The American Dream

The American Dream is a national ethos of the United States, the set of ideals (Democracy, Rights, Liberty, Opportunity, and Equality) in which freedom includes the opportunity for prosperity and success, and an upward social mobility for the family and children, achieved through hard work in a society with few barriers. In the definition of the American Dream by James Truslow Adamsin 1931, “life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement” regardless of social class or circumstances of birth. In today’s society, the so-called “American Dream” is becoming harder and harder to achieve.  Small businesses are failing, and taxes are on the rise.  A the government becomes larger and larger, the values of the American people become smaller.  America was intended to be a country that thrived on entrepreneurship and innovations.  But due to current big-government restrictions and regulations, the potential for the American Dream is being crushed.  Here are some grievances of the current government system and some solutions on how they should be changed.

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Net Neutrality

The government plans to set a standard of rules regarding the Internet and broadband access.  In other words, the government wants to control Internet access. This is the FCC’s statement on the proposed regulations:

  • No Blocking: broadband providers may not block access to legal content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices.
  • No Throttling: broadband providers may not impair or degrade lawful Internet traffic on the basis of content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices.
  • No Paid Prioritization: broadband providers may not favor some lawful Internet traffic over other lawful traffic in exchange for consideration – in other words, no “fast lanes” – including fast lanes for affiliates.

Opponents of net neutrality argue that broadband service providers have to be free to manage their networks so all customers receive adequate levels of service. They also argue that regulation of the internet will negatively influence innovation, which the internet thrives on, and impede free speech. Most importantly, they make the point that some level of restriction, or at least prioritization, is necessary to promote the best interest of consumers as a whole.

Net neutrality opponents would argue that bandwidth is a limited commodity. With all types of internet traffic passing over the network, wouldn’t most people want to allow a doctor waiting to view a high resolution image CAT scan for a critical ER patient, priority over someone simply downloading a movie or a music file?

If net neutrality means anything, it means no unfair discrimination based on application or service, and these rules seem aimed at just that. But there’s at least one worrisome bit: the repeated reference to “lawful content.” What is considered “lawful content” in the eyes of the government? Back in May, the FCC asked for comment on whether and how it should address interconnection and it has now promised to address ISP interconnection practices that are unjust and unreasonable.  Based on what we know, the FCC plans to address such complaints on a case-by-case basis.  That, unfortunately, could be a recipe for litigation and confusion, as the FCC, providers, and customers fight over what qualifies as “unjust and unreasonable.” The same concern applies to the FCC’s promise to adopt a “general conduct” rule.  The FCC says its proposal will “create a general Open Internet conduct standard that ISPs cannot harm consumers or edge providers.” Understandably, the FCC wants to have the flexibility to address future unfair practices that we can’t yet anticipate, without having another decade-long fight.  But it’s also very easy to see it as a recipe for FCC overreach.  Standard legal procedures do not required the Federal Communications Commission to state what rules will be dictated in their new standards.  In fact, nothing requires the FCC to publish iterations of the rules it votes on—it just needs to base the rules on the public record.  This same limited information has been present in both Obamacare and the Trans-Pacific Partnership.  Permitting the government to make demands and rules without complete transparency has been known to result with disaster.

For more information visit:

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2015/02/fccs-latest-net-neutrality-proposal-pros-cons-and-question-marks

http://broadband.about.com/od/netneutrality/a/What-Is-Net-Neutrality_2.htm

Social Security

You’ve paid into Social Security, and you deserve to know what changes are being proposed and how each might affect you and your family. With more people living longer, Social Security faces increasing financial challenges. Estimates indicate the program will be able to pay full benefits for the next 20 years, but only 75 percent after that.  Instead of raising the retirement age, or increasing the payroll tax cap, the government needs to retire the social security fund altogether.  People who have paid into already will receive their benefits, but the rest of Americans will be required to pay into a private retirement account that will not be government regulated.  Like Social Security, American’s will have access to this account and its funds after they have retired.  The only difference will be that they will have a complete guarantee that their money will be there and not have been used for government funding.

For more information visit:

http://www.aarp.org/work/social-security/info-05-2012/future-of-social-security-proposals.html

Health Care Reform

The American Care Act is a 2,700 page document dictating healthcare for American citizens.  Here are a few of the grievances involving this document:

  1. Employer mandate. Most companies will have to provide and pay for expensive government-determined health insurance for their employees or face federal fines.
  2. Anti-conscience mandate. Religious organizations will be required to provide free sterilization, contraceptives, and abortion-inducing drugs to their employees, even if it violates their religious beliefs.
  3. New and higher taxes. The law contains at least 20 new taxes totaling $500 billion that will hit medical innovators, health insurance, and even the sale of your home.
  4. The Independent Payment Advisory Board. IPAB will still stand, with its rationing power over Medicare.
  5. State exchanges. States will be compelled to set up vast new bureaucracies to check into our finances and families so they can hand out generous taxpayer subsidies for health insurance to families earning up to $90,000 a year.
  6. Medicare payment cuts. $575 billion in payment reductions to Medicare providers and Medicare Advantage plans will cause more and more physicians to stop seeing Medicare patients, exacerbating access problems.
  7. Higher health-care costs. The Kaiser Family Foundation says the average price of a family policy has risen by $2,200 during the Obama administration. The president promised premiums would be $2,500 lower by this year. Hospitals, doctors, businesses, and consumers all expect their taxes and health costs to rise under Obamacare.
  8. Government control over doctor decisions. Value-based payments, quality reporting requirements, and government comparative-effectiveness boards will dictate how doctors practice medicine. Nearly half of all physicians are seriously considering leaving practice, leading to a severe doctor shortage.
  9. Huge deficits. The CBO has raised its cost estimate for the law to $1.76 trillion over ten years, but that is only the opening bid as more and more people lose their job-based coverage and flood into taxpayer-subsidized insurance. At this rate, the cost will be $2 trillion, not the less than $1 trillion the president promised.
  10. 159 new boards, agencies, and programs: The Obama administration will work quickly to set up as many of the law’s new bureaucracies as fast as it can so they can take root before the election.

The federal government should not have the right to dictate healthcare reform.  While it is general knowledge that most people believe every American should have the right to healthcare, the so-called “Obamacare” is not the solution. The government mandates are squashing smaller and more innovative healthcare facilities as they are not able to meet the standards required by the new reform. Eliminating this act and starting over, with the American people’s best interest in mind, would help to create a better law.

For more information visit:

http://www.nationalreview.com/critical-condition/348433/another-attack-innovative-care-grace-marie-turner

Gun Control

More Guns = Less Crime

Guns are used 2.5 million times a year in self-defense. Law-abiding citizens use guns to defend themselves against criminals as many as 2.5 million times every year—or about 6,850 times a day.  This means that each year, firearms are used more than 80 times more often to protect the lives of honest citizens than to take lives. The nation’s total violent crime rate hit an all-time high in 1991— the same year the federal government started pressing for stricter gun control laws and limiting the amount of guns available for American citizens. This rate declined 18 of the next 20 years, 49 percent overall, to a 41-year low in 2011. That included a 52 percent decrease in the nation’s murder rate, to a 48-year low, nearly the lowest point in U.S. history.  When gun control measures increased, the violent crime rate increased.  Shortly thereafter, the amount of Americans who owned guns, increased, and the violent crime rate subsequently declined.

gun chart  gun chart 3

For more information visit:

http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2012/05/bruce-krafft/comparing-car-and-gun-fatalities-is-misleading-and-irrelevant/

https://www.nraila.org/articles/20130215/more-guns-less-crime-2013

http://www.nytimes.com/1991/06/04/us/rifle-group-fights-public-housing-gun-ban.html

http://www.gunowners.org/fs0404.htm

http://engagedscholarship.csuohio.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1679&context=urban_facpub

Congressional and Senatorial Term Limits

Proposed Amendment:

“Section 1. No person who has served 3 terms as a Representative shall be eligible for election to the House of Representatives. For purposes of this section, the election of a person to fill a vacancy in the House of Representatives shall be included as 1 term in determining the number of terms that such person has served as a Representative if the person fills the vacancy for more than 1 year.

“Section 2. No person who has served 2 terms as a Senator shall be eligible for election or appointment to the Senate. For purposes of this section, the election or appointment of a person to fill a vacancy in the Senate shall be included as 1 term in determining the number of terms that such person has served as a Senator if the person fills the vacancy for more than 3 years.

“Section 3. No term beginning before the date of the ratification of this article shall be taken into account in determining eligibility for election or appointment under this article.”

It is generally agreed upon that the current Congress is a dismal failure and is desperate need of new ideas, procedures, and influence. Political machines (local party voting infrastructure, redistricting power, media contacts, etc.) of incumbents make it very difficult to remove them from office. Lobbyists and big-money campaign contributors usually direct their efforts at those in power, making it difficult for a new candidate to get off the ground. Politicians are less likely to be focused on special interests and pork-barrel spending if they cannot stay in office indefinitely. Lack of term limits leads to a system of seniority, meaning those who have spent the most time in office gain more power (in committees, procedures, etc.); consequently, politicians focus on staying in office, districts & states don’t receive equal power in Congress, and fresh new elected officials have limited ability to make changes.

https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/senate-joint-resolution/1/text

http://www.balancedpolitics.org/term_limits.htm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_members_of_the_United_States_Congress_by_longevity_of_service

Tax Reform

America’s current tax system is in need of reform, starting with a simpler tax code. Smaller businesses are unable to handle the complicated rules, standards, and dictations set up by the current IRS system.  In addition, America should enact a zero-based budgeting, which would start funding discussions from a base budget of zero every year and build from there, rather than starting with the amount of funding the department received the previous year.  This could ultimately save the US government millions every year and limit the potential of going over budget.  This would provide the government with the ability to cut taxes, which would allow the American people to spend more money, grow more businesses, and better the US economy.

For more information visit:

http://www.ontheissues.org/2016/Carly_Fiorina_Tax_Reform.htm