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Archive for October, 2012

How many of us could go to work for over 3 years and fail to deliver on your basic job requirements and not get fired? Well that’s exactly what we have with Senator Harry Reid.  On October 29, 2012 it will have been 3.5 years or 1277 days without a budget.

So how does the government work then without a budget?  It’s simple, they are operating on the budget which was put in place from 2009. This is when Nancy Pelosi controlled the House. That budget was passed by the Senate, Harry Reid, and signed by the President Barack Obama. That budget which is the highest budget we have ever seen, this annual budget is what the country is running on for the past 3 years. Is it any wonder we are overspending?

HOWEVER, since 2009, the House of Representatives have passed several budgets and sent to the Senate which have been not voted on by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.  We need to demand a change.  Harry Reid has sworn to uphold and defend the constitution and all laws.  Yet he has been derelict of duty for over 3 years.   Where is the leadership in Washington?  Our own President has shown ZERO leadership.  Why?

Well both Harry Reid and Barack Obama are fundamentally ok with running the government with the 2009 budget, simply put, it’s large enough to do what they want.

Looking ahead to the end of the year is the Fiscal Cliff.  Why hasn’t the President or Harry Reid as leaders of the government stepped up and are trying to prevent this?  Well simply put, both will blame the Republicans.   They are ok with having all the increases in taxes, after all it gives them even more money to spend.  As long as they can blame the Republicans, they’ll keep spending.

It’s clearly time for a change.  In addition to having a change in the Presidency, we need a change in the leadership in the Senate.   Let’s hope we get some real change in 2013!

©RepublicUnited 2012

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No Taxation without Representation, but one half of the country has Representation WITHOUT Taxation

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Compelling arguments regarding government intrusion upon its citizenry.

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At Republic United we have been evaluating the candidates and issues facing the 2012 Presidential election.  As a group we had across the primaries Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and incumbent Barack Obama as preferences, oh and every once in awhile a Gary Johnson’s name would become center of debate.  As we are closer to the election  and listened to the first two debates and various other information which has been produced by both parities we have firmed our endorsement for Mitt Romney.   What we are agreeing on is that Mitt Romney will make an excellent President of the United States.
Our reasons stem from various issues that Mr. Obama is struggling with his leadership and inability to articulate the vision for the next 4 years. But beyond this it was about better understanding Mitt Romney’s outline for success.  He has outlined on MittRomney.com website, not just fancy words and energetic language, but a real set of visionary plans for the myriad of major and moderate issues facing the Presidency.  His consistency of message has also been viewed as important. He has outlined his vision and plans and his message to the American people remains consistent.  We believe that Mitt Romney will energize the private business community, and energy expansion and this focus will improve job creation.  We understand his tax and spending plan, where he would bring on 12M new jobs over 4 years.  This will grow the GDP, also increasing the tax base and reducing the social services which may have been supporting this under and unemployed population.  He has a plan to adjust the Medicare and Social Security programs which will strengthen these programs and while they will be different in the future for the younger <50 year old citizens, the program will have choice. His tax plan is to reduce overall ordinary income while reducing or eliminating deductions for the higher income tax bracket.  He will improve the corporate tax by lowering it, energizing more investment and will deal with the off-shore capital that multi-national companies are not bringing back due to the 35% tax burden.  Bringing this capital back will infuse more working capital into the United States economy.  Mitt Romney has outlined his vision and desires to improve the school system with choice, competition and programs to drive up excellence.
This country is on a very bad path.  As a nation we are overspending by nearly 30% of our GDP income and borrowing 40cents on every dollar to pay the government bills.  That’s over $1 Trillion dollars (1,000,000,000,000.00) over spending each and every year for the past four years and the CBO puts us on that path for more years to come unless something is done. That really is a very large amount of money being overspent.  It is imperative that our government controls its expenses.  Mr. Romney outlined a vision to cut out any government program or service which is not attaining the desired result or benefiting creation of jobs, his view that why would we borrow 40% of that dollar to fund a poor or no longer needed program is the right approach.  We believe given his executive skills he’ll also see the breadth of cabinet positions and deep organizational challenges (see Republic United opinion article on this subject) that have been in place under the Presidency and will correct this area to be more efficient.  He hasn’t said that, but given his skill set, we believe that will become a correction for him as matter of course. His approach to our military and foreign affairs is a proven approach of peace through strength and engagement against those Terrorists whom are intent on attacking and killing us and our allies.
We know that not every citizen is going to vote for Mitt Romney, but should Mr. Romney ultimately succeed in winning the Presidency, I am confident that Mr. Romney will represent everyone one as he governs this great republic, A Republic United.
©RepublicUnited 2012

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Why is it we watch good intentions be turned into law, create a government agency/department and then several years later learn they are overspending, fraught with fraud and yet instead of fixing it, we create yet another area of government to do the things that the first area can’t accomplish.  The reality is, if this government were any company or not for profit, it would have been gone from existence long ago.  But why hasn’t it?  Because it’s propped up on the backs of tax paying citizens. Ok, so am I saying we don’t need government?  No of course not.  I believe and I think most would agree the Federal government is operating beyond its limits and I suggest so much so that it’s actually not serving the people as it should.  I’d suggest it is violating in some cases the very laws it has enacted and may very well be unconstitutional what is happening. All one has to do is turn on the nightly news, any station.  This isn’t about a bias left or right attack on what’s being reported.  While there is bias, it doesn’t matter it is in fact the news, ALL of it.  I don’t mean to suggest that the news is always accurate, if even remotely close to the truth.  They don’t have to be, do they?  Really? You are now saying to yourself what’s his point, I think he lost it. Well let me suggest this.  Just look at the amount of news stories we see about government and in particular the President, his various executive departments in one week, one month, one year.  New laws enacted, laws being challenged in courts (all levels), government agencies not operating well, abuse and scandal.  The number of Congressional hearings about why this happened or why this didn’t happen is a testament to this point. The amount of government abuse and fraud: GAO scandal, welfare, medicare, medicaid, social security, travel.  Now, this article isn’t just about Congress or Senate or President Obama, it’s about the Executive branch of the government.   I say maybe these very same points can be looked at with the Legislative branch, but for now let’s focus on the Executive. The Executive branch is the President.  Certainly this includes the various departments which have been listed in the constitution from defense, diplomatic-embassorial, trade and treaties, see Article. II. Section 2.    “In the landmark decision Nixon v. General Services Administration former Chief Justice of the United States William Rehnquist declared in his dissent the need to “fully describe the preeminent position that the President of the United States occupies with respect to our Republic. Suffice it to say that the President is made the sole repository of the executive powers of the United States, and the powers entrusted to him as well as the duties imposed upon him are awesome indeed.” wikipedia.org.

By the constant list of major problems the Executive branch is dealing with, the number of departments and subdepartments which have been made, under good intentions or misguided intentions have now engaged the citizens in such a way that the Executive branch, the President is not in control.  It is the President whom is to run the Executive branch.  This is not constitutionally been delegated or released to any one else.  So I suggest that while the President needs the heads of his Departments, there is a personal (professional and managerial) limit to the breadth of departments a single person the Commander can manage. As an individual the President cannot mentally and physically be in charge of the number of Departments and agencies under the direct and indirect command of how the Executive Branch is presently run, this applies to any President.  See Constitution Article. II. Section 2.

The President is required to follow, defend and administer the constitution, bill of rights and all other laws enacted at the time of his office.  The government is far too decentralized the Executive branch of the government has stretched beyond its ability to effectively and properly manage the Executive portion of the government within constitutional control. Example: Libya; Major breach in security and an attack on September 11, 2012.  Four Americans were killed including the Ambassador.  There has been testimony that the consulate requested additional security, there was significant failure to engage additional security.  The days after the attack the Executive branch had several different stories being portrayed as the cause and situation there.  Now there is suggestion by the White House that the Security of State was responsible for the security and they were unaware of the request, trying to distance themselves.  This lays completely to my point.  It is the President whom through his office has the authority of the Secretary of State, the Secretary of State is not an independent agency with it’s own authority, it is granted said authority through the President, the Executive. While this examples is very recent and certainly controversial, this in itself makes my point.  Should we American citizens not expect that our President operate his authority with excellence?  Should we not expect that his command and control be first relegated to the constitutional requirements and that no other such activities should be allowed as these other activities just distract the President from his ultimate responsibility, those which are outlined in Article II, Section 2.  How can one be expected to operate under control and excellence when they have such a decentralized organization as defined in Figure 1?   We need to bring this discussion to the forefront.  It’s for the betterment of our entire country that we have a Executive branch that is “excellent” and well managed, isn’t it? ©RepublicUnited 2012

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As I write this article I know it may receive some controversy, but I wonder if we can all agree at least that the current programs for welfare are inadequate.   Any legal resident or citizen of the United States that is in dire need of assistance should be able to receive assistance.  What this means is they should be able to get help when they need it, but what it should also means they need to get off the system in a defined program.

I have first hand experience with a good friend that became a victim of the economic downturn in the “Great Recession“.  This individual also had some physical/mental limitations verses the average person.  The reason I explain this is for 29 years of his working life he worked as a mailroom clerk in a large company.  We know our society has transitioned from a mail it paper society to a near paperless digital age. The reason I give this background is when he tried to get help through welfare and food stamps, the process was not accommodating nor supportive of his needs.  Having evaluated his needs and on the verge of homelessness we were able to finally get him on Social Security Disability.  Now that process too was extremely complex and difficult and if he had not had my assistance, I can tell you he would have struggled to get his benefits. I may write an article about Social Security. But back to welfare.

We need to fix the system so that those in need can get onto assistance sooner, quicker, and broader support benefits directed at getting the individual off the system.  To get into the current welfare safety net is far to late, and far to short of solutions in my opinion.  It’s almost like they wait till the person goes down under the water for three times before they throw a rope.  Is that really how we want this?  But mostly it fails the American tax payer whom is now embittered with what otherwise is a natural human condition to have empathy of helping our fellow human beings.  Is that the type of society we want?

I suggest there is a better way.  We need to make the qualification need and process to be faster, simpler but at the same time better structured.  We need to weed out fraud and waste from the system on the front, middle and back end.  We need to remove those whom are not participating with the welfare programs goal of helping them to become self-sufficient.  It’s not a lifestyle, it’s a safety net program.  Able bodied individuals should not be on welfare any longer than needed to get into a paid job.  President Clinton with the 1996 Republican “Contract with America” signed into law welfare reform.  This was a step in the right direction, but is it really working?  Isn’t there a better way and at the same time reducing our waste in the Federal and State budgets?

We need to find the best programs in each State and share it with the other States.   The Temporary Assistance for Needy Family TANF is the right idea, but implementation or rather overhead is huge, statistically only about 30% or less of the intended budget actually gets to the recipients in need.  THIRTY PERCENT !  We have created a government that should be helping the needy but we only get 30cents of the intended dollar to the person in need, this is after the original tax dollar was already wasted in the bloated government system to funnel the money to TNAF.   That’s disgusting! 

 Clearly the government has a lot to learn from Not-For-Profits which get between 65 t0 75% of the dollars donated directly to the intended recipient.  In the case of welfare-TANF, the government program needs to be better leveraged across the government entities.  For example, a welfare recipient once they are on welfare should be required and supported with job, skill and capability assessments.  The recipient should then for the first 6 months be assisted with development in the area of job search, skill and capability development. This should be formal enough that the recipient puts in a minimum of 20 hours of documented activity a week.  At the end of the first 6 months the recipient should be given specific agreed upon goals for the next 6 months.  Those may entail specific skill improvement activities and/or set of opportunities to explore and should be required to continue with a minimum of 20 hours of documented activity a week .

At the end of year 1, for the next year or until the recipient has made gainful employment, then the recipient should be required to work 20 hours a week as an entry level position within State or Federal organization doing such services as janitorial, landscaping, shipping/receiving or other set of specific tasks which would fit entry level worker.  The 20 hours shall be paid as part of their welfare payments.  The recipient shall continue with a minimum of 20 hours of documented activity a week working toward continued skill and capability development.  Keep in mind the recipient at this stage has helped the State/Federal agency reduce it’s operating expenses by 20 hours a week in the area they are supporting and are also demonstrating gainful employment experience.

At the end of year 2, for the next year or until the recipient has made gainful employment, the recipient should be required to work 40 hours a week in a full time position within State or Federal organization. The type and level of position shall be evaluated based upon performance of the last year and aligned with the needs of the State/Federal organization.
Keep in mind the recipient at this stage is now fully helping the State/Federal agency and is now doing services which are normally outsourced and is off of the “welfare” program.   There may be fall out.  Those that refuse to work or conform, but this happens today and those will continue to be a small percentage and will be dealt with as we do today.

Disenters will say, “there aren’t enough jobs in the State or Federal government to help all of these people.  Well actually, a good portion of those on welfare during the 3 year period will actually find gainful employment.  They just needed the support and money to help get them through.  The other portion of people, yes will be placed in State and Federal programs.  And to them I say, there are certainly enough jobs today.  But let’s suggest this, by moving them into the employment process, both the recipient and the people gain.  We will have services performed where otherwise we would have paid for services to be performed AND welfare.  Maybe we will have people pushing brooms again in the streets and maybe we’ll have the cleanest highways.  Maybe we’ll have the best roads again.  Think about it.  We are spending the money today, lets get the people to feel that once again they are contributing and off of welfare.  Overtime, they gain experience and move up, make more money and so on an so forth.  So to the dissenters I say, “Bring it on”!

©RepublicUnited 2012

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