ACtion Magazine - June 2016 - (Page 10)

Promises, promises C ampaign promises have evolved (or maybe devolved) from slogans to sound bites. President Dwight Eisenhower's slogan during the 1956 campaign was Peace and Prosperity. When Herbert Hoover ran for President in 1928, his slogan was A Chicken in Every Pot and A Car in Every Garage. Though stated differently, both conveyed a simple message - you will do better economically if you vote for me. In the current campaign a sound bite for a frontrunner has become his slogan - Make America Great Again®. Those words have been trademarked by Donald Trump in connection with products such as sport bags and clothing, as well as a variety of campaign paraphernalia. License fees are a part of Mr. Trump's business model as well as real estate. Campaign slogans, sound bites and promises certainly seem to draw attention to and support for candidates. However, when faced with legal requirements or practicalities do they hold up historically? Multiple candidates this year promised to repeal the Affordable Care Act (a/k/a Obamacare) in short order if elected. Putting aside any merits and costs of the Affordable Care Act, it is a federal law. Apparently those candidates forgot their basic civics lessons, or they assume the voting public is not smart enough to understand the separation of powers built into the Constitution. The power to make (and to repeal) laws is vested in Congress, not the President. Candidates are also touting they will make the military strong again, inferring that the military is currently weak. I doubt any American wants our military forces to be weak, but how exactly do you measure the strength or weakness of the military? Is it measured in sheer numbers of men and women in the military? Since 1995, the number of uniformed military personnel has remained fairly constant at around 1,500,000. How about in terms of military spending? A report of the Council on Foreign Relations shows military spending did decline between 2011 and 2014; yet considering pure dollars does not take into account factors such as the reduction in the country's operations in the Middle East over that same period of time (where funding dropped by 70% from 2008 to 2014). So, what is the criteria to: (1) conclude our present military forces are weak, and (2) determine what will make our military strong? Moreover, regardless of what the President proposes, the defense budget is ultimately approved by Congress. Gun control is certainly an issue in this country. However, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIRI), from 2010 to 2014, the United States was the world's biggest exporter of major arms (e.g., aircraft, artillery and missiles). The Executive Branch is directly involved in making government to government sales of military equipment, but Congress has to be given prior notice and the opportunity to 5($5$&%/2&.2))),77,1*6 x x x x 6HDOVRIIUHDUV\VWHPVRIURQW$&FDQVWLOOEHXWLOL]HG $YRLGVH[SHQVLYHUHDU$&OLQHUHSODFHPHQWZKHQWKHIURQW $&FRROLQJLVVXIILFLHQW $YDLODEOHIRUPRVW689¶VDQG9DQV 3OHDVHFDOOIRUSULFHVKHHW4XDQWLW\GLVFRXQWVDYDLODEOH RI OLQH DUWV  O O X I QWS ND VWRF ODFHPH  H :  UH S $& 'HDOHU$XWRPRWLYH6HUYLFHV,QF +RSNLQV01   7ROO)UHH 10 ACTION * June 2016 ZZZGHDOHUDXWRPRWLYHFRP Keith Leonard, Esquire challenge a proposed sale. How will each candidate determine to whom we sell such weapons? Candidates are uniformly opposed to illegal immigration, with some also being in favor of deporting all undocumented immigrants. In addition to the costs of locating and transporting them to their birth country, what will happen to their children if they were born in this country? The Fourteenth Amendment provides, in part, All persons born ... in the United States ..., are citizens of the United States ... . A natural-born citizen cannot legally have his or her citizenship revoked against his or her will. One candidate, in particular, points to a Census Bureau statistic that, despite the requirements of the Equal Pay Act, women are only making 76 cents to every dollar paid to a man. That statistic is however the midpoint for all women in all jobs, not for women doing the same work or working the same number of hours as men. Currently women on average work fewer hours than men and are generally under-represented in higher paying jobs. Thus, the gender discrimination may be in terms of higher paying jobs rather than creating the foregoing wage gap if you consider women doing the same jobs as men for the same number of hours. That form of discrimination is not easily eliminated by more laws. Borrowing loosely from a Seinfeld episode, a politician may know how to make a promise, but they do not always know how to keep a promise. This is a thoughtful reminder that we should not simply vote on any candidate's promises. ❆ Remember that laws are constantly changing and are often not uniform throughout the United States. Do not place unqualified reliance on the information in this article. Always contact legal counsel for detailed advice. If you have a particular issue, law or problem you would like to see addressed in a future column, please contact me at KLeonard@LeonardSciolla. com, or Leonard, Sciolla, Hutchison, Leonard & Tinari, LLP, 215-567-1530.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ACtion Magazine - June 2016

ACtion Magazine - June 2016
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ACtion Magazine - June 2016