Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Social Programs or Corporate Welfare: Where do you want your taxes to go?

In the movie "Stranger Than Fiction", IRS agent Harold Crick (played by Will Farrell, proving once and for all that he can do drama) informs Ana Pascal (Maggie Gyllenhaal) that she has only paid %78 of the taxes that she owes. Ms. Pascal defiantly states that she deliberatly underpaid her taxes because she only wanted to pay for the government programs that she approved of. She approved of using her taxes to build playgrounds and fill potholes, but not corporate bailouts and national defence.

While my readers may disagree on what the military should be used for, I think we can all agree that there should be a national defence. Nevertheless, the concept of only paying for the government programs that you support is an interesting idea. Liberals hate paying for corporate bailouts and oil company subsidies, conservatives hate paying for social programs. Of course, if this idea were implemented then many people would insist that they do not support any government programs, leading to revenue shortfalls every year.

As an alternative, I propose that taxpayers be allowed to dedicate more money towards the causes that they are concerned about, while still paying a portion that goes into the general fund. How about allowing a dollar-for-dollar tax credit for donations to non-profit organizations that meet certain qualifications? The qualifications would be that the non-profit serves the same function as an existing government organization and that it can demonstrate that it accomplishes the same goal more efficiently.

While some private organization are less efficient and more corrupt than even the Bush administration, most NGO's can and do operate better than government for several reasons. NGO's can distribute help based on where it is needed, not based on who has the most influential congressman or senator. They are more accountable in that they lose funding if they screw up. They do not need to wait for a leap year to replace a leader if he isn't doing his job right.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Anti-smoking ads (Don't let your kids read this!)

There has been recent evidence that indicates that many anti-smoking commercials do not have the ostensibly intended effect of deterring kids from smoking. Some insist that this is because the tobacco companies themselves are producing these commercials. Personally, I think it is because teenagers instinctively rebel against public service announcements. I suppose that the way to test this hypothesis is have Playboy produce some abstinence commercials and see if those are any more or less effective than a commercial produced by the Latter Day Saints.

What I think would really work is some reverse psychology. How about an ad that shows an aging hippie smoking a cigarette with the caption "Smoking is Groovy! Just Ask Your Parents!" Or maybe have President Bush fire one up during the next State of the Union address and then declare "Yeah. Now I'm the president of Flavor Country." The key here is that teenagers will often do the opposite of what they think you want them to do. It could backfire if they realize the true intent of the reverse psychology campaign. I hope none of them are reading this.

Monday, November 13, 2006

I'm still here....

I have been busy recently. I think I got down all of my yard signs except for those put in people's front yards. Vandals seem to have done most of my work for me in that regard. Feel free to contact me at 420-5148 to report any stray signs. Sometimes pranksters will put them in less than desirable places. There has been a Geoff Paddock sign near the railroad bridge that goes over Broadway near Munchie's. This guy lost the primary back in May, and the sign was still up as of October. I don't think he or any of his volunteers put it there though, since it wasn't a good spot for people to notice it. I noticed it, however, because of my keen observation skills that make me such a wonderful security guard.

I have been cast in the Firehouse Theater's production of "A Christmas Carol". I have been cast as the young adult Ebenezzer in one of the flashback scenes, and I may even get cast as Scrooge's nephew Fred.

I'm also looking into buying a house on the south side of Fort Wayne. This house has a garage. It has been my dream to be able to change my own oil in the winter.

The next LPAC meeting will be held at the Munchies on Broadway at 7pm on November 20th.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

This one was just practice

I did the best that I could and I have no regrets. It is certainly an uphill battle when I was a third party candidate facing an opponent with tons more name recognition who had over 48 grand to spend on his campaign. I do not fault Phil GiaQuinta for using these to his advantage; a smart politician uses any edge he has. I congradulate both bim and Kevin Howell on a clean campaign. In the future, I'll put more effort into fund raising.

But even if there seems to be no chance at winning, I think it is important for all parties to nominate candidates to as many races as possible. It is difficult to hold a politician accountable who has no opposition.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Campaign Update!

Folks, I'm swamped this week, so this might be my last post before 6pm Tuesday. I'm looking foward to voting for myself. Every election, I walk to the polls, no matter what the weather is like. It has become a tradition for me. When I walk by myself to the polls, I am one man with one vote. They can take my house and my car, but I will always have the right to vote.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Less than a week to go....

Election Day less than a few days away. I have about 300 door hangers to distribute, and on a good day I can hand out about 60. On November 8th, I will have a lot of extra free time. If I win, I will have some time before the legislature goes into session. If I lose, I have some time before the local elections start to heat up. It sort of feels like college all over again. The semester is almost over but you have a huge paper to finish. Pass or fail, you still have summer vacation or Christmas to look forward to.