Month: July 2017

My Fellow Americans, It’s Time

I just wrote a piece about our President, Donald J. Trump.  It’s an open letter asking for him to Make America Great Again by resigning.

That is one step to end the current Washington political chaos and stalemate in our federal government.

But it’s time for the people to come together and set aside the labels and blind loyalties that have created a series of divisions.

I wish we could break up the current national Democrat and Republican Parties and start over.

See most Americans can find more in common than those parties are willing to admit.

A few issues to demonstrate:

Health Care.  It was an issue that was on the back burner for decades until Obamacare was passed in 2010.  The premise and promise was that if you liked your plan, you could keep your current health insurance plan and the same with your doctor.

That was the mantra that was repeated over and over and over again in the selling of the Affordable Care Act.  Turned out to be a lie.

Many of us liked the idea of making health care affordable.  There was a few years in my 30’s that I had no health insurance. I took a job with a decent wage that offered no benefits and I worked that job for two years.  Any medical expenses for our family we had to pay ourselves.  We were fortunate. Nothing big happened.

I also had 9 months in my 50’s that I had to buy private health insurance for myself and my wife and it was the same monthly cost as what I was paying out of pocket from my previous employer.  That was a surprise.

My original objections to the passage of the Affordable Care Act was that it was not under the Federal Government’s authority to create a nationwide health insurance plan that was mandatory.  You might remember that one of the selling points is that this was RomneyCare on a national level.  It was modeled after the statewide healthcare plan that was implemented under Mitt Romney when he was Governor of Massachusetts.

And then my objection was that it didn’t go far enough.

I know that contradicts what I just said about state versus federal government authority, but so be it.  If we were going to have a nationwide healthcare plan, I wanted it modeled after the Social Security retirement model that was passed last century somehow.

Social Security is a safety net.  It is not the only way Americans are allowed to plan for income when they retire but it provides a bare bones, baseline income when you qualify due to age or other disability related circumstances.

My wife took early retirement with Social Security and continues to work on occasion.  I have a friend in his 70’s who has both his retirement income from Social Security and continues to work.

A basic universal policy for every citizen of the United States that would destroy the current health insurance model would be great.  No, it’s not free.  But replace my health insurance premiums with taxes to run this program and don’t fill it with loopholes and I’m fine with it.  A huge chunk of Americans would be too.

The current health insurance industry would reinvent themselves to provide policy’s that expand on the basics.  Just like the Financial Planning/Retirement industry offers plenty of ways to have income besides a monthly social security check.

Another issue is Tax Reform.  Like the debate over Health Care is polluted by special interests lobbying our elected officials, so is the taxation debate.

I like the idea of a consumption tax instead of an income tax.  Pretty simple and fair. When you buy something there is a federal sales tax.  Rich people buy expensive stuff, middle class people buy according to their income and the poor buy what they can afford.   With a flat consumption tax, the loopholes are gone and everyone pays the same rate. Fair? Yes.

There is an argument that the poor will be hurt by this because the cost of the stuff they are already buying will go up with the additional national sales tax and they are at a poverty level right now that they are not paying income tax, so the net is they lose money.  That could happen.   But it also might free up companies to be able to pay higher wages to increase those poverty wages to a better standard of living.  I’d like to see and explore this further.

But right now, these couple of issues are stuck in partisan debates and sub-partisan debates.

The way the Republicans argue in the Senate about the alternative health care plans, some say the plans are too liberal, others say they are too conservative, and I get the feeling they are just as motivated by their own re-election than their principles…

We saw the same sub-partisan debates in the Democratic Party between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton.

We need non-partisan conversations instead.

As Americans, nearly everyone wants to pursue their version of an American Dream.

Freedom to be yourself, to be ambitious, to be free of stupid discrimination based on nearly anything.   An even playing field isn’t possible simply because of learned biases and culture, but with each successive generation, we can become less intolerant and better friends and neighbors can’t we?

Most of us are somewhere in the middle, not like the lunatic fringes that make the headlines.

Seek others who have different views than yours and talk, listen and learn why they are passionate.

We all become better and that’s where we can start.

 

 

Donald J. Trump, It’s Time

An open letter to our current President of the United States.

Donald J. Trump, it is time to cancel this game show where you occupy the White House.

Before I go any further, what is it that finally got me to speak out publicly and not just privately?

Anthony Scaramucci.

I am tempted to use similar (but not so graphic) swear words to describe my outrage of what he did this week.  But I won’t because I know better.

He doesn’t. He proved it by talking to a reporter and then blaming the reporter for his own words.

Communication Director? If this is the way he is going to represent the Executive Branch then he is the worst possible candidates.

I had a sliver of hope that Anthony could be the professional that could clean up the leaks coming from your branch of the government but he has turned out to be a bigger buffoon than you Mr. Trump when it comes to communication.

I did my best to look the other way when I would cringe at your tweets and off the cuff comments that you have made since that day in January when you took office and renewed your campaign promise to Make America Great Again.

I tried to look at all the dirt they dug up on you as simply part of your very non-p.c. past.  The bragging of an insecure millionaire talking with Billy Bush was from your past and once you were in the oval office, you would act the part and be humbled.

Nope.

The tweets kept coming.

Your staff seems to never be able to get the story straight about anything.

You, Mr. Trump are an Apprentice that has no mentor and from all appearances, you don’t want one.

In my fantasy world, you would meet privately with each of the living former Presidents and seek their wisdom.  They are the only ones on this planet that have had the responsibility that you now have and each of them were rookies when they were in office the first time too.

Jimmy Carter, the Bushes, and Barack Obama have wisdom that you need to learn. And you better include Bill Clinton too.

Imagine a humble man in the White House.  Even though it was long before my time, I picture Harry S Truman to have been humble.  The biographies I read of Harry when I was young portrayed him as a man of power who also was humble. I’m guessing that the 5 living Presidents also had various moments of humility as POTUS too.

But I am afraid that my just-described fantasy, will never occur.

And while I was willing to give you the benefit of the doubt regarding Russia, even if you and your team were duped by those more experienced in political and covert operations, there are so many other blunders that are occurring and your reaction is to blame others.

I wish you would shut up publicly.

I wish you would stop lying or having “communication errors”. (They are really lies.)

I don’t wish anything bad or evil on you or your family, but again, I don’t wish it on anyone.

What’s next?

It’s time for you to retire.

Turn over the reigns to your Vice President.

Mike Pence was my state Governor before you picked him as your running mate and he was not my favorite but at the time he had values and principles.  Some of those were controversial and he made some enemies too but he actually had a fan base of support that wasn’t built on hype.

Right now, Mr. Trump you are in a no-win situation.  The Russian investigation has steamrolled the agenda that you promised and you personally have no self control.

Either your time in office will continue as is with perceived chaos every day as the media continues to push out the possible scandals until you become completely ineffective.

Or they do find dirt to go thru the impeachment process and due to the frustration by the American voters, Congress flips to the Democratic Party in the 2018 election and you are run out of town in disgrace.

Or you can say to hell with it.  Leave on your own.  Take the family and return to your choice of homes and try and salvage your Trump empire while attempting to stay out of jail.

Mr. Trump, if you really want to Make American Great Again, walk away and leave now.

The sooner the better so we can start to restore civility.

(I just wrote a follow-up that I encourage you to also read: https://scloho.wordpress.com/2017/07/28/my-fellow-americans-its-time/ )