Thursday, April 21, 2011

Dear President Obama

Dear President Obama, April 21, 2011

When you engage other politicians in negotiating about Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Defense and other significant government expenditures, I believe you should consider the following items:

  • Democrats need to support across the board sacrifice for a significant public purpose.
  • The fiscal crisis era America has entered requires stopping old consumption habits.
  • The federal budget needs to shift away from the non-needy, over 60 toward the needy young.
  • Specific rules need to be enacted to control the unsustainable entitlements of Social Security and Medicare. There needs to be an income and wealth means test so that the wealthy pay for some or all of their own health care. Some kind of sliding scale needs to be passed into law.
  • States and the federal government need to shift the tax base from income taxes toward taxing consumption. Specifically the consumption of carbon emitting energy needs to be taxed so that we can invest in renewable energy sources.
  • Invest in R&D for renewable energy sources but not in mass production. Keep all options open.
  • Retain the ability to remilitarize surplus domestic properties and overseas bases. Maintain a diverse domestic defense infrastructure.


1. What example of sacrifice must be provided to infuse team spirit in a new generation (under 30)?
2. What image of government must be reinforced to infuse a civic spirit in the young (under 30)?
3. What across the board sacrifice will there be for a significant public purpose?
4. What new national purpose will rejuvenate public authority?
5. What is the community world view of the ideal personal sacrifice for a significant public purpose?
6. What can be done to infuse public institutions with a much-needed sense of public purpose?

These questions are really getting at why we want to infuse team spirit and civic responsibility in a new generation. What is the basic belief a majority has about public service? What is the purpose of our sacrifice?

One of the challenges is how to deal with the false choices and individualism communicated by conservatives and the Republican Party. How will Democrats and the majority emphasize civic duties over personal rights?

The Republican quest for individual rights will make public authority more dysfunctional. They seek to starve government of revenues and shutdown whole agencies. Republicans must not be allowed to get their way and prevent the youth from forging a positive bond with government.

They must not be allowed to continue to limit public resources for education and care of children. Their current focus on denying undocumented immigrants public resources is a civil rights issue because they are discriminating against people of color and specifically denying children an education and access to health care.

Republicans are focused on individual rights and that precludes civic mobilization for any significant public purpose.

The primary message of federal programs needs to be personal sacrifice to support public authority, civic virtue, civic spirit and teamwork. The level of public teamwork and self-sacrifice needs to continue to increase as we approach 2020.

There were 40 million people over 65 in 2010. That is the only age cohort of the population growing each year. The retired population of Baby Boomers will increase by millions every year until 2020 when we have a 60% increase from 2010 in the over 60 population.

By engaging millions of healthy and wealthy Baby Boomers, you can get idealistic and motivated people to support the issues outlined above. By engaging the millions under 30, you can get single goal focused and motivated youth to support the same issues as the Baby Boomers. That is a winning combination the conservatives won’t be able to beat.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Federal Debt and Deficit

The real problem with the Congressional control over the federal budget deficit is the same that causes a business to go bankrupt - the cash flow is too low from revenue. Cutting the national debt requires the same thing that an individual or a business has to do to reduce debt - improve net cash flow and allocate some money each month to reducing the debt. The Congress has reduce revenue giving tax cuts to the rich in the Bush era that now need to be reversed before they make cuts to services for seniors, children and the poor.

Threat of Government Shutdown

Even the threat of a government shutdown has had a significant economic effect on people who can least afford to lose income. My granddaughter's school field trip to a federal historical location on Monday was cancelled on the prior Friday because of the uncertainty of paying for the busses, driving for hours and then not getting in. Our state national guard cancelled all but essential weekend activities. These are just two examples. Many people's income was reduce because of the brinkmanship played out by uncaring politicians in DC. Why are we continuing to put up with the lying about the debt and deficit when these are just ideological agendas from the last Century?