Category Archives: Government

Quick! Pour Me Some Pepto

Barack Obama signing the Patient Protection an...

Barack Obama signing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act at the White House (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today, as I was on my way to drop off the old “Silver Toilet” for an oil change, I turned on the radio and was subjected to this little gem here.

So this is not about spending.  And this isn’t about fiscal responsibility.  This whole thing is about one thing:  the Republican obsession with dismantling the Affordable Care Act and denying affordable health insurance to millions of Americans.  (Applause.)  That’s all this has become about.  That seems to be the only thing that unites the Republican Party these days.

Through this whole fight, they’ve said the American people don’t want Obamacare, so we should shut down the government to repeal it or delay it.  But here’s the problem:  The government is now shut down, but the Affordable Care Act is still open for business.  (Applause.)  So they’re not even accomplishing what they say they want to accomplish.  And, by the way, in the first two days since the new marketplaces — basically big group plans that we’ve set up — the first two days that they opened, websites where you can compare and purchase new affordable insurance plans and maybe get tax credits to reduce your costs, millions of Americans have made it clear they do want health insurance.  (Applause.)

More than 6 million people visited the website HealthCare.gov the day it opened.  Nearly 200,000 people picked up the phone and called the call center.  In Kentucky alone — this is a state where — I didn’t win Kentucky.  (Laughter.)  So I know they weren’t doing it for me.  In Kentucky, nearly 11,000 people applied for new insurance plans in the first two days — just in one state, Kentucky.  And many Americans are finding out when they go on the website that they’ll save a lot of money or get health insurance for the first time.

So I would think that if, in fact, this was going to be such a disaster that the Republicans say it’s going to be, that it was going to be so unpopular, they wouldn’t have to shut down the government.  They could wait, nobody would show any interest, there would be, like, two people on the website — (laughter) — and everybody would then vote for candidates who want to repeal it.

Excerpt from:

Remarks by the President on the Government Shutdown

M. Luis Construction Company, Rockville, Maryland

The arrogance was just too much to take.  I shouted out loud “of course the website was flooded!”  “We have no choice, it’s the law!” Surely Obama isn’t so narcissistic that he actually believes that people are flocking to the website in droves because they love him and his policies; not because he has forced them to comply by fining them with a tax penalty of they don’t.   No, wait, he is.  Like Sally Field accepting her Oscar, Obama gushes every time he looks in the mirror, ” you love me, you really love me.”  I had to turn the radio off, I couldn’t stomach any more.  Every day we are subjected to the propaganda, the soft ball interviews and outright lies of this administration, and no one, steps up to call them on it.  It is beyond frustrating, and more and more it seems like we are powerless to stop it.

I keep asking myself, where are the Republicans?, Where are the people I hired by my vote to represent me?  Why is there not a televised rebuttal every time Obama opens his mouth?  The Republican party has taken the common sense of the American people for granted.  They just assume that the masses are smart enough to see through all the lies and deception.  Well, apparently they are not,  after all they reelected the most miserable excuse for a leader this country has ever known, to a second term.  The GOP needs to start striking back, they should have started months ago.  Every speech Obama gives needs to be followed by a Republican press conference, pointing out each lie and fallacy one by one.  Since we can no longer count on the mainstream media to educate the masses, the Republicans need to fill the airwaves with short PSA type commercials.  Short spots of airtime, such as PJ Media‘s Afterburner, that extol the benefits of conservatism on society and highlight the perils of Obama’s Socialism.

The GOP needs to embrace its new blood, the Ted Cruzes and Rand Pauls and other’s of their ilk need to be endorsed and encouraged, not stabbed in the back by their own.  The American people are hungry for representatives who will challenge the status quo, and speak for us, not speak down to us. 2014 is closing in.  The Republican party does not have the luxury of time.  This is indeed our most desperate hour.

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Senator Bill Nelson Chooses Politics over Constituents

Just so you’ll know who’s in lock step with Obama come election time….

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Don’t Let Obama Lead Us Into War

With the President hell-bent on attacking Syria, and doing everything he can to garner support for his cause, it is of vital importance to contact your Congressional Representatives and let them know that America does not want this war.
Here is a copy of a letter I wrote to my representatives. Feel free to copy it, change it and make it your own. Just do it. Do it now.

Dear

If ever there was a time that you should pay attention to your constituents, it is now.  The President’s ill conceived, plan to wage a limited strike against Syria will contribute nothing to our national security, will further increase our national debt, and will stretch our war-weary military to the breaking point.

Yes, the killing of innocent civilians by the Assad regime (if indeed it was Assad) was a despicable act and worthy of a response.  But that response should be an international one, not one shouldered solely on the backs of U.S. service members. Despite the President’s assurances of a limited engagement, (which would only make us appear impotent), common sense tells us that this will lead to an escalation of hostilities that would keep us fighting in the Middle Eastern theater for years to come, and would result in far more bloodshed that the Assad regime’s chemical attacks. It would also activate the terrorist threat within our borders, and cause energy prices to skyrocket. There is no clear justification for our going it alone, no clear mission, and no clear exit strategy.

You were elected to your office as a representative of the American People.  Your duty is not to the President, it is to us.  I urge you to the job you were elected to do.  To bring the voice of your constituents to Washington and vote against any resolution to attack Syria.   The American People do not want this war, there is no immediate threat to our borders to justify this war, and it can only end badly for us.

Sincerely,

Here is the way to contact your representatives.

House

Senate

What Did They Fight For?

From each according to his ability. To each according to his need.

English: Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of ...

Consider this quote from Karl Marx for a moment.  Imagine a society where you are free to pursue your passions.  Do you like to write poetry?  Fine you can spend all day writing poetry without worring where your next meal is coming from.  Have you always dreamed of healing the sick?  You can go to medical school without worrying about crushing debt.  Enjoy music?  Sit on the corner and play your guitar all day then go home to a mortgage-free house.  Have a talent for fixing cars?  Open up your own garage and don’t worry about overhead costs.  To the Socialist Progressive, this is the goal.  A moneyless society where everything belongs to everyone and the abilities balance out the needs.  A place where, without the encumbrance of providing for our basic necessities, there will be enough people who are smart enough to become doctors, engineers and scientists, enough people know how to grow crops, make clothes, and build houses, enough people who enjoy flipping burgers, picking up trash and scrubbing toilets, to balance out those who don’t.  Sounds wonderful doesn’t it?  No one has less than anyone else.  Everyone is a Prole.  But…….. No one can ever have more.  No matter how hard you work, how much you apply yourself, you will never have any more than the slackerd who donates his time and nothing more to the collective.

It is man’s basic human nature to desire a reward for his hard work and ingenuity.  To take pride in caring for the things he owns.  When these feelings are suppressed and made out to be evil, gone is the incentive to build, create, improve.   It is basic human nature that the Socialist Progressive ignores.  Most people will not willingly hand over rightfully owned property.   We are not meant to merely survive and when reduced to that existence we will cease to produce.  The idea of a self-perpetuating Communist utopia is a lie.  In order for there to be enough makers to feed the takers, someone must be in charge.  Someone who maintains the balance of farmers, factory workers, skilled labor, and entertainers.  The promise of pursued passions is replaced by assigned careers, and forced labor camps.  The Communist goal of freeing people from the slavery of the factory owner, replaced by slavery to the government.  This is the great irony of the Socialist Progressive movement.   You do not need to look any farther than our recent past, to Nazi Germany, Communist Russia, China, and North Korea, to find evidence that this is so.

The United States was never meant to be a place where we are controlled by the government.  Every Article, Section, and word of the Constitution and Bill of rights, were carefully drafted to protect the rights of the people to control their own destinies, own property, and enjoy the fruits of their labors.  Read the Bill of Rights.  Then realize that every one of those freedoms were paid for with blood.  The heros of the Revolutionary war understood the kind of life they would lead if ruled by a tyrannical government, and they were willing to die to prevent that from happening.  From that time on, our American military has fought time and again to stop the spread of tyranny thoughout the world.  From freeing  slaves, stopping the spread of Communism, to keeping Islamic terrorism from our shores.

We don’t like war.  The whole idea is abhorrent to us, and it should be.  But consider this quote from George Orwell,

People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.

The phrase “Freedom isn’t free” is not just a tired cliche’.  It is the truth.  Men and women have died defending the ideals of our Constitution.  As we go about our business and barbecues this weekend, take a few minutes to think about how we as a nation have honored their sacrifice.   We have elected to office men and women who seek only to increase their own power, whose idea of a perfect America is closer to that of Marx than that of Jefferson. We have allowed our own government to attempt to disarm us, and to use its power to intimidate and silence us.

We should honor our fallen veterans by demanding our government be accountable to us.  To demand that our government uses our taxes funds wisely, and respects our individual freedoms.  We have a responsibility as citizens to be informed, to show up and vote, and vote wisely. It is not too late to take our government back.  Don’t let our heros’ deaths be in vain.

We Will Be Watching

Official photographic portrait of US President...

Official photographic portrait of US President Barack Obama (born 4 August 1961; assumed office 20 January 2009) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

President Obama, you won last night’s election by 2,791,867 votes. In a nation of over 314 million, that is hardly a mandate. Don’t you dare think you are in the Oval Office because you won the hearts and minds of the American people. The only reason you got re-elected is because your clever campaign advisers understood the numbers game that is the Electoral College. Remember, nearly half the nation voted against you. Nearly half the nation did not buy into the fictitious “War on Women”, the half-truths, class warfare, race baiting, and outright lies put forth by your campaign machine. Nearly half the nation, did not trust the mainstream media to give us the unbiased facts. Nearly half the nation has no faith or trust in your ability to lead.

Millions of us are capable of understanding that it is possible for man to hold strong values and convictions and live them out in his personal life, yet still be able to govern based on the will of the people and the rule of law.  You exploited the fears of those who couldn’t understand that.

Millions of us understand the basic economic principle that  true prosperity is the result of hard work and wise choices, not the exploitation of the weak.  That wealth is something to aspire to, not envy.  That profits belong to those who earn them and shouldn’t be redistributed to those who didn’t.  You pandered to the ignorant and lazy by promoting a “Robin Hood” mentality.

Millions of us understand that a militarily strong America is the gate way to peace in the world. You disgraced us in the face of our enemies.

And Millions of us understand that a smaller more efficient government, not a larger more intrusive one, is the key to a secure nation, a robust economy and for promoting innovation.  You appealed to those who want the government to take care of them instead of being responsible for themselves.

We were not impressed by your rock star schtick, or the endorsements of celebrities who make their living, imitating the real world rather than living in it.

 

Those of us who understand  will not stand by and watch our Divinely Inspired Constitutional Rights being stripped away.  You will be held accountable for Benghazi. You will have to accept responsibility , for the continuing high unemployment, for the high fuel and grocery prices, and for the economic misery that your policies will bring. We will expect you to keep your promise of bi-partisanship.  That you understand that you will have to compromise your agenda if you want us to compromise our values. We will be energised and engaged, we will hold our  Congressional Representatives responsible for holding your feet to the fire. We will not lie down and lick our wounds in defeat, we will flood Congress with letters, phone calls and emails, to be sure our voices continue to be heard. We understand your agenda and we will not let it stand.

I hope this post finds its way to you, so you will feel the eyes of nearly half the nation burning on the back of your neck, a constant reminder that not everyone adores you. We will continue to  vet our candidates, and educate ourselves on the issues, we vote, and we are watching.

Four More Years Part Three

South façade of the White House, the executive...

South façade of the White House, the executive mansion of the President of the United States, located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

He walked over and sat down at the Resolute desk. He glanced at the pile of papers and noticed the security briefing that had been placed there hours ago. He didn’t bother to look, he knew what was in it. Israel was gone. All but the city of Jerusalem anyway. It was leveled six months ago by Iranian nukes that he had believed in spite of credible intelligence reports, were sill years away from development.  It served BiBi right he had said to himself, the Prime Minister insisted on striking Iran’s main nuclear facility.  Unfortunately Iran had more secret sites than they knew of.  Within three months of the Israeli action, Iran was pounding them with fully functional bombs leaving the entire country a smoldering, desolate, uninhabitable  landscape.  Its people scattered once again over Europe and the United States.  At the insistence of the Ayatollah Khamenei, the new Iranian President, Saeed Jalili, left the Dome of the Rock and surrounding Jerusalem intact as a slap in the fact to the West.  He shook his head as he remember the day, Netanyahu desperately pleading for military help from the US. Help that he was unable to give.  Unbeknownst to its citizens he had ordered the American nuclear arsenal destroyed as a good faith gesture to encourage Russia and China to do the same.  It was the keeping of a promise that he had made to Vladimir Putin though Dmitry Medvedev in the spring of 2012. Then in a cost cutting measure necessary to keep his programs afloat a few more months, he pared down the Navel fleet to handful of  warships, four nuclear submarines and two aircraft carriers.  Aging fighters and bombers were not replaced, affectively grounding the Air Force, and the manpower of the Army and Marines were cut in half.  Now, thanks to Netanyahu’s impatience (the sanctions would have worked, eventually) the whole world knew that the United States is militarily weak and vulnerable.  Putin, that double-crossing bastard didn’t live up to his side of the bargain.  Russia retained its nukes and now was aiding Iran.  India, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and the other smaller Middle Eastern nations were marshalling their forces, ready to join a coalition against the West, or to dig in a defend their own borders, whichever would suit them best when the time came.  Al Qaeda, made quick work of the power vacuum and over ran Afghanistan, almost overnight.  Then it set its sights on Pakistan and its nuclear arsenal.  He knew the report would tell him that any day now missiles would be headed toward the United States, as the Russian Army and Al Qaeda terrorists, strange bedfellows indeed, had joined forces and built up arms across the Bering Strait.

Alaska, well at least that will get rid of Sarah Palin and her inbred, white-trash, red neck family.  He half smirked to himself.  The thought amused him for only a second.  Alaska was vital.   Two years ago he reluctantly caved on his own policies and opened up ANWR to drilling.  He then agreed to finishing the Keystone Pipeline.  He had hoped that these moves would provide much need jobs. But as the oil flowed South into Texas, the hope that flowed along with it waned.  The refineries that were to  turn the thick smelly crude into much needed gasoline, were crumbling and inadequate for the task.  Long standing environmental regulations, ones that he in all good conscience would not overturn, made the building of new refineries impossible. The oil that was supposed to bring relief from eight dollar a gallon gas, was instead stockpiled in huge, hard to secure tank yards. Unsaleable to other countries because of an OPEC strangle hold on the petroleum market. A terrorist’s dream or an environmental disaster just waiting to happen.

He leaned back in his chair and closed his eyes.  He thought back to four years ago. Then he was unstoppable.  If Congress wouldn’t act on his agenda, he could enact it by executive order. He was a rock star and everywhere he went he was surrounded by awestruck, adoring crowds.  He was a media darling, the toast of Hollywood.  Letterman, Oprah, The View they just couldn’t get enough of him.  But those days were gone. Now whenever he made a rare appearance outside the gates, he could feel the loathing of a disperate people.  His once cheerful and stalwart wife, his outspoken defender, was now sullen and bitter and rarely spoke in public anymore.  His daughters could no longer  romp through the grounds with their dog, or spend afternoons with their mother, tending their vegtable garden.  Now they spent their days shut up inside for their own safety.  No more sleepovers with friends or attending school.  The prestige he so craved as a young Senator, the power of the Presidency that stirred the passionate fire within, now wore him down like a cumbersome weight around his neck.  The toll it took on him, on his family, on the nation, was just too much to bear.  He stood and again walked over to the window.  He watched as the sun sat behind the Washington Monument and longed for November.

Four More Years Part Two

Official photographic portrait of US President...

Official photographic portrait of US President Barack Obama (born 4 August 1961; assumed office 20 January 2009) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A few weeks ago I started a series on how the next four years would look under another Obama administration.  I had intended to write four posts, one for each year.  Instead I have skipped ahead to the eighth year of Obama’s Presidency.

He stood gazing out of the window, somber and thoughtful. His closely cropped,  once salt and pepper hair, now completely white. His brow deeply furrowed and the lines around his mouth gave him a permanent scowl. At fifty-five he had the countenance of a man twenty years older. He surveyed the scene before him. Razor wire now covered the wrought iron fences. The once beautifully manicured lawns and gardens were now an encampment. Just inside the fences the patrols stepped purposefully, forming a human barrier between the man at the window and the angry mob outside. The patrols, and the men at the command tent were all wearing the sky blue berets of UN Peacekeepers.

The man at the window pondered over how it could have come to this. It all seemed like such a perfect plan. Since childhood he had anguished over the inequities of society. Why did some people have plenty to eat while others starved? Why did rich people receive top-notch care at state of the art hospitals, while the poor were dying of preventable disease? Why were some countries prosperous and others still wallowing in the Dark Ages? Convinced that wealthy nations and people became that way at the expense of poor ones, he vowed that if he were ever elected to a high office, he would set it right. The plan was brilliant in it’s simplicity. Those who were blessed with the talent of creating wealth would be compelled by taxation into handing over their riches to the government, which would then distribute the wealth to those who were not so blessed. Once the poor had their basic needs taken care of, they would then be free to pursue their dreams becoming wealthy themselves and thereby contributing more to the coffers. As the vast circle of “givers” grew, more and more would flow into the government well. The government could then wisely distribute the largess, providing better and better services to the people. No one would ever again have to worry about food, or rent, or utilities. Everyone would be prosperous and happy. Health care could be distributed in much the same way. Medical funds would be equally distributed between doctors and hospitals and all would be required to provide basic healthcare services to everyone. The money saved from the equalization of medical expenses, could then be used for research and providing even better care. He would reduce America’s arsenal as a good faith gesture to the rest of the world. He would turn America into the perfect neighbor, generous, peaceful, and non-threatening.

How, he wondered did it all go so terribly wrong? He had underestimated how ingrained in the American psyche the concept of the individual was. So determined were those lucky enough to own property and businesses to keep what they had earned, that they would rather close up shop and divide their assets with their own families, than allow it to be taxed. Selfish bastards, they just didn’t get it. So blinded by their perceived right to self-determination, they couldn’t grasp that the government could do a better job of utilizing the wealth. And all they had to do was give their “fair share”. Their greed had forced him to borrow extensively from other nations, some not so friendly. The Federal Reserve continued to print money, flooding the markets with near worthless paper and driving up prices. As business owners closed their doors unemployment rose until nearly half of country were without jobs. More and more came into the fold, the government their sole source of survival.

His plan to provide healthcare to the nation wasn’t going exactly as planned either. The insurance co-ops that were supposed to make healthcare affordable, were a failure. With no way to make a profit one by one the companies dropped out or went out of business. Leaving only the government option available. With prices capped by the government, doctors were finding it difficult to maintain profitable practices. Many simply closed their doors. With no guarantee that one could make a living after eight-plus years of grueling study, fewer and fewer young men and women entered medical school. The small number of doctors that were left were forced to find ways to stretch their time and resources. Doctor’s appointments and hospital beds were precious. Stories such as the elderly woman who was denied cancer treatment to make room for someone younger, and the middle-aged man who bled to death in a hospital emergency department waiting room in full view of sick children, were becoming common.

It was obvious to him a year ago, that the nation was broke. A third credit downgrade took it down to a B and no more countries would lend him money. Tax revenues were drying up and his financial advisers were running out of ways to “cook the books”. There was no other choice than to cut services. Pell grants and college loan guarantees were the first to go, then Social Security and what was left of Medicare. Schools were privatized leaving a haphazard mixture of private and quasi-public institutions. Only those who were homeschooled could be guaranteed to receive an adequate education. Subsidies for cell phones and other utilities were cut, followed by WIC, TANF, and finally food stamps. His grand plan to care for everyone in the nation had come crashing down around him. The governmental safety net that so many had come to depend on was no longer there. What foods and goods were left, in the few stores still open, was so expensive almost no one could afford them. As hunger and desperation set in, the people took to rioting in the streets. Angry mobs demanded to know what had happened to the “hope and change”, to the promise of prosperity. In an audacious act of defiance the National Guard, Active Duty Military, and local police squads refused to fire on the crowds of U S citizens. So he sought the help of the UN to restore order. For the first time in the nation’s history, a foreign army was taking action against American citizens, on American soil.

To be continued:

Four More Years

Blindfolded Forward

Blindfolded Forward (Photo credit: BlueRobot)

Instead of asking ourselves if we are better off today than we were four years ago, maybe we should be asking if we will be better off four years from now? Without the need to woo skittish voters, and appease wealthy donors, President Obama would no longer have to carry on the ruse of upholding The Constitution. He would have the power, through executive order if need be, to continue his war on capitalist prosperity. Even without the blessing of Congress, he would assume the authority to appease our enemies while snubbing our allies. What would four years look like if President Obama is elected to another term?  In the first of a four-part series, I’ll describe the America, Obama’s America, that is yet to come.

Day one.

Though we don’t see the exuberance of four years ago, there is much celebration in the nation today.  Seniors who feared cuts to Social Security and Medicare are now looking forward to the hope of a decent retirement.   People who were previously uninsurable, or had children with catastrophic illnesses, who were already enjoying the benefits of the Affordable Healthcare Act are resting comfortably.  Students who only a year ago, were protesting in the streets, now feel they have a future.

There is caution in the celebrating though, an almost palpable feeling that maybe, just maybe everything isn’t as it seems.  Tentative hope has now been replaced by fear and uncertainty. For many in this country this is not a day to celebrate, it is a day filled with a sense of dread.  The campaign slogans of “Hope and Change”, of “Forward”, of “Believe in America”, have been replaced by a new slogan, “Oh my God what have we done”.

The fifth year:

Obama wastes no time in pushing though his campaign promise of making rich people pay “their fare share”.  At first, the extension of the Bush era tax cuts for the middle class, along with the Fed’s new policy of printing and circulating large sums of money has a small positive effect on the economy.  Middle class wage earners, while not gaining any true increase in wealth, are feeling better about the future so they are starting slowly and cautiously to spend more.

Employment however, has not increased as much as expected.  Small business owners who were waiting on the outcome of the election, before deciding whether to expand or hire, have decided to put it off.  Even with the small increase in consumer spending, they are waiting to see just how much the  Affordable Healthcare Act and the new wealth taxes will cost them.   A few small business owners are eager to utilize the Obama administration’s new programs to reward “insourcing” and “green” business.  The program has little success however, as the program’s stipulations, along with all the government’s restrictions, make it impossible for these businesses to be profitable.

The upper tier rich begin to look for ways to divest their income to avoid paying the new wealth taxes.  Many are placing most of their funds in overseas bank accounts. Wealthy businessmen, concerned about maintaining the profitability of their companies, many of whom would never have considered it before, are moving overseas.  Many wealthy individuals are starting to consider the wisdom of leaving the United States entirely and taking up residence in a foreign country.  A policy that was supposed to generate more revenue for the government has the unexpected result of prolonging the employment crisis.

In spite of another drop in interest rates, the housing market has also remained flat.  As the year progresses, the Fed’s influx of cash has led to inflation.  The increase in the cost of living, coupled with the lack of well-paying jobs has people reluctant to buy a home. What was a slow and cautious economic recovery has now become stagnant.

Obama Care has given many people who worried about the cost of healthcare, a reason to be hopeful.  Adult children can now be carried on their parent’s insurance, and a person can’t be denied coverage for a pre-existing condition.  The trade-off is that now individuals are forced to carry health insurance or pay a penalty tax.  In spite of subsidies, many small business owners cannot afford to cover their employees.  This forced those employees to turn to the state insurance pools.  While low-income people are given a tax incentive to cover the cost of this insurance, many mid level earners do not qualify. This leaves them with an added expense that they did not count on. Just one more item to juggle into an already tight budget.

In spite of continued attacks against American interests in the Middle East, President Obama expands his policy of acceptance and understanding of the Muslim culture. He meets regularly with the heads of radical Islamic groups such as Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.  He maintains his stance that Prime Minister Netanyahu needs to stop the development of settlements on the West Bank. Meanwhile, Iran continues its so-called “peaceful” nuclear program.  Even though this presents a clear danger to one of our most important allies, Obama is reluctant to call for stronger measures against them.  He prefers to rely on the economic sanctions imposed on Iran by the United States, the European Union, and the United Nations, despite their lack of success………

As we see, during Obama’s fifth year in office, the world continues to be a dangerous and unstable place, both economically and culturally. While most Americans may not be worse off, very,very, few can say things are better. In my next post, we will see what it might look like  during his sixth year.

Hard or Hardship Government Economics vs the Household Budget

quora.com

quora.com

I sat at my desk today, doing what I do every Thursday. Juggling bills. As I pondered how much I would have left for groceries, after paying the phone bill, and gassing up the old “Silver Toilet”( my very thirsty pickup truck), a thought occurred to me. How is it that so many people have no real understanding of our national debt? We hear about it all the time, ” our grandchildren will be faced with the burden of our national debt”. But do we ever really think about what that means to us as individuals?  Household economics is really pretty straightforward.  If there is no money left after paying the bills, then you don’t eat.  Skip out on your power bill, you sit in the dark, decide you’d rather go on vacation than pay your mortgage, bye-bye home.  Real life teaches us that if you continue to spend more than you make, eventually it will all come crashing down around you.

It works the same way with the government.  It doesn’t matter what kind of fancy economic theory you adhere to, the simple fact is that our country is broke. I know, you’ve heard that before, so what?  Well, what that means to me is that I’ll have to depend on myself more, and government less.  It means that the Pell grant my daughter depended on for college isn’t going to be there, my Tricare premiums are increasing, and Social Security isn’t even a factor in my retirement planning.  It doesn’t matter what the politicians promise, we have two choices, realize that we are going to have to accept cuts to government programs now, or wait until the government defaults and then completely lose that safety net while the economy implodes on itself sucking us in with it.  Either way we will have to become less dependent on to government.

Given that cuts are inevitable, what makes more sense, to have a president that aims to control more of the population by increasing their dependency on government programs? Or a president who can make the tough cuts necessary to balance the budget?  We have to ask ourselves, do we want to suffer the controlled hardships of a government learning to live within its means? The way the rest of us do.  Or do we want to live through the devastation of a complete economic meltdown?

Americans have a noble tradition of  pulling on our boots, rolling up our sleeves, and shouldering the work.  We don’t run from hardship, we face it head on, grit our teeth and gut it out.  It will be interesting to see, if this new voting generation will rise to the challenge, or if they will just curl up in the fetal position, consoling themselves with You Tube and reality TV, while waiting for a savior to come and bail them out.

Lest We Forget

Freedom Isn't Free

Freedom Isn’t Free (Photo credit: swanksalot)

(Parts of this are reposted from an earlier post entitled “No Guts No Glory”.)

This Monday we will see billboards, bumper stickers, and car magnets all proclaiming “Support our Troops“, and “Freedom Isn’t Free”. Are these truly heart-felt words, displayed by proud patriots or are they meaningless platitudes, mindlessly quoted by pandering politicians?  On this day there will be countless memorial services and tributes.  But will we stop a moment and reflect on what this day really means or is it simply the beginning of summer?  Just a day to have a picnic or barbecue.

I remember as a child hearing the stories of my mother, who, as a toddler underwent surgery on her foot. For years afterward she required special orthotic shoes that had to be replaced every time her foot grew. This was during WWII and rationing was in full force. Everyone was allowed only one pair of shoes a year. Including my mother. The government didn’t make a special exception because she was a child with a medical condition. Her parents didn’t demand that she was entitled to more ration coupons because of a unique hardship. Instead they gave up their ration coupons to get her the shoes she needed and when those ran out other family members, friends and neighbors donated theirs. Why was this necessary? Because the materials that were used to make shoes over here were needed to make shoes for the troops over there. Could you imagine giving up coffee, sugar, shoes and tires and sending them to the troops in Vietnam, Afghanistan, or Iraq?  Could we ever again unite as a whole country behind an effort to rid our world of an unspeakable evil? Do we even know what evil is anymore?

The invention of photography as allowed us to see the horrors of war up close and personal.  The flag draped coffins of our loved ones, the bloody, mangled bodies of our enemies, the atrocities. Faced with the horrifying reality that the price of freedom is blood, many of us have decided that the price is too high. We believe that the act of war, rather than the  megalomaniacal ideals of ruthless men is the true evil and that nothing save our own personal survival is worth fighting and dying for.

The men who marched at Lexington and Concord, whose bodies covered the ground at Gettysburg, who raised the flag at Mount Suribachi, all understood the power of the words of our Declaration of Independence, and our Constitution.  That such a radical ideal as individual freedom, that men should control their own destinies, requires a collective sacrifice.

By looking to the government for our prosperity rather that demanding that our elected officials recognize the freedom to build that prosperity ourselves, by allowing the government the rights to our personal property, and by allowing the government to usurp and mismanaged our wages though an unnecessarily complicated tax code, we dishonor those who have fought and died to maintain those freedoms.

By allowing our schools to indoctrinate our children with the mantra that it is the government’s job to take care of us, to protect us from our own ignorance and folly, and that “from each according to his ability and to each according to his need” is the highest morality, we dishonor those who fought and died for our right to think for ourselves.

Our Forefathers wrote the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, not to give us certain rights, but to preserve them.  The government does not grant us our freedoms, rather we “the people” grant the government its right to exist.  It’s time for us to “take back” our government and hold our elected officials accountable, for what they do with the money, property, time and power we “the people” give them.

In every election we have the opportunity to show that we truly understand the cost of our freedom and that it is precious.  By taking the time  and making the effort to  research and vote for people truly worthy to serve us, and by reminding them regularly that they do, is how we prove that those who made the “ultimate sacrifice” did not do so in vain.

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