See the short video at
Author: Dr. Bob Brown
Supreme Court Ethics and the Debt Ceiling Showdown
YouTube Video On Why We Need The Voters Voice Amendment (VVA) And Making It Happen
The Voters Voice Amendment. The 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution?
Tie the Minimum Wage to the cost of living
Tie the Minimum Wage to the cost of living. Enough of Congress voting infrequently to raise the minimum wage — punishing low-income employees. Have it change annually on January 1st based on the CPI.
Abortion — It takes 2 to make a baby
The proposed law:
When a woman gives birth via intercourse with her non-husband, he is responsible for ½ of the child’s prenatal care expenses, birthing expenses, and child support until the they reach 18 years of age. The father’s amount of support shall be equal to 5% annually of the U.S. median income for the prior year. It is to be paid monthly. If the father is not an adult, his guardians are responsible for his portion of the above child expenses and support payments until he reaches 18 years of age.
To stop abortions – stop unprotected sex. It takes two to tango – and have a child.
We keep taking out the issue of abortion on the woman. What about the men involved? How are they exempt from any responsibility?
The man is JUST as responsible as the woman.
Make the men think twice or maybe even only once.
We could pass a law that the father of a baby is liable for 1/2 of the prenatal expenses, birth expenses, and child support until the child is 18 years-old. The amount could be pegged to 10% the U.S. Median income of the year prior to the child’s birth, paid monthly. Of course, he is only 50% responsible so his portion is 5%.
With genetic testing and sites like Ancestry.com it is relatively to identify the father.
For example, if the U.S. median income is $60,000, then one-half of 10% (his share of the responsibility) is 5% = $3,000/annually or $3,000/12 = $250 month. Every month for 18 years. Garnish future wages if necessary. If the boy is a juvenile, then his guardians are liable for the monthly payments until the boy reaches 18 years old.
This law would change the discussion and dynamic about sex, safe sex, and abortion.
Of course, making condoms available over the counter would help. Using extended birth control, like Norplant, reduces the risk of childbirth, but not from sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
Making abortion illegal doesn’t make abortions stop happening. Remember our 18th Constitutional Amendment for making Alcohol manufacture illegal and the 21st amendment repealing that Amendment. People continued drinking, but illegally and nefarious characters became rich, while corrupting the law and law enforcement.
Abortions will still happen, but more of them in unsafe ways.
Why Are We Still Legislating Morality?
Sex, drugs (including alcohol), not rock-n-roll, but gambling being the big morality plays.
Our first major attempt at legislating morality was with Prohibition — outlawing the sale of alcohol in the U.S.. Prohibition came with the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and became the only one to be repealed by the later 21st Amendment. A massive effort to pass and repeal. Gangs and mobs gladly took over the business and taxes suffered. As did many citizens that were blinded or died from drinking non-ethanol “booze”, mainly methanol.
We have legislated gambling at the State level. Leaving this business again to gangs and the mob. Some States saw the folly in this strategy while gambling was legal in 2 States – New Jersey and Nevada. Why should they have all the fun? And tax revenue? First, step into gambling was State lotteries, and now Sport betting. More tax revenue with less criminal involvement.
Drugs are finally being dealt with in a more humane and intelligent manner – legalize and control the sale to adults. First marijuana, then maybe we decide to do the same for other drugs.
The last category that needs addressed is selling sex for money. Crime and human trafficking are rampant in this industry. Regular and standardized testing for diseases is not required, since it isn’t legal. If two consenting adults agree, what is the issue? Again, tax it and regulate it. Legalization would go a long way to solving its issues.
The other side effects of legalization — for all of the above are:
- Lower crime, since it is legal to buy and sell, we do not need criminals to manage to pipeline.
- More revenue for the States and the Federal Government.
- Plus, generally the lowering the potency of drugs and alcohol since they do not need to be smuggled — and therefore shipped in highly concentrated form. People can now get “socially acceptable” concentrations e.g., beer and wine.
- Also, reduced availability of all of the above to minors – since companies could lose their license to sell the items.
The other advantage that must be financed with the State’s new-found wealth is — assisting the small percentage of the population that just cannot control their habit – sexual, gambling, drugs or alcohol. Have treatment be funded by the revenue. Help them, and advertise help is available.
We the people could implement these changes to the law, and policy,
with the Power to the People amendment to the Constitution.
Certain Key Roles of Government
Regulation. Passing laws and then making regulation is what we expect of Government. Let business and individuals create the products and services – within the confines of the regulations.
Enforcement. Self-enforcement is not effective. Having the regulated pay a fee for the Government’s need to enforce regulations is the most specific way to pay for it. It is true for international and U.S. made goods. To expect all Corporations to step up and address issues regarding their product or services non-compliance, is counter to time-to-market and profitability – and is wishful thinking. Of course, Corporation’s desire to self-regulate. Imagine if we could self-regulate our paying taxes. Once course many will try, but non-compliance would be even lower that today.
Preparing for disasters – natural and man-made. This requires stockpiling of possibly unused resources. Imaging the DoD waited to start manufacturing weapons and ammo once a war started. The same is true for civilian needs in times of emergency. These resources may never get used (a possible good thing). Regardless this requires funds ahead of time and planning.
To reduce the possibility of man-made disasters we need regulations, see above.
With the PttP in place we could out-law self-regulation and improve compliance.
Why Isn’t The Minimum Wage Automatically Periodically Increased?
The $7.25 federal minimum wage has not been changed since 2009 and remains below historic levels when adjusted for inflation — despite gains in worker productivity. It works out to just $15,080 a year before taxes on a 40-hour-a-week schedule1.
The minimum started in 1938 at $0.25 per hour2. The minimum wage has not kept pace with overall wages as shown in the chart below3.
Why can’t things that do not need to be voted on over and over, and that are very dependent on the political winds at the time, be put on auto-pilot an allowed to adjust themselves? The minimum wage is one such policy item screaming to be allowed to gradually increase along with everyone else’s income increases.
Set the minimum wage to be 25% of the 90% percentile hourly income in the country, adjusted every 2 years. Then we do not have to let it lag and then Businesses complain about the huge increase after a 10 year pause. Or debate is the minimum wage reducing jobs (BTW individuals also do not need as many jobs if they are making more per hour) or is it because of productivity increases.
To take the sting out of raising the minimum wage. Companies employing minimum wage workers would get a tax break on their employee Social Security taxes if my other recommendation is implemented4.
Why do Social Security and Medicare need to be regressive taxes?
We all start paying Social Security (SS) and Medicare taxes on the first dollar we make. The current tax rate for social security is 6.2% for the employer and 6.2% for the employee, or 12.4% total. The current rate for Medicare is 1.45% for the employer and 1.45% for the employee, or 2.9% total. Or 7.65% for employees or 15.5% for self-employed1.
We always hear about how our income taxes are progressive, but this is largely offset by the regressive SS and Medicare taxes.
Whenever the pundits discuss taxes they only refer to income taxes, not Social Security and Medicare. So, from day-one the lowest paid individual is taxed 7.65% — not zero as others would have you believe.
The median hourly wage—the wage at which half the workforce is paid more and half the workforce is paid less—stands at $19.33 per hour. For a full-time, full-year worker, this would translate into about $40,000 per year2.
It would be more equitable if the SS and Medicare taxes started at a higher income level and is collected above that income until the annual SS and Medicare funding targets are reached. This could be estimated ( percentage and start and end income levels) at the end of the year prior.
In 2019, $944.5 billion (89 percent) of total Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Disability (OASDI) Insurance income came from payroll taxes. The remainder was provided by interest earnings $80.8 billion (7.6 percent) and revenue from taxation of OASDI benefits $36.5 billion (3.4 percent)3. The hospital insurance (HI) program, or Part A of Medicare taxes totaled $277.6 billion4.
For 2020, maximum taxable earnings for SS taxes are $137,7004.
In 2019, OASDI taxes totaled about $914 billion and represented 26.4 percent of total federal receipts4.
What if we started collecting SS and Medicare taxes at 3 times the median National income level and above? Below is a chart showing percent of worker by income group5 plus the current and proposed SS income taxes by group.
This would remove the largest taxes (other than sales taxes) that are hitting the least able to afford it.
To make SS and Medicare taxes even more fair, it would make sense to include Capital gains above the median National income as well. Why should people that do not need to work be able to skip SS and Medicare taxes? If you stay, you need to pay.