William Thien

Archive for the ‘Balanced Budget Amendment’ Category

Being a veteran I am acutely aware of the staffing shortage some of the VA Hospitals have been facing and the problems with scheduling that have been brought to the fore recently, scheduling problems resulting in delays that then resulted in the deaths of veterans.

I think the solution to the problem is rather simple. Instead of forcing veterans to attend a Veterans Administration Hospital for treatment, we as a country should pay for veterans to obtain treatment on the open market at a local hospital in their community instead of having to travel to a V.A. Hospital.

Paying for veterans to obtain medical care on the open market makes huge financial sense, for one thing. Some veterans have to be transported great lengths to receive treatment since they live hundreds of miles from the nearest VA Hospital. When scheduling exceeds capability to provide medical care, give the veteran the option of visiting another medical facility on the open market. Why let a medical problem exacerbate itself and become more expensive because we are making the veteran wait for care? Medical issues generally become more expensive to treat the longer into the condition or malady, any doctor will tell you that. Since we use tax payer dollars to pay for the treatment, why make it more expensive?

Our elderly who have not offered up their lives for their country or served in the military are eligible for free medical care and we do not make them go to a special hospitals for “the elderly” like we make our veterans attend VA Medical facilities. Could you imagine what would happen if we made our elderly visit special hospitals for the elderly? Could you imagine the political cacophony of screams coming from the retired? They are making us go to “death hospitals!” It is a valid fear really. So why do we force our veterans to do just that, visit special, overcrowded hospitals?

Let me add that I am not saying we should dismantle the current VA Hospital system, quite the contrary. We should enhance it. Certain war related catastrophic wounds are best treated by specialists who see that type of injury all of the time. But not all such battlefield injuries require those types of specialists. Therefore, I believe we can fund enhancements to our VA Hospital system through properly managing care for our veterans by providing choices.

My local VA hospital is an excellent facility and has not had any of the problems we have been hearing about in the news. But veterans who live in the northern part of the state have to travel hundreds of miles to receive advanced medical care and their families often have to stay several nights away from their homes when there are local hospitals right there in their own community offering the same care. Why do we put them through that? Again, could you imagine the raucous cries if we made the elderly do that, travel half way across the country for care? And most of them haven’t even served in the military.

I think this is a better way of dealing with the problem of overburdened VA facilities. Use of the facilities is slated to increase as The US draws down in Afghanistan completely so the problems are likely to get worse.

It’s time to give our veterans a choice option when it comes to care.

It is an indication of the failure of our country’s entitlement culture when we pay for our elderly to use whatever hospital they choose and they have not even served in the military while we force our veterans, many of them elderly themselves in to crowded VA Hospitals. It is just plain wrong. Veterans pay taxes too AND have served their country. So why are they being treated like second class citizens?

It’s time to give veterans a choice when it comes to receiving medical care. Not only is it the right thing to do, it makes huge financial sense.

Contact your Senators and Congressmen and tell them you think veterans should have a choice to receive care on the open market by clicking here Find Your Elected Representatives and send them an email.

You will be doing every veteran in America a big favor and saving yourself some money at the same time. And that’s what America is really all about. It ain’t about entitlements.

Copyright © William Thien 2014

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Though the current administration promised change to the country as a cornerstone of its initial presidential run, it has either been slow to come or has arrived in the form of some deformed legislative monster, such as The Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare.”

In fact much of what comes out of Washington D.C. in terms of new legislation is just that, some bizarre, grossly mismatched legislative deformity which may benefit some portion of the country while totally insulting and incapacitating the rest.

The current administration isn’t the only party to have their hands in on “Obamacare,” to be sure and to be fair.

When I examine how such repeated legislative behavior happens, I can only conclude that it is the result of the predominant behaviors of two, not just one, not just the other side of the aisle, but the behaviors of two entrenched political parties, a tyrannical Washington elite, at the strings of special interests whom we may not or never know from where the strings are spun.

Therefore, one solution is to wrest control of important issues from the party apparatus wherein which resides the desires of said special interests.
That is the only way to deal with the collective tyranny of the Washington elite. Because that’s just what they are, an entrenched Washington elite, and it is difficult to relieve the country of the stranglehold they have on political behavior and effort.

In my previous post, Gun Rights vs. Gun Control, I do just that, show that issues are not owned by political parties and in fact can be separated from their control. Though the parties will attempt to grasp and retain ownership of such issues, many issues are not political at all, they are founded in The U.S. Constitution.

Unless we want to be beholden to those who are clearly abusing their power, we must continue to find ways to regain control over issues that the parties have thoroughly and in an orchestrated way made their own, and by doing so, have parsed the country out into neat little pieces that can be easily managed, marginalized, stifled, snuffed out.

Year in and year out it’s the same debate about the same issues, the threat of taking away one of our constitutional rights or preventing women from having control of their own bodies, for example, while the Washington elite raise our taxes and legislate our behavior into a corner.

We must demonstrate that much of what is done in Washington D.C. isn’t necessary and in fact has probably already been accomplished satisfactorily with respect to acceptance by The Supreme Court and in the eyes of the public. Or, matters will have to be dealt with more directly.

That is the only way that we can deal with the collective tyranny of the Washington elite. We may vote for them as individuals. But when many get to Washington, they form a solid body that is obstinate and unmoving. Regaining control from the parties over issues that effect us directly may be the best way to regain control of our country.

Copyright © William Thien 2014

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Here is a Government Waste List compiled by the NRCC.

To me the list seems rather limited, but it is a start. Not listed are social programs and entitlements which clearly are a waste and/or subject to massive abuse as well. This list merely is a list of the obvious and really least expensive. Programs that are unfair, such as those which I call “Selectively Communist” (in that many pay for the programs but are ineligible for benefits), such as many health programs, clearly are waste, unfair, and should be dealt with directly. But they are not on the list.

Several of the entries on the list are particularly disturbing as they total in the billions of dollars.

Have a look at The Government Waste List.

You will be glad you did.

Copyright © William Thien 2013

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I have enjoyed several enlightening conversations during the last month about the need for the Dependent Child Tax Deduction. During each and every conversation the person suggested a need for the deduction, aside from the simple reason that it makes it easier on families to pay their taxes. I think the fact that it makes it easier on families is the best reason for the deduction, even though the deduction is extremely unfair to empty nesters and single tax payers.

One conversant suggested that we needed the dependent child tax deduction because we were not as a country “replacing” the current population of baby boomers that were retiring. I had to snicker a bit. My impression of the baby boomers is that they have left us with an enormously socialized country, they are getting theirs, retiring, and leaving us strapped with enormous debt. Why, I had to ask, would you want to replace the baby boomers? I have blogged on this in the past. It’s titled in reference to the belief that those who fought during WWII were the greatest generation and asks the question, “has the greatest generation been followed by the worst,” as the baby boomers were the result of amorous soldiers returning from WWII and the country’s massive economic expansion which followed?

Another conversant suggested that we needed the dependent child tax deduction because “western civilization” won’t reproduce enough in order to sustain its population. This is the same thing as the previous statement on the matter, just spoken in a different context and from a different person. Again, I was amused, to say the least.

If you ask me, the tax code is unfair. One of the most unjust portions of the tax code is the transference of the burden of raising families on to the single taxpayer in an almost parasitic fashion. And to suggest that we need to do that in order to maintain the country’s population, for whatever reason, is a ridiculous and unfounded statement. Why? People will breed. Long before there were any dependent child tax deductions of any kind, anywhere, in any civilization, people were reproducing, often in huge numbers, in the worst of conditions, in the mud, swamps, the desert, malaria infested jungles, you name it. You don’t need a tax deduction to ensure that people are going to reproduce. What folly! Next you will have the same people saying that they need a tax deduction for talking out of their arse because they do it so often!

The dependent child tax deduction was created by politicians to get elected. The dependent child tax deduction is the result of a political stunt. I don’t begrudge families for using the deduction. I probably would if I had a family. But it was a bad and unfair idea in terms of paying the bills generated by families who send their children to public or voucher schools and generally use more public services than single tax payers.

People are going to breed whether you give them a tax deduction for it or not. When it comes to the “fiscal cliff” and balancing the budget, if our elected can ever get to balancing the budget, let’s just make sure we recognize a deduction, or a tax for that matter, for what it is, and let’s make sure we know who is paying for it.

It’s only fair.

Copyright 2012 William Thien

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The most significant reason to pass a balanced budget amendment may on the surface appear to be that it will require the federal government to keep the country’s financial matters in order. But something else occurred to me after my previous note concerning my support for a balanced budget amendment.

Lately, and this is a historical observation as well, all we hear is that one side has a plan for a budget and the other side does not accept it. This has been going on thoroughly for over a month, now. And we are paying dearly for it. Then, the other side counters with their plan, and it is stiff armed off the table with a sour look of disdain. But is it all an act? I’d wager much, perhaps most of it is, but there are genuine differences as well.

Yet, there is a lot of posturing and nothing is getting done. Our elected are posing in the window, but there is a lot of partisan bickering and nothing is accomplished. The media loves it and thinks we should, too. All this time our elected could be working on more important matters. But instead, they choose to make it appear that they are at odds with each other when we all know the plan is to come up with a solution at the eleventh hour and we will all have to swallow it. And what’s worse, they will likely have slipped something in that nobody can stomach. The country will reel for days with a political hangover while the spin doctors will tell us all it’s for the best and that’s that. People will forget. The wool, though it may feel scratchy against the skin, will keep us warm anyway they will tell us, even if we be blinded by it.

With a balanced budget amendment, the country’s elected will be required to not only balance the budget, but a balanced budget amendment, if properly drafted, will require our elected to work more efficiently on our behalf. This may be more significant than the mere fact that a balanced budget amendment will require the government to balance the budget.

In other words, a balanced budget amendment will not only require our elected to take better care of our country’s financial matters, it will likely “stimulate” more efficient government behavior, because the elected will be less likely to pose and strut for the media, getting nothing done except keeping the media happy, and then slip something unpalatable in at the last minute nobody wants in the first place. In fact, that last part of the previous sentence may be the very reason our elected don’t want to appear to be getting along. They may in fact be quite chummy and we wouldn’t even know it with the way they have been carrying on all along. Washington is isolated from the rest of the country in a way with its bureaucracy and way of doing things. And politicians are insulated from our way of life with their lavish benefits and elaborate security, too. Many citizens believe most politicians that have been to Washington for more than one term have lost touch with the realities of American existence, and that Washington, with its high-profile system of lobbyists and special interests, has a corrupting influence. A balanced budget amendment would help to bring politicians back to the realities of American life.

Of course if you don’t want the two sides of the aisle to cooperate on our behalf, don’t pass a balanced budget amendment. It’s that simple.

Copyright © William Thien 2011

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After hearing all the “end of the world” scenarios and all of the pleas for an increase in the debt ceiling, the one thing I think which should come out of the current budget negotiations is a balanced budget amendment.


It is the only way we as a country can get Washington, which often thinks differently than the rest of the country, particularly when it comes to taxes, to treat the American taxpayer with some respect. Washingtonians, which is what our elected become after being in office for several years, are insulated from the rest of us. It’s a private club. Aside from a few politicians that meet regularly with their constituency, those elected to federal office often lose sight of what it is to be an American.

With a balanced budget amendment, our elected will by law never forget what it is to be an American. Let us not let them forget. Let us not!

Contact your elected officials today and tell them you would like to see a balanced budget amendment now!

Copyright © William Thien 2011

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