Category Archives: Obamacare

Now

It’s a Shake and Bake Society, Baby!

During my lifetime, I have experienced, and seen, technological revolutions that can only be described as miraculous.  These technological advancements have made life easier and faster.

Let me provide a few examples of some great technological advancements, both big and small.

Do you know when the first TV dinner was created?  Do you remember who created it and what that dinner contained?  The first TV dinner was created in 1953 by the Swanson Company, thus the Swanson TV dinner which is still available today.  That first dinner was designed for a Thanksgiving meal.  It contained turkey, cornbread dressing, frozen peas and sweet potatoes.  It was packaged in the aluminum tray that was used by airline companies to serve food on their airplanes.   The cooking directions called for 25 minutes in the oven at 425 degrees.  That first meal cost 98 cents, and they sold a whopping 5000 dinners that first year!

What an advancement!  Up until that time, in our house, either Mom or Grandma had to make everything from scratch.  Because we lived on a Midwestern farm, we had animals and a huge garden.  Our Thanksgiving turkey took 7-8 hours to cook.  Oftentimes the bird was stuffed the night before Thanksgiving, placed in the refrigerator, and then someone had to get out of bed by 5:00 AM to place it in the oven in time for dinner.  All rolls and bread were baked from scratch as were the pies. Grandma’s pies were to die for!  All the crusts were made from scratch as was the filling.  No pumpkin pie filling, cherry filling or blueberry filling came from a can.  The pumpkin pie filling came from pumpkins grown in our garden.  The cherries were purchased and pitted.  The blueberries were picked in the summer and frozen until used.  I know all about blueberry picking as my grandmother made me go with her.  For the uninitiated, blueberries grow in low-lying areas and ripen about the same time as the bumper mosquito crop matures.  We had to wear nets over our heads and wear long sleeve shirts even in the summer, so as not to get bitten hundreds of times.  Unfortunately, because of the small size of the blueberries, we could not wear gloves.  Our hands became the ultimate mosquito target and we would spend almost 2 hours picking and swatting, picking and swatting to get enough berries for 3-4 pies.  It was not uncommon for a Thanksgiving feast to take three days of preparation.  Whew! What a difference from 25 minutes at 425 degrees!  (Honestly, our meals were bigger and much better.)

But the food industry was not done.  In 1969, the first TV breakfast meal was made available.  That was followed in 1973 by the Hungry Man Meal.  Do you remember who the first spokesman was for the Hungry Man Meal?  It was Pittsburgh Steeler footballer, Mean Joe Green.

But wait….there’s more!  In 1986, the first microwavable TV dinner was made available because 25% of the American homes had microwave ovens.  Microwave ovens were the next great technological leap for food preparation.  My parents bought me a microwave oven as a Christmas gift in the early 1980s.  It cost almost $500, and it took two men and a boy to lift it from the trunk of a car to my counter top.  After its usefulness as a microwave, it could have been easily converted to a boat anchor!   A BIG boat anchor!

Do you know how many years it was between the first airplane flight and landing the first person on the moon?  The first flight by the Wright brothers was in 1903.  The moon landing?  1969.  Sixty six years between airplane invention and an almost unbelievable space travel accomplishment!

During my lifetime, communication in our house went from having no phone to having a party line phone.  Yes, you could actually pick up the phone and hear your neighbors conversation.  And yes, they could hear your conversations.  Next came the invention of mobile phones.  Those first mobile phones were the size of a brick and weighed about the same as a brick.  Then we went to light-weight small pocket sized phones and now you can have a phone on your wrist!  A wrist phone just like the one Dick Tracy used in the 1930s comic books!  (Okay.  Dick Tracy had a wrist radio.)

When I was in high school and college, we were never allowed to use calculators.  That is because the first pocket calculators cost $250, and not everyone could afford them.  Remember….the minimum wage was $1.00 an hour!  While in high school, we could use slide rules.  Right now, no one under the age of 50 has the slightest idea of what I am talking about.  A slide rule was one step up from an ancient abacus, but multiplication and division could be done on a slide rule.  To show the real advancement of technology, my first pocket calculator cost $250.  When it finally broke, the exact replacement cost $59.99.  When that pocket calculator broke, the exact replacement cost $19.95.

The first computer that I bought in 1991 was a butt-kicking 40 megabytes!  I say it was a butt-kicking computer because all my competitors had 25 megabyte computers.  I was king of the hill.  That computer, monitor and daisy-wheel printer cost me $2200.  I now write this blog on an 8 gigabyte computer that cost me $600 six years ago.  The monitor and printer were extra.  My printer not only prints, but it is capable of scanning, copying, and faxing….if I knew how to set it all up.  The printer cost me less than $150.  In the late 1980s, my old boss bought a fax machine for $2500.  He was bragging about what a great deal he got because he got a free case of fax paper with the machine. Do they even sell fax only machines today?

These are just some of the marvelous technological improvements I have observed during my lifetime.  Just think of all the improvements in the medical field.  Look at the new devices that are a standard feature on an automobile that were unheard of during the 1950s.  GPS?  Back-up cameras?  Alarms?  Many of the new advancements have been for safety, but many of our advancements are popular because they either save time, eliminate work, or provide instantaneous information or instantaneous gratification.  (Who researches using encyclopedias when google and Wikipedia are available.)

But the one thing I have noticed over my lifetime is that people and society have become less patient and tolerant.  People today want instantaneous results.  They want things to happen fast.  They want things to happen faster than getting their food in a short line at a ‘fast food’ restaurant. (What a great belt-busting invention fast food has become!)  I am convinced that some people believe that Rome was built in a day.  The mantra seems to have become, ‘I want it and I want it now.’

Unfortunately, the attitude and mantra of ‘wanting it and wanting it now’ has permeated our expectations as to how our federal government should operate.  I am glad that the ‘First 100 days of the Trump presidency’ have finally passed.  How many times did you hear this:  “Donald Trump’s presidency will be considered a failure if he doesn’t (fill in the blank) within his first 100 days.”   Here were the most popular ‘fill in the blank’ items:  1.  Replace the Affordable Care Act,  2, Have a budget,  3.  Build the wall, and, 4. Provide a tax reform system.  I heard each one of these items, attached to a 100 day timeline, being touted as signifying a failed presidency if not accomplished.  Of course, these notions were mostly advanced by liberal politicians on liberal-leaning media sources. There were more ‘fill in the blank’ items, but these were the biggies.

So here is my advice…..”GET A GRIP AMERICA!”  Rome was not built in a day.  Do you really believe that these major issues, some of them decades old, could be reasonably alleviated in 100 days?  I am glad that the repeal of the Affordable Care Act was defeated early in the Trump presidency. Why?  Because, unlike the original ACA passage that was shoved down the throats of all Americans by the Democratic party without Republican input, this repeal will have the input of both parties.  I would much rather have a ‘good’ bill than a ‘fast’ bill.  But if you want to believe the media hogwash, we wanted a fast bill.

It amazes me that any Democrat would have the cajoles to fault this administration for not having a budget (it was passed recently) when Harry Reid, the Senate Majority leader for 6 years, promised to not have a budget reach the Senate floor as long as he was Senate Majority leader.  The ‘gatekeeper from hell’ kept his word.  Our government ran for 6 years without passing a budget.  (The next time you see a street corner hot dog stand, remember, he probably has a budget!  Our federal government did not.)

I am sure that with a little time, there will be tax reform for both corporations and individuals.  No one seems as concerned about building the big, beautiful wall now that illegal aliens attempting to enter this country has been reduced by over 70%.

But here is where the rubber meets the road; our society seems to have a disconnect between reality and expectation.  Because of our faster than lightning technological advancements and our fast paced society, we begin to believe that all things should be fast.  That may be true in some instances, but certainly not all.  When it comes to governing, I would much prefer ‘slower and better’ than ‘faster and crappy.’

After all, it took my grandmother over 3 hours to make one of her delicious pies from scratch.  She enjoyed making them and we really enjoyed eating them.  Sara Lee would have been easier, but my grandmother would not let us have any of that.  You were the perfect example of ‘slower and better.’   I love you grandma!  You always took care of us.

Happy Mother’s Day.

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Pole Vaulting Over Mouse Turds!

Donald Trump presidency…….D + 46

There were many times during my military and business careers when some individuals would become bogged down in minutia.  This was not necessarily a bad thing if there were no time constraints and the minutia being provided stayed focused on the end product or mission.  That was usually not the case, however.

Let me use the military as an example.  Whether the planning involved training or war plans, there were always time constraints.  Yet, some staff wienie would always want to use precious time to delve into the most insignificant of details that were only of concern to him, and not to the group or geared to the mission.  The same situations occur during business planning meetings.  It seems you always have one or two individuals that want to demonstrate their intelligence or elevate their importance by monopolizing time that just was not available.  When asked a question, oftentimes these individuals would provide an answer in an overabundance of detail that was just not necessary.  As a shortcut to brevity, I would chide these people with the phrase, “When I ask you what time it is, don’t tell me how to build a clock.”  This phrase would usually get the ‘minutia minded’ back on track.

Most people have heard the phrase, ‘making a mountain out of a mole hill.’  Cute.  I found that the phrase, ‘You are pole vaulting over mouse turds’ was much more effective in keeping a staff in line and focused based on our time constraints and mission.

So, with the ‘pole vaulting over mouse turd’ concept in mind; could it be applied to what is currently happening in Washington, D.C.?  Unfortunately, I believe it fits all too nicely.

Donald Trump has been POTUS for 46 days.  Here are some of the items that the liberal biased media and the Democratic party have brought to the forefront since the Trump inauguration.  One of the initial biggies was that some female members of the Democratic party called for a boycott of the Ivanka Trump clothing line.  You would think with all these ‘women’s marches,’ like the one occurring today as I am writing this, that these women would be ecstatic that a member of the fair sex is successful in business.  Not the case!  So, in defense, Kellyanne Conway mentioned on a Sunday morning news show that people should buy clothing from the Ivanka Trump collection.  The response?  The shouting began!  “Kellyanne Conway needs to be replaced!”  “Kellyanne Conway needs to be severely disciplined.”  “Kellyanne needs to be prosecuted.”  (As an aside, the Ivanka collection is having unprecedented high sales after the Democrat women called for boycott!)

Poor Kellyanne could not catch a break after someone posted a picture of her sitting on her feet on a sofa in the oval office.  Again, the shouting began from the left.  Disrespectful!  (Followed by the three comments in bold in the previous paragraph.)  Apparently, the liberals have forgotten about the picture of Obama with his feet up on the historical Resolute desk in the oval office.  This desk was a gift from Queen Victoria of England.  Or, about Bill Clinton having an intern under the desk.

Combined

Any disrespect there?

Other media consuming biggies is that Donald Trump uses ketchup on his steak.  Earth shattering!  And, recently, Ben Carson referred to slaves as immigrants.  Again, earth shattering.  Would you say the four mentioned situations are all important, or would you classify them as ‘pole vaulting over mouse turds.’  I am a believer that we could use toothpicks to vault over those turds.

Here are some items that I believe the media and our politicians from both parties should be focusing upon.

Earlier this week, North Korea fired four ballistic missiles in the direction of Japan.  We have 50,000 service people stationed in Japan.  Today, the North Koreans have said that they were trying to hit Japan, even though the missiles fell short by 150 miles.  After the firing, we sent additional anti-missile defense weapons to South Korea.  Now the Chinese are claiming we are being aggressive and spoiling for a war.  I would say this is a biggie.  Especially in light of the fact that the Chinese are constructing artificial islands in the South China Sea and fortifying them as naval bases.  And…they are claiming the surrounding oceans as Chinese territorial waters.

China’s banks are financing much of the aggression that is being shown by not only the North Koreans, but by the Iranians.  They are lending money for the purchase of all types of weapons to whoever wants to borrow and purchase, including nations that sponsor terrorism.  Its nice that we continue to purchase Chinese made items so that their banking system can afford to finance the terrorists of the world.

Have you noticed how many times our ships have been buzzed by Iranian patrol boats in the Persian Gulf?  It seems to be happening more and more as the Iranians become more belligerent.  In the very near future, either they will fire on us or we will fire on them.  Then what?

Not to be outdone, those pesky Russians are buzzing our ships with their airplanes.   Much of this is to test the resolve of our new president.  Nothing happened to any of these nations over the last eight years and they are attempting to determine if they can continue their aggression unfettered.  After all, what decisive action did we take against Putin during his invasion of the Ukraine?

On the national front……………….

Have you seen anything of late about the national debt?  Apparently, our politicians and media are not concerned about a $20 trillion debt.  Maybe this debt sounds smaller if it is expressed as 20,000 billion dollars.  The ‘b’ sound is apparently less menacing than the ‘t’ sound.

Did you realize that after 46 days in office, President Trump is still missing four key individuals from his cabinet?  He is missing the Director of National Intelligence, the Secretaries of Labor and Agriculture and the U.S. Trade Representative.  It appears that with the Liberals fighting every step of the way, it will take longer for him to get his cabinet.  In comparison, Obama had 7 cabinet members confirmed on his inauguration day.  Then there is the Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch.  Have you seen this guy’s credentials?  If he and Jesus had a contest to see who would get the least wet while walking across water….I think it would be close to a tie!  His confirmation should be a slam dunk, but will no doubt be contested.

Of course the biggest item in Washington today is the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.  The Republican roll out is now available for scrutiny and there is no shortage of scrutiny.  At least it is one-tenth the length of the original act at 200+ pages versus 2,000+ pages.  With that in mind, it will be read before being passed into law.  Also, it is open to correction and amendment.  This was something not available for the original bill when the it was rammed down the throats of the American public.  I want to point out that health care is an entitlement and not a right.  Entitlements can be taken away.  This particular entitlement comes with a very expensive price tag.

So readers, I want you to scrutinize as to what is important and what is political and media grandstanding.  What is important for the country versus what is important to a politician to get reelected.  Those interests are not the same.  Be discriminating about national and world events. What is more important?  The way Kellyanne Conway sits on a couch or the fact that the North Koreans have fired four missiles at Japan?  Don’t fall into the shenanigans of the media and some politicians by ‘pole vaulting over mouse turds.’

Obama-Legacy2

How Far Will You Go to Protect a Legacy? (Even a Bad One?)

In eleven days, Donald J. Trump will be inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States, thus ending the eight year tenure of Barack Hussein Obama.  It has become apparent that all thoughts and efforts, as of the November election, have turned to preserving the legacy of the outgoing 44th President.  Secondarily, it has become apparent that the Democratic party is also trying to preserve some kind of legacy.

What exactly is Barack Obama’s legacy going to be?

Obama Care?  (The Affordable Care Act that was not so affordable?)

Quadrupling the national debt to a staggering $20 trillion, plus or minus a few hundred billion?

Overseeing the military response to Benghazi?

The picture of American sailors on their knees after being captured by the Iranian navy?

The picture of him kissing the ring of the King of Saudi Arabia?

“If I had a son, he would be just like Trayvon Martin.”

Placing the most people in US history on welfare and food stamps?

Overseeing 19 million people leaving the US work force?

Help me out here!  I am trying to come up with something positive for POTUS 44 to hang his hat on, and I am coming up short.  He will be the first black President, but that is obvious and now I may be branded a racist for pointing out the obvious.  He may very well be the first Muslim President.  This has never been confirmed by the liberal-biased main stream media.  Of course, any media outlet that would have the cajoles to speculate about his religious preference would immediately be branded as ‘Islamophobic.’   Ah, but there is something that can be attributed to POTUS 44.  Political correctness!  We have now been inundated with people being black, gay, lesbian, illegal alien, transgender and a host of other things as not only being equal to the citizenry of the United States, but being special!  If you do not buy into that program, you are automatically branded as a racist, xenophobe, Islamophobic or any other of a myriad of phobias with negative connotations.  So, I, Grandpa T, hereby declare POTUS 44 as the President of Political Correctness.  Ta  da!  I knew I could come up with something positive.

But, with all the baloney aside, have you noticed the efforts on the part of Obama and the Democratic Party to save Obamacare?  Let me provide a little history for edification.  In 2009, immediately after being inaugurated, and with control of both the House of Representative and the Senate, the Affordable Care Act was rammed down the throats of the country.  It was not so much of an issue of being passed, but how it was passed.  It was passed without anyone knowing what was in it as it was almost 2000 pages long.  It was passed without any input by the Republican party, regardless if they had ideas that would have improved the bill or not.  It was passed by the Democratic Party without anyone  reading the bill.  Do you remember those infamous words of March 9, 2010 by the vaunted Nancy Pelosi?  “We will have to pass this bill to find out what is in it.”  Say what?  This is how government works?  Even at the time, I was shocked that so stupid a statement by Nancy Pelosi and so stupid an action by our Democratic controlled government took place.  Instead of ‘shoot first, and ask questions later,’ our Federal legislature decided to ‘enact first and work out details later.’  At the time of enactment, the Democratic Party basked in the glory of having taken total credit for the Affordable Care Act without interference or input from the opposing party.

Now comes the election of 2016 and with it comes the the victor, the future Non-Political Correctness POTUS 45, Donald J. Trump.  Donald, being a successful businessman by all measures, knows the Affordable Care Act is too costly for the users and it is just not working.  The promises made, such as lowering health care costs and being able to keep you present physician, turned out to be false.

So now we get to the legacy of what the current Democratic Party will have for now and in the future. That legacy will include being whiners, criers, divisive, counter-productive, poor losers and not being able to grasp reality.

Beginning with the Affordable Care Act, the Democrats are saying (even before Trump is inaugurated) that the Republicans do not have a plan. In reality, there are about 15 different plans floating around, and hopefully, there will be constructive discussion about what is the best and most affordable plan for America, utilizing the best from each plan including some parts of the original Affordable Care Act.  Of course, the Democrats do not want to replace the Affordable Care Act because they dubbed it Obamacare.  And, by totally repealing it as the Republicans have promised, would tarnish the largest part of the outgoing POTUS’s legacy.  I do not see the Republican controlled legislature replacing Obamacare without discussion and input from both sides….something the Democrats did not do in 2009.  But I would also like to point out that if the Democrats would have taken the time and effort to improve, read, and cooperate concerning the Affordable Care Act passed in 2010, it would not have to be repealed today.  You screwed up…all to buy votes.

As poor losers, the Democratic party is going all out to purvey that Donald Trump’s presidency as not being legitimate.  They cannot believe, or get over the fact that their candidate is not being crowned ‘Queen Hillary the First’ in eleven days.  Never mind that she never campaigned in the formerly blue states because of over-confidence in winning them.  Never mind that her opponent made three times more speeches and campaign stops than she did.  Never mind that her campaign palaver was based on poor versus rich, common people versus large, evil corporations or that the common American could not survive without the interference and support of a bloated federal government.

But Hillary, here is where you lost the election.  95% of my and Grandma P’s friends and acquaintances are either college graduates or military veterans, or both.  90% of them supported Donald Trump.  And you, Hillary, from the view of your ivory tower, determined that you were omnipotent and were justified in calling us and our friends, deplorable and irredeemable, because we supported Trump. All of this from a woman whose husband was a draft dodger.  All of this from a woman that allowed four Americans to be murdered in Benghazi.  Who is deplorable now?

The Trump presidency will be considered illegitimate because Hillary won the popular vote.  Hillary did win the popular vote. (Thank God for the electoral college!)  But if you subtract the votes from one state, California, Trump wins 49 states and Hillary will be the ‘Queen of California!’  We need to take a closer look at California.  California has a Hispanic population of 14,990,000.  It has a Caucasian population of 14,920,000, 5,736,098 Asians, 2,552,858 blacks, and 648,172 American Indians.  This gives California a total population of 39,487,345.  But here is where it gets interesting.  34% of the United States population receiving welfare, live in California even though California accounts for only 12% of the total US population!  To simplify, there are 23,113,200 welfare recipients living in California…over half its population!  So, if you subtract the votes received from both candidates that were cast in California, Trump wins!  Now I am going to speculate and put myself out on the ‘xenophobic’ limb; how many illegal aliens do you suppose voted in California?  If the United States required voter ID’s to vote, such as the picture ID’s with thumb print and hologram as required in Mexico to vote, how do you think the vote total would change?  Hmmm. (California needs to re-think the idea of ‘sanctuary cities.’  Without federal aid, it would be bankrupt in seconds!)

I forgot.  The Russians are responsible for skewing the election to Donald Trump.  Even though the US intelligence community has said numerous times that the Russkies did not directly affect the vote total, that is not what the Democrats want to purvey.  Never mind that John Podesta’s email account password was, well, ‘password’.  Those darn Russkies released all kinds of unsavory things that skewered the election.  Unsavory Clinton foundation illegal foreign contributions?  Paid demonstrators to disrupt Trump rallies?  What were those Russkies thinking?

Did you know that there are efforts in five states to keep Trump off the ballot in 2020?  Yup. Maryland, California (no surprise there!), Maine, Massachusetts and New York are all trying to take his name off the ballot if he does not release his tax statements.  I never knew one’s tax statements were a condition of running for office.  Talk about sore losers!

Of course, in true whiner, crier, divisive and counter-production form, the Democrats are already toting that they will fight against any supreme court justice nominee, and play devil’s advocate and fight most cabinet nominee appointments.  None of this was done by the Republican party in 2009 after Obama was inaugurated, but the Democrats, with their addled thinking, are justifying why they will do it now.

So what has the Democratic party become?  Do you remember any riots, protests, movie star bad-mouthing, politicians swearing non-cooperation when the incoming Obama was elected in 2008?  No?  That’s because there weren’t any!  Bad behavior, lack of respect, the use by celebrities to use their station in life to exacerbate lack of respect, the promise of non-cooperation by politicians now in the political minority are only traits of today’s Democratic party.  That is what the ‘ivory tower’ attitude, justified in their own minds, Democratic party has become.  With all of the Democratic machinations that have taken place since the election, Hillary really needs to reevaluate who the ‘deplorable and irredeemable’ really are.  It’s you.  And this will be the Barack Obama and Democratic party legacy.

donald-trump

An Open Letter to President-Elect Trump

Dear Mr. Trump,

Congratulations on your recent victory as the President-Elect of the United States of America.  I was one of your supporters from the minute you announced your candidacy.  Admittedly, I thought the winning ticket would be a Donald Trump/ Marco Rubio ticket.  I can see why, as a result of a very tumultuous and nasty debating season, you did not take Senator Rubio as your running mate.  I was not familiar with Mike Pence, but he is indeed the perfect person for the Vice President. Grounded, experienced, loyal and intelligent, he is everything a person could want as the Vice President.

I was your supporter from the beginning because I believe a businessman who could establish a successful financial empire is more qualified (and needed in this country!) than a slew of career politicians who seem hell-bent on destroying a perfectly good country and government.

You have had an excellent start on making America Great Again.  I agree with many of the efforts you have initiated and would like to add my two cents in hopes of making these positive changes for the good of our country.

Voter ID.  Could we please pass a law making it a requirement to present a valid photo ID to vote in a federal election?  In Canada, to be able to vote you must have: (1) A driver’s license, or, (2) A provincial or territorial ID card, or, (3)  Any other government card with your photo, name and current address.  But like the those shopping channels on television…..wait, there’s more!   To be able to vote in a federal election in Mexico, you must have:  (1) A government issued photo ID card with a thumbprint and an embossed hologram, and, (2)   All citizens are required to personally enroll and show proof of birth or citizenship, and, (3)  Applicants are required to personally return to collect their voting credentials.

Why do our neighbors have more practical, stringent and sensible federal voting requirements than our country, and yet at the suggestion of such requirements it is considered racist?  To not have ID requirements simply wholesales the value of our citizenship in comparison.  All those wars fought, all those battles won, and all those lives lost….all to protect our country, and yet, we allow people who do not share our values, who will never contribute to the well-being of this country, who are here to be takers and never contributors….to vote and sway our national elections.  A travesty by any measure.  Shame on us and our political leaders for allowing our democratic principles to be compromised and abused and degraded by the use of voter fraud.

Job Creation.  Keeping businesses in America, bringing new foreign businesses to America, and bringing off-shore American businesses back to America would create jobs for Americans.  Two things could be done to make this happen and to stimulate the economy.

First, cut the existing federal corporate tax rate in half.  The U.S. already has the highest corporate tax rate of the industrialized nations, and corporate taxes account for only 11% of all federal government tax receipts.  Individual income taxes are responsible for 47% of all federal government tax receipts, while payroll taxes contributed by employers and employees account for another 34%. Corporations are in the business of making money.  By allowing them to keep a larger share of their profits, they will purchase more raw materials, expand facilities and hire more employees….thereby increasing the amount of federal tax revenues from individual income tax payers because there will be more people working.  

I am sure you know that there are 112 million people working in the United States and 106 million receiving some form of government assistance?  Admittedly, some of the 106 million are social security recipients that have paid into, and are now collecting their benefits.  But, there are 90 million people capable of working that are not working, or at least they are not paying taxes.  That needs to change. Jobs need to be created, and the welfare system needs to be revamped.  You have made strides in that direction and I fully support those efforts.

Secondly, abolish the (Un)affordable Health Care Act, commonly referred to as Obamacare.  Before the true expense of this program was known, employers were estimating that the cost would be 20%-25% of their total payroll expenses.  What did the employers do?  They quit hiring, began firing, or reduced working hours for their employees to 32 hours or less to avoid the burden of the program. This was necessary for businesses to remain competitive in the international marketplace, or go out of business.  This program, more than any other, has inhibited job and wage growth for Americans.

This program needs to be replaced with something that is affordable and practical for both the insureds and the insuring.  The federal government needs to get out of the health care business and let the bulk of this program rest on the shoulders of a competitive, free-market economy of insurance companies and health care providers.

Welfare Reform.  The largest single item in the U.S. budget is welfare.  The federal budget provides 75% of the funding for welfare programs.  The states provide 25% of the funding but are tasked to supervise the welfare programs in their respective states.  Unfortunately, even though there were laws passed during the Clinton administration limiting welfare to a five year term, most states conveniently ignore this law.  Why?  Because with the federal government footing the bulk of the cost, the states view this as another form of income for their state.  I would propose that the federal government reduce the amount of welfare payments to the states to an equal amount, cutting their 75% contribution by 2/3.  This would assist our federal budget and cause the states to be more prudent in their dispersal of welfare. (See Welfare Cost – The Big Gorilla in the National Budget, published 2/21/2013)

It is appalling that so many people included in the 106 million receiving federal government assistance have lowered their lifestyles to live solely on government assistance.

Term Limits.  The life expectancy during the times of our founding fathers in the 18th century was 35 years old!  To be 50 years old was considered to be a very old man.  Many of the original members of Congress served out of duty and patriotism, while at the same time making huge personal sacrifices.  Many of these people lost their businesses and homes because they were away tending to the needs of a new nation.  Needless to say, they did not ever foresee the eventuality of career politicians.

We all are aware of the disadvantages of having long-term career politicians.  Too much influence, too much money, too much campaigning, and too many lobbyists and personal interests.   Their primary concern is to get reelected and not necessarily what is ‘right for America.’  (Thus, one reason for your stunning victory, Mr. Trump.)

May I suggest that in the future, say 2028, all members of Congress are limited to 12 years of service.  Senators get two, 6 year terms and representatives get six, 2 year terms.  I would also like to propose that the Supreme Court justices be retired at age 70 or 72.  Here again, our founding fathers could not have known that we would let people ‘fossilize’ in place while serving on the Supreme Court.

Mr. Trump, if you can get legislation passed imposing future term limits, I would believe you could walk across Lake Okeechobee without getting your feet wet or without getting eaten by an alligator. Good luck with that.

The Wall.  I would like to point out that in 2014, over 47,000 Americans died of drug overdoses and over 35,000 were killed in traffic accidents.  Who would have thought that there would be more drug overdose deaths than those of autos?  Some of these drug deaths were because of the improper and illegal use of prescription drugs (opiates) and some from illegal drugs.  Whatever the reason, the bulk of the flow of illegal drugs in this country is coming from our southern border.  If it takes a wall to stop that flow, then that wall should be built.

Of course, we need to stop the flow of illegal immigrants into our country.  If they are here with the best of intentions, then an application procedure needs to be established.  Because Mexicans require a photo ID with a thumbprint to vote, doing a background check should not be impossible.  It would not be surprising to learn that other Central/South American countries have similar ID’s. Unfortunately, many of the ‘border crossers,’ are here for nefarious reasons, or are unaccompanied minors.  Illegal immigrants involved with crime need to be sent back to their respective countries. If caught again, they need to be imprisoned.

Safety and Security.   Mr. Trump, the three classes of people that I hate the most are terrorists, murderers, and pedophiles.  I am personally not interested in ‘reforming or rehabilitating’ anyone accused of terrorism or murder.  I believe that capital punishment should come into play for these two crimes and the sentences should be carried out within a two year period.

I believe that anyone charged with killing a policeman, fireman, or medical rescuer should be given the death sentence.  I believe that any terrorist that kills an American should be given the death sentence.  I cannot think of a punishment cruel enough for a pedophile, but I suppose we would have to settle for incarceration.  After all, what kind of society have we become if we cannot protect our children.

The military needs to be expanded and updated to meet the challenges of our potential enemies. Whether we want to recognize the threat or not, both Russia and China have greatly expanded their military presence and have used them for expansionist purposes.  The goal of Russia is to put together the old USSR as much as possible beginning with the invasion of the Ukraine.  The Chinese are saber rattling and expanding by making strategic artificial islands in the South China sea.

Does anyone know for sure the real ambitions of Iran or North Korea?  Both have threatened with the use of missiles and nukes.

These are just a few of the problems to be faced with your upcoming administration.   There are many more.  So far, you have done an amazing job of cabinet selection.  Surrounding yourself with the best and the brightest should make your job easier and make for a better America.  I apologize for not writing sooner, but it took me a month to sober up from your victory party!

God Bless America.

Respectfully,

Grandpa T

 

 

 

Republican-Convention

Republican National Convention. Cleveland Rocks!

The Republican National Convention was recently completed.  It ran from 18 – 21 July and took place in Cleveland, Ohio; formerly known as the ‘mistake by the lake.’  There were many interesting facets to this convention.  Some good.  Some not so good.  One of my big concerns is that Grandma P has become a political junkie.  She watched more speeches during this convention than she has watched totally in the first almost 30 years of our marriage.    She maybe missed 90 minutes of the convention.  Should I be concerned?

Anyway, it is always more interesting to talk about the negative facets first, so here we go!

NEGATIVES

Do you realize how much money a convention brings into the hosting city?  It is in the tens of millions of dollars and the competition to be the host city is only exceeded by a city wanting to host the Olympics or a Super Bowl.  So, with the convention being in Ohio, where was the governor of Ohio, John Kasich?  Oh, I remember, he was one of the many participants in the Republican debates that swore they would support the eventual Republican candidate.  So much for your word, Mr. Boob.  You did not even have the decency to appear and welcome the delegates to your state.  You are only the first of many people that went contrary to ‘your  pledge of support.’

Ted Cruz.  What more can be said about a sore loser whose ego is barely eclipsed by the size of the state he represents.  That would be Texas.  Rather than show anything that approached denoting party unity, the wienie took his opportunity to extol his virtues, without endorsing Trump.  He was rightfully booed off the stage.  The next morning, he was speaking to the Texas delegation and was asked very pointed questions as to why he did not endorse Trump, the Republican candidate, as he had pledged.    Again, it was back to his principles and he was a master at ‘politcal speak’ in that his answers chewed all around the cookie without having to take a bite.  It was obvious it was all about him.  Never mind what is good for the country or what the electorate wants.   My respect for wienie Cruz has declined into negative numbers. (Is his ego so large as to run as a third party candidate just to defeat Trump and hand the victory to Clinton?)  Ted is lucky he has two more years to his term as senator, or he probably would have lost an election this fall.

Jeb Bush.  Another of those people that pledged support to the Republican candidate that just could not find the time or effort to attend the convention or even make a statement about party unity.  Quite honestly, he was not missed.  Jeb always seemed to be out of touch with what was important to the electorate, anyway.

The two people I am rather disappointed with are George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush.  As the two former Republican presidents, they could have at least made some statements via video to support the party principles and bury the hatchet about the divided party by at least wishing Trump well in his upcoming campaign.  I like and respect both of those gentlemen, and it would have been my hope that they would have risen above the butt kicking their brother/son took during the primaries and shown some interest in the political party that got them both elected.  I do not remember any former presidents shunning the following party conventions such as the Bush’s have done.

After Trump’s speech on Thursday evening, Texas billionaire Mark Cuban went into warp drive tweeting his dislike for Donald Trump, referring to him as stupid and lazy.  What is it with these Texans?  Ted Cruz, the Bush’s, and now Mark Cuban?  Just because you lost the Battle of the Alamo in 1836, doesn’t mean you should carry a grudge for almost 200 years!  Just because Trump is not from Texas, doesn’t mean he can’t be president.  So here are my words for all four of you…..“GET OVER IT!”  Do any of you four believe the country and world would be better off with President Hillary?  Mark Cuban supported Trump until a few months ago.  What happened?

POSITIVES

I was very impressed by the quality of the majority of speeches given during this convention.  Yes, there are always a couple of marginal speeches, and some were clunkers, but the vast majority were very, very good.  Did you notice how many of the speeches were given by minorities and women?

Newt Gingrich.  Some of the speeches were beyond excellent.  Newt Gingrich gave an excellent speech.  I wish my college professors were as good as Newt.  I may have gotten better grades if they were.  He laid out the difficulties our country and the world will be facing because of Islamic Muslim extremists.

The Trump Children.  I would not know how to pick the best speaker from the four Trump children that gave speeches.  Not only were the speeches outstanding in content, they were delivered to near perfection.  Donald, Jr., Eric, Ivanka and Tiffany all did an absolutely wonderful job.  If the children are truly a reflection of the parents, then I would say that Donald Trump has done an excellent job of parenting.

Melania Trump.  Another great speech by another Trump.  But almost as soon as it was completed, the Democrats started yelling ‘plagiarism,’ as 58 out of the 1400 words were similar to a speech Michelle Obama gave in 2008.  With all of the things that have happened recently, this is the what the Democrats focus on?  I would say that criticizing this speech as a part of what all is taking place in this country and the world is a clear indication of ‘pole vaulting over mouse turds’ by the Democrats.

Make America Safe Again.  Make America One Again.  Make America Great Again.  I don’t know what adviser came up with these slogans, but they pretty much framed the content of all the speeches given during the convention.  I believe all of these issues are important to the electorate. With the latest ambush of the police, with the latest terrorist attack, and with the largest racial divide occurring in this country during my lifetime, how could the electorate not be concerned about these issues?

Donald Trump.  I will give Trump an A for the content of his speech, but only a B+ for delivery.  As Grandma P pointed out, there were times when it appeared he was screaming.  (I noticed it, also.)  But Donald is a very passionate man, and it is obvious he believes the United States is heading in the wrong direction because of the policies of the present administration.  I agree with him.  He is not a professional, lifetime politician who makes large group speeches for a living and for contributions.  I find that to be an asset rather than a liability.  If he is elected, he can scream all he wants if he can correct those passionate issues.

The Party Plank.   I thought the Republican National Committee did an excellent job of framing the issues and direction of the party.  By tying the slogans with the content of the speeches, a viewer would definitely see the direction that the Republican party is taking.  Background checks for immigrants.  Check.  Second Amendment rights.  Check.  Border Security.  Check.  Reducing the national debt.  Check.  Creating jobs.  Check.  Placing citizens before immigrants.  Check.  Assuring citizen safety.  Check.  Support the police.  Check.  Rebuild the military.  Check.  Did I miss anything?  Probably.

Democratic Critique.  Now that the convention is over, Hillary and her media machine have framed the convention as nothing but ‘doom and gloom.’  Just like Chicken Little, the Republicans have been accused of promoting ‘the sky is falling, the sky is falling!’  Even though I find this somewhat amusing, I believe the issues brought forth at the convention were brutally honest about situations and conditions that need to be addressed and corrected.  Democrats apparently do not want to face these issues and continue to portray the world and our country as if everything is just hunky-dory. This is disturbing as it would be my hope that the two parties would come together to resolve some of these various, serious issues.

So there you have it, readers.  My assessment of the Republican National Convention was that I was seldom bored and it was done very professionally.  The speeches were, if not perfect, very informative.  There have been accusations that Donald Trump is not a conservative.  I cannot even fathom how that could be proposed after watching this convention.  One political pundit said it was one of the most conservative conventions he has ever witnessed.  I agree.

If Donald Trump gets elected and is able to do half of what was proposed at this convention,  the country will indeed be heading in the right direction.