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Looking Forward While Looking Back Over My Shoulder

Last year was more of the same: Bigger government, in the name of helping the middle class, driving the country deeper into debt. If I could make the rules, things would change.

It is New Year’s Eve and I’m sitting in my office. Everybody has been sent home early to be with their families. I’ve written next week’s blog and so this is a little down time to sit and think about last year and the coming year.  

My takeaway from 2012 is that once again the “smart elites” have hurt the country while claiming to help the middle class. In the coming year I will be looking away from the "smart elites" and looking toward people with good common sense who have real world experience. I am looking for people who would really be interested in helping the working class by making some changes to benefit us and not the political class.

Here are a few things I would do if appointed “the decider.”

The first thing would be a smaller government. Big government costs a lot of money. Government has tremendous waste and fraud. Government always seeks ways to insert itself into our everyday life. It should be enough to insure everyone has equal rights and equal opportunity. If the government secured our country from invasion, built the interstate highways, controlled aircraft overhead, and resolved differences between the states, it would be enough.

Equal opportunity has been a buzz word since the 1965 great society started.  How are we doing? Lousy, I’m still not guaranteed a spot in the NBA due to my lack of size, speed and skill. I’m not allowed to fly airplanes due to a lack of training. I really should be allowed to be a golf professional, but with my 9 handicap, I would starve and that is just not fair.  Maybe equal opportunity should really be measured by skill and not government fiat. Skill, hard work and commitment should decide who succeeds and not the Government.

I would like to see more small businesses in this country. Living in Rancho Santa Margarita, we have our share of locally owned businesses, and it is really nice to do business with your neighbors.  There are certain steps which must be taken to allow for the growth of more family owned businesses. A couple ideas would include lower taxes from profits earned by family owned businesses. (See below for the tax part of this.) 

It should be easier getting licenses to start a family owned business. When a family business becomes successful, they hire people from the neighborhood.  Local success spreads growth locally. Congress should keep its nose out of neighborhood businesses.

Speaking of small business, we should increase the emphasis on learning trades in our junior colleges. When a kid goes to a commercial trade school, it gets real expensive in a hurry. The old idea that every kid should attend college is wrong.  By placing an emphasis on trade schools in the junior colleges, more kids could learn a great trade. Everything from accounting to welding should be taught. No matter how high tech the country gets, we will still need plumbers, carpenters, furniture makers, welders, landscape maintenance etc. 

A person with a useable skill can start his (or her) own business and provide jobs for those who did not finish their training. The government is not the answer to unemployment, with its 150 weeks of unemployment. Having small business owners with less government is the answer to the job problem.

There needs to be more home ownership. The Democrats tried to push this issue in 1996/1997, by coercing banks into making loans people could not afford.  When the banks tried to push back, Barney Frank and Maxine Waters, to name two, threatened Congressional action. The real answer is jobs, jobs, jobs combined with lower taxes. 

If we get small businesses growing, increase the job skill level of tradesmen, more homes will be bought. More important than buying the home, people will be able to keep them. It was a cruel hoax on working people to give them loans they could not afford to meet government mandated lending quotas.

We need to stifle the EPA. Get back to the environmental rules of the mid 90’s, and then look at everything from a return on investment profile. The government should not be in charge of picking winners and losers. The EPA is an anvil on the back of job creators.

Finally, we need to have a discussion of how much the government is worth to each of us. The conversation should take place among those who are actually paying the taxes. For those who, for whatever reason, don’t pay taxes, they should observe and keep their peace, since they will not be affected. The question is, “How many pennies of each dollar should go to the National Government and how much to the State Government?”

I think there is a moral issue when the combined government tab comes to more than 33% of a person’s gross income. When you spend more than a third of your time working for the government, you are no longer free. One of the arguments we should immediately dismiss is the cry that something “cost the government/treasury" money. The government has no money; it only has what it takes from us. The amount of government should equal the amount we set aside for good government. A businessman can go to jail for mismanagement of money; these same rules should apply to politicians and bureaucrats.

The amount I believe government is worth: 12% for the Federal Government and 5% for the State Government. With a total tax bill of 17% per year we still have 15% available in case of a National Emergency.

You might ask about the deductions. Deductions go to those with money to buy a lobbyist in Washington, D.C. We should be able to do our taxes on a post card.  Total income, minus 5% State taxes equals the amount owed to the State and gives a new subtotal to use. Using the subtotal after the deduction of State taxes, we multiply that by 12% and that amount goes to the Feds. Everything else goes to your family, your charities and your future.

I’m predicting the next two years will see a flat economy, if not a recession.  We, the people, will need to take action soon to save this country. The items above are my suggestions. I will be talking about them all of 2013.

I would like to thank Patch for the opportunity to present my take on the political scene. Also, a big thank-you to the commenters who offer their opinions. Often, I think some of you are nuts, but you are my kind of nuts: You have a take and you express it. What’s not to love about this whole deal and the expression of ideas?

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

MFriedrich January 07, 2013 at 01:39 AM
Nice all all caps btw.
MFriedrich January 07, 2013 at 01:42 AM
Oh. so is this the part where you type down some facts? Well, when you finally do be sure to let us all know, ok? Thanks lady.
JustUs January 07, 2013 at 02:58 AM
Well, mfriedrich is back with some more insults over substance. He can't dispute my facts shown above so he attacks the messenger. Ingenious. He must be a pro internet blog commenter. heh. A real renaissance man. heh. Oh, and it took him 3 full comments to get his point across too. Very efficient. heh. :^)
Bread Angel January 07, 2013 at 03:19 AM
Just--I recommend that you read Paul Krugman's column in Monday's NY Times. He explains international and national economics very well. You probably will not agree with him, but I trust a Nobel Laurette more than I trust a bitter person who gets his jollies by being condescending.
MFriedrich January 07, 2013 at 03:24 AM
Hahahahahaha. They certainly are "your" facts.
John Webb January 07, 2013 at 04:00 AM
You are right. Look for another column soon dealing with the flat tax. The idea for the headline right now is: Why there will never be a flat tax. When it comes out, let me know what you think.
JustUs January 07, 2013 at 04:04 AM
Oh, I have read LOTS of Krugman's stuff. But no more. I won't waste my time. He's a puppet for the oligarchs. He's the idiot who told us that 'deficits don't matter'. HAH! Nobel Laurette's are WAY over-valued. Afterall, Obama was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize. HAH! And then he bombed Libya into the stone age with about $2B in US made missiles without the consent of Congress! HAH! Those missiles killed Ghadafi's young grandchildren at his compound. But no Americans cried over the loss of those children. Not even the hand-wringing liberals like yourself! HAH! You can't snow me, Bread Angel. I've been around much too long, dear. You can fool someone else with that "Nobel Laurette" stuff, young lady. Not me. Don't even try to. IMO Paul Krugman is a communist who does not admit to belonging to the communist party. :)
John Webb January 07, 2013 at 04:06 AM
Bread Angel, be careful using Paul Krugman as a source. He has not been right on anything he has said over the last four years. There are a couple people with a better background and track record. I would recommend reading Dr. Thomas Sowell or Dr. Walter E. Williams. If you read a little on the Laffer Curve and then track it through our economic history, you will get a better feel for what it will take to have "balance" in our tax and spending.
JustUs January 07, 2013 at 04:07 AM
Post #4 failed too. These blogs should invent a way to automatically discard posts that fail to respond to FACTS and instead attack the messenger. We would hear much less from guys like mfriedrich. heh. :)
JustUs January 07, 2013 at 04:10 AM
Good job, John. That should get you some black votes next election. Smart!
MFriedrich January 07, 2013 at 05:09 AM
Agreed. They should also filter out common sense, facts and....oh wait, all of your contributions do that already. Hey, nice going Andromeda!
JustUs January 07, 2013 at 05:25 AM
Either way....w/ my suggestion or yours....you would end up on the short end of the stick with very few comments on display. You would have to spend most your time over at Daily Kos or the Move-On sites. heh. :^)
MFriedrich January 07, 2013 at 05:58 AM
Don't be bitter Andromeda. There's always tomorrow, another new blog thread and your next embarrassing adventure at warped opinion expression and unpersuasive argumentation. Your news soundbite regurgs are quite boring, but the overused "how does it feel?" comment tag lines, and the imaginary debate victory declarations always make for good comedy. I see that you frequently make yourself laugh also. "Hehe".
JustUs January 07, 2013 at 06:20 AM
Andromeda? You can't even get names right. heh. Has confusion set in? See a neurologist for a work up. Who's bitter? I'm just messing with your mind. Doesn't require much effort actually. And, again, you refuse to debate the issues. Just more flaccid attacks. With each post you lose more value here on the comment boards. Your recent posts have put you into the negative value class. That means instead of having a quarter in your pocket now you owe a quarter. heh. Better stop the leak before have to sell your autographed photo of King Obama to pay for your subscription to The Liberal Weekly. heh. :^)
MFriedrich January 07, 2013 at 09:22 AM
JustUs=Andromeda C'mon man. It's not like this hasn't been noticed. Or like your other fabrications, do you think you are fooling people? You are the one begging for someone to debate you. I'm simply waiting for a premise, an argument or some actual verifiable facts. But thus far your contributions along all these lines have been empty. You see, it's not enough to make sarcastic, provocative claims, and bait people. Given your limited gifts in the area of common discourse, you really must work harder than you have thus far.
JustUs January 07, 2013 at 05:58 PM
mfriedrich - call me a 'potTAto' or even a 'poTATo' if you like. Water off a duck's back. All the other readers know that my aforementioned statements about the Obama Administration are stone cold facts. All the supporting documentation is there for the taking. All one needs is the time to research it and an open mind. You have lots of time. You just don't have the open mind. You are water boy for King Obama. And that's been clearly evident in your former posts. So you use phony excuses not to debate me. The fact of the matter is that you're skeered to debate me because I have handed you your hiney so many times during our former debates that you know who your daddy is. You simply opt not to come back for more. And that is probably a smart choice on your part. But it's obvious that you are using phony excuses to avoid a debate on the FACTS that I have presented about the Obama Administration. That part is VERY clear and those readers who think clearly, logically and rationally understand that. Enjoy your Monday, mfriedrich. The Notre Dame-Alabama national championship game is on tonight @ 5pm. Should be a good one. I am not a practicing Catholic - but I am rooting for ND. I have resented the favoritism shown toward the SEC teams in past years. I want ND to knock them out of the top spot.
Lady Golfnut January 07, 2013 at 11:41 PM
Hey Bread Angel - do me a favor: ask our military who they prefer in office. I know several who praise Bush and despise Obummer. I personally know a US Marine who flew Bush on Marine One. He has been a Marine for over 10 years and planned on being in for life. He and many others are scared of the Obama administration. War is a necessary evil. I don't like it anymore than you.
Yeparoo January 08, 2013 at 07:30 PM
The problem with a flat tax is it wouldn't allow our dear elected leaders to create false divisions. It also would disrupt the idea that people and groups can enjoy OPM gratis. You are right John, too many constituent groups have wonderful ideas that require lobbying for investments and priorities. Sadly, the disincentives in our society will continue unabated.
John Webb January 08, 2013 at 07:38 PM
Yeparoo, you have hit on one of the reasons for writing these blogs. If we allow "the disincentives in our society......(to)..continue unabated" they will. I think a lot of us have had enough. Popular culture ignores many of the thoughts, ideas and destructive actions to be glorified. If you and I and a few others start talking about what progress looks like, we could make a difference. Thanks for seeing the "problem" with the flat tax. Maybe a few others will pick up on your thoughts and it could spread. Good ideas are like the sun, they light the way for the future.
JustUs January 08, 2013 at 08:50 PM
John, based on my observations of examples from the very top (dems and GOP), our people are getting the message that the way to better their lot or increase their standing in our society is by lying, cheating and stealing from others. I could go on and give you SO MANY examples of this that you could spend a whole day reading them. But there is no doubt you are already aware of all this, even though you don't mention the stuff that I'm referring to in your column. This is the problem as I see it. People only address those issues that they could benefit from in a very narrow, isolated agenda. They ignore all the rest that they do not benefit from but that is slowly destroying the nation and our constitutional republic. It is what I call 'selective reporting'. And until all of us expose the nasty things in society that not only hurt us - BUT BENEFITS US TOO - I really don't see any solution to our problems. We just continue butting heads without getting anything accomplished. I make perfect sense, sir. My comments are crystal clear. And yet I expect most of I say to get a smirk at best and be largely ignored while the truth continues to get trampled.
John Webb January 08, 2013 at 09:40 PM
JustUs, I understand what you are saying. I don't downplay a single point you made above. I read with interest many of the things you say and often find myself nodding in agreement. Here is where we part company......You know the issues, you see the issues and you are vocal about the issues: however, you come at them from a negative point of view. If things were easy, anybody could do it. Anything worth having is worth fighting for. Both trite, but accurate statements. This country is in a downward slide, things are going bad for the makers and going great for the takers. This is exactly the wrong time to throw up your hands and quit. There are still more religious people than any other group. There are still hard working people who share your concerns. There are still people willing to put up their money and take a chance on this country. Things are not great, but we are no where near a cliff. Continue to speak the truth, work to educate, confront lies by inquiring about the thought processes and most of all believe in America. We are not done, our best days are ahead of us. Be a leader, stand up and lead people one at a time back to our Constitution. One more saying, "things are always darkest, just before the sun rises.
John Webb January 08, 2013 at 09:44 PM
JustUs, I forgot one more old trite saying. This old Gunnery Sergeant told a group of us, "it is easy to quit. Actually, after doing it once, it gets easier each time."
JustUs January 08, 2013 at 09:53 PM
Your timely response is much appreciated, John. And make no doubt about it, I respect you for having your own column and putting your own thoughts and opinions on the chopping block. It is commendable. At the same time, I know that you are a politician. And politicians cannot speak freely as a guy like me who is not owned by an particular ideology or movement or organization. You see, I have the freedom to call everybody in power out. And that is a wonderful sense of freedom. my friends. And I get down on my hands and knees to thank all the men who spilled their blood to give me that freedom. Not the crooked politicians who try to steal our freedoms - but the men who actually made the ultimate sacrifice to make it happen - particularly in the American Revolutionary War. My beef is that we are being destroyed ECONOMICALLY and FINANCIALLY by corrupted practices both in our highest political, governmental and corporate offices. They are the ones stealing our freedoms that our forefathers and warriors spilled their very blood to give us. You know I am correct. Yet these subject matters seem to be very taboo with our political candidates and leaders. And that, sir, is a black stain on my country. I am a former vet too. And I too would have sacrificed myself too the good of my nation if called on to do so. But my attitudes have completely changed based on my modern observations of what goes on in our leadership positions. And it's darn hard to change a man's attitude!
John Webb January 08, 2013 at 10:28 PM
JustUs, I love it that you call me a politician. I am a businessman, born in very limited circumstances and someone who has enjoyed the great opportunity offered in this country. Because, I too was upset with our current direction, I ran for Congress. This was my first and probably, unless I get better at fund raising, my last. So actually I'm just a guy who works part of everyday of the week and want to leave my kids with the opportunity people gave me. But thanks for giving me skills I don't have.
JustUs January 08, 2013 at 10:50 PM
Oh, and I respect the rags to riches story, John. Truly, I do. And I congratuate you. But to claim that you are not a politician? Come now. You ran for Congress. That makes you a politician. And I know all about the elbow rubbing that goes along with running for political office. And you represent a specific political ideology and you refuse to step outside that circle and test other waters. If I were writing a column people would be on the edge of their seats not know which side I would defend or attack next. Such a person is clearly a non-partisan. And there are very few of us around. Oh, there are people who CLAIM to be 'non-partisan' just like I could claim to be 'Clark Kent'. But their viewpoints don't pass the stink test. Your columns are easily predictable, John. They just are, sir. And that is not meant as a slam whatsoever so please don't take it that way. I respect you. I just know where you're coming from, that's all.
John Webb January 08, 2013 at 11:14 PM
JustUs, got an appointment so have to run, but you are right. I am very partisan. I am a Conservative, Christian, Constitution loving person who believes my ideas are better than those on the left. History and experience tells me people do better without artifical restrictions placed on them by government. I don't believe in classes of people, I believe in the individual.
JustUs January 08, 2013 at 11:36 PM
Yes, I understand, John. But GOOD PEOPLE, regardless of race, creed, religion, political ideology or affiliation should stand tall and point out the bad people. I just don't see that happening, my friend. Not even from you. Look how the bankers and financial scam artists with the help of the politicians (mainly republicans under Bush but dems too for sure with Obama taking over the lead from Bush) destroyed the economy and took the American people for a ride, John. Look at all the elite criminals who never see the inside of a jail under our "equality under the law" national creed. Look at all the lying, stealing, cajoling, killing, and fraud that happens on a daily basis with hardly a word spoken about it in the mainstream news or by newpaper bloggers like yourself. You see, we all protect those on the home team regardless of how evil or distasteful they might be. And that is the truth, sir. We see it all the time. People tiptoeing around issues not to offend someone who might control their pursestrings. I am only being honest, sir. Good luck on your appointment. I hope you land a big contract.
MFriedrich January 09, 2013 at 01:05 AM
In 2001 the US national debt was $5.8 trillion. At the beginning 2009 the national debt was $10.1 trillion. The $5 trillion additional to $15+ seems to be attributed to 100% Obama policies since 2009. I disagree with this assertion, as do many others who bother to look at the history. These factors led to the increase in the national debt by approx $5 trillion. Not all are Obama's fault. 1. 2001 and 2003 Bush Tax cuts - $1.6 trillion (unfunded) 2. Healthcare entitlements - new fed regulation bureaucracy of Medicaid as of 2007 - $1.1 trillion (unfunded) 3. Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit - $300 billion (unfunded) 4. Wars with ground troops in Iraq and Afghanistan ($1.3 trillion) 5. Obama's 2009 economic stimulus - $800 billion 6. The Housing Bubble and Crash - Great Recession starting in late 2007/early 2008. Obama should be blamed harshly for the costs associated with Obamacare when they kick in, and I guess also increasing non-discretionary spending on unemployment benefits during the recession. This has also added to the $5 trillion. There seems to be more vitriol for Obama's $5+ trillion during housing crash/great recession than for Bush's $5+ trillion during two wars and a housing bubble. Obama is pulling us out of both wars, something McCain/Palin would not have done. Obama raised unemployment benefits and passed Obamacare, something McCain/Palin would not have done. Obama continued Bush tax cuts. McCain would have done same.
JustUs January 09, 2013 at 02:09 AM
mfriedrich, I mentioned NUMEROUS black marks against Obama's last 4 year in office in my previous comments that you could never in a million years blame on anyone else and you just happen to pick deficit spending which you still blame BUSH for. This is why I call you an Obama water boy. You only come to his defense and refuse to hold him accountable for anything. Seriously disingenuous. I have NEVER defended Bush. IMO he was a low-life snake. But you seem to be missing some facts. First, the nation's deficit is over $16T. So Obama has added $6T to the debt in LESS than FOUR full years in office. Bush added $5T in EIGHT years. Do the math. Obama has done NOTHING to hold the Wall Street criminals or his Washington DC collegues who perpetrated the 2008 meltdown accountable. And if you think no crimes were committed go read Matt Taibbi's series on the Wall Street scandal in Rolling Stone Mag. Unfortunately, the mainstream press is bought off and we don't have any Woodward's or Bernstein's left at the major newspapers anymore. If people are not only not punished for their wrongdoing BUT REWARDED FOR IT - just expect more of the same. So Obama is ONE OF THEM. He's taken MILLIONS from them in form of campaign contributions (legal bribes). That's why Jon Corzine is walking free. heh. Now Obama wants to eliminate the debt ceiling. That would be like you asking your credit card company to eliminate your credit limit. Out of space, unfortuately, But you get my point! heh!
MFriedrich January 09, 2013 at 04:57 AM
JustUs, I think what people here really mean to say is that not only do they dislike Obama, but that they also believe he should have more immediately reversed Bush policies. He didn't. He let them ride. McCain might have stimulated the economy less than Obama, but would have like kept spending as is or higher on the wars. The numbers are worse under Obama, but I don't think we're being honest to attribute it all to him. Next term is when he's really up against it with the stagnant economy, debt ceiling, the extension of Bush tax cuts. He has the ending of the 2 wars going for him but that's about it. His legacy relies on whether the economy turns around dramatically and in a sustainable way (merging jobs). I'm ok with slamming Obama to pieces on his policies, but we should also do so with some idea of what a McCain Romney progression would have done differently. Republicans used to be the party of thrift. No longer. Obama is continuing the spending that made republicans infamous.

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