Monday, August 8, 2011

The Education System...Another Epic Failure!!!

A few days ago, it was recommended by my neighbor that I read this article and write my personal opinion on it...even though the article in question is also an opinion based article.

After reading this article, I can conclude that I am definitely not the only one who believes that the government is intentionally making people feel weak. Not only are Americans becoming vulnerable, but we are also beginning to accept the way things are because we believe that the situation is beyond our understanding. This is only the case because we are only given so much information through media outlets and through politicians themselves. The problem with this is that we are left to draw our own conclusions, much like children when they are given the "because I said so" response from their parents. We are left to accept what is, but still question why it is this way.

The article, written by an individual named Bruce E. Levine, introduces a different angle. He digs deeper by targeting children and how they are educated, as well as how behavior issues are resolved, the acceptance of student loan debt and a number of other areas. Simply put, these days our children are being brainwashed from an early age to accept everything for what it is. It is no longer acceptable to be a creative, free thinker. It is now an expectation to become a robot. They are expected to learn and behave a certain way.

Young adults have usually been considered the free thinkers: the ones to challenge authority and push boundaries; the ones who see how things work today and know they can make it better for the future. This is no longer the case. They fear this approach will reflect negatively on them. This is yet another way that the government is winning the war over the control of this nation, and we are letting them have their way. Their claim is that they are helping the children: there are not leaving any kids behind. The reality is they are finding every way to gain oversight over everything. The more control they have, the weaker we become.

I will not say anymore about the aforementioned article. Go ahead and read it. There is some pretty awesome information in it. It's also pretty depressing when you realize that our children are being subjected to the greatest injustice compared to everyone else.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

We've Heard The Same Thing Over, and Over, and Over...


I think I heard the word I hate most (bipartisan) about 10 times today, and every time I absolutely cringed with disgust. I will give Congress this much: two sides did come together and - despite their differences - came to an agreement to push the debt plan through. There are two problems with this though. First, they chose to support a bill which 1) they hastily passed with no real support for it in the first place, and 2) they passed a plan that not only does virtually nothing to reduce our deficit, but virtually guarantees that we will have at least a 22 trillion dollar deficit in ten years...THANK YOU CONGRESS AND MR. PRESIDENT!!! Second, once the bill was passed, you had both sides pointing the finger at each other again! President Obama was at the forefront, once again using the past to fuel present day arguments (I find this to be a huge cop out because of the simple fact that a great deal of the economic woes we are experiencing today are as a direct result of this administration's knee-jerk reactions).

So, back to the finger least, that is what the government has decided to revert to. Republicans are generally pointing fingers at the democratic party as a whole. The Democrats have decided to opt with the tact of narrowing down the blame to a portion of Republicans, The Tea Party. To top it off, I have heard a great deal of name calling from both ends; I will have to admit, the Republicans have been on more the receiving end. Not only are fingers being pointed like five-year-olds, but now I feel like I am watching a bunch of adolescents on television trying to diss each other to improve their credibility amongst their peers.

And if that wasn't enough - while the blame game is being played by our elected politicians in Washington, D.C. - the stock market has plummeted to levels not seen since 2008 post recession (at least, it was perceived that we were coming out of the is my opinion - as well as millions of others, I'm sure - that there was no true recovery from the recession and that we will most likely not recover for another 3 years at least!) as a result of abysmal revenue reports. It appears that we are not yet done with the drop in stock considering the poor job forecast due to be released tomorrow. I mean, seriously, what is it going to take for our government to WAKE THE HELL UP?! President Obama's solution: contact your state congressmen/women. What good is that going to do if you as well as your democratic constituents have made it clear that you will not work with Republicans?! What good will it do if Republicans have made it clear that they are going to do everything in their power to disrupt the Democratic agenda?! It will do not any good whatsoever!!!

Our words have fallen over the deaf ears of politicians for years. It is obvious because you could have gone over two years without watching the news, decided to watch the news today and will likely hear the same words coming out of politicians mouths as you did over two years ago! President Obama is still blaming the Bush administration for the problems we have been experiencing to date...HE HASN'T BEEN IN OFFICE FOR ALMOST THREE FLIPPING YEARS!!! The Republicans have been blaming the democrats for irresponsible spending...THANKS FOR STATING THE OBVIOUS!!! DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!!! Some people will say the Republicans made the Democrats flinch in this debt plan, but I completely disagree. How is reducing our deficit by a measly two trillion dollars in 10 years going to offset the additional 10 trillion the government is already in the process of spending?! It will do nothing to help!

What good does it do us to contact our congressmen/women when we are so politically divided that we may as well become the Union and Confederate States all over again?! I have said it before, and I will say it again and again until I am heard or the right eyes come upon this blog: the political divide in the government has flooded over to the American people. We now hate each other because of our political skin color! I hate you because your RED!!! I hate you because you're BLUE!!! We are becoming just like the politicians who are running this country, yet we don't realize that we share one extremely important interest that sits above all others: WE WANT AMERICA BACK!!! We waste our breath arguing that Democrats are wrong or Republicans are wrong...EVERYONE IS WRONG!!! We are in this position because no one wants to work together to create an outcome that benefits everyone! If you want to reduce our debt, cut spending by a trillion dollars per year! Completely reform the Tax Code, repeal Obamacare, bring our troops home, stop outsourcing so many jobs overseas, cut defense spending, and for goodness sake...STOP DUPLICATIVE SPENDING!!!

Unfortunately, our politicians will never be willing to work together to create such a result. That is, unless we suddenly decide to really look at who it is we are voting for. I almost think that it would be better to vote for politicians who are less known: politicians who have less affiliations and possess fresh ideas. We have played the broken record over and over for the past half century or more, and only once or twice did it accidentally play all the way through. It is time for us to play a different tune, one we know will play all the way through to the end; one we know everyone will equally enjoy. The politicians of tomorrow cannot mirror the ones of today. The less affiliated our future politicians are, the more likely they will be to work together.

I still have faith that America can rebound and once again be the greatest, most powerful country in the world. However, it takes us, THE PEOPLE, to come together and make it happen. We must unite, regardless of political affiliation, race, sexual orientation, religion, financial status and any other barriers one can think of. The people above us WANT us to be divided. It is when we are divided when we are truly the most vulnerable and susceptible to the government's wrath. Imagine how powerful - outright invincible - we would be if we came together as a country and said "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!" This is a time where we must set aside our differences and realize that disaster does not discriminate. In a disaster/catastrophe, everyone suffers.

It is the repeated antics, sales pitches, blaming, party politics and all other thing government related that has brought us to the position we are in today. You know WE can all do something about it...TOGETHER!!!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Why The Welfare System Promotes Poverty In America

Allow me to repeat what I have said in previous posts. I am very new to the concept of politics. That being said, I couldn't have picked a worse time to learn as I am seeing now how I am directly affected as well as every other tax paying American in this country. If there is anyone in this country to has earned the right to cry foul over the insane money being spent by our elected officials, it is the American tax payer. Time and time again we see bills passed with nary a detail regarding the allocation of money in said bills.

While there are so many areas where our tax dollars are being abused I would like to focus on a few areas which Americans have constantly harped on, but have been pretty much ignored by the government as a result. Hundreds of billions of dollars are spent every year to provide free medical, food, housing and a number of other benefits to low income households. Before you start bashing me for being callous toward the needy, allow me to state that I am a proponent in some areas and an opponent in others.

I am completely understanding that there are families that are stricken with unfortunate circumstances and are in dire need of assistance. That being said, I oppose people taking advantage of these benefits. As previously stated, I think this system is quite flawed.

The problem with the welfare system is that it is a trap. There are so many rules that one must abide by in order to be eligible to receive such benefits. You can only make so much money depending on how small or large your family is. I remember looking at my daughter's lunch form last year to determine whether or not she would qualify for free meals at school. According to the income eligibility guidelines established by the Department of Agriculture - and being a family of four - we could make no more than $28,665 per year to qualify for free lunch and $40,793 for reduced lunch prices. Needless to say, I did not qualify. I'm not necessarily complaining that we didn't qualify. The point I am making is this: the government is fueled by poverty.

It is quite easy to qualify for these public benefits, but it is just as easy to lose the benefits. In some cases, it is stipulated that you cannot have much - if any - money in your bank account. If they check your account, and you have so much in your account you benefits are immediately taken away without question. You can only keep your benefits as long as you stay poor. It is almost as if the government is giving society an excuse to accept a lifestyle of poverty. So much for people pursuing the American dream.

There are plenty of people who game the system. It is because of these people who take advantage of a system geared toward helping the needy that so many have become outraged and would much rather do away with public assistance altogether. After all, it IS the TAX PAYER that is footing the bill. Not to mention that the people who are taking advantage of the public benefits are likely not paying any taxes - and in some cases - are receiving plenty of money as a result of having dependants.

I am sure that there are plenty of people who are in America illegally who are also capitalizing off of said benefits as well. This is a bit of a sensitive issue with many, but I am going to go ahead and put it out there. I am sorry, but people who are in this country illegally do not deserve to be given benefits they are not legally entitled to. I understand folks want to make a better life for their children, but do so in a legal manner. It may take weeks, months, even years to accomplish. I would take no issue if immigrants have the proper legal documentation proving their eligibility to receive such benefits. And yet, President Obama has brought up a proposal to give all illegal immigrants amnesty. If I am not mistaken, that is pretty much like giving a child an XBox 360 after finding out they stole DVD's earlier the same day. You are rewarding people for breaking the law. I am not going to put out one race over the other: illegal is illegal. There is no gray area. The reason political figures from other countries are stepping in as advocates for illegal immigrants is because they don't want to deal with the financial burden of bringing them back to their country of origin. That's ok, the American tax payer will take care of says the President and many of his constituents.

I know I sound like I am completely against public assistance, but I truly am not. I do believe that poverty stricken families deserve a chance. I do not think they deserve the blame because the real blame belongs to the government as well as the environment many of these families were brought up in. There are many times where there is truly no way out of poverty, and the only way is to receive some form of assistance. I also believe that these benefits should have limitations.

I think that a family should - as long as they qualify - be granted public assistance for one year. During that year, they can make as much money as they want (and be appropriately taxed on their earned income) and save as much as they want. Use the benefits as much as you want. Once that year has come to pass, the benefits are revoked and you must then press on from there. Some of you may pose the argument "but what about the woman with 5 kids who doesn't have time to invest in work?" Yes, that is an unfortunate situation: one which could have been avoided had proper protective measures been taken to avoid those circumstances. I am not saying I don't feel for people's situations, but it is the system that allowed people to accept the lifestyle they live today. People have accepted that it is just easier to live off the government and let the tax payer provide them with a roof over their heads, food at the table and guaranteed medical care free of charge.

It's a pretty strong argument for which you can't really generate a solid rebuttal. You get money for which you do not pay taxes. It either that, or succeed and be taxed along with everyone else. Yeah, it seems like public assistance is the way to go. Unfortunately, the tax payers are fed up. It is sad when - out of the 95% of tax payers earning less than $160,000 per year - there is more than 40% of filers who don't pay a dime in taxes. And we wonder why we are in a financial crisis. Of course the president wants to tax the wealthy...if he chose to start taxing that 40% he would be looking at a landslide defeat next year.

The poor are greedy for wanting to further tax the rich, the rich are greedy for not wanting to properly compensate those who work for them. The middle class is greedy because they want the rich to get taxed more AND the poor to start being taxed. We are all horrible and stricken with greed as a result. I guess it's is the route of all evil. It doesn't matter who you are, it is easy to point the finger at someone else to avoid taking accountability for something that goes wrong. I'll say it again, we are the ones who elected the politicians to lead this country. Their poor performance over the last several decades is a result of our choices to put them there in the first place. We look to elect someone not for how they can help the country as a whole, but how they can benefit us and people like us. Evil begets evil. If we only choose to elect officials based on our own personal interests, they in turn will do the same. Therefore, the rich will will become richer, the poor will become poorer, and the middle class will cease to exist...oh, wait, it already has ceased to exist!

The more I look at it, the more America just doesn't make sense. We are losing our identity.

America Is Losing It's Identity

If there is one word I would use to describe the Debt Plan that appears to be on pace to be passed into law tomorrow, the word is pathetic. Maybe I could also call it depressing, appalling, suicidal, immoral, premature, and probably 1,000 other things; for now, I will just call it downright pathetic. So this is what we have devoted trillions upon trillions of tax dollars to: a government that has made it completely obvious that their own personal interests clearly outweigh that of the American public. In light of all this, one can only hope that the majority of the politicians in office are ousted with extreme prejudice when elections come around.

From what I gathered, the plan is to increase the debt ceiling by 2.5 trillion dollars while reducing our deficit by 1.5 trillion dollars over the next ten years...over the next ten years. Maybe I should say that last little bit again...over the next TEN years. To the politicians, I ask this question: you mean to tell me that you can only find $150 billion that can be cut out of 3 trillion dollars being spent on a yearly basis?! You folks are the epitome of a wine taste on a beer budget! I am no economist, so therefore I am not going to claim to have an understanding of the debt ceiling. They try to claim that it is not a credit limit, but everything they have said with regards to this debt ceiling falls completely in line with a credit limit. I especially loved when President Obama used the lame excuse that if the debt ceiling was not raised, we would be unable to pay our bills.

I remember one time when I was strapped financially. I decided to use my credit card to pay my bills; that was money I didn't have. I had my debt paid down, but I was planning on charging my card up again due to making a larger purchase, which I did not have enough money for. I requested a credit increase, and was quickly denied. I figured it out in the end. I don't care how anyone explains it. A debt ceiling is nothing but an astronomical credit limit. We are presently sitting at over 14 trillion dollars. With the passing of this debt plan, it will allow us to reach a deficit of 17 trillion dollars with the blessing of our elected officials. The public either doesn't know or doesn't care about what is happening with our tax dollars. Those who do know are not willing enough to step in the way of the government to prevent them from doing as they please with our money.

Democrats want to appeal to lower income earners. That has always been their base; if you didn't know, just pay attention to how much they attack the wealthy in their speeches. So, what is the best way to secure a democrat's re-election? Make people depend on you through federal aid. They will take jobs away and force people to live off of unemployment and food stamps. They will push for amnesty of illegal immigrants. Look, Republicans are no better. I've said it before, the political divide has trickled down into the rest of America. I shouldn't even say "trickled": it has overcome us like a mega tsunami. I said it before, and I will say it again: one side is not more wrong over the other. Both sides are completely wrong. We have gone through decades of Democrats and Republicans trying to carry out their own agendas. Where has that led us? Well, just look at the country today. How many people out there wish you could go back about 10 years and have a do-over?

Once upon a time, I hardly ever heard anything regarding politics when it came to normal conversation. Now I can't go more than half a day without hearing someone point the finger at Democrats or someone else pointing to Republicans for the financial mess our country is in. The Republicans did plenty of damage during George W. Bush's presidency. Obama inherited a lot of what was created in the Bush era, but things have just spun completely out of control these past 2+ years. I didn't think it was possible to just add 4 trillion dollars to our deficit in a little over half a term. The average person is trying to figure out how to avoid spending more than $3,000 per month on rent, food, utilities and other miscellaneous necessities. Meanwhile the government is hard at work spending $4 billion per day...mind you, it's money they don't even really have right now. They must have that new unobtanium credit card with limitless spending privileges attached to it.

We are always taught that - if you plan to enter a loan - you want to make sure you are on time with your payments and that you want to either drastically reduce or completely pay off that loan before entering another long term financial committment. So, these rules have been ingrained in us, and yet the government seems to be operating on a completely different set of fundamentals when it comes to budget management, or lack thereof.

I have heard a myriad of proposals that offered deficit reductions of anywhere between two and six trillion dollars. Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma absolutely floored me when he presented a deficit reduction plan that sought to bring the deficit down by as much as nine trillion dollars! I read through a chunk of it and realized something that many of us do not realize. He, along with a team of economic experts did a great deal of research and found a great deal of duplicatve spending. To give you a simple persective, duplicative spending is creating and funding two or more organizations/departments which serve the same or similar purposes. He also goes on to identify how much money is dedicated to all of these organizations as well as how they can all be condensed into one central location. It is amazing how much money is just being thrown away by the government. Sen. Coburn's proposal is not just an outline: it is a 600+ page document which is chalk full of footnotes citing his facts.

Many people will look at what I am putting in this blog and say that I am wasting my breath and increasing my chances of getting carpal tunnel syndrome. Many of you will continue to look at your own personal political views. I am not supporting one side over the other. I only want everyone to see how bad our country is doing. I want everyone to know that the vast majority of politicians are out there to fulfill their own private agendas while in office. I want people to actually think about who they are electing. When is the last time anyone could look at a politician and really say that he/she was the REAL DEAL?! Politicians today target our weaknesses and use them as their strengths. I wish I knew that method when I was selling cars, I would have sold at least 30 cars per month and I would be up a couple of notches in the tax bracket! I said it once and I will say it again: the government is unconstitutional! They violate our rights in so many ways, and make us feel powerless at the same time. We need to do something about it. I'm done talking about this issue. Time to bring up public assistance/welfare/amnesty/illegal immigration...that will be on the next entry.