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Eliminate Big Money From Politics

By Glenn Mollette

An unknown politician recently ran for U.S. Congress and won. He had previously served as a county Judge in a remote part of the Congressional district. Most everyone overlooked him until midway through the election. The television was burning up with TV advertisements promoting him. A young man in Texas who had inherited a bunch of money had created his own Super Pac and was spending over $500,000 on helping the candidate get elected. He was elected and is in Congress today. Big money enabled big advertising.

Most of us who watched 60 Minutes last Sunday night were appalled by the story about our telemarketing Congress. Our congressional representatives have literally become telemarketers sitting in cubicles in a designated telemarketing building calling donors and asking for money. According to the 60 Minutes report our elected officials are expected to spend "hours" every day calling from a list and reciting a script to solicit contributions of at least $18,000 a day according to Representative David Jolly of Florida. I wouldn't have believed this except 60 Minutes interviewed him and other elected congressional representatives who affirmed this reality and admit to this part of the job.

Most of us realize that a career politician has to always fundraise and politic for the next election. However, our congressional officials going to a designated building and dialing for dollars every day is taking away from what we elected them to do- represent us.

We have lots of problems in America. Our military and veterans are neglected. Our highways are neglected. Our bridges are neglected. Obamacare is a disaster. Our jobs are going to China and Mexico. Poverty is on the increase. Millions are hoping for a $15 an hour burger-flipping job. Thirty years ago people got jobs that fed their families, provided health care and a real retirement. Today, Americans can't afford to retire. We have 75-year-old people working minimum wage jobs just to buy their groceries or pay their rent. College students are graduating with massive debts that take years to repay. What are our representatives doing in Congress to help us? Nothing. They are sitting in cubicles for hours each day trying to raise money for their party so they can keep their jobs two or six more years.

Super pacs are a bad idea. A corporation or anyone can donate massive amounts of money to a super pac. This unlimited stream of money is used in repeated television advertising to beat us down or brainwash us to the special interest's way of thinking.
Bernie Sanders will not be our next President. However, a candidate running a competitive campaign like he has run with the average contribution being $27 is to be applauded.

How do you know for whom to vote in the upcoming primaries and general election? Take note of who the super pacs are promoting and not promoting. Our best representation in Washington may be the one they are not promoting. If he or she can be elected, maybe they will not have to spend all their time down the street at the telemarketing center. Maybe they will actually have time to represent us. Of course without the big money they probably can't get elected and this takes us back to our problem of big money in politics.


Glenn Mollette is an American Syndicated Columnist and Author. He is the author of eleven books and read in all fifty states. Enjoy Books By Glenn Mollette at Amazon.com.

This column does not necessarily reflect the view of any organization, institution or this paper or media source.

Governor says 'a new day is dawning' in Kentucky

By Governor Matt Bevin

A new day is dawning in Kentucky. For the first time in many years, the winds of financial responsibility have begun to blow briskly through the marble halls of Frankfort. These welcome breezes are ushering in the promise of a fresh start for the Commonwealth. 

This past Friday, the General Assembly passed a budget that invests more in our ailing pension system than ever before in history. Saving our underfunded retirement systems and paying down our debt, were our top priorities this budget cycle. I am grateful for the bipartisan effort that has made this possible.

I applaud Senate President Stivers, House Speaker Stumbo and the members of the conference committee who worked until a compromise was achieved. While there were differences in our approaches, all sides ultimately came together to do what’s best for the people of Kentucky. 

Kentuckians have consistently told me that cleaning up the state's finances is their number one priority. They elected me on a promise to stop wasteful spending in Frankfort and, ultimately, to operate state government within its means.

With that in mind, I presented a bold budget, driven by the fact that the Commonwealth has been left with more than $35 billion in unfunded pension liabilities. Simply put, this is money we owe to our retired teachers and state employees, but do not have. 

Because Kentuckians understandably do not want tax increases, our budget proposal modestly cut spending and allocated Kentucky’s hard-earned taxpayer dollars more prudently than in years past. It ensured sufficient funding for needed state services and our front-line workers, and invested in areas that will lead to more jobs and better access to quality healthcare for all Kentuckians.  

I am pleased that the General Assembly heard the message from the voters of Kentucky who are fed up with mortgaging their children’s future by borrowing billions of dollars in new debt. The budget that was delivered to my desk represents an unprecedented commitment to state pension systems while protecting and enhancing critical programs. It includes for the first time in Kentucky history, a permanent pension fund for the dedicated purpose of paying down our pension obligations.

This budget puts critically needed funds toward eliminating the rape kit backlog. Additionally, it increases funding for the fight against heroin and substance abuse.

We are investing in our workers like never before and creating new opportunities for high-paying jobs. Our $100 million Workforce Development grant program is designed to foster innovative turnkey training projects that result in more and better jobs for Kentuckians.

Furthermore, we are increasing academic accountability in our public universities so that students have the best chance for employment when they graduate. The budget also provides greater accountability by allocating a portion of higher education funding based on performance measures. Kentucky taxpayers will have more confidence that the billions of dollars spent on higher education will be tied to results. 

It’s likely going to be many years before we fully fund our pension obligations. But, thanks to the hard work of many who negotiated this budget, we are taking the first steps on the path toward getting our financial house in order. 

This financial house cleaning is what the path to prosperity requires of us. This is what the outside credit rating agencies are demanding of us. They want to see evidence that we are actually taking this problem seriously. 

Most importantly, the final version of this budget will help us build a brighter future for the next generation, instead of sticking them with more debt. I will be carefully reviewing the final details over the next several days. There is a spirit of renewed optimism welling up in the Commonwealth. I see it building momentum with each passing day. This is our fresh start. We are Kentucky.

Prince - Musicians Die but Never the Music

By Glenn Mollette

Prince Rogers Nelson is gone but will be forever remembered by his music. We are always struck hard when an icon suddenly departs from this life. Regardless of how and why Prince left us so suddenly, his fans mourn.

Musicians leave a print on the earth. Elvis fans remember the moment and the very place they were when they first heard his death announced. Many of us will never forget the chilling news of John Lennon's assassination. Only recently we mourned the death of David Bowie and Merle Haggard.

We expect old people to die. George Beverly Shea was a 104 when he died. He recorded 70 albums and sang to millions around the world. Our natural reasoning is that our favorite musicians will live past 100 and sing a few departing songs then ease off to an eternal sleep. However, some musicians it seems are eternal as Chuck Berry almost 90 and Jerry Lee Lewis who is 80, both entertained forever it seems. I saw Jerry Lee in Owensboro, Kentucky well into his seventies. He could actually still play the piano very well. The hip gyration move had lost some of it gravitas but hey he was still entertaining 4000 people that night. And then of course there is Tony Bennett who is approaching 90 and still performing. Some of us wonder if The Rolling Stones will be touring when they hit 80. Paul McCartney is still rocking at age 73. All of these people will die but their music never will.

Life is great when people are able to still participate and enjoy life. Prince leaving us at age 57 makes it all the more shocking. Reports are that Prince recently presented great concerts in Georgia. Over the weekend he entertained a small gathering in Minnesota. As always, he presented his music with passion, genius and celebration. Such musical celebration mystifies us even more. It is hard for us to fathom something being wrong when an artist is seemingly hitting all the right keys.

However, the greatest artists fool us. David Bowie was sick but managed to squeeze out one last album. Glen Frey of The Eagles wowed us last summer on tour but is now gone. Robin Williams, of course not a singer but a famed comedian, could always make us laugh but he masked the internal demons that overtook his life. Elvis could still sing and entertain us even though we were not aware of his prescription addiction until his death.

More will be said about Prince's untimely death today and in the days ahead. In the meantime his life will live on through his music and his music will live on in us.

Glenn Mollette is an American Syndicated Columnist and Author. He is the author of eleven books and read in all fifty states. Enjoy Books By Glenn Mollette at Amazon.com

This column does not necessarily reflect the view of any organization, institution or this paper or media source.

Tax Day, America's Most Wonderful Day?

 

By Glenn Mollette

It's that most wonderful day of the year! Come on sing it! Hmmm, I don't hear any pages turning in the hymnals to this grand old song. Actually, it's not in any hymnals and if you are like most Americans you do not want to sing on April 18. Normally, it's April 15. However, this year Emancipation Day is celebrated on April 15. This is why the deadline has been pushed up.

If you are pleasured with sending the government more money, you can hardly wait for Monday to put it in the mail. You've heard about the new tax filing form the government is working on haven't you? There are only two lines to complete. Line number one is, "How much did you make?" Line number two says, "Send it."

I have to admit this is one part of the Ted Cruz platform that I like. It resonates with me when he gets to that part of his speech where he says, "We will abolish the IRS and enact a simple flat tax."

I work hard and try to make a living. I am grateful that I am not on disabled Social Security or food stamps. Understandably, some Americans are rightly on government assistance and I am happy we can do this for these hurting people. I'm glad I am healthy enough to work every day. The more I work the more I make and the harder I work the luckier I get. However, the more I work the more I get to send to the government. If I make extra I not only get to send more to the government, then the percentage of what I send becomes higher. Why do we penalize Americans for working harder? Why do we penalize citizens for trying to make a few extra dollars?
I'm for a flat tax. Give the government ten percent and be done with it. After all, according to the Bible, God only wants ten percent. Why should we have to pay the government more than God?

I understand we must take care of our military, roads and bridges, Social Security retirements, Medicare and of course there are the salaries of all the government workers, including IRS salaries. By the way, it takes billions to keep our government workers and IRS retirees' pensions and benefits going. This means the government is hungry, hungry, hungry for more and more and more of your money.

Wake up America! Demand that your congressional representatives simplify the tax code by burning it and starting over. Let's enact a flat tax rate. Most of us could live with a 15% rate. However, there must be a major change in what we are allowing our government to do to us every year by sticking it to us with more and more taxes.

Glenn Mollette is an American Syndicated Columnist and Author. He is the author of eleven books and read in all fifty states. Enjoy Books By Glenn Mollette at Amazon.com

This column does not necessarily reflect the view of any organization, institution or this paper or media source.