about a country that is this big one the largest countries in the world physically, that is deep in energy sources, a bottom up approach when it comes to government and governing under a national constitution could work well for them. Something like a federal system and federal republic. Which was created in Germany almost seventy years ago, as well as Italy. Where you create twenty or so states and provinces with their own democratic government's that are accountable to their own people. With local democratic government's within the states, or provinces.

With the democratically elected federal government based in Tripoli that handles national affairs. Foreign relations, national security, interstate crime, security, the currency, economic development, financial aid to struggling communities, things that typical federal government's deal with in Canada, America and Europe. With a national constitution that lays out certain basic fundamental rights for the people that is hopefully secular, at least in nature, while protecting freedom of religion for everyone. As well as lays out the responsibilities for the national executive, legislature, independent judiciary and the relations between the federal government and the states and localities.

Libya is going to have to build a health care system, an education system, law enforcement, a judicial system, a military that can responsibly defend this large country, that doesn't violate human rights. Rebuilding Libya, or just building Libya won't be as challenging as building Afghanistan, which perhaps has never really had a national government. And Libya does has a very large supply of oil and could be if its not already an energy independent nation. So they do have some resources that they can use to build up their country and develop a lot of it. Because a lot of Libya has never been developed, one of the reasons why it only has 6M people in a land the size of Iran. The Gadhafi Regime never put in the resources to develop Libya to its full-potential.

Libya is yet another country that the United States shouldn't step in and try to occupy. Its about time that we learn our lessons from Afghanistan and Iraq. But what we can do with NATO, the United Nations, the European Union the Arab league, with the permission of the Libyan Transitional National Council, is to work with them to develop its country. With trade agreements, lifting economic sanctions on Libya, foreign aide so they can build up their schools, health care system, help them develop their legal system and governmental institutions.

But the TNC and the Libyan people need to figure out what type of country they are going to have in the future and the international community can help them reach that. Like stabilizing the Libyan oil industry, which would help them develop their country and provide the financial resources to do so. Its great that Moammar Gadhafi is out of power and at least not running that country anymore. But this won't be over until he is captured and then the Libyan people can move on build their own Libya the way they want to and become a valuable player in the international community.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

CBS News: CBS Evening News- President Richard Nixon vs. Senator Ted Kennedy on Health Care

This piece was originally posted at FreeState Plus : CBS News: CBS Evening News- President Richard Nixon vs. Senator Ted Kennedy on Health Care

If you look at what President Richard Nixon proposed in health care reform in 1974 to Congress and you look at what Senator Ted Kennedy wanted to do then and perhaps his whole Congressional career, the debate then between President Nixon and Senator Kennedy is very similar to the debate that President Barack Obama had with the Democratic Socialist faction of his party in 2009-10. Except one difference being that President Nixon being a Republican obviously and a Conservative Republican to a certain extent. Someone who didn't believe in empowering the Federal Government and expanding it generally in the economy. With the Environmental Protection Agency and price controls being major exceptions to this.

And Senator Ted Kennedy who I would describe as a Democratic Socialist who believed in social insurance programs and the welfare state. And in protecting them and even expanding them. Health care being a perfect example of this as he was in favor of a single payer health insurance system. With Medicare being the only health insurer for the whole country. But what President Nixon offered and I give him a lot of credit especially as a Conservative Republican for taking on health care reform an issue that the Democratic Party has owned at least since the creation of Medicare in 1965.

But what the Nixon Administration offered looks very similar to what President Obama worked out with the Democratic Congress in 2010. The Nixon Administration essentially created our employer sponsored health insurance system. Where a lot of American workers get their health insurance today. And for a long time through their employer. And what President Nixon wanted to do in health insurance was to expand it to millions of Americans who couldn't afford health insurance on their own. Or couldn't afford their employers health insurance plan. President Nixon's program was essentially private health insurance expansion through workers employers. Which is what the ACA is with a Patients Bill of Rights built into it as well and a health insurance mandate.

So to call the Affordable Care Act extreme or socialist, or anything like that is nonsense. It's a very mainstream approach to health insurance reform. That was started in 1974 in the Nixon Administration and then later proposed again in 1993-94 with then Senate Minority Leader Bob Dole a republican obviously. Along with then Senator John Chaffey a Northeastern Republican during the failed Clinton health care reform debate then. That President Clinton now admits that he regrets not taking the Senate Republican compromise in health care reform.

Which didn't go nearly far enough from what President Clinton originally proposed in 1993. But would've given him a victory in this debate and an accomplishment. And a chance to fight round two of health care reform in his presidency and build off of the first bill. And perhaps even saving the Democratic Congress in 1994. But of course we will never know. Senator Kennedy clearly didn't like the Nixon health Care reform plan as this video indicates. But it's hardly an extreme proposal proposed by right-wing Extremists. Because the Dole/Chaffey health care plan in 1993-94 would've build off of the employer sponsored health insurance system. And what was in the Nixon plan, a lot of it is in the 2010 Affordable Care Act.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Hoover Institution: Uncommon Knowledge with Peter Robinson: Charles Moore on Margaret Thatcher

Charles Moore
Hoover Institution: Uncommon Knowledge with Peter Robinson: Charles Moore on Margaret Thatcher

If you want to know what classical conservatism is and what it means to be a Classical Conservative, then look at Margaret Thatcher of the United Kingdom and her political career. She’s the worst nightmare for Socialists. Democratic and classical in Britain, but perhaps everywhere. Just like Ronald Reagan is the worst nightmare along with Milton Friedman of Socialists in America and perhaps everywhere else as well.

But it’s not just Prime Minster Thatcher’s economic conservatism and her ability to articulate it as well as she did along with her humor. Like saying things like the problem with socialism is that it runs out of other people’s money to spend. Which as a Liberal, I feel the same way myself . But it was the fact that Prime Minister Thatcher did not want government interfering with how people lived their lives, generally speaking. One thing I respect about British politics, is even though there’s not a consensus on what the size of the British Government should be.

Britain, currently debating big government socialist democracy. The Conservative Party, would clearly like to see the British Government become smaller. The Labour Party, would probably like to see the British Government become bigger along with the Democratic Party. But all three of these parties believe in social freedom, generally speaking. And a lot of them believe that government shouldn’t be interfering in how people live their lives. Something a lot of people in the Republican Party in America have forgotten with how they’ve moved toward neoconservatism and religious conservatism.

Neoconservatism, really isn’t very conservative and actually very expensive. And it is more of a version of authoritarianism, with a progressive bent when it comes to social welfare. Canadian politics, is pretty similar to British politics that they there’s a consensus there. That Canadians should have a lot of social freedom. But they differ on how much involvement the Federal Government there should have in the Canadian economy. But what Socialists fear about Classical Conservatives is that they will lose power. That government will lose influence in how much control they have over the people. In the economy and that the people will have all of this freedom and become less dependent on government and make a lot of money.

There are still plenty of Maggie Thatcher Conservatives in the Conservative Party. I would put Prime Minister David Cameron on that list. Except his rhetoric tends not to be as partisan and as blunt. Even though I don’t know him nearly as British political analysts. But there aren’t many Thatcher or Reagan Conservatives left in the Republican Party in America. But they no longer run the Republican Party anymore as that party has moved farther right and into a more authoritarian direction.

Neoconservatives in America, would like to see the Federal Government become more involved in marriage with DOMA and other things. And with their support of the Patriot Act to use as another example. But Classical Conservatives, truly represent the best of the conservative movement and are truly pro-freedom. Especially individual freedom and not just economic and political freedom.