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Left And Right Politics

…plus the cream in the center.

Drug Testing Welfare Recipients

Posted by Billy On September - 7 - 2011

For some time now, the idea of having welfare recipients drug tested for them to receive benefits has been appealing to many, but for those on the left as well as those who are on welfare, it’s a different story. No matter which side of the issue you are on, this topic brings a lot of discussion and emotion to the conversation.

The state of Florida has recently passed a law that states that any new welfare claim that is submitted, the person must have a drug test done before receiving any benefits. the claimant is responsible for paying for the test, but if the test is negative, the person will be reimbursed for the cost of the test. If they fail, they will not be paid back for the test as well as they will not be eligible for welfare for one year. This issue has become an ever growing concern for people on both sides of it.

The left (Democrats) feel that it’s an unconstitutional decision to invade someone’s privacy. They use the 4th Amendment as they reason to not allowing these test to be legal. The right (Republicans) think that if you’re going to get assistance from the government, you should be expected to abide by the same standards as those who have to take a test to get a job. They say that since employees who work to pay taxes to help fund entitlement program have to take the same test to work, the people on welfare should do the same. The reason behind their thinking is that there is so much corruption within the welfare system (along with multi-generation families) that this is one way to weed out the wrong-doers.

Those people who say that the drug testing is wrong is because if infringes on their Constitutional right as laid out in the 4th amendment The fourth amendment protects the American citizen from unwarranted and illegal search and seizures. In 2003, the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Michigan’s drug testing of welfare applicants as a Fourth Amendment violation.
As for the other side of the issue, the 4th amendment pertains to privacy and they feel that if these people are looking for public assistance, then the issue of privacy doesn’t play a role in the debate.

While I agree to the drug testing, some say that I’m wrong. All I can say to that is that I must trust the judicial system to make the right decision on the matter. Unfortunately I don’t trust those who are serving on the circuit courts as well as the Supreme Court. Again this issue is for each state to make their own decisions as to if they want to legalize medical marijuana.

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A Letter From Senator Bill Nelson

Posted by Billy On August - 12 - 2011

I received an e-mail from Senator Bill Nelson (D-Fl) informing his constituents of how serious he is about staying away from the mud-slinging and bad talking about the “other” political party. He does say that it’s both the Republicans as well as the Democrats that are responsible for the problems in America.

Here is the letter he sent out to the people in his district, followed by the response I sent to him.

After watching Standard & Poor’s performance in the Enron and housing debacles, it’s hard to stomach their decision to downgrade America’s credit.

But even coming from S&P, there is a message we should hear: The finger pointing and hyper-partisanship has to stop. If it doesn’t, we really will be on the road to ruin.

Democrats need to see tea partiers as something other than debt-limit hostage-taking Republicans. And Republicans need to see President Barack Obama and Democrats as something other than big-spending socialists.

We’ve got to stop this attack madness. We have to bring civility back to the public square. We have to put the country back on the path to fiscal sanity.

To do that, we need to cut some $4 trillion to $5 trillion. We made a down payment on this with the $2 trillion dollars we cut just last week. Now we need to go further.

To understand what we have to do, though, we first need to look at how we got here.

We went from a $236 billion budget surplus in 2000 to a $1.3 trillion deficit last year — and a record $14 trillion debt. A huge chunk of the debt comes from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. We’re bringing the troops home.

Another significant piece stems from the Bush-era tax cuts. Warren Buffett, chairman and chief executive officer of Berkshire Hathaway, says the tax cuts for the wealthy should be left to expire. They’re set to do so at the end of next year. We should let that happen.

Agree or not, don’t you think most Americans were better off before the tax cuts than they are now?

Much of the rest of the debt comes from the economic downturn since 2008.

That brings us to today. And there’s no mystery about what we have to do. It’s just common sense. In addition to the spending cuts Congress just made, we need tax reform.

And by tax reform, I mean closing loopholes, special interest tax breaks and corporate subsidies. It’s just plain wrong to be protecting tax breaks for oil companies and to be rewarding businesses that ship jobs overseas.

As chairman of the Senate Finance Committee’s Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Growth Subcommittee, I’ve scheduled a hearing for early September to investigate closing many of these loopholes. Doing so will likely generate $2 trillion over the next decade. Add that to the $2 trillion in spending cuts we’ve made — and we’re in the $4 trillion range that we need to hit.

It’s time to stop the shouting and bickering and political attacks. It’s time to show the world that America can take care of business.

Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) is a member of the Senate Finance and Budget committees.

Senator,

The piece that you wrote for Politico is nothing but a poor attempt to convince me to vote for you next year. I will tell you that that will never happen.

Your attempt to lie to the American people about the so-called surplus in 2000 is just something else for me to tell my neighbors and friends about when they ask me for my political advice. The surplus you refer to was nothing more than a projected number if nothing in the equation would change. You know damn well that politicians, both Republicans and Democrats alike, do nothing to stop the spending of our tax dollars.

As for the $2 million you say that Congress just cut is also a lie. Again you cut money from the projected spending that you guys would like to do in the future. It’s like me saying I saved $90,000 this year since I wanted to spend $150,000 next year and will only spend $60,000. Of course I only make $60,000 a year, but that doesn’t matter since I saved $90,000 from “cutting” my spending.

It’s politicians like yourself that has ruined this country and too bad we are left to deal with you and your type forever since there is no term limits for you Senators and Congressman.

If you want to get my vote, pass a term limit bill before your next five weeks vacation that you and your fellow politicians don’t deserve. You civic service was never meant to be a career.

As for tax reform, absolutely we need tax reform. Let’s get it all over with and enact the Fair Tax Plan and get rid of the IRS. If it wasn’t for taxes, you guys would have nothing to use to get the different classes of people mad at each other which takes the focus off of the crap you and the others are doing in Washington DC. There are two classes in this country, the citizen class and the political class.

As for your last section where you state, “It’s time to show the world that America can take care of business.”, You are so right and for us as a country to do that, we need to clean out the House and the Senate of all politicians that have held the office for more than 6 years. Working along side of GOOOH.com (Get Out Of Our House) we are working to make that happen.

In closing, I want to thank you for your time in sending out this e-mail to remind me and my fellow readers/subscribers and countrymen of what’s important to America.

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Fannie And Freddie Are Looking For More Handouts

Posted by Billy On August - 10 - 2011

That’s right the government sponsored mortgage entities are looking to borrow more money from the tax payers of America. Only hours after being downgraded by standard and Poors on Monday, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced that they would need to ask for a $1.5 billion injection to help balance their books. I am not surprised at the fact that these two businesses (I use that word loosely) can not pay their obligations to the debt holders, the American tax payer. To add insult to injury, they want to take more from the same people who have been keeping them afloat for the last three years.

Both of these companies have been poorly run and not regulated properly for the past 10-15 years. It’s only in the last three years that all the dirt is being revealed. Barney Frank and Chris Dodd started the ball rolling in 1995 drafting a bill, The Fair Housing Act, later signed by president Clinton. The bill was meant to help lower income families to get a mortgage to buy a home. Unfortunately, the politics of Washington strong-armed the mortgage industry into approving just about anyone who wanted a mortgage, even if they couldn’t even afford the down payment and/or the monthly payments. Of course many of the issues didn’t really kick into high gear until years later when more and more people started to realize how easy it was to get a home without any money down and with low interest rates (for the first 2-3 years). Adjustable rate mortgages (ARM) started to pop-up throughout the United States. All of these factors added to the entire housing market collapse as well as the financial situation with both Fannie and Freddie.

In the last three years, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have received over $170 billion and they are no where near getting their heads above water. There is so much leverage within the financial/housing market that it will takes years to correct. Because of that reason, the federal government can not just close the doors on Fannie and Freddie. It would cause major declines in the housing market throughout the country as well as causing the interest rates to skyrocket out of control.

Plans have to be made to start transferring the assets of these two government subsidized programs to the private sector. It’s not something that can be done immediately, it will take 5-7 years to do so, but the idea is to start now so in a few short years America’s housing market will be stable again and more in line to how the mortgage industry needs to be operated.

With private companies running the show, stricter rules will be in place to manage the mortgages as the qualification to getting one. Owning a home should be looked at as a benchmark of a person/family’s success, not as a right to own one because you exist. When the federal government is involved, it becomes more of a political tool to help get a candidate or a particular party into office. Washington has never operated as a business and I doubt they would know how to in the first place.

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Free Phones From The Federal Government?

Posted by Billy On August - 4 - 2011

In the current state of this economy, The federal government has decided to give people, who are already on some sort of entitlement program, a free cell phone and 250 minutes each month. For those of us who pay for our own cell phone and would like to know where the funding for this program is coming from, you’re paying for it, that’s who.

That’s right, you are. If you’re like me, you’re the type that looks at the bill each month to be fully aware of what I’m being charged for. On our monthly bill, there is a charge from the federal government. For each cell phone provider, it’s written different. My company lists it under government fees and taxes. An extra 3% is added to my bill each month. These charges help pay for these free phones. The programs, Assurance Wireless and SafeLink Wireless, are federal government programs to provide free phones to the lower income families.

So how do you qualify for this program? If you are already on some sort of entitlement program, you pretty much qualify. Depending on what state you live in will decide the details of the program.
In the state I live in, Florida, here’s the basics to qualifying:

If you’re on any one (or a combination) of these programs, you qualify.
. Medicaid
. Food Stamps/SNAP
. Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
. Temporary Cash Assistance

. Bureau of Indian Affairs Programs (BIA)
. Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA) or Section 8
. Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
. National School Lunch Program’s Free Lunch Program

The way we read it, this Safelink Wireless program gives you a free cell phone, free monthly service, and free minutes. You qualify even if you make 35% more than the designated “poverty” level or if you’re already getting additional freebies from the government. And we see nothing that indicates you have to be a legal resident of the United States to qualify.

How much more is it going to continue? As it is right now, $1 trillion of the national budget is slated for low-income assistance. I understand that there are people who are in dire straits because of the current (and for some time to come) economic situation, but this is going a little too far now. As we’ve seen in the last week, our country is already having difficulties paying for the programs it has in place. The federal government has gone too far over the last twenty years and if we don’t stop it, it will get worse.

As it is, many Americans are starting to think that the government owes them something just for the simple fact of existing. Why is that? Because the federal government has given the American people that feeling that it’s what they are there for. The federal government has made it where many people have no idea of what the federal government authorities actually are. Americans no longer seem to care about what the government does as long as they’re getting something for free.

These types of programs do nothing but weaken the country as a whole and damages the natural flow of the free market. When will people realize that once the government gets involved with any industry and starts to subsidize any part of it, the products that come out of the industry has gone up for their customers. Doing this is going to do nothing but push the price of service up even more. Each phone that is connected, the phone provider is paid $10 per customer. My own bill’s basic service is $49.95 a month. So how is the company making money off of the program? They charge the individual customer $49.95 for basic service along with the government fees and federal universal charges to make up for the lost.

Until we as Americans stand up to the politicians and their way of doing business, we will continue to deal with programs like this one. Like the old saying goes…”Nothing is forever except for government programs.
These are the things that need to be cut in the budget, I know damn well the Social security and Medicare are just scare tactic tools that politicians use to confuse most Americans.

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