Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Sick of Politics As Usual? Write In Mike Sick for Congress - 50th District

This election season appears to be even more inane than in the past. Here in California we see hundreds of millions of dollars being spent to advertise what a lousy candidate the opponent is. You have to look long and hard to find out what the candidates are actually for as politicians are notorious for not saying anything so specific that a voter may actually disagree with them. With unemployment being reported at levels around 10%, every candidate is “for jobs”. Ask what the plan is and they don’t really have too much to say.

The way I see it, the candidates are playing politics as usual and just appear to be rearranging the desk chairs rather than advancing real solutions. Every election we hear about the changes the politicians will seeking but what we get are tinkering and tweaking that seem to create employment for lawyers and tax accountants but significant progress rarely seems to occur.

As a sign of my disgust, I have decided to mount a write in campaign for myself. Please join me by writing in Mike Sick for the 50th District of Congress if you live in North County San Diego. In the incumbent Brian Bilbray’s recent mailers, about 98% of the space was spent tearing down challenger Francine Busby.

You’re welcome to write my name in for governor anywhere else if you want to make a statement calling for government to make real changes and for politicians to offer solutions.

Here are some of my views that can offer real solutions. You may not agree with all of them but I’m sure that you don’t agree with 100% of the views of a particular party so let’s encourage a discussion of dramatic changes that will address problems rather than the symptoms.

1) Individual Freedom – I am proud to live in a country that was founded on the vision of protecting the rights of citizens to “Life, liberty and pursuit of happiness”. Let’s quit trying to legislate our personal beliefs to everyone else. Our laws should protect the citizens from infringement of the rights by others.

2) Unemployment – Up to 99 weeks have been available for folks who have become unemployed. Some could say that there are people taking advantage of those benefits. We should require days of community service from people receiving unemployment - beach clean ups, volunteer organizations, community service. Think of the resource that could be unleashed. We should also encourage hiring corporations to plan volunteer days in which they could invite unemployed persons to volunteer side by side with them which leverages the impact of the project and creates relationships with potential employers.

3) Mentoring and coaching for at risk youth - keep them from getting pregnant and out of jail. Could the unemployed be trained and tasked to provide leadership to younger people? There aren’t enough jobs for the unemployed to be spending 5 days a week applying for them. There’s a lot of waiting time in most job searches. Let’s use some of that time more productively.

4) Jobs for Veterans: Create job prerequisites that give employment preference to veterans for jobs with the post office, police, fire, Border Patrol, DMV and other public sector jobs. Public sector jobs should be a privilege to folks who have served the country – not patronage spoils to be divided up.

5) Disaster Preparedness – News reports from Katrina and Haiti reinforce the inadequacy of government in dealing with massive disasters. I would feel a whole lot better for my family and neighbors if we could work towards achieving emergency preparedness for 30% regional self sufficiency of energy, water and food from local sources. In San Diego, most of our food, energy and water come from outside of the country. Government can be the catalyst to accelerating development of solar, wind, biomass, local farms, water recycling etc.

6) Police Protection: Increase gas taxes with additional funds earmarked for police. By creating new sources of funding for police coverage, a greater share of property taxes can be dedicated to education and fire departments as property taxes will provide a more reliable source of revenue than fluctuating federal and state support. The highway fund should also be reserved for transportation and security – no raiding for the general fund.

7) Pension Reform: Create a pension program that balances the public burden of pension obligations with incentives for older citizens to work part time longer and defer collecting social security or other public pension obligations. This could come in the form of exempting retirement age individuals and their employers from social security contributions in return for deferring the start of social security and other payments for reduced work week "semi retirement" schedules. Pension equity should also be developed with more harmonization between the public and private sectors.

8) Wellness program – Our health care system to dysfunctional and repealing the Obama Care plan won’t really solve the health care problem but rather reduce health care to citizens who can’t afford health insurance. As a nation, we’re also creating future health care costs by a society that is becoming increasing more obese and less fit. Let’s create stakeholder groups that are vested in promoting wellness and reducing burdens on the health care expenses - health clubs, personal trainers and other can be paid with a preventive health assessment voucher that would get citizens eating right and exercising so that obesity and other future health costs can be mitigated.

9) Prohibition of Marijuana: Prohibition of alcohol was a complete disaster. We should learn from history and legalize and grow marijuana on military bases to generate a source of revenue for wounded warrior care and military pensions - take the profit away from the drug lords and reduce costs of border protection of prisons.

10) Congress should embrace technology and enable transparent voting from their districts limiting the time they spend in Washington.

11) Immigration: Create a Mexican guest worker program that enables daily border crossing for authorized workers who can be bused back to Mexico each night to be with their families who can receive health care and education in Mexico. Spending billions on a border fence seemed like a silly idea from the get go.

12) Jobs and Retirement: Create an age adjusted tax exemption on dividends so that a retiree may receive $20,000 in dividend income that they corporation has already paid taxes on to encourage retirement income that is focused on creating private sector employment rather than public sector tax transfers.

13) 2% plan. All public sector wages would increase 2% per year. Social security would increase 2% per year. Eliminate the annual dance and cost of negotiations. We might have to freeze increases for a year or two to get spending in line.

I trust just about everyone will find something in the preceding that they will disagree with but the point is that government must focus more on solutions and less on political advantage. If you are sick of politics as usual, write in Mike Sick for Congress, 50th District.