Politics & Cookies

By the time this blog posts, I may or may not have voted yet. But I certainly will vote. I’m not telling you this in hopes of receiving encouragement, that you’ll pat
me on the back, or that you’ll reward me with a cookie. Unless, of course, you have
cookies, and my voter status increases the likelihood that you’ll share them with
me. Sue me, I like cookies. Whatever it takes to grease the wheel, man.

I finally decided last week for whom I’ll cast my vote. It wasn’t an easy decision.
I frankly do not like either major candidate. I strongly considered voting for a
third-party candidate at one point before reconsidering. But I did decide between
President Obama and Governor Romney.

I won’t discuss for whom I’m voting. This is a new personal rule I’m abiding by,
because political discussions are always incredibly pleasant and fun. Maybe we
should make an additional rule: Whenever politics are discussed between friends,
there must be cookies available. In this case, the political arguments would be
tempered by people’s attempts at jockeying for who’s going to hog the milk.

Clearly, I’m craving cookies & milk. And losing my focus.

So, I’m not saying who I’m voting for today. But rest assured, I’ll be holding my
nose as I do it.

However, I’d like to take my participation in our wonderful representative republic
a step further, and make some recommendations to our soon-to-be President
Elect/returning President.

Focus Your Efforts on Job Creation

The most important topic you could be discussing is campaign finance reform. But
since neither of you are bold enough to fall on the sword of the political virtue
that each of you claims, I’ll settle for the second most important thing: American
jobs.

The national unemployment rate continues to hover close to 8%. Millions of Americans
don’t require this reminder, because it’s the reality they deal with every day.
However, those who are gainfully employed still wonder when one of you will present
a legitimate plan for job creation in the U.S.

Additionally, each of you has discussed changes to the U.S. tax code, ad nauseam.
While this is indeed important, your respective positions are all challenging to
execute. Raise taxes and you’ll place more stress upon the consuming public. Lower
taxes and the resulting decrease exacerbates the government’s difficulty paying its
debts.

So, you’re not creating jobs, you’re complaining about companies leaving the U.S.,
and can’t figure out how to increase tax revenues without fanning the flames of your
constituents’ discord.

I’d like to offer some simple, short-term solutions that can help you with all three
problems.

1. Leave the current personal income taxes rates alone for now.

2. Lower the U.S. corporate tax rate from 35% to 20%.

3. Eliminate all current corporate tax loopholes, and replace them with one: Give
companies a 100-200% tax deduction against all regular wages/salaries that they pay
in a calendar year.

4. Offer a one-year, 100% tax holiday to any company repatriating its operations to
the United States.

Yes, it’s a simple plan that likely requires nuancing. If you’re brain is panicking
with thoughts of having to do math in your head, then allow me to simplify: Give
companies incentive to get their butts back into the U.S., hire American workers,
and let the influx of newly-created incomes help bolster both U.S. tax revenues and
positive retail cash flows.

Take the idea and run with it, please. Nuance it where you must to get it passed
through Congress. I don’t care if I ever get a lick of credit for it.

Stop Speaking Against Gay Marriage

My reasons for this are simple: If we are to be a society of equality and liberty,
then it stands to reason that gays and lesbians should be afforded the same right to
be happy and/or miserable as the rest of us. Legally-married gays will not affect
the quality of your own marriage.

Also, it has nothing to do with job creation.

Stop Talking About Debt Reduction

You’re not “Kicking the can down the road,” you’re dealing with the biggest fire
first: Job creation. Once that fire is dealt with, you can much more effectively
deal with the problem of debt and spending reduction. Also, the resulting tax
revenues generated by job creation will provide you with more favorable numbers to
navigate through debt reduction later.

Stop Talking About Abortion and Contraception

I could simply state that it’s not the federal government’s business to occupy
anyone’s bedroom, but since this topic hits home for me, I’ll elaborate.

I am an adopted child. I was born in the summer of 1972, shortly before Roe V. Wade
made abortions legal in most of the United States. I am very cognizant of the fact
that my birth “got in under the wire,” and am quite thankful of that. Furthermore, I
find the concept of abortion utterly repulsive.

However, my good fortune to have been born does not give me the right to impose my
negative opinion of abortion upon a woman. I particularly wouldn’t dream of imposing
my will upon a woman who became pregnant as a result of a violation of rape or
incest.

There are married couples all over this country who are unable to have a child of
their own. I’ve heard the cries of both the anti-abortion and pro-choice lobbies for
decades now. But rarely do you hear the promotion of adoption as a viable choice for
these mothers-to-be who cannot care for these children.

There are clinics and counselors in this country who thanklessly, tirelessly, work
to intercede when others who claim to “passionately care” about these issues stand
pat. To those who side “anti-abortion,” I’ll say this: You’ll never eliminate
abortion via legislation. You’ll only eliminate abortion by changing hearts and
minds; To accomplish that, you’ll need to inject yourself into the lives of those
affected. Regardless of their decision, your involvement in their lives is what they
really need most.

By the way, do you remember the last time that sweeping behavioral legislation went
into effect in this country? January 1, 1920, when Prohibition was enacted. That
ended well, didn’t it?

One more thing regarding abortion: It has nothing to do with job creation.

Stop Using Popular but Meaningless Political Catch-Phrases, Such As

Class Warfare

This comment is squarely directed at the sitting U.S. President for whom I voted in
2008.

The situation of which you speak is not simply “The Rich vs. The Poor.” I must
reiterate: Unless you’re willing to take the bold (but necessary) step of addressing
campaign finance reform, then all of your talk is meaningless.

“…We’re sitting here arguing about whether we should do the $4 trillion plan that
kicks the can down the road for the President for 2017, or burn the place to the
ground. Both of which [plans] are reckless, irresponsible and stupid…The fact of the
matter is, there is a refusal on both the Democratic and Republican sides of the
aisle to acknowledge the mathematical problem: The United States of America is being
extracted. It’s being extracted through banking, it’s being extracted through trade,
and it’s being extracted through taxation. And there’s not a single politician
that’s stepped forward to deal with this,”

“I would like [President Obama] to go to the people of the United States of America
and say, ‘People of the United States of America, your Congress is bought. Your
Congress is incapable of making legislation on health care, banking, trade or taxes,
because if they do it, they will lose their political funding…But I’m the President
of the United States, and I won’t have a country that is run by a bought Congress.
So, I’m not going to work with a bought Congress…I’m going to abandon the bought
Congress,’ like Teddy Roosevelt did.”

-Dylan Ratigan

You campaigned on “Not The Same Ol’ Politics As Usual” in 2008 and miserably failed
to deliver. Stop fanning the flames of the American public’s anger, and actually do something about it.

Preferably, you could simply focus on job creation. Which brings me to a heavily-GOP-used catch-phrase…

Job Creators

You don’t mean “Job-Creators,” you mean “The 1%.” You mean those people the left constantly bellyaches over, the “Super-Rich,” the people that even the uber-rich Warren Buffet has said need to pay more in personal income taxes.

Those people, your “Job Creators,” have not seen a rise in their personal income tax rate since Barack Obama last campaigned for the Presidency. That being the case, where are the “Jobs” you claim they “Create?”

Actually, I agree. We should lower the taxes of those who create jobs in America: Businesses especially small businesses.

One Final Note

Last week, in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, we witnessed what seems to have become an aberration in modern politics: A politician, doing his job.

A member of one party (Gov. Chris Christie, R-NJ) profusely thanked a president of an opposing party for assistance during a time of his constituents’ duress. Subsequently, some branded Christie a traitor to the Republican Party. Christie’s response, as reported by Reuters, was typically blunt: “Anybody who is upset in the
Republican Party about this, they haven’t been to New Jersey. Come see the destruction, come see the loss.”

By the way, Christie reaffirmed his endorsement of, and intent to vote for, Mitt Romney this week.

If Mitt Romney loses the election today, I hope that Chris Christie will run for President in 2016. Not because he’s a Republican or a Democrat. Not because he’s conservative, moderate or liberal. Not because he’s “center-right,” “right-of-center,” or however you feel the need to describe his politics. I don’t give a damn about his party affiliation.

For once in my life, I just want the opportunity to vote for a candidate who grasps the concept of doing their job.

I’m not going to hold my breath.

Mike Gagliano is an amateur writer; Mike is employed as Production/Creative Services
Director for Greater Media’s WRIF-FM in Detroit, MI. The views expressed here are
solely those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of the staff,
management, ownership or sponsors of WRIF Radio or its parent company, Greater
Media, Inc.

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