New Year Wishes

As we move towards a new year I think about what I would like to see happen in 2018.  There are many things that come to mind so I will list them in no particular order.

  • I would like to see President Trump tone down the rhetoric and become more Presidential. Less tweeting and more work product. Get along with Congress better, especially the members of your own party.
  • Congress stop the partisan bickering. Democrats need to finally acknowledge that Trump won the election and the Republicans have power in both the House and the Senate. Republicans need to accept that they don’t have complete power (60 votes in the Senate) and they need to start working with Democrats on some of the pressing problems facing the nation.
  • The media get over themselves and quit reporting everything in a biased manner when it comes to President Trump. CNN should not get themselves all worked up because someone parked a van that blocked them from filming the President playing golf. Fox quit cheerleading everything the Administration does.  CBS, NBC, and ABC should take a hard look at their coverage of the President and either admit that they are openly against him or start being a bit fairer.  Everything Trump does is not negative.  MSNBC: let’s be honest, they should just go off the air.
  • People should quit being offended by every little thing they see in society and running to media to tell them how they are offended. If someone sings a Christmas carol at a concert that has religious overtones don’t be offended. If someone wears some religious clothing don’t be offended.  And finally, is someone raises the American flag and you are offended then perhaps you should rethink why you live in this great country.
  • Racial harmony becomes more the norm than the exception. That goes for both sides. Quit crying racism anytime something does not go exactly how you think it should go. A classic example was the woman claiming United gave her seat away to Congresswoman Jackson-Lee.  The Congresswoman said the woman complained because she was an African-American woman.  I am willing to bet it could have been someone of any race, creed or ethnicity and she would have complained because she felt it was her seat.
  • Congress needs to finally find a solution to our healthcare problems. Universal health care will not work as easily in the United States as it does in more homogenous countries and when you factor in the cost it becomes very regressive. The poor would actually have to start paying for some of their healthcare.  But we need to address the skyrocketing premiums and large deductibles so that people are buying true healthcare.  An example is my own situation.  My wife and I are in the Federal Employees Health Benefit (FEHB) plan and our premium last year was $612 per month and it will balloon to $1089 per month in 2018.  One size does not fit everyone and that is helping to drive the cost of insurance upward.
  • Congress finally begin to address the entitlement problem. Social Security and Medicare need to be fixed or they will go bankrupt (Social Security) or bankrupt the country (Medicare) Social Security is an easy fix. Right now, we can start claiming benefits at age 62 and if we wait until age 70 we get the maximum (about 8% per year).  This year we will pay FICA on the first $127,000 we earn, up from $118,600 in 2016.  What we should do is the change the ages for claiming benefits to 65 and 72.  Phase them in over 10 years, a couple of months a year.  The Democrats will, of course, scream that we are making people work longer and they will object.  Once you get the ages changed you should up the FICA amount to $150,000 immediately and keep it indexed. Republicans will scream it is a tax increase and object.  I should point out that it will be a tax increase only on the highest wage earners in the nation. It will be a compromise and will help keep the system healthy.  Less money going out and more coming in.  On Medicare, we have to make some hard decisions.  We cannot keep spending huge amounts of money in the last two years of the lives of the elderly population (I am 68 so this will start applying to me).  I know it sounds harsh but in reality, we are only buying on average 4-6 months of low-quality life.
  • I would hope that Congress would finally find a comprehensive agreement on immigration. Right now, the DACA issue is dominating the news. Democrats say we have to solve the DACA issue by giving them permanency and Republicans say they will but only with increased border security. Both are fine but neither is a long-term comprehensive solution.  I have written on what I think is a reasonable solution to immigration and you can find my thoughts at the following link:

https://tomyliberalfriends.com/2016/11/24/immigration-reform-that-works/

  • I sure wish that this penchant for investigating everything will end. The Republicans investigated Hillary Clinton on her server and Benghazi. Now the Democrats want to investigate whether there was collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign.  We waste a lot of time and money on endless investigations that drive wedges between people and accomplish very little while diverting us from solving real problems.
  • I am praying that the Pittsburgh Steelers can make a run for the Super Bowl and that nothing gets left for Al Riveron to decide in the replay center because we all know it will favor the Patriots.

 

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