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Monthly Archives: December 2011

As the Magnificent Seven; and I use the term loosely, gear up for the campaign kickoff in the Hawkeye State, one very interesting widget was passed my way by the media.  The fact that Texas Governor Rick Perry, Republican presidential hopeful is suggesting a Part-Time Congress.  Suggesting five-hundred-thirty-five part time employees occupying the floors of the Senate and House of Representatives in Washington, DC doing their job at only part-time wages, working no more than twenty hours a week, and no full-time employee benefits, would save billions of dollars to either pay down the debt or reinvest in Social Security and other programs.  Well, one can read the Constitution, the Federalist Papers, or any ninth grade Civics textbook and learn this is not constitutionally possible.  However, another form of reduction need be investigated.

Our Founding Fathers actually wanted only one house of congress, but southern colonies wanted a population-based legislature so they could count their slaves (who could not vote) into the population and the north wanted all states to have equal representatives.  The compromise was to take one of each.  The notion of the bicameral legislature has been long hard-coded into the Constitution but we do know that one house, the House of Representatives, was designed to have a variable number of representatives we call congressmen.  Does it really have to be four-hundred-thirty-five?

After World War II, British prime minister Winston Churchill coined the term rotten borough where towns that had been reduced to practically ghost towns were themselves entire districts in their House of Commons.  With the post World War II baby boom behind us and smaller generations of Americans coming to be, it may be time for the Federal Government to consider a global reapportionment algorithm whose actions not only include redistricting, but reduction as well.  The possibility that a House of Representatives of three-hundred-ninety-five may be more than adequate representative for Generations X, Y, and further into the future will be more than adequate representation.  In the high-tech social media era, citizens can send emails, texts, and more to a congressman not bogged down by an unmanageable peerage and do what he or she was elected to do in the first place, serve the people who elected him or her.

The recession of the early 1990s was followed by a recovery that included corporations streamlining with a smaller workforce with more duties delegated to each employee.  Further streamlining will take place in this great recession.  It is time they considered the same in Washington.  There is nothing written in the constitution that sets the number of representatives in the house as an absolute number and it is time to go this route.

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As we await with baited breath, the way too early January 3rd Iowa Caucus, us Nutmeg-Staters can only hope the folks in Iowa, New Hampshire, and thirty-five other states and the District of Columbia choose wisely.  How many choices will I have as a Republican by April 24th?

Many have asked me which candidate I like best and would endorse on The 7 Train.  To do this would be an exercise in futility because there may only be one name on the ballot by then.  Some candidates fall too far behind and with not enough available delegates to make a difference, some run out of money to continue their campaign, some both.  This is why is made my case that the system be changed for a nationwide primary with all fifty states and DC voting on the same day with all choices intact. 

It is unlikely Michelle Bachmann or Rick Santorum or Jon Huntsman will make the final cut.  If there are choices at all, it will most likely be Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, and Ron Paul.  Rick Perry would be on life support, but he has the money to stay in it if he wants to.  This is in no way to insinuate Bachmann, Santorum, and Huntsman are better choices than Romney, Gingrich, and Paul, I was just hoping it would not be a Hobson’s choice by the time it gets to Connecticut.  You see, Connecticut, in spite of its wealth on Fairfield County and in those affluent coastal communities, Connecticut has been primarily a blue state in past presidential elections—Obama won in the third smallest state in the union back in aught-eight.  This means a more objective Republican comes from the New England area.  With the Evangelical Right and other such institutions not being a large part of Connecticut lifestyle, a Nutmeg Republican is most likely to make a choice based solely on rational discourse.  This is not intended to offend any Evangelical or charismatic Christian in any way, it is simply a point of fact that no thinking man or woman can avoid their sphere of influence, nor should most of them.  Nutmeg Republicans like me can make an excellent choice if we have a choice, the problem is by April 24th, and we may not.

The presidential primary system has changed the way our two major parties nominate candidates for the nation’s highest office forever.  Instead of an elite group of power brokers recruiting delegates for the parties’ respective conventions, the delegation is distributed by the voters of the respective parties in primary elections.  This was intended to achieve equality.  Did it?

The primary season opens with the Iowa caucus, followed by the New Hampshire primary, a few more before and after Super Tuesday, and by them it becomes as sportscaster Tim McCarver says, eye wash.  This year the season opens with the Iowa caucus taking place on January 3rd, the earliest in history.  My home state of Connecticut votes on Super Tuesday.  Currently, there are seven candidates vying for the Republican nomination, but no guarantee my fellow Nutmeg Staters and I will have a choice of seven as a few may run out of money or for other reasons, drop out of the race.  I don’t see equity here.

It is high time for America to take it to the next step and establish a Nationwide Primary where all fifty states vote on the same day with all candidates remaining in the race, giving the voters registered in the party a real choice.  No need for complex delegation distribution formulas, the candidate with the most votes is the nominee.  This way the one with the most money does not have a major advantage and it should be held at a good middle ground date; not too early so that the people can fully evaluate all the candidates and any serious ethics violations will be nipped in the bud on time, and not so late that anyone runs out of money and has to ax his or her campaign.

Let’s give America a real choice!

The deficit clock currently lists the federal deficit as $14 Trillion and change.  Many factors contribute to this number, but this number, as in the cost of everything else, is measured relative to the value of the American dollar of which this number is reported.

A dollar bill is not worth a full dollar, resulting from devaluation; although there are many factors contributing to devaluation, the biggest factor is how many Federal Reserve notes get printed.

The last time a dollar was worth a dollar was 1952.  Rock and roll was in the embryonic state, the Dodgers were still in Brooklyn, and had not yet won their first world championship, the Trade Towers in New York that were the casualties of 9-11 were not built yet, and telephones did not have push buttons, let alone be hand-held and cellular.  The dollar progressively devaluated, was worth about sixty-four cents in 1973, and today is worth just over eleven cents.  It was during the ten year period between 1953 and 1962 that more and more of our currency was shifted from precious metals (gold and silver) to Federal Reserve notes, which are backed only by good faith, which is running thin in Washington these days.   In 1962, President John Kennedy took us off the [silver] standard and made our currency one-hundred percent Federal Reserve notes. Meanwhile, gold is trading at about $1,700 per ounce.  It is time we took a good look at our past when the dollar bill was the size of the original Hollerith computer punch card and instead of the words Federal Reserve Note was labeled Gold Certificate.

When currency is backed by a precious metal like gold, no government agency (such as the Federal Reserve) can print more [certificates/dollars] than what of this metal exists on our soil.  I fully understand in America today we cannot have a currency that restricted, so I am not suggesting abolishing the Federal Reserve.  Besides if we print currency depleting all of America’s gold reserves, we have no margin for error and we are now a world economy.  What I am suggesting is that we hybridize our currency as it was in 1952; I would say sixty percent Federal Reserve Notes and forty percent gold certificates; and if inflation requires more currency in circulation, the sixty-forty relationship must be maintained by the Federal Reserve.

This action will supercharge the American dollar and make it worth on or close to a full dollar once again.  If it as much as revaluates the value by sixty percent, the $14 Trillion dollar deficit, relative to the new revaluated dollar, will [only] be $8.4 Trillion.  Still a huge number, but a reduction without Americans sacrificing vital services like Social Security or facing tax increases that they cannot afford.  Now we can look into sensible spending cuts without touching the third rail of politics.