## Monday, July 25, 2011

### HERE IS WHY IT IS BOGUS TO FURTHER TAX THE WEALTHY!!!

I got to thinking things through a little bit more so I decided to do some basic math for everyone to give a rough idea as to why it makes no sense to increase the taxes on the wealthy. As a matter of fact, I strongly believe that the wealthy should be paying just as much (percentage wise) as the middle class does.

Let's say for example that you have 100 individuals that make exactly \$1 million per year. As of this year, people who make \$1 million are taxed, on average at 32.3% with a marginal tax rate of 35%. That equates to \$322,694 for each individual and \$32,269,400 for all 100.

Now, let's assume we are comparing these 100 millionaires to individuals who are classified as the "middle class". How many people would it take to accumulate that much in taxes if each middle class individual in this scenario made \$50,000 per year? Well, let us first take into account that the average tax rate for middle class persons is 10.7 percent with a marginal tax rate of 25%. So, we'll assume that the figure is around \$10,000 per year. That means that it would take 3,227 middle class earners at \$50,000 per year to accumulate what 100 millionaires at \$1 million per year pay in taxes.

Keep in mind that this is just a simple comparison and it doesn't necessarily count for the spectrum encompassed by tax brackets.

I've been reading into this a bit, and I came across information I was not aware of until today. These millionaires, which consist of roughly 4% of America's population, collectively pay more taxes than the bottom 95% (this consists of Americans with an income less than \$160,000 per year).

This begs the question: is it even remotely fair to increase taxes on the wealthy when they are already paying absurd amounts in taxes as it is?! It's pretty depressing knowing that I may earn \$100 million dollars over a period of time, only to realize that \$35 million of it was paid in taxes.

That means that I will have paid more taxes than 107 people with an average of \$50,000 earnings per year over the course of 30 years! I'm sorry folks, this is just flat out wrong on the part of the government. Make more money, lose WAY more! The general consensus is that these people have more money to lose, but they worked for the money they earned. A lot of these "corporate jet owners" earned their way to the lifestyles they live today. They enjoy these luxuries because it is their right, which was bestowed upon them by our founding fathers. It was not a privilege granted to them with limitations. If I made billions of dollars, I would definitely be investing in a private jet!

Every one of those millionaires has earned the ability to live a lavish lifestyle, and people cry foul...why? Because it's not you? Hey, I would love to be in their shoes for a day, let alone a lifetime. But I don't hate them for it. I applaud them for their successes. They made the right investments, employed the right workers to advertise and manage their businesses and affairs, and have been greatly rewarded for their tenacity over several years and decades. And yet, people want to take away their right to live their dreams. Not only is that wrong, but it is completely selfish on the part of those people who condemn their actions and choice of living.

This is yet another clear example of why America is failing itself. We pride ourselves as being a free country; yet, we are quickly taking away our freedoms. Taking so much more money away from those who already give too much as it is: that is a perfect example of how unjust the system has become. When people see this, it takes the desire away from someone who wants to move forward.

You know what the truly sad part of this is? Here I am, providing every reason why taxes shouldn't be hiked on the wealthy and I overlooked another shocking fact that I came upon: the amount of Americans who don't even pay taxes...

It's bad enough that the rich are getting practically murdered with tax dues and the government is getting away with it. The government refuses to take into account that - out of all Americans that file their taxes - 47% of all filers do not even pay taxes. I'll say it again...nearly half of all Americans who file do not pay anything in taxes. I am willing to bet that a good majority of them are also taking advantage of food stamps, medicaid, WIC, free tuition, and any other free benefits. You know that all that is being funded by - who else - the tax payer!

So, not only is our government spending money that the country doesn't have: they want the rich to be less rich and they want to keep giving lower income families public assistance that tax payers are funding...right. I am completely flabbergasted by all of this. How could we have gotten to this point? OH, THAT'S RIGHT...we elected people so that they could carry out their agendas in a manner that would get them re-elected and not necessarily do what was ACTUALLY GOOD for the country.

Can we please wake up now? On my next blog, I will be talking more about public benefits and how horrible American taxpayers are being screwed by it. Additionally, I will be presenting my opinion as to how I think this can be resolved. Since no politicians are coming up with good ideas, SOMEONE has to have some kind of idea. Stay tuned...

### Obama's Speech on Debt Ceiling...WOW...

I'm sorry, but this is just getting nauseating to me. I won't lie, I was hopeful that there would be something substantive in this speech considering the graveness of the situation...NOPE! It ends up being more of the same: finger pointing, blaming the other side, millionaire this and corporate jet owner that. When does it end? President Obama mentions that it's going to take an effort from both sides (I'm glad he didn't use the word bipartisan because I would have regurgitated my dinner...but it's the same darn thing!), but how can he expect both sides to work if he is trying to discredit one side from the get go?

I would also like to cite a quote from his speech which I absolutely detested seeing: "I won't bore you with the details of every plan or proposal, but basically, the debate has centered around two different approaches." (Obama, 2011) (You can read the full transcript here)

There are two reasons why I can't stand seeing or hearing a line like this. The first is that it makes Americans look and feel stupid. It's like a parent telling a child that they wouldn't understand this because it is for adults only. The second reason - which I feel is more important - is that this automatically turns me off of what is going to be said because it will lack any substantive points. Please, President Obama, BORE US WITH THE DETAILS!!! I think we are all the more agitated because we are not being given any details with regards to anything going on in the government today. I want to know what is going on with my country! I want to know how you plan to reduce the debt ceiling and how you plan to cut spending. I would love for all of this to be itemized and placed in a document for public viewing so that those of us who are interested can actually take a look and make sure that the numbers equate to your planned savings. Not telling America is only going to increase tension against the government.

Case in point, the definition of Politics has now become smoke and mirrors. A candidate need only be able to speak in an intelligent and articulate manner and be able to put up an abundant amount of smoke and mirrors along their campaign trail to be elected into office. If you have the gift of gab, have a degree and some time in the military you are a lock for being elected into office. Sales experience will be considered a huge plus! I don't know how it was prior to me paying attention, but I can't recall one time where a president, senator, or governor has ever given a speech or presented a document outlining a plan or bill with complete detail: to include any hidden spending or earmarks, pork, etc.

I would also like to point out that President Obama used the word Republican(s) a total of nine times: all but one time being in a negative context. For someone who wants a joint effort in resolving our economic situation, this speech was definitely not a strong selling point. The one positive reference came with regards to former President Ronald Reagan. Is this to say that the last time a true bipartisan effort took place was over 20 years ago?! It does not surprise me. We pride ourselves on being the greatest country in the world, but we have done so much to tarnish our own reputation. If we have to look back 20 some odd years to find a quote from the late Ronald Reagan to support an argument today, that only tells me that our problems could have been fixed much sooner.

Here's another statement that I am getting tired of (probably more so than the word bipartisan): "Most Americans, regardless of political party, don't understand how we can ask a senior citizen to pay more for her Medicare before we ask corporate jet owners and oil companies to give up tax breaks that other companies don't get...Keep in mind that under a balanced approach, the 98% of Americans who make under \$250,000 would see no tax increases at all. None. In fact, I want to extend the payroll tax cut for working families. What we're talking about under a balanced approach is asking Americans whose incomes have gone up the most over the last decade - millionaires and billionaires - to share in the sacrifice everyone else has to make." (Obama, 2011) (Full Transcript here)

There are a few reasons why I don't like this statement. The first is that - I will admit - businesses need to thrive in order to stimulate the economy. Sure, you can go ahead and tax the fat cats more if you want. What makes you think they are going to take a loss? If anything, that will lead them to lay off as many workers as it takes to ensure their pockets don't lose any depth in the process of increasing their taxes. Secondly, it's always nice to see that anyone making less than \$250,000 per year will not be taxed anymore and that millionaires will get a tax increase, but what about everyone between \$250,000 and \$1 million? There are very many people who fall into that category, such as the majority of professional athletes, lawyers, doctors, small business owners, etc. Once again, this is just proof of how vague plans are described. The third reason is that this is the same thing President Obama stated 18 months before he was even elected and on the campaign trail. We have all heard this before. It may have been worded differently, but it is the same exact message. Attack the deep pockets and give more to the middle class.

I have been told that I come off as more conservative than liberal, but I would like to think that I try to approach things as neutral as possible. I don't agree with abortions, but I respect an individual's right to choose. I don't support same sex marriages, but I don't oppose their right to do so. I am firmly against supporting people who enter this country illegally, but I will root for someone goes through all the proper channels to become eligible for assistance. I do not believe that the government needs to be charged with the oversight of business and playing big brother by bailing them out. I believe in letting businesses fail. I believe in free enterprise. I believe that millionaires and billionaires do not need to be taxed any more than middle class and lower class members of society. In essence, all you are doing is penalizing them for succeeding in life. You are going to make people try to stay away from making \$250,000 dollars because they know they will make more if they are at \$249,999.99 instead. You're putting a price on the American dream. Make more so you can lose more. I am pretty sure America was not founded with that mentality, and yet, that is exactly what we all have to look forward to in life.

Targeting one group of people over another just makes no sense. Penalizing someone for succeeding in life is not going to improve the economy. Corporate jet owners EARNED the jets they fly in. They earned their 70,000 sq.ft. mansions, the 30 cars and 10 limos, the other 10 homes all around the world along with special accommodations to whichever hotels and resorts they frequently visit. This is how they choose to stimulate the economy. If you take their money, they will still find a way to make it: even if it means sending people home with a pink slip in hand.

There is one quote from President Obama's speech that I did agree with wholeheartedly: "The American people may have voted for divided government, but they didn't vote for a dysfunctional government." (Obama, 2011) (Full Transcript here)

Obama makes an excellent point here, but I would like you to look deeper into one part of this quote: divided government. I was thinking about using this as a topic for another entry, but I will go ahead and touch on it a little here. We look at the country today and think about the fact that we have eliminated segregation and discrimination (for the most part at least...) and have come together as a country. OK, I'll say that we are not seeing the degree of violence against minority populations as we did during the Civil Rights Era, but I will be the one to tell you that segregation is quite alive and well; no, I am not talking about segregation in racial terms.

Our country is politically segregated. We have drifted away from hate over one's color, sexual and/or religious preferences. Now we hate over an individual's political preference. Democrats hate Republicans, Republicans hate Democrats; the clearest way to see it is simply by turning on the news and listening to politicians. When President Obama speaks, he immediately points to the Republican party for the failure to create some plan of action. When Senator Boehner speaks, he blames Obama and his democratic constituents of the same fallacies. And so begins the trickle down effect. Now you see Tea Party activists on one end and Code Pink activists on the other end. I am sure there are other groups out there, but all they do is invoke hatred over one another's political beliefs rather than express the desire for the government to set aside their differences and create a solution that will benefit America in the long term.

Did it ever occur to you all that - quite possibly - everyone is wrong? You know what, I now know SHOULD BE the definition to the word bipartisan: Two opposing parties who, at all costs, vigorously work against each other to secure hopes for re-election while overlooking the interests of the citizens who voted them into office in the first place: resulting in the most chaotic economic collapse of all time. Let's think about it, by having two political parties that do not share the same interests it trickles down to society and results in people feuding over the same reasons. The result becomes a political civil war in which battles occur every 2 and 4 years to determine which party has supremacy. I am beginning to see why other countries are not so willing to adopt "democracy"; if we are the example, it doesn't look so pretty. Sure, we have rights...oh, wait...those are gradually being taken away from us too. What ever happened to lead by example?

I fail to see how America can improve if you have two opposing sides vowing to work against each other. You can want both parties to work together, President Obama, but you must first approach it on a neutral playing field. This speech sounds a lot like a quarterback who threw 5 interceptions in a critical game but blames the kicker for missing one field goal that could have won the game. No one in the government should be pointing the finger right now. They all need to look in the mirror and point. Blame yourselves. Stop trying to cater to the few and realize that everyone's livelihood is a stake. It's not just about rich people, the jet owners, middle class, low class. It's about 300 million Americans that want a solution to a problem that will affect them all.

### Sent a Letter...Waiting for a Response...

Seeing as we are approaching a serious deadline - and no resolution has come from the powers that be - I decided to send a letter to my state representative, the honorable Ralph M. Hall. I sent this letter on Friday and I hope to receive some kind of response this week. It was a respectfully insulting letter (I know, it's an oxymoron) displaying my disappointment at how Congress and the House of Representatives have conducted themselves for the past several years that I have followed any kind of politics: Particularly as of late. Here is the letter:

Good day, Representative Hall. I would like to begin by commending the efforts of the House of Representatives' GOP members in passing the Cut, Cap and Balance measure recently. I wish I could say that there is more to be proud of, but I think that our country has been represented very poorly as of late. I have always believed that officials in positions such as yours (representative, congressman, etc.) would have a clear understanding of the responsibility/burden placed on your shoulders. It seems as though many of your cohorts have lost track of that.

I find it to be completely unacceptable that politicians appointed by the public cannot work together for the benefit of the people. As I read articles and watch the news, all I see is finger-pointing amongst both parties. Democrats are pointing the finger at Republicans because the Republicans want to seriously cut spending. The Republicans point the finger at the Democrats because the Democrats want to raise taxes. To be completely blunt about it, all of you come off as bickering 5-year-olds who are worried that the teacher is going to put you on time out. In this case, many politicians are finger-pointing in an effort to save face and hopefully secure re-election. Granted, this may not be all politicians, but the vast majority fall under this description. Let me be the one to assure you all that gaining favor should not be the priority at this juncture.

Mr. Hall, allow me to ask this question, and I would like an honest answer: preferably from you directly. As a matter of fact, I would challenge each and every representative and congressman/congresswoman to provide me with a response to this as well: do you truly believe in bipartisanship? The definition of bipartisan, according to dictionary.com, is as follows: "Of or involving the agreement or cooperation of two political parties that usually oppose each other's policies." I cannot tell you how many times I have heard from both ends of the spectrum that - in order to resolve issues that exist in today's America - it will require a BIPARTISAN effort. In other words, both sides must be willing to - regardless of their differences - compromise in order to solve an issue of immediate concern to all of America.

I am only 28 years old, and have only really paid attention to the political goings on for all of about 8-10 years. However, that has been more than enough time to realize that the word bipartisan is exactly that: just a word. It is a word with a beautiful meaning that sounds great when you hear politicians from both the left and right use it because it instills a hope in all Americans that we are potentially electing officials that truly believe in getting the job done. It goes from meaningful to non-existent once reality sets in. In the past several years, I have not seen anything remotely close to - what I would define as a BIPARTISAN effort.

Here is a perfect example. President Obama claimed that it took a BIPARTISAN effort to pass the Health Care Reform Bill, widely considered as "Obamacare". His definition of a BIPARTISAN EFFORT was unanimous democratic backing, with maybe a handful of Republicans (maybe 10 reps and 2 Senators). It's not like he needed very much since Democrats claimed the majority of seats in both the House and Senate. Now that democrats don't own a healthy majority in Senate and are now a minority in the House of Representatives, the president vows to veto anything with republican backing. This mentality has trickled down into all areas of government. The problem is that Republicans would do the same if they had the majority. The government has done exactly what so many candidates - who eventually were elected - promised they would not succumb to: party politics.

We have come to a point that sacrifices must be made in order to rebound from an astronomical deficit. Once upon a time, we probably would not have had to worry about affecting the taxpayer in order to resolve an issue. Unfortunately, that time has come and gone. In order for our economy to truly rebound - and the deficit to be reduced - everyone is going to have to sacrifice. It will hurt us today, but will bring about a better tomorrow. This will only happen if both political sides can come together and work as one. If that is not possible, America will surely encounter dark times. We will collectively suffer the same fate tomorrow due to the indecision of today.

I am but one of 300 million citizens who only hopes that 535 politicians can set aside their differences to fulfill their key responsibility: to represent the people of the United States of America. Your collective responsibility is not to work toward re-election; it is to make the decisions, with which consequences are bound to arise. I have heard folks make the claim that America has failed because of the government. I agree only to a point. It is undeniable that the government has proven it is clearly incapable of coming to clear and concise resolutions with backing from both parties. That presents itself as a failure, but who is charged with appointing officials into office? We, The People of the United States of America are, Mr. Hall. We the people, are America; therefore, we have failed ourselves.

I implore you to ask all members the question I have presented to you in this message. This is my plea to you and all members of our government to set aside your differences as we approach a defining point in American history. This is - for all intents and purposes - a "make or break it" situation. Although I do not expect it, I would love to have responses from all members as to why - if they do believe in bipartisanship - does it not exist in the government today? Thank you for taking your time to read this, Representative Hall. I only hope that America's future remains light. Point America in the right direction, so that we may all reap the benefits of success and prosperity in the future.

So there it is, a letter bashing (not threatening) the way the government has conducted itself. Now, I am not saying that every politician falls in line with my criticisms, but most of them do. It's sad that we see so much blaming going on rather than a problem being solved. As a matter of fact, I am reading the transcript of President Obama's speech he just did tonight. I will be sure to post up a nice entry with regard to his speech and what I got out of it.

As for the letter that I sent to Mr. Hall: if I do not receive a response from him, I will proceed to send the same message to my state senator, Sen. John Cornyn. If I do not receive a response from him or his office, then I will proceed to send letters to every representative I can until someone has some kind of response, preferably one of a substantive variety. I think the problem with America today is that we are willing to accept answers with plenty of smoke and mirrors: something which will be discussed more in depth in my next entry as I am already seeing areas in Mr. Obama's speech in which smoke and mirrors clearly applies. Until next time...

## Friday, July 15, 2011

### The Government Refuses to Work Together, EVEN WITH DISASTER AT OUR DOORSTEP!

I am going to focus on what is happening today with regards to America's credit standing and the debates over the debt ceiling increase. It's pretty simple, if we don't raise the debt ceiling, we end up defaulting on payments to organizations spread throughout the world. The result is that we go from having excellent credit to a poor rating literally overnight. We have already been placed under a review for a potential downgrade by Moody's Investors Service. Other credit agencies are sure to follow suit. I guess when it comes to the government, debt knows no boundaries. Yet, in order for people to qualify to purchase a home we cannot have more than a 10 percent debt to income ratio. We, The People, are expected to be on top of our financial situation, but the government is more than welcome to increase the nation's deficit by 35 percent in 3 years time. No, that is not a typo. We had a 10 trillion dollar deficit when the new administration took office. That deficit now stands at over 14 trillion dollars.

I am not going to talk about which side is wrong or right. The problem here is that we have sides to begin with. On one hand you have the Democrats, who believe in big government overseeing everything that happens in this country and playing big brother to failing companies. Democrats also believe in big spending as well and taxing the wealthy. On the other hand, we have the Republicans. They believe in small government, tax cuts across the board, tend to be wealth biased, are pro military, and are against abortion and gay marriage. I'm just stating the obvious points here, but the going trend is that you have to major political parties who absolutely DO NOT agree with one another.

I just want to take a moment and point out a word that I have come to completely loathe because of it's lack of relevance in today's politics: bipartisan. Is this even a legitimate word? Okay, it is a legitimate word, but take a look at the definition from the free dictionary : supported by members of two major political parties. Every politician you see on the news will always say that "it's going to take a bipartisan effort", or "through a bipartisan effort we will rebuild this country." I mentioned in the last entry that politicians are great a selling themselves...on the campaign trail. All of that goes out the window when they are in office. Bipartisan would be such a beautiful word if it actually applied, but that is not the case. No, what actually applies is filibuster. In simple terms it is one party trying to accumulate enough members to prevent the other side from following through with its agenda. Another term is filibuster-proof majority, which is pretty much a political party's dream come true. This is when the majority political party has enough members to the point that the other side cannot block a law from passage. This is especially advantageous if the majority party also happens to be the same side as the President. So, why am I bringing all of this up? BECAUSE THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS BIPARTISANSHIP IN THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT!!! Everyone has it out for everyone else. The Republicans refuse to go with the democrats and vow to block any law from being passed unless they get what they want. The President has already vowed to strike down any Republican motivated proposals because there is nothing in those proposals that benefit democrats.

The politicians are devoting themselves so much to playing the blame game that it's beginning to look like an elementary school classroom! But, these are the same politicians who preached so much about how they all needed to work together to find the solution to Americas economic woes and health care and immigration and education and infrastructure and social security, etc., etc., etc.! BULL FRIGGIN CRAP! Out of the 535 politicians in office today, there are probably between 5-10 who may have genuine intentions. Unfortunately those are going to be the ones to leave office because chances are that they will eventually be implicated in some kind of scandal and forced to resign from their position. They are not wanted because they are searching for a new agenda, which will not profit the government. Weiner, anyone?

So, here we are. We are hoping that the government can do something right, but chances are that they will do something quick and do it wrong which will screw us anyway in the long term. I completely laughed by butt off when I heard Obama start using scare tactics during his televised conferences recently. He seems to be doing them daily now because of the debt negotiations. This man has preached so many times about how he was sooooo against scare tactics and how he would NEVER employ them. Well, if there is one thing I have come to learn is that most politicians are lying hypocrites who oversell themselves in an effort to gain public office and reap the benefits while others suffer at their expense.

Seriously, let's think about this. Who is right? Who is wrong? Democrats are going to point at Republicans. Rebublicans are going to blame the Democrats. Independents are going to point anywhere as long as it isn't themselves. When are you all going to sit down and realize, as a nation, THAT WE ARE ALL WRONG?! If I go to vote, my first thought is not going to be "oh my, I love this candidate because he is a devout Christian and he is a war hero with 2 Purple Hearts and he is opposed to killing unborn children." My thought will also not be "I love this candidate because he wants to be the modern day Robin Hood, steel from the rich and give to the poor; plus he is all for giving all sorts of tax credits and extending welfare benefits." No, no to all of that. I want someone who, regardless of their religion, background, preference, and the like, can show me that they have an actual action plan outlined and exact numbers to prove that it will work. I want politicians that are willing to set aside any differences that exist between them because there are 300 million people who are depending on them to get it right. We elected these officials to get the job done: not sit in a room and argue like a bunch of bickering 5 year olds waiting to be put on time out. i could just see the exchange right now:

Boehner: You're not my friend anymore because you want my rich friend to be poor!
Obama: Well, you're not my friend because you don't let me do whatever I want!!!
Boehner: I'm telling the teacher on you!
Obama: Okay, fine I'll work with you, c'mon....SIKE!!
Boehner: Teacher!!!

Now just fill that in with the actual exchanges and it's pretty much the same thing! What's sad is that 300 million people allowed it to be this way. What's even sadder is that the same 300 million people are not willing to do anything to correct it. If that's the case, then the government succeeded one one key thing: making America's people feel worthless and weak.

America, we need to wake up...

## Thursday, July 14, 2011

### What Has This Country Come to?!

I have been thinking a bit about how to start this blog the right way. I mean, seriously...where do I begin? You look around you, watch the news, read articles on the web and all I see is sadness and anger. Simply put, our country is suffering greatly. It would be unfair to point the finger at an individual because one person cannot create the chaos that has swallowed this country over the last several years. Now, we can definitely blame a group(s) of people. Groups who claim they are out there fighting for the country, but are really fighting for their own personal agenda and status in society.

I grew up with such a great outlook on life. We have dreams about what we can do to make a difference in this world. As children we wanted to be doctors, police officers, fire fighters. The country was built on dreams and the ability for individuals to realize those dreams. I realize now that we live in an age where dreams are set aside so that we may settle for a modest alternative.

It wasn't so long ago that a middle class family of 4 could live very well on a single \$40,000 per year income. With that income, a family could live in a home, own a vehicle or two and enjoy the occasional vacation without putting a great deal of strain on them. That is a far cry from what we are experiencing today. To achieve that same quality of living, both adults would have to work and make a combined total of at least \$80,000 to \$90,000 per year. Even then, that would have to be in a location where the cost of living is properly proportioned to the family's earnings. If you live in the northeast or on the west coast, forget about it. You'll still be living in an apartment with that kind of income.

There was a time when I believed that people didn't find jobs because they simply didn't try hard enough. Now, with upwards of 10 million people unemployed in our country, my theory is being thrown out the window. I was originally going to start this blog ranting about the government, but then I came across a link on Yahoo which highlighted a number of first hand experiences with unemployment. When I saw some of the things people said, it was extremely humbling. There are folks out there who have gone 2+ years without a job. I find myself to be quite fortunate because I lost my job two years ago and only waited 3 months to find my next position. The link to this article is: http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/down-not-voices-long-term-unemployed-125453267.html

The first thing that comes to mind is how can we, as a people, allow for this to be the case? It is easy to point the finger at the government, but who is it that is responsible for appointing said officials into office? I'll tell you: We, The People are responsible. We elect these politicians in the hope that they will practice what they preach. You know where politicians would do great? In sales. I gotta tell you, these men and women have incredible sales pitches. They can probably convince a person to by a vehicle at \$3,000 over the sticker price; that's how good they are. They have to be! Otherwise, we are beyond stupid for voting them into office! I agree, they put on a great show when they are on the campaign trail and how they mention their fabricated encounters with the 40-something man who lost his job and is struggling to feed his family of 7 or the 30-something mother of 3 who is barely hanging on with the government benefits. I'm not saying people like that don't exist, but the politicians know what resonates with most Americans today. The first rule of sales is to get acquainted with the customer: get to know them on a personal level, find common interests, learn about what they are looking for in a product. Politicians use a text book approach and it never fails!

They woo us with stories of military heroism and contributions to society. They grab us with their religious beliefs and their preference on gay marriage and abortion. Time and time again they speak of these things with so much detail and we all soak it in as though it came straight from the Bible or God Himself!!! In the back of everyone's minds we think: "So when is he/she going to talk about how the country is going to be fixed and how they plan to contribute to that effort?" People on either side will argue that politicians have addressed that. Some will even say that politicians have presented plans to correct the problems we have been facing. The most I have heard is health reform this, or immigration reform that, or we're going to take power from Wall Street and give it back to Main Street, and the list goes on, and on, and on. Politicians may give you a plan, but there is never any substance to it: there are no details. There are NEVER details.

Bills have been passed to provide money through stimulus; a healthcare reform bill was passed. My understanding was that pork and earmarks were to be removed from things like this. Yet, these bills consist of no less than several hundreds of pages that include so much mumbo jumbo that it may as well be considered heiroglyphics. It's made this way to hide the fact that organizations and companies affiliated with politicians are still receiving a piece of the pie. People who read this might say "no kidding, we already knew that!" And yet, you still continue to put these pompous idiots on a pedestal they don't even deserve to be on?!

I've been hearing a lot of people say lately that America has failed. A lot of people attribute the failure of America to the Government. It is the Government that destroyed America by spending money we didn't have. It is the Government's lack of responsibility that led to the economic collapse, resulting in millions of jobs lost and homes being foreclosed. Everything will be better if we just point the finger at the Government! I disagree. Yes, America is failing. Yes, the government couldn't figure anything out even if you pointed a gun to each politician's head and said "WORK TOGETHER, DAMMIT!!!" Here's the reality: We, The People, are America. We, The People, are charged with electing officials to run this country. The officials we have elected have managed to destroy so much that this country stands/stood for. They have failed for decades, and yet they still believe that party politics is the way to go. WE ARE AMERICA! We are failing ourselves...

America, we need to wake up.