Few legitimate news topics are so divisive as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy. Left-wing radicals (ie most Democrats) champion this UNCONSTITUTIONAL Executive Order by former President Barack Obama - yes, even Obama himself has openly acknowledged on multiple occasions that his actions were an unconstitutional over-reach of executive authority - while decrying its long-overdue repeal as 'cruel' and 'racially motivated'. Conservatives, meanwhile, rightly throw the entire mess back in Democrats' faces for having created the entire mess in the first place - a SNAFU which exists only because brainwashed leftists believe that they can arbitrarily decide which laws to enforce and which laws they can freely ignore.
Which, of course, is one of the hallmarks of the actual Fascism which leftists purport to oppose.
So here we are with close to a million younger illegal aliens (read: criminal trespassers) who can rightly be held accountable for not having done the proper thing and leave the United States upon adulthood yet can't justifiably be held accountable for illegally entering the country in the first place. What's more is that the program name itself - DEFERRED ACTION - never rightly promised anything more than kicking the can down the road.
One phrase my grandfather rather enjoyed beating me over the head with was: "You can squawk about 'How did we get here?' until you're blue in the face, but nothing will change until you ask 'Where do we go from here?'"
An exceedingly deep question, though I feel that the solution is even more exceedingly simple.
The nominal course for obtaining Citizenship in the United States involves:
- Five (5) years as a Documented Resident Alien in the United States
- Five (5) years Continuous Residency within the United States
- Demonstrate Good Moral Character (no crimes, drug use, etc)
- Demonstrate proficiency in English Language and US Civics
- Oath of Allegiance to the United States' Constitution
Eligibility for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals requires:
- Ten (10) years as a Documented Childhood Arrival in the US
- Ten (10) years Continuous Residency within the United States
- Demonstrate Good Moral Character (no crimes, drug use, etc)
- Demonstrate Personal Capability (military service, diploma/GED or current enrollment, etc)
By all rights, most "Dreamers" have completely satisfied the first three requirements and are most probably capable of the fourth - this leaves only their actually offering their formal Oath of Allegiance to the United States' Constitution.
Considering that President Trump included a six month moratorium as part of repealing DACA, there really isn't much of anything which need be done. Spend this time creating additional (temporary) field offices to schedule testing in English & Civics and subsequent Oath of Allegiance ceremonies.
Anyone who is currently in DACA but doesn't qualify for Naturalization due to Residency (ie left the country, hasn't been in the US long enough, etc) should be folded into the usual Permanent Resident Program until their five (5) year Residency requirement is satisfied - at which point, they take their English and Civics tests as normal, followed by the Oath of Allegiance.
Those currently in DACA but fail to qualify for Naturalization due to any other reason have six months to remedy the situation. Any who are not at least scheduled for their testing and/or oath by the end of this six month period lose their Permanent Resident status and become eligible for deportation.
Not a perfect solution, obviously, but no proper solution ever is. Within the guidelines of the US Constitution and Federal Immigration Law, this is the best outcome available in an effort to fulfill one of the unlawful promises made through abusive overreach of Executive Authority by former President Barack Obama.
VINCIT OMNIA VERITAS ~ TRUTH CONQUERS ALL
Allow me to begin by openly stating that I wholly despise Socialism, Fascism, Communism, and all ideologies of similar ilk - that being said, one of the reasons I so ardently defend the First Amendment is because no idea is wholly devoid of merit. A prominent topic along these lines is a general approach towards fundamental health care within the United States.
The fiasco surrounding the 'Affordable Care Act' (colloquially known as 'ObamaCare') is nothing short of a total disaster. Despite the protestations of brainwashed leftists, 'insurance coverage' ≠ being able to receive health care - those $5,000 to $15,000 deductibles means that you're forced to spend that amount on medical services before your 'coverage' pays one red cent towards them. A scant 5% of the population accounts for over 50% of health care expenditures, so meaning that THESE people actually benefit from ObamaCare but the overwhelming majority receive no benefit whatsoever from this 'legalized' extortion racket. More than eight million people voluntarily paid the tax penalty and a significant portion of Americans (estimates range from 28% to 53%) pay neither federal income tax nor ObamaTax.
Some young idealists point to other nations in regards to socialized health care (as I said before, no idea is wholly devoid of merit) yet they eagerly buy into half-truths or otherwise fail to see The Big Picture™. These idealists will laud the system used in Norway without considering that all residents are forced to pay exorbitant taxes (in the vicinity of 70% of their total earnings) to fund this 'free health care'. Countries like Greece and Venezuela are facing economic collapse and even open rioting in the streets because their GDP is so low that even the whole of their citizens' incomes aren't sufficient to meet the expenses of socialized medical services.
So what is one to do?
There's much to be said for old bromides - they exist because they are simple wisdoms which ring with truths. Among the greatest of these is the adage "an ounce of preventions is worth a pound of cure" which, as applied to health care, means that it is far more cost-effective to provide basic health maintenance that to let health issues fester to the point of requiring considerable intervention. We also have the precedent of public education: where even the most rudimentary of education was once the sole pervue of those who could somehow afford it, we now take a high school education (and some community colleges) for granted.
This touches on the concept of Enlightened Self-Interest; how doing things to your own benefit can confer similar benefits to others. The classic example of this is two children sharing a cake - the first child decides how to cut the cake in two but the second child gets to choose which piece they want, so meaning that a greedy first child MUST cut the cake fairly and evenly in order to ensure that they wind up with as much of the cake as possible.
These concepts combine to arrive at a simple, straightforward course for how to address the issue of public health care. Of course, the real trick comes down to implementation.
Part I: Funding
The first step in implementing this plan involves abolishing the Infernal Revenue Service and federal income tax with a nationwide 20% sales tax. I will elaborate in another post (and link here accordingly) but key highlights include:
- Sales tax is already monitored and collected automatically, requiring only a single additional ledger column
- A portion of collected funds are pooled at a municipal and regional level to fund local services
- Essential goods (groceries, medicines, hygiene needs, etc) are wholly exempt from such taxation
- Prorated over five years on all motor vehicles (20% on current year model, 0% if five years or older)
- Prorated over ten years on primary residential properties (20% on new homes, less 2% per year of age)
Most sources place federal expenditures on health care at roughly 46% of revenues. The change in how government taxes are collected (in addition to the following surcharge) makes it difficult to properly assess how much of these revenues should be appropriated towards funding health care, but I would recommend an initial apportion of roughly 30%. Not only would the flat tax (as outlined above) result in slightly greater revenues but also reduce expenditures by eliminating the bloated bureaucracy of the IRS.
This funding would be supplemented by an additional federal surcharge (pooled at municipal, regional, and national levels accordingly) of 10% which would be levied against products known to pose contributory health risks - tobacco products, alcohol, etc. This would also be levied against many restaurant items (particularly fast food), adjusted to reflect their relative health impacts and the amounts to be wholly included within promoted / menu prices.
(And I say this as a smoker who regularly patronizes fast food establishments and occasionally purchases alcohol.)
Part II: Services
The primary focus of this approach is on health maintenance and preventative care. Key features include (but are not limited to):
- Recommended screenings and examinations (breast/prostate exams, cancer screenings, physicals, etc)
- Primary care for common outpatient visits (cold & flu, lesser injuries, etc)
- Common pharmaceuticals provided to patients at no cost (when properly prescribed)
- Providing both male and female fertility resources (condoms, birth control pills, etc)
(While that last may raise some eyebrows, consider the near-negligible costs of these options compared to those associated with alternatives ranging from problematic pregnancies to full-on abortion. I wholly despise abortion and feel that the best solution is to help avoid the pregnancy in the first place.)
This is not to exclude emergency services and/or care for more serious medical conditions, put to emphasize care and screenings in an effort to prevent and avoid minor maladies escalating into more chronic ailments - the precise opposite of how medical care in the United States is so often practiced.
Included in this approach is an extensive revamping of Medicare, Medicaid, and other such federally-funded medical assistance programs. By more fully integrating these programs with an eye towards health maintenance and preventative care, health care providers can benefit from volume discounting - thus minimizing their own expenditures while simultaneously increasing both the quantity and quality of services provided.
The only thing the majority of patients are expected to provide is a valid Social Security number.
Part III: Lifelong Care and Pre Existing Conditions
The primary caveat to this approach towards health maintenance and preventative care is that it emphasizes care for the 95% who are generally healthy as opposed to the 5% who demand the majority of health care expenditures. While I don't have a bulletproof plan in this regard, I do have some key recommendations:
- Chronic pre-existing medical conditions will require the explicit purchase of supplemental medical coverage.
- Providers and purchasers will benefit from a free and open marketplace to optimize consumer value.
- All such patients will receive income-based subsidies to assist with associated premiums and deductibles.
This portion accomplishes the key aspect which the ACA was meant to address in as practical a means as possible. To paraphrase the typical "99%" rhetoric, those who are receiving the most benefit from federally-funded health care should be paying the most for it - tempered, of course, by their relative capability of paying for it. As with the "vice tax" outlined in Part I, those whose lifestyles are prone to result in additional medical expenses (smokers, drinkers, poor eating habits, etc) are also paying more into the collective funds.
The above is, of course, a rudimentary outline. A formal bill / proposal would require more research and access to more information that I am capable of on my own (in addition to greater fluency in legalese), but this should at least provide a modest template and a general heading in regards for how to reform health care in the United States.
VINCIT OMNIA VERITAS ~ TRUTH CONQUERS ALL
In the wake of Hillary Clinton's historic loss - including weeks of rioting, recount efforts which hilariously backfire, blaming everything under the sun (except Hillary herself), and even sending death threats to Electors (with even more backfiring hilarity) - liberals continue their infantile blame-game frenzy by flooding social media with calls to abolish the Electoral College. Of course, everyone else knows that they would be rallying to defend the Electoral College if it had defied the popular vote to install their beloved demagogue - same as they demanded that everyone "respect the outcome of the election" (then proceeded to throw all manner of temper-tantrums because it wasn't the outcome they wanted).
But here's 'the big secret' that liberals are afraid to mention amidst their ranting against the Electoral College:
Preservation of State Sovereignty
Few people know much about the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union which was ratified way back in 1776. (Does that year seem familiar?) One of the key issues - similar to the contemporary European Union - was that each of the colonies insisted upon retaining their individual sovereignty. No one today would expect France to surrender its national identity as part of joining the EU, yet the United States works so amazingly well that many today have forgotten (or never learned) that each and every State still retains much of its original sovereignty. (Did you know California, Wyoming, and every other State has its own Constitution?) The reason that the Articles of Confederation failed and was replaced with the Unites States Constitution was that the former had not granted the Federal Government quite enough power.
Anyone who has actually studied the founding of the United States - even as a lay person - clearly understands that the prime directive of the Continental Congress was to guarantee in perpetuity the preservation of States' rights. This tenet is a key reason as to why the United States Constitution remains the shortest of any major government in the world, as well as why it endures as the oldest of any major government in the world! As per the Constitution itself:
ARTICLE IV, SECTION 4. The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government...
AMENDMENT X. The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
Every State shall have equal representation in the Senate...
ARTICLE I, SECTION 3. The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote.
...and proportional representation in the House.
ARTICLE I, SECTION 2. The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, but each State shall have at Least one Representative.
And just to clarify on behalf of those who foolishly try to claim "The Electoral College is rooted in slavery!" allow me to clarify that point:
ARTICLE II, SECTION 1. Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress.
Liberals, read that through again: "a Number of Electors equal to the...Number of Senators and Representatives" in Congress. Not one damned thing about slavery! The sole purpose of the Electoral College is to ensure that each and every State has the same amount of power in the Executive Branch (electing President and Vice-President) as it does in the Legislative Branch (passing laws via House and Senate).
But perhaps you mean to be arguing against the number of Representatives you have in the House? After all, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and Delaware (in addition to Virginia, North and South Carolina, and Georgia) were the ones who pushed to have slaves counted toward their population in order to gain more power in the House of Representatives! Of course, these same States didn't want slaves counted as people for the purpose of taxation. The Three-Fifths Compromise held fast to "no taxation without representation" by counting a portion of slaves towards their States' population in regards to Representatives in the House AND the taxes they would be required to pay.
Of course, California and New York liberals fail to mention (or attempt to deny) that their beloved States entered the US as slave states! Liberals will also conveniently fail to mention that the Fourteenth Amendment explicitly repealed the Three-Fifths Compromise in 1866 - it hasn't been relevant to the House of Representatives (or Electoral College) for 150 years!
The next most common argument touted by liberals concerns the supposed bias between a State's population and its number of Electors - yet another half-truth in sheeple's clothing. Addressing this point in its proper context requires evaluating the number of Representatives it has in the House in proportion to its actual population.
One of the original (and, as yet, unratified) Amendments to the US Constitution was the Congressional Apportionment Amendment. Amidst the formality and legalese of the Amendment itself and the debate surrounding it is a clear and distinct message - that the Founders wanted to preserve the voice of the population yet do so without overwhelming the voices of individual States. As America's population grew, so too would the number of people per Representative (30k, 40k, 50k, etc).
Initially (1789), there were 26 Senators and 65 Representatives - 2.5 Representatives per Senator. Just before the Civil War (1861), 68 Senators and 237 Representatives - 3.5 Representatives per Senator. Roughly a century ago (1911), the population growth was already getting out of hand with 391 Representatives but only 92 Senators - 4.25:1! In order to prevent the total derailment of the Founders' built-in safeguarding of State sovereignty, Congress passed the Apportionment Act of 1911 to forever cap the House at 435 members. (The additions of Alaska & Hawaii temporarily increased the House to 437 members, before dropping back down to 435.)
The precise apportionment of these 435 seats occurs on or before January 25th three years following each decennial census. The above table (from Wikipedia) lists each State's population relative to its number of Representatives and, as is readily apparent, the figures in no way conform to the victim narrative fallacy being perpetrated by liberals. If anything, compare Montana to Rhode Island - nearly identical populations yet Rhode Island has twice as many Representatives as Montana! And California (whose liberal urbanites have created the greatest uproar) is smack dab in the center, alongside bluest Connecticut and reddest Kansas.
It's downright laughable how quickly most liberal assertions disintegrate when exposed to even the most basic scrutiny. While there is indeed some degree of skewing between a State's population and its number of Representatives, the only actual 'bias' is that the bigger States - California, Texas, Florida, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Georgia, etc - are clustered around the median while the less-populous States are skewed towards having the least Representation per population.
Change is the Only Constant
It should also be pointed out the demographic composition and political attitudes of the States are in a constant state of flux - in 1964, all but a few States voted Democrat; in the 1980s, most of the nation voted Republican. As populations migrate, some States gain additional Representatives (and corresponding Electoral Votes) while others lose them. But each and every State (from Alaska to Rhode Island, and from California to Wyoming) will always have its two Senators in addition to its Representatives to ensure that it has its rightful voice within the Legislative Branch of the United States.
And the Electoral College.
VINCIT OMNIA VERITAS ~ TRUTH CONQUERS ALL
Pundits love to laud the 2016 Presidential Election as "unprecedented" - like nothing that has ever come before - when, in reality, it would more properly be viewed as the 'what-if' for the 1824 Presidential Election. Donald Trump shares a great many characteristics with Andrew Jackson, the Hero of the Battle of New Orleans and one of America's greatest Presidents.
Where Jackson was the first native-born child of Irish immigrants, Trump's father was the first native-born child of German immigrants and his mother a Scottish immigrant. Both are fairly tall (Jackson 6'1"; Trump 6'2") with piercing blue eyes and 'unruly' red hair, and both are notorious for their temperament. As was said of Jackson, and is true of Trump:
"Observers likened him to a volcano, and only the most intrepid or recklessly curious cared to see it erupt.... His close associates all had stories of his blood-curling oaths, his summoning of the Almighty to loose His wrath upon some miscreant, typically followed by his own vow to hang the villain or blow him to perdition. Given his record – in duels, brawls, mutiny trials, and summary hearings – listeners had to take his vows seriously."
Like his predecessor nearly two centuries prior, the role of First Lady will not be performed by his wife. In Jackson's case, his wife Rachael died of a heart attack between his election and inauguration; her niece Emily Donelson served in lieu. In Trump's case, his wife Melania has shown a general dislike for the political spotlight; his eldest daughter Ivanka Trump is an ardent activist and is expected to assume many of the duties normally expected of First Ladies.
But perhaps most significant of all is that, in spite of being affluent businessmen with wealthy family connections, they have both been embraced as Champions of the Common Man. Jackson ran as a Democratic-Republican (actually, every 1824 candidate ran as a Democratic-Republican), agreeing with some principles while despising others. He particularly despised Alexander Hamilton's efforts to revoke States' Rights and how his policies caused the national debt to skyrocket! Trump ran as a Republican, similarly agreeing with some partisan issues while despising others. He particularly despises liberals' efforts to revoke States' Rights and how their policies have caused the national debt to skyrocket.
Jackson and Trump both have well-earned reputations as egalitarians. In his era, Jackson was openly mocked for how he 'spoiled' his slaves - their quarters were luxurious compared to most, allowed them to associate freely (rather than forced 'breedings'), and even paid them for their productivity! He openly associated with free blacks, Native Americans, Hispanics, and others whom few would have given the time of day, advancing them on their individual merits rather than the color of their skin. Despite leftist claims to the contrary women in the know consider Trump a champion of gender equality, he garnered near-record support among black voters for a Republican Presidential candidate, and rivaled Reagan in latinos support even in spite of his stances on the southern border and illegal immigration!
Jackson and Trump both have resonated with blue-collar America, becoming the voice of the forgotten man. While liberals praise free trade and open borders from their ivory towers, people living in the real world have become jobless (and some even homeless) through no fault of their own. Liberals preach a gospel of socialist globalization, despite the fact that every socialist nation in history has either already collapsed or is in the process of doing so. Both Jackson and Trump advocate the complete opposite - that every individual has the RIGHT to earn a respectable wage and to reap for themselves the benefits of their own labors.
Of course, the greatest similarity between the 1824 and 2016 Presidential Elections was the collusion of the Democratic Party to install a demagogue to the highest office in the land. Like Hillary Rodham Clinton, John Quincy Adams was a former US Secretary of State who favored high taxes. Like Bernie Sanders, Henry Clay was an old Senator who used his support to bolster his former opponent as part of a last-minute bargain - Clay in favor of Adams in exchange for Secretary of State, though Sanders' deal with Clinton remains unclear.
As with Trump in 2016, Andrew Jackson won the most Electoral Votes while collusion among opponents gave Adams a 5% margin in the overall popular vote. (Most of Clay's 47,531 votes were added to Adams' 113,122 vs Jackson's 151,271 votes.) Similarly, Adams' votes came predominantly from major metropolitan areas while Jackson dominated the map. Impassioned ignorami petitioned, bribed, and even threatened electors and the House to install their demagogue instead of the rightful winner. (Sound familiar?)
The key distinction in this regard was that Trump won an electoral margin sufficient to secure victory in spite of such undemocratic behavior from supposed 'democrats'. In a particularly delicious bit of irony, liberals' protestations that electors "vote their conscience" resulted in nineteen of Hillary's electors refusing to vote for her vs only two Trump electors turning faithless. Fourteen of Hillary's faithless were replaced with electors who cast their votes for her but, excepting the death of a candidate, the remaining five defectors represent the largest turn of faithless electors since Vice-President Richard Johnson in the 1836 Presidential Election!
One other interesting parallel between these two elections:
Back in the Toledo War (1835-1836), the self-entitled elitists of Ohio laid claim to part of Michigan - a narrow strip of land which included the port city of Toledo. Knowing full well that they had no claim to the area, they tried to delegitimize Michigan's claim by branding their opponents "wolverines". While intending an allusion towards the animal's foul stench and abhorrent dietary habits, Michiganians embraced the moniker for its tenacity, viciousness, and fighting prowess. Michigan still prides itself as The Wolverine State and Biff the Wolverine is the University of Michigan's much-beloved mascot.
The Democratic Party itself was so named by Federalists, intending to stigmatize them as purveyors of mob rule (which the Founders wholly despised and sought to avoid at all costs). It was during the campaign leading to the 1824 Election that Jackson's enemies sought to lambast him by branding him a "jackass" and his supporters "hinnies" - alluding to the animals' lack of intelligence and notoriety for spontaneous violence. Running again in 1828, Jackson embraced it as a symbol of the common working class as such animals were ubiquitous as motive power for farms and early industry.
In the wake of Hillary Clinton branding half her opposition a "basket of deplorables", said opposition - whether they supported Trump or not - wholly embraced the moniker. In addition to the media frenzy, it even touched off a merchandising frenzy as people bought out mugs, buttons, t-shirts, and other 'deplorable' merchandise nearly as fast as it could be produced. Of course, Hillary couldn't help but double down by saying she regretted what she said - the part where she said "half".
Yeah... Trying to slander your opposition with vitriolic name-calling has a tendency to backfire - particularly when it comes to Presidential campaigns. Wolverines will tear you a new one, jackasses and hinnies will kick you in the teeth, and deplorables fill their baskets with rue to celebrate your downfall.
I have never made a secret of my disdain for those who have argued in favor of replacing Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill - those who support such nonsense are in serious need of proper education concerning the Hero of the Battle of New Orleans, the most thorough democrat (small-d) to ever serve as President of the United States, and the man who wiped out the National Debt for the one and only time in America's history.
But I do accede the general merit of such initiative - that American currency is dominated by "a bunch of dead white guys". Sad though the recent news is, it does present an opportunity which I feel that is likely to meet with overwhelming support by the American public.
The Gwen Ifill $10 Bill.
I propose her above the common suggestions of Harriet Tubman, Susan B Anthony, Rosa Parks, and the like for a plethora of reasons. Not because she's black - favoring her simply because she's black is every bit as racist as discounting her for the same reason. Not because she's a woman - again, favoring her simply because of her gender is every bit as sexist. These are, of course, considerations in my proposing Gwen Ifill, but are circumstantial to why I believe she is truly worthy of such recognition.
Her parents were immigrants from Barbados, but she always identified first and foremost as an American. Amidst legitimate racism and sexism, she proved her mettle - not due to so-called 'affirmative action' or any such nonsense but in spite of it. No one ever offered her any handouts and I believe she would have rejected them had they been offered. She EARNED every last rung of the ladder she climbed.
She so thoroughly embodies what it is to be an American. That the hateful spite she faced during her youth and career only wielded as much power as she was willing to permit it. That she, or anyone else, was capable of defying the odds and accomplishing her goals. She never fell into the self-defeating trap of thinking that she had to rely upon someone else to remove obstacles or otherwise smooth her path, and she proved that dedication and persistence accomplish so much more than outlandish ideology.
She proved to all and sundry what it is to be an American!