Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Leadership over Politics - Please

We are clearly in the opening rounds, the preseason if you will, of the 2012 Presidential race. Whoo hoo, so far I like the NFL preseason better. Right now we need to be looking at the candidates and deciding if anyone is a true leader as opposed to a politician. Let the rant begin.

Who in the field will step up and tell the Congress to stop the petty nonsense and deliver some results not tied to a lobbyests wet dream. Anyone? Bueller... Bueller...

So far I have a small bit of faith that Ron Paul could be such a leader. But, I have very little faith that the middle of the country will vote him in. Most just don't care as long as thier pet tax break or program is unimpeded. The other candidates so far appear to be merely politicians to me. But, I am slowly learning more on each in order to be fair.

If you are reading this I have a challenge for you. Figure out your top three issues and sell them to three people in your neighborhood or workplace that you don't talk politics with. If you can sell them on your passion to the point that they call, write, or email the alleged statesmen who has an influence.... then you are among the very few Americans who actually cares what is going on in government today.

Your issue can be local, state, or federal. It can be liberal or conservative. As long as it is real enough to raise your body off the sofa and do something it'll be great.

Get involved. Demand that those who represent you be leaders and statesmen instead of political mouthpieces. Your grandkids might thank you for it.

Here are some interesting links that made me write this rant in the first place.

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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Preseason Politics

Today Mr. Pawlenty dropped out of the race. And we all know that Mr. Perry stepped in with a move obviously timed to disrupt the kids in Iowa. As preseason gaming goes, the NFL is ahead on points.

Right now, my goal isn't so much to pick the next Republican nominee. My goal is to get to know them. A two party system is Darwinian by its brutal simplicity. Each candidate needs to show how he or she is the perfect Republican. And, since there is no perfect anybody.... that's tough.

Preseason allows me to view the candidate and see how they perform under pressure. I could care less about their stand on today's talking points when compared to how they will react immediately following a terrorist attack. So, I want to see more questions and harder debate. I'm also looking for character traits of a great leader, a statesman, to emerge.

The President has a huge advantage. No matter how bad you think he is doing the job...... He is doing the job. It's going to take a lot of deep looks to convince me or anyone else to take an unknown over the known, even if the known isn't well liked.

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Saturday, August 13, 2011

Great Americans: Marine and Soldier Receive Medal of Honor

This is the stuff of legends. This is why America has the foremost Army and finest Corps of Marines in the world. While politicians point fingers and claim credit these two heroes have walked the walk without talking the talk.

Army Sergeant First Class Leroy Petry and Marine Sergeant (then Corporal) Dakota Meyer are the latest recipients of the nations highest award for valor under fire. Each man rose far above and beyond the already high standards members of the armed forces are held to. Our politicians should hang their heads and give thanks that we tolerate them when such fine examples to live by are right here.

This is only the second and third Medals of Honor awarded to living recipients since the Vietnam war. Once again, in a time of political upheaval and social confusion, our fighting men have shown us the way and given a stellar example to aspire to.

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Friday, August 12, 2011

Ron Paul Rules GOP Debate

As anyone can see, Ron Paul put a thumpin on the other GOP candidates according to the folks at Fox, Iowa GOP Debate - Topix. This is the equivalent of the first NFL preseason game. We knew going in that it would be soundbyte city and Obama bashing. The first is boring and the second is a given. But, the race to 2012 is underway.

Does this mean that Paul will be nominated? Nope. It means that so far the political machine hasn't mocked him, marginalized him, or made the voter feel like an overly idealistic neophyte. But it is coming. If you are a Ron Paul Fan, and yes; I am, then stand the hell by. It won't be long before the media disinformation of 2008 is replayed.

Let's not read too much into the debates just yet. The answers were canned and predictable to include Michelles submissive wife answer. And if you didn't figure on Perry's entry timing... well it's early in the season.

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Invasion of the Supercommittee?

I've been waiting for the other shoe to drop. And here it is.

One of the Dems wants to make another supracongressional "supercommittee". This one is for job creation.

The danger is that this committee isn't authorized per the constitution.
  • It is, or will be, another branch of government.One that isn't accountable to any non-government citizen.
  • This branch will once and for all dispense with the notion that all citizens and every state is represented in the Congress.
  • This branch will be a single focus for lobby minded organizations.
  • It, and it's proposed siblings, will become the elite of government. They will be removed from the people and leave the weaker congress to answer for its' decisions.
First the debt, now maybe jobs; What's Next?

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Wednesday, August 03, 2011

How to Budget Congress

It isn't the deficit, it's the debt. I keep hearing that. But in reality it's the first step in killing the debt. A deficit budget guarantees a higher debt. We must balance the budget and include debt reduction as part of the spending plan. Here is the short and sweet method of balancing your budget. It works for families, it works for business, and it will work for any government or government agency.

Forecast Revenue: Figure out how often you are going to stop and count your money. For most of us it is weekly or monthly. For a business it might be quarterly. For the Treasury it is annually. Using that as a base, take your best guess on how much cash you will have. Then subtract about five percent as a fudge factor.

Prioritize Line Items: List everything you are going to spend money on during the period you just forecast. Each item is "Need to spend", "Good to Spend", or "Nice to Spend". Simply put, "Need" means that bad things will happen if you don't fully fund that item and commit the cash. "Good" means that bad things could happen but it's just short of certain. "Nice" means you can postpone it without anything truly bad happening.

Revise Your Revenue: On the prescribed day, count the actual cash on hand.

Revise Line Items: For each item listed as "Need", skip to writing the checks. Total the cash remaining. Let's pretend you now have forty dollars. Will the forty dollars pay off the "Good" items? If it will, write the checks. Is there any left over? Let's say you have ten dollars remaining. Ten is 10% of the original $100. So, pay ten percent of each remaining line item. This way, nothing is totally left out. But, at the same time the truly important (in relation to the other items) stuff is fully funded.

Write Checks: I think we all know how to do that.

I'm not going to try to write the official procedure and the flowchart of tasks needed to accomplish this at the federal level. I also get that our elected neighbors will scream that every item they sponsor is a "need". That exact lack of integrity is what gets us to deficit spending in the first place. You and I must elect someone who can be honest and say that while it would be nice to provide Americorps, the world won't end if we don't. It's a hard call and will take enormous amounts of character and moral courage.

By now you may have noticed that I switched gears in a clumsy ham handed way. Politics is supposed to be the art of getting it done. It takes Statesmen and all we are seeing is the basic professional pol. From the Vice President and others that denigrate the Tea Party by calling them terrorists, to would-be Presidents that use words like "Tar baby" and "Boy" in just the right way to invite screams of racism no matter the intent; We face a deficit of Statesmen. Until we fix that, the debt will never be paid.

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Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Deeper in Debt: What's the Next Step?

The US Senate has voted 74-26 to approve the plan set out by the US House. The President has already signed it. And, the pundits are very deep into the postgame show. Lest you think that Mr. Obama is happy, his take on it is anything but.

Democrats are furious that tax revenues weren't part of the package, and the president pledged to continue to press for tax increases to help balance the budget.

"Everyone is going to have to chip in. It's only fair," Obama said in a Rose Garden address, singling out subsidies to oil and gas companies and tax loopholes. "That's the principle I'll be fighting for during the next phase of this process."

Read more:

Revenue is code for "Raising Taxes" on everyone. Apparently the political elite can't understand that it doesn't matter who signed the check to the IRS. All taxes are paid by the consumers at the final point of sale. If you raise taxes or remove subsidies, then the increased cost goes to the consumer in the form of higher prices. If you raise the personal tax rates of the richest people, then they will recoup their personal loss with modified business practices.

It's time to get serious about the financial future of the country. Drop the income tax and replace it with the Fairtax. Balance the budget by reducing each line item by the same percentage. Do it now or watch your kids have to do it later under the gun of whoever owns America.

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Monday, August 01, 2011

Is This The Sound of Civil Discourse?

I seem to remember the President asking that some bit of civility return to politics.
Yeah right. A smattering of easynews will cure that wish faster than a firehose on a birthday cake.

Right now, it seems that Politico is calling those aligned with the Tea Party "Terrorists". And that sentiment is echoed by various members of congress in full hearing of the Vice President.

Of course, I'm sure there are people on the other side of the aisle that call the liberals all sorts of names. I could be wrong, but I haven't seen anything from the main stream media documenting it though.

I guess it's too much to hope for that the powers that be will simply get it done in a workmanlike manner. While a well turned phrase is a mark of style it seems that Civility is just another casualty of the culture wars.  

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The Debt Crisis: Why We Are Not Done Yet

Who blinked? Was it President Obama, the Senate, or the Republicans? I think they all did. The bottom line is that we are still in debt up to our eyeballs. The American people are still in denial about the seriousness of it all.

The Daily Mail said it best:
At the root of all this is sheer hubris. From the Eighties onwards, the American people have refused to accept that to keep their status as the world’s most powerful economy, they need to make tough choices over the size of the government budget and levels of taxes.

Instead of working hard and consuming less, they have allowed themselves to grow fat and lazy. They’ve racked up debts as if there were no tomorrow, forgetting that one day those dues must be paid.

Those are harsh words to be sure. But wait, there's more....(at the same link)
It is no exaggeration to say that the American economy is at a crossroads.

If Washington somehow managed to conquer its addiction to debt, then the great productive capacities and inventiveness of the American continent would once again be unleashed.

Just like always there is hope. In order to make it happen you and I need to talk to our neighbors. We need to contact our elected mouthpieces. We need to demand financial reform in government.

Here is a short list of what has to happen:
  • Reform the tax collection system. The income tax no longer works. Switch to the Fairtax.
  • Reduce spending and government to only those items that absolutely need to be funded. That means that Defense is on the table and so is Government Charity such as welfare.
  • Create a line item in the budget specifically to pay down the debt.
It can be done. It must be done. If it isn't done then you will likely die in poverty and your last view of this world will be your children and grandchildren wallowing in it as well.

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