bluemark

Last active
3 years, 8 months ago
  • How about a second voter initiative to go along with SB5 repeal?

    The Ohio Constitution does not include a recall mechanism for the removal of state officials, but citizens can use the initiative process to put an amendment to the State Constitution on the ballot. No reason it couldn’t be used to remove a governor or state senator – or at least change the end date of their terms.

  • Or at a minimum evincine the presence of a spine.

  • Thanks to George W Bush, there is an alternative to a bad continuing resolution or a shutdown. Directive 51, which could be triggered by any incident, regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the U.S. population, infrastructure, environment, economy, or government functions.” Not passing a CR, or not raising the debt limit, could easily qualify – especially if it interfered with the ability of the Treasury to redeem T-bills as they became due.

    I’m not saying anyone in the administration should advocate invoking Directive 51, but the possibility should scare the crap out of the GOP and make them think thrice about their economic bomb throwing.

  • bluemark commented on the blog post TSA May Prosecute “Don’t Touch My Junk” Guy

    2010-11-16 17:26:54View | Delete

    “the TSA doesn’t provide security. It provides security theater”

    The TSA has announced that every major airport in the nation now has a body scanner. Most only one. Which means they will have to further concentrate screening to that one location.

    Which means terrorists will no longer have to be extremely clever to get explosives on planes. They can just strap a hundred pounds of dynamite under their clothes and put another 100 pounds in their carry-on luggage, and detonate it in the middle of the crowd waiting to get through TSA screening. Unless they start screening people in order to get into screening queues, people are no safer due to TSA screening. But at least the planes are.

    Yep, it isn’t really good security, but it is incredible theater. Just think about it, Americans have been convinced that their safety depends on letting a stranger view their naked bodies and having their genitals fondled. And the whole time their actual safety is being compromised. It’s like a multi-billion dollar performance art installation.

  • Social Security is doing just fine.

    In fact Social Security is just about the ONLY government program that is well funded for as far as we can forecast. It has a huge surplus of well over 2.5 trillion dollars that will continue to grow to well over 4 trillion dollars before it begins to decline. Sometime between 20 and 30 years from now that trust fund will run out, and SS will have to run on its current revenues – just like it did for its first half century of existence. That is not ‘broken’, that is what it was always intended to do. Once the trust fund is gone, we can continue to fund benefits at 80% of current levels basically forever. Not bad, do absolutely nothing at all and SS doesn’t have to cut a penny, increase the retirement age or reduce any benefits for at least 20 years, and after that can go forever with just a 20% cut. So why do they want to reduce benefits by more than that now?

    I have a better idea. Let’s enhance Social Security so that it lowers unemployment, stimulates the economy, and restores confidence.

    * Reduce unemployment by lowering the voluntary retirement age to 60 instead of raising it to 69. Life expectancy is mainly increasing because fewer people are dying young – but people reaching the end of their working years are not actually living significantly longer – and a lifetime of work, especially low wage physical labor, is not easier on today’s sexagenarians. 69 might be a good retirement age for a banker, but not for skilled iron-workers, or auto workers, or even janitors. Let them retire earlier and open up those jobs.

    * Turn FICA into a true flat tax, rather than the regressive tax it is now. Currently FICA taxes are 12.4% of the first $106,800 in earned wages (split between worker and employer), and absolutely nothing on any income above that – and FICA taxes are not collected on unearned income such as dividends and capital gains. Let’s make it a true flat tax, Collect it on all income – no exceptions. We could then easily pay for lowering the voluntary retirement age, and never have to reduce benefits, and at the same time we could probably cut the FICA tax rate to half of its current level.

    Reduce unemployment, substantially reduce FICA taxes for most taxpayers, preserve benefits and create confidence in today’s workers that Social Security will be there for their retirement. Damn that sounds downright conservative!