Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Hypocrisy of Equivalence

<Rant on>
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One thing that constantly bugs me is the false hypocrisy of equivalence.   This idea is annoying in two ways - first that every argument has two valid sides.  It isn't true.  You can't prove "gravity", but we don't legislate there is an alternative theory.
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The second is to equate the current "Tea Party Republicans" to "Democratic Liberals", like both are extremists.  News magazines, reporters and others do this all the time.  Time Magazine and the Economists are the latest to spout this lazy-thinking blather.
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You see, heads up, the Democrats aren't "Liberal" at all.  And that makes sense for politics in our country.  The Democrats are a Center Party in a Center Right county.  The (elected) Republicans maintain a continuum from reasonable center/right to shit ass crazy right wing.  Michelle Bachman doesn't give a shit about poor people, the future of the country, climate change or anything else because she really believes that Obama is bringing the "end times". Hideous audio below if you don't believe me.  This was recorded on Oct 7th, 2013 - the very day we captured an al qaeda terrorist in Libya.


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So no, there is no equivalent "Liberal" wing of the Democrat Party that is that crazy.  There isn't even a conventional Liberal official.  President Clinton effectively shut the crazy train down.  Let me show you what an leftish manifesto REALLY would look like (and ps. this isn't "out there" crazy ideas, all of these are in place in many of our allies' countries.)
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What would a “real” Liberal Agenda look like?

We all understand what a Tea Party Agenda looks like.  Little to no money for social security or medicine (in the form of Medicare, Medicaid or Drug Care), no money for Disaster Relief, increased Military Spending and lower taxes.  No infrastructure funds (Interstate Highways were a function of Eisenhower and Big Government), no school funding at the Federal Level (back to states and cities), no food stamps or welfare and no Big Government credits on food safety or Environmental Pollutants.  I am not sure about Farm Supports or Ethanol – I would assume no support, but the Tea Party has been silent on this – and Paul Ryan, the closest thing to an honest proponent of these ideals, won’t comment on them.  Big Government would be allowed only in the bedroom with no gay marriage, no gay sex, no access to abortion.  Adultery and divorce would still be fine.
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But what would an actual “Liberal” Agenda look like?  Not the watered down Nancy Pelosi / Democrat-Lite type, but an actual liberal agenda?  In the absence of true LIBERAL party or spokesperson, let me take a crack at it.

Taxes

-       Capital Gains taxed at the same rate Regular Income
-       Housing Deduction limited to the amount the median income family can afford        
o   Example: current national median income $50,333, therefore Mortgage Interest deduction limited to  ~ $350,000
-       Tax Rate for all income above $1,700,000 per year 50%.
o   (level determined at 20 times the median income for a family)
-       CEO of Public Companies.
o   Calculate Median Payroll of all the company’s US Employees.
o   CEO income that is up to 10 times that of Median Payroll – no change
o   CEO income ABOVE 10 times that of Median Payroll taxed at 65% at the Federal Level.
o   Golden Parachute and all future gains from stock after CEO leaves that company taxed at 75% at the Federal Level
-       Reduce Corporate Tax Rate to 10% of profit, but remove all corporate deductions and exempt buybacks (will be considered as “profit”)


Health Care / Parental Support

-       Change Medicare / Medicaid to a national single payer system
-       Provide Free Child Care / Vouchers during work hours
-       Provide parental leave (either parent) 4 months

Defense

-       End war in Afghanistan immediately
-       Reduce Military footprint from 900 bases in 130 foreign countries to 13 foreign countries
o   Department of Defense to define
-       Reduce military budget by 10% per year until it is only 4 times the size of the budget for the next largest spender.
o   Example: China’s defense budget is currently US$90Billion, ours is US$790 Billion, assuming growth in China’s budget ours would drop by ~50 – 60%
o   Do not decrease current veteran’s benefits.

Infrastructure

-       Fully fund interstate highway refurbishment / repair
-       Rebuild air traffic control system
-       End flood insurance at elevations below 20 feet of sea-level that are within 10 miles of the ocean - over a 25 year period.
o   Backstop rebuilding of infrastructure for threaten coastal communities, by insurance relief if they move inland to higher ground (+ 25 feet in average elevation)
-       Create and fund yearly a climatic disaster fund

Energy

-       Provide Base Energy supports for Solar and Wind Power (15 year commitment to purchase power at 2012 KW/Hour costs)
-       End tax breaks for oil and coal exploration.
o   They can still explore and exploit, but the feds won’t pay for it.
-       Impose a Carbon Cap and Trade program to ensure that producers help to pay for pollution, clean up and climate disaster fund
-       Double Gasoline Tax (currently the lowest in the Western World by a factor of 3) to help pay for transportation.
o   Tie Gas tax going forward to a yearly Cost Of Living Change imposed every September 15th.
o   This removes the annual arguing over it all and keeps prices stable through the summer season
-       Nationalize All Fracking Operations that have started sine 2010.
o   Fracking exploits a common national resource (underground gas deposits) and delivers results and profits to private companies at the cost of public good.  Instead, nationalize the gas deposits.  Future profits on natural gas to be split 50% to corporation and 50% to the federal government to be distributed to House of Representative districts equally.  (This will still flow unequally to some small states and overfund them, but that is okay.)

 Firearms

-       Restore Automatic Weapons Ban
-       Affirm for 25 years all current hunting zones
o   Agree that all current hunting seasons and ranges will stay operational unless there are major changes in animal levels that threaten the animal population with extinction.  In no case shall current levels be considered “threatened”.
o   Agree that new hunting seasons and ranges will open if weather changes and habitat changes move the ranges so that animals are a problem and hunting is not harmful in the new areas (like the new Bear hunts in New Jersey)
-       Affirm no “gun confiscation laws” will occur without a popular vote to assure the populace no one will take their guns
o   A real liberal agenda would promise gun control, but it is not possible in the US, so let’s realistically decide what does and what doesn’t make sense and is doable
-       Allow cities with a murder rate of 2times the national average to enact a citywide handgun laws

Trade and Economic Laws

-       Increase current minimum wage to $10.00 / hr
-       Set minimum wage to rise with Cost of Living changes yearly (Jan 1st)

Devolve to State Level

-       Abortion Laws
o   Except in case of health of the mother, rape or incest.  In these cases there will be no limits, no wait times, no transvaginal ultrasounds or any other outside consulting requirements for the first 4.5 months.
-       Marriage Laws
o   Defined by states.  Federal Laws will recognize only 2 parties in a marriage due to current legislation (but will recognize same-sex and opposite-sex marriages where legal under state law)
-       School funding and testing
-       Gun control laws (except at defined above)

<Rant off>

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You make it all seem so reasonable You should totally run for office:) Which office, I'm not entirely sure of but I'll be your token Christian campaign worker:)---svh