Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Time For Real Reform

Time For Real Reform
Kevin Bryant

Over the past several months, time and again we have seen bad behavior rewarded at the expense of good behavior. Out of control government spending, bank bailouts, mortgage bailouts, AIG bailouts, auto industry bailouts, stimulus bills and now a 4 trillion dollar budget. Each and every one of these is funded by hard working Americans who play by the rules. The biggest problem with this is that those that pay for this has no say so in how the money is actually being spent. We go to work, pay our taxes and except at election time, we are forgotten by the ones who control our dollars.

The preamble to the Constitution says in part: provide for the common defense (pay for our military, coast guard and law enforcement), promote the general welfare (encourage that which enables us to prosper as both individuals and as a nation) and secure the blessings of liberty (protect our inalienable rights). Nowhere does it say: provide welfare, secure failing business, grant liberties or weaken defense. I am going to touch on all these in one form or another.

I am sure we can all agree that the current tax code is cumbersome, confusing and totally useless to everyone but tax lawyers. I personally am in favor of a flat tax on income without exemptions. Have a constitutional amendment that specifically states that no one can be taxed more than 30% total: No higher than 20% Federal and 10% State. Eliminate all other taxes completely. Get rid of everything from gas tax to sales tax to property tax. Furthermore, make it constitutionally illegal to tax welfare or any other form of federal or state aid. This will force federal and state governments to turn in balanced budget each year. By doing this, you eliminate the need for 85% of the state and federal IRS employees. Later on in this, we will put these people back to work.

Anyone who works for the government or a private company is subject to random drug screening. I have personally taken over 75 drug tests in my life: more than 70 in the military, 2 with my first job since military retirement in 2005 and 3 with my current employer. Had I failed one of them, I would no longer be employed and would be a burden to those who do play by the rules and pay their taxes.

I think anyone age 12 and above residing in a home where any resident is receiving government assistance should be subject to random drug screening. Use the government buildings that were being used to house federal and state IRS & department of revenue and turn them into drug screening centers. Use the displaced employees previously mentioned to do the administrative work. If the person can’t make it to the screening center because of health reasons, they must produce a verification letter from a licensed physician. Anyone lacking transportation must call within 48 hours of notification so that transportation can be provided or a screener can come to their home whichever is more convenient. Anyone age 55 or older will be exempt from the drug screening process.

First offense would result in a loss of assistance for a period not less than 90 days. After 90 days, the person must reapply for assistance and pass a drug screening. If a child or other resident of the home was the one who failed the drug test, that person, as well as the one applying must both pass a drug test. A second offense would result in a loss of assistance for a period of not less than 6 months, the home would be subject to random searches for illegal substances and all members of the household regardless must pass a drug screening before reapplying for assistance. A third offense would result in permanent loss of assistance.

The number of benefits if this were enacted would be too numerous to list all of them, but here are a few:

Less drug violence
Safer borders
Less illegals coming into the country
Less money spent of welfare
Safer low-income neighborhoods
Lower crime rate
Less cash flowing into Mexico
And many more…….

Some out there would say this is bias against blacks and hispanics because they make up the majority that receives assistance. My response to that is: ‘Poverty is an equal opportunity social status. Drugs are an equal opportunity addiction or habit or hobby. There is no bias in this, there is no racism here and I dare anyone to tell me differently.

Since the days of T. Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, America’s solution to problems has been to throw more money at the problem and form a counsel to oversee it. FDR’s New Deal didn’t end the depression, it prolonged it. Spending more money per student than any nation on earth didn’t raise test scores, they still continue to drop. Crime legislation has never decreased crime. Gun restrictions only make it harder for law-abiding citizens to own guns. Campaign finance, welfare reform, amnesty for illegals, none of these worked. Drugs are addicting and so is government spending money. The only way to change these habits is to either take what is addicting away or make it impossible to circumvent the system to find new ways to do these things.

For the past 80 to 90 years, government has done nothing but throw water bottles at fires that continues to burn out of control. Real problems require real solutions.

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