William Thien

One of the things I value in Trump’s management style is that he doesn’t go after the little guy when me makes a management change. He gets rid of senior leadership. To me this is an indication of somebody who favors the working stiff.

That leadership style is refreshing and unlike many politicians in office today who are afraid to address the bloated systems of  administrators and bureaucrats at the agency levels of government, both at the state and federal level, who would instead cut benefits or wages from the worker, so far at least, Trump just goes straight for the leadership where the salaries and benefits are many multiples of the guy or gal in the street. If you get rid of one high-level administrator you might save ten or twenty or more subordinate positions, easily when you see the salaries of a Washington bureaucrat.

Where I reside we have executive and elected leadership who have a recent history of cutting the wages and benefits of the working stiff while padding the wallets of the administrator. Such behavior is common across the board, whatever agency, whatever level of government.

Roads go without repair. Classrooms go without teachers. Infrastructure crumbles before your very eyes.

So, I have to say though I don’t agree 100 percent with every dismissal at the federal level that he has made so far, I see what Trump is trying to accomplish and I think it will serve well the working person in the various levels of government of the country if we can address the constant obstruction coming from the liberal, the media, and the Washington elite.

Copyright © William Thien 2017

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This is just an observation based on observations. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has noticed that things are getting crowded just about everywhere in this country.

In the last 20 years almost every farm field within a few miles has been turned into a new subdivision where I live and everywhere I’ve traveled things look the same, massive sprawl, over use of natural resources such as ground water, and gridlock on just about every street and highway I’ve traveled for a decade during the daytime.

Personally, I doubt the census is accurate. But why? Is it merely poor methodology? Are people hiding during the census (probably)? Or is there something more sinister going on such as hiding tax revenues that should be going to schools or infrastructure by suggesting the lower population means lower tax revenues? Or whatever…

Because I have to say it seems like there are a lot more than 325 million people living in this country now.

Maybe it’s time to figure out a new method for conducting The US Census.

Copyright © William Thien 2017

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One of the problems with the mainstream media is that its default setting is “status quo,” a setting that hasn’t benefited the middle classes for decades.

Copyright © William Thien 2017

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I think the new budget proposal coming out of The White House is brilliant. Aside from cuts to public education and some cuts to programs for disabled veterans, which I do not favor, the budget gets right down to the core of the country’s problems. Regarding cuts to programs for disabled veterans, it isn’t fair nor is it right to cut programs for those who have actually earned their benefits.

Naturally there are concerns about cuts to the social safety net, but for years we have all recognized that the way in which the social safety net is structured has resulted in massive misuse. Abuse of the social safety net has become a form of avocation for generations of families. Attempts to prevent abuse of the system have generally been unsuccessful.

So, other than the cuts to public education and some programs for disabled veterans, which I stated before that I do not favor, I think the quote by The Budget Director, Mick Mulvaney, sums it up. “We have plenty of money in this country to take care of the people who need help. And we will do that,” he said. “We don’t have enough money to take care of people who don’t need help.’

Furthermore, Mulvaney added, “Yes, you have to have compassion for the people receiving federal funds, but you also have to have compassion for the folks who are paying it and that is one of the things that is new about this president’s budget.”

That is also something no previous administration has attempted to address. The middle class tax payer has been perpetually enslaved by the federal tax code to pay for the expansive social safety net and its misuse. This budget addresses that.

Ultimately, this budget is better than any coming out of Washington in fifty years or more. The budget is better than anything Reagan produced, better than any of the Bush or Obama budgets, and better than any of the Kennedy budgets.

Way to go!

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The following is from an email from The DAV.ORG that explains cuts to disabled veterans that I do not support:

On May 23, 2017, the Administration released the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) budget for fiscal year 2018. Contained within this budget were two legislative proposals that DAV strongly opposes because if enacted into law, they would seriously reduce benefits for our nation’s ill and injured veterans, their families and survivors.

10-year cost-of-living round down

The Administration’s budget proposal contains a provision that would round down cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for disability compensation, Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) and some other benefits for the next 10 years. DAV remains adamantly opposed to this or any permanent round down provision.

Veterans and their survivors rely on their compensation for essential purchases such as food, transportation, rent and utilities. It also enables them to maintain a marginally higher quality of life in the face of rising inflation. This COLA round down provision would unfairly target disabled veterans, their dependents and survivors to save the government money and offset the cost of other federal programs. That is simply unacceptable.

The cumulative effect of this provision of law would, in essence, levy a 10-year “tax” on disabled veterans and their survivors, reducing their income each year. When multiplied by the number of disabled veterans and recipients of DIC, hundreds of millions of dollars would be siphoned from these deserving individuals annually. All totaled, VA estimates this proposed COLA round down would cost beneficiaries close to $2.7 billion over the next 10 years.

INDIVIDUAL UNEMPLOYABILITY AND SOCIAL SECURITY OFFSET

The Administration’s budget proposal also contains a provision that would scale back VA’s Individual Employability (IU) program for thousands of veterans. DAV strongly opposes this ill-conceived proposal.

The IU program allows VA to pay certain veterans, who are determined to be unemployable as a result of service-connected disabilities, disability compensation at the 100 percent rate, even though VA has not rated their service-connected disabilities at the 100 percent level. This proposal would terminate existing IU ratings for veterans when they reach the minimum retirement age for Social Security purposes, currently 62, as well as cut off IU benefits for any veteran already in receipt of Social Security retirement benefits.

We oppose this and any measure that proposes to offset the payment of any other federal benefit or earned benefit entitlement against VA compensation payments made to service-connected disabled veterans. Benefits received from the VA, or those based on military retirement pay, have differing eligibility criteria for different purposes than other federal programs.  Social Security benefits are an earned benefit for retirement while VA disability compensation is an earned benefit derived from injury or illness from military service. Reducing the Social Security benefit provided to a disabled veteran in receipt of IU is simply an unjust penalty and would place an undue hardship on all veterans in receipt of IU and their families.

Furthermore, we are vehemently opposed to limiting disability compensation benefits due to a veteran’s age. Many disabled veterans might not have income replacement available-especially those who had been on IU for an extended period in advance of reaching retirement age. Arbitrarily cutting off IU eligibility for veterans who turn 62, an age at which millions of American’s continue working and saving money for their retirements-a luxury that many disabled veterans do not have-would be grossly unfair to the men and women served.

We are calling on all DAV and members and supporters to contact their members of Congress and urge them to reject these harmful proposals that would negatively impact injured and ill veterans, their families and survivors.

Click the link below to log in and send your message:
https://www.votervoice.net/BroadcastLinks/4JQIIgoXyENXIoVwf5TWPQ

A lot of pundits and Washington types have said Trump is playing the North Korea situation all wrong.

I disagree. Trump has made an overture to meet with North Korea’s leadership personally. What he is saying is that he is willing to do anything and everything he can to avert a nuclear exchange. What more could the country ask for on this matter? You really can’t ask for more than that.

Copyright © William Thien 2017

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Decades long (Greenspan to Yellen) monetary policy aimed at continually diminishing the strength of the currency for the regular population is in and of itself justification enough to respond.

I believe Washington has chosen monetary policy that forces the public to work longer hours for less income with the desire of increasing productivity at the expense of American working classes and their quality of life.

It has nothing to do with the general economy. The labor statistics coming out of Washington are false.  We’ve all known that for many years. The statistics don’t include the perpetually unemployed or the unaccounted for in industrially blighted urban areas. Therefor, the numbers are unreliable. So why the constant attempt to weaken the dollar?

Is it about selling more American made goods overseas? Somewhat, yes. But in my opinion it is more about squeezing the American working classes to get them to work harder for less, increasing the speed of the treadmill so to speak through weakening the dollar, thereby increasing productivity.

Again, if you weaken the dollar, if you systematically do so while steadily increasing inflation, a person needs to work harder and/or longer hours to get what they want or need or they must borrow more. A weaker dollar buys less and it buys less everywhere you use it even at home, not just overseas when you travel. The thing of it is, it’s not a function of the economy, it’s not happening on its own. It’s policy!

That’s what the FED has been up to starting with Greenspan, what the parties have been up to starting with Clinton, NAFTA and MFN for China, and the dollar.

You are getting squeezed by the FED/Washington establishment and the same people you elected. If money is speech as the Supreme Court determined, by weakening the dollar your voice is also being muffled. Directly.

The dollar isn’t too strong. Rather, Washington may be too powerful, too disingenuous.

I heard a debate on the radio this morning on the way to work. During the broadcast they were talking about a Constitutional Convention. Maybe it’s not such a bad idea.

I myself say, “What do you mean I don’t sound like a conservative? You are full of it. You can be a conservative and still be a working stiff! Conservatism isn’t just for the very wealthy. That’s something else altogether. That’s the monetary policy we have now.”

Copyright © William Thien 2017

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This morning I wrote to you to describe why policy that weakens the dollar is bad for the US consumer. Now I will explain why it is also probably not so good for producers when the dollar is weakened.

The cost of living in America is so much higher than it is in many other countries that it is unlikely except through enhanced production techniques and other methods such as more efficient distribution that American laborers will be able to produce goods at an equivalent cost of production to those goods manufactured elsewhere, where the cost of living is much lower, and as result so is the cost of labor.

If the dollar is weakened then one can only afford to purchase products produced elsewhere as Americans, due to the weakened dollar, their own currency, cannot afford to buy Made in America any longer. It’s too expensive.

So, if as the current administration has said after meeting with members of the country he branded “currency manipulators” and he did a complete 180 and deemed them not so, and then even followed that statement after the meeting with “the dollar is too strong,” (wow, this is getting really twisted, though I said this would happen) which he did, there is something unusual occurring that ultimately will not benefit either the US consumer or the US producer. Could it be sheer ignorance about monetary policy? Could it be some form of economic collusion between countries? Does it even matter to those of us that use dollars? If you have an unlimited income, no. If you are a working stiff, yes.

Why?

If you weaken my dollars and your dollars, which is what has been happening for an extended period of time now (Greenspan straight through to Yellen), then you make it much less likely for me to purchase products manufactured by Americans every chance I get. The American cost of living is too high and as a result so is the cost of production. Eventually, with more efforts to weaken the dollar the only consumer products I will be able to afford are those manufactured by “the currency manipulators.” Checked the label lately?

America is still the world’s largest consumer market and if you weaken the currency of the citizens of that market ultimately you will weaken that market as well. One follows the other.

If you want Americans to “Buy American” you have to make it possible for Americans to afford “Made in America.”

Right now many cannot.

Copyright © William Thien 2017

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