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League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
Ronald Paul Kabat
The questions were prepared by the League of Women Voters of California and asked of all candidates for this office.
Read the answers from all candidates (who have responded).
Questions & Answers
1. In this time of high unemployment, what are the most important steps that should be taken to improve our nationís economy?
Our economy is ill at several different levels.
First Priority = Federal Debt.
Our President has currently stated that 42 cents of every $1.00 coming to our Treasury goes towards paying our National debt. Unless we identify and prioritize the controls on Federal spending, we will be headed towards a financial crisis. I highly recommend reading the Congressional Budget Office (CBO)report titled 'The Long-Term Budget Outlook' (Revised August, 2010).
When our President ran for office, he said that he would not allow Congressional 'earmarks' in any bill coming before his desk. Contrary to his campaigning, the first financial bill he signed into law contained over 8,000 'earmarks' from members of ALL political parties. It's not too late, I would hope that he would show us the leadership that our country needs by instituting the policy that he preached to us in his campaign.
That was then and this is now. We've got to get the Federal government's debt under control or we will soon be known as the first country with the stamp 'Owned by China'!
Second Priority = Jobs. (A multi-tiered solution.)
A.) Janitorial, construction, culinary arts, food service, factory, etc. categories.
We currently jail 2.2 million people. Approximately 10% of these individuals are jailed for property crimes like stealing, robbery, burglary, etc.. Many performed the crime to simply pay for essentials like food, utilities, and rent for their family. The costs of jailing these citizens is approximately $9.5 billion/year. The emotional costs to their families cannot be measured. However, they are placed in this situation SIMPLY BECAUSE THEY DO NOT HAVE A JOB - - - but the jobs are actually currently present for them in our country!
I have developed a policy which I call the 'Reset Rule'. It is listed at my website. It addresses our jailed citizens' unemployment situation by applying a comprehensive solution to our illegal immigration issue.
The 'Reset Rule' has been called unique, equitable and fair. The money saved ($9.5 billion) from not jailing our citizens for lack of a job could be used to decrease our Federal debt and/or partially applied to other programs, like Education. It could also be used to reduce the costs of the 'Reset Rule'.
B.) All other job categories.
The Federal government must clarify and use its tax and economic policies to provide stability in the private sector's job market. Our private sector cannot make decisions to invest in new equipment and jobs if they cannot plan because of the unclear nature of Federal regulations.
For instance - - I have been trying to provide my clients with tax planning. However, for the past several years, Congress has made substantial tax law changes in October and November and made these new laws effective RETROACTIVELY to the beginning of the year! Not only did these Congressional changes make tax planning unfeasible but it also made obsolete many of the IRS forms that are printed in September. (Added government money wasted.)
President Kennedy's administration created the Investment Tax Credit which helped the private sector by subsidizing the cost of purchasing new equipment for businesses. This idea helped subsidize a demand which created jobs in the private sector. This law did not change for several years and helped the private sector in planning its equipment purchases and job expansions.
We need more ideas and creativity in our Congress. I would like to 'bring down the wall' between our Democrats and Republicans to make them, once more, work for the stability and good of our Nation.
2. How should federal budget priorities be changed, now and into the future? How will you balance the costs of military action overseas and national security with the costs of domestic needs?
Forthcoming and please see part of answer to previous question.
3. What, if anything, should be done by the federal government to address our dependence on fossil fuels or spur the use of clean energy?
4. What, if any, changes should be made to current federal policies or programs that promote or provide health coverage for Americans?
Medicare - Can we spend smarter?
Doctors in the USA are getting smaller and smaller Medicare payments for medical services. Many cannot afford to take on new Medicare patients because of the dwindling payments. So, how about the following idea?
Would Medicare participants needing surgery (ie. joint, hip, etc.) allow us to fly them overseas (India, Thailand, etc. with our excess US aircraft and US Air Force personnel) to have the surgery and physical therapy?
We would have to insure that the foreign surgery centers were enforcing USA standards and that they could be using doctors who were previously trained here in the USA.
The savings from these surgeries could be used to supplement our current Medicare payments to doctors in the U.S.A. so that they would be able to accomodate more Medicare patients with other medical issues.
Medical Care and Our Financial Debt - -
The current 2,700 page health bill has some good points but needs to be supplemented. (ie. Tort Reform, etc.)However, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has also identified costs in this legislation that can financially strangle our Nation. If our Nation dies a financial death, we will not be able to pay for anyone's care. Therefore, some of the current bill may have to be de-funded in order to preserve our Nations future financial health. Just like the emergency room at the hospital, we must employ triage to the bill.
The Law of Unintended Consequences - - -
At my website, I list some of the unintended consequences of the 2,700 page bill.
Example 1 - Under the new Health Law we are required to spend millions of work hours to file millions of Forms 1099-MISC on corporate purchases. However, the IRS will NOT be able to reconcile many of them because the corporations (like Staples, Office Depot, etc.) may be on a fiscal year while we have to file the forms based upon a calendar year. (Argh!)
5. What, if any, changes should be made to federal rules on campaign financing or disclosure of political expenditures?
Forthcoming and partially covered at my website.
Responses to questions asked of each candidate are reproduced as submitted to the League. Candidates' responses are not edited or corrected by the League. No candidate may refer to another candidate in the response.
Read the answers from all candidates (who have responded).
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