Chapter 9: American Agenda for Greatness - Election 2016 Update
Which presidential candidate will do that for America?
Voodoo economics is back. Mr. Trump has called for a 25% to 45% tariff on imported goods from China (he keeps changing numbers and positions, so who knows). Such a tariff would increase the cost of consumer goods overnight by 25% to 45%! While boosting your clothes, appliance, etc. cost from $100 to $145 with his tariff, Mr. Trump’s tax plan would cut taxes on the rich and generate an additional $10 Trillion in the federal deficit (Hillary Clinton’s would increase the debt only $1 Trillion). Oh yes, he then turns around and says: "Everyone gets a tax cut" which is more pixie dust that yields the $10 Trillion deficit, while he claims his plan will somehow "reduce" the deficit. Pure snake oil!
Life expectancy at birth for American men was 75.6 years and 80.8 for women in 2007― 36th and 33rd in the world! In Texas, 25% of our residents do not have health insurance, the worst rankings in the U.S.
So, what about the REST of the world’s trains? Surely we beat or match them right?
Americans say phrases like “we are the best” and “America is No.1″ -- often uttered with deep conviction by citizens who have never set foot outside their country or state, and therefore lack a direct comparison. “Better Times Ahead April Fool” and “Agenda for American Greatness” shows you exactly what has changed in the world, what we are up against today -- and what we need to do to get back to No. 1 again.
For another technology comparison, the next photo is one of a train I took in China in 1982:
The recent events with ISIS and Ebola should be yet another reminder that the world is not going to go away and leave us alone. What happens on the other side of the planet can and does impact Americans, like it or not. For example, the war in Syria resulted in millions of refugees fleeing death from ISIS, which has overwhelmed all the European countries from Greece to Belgium. Unstable countries has led to greater instability for Europe. It has also given ISIS a training ground so they could send fighters back to their home countries in Europe, as we have seen in the bombings and shootings in Paris, Brussels, etc.
We are frantically searching for the last of the fossil fuels instead of using our brains and diversifying our energy sources to include as many renewables as possible, which would avoid future damage to our fragile planet and move us closer to energy independence.
American tax policies under Presidents Reagan and George W Bush favoring the top 20% have given the lucky few at the top over 84% of the total U.S. wealth!
Recently water pipes broke in one of the buildings housing U.S. Senators due to age. It is a symptom of a Congress that refuses to invest in our aging infrastructure. Houston, for example, is losing millions in dollars because its water pipes are so old that they are leaking billions of gallons of much-needed water at a time we are in the worst drought in our state’s history. Our gas lines are exploding across the country because they are so old.
Or do we watch the Chinese do it instead?
The Pentagon has never been audited. Immense waste has gone unnoticed. We should audit the Pentagon to cut waste and fraud, potentially savings billions per year in unneeded costs.
Inversions are another tax rip off –basically companies renounce their citizenship even though they don’t change their business presence in a meaningful way. Today, a Halliburton or a Noble Drilling based in Texas can send a couple of people to Dubai, and suddenly they are no longer an “American” company and not subject to U.S. taxes on their income, even though the company building -- and 99% of its employees -- are still sitting in Houston! (However, their employees still here can’t claim an exemption from their taxes.) That tax loss means less for the cities and counties need for roads and schools needed to compete in the global economy. General Electric made billions, yet paid ZERO taxes.
We have to reform a system where Congress pays more attention to rich corporations than their voters. The U.S. Supreme Court, for the first time in American history, because of Citizens United , has allowed corporations to spend unlimited billions to buy this election to elect the candidate of their choice, allowing them to get more special breaks for themselves.
For America's sake, we need that vision. I believe the only candidate with that vision, the experience and temperament to be president is...Hillary Clinton.
Agenda for American Greatness was developed from the global experiences of the author, Michael Fjetland, BBA/JD, detailed in "Better Times Ahead April Fool"(looking back at the future of America). Time warp around the world the last 30 years and experience vicariously some bizarre adventures that gave the author a front row seat to the complex global gamesmanship between America and the world -- a magic carpet ride for less than the cost of a Starbuck's coffee.