Debt Ceiling

It was an interesting experience listening to the President and Speaker of the House about Debt Ceiling on July 25, 2011. Both of them were supposedly addressing the nation, and both of them talked about numbers that more than half the nation does not understand. For starters, how many Americans really know how many zeroes are there in a trillion? I can assure you that out of all daily/hourly wage earners, a vast majority will not be able to answer that question. And that is real America. So I don’t know which America both these politicians talked to.


Now let’s take their plans separately. President and Democrats want to keep all the entitlements. Let’s see what those entitlements are. We keep wasting money on giving welfare to undeserving people for years. A large percentage of welfare recipients are not disabled but are just plain lazy and a drain on the society. Why don’t we put a cap on welfare? If the physically fit people on welfare don’t find jobs within a specified time, take their welfare away. There are thousands of welfare fraud cases. Try catching the offenders. Instead of cutting Medicare for the elderly, cut these benefits and make these people work instead of keeping them on welfare.

 Another example of unnecessary expense we have is Health Care system for the prisoners. Prisons are punishment facilities and not holiday camp grounds. I remember  an article in Los Angeles Times a long time back when Arnold Schwartzneger ordered a study and overhaul of California Prisons Health Care System. I never heard him ordering a comprehensive Health Care System for law abiding tax payers. But there is a comprehensive Health Care System for those who break the law and don’t pay any taxes. And the sad part is their victims pay for it. We spend more than a million dollars per year per person on people on death row. And then the Human Rights groups complain about the lethal injection to be given to them because it causes “undue pain and suffering”. These same Human Rights Groups are always missing from the scene when the same convicts brutally murder and mutilate their victims. All this money is being taken away from genuine entitlements of tax paying law abiding citizens. Just put the people on Death Row to death. Stop treating prisons as correctional facilities and make them punishment facilities. Put the prisoners in chains and let them clear the dry brush along roads and vulnerable neighborhoods. This will reduce our expense and damages during fire seasons. There are plenty of other productive things these prisoners can be made to do. Let them earn their stay at prisons rather than making their victims pay for it. Make the punishment harsh and swift. It will definitely deter wannabe criminals.

 Another example of waste is spending money on parades for personal preferences. We have Gay Pride Parades, parades for ethnic reasons and parades for winning local sports teams. Now if the Gays want to feel proud of their sexual orientation and have a parade about it, they are most welcome. Just pay for the security, the road closures and other related issues. I have never seen a Straight Pride Parade. Why the tax money collected from straight people should be used to support the personal sexual orientation of Gays. Same way if a local sports team wins the championship, why should the rest of the city be obligated to pay for their personal celebration. Make the owners of the team pay for all the security issues during the parade. A lot of teams have done it. Why not ask all of them to do it. The tax money should be kept for fulfilling the tasks for common good of the society and not for benefit of a few. There are number of such examples of waste. California law makers wasted precious time in passing a law to include contributions by Gays, Lesbians, AIDS victims in school curriculum. Any positive contribution by any body towards the advancement of society is a part of history. Why base their contribution on their sexual orientaions is beyond understanding of any sane individual. Law makers could have spent time on taking care of other important issues but that would not have been a news item.

 On the other hand we have Speaker of the House supported by narrow minded, self centered, tunnel versioned Tea Party activists. One of their leaders, Mr. Cantor, said on a radio interview that plugging loop holes in the tax code means raising taxes. I was told by a CPA a few years back that I could write off any vehicle with GVWR over 6000 pounds as business expense because they were considered commercial vehicles. In other words Mr. Cantor is willing to let his rich friends write off a $70000.00 Cadillac Escalade from their taxes but is not willing to pay Medicare to a poor old man. Speaker of the house and Tea Party members compare the running of a government to running a business. That shows how little they know about running a country. In a business the ultimate goal is the bottom line. In a government the ultimate goal is the welfare of the country. It is like a family. In a business you fire a non productive employee. Would Mr. Cantor and his colleagues be willing to tell our veterans after their tour of duty that they are no more useful to us so they are on their own. In a family, if a child falls sick and becomes non productive, you don’t kick that child out of the house. In a family you try to live within your means. But if an unexpected urgent expense like sickness comes up you take a loan to pay for it. However people like Michelle Bachmann and Eric Cantor would like to run the country like a business that helps the rich and walks over the poor. They will just worry about the bottom line, most likely their own. They don’t even know the history of this country, and what it stands for, and they are planning to run it.

 And now we also have a so called Gang of Six. Some of their proposals are frightening for the middle class, to say the least. For example, they want to eliminate subsidy for the Ethanol Industry. Well who gets hurt the most. The subsidy of 4.5 cents per gallon gets passed on to the retailer by the oil companies. In other words, removing this subsidy will increase the retailer’s cost by 4.5 cents per gallon. Most gasoline retailers work on very low margins on gas to start with. They will have no choice but to pass on that cost increase to the general public. So the common American on the road, trying to reach his/her job will end up paying more for that gallon nof gas.

 Another recommendation of the Gang of Six is to eliminate deduction of interest on home loan. One of the biggest incentives of home ownership is to be able to write off the interest. If this recommendation gets accepted, that house bought for $250,000.00 at 5% interest rate for 30 years will really cost $595,639.00 to the home owner, without any additional benefits. If you take away this big incentive of home ownership, the housing industry which is already in trouble will probably never fully recover. Why can’t they just limit this provision to investment properties rather than a place of primary residence. Because the investment properties are with rich folks and our politicians don’t want to ask them to pay their fair share. Corporate CEOs will still be able to write off their corporate jets as business expense. We should not punish people for being rich. We should just not allow them to get away with things other people can’t.

 No one has talked about putting limits on law suits that cripple the businesses, especially small businesses. Why not make it mandatory that if a law suit is proven to be frivolous, the plaintiff’s attorney will lose the license to practice and the plaintiff will pay all the expenses. Why not put limits to the awards in these law suits. It will cut a major expense on businesses and they will be able to use that extra money to hire more people and be more productive.

 At the end it is very clear that all politicians inWashingtonare either taking care of rich people or special interests. On one side we have Democrats who want to give away every thing to special interests and unions in the name of consumer rights and freedom of speech. On the other side we have Republicans who are being held hostage by Tea Party members who want to take away every thing from most of us and give the whole country away to a few rich people. No one is really concerned about the common, hard working, tax paying, law abiding American who is really struggling through this whole ordeal.

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