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Charlie Traffas
Charlie Traffas has been involved in marketing, media, publishing and insurance for more than 40 years. In addition to being a fully-licensed life, health, property and casualty agent, he is also President and Owner of Chart Marketing, Inc. (CMI). CMI operates and markets several different products and services that help B2B and B2C businesses throughout the country create customers...profitably. You may contact Charlie by phone at (316) 721-9200, by e-mail at ctraffas@chartmarketing.com, or you may visit at www.chartmarketing.com.
From the Publisher
2012-11-01 14:35:28
"Say it ain't so Joe" - series
A- In order to get the most out of this month’s column, you will have to go back and read the columns of the past two months (September ’12 and October ‘12). After reading them you will understand the statement, “Say it ain’t so Joe.” You can do this by going to www.theqandatimes.com, and click on recent issues. In March of 1980, while I was at KFDI Radio, I put together a group of sponsors that brought former California Governor Ronald Reagan, and Republican Presidential candidate at the time, to Wichita for a “Salute To National Agriculture Day,” at the Cotillion Ballroom. It was a huge event that had one of those “gotchya” moments that appeared on national media throughout the rest of the campaign. Roger Mudd of CBS News asked Reagan about his stance on “parity.” Reagan didn’t understand “parity” like he should have and he stuttered and stammered, thereby embarrassing himself. Although I was also embarrassed for him and for the sponsors that presented the event, I chose to remember another comment he made that same day. He said, “If the American people are properly informed, they will most always make the right decision.” In my article this month, I will try and provide as much proper information as possible, and ask for your help doing something we all need to do. It is shocking and stunning to me when I consider the amount of time, energy and effort that has been spent on worthless rhetoric from both the Obama and Romney campaigns. Nothing of what is being proposed will work to the extent it needs to work insofar as solving our nation’s biggest domestic problems…balancing our budget; stopping deficit spending; paying down the debt; creating jobs; getting the economy moving again through the creation of a pro-business climate; stopping the waste, fraud and abuse; keeping us strong as a country with a strong defense; and putting firm footing under the entitlement programs of Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid. I know, by now you have to be sick and tired of hearing about all of this stuff, but hopefully this article will be a breath of fresh air…because I am not just going to talk about these things…I am going to give you some solutions for these problems that can be implemented within 60 days. Then I will tell you what each of us needs to do. Please stay with me. I am not sure who it was that was the first to say in this presidential election, “If we ever needed leadership, we need it now,” but truer words have not been spoken in a long time. We must have a team in place that understands solving these problems is its most important affair. This team must adhere to the modus operandi of, “Plan the work…work the plan.” But with all of what Washington has been for so many years, and with what these two campaigns have been saying, it doesn’t look to me like this is going to happen. Let me tell you why… May God bless him, but President Obama doesn’t have a clue as to how to go about solving these problems. He hasn’t had any kind of a plan since he was first elected in 2008. His idea of a business plan is a set of drawings for an office. Since the first order of business is to “Plan the work,” and he has no plan…nothing is going to get done in these problem areas. And, as I stated in the October issue, his eyes are on a much bigger prize…one we can’t get into now. The Benghazi embassy situation, leaving 4 Americans dead, including our Ambassador, Christopher Stevens, with all of the lies, distortions, deflections and cover ups…is reprehensible…and so representative of the arrogance and manner in which he has run his administration, in so many areas and on so many fronts…domestically and globally. He and his team have not earned the right to be re-elected…end of story. Is Governor Romney and his team any better? Fiscally? Yes. And there is something to be said about “pulling a quarterback who is flailing” and putting one in the game who is “chomping on the bit” on the sideline. Other than that, I can’t promise a lot. I just know he would be better than what we have for the shape we’re in. Sadly, Governor Romney, his team and their plan won’t fix what needs to be fixed either. After months of listening to his handlers about not being specific, he is now getting more so about what he says he will do, but there’s no “beef” in what he advocates. His getting more specific amounts to saying, “We will have some vegetables for dinner,” instead of saying, “We will have dinner.” I understand specificity gives fuel to the opposition for its attacks, but you have to present it in a way that cannot be attacked or refuted like, “Surely you will agree that the sun comes up in the East, don’t you?” It can be done. Governor Romney is now saying his plan will be to reduce all tax levels by 20%, while closing most of the deduction loop holes. This isn’t the brightest plan ever advanced. Does he say it will bring in more revenue? No. Does he say it will cause more jobs? No. Does he say it will take care of our entitlement programs? No. Does he say it will solve our housing crisis? No. He throws out a blanket, political statement like this thinking it will be a “seed that falls on fertile ground,” and all it is…is more “worthless rhetoric.” His 5 point plan of committing to energy independence, deficit reduction, education, improving foreign trade and championing small business by cutting taxes and regulations is equally unspecific. It’s the same thing we have gotten from President Obama since he began running in 2007. Governor Romney, there are a lot of us ready for any kind of change over what it has been…but tell us what you are going to do in these problem areas…and present us with the numbers proving why your solutions will work. I have stated frequently in this column that there is no business in the world bigger than the US Government. Calvin Coolidge said it best in 1925, “The business of America is business.” We need someone in charge immediately who understands business more than we need anything; but Governor Romney, what business did you ever run successfully, that when you were asked, “What are you going to do to increase sales?” did you reply, “We are going to reduce our prices”? Is this all you’ve got? How is this going to solve the problems? There isn’t a board of directors on the planet that would accept such a statement from the company’s CEO without documentation as to what it will do for increasing revenue. In the 2008 election, we had a guy who couldn’t recite a simple, four-line poem written in iambic pentameter without stuttering. So we elected a guy who baffled and dazzled us with his “big hat no cattle” promises, of which if 1 in 25 have been kept, I will buy you a hot dog. This time, we have a guy to run against him, managed by a bunch of handlers in Massachusetts, who have to be as stiff-necked as any I have ever seen, who have been told by thousands what to do, but who are seemingly going to ride this deal down into failure. Maybe…maybe not…but it looks that way to me. I am writing this article before the final debates are finished, and you will be reading it after they’re all finished…so maybe something big will happen…like the parting of the “Red Sea,” before the election…but even if it does…the American public deserved better than to have to wait for it until election eve. So…unless this big deal occurs…I don’t think it makes much difference who wins, insofar as solving these problems, because neither side has the solutions that will solve them, and a divided government (where one party does not control the House, Senate and White House) is in store for us again. The only things we have to be concerned about are the executive orders that will be made (President Obama has made almost as many in 4 years as President Bush made in 8 years), and the appointments of anywhere from 2 to 4 Supreme Court Justices over the next four years. These two things will change our country more than anything has ever changed it before, but without some immediate, fiscal-management tools put into place, we may not last long enough as a country to be affected by them. How sad is this? For now, I will submit, it is more important than anything for each of us to know what needs to be done, and to voice these aggressively to our elected leaders when they commence wasting time again on the things that will not work. We cannot afford to have things locked in neutral for four more years, with partisan politics…bickering…and demonizing one side against the other. If they are, we will not be here in 2016 as we are today. Surely, somehow we will avoid going over the “fiscal cliff” that will take place after the elections, and before the end of the year…even if we just “kick the can down the road” for a few months. After all, procrastination is something our elected officials do better than anything else. But when all of the nonsense begins again, with all of the worthless rhetoric…we must mount a cry together, “Say it ain’t so Joe. We’ve had enough. We are out of time. We need to do something and do it now. If there is one thing you have all proved, it is that none of you are the ‘sharpest knife in the drawer.’ Listen to us…the people! It is time to be a public servant…instead of a party servant.” As I said earlier, nothing of what we have heard from either side will work. The Romney/Ryan ticket advocates cutting current spending by $250 Billion per year; cutting tax rates by 20%; and closing loopholes and deductions. These will leave us $32 Trillion in debt by 2022, and this assumes interest rates stay as they are, which is impossible with all of the money the Fed has printed and is continuing to print. The Obama/Biden ticket advocates keeping spending as it is (going in the red more than $1.2 Trillion per year with current spending, and even more when figuring in Obamacare); increasing income taxes on those individuals making $200,000 per year and couples making $250,000 per year from 35% to 39.6%; and taking capital gains taxes up from 15% to 20%...or higher; plus a myriad of other tax increases to individuals and businesses. This will leave us $43 Trillion in debt by 2022, again assuming interest rates stay the same. Can you imagine what either scenario would be if inflation of 10% hits us…or hyperinflation of 20% or more? The “fat lady” will have sung. Below are the things that will work. They must be implemented immediately. They can be implemented within 60 days…and no, I am not crazy. Do you remember how quickly America united following the bombing of Pearl Harbor as we entered World War II? We haven’t seen this kind of patriotism and unified effort since. While nothing can equal the tragedy of such a terrible loss of life; we need that same spirit in each of our bellies for this fiscal tragedy now. We are Americans. We still have the ability to do this. It is as much a part of our souls as our love for our grandparents, parents and children, and our love for the great country in which we live. Our very way of life is at risk…and that of our loved ones. We need it now…and with the right strategies, solutions and rallying cry…we can do it. Here are the things we need to vociferously profess and support: We must have more revenue. Increasing taxes on the wealthiest will not do it. The only way to get it is with an immediate, general tax reform. Our present tax system is broken. Even if the most wealthy Americans would have their taxes increased by 25%...and NO ONE is advocating this…it would not bring in enough revenue to cover what we are spending. We would continue to run Trillion dollar deficits, thereby running up the national debt even further. We have to change the basis of our tax system. We do that by abolishing every federal tax we have in place…personal income tax, corporate income tax, capital gains tax, Medicare and Social Security taxes for both the individual and the company, estate tax, gift tax and excise tax. We replace these taxes with a FairTax of 23% on every new, personally-consumed product and service in the United States, with no exemptions of any kind. This FairTax would be collected at the point of sale by the seller of the product or service. One fourth of one percent would be retained by the seller, then the seller would immediately send the balance on to the state. The state would retain one fourth of one percent and immediately send the balance on to the Federal Government. There would be no FairTax on business-to-business transactions of products or services. There would be no FairTax on used products. Each head of household (individual/family), regardless of income, would receive a monthly pre-bate payment to pay the FairTax equal to poverty-level expenditures to enable the necessities of life (food, medicine, clothing, etc.) This monthly, pre-bate payment is based upon family size only. It is not based upon income. There is no “means” testing for this pre-bate payment. Every American citizen qualifies for it. Imagine, each of us paying no more Federal Taxes for anything. Imagine your take home check being gross wages, or nearly gross wages, if there was no Federal Withholding, no Social Security, no Medicare, and no Federal Tax deductions of any kind. Imagine businesses putting all of their capital into the purchase of new equipment, locations and employees, instead of peeling off a huge chunk for all of the Federal Taxes. How fast would our economy (gross domestic product-GDP) grow? How many jobs would be created? You know how some of us pay estimated quarterly Federal Taxes? We would not do this any longer. How many tens of millions of dollars have been spent on the debates and politics over the past 3½ years, of all of these different federal taxes, that would be moot if this FairTax was enacted? Extension of the Bush Tax cuts…moot; estate tax…moot; Social Security reform…moot; Medicare reform…moot; increasing taxes on the rich…moot; increasing taxes on business…moot; Capital Gains tax…moot; and so much more…all moot. Take away all of these and ask yourself, “What would we have gotten accomplished if our elected representatives had not spent all of the time and money on these things that they did?” Would the FairTax generate the revenue we need? Yes. To begin with, it would bring in $800 Billion more than what we’re bringing in today. In 2012 total revenue from all sources will be $2.2 Trillion. Our GDP is approximately $16 Trillion. 81% of our GDP is personal consumption, which equates to $13 Trillion, on which the FairTax would be assessed. 22.85% of this (which is the percentage after the seller of the product/service and the state take their one fourth of one percent) comes to $3 Trillion. That works out to be $800 Billion more than what we take in now! But revenue would significantly increase thereafter! Why? Because there would be no payroll taxes (Medicare and Social Security) for business, no corporate income tax, no Federal excise taxes and no other Federal taxes. Business in America would boom. Businesses from around the world would stand in line to do business here. We wouldn’t have to worry about our balance of trade. Exports would far exceed imports. We wouldn’t have enough people for the jobs it would create. Instead of our GDP growing at the anaemic levels it has of an annual rate of less than 2%, try plugging in a FairTax of 22.85% on 81% of our GDP with a 3% growth rate, 4% growth rate, or even a 5% or more growth rate. A 5% increase in GDP of $16 Trillion would bring in more than $3.2 Trillion in revenue immediately. A sustained 5% growth rate in GDP would bring in more than $5 Trillion…annually. This would be real revenue…and the HOTTEST and most VIBRANT economy we have ever seen in the history of this country. Why would we want to help business? For not only the reasons that are listed above, but as business thrives, more and more people would make more and more money…owners and employees alike. The more money they would make, the more they would spend. The more they would spend, the more FairTax revenue. People who make the most in business, like owners and upper management, would pay a 23% FairTax on every new product/service they buy, with no exemptions. There would be no more “biggies” that escape paying taxes. This is the progressive tax we have all looked for. People who make more spend more and would pay more in FairTax. People who make less spend less and would pay less in FairTax. But since most people, including the very poor, do not pay any income taxes now, how would they be able to afford an additional 23% consumption tax? First, to those employed, no one would have any more Federal Tax deductions on their pay check. They would receive gross pay instead of net pay after these deductions. If the current, take-home, household income of a family of four is $50,000, this alone would put nearly $10,000 back into their hands (enough to pay the FairTax on more than $43,000 worth of new products and services purchased during the year), which is almost all of what they would have to spend in the first place. Second, there are the monthly pre-bate payments based solely on household size. The Federal Poverty Level Spending for a family of four in a household, for the essentials, is approximately $22,000. 23% of this is $5,060. To those who are on a lower amount of take-home, household income…say for instance the $22,000, their monthly pre-bate payment will pay the 23% FairTax on all of the new products and services they purchase in a year. With the monthly pre-bate payment and no other Federal taxes like Medicare and Social Security, this would be “expenditure neutral” for all lower income households. And remember, no one pays the FairTax on used products they purchase, so it could even be an increase in disposable income for lower income households. This monthly pre-bate payment program would cost the country approximately $460 Billion per year. I will tell you how it would be paid for in just a bit. What would we do about cutting spending? After observing Washington for the past dozen years or more, I am now convinced, a balanced budget amendment will not work. We must go further. You see, a balanced budget amendment will never get us out of the problems we’re in, as it would limit spending to what we take in, and at best…Washington would spend all we take in. With all of the revenue this FairTax would bring in, we cannot spend it all. We must have a surplus to pay down the debt and regain the confidence of our foreign creditors as well as those Americans who hold US Debt. We would therefore have a “Spending Cap Amendment,” of 17% of the GDP. As this FairTax would begin to blossom, we would be able to spend more, because 17% of a bigger number is a bigger number to spend, but we would hold to the 17% cap of GDP. This one move would restore our global credit rating over night; put lobbyists to work doing something to affect our GDP instead of what they are doing; wipe out the deficit; build a surplus to shore up our entitlement programs; and pay down the national debt in an accelerated fashion from this point forward. With no more federal taxes, what will happen to all of the tax attorneys, CPAs and IRS agents that will no longer be needed for what they were doing, or primarily doing? Some of them are going to have to find something else to do, or something else to do in addition to what they do. This is taken care of too. Every existing tax attorney, CPA, Income Tax Preparer and IRS agent, who opts-in during a limited and defined registration period, would be given full access to all of the information on every dime that is being spent and planned to be spent by the Federal Government. Each of these could apply their unique talents and skills to stopping waste, fraud and abuse. It has been estimated by those on the right, left and in the middle, including our President, that 20% of what we spend goes to waste, fraud and abuse. This is in excess of $700 Billion per year. If there are 100,000 tax attorneys, 50,000 CPA and Income Tax Preparers, and 100,000 IRS agents that opt in (and that would include all of them there are opting in); and we would give them each 25% of what they are able to save for the waste, fraud and abuse we no longer have to pay, each would easily earn more than $500,000 per year. This should provide each of them with a pretty good living while directly contributing to our country’s bottom line with the 75% we don’t pay out to them as savings (reclaimed). Can’t you just see those people and entities that these folks go after for this waste, fraud and abuse? Once the abusers see them coming…they would hold up their handkerchiefs in surrender and say, “I’m sorry. I will give it all back.” They might be able to reclaim all of the $700 Billion. These folks would only be added to the unemployed if they do not have the skills and talents we and they thought they did, or if they do not want to work. This reclamation, plus the immediate increase in revenue from the FairTax of $800 Billion, plus all of the savings of what experts say it costs to collect, manage and enforce our current tax system of $462 Billion per year, would pay the $460 Billion for the monthly pre-bate payment to every household in America described earlier, plus our entire national defense budget, and all of the interest on our national debt. Keep in mind this is at the onset…before we experience the dynamic growth in our GDP and the increased revenue that will occur because of it. By the way, isn’t it a shame that we spend $462 Billion a year to manage, collect and enforce our taxes on our current system, and have absolutely nothing to show for it to ourselves and the rest of the world? Do you know that the 22nd largest economy in the world is Sweden, and their entire GDP is $457 Billion! We waste more on managing, collecting and enforcing our taxes than Sweden produces. What other problems would or could be solved with these in place, and what other stances would we take domestically and globally? Illegal Immigration - No one in their right mind, with a thimble full of compassion, would send 14 million illegal immigrants back to the country from which they came. Yes, it wasn’t right that they came here in violation of the way they were supposed to come here; but who committed the bigger sin? If a child isn’t supposed to push a chair over to the cookie jar, climb up and get a cookie, and one time Mom dusts the child’s britches when she sees the child do this, and the next time, when on the phone, she shakes her finger at the child…mouthing “No,”…the child is confused. How is the child supposed to react? The messaging was inconsistent. Both the government and the companies that employed the illegal immigrants were wrong for not enforcing the laws on the books and failing to comply with them. What were the illegal immigrants supposed to do? The messaging was inconsistent. The child is confused. The illegal immigrants are confused. They are already here. We would get them an ID card and let them stay and work. Their ID number would put them in the back of the line with all of those waiting to become citizens, but they would continue to stay here and work until their number came up. There would be plenty of work to go around. This country is going to be great again. They would know that if they violate the law, they would be sent back to where they came from and never be allowed back. This would work for most of those contemplating such a violation. The rest are all good people to begin with. We would enforce the border so no more would come in without doing it the way our laws on the books state they have to do it, but we would take care of those already here. In regards to social benefits for them, we would let this new tax reform work and we would be able to afford it. We wouldn’t have to worry about it. After all, if there are 14 million illegal immigrants here now, that’s only a 4% increase in our population. What would we do with a 4% increase if it came from within our borders over a 10 year period, which is what has occurred with the illegal immigrants over the last 10 years? Would we tell them there is no room or benefits for them? Would we load them up and ship them to the Outback Area of Australia or some other country that would take them? Most all of these people who came here illegally are good people. God made them just like He made you and me. We need them. They did what anyone would do in their situation. They looked for something better than what they had. No one stopped them. They have put roots down here. They have families now. We would put them to work and let them provide for their families, while being placed on a pathway to citizenship. National Defense - We would adopt and adapt a national defense policy that would work in synch with our credo, God and our resources: 1. We believe in peace through strength. Don’t mess with us and any of our allies…including Israel. If you mess with them you mess with us. 2. Respect our citizens that reside in your country, and those of other countries. Consider us like the reformed “bully” on the playground. While we could whip any one of the “kids,” we have chosen for now not to do so. But if someone messes with one of them, we will do whatever it takes so it will never happen again. 3. We’re not into nation building. This is where our involvement in the business of those we assist…ends. We would make things so you could rebuild your own nation. Foreign Aid - We would recognize what countries can do and cannot do in their own countries. We wouldn’t ask them to do something they cannot do. But we would expect them to do everything they can do. We would be there to assist, but don’t jack with us. Take care of business and we would be there for you. We would only provide aid to countries who always have the best interests of the USA in mind. Play both sides of the table and you can “color us gone”…immediately. We would take the aid we were giving you and use it to pay down our national debt…and we would send you a big “thank you” along with our “good-bye.” Energy - We stand for energy independence. Far too many decisions of our blood and treasure have been made over the past 50 years based upon getting our energy from somewhere other than our own resources. If we have shoddy practices in place while going after this energy, kick those companies to the curb and get on with being energy independent for those that know how to do it right. We wouldn’t let someone “without manners sit at our table at 4 H Camp.” We wouldn’t let someone work in the energy business who is messy and has no “manners” either. Abundant and affordable energy will always be a centerpiece of our economy. Get out of the way and let it happen…domestically. Help The Poor and Disenfranchised and They Would Help Too - We would see a brand new and vibrant economy. There would be plenty of aid for all of those who could not help themselves; but if they are not sick, between the ages of 18 and 65, and could work, even if they are disabled, in order to continue receiving the aid…they would do what they could do or they would not receive the aid. And don’t tell me the disabled cannot work. They are some of the best employees…and among the most loyal. I have worked with them and more than a dozen Wichita companies for whom they work for many years. They want to help too. Everyone who isn’t sick can do something that the Federal Government is now paying to have done. These include things like relieving a home care aide that is being paid by Medicare or Medicaid; sewing a uniform; stuffing envelopes at home; picking up litter on a highway; assisting in any type of infrastructure work for which they are qualified; sorting mail for the post office; cleaning buildings; washing vehicles; doing laundry; anything the Federal Government pays for now. They pay approximately $37.50 per hour for this type of work. How do I know? Because the average rate paid by the private sector for these things is $15 per hour, and the Federal Government, because of all its waste, fraud and abuse, averages paying 250% more for things than what you and I pay. That works out to $37.50 per hour. Now watch these numbers work. There are 320 Million Americans. 23% are under 18. 13% are over 65. That leaves 205 Million Americans. Of these, approximately 35% receive government assistance from “means-tested” programs like food stamps, housing assistance and Medicaid, and another 14% are on Social Security Disability (SSDI). That equates to 100 Million Americans. Let’s say 5% of these are sick at any given time and cannot work. That leaves 95 Million Americans. If each of these gave only 2 hours per week in these kinds of services, reducing the Federal Government’s expenses, it would save $370 Billion per year. If each gave 4 hours per week, this one move could save us $740 Billion per year, which would wipe out more than 60% of our deficit! Imagine the strength and camaraderie of our country with everyone who can…giving something to help out…in time, talent or treasure. Let The Free Market Work - Entrepreneurism and the free market have made happen what we all enjoy in America today. Yes, greed has crept into much of it and this is unacceptable in anyone’s book, but the original statement is true. Products and services that survive the test of consumers, that continue to cater to the needs of consumers, that are priced affordably and competitively…will flourish. Those that are not will be tossed aside. That’s the way it’s been since our country began. This is how it always must be. Health insurance is a big part of this. Obamacare has little to do with health insurance. Rather, it is a massive, 2,300 page, redistribution of wealth program packed full of more regulations than anyone has been able to count. It will cost hundreds of billions of dollars. It will not save anything. The bureaucracy required to run it will make every other program in the country seem like a local chapter of FFA. Obamacare must be repealed…and this time…done properly…without the shoddy way it was put into effect the first time. We would have a solution for health insurance in place that works for every other product and service in every other segment of our society. Disregard state boundaries. Let buyers of health insurance shop for the best plan there is for them in the country, their families and their situations. Eliminate pre-existing conditions, and the dollar and time limits of benefits. If you are an insurance company and in the insurance business, you take them all…both those with “hiccups” in their health and the healthy ones. The principle of insurance works best for all when the risk pool is large. Companies that control their costs and take care of their insureds will prosper. Those who don’t will fall by the wayside. Individual and corporate greed is bad…but no worse than it is for the Federal Government to get in the middle of everything we do. Entrepreneurism and the free enterprise system are good. If you can’t agree with this…there is no room for you here. It doesn’t matter what you occupy…you will not be changing America into a third world country. Get out. Go occupy a cave in Africa, Indonesia, Finland or Norway, or wherever, and roast the porcupine you caught two days ago over a wood fire for dinner. There’s a better world out there for all of us than the one you are trying to espouse. We’re going to make it happen…with or without you. 100% Full Support for the Constitution - The Constitution is the way it is and the way it would be…until it is changed. That means each and every sentence…and each and every amendment…is the way it is. It will be respected by all. Laws are made by the Legislative Branch. These laws are interpreted and applied by the Judicial Branch, and executed and enforced by the Executive Branch. If the laws on the books are not going to be enforced, unilaterally for all, they would be abolished or changed…but until this would be done…this is the way it is…end of story. None of us know what will happen on November 6th, whether President Obama will be re-elected, Governor Romney will be elected, or which party will control the House and the Senate. There are 8 possibilities. But no matter how it ends up…one thing is certain…we cannot have a “do nothing” government again for 4 more years like we have had the last 4 years, or one that spends its time on “worthless rhetoric” and things that will not work. Stand up. Let them know what has to be done. This is America. These people work for us. These are the right things to do.
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