Cornfield Perspective: Paris Climate Accord

The Cornfield’s own 8th District Congressman Dr. Larry Buschon provided his take on the Paris Climate Accord, from which President Donald Trump withdrew US participation in this week.

A Decision on Paris

  • President Obama entered into the Paris climate agreement on his own – he never sought the Senate’s advice and consent.
  • The agreement treats countries differently, with the U.S. cutting emissions more than Russia, China, Iran, and India.
  • The disparity puts U.S. businesses at a competitive disadvantage and raises energy costs for Americans. 

The Paris climate agreement was a vital part of President Obama’s attempts to build his legacy. The Trump administration is expected to decide the deal’s fate before the president attends the G-7 summit on May 26.

DISPARITY AMONG COUNTRIES

The United States pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent between 2015 and 2025. Meanwhile, Russia is allowed to increase its emissions up to 50 percent – and China refused to set any emissions limit at all until 2030.

After the agreement was signed, many nations indicated that they would only take action if they got a significant amount of foreign aid. Developing nations have requested at least $5.4 trillion in assistance. India requested $2.5 trillion, and South Africa asked for $909 billion. Iran made its commitments contingent on the removal of all sanctions and receiving $840 billion. President Obama transferred $1 billion from the State Department to the United Nations to implement the Paris agreement.

THE SENATE NEVER APPROVED THE AGREEMENT

President Obama knew that Congress would never approve such a flawed deal, so he refused to seek the Senate’s advice and consent. Instead, he labeled it an “executive agreement” and unilaterally pledged U.S. support. President Obama’s actions violated U.S. policy set during the Clinton administration requiring Senate approval for any international effort to set “targets and timetables” for emissions reductions.

POTENTIAL IMPACT ON AMERICAN JOBS

Many of America’s global competitors are unaffected by the Paris agreement, while the United States will incur significant implementation costs. President Obama pledged to cut annual greenhouse gas emissions by about 1.1 billion tons from 2015 to 2025. That’s on top of the more than 820 million tons the U.S. has already cut from annual emissions over the last decade. According to a March 2017 study by NERA Economic Consulting, the Paris agreement will cost America $3 trillion and eliminate 6.5 million jobs by 2040. Every sector of the economy will be affected, especially the U.S. industrial base.

Decline in U.S. Industrial Output Due to Paris Agreement in 2025

Source: NERA Economic Consulting

INCREASING U.S. OBLIGATIONS

The United States’ obligations under the Paris agreement increase over time. Under the agreement, the U.S. is required to update its emission-reduction targets every five years. The plain language of the agreement states that we can only pledge to do more – not less – as time goes on.

IMPACT ON THE ENVIRONMENT

Despite the high costs, the agreement does not solve the environmental challenges it was meant to address. China is the world’s largest producer of greenhouse gases. While U.S. emissions decline, those from developing nations like India continue to rise. That’s one reason why researchers at MIT estimate that the agreement will have a negligible impact on the environment.

 More here: https://www.rpc.senate.gov/policy-papers/a-decision-on-paris.

From the Cornfield, that is the perspective of one of its Congressional Representatives.

And what is your perspective on the President’s withdrawal from the PCA?

Principles I Carry Over into 2017

As we enter into this New Year of 2017, many make resolutions to change some facet of life or to promise to do this or that.

What we should never do, however, is resolve to change our core principles for the sake of change and without rhyme or reason.

For me, as I have stated for the past several years in various reports, there are certain principles which I have maintained and have consistently stood on and behind. That has not changed as we have left 2016 to history and entered the “brave new world” yet explored called, “2017”.

There are those who say that a moderate independent is a fence straddler or wishy washy, without root. I would beg to differ. I once more reaffirm the principles upon which my political philosophy is based and has been steadfast.

I may be open to discussion, open to modifications and even at times change in where I stand as new information is revealed, but I am firm on who I am and where I stand.

The Cornfield Political Platform

1. Size of Federal Government – I am for a leaner, streamlined federal government with more power and authority vested in local and state governments.

2. Taxes – The tax code needs simplified. Close tax loopholes and get rid of deductions. I am not opposed to a flat tax, a value added tax or national sales tax.

3. Government Spending – I believe in spending what you have. Only in rare emergencies should government borrow to pay bills. Unnecessary or redundant government programs, agencies, bureaus, departments should be eliminated to cut the cost of government spending on all levels: local, state and federal.

4. Government Revenue – When necessary to keep vital programs, agencies, bureaus and departments operating, an increase in revenue (taxes) may be necessary, but should be rare, not the norm. Pledges to never raise taxes should be eliminated. It is at times necessary to pass limited taxation adjustment upward.

5. Safety Nets – Should be there only for the elderly, the infirm and disabled. Most other assistance to others can be provided traditionally on the local level through families, communities, churches, charities and local and state government as needed.

6. Social Security – Needs revamped and overhauled for the future. Current recipients should have option of current program or a new overhauled program. Social Security Trust Funds should be off limits to Congress with hefty fines on individual members of Congress who attempt to “borrow” from the SSTF.

7. Medicare – Needs revamped and overhauled for the future. Perhaps an individual medical savings account is the route to go. Current recipients should have the option of the current program or the new system.

8. Medicaid – This should go directly back to the states and implemented as outlined in #5.

9. Supplemental Security Income – Should be given back to the states to administer in a manner as outlined in #5.

10. Military/Defense – We must ensure that we have the best equipped, best trained military in the world. We must be sure we stay ahead of the world in defense weapons and technology including cyber security. We do need to assess our commitments and global locations. Closing those bases that are not necessary, consolidating our forces and bases where feasible.

11. Education – Belongs on the local level. Local school boards should have more say over the curriculum and evaluation. Bad teachers should be weeded out without regard to tenure. Parents must become more involved. No federal oversight, only state and local administration.

12. Laws and Regulations – A complete study and analysis of all federal laws. Get redundant, outdated, overly cumbersome laws and regulations off the books. We must make sure our laws are concise and fair.

13. Environment and Energy – We must become independent for our energy needs. We must explore all avenues. We must approach new technologies with common sense. We must ensure we do the best for the enviroment, but measured and with common sense without being overly burdensome. We will move from fossil fuels to newer, greener energy once that technology is developed and affordable. We must weigh the needs of jobs and the economy against rules and regulations put in place which would place an undue hardship on families and individuals.

14. Equality – We must ensure that all our citizens are treated equally under the law. No one class or group of individuals or couples should be granted any rights and benefits not afforded to every other group of individuals and couples.

15. Immigration – We must stop the fear mongering and address the issue with common sense. Mass deportation will not work. Children who have grown up in the US all or the majority of their lives and who are here, not of their own free will, should be afforded a path to residence, but not citizenship, by serving in the military or upon completion of college giving back to the community in such areas as medicine, research and development. Immigration laws need enforced and streamlined and overhauled with quotas reassessed every 5 years.

16. The National Debt – As I stated, government should spend only what it brings in through taxation and fees. To pay down our unsustainable national debt, 10% of revenue should be used explicitly to cut the debt balance. Government will have to live with the 90% left to meet its expenditures, making cuts to stay within that amount. This 10% should be used until the national debt is liquidated. Once liquidated, the 10% should be set aside and build a surplus in the event of an emergency to prevent the need for borrowing in the future. If God and religious organizations can make it on 10%, the government can do without 10% to address the national debt and build an emergency fund for the future.

17. Jobs and Labor – The federal government needs to get out of the way and let the market work. Except for ensuring workers are not abused and safety concerns are dealt with, government should be in the position of enhancing an environment that is conducive to job creation – not an impediment to work and business expansion.

18. Unemployment Insurance – This should be returned to the states with full authority. Benefits should be limited to encourage individuals to actively seek work. Training classes and assistance in finding work should be provided and required. All of this should be managed and administered at the local/state level.

19. Food Assistance – This again should be a state/local activity and not a way of life. This can be done successfully as was done traditionally as outlined in #5.

20. Financial and Banking – The federal government should ensure that proper oversight is in place to prevent those in the financial markets or banks from predatory practices. Banks or other financial institutions which run into trouble should be allowed to fail and let the market make corrections, while ensuring that customers are protected against loss. Regulators, inspectors and members of the Federal Reserve Boards should not be past or current employees of financial institutions or banks. Regulators, Federal Reserve Board members and inspectors must be completely independent of the industry.

21. Abortion – Abortion should not be banned in its entirety. There should be exemptions for rape, incest and medical necessity (the life of the mother or viability of the unborn).

22. Campaign Finances – Campaign financing reform is drastically needed. All political campaigns should be funded on all levels (local, state, nationally) by the people through a fund set-up specifically for that purpose, placing all campaigns on equal footing with equal funding based on type of campaign (local, state, national). No funding of political ads by any other entity or individuals should be allowed and only publicly-financed ads should be allowed. This will take Congress having the guts to cut off any and all outside influences.

23. The US of A in the World – America must accept and understand its position of leadership in the world along with its responsibility as being a beacon of freedom. However, the US of A must not become entangled in every outbreak or unrest that occurs. We must choose our battles carefully. When our government (the Executive and Legislative Branches acting in unison) does choose to intervene, we must ensure that our military forces are not hampered by politics or changing public mood. Rather when our military forces are unleashed it must be with one objective – to win and then withdraw from the battlefield. The US of A must not be in the business of nation building and must eschew the path of “winning the hearts and minds” of the enemy. The enemy is the enemy.

24. Voter ID Laws – Voter photo identification seems logical and practical from where I sit in the Cornfield. We have had the law requiring a photo ID in the Hoosier State since 2005 with no disruption nor suppression of the vote. From my perspective, all the talk about voter fraud and voter suppression is all hooey. The practicality of having a photo ID to vote, to me, is that in order to receive government benefits, to purchase alcohol or cigarettes, to pick up prescriptions, to cash a check and the list goes on, a photo ID is required. Doesn’t it just make common sense if an ID is required for these things an ID would be appropriate before casting a vote? Think about it, you even have to have identification to have a job. Isn’t the most important function in our free society choosing our elected officials? So why not provide a photo ID, which under Supreme Court rulings must be free of charge?

That’s just a bit of The Cornfield Political Platform. It is not all inclusive nor does it address all issues. It is just a sampling of where I stand politically on the issues.

From the Cornfield, I stand flat-footed, my feet planted by the water. I may sway with the storms of life, but I will not be deterred by those who attempt to demagogue or cast aspersions on those who may think differently.

We are Americans.

Part of our legacy is our independence and liberty, not just from a foreign power, but free to think, reason and live with the least amount of interference and influence of government and special interest groups. It is our freedom to be ourselves, individuals united as one, which is our strength.

Our national motto says it best: “Out of many, one” – E pluribus unum.

Clinton Judgment in Question

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Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is breathing much easier today after Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey told the nation that there would be no request for criminal charges being filed over her use of a private email server while Secretary of State.

But – Comey raised serious concern about Clinton’s judgment.

A woman who is wanting to be Commander-in-Chief was in Comey’s words, “extremely careless.

National security may have been jeopardized by hostile actors on the world stage.

Read these statements from Comey’s address to the country and you make your own judgment about Clinton’s judgment in deciding to use a private email server:

  • Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information, there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.
  • There is evidence to support a conclusion that any reasonable person in Secretary Clinton’s position, or in the position of those with whom she was corresponding about those matters, should have known that an unclassified system was no place for that conversation.
  • None of these emails should have been on any kind of unclassified system, but their presence is especially concerning because all of these emails were housed on unclassified personal servers not even supported by full-time security staff, like those found at agencies and departments of the United States government — or even with a commercial email service like Gmail.
  • Only a very small number of the emails containing classified information bore markings indicating the presence of classified information. But even if information is not marked ‘classified’ in an email, participants who know or should know that the subject matter is classified are still obligated to protect it.
  • We do assess that hostile actors gained access to the private commercial email accounts of people with whom Secretary Clinton was in regular contact from her personal account. We also assess that Secretary Clinton’s use of a personal email domain was both known by a large number of people and readily apparent.
  • She also used her personal email extensively while outside the United States, including sending and receiving work-related emails in the territory of sophisticated adversaries. Given that combination of factors, we assess it is possible that hostile actors gained access to Secretary Clinton’s personal email account.

From the Cornfield, while I am not enamored with the presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, am uncertain about Libertarian Gary Johnson and a no on Green’s Jill Stein, this information is disturbing.

The lack of good judgment is a major downer and typifies the story line that that has swirled around Clinton for over three decades.

Making matters worse, Clinton, like her husband 20 years before, bold-faced lied to the American people. Clinton said no classified emails were ever sent or received on her private email server.

Not so, said Comey.

Instead of clearing a path to the White House, today’s pronouncement by the FBI muddies already political waters steeped in mire and muck.

Hoosiers, Time to Roar

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Indiana may be one of the smaller states in the Union in geographic size and population, but Hoosiers have much of which to be proud.

We have our share of Vice Presidents: Schuyler Colfax, Thomas Hendricks, Charles Fairbanks, Thomas Marshall and Dan Quayle.

Ties to Presidents: General William Henry Harrison, whose Grouseland is located in Vincennes and his grandson Benjamin Harrison, born here as well as being Abraham Lincoln’s boyhood home. 

Celebrities: James Dean, Anne Baxter, Carole Lombard, Karl Malden, Steve McQueen, Sydney Pollack, Clifton Webb, The Jacksons, Florence Henderson, Phil Harris, Red Skelton, Axl Rose, CNN’s Kate Bolduan, Joyce DeWitt, David Letterman, to name a few.

Sports Figures: Larry Bird, Don Mattingly, John Wooden, Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, to name a few.

Authors and More: James Whitcomb Riley, General Lew Wallace, Jim Davis, Theodore Dreiser, Phil Dresser, Ernie Pyle, T.C. Steele, Kurt Vonnegut, to name a few.

  Universities: IU, Notre Dame, Purdue, ISU, Ball State, to name a few.

Supreme Court Justices: Chief Justice John Roberts was born and raised here.

Astronauts & Aviators: Amelia Earhart, Gus Grissom, Joseph P. Allen, Frank Borman, to name a few. And of course some we are not so proud of such as John Dillinger, Jimmy Hoffa, Sam Bass and Johnny Ringo.

But this year, the voters in the Cornfield and coal mines of Indiana will have a chance to do something which has never happened in my lifetime – determine who will be a presidential nominee and impact the other party’s selection.

Traditionally, the state’s late-to-the-game May 3 vote is merely lip service to the process. The decision has long been made as to who the presumptive nominees will be for the two major parties.

Not this year.

If all goes as expected tonight in the Atlantic Seaboard Primary of Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Maryland and Delaware, Hoosier voters may well determine whether Donald Trump becomes the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

At the same time, Cornfield ballot-casters could seal the fate of Bernie Sanders and push Hillary Clinton to the presumption for the Democrats.

Never has there been such an important primary season for Hoosiers. We have the power. It is time for Hoosiers to roar.

A week out and Donald Trump leads on the GOP side. Clinton is ahead, but Sanders is closing.

Ted Cruz and John Kasich, Governor of neighbor Ohio, struck a deal to target resources which would be of the most benefit. At the same time, both are calling on supporters to continue to vote for them.

Hoosiers hold in their hands the ability to either confirm or stop Trump’s Sherman’s March to the Sea.

Which way will Hoosier vote?

Indiana is more conservative state – both with Republicans and Democrats. I have often claimed that our Democrats would be Republicans in other states and vice versa.

Hoosiers are rather independent in that we go our own way.

Look at one of our longest serving and most powerful Senators, Dick Lugar. Lugar was the consummate moderate, which is where despite some socially conservative veins, most Hoosiers will identify as being.

It is, therefore, surprising that our next door neighbor’s Governor is not doing so well in the polls. Kasich not committing resources to the state does not serve him well. He could upset the general consensus if only tried.

From the Cornfield, next Tuesday I will be walking across the street to the Ruritan Building and casting my vote.

When I sign in I will declare as either a Republican or Democrat and receive the appropriate ballot. How I will vote I am keeping quiet at this time.

Now is the time for Hoosiers to let the nation hear our voice. This is the primary of our lifetimes.

Come on Hoosiers, let our roar match that of our most famous sporting event – the Indy 500!

More on influential Hoosiers: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_people_from_Indiana

 

An American Revolution

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A political revolution is taking place in America.

Sorry, Bernie, you are not the catalyst of this upheaval.

Fact is the revolution is not even taking place in the party in which you are running to become president.

Fact is the party in which you are competing, the Democratic Party, has been moving your direction for decades, beginning with Franklin Delano Roosevelt, in your political direction.

There is not nor is there a need for an insurrection with Democrats. If and when a revolution comes it will be to return the party to the center-left where it has been for most of its existence.

There is an American revolution going on, but it is in the Grand Ole Party. It is Republicans who are seeing their party transformed before their eyes.

The party moved to far to the right and now there is a correction. There hav been other attempts to revolt and transform the party with mostly failures, but also success.

The Dixiecrats with the lead of Strom Thurmond tried in the 1960s in reaction to the Civil Rights Era. The Dixiecrats were assimilated.

The Moral Majority, which became the Evangelical force, tried and succeeded in the 1980s. Until this election cycle, they have held the reins of power.

But now, American voters are saying, “enough” to the extremes of social conservatism when there are more pressing issues – the economy, terrorism, immigration.

The Tea Party tried, but were assimilated.

The Liberty Movement tried, but were assimilated.

Last summer along came a business tycoon, a reality TV star, worth billions. Until it was too late, the so-called “Establishment” thought his campaign to be the nominee for president from the GOP a joke.

Even the opposition and the current resident in the White House saw this brash, media-hogging celebrity as an entertainer bent on a publicity stunt. President Barack Obama, just last week, said America was not ready for an entertainer in the Oval Office.

Fact is, America has already set a precedent for a celebrity, an entertainer in the White House – Ronald Reagan. Donald Trump is upending conventional wisdom.

Donald Trump is capturing the hearts of the voters.

Donald Trump is changing before our collective eyes from a do-anything-for headlines reality star into an actual (gulp!) politician.

The Grand Ole Party is turning from being the party of “No” into a party of “Why Not?”

Fact is we are getting next to zero in the way of substantial policy blueprints.

Fact is we are not finding any substance to Trump’s ideas.

Fact is, Americans do not care.

While some state lawmakers and governors may be digging in, their constituents are moving away and turning another direction. These governors, representatives, senators may find themselves in political trouble come November unless they are willing to change and adapt to the new reality.

The conventions to select the nominees for both Democrats and Republicans are still a long way off. The election is more like an eternity away.

After only four states voting, no one can say if the revolution will succeed or fail. After only four states, no one can say what may happen.

Bernie Sanders may become the candidate of the party of Thomas Jefferson by default if Hillary Clinton is indicted.

The Establishment may congeal around Marco Rubio or John Kasich, impeding Trump’s march to Lake Erie.

From the Cornfield, what is certain at this point is that there is a political revolution in the US of A. Sides are forming and the fight is on.

The vaunted autopsy by the central committee of the GOP may have identified some of the problems with the party, but the committee did nothing to change the party.

Voters are now doing that and are cheering their general, Trump, with ticker-tape parades in community after community, state after state.

Will Trump and his troops be halted, sending The Donald into exile in Manhattan?

Will Trump’s forces lay waste to the terrain, installing him as leader of a new Grand Ole Party and claim the White House?

This is not the Whiskey Rebellion, easily put down by George Washington.

This is not your grandma’s and grandpa’s politics.

This is an American Revolution.

Is anyone in Washington DC listening?

Bare Knuckles Brawl

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Last night’s Republican presidential debate in South Carolina broke out into a bare knuckles brawl as Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz took off the gloves. John Kasich and Ben Carson stayed out side the cage, yet both scored points with a more gentle approach.

From the get-go, it was obvious that most of the candidates were out for blood and would give no quarter.

Where the Democrats have devolved into a three-person race with President Barack Obama being very much a part of the debate on stage between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, the Republicans have turned into an eight-person race where former President George W. Bush is in the fray.

While neither President was physically in the room, both Presidents were very much impacting the discussion.

In a surprise, Rubio came out in defense of GW and backing his chief rival, Jeb, on the issue in a free-for-all with The Donald. The audience, packed by the South Carolina State Party with Establishment types, booed over and over at Trump especially when he slammed GW.

Jeb disinvited The Donald to a Monday rally where former First Lady Barbara Bush (the nation’s Grandma) would be in attendance. Jeb said he was “sick and tired” of The Donald blasting his family.

Liar, liar – over and over Marco, like a Chihuahua, nipped at Ted’s heels. Ted did not lay down, but punched back at The Donald and Marco. The Donald could not decide who was the biggest prevaricator in the room – Ted or Jeb.

Kasich called for a time-out which went ignored.

The Doctor got more questions and speaking time than in previous debates.

One point where all the candidates agreed was that the choice of who should filled the vacancy caused by the sudden death of Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court should be put off until a new person takes over the Oval Office.

Who won and who lost?

Each of the candidates scored points. Each won in their own lane.

How that will translate come the South Carolina primary and the Nevada caucus is anyone’s guess in this atypical and strange, topsy-turvy election cycle.

Likewise each of the wannabes lost in that most likely none expanded their appeal much beyond the base already supporting each one.

Clear losers were the moderators of the event put on by CBS. It was clear that the moderators were not in control as the candidates continuously talked over each other, interrupted each other, demanded to interject and respond.

The moderators caved.

From the Cornfield, there will be another debate on February 25 after the primary and caucus. Whether the field will narrow after those votes is up in the air.

Before the votes are cast Republicans will get one more chance to talk to the voters of South Carolina as CNN hosts three candidates on Wednesday in a town hall and the remaining three in a town hall on Thursday.

No-Show Wins

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Republican contenders for the presidency met in a debate in Des Moines, Iowa last night to make their last major televised pitch before Iowans go to caucus on Monday.

But it was not the seven on the stage who were the star of the show.

The one contender who won the debate was the one who was three miles down the road doing his own thing – Donald Trump. His name, however, did come up 13 times during last night’s main event.

The big loser may have been Ted Cruz, who could not seem to get it together. He tried his knack for telling jokes and cracking humor, but most were lame or fell on an unappreciative audience.

Time and again he was slapped down by both Marco Rubio and Rand Paul. Cruz was not used to be the center of attention.

Paul and Jeb Bush had their appearances and debate night yet. Still there was no wow moment to move the needle. Rubio was in full command many times. He made a direct appeal to Evangelicals which was a slap to Cruz’s face.

However, Rubio got a bit of come-uppance from his former mentor, Bush, on the immigration issue.

John Kasich and Chris Christie appeared as themselves in last night’s ongoing GOP saga.

Unfortunately, Dr. Ben Carson seemed to be the wilting wall flower. Not that it was entirely his fault. The moderators gave him less than half the time allotted to Rubio and Cruz. Polls say that around 40% of Iowa voters have yet to make up their mind even though they must go and caucus in three days.

Last night, if they were able to stay awake and were not watching the Trump fund raiser for veterans, would have seen and heard a much more substantial debate on the issues from the seven on the stage.

But though deeper and meatier on policy than past debates, it is doubtful anyone of the seven or the four who debated earlier (Carly Fiorina, Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee and Jim Gilmore – yes, Gilmore) made much of an impact or swayed anyone closer to a decision.

From the Cornfield, on Monday we will find who truly won the debate.

Principles I Carry Over into 2016

cornfieldlogoAs we enter into this New Year of 2016, many make resolutions to change some facet of life or to promise to do this or that.

What we should never do, however, is resolve to change our core principles for the sake of change and without rhyme or reason.

For me, as I have stated for the past several years in various reports, there are certain principles which I have maintained and have consistently stood on and behind. That has not changed as we have left 2015 to history and entered the “brave new world” yet explored called, “2016”.

There are those who say that a moderate independent is a fence straddler or wishy washy, without root. I would beg to differ. I once more reaffirm the principles upon which my political philosophy is based and has been steadfast.

I may be open to discussion, open to modifications and even at times change in where I stand as new information is revealed, but I am firm on who I am and where I stand.

The Cornfield Political Platform

1. Size of Federal GovernmentI am for a leaner, streamlined federal government with more power and authority vested in local and state governments.

2. TaxesThe tax code needs simplified. Close tax loopholes and get rid of deductions. I am not opposed to a flat tax, a value added tax or national sales tax.

3. Government SpendingI believe in spending what you have. Only in rare emergencies should government borrow to pay bills. Unnecessary or redundant government programs, agencies, bureaus, departments should be eliminated to cut the cost of government spending on all levels: local, state and federal.

4. Government RevenueWhen necessary to keep vital programs, agencies, bureaus and departments operating, an increase in revenue (taxes) may be necessary, but should be rare, not the norm. Pledges to never raise taxes should be eliminated. It is at times necessary to pass limited taxation adjustment upward.

5. Safety NetsShould be there only for the elderly, the infirm and disabled. Most other assistance to others can be provided traditionally on the local level through families, communities, churches, charities and local and state government as needed.

6. Social SecurityNeeds revamped and overhauled for the future. Current recipients should have option of current program or a new overhauled program. Social Security Trust Funds should be off limits to Congress with hefty fines on individual members of Congress who attempt to “borrow” from the SSTF.

7. MedicareNeeds revamped and overhauled for the future. Perhaps an individual medical savings account is the route to go. Current recipients should have the option of the current program or the new system.

8. MedicaidThis should go directly back to the states and implemented as outlined in #5.

9. Supplemental Security IncomeShould be given back to the states to administer in a manner as outlined in #5.

10. Military/DefenseWe must ensure that we have the best equipped, best trained military in the world. We must be sure we stay ahead of the world in defense weapons and technology including cyber security. We do need to assess our commitments and global locations. Closing those bases that are not necessary, consolidating our forces and bases where feasible.

11. EducationBelongs on the local level. Local school boards should have more say over the curriculum and evaluation. Bad teachers should be weeded out without regard to tenure. Parents must become more involved. No federal oversight, only state and local administration.

12. Laws and RegulationsA complete study and analysis of all federal laws. Get redundant, outdated, overly cumbersome laws and regulations off the books. We must make sure our laws are concise and fair.

13. Environment and EnergyWe must become independent for our energy needs. We must explore all avenues. We must approach new technologies with common sense. We must ensure we do the best for the enviroment, but measured and with common sense without being overly burdensome. We will move from fossil fuels to newer, greener energy once that technology is developed and affordable. We must weigh the needs of jobs and the economy against rules and regulations put in place which would place an undue hardship on families and individuals.

14. EqualityWe must ensure that all our citizens are treated equally under the law. No one class or group of individuals or couples should be granted any rights and benefits not afforded to every other group of individuals and couples.

15. ImmigrationWe must stop the fear mongering and address the issue with common sense. Mass deportation will not work. Children who have grown up in the US all or the majority of their lives and who are here, not of their own free will, should be afforded a path to residence, but not citizenship, by serving in the military or upon completion of college giving back to the community in such areas as medicine, research and development. Immigration laws need enforced and streamlined and overhauled with quotas reassessed every 5 years.

16. The National DebtAs I stated, government should spend only what it brings in through taxation and fees. To pay down our unsustainable national debt, 10% of revenue should be used explicitly to cut the debt balance. Government will have to live with the 90% left to meet its expenditures, making cuts to stay within that amount. This 10% should be used until the national debt is liquidated. Once liquidated, the 10% should be set aside and build a surplus in the event of an emergency to prevent the need for borrowing in the future. If God and religious organizations can make it on 10%, the government can do without 10% to address the national debt and buld an emergency fund for the future.

17. Jobs and LaborThe federal government needs to get out of the way and let the market work. Except for ensuring workers are not abused and safety concerns are dealt with, government should be in the position of enhancing an environment that is conducive to job creation – not an impediment to work and business expansion.

18. Unemployment InsuranceThis should be returned to the states with full authority. Benefits should be limited to encourage individuals to actively seek work. Training classes and assistance in finding work should be provided and required. All of this should be managed and administered at the local/state level.

19. Food AssistanceThis again should be a state/local activity and not a way of life. This can be done successfully as was done traditionally as outlined in #5.

20. Financial and BankingThe federal government should ensure that proper oversight is in place to prevent those in the financial markets or banks from predatory practices. Banks or other financial institutions which run into trouble should be allowed to fail and let the market make corrections, while ensuring that customers are protected against loss. Regulators, inspectors and members of the Federal Reserve Boards should not be past or current employees of financial institutions or banks. Regulators, Federal Reserve Board members and inspectors must be completely independent of the industry.

21. AbortionAbortion should not be banned in its entirety. There should be exemptions for rape, incest and medical necessity (the life of the mother or viability of the unborn).

22. Campaign FinancesCampaign financing reform is drastically needed. All political campaigns should be funded on all levels (local, state, nationally) by the people through a fund set-up specifically for that purpose, placing all campaigns on equal footing with equal funding based on type of campaign (local, state, national). No funding of political ads by any other entity or individuals should be allowed and only publically-financed ads should be allowed. This will take Congress having the guts to cut off any and all outside influences.

23. The US of A in the WorldAmerica must accept and understand its position of leadership in the world along with its responsibility as being a beacon of freedom. However, the US of A must not become entangled in every outbreak or unrest that occurs. We must choose our battles carefully. When our government (the Executive and Legislative Branches acting in unison) does choose to intervene, we must ensure that our military forces are not hampered by politics or changing public mood. Rather when our military forces are unleashed it must be with one objective – to win and then withdraw from the battlefield. The US of A must not be in the business of nation building and must eschew the path of “winning the hearts and minds” of the enemy. The enemy is the enemy.

24. Voter ID LawsVoter photo identification seems logical and practical from where I sit in the Cornfield. We have had the law requiring a photo ID in the Hoosier State since 2005 with no disruption nor suppression of the vote. From my perspective, all the talk about voter fraud and voter suppression is all hooey. The practicality of having a photo ID to vote, to me, is that in order to receive government benefits, to purchase alcohol or cigarettes, to pick up prescriptions, to cash a check and the list goes on, a photo ID is required. Doesn’t it just make common sense if an ID is required for these things an ID would be appropriate before casting a vote? Think about it, you even have to have identification to have a job. Isn’t the most important function in our free society choosing our elected officials? So why not provide a photo ID, which under Supreme Court rulings must be free of charge?

That’s just a bit of The Cornfield Political Platform. It is not all inclusive nor does it address all issues. It is just a sampling of where I stand politically on the issues.

From the Cornfield, I stand flat-footed, my feet planted by the water. I may sway with the storms of life, but I will not be deterred by those who attempt to demagogue or cast aspersions on those who may think differently.

We are Americans.

Part of our legacy is our independence and liberty, not just from a foreign power, but free to think, reason and live with the least amount of interference and influence of government and special interest groups. It is our freedom to be ourselves, individuals united as one, which is our strength.

Our national motto says it best: “Out of many, one” – E pluribus unum.

Cha-Ching! Dems Debate

cornfieldlogoI noted Wednesday following the Tuesday Republican debates: human nature is such that each of us hears what we want to hear and see what we want to see in most situations. This is definitely true when it comes to the realm of politics and political debates. Often our mindset and preconceived notions determine what we perceive.

This is particularly true of Saturday night’s Democratic presidential candidates’ debate. From the punditry, the analysis, snippets from supporters and opponents, everyone saw and heard differing debate results.

For me one hyphenated word stood out – cha-ching! Yes, there were other moments and some substantial differences between Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley.

Yet, my head was resounding with the sound of money clinking as the Democratic contenders talked about how they want to expand the government’s involvement in our every day lives, the offers of “free education”, revamping healthcare and defeating the Islamic State.

Even when the three tangled over gun control, I could hear a tinkling of coins in the background. None were specific in numbers and details of how much their ideas were going to cost us – but – cost us it would. All three held their own with supporters being able to claim victory for each one with reasons to back up the claim.

To me Hillary won the day by not losing.

Others saw other things.

Good Morning America found nine moments that mattered:

  • Sanders Says He Is Sorry
  • Clinton Calls Trump ISIS Best Recruiter
  • Sanders’ Moment of Zen
  • No Fly, No Problem?
  • Sanders Gets Challenged “to Join the Democrats”
  • Hillary Goes Missing — Briefly
  • Everybody Loves Hillary?
  • Of “Lust” and Libya
  • Presidential Spouses Take Center Stage

Read the reasoning: https://gma.yahoo.com/third-democratic-presidential-debate-9-moments-mattered-042523396–abc-news-topstories.html

From the Cornfield, there will be two more Republican debates before the next Democratic debate. Then Iowa and New Hampshire vote.

By the way, the numbers were not good for last night’s showing.

Cornfield Polling Results

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Earlier this week I once more put up a non-scientific survey to gauge who readers wanted to see at the top of the Republican ticket in 2016.

The results are in. Coming out on top with 50% of the vote of those who participated is Donald Trump. Three other candidates split the rest of the votes: Ben Carson, Marco Rubio and Lindsey Graham.

results

Tonight, Democrats Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley will face each other in a debate that few are expected to view. The host is ABC and will begin at 8 p.m. (ET).

From the Cornfield, I was surprised to see Graham in the mix. The poll revealed that Trump has a good chance at winning the GOP nomination for president, but the field is fractured.