Thursday, February 12, 2015
Some Random Reflections
I have variety of random observations, thoughts, and remarks rattling around inside my head. I suppose that I might as well write them here.
The first is that and increasing number of people who I would have previously assumed would act as cheerleaders for the Republican party are starting to rumble that they would prefer a third party, or at the least a re-aligning of interests for the GOP, even if this requires voting third-party for a few election cycles. This group now includes Erik Erickson from RedState, Jay Cost at The Federalist, and Ace. I'd like to see social policy put first, rather than seeing the party largely surrender every battle of the culture wars. It would be nice to at least get a coalition together that is moderately pro-life enough to pass incremental abortion bans (after 20 weeks, for starters) with some consistency--especially when said bans are already popularly supported. And it would be similarly nice to see some sort of interest in making a workable solution that at the very least protects religious freedoms and rights of association and free speech on the whole "gay marriage" front.
Second random thought: since poll taxes are not allowed, and poll tests are not allowed, perhaps the next best thing is to require that all votes for a candidate be write-in only. Meaning; the Republicans and the Democrats and everyone else can still have their nominees at any given office, but the voters can no longer just lazily fill in a bubble next to their names. You will write out the name of the man or woman for whom you are voting; spelling errors can be accounted for via common sense, and of course in the age of computerized voting, by "write" I mean "type", so illegible handwriting is not an issue. And in places where there are ballot measures, you will at least write in "yes on ballot #" or "no on ballot #" (specifying the number) to have your vote for that ballot counted.
Third random thought: Eye of the Tiber continues to be funny, this time in a sad way which comments on the hypocrisy of our culture.
Fourth random thought: a better way for making college "affordable." Recall that President Obama had originally proposed raiding peoples' college savings accounts (529 accounts) by taxing any withdrawal from these (the deposits are often taxed already). This was in order to pay for other people who couldn't (or simply didn't bother to) save up for college, so that they could go to a community college for "free", thereby making two more years of school de-facto compulsory. Here is a counter-proposal. If getting people to go to college means so much, why not make any payment for tuition (or repayment of a loan) tax-deductible at a special rate. The rate is: for every dollar you spend paying for your own tuition up front, you will pay $1 fewer in taxes. For every dollar you spend paying your own student loans, you will pay $0.75 less on your taxes that year. And for every dollar you spend paying for someone elses' tuition or student loans, you get back 50% of the return they would have had.
Fifth random thought: enjoy this fanciful fairy tale from the Imaginative Conservative.