I read a lot of postings on the "vine" and post some myself. Sometimes I write out of frustration, sometimes amusement, and occasionally because I just want to be heard.
There is a lot of name calling (I try not to but occasionally succumb to my own frustrations), occasionally some really good ideas, and a lot of blather.
I wish we had the ability to capture the good ideas, turn them into documents that would actually be submitted to our congress people, and become the citizen's voice to our elected officials.
It is my belief that in most instances, like healthcare, there are solutions, and if you got together regional boards made up of rank and file workers (from nurses to admin to doctors) you could probably come up with real cost savings, real reform, and ways to manage resources in a much wiser fashion.
The problem with this scenario is that our country has too many layers of bureaucracy that must be eliminated, and those folks that make up the bureaucracy have a dog in the fight (their job) and too much control over the money and the decisions being made.
Seriously - we spend more than $2 TRILLION annually and we have this mess of systems that doesn't seem to work well for the chronically sick and the catastrophic illnesses. So in my reading today I discover that we spend 50% of all healthcare dollars on the last 30 days of life - not sure if that is so, but if so, isn't there a better way?
And honestly, we all have some blame here - from people that spend way too much time worrying about the same stupid stuff and have too much time on their hands, to the doctors who aren't paying enough attention, to the waste at every level, to the insurance companies that just push papers and take profit from a system that probably shouldn't have a profit center created from this paper pushing, to greedy attorney's (yes, there are some legitimate malpractice suits, but many are just the reality of the riskiness of trying to fix things) to all manner of fraud.
Added to this is the real matter of how we care for illegal aliens. Are they people? Absolutely! Can we afford to care for them as well as our own citizens? No.
We as a nation have spread ourselves too thin - from military bases around the world that should be closed and our citizens returned home, to aid we send all over the world, much of which is squandered.
I believe that we need a national reset - place a moratorium on spending - all departments be required to cut 10% right now, this month. Next - close every military operation not on our soil - leave what is too expensive to return to our country, bill the nation we are leaving for whatever they choose to keep of ours, and bring our military and non-military citizens home.
Stop all aid - from the UN to Africa, and everywhere else money is flowing out of the USA in the form of aid. Not forever, but let's try 24 months. Pay down our own debts. Reset each and every government department with a 20% reduction in cost in the next 12 months - give everyone a paycut, and those who choose to leave, replace them with those willing to work for 20% less.
Put all government employees into the same social security system the rest of us pay into. Eliminate all government employee unions - it's a ridiculous idea and fraught with corruption. Same with healthcare - from the President to the hourly worker at the IRS - they get the same health care and insurance we all do.
And speaking about reform - eliminate income tax once and for all. Institute a national sales tax that would provide the same level of funding currently coming in from income tax. This would eliminate billions of dollars of cost to report, audit, track and manage the current tax mess, allowing more citizens to be productive rather than paper pushers, which we all pay for.
If you want to provide tax incentive, do so with the sales tax. And those that want to contribute little, they would be able to do so simply by buying only tax exempt items (say food, medicine, etc). It might take a few years to tweak the system to produce just the right amount of revenue, but this would create a much simpler system for all.
And yes, the black market would need to be addressed, as there would be added incentive to buy "off the grid".
Finally - let's stop arresting people for stupid stuff, and let's legalize drugs and distribute them in an ethical manner. No simple fix here, but alcohol isn't simple either. We already have the drug addicts - let's stop criminalizing this - it's simply too expensive. Same with prostitution, same with any crime that falls into the "victimless" category. And i know, there are victims with these vices, but honestly folks, we cannot afford to do all of this. Wouldn't you rather your police spend their time on real crime where people harm other people, stealing their property, assault, rape, murder, etc... and stop all the wasted money trying to stop something that will never be stopped?
And ask yourself - if you can buy pot or grow your own, who exactly is being harmed, and why are we involving the police?
We have the wealthiest nation on earth, with a vast amount of resources and brain trust, and yet we seem to be some of the dumbest people on earth when it comes to focusing on the important stuff and letting the rest take care of itself.