Nothing is for free, the programs are paid by working citizens


65242  Food stamps, public housing, welfare and other benefits provided by states and federal government are a necessity in times of high unemployment. The problem is the cost of these programs are bankrupting states and adding to the national debt. I don’t see why the states and the federal government couldn’t just require any able-bodied person who is receiving on or more of these benefits who are unemployed to work for the state or federal government in exchange for the benefits. At least it may offset the cost if not balance it out with the labor received. Nothing is for free, the programs are paid by working citizens and I see no reason a healthy person couldn’t work in exchange for the benefits. If it be just cleaning up trash off the side of the road, landscaping, mowing grass, custodial work in schools or any other job that could benefit the citizens and/or governments. Of course I support the idea of drug testing to receive benefits, If a person who is working a job has to take one to get and keep his job then why shouldn’t it be the same for a benefit recipient.

Plus if you require the healthy recipients to work then they can feel useful and it will keep them inspired to find employment. Also there should be more investigations and inspections on recipients to help prevent fraudulent benefit claims and beneficiaries. I do not wish to see the shutdown of the programs that are put in place to help those in need, but if we don’t find some way to alleviate both the cost and the waste created by fraudulent claims they will eventually either be stripped down to nothing or canceled. I am no expert and I don’t have all the answers, but I am intelligent enough to know the way things are going that all our benefits and entitlements will be gone in a generation or two if we don’t figure out how to keep them.

 

Just a few thoughts

Raymond Barbier

With a fair and balanced solution


The western front of the United States Capitol...

A Indecisive and argumentative congress along with all the political rhetoric is creating problems all across the board. The inability of our congress to come to a reasonable and balanced decision on how to balance the budget is effecting not only the credit ratings of The U.S. it is also effecting the stock market and the national economical growth. Our Congress needs to put aside political ideologies and get over the fear of making unpopular decisions so they can concentrate on the problems at hand. It will probably take a combination of spending cuts and the increasing of tax revenues to bail our selves out of this financial hole our government is in. Warren Buffet even made a statement supporting the idea of taxing the extremely rich (those who have earnings above 1 million dollars a year).

In the end it always comes down to the middle class as the ones to carry the largest part of the burden financially when it comes to stabilizing the economy and in paying taxes. Even though the tax increases might be focused on the rich it usually trickles down to the middle class consumer and worker in one form or another. This is a sad fact of the reality of capitalism and our nations financial system.  To be honest being a lower middle class person myself I do not mind a slight tax increase in order to keep the entitlements such as social security and Medicaid / Medicare alive for our seniors. There is a few things we can do as Americans to help get our country back on track, things such as buying saving bonds, treasury bills and investing in the stock market. The Congress needs to grow up and face reality as well as put aside their political differences to get the job done when it comes to our national debt.

Buying U.S. T-bills is a very patriotic and sound investment. By buying T-Bills you are buying up American debt, this takes away from the debt that other countries own and helps finance our own government. To be honest I know our country is going to be debt for a very long time and I would rather the debt be owned by fellow Americans than any other nation. If we are going to look to the federal government to take care of all the woes and needs of our great nation we have the responsibility to help finance such measures. Like it or not any governmental intervention, subsidy and or entitlement has a price tag attached to it. We can not expect great things without having a some sort of price attached. So we either need to cut the fat and have less help from our federal government or we have to pay higher taxes in order to maintain the programs in place. The option of doing a little of both is also possible but it seems that our government is too caught up in their politics to be able to come up with a fair and balanced solution.

 

Well that is my two cents worth on the economy and what is going on today.
Wrong or right, It is here for all to see.

 

Peace and Love to All
Raymond Barbier

Just a Saturday Morning Political Rant


The western front of the United States Capitol...

Image via Wikipedia

  Corrupt politicians and big businesses that care more about a profit than the people who work for them rule the modern world we live in. So many voices crying out for change and freedom and very few ears in places of power willing to listen or even care. Revolution and civil wars across the globe with little change or evolution. Greed and the lust for power overrule the needs of the people as well as the needs of the planet. Storms raging across the face of  both land and sea devastate populations and yet they play politics in the houses of government.

Forcing people to work longer and to an older age before they can retire while trying to keep them from a good healthcare system while taxing the poor to death. It definitely time to put term limits on congress as well as time to make them work for minimum wage with the same low end benefits if any at all. If those in power had to live in the conditions of the common working man they might be able to do more on capital hill. But with 6 figure salaries and their grand benefits they can not see the wrong in dismissing or the dismantling of social security, welfare, Medicaid or Medicare. They are rich enough and have government subsidized insurance along with a federal government retirement to live off of.

  Too much political banter and saber rattling and not enough intellectual discussions on the true problems at hand. Yes we need to balance the budget, the fat needs to be trimmed and the dead weight dumped. But to once again put all of the burden on the backs of the working man and elderly is not acceptable. We need a fair tax system that eliminates  all the loopholes and tax shelters for the rich and forces a more level playing field in the taxation of the citizens. The notion that because they make so much money they shouldn’t pay no more in dollars than a working man is just hogwash. It should be based on an a percentage of the total income. If a man that makes 25,000 would have to pay a certain percentage of his income for taxes why shouldn’t the man who makes 2,000,000 do the same?

Putting the fact the income tax system is not fair or balanced, the fact we need to cut spending is a fact we can not ignore. We need to study each and every program, agency and political office to see where the fat is and cut it out if not at least trim it off a bit. There are so many government projects/programs that are not financially efficient or are no longer effective. Revamp or eliminate such projects/programs and fine tune the rest of them. We also need to stop borrowing money to only give it away as foreign aid, there is plenty of nations and political organizations we could work with to direct foreign aid to the countries in need. This world is not just the responsibility of the United states it is the responsibility of  the whole world. We are all civilized and intelligent beings and we should be able to work together as a world community to address the issues at hand.

  There is also the fact that we are in a trade deficit, most of what we import is not taxed. More and more of our businesses are manufacturing offshore to escape paying taxes and to have a cheaper workforce. This takes away jobs from Americans as well as tax revenue for the government to balance the budget. Just way too much to get into on the problems we face when it comes to trade. Being I am no economist nor am I any kind of expert concerning the tax code I do not know all the answers. I do know that the congress is looking in the wrong direction for solutions when dealing with our national financial problems. And it does not take a rocket scientist to see that they are more concerned with their own political agendas than they are with actually coming up with actual working solutions to the problems.

“We the People of The United States” Means all of us not just the Elite.

Raymond Barbier

Just a Afternoon Rant.


Social Security Poster: old man

Change is something that no matter how hard you try you can only slow down but not totally avoid. This is being discovered on many levels by citizens and governments across the globe. Some change is good and some change is negative or retroactive, though no change is avoidable the end destination of change can be redirected. Even change that has been orchestrated runs its own course and usually will never come out exactly as planed.

So now the middle east and north African countries are going through a political change that has yet to reach its end. It will be many years after the dust settles before the end results will be known. The only thing predictable about the circumstances the world is facing in this unrest is that more than likely that no one will head the warnings of being dependent on oil and not having a fair economical and civilian minded government. It will shock me immensely if any Oil consuming nation and their government even thinks twice about getting off the oil addiction. It will shock me even more if any nation ever puts the citizens before the government officials or the big businesses.

I have a lot of faith in mankind just not very much in the select few who rule by government or from their corporate towers. They have all the money and power and they surely don’t want to share it or even allow others to reach their status level because less competition equals more control and wealth. To be fair there has to be some in government and in big business that do care and try to do good with what they have, Just seems there is more of them that are greedy and power hungry than compassionate and humane. So being out numbered by their peers they have a lot to overcome to make any difference in the world.

I just think it is time for businesses to get their act together and realize crude oil is eventually either going to run out or become too costly to sustain any industry that requires it to operate. I also think it is time for governments to see that the citizens are the ones paying their paychecks and taking care of all the bills / loan payments the government has. So if you don’t keep the working man and the consumers employed, healthy and somewhat happy that the economy is going to either become stagnant or head into a downward spiral.

Invest in small business and help the innovative people of your nation so new technologies and new sources of income can be created. Keep them healthy so they can be productive and keep the economy strong and for gods sake listen to the public, they are getting tired of their words falling on deaf ears. And here in the U.S. the political parties need to grow up and get over their differences and be grown up enough to face and tackle the problems facing the country from the federal government down to the back streets of America.

And for as the national debt is concerned, Stop borrowing money as much, cut foreign aid a bit and maybe take a pay cut up their in congress. Most Americans are forced to survive on 20k if not less and rank-and-file members of the House and Senate is $174,000 per year. Far as Social security, leave it alone for most of us middle class and below the social security benefits is all we have to retire on and due to the cost of healthcare most of us wont be able to live to see much past 60 years of age.

O.K. Enough Ranting for now,

Peace

Ray Barbier