The Dodd-Frank law of 2010 was intended to limit unmanaged banking. Later the Congress’s Dodd-Frank law has taken necessary further steps to limit the financial deregulation which caused the 2008 Great Recession. A simply put statement of the goals of regulation should be set out. That message must not be lost in the resulting regulations. All important rules should be subjected to cost benefit analysis by an independent watchdog, and all should have sunset clauses. Dodd-Frank, which will blanket a vast segment of America’s economy, was necessary because huge derivatives exposures had gone unnoticed and supervisory responsibilities during their administrations were too fragmented. Dodd-Frank was not directed at people. It is an outline directed at bureaucrats. It must be followed by correcting the evils of the 2008 recession: the failure of imagination about the REACH of compounded errors and the inadequacy of the infrastructure plumbing of the markets and the lending offices. The details of trade confirmations and settlements, of collateral requests and contractual negotiation must be clearly written to the point that any subsequent litigation may successfully trace which entity made the mistakes, regardless of the cost in time and money. Regulation must prohibit the lack of accountability in the Great Recession, in which the infrastructure of the CDs market was swamped and prohibit the splitting of assets to the point that a seller cannot trace the sold asset, trade by trade. Geithner accomplished reduction of accountability by inducing electronic confirmations and data repositories to record trades. All must be required to meet a single standard. Regulators must not permit the aggregation of huge potential liabilities. The ‘jump-to-default’ risk’ requires that lenders post valid collateral every day as prices fluctuate in order to cushion the impact of a sudden credit event. AIG did not do that. Records of all cleared and OTC trades across all the big classes of derivatives must be collected and stored in so-called “swap-data repositories’, so the chances of anyone building up a big undisclosed position may be sharply reduced. Much of this is already under way. We must continue until it is possible to pull together an aggregate picture of the exposures being taken across derivatives classes. All financing must be examined. The current American task force must corral short-term financing called the tri-party repo market. More transparency could make it clear when risk remains concentrated even though it is transferred. Careful, expert, exposure of potential risks must be made clear to asset purchasers.
Cut the biggest Wall Street banks down in size until they are no longer ‘too big to (let them) fail’. Strategically important financial institutions (SIFL) should be subjected to tougher regulation than smaller competitors WHOSE FAILURES OF JUDGMENT DO NOT THREATEN THE ENTIRE ECONOMY. Populists have been advocating this since the Street’s bailout. Both extremes are now joined by this goal. David Camp, House Ways and Means Committee chair, recently proposed an extra 3.5 percent quarterly tax on the assets of the biggest Wall Street banks (giving them an incentive to trim down). Louisiana Republican Senator David Vitter wants to break up the big banks, as does conservative pundit George Will. “There is nothing conservative about bailing out Wall Street” says Rand Paul. We shall check up on the ratings of financial investments of assets in the trades of the nation’s 30 biggest banks. We have started to provide assistance to the small banks which may more manageably carry the future lending to support growth. Economic recession came because the U.S., since the 1980s, democratized credit while the prescient Nordic and other countries democratized saving by households. They save 13 percent and Americans saved zero percent by 2005. The health of the economy depends on the financial stability of our households. Having savings banks, accessible postal savings, school savings, free small savings accounts, or German Sparkassen which accept small deposits, would establish stabilization of our households to balance the .1% gambling others money on greedy schemes. One of those schemes is that FDIC reported that American banks turned a collective net profit of $35 billion in the third quarter, a rise of 48% from the same quarter in 2010. But they had increased their alleged income by putting less money aside to cover bad loans, rather than expanding lending. The Dallas Federal Reserve Board, Sanford Weill, the creator of Citigroup, Daniel Tarullo, the Federal Reserve governor charged with bank regulation and George Will have called for breakup of the big banks The failure of similar tricks is demonstrated by the failure of Lehman. Along the way of attempted recovery both parties had wanted to save Lehman, the first to fail, but ran out of alternatives when the less regulated Bank of America and Barclays backed out of leaving the ‘solution’ to us taxpayers. They found private lender Lehmann’s financial condition so bad that they couldn’t legally lend to it.
We must have tougher regulation of the strategically important financial institutions (SIFL) prone to failure whose failures jeopardize workers as they are the first laid off when the whole economy is victimized by lenders’ risky schemes. Washington Mutual and Bear Stearns, flouted quality controls and ignored problems, sometimes hiding those practices entirely, in a quest for even greater profit. “SIFL would be required to carry substantially higher levels of capital on their books to match the reach of their potential errors, to cover mistakes like past deregulation of them and unsustainable lending. This regulation of the large lenders will not threaten the economy since smaller lenders which spread their risks less may cover the lending needs of our growing economy. We should not have lenders so large that their failures to cover can jeopardize any large part of the economy.
Pass the Inclusive Prosperity Act, HR 1579 which would raise hundreds of billions from the big banks on Wall Street to help Main Street after the Great Recession meltdowns.
The Fed reported that American banks turned a collective net profit of $35 billion in the third quarter, a rise of 48% from the same quarter in 2010. Rather than expanding lending, the banks increased their income by putting less money aside to cover bad loans.
The further failure of their trick is that, by 2029, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and interest on Reagan’s debt combined will amount to the same as tax revenues, 18% of GDP, so U.S. TAX REVENUES, CURRENTLY 35TH IN THE WORLD’s RICHEST NATION will have to rise. This is the reason America has been described as an insurance company with an army, but the ‘insured’ turned out to include risky, irresponsible, lenders.
Throw out the failed policy of austerity. It will reconstruct nothing. Our recovery was disappointing, but the burden of high household debt, loss of homes due to the negligent regulation of the housing bubble and failure to assist, as FDR did, with mortgage relief did that. It was not big spending by the middle class, but refusal to give raises to American workers despite increased productivity.
Start, instead, with a Keynesian investment policy in new, better, growth that will best re-create the middle-class cut back by Reagan-Bush 43 deregulation. It would help, obviously, if the banks assisted the reconstruction of the economy they crushed by investing up to $85 million some have regained by the bailout, and themselves. We should continue to control illegal and destructive practices by lenders. We should continue such practices as, recently, fining Barclays for manipulating the gold price.
We would pass Steven C. Davidson’s proposal currently before the SEC. It would separate JP Morgan’s commercial operations from its investment banking and asset management units, restoring the practices under the terminated the Glass-Steagall law which had worked since the 1930s. It would require that a committee of independent directors to develop a plan for divesting all noncore banking business segments. JPMorgan’s objection that an entity outside may not affect “ordinary business or routine matters’ does not exempt them under SEC rules from shareholder vote. The Enact the Safe, Accountable bill is a substantive policy matter just like the SEC said nuclear energy was, not the procedural “ordinary business or routine matters” behind which JPMorgan seeks to hide. The shareholders should be permitted to vote on these issues because the separated units would SELL for a higher price than the combined ‘bank’
Actions against ‘lenders’ have proceeded beyond the above. Miami sued JP Morgan over predatory mortgages. We have recovered $6.4 billion from Bank of America, then $16 billion, and made new, stricter, capital reserve requirements, up to 5%, from 3%, of their outstanding loans. Miami sued JP Morgan over predatory mortgages. Bank of America settled mortgage claims for $9.3 billion when it had misled investors about mounting losses at Merrill Lynch & Co., Goldman Sachs and Bain have settled for fines of $121 million for collusion in takeovers. Citigroup will pay $7 billion. These recoveries and the others should make the banks pare back some of their riskiest activities, including trading in those credit-default swaps. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has also fined Bank of America $772 million for credit card scams. Two banks, with hedge funds, Barclays and Deutsche Bank helped funds avoid billions in taxes needed for America to ‘do business.
Going further for criminal penalties is less important than getting some money back to run the economy. Two banks, hedge fund, Barclays and Deutsche Bank abetted banks to avoid billions in taxes. Besides, we taxpayers pay $52,000 per prisoner per year. Why should WE cover their room and board.
We’ll insist on enforcement of Dodd-Frank: make them honor the requirement for “living wills so that the taxpayer need not save them from themselves again.’
We’ll restore the Glass-Steagall Act separating depository banking from investment banking.
We’ll break up the giant derivatives banks and take steps to limit the derivatives trade, eliminating the superpriority granted to derivatives in the 2005 Bankruptcy Reform Act, that highly favorable protective legislation that has allowed the bubble of faulty derivatives to mushroom. We’ll make derivatives illegal and unwind them by netting them out, declaring them null and void.
Depositor safety could be assured by the Chicago Plan (all of deposits kept ready for withdrawal but all lending left to firms financed by private investors who were willing to countenance losses in search of big returns)
We’ll act to prevent runs and require disclosure of shares value in money markets.
We’ll impose a financial transactions tax on Wall Street trading to limit the churning on which Wall Street collects fees in excessive trading.
We’ll establish postal savings banks to protect the deposits of citizens and local governments. We’ll establish state-owned banks on the model of the Bank of North Dakota, the only state to completely escape the 2008 banking crisis.
We’ll end anti-patriotic banks like JPMORGAN Chase and Goldman Sachs which have renounced their American citizenship in search of a lower tax bill ($1 billion in fees in three years for advising moving only THEIR ADDRESSES abroad)
We’ll require buyout firms to follow same rules as investment banks Better regulated ‘shadow’ banks, not under the FDIC, could help avoid the next ‘bubble’ crisis in finance.,
We’ll crack down by legislation controlling predatory lenders looking to mislead people into taking on irresponsible debt.
We’ll use the Consumer Financial Protection Agency --- with one job: to protect consumers and enforce the new consumer financial protections against Wall Street through an independent agency.
Never again ask American taxpayers to bail out the big banks that are "too big to fail." The alternative is North Dakota’s state bank. An example of its workability is Germany’s “economic miracle” after WWII. It occurred with a ‘public option’ (a state bank), to be treated as a public utility. A tested, successful North Dakota alternative to the failure of the big banks had NO FAILURE IN 2008 when the larger banks slipped into greed and lent more than their borrowers could successfully repay and showed a stronger economy in 2014. Occupy Wall Street has endorsed this empowerment of the states and the people since it responsibly supports business growth. State banks there are now 40% of the banking in Germany. A number of other countries also have a resilient public banking sector. Europe generally, India, China, Brazil, and North Dakota, do that. North Dakota, for example, has had a budget surplus every year since 2008, regardless of the national lenders larceny. They focus on serving their public interest rather than on maximizing private profits. An alternative to avoiding ‘too big to fail’ is imposing losses on private creditors of a failing institution.
Professor Stiglitz has proposed answers that would not bail out the banks: There are alternative tax and spending policies that can simultaneously increase economic efficiency, increase the nation’s output, lower its unemployment rate, and address growing inequality: 1) maintain the economy at or near full employment; 2) end transfers from the public to the wealthy; 3) more competitive (banks and credit card companies, without fees, anti-trust policies [like China may), less exploitive, markets (curb the bonuses, predatory lending, excessive interest rates, excessive risk, lack of transparency [needed for an economic democracy]); 4) investing more in education, technology, and infrastructure; 5) end political domination; 6) improve corporate governance [clause for the PUBLIC interest]; 7) reform of bankruptcy laws [massive asymmetry in information and bargaining power in derivatives, student debt non-dischargeability]; 8) end of government giveaways (no bid contracts to Halliburton, other corporate welfare, no-bargaining provision for drugs, give away of spectrum TV and radio, below-market royalty rates for minerals, Clive’s grazing privileges) 9) subsidies buried in the tax code reducing progressivity, cheap loan guarantees, limited liability for damages limited liability for nukes or environmental damage of the oil industry); 10) no obligation to cover inflicted environmental damage; 11) legal reform (mortgage fraud); 12) tax reform [progressive taxation and closure of loopholes]; 13) estate tax system to prevent a new oligarchy;14) helping ordinary Americans save (matching grant, expansion of first-time homeowner programs); 15)health care for all (single-payer); 16) strengthening social protection programs (end need to renew UC); 17) tempering globalization [regulation of cross-border capital flows, especially short term, better worker rights and conditions, better financial regulations, better environmental conditions, taxation on profits and capital not brought home]; a full employment monetary policy [increase demand, admit there are bubbles and restrain their formation; temper concentration on avoiding inflation; help individuals change sectors, fund higher education); 18) correcting trade imbalances by reducing imports which cause borrowing; 19) supporting workers’ and citizens’ collective action; 20) affirmative action.
We must remain alert. Banks now are bigger and more opaque than ever and they continue to behave in many of the same ways they did before the crash. Most of the people in the know don’t trust big banks either. The sheer volume of trading at Wells Fargo suggests that the bank is not what it seems. Congress should write a simple rule: banks are not permitted to engage in proprietary trading. They should care for others money, not invest beyond reason. We should do clearer, simpler disclosure and stronger enforcement to give incentive to clean up the system. Otherwise , no matter what they got used to from 1980 to 2008, they should be returned to taking in deposits and lending. The banks should disclose: give a full, fair, and accurate account of their financial positions and they are failing that test. The government has moved to give new powers to the regulators who oversee the markets and have an international regulatory overhaul.
Pass Wall Street reform - The best way to rob a bank is to own it, as they did. We shall have more banking regulation and relief for homeowners under threat of losing their mortgages unfairly or arbitrarily.
On June 6, 2011, the House and Senate repealed the tax credits and tariff on ethanol. This reform parallels Iran’s successful structural reform of ending the subsidy of gas. That reform relieved the government of a huge financial burden, slashed local energy demand, reduced chronic pollution and left more oil for export. Subsidy reform is a model for top-down social change, not unlike successful schemes pioneered by Mexico and Brazil.
Next we must pass Senator Dorgan’s bank tax to provide money that does not come from the taxpayer to cover financial outfits that ‘overdraw’ their assets: it brings the money from our corporations that have fled abroad to escape our regulation and taxes (70% of some corporations assets are abroad); the premiums on that policy would keep Wall Street from making big profits in good times while foisting its losses on the taxpayer in bad times; it puts a fee on finance, like a tax on pollution; it lowers the deficit. It eliminates taxpayer bailouts, like President Reagan’s larger bailout of savings and loans in 1989 and this one left over from President Bush43 and allows attorneys general to oversee unregulated derivatives trading. Notice to Consumers: Senators Cantwell and McCain propose complete strict separation of the commercial bank and investment firms which got us into the last crash’
One hundred forty banks failed in 2009 and 207 are now on ‘problem’ list. Euro banks are combining; GLOBAL anticorruption efforts are growing; Senator Harkin’s bill would address the problem that the financial institutions are basing salaries on control of excessive risks. It would stop them from giving bonuses and reaping the benefits of successful speculation but handing taxpayers the costs owhich WOULD BE ‘socialism’). Their methods did not save, in fact may have bankrupted, those failed and failing banks. Banks may not be allowed to continue to act as unregulated hedge funds. They must be restricted to the profitable businesses of traditional banks: operating the payment system, providing credit, and helping customers manage their money. To limit their cost to us taxpayers we shall insist on adequate capital and liquidity. Now, preserved by this bailout (after they were earlier bailed out by Presidents Reagan and Bush in 1989), they are in position to lend to fund expansion and job creation as they couldn’t after President Bush43.
REGULATION: The next financial crisis will feature a financial innovation sold as a guaranteed way to make money, which markets will then load up with risk. Corporate debt markets already exhibit those attributes. Nobody kknows when that risk will result in disaster, but if the regulators just passively accept the presence of the time bomb sooner or later it will go off. Corporate bond offerings are forming up as another problem on which investors will eagerly be ‘reaching for yield’. Shadow banking could carry with it the seeds of the next financial crisis if the SEC does not act quickly and effectively. The SEC appears inattentive. Highly leveraged loans must be suspect. 
So, regulate. No matter the four big lies about inequality: It’s not true that: 1) the rich and CEOs are job creators so we dare not tax them; 2) that people are paid what they’re worth in the markets so we shouldn’t tamper with pay; 3) that anyone can make it in America with enough guts, gumption, and intelligence so we don’t need to do anything for poor and lower-middle class kids; that increasing the minimum wage will result in fewer jobs so we shoujldn’t raise it.Now that the economy has been saved, no future bailouts: regulate or break up the banks by law, and create a resolution authority to come in if there are whole-system challenges putting them on the brink of failure. The law must create power to take control solely to arrange an orderly closeout or merger; to regulate derivatives and large insurance companies, to discourage securitization and to encourage an efficient, competitive private mortgage market, INCLUDING the international and foreign authorities.
HSBC, British, is set to pay $1.9 billion and continue under deferred prosecution even though it is too big to indict and got record penalties and wide-ranging sanctions, including $1.2 billion forfeit and $650 million in fines in addition to staying out of trouble for the next five years under threat of prosecution; more than $2 billion in fines from other banks (a number set to double HSBC totals) have been levied; ING Bank is to pay $619 million and Brit Standard Charter will be hit too (their money laundering had been done with Mexico and Iran).
Fixing the international finances broken by our financial companies will be difficult because that system is a tug-of-war between the global capital markets and national sovereignty that are not under our control. We will change the current lending engine by using British Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s “college of supervisors” to oversee the biggest financial firms. Limits on credit and leverage will have to be set substantially lower than those that previously allowed. Tightened credit may cause large drops in the economy, but the world can’t afford the tricks those financial people used to play with loose credit. We’ll set up a global set of rules on what has to be watched, how and by whom. We’ll check all, from hedge funds to leverage limits, and get it done better by all national regulators acting together. That may prevent investment ‘bubbles’ BEFORE they form. Then, when the bubbles are discovered, the world regulators may use taxing and spending methods to control them. This is necessary since our previous system has just proved that changing interest rates, alone, cannot stop the damage.
We’ll take temporary control of failed banks until their depositers money is safe. Then they may be safely returned to the private sector when they won’t cost us more because of THEIR bad investments. We’ll fire the failed management and sell their retail units to local investors to operate as independent community banks 1) too small to take down our economy, and 2) small enough to care. Since taxpayers did the ‘clean up’ of their mess, we could make them work under strict federal and local oversight like regulated utilities until they improve their methods. ‘Failed banks’ must include the 40% which do not require customers to authorize transactions through two devices, like a computer and a phone, don’t limit the size or number of transactions allowed and don’t block connection to bank servers from unknown or suspect Internet addresses.
Second, we’re finding replacement jobs for the rust belt and the Sun-belt cities like Phoenix and Las Vegas where real estate and construction used to make profits. We‘ll create jobs in work where we’re best, in chemical, surveying, nuclear engineering and creation of new ways to sell more at a lower price.
Third, we’ll continue to set new rules for Wall Street, our economy, our schools and health care. Why should Americans pay 1/3 more for when we get sick? Opponents of reform say restore competition but their history builds anti-competitive businesses too big to care. What they should offer is to prevent businesses getting so large they DON’T HAVE to compete and, by the way, repeal the anti-trust exemption for insurance companies.
Fourth, we’ll regulate genetically organisms (GMOs) which may threaten our health if we don’t test them first. A majority support GMO labeling.
Investing in new jobs will produce deficit reducing taxes. We’ll change from spend-it-all-now and from the quick-fix to building a sustainable economy. We’ll set safe regulations to let Wall Street only make money when they DO GOOD. In other countries they’ve made long-term investments to firms instead of flashy short-term deals THEY KNOW WON’T WORK (since financiers used to combine bad securities and then say ‘we’ll pass the trash’). AND THEN THEY TOOK BONUSES! Let’s make a responsible economy together so WE ALL get a bonus.
In other countries the owners line up WITH their shareholders instead of betting AGAINST THEIR INVESTORS on the sly like they did here.
We’ll research and develop new products like the hybrid, paying CEOs no more than the living wage of 40 times the salary of the lowest paid worker like they’ve done for years in Germany (CEO salaries here reached 500 times the wage of their lowest paid workers.)
We’ll push back against attempts to destroy public sector, and other, unions. Moreover, we’ll need to create a legal framework for the protection of the right to unionize in the private sector, a right that has been gutted by corporations such as Walmart.
Presidents Reagan through Bush 43 did not save up rainy day funds and they did not do pay-as-you-go while spending the taxpayers’ money on two (failed) wars and a drug benefit. Instead, they cut taxes and deregulated. Lenders took over in deregulation, lending to all, regardless of ability to re-pay. As of 2014, the minimal monetary ‘solutions’ have proven slow and inefficient to employ 62 million who were previously employed. . Their theory that ‘TRICKLE DOWN’ benefits the middle class has been proven wrong four times, including under President Reagan. That disproven idea IS THE ONLY ‘SAVINGS’ THEY PROPOSED. That ‘savings’ method produced the 1989 savings and loan crash. It also produced the 2008 crash.
So we should enact Sen. Sherrod Brown’s second proposal (SAFE) to break up the too-big-to-fail banks which had the power successfully to obtain taxpayer bailouts when the middle class was receiving no wage increases and homeowners were being foreclosed for having taken loans they could not repay. The lenders knew those loans could not be repaid, but continued to lead homeowners into what they knew was likely to lead to foreclosure, collecting more fees along the way.
Emerging markets, on the other hand, had learned to save up wealth for rainy-day funds
We’ll keep the UNIONS that led to more equal wages during President Eisenhower (when 33%, not 6% of workers were protected by unions). Unions had the effect of raising the wages and salaries of all of us. Unionization of the fast food industry will start it.Our wages don’t increase now because our businesses (including candidate Romney’s) have ended our jobs or sent them to foreign companies that pay less. Right now, we’re among the worst nations in income differences, at the end of the scale with South Africa and Iran. Germany and many other vibrant industrial democracies have strong labor movements despite competition from non-union, lower wage, countries so that lower wage competition was no reason for President Reagan’s move against labor unions when a majority of nonunion workers would like to join a union if they could. We’ll push back against attempts to destroy public sector unions. Moreover, President should do what he can to create a legal framework for the protection of the right to unionize in the private sector, a right that has been gutted by corporations such as Walmart.
Isolate Michigan, which is busting unions and regulating uteruses.
We may also keep making progress toward women getting the same wages as men when they work at the same. What happened to unions was that President Reagan told a story, smiled, crushed the air traffic controllers and then the rest. In contrast, we’ll pass the Employee Free Choice Act to give our country a chance to even up the pay, updated for inflation, to what it was then, giving more equal salaries across the whole population. That’s economic democracy! But wages went down during President Bush43. Our middle-class share of the pie is getting smaller and guess who is making gobs of money while our health costs go up faster than inflation (39% increase in premiums recently asked by profitable Anthem Blue Cross). And current jobs now don’t last as long as our father’s jobs lasted, while costs are increasing faster than inflation.
We shall put termination dates on the emergency stimulus measures which have, in the past, degenerated into unneeded subsidies. As soon as renewables can replace them, remove the windfall for third party’s share of royalties on oil and gas exploration which have given third party companies a windfall of billions of dollars. Remove the late 1990s financial advantages on digital spectrum worth tens of billions of dollars from the telecom industry. Remove the 1872 ‘five dollars an acre’ purchase price for federal land by mining companies which allowed the companies to keep all the gold, silver, or uranium they find. Remove the $5 billion annual direct subsidies to farmers and billions more in crop insurance and drought aid if prices are at historic highs. End the serial increases in patent terms made eleven times since 1962, all to take them off corporate welfare.
GROWTH: North Dakota got all its growth funds that Presidents Reagan and Bush43 imagined coming from private enterprise, and the alleged ‘trickle down’ from its PUBLIC, not private, state bank.
The U.S. still exports more than any other country and is close behind China as the world’s largest manufacturer. We must rethink the U.S. role in a changing world, cutting ‘defense’. Between 2001 and 2009, we spent our money fighting instead of building our economy. That more than doubled our federal debt so President Bush43 did exactly as Osama wanted him to…bust America financially and reduce it as a leader of the world. Defense reductions could give us greater strategic flexibility and free resources to promote long-term business growth.
The consensus estimate is that at least 90,000 new jobs are needed just to keep up with the growth of the labor force. It’ll pay the taxpayer to set up work for the normal rate of 200,000 new jobs per month. After the greedy credit blowout of the last thirty years unemployment will stay high for at least ten years. Years of high unemployment will likely result in a vicious cycle, as relatively lower spending by the middle-class further slows job growth. (The following footnotes are, sequentially, in the cited piece in the New York Times, (NYT3/29/09 editorial). The end of “corporate welfare” (special tax breaks and subsidies for specific industries or companies) and reduction of our foreign interventions, could speed our recovery. Neither the Tea Party nor Occupy Wall Street favored the bailout.
We shall use the law and regulations to reduce corporate welfare, raise taxes on the well-off and corporations until they are paying their share of the public foundation that enables them, and their businesses, as well as making life safer for us. We shall limit Wall Street’s self-interested hold over economic decision making. We shall take advantage more widely to share growth: between elites and everyone else; between the beneficiaries of globalization and those most burdened by it; and between older Americans and young. This itself could reignite a virtuous cycle - a broad-based prosperity that not only generates more demand for goods and services and therefore more jobs, but also a more inclusive and generous politics. The structural reforms begun in the depression decade of the 1930s generated just this kind of virtuous cycle in the three decades after World War II. In devising and implementing reforms, the Democratic Party came to represent Americans with little power relative to the financial and business elites that had dominated the country before the great crash of 1929. That political realignment was the most profound and successful of the twentieth century.
Now we must restart economic growth, allocate it to public, as well as private sectors, and improve the environment and education. During President Bush43 we’ve had the worst economic expansion of the last 50 years. At the same time these CEOs fought paying a minimum wage which, itself, is far below a living wage. 69.5% get less than a living wage for a family of four. Fewer high-wage jobs have been generated than during the Clinton boom.. So, while corporate profits are more than doubling since 2000, the economy is not helping most Americans. The government should not be allowed to encourage business to punish pro-union workers when the periods of active union leadership raised EVERYONE’S wages. More concentrated geography allows efficiencies in dense, innovative mega-regions and creative cities, accommodating and accelerating invention, innovation and creation in which the US still holds a big competitive advantage. We’ll produce economic growth because it is the only way for a government to pay off its debts in relatively quick and painless fashion. Tax CUTS haven’t worked for the last twenty years because growth requires giving businesses temporary cash. We’ll target funding to venture capitalists in biotech, info tech, nanotech and clean energy, for a fixed, limited amount and time subject to increase, allowing tax revenues to increase without raising tax rates. At the same time we must prepare for the slow, steady and painful changes to get the economy back on track for the long haul. We’ll start by laying a new foundation for growth in energy and technology, pledging $1 billion to FutureGen, a joint government industry project to generate electricity and hydrogen from coal and sequester the carbon dioxide, cutting down the interest groups which have reduced efficiency while they collected too much income; we’ll skip tax cuts for the people who LOST our economy, raise the costs of dirty-energy sources (by following Senator Cantwell’s cap-and-dividend bill), use less electricity, increase the efficiency of health care spending and spend less on the present and more on the future. One method is, after the ‘stress’ tests on lenders, liquidate the troubled big banks (along with the odd, invented, ‘assets’ that led them to take us all down) and sell off their parts to smaller, healthier, more ethical, businesses. For insolvent banks we must put THEM in temporary receivership to allow them to regain their ‘balance’. Stress tests indicate they needed $75 billion in extra capital. We want them to gather it from private sources. Then make a new banking system, built around the thousands of smaller banks and financial firms that respect their obligations to the broader economy, giving incentives to investment in production and jobs. During the years required to do this the government will temporarily have to adjust interest rates to fill in the credit now offered. We’ll stimulate invention and innovation by investment in the infrastructure that supports them (from modernized electricity grads…a smarter way to help green energy) to basic research and university education, to spur productivity and create a concrete link to raise wages as productivity increases so greater equality of income beneficial to real democracy is sustained and workers do as well as bosses. A method demonstrated at Dow Chemical is to product specialty chemicals that are used for everything from water-purification systems to solar roof tiles…lean energy, health and nutrition, investment in transport and infrastructure. We’ll invent new methods and products. Now, despite America’s great entrepreneurial history, the trend lines of U.S. innovation today are not encouraging additional science and technology spending. As a share of GDP, federal funding for research in the physical sciences and engineering has been in steady decline, focused wrongly on near-term, narrowly commercial activities and dropping by half since 1970. We haven’t been educating the workers we need to be the best. America has had to import inventor talent. America has slipped from being third in the world for broadband access in 2000 to twelfth in 2006, during the President Bush43’s years. Our essential business infrastructure has been left behind. We’ll invest in our kids and our workers. We’ll remove homeownership from its long-privileged center place; homes having become an investment instead of a place to live. Second mortgages and frequent sale have gone to buy more goods than we need and have taken our money. We’ve lost the benefits of effective savings and neighborhood stability which recommended second mortgages. We’ll encourage renting by government policies. We’ll minimize the disruption of foreclosures by requiring banks to offer to limit mortgage payments to 31% of income or require renting each home from the previous homeowner, at market rates, for some number of years (with option at the end to repurchase at the prevailing market price). We’ll make elite cities and key mega-regions more attractive and affordable for all of America. We’ll provide $60 billion for smart-growth, large-scale infrastructure upgrades including incentives to increase gas mileage by reducing congestion, funding it from a new national infrastructure re-investment bank to leverage private and public capital. We’ll update the rail systems to reduce car transportation, starting with money from winding down in Iraq. This is high priority because the Society of Civil Engineers has given our infrastructure we drive on a “D” grade. We’ll start over about use of cars and trains, saving energy as a required part of projects. These upgrades, liberal zoning and building codes within cities to allow efficient development, more mixed-use homes in suburbs and cities alike, more people at suburban centers near trains, more trains, a fee for travel on our roads to assist new housing patterns and big shifts in consumption to end our slavery to home builders. We’ll do a better job of connecting suburbs to cities and to each other, allowing regions to grow bigger and denser without losing their velocity. We won’t make the previous mistake of lowering interest rates and opening another housing bubble We started way too many houses…and made it worse when the first response to the warning was to INCREASE money available to pay by people whose jobs were lost in 2008). Now cleaning up the banks’ balance sheets is one way to provide the correct amount of borrowing. We’ll mark down the assets in the financial system and recapitalize the banks since the common pattern is that the faster you do so the sooner the economy recovers. As long as you leave the banking system sick, you’re not going to have sustained growth. Bank of America has been told it must raise $34 billion in private loans as a cushion for current loans. Use small banks, which have not overleveraged nor over-lent. Break down the size of the large banks to the size that doesn’t expect taxpayer rescue. Then the bank doesn’t dare fail and won’t take crazy risks. We’ll retro-fit America for a global economy to continue our prime position and to shift from fake paper growth to sustainable real growth in products and services rather than just paper profits. We will benefit from the fact that, in 2003, the University of California alone generated more patents than either China or India. At the same time, we’ll keep plugged in to all corners of the global brain so we pull in the best ideas and inventions from the widest range of sources. We must improve education and increase government investment in science and technology. We’ll do it like FDR, with improvements. To ease the way in international trade, the Clinton Global Initiative offers a different and gentler way of settling differences than what’s found in the U.S. legal system. Using it will help because the benefits will flow to those individuals and states that are most comfortable reaching across cultures. There are huge markets out there.
ENERGY AND TECHNOLOGY
Financial bubbles can contribute to positive economy transformations by financing new technologies. Government promotes the basic research that fuels innovation and nurtures the talent and skills to develop it. The Pentagon’s role in Information Technology (IT) and the National Health Institute’s (NHI) contribute to contemporary medicine).
We must reverse the process in which science has been turned over to private enterprise, for profit.
We’ll replace the Fed as the sole monitor of economic danger. Its role in the recent crisis has been slow or negligent, in addition to using the wrong theory for recovery. We’ll set up a larger regulation system, wiping out conflicts of interest, like regulatory agencies getting PAID by the same companies they’re supposed to keep in check. We’ll end post-government crossover to jobs they’ve just ‘regulated’. President Obama has proposed extending federal oversight of many kinds of failed financing, including credit-default swaps, the insurance contracts that caused the near-collapse of AIG, and requiring swaps and other types of derivatives to be traded on exchanges or clearinghouses. We’ll have them keep some ‘skin in the game’ by requiring that their deals be backed by capital reserves, thereby ending ‘shadow banking’. To rebuild the banks we should follow Canada’s example in limiting the number of banks that are too big to allow to fail, not allowing interest paid on home loans to be deductible (which encourages taking larger loans) and regulating their freedom to borrow. It would be best to follow Sweden’s example of decentralizing management, doing business only as far as you can see from the local church tower, not extending loans over the level of the branch managers, making branches responsible for their own fate. They avoid bonuses. An available process has been successful in Sweden: The government could buy Citicorp for a fraction of what our taxpayers have already paid and, after getting them lending again, sell them when they have recovered. The Bush administration may have refused to attach any strings to the aid it has provided to financial firms, but you can change all that. If banks need federal funds to survive, provide them – but demand that the banks do their part by lending those funds out to the rest of the economy.
General Motors has been fined a $35 million penalty for ignition defects. The government will oversee change in their practices.
FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION
Given more resources and streamlined authority, the Federal Trade Commission may continue Commissioner Kovacic’s policy against anticompetitive mergers, recession-spawned debt-collection abuses and Internet fraud and use its broad antitrust mandate to break up those “too big to fail” corporations. A simple Senate or House resolution initiated by committee could launch studying break up of financial corporate giants whose size threaten the economy and could permit investigation of the insurance industry, our next unfolding financing scam, by a simple request from the House and Senate Commerce committees. We’ll provide more help to homeowners, use Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the home-lending agencies, to pass the government's low borrowing costs on to qualified home buyers. (Fannie and Freddie were seized by federal regulators in September, but the Bush administration (this is really strange) has kept their borrowing costs high by refusing to declare that their bonds are backed by the full faith and credit of the taxpayer.) The economy of this restored regulation would be immense. Besides building an economy here, regulation improves our lives. We’ll set new emission and energy limits to reduce the costs of climate change. We’ll provide expanded insurance coverage, new safeguards for prescription drugs and safety regulations for toys from China. Regulation was operating during President Eisenhower’s administration and we can go back to the right way to do things. We‘ll return to that method of management, not bail anyone out again, and regulate beforehand. The Eisenhower administration’s balanced and managed capitalism could work with low interest rates available then. But now deregulation has unbalanced the incomes in our country, and globalization has taken control outside our country so our in-country management will make it difficult to protect workers anyway. We will find a way. We will not pay increased taxes, interest on debt, nor put debt on our kids for war and tax cuts like Bush did. See proposed comprehensive regulation: anti-trust rules to be strengthened
Derivatives should be traded on a fully regulated exchange, covering all hedge funds and private equity firms registered with the SEC, which will get disclosure and have oversight but lack full authority to resolve all concerns.
Big institutions like AIG would come under a single powerful regulator having powers to seize and restructure them if failure seemed imminent, just like the bank seizure by the FDIC, and Congress would first restructure them to functional size so AIGs couldn’t re-create a web of conflicting financial practices and products by leeching off the AAA rating of the company’s strong INSURANCE business (during the time required to restructure them the government should have resolution authority if needed). New rules of the game should replace the last twenty years’ active de-regulation, with full funding of the FED, SEC, Office of the Currency and a bank regulator to block state regulators’ acceptance of lending violations and the Office of Thrift Supervision.
We should find a practical non-legal, or constitutional, way to guard against eye-popping compensation that rewards excessive risk-taking of the sort that contributed to the current crisis.
MORTGAGE LENDING The recent settlement with lenders will provide as many as 1 million people with reduced principal amounts on their loans or will receive a reimbursement of a couple of thousand dollars.
We must restore homeowners’ homes and create jobs in the economy instead of just adopting the latest ‘fix’ of financial institutions. Sub-prime mortgages never would have been allowed before deregulation. We’ll control loose lending for homes but provide home ownership or continue renting, for as many as can cover the cost. Recent abuse of the ‘free market’ caused the recession but the market can be managed again as it was managed during the Eisenhower administration. Now we’ll provide less expensive health care and stop unfair business. One hundred fifty mortgage lenders failed last year due to knowingly making bad loans. When the crash came, all the rest of us lost money. The crashes and losses didn’t occur in the 1950s and 1960s when we had regulation. It’s time to provide comprehensive and greatly increased margin and capital requirements, to regulate lenders which have failed homeowners and themselves. We’ll provide sensible guidelines for financing, and quite possibly to move to an accounting methodology more like reserve accounting used for bank loans. We may require, when taxpayers insure a giant entity against like Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae or Wall Street investment banks, that they must agree that 1) their top executives cannot receive total annual compensation higher than that received by the President of the U.S. during financial difficulties, and 2) the government gets 5% of their current valuation as shares of stock (roughly representing the benefits to their shareholders of the federal insurance). When they become profitable again, taxpayers will be paid for the risk they’ve covered.
We must return to managed capitalism and the improvement of wages provided by labor unions before Reagan crushed them. Since the Market has always found ways to work around regulation, we must have smart, active regulators.
We must end pricing of assets far outside their familiar range (which is what happened when financial services pretended to create enough value to command growth from 6% to 23% of the economy). To accomplish that objective: 
1) phase out tax relief on mortgage payments; (write down to ability to pay, current value of asset; claim as collateral MORE than just the house they didn’t used to have;
2) Tighten up mortgage origination;
3) Require see through transparency;
4) Pass securities traded in huge volumes through clearing houses;
5) Regulate overall credit creation and leverage, not just institution by institution;
6) Require senior financiers to take more of their pay in equity---and had some backfire the bank does badly (skin in the game);
7) Use international STANDARDS. If not an international regulator, to evaluate;
8) Control hedge funds and private equity access to capital;
9) Scan any site of high private earnings disproportionate to their social productivity (including computer ballooning of QUANTITY and VARIETY OF FINANCIAL EXCHANGES, which have supported speculation);
10) As in 1978 railroad bailout, run the auto companies until they are back on their feet.
The real solution is to break up the financial elites vetoing the necessary reform by breaking the banks unable to pass the stress tests into medium sizes which then won’t have the veto power over the policymakers. Banks that remain should be subject to size limitations. These banks should face a choice: write down your assets to their true value and raise private capital within 30 days, or be taken over by the government, as doen in England. The government would write down the ‘legacy’ assets of banks taken into receivership as the Resolution Trust Corporation did after the savings and loan failure under President Reagan.
Although a federal wealth tax is prohibited by the United States Constitution unless the receipts are dis- tributed to the States by their populations, state and local government property tax amount to a wealth tax on real estate. Return to taxing capital gains on inflation-adjusted profits instead of nominally.] Recent departures of US corporations to avoid taxes must be stopped since US corporations, contrary to their claims, do not create more jobs from the private sector. Wikipedia, Economic regulation
China has become the world leader in import/export trade and has established strategic partnerships with five Latin countries. “China-Latin American Relations: Review and Analysis, ed. He Shuangrong, 2013, p. 194
Hedge funds must be regulated. THEY should reduce THEIR risk, but protect investors against those risks which ought to be fully disclosed.
In America and Europe, history since the Cold War has made it clear that liberal democracy and a managed market economy, when adjusted for social policy, has won a complete victory over pure socialism”.
Bad rules breed corruption, cutting them costs nothing. Regulations Wikipedia, Economy of the United States
Firearms: Aside from regulating the arms of the militia firearm possession and use may be legislated and regulated, per Laurence Tribe. Former Justice John Paul Stevens says it is only necessary to add the words “for use in the militia” to the Constitution
Affirmative action has a proven track record in college admissions and hiring so keep it, even if change the basis from race to family background. Anti-trust action is necessary against NRG Energy’s $1.7b purchase.
We’ll stop unregulated hedge funds from playing against government policy.  We will tax banks (the TARP tax) to provide to the taxpayers, in advance, the future cost of another financial crisis, will impose capital requirements (as Canada does) to temper their excessive leveraging and the Financial Stability Oversight Council to monitor all shadow banks and banks over $50 billion in assets to cushion the blow of over-leveraging. We will use Geithner’s ‘stress tests’ on all shadow and bank lenders, continually. We will follow the model of Canada’s Julie Dickson, who ‘gets nasty’ when a lender approaches 20:1. We shall define ‘proprietary trading’ to avoid banks dealing in their own property, remove the ‘subsidy’ of the ‘Fed’ bailout in ‘runs’, will establish the government’s power to seize lenders and break them up when monitoring discovers threats and decrease the size of lenders ‘too big to fail’ by breaking them up.(Volcker). The TARP tax would also reduce banking to its proper proportion of the economy, loose the best graduates to FUTURE REAL ECONOMY efforts and, with requirement of proper capitalization, tame risky investing by continuing ‘stress’ tests on all lenders and restrict that proprietary trading and sponsorship of hedge funds and private equity.
To stop judge shopping support the Franken/Blumenthal Arbitration Fairness Act. It would make required arbitration cases, in which the business alone chooses the ‘judge’ unenforceable.
Mergers and Acquisitions
American and European banks are booming into mergersand acquiistions. Having seen 2008 they are trying to become ‘too big to fail’. But they must be contained since the result may be oligopoly or monopoly which will lead to higher prices or the end of economic democracy.
Anti-trust successes have occurred against Microsoft. Stop banks from colluding, and from forming cartels.The economies of scale run out at a certain point. The largest firms in America may be beyond it. The costs of 2008-2012 are too big a risk to taxpayers’ assets.
Two of the four companies that came out of the monopoly dismantled in 1911 by the Supreme Court for “an attempt to monopolise” are recombining.
We’ll encourage ‘starbursts’ (selling off pieces of excessively large business (as in Pfizer), In particular, the Bank of America (whose $2.1 trillion in assets is equal to roughly one-seventh of the country’s gross domestic product) should be limited to personal banking, small business loans, credit cards, mortgage loans, student loans, insurance, and simple retirement and nonretirement investment accounts. It must be stopped from continuing so large that their failure would injure the economy. We’ll further the petition by Public Citizen to the Fed and Financial Stability Oversight Council to break it up.
We’ll control default-by-bankruptcy mergers resulting from airlines going broke and being bought up.
Fed: The Fed made mistakes, failing to tighten underwriting standards which could have helped avoid the subprime lending crisis and the subsequent recession, but we would keep its powers while adding new powers to an inter-agency council, led by the Treasury secretary; state member banks could be better regulated by the FDIC. The answer is NOT to abolish the Fed since we have had banking panics, not to mention the current greedy mistakes, in 1837 1839, 1857, and 1907. The Fed, properly managed, can avoid those.
We’ll merge the SEC and CFTC Regulate! Reagan’s deregulation of business has failed and must be carefully replaced. Since the SEC admits it fueled the collapse, we’ll make more proper appointments to the regulators. Congress should repeal the special exemption for the elitists’ hedge funds and private equity financing then require all funds selling shares to the public to register and provide the same kind of disclosures previously required for these investments.These elites have fanned everyone’s desire to have more money by boosting the stock market, relaxing mortgage lending, loosening regulatory oversight and, without disclosing the risks, selling the debt worldwide to creditors who can close down the credit needed by all worldwide business as well as the mortgages on our homes. They did this ‘financial engineering’ so they can make more fees and also profit by selling bad assets they mortgage before the loans crumble under the rest of us. Their cost in the millions to American families who invested in the American dream is crippling. To protect ourselves in our homes Congress must regulate lenders to protect the huge $6.45 trillion mortgage securities market. It will help that the CFTC has put restrictions on brokers’ use of customer money.
We’ll spend as rapidly and wisely as possible to resurrect the economy, carefully choosing the projects having the most long economic merit.. It’s time for a manufacturing renaissance. Create green paying jobs by building our necessary, deteriorating, infrastructure of roads, dams and levees, as well as creating jobs to preserve and build the ‘green’ by building fuel efficient engines. In building, re-model the used rather than starting new. In manufacturing, America will keep its jobs here, becoming internationally competitive by increasing efficiency at work, inventing new products and services and by reducing business health care costs. The growth of other big powers brings America many opportunities. We should encourage their growth. These six powers (America, China, Russia, Britain, Japan and India, i.e. the responsible stakeholders) are crucial partners to continue our long history of prosperity and security. They can’t cut and run. They are just as invested in the global economy as we are. We will balance the budget instead of putting war and debt of $156,000 EACH on our children to pay for this voluntary war. We’ll try again to make the tax code simple and fair. We’ll invest in education to ensure that every American has competitive business skills and an equal opportunity to succeed 
There is a new building boom from Hurricane Sandy. The return of the housing market has started by November, 2012, but we shouldn’t be subsidizing suburbs. On the other hand, denying minorities home loans, ‘redlining’, is occurring again. And a Redfin study recently found that there was not a single home on the markets in San Francisco that would be affordable on a teacher’s salary. The city of Singapore is an exception to this truth, so its policies should be a guide.
Bad housing policy occurred in America: we had 18.5 Million Vacant Homes but 3.5 Million Homeless. We must change our design and urban planning to stop building single-family homes and redefine ‘families’ to allow large, multigenerational groupings now common across the country. Forming Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae into a national trust of a series of local trusts, as in Chicago and New York, could provide the benefits to the 250,000 former buyers of foreclosed homes.
THE WHOLE FORECLOSURE CRISIS COULD HAVE BEEN PREVENTED President Obama is now working to help those whose homes have been taken.He is requesting $1 billion for the New Housing Trust Fund, $85 million to finance 10,000 added housing vouchers (100% of the actual operating costs for public housing, unlike the last administration), combining agencies for efficient action toward better quality, energy-efficient housing, access to adequate public transit, good jobs, quality schools, safe streets and environmental protections. He also links housing to school reform and supportive social services. Since the ‘sheriff’ gets a cut of $1400 out of each foreclosure, they are unfairly bought into the defeat of the homeowner.
Fifty three percent of homeowners may use Obama’s $145,000 proposal to pay off their mortgages in half the time after Obama waiver of a refi requirement.
Housing starts will take a while to recover since the market is overbuilt and because banks are hoarding the loan money so people can’t yet borrow to buy. In the long run population growth will cause new starts in greener units. In the meantime, we’ve got to break from protect-the-banks-but-not-the-homeowners.Use the $75 billion from TARP’s bank bailout fund to support Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, helping the three million households who were wrongl persuaded to take out unsustainable loans. Temporarily, at least, ignore the ten million who have negative equity while working to reverse the Congress’ initial vote against ‘cram down.’ Use $50 billion to reduce the three million foreclosures by reducing the monthly payments or permitting rental of the same property, where possible. This bets that the ‘saved’ won’t walk away (only 1-2% walked away in Boston) which seems a small potential cost since only 6.4% in Boston went into foreclosure. We must make sure banks follow the command in the law that they work for the public interest and do the right thing. Their PRIVATE dysfunctional corporate bureaucracies within the country’s largest banks have devastated the lives of the people of Washington, refusing to re-write loans when re-write would HELP THE CONSUMER AND THE LENDING BANK. It’s clear banks have abused debtors: originators, desperate for more loans to feed banks, steered borrowers to the no-doc, low-doc and other subprime loans that were required to keep the securities game going. The Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) found widespread leading fraud and malpractice at Washington Mutual, year after year for five years---and did nothing. OTS blocked other regulators who wanted to act. Credit-rating agencies inflated ratings of plainly shoddy loans. Congress has refused to pass the bankruptcy reform that would, finally, give borrowers the power to demand a fair deal. Mortgage servicers have shown that they have neither the will nor the ability to fix millions of bad loans. But until those loans are dealt with, there will be no housing recovery, any more than the broader economy will revive without job creation. As long as banks are left to write their own rules, under a deregulation theory, they will go on flouting law and decency. We’ll require that the originating bank KEEP a greater percentage of their loans they originate and service in their own portfolio rather than ‘passing the trash’, by forcing them to follow the foreclosure laws and otherwise find sanctions for any bank that does not attempt settlement. We’d hope to help the responsible buyers, the deceived borrowers, but not the speculators buying for resale nor the lenders with culpable deceptions.
One method for housing would be to take a more systemic, market-based approach, such as stipulating that mortgage values always be linked to housing prices and adjusted each month since the commercial real estate bubble, and plunging house prices are coming on.
On the world stage, houses should be built of mass-produced materials though enough to protect their inhabitants from hostile climate. They should be equipped with the basic requirements of civilized life, including water filters and solar panels. They should be ‘improvable’, so that families can adapt them to their needs. And they should cost no more than $300,000.
Cars: Remember Adlai Stevenson’s statement that America had taken government out of the hands of the New Deal and put it in the hands of the “car dealers”? And voters DO NOT make the changes other countries citizens have made, living closer to their jobs/destinations, taking more mass transportation, buying more efficient cars, driving less, while nevertheless 63% say gas prices have caused they some financial hardship. The prime damage may occur in Asia, Latin America and Africa, where they are buying cars as fast as they can afford to, and as more can afford to, more will buy.
Gas At the end of Reagan’s presidency, 41% of our gas came from foreign countries. During President Reagan, our growing demand for Chinese goods put us in the hole in international trade. We were led to borrow and President Reagan’s huge deficits reversed America’s savings and spent our national product. Today President Obama is moving to the energy we can produce in OUR country, without carbon, to start to solve pollution problems.
Prices¨were higher in 2008, under President Bush43, so reality is that Gov.Jindal and Governor Romneys’ cry that Obama is intentionally, as a radical, increasing the price is gas is “nearly 100% hokum”. Gas prices are out of any president’s control. Gas prices rose during President Bush’s terms. Any big consumer which is a small producer (even though we are increasing our production under Obama), will just have to pay the market price.
Disgracefully, gas is not safe. The Califronia OSHA fined Chevron nearly a million dollars for safety violations such as failing ro replace corroded pipe that ruptured and fuesed the fire in Richmond, California.
Use of public transit grew in 2011 by 200,000 million more rides. We may encourage Boeing and other airplane manufacturers to match Airbus’s new fuel efficiency. We may help farmers by setting up scientific investigation which will produce cleaner ethanol without using oil.
We shall support Senator Cantwell’s move to make price gouging at the pump a federal crime
The cause of higher gas prices is manipulation in the market of producers and financiers hedging against decreased availability of gas. We’ll find a way to limit this self-interested hedging against the interests of our economy and the American people. Additionally, we’ll reject leaky systems, use gas to phase out coal, have sound well drilling and casing standards, stop polluting the landscape with brackish or toxic water brought up by fracking and drill only where it is sensible. In the long run, because our proposed policies will make us a larger oil producer, we’ll be smart and establish today a floor price for any barrel of crude oil or gallon of gas sold or imported into America…and tax anything below it. That will serve the environment, our technology investments and our energy productivity. As our produces succeed, we should become increasingly energy self-sufficient, keep a lot more dollars at some on renewables and drive down the global oil price that is the sole source sustaining Iran and other petro-dictators.
We have and will continue to, create all the policies to use less gas. President Obama’s choice for energy is “all of the above”. That was the first Republican theory until they turned to fairy tales. The fakery begins with the theory’s premise: that the President could, if we wanted to reduce the price of foreign oil. President Bush43 didn’t, and couldn’t do it either. Neither can do more than Obama: build MORE PIPELINES AND DOMESTIC ENERGY PRODUCTION AND STEADILY INCREASE PRODUCTION when we have increasing amounts of gas and oil but can’t outdo a global commodity, globally traded on which increased DEMAND (China and Middle East instability) decides the price. It’s not bad American policy that causes your gas price to rise, it’s the international market. ROMNEY’s economic advisors (Mankiw) agree rising costs are not Obama’s fault, and all economists agree that we need HIGHER GAS COSTS to reduce traffic pollution, reduce refusal to use mass transit and cause the development of OUR, not foreign, alternative fuels. Candidate Romney’s advisor Mankiw proposes a higher gas tax to turn Americans away from gas and toward the AMERICAN fuel. Since President Obama came in the U.S. has built MORE PIPELINES AND DOMESTIC ENERGY PRODUCTION HAS STEADILY INCREASED while we have been buying less from the FOREIGN Middle East. Another position that increases gas prices is Republican claims against Iran.
The Congress’ provision of incentives to channel demand to more eco-friendly alternatives, dump inefficient cars and direct financial support for domestic producers will provide more efficiency more rapidly, Otherwise it could take 27 years before the CURRENT, gas guzzler, vehicles wear out.
We’ll promote research and develop the vehicle cell-pack, which can be re-charged as rapidly as a gas tank and establish with the remaining auto manufacturers that they must give precise production plans and timetables for the fuel efficiency in all cars and trucks within 36 months, going to hybrid, electric or other fuel. Don’t let technocrats take over the process or it won’t attain OUR goal. This will stimulate a whole new 21st century, job-creating, industry making batteries, requiring new standards that gradually require utilities and homebuilders in states that receive money to build dramatically more energy-efficient power plants, commercial building and homes. That will also creating whole new industries. Put disincentives on the use of carbon. Only after those changes be willing to contribute tax dollars to auto manufacture. The European Commission has proposed capping the use of biofuels to 5% of all transport fuel after a campaign by anti-poverty groups needing food.
We’ll give Amtrak a fighting chance. Its intercity routes are carrying 2 million more passengers than last year. May was a record month for Amtrak. Diverting money to a pointless, moe expensive, experiment in privatization is counterproductive. Better to follow the model in Europe, where passenger rail is publicly financed.
We must train the most engineers again, reduce the cost of education (by separating the cost of research from education). Provide educational excellence in our schools. Create a new Apollo project, using our science and technology skills like we did after Sputnik. It’s time for a little nation-building HERE, so we may STAY AHEAD of the rest of the countries of the world. Start the next great global industry of renewable energy, clean power and energy saving re-modeling throughout the country. America is the economic leader of the world because our economy is inventive, has vitality and technological dynamism.
Do consumer education. Impartial information about quality, prices and market selections will improve students’ lives vastly more than partial commercial advertising. We should invest in our future workforce by supporting the Promise Neighborhoods initiative. It would use private and public money for a network of early childhood programs, parenting classes, health clinics and other social services, all focused on improving educational outcomes for poor children. Previous programs have produced strong results on statewide tests. We should duplicate the charter schools which have been so highly successful. Then we should fund to continue to try new strategies and abandon failed ones.
Under Presidents Reagan and Bush43 tax benefits led to an education system in which the children of the rich have access to the best schools, but the children of the poor go to mediocre one.
Hedges writes: "Fraternities, sororities and football, along with other outsized athletic programs, have decimated most major American universities."
Karen Kornbluh is U.S. ambassador to the Paris based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Her work has culminated in the Gender Initiative, training to bring about new economic opportunities for women in the O.E.C.D. member states measuring participation and performance in education, employment and entrepreneurship, seeking to level the playing field for women and to prevent the austerity policies from reducing pension and child care policies.
Vermont passed H.112, this country’s first no-strings-attached law requiring that Americans be TOLD what’s in their food, mandatory labeling of GMOs (genetically modified organisms).
Innovative programs improve farming. One farmer produced 4.5 times more rice after flooding by using experimental seed that allows ‘resurrection’ of rice after twice flooded.
A California ballot initiative to label foods containing genetically modified organisms failed, but their movement is better organized and larger than ever before". A similar ballot initiative in Washington state in 2013 failed. Monsanto can be stopped. Next in Oregon, although signature gathering there has yet to go into full force. Meanwhile, GMO-labeling bills have been introduced in the state legislatures of Connecticut and Vermont. The FDA should reconsider its1992 ruling that GMO crops are "equivalent" to traditional crops and therefore do not require labeling. The "Just Label It" campaign had collected more than one million signatures on a petition asking the FDA for a review and that the Center for Food Safety has said it is prepared to sue if the administration fails to respond. California failed to require GMO labeling (initiative 37), contra Monsanto (which increased pesticide use 383 million pounds (Union Concerned Scientists, Fall 2012, p. 4), but that initiative to be followed by a similar ballot initiative in Washington state in 2013. Such a measure would need 325,000 signatures in order to significantly exceed the requirements for inclusion on the ballot, and organizers on the ground have already gathered half of that, according to Cummins. Similar effort in Oregon, although signature gathering there has yet to go into full force. Meanwhile, GMO-labeling bills have been introduced in the state legislatures of Connecticut and Vermont, which do not have a ballot initiative process; a move to reverse the FDA ruling in 1992 that GMO crops are "equivalent" to traditional crops and therefore did not require labeling; "Just Label It" campaign had collected more than one million signatures on a petition asking the FDA for a review and that the Center for Food Safety has said it is prepared to sue if the administration fails to respond;
Use the fact that Senator Dorgan is against ending subsidies for farmers over $500,000. Put in a trade of no or fewer subsidies if give access to Cuba market they want. The House and Senate have voted 6/16/11 to repeal a tax credit and tariff on ethanol. We should continue removing subsidies as did New Zealand in 1984.
Union of Concerned Scientists have reformed agricultural policy by supporting climate-friendly growing practices at home and on our nation’s farms: minimizing pesticide use, composting, panting winter cover crops to build healthy soil in South Dakota ‘community organizing’
SUBSIDIES IN AGRICULTURE: Like New Zealand has successfully done, quit agricultural subsidies so Mercosur bilateral treaties don’t foreclose the American farm product.
Don’t perpetuate a lavish, outdated system of price supports that disproportionately rewards big farmers, complicates American trade policy and does little to help consumers. The former head of the American Farm Bureau, the leading farmers’ lobby, a prime time player in the creation of the subsidy system, says New Zealanders had stopped subsidizing their farmers, cold turkey, in 1984. “I never met a farmer who wanted to go back to subsidies”.
By promising to cover losses, the government insulates farmers from market signals that normally would encourage sensible, long-term decisions about what to grow and where to grow it. Now would be a particularly opportune time to change the system, Food commodity prices are high, so a transition away from subsidies will hurt farmers less. We don’t have to get out of the subsidy business entirely. Use the ones the WTO allows (avoid lawsuit losses). EU spends more on farmers but their rules are compatible with WTO. Base it on acreage and production history rather than current crop production and prices. This makes them less interruptive of international markets.
History shows the problems. When the federal government indulged in a Soil Bank program, paying farmers to reduce food prices while people all over the world and even in this country were starving to death. Why that same money was paid to farmers to grow food which then could have been distributed (along with contraceptives) to the impoverished needy has never been explained. All this was a policy done in a country presenting itself to the world of famine and an era when America was presenting itself
Massive bank and hedge fund speculation causes food prices to soar
Banks and hedge funds speculating on the price of food are primarily responsible for the recent steep rise in wheat prices.
Financial speculation and the food crisis; The UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food underscores the crucial importance of reforming the global financial system to attain the goal of food security.
Food price volatility a major threat to food security – FAO; Experts from member states of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warned that unexpected price hikes are a major threat to food security.
Food crises and national security
Only an integrated Arab union can provide food security for all countries of the region.
The food crisis is not about a food shortage; the ultimate cause of hunger is not a lack of Western agricultural technology but the failure to produce healthy foods at a reasonable price. Fruit and vegetable prices have gone up 40% since 1980 while junk food prices have gone down 40%. The worst of it is the industry’s advertising and marketing bad food to children. 17% of children and adolescents are obese and most people live in neighborhoods where there are no healthy produced foods. Companies were allowed to distribute junk food and drinks to school districts struggling with costs and insufficient support. The Grocery Manufacturers Association opposes any state bill of citizens initiative calling for the restriction of the sale of jjunk food or soda in schools. National Restaurant Association doesn’t want nutritional information of foods available to consumers.
The wrongs about the right to food; Narrowing the right to food by 'targeting' social groups which are 'truly deserving' may provide a tool to manage and legitimise the unequal social relations which govern the food economy.
Leave oil in the ground to fight climate change
Basel Committee sets higher global capital standards for banks
Basel III, a package of new capital and liquidity rules for banks to strengthen their resilience against future financial shocks, comes under examination; The credit machine of the Wall Street ‘shadow banking system' is systemically flawed and needs a radical overhaul.
Rethink export-led growth paradigm, says UNCTAD; UNCTAD has warned countries with export-led economies to reconsider their strategies in view of the end of the US consumption boom.
Focus on growth, not deficits, economists tell Obama; Some 300 economists and civic leaders have issued the following statement urging the US President to stay the course of promoting growth and jobs.
Farming is now only 3% of the economy, not 25%, so we may now accomplish the change of farm subsidies. No farmer in New Zealand wants to go back to subsidies. They ended them in 1984, cold turkey, and are pleased. The current system is lavish, outdated, disproportionately rewards big farmers, complicates American trade policy, destroys foreign domestic farming and does little to help consumers.
We can grow food that’s clean, green and humane. We’re paying 75% more in the last six years while there are foreign riots born of shortages and hunger. Farming has the potential to go through the greatest upheaval since the Green Revolution, bringing harvests that are more healthful, sustainable and flavorful, pushed along by MARKET forces that influence how our farmers farm. Currently, from promising to cover losses, the government insulates farmers from market signals that normally would encourage sensible, long-term decisions about what to grow and where to grow it. Food commodity prices are high, so a transition away from subsidies will hurt farmers less. The answer isn’t necessarily to get out of the subsidy business entirely (although it’s preferable). Congress should obtain a secure food supply, support rural and neighborhood farm development, ensure a clean environment and change subsidies to avoid destroying the small farmer by ending subsidies to the richest farmers which pay them three times what the average non-farm household earns.
We shall require farmers successfully to control the pollution (including animal waste) from their processes and their 40% waste of water.
Remove the bills and FDA requirements that permit retention of monopoly power for some producers.
Require control of chicken industry nutrients.
Save the fish! Save the fishing jobs; and save the breeders to provide the next catch: honor the Endangered Species Act. Federal officials have set up a new regulation system in 2010 to prevent overfishing and to allow fish stocks to rebuild. Stop threatening our food supply. Since West Coast commercial fishermen are demanding fish recovery actions upstream (removing dams), pass and enforce the Salmon Economic Analysis and Planning Act (SEAPA ([McDermott + Blumenauer D-Ore]) We can increase profits of fishermen, create more jobs, continue to eat fish in the future by using ‘catch shares’ (LAPP: Limited Access Programs) to limit over-fishing and save lives.
We’ve had 85% success for saving WILD sockeye
Iceland’s model way to catch and keep fish is to issue individual transferable quotas given to each fishing boat for each species on the basis of her average catch of that fish over a three-year period. This settles the boat’s share of the total allowable catch of that fish for the entire country. The size of this total would be announced each year on the basis of scientific advice from the independent Marine Research Institute. Subject to certain conditions, quotas can be traded among boats. All catches are rigorously recorded so the MRI knows exactly how much each boat is catching and where. The main objective is to protect spawning and young fish. Bottom trawlers are banned from fishing within the 12-mile limit and inspectors can instantly close any area if they think it is being overfished.. The idea is to let fishermen be guided by the market.
To save clean fish we should eliminate toxics from the Sound.
A more vegetarian nation would need less water. It takes seven times more water to raise beef.
Adjust to new growth areas
A notable achievement regarding China is that Alibaba has made a $1 billion IPO in the New York Stock Exchange. It is expected to increase to $150-200 billion in the future. Yahoo owns 20% of Alibaba.
Roads, communications, power supply, water supply, sewer and other utilities and schools need attention because failures of fundamentals like brown-outs discourage innovation and investment. This infrastructure allows business to get their goods to market so we may buy them. We must prepare our children for the future by repair of the horribly neglected rural schools, the “corridor of shame in South Carolina, and continue livable cities by repair of the ruptured underground steam pipe in Manhattan. The bi-partisan bill Senators Dodd and Hagel have introduced in the Senate are the answer that should have passed the Congress years ago and will do more to repair our broken economy than any tax rebate. Their bill in the Senate follows the 2005 report of the American Society of Civil Engineers which should have been followed when it came out. Those jobs have high pay and cannot be outsourced.
Wages and salaries and wages are no longer increasing faster than inflation. To give our businesses an equal chance in international trade health care must be provided by the government and Social Security must be preserved. Businesses should not be unable to compete in global business because we require them to pay for health insurance when their foreign competitors’ health insurance is all covered by the government in 33 of the other 34 industrialized countries cover health insurance.
A notable achievement regarding China is that Alibaba has made a $1 billion IPO in the New York Stock Exchange. It is expected to increase to $150-200 billion in the future. Yahoo owns 20% of Alibaba.
2.4million jobs have gone to foreign countries since 2001.
Outsourcing takes some American jobs but lies have made it sound like India, for example, takes jobs when it is a net creator of American jobs. We must budget to develop American sources of energy (so we’re no longer dependent on foreign oil) and develop national health care so our companies don’t leave to get the cheaper health care available in every other industrialized country).
We’ll develop carrots and sticks, the same as offered by China and other Asian nations to retain our jobs and industries here. Stop the U.S. Department of Commerce from continuing to run conferences to help U.S. companies explore off-shoring opportunities.
When Americans wages have not been increasing for the last eight years it helps slightly that prices for goods are lower on imported goods. Comparing, despite some outsourcing, middle and lower income people have the same amount of possessions now as they had in 1971.
China should abandon capital controls to allow their exchange rates to float up to the value of the dollar so their artificial advantage of lower value of their money stops giving them an advantage. Our Treasury proposed currency changes and method of cntinuing adjustment. We will try using WTO’s effective enforcement the Bank for International Settlements and the Financial Stability Forum (with expanded membership), to deal with financial regulation. This can be accomplished by tackling imbalances from all sides.
We will make a creative economy and train new businesses; WE’LL MAKE AMERICANS SALESPEOPLE TO THE WORLD TO SELL OUR ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY TO DEVELOP JOBS AND DEVELOP NON-CARBON ENERGY SOURCES. We’ll stop letting the workers’ money from increased productivity go to bosses bets on the ‘big chance to make them wealthier’. One way to benefit the country while limiting executive wages is to raise marginal tax rates on those highest earners. That raises money which the government may redistribute without limiting companies bids to get the best CEOs.
We won’t reform in a way that will discourage bank lending and weaken the tie between savings and investment. We will pay financial people tentatively, holding some large part of their earnings until the lawsuits and other negative results are known. That way they stay careful because their future profits depend on the success of their methods, they keep some ‘skin in the game’.
We’ll only pay fair market value, not ‘bubble’ value, to bailed out lenders and insurers. We want them to save themselves and let the taxpayer off the hook if we haven’t changed that law that has the taxpayer covering their losses. We will change that law as soon as possible. We mean to follow Reagan’s example with Resolution Trust in the 1980s when Reagan’s lenders went bust the same way by the same kinds of gambling instead of careful lending. We’ll stop banks from ‘talking down the problem’, leaching ever more bailouts from the American taxpayer (which all know are insufficient) just so they may hoard money to shore up reserves or make desperate gambles on high-risk loans and investments that could, but won’t, pay off big. We’ll require all banks failing the stress tests on their ability to continue to raise more capital by conveying voting stock and converting their government loans to voting stock. If we have to we’ll pass management, to the government, set up a trustee like in bankruptcy cases, all legally independent of Treasury and the Fed, then break those ‘too big to fail’ lenders or insurers into medium size businesses to break them up as Republican Teddy Roosevelt did by anti-trust law. Later, when they’re stable again we may follow Sweden’s successful example and sell them back to medium size, successful businesses. Beware, business, the taxpayer won’t pick up the costs of broke businesses just because of bad previous law or danger they’ll take others if they fail.). Obama’s correct policy of denying private, financial, sector employment after holding governmental financial policy positions will ending that conflict in which government people decide in favor of the business they want to move to next like they did in the Reagan/Greenspan years. We should pass the Fair Elections Now Act so we may match corporate political contributions by finance to politics just the way we should match any private political campaign contribution; Eight states so this now. Just because we Americans celebrate making money, that doesn’t mean we have to allow corporations, especially not foreign corporations, to control our voting by dominating campaign advertising. We’ll stop re-capitalizing banks so they don’t continue to ‘have their way’ with our taxes and our future.
One reason we won’t bail anyone out again is that one senior bank official told the New York Times reporter “It doesn’t matter how much Hank Paulson gives us, no one is going to lend a nickel until the economy turns”. They only mean to TAKE from our economy, not to make it work for others. They won’t change their approach because the financial sector has gambled away its money on risky loans expecting the taxpayer to cover money they lost and are choking off our coming recovery because it might not fill their pockets after they gambled away their funds. They don’t want to admit the market failed when it used to make them so much money, because they might get less for their bad loans and have to admit their market theory failed just the way Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan admitted it failed.
Globalization (international capitalism) is not enough because of rising transportation costs, and transportation pollution which will only end with deindustrialization. Cause a tide of new expansions and openings of businesses. The answer is to return to a sound dollar, rein in Wall Street without incapacitating it, and resist the call to manipulate prices in a politically expedient direction.
NOBODY WHO WORKS HARD SHOULD BE POOR IN AMERICA; LET’S GET YOUR FAIR SHARE BY INCREASING WAGES; GROW BY CREATING A MILLION NEW JOBS INVESTING IN NEW ENERGY AND MAKING AIR SAFE TO BREATHE. THAT WILL FREE US FROM ARAB OIL 
Long term, provide a whole new energy strategy. Create new electricity grids, new technologies for plug-in hybrids and develop alternatives in the short run.
Bring back the middle class by restoring the tax laws of Eisenhower’s time which created it. We should return to that time when incomes were more equal. To reestablish balance over our corporations allow worker establishment of labor unions until we reach the 33%+ level of union membership in 1955. Then we would have institutions to defend against low pay. Unions used to be a power that took care of the economy for workers and reduced litigation by relieving relative poverty. Wages and salaries have suffered ever since President Reagan’s 1984 attack on the air-traffic controllers. Regular cost-of-living *adjustments vanished from labor contracts. Pass the employees‘ card-check’ bill (no need for a secret ballot election requested by business), giving workers the right to join a union as soon as a majority of employees at a workplace signed cards previously co-sponsored by Obama and Biden, since the sponsor (Sen. Specter, formerly Republican, is now a Democrat), Senator Franken has won in Minnesota and it only lost due to a Republican filibuster). This effect on the people’s unions which made and kept earnings most equal didn’t happen in any other Western country. Let’s pass steps to reverse Republican anti-employee practices.
Follow the good example of Germany and pass law that CEO may not earn more than 40 times the pay of his lowest paid full-time worker. 
We’ll catch up with the other 33 industrialized countries by taking health care costs off the backs of our businesses. Create for Americans generally the same health care benefits as representatives in Congress. Then our businesses can compete more successfully, pay us higher wages and better avoid outsourcing.
Strengthen our education system since our skilled people are aging and our youth are not choosing to go into the innovation, technology and productivity studies we require to continue as number one. We must invest in teaching these skills to Americans because qualified foreign applicants are currently getting those jobs and providing that essential knowledge. Our improvements would increase Americans’ production per worker enough so there would be no reason for corporations to go to foreign countries for qualified graduates or faster, cheaper production. We must change the fact that, now, since our productivity growth has slowed dramatically over the last three years and the productivity increases which have occurred HAVE NOT BEEN DEDICATED TO HIGHER WAGES.
We’ll continue Clinton’s successful earned income tax credits, which provided much better for those suffering from insufficient wages.
You must have better pay to support yourself and your family and to pay for health insurance if no public option saves us from premium prices 1/3 above those of the rest of the competing industrial world.
We could do necessary construction for education, discover new energy sources and protect productive nature by amplifying monetary policy or we may return to larger policy and regulatory adjustments rather than just changing interest rates. THEN we may see, and deflate, the bubbles forming in real estate, financial innovation and other markets BEFORE the crash and in time to DEFLATE the ‘bubbles’. Stiglitz
America’s dynamic capital markets, the ultimate drivers for private investment in new technologies, must be repaired to their level of reliability before the recent sub-prime crisis. Adopt much stricter regulations. The incentives for banks and financial institutions with rogue trader bosses running investment banks must be curtailed. We must regulate by adjusting bankers’ pay packages or bring back a new version of the Glass-Steagall Act to prevent bankers from financing risky loans by financing themselves off the balance sheet. We must improve because otherwise American companies cannot compete in the 500 million person EU market. Perhaps the leadership shakeup at Citibank will induce greater responsibility, even a reduction of its vast size by breakup to permit more, smaller financial institutions to reduce the too-big-to-fail problem.
China, also, must improve.
We’ll prevent knowing, reckless, profit-seeking financial institutions from making money by pretending to create saleable ‘assets’. President Obama proposes a universal clearing house for all …new formats or leveraging. We’ll use the careful, cost-effective regulation proposed by President Carter. He was not anti-business. He successfully deregulated the airline, railroad and trucking industries. President Reagan’s failed deregulation has occurred since President Carter. So we’ll end thoughtless de-regulation and acting anti-regulation since it has thrown the whole world in a wringer. They knew. As they sold these assets to school districts and innocent foreign investors, they said in their emails they were ‘passing the trash’. We’ll prevent undercutting the taxpayer ‘bailout’ should too.
As now written the bailout just sets the stage of even bigger future disasters unless it is followed up with fundamental reforms. Get rid of overlapping regulatory agencies, give other agencies new powers and create a new overseer for the whole system to provide tougher rules on maintaining capital and liquidity. Provide penalties for predatory lending, including mortgage lending. If any survive, regulate hedge funds, mortgage brokers and credit-rating agencies to prevent them from taking unconscionable advantage of people who dream of a home of their own.
DESPITE INFLATION, MEDIAN HOUSEHOLD INCOME IS STILL BELOW ITS PEAK AT THE END OF CLINTON IN 1999. THOSE WITH MORE HAVE GAINED MORE BUT MIDDLE INCOME WORKING PEOPLE HAVE NOT. Median EARNINGS for full-time workers fell by about 1% between 2005 and 2006. More people are required to work longer hours. Worse, with increasing prices the pay of rank-and-file workers doesn’t keep up with inflation. It’s the same problem workers and offices had earlier in the Bush administration from 2002 until early 2006;
There’s been a hidden depression. There’s a squeeze on the middle class because our current 3.1% increase of total compensation in 2004 and 2005 is the slowest increase since 1999. Household income dropped $1300 under President Bush43; millions strained to pay their rent and payments and home ownership decreased. There will be increasing bankruptcies by retail chains because credit is less available and they had previously chosen business practices requiring them to carry debt. Two decades of bad policy have ended the balance and management which protected us under President Eisenhower.
Giving workers and employees the wage benefit of their productivity increases and tax cuts for those earning proportionately less than under Eisenhower may begin to re-balance the income among all workers. By credit offered against payroll tax deduction
Each problem is an opportunity. We’ll show again that economic growth is typically stronger in the first years of Democratic administrations than in Republican terms.
We’ll adjust the effects of globalization to improve lives for humans. Globalization threatens democratic control because businesses move out of U.S. jurisdiction and it is adjusted only for profit. One of the possible domestic alternatives is regulated self-sufficient businesses which reinvest their profits.
There are two Americas, and that’s wrong. Reward the hard work and sacrifice of millions of American families by following 17 states which set the minimum wage higher than the $4.15 current federal minimum wage. That helps business, too, by creating spending money. Household income dropped $1300 per year under President Bush43. We have increased the minimum wage and will manage the market better to keep American jobs here, increase middle-class earnings, set up the earnings Americans USED TO GET, reduce layoffs and assist business. We’ll consider indexing the minimum wage to inflation. This law would pass additional wages to people who struggle to cover the mortgage for their families and to just stay even. That’s where the LAST tax cut should have gone, too. They say that Wal-Mart favors this increase since Americans at the minimum wage cannot afford to buy at Wal-Mart. STUDIES SHOW THAT INCREASED MINIMUM WAGE DOES NOT CAUSE JOB LOSS (Oregon);
Provide higher quality fish. Environmental Defense Fund Sustaining America’s Fisheries study
Provide work to avoid the layoffs now happening more frequently. Right now about 15% feel they might be laid off.
It’s true personal income in the heartland is growing 6.5%/year but it’s not producing new jobs.
Providing a tax cut that goes to the pockets of working families will help pay rising prices.
If we are to succeed economically, we must add the total, real economic costs of handling the resulting environmental, energy, transportation problems each ‘solution’ presents
See Economy and Jobs, Education, Deficit, Taxes, College Affordability, Technology
COUNTERPUNCH: Decreased wages and lack of regulation to control financial excesses, not globalization, are hurting us. The truth is that a stable, world, market, never has more than three significant competitors (the Rule of Three). Look at the number of different nations now producing the cars that Americans buy. The World’s Biggest Myth, by Pankaj Ghemawat, Foreign Policy, November-December 2007, p. 52. We just need to produce a car people want to buy for a change and produce it more efficiently
Technology has enabled other, modest sized and foreign businesses to produce quickly so we are forced to go to work with the smaller firms who’ve got the business now.
Karl Rove Still Can't Find An Actual Obamacare Victim
All but five states are taking action to implement Affordable Care Act (ACA) insurance reform. Expensive insurance practices, as hospitals are beginning to realize, are why Americans pay twice as much as Swedes for health care yet die younger? Join hospitals to convince pharma that price reduction and ‘trolling’ reduction would produce more pharma profits by selling to the universal buyers (as ACA does) rather than pill-by-pill profits (Our country’s costs for reimbursed treatment and drug costs are twice other countries costs). There’s overwhelming public support for price negotiation. We know which 42 Senators voted no on allowing the corrective bill to go forward so we may ask them why when it successfully lowers our costs.
As we watch the cumbersome, protracted enactment of the Affordable Care Act, we should be aware that much of the problem is not the government, but the complications of dealing with insurance companies with their varying coverage, premiums, co-pays and networks, as well as their concerns about losing profits by paying for medical expenses. Many more insurance companies are joining the exchanges in 2015 and the ACA will only improve as competition increases and the bugs are worked out. Perhaps that will threaten further achievement…single payer.
A new study demonstrates that, for three years before the ACA, premiums for individual health plans rose 10% or more each year.  Now, consumers have gained more than $3.25 billion in benefits over two years from an ACA rule that financially compels insurers to keep a tight rein on overhead costs relative to the medical claims they pay out. 60% of the previously uninsured now have, as an average for silver plans, a cost of only $69/mo after figuring in the tax credits (3.2 million are paying only from $69 to $100 per month, a vast improvement); more than 80% had three or more companies to choose from and 96% could choose from two or more; 34% felt they had benefited from the law; 49% said it had lowered their costs; 45% said it had increased their access and 74% opf Republicans are happy. 29% did say they were negatively affected, primarily because their costs had gone up (for inferior plans). The actual results for people who switched plans, either because their plans were canceled or they changed for other reasons, have been mixed. Some 46% of plan switchers had their premiums go down (most likely because of the subsidies), while 39% said they were paying more, though often for much better coverage.
Washington State and California are leading in protection of their citizens’ health under Affordable Care.
Further prosecutions will be required since $82 to $272 billion was lost to Medicare fraud before enactment of the ACA.
In addition to lower health insurance premiums, ‘(t)he bottom line is that tax credits matter,’ senior HHS officials told reporters, noting that subsidies reduced the cost of the average premium from $346 to $82.” About 87 percent of subsidized HealthCare.gov shoppers had at least part of their premium covered with tax credits, which are available to low and middle-income Americans. How much shoppers paid depended largely on how generous an insurance plan they selected. Vox
Urban Institute: "Number of Uninsured Adults Continues to Fall under the ACA: Down by 8.0 Million in June 2014"
Millions of people who didn't have health insurance before the Affordable Care Act have gained it since last fall. The law is not just covering people who already had health coverage; New study confims deep drop, 9.5 million, in uninsured, non-insured rate plunges to 13.4%; the largest drop was among ages 19-34, Latinos and low-income adults; 78% were very satisfied or somewhat satisfied with their new insurance (Democrats 85%, Republicans 74%; 62% said they would not have been able to afford care before getting this new coverage; most said they were better off than before; most waited less than two weeks for an appointment; New York Times, ed., 7/12/2014 On top of the 8.1 million who signed up on the exchanges, another 4.5 million Americans signed up for Medicaid under the ACA’s expansion of eligibility and 3 million young adults ages 18-25 obtained insurance under their parents coverage; this will save literally millions of people from being bankrupted by uncovered medical costs, while lowering the cost of medical spending at the same time by giving doctors and hospitals incentives to be more efficient.
Lower costs are forecast for states that expand Medicaid coverage but many states are resisting this assistance to low-income people. As a result Medicaid will be put on the ballot in southern states since the people favor it even if the Republican legislatures and governors have cut hundreds of thousands have not signed on.
Failure by states to extend Medicaid, after the U.S. Supreme Court released states from the obligation to accept it, denied hospitals new funds by limiting charity care. Over 7,100 deaths likely from rejection of Medicaid expansion. Three million women have been left behind because their states have not yet accepted federal money to expand health insurance through Medicaid.
.Veterans have not been left uninsured, are receiving VA Care, and the Act specifically exempts Tricare, as well. Delays in care result from failure sufficiently to fund the VA.
Accomplish reversal, by amendment or otherwise, of Hobby Lobby case in which SCOTUS allowed a religious exception to employers offering birth control and Harris v. Tweed allowing public employees to refuse to join a union, even if it is recognized as their bargaining agent and also refuse to pay the union fees for its work representing them
We have ended reporting of undocumented people discovered when they need health care to immigration enforcement.
The Affordable Care Act symbolized one of the great presidential efforts to fight inequality in America, making a superior healthcare service available to the everyone if their states agree. The previously uninsured were 87%, including more youth, of people who signed up through federal health care exchanges. Premiums, which were soaring, have come in below projections and none of the opposition claims of increased premiums have proven true; the people claimed to have lost health care by cancellations have just bought new policies which are probably more comprehensive.
The ACA could save families over $3,000 per year, according to a new report. We should not fall back to when individual, employee, policies which the average cost is $15,745/year While it’s true that 67% were perfectly satisfied with their current health insurance that’s because 67% NEVER USE IT SO THEY DON’T KNOW. In one year 1.85 million people went bankrupt on medical bills (AARP). Even though required health care premiums do cost, although they cost less for a policy that works, this is about health, not money. The ACA won’t pay for experimental or ineffective procedures nor write blank checks to drug companies.
More must be done: we must improve the definition of ‘affordable’ to allow more citizens into proper health care; we must increase monitoring by a needs assessment every THREE years, we must limit charges, we must allow eligibility for prevention BEFORE they start enrollment collection actions.
Mergers have given the hospitals. A good example of a necessary adjustment is that Harborview hospital in Seattle became a ‘landlord’ to solve a technical problem that limited Washington State‘s leading health care enrollment.
We must write a schedule to COMPARE HOSPITALS’ services (including the Catholics’ forcing ten requirements which defeat mothers’ personal needs, health and population control). The ACA permits consumers an ability to compare doctors and treatments in a way they have never had until now.
Florida Democratic Senator Bill Nelson faulted state authorities for the size of the increases, saying they could have exercised their authority to conduct rate review under the health law but chose not to.
CMS has some leverage to bring the rate increases down.A few other indicators of the spending differential: independent conservative PACs spent more than $500,000 before primary, while progressive PACS spent $67,000. The Senate Republicans spent more than $400,000 Hospitals continue to have a plan to inflate bills; specialists charges are skyrocketing. We should have a ‘gatekeeper’, a health care professional, usually a primary care physician, who coordinates, manages, and authorizes all health services provided to a person covered by certain types of health plans. Unless an emergency exists, the gatekeeper generally must pre-authorize referrals.
We should avoid privatization since it doesn’t provide health care surveillance and it includes high private administrative costs. For-profit home care agencies cost Medicare billions extra, yet provide worse care. Health Affairs Study
Now, hospitals and clinics provide more than $1 billion worth of unpaid for medical care which will decrease as 14% uninsured decreases to 6% by 2016 (a 40% to 25% decrease; 800,000 residents will qualify for free or discounted health insurance through the exchange).
We must continue to limit tobacco use. Tobacco users are 65% of the increased health care costs.
The House passed a bill requiring abortion-insurance coverage which includes maternity coverage and elective abortions, but it was amended in the Senate to prevent subsidies for abortion services and that they should be paid for as a separate premium from basic health insurance.
Changing our approach to chronic diseases like diabetes and obesity could save hundreds of billions of dollars; if we move to software-defined health delivery. Chronic malnutrition more than twice as high among Hispanic vs. non-Hispanic children in the United States.
Women comprise almost one-third of the nation's 1 million physicians and almost half of medical school graduates.
Employers have been stopped from shucking employees into federal exchanges by new rule charging $100 per day per employee.
The American Medical Association (AMA) had strongly opposed the passage of Medicare, but now constitutes less than one-third of U.S. physicians. The AMA remains a powerful lobbying presence in Washington and will work hard to influence formation of the regulatory rules so doctors do better. Now, they will voice support for the ACA. To remedy overspending on health care aim at AMA and ALL health care, because it’s only a tiny fraction, only a quarter of the doctors, are responsible for three-quarters of the spending; a federal judge ruled that the AMA blocked information could be made public; OIG of DHHS ecommends greater scrutiny of those physicians who were Medicare’s highest billers, including the ER
As of March 31, 2014, 8.1 million people have enrolled in Affordable Care. Blue Cross and Blue Shield Assn said that 80% to 85% had paid their premiums by 2/1/14; Restraining future insurance company increases will be assisted by: 1) competition; 2) federal and state officials can negoptiate with isurers if they believe proposed prices for 2014 are excessive; 3) many of the new policies have high deductibles, which will discourage overuse of health care by people eager to avoid high out-of-picket cots; and 4) If one insurer enrolls a disproportionate number of sick people, the government and other insurers will help defray the costs.
Now we must pass the Washington Health Security Trust law in Washington State. It is favored by the League of Women Voters. It will improve on the benefits of the ACA. It would a) save constituents 26.6% of health care premium dollars; b) save billions countrywide by not spending them on the huge administrative structure of the myriad exchanges, websites, navigators, and others to keep health coverage based on private insurance companies; simplify for constituents by ending confusing compartmentalization by income levels, citizenship status, employment status, age, and ‘churning’ if a patient switches/loses a job; c) embark on real cost controls; d) improve international competitiveness of our businesses by lifting the health care costs not paid by their international competitors; e) reduce the cost of automobile and malpractice insurance coverage by reducing/ending costs paid by insurance (universal coverage countries don’t have large malpractice premiums); f) achieve evidence-based medicine over insistence on protocols; g) save money spent on pharmacies by ending drug advertising; and g) reduce bankruptcies, 60% of which are constituents who had insurance when they got sick.
The essential reasons for passing the Affordable Care Act were:
1. We NEVER had a free, nor market, health system. Crony professionalism including specialists jacked up the costs to the point that American health care was dysfunctional, left much sickness untreated and lost more patients to death than 33 of the 34 industrilized countries in the world. In the 1940s the government began appropriating billions to build private and government hospitals. Federally funded research provided much to the drug industry. In the 1960s direct government transfers from some taxpayers to others occurred in Medicare for seniors and Medicaid for the poor. Individual states set rules for health insurance for decades, monitored by the AMA. ‘Employer’ health insurance was/is heavily subsidized by the feds. Tax deductions for private medical coverage cost the Treasury $250 billion a year. Few patients except foreign potentates have paid their own medical bills for a long time. We are not losing ‘market’ control of health care purchase. It was never ‘free’ and had never been left to the ‘market’.
2. The typical Medicare beneficiary who retired in 2010 would cost the system more than twice as much in health costs than the beneficiary and employer paid in Medicare taxes, so the health care industry was receiving another subsidy. Medicare didn’t pay for itself. If Congress had designed Medicare to pay for itself rather than add to the budget deficit every year, payroll taxes would be far higher and take-home pay would have been far lower. Therefore your paycheck deductions DID NOT pay for your health care.
3. Your premiums did not cover the cost: for family coverage, which costs an average of $16,351 last year, the average worker paid only 29% of the premium. For single-person coverage, workers paid 18% of the (lower) total cost.
4. Households still paid the largest single share of health costs, according to federal actuaries. Part was premiums paid through employers and part directly to insurers. Part was out-of-pocket expense. So almost all health care was not paid by government and employers. One benefit of ACA is that the household portion of the health spending pie shrank from 37% in 1987 to 28% in 2012. It's still larger than the federal government's 26% share or business's 21%.
5. The insurance company only processes claims. Therefore the health care industry, not the insurance companies, was/is, with the insurance company’s 26.6% extra for expensive administration and profit, the obvious bad guy. The ACA was really insurance reform, to date, subject to improving amendments. But more than half of all workers with health coverage are enrolled in "self-insured" plans where the employer pays medical bills directly. On those cases, the employer is the insurance company and was also the problem. A new Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report shows Obamacare will cost $100 billion less than expected while insuring more people.
A huge failing in the ACA was 24 states’ failure to accept transfer of Medicaid. 26 states and DC have accepted policy for Medicaid. Regarding expanding Medicaid, keep watching Indiana, Tennessee, Utah and Virginia; and Arkansas will try to expand Medicaid by buying private coverage for poor people through the new insurance marketplace. Community health centers will get $11 billion over 5 years to provide a crucial, less expensive than ER, role in providing care. Still, beware shortages of primary care physicians and specialists willing to accept less profitable Medicaid.
The extra time offered to enroll will help. The federal government and some states may try to force insurers to expand their networks of doctors and hospitals, though insurers say such changes could increase costs. The CBO estimates that enrollment in private plans through the exchanges will TRIPLE in two years, reaching 22 million by 2016. Small business will be able to buy insurance online by this fall. The United States, the wealthiest country in the world, spends far more per capita on health care than any other country ($7960, per year). Nevertheless, more than 40 million people go without health insurance…one fourth of those are children. It’s better now, but 5.4 million WERE uninsured, and Sara cites 10 years of Fund surveys showing that "people who lack insurance have dramatically different life experiences than people who have been insured all their lives.” Also, 2 Million were underinsured in 2012. Underinsurance was another of the reasons the Affordable Care Act’s requirements was necessary to avoid the 60% of bankruptcies coming out of health care expenses.
Polls say a majority are for the affordable care. Instead of an expensive, exclusionary, for-profit, ‘market’-based system that siphons off nearly one-third of every health care dollar to bureaucracy in the quest for profit, we need a streamlined, efficient, nonprofit system based on human needs to provide high-quality care to every person: single-payer national health insurance. Single payer gives even better outcomes than with ACA. Single payer’s biggest benefit is to business…it means $400 billion NOT paid to insurance companies. There are still holes in the new system: localities are cutting part-timers to avoid health insurance costs when they should care more for all.
A proposed opposition change to the ACA would increase the deficit by $74 billion and result in the loss of work-based insurance for roughly 1 million people. (Wonk Wire); the Medicaid that the Supreme Court ruled had to be left up to the states is rejected by many states. The people may still, ultimately, decide states for Medicaid. There’s a pro ACA protest in Georgia over not taking Medicaid.
At the lowest, nearly 9 million people, generally, have been added to the insurance rolls, more than Speaker Boehner’s alleged 6 million (which is STILL a huge number). Of the different ways to sign up, 3.4 million are healthcare.gov, federal online, sign-ups, assuming 80 percent paid, though February. Despite the Supreme Court’s exclusion of unwilling states from the federal offer, the willing states have signed up at least 2.4 million through January. 2.2 million young adults have been added to their parents’ plans (2010 average to first two quarters of 2013) and there have been 500,000 off-exchange enrollments. Other increases are likely. Using ACA risk corridors, reinsurance, and risk adjustment to help protect health insurance against unpredictable losses and to should keep consumers' premiums from spiraling out of control in the health reform law's early years. The insurance companies did not get the federal bailout the lenders recently received.
Where it has been accepted, January brought an uptick in people declared eligible for Medicaid. CHIP policy allows people who did not get subsidy information to receive credits retroactively; the compromise 'Doc Fix' bill will help. Meanwhile, Charles Gaba, a blogger, calculates the actual current figure in Medicaid though mid-March at nearly 14 million. That makes Speaker Boehner’s “net loss” 6 million claim seem especially absurd. The uninsured rate for almost every major demographic group has dropped in 2014 so far [and] across all age groups ... except for those aged 65 and older." They are in Medicare. Qualified health plan enrollment has increased by 18%. 82% of qualified health plan enrollees qualify for financial help: young adult enrollment continues to rise.
Washington State, in 1993, passed one of the most far-reaching health care reform laws in the country, even though most of the law was repealed after the opposition party took over in the next election. 470,000 have signed up in the federal health plan finder. Over 1 million signed up for health care. Young Adult Enrollment Finished at 25 Percent.
RomneyCare after then GOP Gov. Mitt Romney signed it, has reduced personal bankruptcies in the state by 20 percent. It is notable that then apparently inadequate insurance had initially covered 68% of those bankrupts.
The quality of care is improved. In its program, ‘Covered California’, one million people signed up for coverage in the state’s exchange, against the originally set goal of 696,000. The CBO estimated it would later have 800,000 new enrollees. California is still pushing, focussing on outreach to Latinos and young people. But even though we pay a higher cost than other countries, 99% were not, then, getting better health care. Waiting time for treatment will NOT be longer than with pre-ACA coverage. Business Week points out “in reality the American people are already waiting as long, or longer, than patients living in other countries’ universal health-care systems.” Also, waits should be reduced by our proposed electronic medical records too gradually being accepted.
FOR NON-URGENT SURGERY, only, it’s true that Canadians and Britons have to wait a bit longer. The truth about Canadian universal coverage is: 1) the nation spends far less per person; 2) treatment is free; 3) all are covered (while 46 million Americans are uninsured and millions more underinsured); 4) Canadians have their choice of doctors; 5) residents of 28 other nations are healthier than Americans; 6) no one is forced into bankruptcy (68% of American bankruptcy filings are due, at least in part, to medical costs of people with inadequate health insurance who started their illness with insurance); 7) Canadian medicine has less paperwork, so health care providers may spend more time caring for patients; 8) private insurance continues (2/3 of Canadians have supplemental insurance for dental, eye, prescriptions and private hospital rooms). But 9) taxes are higher; and 10) wait lists (only for ELECTIVE procedures) are common, and 11) there are too few elderly nursing homes. In short, their government does not control doctors).
Even though all tried, Obama’s ACA is more than six other Republican and Democratic presidents have accomplished since Teddy Roosevelt. Like most laws, more needs to be done. States must now fit into the better, cheaper care by starting the exchanges to give taxpayers easy and clear choices. President Nixon’s proposed plan was more liberal than the ACA.
We can afford this: The Congress passed tax cuts for wealthy Americans that will cost more than $1.7 trillion over 10 years. In contrast, only $1 trillion would be required for health care reform, fully paid for over the next 10 years, on a problem we’ve had for decades. It’s paid for since everyone must pay a health care premium (subsidized for those who cannot afford it or lose a job) but NOONE IS FORCED INTO A GOVERNMENT PLAN. NOTHING except a health care premium is taken from any patient. Small businesses will pay less and will more easily get their employees covered. Annual fees are being substituted for fee-for-service and the average premium is only $82/mo. Without the cost control health care reform offers, your health care system goes bankrupt. Now we go for better cost control.
Seniors will support reform because the reductions will only be in excessive charges and will STRENGTHEN Medicare, not cut benefits, which we will save for our seniors and will HELP our loved ones. Eldercare is what most requires correction in health care for profit. Now, only effective medicine will be compensated. Still, Maggie Mahar, the author of Money Driven Medicine, says that longevity will become the major medical crisis of the 21st century, with the lingering Alzheimer’s and demented particularly acute problems. Kay Butler’s book, Knocking at Heaven’s Gate, chronicles what used to take place after a doctor insisted on outfitting her father, who was cognitively impaired after a catastrophic stroke, with a pace maker. It’s a troubling account of how families are effectively shoved aside in making decisions on behalf of loved ones, even when a medical power of attorney is in place.
Mark L, in June, 2014, told of his worry and frustration about how his elderly father had seemed to be held hostage in a rehabilitation facility.
Aside from 2010 health care reform, Americans needed other policy changes to assure that our dysfunctional health care system makes the world’s wealthiest country also the healthiest. Americans want universal health care; so does the Catholic Church, so did President Nixon. The shame on the opposition is not that they fight for their preferred solution but that they fight any solution. No health care plan was proposed when the Affordable Care Act was being enacted. Uwe Reinhardt points out that they even oppose their own solutions.
AMERICA IS THE ONLY MAJOR INDUSTRIAL NATION IN THE WORLD THAT DOESN’T GUARANTEE HEALTH CARE FOR ALL ITS CHILDREN AND PEOPLE. We’re spending 16% on health care, France and Canada are only spending 9%. Rationing does not make ACA care different. Health care is, and always will be, rationed in every country in the world, including us. This mostly private system will be a combination of regulation and subsidies providing near-universal coverage. It could be done much more simply with a public, Medicare-for-All or single-payer, program. In Medicare-for-all in Massachusetts 79% of the public and 75% of its physicians think their plan should be continued.
Health care reform will have widespread support once it’s in place. President Obama’s ACA, when completed, is a redesign to get more affordable health care. But it is true that, if you’re young, healthy and affluent your premium probably did rise (8 million, nevertheless, have signed up).
The ACA, by design, by and large doesn’t affect Americans who already have good insurance. Many current complaints are from voters who had an insufficient plan (like 60% of current bankruptcies) and do not understand that.
In 1992, Senators Kennedy and Byrd had proposed a “peace dividend” of $210 billion from defense over 7 years to pay for universal health insurance, education and job programs. Their plan was not accepted so, now, we continue to have remarkable medical advances but a prohibitive cost of delivering their results broadly and equally to the population.
During the last eight years, the higher wages you should have been getting during rising productivity of business have been going to insurance companies to pay health care premiums and military expenses instead of increased wages to you. Reform will provide more paid premiums to the insurance companies so they won’t need their currently comparatively high premiums for health care. YOU WOULD HAVE YOUR HEALTH CARE INSURANCE COVERED. AND YOU SHOULD GET, AND SHOULD HAVE BEEN GETTING, THE WAGE INCREASE DENIED YOU. Then you would have been given the freedom to use your money for food, school and mortgage payments. Let’s stop that money from going to 26.6% more for insurance companies and let each of us spend it, instead, on our other needs. NO OTHER COUNTRY WE COMPETE WITH IN INTERNATIONAL TRADE SINKS ITS BUSINESSES AND WORKERS WITH HIGHER INSURANCE COMPANY HEALTH CARE COSTS.
The health insurance expansions, passed by our constitutional law professor president, were found constitutional by the Supreme Court. Congress may now pass laws that would protect patients such as children.
Much has already been done:
UNDER THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT:
1) There is no danger to current health care.
2) Now, individuals and small businesses, if they choose, are able to pay the premiums to get health insurance like big companies can get.All will be given easy-to-understand information on costs and benefits and rate each plan on quality and price of care.
3) This health care reform act provides the toughest patient protections in our history, will eventually guarantee all Americans affordable health insurance options and extend coverage to 32 million who are currently uninsured. The American Cancer Society says the greatest obstacle to reducing cancer death is lack of health insurance. The ACA will cut over $1 trillion from the federal deficit over the next two decades.
4) Some of the benefits have taken effect immediately. Insurance companies will now have to spend at least 80% of our premium dollars on health care instead of paying 26.6% of it for their administration of the power-to-say-no by complex ‘denial’ systems.
Medicare is expanded and subsidies will help moderate-income people buy private insurance; millions of Americans, including those who currently have coverage, will benefit from simpler, plain language, no fine print, coverage of children under 26 by their parents’ insurance, coverage of people with pre-existing conditions ($5 billion provided), the end of lifetime or sickness limits on coverage, the end of limits on what insurance must pay, the end of limits on preventive care for chronics (with no deductible or co-pay), There is a 50% price discount on brand-name drugs and biologics, preventive services for seniors with zero out-of-pocket cost, re-insurance for retirees when an employer’s plan fails, no-cost contraception and preventive benefits on reproduction processes and offices of health insurance for consumer assistance will be provided. Small businesses that offer health plans to their workers have the advantage of collecting tax credits. Regaining American business competitiveness may require that we consider, instead of universal health care, extension of a newly defined Medicare to ‘Medicare-for All’,86,87
The Affordable Care Act has provided 250,000 to 400,000 jobs, according to Harvard Economist David Cutler. 
If you are not on the efficient Medicare, Medicaid, Veterans or armed services and public employee health care plan, the new online portal www.HealthCare.gov went live so anyone may find insurance options in their state. It's a very handy resource for information that used to be difficult to find. It's available to help millions needing insurance to find it. It is a resource for those who want to shop around for new options or find out their new benefits under the new law. More choices for better coverage is better.
In Washington State, 62,660 people with Medicare received a $250 rebate to help cover the cost of their prescription drugs and received a 50 percent discount on their covered brand-name prescription drugs when they hit the ‘donut hole’. This discount resulted in an average savings of $598 per person, and a total savings of $35,999,334 in Washington. By 2020, the law will close the donut hole. In 2011, 653,723 people with Medicare in Washington received free preventive services – such as mammograms and colonoscopies – or a free annual wellness visit with their doctor. And 54 million Americans with private health insurance gained preventive service coverage with no cost-sharing, including 1,239,000 in Washington. The Act provides better value for your premium dollar by requiring at least 80% of the premium dollars go to the patient’s care, not to the doctor. This means that 1,788,000 Washington residents with private insurance coverage will receive greater value for their premium dollars. The Act also requires examining unreasonable premium increases. Insurance companies are required to publicly justify their actions if they want to raise rates by 10 percent or more. Washington’s work on Affordable Insurance Exchanges (online marketplaces where individuals and small businesses can buy coverage start in 2014). Washington State’s scientists have received $23.9 million in grants for research, planning, information technology development, and implementation of Affordable Insurance Exchanges) and $1 million in planning grants. This grant provides Washington the resources to build, operate and govern a better health insurance marketplace. It increases support for community health centers, including the 223 existing community health centers in Washington. It strengthens partnerships with Washington to support public health and crack down on fraud (which costs us $133.7 million). It eliminates expensive fee-for-service payments forever. Better Health Program (BHP) in Washington state, starting in 2014, would bring federal funds for new initiatives that could secure health coverage for nearly all, 160,000, low-income adults earning less than $24,000/year, paying $203 in premiums and cost-sharing rather than $1,642. In1992. Expanding Medicaid in Washington State in 2014 will give significant coverage gains with a high federal matching rate and state flexibility. Full benefits for all Medicaid Enrollees, preservation of needed. Optional Medicaid categories to fill in gaps would be possible. Our costs would have been greater if we hadn’t accepted this Medicaid. The expansion could create 80,000 jobs. Covering the cost is no problem because the bill says it’s already paid for.
Important additional effects are in preparation
We must encourage the further breakthroughs like making national Kaiser Peranente and others promote value in care, improve health care delivery and develop new drugs, equipment and technical innovations.
In 1994 the Clinton administration limited the salt and saturated fat in school lunches; in 2006 three of the largest beverage companies voluntarily agreed to limit to water or low-calories options, in 2010 First Lady Michelle Obama started campaigns against childhood obesity, ‘Romneycare’ required large restaurant chains to post calorie counts on their menus. In 2013, Disney was convinced to ban junk food advertising on child targeted TV and radio. There are tentative signs that the obesity curve is flattening (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation). Now we must pull the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) into implementing menu labeling and induce the soda industry excise taxes we need.
The states that have fallen behind are the same states which refused to expand Medicaid.
Health care payments for results, rather than another high fee for each additional test, will cut our current health care costs. One bundled payment, totaling less, will later be split between hospitals, doctors, and nursing facilities taking part in this BPCI. That leads to more efficiency with better care. This will reduce the pain of the highest doctor salaries in the world and 30-50% higher cost health care than in Europe. Our doctors earn 2 to 3 times more than in other countries. One element of their pay can be in drug company stock which is a conflict of interest if they prescribe their investments drugs to their patients. ,
Exchanges in the law will provide already profitable insurance companies with the business of 30 million new, premium-paying, customers while cutting down insurers’ marketing and advertising expenses. Don’t block exchanges which would reduce health care costs.  
For prescription drugs, manufacturers in 2013 will continue to give discounts picking up 50% of the costs for people in the coverage gap purchased by low and middle-income beneficiaries, as they did starting in 2011. Therefore the ‘donut hole’ where less coverage was provided has begun to end. President Obama is lowering the price of prescription drugs, giving seniors free access to life-saving tests and screenings, and strengthening Medicare’s finances by cracking down on wasteful and inefficient spending of tax dollars by private businesses. The Affordable Care Act has saved seniors $3.4 billion on prescriptions. Sustainability efforts could save health care sector $15 billion over 10 Years. We must continue to defend our sick people. After midnight, when they thought no one was looking, the Congress voted for upward revision of cost withheld for drugs. That revision was led by a Congressman who then took a lobbying job with the industry. That revision cost several billion dollars in increased profits for the industry.
The use of electronic medical records may create $300 billion in efficiencies, and when fully brought into effect, will cheaply allow for just what you and your doctor to know what’s needed to protect you. It will also, with its potential to educate patients, spot fraud, and detect risk factors for disease. Expanded use of digital health will further curb growth in medical costs. Substitute electronic medical records for current paper filing are proposed to cut $37 billion from costs. That’s a jobs bill, too, requiring new jobs in health care.
Any accepting state’s Medicaid program will be expanded, nearly all costs paid by the federal government, to cover the uninsured (Kaiser predicts that 21.3 million Americans would be covered by Medicaid by 2022) if all the states accept the expansion. Acceptance of expansion of Medicaid has occurred in 26 states (one political party for them and the other against). The offered federal aid will literally save lives. About 26,000 Americans die each year for lack of insurance according to Reuters Press Service. Many more go bankrupt because they cannot afford their medical bills even though they had insurance at the beginning of the illness. Those states which reject Medicaid expansion are destroying the effectiveness that will lower costs and are passing that cost on to taxpayers who pay for every uninsured who shows up at the emergency room. Many of those rejecting states also lead the nation in obesity, the nation’s leading preventable health care cost. The accepting states, for years, have been covering those non-accepting states’ medical bills. These non-accepting states will continue to be covered but the fact that more people will buy, or be helped to buy, insurance under the Affordable Care Act will make that cheaper for the taxpayer. We won’t keep the same broken system that makes American health care the most expensive and least efficient in the world. Contrary to Republican claims, a majority of those who signed up did pay up. Also contrary to their claims, it’s NOT Medicaid signups that made the difference because the decline in uninsured residents has been three times as large in Medicaid expansion states as in Medicaid expansion rejecters. The online site is now fixed and the uninsured rate has dropped to “the lowest quarterly average recorded since Gallup and Healthways began tracking the pecentage of uninsured Americans in 2008. An overwhelming majority of the newly insured, including 75% of Republicans, are satisfied with their coverage.
The Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) is tasked with making binding recommendations to Congress for further lowering health care spending. Congress can accept the savings proposal or implement its own ideas, but only through a super majority. The actual bundled payments will begin after that.The plan will modify payments but it cannot "include any recommendation to ration health care”. Hospitals will not be sued for failure to perform. In truth, health care has ALWAYS been rationed, but by unaffordability rather than rule.
The State-Based Universal Health Care Act of 2012 will create an expanded waiver process under which substantially all federal dollars that could be spent on health care within a state will be distributed to the state (e.g. under the Health Trust Act), which in turn may operate a 26% less costly single health plan for all residents of that state.
After years of dropping coverage, the number of private small businesses offering health coverage to their workers is actually going up thanks to a tax credit provided by health reform. There are new limits on how much of your health care payments can be taken in profits, on advertising and on CEO bonuses. There’s new money to help states reject unreasonable higher premiums. Some great side effects are already occurring. CMS innovation boss Gilfillan sees 'exciting' progress toward system transformation: The head of the $10 billion Medicare and Medicaid innovation center says he's "thrilled" with the response to a grant program announced this summer that aims to transform state health care delivery systems, one by one. Up to 25 states will each get $2 million to develop plans for collaborating with employers, federal officials, and providers on retooling health care in the state. The remaining $225 million will be divided among the five states with the most promising "ready to go" state transformation models.
To rein in skyrocketing costs in health care, the answer isn’t cutting Medicare. It’s expanding and reforming it to create an improved “Medicare for All.”
The new public plan will expand choices to millions of businesses or people who choose them. When they are healthy life will be cheaper and businesses will lose fewer to sick days.
Payment for care will be limited to those who use the “Best Medical Practices”, currently being defined by the Inspector General. That will avoid unnecessary or unhelpful treatments. According to an independent institute of clinical studies it will improve the treatment given by providing comparative ratings of health results of different treatments.
Costs will be controlled
To rein in skyrocketing costs in health care, the answer isn’t cutting Medicare. It’s expanding and reforming it to create an improved “Medicare for All.” There has been a dramatic slowdown in the growth of costs. Medicare has steadily expanded, currently providing coverage to more than 50 million elderly and disabled Americans. Now proposed private sector plans receive lower approval ratings from their beneficiaries than traditional Medicare; Medicare’s administrative expense is 2%.Medicare is worthy model to provide health care for allA new study demonstrates that, for three years before the ACA, premiums for individual health plans rose 10% or more each year. Our citizens go bankrupt due to current health care costs, even after they had insurance when they got sick. Their bankruptcies also cost a lot to health care providers in collection and attorney fees. Due to the anti-trust exemption from lawsuits, the American Medical Association found a single insurance company controls more than half the ‘free’ ‘market’ in 16 states and one-third of it in 38 states so they have no competition and may charge more.
Florida Democratic Senator Bill Nelson faulted state authorities for the size of proposed health cafre premium increases, saying they could have exercised their authority to conduct rate review under the health law but chose not to. CMS has some leverage to bring the rate increases down.
All but five states are taking action to implement Affordable Care Act (ACA) insurance reform. Expensive insurance practices, as hospitals are beginning to realize, are why Americans pay twice as much as Swedes for health care yet die younger? Join hospitals to convince pharma that price reduction and ‘trolling’ reduction would produce more pharma profits by selling to the universal buyers (as ACA does) rather than pill-by-pill profits (Our country’s costs for reimbursed treatment and drug costs are twice other countries costs). There’s overwhelming public support for price negotiation. We know which 42 Senators voted no on allowing the corrective bill to go forward so we may ask them why when it successfully lowers our costs.An estimated 30 percent of all health care spending in the United States is waste, according to the Institute of Medicine. To eliminate this waste, as the President has already started to do by retaining $716 million in requested payments, Congress can put limits on health care costs.
Mergers are a problem because they have given the hospitals enormous market leverage to drive up health care costs by demanding high reimbursements from insurers unrelated to the quality or complexity of care delivered from insurers, according to a state attorney general. Anti-trust law is currently not controlling this harmful market-dominating system with the effect of potentially raising prices. For example, one purpose of the merger was to take away the abililty of insurance companies to demand lower prices from one hospital with the threat that they could just send patients to the other. After the merger, insurers had to take both of them or neither. Mergers are an inferior substitute for allowing market competition among separately owned providers, or a single payer plan, to determine prices and quality. One corrective approach would be temporary restrictions on raising prices. Another would be to split the two parts of the merger into separate bargaining units for insurance purposes. That way patients would retain access to an alternate hospital and probably pay lower premiums if their insurers bargained hard with the separate hospitals. The legislative method would be to conduct an inquiry into whether the merger has benefited the public or it would be better off if the merger could be undone in some way.
A good example of a necessary adjustment is that Harborview hospital in Seattle became a ‘landlord’ to solve a technical problem that limited Washington State‘s leading health care enrollment. In Washington State $34 million have been saved by a coalition of doctors and hospitals which forged a plan connecting hospital ER doctors across the state to train ‘frequent visitors’ to seek community health help instead of just going to the Emergency Room. The CBP has estimated that consumers will save up to 26.6% on health care premiums under single-payer or Medicare-for-all if insurance management is displaced by the new system. To illustrate the potential savings to the 26.6%, MEDICARE’S administrative costs are in the range of only 3 percent, well below the 5 to 10 percent costs borne by large companies that self-insure. That’s even further below the administrative costs of companies in the small-group market (amounting to 25 to 27 percent of premiums). And it is way, way lower than the administrative costs of individual insurance (40 percent). It’s even far below the 11 percent costs of private plans under Medicare Advantage, the current private-insurance option under Medicare.
So, Medicare isn’t the problem. It may be the solution. Healthcare costs would be further contained when Medicare and Medicaid use their huge bargaining leverage over healthcare providers to shift away from the current “fee-for-service” system to a goal of the appropriate results (outcome). In studying Medicare the Rand study found lower health care costs, quality health care and improved outcomes.
Insurers would be required to get “prior approval from the government before increasing premiums over a certain amount” and there could be negotiation of lower prices for Medicare recipients.
The next step for the Congress is to adopt managed care policies to control run away health care costs, including consideration of a single payer system.
There is consensus, also, to also limit the Medicare Advantage programs and to pay only for results, to assure portability, to eliminate co-pays for preventive care and to negotiate prices for Medicare recipients.
Aside from the comparative administrative costs listed above, cutting or limiting Medicare and Medicaid treatment costs would reduce costs.
The Affordable Care Act
1) clearly delineates who protects and regulates;
2) allows the states to negotiate cost control units other than government and provide free preventive care;
3) allows the states to provide lower premiums for patients who avoid large and known lifestyle risks such as smoking and being overweight;
4) allows the states to insist that patients having more money be required to pay more (or tighten eligibility rules and establish a set of long-term cost targets for Medicare and Medicaid with everything on the table, including neo-natal care).
5) allows the states to specify a less costly benefit structure of “evidence based” care;
6) allows the states to control costs by promoting cost-sharing and by requiring a protective and cost-cutting primary “gatekeeper” physician to oversee all acute care and assign “disease managers” for chronic conditions;
7) allows the states to remove the large incentives for doctors and hospitals to spend on unnecessary tests, drugs, and procedures. For example, almost 95 percent of cases of lower back pain are best relieved by physical therapy. But American doctors and hospitals routinely do expensive MRI’s, and then refer patients to orthopedic surgeons who often do even more costly surgery which often does not improve the condition.
Another example: American doctors typically hospitalize people whose diabetes, asthma, or heart conditions act up. Twenty percent of these people are hospitalized again within a month. In other rich nations’ nurses make home visits to ensure that people with such problems are taking their medications. But nurses don’t make home visits to Americans with acute conditions because hospitals aren’t paid for such visits.
8) allows the states to keep patient records on computers that can share data, avoiding continuous rewrites on pieces of paper and the costly errors that result from reentry on different computers;
9) allows states to refuse payment if the cost was not stated beforehand (that has been a major failure which handed someone else your wallet) 
10) allows states to unify our balkanized healthcare system which currently spends huge sums collecting money from different pieces of itself: now doctors have to, expensively, collect from hospitals and insurers, hospitals collect from insurers, insurers collect from companies or from policy holders;
11) allows states to avoid the major occupational category of “billing clerk” at most hospitals; a third of nursing hours are now devoted to documenting what’s happened so insurers have proof when nurses should be helping patients.
12) allows savings from Medicare reform that are unrelated to patient care— savings from cutting billions of dollars in overpayments and from.eliminating waste, fraud, and abuse.11 Over the next 20 years, Medicare spending will continue to grow, but at a slightly slower rate as a result of these reductions. Your guaranteed Medicare benefits won’t change, but you will see new benefits and cost savings.
13) allows states to take away the anti-trust exemption for health care because robust competition is the better, successful method to control huge, rising, health care costs. This move is favored by 72% of public opinion (and 57% are willing to pay higher taxes, if necessary, for it).The Congressional Budget Office indicates there would be savings of $100 billion over the first 10 years. The fallback position would be to trigger a new government corporation which would offer health insurance in any states where fewer than 95% have affordable coverage. In short, we shall prevent monopolies since overwhelming size health organizations could remove all price lowering competition available to patients. We shall attempt to stop consolidation of hospitals since they have kept the money received to buy more physicians and laboratories instead of covering patients’ health care costs.
To reduce total costs, the FBI is aggressively arresting and trying $60 billion of annual Medicare fraud. Since few criminals are ever caught we shall stop them before they take advantage of the current “pay and chase” system of Medicare. That will reduce total costs.
The law strengthens Medicare. It will have minimal effect on big company plans. Six percent percent of large employers say they’re likely to drop their plans after the law is fully in effect in 2014. Their workers would be into the new government sponsored insurance markets offering guaranteed coverage and, for some taxpayers, subsidies. Among small employers, one in every five plan to drop coverage. That will reduce costs for the American people. Reform has energized federal officials and many state regulators to challenge and force down soaring medical costs. The law will slow the rate of increase but benefits for most Americans will be as good or better than they are now. Medicare is worth saving because it still works better than most private plans and offers the best chance for promoting wider reforms but spending will have to be slowed to roughly the rate of economic growth. That will encourage buying insurance so everyone may get it.
We may add, for malpractice cases, an ADMINISTRATIVE court system with expert panels. Since two-thirds of all ‘decisions’ in contested cases now occur in administrative courts, considerable savings will result. An administrative court system may use expert panels. Doctors may thus avoid high malpractice insurance premiums. It is proven in practice, less expensive, less public and less burdensome for all. Then we shall also limit the tax exclusions for employer-provided malpractice insurance. That would promote cost sharing and reduce the cost of health insurance. We shall establish regulatory reforms to make lower-cost insurance options available to individual purchasers. Revenue from limiting the tax exclusion would be used to offer modest tax credits to the currently uninsured, to subsidize coverage and to support the expansion of community health centers.
We may pass sunshine laws to reveal conflicts of interest, requiring disclosure of financial relationships between medicine and the health industry for speeches, consulting and ownership. Now, the drug companies pay prescribers part of their profits and bias the system. We may include an online check option for patients and anti-kickback provisions on doctor recommendations of drugs. Some states (like Minnesota and Vermont) retain helpful STATE consumer protection laws which do not exist at the federal level.
When we support our health reform our workers may keep their family and personal health care if they change jobs, are laid off or employers don’t have to pay for it. If we do that, our bosses will have another reason to give us the raises we’ve lost over the last 30 years since he’ll be able to afford them. That would also eliminate the whole, back-door, $126 billion year that we taxpayers reimburse them for. Taxpayers will save plenty.
The ACA and the stimulus included more than $1 million for research to compare the cost and effectiveness of alternative treatments. We shall use the research results of the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), which takes high pricing away and requires using the cheaper exchange in health care. This is necessary because "markets (only) work when people can compare prices and benefits of different treatments, then pick the ones that work best for them. America’s education and training of doctors, nurses, technicians, and our state-of-the-art medical research lead the world. Now we shall become number one in health care for our whole country instead of just for those who can afford it.
We shall collect health care bills.
We shall boost preventive medicine measures and establish incentives to become nurses and family practitioners who don’t make outrageous salary claims. We shall include the largest middle class tax cut for health care in history, reduce premium costs for tens of millions of families and small business owners (to aid 31million Americans), set up a new competitive health insurance market giving the exact same insurance choices that members of Congress will have, keep premiums down, prevent denial of care, end discrimination against pre-existing conditions, reduce the deficit by $100 billion over the next ten years---and save about $1 trillion over the second decade by cutting government overspending and reining in waste, fraud and abuse..
The federal government has let out advertising contracts and will encourage people to enroll online, personally on the phone, or by mail. States must check with us and then conform to transparency and accountability rules. 
Right now, we spend more than $2 trillion dollars a year on health care.12 Under the ‘free market’ system, the average family premium was projected to rise to over $22,000 in the next ten years13 and each year, nearly a million people face bankruptcy because of medical expenses.14 That will change now.
Until now, the United States was the only industrialized country in the world that did not provide universal health care for all of its citizens. Some say you will lose from cuts to Medicare but the cuts come only from waste and fraud which is currently padding pockets in the system.
“Entitlement reform” sounds like a noble endeavor. But taming future deficits requires three steps: 1) limiting the growth of overall healthcare costs; 2) cutting our bloated military; and 3) ending corporate welfare (tax breaks and subsidies targeted to particular firms and industries such as Goldman Sachs which has recently advocated. But Goldkman Sachs which said we should first reduce the deficit (to protect their clients with capital gains) was, worse, at the same time, pushing for and getting a tax reduction for itself, which, of course, increases the deficit). Talking about “entitlement reform” is only their way to take our minds off our, better, goals.
Section 3403 of the ACA should spare seniors high costs and discrimination in health care. By 2014, when everyone is required to be health insured (sign up will be in October), a lower, 3.3% fee will be required for private insurers to sell the new health care plan to be offered by the federal government.States may charge, also, but could choose to collect it from employers, not consumers.
We shall start with cost control, global budgeting and weighing cost vs. coverage, because control of health care costs is the largest problem creating excessive spending and deficits. Funding sources could be: 1) limiting income-tax deductions for mortgage interest, state, local taxes and charitable donations for the 1.4% high earner households, and leaving them at the 25% income tax rate which was in effect during President Reagan); (California now asks 51.9% taxes on the highest range of income). 2) tax or cap employee health benefits; 3) spend less on Medicare; or 4) increase behavior changing ‘sin taxes’.
We should adopt President Obama’s plan for the Independent Medicare Advisory Council (IMAC) because we need a systemic-risk regulator. This Council of experts would run ideas for cost control past the president. The president would then send it to the Congress to limit special interest amendments by requiring it to pass or fail the experts’ WHOLE proposal. Why do it piecemeal and unbalance the whole system with exceptions like they inserted in taxpayers’ health care act. That way the Congress could not amend to favor their campaign contributors.
In summary, the ACA will rein in health care costs, give Medicare the ability to use the conservative value of BARGAINING drug prices, let the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), created by Obama-care, discover specified savings in Medicare without loss of coverage or quality, and help Medicare control costs.
We’ve gotten past the false accusations of “death panels”, inflation and waiting lines and corrected some of the messed up incentives that increased costs on your health care.
We shall continue to fix health care so we become number one:
Pass Sen. Stabenow’s bill to limit Medicare to sustainable payment levels.
The following are among the many other ways to rein in Medicare spending without scrapping the system and starting over. Medicare has done better at slowing cost increases than has private insurance:
1) give Medicare the same discounts as Medicaid to cut $112 billion to $135 billion over 10 years;
2) means test Medicare (Boehner) to save $280 billion by higher premiums, fewer benefits, an increase in the number of people who would have to pay for medical and prescription drug coverage, to save $50 billion over 10 years;
3) negotiate drug discounts (the manufacturers can afford a lower profit margin and enrollees would probably pay lower premiums after the companies lowered their prices;
4) change the formula for paying skilled nursing facilities and home health care providers, to save $40 billion over a decade;
5) aggressively manage and coordinate the care provided to elderly people, better manage the treatment of Medicare patients who have multiple chronic conditions, to save $200 billion over 10 years;
6) prevent or deter beneficiaries from buying Medi-gap policies that provide “first dollar” coverage, saving over $50 billion over 10 years;
7) simplify a system to get out of different cost-sharing premiums, deductibles and co-payment depending on site-of-delivery of service, potentially saving $30 billion over 10 years;
8) so we may know excess earnings by health care from the current abuses of some, require disclosure of fees to the large number of doctors for research, consulting, speaking, travel and entertainment under the new health care law;
9) continue reducing payments to providers and private Medicare Advantage plans to save more than $400 billion over 10 years.
10) persuade more states to follow the example of adjusting how they pay health care providers in an effort to reduce the occurrence of potentially preventable events and the delivery of unnecessary services or incentivize care management.
As a step toward improving the ACA beyond what the opponents allowed, pass 'The American Health Care Security Act of 2011, which has been introduced in both the House and the Senate. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA) are the sponsors, and both aim with these bills to provide health care for every American by way of a Medicare-for-all single-payer system." They want us to rise to #1 in the world from #27 in health care. See footnote 222. Vermont has passed that kind of single payer health care; but their law falls well short of the single-payer reform needed. Regarding the financing benefits of single-payer, using health spending data provided by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), we estimate with our models that the single payer plan would achieve universal coverage while reducing total health spending for Minnesota by about $4.1 billion, or 8.8 percent, in 2014. This includes added costs due to reductions in utilization management and increased utilization costs resulting from reduced cost sharing. Additional costs and savings estimates under the single payer plan in 2014 include: A total savings of $35.7 million to state and local governments; an average savings of $1,214 per worker, for employers offering health insurance coverage prior to the ACA; an average additional cost of $1,963 per worker, for employers not offering health insurance coverage prior to the ACA; an average savings of $1,362 for families, including wage effects; A reduction of 42,800 Minnesota jobs for those with insurance related job functions. Over ten years it would bring total statewide savings of $189.5 billion from 2014-2023.We must raise cost control to the same level as expanded coverage.
In 1993, Washington State passed one of the most far-reaching health care reform laws in the country, even though most of the law was repealed after the Republican takeover of the Legislature two years later. Nevertheless, it enrolled more than one million residents in coverage.
We’ll start with ‘frugal medicine’, less expensive medicines and cures. Cost control will reduce the deficit $100 billion in the first decade and $1 trillion in the second decade. Standards have been proposed for joint ventures to coordinate care, band together and cut costs to improve health care. Federal bonus payments are offered. A wave of mergers has already occurred which may cause unlawful oligopoly profits, but the provision of long-term health care could save the health care sector $800 trillion over 10 years if we go to the least expensive single-payer (ONE ‘insurance’ company, with ONE simple form). If we don’t, it will cost $176 trillion if, as currently, we deal through insurance companies. Single payer would get the taxpayer out of the outrageous 17% overpayments to private health plans (20% of total Medicare people). Currently in the U.S. we expend about $2.8 trillion on health care. $400 billion could be saved with a single payer system, especially due to the elimination of the "overhead" of the private for-profit health insurance companies.
Even the ACA will save $200 billion to $600 billion in a decade and $1.5 billion in health insurer rebates and overhead cost savings in 2011 as a result of 80% of premium dollars on health care or quality improvement activities. President Obama's reform plans would be fully paid for over 10 years, not add a penny to the deficit and cut the deficit by $1.3 trillion dollars. Let’s at least reduce them to 13% overpayments, cut that cost to the taxpayers, and ditch the least efficient, fee-for-service plans. Their 17% overpayment shows that the ‘free’ ‘market’ doesn’t produce cheaper health.
Himmelstein and Woolhandler argue that virtually none of the provisions of the ACA have been shown to reduce health care costs, yet. The enforcers must make health care get serious on digital care records, currently being reluctantly undertaken by health care: productivity and quality benefits are unquestionable for the taking and could save $81 billion a year when health care, finally, actually gets the health care industry to use them. Officials haven’t tried, in fact, to put dollar figures on whether the ACA has helped or hurt when health care spending has risen $800 billion since the first report was issued. The reasons are many, from the aging of the baby boom to the cost of medical advances to higher usage of medical services over all. The commercial systems in place have not been made easy to use and do not allow doctors and patients to share medical information across systems. The systems in place must now come to work in ways that help achieve ACA’s benefits. The federal officials are drafting new rules to help. We could be getting much more if we could take the time to do a little more planning and to set more standards. The rate of adoption of the changes has been slow and electronic records do not address the fact that doctors and hospitals reap the benefits of high volumes of care. Many experts say the available systems seem to be aimed more at increasing billing by providers than at improving care or saving money. Some are charged for services which were not provided. Requiring efficiencies would make sure seniors can get the help they need. Small business, large business and citizens would benefit and it would be fair. It would also remove Americans’ fear of losing health insurance..
Continue giving small businesses tax credits to help them provide health care for their employees. Don’t raise the age for Medicare from 65 to 67 because we taxpayers just pay the savings at ER and other sites, even though the CGO estimates savings could be $125 billion over a decade.
The next logical step in health care is to limit ammunition for guns. President Obama has introduced a bill to limit ammunition and military-style weapons. The ban we used to have on assault weapons was dropped during President Bush43’s term. It would have limited ammunition, closed a loophole allowing gun show purchases without a background check, limited high capacity ammunition and beefed up background and mental health checks. President Bush43 did us no favors.
Then we may end wars so we end PTSD (post-traumatic stress syndrome) which costs the lives of veterans, their families and their friends.
We must still end subsidy of unhealthy, fattening, foods which cause additional diabetes, overweight and hypertension. Why CAUSE medical bills. If we had reduced child mortality as well as France, Germany and Italy, 12,000 children a year would have been saved. Since we end up paying their costs we should charge extra premiums to smokers and the obese so we put the costs on the people who voluntarily cause them.
For years, our government was asleep at the switch, falling behind 33 of the other 34 industrialized countries in granting health care for everyone. We could have saved Americans one-third of their health care costs, like all the other industrialized countries do, instead of spending too much to do less. Hilary Clinton tried to help us, and President Obama got it through.
We’ll build trust in the new health care when we do informative outreach to include potential patients through special events, written, broadcast and telephone messages to tell health care costs and relative benefits.
Further benefits will come in 2014, after the health care system has time to prepare, so all plans will have to meet minimal standards and large employers will have to provide coverage or pay a stiff fine.
Under today's system, most health insurers (and providers) mostly pay attention to making money and listen to the wrong people, often for the wrong reasons, with the reduction of costs coming last.
Businesses remain free to decide that they are better off dropping health coverage and letting their employees choose, or choose not, to cover themselves (and save their costs to the taxpayers who ‘hold the bag’, paying for ER visits, if they don’t choose coverage).
In defense of health reform 2010:
Right now, if the global economy were a 100 yard dash, the US would start 23 yards behind citizens of other countries. Why should Americans pay more than China, Brazil and India and get less? Under our ‘free’, ‘market’ system 50% more American women are dying in childbirth than in Europe, reducing us to 25th in the world in long life, even though Americans are required to spend far more than $7,000 per person on health care and our health insurance has increased 73% in cost.
Requiring Americans to get insurance is freedom from sickness and poverty, not loss of freedom. Why should higher health costs and more sick days make us lose jobs WHICH GO TO OTHER COUNTRIES.
Corporate America is not against employees having a choice of their own or a public health care. Business increasingly abandons the expensive employer-covered health care.
Get the hospitals to help us. They will want to because they lose $160 billion a year if the uninsured aren’t covered.. They should start with opposition to pharma’s high drug prices and pharma’s practice of reinstituting old patents for barely dissimilar previous such monopolies. Drug companies are making out like bandits. So Congressman Moran has introduced a bill against TV advertisement of prescription drugs. That would reduce their cost and prevent malpractice by non-doctors. Since when did we ask advertisers to do doctors’ jobs? Why should our higher drug prices pay the cost for unqualified advertisers? Cutting it will slow the growth of health spending, avoid the need for future cuts in Medicare, and patients will not be hurt.
The ACA is essential because GM now pays $1500/car for health care of workers but Toyota escapes that higher car cost by paying only $110/worker. Let’s help American industry by doing what the other countries all do.
America already, inefficiently and at high cost, covers so much health that someone called us an insurance company that has an army.
The health industry is pleased with the Affordable Care Act even when it doesn’t admit it. But the health insurance companies still want the 26.6% profit THEY get from profits the rest of the industrialized countries’ systems don’t get.
Cooperatives could be used more.. In Cleveland, Group Health, doctors receive salaries rather than the excessive amounts charged by ‘pile-more-on’, fee-for-service claims by hospitals and doctors which take 30-50% more than in Europe. We must cut excessive doctors’ salaries, the highest in the world, which take two to three times more than in other countries. No wonder a common sign of pride in America is ‘my son the doctor’.
Decoupling health insurance from employment would eliminate a whole, back-door $126-billion-a-year cost of the government health care system.
Further regarding cost we must alter Medicare reimbursement rates, make changes, in pilot programs for greater productivity, empower the system to hold the highest cost hospitals and doctors accountable for excess charges.
It’s immoral to take away choice by senior citizens whether to have to pay for more expensive procedures or drugs, particularly when the prices are not previously disclosed.
To help cover costs we should keep the idea of limiting deductions for the well-to-do. In addition to these agreed provisions, a robust “public option’ to control the level of insurance premiums is required, perhaps using it only if reform of private insurance fails.
Market forces alone will not tackle deadly sickness: under our ‘free’ ‘market’ system we don’t educate enough primary care doctors who may later successfully make a living. We should subsidize the medical education for ‘my son the doctor’, PRIMARY care doctors and nurses.
BY EXECUTIVE ORDER IN JANUARY 2009 PRESIDENT OBAMA LIFTED THE PRIOR RESTRICTIONS ON FEDERAL FUNDING FOR STEM-CELL RESEARCH, delegating drafting of more detailed ethical rules of the National Institutes of Health. Regarding the safety of medicine we must restore both the Food and Drug Administration and Consumer Product Safety Commission to pre-Bush staffing levels so they protect us from milk from China and other foreign products. The FDA has lost hundreds of needed food scientists and field inspectors while the White house proposed further cuts. The CPSC has to inspect tens of billions of dollars worth of goods with only about 100 field investigators and has suffered a 10% cut in its budget in the last two years.
We must boost on-going research on cost-saving forms of self-care, home care, and assisted living for the disabled for frail elderly.
SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH
Alabama women’s reproductive rights have been upheld by federal courts
For-Profit Home Care Agencies Cost Medicare Billions Extra, Yet Provide Worse Care: Health Affairs Study
Florida Democratic Senator Bill Nelson faulted state authorities for the size of the increases, saying they could have exercised their authority to conduct rate review under the health law but chose not to.
CMS has some leverage to bring the rate increases down.A few other indicators of the spending dif-ferential: independent conservative PACs spent more than $500,000 before primary, while progressive PACS spent $67,000. The Senate Republicans spent more than $400,000 Increased population is the cause of eight of the ten largest problems in the world. A NUMBER OF OTHER DISEASE CONDITIONS ARE TREATED BY METHODS THAT ALSO HAPPEN TO CAUSE BIRTH CONTROL, so prevention of births is not just ‘pro-life’. That fact requires us to give freedom to choose birth control, particularly when prescribed. Contraceptive access is in place in 28 states. It doesn’t cause the slightest injury to the teachings of any church; the Catholic Church has complied.
Failing to offer birth control costs our country’s people and our businesses workers. Teenage birthrates inched up late in President Bush’s administration after 15 years of steady decline”. 80% of women can get family planning in East Asia. After 50 years of fertility decline East Asia’s dependency ratio is 40 points less than Africa’s. We should admit that most women driven to abortion are married and already have children but can’t afford another.
ACA expansion of contraceptive coverage could have been and will be almost as sweeping if some religious nonprofits and businesses opt out. Hobby Lobby has successfully sought and obtrained a bad decision exempting religious, closely held, corporations from providing birth control on religious grounds. Previously, 55% of adults in a new poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation said for-profit companies should still be required to cover contraception. And 61% backed the health law requirement that private plans be required to cover prescription birth control without cost-sharing. We’ll support revision of that bad decision. Countries with wide access to contraception are more prosperous economically because women are better able to become educated and get better jobs. Cross has emphasized the importance of "long acting reversible contraception," which can last for years and is proving to be an increasingly popular and effective way to prevent pregnancy.
The economically emerging ‘four tigers’ countries have quit having large families decades ago.
No government money is used for planned parenthood clinics, so it’s private enterprise which is being hurt. And why cut life-saving breast and cervical cancer screenings, testing and treatment for H.I.V. for our 30-40 year old married people who find they MUST control of the size of their families IN TIMES OF DECREASING WAGES AND SALARIES.
Celebrate, instead, the fact that abortions are declining! There are fewer, safer abortions where abortion is legalized (South Africa). Also, regarding choice at the end of life, when we’re fatally ill, we should have a choice to die, following the electorate’s decision in the State of Washington. Follow the advice of Governor Booth Gardner (“My life, my death, my control”) and give us doctor-aided dying when a person chooses it. To control the choice Washington and Oregon’s law have six protective requirements.
We should boost on-going research on cost-saving forms of self-care, home care, and assisted living for the disabled for frail elderly.
Establish a wholly independent drug safety board to monitor drugs after they are on the market, since that will reduce the FDA’s fear that loss of doctors’ support will cost them funding.
Budget the costs of prevention against the cost of epidemics and chronic diseases which were cut by President Bush.
Continue warnings against smoking, gaining too much weight. requiring risk labels on pharmaceutical products, against pesticides and asbestos.
Enforce the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued Hazard Communication Standard and individually warn workers of the risks.
Enforce the National Environmental Policy Act, designed to cause political reaction against dangerous projects since it has massive beneficial effects.
Consider a tax on greenhouse emissions, the “Green Lights” with the bragging rights label of the Energy Star Office Products sticker, and ‘cap and trade’.
Act worldwide against bubonic plague, severe acute respiratory syndrome, West Nile virus, Ebola virus, Asian flu, yellow fever and black death.
Health insurers are acting against high pharmacy costs
We should assume inexpensive Asian innovation will transform the market for medical devices.
Provide new leadership to the FDA, currently blocked by one political party, because the FDA has refused to require safe drugs for six years. In addition, that’s why it’s important to end self-defeating FDA reliance on user fees from drug companies currently charging rip-off prices. It’s a conflict of interest that their fundamental support comes from the companies they fear to regulate for our safety since those companies PAY THEIR SALARIES. We should require action from the FDA.
An additional benefit of alternative drugs is that prices would be lower if we use Canadian or generic drugs.
Pass the safe drugs provisions requested by Senator Kennedy, ending drugs gone wrong (numerous lawsuit examples). The previous administration provided no significant new food safety regulations. Congress has issued some mandates.
Maine reduced the costs of drugs 40% after passing laws ending private interests funding of candidates election with public campaign finance laws. Since re-election financing became possible without relying on interested contributors (the source of 75% of all campaign finance) they were free to vote the public interest. .
End the delay in introduction of generic drugs, which will continue and has saved America some $734 billion.
Build to break drug patents.
Since doctors actually leave it to others to stop bad drugs change from doctor oversight of drug safety on drugs already on the market Statistics show doctors don’t stop bad drugs (perhaps because 94% of doctors report they have ‘direct ties’ to drug companies.
Require disclosure of fees to the large number of doctors for research, consulting, speaking, travel and entertainment under the new health care law.
Assist developing countries to improve their health. Aid the European Union (EU) in signing Millennium Development Goal (MDG) contracts with those countries. The six year funding provides a minimum and a virtually guaranteed level of annual support with a pre-defined timeline. In return the beneficiary countries are required to make firm commitments to mobilize their national resources and establish long-term policies by sector. The results of implementation have been that 27% fewer children died before their fifth birthday in 2007 than in 1990. One-third of the 9.7 million people in developing countries who need treatment for HIV/AIDS were receiving it in 2007. The MDG target for reducing the incidence of tuberculosis was met globally in 2004 thanks to early detection and effective treatment. Twenty-seven countries reported up to a t50% reduction in the number of malaria cases between 1990 and 2006, with a larger proportion of children sleeping under insecticide-treated mosquito nets.
At EVERY level of wealth and family income, more illness was found in the US than in the UK.
Done: Obama ordered tough new fuel-economy standards for cars and trucks to decrease our need for foreign oil. January 2009
$100 billion of the economic stimulus bill funds wind and solar power, low-emission vehicles, energy-efficient buildings, and mass transit, including high-speed rail Renewables are ready, their production creates jobs and will eventually replace dirty fuels. End our slavery to the Middle East, oil and gas lobbies. Our country, while Obama has been president, has allowed more oil today than at any time in the previous eight years by allowing the Keystone pipeline SOUTH to the Gulf. We’ll invest in energy that’s NEW and STOP giving $4 BILLION in subsidies to oil, the old energy. We SHALL meet Germany and China in developing new energy. The U.S. won’t need more coal pollution problems. Coal-fired plants produce 40% of greenhouse emissions from the electricity sector. The EPA has ruled that they are a threat to Americans’ health and welfare and lead to climate change, rules to be made by the states. It’s not true that consumer prices will rise (when national GDP has rised by 207% since the Clean Air Act), that Obama is warring coal when market conditions are what’s warring against coal, that ALL energy companies oppose it (when Duke Energy and Dominion Resources don’t), that alternatives are more expensive (when electric rates will decrease in Austin under the alternatives), that the rule is ineffective (when the U.S. is already half way to the 30% reduction). The bill which will require utilities to produce a growing proportion of electricity through clean sources…hydropower, wind, solar, geothermal and new technology natural gas and safe nuclear have been proposed. To arrive fastest at non-polluting sources we must regulate energy to put a higher priority on innovating for the long term. Skip ethanol, go to solar, wind. The wind industry has contributed at least $60 billion to the national economy since 2005, so enact the bipartisan extension of the production tax credit (PTC) and continue Colorado’s progress of producing 9% of its power. 
It is essential to proceed since a study shows America lags behind on energy efficiency. This is necessary because we are currently losing the race to clean energy (the largest wind turbine production is in China) and fast trains: critics have called it ‘beyond stupid’ due to a wacky, dysfunctional public sector. As a result, energy firms are not hiring, cut 2000 jobs due to sluggish demand and half their hiring has been done overseas. Still, they have put in more here than in any other year. The industry asks a requirement that a certain percentage of American electricity to come from renewable sources to assure they will have enough business, especially when hoarding banks are not now lending.
Research must be accelerated. The sun provides enough energy in an hour to meet the world’s demands for a year, yet solar energy accounts for barely 1% of global power consumption.
Rankings released as new climate data confirms warming global temperatures.In America there will be creation of new jobs and wealth in the energy sector, especially petrochemicals and steel, fueling investments in American infrastructure, construction and services. The result could boost the US annual GDP of between 2 and 4% and create up to 1.7 million new permanent jobs (with a more favorable U.S. trade balance, perhaps ending the declinist thinking about the U.S. Two State Departmen projects…the Unconventional Gas Technical Engagement Program and the Energy Governance and Capacity Initiative…are bringing technical expertise from across the government to help other countries build up their own oil and gas industries. Natural gas emits up to 40% less carbon than coal and the U.S. is now meeting its climate goals, resulting in greater credibility in climate talks.
We shall propose an increase in energy efficiency in appliances and buildings, to double renewable energy capacity on public lands by 2020 and the methane abatement plan.
We have audited energy loans, now, after the President Bush43 administration failed to. Energy loans enacted in 2005 were improved in 2009 but previous audits of those loans is difficult due to failure of the prior administration successfully to audit to keep them collectable. We will get the lowest possible level of carbon as quickly as possible and not only at the lowest cost but with the greatest possible economic opportunity for the US. We have made the right investments in science, research, technology and incentives for high level manufacturing. We’ll help deploy new technologies. The smart grid is several decades away and will cost $500 billion but we shall create it. We’ll switch, in bio-fuels, from using material which should be used for food and other higher purposes to using agricultural waste (weed straw, rice straw, corncobs, wood surplus). In ten years the cost will be less than $2/kwh.
America has prospects: a reversible heat-pump promises a cheap way to store renewable energy on the grid. The Department of Energy wants it to provide 27% of the country’s electricity by 2050, up form less thlan 1% today. Use flow batteries which can accumulate energy in liquids and discharge rapidly. Perhaps Giant flywheels and supercapacitors can help. The heat pump is reversible and when the heat flows back it works like a heat engine.
In contrast, Ohio refuses to continue renewable energy programs, asking ‘fair competition’ (apparently meaning to favor the oil/gas industry which is, incidentally, subsidized…what’s ‘fair competition’ about that).
Prosecute Enron: get grandmothers’ money back.
We should extend the recent minimal changes and require 50 mpg, like Europe, as well as using independent assessments or EPA calculations in figuring the costs and benefits of changes in the fuel economy standards instead of inflated technology costs estimates.
Resolving energy would create opportunities for education, for entrepreneurs, for work, for involving women and girls in positive economic encounters at every level of national income from the richest states to the poorest.
We must repower, refuel and rebuild America with new energy. Alternative sources of energy must be facilitated by a federal feed-in tariff, following the lead of states (California) and localities. Germany buys citizens’ solar and wind turbine product for above-market prices for up to 20 years. Renewables are 14% of energy in 2007. This causes only a dollar increased energy prices for others. Denmark and Spain have such programs as well. One of the large benefits of citizen production is a break from the monopoly power of utilities which are the centralized technological embodiment of corporate power and hierarchy. We must spend more on this goal, displacing the $72.5 billion in subsidies from 2002 to 2008 for fossil fuels whereas alternative energy sources benefited from only $29 billion, more than half of which went to bio-fuel industries, which are essentially the agribusiness lobby.
Make sense and save the defense money we would spend, like in Iraq, protecting our supply. INTERIOR SECRETARY SALAZAR VOIDS BUSH-ERA OIL AND GAS DRILLING LEASES ON 13,000 ACRES NEAR ARCHES NATIONAL PARK AND DINOSAUR NATIONAL MONUMENT.
Use buses, but we must first dispel their image as the poor man’s transportation. The Orange Line vehicles, in Los Angeles, sport sleek, bullet-train silhouettes, shiny silver paint, run along a path that is separated from street traffic by barriers and trees---much like train tracks---and from which all other vehicles are barred. Illuminated signs alert riders to the next arrival time. Buses reach 55 mph. In Cleveland they present glass enclosed stations and design vehicles that feel like train cars. Their doors open on both sides and allow platform-level entry for easier boarding. Bus rapid transit is more affordable and environmental studies come out in their favor. There are no short term, easy solutions. But a massive switch from coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear power plants to solar power plants could supply 69% of the U.S.’s electricity and 35% of its total energy by 2050. Denmark is independent of Middle East oil now and Iceland soon will be. Carbon taxation would have little impact on emissions or climate change. The President must establish the carbon cap-and-trade system designed to put downward pressure on carbon emissions. We should enact a NATIONAL cap on carbon emissions---and enact legislation that ensures that any unavoidable new coal plants are held accountable for their global warming pollution.  Under this cap and trade program the government would set a ceiling on carbon emissions and require companies that burn fossil fuels to bid for carbon permits through an auction. It should initially give away about half the carbon-emission allotments to the factories and electric utilities that would need them to fill needs which cannot currently be provided by alternative sources. More efficient appliances, lighting, factories, and buildings as well as vehicles, could wipe out one fifth to one third of the world’s energy consumption without any real deprivation. Thanks to federal rules, modern American refrigerators use three times less energy than 1970s models, even though they’re larger and more high-tech. Efficiency is a miracle drug, but conservation is even better. We can subtract a coal-fired megawatt every time we add a wind-powered megawatt. And with a smarter grid, green building codes, and strict efficiency standards for everything from light bulbs to plasma TVs to server farms, we can to better than that. Al Gore has a reasonably plausible plan for zero-emissions power by 2020.
Establish a ‘smart grid’ which allows the new grid to intelligently deploy the energy along the way. To modernize the grid, $11 billion was proposed budgeted, $4.5 billion of which is for the ‘smart grid’ in the stimulus package, Obama saying it could “save us money, protect our power sources from blackout or attack, and deliver clean, alternative forms of energy to every corner of our nation”. Congress is marking up transmission plans in early May. $60 billion must be spent on new transmission. Regulations must change, including the rules that give states the power to scuttle a regional plan. We should end the carbon subsidies. The government currently gives $1.5 billion in annual subsidies to oil companies, regardless of how much oil they find. That $1.5 billion could be invested in innovative private sector programs to save gasoline. Programs to accelerate sales of more efficient tires and motor oil look especially promising. For each gallon of gas saved, the government would pay only $.25 to $.45, substantially less than it now spends on new oil subsidies per gallon discovered. Ultimately it would be cheaper for the government (and certainly better for the planet) to fund ways to save oil rather than drill for new sources of oil. And why go to war to continue polluting the air?
Call on America’s great scientists’ creativity and flexibility. We know how to increase gas efficiency in cars, SUVs, pickups and trucks. That will reduce U.S. reliance on foreign oil, cut the trade deficit, lower pump prices and reduce the greenhouse gases our scientists know are there. We have proposed increase in science and technology spending. Consider adding nuclear, as Florida has, and garbage burning to the definition of “renewable”, or limit to quotas?
We will treat energy independence as what it is ---not only a conservation issue, but also an area in which we may create a million new, green, jobs to end the Great Recession, produce alternative energy by giving tax breaks for alternative fuel development and to reduce pollution. Build a clean energy economy. The western Governors quickly want a national energy policy annually spending tens of billions of dollars to develop clean energy technology, establishing an “aggressive” greenhouse gas emissions reduction goal and a mandatory national system for reducing greenhouse gas emissions through “market-based mechanisms”. They say improve mass transportation, bring more fuel-efficient and near-zero emission vehicles to the market ad develop renewable resources such as wind and solar energy. They’d like establishing an oil import reduction goal, expanding the electric grid and creating technology to have nearly no greenhouse gas emissions from new coal-fired electric plants in 10 years nor from existing generation by 2030.
We must counter the argument that “energy demand will not permit going to alternative energy” by pointing out it will support American providers, reduce our vulnerability to ‘defense’ risks in oil countries, pollute less, and, when we invent the new ways, cost less. Energy independence is a national security issue because our defense cannot run without it, an economic issue because we can’t get to work without it and an environmental issue because of the pollution it causes.
TODAY ALMOST 70% OF LATIN AMERICA’S ELECTRICITY COMES FROM HYDROPOWER (RENEWABLE) AND THE REGION’S HYDROELECTRIC POWER WILL NEARLY DOUBLE BETWEEN NOW AND 2030…THEY DON’T NEED OIL.
The previous, Democratic, House passed a bill requiring most utilities to use 15% renewable energy, removing $16 billion in tax breaks from the oil industry, requiring conservation, requiring efficiency in appliances and government buildings and outlawing incandescent bulbs by 2012. That bill died under the Republicans. It also proposed modernizing government buildings. We’ve got to responsibly use energy efficiency PERSONALLY AND AS A COUNTRY, so we should invent, invest in solar, wind and tides. As soon as possible, let’s stop using oil and stop burning the coal that threatens our childrens’ lives.
To limit harmful speculation, carefully regulate oil derivatives markets. It’s necessary for the trader to have some ‘skin in the game’ so they don’t just collect fees while deforming the ‘market’ and harming innocent investors.
Generally, high-level international coordination, in part through platforms such as WTO and G-20 countries will be necessary.
Before, bipartisan majorities delivered clean cars, high-performance buildings, efficient equipment and solar energy incentives. Then President Reagan allowed the SUV and quit trying for fuel efficiency.
Re-assert U.S. leadership started with the Clean Air Act.
The energy crisis has been fixed in other countries and we may fix it like the Danes did: gas taxes, CO2 taxes, building-and-appliance efficiency standards and growth of a clean power industry (1/3 of all terrestrial wind turbines in the world come from Denmark). It gets 20% of its energy from wind (compared to our 1%). Danes didn’t suffer from these changes. Danes used to get 99% of their energy from the Middle East, now they get zero.
First, our cars: if we simply had the same gas-mileage average as Europe does, about 43 miles per gallon, we would import NO OIL from OPEC. The technological ways to manufacture super-fuel-efficient cars has existed for many years. The hitch has been getting them to market. We should follow California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) which requires fuel providers to reduce the global warming pollution from various fuels by 10% by 2020. New ultralight-but-safe materials can nearly redouble fuel economy at little or no extra cost. So we must increase our miles per gallon standards by law. The Department of Energy estimates that if every personal-use car were just one mile/gallon more efficient the US would save more than 100 million barrels of oil/year and lessen carbon dioxide emissions 20 million metric tons a year. President Reagan’s “SUV loophole”, exempting them from CAFÉ standards like light trucks, was an enormous mistake. Only to get the market started in the right direction and after investigating potential problems caused indirectly we should give tax credits for alternative fuel development and reduction of emissions by automakers and require change to decrease pollution by SUV and other autos. Sunset provisions and regular review must be included. GO GREEN TO SAVE OUR FAMILIES’ MONEY; GIVE TAX BREAKS FOR ALTERNATIVE FUELS GIVING HIGHER MPG. Europeans have achieved a high standard of living despite very high energy prices (gas in Germany costs more than $8/gallon) because they own fuel efficient cars and don’t drive them too much. We may do the same because we’ve done it before in 1970s and 1980s. We should only help American auto manufacturers when they have shown they will make a fuel-efficient, green car. Let’s end the idea that profit for interests is the only requirement for new laws.
Next, our general energy needs. Wind is already about as cheap as coal (the up-front costs are higher, but once the turbine is spinning, the wind itself is free). The wind industry has suffered years-long shortages of wide range of parts, as well as contradictory regulatory policies. An American private equity firm bankrolled LOW-TECH, PRODUCING MORE EMISSIONS MORE CARBON. The Phillipines project biomass and solar panels have sprouted in Germany, where government subsidies have worked their magic---melting consumer resistance, building volume, and reducing prices so dramatically that the subsidies are no longer necessary. The best sources of renewable energy, in order of decreasing carbon emissions, are wind, the sun and known efficiencies which may be dramatically increased. Implement the massive solar energy projects that have been designed for our Sahara desert. After setting sunset provisions and regular review we should extend the federal tax credit for wind about to expire in 2008 to continue the ‘wind boom’ since that will allow turbine-makers to make longer-term plans. That’s better than going to war for getting natural resources we need. We should proactively slant subsidies to favor renewable energy.
Avoid bio-fuels to retain fields for agriculture. Exxon is about to invest millions in making bio-fuel out of algae. Burning agricultural waste and non-food crops preserves food. Switchgrass is the most efficient. Switch to cellulosic forms to get a 70-90% reduction in heat trapping emissions. If we must go to bio-fuels, they are far cleaner, but don’t destroy valuable forest, conservation land, cause food shortages nor use fossil fuel to produce them.
We were blessed by years of cheap energy so we didn’t design the system now possible. Now they cost too much. Scientists can correct our notoriously inefficient energy system. Further, training scientists establishes well-paid jobs and creates the cleaner fuel we now turn out to need.
We should create maximum efficiency. Modernization of government buildings has been proposed. It has a big electrical and fossil-fuel reduction potential as buildings are built and upgraded. Machines of all kinds wear out, become obsolete and are replaced. We’ve seen how government mandated standards have persuaded manufacturers to find better technologies, sometimes improving the profit equation. First use those changes which may be made through the market, not government. Plenty of energy savings offer ready business opportunities. Many writings show how current ‘market failures’ may be changed to money-making energy savings. Firms like DuPont, IBM and ST Microelectronics are cutting their energy use per unit of output by 6% every year with one to three year paybacks. Those are among the highest and safest returns in our economy. The best recent example of market success is the Toyota Prius. Privately, secretly developed and brought to market without government intervention, it’s rated at more than twice the fuel efficiency of the average 2003 car on the U.S. market. Yet this more value loaded product costs the same: it has more features, and protects you just as well. The Wall Street Journal rated it the fastest-selling automobile in the U.S. Car and Driver named Prius among its “Best Ten”. It was Automobile’s Design of the Year and the engineers’ magazine rated it “Best Engineered Vehicle. It ought to be easy to convince manufacturer’s to cut energy costs because those costs are one of the largest portions of their operating budget.
Retrofit millions of American homes and businesses. It creates many new jobs, as it has in Clinton County, Ohio.
Let’s increase the 8.5 million workers already employed in clean energy related jobs. A Greek initiative on alternative fuel sources for the Mediterranean basin brings together seven Arab states with France, Italy, Portugal, and Spain. These projects serve the Arab countries by providing non-oil jobs, so the U.S. (instead of ignoring this) should give the technical resources and expertise to start, join and lead these ventures.
SPEED THE PRODUCTION OF HYBRID CARS WHILE INCREASING CAR SAFETY.
Use Al Gore’s outsourcing solution: cap carbon emissions and permit carbon offsets in China and India against those caps, where bang for the buck is much higher. This is “foreign aid” without government, and improves those countries.
We should reduce production of C02, increase carbon sequestration and burial of carbon, subsidize environmental improvement, (invent the “green machine” [biogas] with switchgrass rather than coal to produce electricity. That helps control pollution. Sulphur dioxide markets we’re developing in China could be expanded to reduce greenhouse gases. We could help check de-forestation in Brazil and Indonesia. Pass the Climate Stewardship Act, which puts mandatory caps on heat-trapping gases. Follow California measures cutting global warming pollution from cars. Defeat coal to liquids bill and amendments. That’s too dirty.
Use carbon credits, carefully. Follow the example set by Europe’s mistakes. If carbon credits are adopted: auction the permits to permit emission of carbon dioxide (if they want to pump out more, buy more permits; the higher the price, the more they want to cut emissions); get the prices right so the price consumers pay for their energy reflects the cost of emissions of their source. If we pay that price, the inferior coal-fired plant product costs a lot more than using non-polluting power sources. For a transition period, continue to drill existing oil leases and burn coal if there’s no alternative, but significantly reduce our need for fossil fuel. While in transition we may also use switchgrass bio-fuels not tarsands, to preserve all food, plants and trees.
Create appliance standards: fluorescent light bulbs and high efficiency options on water heaters, kitchen appliances, room-insulation materials and standby power could save 110 new coal-fired 600 MW power plants by 2020. We ought to subsidize people’s purchase of these more expensive alternatives through a tax on carbon.
Pass the Bingaman (D, AZ) bill to require 15% of new power sources from wind, solar, biomass and other clean-energy sources by 2020---reduction the demand for fossil fuels as well as greenhouse gas emissions (30% of the House favored this bill).
But market forces alone are unlikely to curb our ever-growing appetite for oil. Until we have a successful national plan, different states should be permitted to choose their own methods of gaining energy independence based on their institutional and economic capacities, natural resources (wind in the mid West, hydropower in the Northwest) and political choices.
For utility rate cuts, the market alone will not be enough. Return from private market management of public utilities to utility rate regulation to save the $48 billion that taxpayers have paid through market utility deals up to May 31, 2007.
After that, the only secure way to change energy source is the more difficult changes in lifestyle and personal sacrifice. To help individuals, restore the federal government tax credits for residential scale wind energy just like for residential solar applications. Let’s cause lower home costs for energy (most energy bills increased while President Bush43’s administration took care of its friends in oil and gas). Minimize single occupant vehicles, use cars less and continue the current trend so we live in more dense, urban neighborhoods.
We should create convenient, no charge, systems to recycle electronic waste, protect childrens’ health by eliminating toxic flame retardants and protect water quality by in-stream flow rules. We should require producers to mitigate any effect on wetlands.
Internationally, developing village-level power technologies using fuel cells, solar power, and agricultural wastes. These methods are making more economic and environmental sense in India than massive investments in copper wires and coal turbines.
Individual states are helping. California passed the first building standards for energy efficiency in 1974, causing more efficient refrigerators. Their state PUC decoupled them to allow utility profits to grow while sales declined, setting separate targets for utility revenue and electricity usage. Excess revenue would be returned to consumers; any shortfall in revenue could be added to the next year’s consumer bills. California also passed a solar promotion program.
Clean Energy Initiative 937 has weathered another stormy legislative session. Despite numerous bills to weaken its energy efficiency and new renewables standards, I-937 emerged from the session not only relatively unscathed, but in some ways strengthened. Legislators considered other clean energy bills, including several on water and battery charger efficiency and the future of solar power. Subsidize “Green” homes and products. We should double the generating capacity of renewable energy over three years by our proposed $8.5 billion in spending. The Treasury Dep’t recently allocated $500 million in grants and tax breaks to renewable energy producers, bringing the Obama administration’s total funding for green power industries to $1 billion. The fight to save the environment is universal and bi-partisan, except for the last administration: President Bush told an interviewer “Kyoto would have wrecked our economy”; follow President Reagan’s Secretary of State George Schultz, who says “New ultra-light-but-safe materials can nearly redouble fuel economy at little or no extra cost”.
The EPA admits electricity bills will rise, but projects net benefits worth between $48 billion and $82 billion by 2030 thanks to better health and slightly less global warming.
Adopt Senator Maria Cantwell’s ‘cap and dividend’ bill best to collect the necessary votes by spreading the money received to the voters.
Currently, we’re using oil five times as fast as we’re discovering new reserves. Continue President Obama’s work to end our need for foreign oil. If we’re using oil, use domestic oil first. The conclusion of a 1987 study is that 86% of 1986 U.S. oil use could have been saved at an average cost of $2.5/bbl. The potential for oil saving and gas substitution since then shows technologies have improved to allow more alternatives. A study shows that the wide range of opportunities for energy may also enable oil companies and oil-exporting countries to make more profit at less risk than they do now. This would remove the national security, economic and environmental challenges of oil dependence.
Rules have been proposed to limit emissions of climate-changing gases from the manufacture of ethanol. 
We must reduce the flow of polluted or greasy storm water into our waterways, particularly cleaning up the septic systems dumping into Puget Sound or the Juan de Fuca Strait.
Pollution will be reduced because our economy is more service and less energy intensive production of goods and because homes use less energy. We may go to nuclear sources since our previously neglected science and technology sectors have not yet found enough alternative energy sources to match the $5/kwh price of coal. Regarding the old, deteriorating, nuclear plants, they must be restored to safe condition. Even though no nuclear plant has been built in the US in 35 years nearly 20% of our electricity comes from nuclear plants, and, in France’s plants, 7%.
Create a new regulatory regime that encompasses fuel production, reprocessing, and inspections (starting with the IAEA). It is less damaging than coal-fired power. In the meantime, develop the technology and invest in safer, cheaper alternatives: wind, solar, tidal flow. Correct the 2007 energy bill’s $50 million in loan guarantees to finance major expansion (nuclear costs $4-5 billion each) for 28 nuclear reactors.
Do not subsidize overusing oil, degrading soil, water and wildlife. Join the global Coalition to make buildings energy-efficient. (Bill Clinton) He slowed construction of any coal burning plants. 97 coal-fired plant applications have been rejected since 2001. The number of planned plants has dropped in the last five years from 150 to 60. Despite that, more than 600 coal-fired plants still produce about half of America’s power and will still produce 47% of it in 2030.
America has 500+ coal fired power plants. End the Power River plant. One hundred fifty projected nationwide new coal plants should be avoided. The U.S. and India (neither of which signed the Kyoto Protocol), together, are now scheduled to build about 850 carbon producing coal-fired plants. China far outpaces the U.S. in building cleaner coal-fired plants and has competition to produce more wind turbines than any other country. By 2012 the emissions of those plants will be five times the Kyoto reductions designed to stop the floods, infections, hurricanes, droughts, major Western wild fires (and even itchier cases of poison ivy) as well as massive changes in the world economy from global warming. We can succeed in holding carbon emissions to their current rate without choking off economic growth. But, even as to the rest, there is hope. Currently, carbon-free hydroelectric power from dams and carbon-free nuclear plants each provide a sixth of world power.
Solar development is the fastest. “(s)olar thermal’ is very costly (reckoned at $560 billion) but more likely to become affordable than the unlikely photovoltaic solar cells
Five coal-fired plants have been stopped.
In the drive to import less, America’s domestic production of gas can be increased although the supply and storage of liquefied natural gas for vehicles remains fraught with problems.
Fusion for energy is the ‘holy cow game changer’: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has 192 giant lasers which can deliver 50 times more energy than any previous fusion laser system, in a 10 story building: the hydrogen pellet reaches 800 million degrees Farenheit, far greater than exists at the center of our sun, carbon free, globally available, safe and secure and could be integrated seamlessly into our current electric grid…sun on earth…the pilot would cost the same as a current nuclear plant $10 billion, and Obama’s budget has $8 billion for renewable energy.
Try the new Illinois clean air alternative place, but not unless it works. Almost none of them can yet be built to capture the thousands of tons of carbon dioxide that burning coal spews into the atmosphere (influential technical experts cast doubt on gasification and the ‘tried and true’ ‘pulverized coal’ methods, declare false the industry allegations that the plants will be ‘capture ready’ and ‘capture capable’ when FUTURE cleaner processes are adopted, point out that most of the engineering work remains to be done, that carbon capture will require so much energy that it could reduce plant output by 10 to 30% and that cost would increase over the requirement of 10,000 BTUs of heat to make a kilowatt-hour of energy MIT study, Public Citizen agreeing). As soon as possible, end ethanol to increase food supplies and decrease their cost to foreign starving peoples. For one thing, some studies show it requires more petroleum to produce than it saves in fossil fuel use.
Another alternative is ‘post-combustion’ CCs (carbon capture and storage) where carbon is removed from the flue gases of power station chimneys of coal plans and sequestered in empty oil and gas fields. This embryonic technology works and the market for cleaning them up could be huge. The core technology is likely to come from Germany or Japan although U.S. companies like Carbon Capture & Storage Assn could bring project design, process management and finance.
THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SHOULD PURCHASE ALTERNATIVE ENERGY VEHICLES; JOIN OUR SENIORS IN CHOOSING CAR ENGINES 25% MORE EFFICIENT AND DECREASING THE BULK OF VEHICLES; grow food products that can be turned into diesel fuel, curtailing long hauls for food production and adjusting energy use SO WE WON’T NEED FOREIGN OIL WITHIN 10 YEARS.
Extend the federal clean-energy tax credits and enact a national renewable-power standard that would oblige states to expand their use of clean power sources. Then we have to get over the having a patchwork of electric utility fiefdoms.
Make the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission expand its investigation into the generation of power
BEFORE, BIPARTISAN MAJORITIES DELIVERED CLEAN CARS, HIGH-PERFORMANCE BUILDINGS, EFFICIENT EQUIPMENT AND SOLAR ENERGY INCENTIVES; NEW CARS WILL COST LESS TO OWN AND OPERATE. They’ll reduce our dependence on oil. We don’t need $20 million every day to import oil and gas; that’s more than the state spends on K-12 education. Saving just one day’s worth of oil and gas imports in Washington would save enough money to pay the Seattle Public Schools’ budget shortfall.
The President’s plan puts us in the ‘race to the top’ in education: he would give states more flexibility, track the progress of individual pupils, evaluate teachers on a range of factors, including pupil performance and would only change the worst schools with dramatic intervention. We should adopt a new set of highly demanding core standards in English and math to replace the current state-by-state standards, use the $330 million Obama has legislated to design tests aligned to these new standards, rebuild our entire K-12 system on a platform of accountability, attract more top-flight recruits into teaching and use technology very differently to improve instruction, change teacher pay for excellence rather than just extending longevity and lifetime benefits (we could hire fewer teachers and pay more to the fewer), move to a culture that supports innovation and build community and political support.,
Pre-kindergarten education will be most important and most felt, especially for English-language learners and residents of public housing.
Estimates of the cost of education vary by a wide margin, but all available figures suggest the cost has increased dramatically. Lower estimates suggest the cost of tuition at a four-year college or university, after controlling for inflation, increased by nearly 150 percent during the period from 1980 to 2011, while other estimates suggest a growth of tuition costs by more than 100 percent from 2000 to 2011 alone.(4) Similarly, available data suggests health care costs have grown radically, with one estimate suggesting a 700 percent increase in costs for private plans from 1969 to 2010.
Due to the default of the Washington State Senate, Washington State had lost federal education funds in April, 2014. The ‘no child left behind’ money is gone unless we fulfill our state constitution’s requirement that education be funded.
American pre-eminence in mass education has eroded since the 1970s, and now a number of countries have leap-frogged us in high school graduation rates, student performance and in college attendance. If you look for the classic American faith in the value of broad education to spread opportunity, you can still find it…in Asia.
The Congress has denied bankruptcy when student loans are now incredibly expensive and sometimes deceptively offered. Different ‘cures’ should be set up, like limits on repayment proportional to post-education earnings.
An examination of every score that Chicago students earned on state-mandated standardized tests last year reveals that charter schools don’t perform any better than traditional public schools. Since Brown v. Bd of Education more than 200 school desegregation cases remain open, and segregation is getting worse…through charter schools. Voucher has failed in Milwaukee and results on statewide math and reading tests are worse for voucher students than for their public school peers. One charter school closed, kept the money and moved to Florida to set up another. Black and Latina students are more likely to have inexperienced, low-paid, teachers, and far more likely to endure harsh discipline and to be suspended, starting in preschool. Absent other values we should reconsider charter schools.
The President supports charter schools when they are better and merit pay when it will draw better performance, not just based on test scores, accountability and transparency. We should also support a longer school year. Our grades are slipping (48th in math and science). Education amendments to NCLB to require college/career prep in science and math. We must avoid mere skimming of the best students into alternative schools. We must reduce poverty to improve education since better-off students better perform and improve the vocabulary used at home for lower income children. Diane Ravitch is Research Professor of Education at New York University and a distinguished historian of American education.
More charter schools and expanding the use of student test scores as ONE of the criteria for judging teachers and $4.3 billion has been provided.
Obama doubled the education budget, got $100 billion in the stimulus budget to improve America’s schools and a $5 billion budget for the specific purpose of encouraging educational innovation. The president believes education will reduce income disparity and boost productivity.The Congress, on the other hand, has cut education.NYT, The Carbon Dividend, 7/30/14, p. A21
The President must personally turn attention to education to increase our technical skills and understanding since our population has fallen behind in high school, college and quality of education since the 1970s. Public education dollars have democratized education in the West, which has also produced more engineers. These changes in education, especially for women, will also reduce population increases. Improve research and education where our inadequacies pose a greater threat to our national security than any potential conventional war.
The federal loan office should help underwater students by limiting collection per what earned.
SUPPORT 0-3 YEAR OLDS’ EDUCATION at that age when they learn fastest. A California study shows kids who are behind can be equally well prepared if we teach them early. We should address class differences in preparation by providing poor students with the social support and experience with which middle-class students come to school: North Carolina’s East Durham Childrens’ Initiative (like Harlem Children’s Zone), Yes to Education in Syracuse, N.Y., supporting access to afterschool programs and summer camps with social workers in schools, Omaha’s Building Bright Futures, Citizen Schools in Boston and Promise Neighorhoods may continue to give such grants. Aim for the accomplishments of Finland, with its famously high-performing schools. Schools providing food and free health care for students.with developmental needs addressed early and counseling services are abundant.
Be “Number One”; make an urgent, stronger, new commitment to public education so American children don’t continue to fall embarrassingly behind. (U.S. is 24th out of 29 in math literacy)
Set national achievement standards as to what’s expected Center for American Progress and Institute for America’s Future.
Set up an Education Trust Fund fully to fund, or provide matching funds (so we know what jobs are found in the current economy), set comprehensive standards for early childhood education, support teachers, reduce class sizes, create jobs by rebuilding crumbling schools, have early education for all except the home schooled and raise public awareness about the economic, political and survival perils of living beyond our means. Educate young people about their constitutional civic rights and duties by a prescribed simple curriculum to be taught in the schools.
Teach high school students life skills: budgeting, home maintenance, nutrition, parenting, job-hunting, and where they may do community service. Help colleges. And use the successful incentive to become college-educated (and gain future income) of requiring students to complete a college application as a school assignment.
School centered improvement works. 48 of 48 KIPP, in a southern school, worked incredibly hard and will go to college.
PROTECTING AMERICA’S SENIORS
Injured vets protected us, so we’ll restore their health and pay their ‘retirement’ benefits too. We‘ll reverse the House Budget Committee’s cut of $28 billion, over the next 10 years, in veterans’ benefits because 50% of veterans would lose their ONLY source of medical care.
We’ll support continued health care and protection against homelessness for veterans.
Small businesses overwhelmingly support veterans.
The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare (NCPSSM, a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)(4) organization whose mission is to protect, preserve, promote, and ensure the financial security, health, and the well being of current and future generations of Americans. It receives no federal, state or local government funding) stopped efforts to hold seniors earned benefits hostage to passing legislation preventing a government default and shutdown, prevented a Social Security Cost-of-Living Adjustmemt (COLA) cut and an increase in the Medicare eligibility age (both in 2013), stopped a proposal to increase Medicare premiums (2012), held our ground against the Congressional Super Committee negotiations to address the federal debt crisis by cutting Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, helped win the battle to save traditional Medicare, protected Social Security and Medicare funds from being cut by a balanced Budget Constitutional Amendment for the third time in over a decade (2011), fought to ensure Medicare was improved and strengthened as part of the ACA (2010), spearheaded the fight, as in 2008, to make seniors eligible for stimulus checks (2009), led the bettle to stop the harmful “Medicare Trigger” that would have imposed an arbitrary 45% cap on Medicare funding, helped persuade Congress to pass the Medicaid Improvements for Patients and Providers Act (MIPPA) (both 2008), helped persuade the HOUSE TO PASS LEGISLATION STRENGTGHENING mEDICAre , convinced Conress to increase funding levels and tghereby prevent massive furloughs at t he Social Security Administration (both 2007), thwarted the most serious attempt ever to partially privatize Social Security, launched an aggressive campaign to protect Social Security (COLAs) from soaring Medicare out-of-pocket costs, (both 2005), helped save Social Security funds from being cut under a Balanced Budget Constitutional Amendment by demonstrating overwhelming grassroots opposition (2004), prevented the full privatization of Medicare by helping defeat a dangerous House bill calling for a Medicare voucher system while continuing the fight to fix the misguided Medicare Modernization Act of 2003 that passed in its place (2003), succeeded in earning seniors who have reached ‘normal retirement age” the unlimited right to work withoujt losing some of theirSocial Security benefits, coordinated a coalition of senior organizations’ efforts to reauthorize the Older Americans Act (OAA)
America’s not broke. But government income has fallen! President Reagan’s federal spending was 20% higher than when he started and created a skyrocketing federal deficit, doubling it over previous Presidents (and Clinton ran surpluses). President Reagan ignored the deficit and the resulting interest costs for borrowing. Then his party’s subsequent presidents went to war and extra drug benefits without paying for them. Nevertheless, they blame the deficit on the OTHER party.
The deficit is down to 2.8% of GDP from 9.8% in 2009 and will be no higher than after WWII. This is caused, partially, by lower corporate tax rates. U.S. still gets 10% of its revenue from corporations but that’s less than the 33% from profits taxes in the early 1950s. President Bush43 got TARP passed; the deficit on President Bush43 expanded 104 percent; the deficit on President Clinton’s tenure only increased 14%;
DEFENSE: Airforce moving away from high cost arms
$150m/year cost if no response to climate changeFederal tax cuts have cut education. Instead, we will fund the states. President Bush43 got TARP passed; the deficit on President Bush43 expanded 104 percent; the deficit on President Clinton’s tenure only increased 14%;
Discretionary spending in President Bush43’s first term expanded — 48-49 percent Salon, 6/25/14Deficits were relatively modest until the economy collapsed in 2008. The deficit was projected to remain modest until 2012 when the expiration of the Bush tax cuts was expected to bring the government to a small surplus; but President Bush43’s two unpaid for wars, the deregulation-caused economic collapse of close to 10 percent of GDP in 2009 and 2010 and interest costs continuing large deficits through the present caused a worldwide recession. That recession led to a plunge in tax collections and increased spending on programs like unemployment insurance and food stamps. Unemployment compensation is very expensive (THERE WERE NO LARGE UNFUNDED INCREASES IN SOCIAL SPENDING SINCE 2007 nor were there big permanent tax cuts like President Bush43 enacted).
Ending the debt comes AFTER we get the jobs back. Industrial subsidies and tax breaks (worth $1 trillion a year) could decrease the deficit but that has not worked in 30 years of trying so reduction of excessive, unnecessary health care spending ($216 billion of Medicare savings are part of the health care reform legislation and there is so much inefficiency, waste and abuse in the system that cutting it should not result in reduction of benefits. Means testing of benefits, agricultural subsidies New Zealand gave up in 1984 and defense spending, where $487 billion could be saved, are the keys. The Pentagon now has much more money than it has requested. Because every $100 billion of deficit reduction will cost close to a million jobs in the near term compassionate deficit reduction is necessary, slowly, as the economy recovers. A stable, short-term infrastructure program and a one year continuation of the payroll tax cut for working families would be compassionate.
Wages are not rising, so WORKING AGE PEOPLE ARE NOW THE MAJORITY OF SNAP (food stamp) RECIPIENTS.
Our spending problem is how much we spend on subsidies for highly inefficient economic sectors, from health care to higher education and on entitlements for people who aren’t supposed to need a safety net---affluent retirees, well-heeled homeowners, agri-business owners. The welfare burdens of the 1950s were ended by President Clinton so the alleged dependency of 47% of the population may well not be tyheir fault…they shouldn’t be poor.
Democrats like Alan Grayson, or Independents like Bernie Sanders, may introduce a bill called the "Entitlement Reform Act of 2013," which could bring in the $1.5 trillion in corporate profits booked offshore but held in American banks, tax a third of it, and institute a $0.03 sales tax on risky Wall Street trading like the kind done in the derivatives and mortgage-backed securities markets. The first reform would bring be a $500 billion revenue boost over a ten-year period, the second would bring in between $350 billion and $1.5 trillion in a decade.
California Governor Jerry Brown, has balanced his budget.
First, we shall not use the preferred Republican plan proposed by Representative Ryan. He would wipe out the deficit cleanup. He would hand seniors a coupon and told to go find private insurance which they will not be able to afford when Medicare has become an essential lifeline for many. His privatization of Social Security would cut taxes on the richest 1% in half, giving them 117% of the plan’s total tax cuts, all without mentioning what programs he would be cutting Specifically regarding Representative Ryan’s plan, he says, in the first sentence of his summary (p.5), "Where the President has failed, House Republicans will lead." Huh? Blame the guy who's only been in office for two years for deficit problems that began with President Reagan? And what was Representative Ryan doing during President Bush43’s years? Voting for unfunded wars in Afghanistan and Iraq (>$1 trillion and counting). Voting for an unfunded Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit (>$1 trillion over 10 years). Voting against allowing the government to negotiate drug prices for Medicare Part D (which charges 58% more for drugs than the VA because the VA MAY negotiate). Voting for President Bush43’s tax cuts ($4.4 trillion over 10 years). The entire document ignores the fact that the Republicans, including Representative Paul Ryan, drove the country into an economic ditch during President Bush43’s years. Convenient omission? On page 14 in discussing the economics behind his Medicare proposal, he goes off on the same old Republican riff about how the private sector is wonderful and the government is evil when it comes to healthcare. He states that, in spite of the Obama's healthcare plan, "rapidly rising health-care costs remain as big a problem as ever. In 2010, health-care costs rose by over 7 percent compared to around 1 percent for all other goods and services." What does he FAIL to say? The rise in healthcare costs is actually starting to slow down. Healthcare cost growth has slowed by 2.5 percentage points in the past 9 months, according the most recent S&P Healthcare Economic Index released just yesterday! Medicare costs have risen only 400% while the cost of insurance premiums have risen 700%. Outright lies about what's causing the deficit? You decide
What else does Representative Ryan fail to say? Private health insurance costs have risen 7.97% in the past year, as opposed to a 3.22% increase in Medicare costs. And recent figures put the administrative costs of private health insurance at 7%, while Medicare is less than 2%! If this is the "kind of waste that is inevitable in a top-down, government-run system," why isn't our entire healthcare system like Medicare? Oh - that's right - that's what we would call "socialism."
And what is he admitting? Unless we make fundamental changes in our for-profit healthcare industry, the vouchers that seniors receive for CouponCare will not even begin to cover the gap between overall inflation and healthcare inflation.
I can't even write about how his tax cuts will create jobs and save the United States. I will just state that all of his projections are based on - what? Assumptions? Heritage Foundation ideology? Grrrr!
We shall time reduction of the deficit for after the economy will not be pushed back into recession. President Clinton had developed a surplus but President Bush43 and the Republican Congress slashed taxes, failed to pay for his voluntary wars and drug benefits while he gave tax cuts mostly to the rich and spent lavishly on those wars and benefits to people who need curative drugs; cutting taxes would continue depression as Roosevelt’s cuts did (we may use the deficit commission when it IS time to cut deficits); it was necessary to bail out the banks so there would be funds lent for recovery of business, employment, health care will be necessary to reduce our costs to what other, economically competitive countries charge; tax reform will be necessary and a VAT would be not be progressive but it’s more important to be progressive on the spending side, and who needs the level of consumption we used to have; we should link benefit levels in SS to life expectancy so that , as people live longer, future benefits would be modestly reduced while payroll taxes that support SS would be modestly increased. To obtain more support the increased taxes could be spread to the states which could then design programs with the local communities. Raising the debt ceiling wouldn’t grant the president any new powers; every dollar he spent would still have to be approved by Congress. Second, if the debt ceiling isn’t raised, the president will be forced to break the law, one way or another; either he borrows funds in defiance of Congress, or he fails to spend money Congress has told him to spend. Finally, just consider the vileness of that G.O.P. threat. If we were to hit the debt ceiling, the U.S. government would end up defaulting on many of its obligations. This would have disastrous effects on senior citizens, financial markets, the economy, the world economy and American standing in the world.
The future potential deficits of which Republicans warn do not come from social spending. They arise from the health care 33 or the 34 other industrial countries already provide to their citizens.
Senate working deficit: $4 trillion over 10 years through revenue raised by overhaul of the tax code, savings from changes to Social Security like Medicare and Social Security and cuts to federal programs with Plan B being Simpson/Bowles. In 2007, the last year before the Great Recession caused by deregulation, the deficit was a modest 1.3 percent of GDP. We can run deficits of this magnitude forever. The debt to GDP ratio was actually falling. The Congressional Budget Office projected that the deficit would remain modest and actually turn to a surplus when President Bush43’s tax cuts expired in 2011. This all changed when the economic downturn sent tax revenues plummeting and caused a sharp jump in spending on unemployment insurance and other established programs for counteraction of downturns. But the basic story is simple and straightforward: stop unpaid for wars (two unpaid for wars in his past, and for future defense budgeting an appropriation of 4% of GDP ($2.3 trillion over 2013 to 2022). Only 3 million jobs were created in eight years of President Bush43, versus 23.1 million jobs during President Clinton’s administration. Worse, wages and salaries declined, further decreasing Americans earnings and the tax revenues necessary to recovery. (The eight years of President Bush43 saw the largest fiscal erosion in American history. Revenues fell from 20 to 15%). IT’S NOT discretionary social costs, it is tax cuts and wars. Total defense spending could be reduced 5%, even 10%, without materially weakening American security if the cuts are done intelligently and are applied to current operations as well as the procurement of weapons. The voluntary American military presence in Afghanistan of 100,000 soldiers will cost around $5 billion a year.) Providing non-military jobs is more important than cutting the deficit. The Republican plan would cut 700,000 jobs, when government REVENUE comes from taxes paid to WORKERS. Work is best for Americans and the best for American economic growth.
Eliminating unnecessary weapons systems could perhaps save 2% to 3% of the GDP each year
NO BID CONTRACTS HAVE BEEN ENDED.
When Reagan took over in 1981, he inherited an annual deficit of $59b and a national debt of $914 billion; by the time he and his successor George H.W. Bush had finished their work they had quintupled their deficit and pumped the debt up to $4 trillion. AND he defunded school and health programs, workplace safety. 
In energy, health and environment. we want long-term results, which require investment in research and development, technology, infrastructure and education. Debt now costs us 25% of the federal budget. President Bush was the biggest spending president we’ve had in a generation, and it’s for private corporate interests, not the people. We shall recover the $548m President Bush has overpaid over the past three years to two British security firms that protect the US Army Corps of Engineers on reconstruction projects That was more than $200m over the original budget. Fainaru,Washington Post 8/12/07. They are spending too much voluntarily, and they aren’t any good at it.
The most straightforward way to solve the deficit would be to restore the tax code to the way it was before George W. Bush took office.  Roll back the tax cut to the better off, but spend on energy independence and health care because we must avoid the future downside of falling living standards, rising poverty and reduced medical care, which could come from immediate tax hikes and spending cuts.
We ought to reduce the deficit because China and India have both announced that they will buy their foreign exchange reserves in OTHER currencies instead of buying our, sinking, currency. They will know they should switch reserve currencies because they get zero real return from T bills and they have magnificent investment opportunities in their own countries. Larry Summers, IMF.
Republicans weren’t against big government. They knew that just seven programs make up 75% of federal spending: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, military pensions, civil service pensions, defense and interest on the debt. That’s what “big government” is. Republicans didn’t cutting a dime of it. In fact, under Bush, they’ve called for big spending increases. Debt interest alone is double under Bush’s plan. And this is before you toss in everything from NASA to the national parks to the National Institutes of Health, not to mention student loans, farm subsidies and homeland security. That spending takes up a good chunk of the quarter of the federal tax dollar that’s left, and Republicans vote for them every day. The hoax in saying Democrats do “big government” would become even clearer if Republicans admitted a related truth: today’s epic budget deficits are caused mostly by Bush’s tax cuts and war, not, as President Bush insisted, by some ‘Democrat’ spending binge. In fact, three Republican presidents have presided over the previous debt Clinton would have ended by 2012. Bush’s non-defense spending plan is just as expensive as Clinton’s, around 20%. And President Bush calls expiration of his tax cuts for the better off a tax INCREASE by the Democrats.
In fact, Grover Norquist, the Republican tax-cut strategist, said their real purpose in tax cuts is to “starve the beast.” i.e. make the federal government go broke. To him, the real point of the tax cuts was to create an endless cycle of deficit crises whose cure would be more cuts in SPENDING.
COUNTERPUNCH: THIS “RECOVERY”, COMPARED TO EVERY RECOVERY SINCE WWII, SHOWS REAL REVENUE GROWTH TRAILING THE AVERAGE OF ALL PREVIOUS RECOVERIES. So is the rate of new investment. So is the rate of job creation. But after Bill Clinton RAISED taxes and cut spending, we had faster revenue growth than now, a higher rate of new investment, more jobs, and a rapidly-vanishing deficit which would have decreased our debt to zero by 2012. And Bush’s tax cut to the better off who do not need them and don’t put as much of their money into the economy, was done when boomers, and their Social Security needs, are now much closer to retirement. This administration is BORROWING against Social Security, but not cutting pork nor, corporate welfare (farm subsidies, drug benefit that mainly benefits Pharma, etc); (the current administration has been pretending we have no future needs, including Social Security and health care. This incoherence is brand new. Eisenhower stood rock solid for prudent budgeting. Congressional Republicans and Democrats together put in the “pay-go” rules (pay as you go), and Democrats restored them as soon as they won the majority in 2006. They are, designed to make SURE that budgets will be balanced and public financing will be restrained. These restraints died in 2001, when the administration refused to support their renewal.
Actual spending has grown at an annual average of 4.35 % ABOVE INFLATION. Worse, new entitlements programs have been established, incomplete without funding…the Medicare drug reform law has a huge gap in coverage, so the sick have to fund it. No Child Left Behind was passed, was not funded, and does not improve education. Testing, by itself, doesn’t teach. It is also a federal intrusion in the states’ schools, and costs the states money which was not provided, so it creates a deficit for the states, too. Using simple projections, we can calculate that the fiscal path pursued by the Clinton administration would have led to a government approximately 15% smaller today than it actually is and no debt by the year 2012. But now, because of the impacts of the tax cuts later, we can anticipate even further declines in federal revenue, and even larger deficits.
Restore the Budget Enforcement Act (BEA) to make strategic and long-term choices about total spending and total taxing, all to avoid any hard landing in the economy. Continue the Democrats recent law for ‘pay-go’;
Violent crime is down in last six months of 2013. Crime, generally, has fallen by 44% in America over the past two decades, but during that same period the prison population has more than doubled, skewing heavily black and poor. Meanwhile the epidemic of white collar crime has overtaken the financial sector, as indicated by record breaking financial settlements but, to date, with very few imprisonments.
States are decriminalizing marijuana and scaling back 1970s-era drug laws with the result that admissions to state prisons have fallen from 689,536 in 2006 to 553,843 in 2012. We shall not continue to use pot laws as an excuse to bust racial minorities. That practice has become a civil rights issue. Marijuana’s effect is not good, but it is less dangerous and damaging than legal liquor. California has found that cannabis is a thirsty plant, taking water during drought and has sought to regulate it.
Marijuana use may be limited as tobacco use has successfully been limited by tobacco taxes and growing municipal smoking limits; the real ‘gateway’ drugs are tobacco and alcohol; only 9% of marijuana users develop a dependence per a wide variety of researchers.
The Airforce moving away from high cost arms.
The taxpayers will incur a $150m/year cost if there is no response to climate change. President Bush43 got TARP passed; the deficit on President Bush43 expanded 104 percent; the deficit on President Clinton’s tenure only increased 14%;
Twenty years and $70 billion after the War on Drugs began, American society is still inundated by cocaine and heroin. Increasingly, however, it is becoming obvious that we’ll never lick the drug problem as long as we deal with it as criminal behavior. There is simply too much money available to corrupt any efforts to put an end to drug dealing. The only way to win the war on drugs is to legalize their use and deal with the whole matter as a problem of health.Place criminals in successful rehabilitation programs (e.g. South Carolina and Rhode Island) since 40% of federal drug defendants were just couriers or low-level dealers. That will decrease the cost of our $52,000/year/prisoner prison system. We shall support the current bills which would reduce lengthy sentences for many low-level drug offenders and give low-risk inmates credit toward early release if they participate in job-training and drug treatment programs which reduce recidivism. We must end, with computer guidance, the frequent police approach of behaving “like commercial fishermen” throwing nets over whole city blocks….20,000 summonses, for instance, have been handed out annually for merely riding a bicycle on the sidewalk. That is clear misuse of taxpayer’s anti-crime money.
California has set up judicial restraining orders against home violence offenders.
“The weapons issue should have been considered decided in 1939, when the Supreme Court upheld the Firearms Act, finding it entirely consistent with the Second Amendment, which provides for arming of militias. Senator Gerald P. Nye, North Dakota, Republican, thought that the ability to manufacture weapons should be restricted to the government. President Eisenhower said “Every gun that is made signifies, in the final sense, a theft. There are 858 Murders a Year by Firearms in the U.S.. In Britain, where there is weapons control, murders by firearms in Britain are 30 times fewer per capita than in the US. The State of Washington has set the law that gunowners subject to protective order may have to turn over their weapon if the judge thinks they are a threat. There were 5,692 Washingtonians killed with a gun from 2001 to 2010 -- more than the number of American soldiers killed in action in the Iraq and Afghanistan war.
A federal judge upheld anti-assault weapons law.
Sadly, Americans are working longer and longer hours in the era of growing inequality. Bureau of Labor Statistics data suggests that the number of hours worked by married couples increased by about 20 percent from the early 1970s through the 2000s, despite the finding that the median family income stagnated, and despite a significant increase in labor productivity and corporate profits.6 These trends suggest that Americans' position has not stagnated; rather, most are in a much worse situation today because of growing health care, food and education costs, increased inequality, stagnating wages and increased work hours.
With the dramatic decline in the economic fortunes of most Americans, one would think that awareness of the growing class divide in the United States would be as pronounced as ever. Sadly, this is not the case. On one level, recognition of inequality and elite power is fairly high among Americans. For example, a December 2012 Pew Research Center poll found that 76 percent of Americans felt that "it's really true that the rich get richer while the poor get poorer." Similarly, a Pew survey from January 2012 revealed that 77 percent agreed "there is too much power in the hands of a few rich people and large corporations in the United States."
Results from the General Social Survey found that concern for inequality is longstanding, with approximately two-thirds of Americans regularly agreeing that "differences in income in America are too large" across the decade of the 2000s.
And yet, despite these findings, evidence suggests that Americans - while they are concerned about wealth inequality - are not sufficiently aware of the fundamental divide that exists within the American economic class system. Americans are concerned with growing inequality and with excessive corporate power, but they aren't aware of just how extreme the American wealth divide has become. This point was made clear in a 2011 Duke-Harvard study, which found that perceptions of inequality were far less extreme than actual inequality.
Surveying a nationally-representative sample of respondents, the study found that Americans thought that the wealthiest 20 percent retained 59 percent of all wealth, when in reality they held more like 84 percent (a 25 percentage point difference). Differences between perceptions and reality became even more extreme when comparing what Americans wanted the wealth distribution to look like, in contrast to what it looks like. Respondents said that the "ideal" wealth breakdown would allow the richest 20 percent just 32 percent of all wealth, compared to their actual 84 percent (an astounding 52 percentage point difference).
The above data suggest that Americans are not as aware of the chasm between haves and have-nots as they should be. If half of Americans share just 1.1 percent of all wealth, one would hope that most Americans would recognize this basic fact, as well as the reality that our country is increasingly divided between the haves (those who report some form of financial wealth) and the have-nots (those with zero financial wealth). Unfortunately, this is not the case for a strong majority of Americans. As of December 2011 (the last time the question was surveyed), the Pew Research Center found that nearly six in ten Americans (58 percent) rejected the idea that American society is " divided into two groups, the haves and the have-nots."
This finding seems all the more strange considering that just 46 percent of Americans categorized themselves as " haves," and nearly four in ten (38 percent) designated themselves as "have-nots" - strongly overlapping with the recent finding that 40 percent of Americans hold no financial wealth.
Much of the reason for rejecting the idea that America is divided between haves and have-nots comes from the public's excessive optimism. The December 2011 Pew survey found that 58 percent of Americans agreed "most people who want to get ahead can make it if they're willing to work hard." A majority of Americans rejected the attempt to frame the US as divided between haves and have-nots in most every Pew survey done from the mid-1980s through 2011. This is likely due in part to the naïve assessment of 85 percent of Americans that they are part of the "middle class," despite the fact that the bottom 40 percent of Americans earned just 10 percent of all income, and that they earned far less than the median national family income of approximately $50,000 a year (28 percent of households earned less than $25,000 a year, and the next 12 percent earned less than $35,000). The optimistic view that "everyone is middle class" is blatantly contradicted by the finding (post-2008) that the vast majority of new wealth created (93% of all annual income gains) goes to the wealthiest one percent, and that half of Americans have no financial wealth. The long-standing conviction that America is not divided along class lines, and that those willing to work hard will be rewarded, appears to be the relic of a bygone era. This delusion is held by Americans who cling to the promise of prosperity from a system that is increasingly leaving the masses behind.
Americans do recognize the problem of growing inequality, but their understanding of economics doesn't seem to include comprehension of the economic class system under which we live. The failure to acknowledge the divide between haves and have-nots, and the refusal to even recognize that there are have-nots to begin with, speaks to a longstanding American individualistic culture in which the failures of the poor are rationalized as "deserved" due to their alleged lack of work ethic or commitment to personal sacrifice in the pursuit of eventual prosperity. Americans' lack of class-consciousness, however, is an entirely predictable product of two major factors: socialization and material privilege. To put it simply, those who have been indoctrinated to ignore America's class divide, and those who are on the winning side of that class divide (the materially privileged and affluent) are the most susceptible to propaganda that celebrates America as the land of "endless opportunity" for those willing to work hard enough.
National statistical data demonstrate that people are the product of the environment in which they live - whether one is talking about the powers of affluence or socialization. My analysis of national surveys from the Pew Research Center during the 2000s demonstrates this point clearly. First, the lack of critical class-consciousness is very much the product of socialization forces, as related to where one gets their information and how one grows up. Most specifically, denial that the US is divided between haves and have-nots is statistically a function of one's partisanship, one's ideology, one's working vs. non-working-class background and media exposure. Analyzing Pew surveys, I find that class deniers are statistically more likely to be Republican, conservative, Fox News viewers, "born again" Evangelicals, and from non-union households. The connection between family background (growing up socialized with conservative and Republican values) and reactionary political and economic attitudes has long been known in the political science community, so the above findings should not be extremely surprising. One should not be surprised that those inculcated with Republican, conservative and Evangelical values (as children and adults) are more likely to embrace conservative and reactionary ways of looking at the world that deny the importance of class conflict and divide. Furthermore, being socialized within a union-household is also expected to produce individuals with a critical class consciousness and awareness of the material conflict between management and owners on the one hand, and union activists and members on the other. Finally, the connection between Fox News viewership and embrace of reactionary, pro-upper class capitalist values is hardly surprising.
But socialization via indoctrination is not the only factor causing individuals to deny the existence of a class divide. Material affluence is important too. The Pew Research Center regularly surveys Americans on other parts of their personal background, which tend to be strongly correlated with denial of the class divide. My statistical analysis of Pew data suggests that a number of other demographic factors are significantly related to individuals denying that there are haves and have-nots. These demographic factors include: an individual's sex, race, their education level, the financial and occupational well being of individual respondents, and the financial and occupational health of the community in which respondents live. These correlations suggest that the typical profile of someone who denies the class divide is a white, highly educated male, who lives in a well-off community in which plenty of jobs are available, who feels financially well-off, and who would personally classify his own economic status as a "have" rather than a "have-not." Such relationships should not be surprising either. Those who have grown up in affluent communities, and who benefit from material affluence as adults stand on the winning side of the class divide. These individuals look at much of the public anger at the current economy and try to generalize their own positive experiences to those who are less fortunate and often denied the opportunities available to them. A predictable line of questioning and rationalization of the status quo I've heard so many times from privileged Americans goes something like this: "What are these people complaining about? I worked hard and have been financially successful. So that means anyone can do it, and these people are simply complainers who want something for nothing."
Many will question why an individual's lack of class-consciousness is an important issue for discussion. It's critical because the class divides between the rich and everyone else is real and growing, and economic inequality is at a record high. Recognizing that we are a nation divided between haves and have-nots is essential if one is to adequately understand the economic problems we face today. The days of Horatio Alger stories with promises of rags to riches are over - if they ever existed to begin with - and we do our society no service by continuing to perpetuate them. Working harder today no longer means that one will be "better off" than one's parents, or even that one will achieve upward mobility when it comes to financial wealth. At a time when 93 percent of all income gains are captured by the top one percent and people find themselves working longer hours for less, promises of hard work and sacrifice leading to prosperity seem naïve at best. This conclusion might seem depressing to many, but it's a reality in an increasingly plutocratic modern economy.
The good news is that Americans appear to be near a critical tipping point when it comes to recognizing the importance of the class divide. While 58 percent of Americans denied that the US was divided between haves and have-nots at the end of 2011, that number was much closer to an even split just a few years earlier. In late 2007, Pew reported that 48 percent of Americans agreed that the US was divided between haves and have-nots, while 48 percent also rejected this characterization. The timing of the poll is important, because late 2007 represented the early stages of the long slide toward the bursting of the housing bubble (which was fully apparent by mid- to late-2008) and the eventual financial-economic collapse in late 2008. Many Americans are naively hoping against hope that the "good old days" that existed prior to the 2008 collapse are just around the corner, if only we are willing to make the necessary sacrifices to put ourselves on a path toward future prosperity. This assessment is unrealistic and should be stricken from American minds. We need to replace it with a more sober assessment recognizing the dire state of Main Street America. We need to move toward a more realistic understanding of the way in which our world works today. The world in which we live is characterized by rapidly shrinking life opportunities for the masses.
Until we recognize the gravity of the problems before us, we can't effectively address concerns like growing corporate power and inequality, Wall Street corruption, and the corporate business elite's war on the middle, working class and the poor. Material affluence will always play a major role in creating incentives for the privileged to deny the class divides in America. But those on the Left can do much to challenge the class denial narrative by refocusing our efforts on rejecting an informational culture that denies the existence of an economic class division between the haves and have-nots. There are many forces out there working toward indoctrinating Americans on the issue of class inequality, but that doesn't mean we have to leave them unchallenged. The victory of Republican, conservative, Evangelical, and Fox News propaganda is far from assured in the era of high unemployment and economic stagnation in which most find themselves today. We can begin to develop a critical culture of class-consciousness by embracing the most basic of facts: We are fundamentally and increasingly a nation divided between haves and have-nots.*58 Murders a Year by Firearms in Britain, 8,775 in US; Murders by firearms in Britain are 30 times fewer per capita than in the US. (photo: file)
President Obama "would actively support reinstating a ban on assault weapons, limiting the capacity of ammunition magazines, limiting ammunition purchases, placing ‘signatures’ on ammunition permitting tracing to the seller, closing the ‘gun-show’ loophole allowing people to purchase weapons without a background check." Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) says Democrats would also consider "including other ideas like limiting high capacity magazine clips, beefing up background checks, expanding mental health services, and looking at violence in movies and video games. Other possibilities include an ammunition excise tax and gun owner liability. The Second Amendment didn’t bar regulation, which has been regulated since blacks were denied possession of weapons after the Civil War. Background checks, fingerprinting of ammunition and casings may be done.
Currently, approximately 500,000 guns are stolen each year in this country and more than a quarter of all guns that are used in crimes were stolen from their registered owners. Currently it is not mandatory to report a gun theft.
If a gun is improperly stored and stolen from a home or person and then used to cause injury or death, the owner should be held liable for providing the weapon. In nine states already, gun owners can be held criminally liable for the death or injury of a child if their gun was improperly stored and causes injury. There is fairly extensive legal precedent for charging somebody with negligence or reckless indifference for behaviors that lead to preventable harm, so why not extend that to gun ownership.
States with low gun ownership rates and strong gun laws have the lowest rates of gun death. States with weak gun laws have far higher rates of firearm-related death. Even when gun deaths decreased the total number of people shot went up nearly 30%.
To the small extent that the mentally ill cause violence we are unprepared because states have cut at least $4.35 billion in public mental health spending from 2009 to 2012. 
Regulation, under pressure, has declined. The Congress may pass the Fix Gun Checks Act, could require that states set higher standards for granting permits for concealed weapons, prohibit guns from public places like parks, schools and churches, require record-keeping and licensing requirements in the sale of ammunition and strengthen the enforcement capabilities of the BATFE. Regulation could be defeated because a majority of lawmakers received NRA donations, but 52% now favor regulation
Stop U.S. acts which INCREASE terrorism. Five years later, terrorism is on the rise everywhere, including, in the Oklahoma bombing, inside America. Mainly, the chances of attack would more likely be reduced by ending attacks on Muslims and closing foreign military bases.
Use a more flexible and lasting emergency response to reduce the impact of even successful attacks. The nation is united to defy terrorism, but we must firsts clean up the Emergency Alert System (“a mess”); 90% of the cities have not received funding allocated by the current administration which could have been paid for with the costs of the war against a country which did not attack us. A third of the counties have NOT received any federal funding for first responders. The rampage shootings of this kind only appeared in the late 1980s, during President Reagan.
A current campaign is to ask each gun owner whether it is locked up. If it is we are protected against kids’ misuse of guns. We know where to look. Guns are mostly owned by whites.
Guns could become less a threat to our families and people. Note that gun crime fell steadily throughout the 1990s and early 2000s; only a third of households now have guns, down from 54% in 1977. Guns could be made much safer, with child-proof locks and a STATE system of registration for guns and gun owners. We support the states’ choice to make their own decisions on gun policy based on their local knowledge and conditions. But, as Democratic Governor Dean said, don’t ‘inflict regulations on states having no agreed problem with guns’.
The possession of guns should be limited after removing the phrases alleged to have allowed it from the Constitution. The Constitution should read: “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms when serving in the Militia shall not be infringed.”
End ‘Shoot First’. Support steps to control gun and ammunition so we may control murder of family members, reduce taxes (tax dollars are spent on medical emergencies and police work cleaning up after the gun-toters shoot people 'in self-defense'). Present your case against ‘self-defense’ loyalty, and in favor of fairness, to people with firearms and the safety and authority of our police (who are threatened by concealed weapons and have to spend time against people who carry weapons). Statistics show 1) that we are right to protect families and people against these threats; and 2) that THESE issues win recent elections.
The problem is that the United States Supreme Court, in DC v. Heller (2010) held that the right to bear arms DOES apply to individuals and not just the ‘well-regulated militia’. Further, it ruled in McDonald v. Chicago (2010) that this right must be acknowledged by state and local governments and not only by the federal government. If they stand, this may require alteration of 20,000 gun laws in the country (source, NRA). The court, in Heller, said the right is not “a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose”. So the courts are not stopping states and localities from preventing ownership, without background checks, of felons and the mentally ill from owning guns. It does not prevent us from keeping guns out of schools or government buildings. Withiin that decision we may require reasonable restrictions on weapons, including who can have them and under what conditions, where they can be taken and what types of firearms are available. Our crime prevention public safety public officials should defend such statutes and codes to the lower courts to secure our safety.
We protect hunting rights and the freedom to protect ourselves and our families. We support the right of individuals to own firearms.
The Brady Bill (1994) has kept guns out of the hands of 800,000 felons, fugitives and wife-beaters, without burdening a single decent, law-abiding American. We support law enforcement agencies monitoring the purchase of firearms through an appropriate waiting period to make a criminal background check of the purchasers, and encouraging the safe handling and storage of firearms.
We must regulate weapon sales since 9 of 10 terrorists successfully bought guns in the last five years. There are ten terrifying reasons to oppose the gun show loophole: 1) a Mac-10 only costs $795; 2) 10% of the guns used in crimes by juveniles were sold at gun shows and flea markets; 3) handguns cost only $494; 4) 63% of private sellers sold guns to purchasers who said they could not pass a background check; 5) handgun ammunition costs only $12 .95; 6) the guns would not be bought by others for crime-bound kids if they’d had to submit to any kind of check at all; 7) 25-50% of the vendors at most gun shows are unlicensed dealers; 8) semi-automatic and automatic weapons cost only $495; 9) no background checks are required by unlicensed sellers; 10) AK-47 replacement parts are only $4.99 to $49.99.
Presidents Clinton and Carter both believe that the ‘War on Drugs’ is a failure; return to other, more successful, less costly methods.
Move to reduce gang crime, simultaneously proposing national service.
We must take profit-making companies out of our prison system. Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), GEO Group, Inc and Management and Training Corp run prisons and spent in the region of $45 million over the past 10 years in lobbying state and federal governments. They saw their profits soar as they scored more government contracts, ensuring immigrant detention as a lucrative growth market costing money they take from taxpayers. Hundreds arrested in arms ‘parade of ants’ to Mexico, which sent more than 700 weapons through straw buyers crossing the border with weapons in their door panels…hard to catch American arms. Our laws are less stiff than the Mexican laws. American shops have armed the drug cartels
Ask ‘how much education and health do you want to give up to put more non-violent offenders in prison at $52,000 of taxpayers’ money every year?
Preventive detention inside US without trial proposed, constitutionality of which depends on the fairness of the process used to decide
We must end the fear and vengeance, Texas and the South, policy of jailing 7 times more prisoners than Canada. Reform prisons. Stop training inmates better criminal methods by putting them in prisons with experts. End imprisonment of marijuana users with no history of violence or of any significant selling activity (three quarters of the drug offenders in our state prisons were there for nonviolent or purely drug offenses and they are 47.5% of all arrests). Treatment would cost less and end the criminal operations in 230 American cities, would end Phoenix record of 370 kidnappings in 2008, New York’s proposed reforms would grant judges’ discretion to send many first and second time offenders to substance-abuse treatments programs instead of jail and would expand the state’s drug treatment infrastructure. Attorney General Holder says the administration will end federal raids on providers of medical marijuana in the thirteen states that allow it, provided that they violate no state laws.
California’s current $16 billion deficit results largely from excess prison population. But now prisoners who commit a new crime that is non-serious, nonl-violent, and non-sexual toohas been sent to a county jail instead of prison so that the flow of new admissions into the prisons has begun to dry up. And sheriffs can do many things to release inmates safely. For instance, about three in four people in jail on any given day have not been convicted of anything, are only there because they cannot afford bail and could be let out until trial.
End the death penalty. It costs more than imprisonment and does not deter. The amendment should read: “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments such as the death penalty inflicted.”
Use DNA tests as evidence to assure convicts are the guilty
To avoid spending more than other countries on prisons, reduce applicability of ‘three strikes you’re out’ law and mandatory sentencing which has exploded the prison populatin in the 1990s; attempt to use the alternative sentencing of Malcolm Young, executive director of the Sentencing Project. Avoid maximum security prisons which cost $57,000 per year per offender. Static, Goodman, Hyperion, New York, p. 170,1,2
Use the Latin American proposal to have international debate on world drug policy. Prohibition has failed, drug use is a public health problem and marijuana should be legalized (and taxed).
Let’s end the ‘corporate HAND-IN-THE TILL’ SCOTUS provided in Citizens United.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates, from the Republican administration, has announced cuts of $78 billion over the next five years. The revenues of 17 of the top 20 American weapons-makers shrank in 2013. We could now share the load of world defense and turn to “make do and mend” upgrading existing equipment. France, Germany and England lead the recent intervention in Libya. This saves American taxpayers’ money, cuts down Muslim anger and encourages our allies to spend what we used to spend. We control the seas and can’t be beat in the air, but changes are cutting down the U.S. advantages. Costs are increasing rapidly, while the average acquisition cost has increased by 120% according to the General Accounting Office. In fact, the policies that have gotten the US in trouble in recent years have been activist offense, not defense. Taking and holding territory is more expensive, and we should have no interest in expanding further. What’s more we have encouraged a culture of waste and inefficiency.
President George H. W. Bush41 decided to retire almost all the tactical nuclear weapons since they were militarily useless and imposed significant burdens on the armed forces in terms of money, manpower, and time. Colin Powell favored abandoning them in the 1990s when he was chair of the Joint Chiefs. These weapons are deeply unpopular with European publics. At the 2010 NATO summit, Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Norway joined together to call for the removal of these weapons from their continent. A senior defense official said “we pay a king’s ransom for these things and…they have no military value.” For decades, Washington has provided its allies in Europe with a credible nuclear deterrent, and it should continue to do so. But maintaining its tactical nuclear weapons in Europe is a particularly ineffective and wasteful way of keeping the continent safe. 
History suggests retrenchment would work. Instead of modernizing them the U.S. should ask NATO to permit them to expire at the end of their planned service lives, roughly ten years from now. America, via NATO, now enjoys overwhelming conventional military superiority over Russia. Previous retrenchments resulted in those states being more likely to avoid militarized disputes and to resume their former rank in defense instead of offense. Why should the American taxpayer, paying $2,065 each in taxes to cover the cost of national defense compared with $1,000 for Britons, $340 for Germans, and $340 for Japanese, shoulder a disproportionate load in securing the world? For now, technology transfers, arms sales, and diplomatic mediation are much less expensive. Chinese or North Korean problems do not demand the 30,000 soldiers currently stationed in each country, but, instead, rapid-response forces with strong reserves. Ensuring the flow of cheap oil is important, but armed interventions and forward deployments are not the best way to achieve that goal. Afghanistan and Iraq costs $118 billion, only $42 billion less than last year. The Institute for Policy Studies recently concluded that the U.S. could slash more than $77 billion from the 2012 defense budget across eight different programs. The Pentagon should devote fewer resources to maintaining and developing its capabilities for engaging in unimportant, faraway conflicts. We are way past the point of diminishing returns and should better spend the money on stimulating the U.S. economy.
President Obama succeeded in canceling additional F-22s despite fierce lobbying and Pentagon demands He also cut the navy’s unneeded fleet of stealth destroyers and the army’s manned ground vehicles.
With a large deficit and an enormous amount of unmet needs, it is absurd that the United States continues to spend almost as much on defense as the rest of the world combined. The U.S. must be a leader in the world in disarmament on costly and ineffective tactical nuclear weapons, not in the sale of these weapons. There’s progress. Congress decided against spending some $140 million to build an unnecessary, costly, unproven missile defense site in the eastern United States then finalized the annual military spending bill last month.
American defense priority, must continue its shift to Asia. The U.S. Pacific fleet has jointly conducted military exercises with China, Singapore, Brunei, Mexico and Norway. The exercises have included weapons firing, supply transportation, damage control, anti-piracy and disaster relief drills as well as coordinated interceptions, landings and joint assaults by warships and helicopters. Chinese sailors participate in press conferences, basketball and football matches and a 5-kilometer cross-country race as well as joint defense. Working and personal relationships have developed dramatically over the last two years. Cooperation and reduction of risk have occurred. China has repeatedly stated that its military spending is defensive in nature.
Regarding classified defense papers, Al Gore pointed out that Edward Snowden revealed more laws broken by others than he committed himself. Daniel Ellsberg calls him the greatest patriot whistleblower he’s known in forty years, but he says that, until the Espionage Act gets reformed, Snowden can never come home safe and receive justice…he would not get a fair trial, despite what Senator Kerry says.
Since, now, wars against guerillas do not end and new threats always emerge, we must reset America’s military, cut inertia and reduce short-range airdraft and tanks. Each service must develop more capabilities (more robotics systems, protection of existing special operations and cyberspace capabilities) and cut overlapping command structures.
Education has a far better record than the military at defeating militancy. Given that fact we should spare defense for education of all youth. There is no force more powerful to transform a society. Our problem is that our better priorities necessary funds are taken since the defense budget doesn’t have any enemies in Congress. We have to fight Congress to cut programs. The Pentagon currently has plans to invest $9 billion over the next five years to boost the efficiency and protect the energy supplies of U.S. military equipment. Almost 90% of these funds will go toward reducing the demand for fuel in combat, mostly by improving the efficiency of everything from battleships to fighter jets. We may insist, if their ability to get votes continues, also to continue the development of the same at home policy priorities, even if by putting them in the military budget. Fund more energy-efficient generators, shelters, and lighting as well as improved energy storage and electricity-distribution equipment. 
Stimulate innovation beyond the military (which inventions will bring about greater efficiency in domestic mail delivery, commercial airlines and large retailers as previously) and help reduce the carbon footprint of many businesses. Some of the world’s most important technologies, from semiconductors to the Internet, have resulted from collaboration between the U.S. military and private industry, and the U.S. energy sector will likely benefit from that pattern as well.
As an aside, if you want to achieve immortality, see what you can do about getting yourself turned into a Pentagon program. Our super-funded super-empowered national security state has become a leviathan. Decisions to use force have become painless and slick, almost automatic.
President Reagan happened to be in office before Russian communism collapsed of its own economic failures, but the real measure of his foreign policy was the clandestine Iran-Contra weapons affair in which the President Reagan’s administration supplied weapons to Iran and Nicaragua. 47% of Americans want the United States to be LESS ACTIVE in world affairs due to lost leverage by the four prior administrations (just 19% who want us to be more active). Further, it is not easy to counterbalance China when those four administrations left us owing China $1.4 trillion.
American defense, as well as general priority, has shifted to Asia. The U.S. Pacific fleet has jointly conducted military exercises with China, Singapore, Brunei, Mexico and Norway. The exercises have included weapons firing, supply transportation, damage control, anti-piracy and disaster relief drills as well as coordinated interceptions, landings and joint assaults by warships and helicopters. Chinese sailors also participate in press conferences, basketball and football matches and a 5-kilometer cross-country race. Working and personal relationships have developed dramatically over the last two years. Cooperation and reduction of risk have occurred. China has repeatedly stated that its military spending is defensive in nature.
So we should fight where we must, fix what we can and work with and through allies. In the Middle East we must try to broker a power-sharing deal in Syria between Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iran and their proxies. Iran and Russia must be a part of the diplomatic solution required because the American public and President Bush’s Great Recession have sapped defense spending. President Obama has met their test by outspending the opponents on defense, but the $1.4 trillion of the previous president’s wars on Iraq and Afghanistan has little to show for it. Al Qaeda’, which only began after President Bush43 actually said we should ‘return to the Crusades’, are in the mainstream of the Arab world now. Given guerillas, religious opposition of Shia and Sunni, there are no conventional military solutions. Regarding the (Senator McCain) allegations of ‘weakness’, these critics who pin all the blame on President Obama are wrong. It was not he who sent troops into the credibility-sapping streets of Iraq. In diplomacy, we should spend our time and money building the coalitions with Malaysia, Myanmar, Vietnam and the Philippines. Europe and other countries, instead of relying excessively on the American taxpayer, should pay by contributing to diplomacy. The Department of ‘Defense’ is misnamed because what it does is enforce American foreign policy. A 2011 Pew survey of veterans of Afghanistan and Iraq found that half thought the war in Afghanistan wasn’t worth fighting, and nearly sixty per cent thought the Iraq War wasn’t worth it either
The Airforce is moving away from high cost arms.
If we do not respond to climate change defense costs will rise$150m/year. Federal tax cuts have cut education. Instead, we will fund the states.
We’ve escaped the resistance to the draft. Change: when we must go to war, let’s PAY for going instead of sticking it to the taxpayer when nothing was won. END the secret military. LEAVE to the State Department what’s being done by the armed forces. Don’t give decision-making to the army. The National Guard and Reserves should be civilian work. END privatization of war and military. Don’t respond to every international problem. Limit our nuclear structure to it’s possible missions. Return the military choices to the Congress (end the ‘imperial presidency’ used to save Reagan in Iran contra).Our nation is better than it was in 1946 when the movie first appeared. Women have gained economic power and reproductive rights; we enacted Civil Rights and Voting Rights and, through Medicare and Medicaid, dramatically reduced poverty among the elderly; we began to tackle environmental devastation; we stopped treating gays as criminals and have even started to recognize equal marriage rights. We elected and then re-elected the first black president of the United States. We have enacted the bare beginnings of universal healthcare.
Senator Gerald P. Nye, North Dakota, Republican, thought that the ability to manufacture weapons should be restricted to the government. President Eisenhower said “Every gun that is made signifies, in the final sense, a theft. The Department of ‘Defense’ is misnamed because what it does is enforce American foreign policy. A 2011 Pew survey of veterans of Afghanistan and Iraq found that half thought the war in Afghanistan wasn’t worth fighting, and nearly sixty per cent thought the Iraq War wasn’t. The United States, a nation founded on opposition to a standing Army, is now a nation engaged in a standing war. Bacevich locates the origins of America’s permanent war more than a decade before 9/11. “During the entire Cold War era, from 1945 through 1988, large-scale U.S. military actions abroad totaled a scant six. Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, however, they have become almost annual events”.
We must have strategic generalship, not just the “Global War on Terror).
Returning to the sensible defense policies of George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton would in no way damage America’s security. Come home and rebuild America; turn to Special Operations since we’ve already agreed to cut back planned future increases by $487 billion (recapitalize rather than modernize, and quality, not quantity, Cooperate with China on trade and global economic stability [China voted FOR 5 Iran sanctions; our U.S. Navy will continue to dominate]). Give less defense to Europe’s “free riders; keep casualties low and wars short; use an ‘indirect approach to preserving order in the developing world, avoid direct interventions; spend the money on training, advising, equipping and supporting allies. Most experts would agree on spending less. Tighten the generous health and retirement benefits for military personnel and reform the way we acquire new weapons. Follow Simpson-Bowles, cutting that $550 billion recommended by the centrist think tank Centrist Way; Does the number of warships we have and are building really put America at risk when the U.S. battle fleet is larger than the next 13 navies combined, 11 of which belong to allies and partners? Between $3.2 and $4 trillion taxpayer dollars have been spent in two wars. 2012: The budget deficit is overwhelmingly a product of winner-take-all politics, and the increasing health care costs. To continue un-cut defense spending assures a continued deficit. Since military spending is considerably in excess of what is required for America’s legitimate national security needs, it should be cut substantially. Economists tell us that reductions in military spending will have far less negative impact on jobs than comparable reductions in medical care or infrastructure. In retrospect, why Vietnam? We misplaced faith in military, intervened in ANOTHER’S civil war when only political victory could win it (Ho had more support and we should have known that because Ho could do what governments DO: collect taxes, replenish food supplies and draft soldiers, and ‘our side’ was militarily inferior, had endemic corruption and insufficient popular support). We just blundered into other peoples’ history. Victory never came despite losing 58,000 soldiers, sending half a million soldiers, 8 million tons of bombs and could not preserve an independent noncommunist South Vietnam, 4 million Vietnamese and hundreds of thousands of Cambodians and Laotians.
We are, since the 1990s, reduced from 60% of the global weapons market to about 30%.
Why not use EU’s Common Security and Defense Policy, which provides common action without rushing to war. Especially since the last decade has seen fewer war deaths than any decade in the past 100 years. Today’s asymmetrical guerrilla wars will never produce anything like the siege of Leningrad. The reason the world SEEMS more violent is just the press, TV and computer screens. War SEEMS more prevalent but is mostly more technical. Recent technological changes are making war less brutal, not more so. Last year more Americans died from falling out of bed than in all U.S. wars combined. And a military conflict (particularly with China’s biggest customer and debtor) would impede China’s global trading posture and endanger its prosperity. Since Mao’s death, China has been hands down the most peaceful great power of its time. China’s military hasn’t fired a single shot in battle in 25 years.
GAO found $70 billion in waste in Defense. Waste of taxpayer dollars, 7 ways. The top EU court has smacked down their surveillance law.
American military dominance makes us less safe, less prosperous and less free Officiers, according to Omar Bradley, head of the Joint Chiefs in 1959, must ‘mothball’ their policy choices. We must reduce the use of private defense contractors (Halliburton, DynCorp, CACA and Blackwater) since that lessens legislative and public oversight. We shall set up defense conversion plans so our dedicated vets have jobs when we bring them back from Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
We are not less safe from military attack so we should put the American taxpayers’ money in OUR ECONOMY instead of spending more for thirteen straight years until 2007 for defense. Anyway, it hasn’t been DEFENSE since “W” attacked Iraq, which had not attacked us. In 2010 a series of high-powered reports set out 15-20% reductions in the Pentagon budget. It’ll be tough to win those votes in the Congress since the money likes it, but LET’S GET OUR PRIORITIES STRAIGHT…FUND JOBS HERE, EDUCATION TO REMAIN THE FUTURE NUMBER ONE ECONOMY, not number one military.
Subject: StepsToward Liquidating the Empire as per Chalmers Johnson:
1. We need to put a halt to the serious environmental damage done by our bases planet wide. We also need to stop writing SOFAs (Status of Forces Agreements) that exempt us from any responsibility for cleaning up after ourselves.
2. We must end the burden of our empire of bases and of that loss of the taxpayers’ money.
3. We must end the use of torture. In the 1960s and 1970s we helped overthrow the elected governments of Brazil and Chile and underwrote regimes of torture that prefigured our own treatment of prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan. (See, for instance, A.J. Langguth, Hidden Terrors, on how the United States spread torture methods to Brazil and Uruguay.) Dismantling the empire would potentially mean an end to the modern American record of using torture abroad.
4. We need to cut the ever-lengthening train of camp followers, dependents, civilian employees of the Department of Defense, and hucksters - along with their expensive medical facilities, housing requirements, swimming pools, clubs, golf courses, and so forth that follow our military enclaves around the world.
5. We need to discredit the myth promoted by the military-industrial-congressional complex that our military establishment is valuable to us in terms of jobs, scientific research and defense. These alleged advantages have long been discredited by serious economic research. Ending empire would make this happen. . We need to restore discipline and accountability in our armed forces by radically scaling back our reliance on civilian contractors, private military companies and agents working for the military outside the chain of command and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. (See Jeremy Scahill, Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army.)
6. As a self-respecting democratic nation, we need to stop being the world’s largest exporter of arms and munitions, and quit educating Third World militaries in the techniques of torture, military coups and service as proxies for our imperialism. A prime candidate for immediate closure is the so-called School of the Americas, the U.S. Army’s infamous military academy at Fort Benning, Georgia, for Latin American military officers.
7. Given the growing constraints on the federal budget, we should abolish the Reserve Officer’s Training Corps and other long-standing programs that promote militarism in our schools.
8. We need to reduce, not increase, the size of our standing army, and fund the VA to deal much more effectively with the long-term wounds our soldiers receive.
9. We must give up our inappropriate reliance on military force as the chief means of attempting to achieve foreign policy objectives.
More specifically, we shall end ballistic missile defense, the littoral combat ship, the future combat system, the Ford-class super carrier, the F-35 Lightning II, the global information grid, the mine-resistant, Ambush-protected vehicle and the Navy/Marine Corps intranet. The F-35, when/if produced, is unnecessary since our CURRENT aircraft are far better than others. We need many, smaller, smarter, equipped, competent units and immense ability, when they hide, to find the enemy. Submarines should stay while super-carriers end. We spend way too much without using the right idea.  The Pentagon testified that budget cuts to missile defense will not hurt defense.
“Unfortunately, few empires of the past voluntarily gave up their dominions. The two most important recent examples are the British and Soviet empires. If we do not learn from their examples, our decline and fall is foreordained. ”Currently we should leave Afghanistan and Iraq, after re-establishing as much peace as possible, since the al Qaeda (separate units in as many as 60 countries) formed up to prevent President Bush43’s invasion of Iraq cannot be quenched by military efforts. Our national defense cannot successfully liquidate that number of dispersed units. We should instead act to defend America as we failed to do in 2001, when advised that al Qaeda would attack.
America’s armed forces have failed, in the last 9 years, despite spending $7.7 billion of the taxpayers’ money (much of it on big ships, big guns, and big battalions that are not only NOT NEEDED TO WIN THE WARS OF THE PRESENT, BUT ARE SURE TO BE THE WRONG APPROACH TO WAGING THE WARS OF THE FUTURE. Old school surges of ground troops do NOT offer enduring solutions to new-style conflicts with networked enemies). Our military is staggered financially and gravely wounded psychologically, after spending over $1 trillion of the American taxpayers’ money in Iraq. Massive applications of force have done little more than kill the innocent and enrage their survivors. We’ve spent countless billions on surface warfare ships that will likely burn to the waterline after a missile strike. The tens of billions spent on ‘Future Combat Systems weapons will be almost completely unworkable in the kinds of future conflicts we’ll fight.
President) Bush43s administration terrorism policy has not made us safer. It is ONLY a great advertisement for anti-American feelings. The National Security Agency (NSA) and some of the other intelligence agencies are out of control. We cannot talk about America as a "free country" when the government is collecting information on virtually every phone call we make, when they are intercepting our emails and monitoring the websites we visit. Clearly, we need to protect this country from terrorism, but we must do it in a way that does not undermine our constitutional rights.
Building up for war does not reduce the likelihood of war; the opposite was proven during Reagan. Senese study. We should prevent further useless defense spending in the Pacific to prepare missile defense (which has not worked) and, instead, willingly surrender that destabilizing spending of the taxpayers’ money in the Pacific against the Chinese. We should negotiate further sharing by the Chinese of their nuclear and military doctrine with America, encourage Asian development of negotiation to help prevent maritime disputes from escalating, encourage talks about potential future disputes like contingency policies for North Korea on space and cyber-warfare, discourage Chinese Communist Party nationalist pitches, further the East Asia Summit for negotiation purposes and urge Asia to put more effort into non-traditional security, climate change improvements, health and environment, anti-piracy and terrorism.
Except for President Bush43’s performance, war had almost ceased to exist. Note that terrorism only kills a few hundred people a year, except for 2001.
NOW we should revise military policy as it should have been modified in 1991 by developing diplomacy and efforts to fix problems, not fight them. We should avoid, as our allies have, creating wasting assets like military equipment since our anti-terrorism efforts have been defeated at every turn to the high cost of our American taxpayers. The most promising approach is not limited to reducing nuclear weapons. The Russians, and others, will not back off unless we also end missile defense.
To fix problems, NATO”s potential is not primarily military. It should decide to end the Afghan effort, as other countries have. China could be helpful in reassuring Pakistan, a contiguous part of the Afghan problem, regarding Pakistan and India. The U.S. can’t set up democracy by war. In fact, this war has given democracy a bad name in the entire Muslim world. After six years of costly war, ‘finishing’ in Iraq does not end 60 foreign units of al Qaeda (which wasn’t even there when Americans invaded).
The defense budget could decrease from 20% to 14% by 2016 since we’ve ended ‘George’s Imperial Adventure’ looking for ‘’global demons’. We don’t need to feed the elephant (military excess); when fighting terrorists, since big armies are useless.
President, General, Eisenhower warned us against our huge defense establishment. The United States has a military advantage relating to all potentially opposed peoples rooted in demography, geography and culture. The heterogeneous U.S. population will allow living links back to their home countries and encouragement of a two-way flow of people, products, and ideas. American business has become a systems integrator with other countries, relying on a horizontal network of partners collaborating in real time. Miami, for example, is already the financial center for Latin America. Contrary to President Bush43’s doubling of the Pentagon’s budget, since we have no conceivable enemy, we may use this alternative to allow us to make $61 billion in cuts to military programs that could be made “with no sacrifice to our security”, including the proposed F-22, the F-35 and the presidential helicopter which President Obama has promised to veto. To tame the military, cut the new C-17, cut the Air Force and change promotion policies. Advance federal investigations of contractors and lobbyists close to Congressman Murtha, support delays in and fight the attempts in the Congress (by Murtha) to save refueling tankers. We may offer work on neglected American infrastructure if any jobs are lost. In addition, cut the non-war-specific Pentagon funding and security spending OUTSIDE the Defense Department budget in the departments of Justice, Energy, Homeland Security or the NSA and CIA. We should begin by securing assistance from employees in all aspects of defense and non-defense security spending to ‘audit’ and suggest efficiencies.
Return to former American policy: accepting the limits of international law to deploy weapons to outer space [January 2007], stop using torture when the world feels it should be kept weapons–free and opposes torture.
We must revive global cooperation. President Reagan said: “World peace must be our first priority.” In 2008, the declining utility of war, the thickening of international transactions and institutions, and emerging resource and environmental interdependencies together cause scenarios of international conflict and instability based on autocratic-democratic rivalry and autocratic revisionism. In fact, the conditions of the twenty-first century point to the renewed value of international integration and cooperation. The democratic states should orient themselves to pragmatically address real and shared problems rather than focusing on ideological differences. They should discard war as a method of bringing democracy. War may have saved democracy, but has never won democracy.
Our current military is now critically ill-equipped for this task. Remembering that it was the strength of our economy and the failure of the U.S.S.R’s economy, not our military, which ended the U.S.S.R, we must substitute creative and sustained diplomacy. Then, saving the maximum of taxpayer dollars, we must reshaping our military rationally to fit the CURRENT world challenge of guerilla insurgencies and the potential for numerous, simultaneous, small threats rather than the single large threat of the former U.S.S.R..  Now we must follow General Petraeus, re-written, counterinsurgency doctrine which makes our central task protection of the civilian population and legitimization of the indigenous government. We must school our troops in native languages, customs and the steps to obtain stabilization. We must maintain the mobility to access threats with transport equipment, long-haul cargo planes, re-fueling tankers and capable, smaller, coastal war-craft, all by open competition. Our point would be to create the conditions of world peace, not to continuously find a new ‘enemy of the day’.
Taking President Reagan’s statement as a guide to limit our spending after the futile Iraq war, we should succeed where his party has failed by reduciing new weapon development and the $685 billion 2008 military budget (which has seen an 85% increase in real dollars since 2000). President Reagan had talked with Gorbachev about reducing nuclear weapons and President Obama has just signed an agreement which must be confirmed with 67 votes in the Senate to further reduce the nuclear stockpiles of both the United States and Russia. START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) and NPT (the Non-Proliferation Treaty) provide the most extensive nuclear arms-control agreement in nearly two decades. Many of those new weapons are not particularly useful in modern conflicts, and they are extremely costly and our potential enemies are dispersed beyond the reach of armies. We should end military development to defeat large militaries since the U.S.S.R. has not been succeeded by any similar enemy force. We should diplomatically resolve the Russians’ recent declaration that they would not renew the 20 year Nunn-Lugar program with America on reducing nuclear arms. Obama criticized the waste of money on “unproven’ missile-defense technology and the U.S. will reconsider review of the whole scheme. Careful ending of the war in Iraq and termination of Bush’s new shipment of millions of unnecessary new arms to Taiwan should be the start. Our current military actions make us unable to respond defensively in any other part of the world (such as the site of piracy in the Indian Ocean) where peace is threatened.. The prior weapons/defenses didn’t stop the World Trade Center bombing and wouldn’t stop it now. The spending on war costs each American household $100 per month. Due to defense spending Americans don’t get health care, sure Social Security, help against unfair foreclosures, renewable energy sources, education NOR A WORKABLE NATIONAL ECONOMY.
Cut ‘offense’ spending. Convince the American public by providing the new health care system, supporting the VA, providing for our neglected infrastructure, continued safety and use of returning soldiers for green jobs in America.
Deterrence is ineffective against terrorists. War and military readiness won’t stop terrorists in the future. Refuse to get “lost in a search for new enemies” Guerilla insurgency requires that we help prepare our partners to defend and govern while under threat of guerillas fanatical motivation and irregular warfare, rather than going to war. National security demands we deny guerillas sanctuary in failed states by social engineering to change entire societies, following the precepts of General Petraeus. Guerillas are the most resistant to the military, so total security is undoubtedly a thing of the past. Denying terrorists sanctuary in rogue or failed states has become a national-security imperative, requires us to change entire societies. 
Strong defense, smart offense.. Nothing shows U.S. patriotism more than our military. No one is more patriotic or more willing to sacrifice than the men, women and families of our military. They deserve ‘imminent danger pay’. It was Democrats who stood and fought when the administration tried to eliminate it and family-separation pay for the 148,000 troops in Iraq. The administration was shamed into restoring the extra pay our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan had earned.
We should have strong defense but only as an off-shore balancer. Institutionalize counterinsurgency skills. We should not continue to create military just to support defense dependent American business which could invest in other work. We need a well-trained and diversified military force a lot like we have today (equipped by invention of technologically advanced useful weapons), but we don’t need every weapons system for every war. We should strengthen bans on bio-weapons, chemicals and nuclear and we must end the dependency of our military on the oil we don’t have; we should only use methods, including war, which REDUCE future conflict. As a guide, we may be able to stop some bad from happening, but we can’t force the good.
So we taxpayers can SHARE the cost with other countries, return to collective security agreements instead of “going it alone”.
Follow the POWELL DOCTRINE: any attack must be in national interest, the mission must be clear, the available force must be strong enough to do the job and we must have an exit strategy. The freedom of the U.S.to act by itself in war, allegedly ‘promoting democracy’, doesn’t work because neither structural nor actual democracy may be established with military. Arab societies, like the South American, Native American and Vietnamese had vertical, authoritarian, rule which doesn’t change by war. The west must return from war to containment, so our superior economy may defeat other enemies the same way we defeated communism.
The world’s central economy doesn’t need to war to stay in power. For example, the west has already kept control against China because China is entering the revived western system. China has already discovered and is earning the massive economic returns that are possible by operating within the western system of the managed open market. China only has increased military ability close to its shores and our military is 17 tiimes its size. It has larger armed forces but DOES N0T NEED NOR USE EXPENSIVE OUTSIDE CONTRACTORS which would lobby for military action. China is not a military rival the way the Soviet Union was, only an economic rival (and provider). President Obama told China’s foreign minister that their two countries needed to raise the level and frequency of military dialogue in order to avoid future incidents after the alleged challenge to a Chinese ship. Our recent Pacific joint military exercises have furthered this goal. It stays within the unusually dense, encompassing, and broadly endorsed system of rules and institutions followed by the West. The U.S. should reinforce the western system to encourage engagement, integration, and restraint of China and every other country. The more this order binds together capitalist and social democratic states in deeply rooted institutions the less military conflict will occur and the more widely the benefits will be spread.
We shall never again use “pre-emptive” war except against an imminent threat. Instead of “preventive” wars, we’ll limited political persuasion and economic sanctions. If we attack we’ll use non-military methods to remove or weaken bad rulers. Follow President Truman’s advice. Avoid “going–it-alone”. That will prevent causing immense loss of international business. It will save our economy, higher taxes and foreign resentment. We’ll avoid honoring our defense industry’s ‘enemy of the year’ program for new funding. The whole world has suffered from terrorists but others have caught and punished terrorists as criminals rather than going sending our men and women into drawn out combat without likelihood of success. Prevention requires weakening the political and cultural forces that produce terrorism. It requires figuring out how we deal with an enemy which is physically weak but endowed with a fanatical motivation. Guerrilla insurgency is nothing new. It’s been a threat since 1850. In 2001, foreign attack removed our feeling of special security from having an ocean to protect us. Having nuclear weapons didn’t help at all. Since, as the military expert Clausewitz said, terrorism is just another form of politics, our answer should be political negotiation, not war. War hasn’t brought the political changes in Iraq President Bush claimed the ‘surge’ and the war were going to provide. So we must address political answers to what the few Muslim jihadists are complaining about: 1) British and French colonialism, now gone; 2) the defeat of the Arab effort to prevent the creation of Israel; 3) Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians; 4) the sacrilege against the sacred purity of Islam’s holy place, Jerusalem, as well as Saudi Arabia and now Iraq by the American military; and 5) support of Israel, including 1000 nuclear weapons and immense foreign aid.
In the meantime, we should defiantly refuse to follow the call to fear and change American way of life. We should promote education and political and economic change in the Middle East, wean ourselves from imported oil and end the interruption of continuous, ‘give me more tax dollars, threats declared by Homeland Security (which has not prevented any security problems). We should follow England’s pretty successful defenses against their terrorist threats.
Iran delayed nuke in favor of medical research.
Iran now has enough fissile material, but has not yet enriched to the necessary level for a weapon. The Institute for Science and International Security says "it would take Iran more than two months to produce that amount if it started with 20%-grade uranium, and ‘several months' to make enough for a bomb using low-enriched uranium. That would give the world community enough time to detect the operation and organize a response, ISIS noted in June;" Reagan called for “abolition of all nuclear weapons, which he considered to be “totally irrational, totally inhumane, good for nothing but killing, possibly destructive of life on earth and civilization’; cancelling new U.S. warheads, research ended; unanimous resolution of the UN to reduce nuclear weapons. In Asia, implementation of this policy would probably end the rift between India and Pakistan if combined with a Kashmiri vote on its future.
In contrast, the British present confirm that the administration of President George W. Bush rejected the 2005 Iranian offer ensuring no nuclear weapons; it wanted no enrichment for energy, nor any other enrichment.
Obama has revised our anti-missile plan in cooperation with Medvedev. President Obama has sent a letter to Medvedev reviewing all of missile defense. He said in Prague “I state clearly and with conviction America’s commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons’ April 5, 2009” He said the U.S. should sign because it is the only country that ever used one. “ He has negotiated further nuclear arms reductions with Medvedev of Russia, reducing both to 1500 heads, subject to approval with 67 votes in the Senate He plans an additional negotiation to cut arsenals even further and bringing in other pre-nuclear or nuclear powers into the agreement and discussing prevention of nuclear weapons falling into the wrong hands. He wants the Senate to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. Russia eager to deal because warheads and delivery mechanisms deteriorating. Cut to the bare minimum (maximum 1000 if impossible to backstop conventional forces). Ratify the USE OF ACTIVE DETECTION OF NUCLEAR SHIPPING INTO OUR COUNTRY BY THE EFFECTIVE, GAMMA-RAY BEAM
Obama has, 4/5/2010, narrowed the conditions under which nukes could be used to countries that HAVE nuclear weapons (except Iran and North Korea), even if they attacked with biological, chemical thus decreasing the incentive to countries NOT NOW HAVING NUCLEAR WEAPONS NOT TO SPEND THE MONEY BECAUSE THEY AREN’T GOING TO BE ATTACKED BY THE US.
Obama also renounces, contrary to the recommendation of the Secretary of Defense, the development of any new nuclear weapons, thus responding to the Russian concern causing them hesitation in reducing weapons on the theory that the US would out-invent them in the future; The next steps could be New Start, changing Cold War deterrence to deeper cuts, lower levels of launch readiness and regular inspection.
Lock up loose nuclear material, with a budget request sufficient to accomplish it.
Ratify the Comprehensive nuclear-test ban treaty…Obama will push immediately.
Strengthen the nuclear nonproliferation treaty…Obama is seeking additional inspectors to end current cheating.
Negotiate a fissile material cutoff treaty, the nuclear test ban treaty and adopt stronger national controls on nuclear exports.
End use of highly enriched uranium in medical research.
OBAMA CUTS OFF FUNDING FOR THE NUCLEAR WASTE REPOSITORY AT YUCCA MOUNTAIN IN NEVADA, ESSENTIALLY KILLING THE PROJECT
All of the policies that successfully prevented a nuclear catastrophe from occurring during the Cold War---containment, diplomacy, deterrence, conventional military strength, and arms control agreements---can be employed even more effectively today. Nonproliferation has become a global norm, with very few exceptions. The Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) provides countries can share intelligence and coordinate their militaries to interdict ships and aircraft suspected of carrying WMD.
Non-proliferation should never have been left adrift. A concentrated transnational effort could have established a nuclear-free Middle East. That would have done a lot to dispel Arab enmity for the U.S. At least we should change the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty so it no longer grants all states an “inalienable right” to build nuclear enrichment and reprocessing facilities (which can be quickly converted for military use) but rather forbid such facilities in countries other than those where they already exist. That would draw a clear line, sorely lacking today, between peaceful and warlike nuclear programs. It would assist this effort to guarantee fuel supplies for civilian nuclear reactors so that countries would not produce nuclear material on their own. The Washington-based Nuclear Threat Initiative project would help the IAEA set up and control an international fuel bank of last resort. America is already blending down some of its highly enriched uranium to make it available for civilian use.
Use the Reliable Replacement Warhead Program, in the meantime, to improve nuclear stewardship.
Use the new security organization that bolsters security at thousands of nuclear sites around the world. (Vienna)
We should ratify the 1996 Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, negotiate a fissile material cutoff treaty, negotiate mutual cuts in nuclear warheads with Russia, perhaps to a level of 1,500 or 1000 and fortify the NPT. We may then use that passage to build support for review of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and re-inclusion of North Korea. Continue to use IAEA’s ((International Atomic Energy Agency) stricter scrutiny of our civilian nuclear activities since the U.S. has boosted its hand as it chivvies laggards to co-operate. Obama will double IAEA budget. IAEA task is to ensure that countries abide by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The council should agree upon a binding process for any country found in non-compliance. First, inspectors would get temporary powers to demand all access they needed. If doubts persist, all sensitive nuclear work should stop; if that is refused, all military cooperation with the state would end forthwith. This wouldn’t stop Iran today, perhaps, but it would have helped restrain it if available earlier and might, in the future, restrain future ‘Iran’s’. 
Despite Bush’s deliberate shift from a strategy based broadly on agreement to a strategy based on force and the preemption (which should only be used against an IMMINENT threat) we should continue the decrease in nuclear arms which has occurred since the end of the Soviet-American arms race. The threat President Bush43 posed caused all countries to work harder to produce nuclear weapons. President Bush43 should have reached for the complete abolition of nuclear weapons. Nineteen other countries have ALREADY GIVEN UP nuclear weapons. Only three have refused. Nuclear disarmament is possible since Iraq and Iran gave up nuclear weapons due only to international persuasion. President Bush43 would be supported by George Shultz, Henry Kissinger, William Perry and Sam Nunn. Let’s turn it around, from the situation right now in which nuclear war is being considered among planners at the Pentagon and at other countries. The entire failure explains why Russia under Vladimir Putin is building new missiles and deploying its nuclear bombers again. Despite the hard line cold warriors who gathered around President Reagan’s While House, President Reagan and Premier Gorbachev had discussed getting rid of all nuclear weapons. Nuclear disarmament can be done. Strong offense should also exclude nuclear development. The central world economy doesn’t need them. And the nuclear revolution has made war among great powers unlikely. Remember, that no nation has ever been forced to give up nuclear weapons but that 19 nations have given them up themselves. The case of Libya shows that even regimes with a terrorist past can be persuaded to give up their nuclear weapons ambitions.
On nuclear, join with other countries to reduce their fear that U.S. missile defense is intended to regain previous military superiority. Congress must reject President Bush43’s change on India’s nuclear proliferation to allowing it to make its own nuclear fuel for non-military purposes. Permitting military nuclear fuel is dangerous as illustrated by the fact that the India-Pakistan 1992 crisis is the closest we have gotten to nuclear war. It makes no sense when we simultaneously seek to stop Iran and North Korea from having nuclear weapons.
Regarding nuclear terrorism, staging a nuclear attack is difficult, so don’t expect it, but, since it is difficult, attacking each vulnerability of terrorists is the best opportunity against them. China voted to actively confront Iran over its nuclear ambitions when it voted for UN Security Council Resolution 1696 which demanded the suspension of Iranian enrichment activities. China has rapidly increased its support for UN peacekeeping and is now the second-largest supplier of personnel to UN missions, particularly where its economic interests are at stake. We should now assume that China is a critical partner when problems arise with difficult states. China will likely continue to urge crises along, probably doing the minimum necessary to avoid acute instability or sustained international opprobrium.
US anti-nuclear by tactical weapons has been unsuccessful, leaving us only with relying on fear that US would drop strategic nuclear (Clinton made a de facto promise to Russia that the US would not exploit its advantage in wealth and tech to obtain the decisive strategic superiority that each side had feared, although, Russia may doubt this promise since both the UK and US also promised not to extend NATO as it has). North Korea is less willing to deal since it suspected Sino-American strategic solidarity in responding to Afghanistan. China didn’t appear willing to cover North Korea’s nuclear gambit. The U.S. and Russia had some ‘accommodation’ which would prevent Russia from protecting North Korea. But the U.S. perhaps increased North Korea’s gambit because it thrashed Saddam since he DID NOT HAVE nuclear. The open nuclear successes of India and Pakistan showed the US couldn’t dissuade Iran, either, so to North Korea nuclear looked like an open option. (Brzezenski p. 101)
It will avert conflict by tough and smart global cooperation and institution building.
It will prepare to wage sustained major conflicts but avoid them.
China has been quietly changing its policies toward difficult states and has created the possibility of progress on previously deadlocked issues. (North Korea, Burma, Iran, Zimbabwe and Sudan [where it denied Khartoum AU’s chairmanship in 2007]). To reduce China’s concern about possible state collapse, political upheaval or other major crises the U.S. should hold detailed discussions with those states.
We should submit ourselves to the International Criminal Court and cease prohibiting military and financial aid to countries that recognize its jurisdiction. It‘s true that it could subject U.S. military personnel to prosecution before international judges and could ‘interfere’ with the U.S. domestic system of justice.
We propose a Congressional resolution announcing it will allow no authorization delegating to the president Congress’s constitutional power to declare war against any other nation. Nor will there be any new war without Congress’s solemn deliberation and declaration of war. We’ll also declare that no money will be appropriated for any military action against another nation without a proper declaration of war.
We won’t get into trouble we can’t get out of. America will be for life, not war, so we may convince Evo Morales of Bolivia, among others, that we are not a ‘death culture’.
Strong offense should rule out the current use of mercenaries, which have cost $601 million of the taxpayers’ money and properly caused hatred and distrust of ‘American’ troops. Before the current administration the Pentagon had prohibited contractors from participating in combat. But in Iraq, undr President Bush43, military planners rewrote the policy to allow professional warriors to use deadly force, That rule was opposed in the Federal Register by the American Bar Association and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce who criticized a fundamental shift in U.S. methods in war. Neither the military nor the State Department set guidelines. Oversight was left to overburdened government contracting officers or the companies themselves.
We’ll re-evaluate current intelligence policy by which 70% of intelligence costs are paid to private contractors rather than to government employees.
Terror did not yield significant leads, U.S officials say. We must stop grand terror attacks. (Using intelligence, covert operations, police work and small-scale special forces operations costs only $55 billion/year, per the Brookings Report). Keep terrorists out of the U.S. by defending our computers, physical plant, telecommunications, power, water supply and transportation infrastructure all by tracking terrorists, locking up dangerous materials and protecting popular gatherings and important resources..
Torture, authorized by President Bush on February 7, 2002 in his statement that the Geneva Convention did not apply to ‘this’ problem, was opposed in 2002 by the Joint Personnal Recovery Agency in a letter to the Pentagon. The CIA Inspector General reported in 2004 that torture did not stop any specific imminent attacks.
PRESIDENT OBAMA CLOSED THE DETENTION CAMP AT GUANTANAMO BAY BY A JANUARY 2009 EXECUTIVE ORDER EFFECTIVE WITHIN A YEAR; ENDED THE CIA’s SECRET PRISONS; REQUIRED ALL INTERROGATIONS TO FOLLOW THE NON-COERCIVE METHODS OF THE ARMY FIELD MANUAL AND ORDERED HIS GOVERNMENT NOT TO RELY ON ANY LEGAL OPINIONS CONCERNING INTERROGATION PRODUCED BY THE JUSTICE DEP’T OR OTHER AGENCIES BETWEEN 9/11 AND 1/20/09 (accompanied by 16 generals). He nevertheless ordered high level review of dangerous Ali al Marri, now imprisoned. We’ll keep your freedoms: President Bush43’s administration violated the NSA by warrant-less eavesdropping without notifying Congress, by limiting its briefings on warrants and by skipping clear Congressional approval before going into a bad war.
To protect our trade, we may keep 15-20% of our military forces abroad, in areas where countries oppose each other. We should also send peace-keepers and technical teachers.
Choose fights carefully (selective engagement policy) for the future as President Clinton did in Serbia. Selective engagement should avoid starting wars, their cost to the American taxpayer, lost lives, energy and the better environment we could have bought with that money. Adopt as our goal to defend America and keep the peace in Europe-Asia. Protect the U.N. and other capabilities for peacekeeping; strengthen the UN and broaden the membership to include “failed states” so they may easily be included in peace discussions. Be able by rapid and diplomatic intervention in local wars of foreign countries, no matter how distant. Maintain forces able to win wars, but only when war must be waged.
There is no need to continue the American military’s goal of simultaneously fighting two local wars. Have a strong defense; but, to reduce taxes, have only a military sufficient to fight a smart defense, no more. Soviet missiles are now ‘protected by’ the U.S., so abandon Reagan’s military’s costly, failed, Star Wars Strategic Defense Initiative and the expensive aerial combat fighters like the F-22. Strategic Defense missiles would only lead other, otherwise weaker, countries to waste their money the same way. Why continue, as our country has, to fight the LAST war. Even the strongest supporters of STI don’t claim it would protect us from terrorists wielding box cutters and turning commercial aircraft into guided missiles. We need that money to defend against other threats.
Chemical weapons kill fewer people and bacteriological agents are hard to target. The best method of control is to reduce the kind of poverty that drives a country to uncontrollable destruction.
To the extent possible without plunging the world into a politically chaotic rush to defend themselves close our military bases in Central Asia, as requested by the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and in other sites.
Call on China to become a responsible stakeholder, and to cooperate in formulating policies toward a small group of problem countries. China must continue economic development, provide more education for more people, open competition, move forward to a free press, an independent judicial system and, finally a representative political system.
ISRAEL: "President Obama is doing … more than anything that I can remember in the past [in regard to our security];" Ehud Barak, Israeli Defense Minister. President Obama orchestrated a ceasefire although he was visiting Burma and Cambodia. He worked to pressure both sides, constantly on the phone with both Morsi and Netanyahu, before and after his meetings with the leaders of China and Japan. He made time to speak with both leaders during a dinner held as part of a summit of East Asian leaders. He publically praised Morsi and Netanyahu while pressurong behind the scenes.
Pursue the Arab Peace Initiative: first we shall concentrate on Palestine and Israel, then turn to the rest of the Arab spring. Obtain full Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and Arab East Jerusalem save for mutually agreed upon land swaps and some return of refugees, in return for full normalized relations; revive the Israeli peace camp. Work to reverse Hamas’ use of rockets when it could have peace. To assist, President Obama came out for a non-militarized Palestinian state on the basis of Israel's borders before 1967. Further assistance has been added since leader Abbas vows to help find kidnapped Israelis, in June, 2014
Implement an armistice now between Israel and Palestine by pressure on Arab states, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates by the U.S. and Europe. If a Palestinian unity government does emerge, Hamas is likely to move towards an acceptance of the two-state deal.
Britain’s thaw and withdrawal from Iraq assisted the coming conclusion in June 2014.
Iraq military intervention risks making it all worse.
Vastly increase the role of diplomacy, thereby bringing Russia aboard our Mideast initiatives, cutting the number of American troops, opening direct dialogue with Iran, fostering reconciliation between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas (which is showing signs of more pragmatism although it had refused to settle unless the two-state solution now promised by Netanyahu occurred). Declare that Israel may no longer colonize the West Bank by, among other things, reducing demands on Hamas, pressing Israel to end all construction in occupied lands even in existing settlements and in Jerusalem. This would permit a grand bargain perhaps including ending Iran’s nuclear bomb capacity.
Regarding Iran, pull back from bringing Georgia, the Ukraine and others into NATO or installing anti-missile defense in Europe. This would help bring Russia in to persuade Iran to stop nuclear development. President Obama may then propose reduction of nuclear. Do not insist on elections in Palestine. Work to moderate Hamas, brought in by elections and Premier Abbas. Put Palestinian politics and Palestinian public opinion at the center of peacemaking efforts, but then bolster Israel’s deterrent capabilities by providing an enhanced anti-mortar defense capability. Promote peace agreements between Israel and its Arab neighbors, creating a two state solution and creating the conditions that would assist later diplomacy, starting with Syria/Israel agreement. Strengthen local capacities to fight any terrorism, not just Muslim terrorism. The effort to provide a future for the Palestinians should not be restricted to Arab countries. The U.S, Canada, Australia and European countries, and others, should be prepared to offer immigration visas to Palestinians. Attention to Palestine would not mean turning away from Israel. A decision by the international community to assume the ultimate moral and financial responsibility for the Palestinians’ plight would give Israel an opportunity to close the book on Palestinian claims once and for all. Developing a fund to help Israeli refugees from the Arab world would check the Israeli impression that Aras have a one-sided approach. The U.S. should seriously investigate what else the US and its allies can do to help Israel take the risks required to give peace a chance.
Ask Russian cooperation on Iran, such as support for Russia’s accession to the WTO. Accept an overall nuclear depository, domestic missile defenses installations in Europe and a slowdown in the pace of NATO enlargement. Other possible offers include a financially lucrative arrangement such as a possible Russian nuclear fuel bank or Russian involvement in an international nuclear-fuel-enrichment consortium. Then bring China on board. Meanwhile, persuade Israel not to strike Iran’s nuclear capacity.
Iran quit making a bomb in 2003. Do not follow President Bush43 and Vice-President Cheney by falsely claiming nuclear capacity as a reason to attack Iran as they attacked Iraq. Our Pentagon senior commanders have challenged President Bush43’s plan of asking surrender by Iran BEFORE we talk to them. The costs in funds which would be denied to our future health and education would be immense. Cooperating with Iran while regulating its rising power within an inclusive regional security arrangement is also the best way of stabilizing Iraq, placating the U.S.’ Arab allies, helping the Arab-Israeli peace process, and giving a new direction to negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program. If a weapon is later developed, get actionable intelligence before even considering acting to duplicate Israel’s1981 demolition of Iraq’s nuclear development. In Iran it would be a tough target in that geography against mature air-defense systems. Economically, an attack could lead to cutting off our oil shipments. Politically it would be seen as an attack on all Muslims, and imperialism, and militarily there would be serious consequences for the American and coalition forces inside Iraq. Iran would likely attack American aircraft carriers with suicide water bombers, and Qatar, regional headquarters of the U.S. Central Command, would be Iran’s first target.
Fatigue Cripples US Army in Iraq “exhaustion and combat stress are besieging US troops in Iraq as they battle with a new type of warfare. As desertions and absences increase, the military is struggling to cope with the crisis. Training to kill may be the reason 121 deaths caused by returning vets have happened.
IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN/PAKISTAN:
By end of 2013, 34,000 troops were out of Afghanistan. More are being withdrawn. One undeniable truth is that Pesident Bush43’s inappropriate attack on Iraq has caused the alleged weakening claimed by his political party more than anything done since. More, over 1,000,000 Iraqis have died; airstrikes are unlikely to arrest the progress of regional war.
Iran opposes al Qaeda. So do Syria and Hezbollah, Everywhere Al Qaeda has been active it has made new enemies. Our goal should be to make allies of these three and create strategies to use the influence of all to end Al Qaeda’s threat. President Reagan ‘tilted’ toward Iraq, Saddam, against Iran, providing intelligence, loan guarantees, and other support while turning a blind eye to Saddam’s crimes At the same time., in what became known as the Iran-Contra Affair, President Reagan’s operatives secretly and illegally provided weapons to Saddam’s enemies, the ayatollahs ruling Iran, who were otherwise said to represent a dire threat to US national security. By the end of President Reagan’s terms he had positioned the US to assert explicit military preponderance in the region---as reflected in war plans and exercises, the creation of new command structures, the development of critical infrastructure, the prepositioning of equipment stocks, and the acquisition of basing and over-flight rights. Now Iran feels it needs nuclear weapon, or to tease the US with that option even though they are probably just providing themselves with nuclear energy. History will blame President Bush43 for the disastrous Iraq War of 2003, But if that war had a godfather, it was Ronald Reagan.
“There is not a single person in America — not Bill Kristol, not Paul Wolfowitz, not Don Rumsfeld, no pundit, not even President Bush himself — who has been more wrong and more shamelessly dishonest on the topic of Iraq than Dick Cheney.”  Quoting from the Cheney’s Wall Street Journal op-ed, Kelly read an imagined statement from Vice-President Cheney “Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many,” before adding, “time and time again, history has proven that ‘you’ got it wrong as well in Iraq, sir.” Then the comedian Carnery asked Vice-President Cheney: Which president are you referring to? Iraq, the vanity war started by President Geroge W. Bush and VicePresident Cheney.
“NOW, WITH ALMOST A TRILLION DOLLARS (OF THE TAXPAYERS’ MONEY) SPENT THERE, WITH ALMOST 4,500 AMERICAN LIVES LOST THERE Glenn Beck admits 'liberals, you were right' about Iraq.
As may be occurring now in June, 2014, political segregation by religion might allow a more stable and harmonious region in the long run. President Bush43/Cheney’s ambitious (and foolhardy) Iraq invasion presented little chance of multi-ethnic model for democratization and development and shows little beneficial future.
Withdraw anyway from Afghanistan even though the Pentagon report says only one of 23 brigades may successfully operate without U.S. air or other military support. Afghanistan has cost the American taxpayer an average outlay of $5 billion a month over ten years. Withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan would free up money to help rebuild the US economy. Four days after he visited Afghanistan, President Obama said that money saved from ending wars should be used to reduce the country's debt (caused by President Bush43/Cheney’s unpaid for wars) and to boost the healthcare, education and infrastructure spending "that built a strong middle class".
Two out of three conservative voters favor reducing troop numbers or beginning to leave altogether. Troops are scheduled to leave Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. We shall rely on Afghanistan to help against the threats arising from the transnational threat from Pakistan’s militant networks.
We are in debt, morally and fiscally, due to the Iraq/Afghanistan wars, but everyone who lied about the war was previously rewarded. We must leave both, and work to re-establish the peace. Whatever else went wrong, peace obtained when the Taliban ran Afghanistan. al Qaeda in Afghanistan/Pakistan and 60 different countries cannot be defeated militarily. They defy ‘invaders’.616 Witness that all virile teenagers, etc., LEAP to join their ethnic kin against us. They are ‘accidental guerillas, without regard to who’s seeking the goal best for them or the country.
Successfully to leave we need only control the key roads and transit points, reach out to tribal leaders, hold local councils and build a more diverse base of support…legitimate government with credibility and local allies throughout the country. Clear, hold and build. Talk to the Taliban If elements of the Taliban abandon Al Qaeda. We would not have a pressing national-security interest in preventing their efforts. Cut off al Qaeda, as far as possible, from its allies in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Remember that not one Afghan was involved in 9/11. Pressure Pakistan. Ask the military to dismantle jihadist networks to ease regional tensions. 
The mistaken American intervention has benefited Afghanis who were not killed. In the absence of the prior Taliban leadership, for now, 8 million children are at school, two-fifths of them girls, compared with only 1 million under the Taliban, and there’s been a tenfold increase in those Afghans with access to basic health care. In 2014, 60% of Afghans have apparently voted, half as many again as in 2009. Around 35% of those who cast a ballot were women; the election was genuinely open (only about 200 out of over 6000 polling centers failed to open after threats from the Taliban). Voter turnout in Kandahar province, the Taliban heartland, was far higher than anticipated, without a single assault on a polling center (an achievement of the army and the police). This was reported by a vibrant and largely independent media. Most people who wanted to vote succeeded in doing so. All three of the major candidates favor the post-American pact.
Regarding Kashmir, a vote of the Kashmiri would probably accept modestly enhanced autonomy under India, but we should stay out of this problem.
In Iraq, the invasion put our and their countries in a deep hole. The situation called for a fox, not a hedgehog. Now, four years of carefully calibrated Presidential work and support for multilateralism have gone a long way to restoring America’s legitimacy as the leading global actor as we’ve said: “We will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist”. Handling it peacefully can more durably lift suspicion and fear.
The point of the second surge was to correct political stubbornness. The first surge reduced violence, but the political peace temporarily restored is not the result of ‘winning’, only the result of huge payments to Sunni tribal leaders who were paid to stop fighting. Now, we’re just limiting the damage, not winning. If any military action can succeed, Afghanistan could be the correct place for our troops to limit al Qaeda. Perhaps most promising is an offer to the Pashtun (40-50% of the Iraq population) appealing enough to accomplish it’s separation from the Taliban.
The reasons NOT to go to Afghanistan were that it was NOT the key strategic threat. By going there we have NOT created a positive stable environment in the Middle East and we had no clear strategy. Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are more lethal threats than Afghanistan. More troops have not eliminated the Taliban. More troops has only meant more cost in lives and taxpayer money. We must leave before the pacification is done.
Iraq’s leaders have failed to invest tens of billions of dollar in oil revenues in rebuilding their own country. They have not proposed the political settlement that was the stated purpose of the surge. Iraq’s sects, which have been at each others’ throats since their country was carved out of the Ottoman Empire after World War 1, will make their own way. We should join the world court and seek indictments of the leaders of al Qaeda.
In Afghanistan, abandon it as soon as possible. With the American departure and the end of imperial pretensions our presence will be unnecessary. Providing more security doesn’t achieve political compromise.
The West Tower attackers were not coming from Pakistan nor Afghanistan. We must carefully strengthen our defenses against the general terrorist threats by limited measures and follow England and other countries in their method, contrary to President Bush43’s methods, of keeping our liberties. Victory in Afghanistan has never defeated opposition: historically since Alexander the Great, local minds have always controlled events.
President Obama’s administration is formulating an exit strategy from Afghanistan: go after al Qaeda but just train, prevent and disrupt to protect America. Do not pretend, as President Bush43 did, to impose ‘democracy’. Democracy was not possible since “the establishment of a judiciary, the rule of law, equitable taxation, parliamentary representation, and the other necessities for democracy all come slowly and painfully”, not as the result of war.
If we give aid, require benchmark achievements on time and establish “enablers” for the switch in agriculture switch from growing dope. Pakistan must attempt to control ISI.
The American voter wants out and wants resurrection of our infrastructure from neglect going back to 1980. Reduce the 6% per year growth in the ‘defense’ budget.
Pakistan has fleeced America for billions, double-dealing us, while allowing al Qaeda to regroup in it’s tribal lands, while it’s ISI has aided tribal area militants.
Leave the ISI, which has its own agenda and misleads the CIA (the CIA had failed to predict the 1978 Afghan communist coup).
We shall tell the Pentagon that we choose to leave Iraq and ask it to seek the best method they can suggest to reject President Johnson’s or President Bush43’s presidential war decisions. Rather than rejecting defense of America against attack, President Bush43 should have attended the briefing showing that “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in the U.S.
Contact with a group of Arab states could supervise Iraq’s future. Defensively, we should save the Middle East from the spread of disaster into TURKEY OR IRAN.
President should, now or later, make his promised speech re-defining our view of Islam..
Currently, the taxpayers’ (and their children’s) money is just going to private corporations, not results: Bechtel meets goals on fewer than half of its Iraq rebuilding projects Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, an independent agency.
Terrorism is a new kind of war. America’s armed forces do not successfully kill individual, separated, terrorists. America would be much safer today if we hadn’t ended the lives of our soldiers and spent the taxpayers’ money we’ve put out in Iraq.
BY NOVEMBER, 2007, THE ECONOMIC COST OF THIS WAR HAS BEEN $1.4 TRILLION, NOW $10 BILLION PER MONTH (IT HAS COST US THE EQUIVALENT OF 1.8 MILLION NEW TEACHERS OR 4 MILLION HOUSES, 3377 LIVES AND 25,000 INJURED. All except 140 lives have been lost since Mr. Bush claimed “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED” after getting rid of Saddam Hussein. That was when the U.S. should have returned our troops to Afghanistan (where US effort more and more resembles the Vietnam War), joined again with our then ally Iran (before it resumed development of nuclear weapons), captured Osama bin Laden instead of ‘outsourcing’ the job to Afghanis and ended the defeated and demoralized al Qaeda at Tora Bora. Instead we have mortgaged America’s future, short-changed the troops by hesitating to purchase mine-resistant vehicles and deceived the public by claiming democracy may be won. That would have left an Iraq where PEACEFUL empowerment could have become the preferred means of making political decisions and producing change.
To terror: remind Americans that how our great leaders have responded to previous terror: Roosevelt, with Hitler marching, was reassuring, at fireside chats.
Secure 90 major ports. We must improve our intelligence operations rather than spend our taxpayers’ money on the cumbersome bureaucratic monster of Homeland Security. We should coordinate our counter-terrorism effort, stop stressing jihadists’ capabilities, point to their limitations and end the psychological impact of the twin towers attack. Anticipate threats with newly effective airline security procedures, protection of nuclear facilities and weapons, toxic chemicals and biological weapons instead of routinely failing to catch explosive materials carried by undercover agents. Our “open targets”---on our borders, in our transportation system, our chemical plants, our energy facilities and our ports (($658 million not funded by Congress 6/8/06) --- have been covered. Bring information technology to the war on terror; adapt for surge capacity in hospitals re biological warfare, increase beyond 10% our ability to detect nuclear in cargo, start spending by critical national need.
Unfortunately, Homeland Security funding is being used to fund favored Congressmen’s districts, not our safety, even if it means reducing the defense effort. Particularly, Homeland Security money should not go for pork instead of safety…a petting zoo and flea market are being protected as “ENDANGERED BY TERRORISTS”.
We should protect our firefighters, who lost 343 first responders. They, and our dozens of ports, over 20 natural-gas plants, nuclear facilities, hundreds of important bridges and tunnels, our chemical plants and our energy facilities are unprotected natural targets. That and getting serious about defending our homeland.
Our ability to deal with disasters like Katrina has actually fallen since the mid-1990s. Then, FEMA was an independent agency with cabinet status, run by competent and nonpartisan personnel.
The National Security Agency (NSA) is out of control. We cannot talk about America as a "free country" when the government is collecting information on virtually every phone call we make, when they are intercepting our emails and monitoring the websites we visit. Clearly, we need to protect this country from terrorism, but we must do it in a way that does not undermine our constitutional rights.
The tax burden under President Obama is lower than in the 1980s (lowest level in 60 years by serial tax cuts and wars unpaid for), so $1.5 trillion to $2 trillion in new revenue should be added by taxing capital gains at the same rates as ordinary income (which will also reduce income and wealth inequality), restoring the estate tax higher tax rates or surcharging multimillion-dollar incomes and higher corporate rates, including an end to the deferral of tax for Americans companies that stash their earnings abroad. We should explore carbon taxes, value-added taxes and a financial transactions tax), capping deductions at 28%, or converting deductions, which disproportionately benefit high-bracket taxpayers, to tax credits, which would provide the same benefits to all taxpayers, regardless of tax bracket .
The real IRS scandal is we’re directing refunds to criminals: The IRS has suffered a 14% cut of it’s budget when there is a $385 billion annual gap between what taxpayers owe and what they pay. This is an unintended tax cut, mostly for the rich who welcome a diminished threat of an audit; in 2013 the IRS audited only 24% of returns over $10 million compared with 35% in 2010 even though every dollar spent on enforcement yields $6 in additional revenue The IRS is now enforcing the law against tax abusers. The report of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations says Credit Suisse helped its American customers hide billions of dollars of assets from the U.S. Treasury and American law enforcement, from 2001 to 2008, dragged its feet in holding the bank and the relevant taxpayers accountable, concealing their wealth offshore. It provided shell entities, depriving the U.S. of billions of dollars in tax revenues. The U.S. prosecution has NOW been forceful enough to cause 43,000 taxpayers to self-report and pay nearly $6 billion in taxes and penalties.
TAXES FUEL job development, they don’t injure it. Stiglitz tells that lucrative tax loopholes are contributing to America’s inequality problem and persistent unemployment rate a tax code too biased toward the very rich, is hurting our economy and reducing public investment at a time when we really need it; Stiglitz plan for overhauling America’s current tax system should Only ask the people at the top to pay their fair share. It’s not asking a lot. It’s just saying the top 1% shouldn’t be paying a lower tax rate than somebody much further down the scale – [they] shouldn’t have the opportunity to move money offshore and keep it in an unlimited IRA account.” But companies paid an average effective federal tax rate of 12.6% in 2010, the last time the government measured the rate.
Propose increased gas taxes for commercial vehicles and longer
No elimination of the payroll tax for employers!
There’s upbeat news about taxes April 15, 2014. Government tax receipts have soared during the past 18 months, putting Washington on sounder financial footing and easing strains in many state capitals. Higher tax rates have a bit to do with that, but a bigger factor is the IMPROVING ECONOMY AND THE 2.9 MILLION PEOPLE WHO HAVE GONE BACK TO WORK SINCE THE END OF 2012.
A majority of Americans want to reduce the deficit with both tax INCREASES and spending cuts
Not all tax increases are bad. Taxing sale of marijuana could bring in $100 million for states which could, for example, be spent on underfunded education.
Professor Joseph Stiglitz tells that lucrative tax loopholes are contributing to America’s inequality problem and persistent unemployment rate a tax code too biased toward the very rich, is hurting our economy and reducing public investment at a time when we really need it; Stiglitz plan for overhauling America’s current tax system should Only ask the people at the top to pay their fair share. It’s not asking a lot. It’s just saying the top 1% shouldn’t be paying a lower tax rate than somebody much further down the scale – [they] shouldn’t have the opportunity to move money offshore and keep it in an unlimited IRA account.” Stiglitz believes that taxes should incentivize corporations to act in ways that benefit our country.
Obama’s remarks in September 2012 should push the so-called “super-committee” to undertake comprehensive tax reform guided by five principles: lowering tax rates; eliminating wasteful loopholes and tax breaks; reducing the deficit by $1.5 trillion; and boosting job creation and growth.
We ought to provide family FRIENDLY tax reform, help with college, with buying homes and with saving, probably after reducing families’ costs by providing everyone with the cost of health insurance premiums.
We must be consistent with the “Buffett Rule:” those who make more $1 million a year “should not pay a smaller share of their income in taxes than middle-class families pay.”
Rejecting progressive taxation is new. America has a taxation tradition regarding the excessive wealth which now occurs and the current tax exceptions are completely beyond the pale: we have five entirely wasteful and unjustified subsidies: for private planes, private yachts, hedge funds and private equity, America’s biggest banks, and for American corporations which improperly dominate the laws of cities, counties and states. The Koch brothers take $88 million in corporate welfare.
Talk of limiting excessive wealth is American, not un-American. The American Education Association warned against the effects of ‘an undemocratic distribution of wealth’. That assumes we should return to a progressive tax system after the Reagan years. We must fear that the new world would turn into the old, European, world of great wealth: 1/3 of the top 50 large fortunes were inherited. One-third are over age 65 and will probably be leaving large fortunes over the next couple of decades.
Profits for U.S. companies are at a record high, yet companies have hoarded nearly one trillion overseas to dodge U.S. taxes, a new Moody's analysis shows.
The Republican House Ways and Means proposal of February, 2014, cuts the top corporate income rate to 25% from 35% and reduces the seven individual tax brackets two, taxed at 25% and 10%, for the 99% but the top 1%, whose income is above $450,000 or so, would also be subject to a 10% tax surcharge on certain types of income. The surcharge would affect salaried professionals while excluding those whose income comes from industries that produce goods, like manufacturing and farming. Some streamlining could increase the size of the economy by $3.4 trillion over the next decade, producing two million new jobs and producing up to $700 billion in additional federal revenues family of four $1,300 in their pocket at the end of the year. The Republicans also would also stop new IRS regulations of political “social welfare” groups (which illegally fund Republican campaigns). Reagan’s OWN David Stockman opposes the alleged ‘plan’ of the Republicans. Two out of three corporations are not paying ANY taxes.
Carbon taxes in Ireland, relatively hard to evade, where the economy is ruined by 1990s investment excesses, raise $1.3 billion over three years and, in the U.S., could raise $1.25 trillion from 2012 to 2022, reducing the 10 year deficit by 50%). Households and businesses are thus charged for the environmental damage they cause, based on accurate detection of their emissions, raising more for buying cars with more emissions (emissions have dropped 15% since 2008), increasing the competitiveness of alternative, non-polluting fuels, and reducing the need for income tax increases. Sweden Netherlands and Denmark have taxed carbon since 1983.
Global control over rapid and irresponsible finance has increased. FRANCE has a financial transactions tax, American and British banks are combining to consider how to deal with cross-border failing banks. Anti-trust economists are getting better at spotting cartels. It would be a home run for Democrats like Alan Grayson, or Independents like Bernie Sanders, if they were to introduce a bill called the "Entitlement Reform Act of 2013," which could bring in the $1.5 trillion in corporate profits booked offshore but held in American banks and tax a third of it and institute a $0.03 sales tax on risky Wall Street trading like the kind done in the derivatives and mortgage-backed securities markets. The first reform would bring be a $500 billion revenue boost over a ten-year period, the second would bring in between $350 billion and $1.5 trillion in a decade *(first assuring that SS money won’t be taken for other, temporary funding choices) help those struggling from paycheck to paycheck by making the payroll tax cut permanent and align with the long-term conservative interest in entitlement reform, after means testing for wealthier beneficiaries, changing the way benefits adjust for inflation, and a slow increase in the retirement age.
The finance industry is to blame for the growing divide between the rich and poor in the United States, says Novel Prize-winning economics professor Joseph Stiglitz.They have lobbied and innovated to bring us many of the causes of income inequality: globalization, legislative enactment of regressive tax evasion, enduring subsidies to wealthy businesses, deregulation permitting financing of uncollectible risky mortgages, conflict of interest by lenders clearly reflecting unethical, only commercial, values, non-transparent business and ethical lender relationships, ungovernable size of lenders, automationof the jobs not sold to lower age countries and lack of fitting education of middle income people. The resources with which government could remedy some of these problems by the hoard of $21 trillion which has been allowed to be hidden from the taxman by the global elite. (Gallagher)
America is under-taxed, the third from the bottom in a count of 34 industrialized countries. It’s taxes are unfairly apportioned since the majority of Americans pay more in payroll taxes than in federal income taxes…they pay because they WORK (the American ideal) rather than just investing. The US uses many regressive and flat taxes, which tend to take more from the poor…Social Security, Medicare, payroll taxes, sales taxes… and achieves comparatively little redistribution through social programs as well, devoting less than many other advanced countries to such services. There is no basis for believing the economy does better due to this imbalance since the US economy grew at a faster pace before President Bush43’s tax cuts rather than after.
The IRS is struggling with insufficient employees paid by the Congress when IRS data show $38.5 billion is underpaid by companies in 2006 alone. Frequent changes to the tax code as well as more fraud and identity theft cases are among the factors contributing to growing IRS workload even as the budget declines.
The tax burden of American companies is lower than that of other Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development countries.
Research indicates the allegation that people work less when tax rates change does not appear true.
President Clinton’s earned income tax credit has cut taxes for 95% and efficiently slipped the money to the working middle class. It came to you in lower withholding, so you didn’t notice it. Now, we should temporarily extend the tax cuts for the middle class, since they spend it and will improve the economy. America didn’t suffer so much from overconsuming as it did a loss of beneficial productive economy which our financial institutions scared away.
Do not extend the higher income tax cuts because they would increase the deficit $700 billion without much helping the economy because tax cuts don’t ‘trickle down’, they cause ‘trickle up’ in a ‘no raises’ economy of the last thirty years (higher income people support the growth of the middle class’s economy less since they spend less while well-off corporations hoard $14 trillion. They don’t spend nor productively invest in the new economy. Restore the estate tax to it’s 2009 level, minus some unnecessary ‘defense’ spending and END PRESIDENT REAGAN’S REDISTRIBUTION TO THE WEALTHY. (To further increase individual spending we should extend unemployment compensation. The unemployed SPEND and increase the size of the economy and income inequality will be reduced.)  Since President Reagan, tax cuts have been proven not to create jobs, so we should end the previous, mistaken, tax cut for the well-off. We would propose ending tax breaks for companies that send jobs overseas. That could raise $210 billion, taxing overseas profits, stopping transfer pricing, prohibiting deductions until domestic taxes have been paid and ending inflation of credits. We could extend the tax provisions which encourage businesses to invest HERE, to give confidence producing certainty and end their withhold.
The way to restore the middle class is to institute methods like The Alaska Permanent Fund. It requires polluters to bid for and pay for permits to pollute, charging corporations to get the extra liquidity. Require public companies to deposit 1% of their shares in the ‘American’ Permanent Fund for ten years, up to a total of 10%; charge for those currently free airwaves to media companies; require sending the interest earned from ‘fractional reserve banking’ on the lending seven times over their reserve backing for it on these made up, magically minted dollars on which they lend.
Require under FATCA (Foreign Account Tax Act) that foreign financial institutions (a category that now seems to include everybody from financial advisers to pension funds) to register with the IRS and implement that requirement. If they do not register, regard them as “non-participating”. In that case a 30% withholding tax could be applied to all their income on American assets from 2014 as well as to the proceeds from the sales of these assets from 2015. Fund rules will prohibit that taxpayer from applying this charge to the affected clients, which has penalized all investors. The rule will also apply to company pension funds which have fashioned themselves entitled. The act is working since 77,000 financial institutions have agreed to pass information to the IRS.
President Reagan’s 1981 tax cuts didn’t work (after he signed it the economy lost jobs for 16 months and didn’t start growth until he had raised taxes) nor did President Bush43’s tax cuts even if the compliant press didn’t tell you (the economy lost jobs for two more years and economic growth was slower than in any decade since WWII).
Let’s each pay our way. Taxes create the infrastructure necessary to our ability to compete with other economies. They are our membership fees, our investment in America’s Social Security, roads, health and communications. We need not: 1) give incentive to go into debt by allowing write-off of mortgage interest.(which merely inflates home prices); 2) allow business-interest deductions which increase the over-all corporate tax rate (and give advantage to debt); nor 3) keep other deductions (inappropriately used by hedge funds).
Simplify taxes, and make them cheaper to collect.
1) simplify with care: forget Rep. Paul Ryan, Republican of Wisconsin (10% on incomes up to $100,000), no deductions etc except for health care tax but couples with taxable income above $100,000 ($50,000 for single filers) would pay a 25 percent tax rate. Then there would be no more special deductions, exclusions or credits, except a health-care tax credit but interest. With his plan capital gains and dividends would not be taxed at all i.e. , working people would pay all the income taxes, and the idle rich pay little or nothing. Instead, recall that President Reagan backed a hike in the capital-gains tax to 28 percent for high earners, up from 20 percent. He reasoned that since the marginal rates were being slashed, there was no more justification for giving a special deal to rich investors. Perhaps he deserves the halo after all. (It's not true that the poor don't pay taxes, despite what candidate Romney claimed. In the U.S., median-income workers in 2006 paid a much higher combined rate in payroll taxes, income taxes, and sales taxes than they did in 1966, even though public costs were the same percent of GDP. Back in the 1960s, corporate tax receipts produced 16.1% of all federal revenue. Though corporate profits are a higher fraction of the GDP than ever, corporate tax revenues fell to 9.4% in the 1990s and around 7% of federal tax receipts today. The same pattern has occurred in nearly every OECD member country.
2) Let’s put the tax cut on the middle class where it produces a larger economy, in which we all share. And we don’t need to raise taxes, just reduce military ‘investment’ (Stiglitz) Reverse the prior tax cuts, or let them expire. We deserve Social Security more than the better off deserve a tax cut they didn’t need. PUT THE TAX CUT WHERE IT PRODUCES A LARGER ECONOMY…with the middle and lower classes, who spend it. We want all to get rich, but we should make it easier for the middle class to get rich and to live within the American dream instead of paying taxes while getting no raises for thirty years.
3) Let’s change the discussion from who wants higher taxes to who already doesn’t pay the taxes already on the books. 60% of U.S. companies pay no income tax. Under their system, 5,650 people who have considerable money paid no taxes at all. Reverse cuts for the rich (at least until you get rich, too).
4) Pass the Corporate Tax Dodging Prevention Act (S.250), by Sen. Sanders and Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill. That will stop sheltering profits in tax havens, stop rewarding companies with tax breaks that ship jobs and factories overseas. The Joint Committee on Taxation has estimated in the past that the provisions in this bill will raise more than $590 billion in revenue over the next decade. Wall Street and the largest corporations in the country must pay their fair share of taxes. They must not be able to continue hiding their profits offshore. They must not be an American company only when you want a massive bailout from the American people.
5) We’ll change the tax breaks that are going the wrong way e.g.when Katrina help is used to build expensive condo projects far inland. Reverse bailout theory, make massive alternative-energy investments rather than inducing carbon-belching fossil-fuel companies with the tax breaks in the 2005 energy bill; crack down on pharmaceutical industry profiteering instead of subsidizing the expensive pills of the drug industry. Conform the passive, capital gains, taxation to the rates imposed on work earnings.
Famous tax votes have been misrepresented. The well-off claimed property taxes were cut by the voters in California as a backlash against government. Actually what the voters didn’t like was the later SHIFT OF TAXES FROM BUSINESSES TO THEM. They liked their schools, universities, libraries and roads, which are now down at the level of Mississippi’s. SO LET’S STOP SHIFTING TAXES TO PEOPLE and stop allowing press spin on what we voters meant by our votes.
6) We should crack down on corporations that move to Bermuda to avoid paying their ‘dues’ to our country; the 5,650 people who pay no taxes shouldn’t avoid paying their fair share. It is patriotic to be a taxpayer. It is treason for those 5,650 to desert our country and not pay their dues. In 2010, Bank of America (after its error of buying Countrywide) and 200 subsidiaries in the Cayman Islands (corporate tax rate of 0.0 percent) moved itself out of country to avoid paying U.S. taxes and received a rebate from the IRS worth $1.9 billion that year. In 2010, JP Morgan Chase operated 83 subsidiaries, offshore and avoided paying $4.9 billion in taxes; Goldman Sachs operated 39 subsidiaries and avoided $3.3 billion in taxes. Citigroup paid no federal income taxes for the last four years, but received $2.5 trillion in financial assistance from the Fed. Apple's federal tax bill in the United States would have been $2.4 billion higher in 2011 but for shipping profits elsewhere.
7) LET’S CHANGE THE DISCUSSION FROM WHO WANTS HIGHER TAXES TO WHO DOESN’T. End the ‘move elsewhere’ tax escapes that cost the American taxpayer $150 billion per year by getting agreement of other taxing countries to require any bank, corporation, partnership, or individual doing business both in the treaty country and with a bank or corporation located in a tax haven to report to domestic tax authorities all financial transactions using the tax haven (reciprocal nations laws). The major nations could flatly prohibit commerce with countries that refused to sign tax enforcement treaties. That approach would save large amounts of tax dollars for the people of the whole world. Set up the world wide effort establishing these reciprocal nation laws against the unfair power of businesses which have used their lobbying power to avoid paying their share of the governments which make it possible for them to do business. It‘s not fair for businesses to pass the costs of government infrastructure TO US when the infrastructure we end up paying for makes THEIR BUSINESS possible. The Bible says, Luke 12:48: “From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more”…especially if we paid most of the money THEY got back.
The plain truth about taxes and cuts is THAT CHANGING TAX POLICY IS A WAY TO RELIEVE THE AMERICAN MIDDLE CLASS. The well-off are paying less in taxes on every dollar they earn but earning many more dollars…that top 1% of earners paid a total federal tax rate of 30% in 2004, That is DOWN from 41% ten years ago and their tax rates have been falling for years (Presidents Reagan through Bush43).
President Bush43 just used the tax cut for the well off to INCREASE the size of the government and put the bill for his deficit on our childrens’ future and the middle class. And tax cuts don’t create jobs since they aren’t used for investment. There is no believable argument that the purpose of government is to borrow from future generations to finance an extension of tax cuts for the top 2 percent (Secretary Geithner).
Some say a cut of the capital gains tax from 35% to 25% would increase wages, but, during President Bush43, that increased productivity has only led to higher CEO salaries and has caused no increase in our wages.
We’ll collect from the Pentagon contractors who owe $7 billion in unpaid taxes. Under the President Bush43’s administration, they thought they’d gone to heaven and didn’t have to pay.
President Clinton ended welfare for people in 1996. Now, only corporations receive ‘welfare’; cut the dated tax breaks no longer needed and end tax cuts for their owners.
We should go back to the Democrats’ ‘paygo’ rule we had before President Bush43, that any tax cuts or spending increases have to be offset by spending cuts or tax increases to prevent the deficit from growing. They created the deficit.
We’ll put new taxes in ACA, increase the tax on investment income including interest, dividends and capital gains, a tax on hospital insurance of 1.45% on ALL wages, + .9% on all wages over $200,000 to raise $318 billion over 10 years put to help finance Medicare. We’ll impose it by withhold and put in an unearned income Medicare contribution. Otherwise there’s a $5560/year ‘lower income’ in ‘right to work states’ which don’t preserve work. Cutting unions only end labor representation which has, before 1980, given ALL, not just union members, a living wage.
TAXES ARE OUR MEMBERSHIP FEES, OUR INVESTMENTS IN AMERICA; 60% of corporations pay no taxes.
Tax private equity. Investors should pay THEIR dues, too.
Consider changing the corporate income tax, but make it progressive. It is inefficient because interest payments made by corporations on their debt are deductible from their corporate income tax while dividend payments are not. This creates an incentive for companies to overrely on debt financing relative to shareholder equity, and to retain earnings rather than distribute them as dividends. Also because the retained earnings representing the portion held by lower-income investors are taxed at a corporate rate that’s often higher than the rate they pay on their other income. Instead have the shareholders pay personal taxes on all earned by the corporation on their behalf---whether the income is retained by the corporation or is paid out as dividends. This change would essentially reveal the corporation to be what it is in fact---a partnership of shareholders. All corporate earnings would be treated as personal income. Shareholders shouldn’t feel the pinch because, as their “corporate” earnings accumulated throughout the year the company would withhold taxes owed based on the shareholder’s tax bracket, just like on his or her salaried earnings.
SIMPLIFY TAXES AND MAKE TAXES SIMPLER SO THEY ARE CHEAPER TO COLLECT:
1) treat all forms of income alike and tax at the same, progressive, rates; do not consider the regressive value-added tax.
2) agree with President Bush43, who says we should collect the payroll tax on salaries above $90,000 a year just like the rest of us have to pay it, especially when CEOs are earning up to 500 times the wages of their lowest paid employees;
3) tax inheritance (after allowing any couple to will $5 million tax-free, which would exempt small businesses and family farms from any inheritance tax at all); Bill Gates Sr. said it best. He said keep the inheritance tax, even though it takes from me. Bill Gates, Jr., is wonderful, but he isn’t a self made man either. He didn’t invent the Internet. He just used it—to make billions. So the real story is that others and the government provide the fundamentals and there’s no such thing as a SELF-made man. EVERY BUSINESS HAS USED THE VAST AMERICAN INFRASTRUCTURE paid for with taxes mainly paid by others. The TOTAL is provided mostly by the middle and lower income taxpayers, even though, individually, their RATES of taxation are less. Bill Gates, Jr., got rich on what other taxpayers had paid for the banking system, the Federal Reserve, the Treasury and Commerce Departments, the American education, the judicial system and the existing business community which needs computers.
4) allow folks who get married retain their earned income tax credit;
5) tax up to $25,000 at 15%; $25,000 to $120,000 at 25%, over $120,000 at 39.l6%;
6) eliminate the AMT (alternative minimum tax);
7) close $30 billion in loopholes and create a bipartisan commission on tax loopholes;
Sen. Ron Wyden, OR, has introduced the bill, which was outlined by the Center for American Progress. It would end the limit on costs for enforcement in collection of the “dues” of the better off. (The IRS put that one in);
It’s unfair to reduce benefits $39 billion over 5 years, from programs such as Medicaid. It’s unfair that people with incomes over $1 million/year would not have to pay more.
Surging temperatures have already lowered corn and wheat yields. The American corn industry is 'Unsustainable'. There’s a high toll on our economy from global warming.
President Obama is naming regional environmental heads who may get enforcement on rules for a carbon tariff for those USING carbon. A new proposal in the Congress is, on the basis that the state’s natural resources belong to all our people, to require coal (500 coal-fired plants), oil and natural gas companies to buy a permit for each ton of carbon in the fuels they sell. Permits would be auctioned, and 100% of the proceeds would be returned straight to the American people as equal dividends for every woman, man and child. It amount to a tax cut because 80% of voters will get more than they pay out. Carbon consumption would be reduced (in fewer airplane, rail, auto trips and electricity) and fuel prices would rise.
China’s energy plan will worsen climate change per Greenpeace
There will be a $150m/year cost if no carbon limit is passed. A new bill would require each company to buy a permit for each ton of carbon. The resulting revenue would go to the people, essentially amounting to a tax cut.
Three quarters of Americans drive alone to work.
freed states from EPA control on efficiency standards, which frees them on past regulation and for further regulation in the dozen states ahead of the feds on emissions and efficiency standards. It also toughens the rules by 2012 to 35 mpg for a ‘fleet’ (California’s standard) and by 2016 will create a 40% improvement;
signed the $87 billion clean energy bill (invests $33 billion in clean energy, $27 billion in energy efficiency, and $19 billion in green transportation, including: extending and expanding “recession proof” renewable energy incentives, which will prevent 61 million tons of global warming pollution per year and create or protect 670,000 jobs; and providing $5 billion to help more than 1 million Americans weatherize their homes, a step that will prevent 2 million tons of global warming pollution and create 375,000 jobs. The additional $8 billion went for high speed rail. The enactment created 1.5 million green jobs;
is causing a 68 million-ton reduction in the pollution that causes global warming, a 15-million barrel per year reduction in the nation’s oil consumption, and the creation of 1.5 million green jobs;
is reversing a Bush policy by supporting an international treaty to cut mercury pollution;
is passing clean energy tax credits;
after the decision of the Supreme Court upholding administrative rulings on the basis that global warming endangers the public the EPA is issuing enforcement against cars’ carbon emissions endangering the planet; the Supreme Court has left environmental regulation to the agencies in April, 2014.
is increasing EPA spending by more than a third, revived the Superfund program for the cleanup of hazardous waste and earmarked $3.9 billion for clean-water projects, : is setting new efficiency standards for buildings, lighting and fossil-fueled industrial facilities which call for a 17% reduction in emissions of heat-trapping gases form 2005 levels by 2820 and 83% by 2050;
is overriding President Bush’s 43 rule so that federal agencies now must consult with biologists before undertaking construction projects that could harm endangered species;
is doubling wind energy in the last four years, thanks to billions of dollars of federal money;
is increasing solar installations six times, meeting the long-term goal Obama pledged at the Copenhagen climate talks in 2009;
Two-thirds of Americans support new EPA regulations -- even if they have to pay for them. Beavers have returned to the Detroit River for the first time in a century; 
In his first budget, President Obama increases EPA spending by more than a third, revives the Superfund program for the cleanup of hazardous waste and earmarked $3.9 billion for clean-water projects.
The Environmental Protection Agency has set new lifesaving standards for gasoline and tailpipe pollution. It has produced a deal with all the top U.S. based automakers that will go into effect in 2017 and require annual mileage improvements of 5% for cars, and a little less for light trucks and S.U.Vs, until 2025 when U.S. automakers will have to reach a total fleet average of 54.5 miles per gallon, The current average is 27.5 m.p.g. This will cause us to reach the mileage levels of Europe and Japan as well as spur innovation in power trains, aerodynamics, batteries, electric cars and steel and aluminum that will make cars lighter and safer. This will gradually add about $2,000 to the cost of an average vehicle by 2025 and will save more than $600 in gasoline purchases over the life of that car, savings that will go into the rest of the economy. These effects of better gas mileage will be felt from energy to health to national security. This act by President Obama and Lisa Jackson will reverse President Reagan’s administration
In May, 2014, the EPA has some wind behind its back since it recently won an impressive series of challenges to its regulatory authority. President Obama’s new regulations are likely to be the biggest step toward the president’s goal of cutting US greenhouse gas emissions 17 percent by 2020; 30 percent from 2005 levels by the year 2030. For now, this is only a proposal. The EPA will spend the next year gathering comments from electric utilities, environmentalists, and anyone else who cares to weigh in. It will then issue a final regulation that takes effect in June 2015. States will then have until June 30, 2016 to draw up plans to implement the rule; there will be different emissions targets for different states; electric utilities in each state will be given a variety of options for cutting their emissions — using more efficient technology, boosting their use of solar or wind power, or even joining regional cap-and-trade systems that require companies to pay to emit carbon-dioxide.
Since the Congress won’t pass climate change bills, President Obama should ask for second best: President Bush43’s Secretary of the Treasury Hank Paulson suggests that a national tax on carbon emissions not happening, so set up fuel efficiency stds, “net metering”, subsidies and loan guaranties for clean energy, EPA regulatory authority to impose large reductions in emissions from power plants and emissions limits on states. The Global Oceans Commission (Pew Charitable Trust) states that neglecting the health of the oceans could have devastating effects on the world's food supply, clean air, and climate stability, among other factors. The report addresses the declining marine ecosystems around the world and outlines an eight-step "rescue package" to restore growth and prevent future damage to the seas. The 18-month study proposes increased governance of the oceans, including limiting oil and gas exploration, capping subsidies for commercial fishing, and creating marine protected areas (MPAs) to guard against pollution, particularly from plastics. "Unless we turn the tide on ocean decline within five years, the international community should consider turning the high seas into an off-limits regeneration zone until its condition is restored."
Government subsidies for high seas fishing total at least $30 billion a year and are carried out by just ten countries, the report said. About 60% of such subsidies encourage unsustainable practices like the fuel-hungry "bottom trawling" of ocean floors -- funds that could be rerouted to conservation efforts or employment in coastal areas. The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) is insufficient since it cannot actually enforce any laws. The report includes a proposal to ratify the UNCLOS, increasing and extending its oversight to 64 percent of the ocean which is currently outside of national jurisdiction. "Without proper governance, a minority will continue to abuse the freedom of the high seas, plunder the riches that lie beneath the waves, take more than a fair share, and benefit at the expense of the rest of us, especially the poorest." Failure to reverse the decline of the ocean's ecosystems would be an "unforgivable betrayal of current and future generations," said David Miliband, co-chair and former British foreign secretary.
Developing nations such as China and India are expected to build more than 1,000 coal-burning power plants in the next few years.
The World Health Organization shows that air pollution was responsible for more than 7 million global deaths in 2012.
Saving the planet would be remarkably cheap 1/5 of 1% in earnings
We should notice that there is also a Canadian anti-Keystone Pipeline movement.
Air pollution has killed 7 million in last year. In partial response, President Obama is using executive authority to limit greenhouse gases, most recently with a rule that would regulate emissions from new and existing coal-fired power plants (the largest source of industrial carbon pollution). The EPA has pushed Japan to stop whaling Arctic seas. President Obama has a plan to limit methane gas emissions by controlling oil and gas production, cattle and landfills.
Duke Energy has been charged with water violations.
Fighting climate change is necessary in any event, does not run up costs and would still leave room for an increase in the standard of living even as Congress tightens emission limits, as long as it is implemented gradually.
We must regulate corporations and abandon ‘free’ market solutions’ because they don’t work. 71% of voters believed humans caused the warming.
77% of Americans say global warming should be a priority for the President and Congress
Regarding fracking, outrageous examples of detrimental environmental effects have been shown: a woman was awarded $3 million in damages for breathing difficulties, nausea and rashes that left her scarred with pock-marks. She had biopsies of the oozing welts on her scalp and four ping-pong-ball-sized lumps on her neck. Testing showed drilling chemicals in her blood and lungs that match chemicals detected by the state in air testing outside her home.
Here are the next steps President Obama should take:
1. Use the Clean Air Act to set a national pollution cap for greenhouse gases: no more than 350 parts per million, or PPM per the EPA Clean Air Act and damaging pollutants, called the "criteria pollutants." We’re doing well so far: down by 63 percent while the gross domestic product grew by 128 percent. On the other hand emissions of carbon dioxide, which was unregulated, went up by 21 percent over this same period;
2. Use the Clean Air Act to reduce greenhouse pollution economy-wide: strengthen and finalize it regarding new power plants, greenhouse, refineries to cement plants and the transportation sector, including aviation;
3. limit fossil fuel development on public lands, including fracking;
4. Implement the Bureau of Land Management proposed regulations for fracking on public land. As a first step, the president should direct the agency to simply prohibit this inherently dangerous activity on federal land;
5. Deny approval of the Keystone Pipeline (State Department);
6. get a binding climate treaty: a Bank of America “refrain from political spending” resolution; end the filibuster (to get the; three jobs bills, the DREAM Act; campaign finance reform; equal pay for equal work).
7) establish market-based emission controls. Congress should extend federal financing, tax credits and loan guarantees for renewable energy projects and for upgrading transmission lines; it’s a relatively trivial cost (compared, e.g. to ‘defense’); there’s no credible research suggesting that taking strong action on climate change is beyond the economy’s capacity; we shall use sticks, not just carrots, to ‘encourage’ other countries; carbon tariffs would work
8) construct two million one-megawatt wind turbines to generate electricity; wind energy could easily provide a quarter of all the electricity the US produces annually, and it is a way of slowing the rapidly rising average temperature of earth's surface. Set 2020 as date 15% of new energy sources must be renewable to implement Texas’ success; extend the renewable-energy production tax credit (President Bushproposed in 1992); 6) We’ll cap the total catch and assign each fisherman a percentage share in the Gulf of Mexico has allowed a red snapper comeback. Use individual fishing quotas and the national marine Fisheries Service plan to allocate a portion of the “total allowable catch” so we may hold fishermen truly accountable for the number of ground fish they catch.
9) reduce CO2 output, conserve electricity, trap carbon or use alternative fuels by concerted family planning worldwide; the good news is that the world’s population is stabilizing. Limiting population is the best way to preserve the environment. The bad news is that developing countries emit more carbon as they grow in population, the energy they consume is dirtier and we’re losing the green tech race. After an early lead biomass, the disfavored alternative, is still predominant over wind, small hydro, solar, geothermal and marine energy sources. One model is clear. China, now the largest carbon producer, it is investing billions of dollars in greener, more efficient energy production, leapfrogging over competitors to lead the world in areas such as solar power. As a result, much of the manufacturing for photovoltaic cells and panels has gone to China, but we’ll catch them if we can get our bills through the Senate. Good news: The world’s population is stabilizing when limiting population is the best way to preserve the environment. If policymakers took the politically unpopular step of taxing people for the carbon their cars emit electric vehicles would capture a larger market share.
10) mitigate the major effects on manufacturing, utilities and transportation (but note light rail use increased 8% nationally last year
11) establish significant new protected areas both terrestrial and marine
12) increase international funding for biodiversity
13) ratify the Convention on Biological Diversity
14) establish a world-wide, sustained scientific effort on global biodiversity conservation, including: global pricing and regulation of ecosystem services of global consequence, a millennium ecosystem fund o help developing countries
15) guarantee dedicated funding for avoided de-forestation post Kyoto
16) ban all bottom trawling in the open seas
17) require ocean vessels to heat-treat their ballast water or exchange the ballast water in the open sea rather than at port to avoid invasive species
18) regulate under the CBD that aquaculture use sustainable practices
19) make loggers abandon fights to cut older trees in exchange for being able to salvage smaller timber from burned forests, maybe removing or rebuilding roads and structures on federal land to reduce erosion or improve recreational access.
20) Institutionalize the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment; start a web-based Encyclopedia of Life to list the world’s species
21) follow up on Energy Secretary Chu’s “glucose economy, paint rooves and roads white, cashier a new nuclear waste dump at Yucca, Nevada; then , then invent to limit our dependence on oil from other countries, spur NEW, non-polluting ,industries and jobs, protect ‘clean’ areas from drilling and mining because our children require fresh air, clean water.
22) renew global cooperation on populations control, the Millennium Development Goals, and climate change, including the post-Kyoto settlement
23) take steps to restore the Clean Water Act as Congress intended it to be; switch sides in a pending Supreme Court case that would allow disposal of mine waste in lakes (Earthjustice). Internationally, increase access to clean water. Here, either create jobs to reduce storm water runoff pollution or discover methods to charge the producers of pollution, not utility taxes, to pay for the damage their storm runoff causes.
24) reverse the recent Bush order that scientific consultations under the Endangered Species Act are no longer required
25) drop the appeal of the court ruling that reinstated the 2001 Road-less Rule, and move to codify the rule and have it apply to Alaska as well as the rest of the country
26) impose an immediate moratorium on leasing, drilling, and seismic testing for oil and gas in the Arctic pending completion of environmental studies
27) move swiftly to impose new efficiency standards on an array of energy equipment types including phone pole transformers and gas fired home furnaces
28) fix our streams and rivers;
29) clean up the mercury emitted from U.S. power plants and save nearly $5 billion in yearly health-care expenditures for only $750 million a year; China could learn from our experience and retire coal-fired power plants killing their children to replace them with wind turbines. Tackling disease, hunger and polluted water will give the poor the chance to improve the state of their world.
30) Increase gas efficiency to reduce greenhouse gases (which are proportional to the petroleum burned).
Re carbon pollution, act for, in order:
31) Continued development of the building blocks for a climate treaty to require the first fossil fuel emissions cuts from both the U.S. and China".  That could help cut greenhouse gases 17 percent by 2020 in the U.S.; Climate change is the greatest single free-market failure. China, now the largest carbon producer, is investing billions of dollars in greener, more efficient energy production, leapfrogging over competitors to lead the world in areas such as solar power. As a result, much of the manufacturing for photovoltaic cells and panels has gone to China. We shall pass our bills through the Senate. After taming the two world economies which are the greatest world threat we shall go to developing countries and ask limitations from them, the lesser sinners.
32) put a price on carbon
33) end mountaintop removal mining
34) tame Frackers
35) stabilize emissions in 2055 at today’s levels, breaking the continual upward growth of a business-as-usual path, leave bio-fuels and nuclear out of any prospective energy portfolio but use these seven wedges:
36) HALVE the distances people DRIVE each year;
37) double vehicle fuel economy (The Congress, despite President Bush, has set 35mpg for 2020). Michigan is making electric cars which quietly and powerfully will take over the road when their cost decreases
38) adopt Senators Maria Cantwell and Susan Collins’s ‘cap-and-dividend’ plan, the Carbon Limits and Energy for America's Renewal Act, or Clear Act. It could put a lid on carbon pollution and in so doing unleash a massive investment in clean-energy technology. We can create millions of high-paying jobs while limiting the worst effects of climate change and reducing both our dependence on foreign oil and the risk of another oil spill. It would empower America's private sector to take the lead in the $6 trillion global energy market while shutting out Wall Street speculators and protecting low- and middle-income families from associated price increases for energy. Couple it with other new energy policies and tax incentives. The act takes a fresh approach to the persistent problem of how to end this country's dangerous addiction to fossil fuels without harming our economy. It avoids the other bills’ often confusing and bureaucratic provisions, windfalls for special interests and higher energy costs for the American people. The dividends would go into Americans’ pockets. The legislation would set up a mechanism for selling "carbon shares" to the few thousand fossil fuel producers and importers through monthly auctions. Seventy-five percent of the auction revenue would be returned to every citizen and legal resident of the United States through equally divided rebate checks -- averaging $1,100 for a family of four each year. The remaining 25 percent would finance clean-energy research and development; help reduce emissions in agriculture, forestry and manufacturing; and provide transition assistance for workers and communities in carbon-intensive regions. The legislation aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 20 percent by 2020 and 83 percent by 2050. Researchers at the New York University School of Law found that the legislation would generate good, "green jobs" in areas such as construction, solar power and mass transit because a predictable carbon price spurs investment in efficiency and cleaner-energy solutions. This should remedy the agreed threat to our economy if the carbon tax does not pass. It’s a ceiling on carbon emissions each year, a requirement that producers and importers of fossil fuels will buy permits raising vast sums of money which would be divided evenly among all Americans. Energy prices would rise but the family of four would receive $1000 a year to cover the increase. Cap-and-trade itself has been withdrawn and Rep Waxman’s and Rep. Markey’s bill to cut carbon emissions 20% by 2020 and 80% by 2050 has failed to pass the Senate. . As a fallback position, support the regional cap and trade plan of the seven state, four province, Western Climate Initiative, using the stakeholders’ Climate Advisory Team’s fifteen recommendations
39) dramatically increase the efficiency of buildings and fossil-fueled power stations, using displaced labor, throughout, to ‘go green’;
40) stop the destruction of tropical forests; dramatically increase tree cover elsewhere;
41) regulate greenhouse gases under existing EPA laws;
42) develop clear environmental standards for extracting natural gas from shale. Avoid the temptation to install gas, taking from solar, wind and nuclear, although lured by the fact that burning it releases roughly half as much carbon dioxide as burning coal. The current Republican energy “NO” illustrates their allergy to science and scientists like Copernicus, Galileo, Newton and Einstein. It’s like the tobacco industry claiming tobacco does NOT cause cancer.
43) invest in 1,400 new, low-emission, gas power plants and energy-efficient factories to produce electricity, then choose between injecting billions of tons of carbon dioxide underground or using less toxic fuel. We may add the here-to-for avoided bill of strict government regulations, state-of-the-art technology and a federal tax on every ton of harmful emissions or slap a tax on energy consumption that befouls the public square or leaves the nation hostage to foreign oil producers. Clinton lost, but he proposed in 1993, a tax on all forms of energy.
44) use ‘carbon rationing’: Just as people were better off and healthier in Britain under food rationing during WWII, most of us would see a dramatic improvement in our quality of life if were introduced by the government. We would build a different society emphasizing quality of life over raw statistics of economic growth and relentless consumerism; 
45) support Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) initiatives put the right regulatory incentives to ensure that America is China’s main competitor research and technology development in the ET (Energy Technology) revolution. China has started the “Green Leap Forward”. We must respond with a tax on carbon to match their 20 new planned nuclear plants, its $5b investment using California-based technology, the drop in price from $.53 to $.16 cents per kwh and their high speed rail;
46) allow California to set its own emissions standards. We should quit using coal by 2030 and the US should quit sooner;
47) cut energy needs by living less consumptive lifestyles;
48) adopt more localized patterns of behavior;
49) double the quantity of wind turbines (see 4, above); Iowa, Oregon and Illinois are also building wind power generators
50) use geothermal; plants are being built in Nevada; Boise’s energy is geothermal;
Solar energy,  windmills and carbon sequestration are affordable; deploy high efficiency lighting; reduce air concentrations of carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere of 500 parts per million (ppm) (might cost only 2% of world GNP per annum over the next half-century); cover five million acres of land with solar panels; in California and Arizona, solar energy will soon provide electricity for 3 million homes; New Jersey and Florida are investing in solar.
The problem is huge. Rainforest destruction decreased 70%. We are wasting a lot of energy right now e.g. burning large amounts of coal, oil and gas in way that don’t actually enhance our standard of living (the “energy-efficiency gap”).
Fighting climate change is necessary. We may add the here-to-for avoided bill of strict government regulations, state-of-the-art technology and a federal tax on every ton of harmful emissions or slapping a tax on energy consumption that befouls the public square or leaves the nation hostage to foreign oil producers. Clinton lost, but he proposed in 1993, a tax on all forms of energy;
President Obama retracted cap and trade as merely the business-friendly solution. Oppose this collectively, to end the buy off of the environmental movement. Cap and trade, for good or ill, almost perfectly allows buying and selling of political support through the granting of valuable emissions permits to favor specific industries and even specific Congressional districts, which is happening now, in 2009. Glenn Scherer has pointed out that over the last two years, the lion's share of the damage from extreme weather, floods, tornadoes, droughts, thunder storms, wind storms, heat waves, wildfires, has occurred in the Midwest. Those states have sent a whole new crop of climate change deniers to Congress even though, for decades, climate scientists have predicted that, as global temperatures rose, the side effects would include deeper droughts, more intense flooding, and more ferocious storms. These are caused by warm air and greater evaporation. Global CO emissions rose last year by a record amount. ,
The argument to conservatives is:
1) we must develop energy resource that is American, diverse and clean.
2) there is a long GOP tradition of environmental stewardship (Teddy Roosevelt’s national parks, Richard Nixon’s Clean Air Act and EPA, Reagan’s Montreal Protocol to protect the ozone layer, and George H.W Bush’s cap-and-trade;
3) we would preserve our national infrastructure that provides jobs, food and security: so fund, with stimulus, bottling plants, hydroelectric dams and water utilities to finance the protection and restoration of watersheds upstream from their facilities; plant trees that hold water like a sponge or protect forests and natural vegetation that keep pollutants out of the water and present runoff (cheaper and more effective way to conserve water than building more reservoirs or treatment plants) and pay those upstream to protect this natural infrastructure which gives them a sustainable means to do so.
4) Here are seven wedge plans we could choose from: a) replace 1400 large coal-fired plants with gas-fired plants (breaking our addiction to at least one fossil fuel); b) increase the fuel economy of two billion cars from 30 to 60 miles per gallon; c) add twice today’s nuclear output to displace coal; d) drive two billion cars on ethanol, using one-sixth of the world’s cropland; e) increase solar power 700-fold to displace coal (renewables, including tax breaks for interested homeowners and small businesses); f) cut electricity use by 25%; g) install carbon capture and sequestration capacity at 800 large coal–fired plants. (reinstating roadless area protections and suspending logging of old forests, thinning small trees, setting, in NW logging states, restoration based economies, protect water, for agriculture and wild salmon runs, engage scientists in decision making, opening government, redoing 50 endangered species Bush decisions, scrapping the spotted owl “recovery plan” because it would increase old growth logging rather than save owls)) In addition, Environmental Defense has 3 legislative objectives in 2007, nationwide cap on greenhouse gas emissions, slashing harmful subsidies and shifting dollars to conservation, helping more farmers and the environment, and oceans protection, by reauthorizing the Magnuson-Stevens legislation so we can keep fishing forever and establish a fund to help fishing communities with the transition to sustainable fishing;
5) mitigate the major effects on manufacturing, utilities and transportation (but note light rail use increased 8% nationally last year
6) establish significant new protected areas both terrestrial and marine
7) increase international funding for biodiversity
8) guarantee dedicated funding for avoided de-forestation post Kyoto
9) require ocean vessels to heat-treat their ballast water or exchange the ballast water in the open sea rather than at port to avoid invasive species
10) regulate under the CBD that aquaculture use sustainable practices
11) make loggers abandon fights to cut older trees in exchange for being able to salvage smaller timber from burned forests, maybe removing or rebuilding roads and structures on federal land to reduce erosion or improve recreational access.
12) establish a world-wide, sustained scientific effort on global biodiversity conservation, including: global pricing and regulation of ecosystem services of global consequence, a millennium ecosystem fund o help developing countries
13) ratify the Convention on Biological Diversity
14) renew global cooperation on populations control, the Millennium Development Goals, and climate change, including the post-Kyoto settlement
15) take steps to restore the Clean Water Act as Congress intended it to be; switch sides in a pending Supreme Court case that would allow disposal of mine waste in lakes (Earthjustice). Internationally, increase access to clean water. Here, either create jobs to reduce storm water runoff pollution or discover methods to charge the producers of pollution, not utility taxes, to pay for the damage their storm runoff causes.
Re the theory of some is that earth could suffer the 6th Mass Extinction in history. We may avoid it by providing food, fresh water and the raw materials for construction and fuel; regulating climate and air quality; buffering against natural hazards like floods and storms; maintaining soil fertility; pollinating crops, keeping diversity of different life-forms to provide the raw ingredients for new medicines and new commercial crops and livestock, saving 13% of birds, 25% of mammals, 41% of amphibians, 23% of fishes 29% of reptiles; and our eco-systems , which provide many trillions of dollars benefit; on global warming set a nationwide cap on greenhouse gas emissions
See Center for Climate Change Communication, George Mason University
EARNED BENEFITS: fn 382-388
Medicaid spending will be INCREASED under the health care reform to reduce the effect of cuts in Medicare directed at waste and fraud. Medicare’s hospital fund will be able fully to pay hospital bills for the next 12 years, while Medicare’s outpatient and drug programs will be able to fully pay bills indefinitely. Avoid cutting the payroll taxes because Social Security took care of your parents and it should take care of you. We shall strengthen Social Security and have dignity in retirement be the right and expectation of every single American. Social Security has fallen to only 39% now, private pensions have disappeared.
We CAN preserve your hopes for Social Security (which is now secure through 2033) because the previous president’s recession has been halted and because President Clinton gave us a strong economy that he would have reduced the national debt to zero by 2012 and assured us the money. He made great progress in deficit cutting. Since their 2000 to 2008 reversal of the deficit solution by Clinton, and turning ONE unpaid for war into TWO, opposing a country which did not attack us, we must now further revise Social Security and private plans by realizing that peoples’ longer lives now require establishing a means test to determine payments, linking retirement benefits to true costs to live rather than to prior salary and modifying benefits to gauge them to FINAL salary. Where benefits depend on investments we shall increase employee contributions under the defined contribution pension plans. Republicans are expecting the economy they ruined by business risky choices while Democrats assure retired and veterans their earned benefits. It will take time to adjust the system thereafter to assure enough for our children and the disabled.
Now we must further fund Social Security by further reducing Bush 43’s tax cut for the well-off who do not need it, using estate taxes and ‘scrapping the cap’. Scrapping the cap limit of $106,000 on pay-in for higher salary earners, by itself, would end most of the shortfall. Just ending permanence of that tax cut would amount to 5 times the size of the Social Security shortfall. It will help to agree with President Bush to collect payroll taxes for incomes over $90,000 (partial scrapping of the cap), as well as requiring payroll taxes for incomes UNDER $90,000.
We may reform Social Security with modest tweaks. The U.S. Report of Senate Special Committee on Aging suggests: 1) lifting the cap as President Bush suggested from all earning over $106,800/year rather than only taxing the middle class; 2) raising the payroll tax rate .05%; 3) extending Social Security coverage to more workers so they will also be paying in .05%; and 4) earmarking revenue from the estate tax for Social Security in the future. Congress’s, and President Bush43’s, misuse of Social Security money to pay other costs can be fixed by using former Social Security Commissioner Ball’s three point plan. We should cancel the huge tax deduction on the most wasteful sorts of corporate debt, especially the kind used for speculation and leveraged buyouts.
We shall follow President Clinton’s lead by supplementing the Social Security of the poor. We won’t end the government accounting office proposal that allows more to people who need it more.
We shall reform the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp (PBGC) so that it has the money to pay as planned when corporate pension plans fail; $565 million will be required to fill the gap. We’ll fortify our safety net by having the federal government contribute into personal accounts on behalf of low-income workers. We’ll use a means tested benefit program for seniors and SSI, to boost payments up to the poverty level in each state.
We shall establish a “diet COLA” for use in setting wage increases (index new benefits to prices, instead of wages).
Far from acting lawlessly, nothing President Obama has proposed is outside his prosecutorial discretion. The real mystery is not why President Obama is doing so much, but why he isn't doing more to offer relief to the victims of our insane immigration system. Most migrants are living with relatives.
Aside from migrating children, 45% of all new immigrants in 2012 were Asian.
On our southern border we’re between the waves of unaccompanied children, more than 52,000 of them so far this year. In fact, desperate Central American parents are exploiting separate legal loopholes in American border security passed before President Obama took office. Unaccompanied minors fall under the bipartisan law, William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008, which passed the House and Senate unanimously and was signed into law by President Bush43.
62% of Americans support allowing illegal and undocumented immigrants to earn citizenship, compared to 35% who are opposed (a poll from Politico/George Washington University). Among Republicans, the idea receives plurality support, with 49% in favor and 45% opposed. Democrats favor the idea 74% to 24%. And among independents, 61% support it, while 35% are opposed.*Immigration could deliver a huge boost to global output.
Over 50% of American population will have come from outside Europe by 2040.
The Immigration service is being cut out of notice from court-rooms when defendents are being prosecuted for other offenses than immigration.
Previously the House passed limited visa changes, Republicans looked to additional border restrictions, allowed a limited path toward 55,000 visas for foreign graduates in science.
We need a path to citizenship for 11 million illegal immigrants. A bill that would also bolster border security measures, ratchet up penalties for employers who hire illegal immigrants, and make it easier to bring in foreign workers under special visas."
The Supreme Court decision regarding Arizona's SB 1070 struck down the majority of the anti-immigration law but kept the most devastating provision that police may demand proof of status from the "Papers, please" provision.
Enact Immigration Reform: too many immigrants are called ‘illegal’.
The President has proposed ‘illegal’ immigrants under 30 who were brought to the U.S. as children and have certain other qualifications, such as a high-school diploma and a clean police record, may apply for work permits and the right to lie free from the fear of arrest.
We want creation of a path to citizenship and easier access to legal residence for those in the country illegally. (ibid) They pick the food that all of us eat. No current American citizens (except former immigrants who have obtained citizenship) will do that work.
The truth is that our growth in new and educated native-born workers has ended. We need the workers, including the 41 million Latinos already here. The number of native-born workers age 34-44 will be smaller in the next 30 years and more than 60 million current employees will likely retire. The construction industry is already “starving for folks”. Farmers are crying for help and lack of workers is driving them to destruction of unharvested crops. Our economy needs these workers. “Unauthorized workers” count for nearly 5% of the overall US labor force at a time when we are near full employment. Of these 7.2 million workers, nearly 20% work in construction related jobs, over 36% are insulation workers and 29% are roofers and drywall installers
The Obama administration has doubled the number of patrol agents along the border and deported nearly 400,000 illegal immigrants last year”. The annual flow of about 500m illegal Mexican migrants has slowed to about 100,000 a year. Current immigration laws are keeping innovative thinkers and skilled workers from contributing to the U.S. economy.
Farmers oppose G.O.P. bill to require verification of Workers’ Immigration Status
The effects of immigration on wages are a maximum of 5%.
The further beneficial steps would be modifying the check of all those arrested, even non-criminal and minor offenders, under the Secure Communities Act, pushing harder against the noxious anti-immigrant laws being passed in the national free-for-all, granting relief from deportation for those who would be allowed to remain under the proposed Dream Act, resisting the E-Verify, flawed, hiring data-base, keeping families together by allowing immigrants to fix their status without having to leave the country, and combating labor-trafficking.
We must provide an efficient, expeditious system (with minimal or no backlogs for legal entry of immigrants into the U.S., create a path to legal status for current illegals provided they pay taxes, learn English, study civics and meet other relevant criteria, strengthen enforcement through improved technology to facilitate employer verification of employee status, with significant fines,
Another option is global guest-worker programs, run by rich countries in the interests of the poor. Every wealthy country would hand out enough work visas to increase its labor force by 3% and the visas would be temporary, allowing the benefits to be broadly shared among successive waves of foreign workers. In 2005 the World Bank estimated that a 3% program could yield $300 billion annually for the citizens of developing countries.
For the millions of Americans who are turning down jobs that are beneath their qualifications we should develop jobs that use their skills  and retrain them for existing and future jobs if they can use that help.
WHEN OUR CITIZENS DON’T WANT THOSE JOBS, let foreign workers in; give this freedom to “our” workers from Mexico: Mexican workers have been willing to accept short term, hard, work on bad terms; we need them to run our farms and build roofs for our houses; since farmers say, on television shows, that our workers don’t want to do the jobs they do and no Americans’ jobs are being taken let’s give the job to another. Let’s give legal status to illegal immigrants if they pay fines, back taxes and pass background checks
The number of illegal immigrants in America has ben reduced to 11 million. Which aliens may live in the U.S. has always been the prerogative of the federal gov’t’ (McKee 3rd CCA [3-0 decision].
Enact Schumer-Graham (path to citizenship with biometric ID which would make it impossible to fake papers, and enforce it.
Numerous myths abound: the electric Focus, Volt, Fisker Karma, Toyota Prius Plug-in cost 2-3 cents per mile (vs. 15-16 cents), but the purchase price of $29,000 means it’ll take 8.7 years to make up its cost’s difference over a regular car cost, That car’s range is 73-86 mi before recharge, which takes 20 hours; there are 11,000 recharging stations.
A number of myths about immigration are false: areas that experience heavy immigration show a drop in the crime rate and they aren’t in jail more than the rest of us (15.8% compared to 16.2%; Latinos are no more criminal than the white population, and will become less criminal as they further age.) President Obama’s administration has doubled the number of patrol agents along the border and deported nearly 400,000 illegal immigrants last year”. It’s time to overhaul the nation's immigration policy. The annual flow of about 500,000 illegal Mexican migrants has slowed to about 100,000 a year. Current immigration laws are keeping innovative thinkers and skilled workers from contributing to the U.S. economy. They don’t use more public services and they do contribute to local economies through their labor and taxes); they don’t take jobs that otherwise would go to citizens (because citizens won’t take those jobs); we need these workers because we need the contributions they make to Social Security when more of the rest of us are not paying Social Seurity when we are retired). Prove that defensive wall building expensive to the taxpayer and futile. Bring the immigrants’ shadow economy into the light to fatten tax rolls. This will work best if the administration redoubles enforcement of minimum wage, the right to organize and to receive health and safety protections (which would reduce the incentive to hire undocumented workers) End the abuse of illegal workers, improve wages for all and spur economic growth. Therefore we shall more tightly control the border, create a path toward legalizing existing immigrants, set up a system for verifying the status of workers and punishing employers who flout the rules and create a better way to admit temporarily workers in the future. President Obama wants to resurrect immigration reform.
We will enforce our laws protecting our borders better. But Mexican workers need this work because they want to be responsible for their families here and at home. Here, they help our economy by buying tractors, sewing machines and farm equipment with their wages. It’s better for us to have the border patrol chasing crooks, thieves and drug-runners instead of needed wage-earners who are providing for their families. We must provide an efficient, expeditious system (with minimal or no backlogs for legal entry of immigrants into the U.S.. W should create a path to legal status for current illegals provided they pay taxes, learn English, study civics and meet other relevant criteria. Strengthen enforcement through improved technology to facilitate employer verification of employee status, with significant fines.
Don’t build a wall, which will not work, when spending the money aiding the mexican economy would stop the illegal immigration and we could use the money for social security, health, energy redevelopment and environmental projects.
Contrary to opposition doctrine, red Southern states like Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas have the highest rates of divorce, while the liberal, decadent Northeast has the lowest. Take care in this arena: Americans have less and less patience for the intrusive and divisive moral scolds. The influence of religion in politics is decreasing. But still find a way to present thoughts that stop them from jumping to negative conclusions before knowing the real deal and from negative typecasting.
Set long term goals for equality, life expectancy, lower infant mortality, lower obesity levels, lower crime rates, higher literacy scores, higher amounts of rubbish that get recycled. The more equal the society the better the performance invariably is.
Freedom of religion means freedom for all religions, and favoring all faiths. All religions believe in the golden rule, ‘do unto others as you would have them do unto you’. ‘I am my brother’s keeper’. And ALL religions contain sinners. Let’s help the sinners from all religions rather than picking on renegades in ANY religion. Jesus is said to be both faithful and nonjudgmental; “Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned”.(Luke 6:37) The Golden Rule means do not tell lies about others. 
Be fair, do justice and do not use violence. ‘Turn the other cheek’ when an attack happens. Build a community of respect in the world on all sides.
Manage capitalism. Failure to manage by regulation was the cause of the 2008 crash. The others blamed had only minor roles in producing the crash.
Save God’s earth, by joining the Kyoto treaty, and use international cooperation. . It’s not Christian values if there’s no “caring” for others.
Protect our CIA agents. President Bush43, Cheney and Rove ‘outed’ CIA agent Plame. We shall support our foreign representatives. Former press secretary Scott McClellan points out that President Bush43’s administration ended her protection and misled the press about his role.
President Clinton ended welfare as we know it. The number of people on welfare has decreased 60%, employment of single mothers is up and child support collections have nearly doubled. People are working to support their children. Those who have been on welfare are on a five year limit, and are choosing to leave welfare to work.
We believe in the moral value of safe retirement for senior workers with their paid for Social Security to help.
We believe in the right to have guns to hunt, protect ourselves and protect our families in our homes. And we believe, with a majority of Americans, that felons, terrorists and troubled teenagers don’t have the right to threaten the safety of our children and ourselves with guns or otherwise. Regulate the possession and use of guns.
We believe that the government should not tell people whom they may love. Permit recognition of (gay) marriages in other states. We want to reduce poverty and believe that a spiritual person must agree with the Catholic Church campaigns for social justice, against hunger, like the Catholic Campaign for Human Development.
Accept and honor Islam, ensuring that all faiths may benefit from globalization. Resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict, bolster the forces of moderation. As in Indonesia, democracy and Islam can abide together.
FOLLOW YOUR FAITH (Pelosi Faith Initiative) and tell where you stand on issues of faith, politics, religious liberty and pluralism, organizing within religions. President Lincoln (who’d read the gospels) said we’re not saying God’s on our side; we’re just praying that we’re on God’s side.
Doctors should follow those scientists who have stopped accepting payments from food, drug and medical device companies when they speak at meetings or sit on advisory boards.
Pass the free choice act in labor relations: change to tough penalties for intimidation by business (or labor), secret ballot, no binding arbitration, no union just by collection of signatures
End the racial segregation effect of criminal sentences. The mandatory minimum penalties for drug crimes (when liquor is freely sold) results in imprisonment of blacks and latinos by discriminatory enforcement. These laws and policies, and the discriminatory enforcement, must be modified. Alternative ways of earning a living must be developed and trained for to give those groups a different way of supporting themselves.
Make marriage a private contract, not a religious nor governmental act, which would allow choice to individuals.