Get the money out of politics with GetMoneyOut.com Part II – The constitutional amendment and how to make it a reality.

Get the money out of politics with GetMoneyOut.com Part II – The constitutional amendment and how to make it a reality.

Get the money out of politics with GetMoneyOut.com Part II – The constitutional amendment and how to make it a reality.

The article I published earlier this week, got a lot of comments and exposure, it was a nice little emotional rant that made me feel better (calling politicians “Whores”, is a great way to release all the anger that their political incompetence generates):

https://pusz4frog.wordpress.com/2011/09/27/get-the-money-out-of-politics-with-getmoneyout-com-dylan-ratigan-tries-to-do-something-to-get-money-out-of-politics-and-solve-the-us-politician-whore-crisis/

More importantly to me, my friends and family have devoted a lot of time discussing this issue and the proposed Constitutional Amendment that Dylan Ratigan’s http://www.GetMoneyOut.com website is proposing.

If you haven’t gone to the site and registered, click here : www.GetMoneyOut.com

The GetMoneyOut.com site is trying to sign up as many people as possible for support for the following Constitutional Amendment:

“No person, corporation or business entity of any type, domestic or foreign, shall be allowed to contribute money, directly or indirectly, to any candidate for Federal office or to contribute money on behalf of or opposed to any type of campaign for Federal office. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, campaign contributions to candidates for Federal office shall not constitute speech of any kind as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution or any amendment to the U. S. Constitution. Congress shall set forth a federal holiday for the purposes of voting for candidates for Federal office.”

The Best Idea?
For sure, the idea of a constitutional amendment to the constitution that will get the money out of politics is much needed, and who’s time has come.

The fact that a politicians vote can be bought with a large enough campaign contribution is simply bribery, prostitution and a treasonous crime against America – all rolled up in one act.

The discussion among friends and family was NOT about the need, but about the proposed amendment itself.

So let’s take a closer look at it, sentence by sentence:
“No person, corporation or business entity of any type, domestic or foreign, shall be allowed to contribute money, directly or indirectly, to any candidate for Federal office or to contribute money on behalf of or opposed to any type of campaign for Federal office.”

No one seems to have an issue with this, but the first question is – How do the candidates run for office? What about Federal Election Funds? What about free TV and media exposure/time?

The real question here is: Where will the money go?

Getting the money out of the election is critical, but the key to making this work will be adding something about special interest groups and lobbyists.

Therefore, I propose the following changes to the first sentence of the proposed GetMoneyOut.com Constitutional Amendment:

“No person, corporation or business entity of any type, domestic or foreign, shall be allowed to contribute money, directly or indirectly, to any candidate for Federal office or to contribute money on behalf of or opposed to any type of campaign for Federal office, except for those funds given to the candidates by the Federal Election Commission public campaign fund.”

I would add the following sentence to deal with the lobbyists and Special Interest groups:

“Neither elected Federal Public officials, nor are their spouses allowed to accept any gifts or money from no person, corporation or business entity of any type, domestic or foreign while holding public office, except for the US government salary for that office. Any income other then the US Government salary must be declared, and given to the FEC public election fund.”

The above will make public office, a real service to the country, since you or your spouse will not be allowed to earn any money outside your government income. This would limit the ability of lobbyists and PAC’s to buy politicians while they are in office.

Next I would add this sentence to the GetMoneyOut.com Constitutional Amendment:

“Any member, employee, staff, or volunteer of PAC’s, SuperPAC, or Lobby groups are forbidden to have direct personal communication with Federally elected officials, nor are they allowed to advertise on behalf of any person running for Federal office.”

No Problem
The next part of the GetMoneyOut.com Constitutional Amendment says:

“Notwithstanding any other provision of law, campaign contributions to candidates for Federal office shall not constitute speech of any kind as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution or any amendment to the U. S. Constitution.”

No one seems to have any issue with this, or any thing to add. It is needed to make the first part of the amendment legal.

Every Day is a Holiday
The last part of the GetMoneyOut.com Constitutional Amendment says”

“Congress shall set forth a federal holiday for the purposes of voting for candidates for Federal office.”

This actually seems to provoke a lot of discussion, with many of the people saying it is not necessary.

It would also be hard to enforce, and may actually reduce voting turn out since people will use the day for holiday or leaving town. Better to simply make the voting day on a Saturday, in which most people don’t work.

I propose adding that, to the last line.

So, in summary, I would like the GetMoneyOut.com Constitutional Amendment to look like this:

“No person, corporation or business entity of any type, domestic or foreign, shall be allowed to contribute money, directly or indirectly, to any candidate for Federal office or to contribute money on behalf of or opposed to any type of campaign for Federal office, except for those funds given to the candidates by the Federal Election Commission public campaign fund.

Neither elected Federal Public officials, nor are their spouses are allowed to accept any gifts or money from any person, corporation or business entity of any type, domestic or foreign while holding public office, except for the US government salary given for that office.

Any income other then the US Government salary must be declared, and given to the FEC public election fund. Any member, employee, staff, or volunteer of PAC’s, SuperPAC, or Lobby groups are forbidden to have direct personal communication with Federally elected officials while in office, nor are they allowed to advertise on any medium on behalf of any person running for Federal office.

Congress shall set the day of any Federal Election for that of any Saturday of any given week or month, for the purposes of voting for candidates for Federal office.”

Ring the Bell
If you agree with my changed to the GetMoneyOut.com Constitutional Amendment, then let Dylan Ratigan know it by:

Emailing him at:

teamdylaninbox@gmail.com

Tweet him at:

http://twitter.com/#!/DylanRatigan

Message him at:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32692484/ns/msnbc_tv-morning_meeting#.ToTLUlmO6Zw

Facebook him at:

http://www.facebook.com/DylanMSNBC

Contact government officials at:

http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml

or

http://www.dearpolitician.org/a_new_voice.php

Good Luck America…

Get the money out of politics with GetMoneyOut.com Part II – The constitutional amendment and how to make it a reality.

Get the money out of politics with GetMoneyOut.com Part II – The constitutional amendment and how to make it a reality.

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Net Neutrality = Large Telcom companies out to rape the common people and their crappy little websites – working with prostituting politicians selling out the rights of the citizen they represent so that can put money in their pockets to stay in office.

Net Neutrality =  Large Telcom companies out to rape the common people and their crappy little websites – working with prostituting politicians selling out the rights of the citizen they represent so that can put money in their pockets to stay in office.

Net Neutrality = Large Telcom companies out to rape the common people and their crappy little websites – working with prostituting politicians selling out the rights of the citizen they represent so that can put money in their pockets to stay in office.

Net Neutrality – It is a phase I have heard thrown around lately, but not really thought much about it until I read a short blurb about it:

http://apnews.myway.com/article/20100930/D9IHUT9O0.html

Net Neutrality is kind of what we have today for Internet users by default and current ‘information services’ regulation practices by the FCC.

Telco’s (telecommunication companies) currently give everyone similar internet connection speeds, but now the Telco’s want to earn more money by charging different rates for different speeds.

So, let’s say you are eBay.com. Right now your internet connection speed for broadband is the same speed as the speed for this blog.

What the Telco’s would like to do, is say to eBay.com and Pusz4Frog – The speed you are currently getting, will cost you $500 a month. If you don’t pay, then your speed will be throttled back so it takes people longer to access your site.

Now, between eBay and myself, who do you think has the $500 a month to keep their current internet speed?

Imagine all the extreme left wing and extreme right wing bloggers who will lose traffic and viewers due to the slow access time on their sites, while the large conglomerate news companies have good speed and keep their readers.

Public interest groups and many Internet companies say regulations are needed to prevent phone and cable operators from slowing or blocking Internet phone calls, online video and other Web services that compete with their core businesses.

These groups (and myself included) want rules to ensure that broadband companies cannot favor their own online traffic or the traffic of business partners that can pay for priority access.

Weak Politicians Acting like Prostitutes for the Telco’s

The FCC is currently deadlocked on redefine broadband as a telecommunication service subject to “common carrier” obligations which would permanently force the Telco’s to treat all traffic equally.

The current situation is that broadband is a lightly regulated “information service”, and the FCC has argued that this approach gave it ample jurisdiction to mandate net neutrality.

Unfortunately, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia recently rejected that argument when it it ruled that the FCC had overstepped its authority when it ordered Comcast to stop blocking subscribers from using an online file-sharing service called BitTorrent to swap movies and other big files.

Now everything is in limbo. House Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman, D-Calif., had proposed “network neutrality” rules which were intended to prevent broadband providers from becoming online gatekeepers by playing favorites with traffic.

The Republicans have blocked it of course, even though this legislation would allow crazy right wing extremists and tea partiers to continue their diatribes on their blogs without a loss of viewership.

Of course, the Telco’s have paid millions of dollars to lobbyists to block any kind of Net Neutrality legislation, and of course they have contributed to many Republican candidates to help continue to block it as well.

What to do?

Currently, Henry Waxman has abandoned his legislation in the face of Republican opposition.

So, what can we do:

1. Vote for a Democrat or Independent who supports Net Neutrality

2. Write the FCC, asking that they redefine broadband as a telecommunications service subject to “common carrier” obligations to treat all traffic equally – http://www.fcc.gov/contacts.html

3. Use www.dearpolitician.org to write your politicians to have the FCC redefine broadband as a telecommunications service subject to “common carrier” obligations to treat all traffic equally

4. Save up your money. That way when the Telco’s have paid off enough politicians to vote to allow them to charge whatever they want for broadband connectivity – you will have the extra money pay for decent Internet speed.

For more information on www.dearpolitician.org:

https://pusz4frog.wordpress.com/2009/10/15/dearpolitician-org/

Good Luck America.

The Tinyurl for this article is:

http://tinyurl.com/29vrn76


Net Neutrality =  Large Telcom companies out to rape the common people and their crappy little websites – working with prostituting politicians selling out the rights of the citizen they represent so that can put money in their pockets to stay in office.

Net Neutrality = Large Telcom companies out to rape the common people and their crappy little websites – working with prostituting politicians selling out the rights of the citizen they represent so that can put money in their pockets to stay in office.

Net Neutrality =  Large Telcom companies out to rape the common people and their crappy little websites – working with prostituting politicians selling out the rights of the citizen they represent so that can put money in their pockets to stay in office.

Net Neutrality = Large Telcom companies out to rape the common people and their crappy little websites – working with prostituting politicians selling out the rights of the citizen they represent so that can put money in their pockets to stay in office.

TelOnU.com is one of the best company research, job, layoff, school research and celebrity sites I have ever been on.

TelOnU.com is one of the best research and job related sites I have ever been on.

TelOnU.com is one of the best research and job related sites I have ever been on.

Site Alert!!!! — TelOnU.com

TelOnU.com is one of the best company research, job, layoff, school research and celebrity sites I have ever been on.

I don’t normally rave about a site, but I was doing research on some companies and I ended up on telonu.com with one of them. Then I looked around the site and realized it is a really valuable tool for people doing research about companies and people, as well as job seekers and those being abused at a job.

Basically, Telonu.com is kinda of like yelp.com – but focused on companies, people, teachers, schools, product, politicians and celebrities.

Say you are looking for a job, and you have an interview at IBM. Well if you go to telonu.com and search on IBM, then you will be taken to the IBM page:

http://www.telonu.com/reviews/ibm

There you will find posts by employees, former employees, suppliers, etc. – all talking about there experiences with the company. These posts are called “Tell’s”, and you can also signup and post your own ‘tell’, and even start a section on a company or person if it doesn’t already exist.

Really cool!!

The teachers and school section is also very interesting, since the tell’s are from students and parents about various schools and teachers. If you were moving and wanted to find a good school, then telonu.com could be very valuable indeed.

The other part of the site that is really cool, is that it tracks the various layoff that are occurring at companies. If a layoff is happening at your company, you can post it in the layoff section so other can be aware of it.

All of the tells are anonymous, so employees at a company can post without fear of reprisals from their bosses.

Telonu.com also has a fun celebrity and politicians section with some of the funniest tell’s and gossip. Great place to take a break from job and company research.

TelOnU.com is one of the best company research, job, layoff, school research and celebrite sites I have ever been on.

TelOnU.com is one of the best company research, job, layoff, school research and celebrite sites I have ever been on.

Top Boston University Economist Laurence Kotlikoff says the U.S. Is Bankrupt and should double taxes

Top Boston University Economist Laurence Kotlikoff says the U.S. Is Bankrupt and should double taxes

Top Boston University Economist Laurence Kotlikoff says the U.S. Is Bankrupt and should double taxes

The day after I posted my ‘The US Economic Crisis – Spending, Debt and Possible Solutions’ blog post:

https://pusz4frog.wordpress.com/2010/08/09/the-us-economic-crisis-%e2%80%93-spending-debt-and-possible-solutions/

Bloomberg published and article by top Boston University economist Laurence Kotlikoff titled ‘U.S. Is Bankrupt and We Don’t Even Know It’:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-08-11/u-s-is-bankrupt-and-we-don-t-even-know-commentary-by-laurence-kotlikoff.html

Let me tell you, it is a real downer of an article, since it basically summarized the blog post I had made the day earlier:

We are screwed because there is simply no way to balance the US budget and pay off the national debt, without doubling everyone’s taxes, and even then it would take a couple of decades.

It is nice to know that a top economist and Bloomberg basically said the samething I did, but I would much rather that our country didn’t have the problem in the first place.

The article basically provided the following ‘good news’:

‘What it [USA] can and must do is radically simplify its tax, health-care, retirement and financial systems, each of which is a complete mess. But this is the good news. It means they can each be redesigned to achieve their legitimate purposes at much lower cost and, in the process, revitalize the economy.”

It might sound like ‘good news’ but it is missing a key ingredient – politicians in congress with enough balls to put the betterment of the country ahead of the corporate interests that paid for them to win the election, the party politics, own self-interests and thier own fear that if they do anything all about anything – they might not win re-election.

We need some politicians who will make the tough decisions to:

1) Limit the payments of the ponzi scheme known as Social Security, and actually reduce them. This will mean the people who paid in will get screwed, but it means their children and grand children will be better off. I just don’t think the selfish baby boomer’s will care, and will whine like babies and threaten to riot in the streets, which will scare the pussy politician in to not doing it.

2) Scale back the US role as the police force of the world. The $678 billion US military budget is larger then all the other countries (on the planet) combined military budgets. It is ridiculous that we spend so much money on our military.

3) Significantly raise taxes over a period of years, till the cuts in Social Security and the military reach a point where the budget is balanced and we can start paying off our nation debt.

See, it really is simple. Right?

Good Luck again people.

The US Economic Crisis – Spending, Debt and Possible Solutions

 

The US Economic Crisis – Spending, Debt and Possible Solutions

The US Economic Crisis – Spending, Debt and Possible Solutions

For the last couple of months, I have actually had to work, not only work to pay the bills but interesting work on doing research for an author friend’s upcoming book on the US economy.

In doing this research, I got to collect a lot of data on the US economy. I can tell you that it will scare you more then watching Paul Volcker getting brutally stabbed to death in a back alley of some Washington DC suburb.

The US economy (or any economy for that matter) is a very complex thing, and for people like me or politician trying to reduce it down to a simple statement doesn’t do it justice. I am writing this to simply summarize what I know about it, and try to set down my questions and look at some possible solutions.

I am writing this to try to bring some awareness to the issues that we are facing concerning our economy and our National Budget Deficit and National Debt.

Just the facts, ma’am

The Federal Government Debt is all the money that our government has borrowed from banks and other countries that it has not paid back. Everyday we pay some of the debt back, and everyday we borrow more money.

Today, our Total Federal Debt is: $13.2 trillion

You can find the actual number here: http://www.usdebtclock.org/

For a point of reference, in 2000, our Total Federal Debt was: $5.6 trillion

You can find the history of our Federal Government debt (or US National Debt as it is also referred to) here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:USDebt.png

US National Debt Chart - The US Economic Crisis – Spending, Debt and Possible Solutions

US National Debt Chart - The US Economic Crisis – Spending, Debt and Possible Solutions

$13.2 Trillion Dollars is what we as a Government owes the world.

It comes out to about $120,000 per taxpayer (there are only 101 million of us). If you want to feel better, you can simply say that it is $42,000 for every citizen of this country.

Every year, our Total Federal Debt goes up – why?

Living Like The Middle Class

Every year our government spends more then it gets in revenue – I simply call this ‘living like the middle class’.

Our Government gets money in the form of taxes, and this year it will receive $2.2 trillion of tax income.

If our government stopped spending any money, it would take it 6 years to pay off the Total Federal Debt our annual tax revenue didn’t change from the current level.

So, our government gets $2.2 trillion in revenue this year.

The problem is that our government will spend $3.5 trillion, which means we will have to borrow another paltry $1.3 trillion dollars to cover the difference.

So, next year, our Total Federal Debt will grow from $13.2 Trillion to $14.5 Trillion.

US Budget Deficit Chart - The US Economic Crisis – Spending, Debt and Possible Solutions

US Budget Decficit Chart - The US Economic Crisis – Spending, Debt and Possible Solutions

Bulk Bins

$3.5 trillion is a lot of money – so what the hell do we spend it all on?

The following are the big four items of our budget (these are the items that both moderate Republicans and Democrats say we can’t cut/touch):

Medicare/Medicaid

$785 billion

Social Security

$691 billion

Military

$676 billion

Interest Debt

$198 billion

Big Four Total = $2.35 trillion

That’s interesting; the big four actually cost more then all the tax revenue that the government gets from taxes.

In surveys of Americans (Republicans, tea party, conservatives, liberals right, left and Democrats) – most of them agree that we can not cut the big four.

But our government is actually going to spend an additional $1.15 trillion beyond the Big Four.

This includes: Education, science, transportation, pensions, earmarks (only a trivial $17 billion), and the cost of running the government.

So what have we learned here? Well, if you want to reduce the government to nothing more then Medicare, Social Security, the military and the obligatory interest payment on our debt – we still will need to borrow money.

Hare-brained

Let’s make an assumption based on what economists from around the world all agree on:

The Federal Deficit and National Debt is a BAD thing, and will damage an economy.

For this article, let’s just leave it at this assumption.

For more info on the effects of the Deficit, see this Congressional Budget Office (CBO) article ‘Federal Debt and the Risk of a Fiscal Crisis’:

http://www.cbo.gov/doc.cfm?index=11659

So, when Republicans say lower taxes and make government smaller, and Democrats say lets raise taxes to pay for the programs – I want to pull my hair out!!!!

None of it can possibly work. Our debt is too big, and year after year our budgets are much bigger then the tax base could ever be.

I mean, we would have to double our tax income to meet the current budgets and have a little left over to pay off a small faction of our National Debt!!

Doubling taxes would simply cause rioting in the streets and destroy our country and economy, so that isn’t going to happen. It is not a solution even though it would work to balance the budget and start to pay off the National Debt – the sacrifice would be too much for the current US population.

OK, we could try cutting our budget in half. That would allow for a budget that the tax income would cover, and leave about $500 billion to go for paying of the Debt (which at that rate would take 26 years to pay off).

The problem is that even with this solution, we would be taking $1.79 trillion out of the economy in the form of salaries, government purchase of services and product, medical, welfare and education, etc. The result would be a significant lowering of tax revenue, and a crashing of the economy that would probably result in the tax income being less then the halved budget – which would be the same situation that we are currently in.

So, the extreme one sided solutions – only raising taxes significantly, or only cutting the budget significantly would create such social and economic unrest; that it would result in a much worse situation for all.

Treadmill from Hell

It seems that economically we are on a treadmill from Hell – it is though we will never be able to pay off our debt, and if we try our economy would suffer in the short term.

The deficit is another thing, for a brief time during the Clinton administration, the economy was doing OK and the government actually had a surplus of money that could be used for paying down the National Debt.

Then George Bush came along and spent the surplus and doubled our National Debt. Add to that the incompetence/greed in the financial sector and the government oversight; and in 2008 a new President was dealing with a US economic melt down. Obama decided to solve the problem by throwing a lot of money at it, and increasing both the Federal Deficit and National Debt.

History will judge whether throwing money at the financial crisis was really the best course of action, but I can say the direction things were going was really bad, and now the economy is somewhat stable and not bleeding all over the place.

The problem is that people are scared, and with unemployment near 10%, consumers are saving their money instead of spending it.

The bad part of that is that the state governments, who get much of their income from sales taxes, are suffering and asking the Federal Government to help them – which the feds do by increasing our National Debt.

Are There Any Solutions?

No, not in our lifetimes. Sorry.

I think the problem is now too big to be solved without changing the fabric of American life, and I don’t believe that Americans are willing to make such a sacrifice.

We have been trained to be the manipulated spending machine of the multi-national corporations. I mean seriously, American’s main social activity is to go shopping.

The real solution is to lower the standard of living by slashing the federal budget by 50% and freezing it at that level until the National Debt is paid off, increase taxes by 50%, let the economy hit bottom, deal with 20%+ unemployment and starving homeless people, balance the budget, pay off the National Debt, then start rebuilding the economy by slowly lowering taxes while maintaining a balanced budget. Probably could return America’s standard of living to something close to what we currently have in say…20-30 years.

Nope, Americans would not choose this path – it would involve making a sacrifice so our children could have a better life. The corporations would not allow us to make this choice, since it would result in their bottom lines being lowered.

So what can we do?

1) LOL when a politician says that they are going to cut taxes significantly and that will solve our economic situation, then vote for someone else

2) LOL when a politician says that they are going to cut government spending and that will solve our economic situation, then vote for someone else

3) If you are going to vote, find out which corporations are sponsoring which politician, then vote for one’s that are not sponsored by a corporation (if you can find one) then vote for them

4) Live your life simply. Pay off your debt, reduce spending and save money, you will need it later when our economy collapses under the weight of our National Debt

5) Go solar if you can – when our electric grid collapses from cyber attacks, lack of maintenance and/or increased demand from global climate change – you will still have some electricity

6) If you believe that America must cut the budget significantly and raise taxes significantly in order to make a secure future for it’s children – run for office on that platform and vote for people who do the same

7) If you believe that we can solve our economic problems, have a balanced budget and not have to raise taxes – go to the mall and spend all your money; and then borrow money in order to spend more – and see if that works

8 ) Wait for the economy to slowly improve (not a certainty) and reduce the Federal Budget slightly and raise taxes slightly and hope to have a balanced budget in the next 4-5 years. Then find a way to then increase taxes a little more to start slowly paying off some of the National debt

9) Go to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) website and educate yourself on our Budget and National Debt: http://www.cbo.gov/doc.cfm?index=11579

10) Pray

Below is the best case and worst case scenario for the Budget/Debt situation.

Good Luck.

Revenue Spending CBO Projections

Revenue Spending CBO Projection