I just watched the inauguration. And Donald Trump said that we ( as we the people) will not be ignored. Funny, too because I do not think congress actually listens to any of us. Sorry but Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell do not represent any of my thoughts. And they are leaders in congress. I shut off CNN as the prayers started.
But there are three things that can be worked on this country to make America Great-er. Because I believe America is already great. Even with the our shitty history and current state of affairs. Maybe I am idealist and maybe I believe too much in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.
How to Make America Great-er:
First remember the words Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence, "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." These should be our guiding principles.
Universal Health Care
Life. For some of us the ACA is not affordable. The deductibles and premiums are too high. And if we don't have health insurance, we lose some of our refund. Here is a fix and it is universal health care. I know it sounds SCARY, LIBERAL and SOCIALIST. When it comes to government, the GOP like to claim they are fiscally responsible. If that is so then why does America spend more on healthcare then other nations with universal health care?
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Developement say, "the overall level of health spending in the United States is so high that public spending on health per capita is still greater than in all other OECD nations..."
Our current system is wasting money. So much for fiscally responsible.
Who will pay for it?
Obviously, it is not free. ALL WORKERS pay Medicare tax. It doesn't matter how much you make. You are 16 and work part time, you are paying Medicare. You are a making six figures, you are paying medicare. Even self-employed people pay Medicare.
Currently, your share of Medicare tax is a set rate of 1.45% of income. Your employer pays 1.45%
How much is insurance taking your out of your paycheck?
Let's raise the Medicare tax to 5% for both worker and employer. These numbers are an example only but I hope to illustrate a point.
At 10.50 an hour/ 40 hours a week you make $420 gross before taxes. 5% is $21. $84 for a month and $972 a year you would pay into Medicare. That is you alone.
At $30 an hour/ 40 hours a week you make $1200 gross before taxes. 5% is $60. $240 for a month and $2,880 a year you would pay into Medicare.
Again how much are your premiums?
I know someone who pays $9000 a year for employer offered insurance for a family. His employer chips in additional $6000 a year for the insurance.
With universal healthcare, YOU would be saving money and business will be saving money.
And think about it, you could go to the doctor without worrying about not paying the bills. You could get treatment for cancer without begging your family, friends, and strangers for money to pay for it. You could get the script you want to help you quit smoking. Or get that fungus looked at and finally wear sandals again.
It's not scary, it is our right to life.
Fixing the K-12 Public Education System
There are some public schools which are awesome and there are some that are not. I know everyone is bitching about college costs. I know I feel it too, I am a college student and with an impending graduation, I will have more college debt than my house is worth. And I am going to pay on them because I signed a paper saying I will. Plus, in addition to my creative writing degree, I am taking communication classes so I can put my degree to use.
When I was younger, I moved around a lot because my Dad had a job that was only available at certain businesses. Before the first move, I was in the same school district in PA from Kindergarten to a fourth of fifth grade. I moved from one district in PA to another in fifth grade and other then the people everything was pretty much the same.
Then I moved from PA to Delaware after fifth grade. In sixth grade, I went to an inner city school because my district participated in busing. In 1991, it was safe there were no shootings or anything but they literally had nothing except for one overhead projector and maybe a tv. The standards were much lower. In seventh and eighth grade I went back to the suburbs and the standards weren't any better. School was simple, in fact I did't have to do much to get an "A."
In 1993, we moved from Delaware to New Hampshire. And suddenly the standards were much higher. I actually had to work and do a lot of work. While at Merrimack, I took a lot advanced classes which brings us to 1997.
In 1997, we moved from New Hampshire back to Pennsylvania. After my new high school figured out what to do with my transcript, I learned I had enough "credits" to graduate but I had to go to school because I need certain amount of classes. Quakertown was a hell of a lot easier. Not as much as Delaware but easier than NH.
I have no idea how to fix it. Here is what I believe the goal should be all schools should offer the standards. One student should not be behind in a district because he or she moves from a poor performing district. We need to look at what makes the good schools good and then each district needs to make policy that help achieve that goal. Kids in the inner city have to deal with violence and poor buildings. And this is different from kids who go to poor rural schools. There is not a one stop fix. There has to be one goal, to provide good education in good, safe schools. We need to listen to people who come different schools and have experience in education and try out new ways to help the bad schools.
I know what I experienced while I was in school but I am not an expert on anything.
Take Religion out of Politics
Liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Here is a big one, taking God out of Politics. We have the freedom of religion (you know in the First Amendment right before the Second Amendment). That means we also have the freedom of no religion,
How can a government rule if it caters to religion or even one denomination of Christianity or Islam or whatever.
People who are against same sex marriage say it is against God. Who are you to say?
Why is there this push for more religion. "No birth control- against my religion" but aren't you imposing your religion on someone else? Maybe that person is a Satanist, atheist, Pastafarian what ever.
If God is real, than he will take of the judgement. That is not your duty.
The good lot of us follow laws because they are moral laws based on our society deems as right and wrong. We don't need a God or Gods telling us otherwise. Because it seems like religion is filled with contradictory statements.
For the government to be fair and impartial then it must govern without religion but what is right or wrong. And if congress would listen to us (and there are some that do) then we wouldn't be ignored.
Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I believe in this, I always have believed in this.