America's Next Breathe - Where do we go from here? (At the top are my election views at the bottom are my positions on the issues.)
G-d love Senator McCain, and Hillary Clinton - I met them both. I've watched both on C-Span at work in the congress. But, what do we need here? From the moment in time where we are? Now, I define the moment in time where we are - as - January 2009 when the next President will come into office. I am not hiring a President based on what they thought we should do on current problems.
- An aside on why younger voters don't come out as frequently - I am a very politically active person. Why do I find it hard to get out and vote? Well, I think I'm registered in Prince George's County where I went to college and in Severna Park - but I live in Bethesda - and I'm not sure if I'm still registered at all. And college age and right beyond is in a transition time from deep intellectualism to a point when we say - ok - lets use what we've learning - which is more of a doing thing. In other words, learning about candidates is learning - which would be rewarded in college - its not necessarily doing. With all the moving around and relocating that happens in college it gets confusing to keep track of everything - half of ones bills go to their parents house, some come to school - then you move from your dorm - and whats your next address? You see - the election system and world are geared to function easiest for those who are not moving around in college a lot.
To get more young voters - we need a shift in the voting system that says. If you are young - vote where you are. Register at your school, or post office, or drivers license place - even register on the day of the voting with a form of id and proof of residency if needed. That way - no confusion about where you are allowed to vote. I just realized - I don't know where I am supposed to vote on tuesday because for me - it has been a different place so many times in the last five years. To increase turnout - make turnout less confusing - and easier. I'm not confused by the process, but with all the changes going on in my life, career, company I founded - its hard to accel and keep track of all of those, let alone keep track of where I should vote. If you are an adult - start where you are - keep track for your young adult children. -
John McCain. He has a presence that led me to believe if I touched his shoulder he might explode. That is how I felt when I met him. He's just got some strange power to him, physically, he's a compact - muscle clad - ball of energy and focus. Just gives off some weird kind of feeling to me. Would this be great as a leader? I think it is. A general on the field would probably benefit from having this quality.
What is his number one strength? 100% he has been right on the war. I watched him decry the Rumsfeld plan. I watched him on C-Span say, "We get them here, then they run over here - we get them there, and then the terrorists run back over there - we're playing a giant game of wack-a-mole!" Brilliant and true. He drove the opposition against Rumsfeld, when everyone else was falling in line with their commander in chief. He pushed for the "Surge" that we have now, which is succeeding in Iraq, at bringing millitary stability.
(As for political reconcilliation - I want you to remember our history. One issue, slavery, split our country in half. We had to have 90% of able bodied men fighting in a Civil War against their own family members at times to get over that. Iraq has tough issues. To understand the relationship between slavery and Iraq consider slavery in historic perspective.
Now, slavery is seen as an evil - but, in the past - slavery was seen as the trading of a commodity/a recource. I will trade you one slave for X amount of dollars. Slaves drove the economy and they drove work. The South had slaves because when America was colonized - White people kept dying. Of course we know now that Black people are as intelligent as white people, but what we forget is slavery was based on the fact that Black people working in the colonies were surviving and more productive. Physical adaptation and other things- like dark skin helped black people survive when working out in the fields under constant sun. Slave traders in Africa were constantly triggering small wars to destabilize regions so that they could kidnap people and bring them here. Thus, developing as an intelligent human being in Africa at that time was very difficult. It was an unstable developing world, made more unstable. When buying slaves - we thought we were buying a horse - or a dog to do work. It was a comodity to be bought and sold. The South was the primary consumer of slavery - but the products slavery produced drove the economy of the entire country.
Tie to Iraq - oil is a commodity. If you think about putting gas in the car as a natural thing - that is as natural as slavery was to Americans. We were buying a comodity that helped us get from point A to point B and allowed us to be productive and make money. In the middle of a desert - which Iraq is - they aren't saying "Let's Thrive - lets grow corn" its not the corn belt of America. Oil is part of the economic heart of Iraq - their chief commodity. In America - we were so dependant on Slaves that we were slaves to Slavery - as our economy in part (at least our psyche) is now a slave of oil. In Iraq - they are so dependant on oil revenue that they are slaves to oil revenue. Yet, the concentration of oil is highest in one main region of Iraq. So, in Iraq - what political reconcilliation means in part - is figuring out oil sharing - which is like figuring out how to change the institution of slavery. At the same time, terrorists are running around bombing the oil pipelines because they know its the core commodity of Iraq's economy - and thus - of a successful Iraq.
Tie to America - if America is the example of democracy that all should aspire to, consider this. A couple years ago - oil rich areas in the Gulf of Mexico became legally available for lease by oil companies for drilling. Republican's wanted it, democrats didn't, the Navy didn't because there was some big training ground, nearby states didn't want it because an accident would risk their beaches and tourist industry. This took years to resolve! Let me give you the timeline.
Over the span of years, democrats agreed grudgingly to give it a try. States agreed that if a huge emmergency recovery arsenal was in place before the drilling it would be safe enough - we have technology now. States agreed on how to share revenue from royalties on the oil. The navy found another area to practice. All this happened - hundreds of people had to change their minds and compromise - it took years - and once the land was legally available it has taken years for the leasing process - it will now take years to build off-shore oil rigs and float them through the rough waters and plant them in the ground where they will land. My point - it took us years and people weren't trying to blow us up when we were doing it.
So, I don't believe we will convince Iraqi leaders to compromise. I believe it will take huge amounts of time for them to do it. If you look at America - we began with the Articles of Confederation - not the constitution. After a couple years free from England and Monarchy - we then redid the entire thing - we made a new consistution. That was us. Joe Biden believed in what would be comparable to the Articles of Confederation for Iraq - which I believe would give us enough time to get out while they prepare for a 300 year journey to solve their own problems. Thats my note on political reconcilliation in Iraq - lets deal in centuries if we want to be realistic. Most of these problems took decades, centuries, and millenia to create - they will take that long to untangle.)
I want to define the surge for you briefly so you can understand the change in tactics - rather than just the word. In a nutshell - American forces were hulled up in the green zone, protecting our contractors, protecting our millitary, and protecting Iraqi leaders. What does that say about stabilizing Iraq? Nothing. Our troops were mostly sitting on bases while Insurgents picked off trucks from our supply convoys. The surge said, "Why don't we put our troops in a position to stabilize Iraq?"
Not our responsibility you say? The most stable time for Iraq was under Saddam Hussein. For whatever else we can say, he held the country together. If we took down what was holding the country together - and then left right away - don't you think we might need to provide some of the glue to hold the country together? Or, would it magically fall into stable society by itself?
The other change was - General Petraus - a millitary sociology professor - stepped in. He said, "Lets stop doing the activities that breed insurgency - kicking down doors - driving hummers on sidewalks...etc - Lets start doing activities that breed respect from Iraqi's." We now have the respect and Al Quaida is seen for who they are - murderous people whose aim is more about beheading than it is about how an Iraqi person will raise their family.
So - we saw change - and yes - I watched John McCain a solo voice at the helm of it. I watched it live on C-Span. I also believe that the #1 key to our future success will be how we get out of the war because - watch what happens when the next President tries to do anything. Hmmm, how will be able to pay for anything when - the interest payments on the national debt exceed what we spend for our entire country's defense - when we keep pouring out all of our money to Iraq - when we keep funding all of this by borrowing money from Communist China. Wait... what money are we borrowing? Oh - yeah - its the revenue that we are sending to them by buying all their products instead of ours. Wait... what else are they doing with that revenue - oh yeah - they are buying up our companies in America. Hmmmm... so, terrorism is a threat to national security -anyone consider what it means if a communist nation owns tons of our companies, has a debt collar around us, and still keeps taking all of our money through trade deficits? Let me remind you - business and the paychecks it creates and the taxes we collect from business and people who work for businesses funds every penny that comes into the treasury of the United States - aka - business funds the government. Wait a minute - its not private investors in China buying sections of our companies - its "Sovereign Wealth Funds," what the heck is that? Oh - yeah - its money set aside by the Chinese government in funds to buy up companies all over the world with the money we are sending them. Feel the strain on your pocket book? Well, America's global trade deficit actually is in the thousands of dollars per American annually. Send $6000 bucks to your next door neighbor, in exchange for their furniture and see what is left in your bank account - $6000 less and its hard to buy anything else if they didn't buy anything from you. Wait a minute - one more detail - China is subsidizing businesses and having cheap labor force to compete with us. So, if China sells a product - part of the cost of the product is offset by the Chinese government putting money into the company that will be in direct competition with America. So... wait a minute - stop - hold your horses - while we all focus on winning against the terrorists China is winning and the terrorists are breeding in Packistan - does anyone have any kind of global perspective???
I don't think John McCain has too much of a clue about any of what I just said. I never hear him talking about it. I never hear him saying, "We've got an economic problem with China - oh yeah - and by the way China is funding the rebel forces in Darfur that are causing all the problems (because Darfur is an oil rich region)."
I see him as a guy who knows exactly what to do next in Iraq - true commander in chief material? Mmmmm... no. The two things are non-equivelant. While it can be true that he has military forsight, it can also be true that he is already in a respectable position of power. A position where he has a voice to change things. So here is the real question - if our next President is Huckabee, Obama, or Clinton - will they close off to outside opinion and ignore John McCain? I can't see any candidate in the race where that would be the case. So, if he is in the senate - he will have a voice in the white house, which may be all that is needed- to be a leader on military issues.
Jump back to the question of timelines. We are electing a president for a time one year from now, here is the key - after the surge plan has been a success in Iraq. Our current problem is struggling Americans. Recession for the lower class in our society... wait how will fix that? Huckabee or either of the democrats. Now... hang on - they are still in the election... everyone else is gone... what do those three people have in common? They understand that the lower class is in recession right now... and why would that be? Why would they be in recession?
Consider a man with 1 million dollars and a man with 100,000 dollars. Price of oil, food, housing, electricity, additional cost of HD TV and cable, it all goes up. Every time you buy something now, you get a teaser rate that goes up. Buy cable modem - start at $29 a month - and wait - its gonna be $45 soon - how long Six months? Buy a house and wait -its interest only now... you get years - hey you can save up your money in that time and most certainly pay a higher interest rate later... and then it jumps... and jumps and jumps. Wait a minute, why didn't you read that contract! Hmmm... you are a working class family with working class friends... so... you're friends aren't lawyers doing the work for free, you're already working too hard to have time to read the thing, you've got kids - so you're trying to pay attention to them in your few hours off... mmm. Imagine a man with one million dollars in his bank account paying for all of this - we are talking the raw essentials of life - food, energy, and housing. No big deal. Imagine a man with $100,000 and three young kids paying for this. Hmmm... its a little harder for him to come up with that extra money.
So we are in recession. Not me - no - I'm fine - I'm better than ever for now. But, what about the guy who feeds five mouths? Its easy to say stop having kids, but then we end up like France - a country chock full of senior citizens and no workforce - we need kids - even if it is costly. We've already got the senior citizens... we need the kids too.
So... if the democrats are focused on kids healthcare through the Schip program - and things like that, than maybe thats what we need right now. A democrat. No - I don't want more entitlement programs... but look -we've gone too far. Things are so out of balance that, it could be cheaper. Consider that people are going to emmergency rooms with a small illness that if treated earlier would not have become pneumonia. People are coming to emmergency rooms in late stages of disease rather than in early stages of loss of health. Oh... hmmm.. they don't have insurance, yet hospitals are legally obligated to treat them... so... hospital has to pay its bills... pushing the button on an MRI machine probably has a fee associated with it that goes straight to the patent holder- and oh yeah -the thing cost millions... so a hospital has to pay its bills... How's it gonna get that money? Its not going to want to go bankrupt... oh - they raise the price for you and me the people with health insurance who are paying our bills. Wait, then health insurance becomes more expensive because the money comes from health insurance payouts, wait and then more poor people can't afford it. Hmmm... so basically - we are stuck in a cycle. When is a good time for a little leadership intervention? To break a cycle.. perhaps.
Concept: Based on our current system, it will be cheaper to find a way to cover all basic care than it will be to solve problems once they are full blown illnesses that require hospital stays and cost thousands more to cure.
I don't want free health care for everyone - affordable - I would hope for that. But, government running it - I guarantee you will be hugely expensive, we'll just pay the government in taxes to pay for it, or we'll go in debt and go bankrupt. People don't want to pay more taxes... they only want more services. So, well I don't believe the government should fund it because... well people don't want to pay for it over there either. Mitt Romney had the first step plan for solving this. People who make $75,000 or more should be required by law to have health insurance, or they should be required by law to pay any health bill they generate at a hospital. That solved part of that problem in his state... its a bite out of the elephant of a problem.. lets take that bite.
My health plan is a health plan, not a health care plan. Consider that we are about one to 1/2 to one full generation removed now from a time when women didn't have careers. What did women do? Well, not only did they provide basic health care for their families, but they also dropped in on their sick neighbors. In our current generation I see women my age buying chicken soup in a can saying, "Now I'll be healthy," I got news for you - that ain't yo momma's chicken soup. Its not that thick sludge of protein and nutrients that is going to turn your immune system on to wack that little germ problem you have. So, whats missing? Well, we employed women - which is the right thing to do for whatever woman chooses to work - and we left the kids with their hands up going... TV dinner? So, we dropped the health care that women were providing for families and communities and replaced it with... paid health care and medicine once ones immune system has been compromised. So, moving forward we must ask - if the people caring for the family health don't have the time or knowledge anymore and men haven't picked up enough of the slack what do we do?
Look at it. Young kids now - one out of three expected to have diabetes. Obesity off the charts. Obesity causing heart disease, creating the environment for cancer and all other ailments on the top five list of health problems that cost our country the most money. Wait a minute... so, our health costs are skyrocketing because nobody is watching out for health on the front end and too few people are educated to know how to manage their health? And, the market driven economy doesn't have an appetite for books by people like Dr. Michael Anchors at www.phenpro.com so publishers won't buy those books to mass print - even though the real answers to our problem are there?
So, my answer for health care comes down to one word - responsibilty.
Mitt Romney said responsibility - if you make enough money to afford health care - you have to buy it and pay your hospital bill so other people aren't footing the costs.
Democrats are looking at child health care first - so that would be getting the problem at its root and generating the habit for people to have health care. It would get major ailments in childhood so they don't balloon by adulthood. There's a chance that Schip could help. For all those out there who don't like entitlements - me neither - at least though I can see the cost of the entitlement rather than having it slipped under the table at a hospital emmergency room. (Shhh... we pay entitlements already that way.) Lets look at life long health care and monitoring as a cheaper alternative. Catching these things up front is just plain cheaper than what we already pay - then what we are paying will be more out in the open. Also, it will break the cycle.
I want to look at a balance here. Consider that some countries like Switzerland I believe - have 60% taxes, or some insane amount - but the people get the best of everything. They get health care and excellent teachers from the government and all sorts of other things. Do I propose that here? Most likely the opposite from me - I believe too much in the free market for that, but it makes one point. Taxes are not always bad if we really get something efficiently, effectively, and directly in return. So, as an American we can't always be against taxes and always be against cuts in programs. Money doesn't magically appear - believe me I've tried that one. I believe we are caught in cycles and we need macroscale constraints that bust those cycles open so that new systems can emmerge.
Mitt Romney's action would be number one, but the problem may be too widespread because it is based on a macroscale constraint that we removed - women in the home taking care of health care.
Wait a minute - part of this movement to bring women into the public sphere included not only the work force, but... POLITICS! Aha - in comes Hillary Clinton. Wait a minute, what is Hillary talking about - health care? You can take a woman out of the home, but you can't take the best trait of a woman's empathy out of women. And, one thing happened - she screwed up big time a decade ago with a health care plan people called, "Hillary Care." How do I advance in my career? How do I innovate? Well, personally I like to try things as fast as I can so I can screw up as fast as possible and that way I can learn from all my mistakes and low and behold - tada - at the end - I have a solid - battle tested answer. Hillary isn't talking about government funded health care for everyone. She's talking about a plan that helps people have choices that they can afford in order to gain access.
I met the lady - she's a smart lady. Hell, she listens too. She even listened to me while I talked to her. (I gave her a copy of a book called, "Influence" by Robert Cialdini that was filled with the social-psych persuassion playbook that Karl Rove was using and defenses to it. I told Nancy Pelosi about it too. Why? I at least wanted to give a chance for honest debate. If we are stuck in influence technique then how the heck can we debate. I want people to win based on their stance on issues and how they want to solve them, not based on pure persuassion technique.) I don't care if a Republican is in office, if there is a true butting of heads on ideas, an honest debate on all issues, a well debated well reasoned Republican or Democrat is better than what we had before. Either side would advance their ideas and maybe come to some compromise or better plan that would work - after all the honest debate. Bush cut debate out and Republican's all fell behind him. Look who we have running for President in front runner status. Senators. What do all senators have in common? The senate is the location for debating issues. America is asking for someone who will debate the issues. (Huckabee was not a senator, but watch him go directly at the issues with McCain. That debate will help McCain because it will cause him to really think over everything again.) So my conclusion - Clinton knows now how to write a health care plan that republicans and democrats can both sign onto. Yeah... I know the republicans want to call it socialized medicine - well, her past plan was... my point is - Hillary is quite a bit smarter now and not in a spot to try that one.
Note on debate: If you want to see real debate pull up the debate from that country where one of the guys was poisoned and had his face all destroyed? Well, if you watch the debates there - they were actually head to head - debating ideas. American government in the current position is entrenching in positions far to the right and far to the left. The electorate is trying to correct that because its not debate, or solutions - because people have taken positions too wide. Too far apart.
Note: Romney used every persuassion technique in that book. America has gotten just smart enough with regards to those tactics that they didn't vote him into office. We wanted something different enough that we finally chose a different approach to politics. The interesting thing is, you never knew when he was using them, but I did.
Barack Obama uses technique more like what is in the book, "Artfull Persuassion." He phrases things in ways that make them more clear for people to think about. He doesn't give all the answers. He's more like the Robert Frost of persuassion - two roads diverge in a wood, which do you choose?
With Barack Obama - my question is - has he already changed America in the way we need? The news shows winning states in all sorts of different colors now - not just red and blue. He evoked the entire message of change and the candidates started talking about what change they would want to bring (Romney deceided he was the candidate of change after he saw Obama was successfull with that message - so he has no credibility - he's gone). American's are for Barack.
I want you to look at a pattern here, in order to consider which course we should take.
Hillary won states like California and Florida and some North East states that always go Democrat. Obama, where were his wins? The South - the Middle of the country, look at where they are! Obama is winning in all the areas that went Republican before and Clinton is winning in all the areas that went Democrat before. What has changed?
Howard Dean as head of the Democratic National Committee has been working feverishly to open democrat organizations and offices in all 50 states rather than just give up every "red state" and lose elections. People got phone calls in their states from Democrats who haven't gotten calls for 20 years. And Obama is winning in those states, with higher voter turnouts than ever.
If Obama is front runner - he will draw middle of country and south away from Republican's because of his universal message. If Hillary is vice president - she can focus for four years on health care and maybe it will get done right. I've got news for you - Hillary.. experience.. she wasn't Vice-President before. I keep hearing how involved she was in her husband's presidency. Well, she wasn't the executive. She was next to the executive. I believe if she were vice president now, she could focus all attention on her one main issue - democrats in congress would pass all the health care reform she asks for - and Obama would sign it.
I believe Hillary's strength is on health care. Coupled with Obama's strength for listening and judgement - I think Obama would make all the best choices as President and Hillary's experience would be Obama's experience if she were sitting next to him.
Why Obama? If I have seen Hillary Clinton (C-Span) rebuke four star generals in congressional hearings for saying that they will, "Gang Tackle," the systematic health care problems for veterans. I know she's got it. I know she does. And I do not believe she is as polarizing as she was. She won't carry the middle of the country or the south where republican's were strongest before because she's hated anywhere republican's could make certain it was so. I would gander to say that if she came on TV in those states, people would be more likely to walk out of the room to avoid catching a glimpse of her. She probably is that detested. If she is not President and we do have a democrat president - I guarantee her views will be put into play anyway. She'll have 100 times more voice even if she is a senator than she did before.
I think she needs to be vice-president first because she sat next to the executive before. My administrative assistant is not the CEO of my company after a couple years experience sitting next to me. She's closer than ever though. So, VP for Hillary. She picks up the states where her machine is strongest- the traditional democrat strongholds - that I believe Obama would win anyway in comparison to a republican. Then after VP - democrats have someone who would be a successor after Obama. Hillary is young enough, she can do it.
Why Obama? What do we need right now? Do we need solutions to problems, or do we need solutions for the entire operation of America? In social-psych we talk about problem relationships - dating relationships that are based on solving problems. Clinton has solutions I believe, for all our main problems. Solutions I believe would be implemented with any democrat president and the current congress. America has problems with Congress and the White House right now, not just health care, but every issue. I believe that Obama's course fixes the macroscale of the macroscale and puts America on a united front.
Consider, we are fighting a war with congress divided, our nation divided, trying to fix health care with our nation divided. What is Obama talking about? No, red states, no blue states -the United States of America... well I got news for you - he gets it.
The problem in America is that we aren't working together for one another. The lady who told her husband to back into Rachel while she held a spot next to her car when I came around the corner was not out for the team. (There were 30 open spaces 50 yards down the street.) American's are not for our government and American's are not for America right now. Foreigners are not for America either. Democrats are illegitimate to Republicans. Republicans to Democrats. Thus, our government is illegitimate to the people.
I believe Hillary now is far more neutral than her polarizing past. But, she ain't no Barack Obama when it comes to uniting people.
Obama at least uses the words entrepreneur when he talks about strengthening America. I do happen to believe that every dollar the government has ever had came from the product of an entrepreneurs work. Ben Franklin for example started hundreds of companies.
But, Hillary is too close to being entrenched in and carrying the party line. She is more centrist than she was before as she approaches her plans, so I do believe she could get things done, but Republicans still have an easy time painting her as too liberal. So, that won't have a chance to take hold. I think.
The congress is 50/50 split down the middle. To get things done, we need a guy who can talk to both. We need a guy who will change the dialogue enough that America will start voting for more moderate centrist leaders- Republican or Democrat. We gotta have a chance to like that, so that the entrenched political machines of the far left and the far right can lose their gasoline (didn't think I'd bring that up again did you).
Success for America will be if in four years America looks like America. If America looks like America - in 10 years we will solve the current set of issues that face us. These are all long term issuese. They still won't be perfect, but we'll be on the best course I believe because at least people will debate, work it out together, and compromise around the best ideas. (Obama graduated Harvard Law - I'm sure he knows how to be around a debate.)
And one more thing. Bill Clinton spoke daily, directly to the American people. He was on the news every day, engaging people in the political process, telling them what he was doing, and telling them what their part would be in helping to make it work. Well, I believe Obama would be doing that.
Obama believes that the solution is the American people. Oprah talks daily to the American people teaching them how to do things better, opening the dialogue. Look whose teamed up. Bush was not a leader of America or the world. He hid away in dark corners and came out attacking the press. Bush was not a leader of the people. America will only be as strong and as able to fix problems as the level of involvement of the 300 million people in the country.
In other words, I don't believe that Obama will fix all the problems himself, I do believe Hillary would be more likely to try that one. (By the way, Hillary is for change - I met her at a Progress for America forum. A major organization talking about all the possible changes we could make for each problem we face. She is for change, Obama can't own that one in my book.) But, I believe that Obama has bet on the strength of 300 million. Wow. Thats a lot of strength. Bush tried to do it all himself. He held the belief that if American's had more of their money they'd be better off than if goverment had it... thats power to people.. but, not leadership.
Here's why. Poor people have spending patterns and Rich people have spending patterns and beliefs. If you give all the money in the world to poor person who has had a life time to build his financial security and is in the same place as when he started... well, what will you get? Same poor person. Consider - what happens when a poor person wins the lottery, they spend it all, and its gone rather quickly. If Mitt Romney won the lottery do you think he'd burn through it? No. Rich people do different things with money. They invest in assets when poor people buy liabilities. They have a myriad different things they do with their money. I believe further tax breaks may provide a spark to get the wheels of the economy going again, but financial education is the only thing that will help poor people find social mobility. A secretary who lives at home with her Mom and invests every penny in stocks and takes on no expenses can invest enough that soon all her expenses could be paid for by her assets. Remember, she has less expenses to cover than a Dr. with medical bills and kids in private school. But, she wouldn't do that would she? If she understood money like that, she'd already be doing it and already be building her net worth. She's probably working for a paycheck seeing that as the only source of revenue. She's more likely to buy lottery tickets than stash away money in investments.
So, people don't just need their own money - they need leadership. Financial education - and a talking to from the top. I believe Obama would provide more leadership than Bush for the people.
Our current problem is a malayse about America and our government. I believe Obama is the cure for that Malayse. His influence would leed American people to action and would change the shape of government. Everything Hillary wants done would be done with any democrat in office. What - will Obama veto the stem cell bill when it comes up the day after he is in office? What - will he veto Schip (children's health care) when it comes with a funding increase? Neh... I don't think so. Hillary could be VP, or replace Harry Reid as Majority Leader in the Senate. She's earned more power and she has done a good job. I've seen her on CSPAN she asks the right questions and demands the right solutions. She's got it.
So... its not that Hillary wouldn't be a good president from day one. Its that we just don't need a new president. We need the soul of America. America needs to feel legitimate. America needs to act like we are working together again. America needs what Barack Obama provides. Hope and a direction.
--------------------------------------------- That is my broad spectrum analysis--------------------------------------------
As a side note, Obama is not ready to lead by himself. No. He's going to need an excellent staff to do things right. Consider that Bush had appointed a former oil company lobbyist as the head of the environmental protection agency. When that person resigned, he went back to working for Exxon. I have a subtle belief that Obama will make better choices for people in charge than that. So, Obama is not the man to do it all himself. But, he knows how to get you to do what you need to do yourself to help fix your life and this country- and he may make sure that you are not alone. For me, thats the ticket.
Best Case Scenario: Obama President Hillary VP. (Because Obama wins former Republican areas and Clinton wins long term democrat areas, this ticket takes most votes away from republicans and guarantees white house for Democrats) When people learn that Hillary is more reasonable and centrist than she used to be, then she should be President after Obama. She's got too much past to work beyond to bring our country together today. I don't believe she is a continuol polarizing figure. I believe her past polarizes people, not her actions today.
Anaylsis Issue by issue:
Needs to reinstate debate by electing leaders who can handle the concept of debate. That brings us closer to any solution to any problem we will ever face.
1)Breaking cycles - replace the hidden entitelment program with the maximum effective program targeting kids.
Responsiblity first - people must pay for insurance or all hospital bills if they make more than $75,000. Children second - we desperately need more kids growing up to build a work-force to support the huge population of people who will be retired for so long. That's SChip. Remember, if government pays health care for kids, then senior citizens will also be paying money from taxes towards health care for kids. They will be funding the generation that will keep this country afloat.
2)Win the game with prevention and health education.
The health care crisis goes away if America loses a few pounds and starts taking care of itself where mothers no longer are focused.
3) Leadership. Hands on for all in this problem
Grocery stores, Harris Teeter has health care education as part of its store. It points out what is healthy and why.
Health insurers are just watching actuarial tables. Lower the overall health costs so health insurance premiums can go down and I guarantee CEO's paychecks will go down.
Restaurants - lead the restaurant organizations/associations towards healthier choices. Make it the "in" thing nationally.
Goal: Get all leaders, all teachers, and all people engaged in health. Their life = one health and they should take care of it.
1) Trade is broken and we are sending all money overseas. The low value of the dollar is causing our exports to increase.
2) Leadership - there is a little red book on how to do business with China. Propogate books and information that teach people in our economy, who are in the right position to export, how to trade. Bring more people to the national board of trade and more people from chamber's of commerce into the export and trade business. Tell the American auto business to wake up and start selling high fuel efficiency vehicles so people will buy them around the world.
3) Start a new career for America.
a. Stem Cell research can generate an entire new health industry that can be the American economies backbone.
b. The green energy business - leeding on innovation in wind, solar, fussion, and other power sources will solve global warming while creating all new industry. Our economy will boom if we are at the helm of a global renewable energy revolution.
c. Housing - we have all the houses we need. If we are going to build more houses, lets focus on the energy efficient geodessic domes that a main company is building now. They are more affordable and cost less in energy. They look a little like igloos. This gives people a reason to build new houses and this creates an industry until everyone has an energy efficient house. (Note: It is not effecient to demolish existing new houses to build energy efficient houses. Aerogel and other insulation technologies can be a big step in the right direction.)
4) Stop errosion. Keep our tech and biological science industries intact and all other businesses that we haven't lost so far. Find the line that keeps them here.
5) Reasonable protectionism. As a government go after piracy of American tech and software in China like an attack dog. Protect our innovation so people will still be willing to innovate. Do that at home as well. Protect our greatest asset - the product of our minds.
6) Give us the opportunity. If we pay too much just servicing the interest on our own debts and the national debt, we won't be able to do anything. Financial education is key and financial right direction in Washington - aka - spending less and taxing less (conservative ideal when appropriate) and taxing and spending more when we are really better off working as a team (Democrat/liberal ideal). So, lets not all be 100% against taxes and fees all the time. Lets be for paying money when we get something for it. (Thats the market economy, lets use that approach for goverment.)
7) Fair competition. Level the playing field. If a government subsidises a competing business in China that directly competes with American business, raise a tarrif that equals that government subsidy. Then, if the government continues to subsize the business, which creates unfair competition - they are subsidizing the American government. Turn their trick on them.
8) Social Security. Crisis #1 and Crisis #2 Unfairness #3. Benefit those who retire later more - entice people to work later because they are healthy and they can. People should move into their dream job if they have to rather than retire at the age they do now. Figure out, how can we make sure all those people are productive for the economy?
Solve Crisis #1: First, we will lose the ability to pay for programs now funded by the social security surplus/backdoor tax.
We are taking money out of social security as a backdoor tax to fund other programs. Social security today and all the way along has always had a major surplus. Its a backdoor tax.
Begin to wind down other spending that is coming out of social security. The government is spending that surplus for other things and leaving IOU's that can never be repaid.
Solve Crisis #2: Second, we will have to deal with paying benefits to people who paid in all these years.
First solution, I say entice people to work and hold jobs longer/retire later. Have people paying into the system and part of the working economy as long as they can be. Reward them with higher social security payments if they work longer.
Unfairness #3: A new kind of IRA for young people - beyond Roth IRA. Allow 2% of income to be put tax free for the youngest members of our workforce. This will train Americans to be investors rather than debtors - solving the problem of personal recession - and also will make sure money is there for younger people when they retire because social security will not be there.
Overall Plan: Return social security to its purpose as a last ditch safety net, not a retirement fund.
a. Give gov't the ability to negotiate for drugs as bought in bulk.
b. Allow people to keep the drugs they bought at the hospital through medicade for use at home when they leave the hospital.
c. Increase investigation into the medical practice of ordering expensive tests and procedures on old people that make money for Drs, but are unnecessary.
d. Partner with microsoft to make simple system for health paperwork and health information sharing to dramatically cut down costs.
Global Counter-Jihad efforts (its a counter struggle - Jihad means struggle)
1) Leadership and informational initiative - get everyone involved.
a. Muslim leaders. Start with the word Jihad. Every muslim person has a personal struggle to build their life. Terrorists stole that word and used it.
2) Technology. Terrorists hate us for our advancement, yet they use our technology. Take away internet, medicine, and all American/advanced technology from countries that will use it against us. Cut the cord so that terrorists aren't spreading their messages on web-pages.
3) If it is a war on terror - imasculate the access terrorists have to media. Make sure a bombing on a corner doesn't scare every person on the planet and reach every newspaper in the world. Take away their voice slowly. If their aim is terror - media conveyance is how they terrorize the majority of people.
4) Packistan packistan packistan. Wait for elections. The populace used to support Osama Bin Ladin. He is losing popularity. Make sure Packistanis like Americans, through our actions - and make sure they grow to dislike terrorists through visibility of their actions. Maximize the contrast so leaders are elected that will actually go after the problem. Musharrif is not the right man for the job.
5) Afghanistan. Boost our credibilty on Iraq by showing results and showing we are winding it down. Then get more nato involvement. I am afraid we will have to carry most of the weight until that time. There will be a transition time when it will get easier to ask NATO nations for more troop support, if we handle Iraq well.
Exit strategy not retreat strategy. Premise: Iraqi generals have made plans in case America withdraws and leaves a power vacuum. Partner with them on implementing their strategy in a pace that is far slower than what they planned. Put our money into the areas that will help them in those efforts, not more money into what will help our efforts. Tell them, they can make political reconcilliations now, or in 100 years after the US is completely gone. We are almost ready for the knockout punch against Al Quaida. I believe we should make that punch before Bush leaves office. Iraqi's have already turned against Al Quaida, lets teach them how to go front line against them. Put it all in their hands and let them struggle it out and have their failures and successes. Then, they will elect the leaders they most believe will solve their problems from a position where the leaders are actually there.
1) Tie solving the problems to financial gain. Spend money on basic research so new companies can have an easy time starting up and implementing new technology that arises from basic research. You'll be amazed at how fast the problem will be solved if millions of people can actually make money off of it.
2) Green energy
3) leadership. Teach American's exactly what to do so that 300 million people are contributing in small, additive ways to the solution.
4) Show Al Gore's video in every college and high school so that the next generation is in the habit of taking the actions to solve the problem.