We must vote for those candidates of any party that reflect these values: hard work, self-determination, smaller government, fiscal responsibility and honesty. Look to the character of anyone you chose to support. Their past does matter if they haven't learned from it. Their personal life is as relevant as their public one. We must be able to trust those who will be advising and leading us on what our country must do next. -Glenn Beck

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Case In Point

This letter exemplifies one of the points I was trying to make in my last post, with regard to the AIG bonuses.

AIG Executive Resignation Letter

Let me pose this question: How is the result of the situation described in this letter good for AIG or the economy as a whole? There is something desperately wrong with this picture.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Goodbye, Dignity! It Was a Good Run.

An historic event occurred last night. For those of you who missed it, the dignity of the Office of the President of the United States, which had remained intact for almost 233 years, was destroyed. For the first time in U.S. History, a sitting President of the United States appeared on a late night comedy show. It only took him 61 days in office.

This came just two days after former President George W. Bush refused to criticize President Obama on the economy in his first speech since leaving office. President Bush responded, "He deserves my silence." Regardless of what you think about Bush's policies, he respects the Office.

Obama rationalized the appearance, saying that it provided a unique opportunity to speak to a large audience about the economy. In this dignified appearance, Obama walked out at The Tonight Show and waved and smiled like he was Brad Pitt. He joked about how Kev looked like Secret Service, how the Air Force One jackets were cool, and talked about adding basketball standards to the White House tennis court. Oh, and in case you didn't hear, when joking with Jay about what a bad bowler he is, Obama said, "It's like the Special Olympics or something."

Obama quickly apologized after the show, but whether it's The Special Olympics or poking fun at Nancy Reagan, when Obama is speaking extemporaneously, we get a glimpse of his true character. But there were moments that were more disturbing to me than the poking fun at the handicapped:

"I do think, though, that the American people are all in a place where they understand it took us a while to get into this mess, it's going to take a while for us to get out of it. And if they have confidence that I'm making steps to deal with issues like health care and energy and education, that matter deeply to their daily lives, then I think they're going to give us some time."

So... The American people won't mind the fact that Obama is destroying the economy with his policies because he's pushing through "free" health care.

Speaking about AIG: "Now, the question is, who in their right mind, when your company is going bust, decides we're going to be paying a whole bunch of bonuses to people? And that, I think, speaks to a broader culture that existed on Wall Street, where I think people just had this general attitude of entitlement, where, we must be the best and the brightest, we deserve $10 million or $50 million or $100 million dollar payouts --

"And, you know, the immediate bonuses that went to AIG are a problem. But the larger problem is we've got to get back to an attitude where people know enough is enough, and people have a sense of responsibility and they understand that their actions are going to have an impact on everybody. And if we can get back to those values that built America, then I think we're going to be okay."

First, did he really disdain "a feeling of entitlement"? Ha!

Second, let's discuss bonuses. I've heard all of this talk about AIG and the $150 Million in bonuses. When you go apply for a job, what do you get paid? Why doesn't a new McDonald's hire start at $100/hr? Because there are high school students who are willing to work for $6.55/hr. If you were McDonald's, would you hire somebody for $100/hr when you have someone who will work for $6.55/hr? No -- That would be ridiculous.

On the flip side, if you are on the board for a major company that is in trouble (for example, AIG), who do you want to bring in to fix the company? You obviously want to hire the best people with the best minds and proven track records. What are you going to pay them? Warren Buffet is a financial genius. What if you called Warren Buffet, and offered him $6.55/hr to fix your company?

Here is the point: If you offer $6.55/hr, you're going to get somebody who is worth $6.55/hr. And that is the problem with Obama putting a salary cap of $500,000/year for executives receiving bailout money. The great financial minds who are worth $10 Million/year will leave. The reason those employees received those bonuses is because that is what the market bears.

When Obama says that "we've got to get back to an attitude where people know enough is enough", what he is saying is that people like Warren Buffet and Bill Gates are wrong. They should have reached $250,000/year and said enough is enough. That's the American Dream, right?

Then Leno actually asked a really good question: "Well, here's something that kind of scared me. Today they passed this thing that says we're going to tax 90 percent of these bonuses. And the part that scares me is, I mean, you're a good guy -- if the government decides they don't like a guy, all of a sudden, hey, we're going to tax you and then, boom, and it passes."

Obama responded: "Well, look, I understand Congress' frustrations, and they're responding to, I think, everybody's anger. But I think that the best way to handle this is to make sure that you've closed the door before the horse gets out of the barn. And what happened here was the money has already gone out and people are scrambling to try to find ways to get back at them."

First, notice how it was Congress' frustrations and "they" are responding. Obama is innocent. Unless you were listening to his comment just previous to this question where he said, "The main thing -- we're going to do everything we can to see if we can get these bonuses back." It's "we" when it's politically expedient, and "they" when it's not.

But to answer your question, Jay, if Congress decides that 84 cars is excessive and they need to move quickly before the horse gets out of the barn, they will take all of your cars.

"We were talking earlier about credit cards, and it's legal to charge somebody 30 percent on their credit card, and charge fees and so forth that people don't always know what they're getting into. So the answer is to deal with those laws in a way that gives the average consumer a break."

Why do credit card companies charge 30 percent on their credit card? Because people will pay 30 percent! It is what the market has dictated the percentage will be for people with that particular credit score. There is nothing evil about it. The credit card companies aren't out on the street forcing people to take their money.

"When you buy a toaster, if it explodes in your face there's a law that says your toasters need to be safe. But when you get a credit card, or you get a mortgage, there's no law on the books that says if that explodes in your face financially, somehow you're going to be protected."

How about this instead? How about if a person doesn't take out a loan that they can't afford to pay back? I don't drive a Ferrari because I know I can't afford one. It doesn't matter if the bank qualifies me or not. I know I can't make the payment. If I bought a Ferrari anyway, I wouldn't expect that the government would bail me out. I would expect I would see a repo man knocking on my door. If you purposely stick a knife in the toaster, are you protected?

"And what we need is steady growth; we need young people, instead of -- a smart kid coming out of school, instead of wanting to be an investment banker, we need them to decide they want to be an engineer, they want to be a scientist, they want to be a doctor or a teacher."

This was maybe the most disturbing comment of the night. Obama would like to dictate what young people want to be when they grow up. Why does that sound familiar...? (Remember that the only difference between Socialism and Communism is that a people go into Socialism voluntarily.)

There is more, but you get the point. Is this not scary to anybody else?! This is our President!

George Washington, the epitome of dignity in the Office, reluctantly accepted the nomination of his party both terms. He had no desire to be President, but he did it for the sake of solidarity for the new country. What a stark contrast with President "Pitt" on Leno last night. It was a sad day.

Monday, March 2, 2009

A Must-Listen for Conservatives

Rush Limbaugh was the keynote speaker at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) this weekend. It was a great speech that described Conservatism perfectly. It is lengthy, but well worth the listen:

Rush Limbaugh CPAC Speech

They also took a poll at the convention asking which person would be the best candidate for 2012. For the third year in a row, Mitt Romney won the poll. (Bobby Jindal came in 2nd, and Sarah Palin came in 3rd.) Here's a story to that link:

Romney Wins Straw Poll

Can you imagine the strength of a Romney/Palin ticket in 2012? As Rush mentioned in his speech, the formula for a landslide win is already there. One President in the last 200 years initially won the election with 90.89% of the electoral vote and was reelected with 97.58%... and that President was the most conservative in our nation's history, Ronald Wilson Reagan. Only one President since 1776 has had a higher two-term average at 100%, and that President was none other than the father of our nation, George Washington.