Election 2016 Round Table Discussion: Briefly, what are the top five most important issues that you believe the next president should address and why?

Owatonna, MN Correspondent-The top five issues the next president needs to address are the domestic economy, foreign policy, immigration, the tax system overhaul, and resolving the coming entitlement crisis (which includes health care and health insurance).

Number one by a mile is the economy.  The U.S. cannot help anyone in the rest of the world before we get our own economic house in order. Trillion-dollar deficits and eighteen trillion dollars of debt (and climbing) is unsustainable and will cause the eventual destruction of the economy.  The priority for Congress must be to pass a balanced budget every year, then go about paying off debt and simultaneously reducing costs by cutting wasteful spending and unnecessary (and unconstitutional) departments and programs.

The feds also need to get out of the way of small business owners. Eliminate regulations that favor big business. Stop the push to increase the minimum wage to excessive levels that are unaffordable to small business owners. Make trade agreements with other nations that encourage actual free trade, not the free trade found in treaties that are hundreds of pages long and contain dozens of exceptions, restrictions, tariffs, and unfair advantages for foreign competitors.

Foreign policy is an absolute mess right now. No one in the world seems to know for sure where the U.S. stands on many issues. We don’t seem to know ourselves how to handle hot zones such as Iraq, Syria, and North Korea. We are in a constant chess match against Russia and China that is starting to smack of a possible new Cold War—this one focused on cyber-attacks, technology pirating, and economic and foreign exchange undermining. Developing a policy that says we are going to reduce our footprint on world politics will help. Emphasizing peaceful coexistence through trading, liberalized travel regulations, and idea exchanging will back that up.

Immigration is related to foreign policy because of the risk of terrorists posing as refugees infiltrating our country from other nations. Besides developing a fair policy for taking in our share of refugees, revamping the current immigration system will help foreigners wanting to work in the U.S. to at least get temporary legal work visas that allow them rapid entry into the country. Once the current immigration crisis is solved, we must stop creating terrorists abroad by ceasing our empire building in the Middle East and the rest of the world. If we don’t antagonize radical Muslims, won’t they leave us alone? It’s worth trying.

The tax system is in dire need of an overhaul. A radical solution that might be the most logical and have the greatest immediate positive impact is to abolish federal corporate income taxes. Many companies avoid these taxes already, thanks to voluminous loopholes in the tax code that are tailored to those specific businesses or industries. Getting rid of the corporate income tax and all the related tax laws and regulations will certainly put tens of thousands of tax lawyers and tax accountants out of work, but do they actually contribute to the GDP? Many would say they only cost money that might be better spent on research and development, better wages for remaining employees—especially lower-paid ones—and more dividends to shareholders. Spending cuts equal to whatever is lost in corporate taxes must be enacted to have no adverse effect on the budget.

Entitlements are an increasing problem as baby boomers age into retirement. But they also include corporate welfare, which is mentioned above regarding tax benefits, subsidies, and favored regulation when compared with individuals and small businesses. Fixing the Social Security shortfall due in less than twenty years must be a two-step process. Remove the cap on taxable Social Security income, so millionaires and billionaires will also pay their 6.2% on every penny of earned income, the same as their minimum-wage employees. Once that is in place, gradually raise the full retirement age to at least 70.

Medicare is tougher because of skyrocketing health care costs. The government must charge those on Medicare a reasonable premium based on the benefits they receive. If the average monthly premium is a little over $100, but individuals receive tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of medical services, the system can’t survive. Either younger taxpayers end up footing the costs, or the shortfall piles onto the national debt.

Make seniors pay more in premiums, but also raise the Medicare wage tax a proportional amount so workers can also share in paying for the exorbitant benefits they will eventually enjoy when they reach Medicare age. The final step is to gradually raise the Medicare eligible age to 70 at the same rate as will be done for the full retirement age for Social Security.

 

Gastonia, NC Correspondent-1.Law and order: As I stated before, the new president needs to throw his or her full weight behind the law enforcement community and ensure that local law enforcement is fully funded and officers operate without fear of Big Brother questioning their every move.

2.Cybersecurity: We are forever chasing behind Chinese, Russian and homegrown hackers who wreak havoc on our systems. We are the country that essentially invented the internet, and surely made it the force it is, so we should be damned near invulnerable to the kinds of attacks that have crippled us in the past.

3.Modernizing defense: Our military-industrial complex is a lumbering dinosaur. Pork belly contracts ensure that outdated and unnecessary programs continue for years, while innovation that will save money and save lives is lost in endless committee meetings and short-sighted protectionism.

4.Rail system: Our nation’s rail system is a disgrace.  In almost every other industrial nation, train travel is much faster and more efficient than here, both for passengers and freight.  High-speed rail remains in a spotty, nearly experimental mode while our main rail lines decay.

5.Education:  Let’s get one thing straight: There ARE bad teachers, just as there are bad employees in every profession.  We have to demand accountability and a review system to ensure our nation’s children are taught by the best, not by the best at keeping their jobs.

Prescott Valley, AZ Correspondent-The top five most important issues that the next president should address include:

  1. The economy – In order to reverse downward trends in the economy, the next president must accelerate growth and that can be accomplished through an increase in the Gross Domestic Product. Projected increases in product output must be targeted and implemented over a number of years as should associated factors that go along with increased productivity, which include expansion of the labor force, increased work rate / productivity and greater income capacity. More disposable income utilized through spending and consumption of goods will increase demand and infuse the economy as will tax reforms, renewal of manufacturing, fossil fuel production and other natural resources.

Other factors to consider in economic recovery include reduction  of the national debt, decreases in health care spending, limits on immigration, technological advances and improved education and training. With 94 million plus Americans out of work and growing, the economy must be infused with a sense of output within all facets of the economy.  If not, Americans will continue to suffer job losses and weakness in every aspect of the economy and recovery will be negligible. The importance of Americans returning to work and living productive and resourceful lives is critical to restoration of the economy.

  1. Immigration – The next president will see a collapse of the infrastructure governing immigration if it is allowed to continue at its present rate. Illegal Immigration and legal immigration must be capped or returned to periods of time out and quota levels from years past. Whether it be refugee/invaders from the Middle East or illegal aliens from Mexico, Central America, South America, Asia, Africa and other countries, the infrastructure of America simply cannot withstand a perpetual flow of low-level, unskilled, dependent and unvetted immigrants into the country.

The influx of illegals as well as criminal illegals, possible terrorists and others seeking asylum  inundates a system that can no longer handle the sheer numbers that are allowed to enter.  The impact of runaway immigration is felt on a number of levels that include:  social services, education, healthcare, and the judicial and the prison system, not to mention the environmental impact through the strain of the sheer numbers using water, gas, electricity and other natural resources. Illegals have easy access to American jobs, welfare, driver’s licensing and unlawful voting.  American citizens deserve to safeguard their way of life, protect themselves from criminal and gang activities as well as preserve their jobs.  Foreign nationals will soon outweigh real citizens and our country and its borders will no longer exist.  In addition, the next president must call for border protection (a wall) as a part of any immigration reform to prevent and dissuade illegal immigrants from unlawful entrance into the country.

  1. Terrorism – Americans must be protected against the rising tide of terrorism within its borders and beyond. Infiltration of terrorists through illegal immigration, legal immigration, Visa programs and Obama administration refugee mandates must be thwarted by the new president. No refugee or immigration programs should facilitate the importation of terrorism within our country’s borders. With the distinct reality of terrorist movement, activities and actual threats and numerous incidents within America, the next president must be able to restrict, restrain and stop terrorists from launching plans and attacks within the United States. American security depends upon a strong defense against terrorism and terrorist states such as Iran, along with coordinated efforts to defeat the Islamic State (ISIS). America must be protected from terrorists who would seek to destroy the very foundations of a nation and inflict their barbarous and archaic political and religious system and persuasions upon American citizens and their governing political system. Protective and defensive measures must be part of any presidential platform in dealing with terrorism.
  1. Healthcare – Citizens who have placed their trust and confidence in Obamacare, and the healthcare exchanges established through Obamacare must be given a reprieve from this disastrous and costly medical insurance plan. The new president must dismantle and replace Obamacare with free market access to affordable plans either through health care savings accounts as well as the option to purchase affordable health insurance plans across state lines. Health care plans with graduated coverage, lower premium costs and deductibles  can be formulated for varying coverage levels and ages whether younger, middle aged or elderly. Those who cannot afford health insurance need to have access to bare bones plans that meet their current needs. Though health insurance coverage is not addressed in the Constitution, the matter has become critical with the numbers of individuals that use the health care system and are unable to support it. Without fresh infusion of even the lowest level of coverage and establishment of local clinics with incremental payment for services by everyone, the health care and hospital system will collapse.
  1. Supreme Court Appointments – The liberal/progressive strategy to jam the courts with activist judges is one of the greatest threats to liberty and constitutional procedures. Those plans must be thwarted by the incoming president to prevent liberals from overhauling the Court and turning the judicial branch and other top judgeships into activist and legislative influencing operations. America’s future and constitutional integrity depend on the placement of the right judges to the Supreme Court. Any incoming president has the duty to select judges that will defend the Constitution and uphold the laws of the land, and the Senate must do its duty and approve those nominees that adhere to the Constitution.  Supreme Court judges must not be allowed to interpret the law in violation of the Constitution, be influenced by others outside of the law or set precedents that defy the law. If the Court is stacked and unfavorably balanced the Constitution will be forfeited and laws forever altered by the progressive agenda.

 

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