Friday, February 26, 2010

Shooting From the Hip

Shooting From the Hip
Kevin Bryant

Like some of you, I watched Glenn Beck’s keynote speaker address to CPAC this weekend. It contained all the elements of good closing speech: fact, opinion, humor, history, personal touch and hope. Personally, I thought it was one of the better speeches I have heard in several years. What I liked second most about it: No Teleprompters.

That speech was delivered with Beck away from the podium over 85% of the time using nothing but note cards and when he was at the podium, he used a notebook, again with hand written notes that he hardly looked at. The White House, the media and those from the left made fun of Sarah Palin, when she jotted notes on her hand. I wonder how they are going to poke fun at this use of notes during his speech.

The speech was a mixture of a lot of things, but the one constant and what I liked most about the speech was pointing out the faults of both parties. I know the democrats will slam his speech for what he said about them but when you stop and think about the content of the speech, it was mainly directed at progressives and the Republican Party. Beck pointed out many of the causes for our economy being in the sad shape it is currently in. He didn’t blame Democrats; he mostly blamed the Republicans because under George W. Bush, they spent their way right out of office. Though some have learned their lesson, others haven’t and have supported Obama’s massive spending increases.

The speech was not a set in stone thing. It was given from the hip with only talking points for notes, yet in was energetic and entertaining. Unlike speeches given by the President, this speech was constantly moving and never dull.

Spending in this country by the federal government is out of control and does not appear to be a concern of most people in congress regardless of party affiliation. What objections we are hearing from republicans is more along the lines of how the money will be spent more than the amount of the spending itself. Unfunded mandates to the states are becoming more and more of a problem.

Government is so overweight but instead of carving out the fat in the size of government, they are more concerned about the amount of trans fat in our daily diets. Why on earth do we need over 2 million government employees who are not in the military? Answer is, we don’t. The EPA, Dept of Education, Health & Human Services, Housing and Urban Development and Dept of the Interior (minus park rangers) could all exist with less than 200 employees apiece if the idea of state’s rights were applied as per the constitution. The federal government would only be there to verify that the states are meeting minimum requirements in those areas and those minimum requirements would be drafted by a consensus of all states. It would be up to the states to determine and regulate beyond what the minimum standards would be.

I used to be a fan of the fair tax until I saw too many possible loopholes. Now I am a staunch supporter of a flat tax. Implement a federal and state flat tax and you could virtually eliminate the IRS and State Departments of Revenue. Businesses would be responsible for calculating the money owed to the federal government. The only thing the IRS would have to do is spot check business and those self employed to make sure they are compliant. The flat tax would eliminate sales tax, sin tax, utility tax and every other form of taxes. Everyone from the richest of riches to the poorest of all will pay an equal percentage and in over the course of a year, everyone will pay less including those who do not currently pay income tax. Why? Because they will not be liable for any of the other 150+ types of federal and state taxes.

Other ideas for shrinking the national debt: Scale back government retirement pensions so that they are equal to that of most businesses. The only exception would be for those who have served in the military or were field agents for the various federal law enforcement agencies. Members of congress and the President would each receive a base pay of $80,000 up to $150,000 per year (dependent upon time of service) and be paid a bonus based on a percentage of growth in the GDP as determined by an independent private company and verified by another. Members of the Supreme Court will be paid an annual salary equal to 120% of the total compensation received by the President for the proceeding year. Mandate that the Supreme Court must review all laws and executive orders before they are signed into law or action by the President for verification that they are within the limits set forth in the constitution. Congressional staffs must not exceed more than 8 per member of the House of Representatives and 10 for members of the senate. Travel expenses for those in congress must be approved and paid for by the government of the state they represent. Per Diem and other expenses would be determined by the state(s) as well. Last but not least, presidential and congressional retirements would be based on 45% of the average base compensation received during their time in office. They would also be subject to the exact same retirement benefits that those in the military receive and nothing more.

As per states like California and others who are broke. So what. It is not the responsibility of the federal government to bail you out nor is it the responsibility of the tax payers from other states to shoulder your burden. Your problems stop at the state line. Banks and big businesses, if you mismanage your company, it’s your problem, not the tax payers.

Of course nothing like this will ever happen because congress will not allow it. But these are examples of the kind of harsh measures we will someday have to undertake if we wish to continue to be the greatest country on the planet. We need to cut spending in every way imaginable and we need to cut the tax burden of everyone. We must do something. We can not continue down the path that this country has taken for the past 85 years.


Lance M Hillier Sr said...

Too often, Omamba (the snake) has shot not from the hip, but the lip. It was old during the campaign, but now since he is The Anointed One, it's older now. Pundits talk about his brilliance, but it wasn't shown yesterday. I saw a mumbling, bumbling professor try tell me what he has envisioned is for my own good, and with a 'fair chance' to explain it, because I'm a sheeple, I'd then understand. Ummmm... I may be a stupid sheeple, but I can recognize a coyote (and he doesn't have the record to be a wolf), and I ain't buying his idea of lunch.

barb p said...

Got to wonder 'who will bail us out', and what will it cost us all......