Thursday, September 29, 2011

Vehicle Inspections

I was at a shopping mall the other day and when I went to the parking lot, I was amazed to find that another car had parked into / on my car.  After waiting an hour for the driver to return, I called the local sheriff (Norwalk Division) to report the incident.  When the officer came out, we still could not find the driver of this vehicle.  The car was then towed.  The next day I received a phone call from a detective that explained to me that the owner of the vehicle was trying to get his car out of impound.  He questioned whether or not the owner of the other vehicle had contacted me yet.  I explained to him that the owner had not contacted me and he stated he would get back with me.  Well, that did not happen.  In fact the gentleman’s car was actually released from impound and I never received any information on this owner – no license, no insurance name and/or policy, nothing. I was instructed to turn it over to my insurance company.  Well great!  Now my insurance company will process the claim I will be forced to pay my deductible and my rates will eventually go up.
For a long time California residents have been required to carry vehicle insurance at a very high rate - not to mention adding uninsured motorist which is the biggest rip off because even though you pay for it,  your rates will go up if you use it. There should not be any reason to have to have uninsured motorist insurance coverage if the governor and the law makers would enforce the laws already on the books and make it harder for people to drive without insurance and a license.  If you get a ticket for driving without a license, you go to court and you pay a fine and court fees because the court always gets their money! How about if you drive without insurance and you damage another vehicle or property? You must pay restitution to the insurance company and you lose your car for good,  plus the fine and jail time that most people would receive. 
As a kid, I remember my mother would go and have her car inspected at a California approved inspection site and they would inspect the windows, breaks, lights, smog equipment, wipers, registration, tires and horn.  If you complied, they would issue you a sticker to put in the window so that law enforcement would know you complied and at the time of inspection - that everything is in working condition and your registration was current.  Well what is so wrong with that process? However, let’s put a little spin on it! Let’s do all the above but add two items:  is there insurance on the automobile and does the register owner hold a valid driver’s license?
Again with the budget short fall every year why not give the people something in return for their money instead of just raising taxes and not knowing what it is going towards or not having any say to where the money is spent?  I would sure be willing to pay a small fee every time I registered my car to know that the other drivers on the road were also insured and carried a valid driver’s license. And if most cars were in good working condition it would generate jobs at the same time and would increase an estimated revenue of about  $1,200,000,000.00 every year based on 1980 study of 120 million cars on California highways at 10.00 dollars per year fee.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I-9 Employment Verification Reform

We all know there is a problem with illegal immigration.  Well let’s put our heads together and do something about it.  It’s a fact that about 20% of employers in the state of California either pay their employees under the table, or hire illegal aliens at a cheaper rate.  Let’s stop this.  This is only hurting the great State of California for the following reasons: tax revenues are down and thousands of people are unemployed that are here legally and want to work.  It’s real easy to get a social security or identification card on the corner and sometimes a driver’s license through a corrupt employee at the Department of Motor Vehicles.  When a person walks into your business and is looking for a job, how do you verify they are legal?  When this person has an illegal social security card, ID card and/or driver’s license and fills out an I-9 form.  How do you verify this?  The employer does not have access to the Social Security Administration, nor the Department of Motor Vehicles and for a good reason.  So let’s create another database that allows employers to verify. 
It used to be that if a high school student or a college student wanted a summer job or a part time job, it was never a problem.  It used to be that if you wanted a job in California and you wanted to work, it was not a problem.  But take a look around – a college student or high school student can’t even get a job washing dishes.  The jobs are all taken by an estimated 60% of illegal aliens.  Go to your corner fast food restaurant and look around – what do you see?  You don’t see college kids or high school kids – you see illegal aliens.  Used to be if you wanted a summer job, you could go bag groceries, you could work at a gas station, you could wash cars at the local car wash, but take a look around – what do you see?  Undocumented workers.  Now let’s talk about Obama’s “Back to Work” programs.  Freeway jobs, electrical jobs, drywall jobs, any construction-related job from a laborer to an operator – take a look around, what do you see?  Not Californian’s that live here and pays their taxes, you see undocumented workers.  There is only one way to cure this problem and it is to verify.  Verify.  Verify.  Verify.
I know this might be a controversial subject to some people, but that is only the people that are running for re-election or trying to run for election.  That is the problem with this great State of California.  This same system should be implemented for State held elections (this is another blog forthcoming).  I challenge the Governor of the great State of California to step up to the plate and do something about it.  It’s not hard and it’s not costly – it’s only right. 
There should be a system set up to identify legal people to work within the State.  This can be done with one stroke of a pen by the governor to set this type of system up and you would need to do the following:
1.       Use a system like we have already in place - it is called The Contractors State License Board. You would not necessarily have to use this exact agency but to set up a verifying database as they have and make it available to all employers.
2.       You would have to issue an ID to every person that works within the state at a cost of $12.00 per person, the same as a driver license and renew it every (2) years.
3.       The ID would have to have a picture, and a number different than Social Security Number or driver license or ID number.
4.       You would have to provide a certified birth certificate (not hospital issued).  This would also generate revenue as well to the Counties. 
5.       You would have to provide finger prints that have been verified through Department of Justice.  This would also create revenue as well. 
6.       If an unemployed person cannot afford the fees to obtain a card and/or finger printing – the state will issue a one-time voucher that will be re-paid within the first month of employment.  If such money is not repaid by the time of renewal interest shall occur on the balance owed at a rate set by the State and the card shall not be renewed until renewal fee and past balance is paid. 
7.       After all this is verified then a card would be issued.
8.       No temporary, paper ID cards shall be issued. 
9.       In order for an employer to hire an employee they would have to verify on the database that this person has a work card and is current, if not then this person cannot be hired.
10.   There should be in this program a line that allows the employer to state that this employee has been hired, date of hire and the date of termination if employment stops. 
Now here is what should happen if you hire anybody without a card and you don’t verify them or falsify the database or falsify identification cards:
1.       The employer would receive a $150,000.00 dollar fine the first time violation per employee.
2.       The employer would receive a $200,000.00 dollar fine and up to 5 years in state prison per employee.
3.        Anyone who falsifies the database of the cards – it shall be considered a felony and punishable by no less than $75,000.00 fine up to $200,000.00 fine and mandatory jail sentence of no less than 5 years and reimburse the cost to correct the database. 
These are the pros:
1.       This would be a way for the state of California to raise funds without increasing taxes.
2.       The state of California would benefit by issuing these cards with estimated revenue of $242,150,714.00 based upon the 2010 census at a cost of $13.00 per card. 
3.       The revenue would keep coming by requiring these cards to be renewed every (2) years with an estimate of $242,150,714.00.
4.       You would be able to verify and locate dead-beat dads. 
5.       You would be able to verify and locate person(s) that owe back taxes. 
6.       An estimate would be that you would create 7,450,791 jobs for legal citizens. 
7.       Once all the illegal employees are weeded out of the system, your tax revenues will increase by a substantial amount.  Therefore, putting more money into the state’s budget. 
8.       This system can be used in correlation with other systems such as welfare, unemployment, disability, child support, social security, etc. in order to stop fraud. 
These are the cons:
1.       Person(s) that will continually create fraudulent cards / database. 
2.       Employers will continue to pay employees under the table.
3.       For the (2) cons above, the penalties should above should apply and there should be mandatory jail time. 
4.       The costs to set this system up, but the revenue will repay those costs within the first year and will continue to have a yearly revenue by renewals, and new workforce. 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Welfare Reform

Due to the high numbers of welfare fraud and abuse - this is a few things that could improve the system.
At the local check cashing place, I have seen with my own eyes on welfare day a great amount of money being sent to Mexico.   The welfare recipients just simply swipe their EBT card to obtain the cash portion from the welfare and Western Union large sums of it from the same location.
With all this being said the agency that issues the money is the same that wires the money.  
The following plan would not only reform welfare, it would also stop the large amounts of money being sent outside the United States to places such as Mexico.  At the same time, it would increase tax dollars, create jobs and serve the purpose in which it was originally designed for.
The state should move towards a voucher system.  In doing this, the policy should decrease the cash allowance per month per household to less than one hundred dollars.
1.       The state shall pay a rent allowance in the form of a check or voucher to the landlord directly.  At the end of each year the state agency that issued the check shall issue a 1099 tax form to the landlord. By paying the money direct and issuing a 1099 form, the state would realize more revenue by the way of taxes.  The landlord would be more accountable and pay taxes based on the fact that all money paid to the landlord was documented.
2.       Food vouchers shall be issued and only allowed to be used on food and hygiene products such as soaps, tooth paste, etc.  The vouchers shall not be used for beer, soda, pre-cooked foods, candy, fast foods etc.  There should be a list of approved items in which can be purchased with the vouchers. The vouchers should also only be accepted / used at major food chains, not your corner liquor store. Therefore the state will receive its tax dollars.  Most “Mom & Pop” stores do not always report there correct income and violate the guidelines we already have in place.  
3.       Every person on welfare shall be issued an identification card with their photo on it.  These persons must present it every time for any purchase of any item where food stamps or vouchers will be used to pay.  They must also present a California driver license or ID card issued by the State of California.
4.       If any grocery retailer honors the food stamps or vouchers without the proper two forms of  identification shall be guilty of a crime
5.       Any person buying or selling stamps or voucher shall be guilty of a crime and both parties shall reimburse the state two times the amount of the face value of what was sold or bought.
6.       All utility bills shall be paid as follows: No allowed phone bills for no reason shall be paid with state funds; gas for general cooking and heating shall be paid with a voucher by the agencies, and the state shall be charged the lowest rate with a cap per month.  All water and trash shall be paid by landlord.
7.       A clothing voucher shall be issued and be only redeemed at stores like K-Mart, Wal-Mart, Big Lots, etc. with the proper ID as mention above.  The amount of the voucher shall be determined by the grant given to the participant and only given twice per year.
8.       As part of the right to receive welfare, all adults in the household shall agree to random drug test If a person is tested and found to be under the influence of a non-prescription drug, they shall have a one time chance to enroll into a drug program and will be required to complete it in the time the court or hearing officer allows.  If this is not complied with, the grant shall be lost.
9.       Any person requesting welfare will only be eligible if they have been a resident of the state for a minimum of one calendar year and cannot be eligible to receive unemployment benefits or any other state or government assistance.
10.   Any person on welfare that is employed shall be required to submit pay stubs monthly to their social worker. Anything above minimum wage shall be deducted from their food stamp allowance and/or vouchers to the minimum threshold set but the state.
11.   All persons receiving welfare over the age of 18 shall be enrolled into a Job Search program and shall provide proof each and every month.
12.   All persons on welfare over the age of 18 shall be enrolled into Community service and shall provide proof of service for 20 hours each month.
13.   All persons on welfare over the age of 18 shall furnish the state through the case workers copies of tax returns for every year.
14.   All persons on welfare shall not commit crimes or be incarcerated in the state or county jail system for any reason.  This also applies to house arrest cases.
15.    Illegal use of vouchers or id cards should be considered a felony.
16.   Sub-renting to anybody from a person on welfare shall not be permitted.
17.   No married spouses of any gender shall not reside in the home or receive benefits of any kind. Any person caught doing so shall lose grant and must reimburse the state.
18.   Medi-cal should not be a right, all minor children shall be treated Adults over 18 yrs of age shall seek their own medical insurance.
19.   Dental care for adults shall be limited to emergency care only. Children shall receive full treatments approved per the agency guidelines.
20.   Eye care for adults shall be limited to emergency care only. Children shall receive full treatments approved per the agency guidelines.
21.   Special needs for diabetic and handi-cap children shall be approve per the primary doctors requirement for treatment in a timely manner.
22.   Bus passes shall be issued for all people listed on the grant the use of the pass shall be only for such persons.  A photo ID shall be required in order to ride and passes for the children shall be limited.
23.   No person on welfare shall maintain a bank account or bank accounts with combined amounts of more than one hundred dollars.
24.   No person on welfare shall hold stocks, bonds, 401K accounts.
25.   Any person caught selling drugs shall lose the welfare and lose their right to apply for welfare again.
26.   Any person caught living out of state and collecting welfare shall be guilty of a crime.  As part of the penalty they shall repay two times the amount of total grant paid out.
27.   Any person caught sending money out of state shall be convicted of a crime and shall pay three times the amount that has been sent out of state
28.   Check cashing centers shall not be allowed to issue state funds.  This needs to be done at local welfare offices.
29.   Reporting to the welfare office must be done every two months.  Recipients must file a status report including verification of school attendance records, community service reports and job search verification.
30.   All Children on welfare shall be enrolled in school and attend.  It is the parents’ responsibility to see that they attend and provide proof to the case worker.  After 30 days of absence at school, the student shall be removed from the case. Each child who is a student will be allowed 30 days per year or six days per quarter, with no un-excused absences.   
31.   School lunch vouchers shall be provided by the state and shall not be part of the case.
32.   Welfare should be treated as Child support if person or persons become gainfully employed then the money shall be reimburse to the state but shall not be reimbursed so that it will put them back on the welfare.  Any person not on or who did not receive welfare shall be required to reimburse the amount owed and if child support was paid it shall be credited to such amount owed.  
33.   Any person that collects welfare shall be a U.S. citizen.  If they are not a citizen then they are not eligible to receive welfare.
34.   The state shall provide no-cost birth control for any person on welfare.
35.   Inspections by welfare department are a must in order to control the abuse of the welfare system.  All workers shall be trained in the guidelines for welfare and shall be a U.S. citizen.  This position should be filled by only the highest qualified workers and shall be held accountable.