William Thien

Archive for December 2019

I keep hearing from just about everyone at some time or another and it just appeared in a television ad for a presidential candidate named Tom Steyer that we need term limits.

But you know it will never happen. A politician isn’t going to sign off on a new law that says he, or she for that matter, can’t have his job any longer. And I actually like some of my politicians so it creates a dilemma.

So, are term limits just a political fantasy the tax strapped, over-legislated citizen dreams about? I mean, most people I know think term limits should be in place at the very least for most federal level elected offices. I have heard the same thing for decades in fact. So why don’t we have term limits, yet?

Like I said, politicians aren’t going to allow it, even the guy who is running for president talking about term limits in his campaign ad on television this evening. He is not going to sign off on it. If he does, he wouldn’t get any cooperation in office. He would effectively be firing over half of The Congress and Senate from their cushy, influence peddling jobs.

Well, then what about a “zero incumbency movement? What about a movement that says, we don’t care who you are. You might be a great politician but very little gets done that benefits the general population without assigning an unacceptable cost to it. You keep making it easier to send our jobs overseas and keep bickering about petty drama type things occurring here in The US.

What if we have a “zero incumbency” movement? Doesn’t matter if the candidate is running for office again, what if everyone votes for the candidate that wasn’t in office during the prior term? It is usually down to two candidates from two major parties in most races.

Why don’t we just vote for “the other guy” automatically? Can it hurt? It’s hard to say. We seem to be plagued with some bastardized form of democracy now following the “money is speech” ruling by The Supreme Court, anyway.

Our elected along with a conspiring media (they like the campaign dollars following the “money is speech” ruling) are constantly telling us they are going to make things better but many would disagree. Socialism creeps up on us all more and more, costing us all but protecting only special classes, single women having children out-of-wedlock, certain minorities, a variety of the very, very wealthy, many corporations, yet often excluding those who have contributed the most either in a proportion of tax dollars or with their lives, such as soldiers and such.

So, think about it. It is just a thought I had. It would be a voter initiative, voter enacted term limits.  Were it to be acted upon during the next series of elections, it would be interesting to see what response there would be.

Zero incumbency. Doesn’t matter who they are, they would be voted out!

I know. Incredible idea, right? I mean, it’s what everyone wants anyway. You’d have to think for yourself, though. After the continuous onslaught and bombardment of all of the impending campaign election ads we will see this election season, and you know they are coming, you’d still have to think for yourself when you stepped into the voting booth. Are you sure you can do it?

Copyright © William Thien 2019

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Though not stated publicly, I believe one of if not THE primary reasons the Democratic controlled House impeached Trump was over concern of his use of executive orders. Executive orders nullify congressional participation in the legislative process. It was okay when Obama used executive orders, but Trump is a Republican and the house is controlled by Democrats. Politics.

But we must ask the question, is such a method of legislative action necessary at this time in the country’s history? I would argue that it is, though I’m not certain I would agree with all of Trump’s executive orders.

Such a method of legislative action IS necessary due to the constant state of political gridlock on Washington. Only new laws that restrict the behaviors of the citizen seem to pass through both the house and the senate. Only new laws that increase taxation or fees upon the individual or particular socio-economic groups seem to make it to the President’s desk for signature.

Laws, rules, and regulations that do not favor the interests of the largest corporate and or superpac contributors to the campaigns of members of both the house and the senate on both sides of the aisles languish in committee and or never come to a full vote due to partisan bickering or disagreement.

Nothing that benefits the general population will ultimately see the light of day. There is always a catch written into the law. There is always a hurdle the general public must overcome through an increase in taxes, some bureaucratic requirement, something that justifies the existences of a congressional body that once was a part-time job in America.

How many times have you written to members of congress to change a law that there is a clearly stated majority in favor of changing and congress does nothing? How many times have you voted for a candidate that promises to make changes to a law or create a program that benefits you, something for which there is also a majority favoring in the population, and the candidate forgets about his campaign promises? Many, many times I am sure.

Executive orders put all of that gridlock, all of that bureaucratic rigmarole aside and enable a president to do things for the general public that congress and the senate refuse to do and that is why I believe the house impeached Trump, the primary reason, nullification of congress through executive order. Trump was effectively marginalizing a congress that has marginalized the American public for decades and congress was not going to stand for that.

Copyright © William Thien 2019

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“Primo preceptor” is a term I coined which deals with the subject of having the first of a series of ideas where were it not for the first of the series of ideas, the other ideas may not or would not have existed. Therefore, the first of the ideas is the “prime” or original idea and as such it should receive primary or initial consideration.

“Primo preceptor” or “Preceptor primo.”

Copyright © William Thien 2019

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Often we hear people refer to what are systems of taxation as “entitlements,” Medicare, for example, or Social Security.

I think Social Security and Medicare are both forms of taxation and should be included in the summation of that which is removed from your pay before you see your net pay provided by your employer.

In other words, we often hear about federal or state taxes as a percentage of your income. I believe not only should we included your federal and state taxes in summing up the total taxes coming from your pay, but we should also add Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid as taxes. This in effect increase that which comes out of your pay dramatically and it is something the classical bureaucrat would rather not be tabulated in your “total taxes.” That is why you will hear the bureaucrat say, “but those are not taxes, they are entitlements.” Wrong!

I think there is a clear delineation as to when these government programs become entitlements and stop being taxes and that is if you live long enough to become eligible for either program. If you don’t make it to the age where you can begin receiving Social Security payments, then it is not an entitlement. It is just a tax that you never see again. You never see it again because unlike a private retirement account where you get back everything you put into it after taxes, you never see the principal again in Social Security. You only ever see the payments disbursed to you. You lose the principal. It vanishes. TAX!

Same with Medicare. If you don’t live long enough to become eligible, then it is just a tax. It is the only health care program that you pay into all your life but never use until if and only if you make it to the age of eligibility. You could be paying for your own health care all of your life but instead you are paying for someone else’s. Not a bad idea on the face of things in a sense, helping the elderly out with their health care. But what if you don’t have any heath care yourself? TAX! TAX plus socialism. Still, not a bad idea on the face of things. But for the purposes of making the distinction between a tax and an entitlement, it is a prime example.

So, I think the line which distinguishes an entitlement and a tax in The United States is at the very least, a blurry and costly one to the individual tax payer. The proper definition of what an entitlement is and how it relates to the “taxes” used to perpetuate that entitlement can be helpful to the voter.

An entitlement is a tax until and only if you are eligible to achieve that entitlement and then and only then is it an entitlement. Until then, it is a tax and it should be considered as a tax when you make a determination of how much is leaving your pay along with federal and state taxes.

Copyright © William Thien 2019

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And guess what? Major League Baseball has decided to stop testing players for marijuana. Now I can go back to watching The Brewers and The Diamondbacks. But I’m not bragging. This isn’t a victory lap. It is more of a celebration that the major institutions in this country are beginning to recognize failures of the drug war in America. The sudden change in policy had nothing to do with my constant advocacy. Nope:


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December 2019
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