Friday, September 23, 2011

Tax the Rich? How Safe is Our Border?

Global American Series

This week a six-ton NASA satellite will fall from the sky – they know not where – just about the time Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas is at the UN asking them to declare Palestine a state. The negotiations between Palestinians and the Israelis predate the space age but a new situation makes it now crucial for Israel’s security that an agreement is finalized sooner rather than later.

That change is called “Arab Spring.” I was in Cairo in 1979 when the first peace treaty occurred between Israel and an Arab country – Egypt. I remember it clearly because I had to give up my hotel room for someone in President Carter’s entourage when they took over the Nile Hilton for the historic meetings between Egyptian President Sadat and Israeli PM Menachem Begin (details of the Cairo incident is in my pending eBook “Better Times Ahead: April Fool?”) You can subscribe or follow the Global American values blog below to get a publication date).

Is Rick Perry’s charge that President Obama is “appeasing” the Palestinians on point or off base? After covering the explosive Israel/Palestinian issue in segment one, we move on to discuss President Obama’s plan to “tax the rich” and review the facts of what has happened to the Middle Class in the last decade as poverty rates have soared in the U.S. to 15% (46 million people.) In Texas the poverty rate is even higher at 18%. The top 400 families in America now control more wealth than the bottom 50% of Americans! How does America “get back on track” when the Middle Class has been its greatest strength?

In segment three the issue is border security with Mexico. How safe, or unsafe, is the border? What is the root problem in Mexico that is fueling the drug violence while El Paso claims to be “the safest city in the United States?” How can we “fix” this increasingly violent mess?

Finally, how do we repair our dysfunctional government before it’s too late? Not only is it Republicans against Democrats but there are serious splits within each party. Only 50% of Republicans think favorably of the tea party. Some Democrats are distancing themselves from the President. Congress can’t even agree to fund FEMA after billions of losses caused by two hurricanes (Irene and Lee) and a drought in Texas that has resulted in $5 billion in losses. If the government doesn’t step up will each state be left to cover these losses on its own?

Perhaps if we are lucky NASA’s satellite will fall close enough to Congress to knock some sense into our politicians who either don’t remember history or are determined to repeat the mistakes made when the country was trying to pull out of the Great Depression of the 30’s.

Unless we reform the redistricting process so that there are no “safe” seats in Congress, we will keep getting hyper-partisans elected who cannot work across the aisle. Americans are paying a high price as a result -- at a time we need action instead of gridlock and talking points. “Safe” districts mean that the voters showing up in November are too late – the decision who would win a Congress seat was made by whoever won the partisan primary months earlier. This process cheats the majority of American voters who don’t vote in the primary elections. Iowa has citizens drawing Congressional boundaries, which is better than partisans with computers.

Stay tuned to Global American radio, broadcast Saturdays at 9 am Central time on Business 1110 AM, streamed on and Podcast 24/7 on (click “Favorite program” and look for the above title).

Michael Fjetland

Global American Series


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