The fiscal cliff problem clearly displays Washington’s disfunction

There are several dysfunctional thing I see as I watch the fiscal cliff debate.  Here are three.

1. They are taking breaks and not talking to each other.  How can they expect the public to take this threat seriously if they aren’t.

2.  There is absolutely no reason for their discussions to be behind closed doors.  What are they afraid that we are going to hear.  If the politicians are being reasonable then I would expect them to leap at the chance to argue their points publicly.  Instead of working on a solution, which is what they would be doing if there was transparency,  I know what they are spending their time on.  It is clear to anyone watching that the bulk of the politicians time is spent generating and disseminating talking points.  The real problem here is that the non politicians, most notably the economists, are the ones raising their hands and shouting fire.  When the politicians cry wolf I am not worried but when the economists shout wolf, I am definitely paying attention.  However our politicians aren’t worried, they hear the economists shout fiscal cliff and they spend several weeks of their time trying to rename it from fiscal cliff to fiscal curb.  Their theory is obviously to downplay the situation so that no one notices   I promise you this though, when we go over the cliff or the curb as the politicians would prefer, the pain will be felt globally and that is certain.

3.  The third thing that really bothers me is that the republicans are obviously taking a stand for the sake of taking a stand.  This bodes ill for everyone.  Increasing the tax on the wealthy is a non starter for them.  Fine but why is it a non starter.  They claim that this will harm the job creators and kill the economy.  Small business will cease to function.  Instead of going after the problem of helping small business, they just want to maintain the status quo.  Well let me point out that right now we are in a bad place. I am trying to communicate without using a curse word to demonstrate just how bad of a place we are in.  This bad place was achieved due to the status quo.  If the republicans want to impress me then instead of standing in the way of the tax increase for the wealthy, they would add provisions specifically targeted to help small businesses.  Tax the wealthy but maybe cut payroll tax for companies with less a hundred employees.  Instead of looking at this as a situation where you must stop the democrats think of it as a chance to compromise.  Let the democrats get their tax increase to help pay the deficit and in exchange the republicans should get an opportunity to help small business directly.  If the republicans reject this solution then it is obvious that they are not objecting to the taxes because of the damage it will do to small business which is what they claim.

What i feel are wasted chances by our presidential candidates

I feel that out current presidential candidates have each had an opportunity to show a little integrity by admonishing people in their own party who are involved in poor behavior. So as not to show any bias will share one example from both parties.

  • I will start with Obama and his “you didn’t build that alone ” comment. I sat listening to several republicans make fun of Obama’s statement over and over again. Each of which felt that they had worked hard on their business. Mostly though they just wanted to childishly make fun of the opposing candidate. As they sat there making fun of Obama I couldn’t help but be upset because these were smart people who were intentionally missing the point so as to belittle the candidate. What Obama was saying was that we all benefit from infrastructure so when we spend money on infrastructure everyone benefits. I wish Romney curbed his followers. Maybe he could release a statement like “There is enough legitimate things to attack the Democrats on that Republicans shouldn’t use a misquote or something taken out of context.”

 

  • The next example I have of a leader having an opportunity to show leadership and integrity in the presidential campaign is Obama not acting when Harry Reid made his statement about Romney’s taxes. If Harry Reid could produce proof of his statement then that would be one thing, but he couldn’t. Obama should have recognized that that is bad behavior by his own party on his behalf. If he had the kind of integrity and leadership I want in a president then he would have release a statement similar to the following, “I want to win the presidential race but not by any means necessary. If anyone can prove that Mitt Romney has been not paying taxes then please step up. If you do not have proof then please stop adding to the rumor mill.”

These represent chances for each candidate to show his integrity. Instead both candidates let their followers run rampant with them by either standing aside or sometimes participating in the bad behavior. I may be wrong but this type of behavior by both major political parties make me feel that instead of leading, the leaders are trying to figure out where things are going and then running to be in front. I want a leader who says “We should go over there” and America follows.

Presidential qualities that need to be proven before election

In the earlier post I think “College Board” could play a pivotal role in making it easier to make a better decision for president, I put down some ideas of things that should be tested for in a presidential candidate.  Then in the post This is how I would use some of the time presidential candidates use on stump speeches, I set it up so that you could find out not only what the president believes but why he believes.  This also showed how a presidential candidate would handle people who feel adverse to him.  Then in the post This would be my campaign in the modern world I showed a way for a candidate to show what he believed in by how he spent his money and a way to campaign that would make the presidential run valuable even if the candidate lost.  That still leaves things that we want to find out if the candidate has that we aren’t able to quantify.  Here are some of those important things

  • diplomacy
  • decisive action
  • Team building
  • Integrity
  • Exudes Strength
  • Compassion
  • Law abiding

These are just some of those qualities and I believe that the debates are good ways to see if some of these qualities are in the candidate.  However I don’t think that all these qualities are represented.  This post  isn’t about changing the election process but is instead about generating a list of qualities that the president should have.  If you have any qualities that you think a president should have please reply with them.  Once I have a complete list of what the leader of the free world needs to be, then I am going to try to find ways to test for it that are cheap.

The despair I frequently find in voters my age

Recently I got into a discussion with a peer. He stated that the choices in elections were so bad that he wasn’t going to vote. There was a time when I felt the same way. It is this feeling of, “I don’t care both sides are horrible.” This is exactly the attitude that should be curbed.  Despair and indifference can be more destructive then any thing else.

Then I went through a period of time where I wanted to start a political party that I called the swing party. This party would never put forth candidates. Instead they would vote to see who was happy with government. If a simple majority was happy then the party would vote for the incumbents. However if the entire party was majorly unhappy then the party would vote against all incumbents. For example congress approval rating is 17%.  So next election we would basically fire all the incumbents.  This would send a message to those who want to stay in congress.  I still like this idea because currently it seems that congress does whatever it wants.  A little fear is a great motivator but after a while I thought that this idea does wonders at motivation but will it change caliber of who we elect.

It gets rid of the bad but it does nothing to ensure that we vote in quality replacements.  I have given this a great deal of thought and if a campaign looked more like the campaign in the “This would be my campaign in the modern world” post, then we would be able to tell a lot more about our candidates.  Also the elections would be more enjoyable.  Please feel free to comment on anything that you think would help change the election process so that we can better know a candidate before they are elected.  The true way to fix the country is before the election and not afterward.

This would be my campaign in the modern world

The cost of running for office is about 750 million.  If I were to implement my plan from earlier post This is how I would use the some of the time presidential candidates use on stump speeches, then my campaign would cost:

  • My youtube channel Free
  • $50,000 advertising youtube channel
  • $100,000 flying and housing members of opposing parties
  • $50,000 test prep for my test prep for the article:

    I think “College Board” could play a pivotal role in making it easier to make a better decision for president

  • $30,000 making videos from the opposing sides interview
  • $50,000 making campaign ads
  • $20,000 to go to all the debates
  • $10,000,000  running campaign ads  (40 runs per state at 5,000 dollars per run)
  • $100,000 for a web developer and Social networking guru
  • $40,000 for web costs(hosting, ssl, polling,etc…

This comes to 10,440,000 which I think would be a campaign where the voter could have all the information that you could possibly want.  This would also reduce the amount of fundraising necessary or you could keep fundraising and donate the money to charities so that everyone in the world would know the candidates philanthropic side.  Let see, the remaining funds are: 739,560,000.  We will need to take out a million for travel for our campaign raising.  Which leaves us with 738,560,000.

Now if I divide it by ten that will leave me 73,856,000 which I can donate to the following:

  • Cancer Research Institute
  • Animal Welfare Institute
  • Save the Children
  • National Military Family Association
  • Scholarship America
  • National Council on aging
  • William J Clinton Foundation
  • Food for the hungry
  • Red Cross
  • Sierra Club Foundation

Of course these are just some random choices but if a presidential candidate made them then you would have a lot of insight into the man or woman’s character.

Any ideas on how to fix the protest problem at the party conventions

While watching both the democrat and republican parties’ conventions during the last election, I realized that we have a problem that I can’t figure out how to address.  Each convention had protesters and most were peaceful but there was a small contingent of non peaceful protester and the police couldn’t tell one from the other.  The police decided to tear gas and mass arrest people.  Also the conventions got the city to make a rule so that the only place you could protest was in an empty stadium parking lot where no one was at.  Slowly we are losing our right to peaceful assembly when it comes to standing up against the two large political parties.  I feel that our right to peaceful assembly and protest is fundamental and I need ideas for :

  • What to do about the non peaceful protesters and the police’s inability to tell the difference.  Some kind of friend or foe system maybe
  • What to do about political parties trying to take away the right to assemble

Any ideas would help.  These are not easy problems but we can’t keep following the current path or the political parties will be beholden to no one but the lobbyists who get all too much face time during the conventions.

I think “College Board” could play a pivotal role in making it easier to make a better decision for president

When you are getting ready to go to college you take the SAT test.  That combined with your record in high school will tell colleges whether or not to consider you as a future student.  These tests are made to show your skill set at Math and Verbal.  I purpose that we make a mandatory test for anyone who wants to run for president.  Instead of math and verbal,  this test will test the following areas

  • Foreign Affairs
  • Economics
  • Military History
  • Law
  • Civics
  • American History
  • Current affairs
  • Constitution and All amendments

The reason that I have included College Board in the title of this article is that I can think of nobody else better suited to make and administer this test fairly for all the candidates.  These guys quantify knowledge already just instead of Math and Verbal,  they would be testing for the above knowledge.  If you are reading this article and think there is a topic that should be tested for that I haven’t mentioned, please reply with the topic you want to know the president is qualified in. I will then add it to the list.  The “College Board” will have to completely revamp the test every election.

 

Here is the reason I think voting doesn’t count for much

Last Presidential race I watched the names of the lobbyists who were throwing hugely expensive parties during the two conventions.  I don’t know if that information will be available this year but it turned out that all the same lobbyists turned out at both conventions.  That puts their hooks into both the democrats and republicans.  No matter how you vote,  that person is already in the pocket of big business.  It is not some great conspiracy rather it is a legal way to buy off politicians.  There is a reason that the media is kept out.  Politicians refuse to attend any party that is not media free.  I think that is the most telling sign of business owning congress and Washington as a whole.  Feel free to vote for who you want, the lobbyists have that politician in their pocket.

This is how I would use some of the time presidential candidates use on stump speeches

Instead of traveling the country giving the same speech to my supporters who have already made their decision, I would post and show on TV one three hour speech with the goal of firing up my supporters. This would save a great deal of time which I would spend on converting my opponents.  I would fly one member of the opposite party per state. These fifty people would be from the opposite party as mine.  Over the course of 25 days, I would allow each an hour interview. One in the morning and one in the late afternoon.  This way they would have time to review  the other interviews so that they wouldn’t repeat each other.  Of course I would post all interviews.  The reason I would use opposition people is that I would be guaranteed to end the process with 50 hours of hardball questions.  After that the Presidential Debates would be a walk in the park.  You can  spend a massive amount of time and money talking to people who are already going to vote for you.  These people are going to send you fluff questions..  Or you can face your opponent’s base who will give you better insight into the other party and what they are looking for..