Friday, November 19, 2010

Around the Nation in eighty ways......

“Around the Nation: The Real Unemployment Rate….If you think unemployment is hovering at 9.5 percent, think again. According to a CBS "60 Minutes" report, factoring in underemployed workers -- those working but at less than their full capacity -- causes the actual rate to jump to 17 percent nationwide. It's 22 percent in California, the nation's largest state. CBS Reporter Scott Pelley interviewed one fiber-optics engineering manager who searched for work for over a year before finally finding a job -- working part-time at Target. This situation is not uncommon. Pelley notes that fully 20 percent of the unemployed hold college degrees, and many hold advanced degrees. Additionally, one-third of those unemployed have been without work for more than a year -- the greatest percentage since the Great Depression.”

That's just the start, though. Say good-bye to mortgage-interest deductions, among many other tax write-offs that have been taken for granted for the last half-century. They will say, "Oh no, we're not raising your taxes -- we're just getting rid of all those write-offs." Also say good-bye to national security . Likely topping the commission's list will be a host of major cuts to defense spending. After all, it's not like America's at war or anything. And, if you are a retired Veteran on Social Security , Medicare, maybe food stamps, Winter heating aid, well, just spread your legs and slowly bend over my friends. Uncle Sam has a big stiff one and its pointed right at you. Dry, or lubed, you’re getting the full nine yards. This may be “busy season” for old Dr. Kevorkian, if he can afford the drugs. But, look at the bright side. China owns 1/3 of our Nation; we’re actually in a Depression; we’re looking more and more like a third-world country; we have no manufacturing base; our agricultural base is owned lock, stock, and barrel by the “super rich”. We don’t have an Energy Policy; hell, we don’t have any Energy. We’ve got two wars ongoing that we can’t pay for, and our Government is about to start printing money to stir the Economy. What could possibly go wrong?  

Redefinition/Resizing of the Dept. of Education


This is from the New York State master organizational chart which seems to be fairly straight forward in its intent. Of course, by down-sizing the Federal Dept., the State will bear a higher financial responsibility. This is offset by tax dollars that won't be needed in Washington, DC, and can stay in the individual States for the administration of the educational process. This also redefines the nature and scope of "education". By necessity, this narrows what we have become accustom to, and shifts some current responsibilities to other, more appropriate government departments (which also will be restructured to reflect our ability to pay for them). The Federal Department will have statutory and enforcement responsibilities. They will be, as will each State, required to have both internal and external audit mechanisms in place, and these audits will be enforceable. There will be leeway for the individual States to tailor their programs as they deem fit using the Federal "template"; bringing most of the decision making down to a more local level.

Other Federal Departments and Agencies can be cast in a similar light, thus vastly reducing the obscene size of our Federal bureaucracy, and removing most of the redundancy that weighs them down. If anyone is at all serious about creating an efficient National Government, you can't flap your gums ad nauseum. Somebody, anybody, has to grab this concept by the short hairs and simply get it done. No more studies; no more hearings, no more focus groups, let's get off our fat keisters and do what needs to be done.

This will shrink the department personnel by 75%, and require 20% of the current budget. It de-centralizes the education process by allowing the Federal Government structural, curricular, Professional, Cultural, certification, and competency management and oversight. There will be standard Mandates to ensure consistency and adherence nationwide to be used as templates for the individual State Dept.'s of Education.