Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Congressional Seating 
I am fed up with partisan politics that only benefit the ruling political elite.  Both parties should be working for the good of the country and not for personal gain.  The Republicans and Democrats should not be acting like the Hatfields and McCoys.  This attitude of drawing a line in the sand is ridiculous.   
We see this division in the seating in congress.  The Democrats are on one side and the Republicans on the other side.  This physical division only makes the division worse. 
When people have a dinner party, the table seating is normally man, woman, man woman, etc.  This seating is meant to improve the conversation and overall interaction. 
The seating in both branches of Congress ought to use the same principle.  The seating should be Republican, Democrat, Republican, Democrat, etc.  Maybe if they had to sit next to each other, they might just talk to each other, and if they have to talk to each other, maybe they will work in the best interests of the country and not just for their party. 
Many family gatherings also have a kid’s table for kids that don’t fit at the adult table.  Some of our politicians should probably be restricted to the kid’s table until they can act like adults.
I know making Democrats and Republicans sit by each other is a novel idea, and probably too radical, but worth thinking about.  It might even be good for the country.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Government’s Addiction To Spending
        Our federal government’s spending has doubled in the last eleven years.  We can’t put all the blame on one political party, since both Democrats and Republicans have held the Presidency and majorities in the House and Senate during that time period. 
        We are fast approaching a fiscal cliff and politicians still are not dealing with the problem.   At some point we will have to deal with the problem or our country will collapse.  Will that lead to a total government takeover and a socialist country?  I know some people want to see that happen, but I hope most people want to keep our freedom.

This spending addiction seems to have filtered down to the smallest levels of our government.  I live in a small township in Wisconsin.  This township has a population of fewer than 2,000 people.  
The township wanted to increase the tax levy by an amount greater than allowed under Wisconsin statute without putting it to a vote of the people in the township.  The argument was that it was better to increase taxes than to borrow the money and go in debt.  One statement was that paying interest on loans was not a good use of taxpayer money.
This sounds like the old tax and spend approach vs. the borrow and spend approach.  What happened to QUIT SPENDING?    When the issue was presented before the vote, cutting spending was never presented as an option.  Personally, I think cutting spending was an option. 
People attending the meeting were never told what the additional cost of the levy increase meant in tax dollars for the individual taxpayer.  The township tax increase was hidden by combining it with the school tax levy.  Since the school tax levy was going down due to a school consolidation and a fiscally responsible Governor, the total tax showed a decrease. 
I had a good idea what the actual tax increase was, but I am sorry to say I did not ask that specific question at the meeting.  I don’t know if it would have made any difference in the vote to approve the increased tax levy. 
I do know one thing.  When a tax is implemented or increased, it seldom goes away or is decreased.  This is true with this levy increase too.  The resolution even states, “This increase shall be ongoing.”

I am very concerned with all levels of government’s lack of fiscal responsibility, but my primary concern is the growth of our federal government.  I believe our political elite are acting in their personal best interests and not the best interests of the country.  If we don’t reverse the growth of the federal government, I feel sorry for our children and grandchildren. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Campaign spending 2012
        Estimates put campaign spending for the 2012 Presidential election at around two billion dollars.  That seems like a lot of money to an old Iowa farm boy like me.
        Donations to a candidate’s campaign are limited to a maximum of $2,500, but donations to the Super PACS are sometimes as large as ten million dollars.  These Super PACS are unregulated, and the candidates they support supposedly have no control over how these funds are spent.  If you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you.
Do you think these large donors might get any special consideration by the officials they help to elect?  I’m probably just being paranoid.

It gets worse.  Lets look at all the campaigns including the U.S. House and Senate, state, city, county, and local political races.  We certainly don’t want to ignore special elections like the Wisconsin Governor Walker recall election.  We now have a total of around six billion dollars. 
Seems like a lot of money to me.  I admit it produced business for some ad agencies, TV stations, radio stations, newspapers, and printing companies, but do you think there is any better way we could have spent that money? 
I have a still greater problem with all this money spent on campaign ads that are inaccurate, misleading, or outright lies.  Many people just get sick of the media blitz if they live in a battle ground state.  And, worst of all some people actually believe the lies.

The destruction from Sandy is in the news.  FEMA is one of the federal government agencies helping these people.  Six billion is half of FEMA’s entire budget. 
As with many things involving our federal government, campaign spending has gotten out of control.  The primary concern of many politicians is getting elected and they ignore the people they should be representing. 
The very rich, large corporations, and special interest groups like unions and welfare seem to be well represented.  Unfortunately, neither party seems to be concerned with the average working American.
Maybe it is time for some serious and effective campaign reform.  We should also give serious consideration to repealing the 17th Amendment to Constitution so U.S. Senators act in the best interest of the state they are supposed to be representing and not the Super PACS that helped elect them. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

No Change
        There was a large turnout for yesterday’s election and the result was a vote for no change.  I had sincerely hoped the actions of our federal government over the last decades would be enough to prompt some real change.  I am sad to say I was wrong. 
The President was reelected.  The Republicans still control the House and the Democrats still control the Senate.  The end result is no change.  We can expect four more years like the last two years.  The only winners were the political elite. 
        We will continue to see an ineffective Congress and a President using executive orders to create legislation.  We will see more government regulations that will hurt business and the economic recovery.   We will not achieve energy independence and we will see higher costs for energy.
We may not see any federal budgets, just like the last few years.  We will continue to see an increase in the size of the federal government and government spending.  We will probably see the debt rise to twenty trillion dollars.  The US credit rating has dropped twice and will probably drop again.
I predict a slow recovery for the economy and a slow change in unemployment, but we will recover in spite of the federal government, because of the initiative and tenacity of the American entrepreneur. 
I hope and pray that eventually the voting public will recognize that we must change the direction of our federal government.  God bless America.