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

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Democratic Philosophy vs. Republican Philosophy

Politics is a sensitive issue for most people. Any political discussions generally turn ugly quick, with both sides fiercely defending their side. That's a shame, because it makes it nearly impossible to have a rational discussion on politics with someone from the opposite side.

I think of myself as a rational person. I consider myself an average American. I certainly wouldn't classify myself as a wacko or an extremist. But I realize Democrats would likely classify me that way. The liberal views are so far removed from my views, I've always wished I had someone I trust on the opposite side of the fence I could have a friendly conversation with about why they believe what they do.

I had an interesting experience one day while watching The Late Show. I had always felt like James Carville and Bill Clinton and Bill Maher and other Democrats had a perfect knowledge of their fraud. They were too smart to believe the things they were saying -- They had simply chosen a side for popularity or power or legalization of drugs (in Maher's case), and they would say whatever they could to defend that side.

But then I was shocked to hear David Letterman say the same thing about Rush Limbaugh. He said that Rush was a talented guy who could have been successful at many things, and he just happended to choose conservatism. Having listened to Rush's show (which I'm guessing Letterman has never done if he has that opinion) on a fairly regular basis, I knew that was a false statement.

It then dawned on me that perhaps Carville and Clinton and Maher actually believe what they say, and that was a huge revelation to me. How can rational people actually believe those things?

So yesterday when I saw a story entitled "Here are the reasons I am a Democrat", I immediately clicked on the article. I am honestly curious about how the Democrat brain could be so vastly different than mine. I have had enough experiences to know that we have to be open to hear other points of view because we are not always right.

THE IDEAL

As I read through the article, I think I gained a huge insight into the mind of a Democrat. Mr. Nielsen describes a world that would be perfect to live in. Who wouldn't want to be a Democrat? I realized that one of the main differences in Republicans and Democrats is reality.

That isn't an attempt at being smart. I honestly think that if I told a Democrat something is impossible, they would say, "With that kind of an attitude, it really is impossible. You just have to do your best and eventually we'll get there."

I agree with many things Mr. Nielsen said in the article. In fact, I think we ought to take it a few steps further and add: "I am a Democrat because I believe that everybody should be happy, and that nobody should ever be sad. I am a Democrat because I believe nobody should ever die. I am a Democrat because I believe the world should be at peace and there should never be another war."

All of this in a Republican mind is like saying, "I am a Democrat because I believe we should be able to drop a rock off a cliff and not have it fall. I am a Democrat because I believe that every action should not have an equal and opposite reaction. I am a Democrat, and I believe that water should not boil until 312 degrees fahrenheit."

No wonder so many people agree with the Democrats and think of the Republicans as cold-hearted people. The Democrats say, "I believe no one should go bankrupt, lose their home and life savings, or die because they can't afford health care and don't have reasonable health insurance." The only response Republicans can give is, "How is that going to work? It makes no sense." And Democrats infer from that that Republicans don't want good health care for everyone.

It might surprise Democrats, but Republicans would love for everybody to be wealthy. They would love for everybody to be happy. They would love for there to be no war. They would love for everybody to have their health care covered. They would love to allow all immigrants into the U.S. to receive the same blessings we've been given. They would love for everybody to be equal.

The dilemma for Republicans is that they have to face reality and realize that you can't make everybody happy, you can't stop war, somebody has to pay for health insurance, if everybody who wanted to come to the U.S. was allowed to come to the U.S, the system would immediately crumble under the weight of the physical and financial strain, and that no matter how hard you try, life will never be fair.

The thing I think that Democrats don't understand is that the Republicans have the exact same end goals in mind. I realized in reading this article that we just have different philosophies on how we get there. A few examples:

TAXES & BUSINESS

Many of Mr. Nielsen's points had to do with taxes and where the money should come from to equalize the standard of living.

"I believe in economic security for everyone, not just the top 5 percent of Americans."
"I believe that government giving money to the rich doesn't create jobs for the rest of us."
"I believe government should reward businesses only after they have created jobs for Americans."
"I believe in a free enterprise system for the working and middle classes, not just global corporations."
"I believe in both limited government and limited big business."
"I believe in free competitive economic markets for local and small businesses, not just distant and monopolistic corporations."
"I believe, neither in raising nor lowering taxes, but in a fair tax system — one that promotes innovation and industry, not an imbalanced tax system that rewards greed and excess."
"I believe in fiscal responsibility, but that sacrifice should first come from those who can afford it, not from the poor."
"I believe the rich don't always earn their wealth, and the poor frequently aren't to blame for their poverty."
"I believe no one should be homeless, hungry, abused, or neglected regardless of the causes."

Mr. Nielsen seems to take the approach that most Democrats do: to place a heavier burden of taxation on wealthy businesses and individuals, and to redistribute the wealth to the poor. This seems like a fair and charitable thing to do on the surface.

The first obvious flaw is that when you pay a person to not work, they have no incentive to work. In fact, the opposite is true -- Unemployment and welfare give individuals incentive NOT to work. The natural result of the system we have in place is an increase in consumers and a decrease in producers.

That aside, let's look at the situation from the perspective of a business. If a business that makes $10 million per year in revenue is currently paying 60% in taxes, and the tax rate is raised to 65%, that means that that business now has to make up $500,000 somewhere just to keep everything even. Where does that $500,000 come from? As we've seen, the easiest place to cut back is through layoffs. Lay off a half dozen employees, and we are back in business. Those individuals go on unemployment, and become consumers instead of producers for a year. The government now uses the additional tax revenue they recieved to pay those individuals not to work.

But what about those individuals at banks receiving a $1 million bonuses? They can afford to pay more taxes, right?

What do the wealthy do with their money? How much money does the average millionaire have in his checking account? My guess (based on hearing a millionaire speak on the subject) is that it's no more than $25,000. The wealthy generally don't get to be wealthy by being foolish. They don't let their money sit collecting 1% interest. So what do they do with the rest of their money?

Well, first they spend it. They buy big homes with lots of furniture and big yachts and they take trips and fly on airplanes and they eat out and drive fancy cars. This keeps construction workers working, furniture shops selling, boat manufacturers building boats, economies in different tourist areas growing, and airlines, restaurants, and car dealerships in business. Which in turn gives all of the employees of all of these businesses a paycheck. Which they in turn spend on gas and groceries and heat and light and an occasinal movie. Which keeps the gas station, grocerty store, gas companies, and electric companies in business. And so it goes.

What do individuals who are in lower income levels do when they receive an unexpected $500 check... oh, say from a stimulus? They save it. That's what I would do. I don't buy new cars, I don't eat out often, I rarely buy new furniture or travel, and I throw any big chunks of money I get in savings where it does little or no good to anyone but my bank.

Next, the wealthy realize that the interest earned on a checking or savings account is paltry. So what do they do with the rest of their money. They invest it. Where? In other businesses. They invest venture money for startups and put money into the stock market. What do those companies do with the money? They expand and grow in order to get bigger and make more profit, which means more jobs for more individuals.

How many people below an average income invest their money in businesses? When you redistribute the wealth, you cut off investment, and a decrease in jobs is the natural result (as we've witnessed over the past two years.)

When taxes are low, the wealthy tend to make more risky investments with start up companies and small businesses and to put more money into the stock market because of the potential for higher returns. But when the tax rate is raised (especially on capital gains), the wealthy tend to invest in more safe "guaranteed" investments like T-Bills because the post-tax return they would receive is not worth the risk. The money is pulled out of the system.

Higher taxes = Less investment. Less investment = Less jobs. Less jobs = More consumers & Less producers. Consumers > Producers = An economy that cannot sustain itself.

The reason that the United States is in the world financial position it is in now is because of capitalism. Someone like Oprah, who started out in extreme poverty, can become one of the nation's most wealthy women. She has created an organization that employs many people, and her millions of dollars in investments create employment for many other people. And on top of all of that, she gives a lot to charity as well and tries to help individuals out. She does a lot of good in the world, and she has that ability because of her wealth.

Bottom line: Republicans want everybody to be wealthy. They want to take care of the poor. This is demonstrated by the fact that Republicans give a bigger share of their income to charity. They believe, like the Democrats, that "nobody should should be homeless, hungry, abused, or neglected regardless of the causes", and that is why they donate to charities that make it their mission to remedy those problems. The end goal is the same. Republicans just realize that the way to make individuals wealthy is not to hand them money (which cannot be sustained), but rather to give them the means (in terms of employment, education, and opportunity) to allow them to make themselves wealthy (which is self-sustaining.)

HEALTH CARE

"I believe no one should go bankrupt, lose their home and life savings, or die because they can't afford health care and don't have reasonable health insurance.
"I believe in the family; specifically in policies that support the family — like paid parental leave, more support for public schools, a safe and sustainable environment, more prenatal health care, better support for working moms, better day care programs for our children and immigration policies that don't punish children or split up families."

Again, health care for everyone is clearly a noble pursuit. But it is not based in reality. Death is a part of life. Doctors and hospitals are not in the business of working for free. This means that for someone who gets cancer and receives $300,000 in medical care, there is $300,000 that needs to be paid. So who pays it? Insurance companies, right?

Insurance companies are businesses that need to make a profit in order to stay in business. The reason they didn't accept pre-existing conditions is that the risk is too high to take on that individuals. If I were to tell you I would pay you $250/month, and that there was a 95% chance I would need you to pay me $300,000 sometime in the next 5 years, what would you tell me?

Passing laws that force insurance companies to take on individuals with pre-existing conditions is forcing those insurance companies to either A) Go out of business, or B) Raise the rates on all customers in order to stay in business, which makes health care even less affordable.

That's simple -- Just get the government involved and raise taxes on the rich to fund it, right? (See the previous section.) Raising taxes reduces jobs and slows economic growth, creating an unsustainable system with even more individuals dependant on the "free" health care. That system will eventually fail.

Bottom Line: Republicans would love to have excellent health care for everyone on the planet. But the solution is not to force the insurance companies to do anything. The solution is to lower barriers and create more competition in the health care industry to naturally reduce the astronomical costs of health care. More competition = Lower prices. Then to shift back to insurance being insurance. Demolition derby drivers don't buy insurance on their cars. Insurance is for unexpected events like getting cancer or having open heart surgery -- Not for dental cleanings or having a baby.

If health care insurance were truly insurance (with a $10,000 deductible, for example), it would truly be affordable for everybody. That's why we can insure a $200,000 house for $400/year. For those who still could not afford health insurance, that could be handled through charities. Same end result, but through means that are self-sustaining and do not infringe upon our freedoms.

WAR

"I believe terrorism is a reprehensible criminal act, not an act of war. Thus the 'war on terror' is deeply flawed."

I guess maybe this is the one point we disagree on. The "reprehensible criminal act" on 9/11 killed twice as many Americans as the attack on Pearl Harbor -- I don't know about you, but it sure felt like a declaration of war to me. I would be interested to know Mr. Nielsen's philosophy on how he would have responded on 9/11. Ho do you handle terrorists who do not come out into open battle, but rather who hide, and infiltrate, and strike at innocent people. They have killed thousands, and if it could have been millions instead, it would have been.

Democrats wants peace. Republicans also want peace. But Al Queda does not want peace. Iran does not want peace. North Korea (making threats every day to use their nuclear weapons) does not want peace. Iraq most certainly did not want peace.

When you live in a world where there are individuals who simply do not want peace, what are your choices? The Democratic solution is to be nice. How did that work with the bully at school?

When I was in junior high, I had a neighborhood bully tease me on a regular basis. He continued to do it until one day he came up from behind and slapped me on my neck with a ruler in science class. I knew at that moment that I had a decision to make. I knew there would be consequences, but I was willing to accept them. I pushed my chair out from under the desk, stood up, turned around, and stared the bully in the eyes, ready for a fight. He turned, walked away, and never bothered me again.

The Republicans believe that you can never reach peace through being nice, because there are people like Hugo Chavez, Saddam Hussein, Kim Jong-Il, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in this world. If any of those individuals had a button they could push that would wipe the United States off of the earth, they would do it without blinking.

The way to achieve peace is through strength. One of the most striking exampls is when Iran held 52 U.S. Citizens for 444 days while Jimmy Carter was President. Asking nicely did not work. 20 minutes after Ronald Reagan was sworn into office in 1980, Iran released the hostages. Why did they not release them in any of the previous 444 days, in spite of all of the talks and negotiations and attempts to have them released?

When Al Queda attacked us on 9/11 and killed thousands of innocent civilians, we realized as a nation that this type of thing could not stand. The attack was completely unprovoked. The attackers were not a formal nation. But we needed to end the bullying, or watch more innocent Americans die.

We had a decision to make. The Bush Administration responded exactly the way it should have. Because Al Queda is not a specific nation, the administration had no choice but to identify those nations that were a threat to the U.S. either directly or indirectly by harboring terrorists and funding terrorism. (Iraq had done both.)

The United Nations (consisting of many different countries) did not allow Iraq to build or possess weapons of mass destruction. Both U.S. AND British Intelligence showed that Saddam Hussein was in possession of WMDs. The U.N. sent in inspectors, but Saddam Hussein refused to let them do their job. The U.S. gave Saddam Hussein the ultimatum: Allow the inspectors in by a specified day, or we will launch an attack. Saddam refused, which left the U.S. no choice. Had he cooperated, he would likely (and unfortunately for the Iraqi people) still be in power today. But as it happened, Iraq is no longer a terrorist threat to the U.S. or Kuwait or the United Kingdom or any nation for many generations to come.

The United Kingdom, South Korea, Austrailia, Poland, Romania, Denmark, El Salvador, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Latvia, Albania, the Czech Republic, Mongolia, Lithuania, Armenia, Bosnia, Estonia, Macedonia, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Fiji, Hungary, Nicaragua, Spain, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, the Philippines, Thailand, New Zeland, Tonga, Portugal, Singapore, Norway, the Ukraine, the Netherlands, Japan, Italy, and Slovakia ALL agreed with President Bush as they deployed forces into Iraq as part of the colation. They all saw the same thing he did.

I would really like to hear what Democrats would have done differently. It sounds like Mr. Nielsen's plan was to arrest the terrorits that flew the planes into the Pentagon and the Twin Towers... except they are dead. How would that have helped prevent future attacks? I've heard President Obama say we should have focused on Afghanistan and not gotten distracted with Iraq. But then Iraq would have continued funding and harboring terrorists and being a scourge to all nations. Has Mr. Nielsen read the history of Iraq? Has he read about Bill Clinton boming Iraq during his presidency?

The U.S. has showed their strength in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan just like they did in World War II. Thousands and tens of thousands of terrorists have been killed. And, as a result of the strength of the Bush administration, there has not been another attack on U.S. soil. That isn't because the terrorists don't want to attack us.

Bottom Line: The Republicans hate war and want peace, just like the Democrats. But they understand that the only way to achieve peace in this world is to stand up to your enemies.

CONCLUSION

I could go on about illegal immigration, or big government, or social responsiblity, but I'm already setting a new length record, even by my standards. It was simply interesting to me to get a peek into the mind of a Democrat and realize that for as different as we are in the roads we travel along the way, it seems that on many issues that we all want to arrive at the same station in the end.

Monday, November 22, 2010

TSA "Patdowns"

The backlash at the new TSA screening techniques has been interesting to watch. Especially now that with video cell phones and YouTube, we're seeing and hearing about more stories like this one:



Based on how liberals generally respond to opposition, the solution to this obvious problem would be simple: Ban Cell Phones at Airports

If you haven't read it yet, you need to read Ann Coulter's latest column:

Napalitano: The Ball's In My Court Now

For somebody who is constantly referred to as a crazy extremist, Ann Coulter seems to exercise some real common sense.

The problem isn't with the TSA -- They are just following orders. The problem is with the liberal philosophy that everything in life needs to be "equal". And because it is impossible to make everybody equally happy, they need to make everybody equally miserable.

In the area of airline travel, they're doing an amazing job.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Coincidence? I think not.

The day following the "schellacking"...

Stocks climb to the highest in Two Years

Hmmmmm... Does this say anything about how the economy feels about the liberal agenda? (Just imagine if Republicans had taken control of the Senate as well.)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Where Did President Obama Go Wrong?

I read an article this morning entitled "Am I The Last Person in America Who Still Adores President Obama?". Curtis Sittenfield, who wrote the article, appears to be in complete disbelief that so many people have turned on the President. He seems to believe that the people who have turned are the equivalent of fair weather fans in sports, and he wants them to hold on through these tough times just like you would through a rebuilding year.

In 2008, President Obama won the Presidential Election with 68% of the electoral vote and 53% of the popular vote. Since that time, his approval rating has dropped from around 45% to around 30% today. Those that "strongly dissaprove" of his performance has increased from 15% in January 2009 to roughly 45% now.

What happened? Where did this backlash come from? Obama was elected on the expectation of bringing hope and change to this country. But as it stands on this election day, what he appears to be bringing is the largest political swing of power in recent history. The voters are sending a message this election.

Sittenfield seems to indicate that the reason for the backlash is that President Obama didn't follow through on his promises, like closing down Guantanamo Bay. That may be an issue for some, but I think there are three major reasons that President Obama has fallen out of favor with the American people.

1. THE STIMULUS

I believe the first major blow was the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (a.k.a. "The Stimulus Package.") One of the major talking points for President Obama during his campaign was how George W. Bush had spent this country into a record deficit because of the War on Terrorism. Then, not two months into office, he passed a bill that shattered any record Bush had set. Americans do not appreciate hypocrisy.

President Obama justified the spending bill as being necessary to save the economy, and the people took his word. But then news stories about $233,000 going to the University of California to study why Africans vote (5 U.S. jobs created), or $1.5 million going to Penn State University to study plant fossils in Argentina (3 U.S. jobs created), or Crouse Hospital getting $360,000 to change to "green" light bulbs, among hundreds of others like those, started appearing. Americans do not appreciate waste.

That was amplified with the highly-visible "Cash for Clunkers" program, where many Americans who were struggling to make ends meet and could barely afford a car watched as perfectly functional cars were destroyed. $3 billion was spent on the Cash for Clunkers program. $3 billion! With that same amount of money, President Obama could have given 60,000 unemployed workers $50,000 each (roughly the median income of an American family.) Americans can sense when someone has an agenda they are pushing.

The original Stimulus package cost the American taxpayers $787 billion. That's $787,000,000,000. At $50,000 per household, that should have created at least 15,740,000 jobs. (More, if you consider that many families have two income earners.) To put that into perspective, that means that Obama could have handed a $50,000 check to every single person (man, woman, and child)who lives in Utah, Idaho, Nevada, Wyoming, and Arizona. Every person in those 5 states. Americans understand how much $50,000 is and how hard it is to come by.

That would have been okay, had jobs actually been created. But after the stimulus bill was passed in 2009, America lost 4,000,000 jobs. No problem -- Blame Bush. Which worked... for the first year. But Americans don't appreciate excuses, and after the first year, the "Bush's fault" excuse grew tired.

The logic that Sittenfield uses, and that I have heard from so many people, saying: "As far as I can tell, the economic stimulus package might not have been perfect, but it prevented something bad from being even worse" has to be the craziest logic I've ever heard. The liberals have been using it since January 2009. I've taken a number of economics courses, and "Jobs created... OR saved" was a term I'd never heard before President Obama. We always spoke in terms of tangibles: "Jobs created." (Incidentally, had I known we could just make stuff up, I would have much done better on my exams.)

CUSTOMER: "You're charging me $1,000 for a sandwich?"
RESTAURANT OWNER: "I could have charged you $1,500."
CUSTOMER: "Oh, man! Close call. Thank you."

The American people gave President Obama the benefit of the doubt with the stimulus package. But now, almost two years later, the stimulus package has been exposed for what it truly was: An opportunity for the Democrats to push through their liberal agenda. Rahm Emanuel, President Obama's former chief-of-staff summed it up when he said, "Never let a crisis go to waste." The American people do not appreciate being played.

2. THE HEALTH BILL

Next, in the midst of an economic crisis, record unemployment, and a diminished stock market, President Obama decided that the most important issue to tackle was universal health care. The Democrats announced a $940 billion health care bill. This was while people were still stinging from the $787 billion stimulus bill. But President Obama assured the people that this new $940 billion bill would lower the deficit by $130 billion.

(If anybody would like to use this logic and give me $940 in return for the $130 I'll give you, I'm in.)

Almost immediately following the discussion of a health care bill, there was severe public backlash. I have never seen anything like it. 54% of the American people (roughly the same amount that voted for Obama in the first place) strongly opposed the Health Care bill. Only 32% approved (the other 15% being undecided.)

You'll remember that this was the summer of 2009, where senators and representatives were afraid to travel back to their constituents because of the backlash and uproar at town hall meetings and the floods of letters, e-mails, and phone calls that were coming in. The "people" in "We the people..." were furious.

In my recollection, there has never been an issue that caused such a heated debate. So what was President Obama's strategy with the majority of the Americans opposing the health care bill? Just ram it through. Speak of consensus, and then exclude Republicans from taking part in discussions. Blame the Republicans for impeding, even though there was nothing the Republicans could do to stop the Democrats because they had the majority in the House and Senate.

And thus, in an ironic twist of fate, the Democrats created the Tea Party. The Tea Party name was taken from the Boston Tea Party, where a group of people protested about taxation without representation. These people spontaneously came together, without a leader (or even a community organizer), bonded by a fury deep down inside that something wasn't right. They had strongly opposed the health care reform, and their elected public representatives had given them the legislative equivalent of the finger.

The public got the distinct feeling that, in this Democratic government, their views were not being represented. Furthermore, their representatives' motives were suspect. There seemed to be too many career politicians who had lost touch with the people.

I have never seen anything like the first Tea Party protest last year. It just came out of nowhere. As much as the media tried to characterize the protesters as the extreme right, the reports I saw showed people of different backgrounds, genders, ages, and races who were sick of the government. It was one of the most impressive things I've seen as I got a sense that the people of this country truly care and are in control.

Had Obama not pushed through the health care bill, there would be no Tea Party, and I don't believe they would be in jeopardy of losing the majority in the House and Senate.

3. OUT OF TOUCH

President Obama completely discounted the Tea Party movement as a bunch of wackos. The problem was that many of those wackos voted for him.

The Tea Party movement is not Republicans vs. Democrats. In my home state of Utah, Senator Bob Bennett was elected in 1992, and it was basically a given that he would win each election after that. But in the Republican primaries for the current election, it was a shock that he was defeated. This defeat came because he was not representing the views of his constituents.

The Tea Party is not a political party. It's a movement. A grassroots movement, meaning there is no person at the head controlling it. Nobody can claim being the leader, because it is not an organization. People are simply sick of business as usual. The Tea Party movement doesn't care if the candidate they put up for the primary loses, but they will not stand for business as usual.

And yet, President Obama carries on with business as usual. He continues to discount the Tea Party movement instead of listening to them, which creates even more furor. He continues to blame Bush for the current problems, nearly two years after he was sworn into office. He recently refered to his fellow Americans as "enemies", because they are Republicans.

Who is in charge of PR for President Obama?? As a graduate in Public Relations, this kind of stuff kills me. It was reported today that the U.S. Taxpayers will spend $200 million per day for President Obama's trip to India. $200 million per day! (That is 4,000 jobs at $50,000/year per day.) I have no idea how that is possible, and I really hope it's not true. But it's in the news, and the American people are reading it.

The most important quality of a leader is to lead by example. If I (heaven forbid) were the President, we would be doing a video conference with Mumbai. We would cut out elaborate and unneccesary expenses. And I guarantee that the First Lady would not be taking a $160,000 vacation to Spain. There has to be somebody in that White House that could have said, "You know, Montana is really nice this time of year. Lots of pretty places to see and places to relax with your friends. Plus you would be spending money that benefits the local U.S. economy. Probably a much better option from a PR perspective."

President Obama gives the impression that he simply doesn't care. He doesn't care about the opinion of the majority in the United States. He doesn't care that he has ruined the career of many long-term Senators and Representatives by forcing them to push through the Health Care bill in a move that was simply political suicide. He doesn't care about the uproar that bill has started. He doesn't care to act like he's doing something about the oil spill, even if he really has no control. He doesn't seem to care about constantly making excuses. He doesn't care that he's already played golf more times than highly-criticized President Bush played in his entire time in the White House. He just continues with his agenda, pursuing business as usual, completely out of touch with the average American. He seems to be a PR advisor's worst nightmare.

CONCLUSION

So, Curtis Sittenfield, there is your explanation as I see it. The passionate feelings in this election against President Obama and the Democrats has nothing to do with "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" or Guantanamo Bay or the Oil Spill (although they do add fuel to the fire.) The disapproval we see is because the President hypocritically spent an astronomical amount of money we don't have to push his agenda, and then spent another astronomical amount of money we don't have to ram through health care reform despite the strong opposition, and he is simply out of touch with the American people.

President Obama and the Democrats are in serious trouble in this election, and they have nobody to blame but themselves. It will be be interesting to see how things turn out tonight after the vote. One thing is for sure -- The American people are back in control.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Told You So

To any who may have doubted everything the conservatives were saying prior to the 2008 election about President Obama, we are now a little over 1 1/2 years into the Obama presidency. How is everything going? Unfortunately, you know it must be really bad when even the media and fellow Democrats are starting to publicly turn on and distance themselves from Pres. Obama (which I honestly thought would never happen.)

I thought the following article made a lot of good points:

10 Key Reasons Why the Obama Presidency is in Meltdown

Whether it's the Bailouts, the Economy, the War on Terror, Health Care or the myriad of other issues we have addressed, Obama has unfortunately proven us right in every respect.

And so, it is with great regret, the conservatives of the world say, "We told you so."

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Democrats '05 vs. Democrats '10

What is the right thing to do in any given situation? If you're a Democratic senator, the answer to that would depend on what year it is. Here are a string of clips of trashing the "nuclear option" that Republicans were considering using in 2005 because the Democrats were set to filibuster Pres. Bush's judicial nominees. (They didn't end up using it.) Listen to their comments, understanding that this is the same process they plan to use to pass Pres. Obama's Health Care Bill now.

Dems '05 vs. Dems '10

(I'm sure this will be the headlining story on CNN tonight...)

If I were a Democratic supporter, this hyprocrisy from my elected leaders would really bother me. But I suppose it's like the fighters from the local air force base flying over -- If you're exposed to it enough, you become less and less sensitive to it, and soon you don't even take notice when it happens.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

What Do Conservatives Stand For?

(A Must-Listen)

I haven't heard conservative values articulated as well as they were by George Will at the CPAC convention on Thursday. This is what we stand for.

The speech is about 30 minutes, but well worth the time. Give it a listen, and post your thoughts.



(Thanks to my dad for pointing this speech out.)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Obama's Version of Bipartisanship

Wait... I thought the plan was to meet with Republicans and look for a bipartisan solution, keeping in mind that one side can't only get what we want with no compromise (because it doesn't work that way in his marriage with Michelle)... I guess this is Pres. Obama's version of "bipartisanship."

Obama to spell out new healthcare plan

Monday, February 15, 2010

Truth & Climate Change

In case there were any doubts about the veracity of climate change:

The Great Climate Change Retreat

This is coming from a brilliant scientist... or you could have just asked my little nieces and nephew who were sledding in DALLAS, TEXAS over the weekend!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Case In Point

Not 24 hours after the last post, and we see this...

Senate Dems Ax Bipartisan 'Jobs Bill'

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Hypocrisy

I read a couple of headlines on the Drudge Report today that struck me. The first:

Obama admin wants to track cell phones

If George W. Bush had said he supported using cell phones to track U.S. citizens, there would have been an absolute uproar from the left. The Obama administration says in the article that there is no "reasonable expectation of privacy" when using a cell phone. By using cell phone logs, law enforcement track individual information that can be useful for security. And... how is this different from the Patriot Act that the left was so violently opposed to?

I think using cell phones to prevent and solve crimes is a great idea. Just like I think using the same means to prevent terrorism is a great idea. I support this just like I support the Patriot Act. So I suppose we'll be hearing a barrage of violent opposition to this from the left now as well... right?

The second article was:

Obama open to tax hikes on middle class

Ummmm... Didn't Obama promise approximately 6,042 times during the campaign that those making less than $250,000 per year wouldn't see there taxes go up by "a single dime"? So why is he now open to the idea? (Oh, that's right... "C'mon -- Every president breaks their promises.") His rationale is that he doesn't want to leave any options off the table. So the option of breaking one of his main campaign promises is fair game.

I'm sure we'll see an uproar from the left about Obama being a liar and an expose from CNN about how the option of raising taxes on the middle class will affect "Main Street"... right? I've already mentioned in an earlier post how George Bush Sr.'s broken promise was his downfall with the Republicans. We expect people to keep their promises.

STRATEGEM

It has been interesting to see how the left has reacted after seeing the bombshell of a Republican senator being elected in one of the most liberal-leaning states in the U.S.. They are nothing, if not sly.

The President is now taking every opportunity to publicly meet with Republicans in a "bipartisan" manner to discuss all of the important issues. This begs the question: Why start now? Why were the Democrats locking the Republicans out of the health care debate and hiding the bill less than two months ago, and now they're having big meetings together to discuss how they can get health care done (and conveniently inviting the cameras in?) When behavior changes so drastically, you can guarantee that a Democratic Strategist is at work behind the scenes.

The strategy now is to make the Republicans appear to be playing partisan politics. The Obama administration has been working hard to equate a vote against Universal Health Care to be a vote against Democrats, when in reality, it's simply a vote against a bad idea.

If the Obama administration came out and said they were going to repeal the stimulus package which is very obviously not working to create jobs, and instead to cut taxes on employers, you would see most if not all Republicans voting for the package. If the Obama administration reformed health care to trim the fat and create competition in the private sector, you would see Republicans cheering the bill.

In other words, the Republicans are against the idea of getting the government involved in health care, because whatever the government touches becomes inefficient. Republicans realize that a public health care system would destroy private competition, and we would end up with a very bulky, inefficient, ineffective health care system.

Republicans want health care reform. They just want good health care reform. There are major problems in the health care system as it is. The Republicans have great solutions that are already being implemented at the state level with success, as I've mentioned in other posts. They have solutions. They aren't voting against the Democrats. They are voting against a horrible bill.

If the Democrats could do away with the filibuster option in legislation (as they conveniently want to do now that it's working against them) to block votes on bills, would Obama still be holding all of these bipartisan discussions? (We already know the answer, because we just need to look to a month ago before Scott Brown was elected.)

From now until the midterm elections, watch the Democrats frame everything in terms of "Republicans" instead of in terms of ideas. They will frame them out to be a voting block that will vote against everything Obama puts forward. And then they will purposely put forward bad (i.e. liberal) ideas, and when Republicans vote against it, it will be "Look -- They did it again. We just can't get anything constructive done with these 'I's in the American 'TEAM'".

This will be a very sensitive time for Republicans as the Democrats launch their strategic "Us vs. Them" assault. The Republicans obviously need to meet to try to get their good ideas out, but they have to realize they're walking right into a trap every time they do. The phrase "Wise as a serpent, yet harmless" comes to mind.

Republicans need to be very public about their good ideas. But then you will have Obama saying (as he did in their first meeting) that "bipartisanship" doesn't mean that one side gets all their ideas passed without any compromise and uses the example of "that's not the way it works with Michelle and I." (Maybe Obama needs to tell that to himself a month ago when they were trying to ram the health care bill through with no Republican input.) And that's exactly the way they'll frame it when the Republicans to put out their ideas -- "They just won't compromise."

There doesn't appear to be a good solution for Republicans. They simply don't have the numbers to get any of their good ideas for solving the nation's problems passed, but at the same time the Democrats truly are playing partisan politics and would never allow a Republican idea to be passed in case it might actually be successful, and how would that look for the Obama administration?

The next nine months will be interesting. But if there's one thing we can count on, just like the rising of the sun and the waves of the sea, it is that the Democrats will do what they promise and behave the same way regardless of the situation... right?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The State of Obama

FORD vs. Government Motors

The Ford Motor Company just posted a $2.7 Billion profit for 2009. Just one year earlier, Ford was posting a $14.6 Billion loss. Thank goodness for the government bailout! Oh, wait... That's right -- Ford did all this without one cent from the government. They turned down government funds when it meant loss of control, despite being a company categorized as "too big to fail." How are GM and Chrysler doing?

A person watching the State of the Union last night would never believe that such a turnaround could be pulled off without the help of the government. I watched in awe that liberals' ideas could honestly be so different from my own.

U.S.A! U.S.A!

In just over 200 years, the United States of America has grown to be one of the most prosperous nations in the world. The standard of living is among the best in the world. The health care is the best in the world. The technology is the most advanced in the world. The U.S. military is feared around the world. The freedoms we enjoy are among the greatest of any nation.

As someone who spent two years living in the third world conditions of Northern Brazil, I can speak from personal experience. I saw families living in one-room houses with dirt floors smaller than most of our bedrooms. I drank bottled or boiled water every day for two years to avoid getting sick from the water. I ran to catch crowded buses. I sat for hours in the "free" hospitals waiting to get a shot for a fever. One night, as I was walking along, I saw a man get hit by a car. Some men gathered around, threw him in the backseat of the car which had just hit him, and told them man driving to take him to the hospital (because there were no ambulances.)

I was so grateful to step foot back on U.S. soil. I felt safe again. I took a drink from the drinking fountain at the airport, and thought about the many blessings we enjoy as U.S. citizens. I got back home, got a good-paying job, bought a car, got a great education, and continued on with life. During the birth of our first little baby, my wife had complications, and they needed to do an emergency c-section. In that desperate moment, there wasn't another country in the world I would have wanted to have her lying on a surgery table in.

INSANITY

How was it that the U.S. got to the place it's at? If it ain't broken, why fix it? In the State of the Union last night, Pres. Obama said:

"Next, we can put Americans to work today building the infrastructure of tomorrow. From the first railroads to the interstate highway system, our nation has always been built to compete. There’s no reason Europe or China should have the fastest trains, or the new factories that manufacture clean energy products..."

"... You see, Washington has been telling us to wait for decades, even as the problems have grown worse. Meanwhile, China’s not waiting to revamp its economy. Germany’s not waiting. India’s not waiting. These nations aren’t standing still. These nations aren’t playing for second place. They’re putting more emphasis on math and science. They’re rebuilding their infrastructure. They are making serious investments in clean energy because they want those jobs."

Albert Einstein is quoted as saying that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and expecting different results. How is it that Obama wants to socialize health care and business and regulate and tax business and be like all of these other countries, and expects to get a different result than these countries? Did he really cite China as a country whose example we want to follow?

The U.S. is what it is because of the American Dream. The freedoms that allow any person to become whatever they'll work to become. The U.S. is what it is because of Capitalism. It has been proven again and again throughout history. Capitalism leads to prosperity, and Socialism leads to poverty.

THE BLAME GAME

Obama was quick to note (with a smirk on his face at his cleverness):

So let me start the discussion of government spending by setting the record straight. At the beginning of the last decade, America had a budget surplus of over $200 billion. By the time I took office, we had a one year deficit of over $1 trillion and projected deficits of $8 trillion over the next decade. Most of this was the result of not paying for two wars, two tax cuts, and an expensive prescription drug program. On top of that, the effects of the recession put a $3 trillion hole in our budget. That was before I walked in the door.

What Obama failed to note is what happened after he walked in the door. He immediately doubled the $1 trillion deficit that had taken a decade of unforeseen events to create. The projected deficit is now at around $16 trillion over the next decade. The unemployment rate has increased by 3%, which equates to about 3.5 million jobs lost since he walked in the door. And there is no end in sight.

But that doesn't matter, because all Obama has to do is compare it to what it would have been like otherwise:

"And if we had allowed the meltdown of the financial system, unemployment might be double what it is today. More businesses would certainly have closed. More homes would have surely been lost."

LET'S HEAR FROM THE FRONT ROW

After listening to the State of the Union, it occurred to me that the biggest difference between the liberals and the conservatives is personal accountability and responsibility.

It reminds me of driving on a road when there is a merge because of construction. Some people always drive up past all of us who have merged over beforehand up to the very last possible spot before they hit a cone and then try to get over, forcing everybody who has played by the rules to slow or stop to let them in.

Pres. Obama said last night:

So I supported the last administration’s efforts to create the financial rescue program. And when we took the program over, we made it more transparent and accountable. As a result, the markets are now stabilized, and we have recovered most of the money we spent on the banks.
To recover the rest, I have proposed a fee on the biggest banks. I know Wall Street isn’t keen on this idea, but if these firms can afford to hand out big bonuses again, they can afford a modest fee to pay back the taxpayers who rescued them in their time of need.


How is taxing the biggest banks fair? What did they do to deserve an extra tax? What did the people who earned the bonuses for their good work do to deserve to lose it? How many jobs will be lost now at the biggest banks due to the tax because they now have to scale back?

He also said:

Let me repeat: we cut taxes. We cut taxes for 95% of working families. We cut taxes for small businesses. We cut taxes for first-time home buyers. We cut taxes for parents trying to care for their children. We cut taxes for 8 million Americans paying for college. As a result, millions of Americans had more to spend on gas, and food, and other necessities, all of which helped businesses keep more workers. And we haven’t raised income taxes by a single dime on a single person. Not a single dime.

It's true that I saw my tax withholding go down by about $80/month, which equals about $720. But the government spent $10,000 per taxpayer on the stimulus. I don't know about you, but I would have rather had the $10,000.

More importantly, he's raised the taxes on businesses that make more than $250,000/year. How many of the businesses you work for fall into that category? If taxes are raised on these businesses, they need to scale back to keep their bottom-line even, and the easiest place to do that is eliminating jobs.

Obama said:

We cannot afford another so-called economic “expansion” like the one from last decade – what some call the “lost decade” – where jobs grew more slowly than during any prior expansion; where the income of the average American household declined while the cost of health care and tuition reached record highs; where prosperity was built on a housing bubble and financial speculation.

I watched the finale reunion show of a Survivor season a few years ago, and one of the more outspoken, proud Survivors who had finished somewhere around 7th place was giving advice to the finalists about what they could have done differently to win. Jeff Probst finally cut him off and said, "With all due respect, maybe we should hear from the front row."

If this first year of Obama's presidency is any indication, I'll take the economic expansion of the last decade any day. Obama criticized economic growth (in spite of the worst attack on U.S. soil and the economic repercussions that followed) when his economy is failing. The man has a lot of nerve.

But the statement that shocked me the most was this one:

"And let’s tell another one million students that when they graduate, they will be required to pay only ten percent of their income on student loans, and all of their debt will be forgiven after twenty years – and forgiven after ten years if they choose a career in public service. Because in the United States of America, no one should go broke because they chose to go to college."

RESPONSIBILITY

This was the moment where I realized that personal responsibility is the major difference between liberals and conservatives.

I would never, in a million years, expect somebody else to pay for a loan that I had taken on myself. I would work to pay every penny back of any obligation I had. If I can't afford Harvard, then I go where I can afford.

If the debt is forgiven, somebody still pays for it! Just because you can't identify that person doesn't mean they don't exist!

Whether it's forgiving student loans or placing another burden on the heavy-laden 5% who already pay 70% of all of the taxes, there is simply a lack of personal responsibility in the liberal mindset. They reward businesses who made bad decisions and punish the businesses that make good decisions. They punish the people who have worked hard to make themselves and reward those who do nothing to contribute to society. They place the blame on anyone but themselves. They drive past all the cars who have followed the rules and merged early to make traffic run smoothly because they can.

Obama can say what he wants, but what counts is action. And according to what happened last week in Massachusetts, voters aren't fooled.

Kudos to CEO Alan Mulally and the executives and workers at Ford for buckling down and turning the company around in such a short period of time. Guess it just goes to show what hard work and ingenuity can do... in spite of the government.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Two Wrongs DO Make a Right??

EVERYTHING I NEED TO KNOW, I LEARNED IN KINDERGARTEN

I was driving home the other day listening to Sean Hannity interview Bob Beckel (a Democratic Strategist.) Hannity asked Beckel about the fact that Obama has broken his promises to not raise taxes one cent on anyone making less than $250,000 and to broadcast the health care debates on C-SPAN among various other promises.

My ears perked up as I was really curious to know how a Democrat might respond to that question. Pres. Obama has blatantly broken major promises, and I would tend to think that even loyal Democrats would have a hard time defending that behavior.

In responding to Hannity's question, Bob Beckel blew it off, saying, "Oh, come on, Sean! Every President breaks their campaign promises."

I was shocked by the response (even knowing it was coming out of the mouth of Bob Beckel.) I couldn't believe that he would blow off this blatant dishonesty from our nation's President as just something politicians do to get elected, as if nobody expects a President to keep their word. I've got news for you, Bob -- I DO expect my elected officials to keep their word.

Since that time, I've heard multiple Democrats use the same defense. If you'll notice, they always cite Reagan and a campaign promise that he broke, and that somehow is supposed to make Pres. Obama's lies right. (Beckel must not have made it through kindergarten.)

Pres. George Bush Sr. infamously said in his campaign, "Read my lips. No new taxes.", and then ended up raising taxes in his presidency. Try to find a conservative who will defend Pres. Bush on that point. To a conservative, wrong is wrong. And Pres. Bush Sr. was wrong to break his promise, and that was likely the main reason that so many Republican votes went to Ross Perot, leading Bush Sr. to become a one-term president (and Bill Clinton to win the election with only 43% of the vote.)

The Democrats are going to have to find a stronger position -- The "everybody does it" argument and the "two wrongs DO make a right" mentality won't work with voters.

SEN. SCOTT BROWN (R - Massachusetts)

That fact is evident as Republican Scott Brown won the Massachusetts senate seat, running on a conservative platform in one of the most liberal states in the U.S.. And, as crazy as it seems, Democrat congressmen couldn't be more relieved.

At first I was confused Wednesday as I listened to various Democrats talking about how they really need to wait to vote until Brown is seated. This was in complete contradiction to their actions in the past few months, ramming the bills through without any bipartisan discussions, not allowing anybody enough time to read the bill, and physically hiding the bill from the public so it wouldn't have to face any scrutiny. Democrats have desperately done everything in their power to get the bill passed over the past few months. Why wouldn't they delay the seating of Sen. Brown and try to smash the bill through now?

And then I heard Pres. Obama say there was no need to rush to get this vote on the bill passed. I really knew something must be up, because a month ago, they had to have an unprecedented emergency vote on Christmas Eve to pass the health care bill.

Then it occurred to me that the truth is that the White House and Democrats never knew what they were getting themselves into with the health care bill. They thought they could ride Pres. Obama's popularity and pass this bill that so many others had attempted in the past and failed. Pres. Obama wanted to show off his political muscles and secure his place in the first year of his presidency as the Greatest President of All-Time.

Obama and the Democrats could never have imagined the storm that would follow. I'm sure they immediately wished they had never brought it up. They thought they would be lauded by the masses as "free" health care was handed out, but they never expected the public uproar from every state in the union, red or blue.

But the problem is that the Democratic leadership make decisions based on political implications rather than core beliefs. If they were to drop the health care issue, the problem would be that the public would perceive it as a failure for Pres. Obama, and it would show weakness. What would that mean for 2012?? So no matter how bad the idea, they had to move forward, full speed ahead.

At first they tried to blame the Republicans for not being able to pass the bill, trying to draw pressure so that at least a few Republican would vote for the bill so the blame of the health bill's eventual failure wouldn't be placed squarely on Democrats. But, unfortunately for the Democrats, the public were smart enough to realize that the Democrats could pass the bill by themselves without a single Republican vote (which they eventually did.)

The Democrats surely wanted to quit because of the political backlash, but the issue was too public and the stakes were too high to do anything but move forward. They were trapped. Even in spite of the public outcry and the threat of losing their majority in 2010, they pushed forward. My only guess is that they somehow thought that if they could just ram the health care bill through, enough people would be happy about the "free" health care coverage, that it would in essence "buy" them votes, and 9 months would have passed by the November elections.

Had Martha Coakley won the open senate seat, they would have been forced to continue to push the bill through. But Scott Brown's victory gave the Democrats an out, and they are taking it gladly, with a sigh of relief.

Now the Democrats believe they can have it both ways. They think they don't have to face the political ramifications of passing the health care bill, and they can blame it all on Sen. Brown saying, "We did everything we could -- The Republicans screwed it all up!" They get the votes of the people who wanted the bill, and they keep the votes of the people that didn't want the bill -- The perfect situation. (Just ask Sen. Kerry.)

But they can't let the election be perceived as the result of backlash at the Democrats. If you listen to the coverage, they've already started to try to spin the election results. They will talk about how Scott Brown ran one of the greatest campaigns ever. They will focus on how Martha Coakley ran one of the worst campaigns ever. They won't mention that Obama tried to use his political muscle to get Coakley elected. They will talk about how handsome Scott Brown is. They'll even say that the voters are angry with "Washington". Basically, they will say anything to keep the public's minds off of the fact that the last time a Republican senator was elected in Massachusetts was 1972.

Make no mistake about it, Pres. Obama and Democrats, this is backlash. Don't be fooled. I can't wait until November 2nd, as we see just how powerful the backlash is. (And I really can't wait until November of 2012!)

The Democrats are scared. As I mentioned earlier, Democratic leadership make their decisions based on political implications. Rather than beliefs and morals, they cast their votes based on polls and political future. After seeing what happened in Massachusetts, it will be really interesting to see what strategy the Democrats pursue over the next 9 months as they get desperate about keeping their individual jobs. My guess is that we will see Democratic senators and representatives turn on Pres. Obama to save their seats. Unfortunately for them, it's probably too late.

OH, JUST ONE MORE THING...

I just have to say: Thank you, thank you, thank you, people of Massachusetts! Only a week ago, it looked like we were doomed to this horrible monstrosity of a health care bill, inflated taxes, and the destruction of our quality of health care. You have brought hope back to the conservatives of this nation! Today was a good day.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

What Do the Democrats Have to Hide?

As once again the Democrats meet behind closed doors to discuss the health care bill, I watch this video, and I wonder what liberals are thinking about all this.

It's interesting to me that the first (and, presumably then, the most important) right guaranteed by our Founding Fathers in the Bill of Rights is:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

When I was young, I used to wonder why the Founding Fathers would be so concerned as to include the Freedom of the Press as the first right of citizens. But I understand now that the press plays a critical role in society. The press has traditionally been referred to as the "watchdog" of the government. The truth is that, without the press, average citizens like us wouldn't know what was happening in Washington. Knowledge gives us the power to protect ourselves from the government, should they try to supersede their power, just as the Founding Fathers intended.

As I've mentioned before, I spent a little time in the world of journalism. The traditional role of the press is to be at odds with the government, watching every tiny move and suspecting the worst. Investigative journalism turned up stories like Watergate and the Monica Lewinsky story. The first things that corrupt governments such as Cuba or China or Iran do is take control the media. Look at what is happening in Venezuela with Hugo Chavez.

(Sadly, as has been mentioned in numerous posts on this blog, much of the media, unsatisfied with simply objectively reporting the news, has taken up sides and moved to attempting to influence the news, brazenly acting as guard dogs for the Obama administration. Thank goodness for the Internet and media outlets like BreitBart that still act as watchdogs.)

It is scary to me that members of Congress are meeting about a bill that will dramatically impact every citizen of this country, and this administration that campaigned on "transparency in the government" is allowing (and promoting) the Democrats to vote on a bill that nobody (including those that are voting) had been given sufficient time to read, to literally hide the Health Care bill from Republicans, and to meet once again behind closed doors to discuss the final draft of the bill that is going to go into law. Of all the things I've seen the government do throughout my life, the behavior of the Democrats in trying to get this bill passed is the scariest.

It has to even make liberals wonder... What do the Democrats have to hide?