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

Monday, December 31, 2012

Going Over the Fiscal Cliff

As the rest of us prepare to bring in the New Year tonight, our elected representatives are working on avoiding taking the country over the "Fiscal Cliff".  What that really means is that they are busy politically posturing.

This is an example of politics at its worst.  Pres. Obama has repeatedly blamed the Republicans.  He has given one major speech and is apparently planning on another today.  The gist of these speeches is, "We're doing everything we can, but the big, bad Republicans won't let us fix this."  He talks about how far they have come to meet the Republicans in the middle, but how the Republicans are squabbling over $100,000.  He makes it all sound so petty.

Let me ask you this, Pres. Obama:  What is it exactly you have compromised on?  

The major sticking point is that Pres. Obama wants to raise taxes on any households making more than $250,000.

Republicans understand that people making over $250,000 are the individuals that create small business and invest in business and keep the economy running.  For anyone who is reading this, how much money have you invested in a company and/or the stock market?  In other words, if the economy was dependent on you, what would be happening with your money?

I know that whenever I receive a large chunk of money, I do one of two things:  1)  I put it into savings, or 2)  I pay off debt.  Putting money into savings is one of the worst things for the economy, because you have now pulled those dollars out of circulation.  They aren't buying anything.  They aren't growing any business.  If you pay off debt, you are paying off something that has already been purchased, and it also has little impact to help the economy.  What keeps the economy going is money circulating.  By pulling money from those who actually do invest and start businesses and buy large quantities of stuff, you slow the economy.

Think of it this way.  I'm going to see a movie this afternoon.  What if everybody decided they couldn't afford to see anymore movies and that they would put that money into savings instead.  How long would it take for the movie theaters to go out of business?  One month?  Two?

Republicans are fighting on principal, that raising taxes on those who keep the economy moving and growing is the worst possible thing you can do in a slow economy.  They want instead to keep the same tax rates or even lower them to encourage growth in the economy.  What about the problem of the deficit and the national debt?  Republicans want to fix it by reducing spending -- By living within the government's means.

Keynesian economists (who are all liberal) argue that, when money is pulled from those making $250,000 or more, that the government spends it.  So it's still going into the economy.  And, in fact, they argue that it actually goes further, because there is no tax on the money like there would be in a corporation.  It's called the Government Spending Multiplier Effect.

This might be true if the government ran anything efficiently, but unfortunately they do not.  Let's say the government raises $1 trillion through the new tax increases, and then they buy a $1 trillion candy bar from a factory that employs one person, and you eat it.  The individual that sold them the candy bar makes a lot of money, but it goes to that one individuals.  The individual will likely invest it and some will get distributed back into the economy.  But how much money went to waste in that exchange by overpaying for goods?  What happens when you give $535 million to Solyndra to manufacture green products and they go out of business?  What happens when you bail out GM and then push them to emphasize green vehicles like the Chevy Volt that there is no demand for, and the product fails?

The biggest flaw in Keynesian economics is that there is no consideration for what happens to productivity when you hand people money rather than make them work for it.  No consideration for what happens in the market when you don't let the natural laws of supply and demand dictate what is produced.

If you look at all the money that was wasted in the stimulus and all the money that is going to be wasted in Obamacare, it is a significant amount.  That money would simply be better served in the hands of an entrepreneur or an investor (WHOSE MONEY IT IS IN THE FIRST PLACE!!!  THEY EARNED IT!!!)

So Republicans made a major compromise from "Absolutely no new taxes" to "Okay, we will meet you halfway and allow a tax increase on those making more than $1 million."  But that's not good enough.  Pres. Obama pushed for $250,000 still and said he would not negotiate on that.  He will "not put more of the burden on middle income families."  (Ummmmm... How about a decrease in spending then?  That would be a much more effective solution.  Reduce the amount that everybody has to pay!)

So Democrats finally said, "Okay... We'll meet you halfway and go from $250,000 to $450,000."  (Since when is $450,000 halfway between $250,000 and $1,000,000?)  So that is their big sacrifice they are making, and they can't see how Republicans could be against that.

So now they are debating between raising taxes on incomes $450,000 or $550,000, which is the $100,000 they are describing.

Why not compromise to save the economy?  Here is the dirty little secret:  Pres. Obama wants to go over the cliff.

That way, he can raise taxes on everybody, and he can just blame the Republicans.  Middle income families will see a significant tax increase, but he doesn't have to be the bad guy.  He can have more money to spend on more government programs, and he can further increase his control over the American people.  His major compromise is not to raise taxes to the 70% rate it was under Jimmy Carter, which he would like to do!  He feels like he is giving up a lot, which is why he is probably dumbfounded with the Republicans.

Republicans are the sensible, thrifty group in the marriage, and the Democrats are the ones with 15 credit cards that are all maxed out, and they're asking if we wouldn't mind co-signing on another.  Then, when we say no, they throw a fit and blame us for their financial woes.

Unfortunately, Republicans are too soft-hearted, and they will likely say "Okay, just this one last time..." and compromise to once again save the people of the United States from the Democratic policies.  Raising taxes on those who keep the economy moving is an incredibly stupid thing to do in a bad economy, but it's even worse to raise taxes on everyone.

We've got about 10 hours left at the time I'm writing this.  It'll be interesting to see what happens by the time the ball drops in Times Square.  Hopefully Republicans can once again save this economy, despite the best efforts of Pres. Obama and the Democrats to destroy it.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A Conservative's View on Gun Control

What happened in Newtown, CT on Friday is absolutely horrific.  It is almost unimaginable that someone could do something like this to innocent children.  Even bad guys seem to have limits.  And this is one that hasn't often been crossed.  As a parent of a child of a 4 year-old child, it struck all too close to home.

My first reaction as a father is that Adam Lanza got off too easy.  He should have lived, because he needs to be made to pay for what he did.  But then I realize that he will yet face justice, and his punishment will be worse than any punishment that man could inflict.

As a great man once said, "Justice is mercy."  I believe that Adam Lanza will yet face the perfect justice of God, and the families of these victims will have mercy.

The next thought is naturally to search for a way to prevent these types of things from happening in the future.     My little boy is in pre-school and will soon be starting grammar school.  I don't want him to have to face what those children at Sandy Hook Elementary had to face.  I want my son and daughter and any future children that may come along to grow up in a world that is safe.

ONE CONSERVATIVE'S THOUGHTS

As a write down my thoughts in these posts, I try to be logical and to avoid inflammatory statements.  I try to respect individuals who may think differently than I do.  I don't speak on behalf of all conservatives obviously, but I am one conservative.  I do my best to explain my point of view, and to support it with logical arguments.  And I don't claim to be right -- It's simply my point of view.

I have always had a desire to be able to sit down with a liberal and have them explain to me why they think what they think.  There have been a few individuals in my life who have been able to express to me their opposing views, and it has always been enlightening.  But mostly it just upsets individuals to talk about politics, and it often escalates.  So on this blog, I simply try to provide a conservative's viewpoint for anybody who is interested. 

I would love to be able to find a comparative blog on the liberal side, but it seems like most liberal blogs resort to name calling and personal attacks.  The arguments are rarely based on logic, but rather on emotion.  But that is one major difference I have noted between conservatives and liberals:  Conservatives tend to focus more on logic, and liberals tend to let their emotions guide them.

GUN CONTROL

That seems to be the case whenever one of these mass shootings occur.  The left immediately pounces on the issue of gun control.  It always seems strange to me that there is no worry about using a tragedy for political expediency.  But then again, it was Pres. Obama's advisor Rahm Emmanuel who said that, "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste."  I suppose this fits the bill, sad as it is.

When the right defends their right to bear arms as it faces the overpowering voice from the left, the left seems to almost be in disbelief that the right could defend the use of guns.  Does the left really think that we want our children to be killed by a gun-wielding maniac?  Obviously not!  That is ridiculous.  Yet that is the reaction I have seen.  Piers Morgan last night seemed almost dumbfounded that a guest on his show would defend gun rights at a time like this.

And yet I, as a conservative, sit here in disbelief that any level-headed person would think that gun control would have done anything to prevent this mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary.

GUN FREE ZONE

Did you know that Sandy Hook Elementary is a "Gun Free Zone"?  That means that by law, it is illegal to have a gun there.  How then, is it possible that a shooting occured there?  Shouldn't the "Gun Free Zone" law have prevented this from happening?

The answer is obvious:  Adam Lanza simply disregarded the law, because he is an evil person.  Because of the law, all of the law-abiding citizens didn't have guns.  The only person roaming the halls with a gun at Sandy Hook Elementary that day was the murderer.  My guess is that every teacher at that school would have given anything in that moment to have had a gun as they frantically tried to protect their children.  But the only person with a gun was the person who had no regard for the law.

It is that simple.

The school had a buzzer system where guests are supposed to buzz in.  He reportedly broke through a window.

He didn't have registered guns and never went through a background check.  The guns he had were not his.  He stole them from his mom, who had gone through the background check and registered them legally.

Murder is against the law.  Yet, somehow the law didn't stop him.

I honestly have a hard time seeing how a rational person could believe that enacting more laws is going to stop people from Adam Lanza doing what they are going to do.

9/11

Gun control is simply an emotional response.  It cannot be based on logic.

Interesting fact:  Not one gun was used in the 9/11 attacks.  The terrorists used box cutters.  And they killed 2,296 people.  More than 100 times as many people as died in those attacks as did at Sandy Hook Elementary.

(By the way, one of the responses to those attacks was to put armed air marshalls on the planes, so that somebody besides the terrorists have a weapon in case of an attack.  More guns = More safety.)

Timothy McVeigh blew up the Federal Building in Oklahoma City and killed 168 (and injured 700 others.)  Not one gun was used.

Guns are currently the simplest solution for someone who wants to kill others.  If guns were taken away, we would simply see a shift to bombs or arson or poison.  Killers will find a way to kill.

I said it in a previous post, but sad as it is, I believe that guns actually limit the amount of people that can be killed, because there is a physical constraint on how many times a trigger can be pulled and is limited to the accuracy of the shooter, which gives individuals a chance to flee.  That is not true with a bomb.

THE SECOND AMENDMENT

The first amendment states:

"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."

Second only to the freedom of religion, free speech, and freedom of the press is the second amendment, which states:

"A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

Why did the Founding Fathers feel so strongly about the right to bear arms that they would make it the second amendment?  When put in the context of what it had just taken to free themselves from the oppression of Great Britain, it makes perfect sense.

Everything in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights is set up around a blatant distrust of government.  When men get into power, the power goes to their heads.  When individuals willingly give up arms, they give government more power over themselves.  If things go wrong, as it did with Great Britain, the people need to be able to form a militia and defend themselves.  With no arms, that is a very difficult proposition.

It may seem far-fetched, but we have seen in the last couple years the people of Libya and Egypt raise up against their government in order to fight for their rights.  It happens, even in our day.

The right of the people to keep and bear arms SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED.  Could the Founding Fathers have stated it any clearer?  I'm being serious.  Is there any way that the Founding Fathers could have worded it any clearer?  I would like to hear any suggestions.

ASSAULT WEAPONS

I have heard people say, "Our arms are no match for the drones and fighters of today."  That is simply not true.  Maybe if everybody were to gather into one spot and wait to be killed, but that doesn't reflect reality.  There are not enough bombs available to kill all the people in the U.S., with as many people and as spread out as we are.  Nuclear bombs would come closest, but if we are to the point where our government would use nuclear weapons on its own people, we are in a lot of trouble.

The 2.5 million full-time or reserve military personnel would be no match for the 300+ million people that live in the U.S., but only if those people have some way to fight back.

The left always want to go back to the assault weapons ban.  The reason, as they often point out, is that the people should not have access to the same guns as the military.  They purposely want to relinquish control and give more power to the government to have control over its people.

How would gun registration have changed this attack?  How would a background check have changed this attack?  How would an assault weapons ban have changed this attack?  Some will try to argue that smaller clips will make for more reloading time.  I guess that makes sense if you are actually reloading, which takes a little more time.  But changing out clips can be done in a couple of seconds, and whether it's ten 15-round clips or fifteen 10-round clips, it's still 150 bullets.

GUNS DON'T KILL PEOPLE... PEOPLE KILL PEOPLE

But all of that is beside the point, because guns don't kill people.  It doesn't matter whether it is an assault weapon or not.  People kill people.

It has been reported that Adam Lanza had Asperger's Syndrome.  So why don't we ban individuals with Asperger's Syndrome?  That is obviously ridiculous, because there are many people who have Asperger's Syndrome who don't kill people.

It has been reported that Adam Lanza was a loner and may have suffered from depression.  So let's lock up everybody who is a loner and suffers from depression.  Ridiculous.  There are many people who are loners and who suffer from depression who don't kill people.

It has been reported that Adam Lanza played violent video games.  So let's lock up anybody who has ever played violent video games.  Ridiculous.  There are many people who play violent video games who don't kill people.

There are tens and hundreds of millions of people who own guns (which include assault weapons), and almost none of them kill people.  It has been estimated that there are 300,000,000 guns in the United States among an estimated 50,000,000 gun owners.  There were 14 "mass shootings" in 2012.  300,000,000 million guns, 50,000,000 gun owners, 14 mass shootings.  That means that 49,999,986 individuals that own guns (including assault weapons) did not go on a killing spree.  Yet, the left wants to take away guns from those individuals because one was used in killing others.  It makes as much sense as banning people with Asperger's or who are loners or who play video games.

But it fits with the theme of the left -- Turn everything over to the government, and those benevolent people in power will take care of everything for its people.

DISRESPECT

Guns have been around for a long time, and in the 50's and 60's when there were no background checks or gun free zones, there were also almost no mass shootings.  If the gun laws were more relaxed then, how is that it possible that there weren't more shootings?  What has changed?

This people in the United States have turned away from a belief in God.  One person in a school of hundreds or even thousands can stop the Pledge of Allegiance from being read because it uses the phrase "One Nation, Under God", which offends them.  We have to say "Happy Holidays" so that we won't offend anyone.  Don't even think about putting on a Christmas play at school.

I was at graduation for our University on Friday, the day the shootings took place.  I have been to at least 10 of these graduations in my time as a teacher at the University.  For the first time in all of the graduations I've been to, I watched at least half and maybe closer to two-thirds of the graduates and their families get up and walk out before the graduation ceremony was completed.

Graduation has changed since I got my first degree back in 2003.  The majority of graduates and guests don't dress up anymore.  They are loud and disrespectful and bring air horns to blast when their graduates' names are read.  And when they get bored and want to leave, they just get up and leave in the middle of the ceremony.

It seems like a simple thing, but it is indicative to me of what has happened in society.  Anything goes.  Whatever you do is right.  Have everything handed to you in life.  It seems as though there is no respect for anything in this up and coming generation.

I read a great quote over the weekend:

"In the days of uncertainty, when men are running to and fro seeking for some new plan by which peace may be brought into the world, know this: that the only way to peace for this world is the pathway of the Gospel of Jesus Christ our Lord.  There is no other."

THE SOLUTION

But that will offend our friends on the left.  They do not want to hear about God.  They would have him banned from all public aspects of life.

So without a turn to God, is there an alternate solution?

In the debates, Mitt Romney was asked about gun control, and he was ridiculed by the left because he talked about the importance of children growing up in a family with a Mom and a Dad.  He was dead on in his comments.  The solution comes from children learning and being nurtured inside the home.  By being taught by good parents what is right and what is wrong, and by having standards to live by and to be held accountable to.  It all starts in the home.  Respect starts in the home.

But parents don't raise children anymore.  The day care and the television do.  More and more, parents hand their kids everything they want.  Discipline is a thing of the past.  I just picked up my son from his pre-school class, and it is very apparent which kids hear the word "no" at home and which don't.

But we obviously cannot control what happens in other people's homes.  This problem will only get worse.  So what is another solution?

It is simple.  We obviously cannot (and should not) arrest individuals who are loners or are depressed or who play violent video games or who have Asperger's syndrome.  Taking away guns will only shift the method of killing.  So what can we do?

What we need is not less guns; It is more guns.  More education and training with guns.  What if the principal, Dawn Hochsprung, had a gun locked away in a safe place in her office when the shooting first began?  What if Victoria Soto had locked her students in a closet and then gone to retrieve her firearm and hid herself in a corner with the gun pointed at the door?  What if every teacher in that school who wanted to had been armed that day?  But no, it was a "Gun Free Zone".

What if a dozen people in the theater in Aurora who had concealed weapons permits had been armed when the gunman opened fire?  How many lives could have been saved?  No, the theater was a "Gun Free Zone". Those with regard for the law didn't have any weapons.

One of my best friends was on a construction site when a man across the street came out of his house, yelling and waving a gun.  My friend, who has a concealed weapon permit, calmly walked out to his truck, where he pulled out his weapon, and then he went back inside the house and sat and waited and watched.  The police were called, and there was a standoff where the man was eventually arrested and no harm was done.  But I have been hunting with my friend, and I know that the shooting wouldn't have gone on for long had the gunman decided to open fire on anyone.

CONCLUSION

We can continue gun registration and background checks.  We can continue to try to identify people who are a threat.  We need to continue educating individuals on using and respecting guns.  But if we are not as a nation going to address the heart of the problem, then we simply need to be able to defend ourselves against these maniacs when they decide to strike.

Would Adam Lanza have even entered that school that day had it been known that every teacher was armed?  I heard a proponent of gun control on Piers Morgan's show admit that "Burglars wait until nobody is home to break into a house in Texas."  I believe that is true.

Gun control will only stop those who have respect for the law.  And then the criminals who disregard the law will be the only ones that are armed.  Would-be killers will only be more tempted knowing that the innocent people gathered together have no guns.  And the number of mass shootings would only increase.

From the mind of (what I hope to be) a level-headed conservative, gun control has to be the the most illogical solution to this epidemic that I can think of.  But it sure would make those emotionally driven people on the left feel good, because they had done something about it.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Post-Election Thoughts

After a devastating loss like we had last night, the only thing to do is to try to look for the positives.  The only problem is:  I'm not seeing any.

It seems like the country has reached a tipping point.  We had a President who has basically nothing to run on.  He couldn't run on the economy, because unemployment is higher than it was when he took office.  Growth is stagnant.  The economy continues to bleed jobs.  He couldn't run on Health Care Reform, because the majority of the country opposes it.  He couldn't run on bringing the people together, because the country is more divided than ever.  All he had was Bin Laden and ending the War in Iraq.

And the Republican Party put forward the ideal candidate to fix the issue that concerns people most:  The Economy.  And we lost.

I do not see how we win another election in our current environment.

DIVISION

Obama used the strategy of division.  He pitted the poor against the rich, and ran on raising taxes so we could take from the rich and give to the poor.  He created a false "War on Women", which was so effective that I read tweets from people who seriously wondered if Romney would take birth control, tampons, and even the women's right to vote away.  He used the tried-and-true strategy of scaring seniors into believing that Romney would take away their Social Security and Medicare.  He used the Republican plans to combat illegal immigration to scare legal immigrants.  He picked the biggest voting bases, and then turned them against the smallest voting bases.

And the people bought it.

Obama is the Great Divider, and the strategy has been very effective.  But the effect that this strategy has had on our nation is obvious.

THE PEOPLE

The problem is the people.  What is the prerequisite to vote in the U.S.?  You need to be a person.  You don't need an ID, you don't even need to be the person you say you are, and you can go in and vote.

The election becomes a popularity contest.

My dad suggested years ago that, in order to vote, there ought to be a Voter's Test just like we have a Driver's Test.  Nothing too complicated, but something to demonstrate there is a basic understanding of what the vote means.  That made perfect sense to me.

Basic questions on the Constitution like:
  • What are the three branches of government?
  • How many votes does the House need to pass a bill?
  • How many Senators represent each state?

Maybe a few current event questions like:
  • What is the current unemployment rate?
  • What is GDP?
  • What is the current U.S. debt?

And maybe a math question or two:

  • If you spend more than you earn, what is that called?
  • Are there any problems associated with simply printing more money?
  • If the current budget deficit is $1 trillion, and the top 1% of income earners make a combined $1.3 trillion, what tax rate would they have to be taxed at in order to close the deficit?  (Answer: 77%.)

It is obvious from the various videos that were posted of Obama voters bashing on Romney policies only to find out that they were actually Obama policies, to videos of people who have no idea that anything happened in Benghazi, to videos of Jimmy Kimmel talking to a group of black people in a Brooklyn Barbershop about what Romney could do to earn their vote and the first answer is "Turn black", that people are not voting for a President.  They are voting for a celebrity.

"IT'S DIFFICULT TO BEAT SANTA CLAUS"

Now don't get me wrong.  I know people who are very educated on the issues, and who still vote Democrat.  I'm not talking about them.  They would easily pass the Voter's Test.  But I believe they are now the minority in the Democratic Party.

Rush Limbaugh said it perfectly:  It's difficult to beat Santa Claus.

The nice part about running as a Democrat is that you can promise anything.  We will end war!  Free health care for everybody!  Just take a little more from the rich to pay for all our spending!  Legalize marijuana!  Let the illegal immigrants come on in!

Republicans are cursed by nature to being constrained by reality.  So what happens in the long run when you just pull the troops out or define a withdrawal date?  Where do you get the money to pay for everybody's health care, and what does that do to costs?  What happens when you raise taxes on the rich?  What happens when you legalize marijuana?  What do you do about the burden that illegal immigrants place on our system?

Democrats are not burdened by reality.  And what's more, we found out in this election that Democrats don't care whether promises are fulfilled or not!  As long as they get free stuff.  Absolutely amazing.

Go ahead and kill the golden goose!  As long as I get my share of the meat!

Romney was right when he talked about the 47%.  It may or may not be exactly 47%, but there is a near-majority of people that don't know anything about politics, don't know anything about economics or current events, and don't know the first thing about how a job is created.

All they know is that one guy wants to give them stuff, and the other guy doesn't.

Rush said it perfectly again:  You've been out of a job for a year, you have a house, you have a car, you have a cell phone, you have a TV, and you've got food.  What's the problem?

CONFLICT OF INTEREST

In any other business or legal situation, having a person making a decision with the potential to benefit from the result of that decision is a conflict of interest, and would not stand.

But there is no problem with 46,700,000 people who are on food stamps voting for how we handle food stamps.  No problem with 4,300,000 people who receive a check in the mail every couple weeks for welfare voting about how we handle welfare.  No problem with 5,600,000 people who receive unemployment checks every month voting on how we handle unemployment.

This is the strangest system I have ever seen.  Would it make sense for me to be on a University committee that decides whether I get a raise?  Which way am I going to vote?!

MAINSTREAM

And the media perpetuates all of these things.  The amount of advertising that "news" organizations give to the Democratic candidate is incalculable.  They tear on Romney night after night for small things like "binders full of women", and they protect Obama on four Americans being killed in a 7-hour calculated attack on "American soil" in Benghazi.

It frankly is amazing that the Republicans can ever get 49% of the vote.  Whatever Romney spent in advertising can't compare to the 24-hour barrage of advertising for Obama by "journalists" and late night shows.  There is nothing Republicans can do to combat the main stream media.  People turn to news channels expecting to get an unbiased report on the facts, but journalistic integrity is rare these days.  Everybody has an agenda.

So when so-called "journalists" spend hour after hour talking about the non-existent "war on women", people believe them.  And when someone hears something about Benghazi and tunes to the news and they say it's no big deal.

Romney's single-largest jump in the polls came after the first debate when the media finally wasn't able to control the sound-bites for 90 minutes.  The people saw the real Romney for the first time.

But 90 minutes compared to 24-hours a day, 365 days-a-year from the mainstream media is almost insurmountable.  It's a shame what the media has become.

BIGOTRY

The other part that factored into the vote is that 2 million more black individuals voted in 2008 than voted in 2004.  Stacey Dash was berated by black individuals because she dared say she was voting for Romney.  93% of black voters this election voted for Obama.  What if only 7% of white voters voted for Obama?  The media would go nuts with that!

Then there have been tweets and comments and greatly disparaging remarks about Romney's religion.  Many "Christian" individuals who normally vote Republican and do their best to uphold Christian values, but would not vote for Romney because of his religion.  I wonder how many people chose not to vote for Romney because he was Mormon.  Romney got less votes than John McCain in 2008.  How is that possible unless certain Republicans decided to stay home?

And then I believe it was Karl Rove last night who talked about how it was unconscionable that the Republicans lose the Latino vote.  These are a conservative people!  They are hugely family oriented, naturally conservative, religious people.  These should be some of the greatest supporters of conservatism.

But, in an irony of ironies, the first black President, who himself is a symbol of racism being erased in our society, works hard to divide this country.  He groups blacks or Latinos or women together, and turns them against other individuals.  Scare them.  Divide and conquer.

It worked.  Playing off of existing fears and prejudices has been an effective tactic, so it's not going to stop.

CONCLUSION

What scares me is what this economy might look like after four more years.  (Oh, wait -- I forgot President Obama is going to appoint a Secretary of Business.  Never mind.  We're all good.)

If the last four years weren't bad enough for Obama voters, I'm wondering how bad it will have to get before they would change their minds.  10% unemployment?  15%?  20%?  Where do we need to get to?  How high would inflation need to go?  How low would GDP need to get?  How much much income do middle class families need to lose?  What needs to happen to make those individuals change their minds?

How weak would foreign policy and defense need to get?  Four Americans killed in Benghazi and a cover up is obviously not enough to raise any eyebrows with Democrats.  How weak would our armed forces need to get and what kind of an attack would it take to make a change?  How bad does our relationship with Israel need to get?  For that matter, how good does our relationship with Russia need to get now that there is "more flexibility" before the average voter becomes concerned?

If the last four years were not enough to convince Obama supporters, what would it take to have them switch their votes?

I honestly don't know.  I am an optimistic person, but I do not see the Republicans winning another election in current conditions.  We barely eeked out wins in 2000 and 2004.  I think we have reached a tipping point, where Democrats have played Santa Claus for so long in order to gain power, that there is no turning back.

As long as there is abortion on demand, gay rights, and free stuff for voters, then who cares about the economy?

I just don't know how bad it would have to get to change enough minds to win an election, but my fear is that we will find out.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

LOL

Which is worse:  Flip-flopping or Hypocrisy?

Obama Says to Look at "Videotape" For His Flip-Flops

When Romney changes his position on an issue, it's a "flip-flop".  When Obama changes his position on an issue, he's simply "evolving".

What would scare me infinitely more than a politician changing his/her mind based on new information would be a politician that sticks to a position in spite of new information or a change of heart because it's the politically expedient thing to do.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

President Obama's "Apology Tour"

Mitt Romney has repeatedly made reference to Pres. Obama's "Apology Tour".

FactCheck.org has repeatedly "debunked" this accusation.  They say:

"Our fact-checking colleagues at PolitiFact and the Washington Post Fact Checker both pored over those speeches, and others, and wrote detailed analyses of the content of Obama’s words. Their conclusion: Obama never apologized.  We’ve read through the speeches as well. We’ve come to the same conclusion: Nowhere did we see that the president 'apologized' for America."

It is this type of "fact-checking" that makes the fact checkers lose credibility.  They did the same thing in claiming that President Obama called the attack in Libya an "act of terror" because he said the words "acts of terror" in his speech the day after the attacks.  The fact checking focuses on semantics instead of focusing on the message.

Let's say that I get into an argument with a friend and relations are strained.  And then I call up the friend and I say:

"Look, I really messed up.  I'm a complete jerk.  I know I made you feel bad, and I shouldn't have done that.  You've always been so great to me, and I just wasn't myself the other day.  Can we be friends again?"

Did I apologize?

According to FactCheck.org and others, the answer is:  No.  Because I never used the words "sorry" or "apologize".

Mitt Romney stated it perfectly last night in the debate:

"And then the president began what I’ve called an apology tour of going to — to various nations in the Middle East and — and criticizing America."

Romney never said that Pres. Obama told the other nations "sorry".  He said that he went on an "apology tour", going to various nations in the Middle East and criticizing America.  WHICH IS EXACTLY WHAT HE DID!

So you can be the judge.  Here are excerpts, in Obama's own words, from speeches he gave on this tour of nations:



He did not, in fact, say the words "sorry" or "apologize".  But his intention seems clear.  Just like his "Rich People = Bad, Poor People = Good" philosophy, this is a "U.S. prior to his taking over the presidency = Bad, U.S after taking over his presidency = Good".  The view that America has done it wrong (i.e. Slavery, Segregation, Overthrowing Dictators, etc.) has shaped who he is.  It is is core.  He is in the Presidency to balance out fix the wrongs that have been done in the past.

Michelle slipped and said: "For the first time in my adult life, I am proud of my country."  It is who they are.  This is their core belief.  The United States is a nation that needs to be fixed.

Conservatives believe that the United States has nothing to apologize to any nation for, because the United States has done more good for the world than any other nation in the history of the world.

When the subject of foreign aid to Pakistan came up in the debate last night, I thought, We give foreign aid to Pakistan?  $20 BILLION in the last decade it turns out.  We do that all around the world.  When there is a disaster anywhere in the world, the U.S. is immediately there with resources.  Wherever there are oppressed nations or people, the U.S. steps in and fights for freedom.  The U.S. has not only protected ourselves from terrorism, but we have in turn protected the world from terrorism.    The U.S. uses its military superiority to maintain peace and balance in the world.  And on and on.

To take a tour of other nations, bowing to foreign leaders, and criticizing the United States on foreign soil is unacceptable.  I hope when Romney gets into office, he goes on an "apology tour" here at home.  I hope he apologizes to American citizens for our President flying to other nations and criticizing the U.S..  I hope he apologizes for the President of the United States making regular appearances on late night talk shows like any other celebrity (which no other sitting President had done prior to Pres. Obama.)  I hope he apologizes for the $1 trillion stimulus of taxpayer money which was squandered on ventures like the Chevy Volt and Solyndra and "Cash for Clunkers" and many other projects like them.

And he can apologize for Pres. Obama initially sympathizing with the Muslim nations in the attack and killing of U.S. citizens over a YouTube video.

If there is anything Pres. Obama needs to be apologizing for, it is the last four years.

Friday, October 19, 2012

A Significant Endorsement from a Lifelong Democrat

Lee Iaccoca, an amazing businessman and a lifelong Democrat, just endorsed Mitt Romney:

Lee Iacocca Endorses Romney for President

In my opinion, this is a very significant endorsement.

IACOCCA

I read Lee Iacocca's autobiography a few years back, and he is an impressive businessman that had a very impressive career.  He is known to be the father of the Ford Mustang.  He was on the team that thought up and designed the Mustang, along with a number of other very successful sellers for Ford.

He was eventually named the President of Ford Motor Company, where he had a lot of success.  But he did not get along well with the owner, Henry Ford II.  In 1978, he was blindsided as Henry Ford II fired him after posting a $2 billion profit.

At the time, Chrysler was on the verge of going out of business, losing millions and millions of dollars.  They brought Iacocca in to turn the company around.  He immediately went to work and made many changes, cutting costs and slashing the lines that were unprofitable and introducing new designs that he felt would be profitable.

But he realized that Chrysler simply needed more capital if they were going to survive long enough to make a recovery.  Banks weren't willing to loan him the kinds of funds he would need to turn the company around.  So in an unprecedented move for a car company, Lee Iacocca went before Congress in 1979 to ask the U.S. Government to $1.5 billion in loan guarantees so that he could get the capital he needed.  There was a lot of controversy, but the government finally relented and guaranteed the loans for Chrysler.

Iacocca took the capital and created a line of "K-Cars", like the Dodge Aries and the Chrysler LeBaron.  They also introduced the first minivans, like the Dodge Caravan.  My family actually owned two of those cars in the 80s:  a Dodge Aries station wagon, and the Dodge Colt Vista.  But so did basically everybody else.  Chrysler manufactured what the public wanted, and sales went through the roof.

The loan was to be paid off in 10 years.  Chrysler paid it off in three.  And the US government made $350 million on the deal.

THE NEW AUTO BAILOUTS

Liberals will try to compare that bailout to the bailouts of Chrysler and GM in 2009 to justify why the bailouts were okay.  There are a number of critical differences between the two.  Here are a few:

1.  Iacocca was heading up a major overhaul of Chrysler.  He was rebuilding the company from the ground up.  Employees were laid off.  Entire divisions were sold off.  He wasn't receiving money to continue business as usual.

2.  Iacocca did not ask the government for a handout.  He didn't even ask the government for a loan.  He asked the government to guarantee the loans so that he could get the money.  There is a difference.  Iacocca was able to use the U.S. Government as a co-signer, and he went to work getting the money.

3.  Iacocca went to the government for the loan guarantee.  In the case of the recent auto bailouts, it was President Obama going to the auto companies and saying, "We have money... Who wants some?"  Ford was initially involved, but pulled out when they realized they would give up control.  They are now the most profitable U.S. Automaker out of the three.

4.  The government did not seek control with Iacocca.  Is there anything that the government does efficiently?  Look at the postal service, who this week hit their $15 billion borrowing limit.  Yet the government wanted control at Chrysler and GM.  They strong-armed GM into producing the Chevy Volt, which has absolutely killed GM, and now we see stories like this.

5.  The loan that the government made to Chrysler and Iacocca was PROFITABLE.  $350 million in 1983 dollars.  If the government would let GM buy up the rest of the stock (which GM wants to do, but the government won't allow), the U.S. taxpayers would LOSE around $25 billion on the deal.

ROMNEY

There are others, but the reason I think this endorsement is so significant is that Lee Iacocca knows the auto industry.  He knows about government loans and turning car companies around.  He spent his career in the auto industry, and he was very successful.

Iacocca is endorsing the guy who suggested that the best thing for GM and Chrysler would have been to let them file for bankruptcy.

Remember, he is a lifelong Democrat.  Obama has been campaigning hard in the Midwest on the idea that Romney would have let 1,000,000 workers lose their jobs when he suggested that the best course for the auto industry was bankruptcy.

Yet, here is a Democrat and as big a car guy as exists on this earth, endorsing the guy who actually had a viable plan for turning those companies around.  He knows his stuff.



Significant endorsement indeed.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

No Bias Here (Wink, Wink)

It is amazing that a Republican ever wins an election with the onslaught of bias in the media.

Candy "Republican Ticket Death-Wish" Crowley said that they were very aware of the clock.  Apparently not:

Obama Gets More Time

Usually in a debate format, whoever gets the first word is not allowed the last word.  But over and over again, last night, Obama was allowed to get in the last word.  When Romney tried to interject and make sure he was allocated his fair amount of time, Crowley shut him down again and again.

Crowley Interrupts Romney 28 Times, Obama Just 9

It was obvious that Crowley reveled in shutting Romney down.  But what was really interesting was the first time that Obama tried to interject.  Crowley didn't know what to do.  She had to keep up the appearance of being unbiased so she needed to shut him down as well, but this was Pres. Obama!  The man who was going to slow the rise of the oceans!  Contrary to how she was with Gov. Romney, she hesitated, and then was very apologetic to Obama.

But this is nothing new:

Bizzare Coincidence: Democrats Get More Time in All Three Debates

Obama gets 8 percent more time in the first debate.  Biden gets 3 percent more time in the VP debate.  And then Obama gets 11 percent more time in second debate.  Almost a full five minutes!

For someone who likes to talk about fairness and making sure everybody is "playing by the same rules", this should really bother Obama.  But instead, the Democrats do just like Obama was doing with Crowley last night.  He would look at her and smile as if he were saying "Look at this moron!"  Just two liberals sharing a little inside joke.  The camera didn't show Crowley, but it would have been interesting to see if there were some return smiles and winks.

Reporters Applaud Obama's Slam on Romney's Wealth

(Poor Obama... Estimated Net Worth: $10 million!)

By the way, that was a deft move by Obama to make that wisecrack as it distracted from the fact that Obama had just criticized Romney for having holdings in Chinese companies and in the Cayman Islands... when he does too!  Great point, Mitt!

But this is nothing new to Republicans, who have somehow managed, despite the bias in the mainstream media and the "47%", to pull out a win in two of the last three elections.

My favorite line of the night was when Romney replied to Pres. Obama's claim that the numbers just don't add up by simply saying, "Of course they add up."  (Then citing his time in business, in the Olympics, and as governor where the buget always balanced without fail.)

Romney was not condescending in his response, like he could have (and probably should have) been.  Here was a President who has increased the deficit with each passing year and is projected to continue to increase it at record rates, and who does not have a single ounce of experience in the business world... lecturing a man who has spent his life balancing budgets and turning profits about numbers.

I heard somebody say recently that Obama couldn't run a lemonade stand.  I thought, Well, that's going a little too far.  And then I tried to picture it in my mind.  And try as I might, I honestly could not picture Obama running a successful lemonade stand.  I could picture him shooting the breeze with the customers, and I could definitely picture him giving away all the lemonade.  I could picture him leisurely making pitchers of lemonade between rounds of golf and games of basketball.  But I could not picture him turning a profit in the lemonade business.  He has absolutely no knowledge of how business works, and that is obvious when he plans to both raise taxes on business AND create jobs.  Impossible.

Romney, on the other hand, in the first year would be franchising out lemonade stands, building/buying lemon farms, cutting costs, increasing revenues, making millions of dollars in profits... and giving 14% of it away to charity.  It's what he does!

For Obama to lecture Romney about numbers adding up is laughable.  Obama has made a life out of spending taxpayer money, from college on.  It's all he knows.  It's all he's ever done.  It's what he does!

Despite the media's efforts, the debate was still only a slight edge for Obama (46% to 39% in the CNN poll, 37% to 30% in the CBS.)  Interesting though that Romney won on which candidate seemed to be the stronger leader, which candidate answered questions more directly, and which candidate would do a better job with the economy (by a margin of 18%)!

Obama edged Romney on which candidate was more likeable, and which candidate seemed to care more about the audience members.  Awww, cute!

(I wonder if Greece's President is likeable and caring too.)

The obstacles that Mitt Romney has to overcome to win this election will just make it that much more impressive when he does.  November 6th cannot come fast enough.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Obama, Benghazi, and "Acts of Terror"

One of the most talked-about moments of the debate tonight was the line about Benghazi and Obama saying that the attack on the embassy was an "act of terror".

Obama said in the debate, "The day after the attack, Governor, I stood in the Rose Garden, and I told the American people and the world that we were going to find out exactly what happened, that this was an act of terror..."

That is 100% FALSE.  False, false, false, false, false.

True, President Obama did use the words "acts of terror" in his speech... but he never said that the attack on the embassy in Benghazi was an act of terror.  Here is the official transcript.

Where does he say the attack in Benghazi was an act of terror?  He doesn't.  He begins by addressing the attacks and then says:

"Since our founding, the United States has been a nation that respects all faiths. We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. But there is absolutely no justification to this type of senseless violence. None. The world must stand together to unequivocally reject these brutal acts."

No mention of terrorism.  Then he goes on to talk about the "recent experience of war" and talks about all those that have died in the cause of freedom.  Then he says:

"Our country is only as strong as the character of our people and the service of those both civilian and military who represent us around the globe.   No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for."

Notice the "s" on "acts of terror".  He wasn't referring to a specific act of terror.  He was referring to acts of terror generally.  (Contrast that with W, speaking within minutes after the 9/11 attacks.)

In the official statement the White House released on the same day (Sept 12th), he said:

"While the United States rejects efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others, we must all unequivocally oppose the kind of senseless violence that took the lives of these public servants."

Nothing about terrorism in the Official Statement released by the White House.  If Pres. Obama had called it a terrorist attack from the beginning, then why was there all the controversey in the weeks following?  Over and over again, the White House blamed the attack on the anti-Muslim video, even though they had access to surveillance video showing there was no protest!

It was obvious that they did not want to have a foreign policy mess on their hands with less than two months to go to the election, and the White House fought it for weeks, and then doubled-down as pressure mounted:

Sep 13th (two days later):  "The protests we're seeing around the region are in reaction to this movie. They are not directly in reaction to any policy of the United States or the government of the United States or the people of the United States."

Sep 18th (a week later):  "Our belief based on the information we have is it was the video that caused the unrest in Cairo, and the video and the unrest in Cairo that helped -- that precipitated some of the unrest in Benghazi and elsewhere. What other factors were involved is a matter of investigation."

Sep 19th (over a week later): "Right now I'm saying we don't have evidence at this point that this was premeditated or preplanned to coincide on a -- to happen on a specific date or coincide with that anniversary."

Obama might have gotten away with it... except this fits exactly with his theme of apologizing for America and inferring that we bring these terrorist attacks on ourselves.  His first instinct is to sympathize and side with those "protesters" who murdered the American citizens!  Incredulous.

Mitt Romney was dead on in his criticism!  It was Pres. Obama who was playing politics by spinning the attack from minute one.  Redirecting blame and withholding information.  The lecture he gave to Romney about "shame on you for playing politics" made me want to throw up, knowing how he has handled the situation.

I would say I disagree with Obama's strategy in the Middle East... but I have no idea what his strategy is in the Middle East!  Libya's government was being overthrown, our missiles were being launched into the country (without Congress declaring an act of war, by the way), and Pres. Obama made no statement of his strategy or position.  It was the strangest thing I've ever seen out of a President.

There is unrest in Egypt and Yemen.  Iran is on the verge of building nuclear weapons.  Syria is a complete mess.  And we have a President who is more worried about hurting the terrorists feelings than defending ourselves against them.

Unbelievable.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Romney's "Lack of Details"

I have to say that I am impressed.

Romney and Ryan have done something that I do not believe I have seen in modern politics.  Time after time, they have been pressed for details on their economic plan.  In the debates, they have been pressed for details on how they plan to close the budget.  They don't give a lot of specifics.  Romney came closest by talking about possibly cutting government funding for PBS, which set the liberals on fire.

As I have thought about it, I have wondered if they are purposely keeping the programs they plan on cutting under wraps because that would just be fodder for the news media to demonize them like they attempted to do with Big Bird (until they found out "Big Bird" was part of the "1%".

But Ryan said something in the VP debate that I now realize Romney has been saying all along, but I never picked up on.  Here is the video:

Paul Ryan Pressed for Details on Tax Plan During Debate

I am amazed.  What Ryan said, in essence, was, "There are no details.  We have the frame work and the plan for what needs to be done, but we will work with Congress on how we execute that plan.  We will work out the details together."

The moderator tried to press him as if the lack of details was a bad thing, and the Huffington Post is inferring the same thing in this article.  But to me, it was one of the most refreshing things I've heard.  Romney's stock just jumped 10 points in my book.

In this world of PR and spin and letting political expediency direct decisions... Romney and Ryan present a plan with no details.  I love it.  No political fear!

It is Pres. Barack Obama who comes in with a Health Care Bill and rams it through with no bipartisan support.  It is Pres. Barack Obama and the Democratic leadership who would not even allow Republicans into talks about what was going into the bill.  Make a plan, and ram it through whether the opposition likes it or not.  That has been the Obama way.

Mitt Romney comes from the business world.  He knows that you will not get very far by ramming ideas through with no regard for the the people you lead.

Romney is going to sit down with Congress on the first day in office and say, "We need to balance this budget.  To do that, we are going to have to stimulate growth in the economy to create jobs and increase revenues, and we are going to have to cut spending.  Everybody, including Republicans, are going to make sacrifices in order to compromise.  What are everybody's ideas?"  Maybe he asks both the Republicans and the Democrats to prioritize the programs they want to keep, and then start by looking at those with the lowest priority from each side.

This is why Romney has a hard time describing his tax cuts.  Looking back on the First Presidential Debate, I realize that he was saying that he has a plan to cut taxes to stimulate growth, and he wants to close loopholes in the tax code in order to generate more revenue.  But when Pres. Obama pressed him on raising taxes on the middle, Romney promised that he will not raise taxes on the middle class, even if that means not cutting taxes for the wealthy.

He sets up the general plan, defines guidelines and limits, and allows Congress to work out the details.  If it appears that taxes are going to be raised on the middle class, then something else will have to give because that is a top priority in his plan.  He cannot say which loopholes will be closed specifically, because Congress will decide that... together.  Democrats and Republicans.

It just occurred to me that Joe Biden said a number of times last night that Republicans need to "just get out of the way."  That perfectly describes how the Obama Administration had "led" over the past 4 years.

This idea of "lack of details" is so novel in the current world of politics, I am almost speechless thinking about it.  It is one of the most refreshing concepts I've heard in a long time.  Why is nobody talking about this???

The left and the media will continue to bash Romney for the lack of details in his plan, but to me, that may be the most impressive thing about his plan!  I only hope he gets the opportunity to implement it.  We haven't seen somebody with this level of business and leadership acumen in the White House in a long time -- Maybe ever.

As someone who has studied a lot of business and management in my day, this concept is music to my ears.

I have to say that I am impressed.  Very impressed.  Well done, Mitt.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Amazing Hypocrisy

Just saw this story:

Wasserman Schultz: Wrong Statements About Libya Doesn't Mean They Were False

I just watched Stephanie Cutter, the Deputy Campaign Manager, saying essentially the same thing on CNN. They only had certain information to begin with, so they put forward what they had.  And when more information came forward, they put forward that new information.

What amazes me is that this is the same party and the same people that have accused Pres. Bush of lying and hiding intelligence because he wanted to take the nation to war in Iraq.

At the time, EVERYBODY thought Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction (including you Democrats who are reading this, if you're being honest with yourself.)  The coalition of all of the other countries who joined in on the invasion all believed so.  He had sought weapons of mass destruction.  He had attacked his own people and surrounding nations.  He had a history of harboring and assisting terrorists.  He refused to let U.N. Inspectors in to to do their investigations, and all signs and intelligence pointed to his having and being willing to use WMDs.

Pres. Bush acted on the intelligence he had at the time, but no major stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction were found after the invasion.  When Pres. Bush does it, he's a liar.  When Pres. Obama does it, he was just acting on the information he had at the time.

Amazing.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Republicans & Racism

I read this article not too long ago:

Racism Could Sway the Election

The article takes the comments of a few extreme individuals to generalize and stereotype and to further the idea that liberals are always trying to push that Republicans are somehow racist; that there will be individuals who will not vote for President Obama because he is black.  I am sure that will be the case for a few, but the general implication here is that if you don't vote for President Obama, it is because you are a racist.

And then today, I read another poll that had Obama and Romney tied at 47% of the popular vote.  But what really caught my eye was the diagram:



Most of the detail on the votes was kind of to be expected.  Males tend to vote a little more Republican.  Women tend to vote a little more Democrat.  And then it didn't surprise me that most people that defined themselves as Republican were voting for Romney, and most that are Democrat are voting for Obama.

What did surprise me was to see the number of black voters voting for Obama.  Compare the breakdown of the white voters with the breakdown of the black voters.  98% of black voters in this poll are voting for Obama!

I have news for you, Mr. Colbert King... If individuals are voting for Obama because he is black, that is equally as racist as not voting for him because he is black.  And that appears to be a lot more prevalant, statistically speaking.

The truth is that if it was Mitt Romney with President Obama's policies, and President Obama with Mitt Romney's policies, I would be voting for President Obama.  Skin color is not a factor in my vote.

If you pay attention, you'll notice that it's always liberals bringing up race.  They are the ones that are interested in specifying race on college entrance forms and job applications.  Republicans just want to treat all individuals equally.  In the case of a job application, how about give the job to the person that is best suited and most qualified for the job, regardless of race?  Why not give scholarships based on economic hardship (if that is the purpose of the scholarship) instead of race?  Discrimination against individuals who are white (or against individuals who are Mormon) is still discrimination.

Why constantly bring up skin color?  Just leave it alone.  Republicans want all individuals to succeed in an equal playing field with equal opportunity, while Democrats want equal outcomes for all.  There is a difference.

Isn't it ironic that in the 1860s, it was our first Republican President, Abraham Lincoln, and the Republican party who started the ball rolling by battling and literally giving their lives in many cases to free the slaves, while the Democrats battled to defend slavery and slaveowners.  To this day, Republicans are still fighting to erase discrimination based on race.

To vote against President Obama because you disagree with him is not racist.  He is a person, just like rest of us.  It just so happens that he is a person who has absolultely no understanding of how the economy works.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Mitt Romney & The Auto Bailouts

Our economy is constantly flirting with disaster.  We now talk in "trillions" instead of "billions" when we talk about deficits and debt.  The budget deficit is higher than it has ever been.  We will once again hit our debt limit after the election.  The Democrat party's solution is to just increase the limit.

(That is the right thing to do, right?  If I have a couple cars I can't afford and a house payment I can't afford and $50,000 in credit card debt I can't pay back... The obvious solution is to increase my credit card limit, right?  That way I can make some of my payments on my credit card.  That will fix the problem!)

By nearly every economic measure, we are worse off today than we were when President Obama took office.  And the Obama administration defense is always, "Well... it's not as bad as it could have been!"

Pres. Obama himself said, "You don't raise taxes in a recession."  And yet, that is his entire platform.  He obviously understands the principle, but his only path to re-election is by creating division.  Rich people = Bad.  Poor people = Good.  He pushes this platform despite the fact that if you took 100% of the income of all of the richest people in the world, it would not even make a dent.

DETROIT, OHIO?

But the strategy is to divert and distract from Obama's record and even his platform.

Question:  When you think of the auto industry, which city and state do you think of?  Bet you didn't say Ohio.

The heart of the auto industry in the U.S. is Detroit, which is located in Michigan.  But if you were getting your information from the Democratic convention, you would think the headquarters were in Ohio.  Almost every speaker talked about the auto bailouts, and every speaker that spoke about the bailouts talked first about saving jobs in Ohio.

Yes, there are auto industry jobs in Ohio, but the number of auto industry jobs in Ohio is minimal when compared with the number in Michigan.  So why did they keep talking about all the auto industry jobs in Ohio?  Because Ohio is one of the most critical swing states in this election.  The Democrats were pandering to Ohio voters and assuming they would just buy what they were saying.

"LET DETROIT GO BANKRUPT"

If there had been a pool on which phrase would be used the most in the Democratic National Convention, with all the issues facing our country, who knew it would be "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt"?

Speaker after speaker after speaker spoke about how Mitt Romney wanted to "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt."  This has been something that Obama has really been hammering on as he has traveled around the swing states.

What those speakers were referring to was a well thought-out and well-written op-ed article by Mitt Romney prior to the bailouts entitled "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt"

The Democrats have pushed this to mean that Mitt Romney was saying that "Let Detroit Go Out of Business".  Those who believe that have not taken the time to read the article.  Mitt Romney, who has made a career as a turnaround artist, was laying out a plan for the auto industry to succeed!  Read the article!

BANKRUPTCY

The reason that Detroit was in financial trouble in the first place is that they were not running a good business!  Simple as that.  How is giving them more money going to continue to do business the same way as they have always done it (and then forcing them to build cars that nobody wants to buy on top of that) going to fix anything?  Please, somebody, explain that logic to me!

Mitt Romney was making the argument that the best way to SAVE the auto industry was through bankruptcy.  For the Obama administration to equate "bankruptcy" with "shutting the doors and firing all the workers" demonstrates their complete lack of understanding of how business works.

Delta Airlines filed bankruptcy in 2005.  So how did I take a flight with them in April 2012?  Who were all those employees in the Delta uniforms?  Here is a snapshot:

Delta Airlines, Inc.

Before Bankruptcy (2004):

# Employees:  70,000
Net Loss:  -$5 billion

After Bankruptcy (2011):

# Employees:  75,000
Net Income:  $854 million

Delta employs MORE people now than before they declared bankruptcy, and they are obviously having more financial success than before.  Despite what the Obama administration would have voters believe, "bankruptcy" does not necessarily equal "out of business".

FORD

Perhaps the greatest evidence of Obama being dead wrong on this issue is Ford Motor Co.  The government wanted Ford to take a bailout along with GM & Chrysler.  But when Ford found out that the government wanted control in the company in exchange for the loan, they told the government to take a hike.  Thanks, but no thanks.

In 2008, the year of the bailouts, Ford reported a loss of $14.7 billion dollars.  GM lost $16.8 billion.  And Chrysler lost $16.8 billion.  GM and Chrysler took bailouts.  Ford, on the other hand, fired their CEO and hired Alan Mullaly from Boeing, and started to work to fix the problems.

Then, in the irony of ironies, the government (run by the Obama administration -- the same ones who are railing on Romney for saying "let Detroit go bankrupt") forced GM and Chrysler into Chapter 11 structured bankruptcy as part of its conditions of the government loan.  Romney said "let Detroit go bankrupt"... and Obama actually forced them to go bankrupt.

Then Obama mandated that Chevrolet start manufacturing and selling energy-efficient cars like Volts.  And Ford went to work producing what the consumers wanted.  So how did the story end up?

2011 Net Incomes/Losses

Chrysler:  $183 million
GM:  $7.6 billion
Ford:  $20.2 billion

Now let me ask the question -- Which of these three companies would you want to work for if you had to choose?

And now we see these reports:

General Motors is Headed for Bankruptcy -- Again (Aug 15, 2012)
GM Complains U.S. Government Won't Let Company Pay CEO More (Apr 27, 2012)
U.S. Treasury Rejects Sale of GM Stake (Sep 17, 2012)

On the last article, GM wants to buy the government out of their shares to gain back control, but the government won't allow them to (before the election in November), because the U.S. will have lost $15 billion on the bailout.  The shares are at about $24/share and would need to get to $53/share for the government to break even.

CONCLUSION

Ford and Delta have proved that Romney was dead on by saying the best thing for Detroit was to "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt."  Not suprising, considering his success over the years.  GM & Chrysler would have been forced to fix their problems just like Ford did, and employees would be more secure today instead of looking at bankruptcy again.

Obama can talk about how Romney would have had hundreds of thousands of people lose their jobs by letting the auto industry go bankrupt while he actually oversees hundreds of thousands of people losing their jobs each month through his policies.

Here is a little tip, Mr. Obama.  You know how we raise a tax on cigarettes to discourage the use of cigarettes?  And how we give tax breaks (credits) for hybrids to encourage people to buy hybrids?  Lowering taxes on something means there will be more of that something.  Raising taxes on something means there will be less of that something.  Simple economic principles.

Raising taxes on business has never, can never, and will never create a single job.  It defies logic.  And raising taxes is the entire Obama platform.

It won't just be Detroit that goes bankrupt if Obama gets re-elected.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Polling Numbers in the Presidential Election

Great article with insights on polling numbers:

Why the Polls Under State the Romney Vote

It's amazing how even polling can be used strategically to sway voters.

It ain't over until it's over.  Keep fighting for conservatism!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Are We Better Off Than We Were 4 Years Ago?

This debate about whether we are better off four years ago than we are today is silly.  We either are or we aren't.  Bill Clinton spent a lot of times last night explaining why he thinks we are better off, and there are people on the other side of the aisle explaining why they think we are not better off.  Everybody has an opinion, but opinions are not what count.  What are the facts?

Are we better off than we were four years ago or not?  Let's look at the numbers.

GDP Growth

2009:  -5.3%
2010:  2.3%
2011:  1.7%
2012, Q2 (The latest data we have):  1.5%

Unemployment Rate

January 2009:  7.8%
July 2012:  8.3%

Real Unemployment Rate

February 2009: 14.8%
July 2012:  15.0%

U.S. Debt

January 2009:  $10.6 trillion
September 2012:  $16 trillion

U.S. Budget Deficit

October 2008:  -$413 billion
October 2012:  -$1.1 trillion

It's simple math, right, Bill?  7.8% - 8.3% = -0.5%.  So unemployment is 0.5% higher than it was when Obama took office.  We are not better off.  The debt has increased by $6 trillion, and the annual budget deficit has almost tripled in size since Obama took office.

Injecting $1 trillion into the economy gave a short-term bump to GDP as expected, but the stimulus was squandered and wasted on companies like Solyndra, and that flash in the pan is done, and the economy continues to drop, quarter after quarter.  Growth has been anemic since the housing market crash.

By every other measure, we are worse off today than we were four years ago.  The Democrats can claim that "it's not as bad as it could have been" all they want, but they cannot honestly say we are better off as a nation than we were when Pres. Obama took office in January 2009.

The numbers don't lie.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Out of Touch

This focus on who had the most humble upbringing is strange to me.  Let me get this straight:  Are the Democrats saying that if Barack Obama had been born into the George Romney family, he would somehow be less qualified to be President?  And if Mitt Romney had been born to Barack Obama Sr., he would be a much better choice for President?

Isn't it instead a matter of what you do with the life you are given?

But when I hear people say that Mitt Romney is out of touch, I have to laugh.  According to CelebrityNetWorth.com:

Mitt Romney, Estimated Net Worth:  $250 million
Barack Obama, Estimated Net Worth:  $12 million

Poor Barack.  He knows what it's like to only be able to buy one Ferrari per month, unlike Mitt who can buy a Ferrari every week.  Poor Barack has to charter a private jet instead of buying his own personal private jet.  Poor Barack can only order the caviar, while Mitt can order the caviar and the lobster tails.

The truth is that the way the our political system is set up, it is very difficult to make a successful run at President of the United States without being wealthy.  That's just the way it is.  And not surprisingly... the Democrats had no problem with John Kerry, who was worth an estimated $240 million when he was running for President.

Both Mitt Romney and Barack Obama (and Michelle) attended private charter schools for high school.  Both graduated from Harvard University... You know, where the "common folk" graduate.  Is whoever came out with the most student loans somehow the measure of who will be the better leader?

The Democrats have worked hard to make everybody believe that Mitt Romney was given everything he has.  I don't know what help his parents offered him over the years.  Did they buy groceries?  Did they buy his textbooks?  I don't know.  What I do know is that Romney took the $1 million inheritance that his father left him and donated it.  That tells me that Mitt did not want help -- He wanted to be a self-made man.

In 1993, after he graduated from Harvard, Barack and Michelle bought a simple $278,000 condo.  They later moved into a $1.65 million house in Hyde Park.  In 2005, when Obama began serving in the U.S. Senate, their combined salary was $479,062.  How could he not understand the "middle class folks", making 10 times the average household income?  Last year, they made $844,355.  They were definitely "down for the struggle"!

To me, "out of touch" has less to do with the bank account balance and more to do with one's actions.

Michelle Obama Spain Trip Cost Taxpayers $467,000
Obama Family Taking Separate Planes to $4 Milion Taxpayer Funded Hawaiian Vacation
Obamas Take Two Planes to Martha's Vineyard (A Few Hours Apart)
Michelle Obama's Hawaii Outfits Include $2,000 Sundress
Michelle Obama Sparks Fury After Splashing Out on $6,800 Designer Jacket

Now don't get me wrong -- I have no problem with someone buying a $2,000 sundress or a $6,800 designer jacket or a $1.65 million house.  I even understand that Presidents need to take vacations too (although vacationing in Spain and taking separate planes to the destination is obviously extravagant and wasteful), and I understand that it is expensive to protect our President and his family, and that there will be significant costs.  If Mitt Romney wants to build a $55k underground parking garage at his house so his whole family can park there, that is cool.  I wish I had one!  That is more money injected into the economy that creates and sustains jobs.  If they have the money, more power to them.

But for the Democrats to make the case that Barack Obama somehow knows better than Mitt Romney what it is like to live in poverty is absolutely ridiculous.

You have to focus on the actions:

Grant Bennett Details Mitt Romney's Devotion to Service, Faith
Romney Tax Returns Show $7 Million in Donations Over 2 Years
An Inside Look at the Millions Mitt Romney Has Given Away
Romney Worked Mostly Without Salary
Romney Paid 42 Percent of 2011 Income in Taxes and Charity

There are individuals like Bono from U2 ($900 million) or Paul Newman or Bill & Melinda Gates ($62 billion) who make Mitt Romney's $250 million look like chump change, yet it is obvious by what they do with what they have been given that they are not "out of touch".

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Heartless

I just listened to Nancy Keenan speak at the DNC Convention.  Ms. Keenan is the President of NARAL (National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action.)

She spoke about abortion and mentioned how every woman out to have the right to safe abortions.  The audience clapped and cheered just like they did when the previous speaker was talking about everybody getting a good education.

I was shocked.  The idea of abortion has always been a horrible thought in my mind.  But as I sat and watched thousands of people whooping and hollering and standing and clapping their hands at their right to terminate life, it made me sick inside.

I guess I can see how some individuals would make the argument that the government should not be able to tell them what to do.  But I guess I kind of thought the subject would be treated with respect and reverence and with a bit of sadness.  The Democrats are supposed to be the kind-hearted party who want to help everyone -- Especially those who cannot help themselves.  That element is something I have always respected about the Democratic party.

And yet, the same party who is against the death penalty for convicted killers is for the taking of innocent life by unborn children who did nothing.  It really is mind-boggling.

From pamf.org:

"Vacuum aspiration (the suction method) is the most common type of abortion. It is a surgical procedure that involves anesthesia (mild sedation) and can be performed within the first trimester of pregnancy. During vacuum aspiration, the cervix (opening of the uterus) is gently dilated (widened) about a quarter-inch, a narrow tube is inserted through the vagina and cervix to the uterus, and then pregnancy and contents of the uterine internal lining are vacuumed out. The procedure takes only a couple minutes and the woman can usually return home later in the day."

Having gone in to the doctor and heard the heartbeat of my children and seen the ultrasounds at 8 weeks, the fact that we as a nation openly support abortion is unfathomable to me.  Just go in, simple procedure, vacuum it all out, return home, and go about your day.  Maybe hit the grocery store or see a movie.

If I agreed with every other issue of the Democratic party, I could not support them because of this one issue.  The liberals always want to talk about the woman's right to choose.  They use words like "terminate" and "fetus" to remove emotion.  They always focus on the exceptions like rape and incest and abortion instead of the rule.  The vast majority of abortions that are performed have nothing to do with rape, incest, or abortion -- The vast majority have to do with convenience.

The right of a woman to choose... to choose to stop a heartbeat, when her actions are the reason that heartbeat started in the vast majority of cases.

Amazing.

"... the same policies that got us into this mess..."

The Democratic Convention opens today.  The #1 line we will hear at the convention (based on the #1 talking point that every Democrat has been using over the past few weeks) is "Are we going to go back to the same policies that got us into this mess in the first place?"

Unfortunately for the Democrats, they are just condemning themselves every time they make that statement.

The line is obviously meant to implicate Pres. Bush for enacting policies to get us into the financial crisis.  So the question has to be, Which policies exactly did Pres. Bush or the Republicans enact to get us into this mess?  For any liberals out there, I challenge you to name one.

"THE BUSH TAX CUTS"

The Democrats will often point to the Bush Tax Cuts as a major factor for getting us into the mess we're in today.

When Pres. Bush took office, the first quarter GDP was -1.3%.  Decide carefully here, Democrats:  If the GDP was negative the first quarter Bush was in office, who is to blame?  If Bush was to blame for what happened in his first quarter, then Obama was to blame for what happened in his.  But if Obama is not to blame, then that means that Bush did not inherit a booming economy from Clinton.

The Dot Com bubble, where small businesses in the late 1990s opened in droves to try to capitalize on the new Internet craze, had been responsible for the major portion of growth in the economy during that period.  In the year 2000, the last year of the Pres. Clinton administration, that bubble burst, and many of those companies failed.

A recession is two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth.  A depression is more than two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth.  Bush took office in January 2001.  There was a recession from March 2001 to November 2001.  Who is to blame, Democrats?

So Bush inherited an economy with a GDP of -1.3% (and didn't go around blaming Clinton.)  Then nine months after Bush took office, 9/11 rocked our country and the world.  The strike on the World Trade Centers was a strike at the financial heart of the country.  Uncertainty is like kryptonite to economic growth as both individuals and companies freeze spending and start saving.  Those were the most uncertain times I've seen in my lifetime.  By all measures, we should have moved into an economic tailspin.

In order to fight uncertainty and encourage spending, Pres. Bush and Congress almost immediately passed the Bush tax cuts.  The vote was 230-197 in the House, and 62-38 in the Senate.  24% of the Democrats in the Senate voted for the tax cuts.  Another 14% chose not to vote, likely out of political expediency.

The numbers show that a recession never happened after 9/11.  The economy was steadied.  The Bush tax cuts were passed in 2001 and expanded in 2003.  How was economic growth during those years?:

2001:  1.1%  (Bush Tax Cuts Passed)
2002:  1.8%
2003:  2.5%  (Bush Tax Cuts Expanded)
2004:  3.5%
2005:  3.1%
2006:  2.7%
2007:  1.9%

All positive growth numbers leading up to 2008, with an average of 2.37% growth, and no recessions.  So how exactly did the policy of the Bush Tax Cuts negatively impact the economy?

Even the Democrats agree.  In 2010, with Pres. Obama in office and Democratic Majorities in the House and Senate--In other words, Democrats had control to do anything they wanted--Congress passed extensions of the Bush Tax Cuts!  So that obviously must not be a policy that got us into this mess.

"TWO UNFUNDED WARS"

The other major thing I hear the Democrats point to is that Bush got us into two unfunded wars.  They always emphasize the "unfunded" part to describe how Bush moved us from a surplus under Clinton to a deficit by going to war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

First of all, Democrats cannot claim that unfunded spending is a problem or leads to economic problems, because Pres. Obama's nearly $1 trillion stimulus was unfunded!  How do you fix an economic problem through unfunded stimulus spending if unfunded spending causes economic problems?  It's a flawed argument.

Furthermore, Democrats use unfunded military spending to excuse the growth the took place under Reagan.  If we look at the numbers after Reagan took over, it was obvious that Reaganomics (a.k.a. Supply-Side Economics, a.k.a. "Voodoo Economics") worked just like it was supposed to.

In 1981, when Pres. Reagan took office, the economy was a mess (as it is now.)  Reagan slashed taxes and focused on deregulation.  Here are the results from 1980 when Carter left office to 1988 when Regan left office:

Unemployment
1980:  7.0%
1988:  5.4%

Inflation Rate
1980:  10.0%
1988:  4.0%

Growth
1980:  -0.3%
1988:  4.1%

And most interestingly, by lowering tax rates, tax receipts nearly doubled!  From $517 billion in 1980 to $1.03 trillion in 1990.  Yes, lower taxes led to significantly higher tax revenues.  Amazing, huh?

So how can Democrats claim that "supply-side economics have never worked whenever they have been tried" when they obviously did work under Reagan.  They claim that the economic growth during the Reagan administration was actually caused by an increase in government spending as the U.S. was in an arms race with the Soviet Union, which would be in harmony with Keynesian economics.

So, Democrats, how can an unfunded war be part of the policies that got us into this mess when an unfunded war is the Democratic rationalization for why we experienced such tremendous growth in the 1980s?  Otherwise, how do you justify the turnaround in the economy under Reagan?

SO WHAT POLICIES DID GET US INTO THIS MESS?

If we examine what policies did get us into this mess, we know it all began with AIG back in the summer of 2008.  AIG is an insurance group that is one of the largest companies in the world, who have holdings throughout the world.  They had made risky investments in debt securities that were backed by sub-prime mortgages.

A sub-prime mortgage is a high-risk loan.  Many sub-prime mortgages were given to borrowers throughout the 2000s in the form of ARMs, where the interest rate begins at a set lower rate for a specific term, usually 3- or 5- years.  These loans are given specifically to individuals who can't the fixed rate payment.  It is a way to get individuals into houses they cannot afford.

Leading up to 2008, there was a boom in the housing market.  New construction was going through the roof throughout the country.  The prices of homes skyrocketed because of demand.

Any economist will tell you that the economy runs in natural cycles, and many economists speculated that the housing bubble would not and could not last.  In early 2008, the housing bubble burst.  Too many houses, not enough buyers, and people began to unload houses at discounts to get their houses sold.  That meant that all the other sellers had to drop their prices to be competitive, and housing prices on the whole dropped through the floor.

Suddenly all these individuals who were in sub-prime mortgages who were hitting the end of their terms had to make hundreds of dollars more in payments each month that they couldn't afford.  So they started trying to unload their houses, but couldn't because they were upside down on them.

Then the waves of foreclosures started to hit as individuals couldn't make the payments and couldn't sell the homes.  I've seen this firsthand with relatives down in the Las Vegas area.  There were tons of individuals who had seen their friends doubling their money on property investments, so they decided to jump on the train and invest in real estate, only to see their investments lose half their value almost overnight.

Suddenly, AIG was holding a ton of bad debt.  Their credit rating was downgraded, they couldn't meet their obligations, and it looked as if they were set to fail.

That is when the federal government stepped in and deemed AIG "too big to fail" rather than letting them suffer the natural consequences of making risky investments.  Congress, which included the vast majority of House and Senate Democrats, passed the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) to bail AIG out.  Later votes came to bail out other industries like the auto industry that were deemed "too big to fail."

I don't agree with Bush and Congress on the bailouts, but all of their experts were warning them of the consequences of letting those businesses fail, so I can see why they voted the way they did, and I respect their actions.

(SIDE NOTE:  It drives me nuts when people like Pres. Obama talk about saving the auto industry.  If GM had gone bankrupt, that does not mean GM would have gone out of business.  Somebody simply would have bought them.  The name, the plants, the infrastructure are all too valuable.  Somebody would have bought them and worked to fix the problems that got them into financial trouble.  All the GM workers would still be working.  And the workers would likely be more secure than they are now, because the business process would have been improved.  **See Ford Motor Co., who said no to a government bailout.)

FANNIE & FREDDIE

So any Democrat who claims that Romney is going to go back to "the same policies that got us in this mess in the first place" has to be able to point to where Bush enacted some policy that affected AIG and the sub-prime mortgages, because that is what caused this mess.

The real problem stems from government intervention into natural markets.  For years, the federal government has established programs to get people who cannot afford to buy houses to be able to buy houses.  Some of these programs are the FHA (Federal Housing Administration), HUD (Housing and Urban Development), and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

As an example, HUD has a program where the borrower may put $100 down to purchase a house.  The problem is, If someone buying a house cannot scrimp and save and scrape together 5% for a down payment on a house, that may not be a good sign about their ability to pay back the loan.

FHA loans are government loans that require a reduced amount, and the down payment can come from various sources other than the individual. Both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are government-sponsored enterprises that were established to increase the supply of money for loans.  They government has created these programs to get more individuals into homes, because they deem it as another "right" for individuals.

As with most Democratic programs, artificially manipulating the market only leads to problems down the road.  If we create departments and pass legislation that allows people who can't afford homes to buy homes, we shouldn't be surprised later down the road when they can't afford their homes.

Those Democratic policies and departments and regulations are what got us into this mess in the first place.  Now let me ask the Democrats:  Is it caring and charitable to get someone into a house they will not be able to afford and that will eventually be their biggest stress and has the potential to lead to their financial destruction?

CONCLUSION

Democrats will do their best to try to tie Romney to Bush, which is silly because Bush was largely successful.  He worked with Congress to pass legislation with bipartisan support much better than Obama has, he protected America with programs and policies that led us to finding Bin Laden, gas prices plummeted under his policies, the economy was stable and grew steadily, much better than it has under Obama.  In fact, if the housing boom had continued for another year or two, the Democrats would have no mess to point to at all.

It seems that no matter the issue, Democratic politicians and commentators are hypocrites.  They rail on the Bush Tax Cuts, but then choose to extend them.  They rail on Bush about interrogation tactics and Guantanamo Bay; Pres. Obama chooses to keep Guantanamo Bay.  They talk about the record deficit that Bush created with his spending on two unfunded wars, but then blow that record out of the water by spending twice that much on unfunded stimulus money and then add unfunded universal health care of top of that.

The Democrats say "Are we going to go back to the same policies that got us into this mess in the first place?", and I say, "No -- That's why I'm voting for Mitt Romney."