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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.

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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