Saturday, October 21, 2006

Campaign Signs

As I was driving along 24/ Jefferson at Time Corner I counted over 12 Souder signs. Then between there and Jefferson Point I counted another ten signs. When I got to Dupont and Auburn road there were no less then eight signs. It is obvious Souder has a lot of money to spend on signs. To bad he does not use that money to tell us what his issues are.

I have seen his TV ads and heard his radio ads, but in everyone, he really says nothing. I know first hand how hard it is to condense an issue down to a 60-second sound bite. However, one statement he makes that just burns me is his insinuation he is a conservative keeping federal costs low. He voted for Rx drug coverage for seniors. How is this keeping government small and fighting deficits? He voted to take from my kids and me over $4 Trillion and give it to individuals who never paid for a Rx drug program or who will not pay sufficient taxes to fund this new "government program." The Rx drug program is no different than Medicare nor Social Security in the way it is funded.

Mark Souder spoke to Prime Time 39 on 3-12-2004 and referred to Social Security as a "shell game." He stated, "For people under 30 its probably going to be income based. I am not saying we're going to pass that. It will probably be passed after I am dead." He continued "If you're 40, you might make it through the system. But if you're under 40, and certainly under 30, you had better start planning because if you want to have a decent retirement you’re going to need supplemental funds."

Mark Souder views Social Security as a shell game, then why on earth would he vote to create another shell game, this one called Medicare Rx Drug Program. Mark Souder is not a conservative. If he cared about deficits, he would not have voted for a $4 Trillion give-a-way of our childrens tax dollars.

If Mark Souder cared about the future of the United States, your children he would be addressing the problem of budget deficits, Social Security, Medicare, tax reform, energy, immigration, identity theft, defense and more. The problem is he speaks in sound bites with no substance to back them up.

Here are my issues, maybe they are also yours. Ask both candidates the hard questions. A sound bite may sound great, but it is nothing more than words if there is no plan.


  • National Defense: Those who serve our country need to be trained and be provided the equipment necessary to carry out the tasks assigned to them. We should never knowingly send our men and women into combat with out-dated equipment, poor training and poor planning. They are putting their lives on the line, the least we can do is provide them the training and equipment to carry out their assigned tasks.

  • Budget deficits: We hear a lot of talk about cutting the deficit in half. In fact they have talked about it as far back as I can remember. I am 49 years old and I simply cannot remember a surplus year, can you? Who has been running this country, the politicians or the voters? I hear people complain, but do we ever take action? There are only two methods available to cut deficits, cut spending and raise taxes. The general budget deficit was $726 billion in 2005, but it was reported as a $554 Billion unified budget. Our representatives say they are against using social security revenues to offset general budget expenses, but they continue to use the Unified Budget numbers. They do this to make the numbers look better. I will not do this.

  • Tax Reform: Americans and Business spend too much on determining their taxes. Why should one company profit at the expense of another simply because a politician wants to give your money away? Individuals and business would do better understanding the tax code and knowing the tax code would not change every few years. Congress has given preferential treatment to companies groups and individuals. This is unfair, creates thousands of pages of code and is inefficient. Income is income, treat income as such. Treat all taxpayers fairly by not holding out carrots for preferential tax treatment. This will reduce the tax code to less than 50 pages. It will greatly reduce compliance costs and tax court litigation.

  • Energy reform: Congress has debated energy policy for decades and what do we have to show for it? It is time to stop subsidizing inefficient and wasteful energy programs. Wind power has now reached a level where it can compete with other forms of energy.

  • Identity Theft: In 2004 9.2 million complaints of identity theft were filed. The IRS is the single largest contributor to identity theft in that it requires financial institutions, employers and now colleges to collect an individual’s taxpayer identification number for tax purposes yet puts no restrictions on the entity collecting the information. As a result these entities have lost control of this identifier. To begin to correct this serious error in judgement, we need to put strict controls on the access and use of these identifiers. I propose that no non-government entity would be allowed to utilize a social security or taxpayer identification number in its daily business as account numbers, PIN’s, employee numbers, insurance numbers, school ID’s or any other method of identification.

In addition, government agencies should be required to perform their own independent identity verification and not rely on a social security number. This would provide a layered security approach. The social security number should be used for social security purposes only.
  • Illegal Immigration: In 2005 there were 4 million American’s unemployed and 19 million who stopped looking for work. The share of unemployed with less education is way up. The U.S. does not have a 5% unemployment rate. The 5% unemployment rate is used to support immigration. Unemployment among less educated Americans is up 11% while it is 13% for dropouts. The perception is the U.S. is in need of less educated workers, which is not true. They already have the highest unemployment rate, the lowest wage rate and employment participation among less educated had declined dramatically. They took the poorest workers and made them poorer. Less educated immigrants and less educated Americans do the same kinds of work. There is no such thing as a job a American will not do. Allowing legal status to illegals has enormous implications for America’s poorest workers. America is not short of less educated workers given the high unemployment rate and the high number of less educated workers who have stopped looking.
  • Internal Revenue Service Reform: Individual Taxpayers have little statutory law to force the IRS to answer questions, meet deadlines or make corrections. Without a final determination or Statutory Notice, taxpayers cannot seek help from the Tax Court, leaving the taxpayer in limbo. In essence the IRS could take 100 years to resolve an issue leaving the taxpayer with no recourse.

  • Personal Freedoms: Our personal freedoms are under attack. The Right to bear arms is being restricted. Religious freedoms are under attack. We need to restore and strengthen our personal freedoms.

  • Pension, 401K and profit Sharing reform: If you are laid off, you should be vested in company matching 401K, profit sharing and pension plans.

  • "On-us" check cashing reform: It is not honorable to charge a fee to a non-account holder at the bank the check is drawn on. The bank is providing a service to the account holder, not the endorsee. All employer paychecks need to be readily cashable in a local bank without fees and surcharges at the bank on which they are drawn.

  • Veterans: As a Navy veteran, I know the hardship that military life can have on families. I also know first hand that injuries sustained in the line of duty can take years to recoup from if ever. We need to maintain our VA hospitals and provide those who have been injured the best medical care available. I also support changing the index used for adjusting veteran's benefits from the consumer price index to the Social Security Wage Index. This change will maintain the same standard of living benefit throughout the veteran's life.

  • Social Security Disability Program: I support the Social Security Disability Program covering the disabled and survivors of workers who die. This program unlike Social Security's Old Age Survivors Insurance Program is based on a covered loss and not based on living to a particular age.

  • Social Security Old Age Benefits: This program was not designed to work. A program that pays those born after 1985 just 29 cents back for each dollar of taxes and credited interest is not fair. Americans want value for their dollar. You can buy a value meal at about any fast food chain consisting of a sandwich, fries and drink for about $4.00. If Social Security were a value meal, it would cost $13.79.

    If we want to save social security, then each adult must send a check today to social security for $87,000, or cut benefits by 40% or raise taxes by 85%. There simply is no painless solution. How firm are you on saving social security?

    I support repealing the Social Security act. In its place I would propose paying those seniors who are found to be in need, a means tested benefit of $1,133 a month. This benefit would be indexed by the change in the United States Average Wage Growth instead of Inflation. This would maintain the benefit at the same level relative to any given year, which the current program does not do.

    The worker would be required to open an IRA style account at a financial institution of their choice where the employer's share of the social security tax would be deposited. The employee's tax would never be taken out of the check so that the employee could use these wages for debt reduction, retirement, education, health care, etc. The total controlled by the employee would be about $3,600 per year ($1,800 in the IRA style account and $1,800 left in the paycheck).

    Mark Souder’s Statement on Social Security. Mark Souder spoke to Prime Time 39 on 3/12/2004 and referred to Social Security as a "shell game." He stated, "For people under 30 it's probably going to be income based. I am not saying we're going to pass that. It will probably be passed after I am dead." He continued "If you're 40, you might make it through the system. But if you're under 40, and certainly under 30, you had better start planning because if you want to have a decent retirement you’re going to need supplemental funds."

We are all in this boat together.

"Actually, it's today's retirees who are sitting on the deck with mint juleps in hand, while the boomers and X'ers are below in the galley rowing like slaves to the command of stroke, stroke, stroke. Seniors would like the galley slaves to continue to believe the hoax that one day they too will have the opportunity to sit on the deck with their feet propped up. Only problem is, when it's finally the galley slaves turn on the deck, the ship will long since have sunk. The slaves are just now realizing the cruel hoax perpetrated upon them, and are about to ban together to stop the ship dead in the water and use their oars as clubs."

Written by Karl A Sweetman 10/25/98

"I sit on a man's back, choking him and making him carry me, and yet assure myself and others that I am very sorry for him and wish to ease his lot by all possible means-- except by getting off his back."

-- Leo Tolstoy


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