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A deal to be made, @realDonaldTrump

OK, here's a deal that could happen.

First, government would have to be reopened while details worked out. When that happens, one bill that does the following:

$5B for fencing on public lands that are not ecologically sensitive.

$20B for non-barrier border security, with at least $10B to be spent on staffing for border patrol and immigration courts

Dream Act passed. Ideally with path to citizenship, but one gets what one can get.


Posted on January 13, 2019, 10:44 am

Donald Brown

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Mr. Trump, Put up or shut up

It's common during political campaigns, and Trump did a lot of it. "I will solve this problem and it will be GREAT!" It's not totally useless, it at least is recognizing where there is a problem in need of a solution. Some general details would help, but no concept survives completely intact as it becomes law. So, during a campaign, you can forgive some vagueness on details.

But the campain is over, Mr. Trump. It was over more than two years ago. You can't just promise a "great solution" without saying what that solution will be. So Trump's morning tweet about "We need the Supreme Court to kill the ACA so we can replace it with something better" is particularly enraging to those like me who depend on the ACA's protections for those with pre-existing condition. You've HAD two years to come up with something better, and everything you proposed would make things WORSE. Fewer people getting coverage. Much weaker protections.

It's the same thing with immigration. "We need to kill the diversity lottery and family reunification visas in order to replace it with a merit based system" - WHAT is the merit based system? Is it really about merit, or is it "people who look like me have merit".

You are the President, Mr. Trump. Time for details.

Posted on December 17, 2018, 7:40 am

Donald Brown

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A pro-life bill

I am pro life. Here is what I think needs to be law.

Support for mothers and children

  • Full prenatal care provided for mothers who cannot afford it.
  • 6 months paid maternal leave with guaranteed access to job afterwards
  • Child care for those who need help.
  • Fully fund five star public education for every child
  • If needed, full funding of nutrious food for kids growing up and health care.

Other forms of supporting life

  • Mandatory blood donation unless doctor certification that they cannot donate.
  • Mandatory bone marrow donation if needed.
  • Mandatory organ donation upon death.
  • Universal registry and mandatory live kidney donation when needed.

Everyone will support that right? Because they believe in supporting life. They aren't really punishing women for getting pregnant, are they?

Posted on January 27, 2018, 6:55 pm

Donald Brown

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I'm working on my health and it's going great

4 years ago I got off the diet merry-go-round and I've never been healthier or happier. There were a few who assumed that meant I was going to go crazy eating and gain hundreds of pounds, but nope - that's part of the merry-go-round ride. Here's what I'm doing.

Step one. Love your body. I've got a MAGNIFICENT body. It's a gift. With it, I can walk, run, dance (not well but who cares). I can lift things, move things. When I'm upset, I can breath deeply and it helps calm me down. I love this body. And it deserves taking care of.

Step two. My body deserves to be feed good stuff. It needs vegetables, it needs good lean meat, it needs grains, it needs to be fed properly so it can do all those wonderful things. So, eating better is a goal in itself. I've developed a fondness for carrots and bananas (separately, one attempt combining the two did NOT go well). No taste for brocolli, but that's fine, so many wonderful things to eat that I love.

Step three. My body deserves to be active, because that makes it stronger. So far, I've been going for long walks. Would love to scrape together the money for an adult trike (balance isn't that great for a bike). I do this because my body gets stronger and because I enjoy it.

"But wait", some say, "What about your weight goals? What weight do you want to get down to?"

There are none. I treat my body well, the weight will take care of itself. According to the doctors I've lost a little weight, but that's irrelevant. It's not to change the shape or size of my body. It's to make my life and my body even better than it is now.

No, it's not easy and there are slips. I've got 40+ years of programming. My body is my enemy. There's a skinny person inside that fat shell struggling to get out. The size of your body means you have FAILED, and you must punish it into something else. Count calories to make sure your body is getting less than it needs to maintain itself. And every bite you eat, you need EXERCISE as punishment for eating it.

But I recognize the programming, and I understand the slips, and I get back on the dance as soon as I can.

Will this turn me into a skinny person? No, but 40+ years of yo-yo dieting didn't do that either. This is to become the best me I can be.

If only we taught kids this. Love your body. Good food is a reward to your great body. Being active is fun and make you stronger. Instead it's clothing size and weight, they get very messed up relationships with their body, and mentally and physically they suffer.

Posted on January 25, 2018, 11:21 pm

Donald Brown

Why businesses hire people

There are two reasons businesses want to hire people.

First, "I need more people but I just can't afford them" -Jobs are constrained by money

Second, "I see an opportunity to make a great profit by meeting consumers' demand for some product, and I need to hire people to meet that demand" - Jobs constrained by demand: if there are customers for Gizmos® I'll hire people, if there aren't customers for Gizmos® I won't.

In the current climate, most large corporations aren't really constrained by money. Many have cash just sitting around in liquid assets. Those that don't have assets that can be used for loans. So, if they say the opportunity to meet demand, they'd already be hiring the people to meet it. A tax cut for them won't create jobs, because it won't change demand.

Small businesses ARE constrained by money, they have limited cash flow and limited ability to borrow. So yes, tax cuts for them CAN create jobs.

And, of course, tax cuts for consumers are the best bang for the buck, because consumers buy stuff. Put more money in their hands, they'll buy more stuff, creating demand which creates jobs.

The current Republican Tax plan gives some consumers a small tax break - for now. Not all. If you have significant expenses for healthcare, or education/student loans, or morgage interest rates, or other deductions that are going away - your taxes may go UP. And those who are getting a small tax break, those are all temporary. The doubled standard deduction gets phased out. Tax cut rates, phased out. The Republicans are doing that to get under an arbitrary increase in the deficit - and are trusting future Congresses to make them permanent (thus increasing the deficit even more) but that may not happen. So this bill does NOTHING to boost demand and to some degree reduces it.

The part that is permanent is a HUGE tax giveaway to the large corporations and benefits for very rich people (by sheer coincidence, Donald Trump). Who aren't constrained by money before the tax cut so no jobs will be created.

If we were in a crashing economy, where even large corporations were cash constrained, a tax cut like this might make sense. Reagan and Bush tax cuts were made in troubled economic times. It's questionable how much they actually helped, but it was a time where "We've got to do something" was obvious. But, as Trump tweets every morning, we've got a strong economy. Huge profits. Soaring stock market. Low unemployment. Workers may not be doing so well, the jobs that are available aren't great and don't pay enough, but for the corporations who get the big tax cut - things are GREAT. The tax bill will just move more money out of the hands of most of us and into the hands of the rich guys.

Which is the goal - but not what they're saying. They are LYING.

Posted on November 28, 2017, 8:49 am

Donald Brown

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