Friday, August 31, 2007

Sen. Craig - Stupidest Person of the Summer Award

I am a little late jumping into this discussion.

Idaho Sen. Larry Craig has got to win the stupidest person of the summer award (well maybe tied with the mom that let her 5 year-old son drive her home because she was too drunk).

Sen. Craig moves to the top of the list due to his stupidity of pleading guilty and paying the fine for an arrest in a airport bathroom back in June. The arrest was for engaging in actions "often used by persons communicating a desire to engage in sexual conduct" the police say.

I am making no judgement on whether he was looking for a little "man action" or not - I could care less.

His stupidity was pleading guilty and not consulting a lawyer, even if he did commit the crime!

First, if he had pleaded innocent and had his day in court I would have been surprised if the prosecutor would even shown up. This would be very difficult to prosecute since Sen. Craig is being accused of performing some actions (tapping his foot and sliding his hand under a bathroom divider) that might signal a desire to engage in sexual conduct according to some policeman who likes to hide in bathrooms. It would be next to impossible to prove that these were anything more than simple random and unfortunate gestures. I mean how would one prove that he did these actions/movements without a reasonable doubt for the purpose of engaging in sexual conduct.

Since this blog is about If I Were In Charge, I am going to give you my opinion; I think he is guilty, guilty, GUILTY! With that said, I think if I was his lawyer the case would not have made it to the court room. In fact, the policeman and his employer (whether that is the Minneapolis PD or the Airport PD) would be scrambling to explain how they arrested a sitting United States Senator for something they have no actual proof of. They would be apologizing every possible way and would be using excuses like the policeman acted improperly and was overzealous.

Here is why I say if he had not pleaded guilty it would have been a different story:
  • There was not lewd conduct.
  • No conversation of any kind occurred, including any sexual discussions.
  • The Senator did not ask for sex.
  • Except for sitting on the toilet he did not expose himself.
  • If none of the above worked, then I would use the argument that just because you wink at someone in a bar does not mean you have sexual desires for the person (it could, but it doesn't mean you do). The same goes for what the Senator did: waiting outside an occupied stall, putting his bag down in front of the stall, tapping his foot, and moving his hand near the floor. These could mean he wants a little action, but they many not as well.
Well as I say, If I were In Charge, it would be a different sorry. In this case, we would still have a closeted hypocrite of a Senator thinking about running for another term - that is if he had not been so stupid as to admit he was looking for a little action.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Illegal Workers - I Have The Solution

First, if you are illegally in the United States you should not be here. That is immigration and border issue and I will not be tackling that issue in this posting (maybe later!)

The fact is however, there are lots and lots of folks that are within the borders between Canada and Mexico, and between the Atlantic Ocean on the east and the Pacific Ocean on the west that do not have permission to be here.

There are many different solutions that have been suggested to tackle this problem, and I am not going to repeat all of them here - you can use Google as well as I can.

Many of the solutions have different ways of "rounding them up" and shipping them home. Others want the employer to be the gatekeeper, thus driving them back to their respective homelands because they will be unable to get jobs if the employers don't hire them.

As has been shown, if you build a fence people will still get around it. If you round people up and send them away, they will simply come back. The fact is, we (the United States) have jobs, and these people want to work - these methods are no more than a speed bump.

If you ask the employers to help, they either won't or they can't. They can't because they need the employees. There are far too many industries that are dependent on these illegal workers. I am sure that if the employers could find enough American workers they would, but they are unable to. Often part of the reason is because an employer is unable to pay the wage requested by an American worker. Not that he doesn't want to, but the people buying the services or products are not willing to pay more for it. Kind of a catch 22; you and I won't pay more for his services or products, so he can't pay his employees more, which means the wage is below what an American will accept.

Probably one of the biggest issues that many have about the illegal workers is the possibility they are not contributing their fair share of taxes; they are using the infrastructure that we taxpayers have built like schools and hospitals, but have not paid for them (i.e. freeloaders). I don't know if this true or not. The IRS does allow people to obtain Individual Tax Identification Numbers (ITIN) which was created so people without social security numbers could pay taxes. Also, may illegal workers use "fake" or stolen social security numbers, so again their taxes are paid every time they receive a pay check from their employer. As I said, I don't know if they are paying their fair share or not. This leads me to my solution to this problem.

As the title of this posting says, I have the solution:

  1. The IRS needs to create a default or generic social security number; say 000-00-0000 (it really does not matter what the number is, as long as it meets all requirements of a valid SSN). They need to publish this number and let every employer (and the public) know about it.
  2. This "default" number is available to anyone that wants to use it. You, me, the CEO down the street, an illegal immigrant - anyone. The only stipulation is that anyone using it will be assessed in the highest tax bracket - No deductibles and the payer must submit the taxes at the time of payment.

So, if you are here illegally in the US (which you shouldn't be and if you are, you are breaking the law and may be deported) then you are free to work in the United States using the "default" SSN. Employers would be able to pay you and submit your portion of your taxes to the IRS like they do any other legal employee. The tax rate would be the highest current tax bracket. The burden of the payment of the taxes would be on the employer, but this burden is less than what some are suggesting such as having the employer do investigations and validations before they employ someone.

By assessing the tax rate at the highest level this sort of makes it a "registration" fee or maybe "a cost of employment" for the employee.

Since there are no allowable deductions on work that has been performed using this number, the employee would not submit a tax return for the funds they received (this means no default deductions, child or dependent credits, etc.)

The use of stolen or fake numbers would still be punishable (maybe make it a more serious crime than it currently is). The IRS would still notify employers if anyone is using these invalid numbers, and it would be the employer’s responsibility to either terminate the employee or have them start working under the new "default" SSN number.

I am sure many of you will have opinions on what I have suggested, and some of you will have opposing arguments. You are free to have those opinions and make those arguments, but if they are different than mine, you are wrong and have simply misunderstood my solution.

This is not a long posting, and there may be points that need to be clarified or refined, but basically this will work; as I said in the beginning, I have the solution.

I Have Done A Little Cleaning

It has been a very long time since I did any blogging here. Since some of the topics I previously covered are no longer relevant, I have decided to delete all previous postings and start over.