Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Posts Tagged ‘legislation’

Should there be a law… v2.0

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, March 11, 2021

More questions!

In our last installment – “Should there be a law… ” – we asked 14 questions.

This time, we’re asking a few more.

Actually, 3.4285 times more.

And, that’d be 48.

We’re asking 48 questions this time.

So… what do you think?

Should there be a law (or laws) that addresses these matters?


1.) Should cash transactions involving United States real estate be subject to anti-money laundering laws?

2.) Should Congress examine the money laundering and terrorist financing risks in the real estate market, including the role of anonymous parties, and review legislation to address any vulnerabilities?

3.) Should Congress examine the methods by which corruption flourishes and the means to detect and deter the financial misconduct that fuels that driver of global instability?

4.) Should Congress monitor government efforts to enforce United States anti-corruption laws and regulations?

5.) Should United States elections be free of interference from foreign governments, including any contribution, donation, expenditure, independent expenditure, or disbursement for an electioneering communication by a corporation, limited liability corporation, or partnership, and should they file with the Federal Election Commission, under penalty of perjury, a statement that a foreign national did not direct, dictate, control, or directly or indirectly participate in the decision making process relating to such activity?

6.) Should foreign nationals be forbidden from participating in any way in the decisionmaking processes of Corporate PACs and Super PACs?

7.) Shall the Federal Election Commission conduct an audit after each Federal election cycle to determine the incidence of illicit foreign money in such Federal election cycle?

8.) In order to prevent money laundering, and improper spending, should corporations, labor organizations, and certain other entities be required to report campaign-related disbursements aggregating more than $10,000 in an election reporting cycle, and not later than 24 hours after each disclosure date file a report of the same with the Federal Election Commission?

9.) Should that report identify each such legal entity and each such beneficial owner who will use that other entity to exercise control over the entity, and the name and address of each person who made such payment?

10.) Should commercial transactions in the ordinary course of any trade or business conducted by the covered organization be exempted from such reports?

11.) Should the integrity of American democracy and national security be enhanced by improving disclosure requirements for online political advertisements in order to uphold the Supreme Court’s well-established standard that the electorate bears the right to be fully informed?

12.) Should regulations on political advertisements provide sufficient transparency to uphold the public’s right to be fully informed about political advertisements made online?

13.) Should transparency of funding for political advertisements be essential to enforce other campaign finance laws, including the prohibition on campaign spending by foreign nationals?

14.) Should digital or online political advertising clearly state who paid for it?

15.) In order to prevent fraud, deceit, and money-laundering, should platforms that sell political advertising be required to maintain records of transactions?

16.) When political advertising is paid for with a credit card by a citizen of the United States who is living outside the country, should they be required to be identified as a United States citizen to the seller by providing the United States address they use for voter registration purposes?

17.) Should broadcast stations, providers of cable and satellite television, and online platforms be required to make reasonable efforts to ensure that political communications made available by such station, provider, or platform are not purchased by a foreign national, directly or indirectly?

18.) Should pre-recorded telephone and video calls made for political purposes announce the political nature of the call at the beginning of the call?

19.) Should shareholders of corporations have the right to know that their money is being spent for political campaigns, and the details of them?

20.) Should Presidential Inaugural Committees be prohibited from soliciting and accepting money from corporations and foreign interests, i.e. should the obtain money or funds from United States citizens only?

21.) Should Inaugural Committees shall file with a report with the Federal Election Commission disclosing any donation by an individual to the committee in an amount of $1,000 or more not later than 24 hours after the receipt of such donation?

22.) In order to protect the integrity of democracy and the electoral process, and to ensure political equality for all, should Read the rest of this entry »

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Should there be a law…

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Let’s talk a few minutes about what should, and what should not be.

For example…


1.) • Should there be, and should Federal Judges abide by, “a code of conduct, which applies to each justice and judge of the United States”?

2.) • Should there be a DEDICATED ENFORCEMENT UNIT “within the counterespionage section of the National Security Division of the Department of Justice for the enforcement of the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938”?

3.) • Should it be illegal “for any person, whether acting under color of law or otherwise, to corruptly hinder, interfere with, or prevent another person from registering to vote or to corruptly hinder, interfere with, or prevent another person from aiding another person in registering to vote”?

4.) • Should “a State motor vehicle authority require each individual applying for a motor vehicle driver’s license in the State to indicate whether the individual resides in another State or resided in another State prior to applying for the license, and, if so, to identify the State involved; and to indicate whether the individual intends for the State to serve as the individual’s residence for purposes of registering to vote in elections for Federal office”?

5.) • Should it be illegal for a political party or another partisan organization to send mail to addresses of registered voters whom they have identified as likely to be unfriendly to their candidate, and then use all the undeliverable returned mail to make what is called a caging list to challenge voters when they show up at polls to vote?

6.) • Should the right of an individual who is a citizen of the United States to vote Read the rest of this entry »

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National Vietnam War Veterans Day

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Today, March 29, is now officially “National Vietnam War Veterans Day.”

And as with so many things, it took an act of Congress to make it so.

But it was a bipartisan effort, for which – I suppose – we can be thankful. Especially given since the do-nothing GOP is now in control of Congress.

On February 3, Sen. Patrick Toomey (R-PA), sponsored S.305, and along with co-sponsor Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN), introduced the bill in the Senate, which was read twice, considered, read the third time, passed without amendment by Unanimous Consent, discharged by the Committee on the Judiciary, Passed/agreed to in the House by voice vote, and was signed into law by President Trump March 23, 2017. It is the 14th law Trump has signed since his inauguration.

From the date of introduction to passage, it could very well be one of the most rapidly-enacted pieces of legislation in Congressional history. Of course, THE shortest was likely 1 day, for H.J.Res.131: “Making further continuing appropriations for fiscal year 2015, and for other purposes,” which was a government shutdown stopgap measure. Mysteriously, Congress gets rapidly active when their paychecks are imperiled.

As far as laws go, it’s a good law, because the Congressional Budget Office has declared it would cost nothing. When was the last time you ever read that?

And it’s a short law – another rarity in this day and age. In fact, there are only Read more… if you dare!

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Your Tax Dollars At Work: Taxpayers Subsidize CEO Pay, Here’s How #BonusLoophole

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, September 3, 2016

Executive Excess 2016: The Wall Street CEO Bonus Loophole

This 23rd annual report reveals how taxpayers are subsidizing financial crisis windfalls.

By Sarah Anderson and Sam Pizzigati, August 31, 2016

CashingInOnTheCrisis-Graphic-1-1This report is the first to calculate how much taxpayers have been subsidizing executive bonuses at the nation’s largest banks.

The study focuses on a 1993 Clinton administration reform that was intended to rein in runaway CEO pay by capping the tax deductibility of executive compensation at $1 million. But the new rule included a huge loophole for stock options and other “performance” pay. As a result, the more corporations hand out in executive bonuses, the lower their tax bill. This perverse incentive for excessive compensation has been a major factor in the explosion of CEO pay.

The financial bailout program closed this loophole for recipients, but only until Read the rest of this entry »

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Medical, Scientific, and Economically Valid Reasons To Legalize #Marijuana In Sweet Home Alabama #ALpolitics

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, November 12, 2015

It’s no joke, Colorado is ROLLING (pun intended) in revenue from the taxes and licensing fees associated with legal cannabis sales.

From the Colorado Department of Revenue:
Colorado Marijuana Tax Data
Total marijuana tax revenue includes the 2.9% retail and medical marijuana sales tax, 10% retail marijuana special sales tax, 15% marijuana excise tax, and retail/medical marijuana application and license fees.

For the month of September 2015 (reported October 2015), Colorado had TOTAL (Total All Marijuana Taxes, Licenses) $11,656,736.

On an annualized basis, that’s at least $139,880,832.

The rhetorical question is:
What could Sweet Home do with even half the money like that?

Consider also this: That the legalization of cannabis also largely eliminates Read the rest of this entry »

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Gone With The Wind: How Alabama’s State Legislature Blew Away $200 Million Of Industrial Development And Jobs

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, October 15, 2014

labama Governor Robert Bentley signed legislation PROHIBITING two out-of-state businesses from investing in Alabama & constructing business operations, and hiring. Total Cost of Loss = $200+ Million

By his refusal to act, Alabama Republican Governor Robert Bentley allowed legislation to pass which PROHIBITED TWO Out-of-State Businesses from Investing, Conducting Business Operations, and Hiring in Alabama.
Total Cost Loss To Alabama = $200+ Million

Governor Bentley Refused To Reign In Unfounded Fear Mongering By GOP Dominated Legislature

Fueled by unfounded, unscientific constituency fears, Legislators in Alabama’s state Senate and House of Representatives recently authored restrictive regulatory legislation which made it impossible for a Texas-based business to expand operations in Alabama. Not counting the jobs and salaries lost, the investment cost of the loss to Alabama exceeds $200 Million.

Specifically, Pioneer Green Energy, 802 Lavaca St, Austin, TX 78701, (512) 351-3363, planned to spend over $200 Million to build two facilities in Cherokee and Etowah counties to generate electricity, and hire local people to operate and maintain the facilities.

In comparison, Remington Arms – the firearms manufacturer which recently announced relocation to Huntsville, Alabama – will be spending $110 Million, with $38 Million in tax incentives provided by the state.

Pioneer was set to construct 30-45 wind-driven turbines (electricity-generating windmills) in Etowah county at a cost of $160 Million in their NoccalulaWind project. In nearby Cherokee county, they were set to construct 7-8 such windmills, at a cost of $40 Million in their ShinboneWind project.

A series of bills which originated in Alabama’s state Senate, and House of Representatives was effectively, the death knell for the projects.

Alabama State Senator Phil Williams, 10th Senate District, Floor of Alabama State Senate

State Senator Phil Williams, a Republican in Alabama’s 10th Senate District, speaks from the Floor of Alabama State Senate. He authored SB 402 & SB 403, prohibitive regulatory legislation which hamstrung $200 Million in Industrial Development and Jobs.

As reported by Conservation Alabama, April 10, 2014, in a column entitled “2014 Legislative Session recap, “Two local bills opposed by Conservation Alabama did pass. Senate Bills 402 and 403 requiring strict regulations for wind energy conversion systems in Etowah and Cherokee counties passed, eliminating any real chance of wind energy in those two counties. After these local bills passed it was thought that Senate Bill 12, a statewide bill to regulate wind energy conversion systems, would make it through with language that superseded the two local bills and included more reasonable and agreed upon language between the two sides. However, proponents of the bill could not get on the same page. Last minute changes to the bill created additional controversy, and the bill ultimately failed to pass in the House and consequently the two local bills will become law.”

Alabama state Senate Bills 402 and 403  were authored and sponsored by Senator Phil Williams, a Republican whom represents Alabama’s 10th Senate District, which includes Etowah and Cherokee counties. By profession, Senator Williams is a lawyer, and in part, he wrote this about himself on his legislative profile/biography webpage: “Phil Williams is the managing member of Williams & Associates, LLC, a law firm based in Gadsden, AL.” His campaign website states this, “His legal focus is largely in the areas of insurance, municipal and corporate defense.” (SB402 may be found online here -or downloaded from this site AL SB402-int– & SB 403 may be found online here  -or downloaded from this site AL SB403-int-)

Here’s Part One of the Grand Hypocrisy. The Alabama GOP website states this about Senator Williams: “One of the most promising freshman Senators in Montgomery is Phil Williams of Rainbow City. He is the proud sponsor of the Alabama Jobs Creation and Retention Act, which provides tax incentives to new or existing businesses that engage in industrial projects. Sen. Williams said, “This Act will help make Alabama a center of gravity for new and existing business growth, and is another example of our Republican-led senate following through on our campaign promises.””

Why would a State Senator whom sponsored the “Alabama Jobs Creation and Retention Act” author legislation that FORBADE the creation of jobs?

Alabama State Senator Phil Williams (R), authored regulatory legislation which hampered $200 Million Industrial Development in Alabama, and cost jobs.

Alabama State Senator Phil Williams (R), in green tie & suit, authored regulatory legislation which lost $200 Million Industrial Development in Alabama, and cost jobs.

According to an article in The Alabama Reporter written by Brandon Moseley, published 07 June 2013, Senator Williams, who hails from Rainbow City, is seeking a second term in office, and made this remark about his candidacy: “It has been a great honor to serve the people of Senate District 10 these past few years. We have accomplished so much of what the people in our communities said they wanted, and my intent is to continue the fight for conservative values and finish what we’ve started.”

Readers may recall that Etowah county is home to disgraced former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore – sometimes popularly known as “The Ten Commandments Judge” – who was removed from office following a hearing November 12, 2003 by a unanimous vote of the Alabama Court of the Judiciary. Since then, he campaigned for the same office – State Supreme Court Chief Justice – and was elected November 6, 2012.

It certainly seem that folks in Alabama Politics – that’d be the GOP/Republicans – are largely backwards, hypocritical, narrow minded fear mongers who appeal to their equally “largely poor, uneducated, and easy to command” constituency.

Because while on one hand, they decry “regulation” and “excessive” regulation which they claim constrains business, and free enterprise – and therefore jobs – in the state, they simultaneously enact the very legislation they decry.

It’s called HYPOCRISY. And to be certain, it’s simply defined as “the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform; pretense.”

This is a HUGE case in point, that an out-of-state business was prepared to construct and expand business operations in Alabama – from the ground, up. Had leased land, obtained easements, and every other necessary preliminary item to conduct business operations… including hiring professional services in Alabama to prepare for business operations.

BUT!

Wouldn’t you know it? The GOP-dominated Alabama State Legislature (House & Senate) enacted legislation, which passed without Governor Bentley’s signature, which PROHIBITED the businesses from even getting the first bulldozer out to clear land. Seriously.

Think I’m joking, exaggerating, or kidding?

Read on.

Oh… and be sure to thank them in November.

—-

Alabama regs too strict for turbines, says lawyer for wind energy developer

By William Thornton, wthornton@al.com
Twitter: WThorn7
on August 20, 2014 at 11:16 AM, updated August 20, 2014 at 12:03 PM

GADSDEN, Alabama — The lawyer for a Texas-based company abandoning plans for two windmill farms in northeast Alabama said today that recently approved state regulations on wind energy led to the decision.

Charlie Stewart, attorney for Pioneer Green Energy, said the company no longer has plans to develop two wind energy farms in Cherokee and Etowah counties. Groups opposing the development announced yesterday they had received word Pioneer Green was relinquishing land leases for the projects.

Pioneer Green Energy announced last year it planned to develop wind energy projects in the two counties, and said land leases had already been secured. Five Cherokee County residents filed suit in an attempt to stop the development, and a group of Etowah County residents also filed suit.

Pioneer Green planned a $40 million project with seven to eight turbines in Cherokee County. The larger Etowah County project would have had 30 to 45 turbines costing $160 million.

Stewart said the company was ready to begin construction when the lawsuits were filed, and the legislation passed earlier this year, which established setback and noise standards.

That bill required the state’s Public Safety Commission to oversee wind farms, mandated that noise from the turbines not exceed an average of 50 decibels, and laid out a setback of five times the height of the tower from the base to the nearest property line. Last year, a company official said the legislation was too restrictive by making the property line the threshold and not the nearest residence or structure.

Stewart said much of the opposition was fueled by “hysteria.”

“The bill was basically Read the rest of this entry »

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Magic City Brewfest: Renewed excitement in 7th year with passage of Alabama’s Homebrew Law

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, June 2, 2013

Wonderful! Wonderful! Wonderful!

Moylan's Kilt Lifter is poured during the 2013 Magic City Brewfest, Friday, May 31, 2013. (Tamika Moore | tmoore@al.com)

Moylan’s Kilt Lifter is poured during the 2013 Magic City Brewfest, Friday, May 31, 2013. (Tamika Moore | tmoore@al.com)

Cheers to beers: Alabama raises a glass to home-brew, Brewfest and craft breweries

(Gallery by Tamika Moore | tmoore@al.com)

Kathryn Tuggle | ktuggle@al.com By Kathryn Tuggle | ktuggle@al.com
Follow on Twitter
on June 02, 2013 at 8:56 AM, updated June 02, 2013 at 9:39 AM

This weekend Birmingham played host to a sold-out Magic City Brewfest at Sloss Furnace, featuring more than 200 different beers from more than 70 craft brew­eries around the nation. Although 2013 marked the seventh annual Brewfest, it was the first since home­brew became legal in Alabama, thanks to legislation passed in May.

Because home-brewers in Alabama can now share recipes and bond over their successes and struggles, Brewfest has a renewed “electricity” in the air, said Gabe Harris, president of Free the Hops, the grassroots non­profit that worked to help pass the home­brew bill.

“It feels great to have home-brew legal in Alabama,” Harris said. “Every craft brewer at Brewfest started out as a home-brewer, and everyone is really excited to be here this year.”

Because craft brewers across the state feel passionately about spreading the home­brew “gospel,” the Home-brew Association set up a tent at Brewfest specifically to edu­cate people about the brewing process.

“We’ve had tons of peo­ple at the tent asking some really intelligent questions,” Harris said.

Spencer Overton, home­brew manager at Birming­ham brewery and bar Hop City, said Birmingham is now on the “cutting edge” of craft beer. Read the rest of this entry »

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Adolphus Busch IV Resigns From NRA

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, May 20, 2013

“It disturbs me greatly to see this rigid new direction of the NRA.
As a starting point, one only has to ask why
the NRA reversed its original position on background checks.
Was it not the NRA position to support background checks when Read the rest of this entry »

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Alabama State House Committee OKs Home Brew Bill

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Finally!

Little by little, in some regard, Alabama is moving into the 21st century.

House committee approves bill that would legalize home brewing of beer

By Mike Cason | mcason@al.com
February 20, 2013 at 5:35 PM

MONTGOMERY, Alabama — The House Economic Development and Tourism Committee today approved a bill that would allow those 21 and older to make home brewed beer, wine, mead and cider for personal use.

Rep. Mac McCutcheon, R-Huntsville. (Robin Conn/The Huntsville Times)

Rep. Mac McCutcheon, R-Huntsville. (Robin Conn/The Huntsville Times

The bill, by Rep. Mac McCutcheon, R-Huntsville, would limit the total production to 15 gallons every three months.

The committee approved the bill after a public hearing, putting it in position for consideration by the House of Representatives.

Several home brewing enthusiasts spoke in favor of the bill.

Jason Sledd of Huntsville told the committee he took up home brewing as a hobby last year.

“At the time, I had no idea what I was doing was illegal in the state of Alabama,” Sledd said.

Sledd said he learned home brewing was illegal after joining a home brewers club.

Rep. Berry Forte, D-Eufaula, said he was opposed to the use of alcohol because of what it had done to some family members. He asked Sledd whether he brewed beer in front of his children.

Sledd said he did, and said he was teaching them the responsible way to use alcohol.

“They will have years of experience of seeing an adult drink alcohol and not being intoxicated,” Sledd said.

Joe Godfrey, executive director of ALCAP, Read the rest of this entry »

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George H.W. Bush NRA Resignation Letter

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, January 17, 2013

Increasingly, the National Rifle Association has demonstrated that it is little more than a high-powered group of radicals Hell-bent on passing legislation that benefits anything and everything related to firearms, all unrestrained.

Letter of Resignation Sent By George H. W. Bush to National Rifle Association

Published: May 11, 1995

Following is the letter of resignation sent last week by former President George Bush to the National Rifle Association: May 3, 1995

Dear Mr. Washington,

I was outraged when, even in the wake of the Oklahoma City tragedy, Mr. Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of N.R.A., defended his attack on federal agents as “jack-booted thugs.” To attack Secret Service agents or A.T.F. people or any government law enforcement people as “wearing Nazi bucket helmets and black storm trooper uniforms” wanting to “attack law abiding citizens” is a vicious slander on good people.

Al Whicher, who served on my [ United States Secret Service ] detail when I was Vice President and President, was killed in Oklahoma City. He was no Nazi. He was a kind man, a loving parent, a man dedicated to serving his country — and serve it well he did.

In 1993, I attended the wake for Read the rest of this entry »

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House Republicans move to repeal Obama health insurance reforms

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The alternate title to this entry is rather lengthy.

“I’ll take ‘How to re-elect the President for $1000, Alex.'”

“Answer: House Republicans move to repeal Obama healthcare.”

But before we continue, enjoy a little-known presidential history fact:

Renown presidential historian Michael Beschloss appeared on an episode of The Comedy Channel’s “The Daily Show” with Jon Stewart,  shortly after the November 2010 General Election.

There were many Republicans seats gained in the House of Representatives, leading some pundits to question President Obama’s effectiveness after such a loss.

Mr. Beschloss remarked that “The three presidents in recent times who have had midterm loss like this have been Truman, Eisenhower, Bill Clinton. Every single one of them got reelected.

Let’s examine elements of so-called “ObamaCare” they want to repeal. Read the rest of this entry »

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A note on Illegal Immigration

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, May 7, 2010

An old Social Security card with the "NOT...

Image via Wikipedia

The following is one of the typical e-mail “you must do something now!” kind of messages that so many of us receive in our e-mail in boxes.

In such typical fashion, they are either contain a type of ‘the world is going to end’ (and soon, if you don’t act now!), or either “the sky is falling!,” type of message.

While the motivation for the message, or the idea behind them may – at times – be worthwhile, often the delivery is suspect.

Following is the message, and – NOT TO BE MISSED – is …Continue…

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American Medical Association, AARP OKs Obama Health Reform Bill

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, March 22, 2010

Saying “We cannot let the perfect be the enemy of the good,” J. James Rohack, MD, President of the American Medical Association, reiterated organizational support last Friday for the Affordable Health Care for America Act (H.R. 3962/H.R. 3961),  which is often referred to as President Obama’s healthcare overhaul bill.

Dr. Rohack said the AMA Board of Trustees voted unanimous approval after reviewing the House of Representatives’ reconciliation bill, added that the bill wasn’t perfect saying, “This is certainly not the bill we would have written.” [ed. note: Nothing in this world is perfect.]

Joining Dr. Rohack, senior staff and board certified cardiologist at Scott & White Clinic in Temple, Texas, whom became the 164th president of the American Medical Association (AMA) in June 2009, was the non-partisan, 40 Million member strong, American Association of Retired Persons.

The Scott & White Clinic is a 636-bed not-for-profit, Level I trauma center and teaching hospital, which also operates …Continue…

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Veteran’s Day 2009

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, November 9, 2009

I’m proud to have served my nation in the uniform armed services, having done so voluntarily. I think every young American should do similarly. And, I believe our nation should provide significant benefit to those whom so choose.

Some years ago, I envisioned what I called a “234 Plan,” which would:

  1. Double pay grade for two years up to pay grade E-3 for initial enlistees;
  2. Require a minimum of Four Years of service;
  3. Pay for four years of higher education, up to and including Ph.D., with the ability to transfer benefits to first-degree relatives;

and perhaps most importantly,

4. Provide such income as federally Tax-Free, forever.

At current pay rates, that would be slightly under $76,000 for a period of two years at pay grade E-3 – not a bad nest egg. And then, there’s the 30 days paid vacation, head-to-toe health care, incentive/bonus pay for skills, BAH (basic allowance for housing), and a host of other remunerations and fiduciary potential – all of which are added to Basic Pay, thereby increasing take-home pay. Potentially, managing money wisely, a young enlistee could emerge from a four year commitment with very nearly $125,000 in pocket, VA health benefits, GI Bill benefits, and more.

The money could be used wisely, or squandered. But the principle would forever be federally tax-free – and I think it should be at the state level, as well. It’s well known that young enlistees have high levels of “disposable” income. But WISE fiscal management could yield significant benefits to them individually, and by extension, to our nation.

Part three of the plan I envisioned – higher education – was implemented when President Obama signed the Post 9/1 G.I. Bill, providing the most comprehensive expansion and provision of educational benefits our troops have received since F.D.R.’s presidency.

I recollect a report entitled “Young Virginians: Ready, Willing, and Unable to Serve,” having read and saved it September 2, this year. It was authored and advised by an impressive cadre of Generals, Admirals, field-grade officers, and senior executive NCOs, from all branches of the service, and “supported by the Pew Charitable Trusts, and Pre-K Now, campaign of the Pew center on the States.”

Interestingly, NPR has only recently reported on it.

The problems the report addresses are from a thorough examination of Virginia, though it’s findings can be extrapolated to the United States at large.

According to the report, the three greatest problems disqualifying American youth from service to our nation include:

1.) Criminality – felony and serious misdemeanor offense;

2.) Education – failure to graduate high school, and low achievement in reading & math, 30% unable to pass the Armed Forces Qualification Test; and

3.) Health – specifically obesity, although asthma, eyesight, hearing, mental health, ADHD and additional health problems factor in, thereby disqualifying over half of all young adults.

Additional disqualifiers include single custodial parenthood, and drug or alcohol abuse.

These are all social ills.

Mission: Readiness – Military Leaders for Kids is a bipartisan, nonprofit, national security organization of more than 80 retired generals and admirals,” whom “accept no funds from federal, state, or local governments,”  and “call on all policymakers to ensure America’s security and prosperity by supporting interventions proven to help America’s youth succeed academically, stay physically fit, and abide by the law. Pre-K Now collaborates with organizations and policy makers to lead a movement toward high-quality, voluntary pre-kindergarten for all 3- and 4-year-olds.”

In recent political history, social programs have been an “easy target” for many of the Republican stripe whom have seriously reduced or eliminated such programs’ funding, effectively or outright killing the very programs that could have done much to have prevented these anathemas.

Ironically, prison construction and maintenance is a capital expenditure. And of all the world’s nations, ours has more incarcerations per capita than any other, having exploded (doubling 2.5 times) since 1980 (though incarcerations remained relatively stable since 1920, according to the U.S. Department of Justice).

How’s that THAT for the so-called “Reagan Revolution?” It sounds more like a “Contract on America” rather than “with America,” to me.

Wonder why no more.

Governance is much more than infrastructure expenditures, and military readiness includes a strong social component.

Our Constitution calls it providing “for the common defense,” by promoting “the general welfare,” to “secure the blessings of liberty.”

Healthcare is an integral and unequivocal part of that equation… as we can now painfully, and plainly see.

I suppose it would be apropos and germane – though perhaps trite – to conclude with a line from advertising: “You can pay me now… or, pay me later.”

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