Thursday, March 16, 2017

How to Hold Activist Judges Accountable

There have been countless complaints about the current state of our judicial system, with so many activist judges illegally legislating from the bench. And it has been impossible to fix it because judges are appointed for life, and the Constitution allows only one method of removal - for lack of "good behavior".

And while it would appear that illegally legislating from the bench is bad behavior, the  courts have declared (again, illegally) that only "high crimes and misdemeanors"  can constitute bad behavior. Such a declaration by the court is a case of the fox guarding the hen house.

To remove a judge, the judge must be impeached by a simple majority of the House, and a two-thirds majority of the senate.

This entire debacle is easily fixed - Congress, the only body with the authority to do so - should pass a law that clarifies what constitutes bad behavior of judges, and should include "legislating from the bench" as an impeachable offense.

Today, the difficult part would be getting the law passed through the Senate, and getting 60 votes for any impeachment. But thanks to Harry Reid, the "nuclear option" could be used, and only a simple majority would be required in the senate.

The law should state that a judge shall be reprimanded for a first offense. A second offense within three years would result in impeachment.

While this would not fix all the issues with rogue judges, it would certainly provide the People with a method for protecting themselves from them.


Tuesday, March 7, 2017

A Better, Affordable Health Care Plan

A REAL healthcare bill would include the following:

1) No mandates or credits (see below)

2) Ability to cobble together the health care each person wants or needs, even across state lines. Would create lower costs through competition

3) Price transparency, so people can shop for the least expensive service. Would create lower costs through competition

4) Tort reform - cap malpractice suits to a reasonable level, so providers would not be forced to push unnecessary tests & procedures just to cover their butts

   4a)  Eliminate class action suits for "bad drugs" approved by the FDA unless there is intent of wrongdoing. Would severely reduce cost for prescriptions

5) The government should increase the FICA contribution by employers and employees by 2.5%, and use those funds to provide catastrophic coverage to everyone in a household earning less than 250% of poverty level ($50/year from each, for each $10,000 of income)

6) Those whose household income is at or below poverty level would already have catastrophic coverage (see above) and medicaid for other health care costs. Since medicaid now only needs to cover non-catastrophic costs, the medicaid is less expensive, allowing states to provide more coverage for less

Whereas payroll deductions would provide catastrophic coverage for lower & middle income, and current medicaid would cover most of any balance for the poor, and whereas costs for health care and/or insurance costs have been significantly reduced, anyone earning over 250% of poverty level could well afford their own insurance. Hence, no mandates or credits are necessary.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

What President Trump Should Do With "Dreamers"

Immigration - particularly illegal immigration - has been a top concern of Americans for decades. Former president Obama issued an executive order called "The Dream Act" that allows those brought here illegally, as children, the right to stay, work and go to school.

To begin, I do not approve of rewarding those who break the law. On the other hand, I am a firm believer in second chances for those who earn them.

One question president Trump is wrestling with is what to do about the "Dreamers". Naturally, I have a suggestion.

First, any Dreamer who has been convicted of any crime should be deported - NOW. The rest would have the next seven years to prove their allegiance to our country and laws - if they break any crimnal laws, they get deported. But if they stay clean, learn English, work hard and show they are an asset, at the end of seven years they can be granted citizenship. They will have earned it.

One other option: they can serve in the United States military for a minimum of 4 years. Upon completion of four years of honorable active service, they may be granted citizenship.

I know a lot of hard right and hard left people will find fault with such a plan, but the truth remains that it is fair. And what is America if not fair?


Monday, February 27, 2017

Why the Stock Market is Important to Non-Investors

I was talking with a fellow at the coffee shop this morning and I happened to mention the economy has grown almost $3 trillion since Trump was elected, and the stock market keeps breaking record highs every day. I also mentioned that the media, including the "venerable" New York Times, has failed to mention any of it, as their agenda does not include giving Trump credit for anything.

He said, "So what. I don't invest in the markets, so it doesn't affect me."

Too many uninformed people believe that. They think the market growth only benefits those that play the markets. Not true. Not even close to true.

When people invest in the markets, they are "loaning" their money to businesses. With $3 trillion being pumped into businesses across the country, and even around the world, those businesses can hire more people (job creation), research, develop and produce more and newer products (consumer goods). This increase in production and hiring results in more taxes being paid into the United States Treasury, which helps fund Social Security, Medicare and many other programs.

The hiring also removes people from food stamps and welfare, saving taxpayers a bundle.

And, of course, as companies grow, the investors on Main Street receive a profit they can spend in their communities.

So the next time you hear someone complain that a growing stock market has no effect on him or her, you can set them straight.


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Real Truth Behind Health Care Costs

There are almost as many "health care replacement plans" as there are people in Congress. And not one of them attacks the real problem. The problem is not insurance - it's health care PRICING.

Health care lobbyists have succeeded in bullying our lawmakers into allowing "secret pricing" that can vary from place to place, and even person to person. Unlike any other product, where every consumer pays the same price in any given store, health care providers can charge almost anything they want, according to what they think they can get someone to pay.

As an example, when I scheduled a colonoscopy at Exeter NH hospital, I asked the cost. At first they did not even want to tell me the cost. When I threatened to go elsewhere, I was told it would cost "about $1500". When I told them I did not have insurance, the cost suddenly collapsed to $650. The way I see it, if I could get it for $650, then everyone should be charged the same.

As another example, I went to to get pricing for a prescription. As you can see by this screenshot, the exact same prescription was a different price in several different pharmacies. And worse yet, the NON-DISCOUNT price was much higher. In other words, John Doe would pay up to $75, while I could get the same prescription for $26.85. Again, if one person pays $26.85, that should be the price for everyone, without having to get some "coupon".

Because of secret pricing, and variable pricing, health insurance is far more expensive than it needs to be, and deductibles are far greater than necessary.

The way I see it, the entire health care debacle could be easily solved and made affordable by government intervention to standardize pricing (after negotiating the best deal) and allowing people to shop around for the various parts of insurance they want, even across state lines. And if tort reform is included, that would bring costs down even more - we've all seen the thousands of "lawyer" ads suing for every drug ever created, driving up prices. And by setting caps on malpractice, doctors could charge less.

Every person who wants to see the best health care at the lowest costs should contact their representatives and senators and send them a link to this post, or, at the very least, demand they buck the lobbyistys and standardize health care costs for every drug, every service, every procedure.

Then perhaps we will finally have the best health care system in the world.


Monday, January 23, 2017

Should Trump Kill The Death Tax?

Word came down today that President Trump is looking to end the estate tax. Liberals, of course, say he is doing it to help the wealthy. And while it certainly does help the more affluent to actually keep what they worked so hard for, and already paid taxes on, President Trump understands there is a bigger issue here.

Consider this scenario as an example...

A man and his family spend their lives working hard to build up a profitable family farm worth $10 million. The man dies, and the family must pay the government $6 million in estate tax, on something that has already been taxed before. (This does not include any state "death tax" that would also be due). Many would say, "So what - the family still has $4 million". But they don't. Almost the entire $10 million value of the farm is in land, stock and equipment. There is little or no cash. In order to pay the taxes, the family is forced to sell the farm, and chances are the only ones able to buy it is some huge (and even wealthier) farming conglomerate. The family farm is gone. The family income is gone.

The fact is that most wealth passed on to heirs is in the form of non-cash assets. Such assets are not liquid, and often must be sold to pay the taxes. This destroys a lot of family businesses - and a lot of families.

Another fact that liberals do not want you to come face-to-face with: EVERY tax destructive. It eats up working capital, reducing production, growth and hiring. It takes away the ability to spend, reducing the ability to buy things that keep people working and the economy moving.

Certainly, taxes are necessary to fund the government, but the government, by Constitutional constraint, may only tax and spend for eight very specific purposes. Building treadmills for shrimp, and a huge number of other things our government wastes hundreds of billions a year on doing are not among the governments lawful purposes. If we get rid of the waste, the fraud and the spending that is not even lawful, there would be no need to destroy family inheritances with a death tax. In fact, all taxes could be reduced dramatically.

For example, there is no need, nor logical purpose, for giving other nations our own taxpayer money to help build THEIR countries when ours is in need. Sending $500 million to Mexico each year is a travesty - it is not our job to take care of Mexico. If you have to buy your friends, they are not friends worth having.

In short, the estate tax is unfair and even illegal, according to the original Constitution (before Wilson illegally instituted the Federal Reserve and used deceit to pass an amendment changing HOW taxes could be assessed).

And just as important - just because something helps the rich does not make it bad or wrong. What counts is justice, not who it helps most.


Helping Hillary Figure Out Why She Lost

Politico reports that Hillary Clinton is still trying to figure out why she lost the election. Frankly, if she does not know the answer to that, she has no business even running for office. However, for the sake of her sanity, and to help her get through this, I will make it as simple and clear as is humanly possible.

Hillary lost for three big reasons (there are other, smaller reasons discussed at the end)

The first reason: Hillary did not address the issues important to middle America - everyday people. She should learn and apply Maslov's hierchy of needs. If people are struggling just to put food on the table, you won't get far talking about gender issues

Second reason: she took important states for granted, and did not campaign there. States like Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio...

Third reason: most of Hillary's pressers and fund raisers were with the liberal elite, like all the Hollywood celebrities. Mainstream America saw that, and said, "She does not even recognize I exist. She lives in a bubble. How can she represent me?"

Those are the biggies. Lesser reasons - which had a minor effect - were the scandals - Benghazi, and her blaming it on a video no one ever saw; her deletion of 30,000 emails; and all her lies, beginning with the one about being under sniper fire on the tarmac, and ending with "there was no classified info in my emails", and "Donald Trump is mysogynist & racist" (the evidence proves otherwise).

But the main reasons she lost are the first three I have listed, showing arrogance, ignorance and detachment from the real people of middle America.

As a side note: #1 and #3 are the same reasons why the 16 other REPUBLICAN candidates lost to Trump.