Stan sent me his opinions on my 22 points! Thanks Stan. After reading your comments you are truly part Dem and part Libertarian!
Kevin Knuth, The Allen County Democratic chair has sent me his opinions and they will be posted soon!
I hope more of your send me your opinions on my 22 points; I am especially interested in some Republicans and Conservative views.
Several people have asked me what I think will happen in the next few months. I am going to give you my opinion on how I think things will go in the next couple of years.
First of all, I think a lot will get done. The Republicans are scared, Bush has surrendered, and The Republicans have already started the finger pointing.
Not everything that is accomplished will be good... I think the Republicans will become conservatives again. This would be a good thing overall... I hope Mike Pence becomes the Minority Leader in The House for obvious reasons...
The Democrats are going to have their own battles as well... If they are smart they will realize that they need to accomplish a lot if they want to win again in 2008. If they are smart they will also realize that they have to move to the right and get some of the "kooks" out of leadership positions... John Kerry and Ted Kennedy come to mind... I expect The Democrats to race towards the center starting today.
Mike Sylvester's comments are in black. Whether or not Mike Sylvester thinks that my prediction SHOULD occur is in red.
Stan Matuska's thoughts are in purple
1. Pat White and most conservative talk radio hosts seem to think the Democrats will kill talk radio. This is just right wing paranoia. It will not happen. If it does happen I will have to call in to Pat White and tell him I was wrong; he and I have argued this on the air several times... I would be VERY ANGRY if the Dems try to do this. I am against re-instituting The Fairness Doctrine; it would be a violation of Free Speech.
I don't see this happening, especially within the next two years.
2. Pat White and most conservative talk radio hosts seem to think that the Dems will try to impeach Bush. If the Dems try to do this they will regret it... I do not buy this either, the Democrats are not going to do this. I am against impeaching Bush.
I am not against impeaching Bush, but I don't think it will happen, and I don't think it will serve America best. He's out in 2 years, and there is too much work to be done to get bogged down with an impeachment process. The Democratic Congress will work with Bush instead of against him.
3. Amnesty to illegal aliens. This would be terrible for America and wrong. If the Dems make this mistake they will be made to regret it in 2008. There is little doubt in my mind that Bush and The Democrats will grant Amnesty and it will make me angry. I am against Amnesty.
I am against amnesty, but I believe that is exactly what is going to happen (no matter how they spin the name, it will still be amnesty). I want to stop paying for illegals, and I want people to go to jail if they hire illegals, and I want anybody who is allowed to stay to pay their fair share of taxes.
4. Pat White and many people think the Dems will immediately draw down troop levels in Iraq. They are wrong and this will be fun to watch. The left wing bloggers and peace wing of the Democratic party is about to get into a big fight with the mainstream Democrats and it will be an ugly fight. It will be an ugly fight because we are not going to do ANYTHING new in Iraq. Even with a new Defense Secretary our policy in Iraq will not significantly change. The media will cover the war differently; but, nothing will change. Not at all. This is really going to make a lot of Democrats like our own Robert Rouse VERY ANGRY at the Dems. We have 133,000 troops in Iraq right now; expect that to continue. We will still have at least 120,000 troops in Iraq in one year.
We will have no more than 60,000 troops in Iraq one year from now. I can't see us maintaining the current levels (or more) in the course of another year. Iraqi's will have to start policing one/few city(s) at a time without our soldiers to get the ball rolling. I don't believe we can be out of Iraq in a year. I do believe there will be some countries standing up to assist which may still be 133,000 troops, but not all ours.
5. Pat White and many others think the Dems will go after John Bolton in The United Nations. I am not as sure about this one. My guess is that there will be a half hearted effort to get rid of John Bolton. If Bush caves in John Bolton may go... I think he will stay. I think John Bolton should stay, he has done a good job. Overall The United Nations is a huge waste of taxpayer money...
I think John Bolton will stay. If he were a problem, we probably would have heard something by now. I think the UN needs to either disband or grow some balls.
6. I have heard a lot about The Dems repealing all of Bush's tax cuts. I do NOT think the Dems will repeal them all; however, they will allow some of them to retire via their sunset provisions. My guess is that those geared towards the middle class and the poor will remain and that those geared towards the wealthy will be allowed to expire. Unfortunately I think the Dems will make the tax code even more complicated. I think they will allow the tax cuts for the wealthy expire. I think the tax code should be scrapped and simplified.
I believe that taxes will go up for the wealthy, and the tax cuts for the middle class with time limits will not be extended beyond their predetermined expiration date; hence it will feel like a tax increase for the middle class.
7. I have heard a lot about the Dems allowing the estate taxes to come back. This is definitely not true. The Dems are not going to mess with the estate taxes too much. They MAY even raise the threshold to around 5 million dollars for an estate. I think that the Dems will basically leave The Estate tax alone. I think estate taxes are evil and should be eliminated entirely.
8. The Dems will increase the minimum wage on the Federal level. This is a given and Bush will not Veto it. Bush babbled about making sure it would not effect small business in his Press Conference; so I am afraid this may become another overly complicated bill. The Dems will increase the minimum wage. I am against this because I understand economics and The Constitution. The Federal minimum wage should be abolished and each State should set their own.
I believe the minimum wage will be increased, and sooner, rather than later. I would prefer all states do this on their own, but that's not going to happen, so the government will have to do it.
9. The Dems will make no real progress on the Federal Debt no matter what they promise. The Federal Debt was about 8.5 trillion dollars in 2006 at the end of the fiscal year (End of September). Over the last six years the Federal Debt has increased ABOUT 400 billion dollars each year. I expect this to continue. My guess is the Federal Debt will be 8.9 trillion dollars at the end of Sep 2007. I expect it to be 9.3 trillion dollars at the end of Sep 2008. I will be watching this very carefully along with Jeff Pruitt. Nancy Pelosi has made promises that I think she will break. The Dems will talk about fiscal responsibility and will not follow through with them. I am in favor of balancing the Federal Budget TODAY, not in five years.
I predict the Dems will hack away at the debt, and it will be less in two years than it is today.
10. The Dems will create even more unfunded Federal liabilities then we have today. I have posted a lot of information on our unfunded Federal liabilities. They are about 75 trillion dollars today. This is criminal. I expect them to continue to increase. The Dems will not touch this issue at all. I am in favor of eliminating all of our unfunded liabilities.
11. The Dems will talk about protecting Social Security a lot. As of May of 2006 the unfunded liability of Social Security was 13.4 trillion dollars. (<http://www.bc.edu/centers/crr/issues/ib_46.pdf>) In other words, if we had 13.4 trillion dollars invested in US Treasury's in May then Social Security would be solvent; unfortunately, you need to read #9 above. We have NOT saved ANY money for Social Security. What this means is future generations are going to have to pay for the current generation and past generations, which is wrong. The Dems will talk about protecting social security and they will do NOTHING. Social Security needs to be fixed now. It should never have been allowed to have ANY unfunded liability. Note that it had an unfunded liability the day it was created. Social Security has to be re-structured.
The existing plan should remain for the people who have invested in it most of their lives. Basically it should die a slow death through normal attrition. I have heard many times that the government "borrows" from the SSA to pay for other things. If this is true, has the money ever been paid back into the SSA? What happens with the rest of the population is up for debate. There are many different savings plans (401k, IRA etc.) that are now available today that were not available for most of the older generation. How much are we spending on the war in Iraq that could have ben used to help fund social security? How much is needed to fund the SSA until it dies a natural death? My prediction is there will be discussions, but nothing will actually get done.
12. The Dems will talk about healthcare a whole lot. One of the largest Democratic talking points was the fact that 50 million American are uninsured as far as healthcare. I have NO IDEA what The Dems will do. They DO NOT have a plan to fix healthcare. I think they will push for more government involvement and they will throw more money at the problem. This will not work and where will the money come from. I have to think the Dems will try to get health insurance for more people and I have to think they will want the government to pay for it. Obviously I want to kick the government out of health care entirely.
I think the government will implement an idea that has been discussed recently (Lieberman?). They will form a plan where smaller companies and individuals can join as a single entity, making it cost effective to join. The government will wind up funding a portion of the costs.
The following items Nancy Pelosi promised to do within the 1st 100 hours and The Dems MUST accomplish to maintain ANY credibility.
13. "Put new rules in place to break the link between lobbyists and legislators." I love this idea; however, The Dems will NOT do this. They will completely blow this promise. I am in favor of this Democratic promise.
I believe they will keep this promise as an "attempt", but it will fail in the long term and go nowhere.
14. "Enact all recommendations of the 9/11 Commission." I am not sure about this one but I tend to favor it. I fully expect The Dems to keep this promise. I think I am in favor of this promise.
I fully expect The Dems to keep this promise.
15. "Cut interest rates on student loans in half." I am against this for obvious reasons. The Federal government needs to get out of Education entirely. The more money you throw at something the more expensive it gets. It is simple economics. If the Federal government cuts the interest rates in half on student loans that means they will pay the difference out of tax payer dollars. This will get expensive and make it harder to balance the budget. I think the Dems will keep this promise. This promise is a bad idea, we need less government involvement in education not more.
I didn't hear about this, but if Nancy said it, then I believe she will do it. Trust me, what is lost in interest can be gained many times over just by reducing a few entitlements and several thousand $100.00 hammers. I truly believe Nancy Pelosi can both create new entitlements AND reduce expenditures at the same time.
16. "Allow government to negotiate directly with drug companies for lower drug prices for Medicare patients." I think this is a great idea. I think it is going to be much harder then The Dems think. The drug companies are very powerful and control a lot of Republicans AND Democrats. This issue will be very important to The Dems and they need to keep this promise. I think the Dems will make a feeble effort to do this; however, they will NOT significantly lower drug prices. This promise is a GREAT idea.
17. "Broaden the types of stem cell research allowed with Federal Funds." I have no problem with stem cell research; however, The Federal government is spending too much of my money as it is. The last thing we need is more government money being spent on a new program. I think the Dems will keep this promise. I have no problem with stem cell research, it should be funded privately or with money from the fifty states; it is not something The Federal government should be involved in.
As much as I am against yet another government funded project, I believe Federal funding for stem cell research would be money well spent. Again, we don't have to spend more, we have to spend smarter.
18. The Dems promised to "pay as you go." I do not understand why we EVER got away from "pay as you go." It makes sense and is most likely my largest problem with both Dems and Reps. They have mortgaged America. The Dems will NOT abide by "pay as you go." Obviously "pay as you go" should be the way it is.
How can the government "pay as you go" until you "pay as you went?" This isn't gonna happen.
19. "Eliminating corporate subsidies for oil companies." I am in favor of eliminating all Federal subsidies. The Dems will find this more complicated then they think; however, I think they will get this done. Federal subsidies should be eliminated...
Federal subsidies should be eliminated..., but without knowing the details behind each subsidy, I can't say with 100% confidence that they all should go away. I believe they will eliminate the subsidies for oil companies - and why are we subsidising them in the first place???
20. "We will energize America by achieving energy independence." I am in favor of this. It cannot happen in 100 hours and she should NEVER have said this. We are too reliant on foreign oil and we will be just as dependent in two years as we are today. The Dems will fail on this 100%. We need to work on energy dependence; however, neither Party has a plan that will work.
The 2006 election was yesterday; Nancy Pelosi has already made some promises that we will look at.
21. "Nancy Pelosi promised to run the most ethical and honest administration in history." This is a promise I hope that she keeps; however, I do not think it is possible. This one will have to be graded over the next two years. I expect The Dems to keep using all of the legislative "tricks" both Parties have used for the last 50 years to continue. This promise will be broken, possibly by #20 below. This promise SHOULD be kept; but, they will not.
This promise will be kept. Notice she said "most ethical and honest" and not "totally ethical and honest". The Democrats may have won the House and Senate because of, among other things, ethical violations commited by the Republicans. I think the Democrats are vary wary not to cause any/many "ethical and honesty" violations.
22. "Nancy Pelosi made the promise in 19 above." Each and every Republican involved in a corruption scandal was defeated in the 2006 Election. Amazingly enough Democratic Congressman William J. Jefferson has not yet been defeated. In Louisiana you have to get at least 50% of the vote or participate in a run off election. Jefferson is still alive and will face off with a Democrat next month in the run off election. Jefferson is accused of accepting $400,000 in bribes by the FBI. The FBI took $90,000 from his freezer and has bribes on videotape. There is really no doubt that Jefferson is guilty. This will be one of The Democrats first tests. Nancy Pelosi promised to clean up Washington and Jefferson is where she needs to start. If she is serious about cleaning up Washington she should travel to Louisiana and back Jefferson's opponent. The National Democratic Party should pitch in a lot of money and destroy Jefferson in his election next month. I expect Jefferson to be defeated in December; however, I do not expect The National Democrats to ensure his defeat. Jefferson is scum and should have resigned...