November 16, 2006

Keith Ellison - for the middle class?

On Kare 11 Tv’s website Keith Ellison, the newly elected Democratic Representative from Minnesota, is quoted as saying “Middle class prosperity is a crucial issue to me -- that means tax justice, a livable minimum wage, the right to organize a labor union.” Click here to link to the article.

Let’s evaluate his statement a little further. “Middle class prosperity is a crucial issue to me.” Wonderful, I wonder what his definition of the middle class is? The Drum Major Institute for Public Policy defines the middle class as families with incomes between $25,000 and $100,000 per year. Since the Drum Major Institute typically support Democratic measures I’ll use their definition for the remainder of the article.

The first statement is “tax justice.” Again, I ask what is tax justice in this case? Fair taxes I suppose. Are the middle class workers paying too much or not enough taxes? He doesn’t specify. Typically, the Democratic party raises taxes which affect most people. Is Ellison for the middle class? I am not sure yet.

The next statement is “a livable minimum wage.” Currently, the federal minimum wage is set at $5.15 per hour, although many states have increased their own minimum wage standards. How many people in the middle class make minimum wage? Let’s see, $5.15 per hour x 40 hours per week x 52 weeks per year equals $10,712. That’s not middle class, even with two adults working in the household it is still not middle class ($10,712 x 2 = $21,424). By increasing the minimum wage you simply shift the middle class distribution, not improve it. Is Ellison for the middle class? Not with this statement.

Finally, the last statement, “the right to organize a labor union.” Middle class workers are usually white collar or lower management type positions. Why would they need a labor union? Unemployment is currently around 4.6%, we are close to full employment in the United States. If you don’t like your job, find a new one! I realize some areas of the country are worse than others, but labor unions will not solve those problems! In fact, labor unions would increase unemployment, hurting the middle class workers Ellison claims he wants to prosper! The current unemployment rate in Minnesota is around 3.8%, even better than the national rate.

In conclusion, is Keith Ellison for the middle class? I don’t think so, but I guess we’ll see thanks to the voters of Minnesota. Just my thoughts! Let me know yours!

November 08, 2006

Election 2006!

Below is a letter sent to the Ed Rendell, Bob Casey, John Murtha, and Dave Reed; winners of the November 7, 2006 election for my hometown area.

Congratulations on your win in the recent election! Pennsylvania and America needs a responsible government; one that will not waste its resources. We need reform, not just business or politics as usual. Below are several areas the government needs to review at all levels.

1. Budget Reform – stop wasteful spending, corporate subsidies and eliminate other unnecessary expenses and programs.
2. Lower taxes for businesses and households. Make the tax cuts permanent. This will require budget cuts and eliminating programs.
3. Bills that are created and passed should have no unnecessary earmarks or other riders attached which are not related to the bill. To ensure this, pass a line-item-veto.
4. Emergency spending needs reformed; again eliminate unnecessary and unrelated expenses. The emergency funding should be offset by cuts in other programs, not by raising taxes.
5. Protecting private property rights through eminent domain reform is also very important to a prosperous and free Pennsylvania/America.
6. Social Security is an issue and will not take care of itself; the government needs to secure the Social Security system for future generations.
7. Keep the Internet free of unnecessary regulation and taxes.
8. Welfare is an important program that needs fixed, not by raising the minimum wage or throwing more money at the problem. True reform requires job creation and growth so the people on welfare can work. Also, those people on welfare should be required to do something for that welfare check rather than serve no purpose to the community.
9. Border Control is important to keep the proper flow of immigrants into the United States.
10. Support the military, not just financially, but with your actions and words used at all times. It is fine to disagree with the deployment of troops, however, once there, they need support from all government officials and all citizens of the United States.

You have been given the responsibility to help govern the greatest nation in the world, please act responsibly and patriotically throughout your term.