About Me

In writing the "About Me" portion of this blog I thought about the purpose of the blog - namely, preventing the growth of Socialism & stopping the Death Of Democracy in the American Republic & returning her to the "liberty to abundance" stage of our history. One word descriptions of people's philosophies or purposes are quite often inadequate. I feel that I am "liberal" meaning that I am broad minded, independent, generous, hospitable, & magnanimous. Under these terms "liberal" is a perfectly good word that has been corrupted over the years to mean the person is a left-winger or as Mark Levin more accurately wrote in his book "Liberty & Tyranny" a "statist" - someone looking for government or state control of society. I am certainly not that & have dedicated the blog to fighting this. I believe that I find what I am when I consider whether or not I am a "conservative" & specifically when I ask what is it that I am trying to conserve? It is the libertarian principles that America was founded upon & originally followed. That is the Return To Excellence that this blog is named for & is all about.

Thursday, January 25, 2024

Both Trump & Biden Have Disqualified Themselves From The Presidency

"Instead of cost of living increases (based on the wage index) we do increases based on inflation." - Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley answering a question of how to preserve Social Security during the one on one Republican primary debate with Ron DeSantis on January 10, 2024.


Federal government spending is powered by Social Security & Medicare & unless the new president is willing to tackle these gargantuan entitlements our financial miseries will only get worse due to increased longevity of older American beneficiaries & the smaller payroll contributions of people unconcerned about working.  Since both Trump & Biden offer no help saying they have no intention to address Social Security & Medicare entitlement funding @ all I was delighted when Nikki Haley offered the solution above to Social Security's funding shortfalls (namely, indexing the initial Social Security benefit formula to inflation instead of the wage index) that I have presented for years, most recently in a letter published in the WSJ on November 16. 

During the December 9 WSJ weekend interview feature in NY, Editorial Board Member Kate Bachelder Odell presented the idea to Nikki of "basing adjustments on rising prices instead of rising wages—that could help address the shortfall with less political pain,"  Nikki admitted to being unfamiliar with the idea saying to an aide “That’s interesting.  Remind me to look at that.”

And look @ it she did - Nikki now supports the idea as indicated in her response above in the debate with DeSantis, who took a hands off approach, similar to Trump & Biden, to not touching Social Security.  Very disappointing - DeSantis (no longer in the race) preferred to talk about not raising the age to receive benefits.

Nikki has come a long way from December 9 to January 10 on understanding the real solution to the Social Security funding issue that is one of the four top financial issues threatening to drag the country down.  It is important for voters to understand it themselves.

The finances of Social Security, Medicare, & Medicaid have been on a glide path to trouble & difficulty for seniors & the disabled for a long time.  Combined entitlement spending on these three programs increased from 10.2% of GDP in 2000 to 23.1% in early 2021 - they, along with ObamaCare & CHIP comprise 46% of the federal budget.  Nikki said during the debate "Knowing Social Security goes bankrupt in 10 years, Medicare goes bankrupt in eight—does that mean you’re going to go be president for eight years and leave it bankrupt? You can’t do that. You have to acknowledge we have a problem.”  And of course Trump & Biden will not acknowledge the problem, preferring to play musical chairs hoping they are not the one standing (i.e., in office) when the music stops.

Nikki (& DeSantis) previously supported Paul Ryan's plan of replacing Medicare with a premium support system that bends the Medicare cost curve down over the years until the threat of this medical entitlement has disappeared as people come to not rely on the government @ all for their healthcare insurance coverage.  Trump has disparaged the plan & Nikki (& DeSantis when he was in the race) for supporting it.  The premium support plan replacing Medicare is the only real solution to the Medicare funding problem.

Since Trump would not sign the unity pledge required by the RNC he did not participate in any of the four primary candidate debates held in 2023 that were organized by the RNC.  He was invited to the debate on January 10 organized by CNN but declined to attend - opting in all five cases to instead hold competing events like friendly rallies or a town hall on FNC in one case.  Just imagine the information that voters could have learned if Trump would have participated in a debate with Christie, Pence, & Nikki - three people who worked for Trump & could have scrutinized & challenged his answers.  So far Trump's no-show debate practice is tantamount to Biden hiding in his basement in 2020.  Voters only know what he says he will do under the friendly environment of a fawning rally, including claiming to be able to end the Ukraine war in 24 hours.

Since Trump never participated in any of the first five primary candidate debates we have to determine his policies by bits & pieces like I did above for Social Security & Medicare - mostly using attacks he has made on the other candidates to flush out where he stands on some issues.

For instance, Trump has pointed out that Nikki (& DeSantis) supported a 23% national sales tax - calling that such a terrible idea that it alone should disqualify her from holding office.  Now if that doesn't make the blood boil of every member of this readership who worked their fingers to the bone for the FairTax, HR-25 legislation, for several years when I was District Director & State Director I don't know what would.  Trump knows so little about what he is talking about that he doesn't seem to realize that his Vice Presidential selection, Mike Pence, had been a FairTax congressional co-sponsor for several years before Trump selected him for VP.  Implementation of the FairTax plan is the third real solution that America's economy is screaming for.

And of course there is the almost gratuitous issue of all politicians saying they support a balanced budget amendment as a way to end deficit spending of which Trump & Biden are the two biggest one-term deficit spenders in the country's history.  The problem is that people like Biden, Schumer, Bernie, & Warren support a balanced budget of tremendous increases in spending coupled with tremendous increases in taxes that brings the budget into balance without any need for deficit spending.  You will know you have a candidate who understands this issue when they say they want to "cut, cap, & balance" the budget - the fourth real solution proposed by Ken Blackwell & presented on RTE numerous times over the years.  Other than Larry Elder, none of the candidates of any party has caught on to this principle.

Prior to the first Trump-Biden debate on September 29, 2020 I posted 14 questions (such as What is the significance of the national debt? & What is the maximum amount of a person's income anyone should ever have to pay to the federal government in income taxes?) that every American should know the answers to & that I had hoped would be asked to Trump & Biden.  Although none of the specific questions were asked during the debate we have been able to determine by their records in office as well as their 2024 campaigning & attacks that both Trump & Biden have unsatisfactory answers.

Biden's entire presidency has been a deliberate violation of his oath to preserve, protect, & defend the Constitution.  Since the early morning hours of November 4, following the election, Trump also forsook his oath to the Constitution - the low point of which was asking Pence to return, reject, overrule, or otherwise not accept electoral college votes from any or all states, even when no state had asked for their electoral ballots to be returned so they could be recertified to show Trump the winner.

Accordingly, both Trump & Biden have disqualified themselves from the presidency so we should look for others trying to earn our votes to do the job.  


  1. Hi Doug – thanks for your focus on entitlements such as SS and also brining up the Fair Tax which DeSantis & Nikki supported.

    Nikki’s SS plan (tied to inflation) is move in right direction. However, allowing citizens choice to use traditional SS or to invest their portions to private funds would be much better. But that would have very slim chance of passing. Recall George W Bush attempt Jan 2005 after winning POTUS 2nd term with over 50% popular vote. That failed miserably and today’s environment is less favorable toward this approach than in 2005.

    Regarding US Debt – US $7 Trillion budget can’t continue borrowing $2 Trillion a year and increasing next year, with Tax Revenues at only $5 Trillion per year. US can’t continue with Fed Gov at 24% of total GDP now when, until 2020, for 50+ years it was approx. 19%-20%. Hey -COVID is over and US must stop borrowing $ for programs that decrease our tax revenues and GDP.

    US needs Zero Based Budgeting; a practice successful private companies use. Briefly it is examining all budget expenditures and eliminating portions, if not all, for programs that do NOT provide positive Return on Investment. My top choice for POTUS was Vivek Ramaswamy, the only candidate who repeatedly discussed this on his campaign. With Vivek out, I favored DeSantis; with DeSantis out, I now favor Nikki.

    If it is Biden-Trump, I vote for Trump – rather than starting the 4th Barak Obama term (he’s running the US now in his 3rd term) with puppet Biden.

    However, I believe odds are high that Michele Obama will be the Dems nominee and that she will win in a landslide, as most Americans support the Barak Obama version of ‘fundamentally transforming the US’. That then will be start of Barak’s Obama’s 4th and 5th terms as Michele likely wins also in 2028. I truly hope 2024 marks Barak’s last Socialist term. Americans must realize that Free Market Capitalism is the most moral and successful system – especially for aspiring low and mid income citizens system .. that has produced many rags to riches stories.