George Bush Misquoted
Just to set the record straight, President Bush has been misquoted over the last four years by the liberal news media who insist on misspelling certain words of his pledge to change the meaning around so that they can attack him as someone who would lie just to get elected president.
In 1988 George Bush said, "Read my Lips! KNOW new Taxes!" George Bush, running as the "Education President" feels that the public ought to be informed about the nature of his tax program. The public needs to be aware that it is going to cost a lot of money so that they can afford to continue trickling down on you.
Well it's been three weeks since the last issue of Thinking Magazine. I've been a busy boy and haven't had the time to get one out. I've been out politicing for Bill Clinton. I really like what he has to say and he's got a plan that I think will work. I'm not going to go into the details here, but I encourage you all to listen to his speeches and think them through.
About two weeks ago, Hillary Clinton came to Springfield and my wife Vicki and I had the opportunity to meet her. She is a most impressive person with a lot of very clear ideas. I see what Bill Clinton means when he says, "Buy one, get one free." referring to the fact that Hillary is qualified to be President as well.
Last weekend Vicki and I went to Hannabal Missouri to meet Bill who was speaking at a Democratic function. We put together a "Brilliant Ideas Pack" which included campaign strategy, the first six issues of Thinking Magazine, and three decks of Eclipse's political trading cards. The three decks were "The Savings & Loan Scandal Trading Cards", "The Drug Wars Trading Cards", and "The Bush League Trading Cards". We got the opportunity to put this information right into Bill's hands and hopefully made enough of an impression on him to get him to read it.
The day before "Super Tuesday" Vicki and I stopped by the local democratic headquarters to distribute these trading cards to the local democrats. We are trying to arrange to have a table at "Jackson Day" (A local Democratic event) to sell these trading cards. Our idea is to start a national fad among Democrats to distribute these cards and create a bottom up grass roots campaign to inform voters about the events that have happened over the last 11 years.
The Democrats loved them and it looks like things are on. They asked me if I would give the nominating speech for Bill Clinton at the caucus in my district, and I accepted.
I had never been to a caucus before so we didn't know quite what to expect. There were 48 people who showed up. All the Democrats were nominated. From what I could tell, most everyone had their mind made up before they got there. The Harkin guy moved over to the Brown camp since Harkin dropped out. There were only two Tsongas supporters and it took 8 to form a caucus so they moved over to the Uncommited camp.
At this point I'd like to say that the process for nominating a Democratic candidate is the stupidest process that I have ever seen in my life. It is so stupid that it is offensively stupid. You, the reader may find what I'm about to tell you hard to believe when you consider that this is the method of selecting the most powerful person on the planet.
Out of the 48 people there it split 50% Clinton, 25% Brown and 25% Uncommited. I was the chairman of the Clinton group. We, as a whole, were required to elect 46 delegates and 46 alternate delegates out of 48 total people there. And it was also required that 50% of the delegates and 50% of the alternates had to be women. Most of the people there didn't want to be either a delegate or an alternate.
Our group, being the biggest, got to elect twenty delegates and twenty alternates pledged to Clinton out of our 19 people. We were given computer printouts of the registered voters in our district and were expected to pick people who weren't even there. Each of these 19 people were expected to vote for a total of 40 people on ballots that had room only for 13 names.
I nominated our Mayor and his wife since I knew they were Democrats. I also nominated everyone else who had the same last name as him and I nominated the 95 year old lady that lives next to me out of disgust for the system. I was so disgusted with the system that I almost decided to vote for Pat Buchannan instead.
What we ended up doing was coming up with a total of 40 names and we wrote down one name on 40 ballots so each person got one vote and had a majority. Everyone in the group was satisfied with this method of getting the job done. The Brown group gave up on the process and walked out. The people in charge of the process had to fill out the Brown ballots for them after they left! Can you believe this?
I think that if any of these delegates show up for the county level that the number of delegates elected were proportional to the candidate support of the people in the room. So to that extent the process was fair. But the Democratic Party has serious problems in it's system of nominating candidates and I feel it necessary, because of the stupidity of the system, to draw public attention to the problem.
Balancing the Budget
In Hannabal, where I saw Bill Clinton in person, I met with several politicians who were running for various offices where I tested their views on the issues to see if there was anyone worth supporting. I met one guy who really liked my position on winning the drug war and legalizing Pot but we disagreed on the issue of "Sin Tax". He felt that sin should be taxed and my position is that taxes are already too high and that sin wasn't a good source for which the government should depend on revenue.
He ended up challenging me to come up with a plan to eliminate the deficit without increasing taxes. So here it is folks. Thinking Magazines economic plan to reverse the debt vortex and turn America around. Most of these ideas are not original so if you've heard them before I'm happy for you. In fact, many of these ideas are straight out of Bill Clinton's campaign so I want to thank him as a contributor. Credit where credit is due.
Before I jump right into specifics I want to give you an outline of where I'm coming from and discuss the overall mathematics behind my ideas. After all, if it doesn't stand up to the "Calculator Test" then it isn't good enough for Thinking Magazine. The idea is not to just come up with plans, but plans that will actually work.
My first target is eliminating waste. Do I think there is a lot of waste in the system? You bet I do! And I'll target this incredible waste and see if we I can't come up with ways to deal with it. Mathematically, any waste saved goes directly towards solving the budget balance.
The other concept I want to get across is to compare the economy to a pie and taxes to a slice out of that pie. The trend as it's going now is that the government is taking bigger slices out of a shrinking pie. My theory is to grow the pie and not grow the slice. We can increase government revenues by giving them the same slice or perhaps a smaller slice from a growing pie. So I have two strategies, eliminate waste and increase productivity.
Let's Talk About Budgeting
How many times have you heard about how a department of government needs to get rid of their budget because they feel that they are required to spend all the money they are given. I'd like to see a new form of management in place for government positions where saving money is rewarded. Government needs to be run the same way a for profit business is run where management keeps an eye on the bottom line.
Let's Talk About Drugs
In issue number 2 of Thinking Magazine I went into great detail about how to win the drug war. By implementing the systems I described there would save in excess of 100 billion dollars a year in reduced crime, law enforcement and prison population. We would be recycling people and turning dope addicts and criminals into taxpayers. We waste an incredible amount of money on the drug war that could easily be saved by legalizing Pot, decriminalizing drugs, and tightening controls on cigarettes and alcohol.
Let's Talk About Crime
The criminal system needs to be revised from a crime and punishment mentality to a repair and recycle mentality. Criminals are people who would best serve society cured than warehoused in cages. We can no longer justify a system that is wasteful of money and resources whose only result is to teach criminals how to be better criminals. We need to turn criminals into taxpayers.
Let's Talk About the Justice System
The justice system in America is among the most corrupt institution in the world. It is now controlled by Republican political appointees who's goal is to weaken the Constitution and take away our basic freedoms as Americans. Changes that have been made include the ability of the police to seize your property and keep it without any due process of law. This encourages cops to become criminals and as a result we have a lawless expensive society.
Let's Talk About Health Care
The American health care system is being reduced to the paper hospital where the majority of hospital expense involves the processing of forms, and ordering of expensive tests that are needed only as a defense against litigation. Insurance companies are using the money they collect to buy into junk bonds instead of paying for doctors. Greedy lawyers try to turn every health incident into a law suit costing doctors and hospitals thousands of dollars each even if they win.
We need to change the system making it more restrictive as far as lawsuits go so that there is a system for fair and inexpensive arbitration. We need to have a simple standard system for doctors and hospitals to bill insurance companies and get the cost of paperwork down. We need to let a person die when they are dead rather than to hook them up to $100,000 with of equipment for 2 more weeks to keep their chest moving up and down so that billing can continue.
We also need a health care system designed with prevention in mind so that people can be cured early an inexpensively rather than waiting till they are half dead.
Let's Talk About Education
The education system in America needs to be scrapped completely. We have a system that discourages innovative and creative teachers in favor of incompetent bureaucratic types. These teachers are allowed to fossilize after ten years of employment so that they can't be fired no matter how bad they are.
The subjects that are taught and the way that they are taught are bullshit. We need to start teaching kid what they need to know to go out into the real world and get a job and function in society.
First of all we need to get rid of the laws that protect bad teachers from being eliminated from the system and start running schools like they were a business. We need to have systems that evaluate performance and make adjustments to correct problems so that our schools turn out a product that is competitive in a global market.
The other thing that needs to occur is the development of computer software courses that are designed by the countries best teachers and software engineers. We have the technology today to create the "teacherless classroom" where say 75% of training is done more efficiently by highly tested computer software that is continuously refined to improve it's effectiveness.
Another thing I'd like to see is an educational channel developed for cable TV that is targeted at those who are at home in the daytime
Let's Talk About Welfare Reform
The welfare system is designed to keep people on welfare. We need to change the economics so that working people make more than welfare people so that more welfare people go to work.
Here's a new idea though. I'd like to see home educational videos produced and provided by the welfare system to train people at home in the skills on how to get off welfare. These tapes could contain a vast amount of information about all kinds of opportunities and "how to" job skills. I think that most people on welfare these days have a TV set and a VCR. I think these could be used as tools to educate these people and get them back in the work force.
Let's Talk About Small Business
I like Bill Clintons idea of a 50% tax break to help people start new businesses. This is a way of creating more jobs and growing the pie. Along with that we should provide any one who wants to start a business a 2 hour information video telling them how to go about it. Showing them the basics of how cash flow works, taxes, common mistakes that are made, and the general strategies of how successful businesses succeed.
Let's Talk About Conserving Energy
Here's one I have to give to Jerry Brown. We could save a lot of money by insulating houses and installing programmable thermostats and energy efficient appliances rather than building more power plants. It would actually cost the utilities less money if they did it out of their own pocket that if they built a power plant.
The current tax laws encourage a utility to be wasteful instead of thrifty. We need to change some laws.
Let's Talk About Population Control
Our welfare system rewards people to breed like flies and have us taxpayers pay to raise their kids. We need to change the system to get these people back in the workplace rather than paying them to be baby factories. We need to provide abortion on demand free of charge and provide vasectomies and tubal ligations free of charge. We need to have negative population growth to get the population of the planet down to about 1.5 billion people. With this population level along with improved technology, we can have a high standard of living for every being on the planet and not strain the global environment to the point of human extinction.
Paul Tsongas gets credit on this issue for correctly identifying global population control as the most serious issue facing us as a species.
Beating Our Swords into Plowshares
Now thanks to Groby we now have a peace dividend. This dividend is not just a cut in the military budget but frees up our best minds that have been used to create the weapons of destruction to create the tools of recovery. Jerry Brown says it best when he talks about building B2 Bullet trains instead of B2 bombers. I would like to see a technology windfall come out of this so that our economy can benefit from the technology developed during the cold war.
The Soviet Opportunity
We have an historic opportunity to take advantage of turning a long time enemy into a close ally. And right now George Bush is walking away from it. I don't know who gave him high marks in foreign policy but it sure isn't me. Even Richard Nixon, Mr. Watergate himself, is coming out against Bush on this issue. I can almost justify forgiving him for his past for making this stand.
We and the Soviets would make a great team and we can rebuild our economies together and we are walking away from it.
Opportunity and Responsibility
Bill Clinton has the right idea of providing an education to everyone who wants it and paying for it with 2 years of civil service. For students coming out of college to work 2 years in civil service would allow them to develop their skills in a real world environment. These people could be used to rebuild our inner cities, help take care of the elderly at home instead of expensive nursing homes, and become teachers and teachers assistants to help break the cycle of poverty.
And after 2 years of this kind of real world experience these kids will be much more ready for the real world jobs. They will become the engine that drives the economy and breaks the recession cycle.
The Technology Dividend
With advances in computer and technology we will enjoy an economic windfall. The more we can get machines to do the work of people the more it frees up people to do other more important things.
But, if we create the right tax incentives for research and development and revise the education system then we can enjoy the technology dividend sooner rather than later.
The Vision Dividend
With someone in the White House who is trying to do the right thing for America and is working towards a vision we can start to make these changes. America has become divided into "us and them" with our leaders sitting around with their fingers up their butts blaming everyone else for the problems they created. When we have a common vision and leadership who believes that all is not lost and that we can turn America around the we will be able to do that.
And this is something that you, the reader, can do something about. This Fall we will have two choices, Bush and Clinton. All you have to do is vote for Clinton and encourage everyone you know to vote for Clinton. And here are some tools to help you. I talked about some political trading cards published by Eclipse Publishing. I recommend you get the "Bush League, Savings & Load Scandal, Drug Wars, Iran-Contra, and JFK Trading card decks. Tell them I sent you. The phone number is 707-887-1521. If you like them as much as I do then buy some extra sets for your friends and neighbors. Send them to your local newspaper, TV stations, or politicians you want to get elected.
This list is just and overview of things that can be done. I could go into much greater detail and come up with three times as many ideas. I will save some of that for later issues. The point is that it isn't hopeless and the problem is solvable. But we need to make a commitment to real solutions and not just rhetoric if we want to get the job done.
Political Messages From Our Candidates
During the debates in Chicago, Tsongas was asked if he might be interested in the Vice President position should the opportunity arise. Thongas said no. He said that he and Clinton were too far apart on the issues to work together.
To me I see this as a bad move. Even if he truly felt that way now is Paul Tsongas so sure that he might not change his mind at a later date to close off this opportunity? I think not. If I were offered to be Vice President I would want to give it serious thought.
Bill Clinton was asked the question the day before if he would consider Tsongas as Vice President. Clinton responded that he was definitely on the top level. When pressed about his differences with Tsongas, Clinton responded that they could be worked out. He said that he had a lot of respect for Tsongas for having the guts to run and that meant a lot more than those who didn't run. He also recognized that Tsongas had appeal to groups that he didn't and would be an asset to the ticket.
What Clinton said was smart and what Tsongas said was dumb. It also demonstrated that Clinton is willing to work with people who disagree with him which is important because in order to create the kind of serious change Clinton is talking about, he is going to have to work with, not stand up to, Congress.
The House Bank Scandal
I've been following the banking scandal issue and it is definitely overblown. I wouldn't call it a non-issue but it is more of a press feeding frenzy than a significant event.
I think I need to correctly explain what happened so that we all know what we are talking about. That way we can talk rationally about the subject. First of all not a single one of those checks bounced. Every one of them cleared the bank. So the people who received these checks got their money just like any other check. None of them got ripped off for a dime.
So it is wholly inaccurate for the news media to talk about "bounced checks" or "rubber checks" because these checks didn't bounce. What did happen is that the bank covered checks that had insufficient funds without charging interest or penalties or even notifying the account holders that there was a problem. At worse I have a problem with the idea of Congress having their own government funded bank financed with our tax dollars, but this bank has been around for 160 years and is now shut down.
Many of us out here in the real world have overdraft protection which is the same thing except that we are charged a fee and interest for the service. It is however interesting to see who is the worst offenders and those who abused this special privilege and I suppose that if my congressman were in the top 24 that I would want to ask some questions as to their ability to manage their personal finances. But the ones who are abusing the issue are the media and those who are making a big deal over a ho-hum issue. I would rather see them fry the Savings & Loan scandal crowd.
Best Line of the Week
The best line of the week goes to Bill Clinton. During one of his speeches he said that Dan Quayle had declared himself the "Pit Bull" of the election. Clinton said that he is sure that every fire hydrant in Detroit is scared to death.
Am I Biased?
Yea I'm biased. I like Clinton. I think he's going to make a fine President and I want everyone to vote for him. This is my publication and I can say anything I want. If you don't like it you can write me a nasty letter or start your own publication. So if you feel it necessary to take what I say with a grain of salt, then get your salt shaker out.