Overall, the constant refrain of bias in the “Main Stream Media,” has become time-worn, tiresome, and unfortunately almost universally acknowledged, when hearing this invective many persons next continuous thought may be, “Yea, so what else is new!” Years ago you would hear the contra-posing argument that the charge of bias was not true. Next, there was a period where the story line was that it was really the other side that was promoting its own bias—often listed as Fox News and Continue reading
On July 24, 2012, the San Jose Mercury News ran an article by Josh Richman and Matthew Artz, “Obama’s campaign hits Oakland. “Obama campaign hits Oakland.”
The article covers the typical campaign rhetoric. It has its requisite Romney and republican bashing, has the required promises that he will give us all everything we want if we just give him one more chance, how everything would be better already if it was not for those other guys, and of course it was all wrapped up with a large dose of scare tactics to convince those present in Oakland that the bogymen conservatives were about to take away their babies, Continue reading
If it is not already, this will be the consuming question for both parties over the next ninety-eight days. Depending on your point of view the recent polls either show the race in a dead heat (if you are independent), Mitt Romney beginning to gain momentum (if you are republican) or President Obama beginning to pull ahead (if you are a democrat). The main question is how accurate are the polls? Here many pundits, again depending on their political persuasion have numerous cogent arguments as to why one view or the other is correct based on the sampling, Continue reading
Entering the Florida primary-of-the-moment race are ‘The Two-Bit-Kid‘ (Mitt Romney) versus the ‘Come-Back-Kid‘ (Newt Gingrich). Clearly, Newt has earned the title the Come-Back-Kid, as he has been counted out at least three times in the recent months by many pundits on the left and right. I have called Mitt the Two-Bit-Kid for his inability to gain or stay above 25% in the polls for more than just short period. Often, he has risen above this apparent wall only when others implode, sometimes on their own, and then sometimes with a little help from his friends.
Is it just me, or if you’ re a Californian doesn’t Herman Cain remind you of Willy Brown? Or Marion Berry if you’ re from DC?
The Republican race thus far has not been an awe inspiring process has it? If we were to take a path along the lines of creating the next “Steve Austin” we clearly could have combined the candidates into our own “One Billion Dollar Elephant Man.” We could have taken Newt Gingrich’s brain and policy experience (Newt is consistently one of the smartest guys in the room–and he knows how to nail those that the people want nailed!), Hermancain’s simple 999 style(I say Hermancain because, I have never heard any other name for him. I can’t even tell if this is his first or last name—can you?) Let’s add in some of Rick Perry’s reversion-airy ideas on converting our professional political class back to part-time citizen politicians (something that is definitely needed). How about some of John Huntsman’s ability to speak Chinese (he could tell Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao the inside dirty jokes or tell them where the best Chinese food is in Washington, DC–who would know?) Let’s take some of Ron Paul’s views on the Federal Reserve (and their big bank cohorts) and their complicity and obfuscation in the current financial crisis (and perhaps his relationship with Arthur Dent, a hapless Englishman who travels the galaxy, could help if the aliens lose all common sense and decide to invade the planet–Come on, you think he doesn’t know him personally?) Now let’s put in a dash of
John Huntsman seems like a nice enough person but he reminded me of a bobble-head doll every-time he spoke!
Rick Santorum’s ability to keep talking to everyone while not really enhancing the conversation one iota, but seemingly not pissing people off (other than convincing them he is really truly a conservative–and after-all to Rick, that is all that matters right?), Michelle Bachmann’s attractiveness to the Tea Party and her singular focus on repealing Obamacare (Do they still find her attractive?–I mean in a political sense of course), And Mitt Romney’s uncanny ability to continue to run for president after, what is it?–eight years–wining only one state and still not get more than about 25 percent of the electorate interested in him, but still he continues. (Don’t forget the hair–Mitt has great hair! The best that money can buy!)
Please, will someone tell Mitt Romney not to put jell on his implants? It makes them look like a well cultivated cornfield owned by some anally-retentive Iowa farmer.
Now, if we could pull that off we would have the One Billion Dollar Elephant Man (BDEM). The Republicans are going to need this to go up against the One Billion Dollar Donkey Man(BDDM). (I thought about using the pejorative that I know many of you are thinking but, it would not be appropriate!) Oh yea, he already has one billion dollars doesn’t he! I think we should put this fact in a bit of perspective.
Lee Majors vs Barack Obama
I did not realize, until I began to research this article, that the show The Six-Million Dollar Man began in 1974. The same year that President Nixon took us off the gold standard! Now, how about that for a coincidence! Lets take a look at what it is going to cost to build a modern replica of Steve Austin and compare that to what either the BDEM or the BDDM is going to actually cost us all.
In 1974, when Steve Austin was being constructed to protect mom, apple pie, and the American way, He cost America $6 million to build and there was a total of $500 billion of currency in circulation (CinC.)at the time. That was about 0.0012% of the total money in circulation. Now, if we look at the Billion Dollar Donkey Man or the proposed Billion Dollar Elephant Man, using the benchmark of Mr. Austin, either of these candidates should only cost about $192 million based on having almost $16 trillion total Currency in Circulation today. But, they will likely cost at least $1,000,000,000.00 each! That equates to 0.0625%–an increase of 520.83%. That is an inflation rate of 13.71% per year since 1974. What do we get for our money?
That’s a 520% Increase!
I guess we should not complain all that loudly, should we? We only had a 520% increase in the cost of the $6 million dollar man but we increased the total amount of money circulating in our economy by 3,200% Yep, that’s correct! We increase the total amount of money in our economy 32 times what it was in 1972. And of course the value of all the assets of the U.S. increased 32 times as well didn’t they?
While our ideology, and its complete polarization, have made for great copy; no single person or party is responsible for this mess. We all are! As I read the paper this morning, I start to see the new push against Gingrich as angry, unpredictable and undisciplined. I see the attacks on Romney as not in touch with the common man, driven more by greed, and not able to close the sale with voters. Overall I saw so what! In sales and marketing there is a thing called the “so what test!” If after someone tells you something they think is a selling point you can say so what, then they have not made the sale! I think we need to all say so what a bit more!
Conversely, now I hear, over and over, how the democrats are more afraid of Romney than Gingrich–that Gingrich has so much baggage they feel they can easily beat him. And as Yul Brenner said in The Kind and I, “Etcetera…. Etceteraaaa…. Etceteraaaaaaa!” Deep inside, when I hear this I wonder if the words of the queen in Shakespeare’s Hamlet ring true?
Both here and hence pursue me lasting strife,
If once I be a widow, ever I be a wife!
‘Tis deeply sworn. Sweet, leave me here a while,
My spirits grow dull, and fain I would beguile
The tedious day with sleep.
Sleep rock thy brain,
And never come mischance between us twain!
Madam, how like you this play?
The lady doth protest too much, methinks.
Hamlet Act 3, Scene 2
Logically thinking about this, I am not sure I agree with the conventional, or contrived wisdom, that the Democrats are more afraid of Romney. He has more money at this point, he is more organized, and his background accomplishments key him up directly as the economic foil to illustrate the Presidents economic failures. In the long run, if we get our collective heads out of our nether regions, I don’t think the rap against Romney on his fiscal achievements, and liabilities,–Bain Capital, taxes et. al.–amount to much in balance. For everyone who begrudges him his success and fortune, others will want him to translate these skills to work on their behalf.
Likewise, Gingrich may have baggage, but it just different baggage. Like the others, in many of the attacks on Gingrich the supposed weaknesses also become strengths. Unpredictability, is well, unpredictable. Unpredictability makes it difficult for others to prepare their game plan and stick to it. Clearly, Newt is the strongest debater, and by almost every account the smartest man in almost any room. Some have charged this leads him to be undisciplined and that his idea-a-minute brain makes it hard for others to find focus and achieve. Clearly, this is not the case for some others. Newt himself has had a disproportionate share of successes, accomplishments and achievements in his lifetime. Recognized as a quintessential American, more along the lines of the early framers and founders. He is and been a successful politician, author and consultant. He has been Times Man of the Year in 1995 for his role in leading the Republication Revolution and creating the Contract with America, Earned his PhD from Tulane University, has taught History and Geography, founded Conservative Opportunity Society, American Solutions for Winning the Future, The Gingrich Group, and the Center for Health Transformation and co-authored over 27 books and documentary movies. Yes, his marital history and admitted infidelities are cause for some to find him inappropriate to hold the office. A number of our founding fathers had similar transgressions. And for one I am really tired of this as a litmus test for an elected candidate. I want someone who can lead the country, come up with good ideas and solutions and fight hard and passionately to bring them forward to conclusion. I want someone who will call things as they are. I am tired of the politically correct version of our history and our life. Most importantly, I am tired of our desire to offend no one standing in the way of our ability to recognize the issues on either side and deal with them effectively, timely and efficiently.
Newt has baggage but he also has a long and diverse list of accomplishments! While Romney resonates with women Newt does not. While Newt creates the feeling that nothing is beyond his intellect and willingness to take a risk and to fight the full fight, Romney often appears to favor the safe path. Overall, Newt presents to Americans the Passionate Risk Candidate, while Mitt presents the Safe Bet Candidate. Who will eventually win may still be anyone’s guess.
Being a Mugwump, I will end up voting for the person that I believe will do the best job and accomplish the most. There are things that are attractive to me about Newt as I feel what we need now is a fighter, someone who is willing to passionately address the issues we face both inside our nation and abroad. I think now, I want someone who will not play it safe and who will take the risky path and fight for the best outcome.
I do not worry about Newts baggage, I am concerned that we have changed so much as a society that we no longer want citizen politicians with all their flaws–just read any of the recent biographies of Washington, Adams or Jefferson and you will see what I mean they were all flawed men. I am worried that today we want political-celebrity-rock star-gods. We seem to really want to have a Professional Political Class, telling us what to do. We seem to be willing to accept anything they do as long as they do not become regular everyday people like us!
There are things about Romney I like as well. I like his tenacity, his success, and his history in the private sector. His religion and long term commitment with his wife neither sway me nor bother me. I am not voting for a political-celebrity-rock star-god. I will vote for the person I think can and will do the best job. I am still forming this opinion, but I am now down to two candidates only.
What I am most concerned about is us! I am concerned that the criteria we are using to select our next president is not based on the things we really should be evaluating. We have said in years past, mostly in furtherance of political objectives, that it is about character. I think in some cases character matters. But like everything else, even a persons character has to moderated against the other factors and issues we face. Genius lies in many people, many cultures, many demographics, many ethnicities, and many degrees of fidelity. Overall, I want the best person to solve the problems that our country faces today. The characteristics I have looked at in many ways become conflicting with each other and sometimes conflict with basic human nature.
What do I want?
- I want plain talk, I want workable solutions, I want clear answers,
- I want a dedication to America more than I want a dedication to my own self interests,
- I want someone who knows how to get things done in Washington DC, I also want a citizen politician,
- I want a strong leader, I want a leader to balance compassion with responsibility,
- I want a person who can elevate the nation, and myself, to a new level of greatness in the world,
- I want someone who believes enough in our capability to think big thoughts but deliver pragmatic solutions,
- I want a leader who builds admiration and respect in our nations friends and abject fear along with respect in our nations enemies,
- I want someone to lead us to a new era of tolerance and respect for each other as Americans,
- I want someone who can move our full-time professional political class back to part-time citizen politicians,
- I want a president who is selfless who will sacrifice the potential for “4-more-years” to do the correct thing for the country,
- I want a president that can help re-engage our youth and re-invigorate our education system in teaching our next generations our real history–what it takes in terms of knowledge, commitment, dedication, hard work, respect and compassion to be successful and responsible national and family leaders,
- I want a leader that will resolve the ongoing conflict between the powers at the federal level with those at the state level,
- I want a leader that will inspire all of us to be bigger than ourselves, become more self reliant, and do better at helping each other as Americans.
- I want a Washington, or a Lincoln, or an Adams, or a Jefferson, or a Jackson, or either Roosevelt
- I want a pragmatic idealist
- I want a person who believes that faith plays a role–which faith is not important
- I want someone who can sees how the Federal government can provide the checks and balances to make sure we all do our best for the country and each other but not one who sees the Federal government provide for us all
- I want a leader that knows the value of our history–all of it–not slanted to one political side or the other
- I want a leader that will make the hard choices–the ones none of us want to make and does not soft peddle the solutions to preserve the livelihoods in DC
I could go on and on but this is long enough already . I would hope that most of you do not find much, if anything, you disagree with–despite your political affiliation. I also, hope you will notice what you do not see on this list: things like; marriage status, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, size, weight, personal predilections or anything else. In the long run I am not even sure that in the end I want to ‘like’ the candidate. By this I mean they do not have to be someone I want to go have a beer with. I really just want the best person, with the best ideas, singularly dedicated to fix the problems and make us a better country.
In the long run this alone would be a great start! Wouldn’t it?
I have written a couple articles trying to explain the problem with the economy for the middle-class in America. If you listen to the current rhetoric, now apparently from both sides of the isle, you would come to believe that it is the fault of either the political right working to give the rich an unfair proportion of all the money, or it is the fault of the political left in America for running up the debt and increasing significantly the expenses of government.
Of course there are many other flavors of the arguments but, they all center on how someone else is causing the plight of the middle-class and only our side is looking out for you. Oh yea, one more point…. they do it on purpose because they don’t like you and they want to hurt you, or they just don’t care about you! Have you heard this drivel recently? Do you really believe that any leader in America is only looking out for one class of people? If you believe this, I have to say. I feel sorry for both you, and America, as we have lost all reason, understanding, and any opportunity for compromise through tolerance.
I want to tell you that unequivocally I believe, all the crap you are hearing is simply not true!
Why is the Middle Class Suffering Then?
This is the key question isn’t it? And, since we agree this is the “key” question being raised by both parties now, ad naseum, have you happened to notice the issue is not focused as much on the poor? Hum??? Wonder why this is?
Being Poor in America
Well the poor in America have many programs already doing a great job of redistributing income back to them to help them survive. Before, you guys start to say that it is really bad to be poor — I agree it is not a good thing to be poor. But if you are going to be poor, it is better to be poor in America at this time, than any other place, or time, in history.
The U.S. “givernment” and all our states have many, many, programs to help people classified as poor. The definition of poor used to be people earning below the federal poverty level (FPL) which today is roughly less than $25,000 per year. But, this is mostly a myth. Many programs, if not all programs — I can’t verify that any programs work only at the federal poverty level — start their eligibility levels as 200 to 300 percent of FPL. While you may not be legally designated as poor from the FPL definition, practically you are treated as poor if you earn $50,000 or in some cases $75,000 per year. And due to the fact that these programs are not mandated to coordinate their care and benefits across any and all sources, somewhere between 20 and 40 percent of the money for services is paid to program participants more than once for the same need. Meaning, in plain English, they double dip. In some cases, this is nothing more than gaming the system — purposeful fraud. In other cases, it is because they just don’t realize it — hard to believe, but true non-the-less.
A hidden redistribution program!
Few people know, and even fewer people understand, that the government, both state and federal, requires drug manufacturers to pay back to the government rebates on all drugs purchased through most state and federal programs. This is just one example of subversive hidden taxes that we get hit with every day. How can a rebate cost us money you ask? Well in this case it is because the price you are paying is where the rebate dollars come from in the first place. So what happens with drug pricing is this: There are various prices for any given drug, unlike most other industries which have Manufacturer Suggested Retail Prices (MSRPs), all the various drug prices are based on an arbitrary number like Average Wholesale Price (AWP) or Wholesale Acquisition Cost(WAC).
On top of this, there are rebates – rebates for distributors, rebates for pharmacies, rebates for others, and most importantly rebates to the state or federal government. It is the governmental mandated rebates that are the main problem. In other industries rebates paid in the retail path to the customer are checked by the MSRP and the customer’s willingness to buy. Government rebates simply inflate the price paid. And where does this money go? It goes back to the government, sometimes to the programs, and is reallocated to support the government costs or the programs that generate the fee in the first place. So you are paying more in prices that flow back to the government so it can distribute the money back to the people it wants to give it to. It is simply one of the many hidden taxes, perhaps more hidden than most. It also helps the government have flexibility in the disclosure of the real cost of the programs they offer.
These rebates are inflationary, they obscure transparency, and they are not, by any means, the only mechanisms that redirect your hard earned money to others that you just do not know about.
I have documented this in earlier posts, but as a reminder; we are now at a point that almost 50 percent of the population is getting almost one-half of their income from some form of federal subsidy — directly, or indirectly. This is one half of the important facts we all need to consider as we try to move the country forward.
Being Rich in America
How about the other half? While it makes for great copy to vilify the rich as somehow taking the food out of the mouths of the poor in America it is just not true. Sure, there have been people who have gained illegally and profited on the suffering of others. But these despicable people do not represent the norm for rich in America. The title Rich itself is a very frangible determinant. If you are truly poor, meaning you earn at the FPL, then someone earning $75,000 per year could seem rich. But, this person you see as rich is often now just as eligible as you are for federal subsidies. So are they rich?
Many try to classify the rich as millionaires and billionaires. But this is a very problematic determination in itself. There is a 1,000 fold difference between a millionaire and a billionaire. Further many millionaires do not earn a million dollars a year in income. This represents what they have in equity, home, savings, investments etc. Another problem with the designation is that, Millionaires and Billionaires make up a very small percentage of the population and our economy. Less than 5% of the population. They earn about 18% of the total income in the U.S. Sure, this is a large number but, it is not as disproportionally large as many would have thought. And, the “rich” pay over 40 percent of the taxes to the government. Much of which goes to support the programs for the other 50 percent receiving some subsidy.
Romney’s 15% Tax Rate Shows they don’t pay their fair share!
As a very quick point, as I have been working on this article, the Mitt Romney 15% tax fiasco has come to the surface. Once again the argument is false and stupid from both sides. The 15 percent rate is not all the tax paid on these earnings. For the most part, the 15 percent represents the tax paid on the earnings from the money he has invested. Where did he get the money? Well some he likely earned as ordinary income and paid taxes on it at the time of earning of between 22 and 38 percent. Some, he may have earned before as investment income and could have paid between the 15 percent and 22 percent based on when he earned it. Lets say he inherited some of it. Well he would have paid a significantly larger tax on that at the time he received it based on the estate tax (so called death tax) in effect at the time.
Because he chose to invest, or re-invest, these monies, he has paid taxes multiple times on the money. If you want to be jealous of the fact that Mitt Romney has a lot of money, OK, I support your right to be jealous. But, if that is your objection then the rest of your arguments are worthless. This is America, what makes it great is anyone has the ability to get rich. Yep, some will say this ability is not distributed equally. That’s true! But, if you make it truly equal, then no one will have the opportunity to get rich! As I pointed out in the earlier section; rich vs poor is a relative state. You see, if all are truly equal, then everyone has exactly the same — no rich and no poor. Some argue this would be a good thing because they feel that everyone would have enough. History challenges this assertion and it defies human nature. It is the opportunity for disparity, like it or not, that makes people work harder and innovation really happen.
So back to the question; why are the middle-class suffering disproportionately?
Two main points. First, the middle-class is shrinking in number. If you need to be poor to get subsidies from the government then part of the historic middle-class is being subsumed by the subsidies for the poor. You could say that they are becoming poor because they are earning less and can afford less and that they need the programs to survive. That is one way to look at it but, it is the symptom not the cause. In fact, the middle-class, like most of the rest of America, have seen their incomes grow drastically in dollars over the past 40 years. Second, The middle-class do not have the excess equity, cash or assets, to hedge their loss of buying power.
The middle-class are suffering a huge disproportionate loss of buying power in America because they are disproportionately shouldering the burden of the loss of value of the dollar — you can call it inflation or deflation, the point is the same. If you live in the middle-class, you are not eligible for subsidies and you do not have the excess assets, like the rich, to hedge your buying power against the loss of value in the dollar by investment, savings interest, and purchase of long term tangible assets. As a result over the past 40 years, while you have been getting raises, like everyone else, and seeming to live a bit better like many, for you it has been a bigger falsehood than for most others.
In 1974, there was a total of $500 billion of currency (money) in circulation when President Nixon took us off the gold standard. Today, by various estimates, there is over $16 trillion. The real value of the combined worth of the U.S. has simply not increased 32 times in 40 years. It is even harder to believe there was really any increase when you understand that during the same period we have accumulated a combined trade deficit — purchased more from other countries than we produced and sold — of over $12 trillion.
So, this means that all the things we own, all the money we made, all the stuff we buy, the wages, the prices, the stock market, etc, have been inflated to levels that simply are not real. If you are poor, the government has compensated for this by giving you more subsidies in one form or another. If you were rich, you have been able to keep some form of pace with this devaluation problem because you could invest in housing, or businesses or the stock market. And, if you were rich, the loss of buying power may have affected your discretionary purchases but often not your day to day ability to live and pay your bills.
The middle-class, as I laid out before, do not have the assets to offset the increases in the amount of currency without an increase in real value of what they own, and they did not get subsidies either. So the issues of taxes comes to the front now. The rich have been paying much more in real taxes — revenue to the government — during this whole period.
The middle-class have heard over and over how they were getting a tax cut! How come you say the middle-class are bearing the burden? Well, the truth is, that there are Taxes and there are taxes…. Taxes are those things assessed by the government that we pay to support government programs directly through taxation. “taxes” are those things we pay that indirectly are increasing the price of goods and services, increasing the prices in the economy to artificially inflate the amount or money we can claim is in circulation. So you get paid more in wages, your company charges more for its goods and services and the economy appears to rise in value. You get more benefits, you get more vacation days, etc, and each of these things translates in some way to an increase in prices or spending and therefore the economy supposedly was growing. All that is necessary is for the government to be able to print more of that green-stuff to allow you to count it.
But, there is a fly in the ointment. It is a zero sum game. We are not making money as a country we are spending money as a country. So, as you thought that you had more money to buy new cars, new homes, take vacations, get more stuff, and the government has encouraged to do this– and on top of it borrow as much as you can to buy as much as you can — these new dollars were actually reducing in value. The good news is that we are not alone. Most of Europe has been doing the same thing in one form or another. If you were a net exporter, like China, it was not a problem. If you convert natural resources to high margin goods like much of the Arabian peninsula — no problem either. If not? Oh Well– bad for you!
As long as we were buying, most recently houses, and having the prices continue to go up, we could print more money, and no one was the wiser. But, due to increasingly dumb decisions we finally made the mistake of over doing it and it all fell apart. The values we think we have are far different from the real values that we have. Looking at median home prices from 1974 to today, with and without the gold standard, is is clear that we are still 20 to 30 percent too high in real values of homes. If you look at the economy it is much worse. We have $16 trillion in currency circulating in what is really a $5 trillion, maybe $6 trillion, economy.
The middle-class is, and has been getting hosed for a long time. Those in the middle-class have suffered from not enough to be rich and protected, and too much to be poor and subsidized. Further, as prices have risen, they have paid more with less real value and as such have indirectly, and disproportionately, paid for the programs for the poor.
And who is to blame for this? All of us! We have been asleep at the switch for too long. We have allowed all of our administrations, and elected officials to do dumb things — things that defied our own common sense. We allowed it because we all felt we were gaining. In the end, and once again, we will learn there is no free lunch!
Republicans, Democrats, Socialists, and Independents have all been elected to our government in the past 40 years and all have continued to perpetuate these myths and underlying problems. Were they doing this consciously? No more than any of the rest of us! It is not a Tax Problem alone, it is not a spending problem alone, it is a systemic problem.
We need to stop diversion to prurient, ad hominum, vilification of others ideas, and focus on a pragmatic solution founded in tolerance more than compromise. In the end, we must all face the reality that, it will only be a broad based mutual solution that will solve the problems underlying the economic disaster we are now in.
- We need to become competitive in the world from a total costs, benefits, and wages perspective
- We need to get back to manufacturing in the U.S. products for the U.S. and others to consume
- We need to stop subsidizing the existence of such a large portion of our population based solely on the desire to keep them thinking they are doing so much better and that the products we make are competitive and affordable. (subsidizing production to make it affordable so we can pay inflated prices to support inflated costs and wages so we all feel good is not a good thing.)
- We need to eliminate government redirection of monies to support hidden redistribution schemes. (Example: mandated Drug rebate programs see sidebar)
- We need to solve the problem with home equity, home mortgages and home prices in one holistic and complete fashion balancing the problem equally for all parts of society and the economy
- We need to get back to primary production from our own natural resources.
- We need to reduce what we purchase from other countries and buy more here — but this cannot be subsidized to make it affordable or our economy remains false.
I believe it is fixable! It is going to take a fundamental shift in what we all expect and, to some extent, how we view ourselves as Americans. We needed to start this five years ago. It may not be too late now, but it very likely will be in another four or five years.
Since the power of our government is derived from the people in this constitutional republic we call America: It is up to us!
- Romney Attacks Perry on Ponzi Scheme Statement
- Bachman Goes After Perry on HPV Vaccine
- Perry and Cain go after Romney for Romney-care
- Perry says, “We don’t need Obama-lite”
- Romney says, “Gov. Perry is unelectable”
- Bachman says, “I got a plan”
- Cain says, “I got a plan”
- Romney, Paul, Huntsman,and Santorum all have a plan.
- Gingrich doesn’t have a plan, he has a contract. Of course he is the only one who has done it before so we need to wait to see…
My biggest problem with all of this is they may or may not have some plans but what they put out are just collectivized talking points. They all just deal with the symptoms for the most part. It seems to me that it is only Ron Paul who even remotely gets part of the root causes of the problem, citing the fundamental issues with the federal reserve, banking, too much conflicting regulation, etc – but let’s face it to most of America he sounds like Chicken Little yelling, “The sky is falling, the sky is falling!” and is not likely electable.
We have perhaps the best governmental system on the planet – that of a constitutional republic. Unfortunately, many of our fellow citizens know not what this means. Ask any newly legal immigrant to the U.S. and they can quote you chapter and verse. Ask the average college graduate, and many post graduates as well, and they will tell you we are a democracy…
Further, most people, including many in the media, refer to our method of government as our political system. If one assumes that our political system is our governmental system then those who want to trade it in for a socialist system would be well justified in viewing it’s inefficiencies and inefficacy. But, thankfully, they are not one and the same.
We no longer seem to understand how our governmental system was constructed. We don’t seem to even begin to understand, or even care, about the many checks and balances that were put in place by the framers. We seem to now consider anything that exists before, as old fashioned, not reflective of how smart we are now, and how we simply all know better…
Such things as: The electoral college, citizen politician, part time legislature, separation of powers, separation of church and state to prevent a national religion, and many others have been sloughed- off as historical flotsam and jetsam as we have traveled carefree down the river of our existence.
Looking historically at the current problems of systems like Health Care, you can trace most, if not all, of the current day problems to ignorance of the reasons for the original design. In looking at all good systems, the system has integral checks and balances that come into play when behaviors get out of balance. Our original system had numbers of these and more were added later. As time has gone on, our ‘we know better attitude’ has driven us to change, ignore or eliminate many of these checks and balances in favor of our own short term objectives. I believe it is our own actions that lie at the root of most of our current crises.
States now are trying to render the electoral college moot by passing legislation that mandates winner take all to their electoral votes. Of course, if enough do this then they effectively circumvent the constitution. Many of the current full-time professional class politicians either don’t care or favor such a circumvention as they see it serving their own self interests so we don’t seem to recognize it as an issue.
We have allowed congress to expand their part-time citizen politician role to that of full-time professional legislature. Why no one sees this as a problem is beyond me, except as a further, and unnecessary, indictment of our educational system.
We have sat here dazed and confused, as the congress and in some cases the courts, have continued to expand the reach and responsibility of the Federal Government far beyond any common sense rational approach. I am still waiting for someone to read my article on the commerce clause and explain what I have wrong about my analysis. In fact, everyone I have spoken to agrees…
We have so bastardized the concept of tolerance, that today I can honestly say the only thing we do tolerate is intolerance. In this complete flip of a basic concept is the root cause of how we now have flipped the goal of our founders, to recognize the need for a higher power in our daily lives, and the recognition that their should be no state of federal endorsement of a specific religion, to the abject indictment of god himself in any form and the rationalization to drive any expression, particularly of religion, from public discourse.
In the end we need less discontent and more discourse. We need more dialog, not diatribe. We need people who want to be our elected leaders to put the job ahead of their ambitions. I would rather have a George Washington serve reluctantly, than an ex-community organizer/activist whose tactics are limited to pitting one group against another in order to extract alms, less for the poor and helpless, and more for the shiftless, the clueless, and the thankless. We need programs for those who can’t. I believe, perhaps naively, that none disagree with this. But we cannot afford to provide to those who won’t. This significantly reduces the willingness and ability of those that can to help those that can’t. I respect the liberal view that everyone should have. I also respect the conservative view that we need checks and balances and real limits.
In the end, it is not this conundrum that is the problem. It is as we have thrown off the rules and guidances from the past we have created our own house of cards, and it is clear to most that a strong wind is coming to blow our cards asunder. We need to demand more of our political system and our politicians. We need to review the historical checks and balances that we allowed changed, and perhaps, bring them back as effective controls.
Finally, we need to demand, real plans. Detailed plans, not collections of talking points. We need to elect the one person who will take on the mantel of leader of this great country as his sacred duty with as much vigor as they do as a fulfillment of their personal ambition. Maybe then we can begin to see the light at the end of this long dark tunnel.
Please remember to comment,
I do appreciate your point of view.