Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Violation of The First Ammendment, Anyone?!

I was doing my daily check through the Internet and happened to come upon an interesting article. Apparently there is a campaign website for President Obama that was built with the purpose of whistle blowers (you can call them rats, snitches and tattle tails, too...) identifying statements which appear to be inaccurate, completely false, or in any way smear the President of the United States. Why? Is he suddenly afraid that the truth will put his presidency in jeopardy?

Look, I am not making any attempts to defend false statements, but that is all they are: statements. What will be done in the event that anyone submits information about an article or person who falls into this criteria? Are you going to conduct your own smear campaign on that person for talking mean about you? Are you going to find that person and charge them with treason against the President? Are you going to affect their finances or create falsified documents to hurt that persons attempts at succeeding in the future? What can those who do not support you expect as a consequence for not agreeing with your brand of politics?

I know for a fact that I am not the only person who sees this website as completely unconstitutional in that it clearly violates individuals' rights to free speech under the First Amendment. The first Obama presidential campaign launched a similar tactic prior to his election, urging his supporters to send any information regarding any statements that were against him. It didn't last long because people were clearly outraged by it back then. Mr. President, what makes you think that it is any different now?

Mr. President, if you want to find out who is smearing you and making you out to be a side show, all you need to do is take a short walk over to Capitol Hill. I am sure you will find all sorts of folks there trying to put you out there in a negative light. You have Democrats and Republicans claiming that you are not fulfilling your responsibilities as a president. I'm no political guru, but if people on your side question your ability to lead this nation, something has to be wrong.

The definition of Keynesianism :

[Of or relating to] the economic theories of John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946), English economist, and his advocates, especially his emphasis upon deficit spending by government to stimulate business investment.

How else can the public view this outrageous spending? How can we not put the ethics of our government - let alone our president - into question? So many of us are being fooled into believing that spending all sorts of money we do not have will some how cause our country to right itself and recover from this economic debacle: this line of thinking falls directly in line with Keynesianism. We are becoming victims of a progressive bureaucracy. Such a form of government is not limited to liberals or conservatives; people from both sides are to be blamed, but it just so happens that more and more Democrats are adopting this line of thinking.

President Obama makes the bold claim that this "job creator" bill he is pushing for is going to be fully funded: at who's expense? None other than the corporate jet owners, of course! That is who he and other like minded politicians have been attacking to this point. Allow me to stress that this whole Robin Hood tactic does not ultimately achieve the positive results politicians want you to believe. Taking more money away from the rich gives more incentive for them to hold on to their money; if the rich folks hold on to their money, not only does spending go down, but so does job creation.

In the 1980's, we experienced a similar economic situation to what we have today, only on a significantly smaller scale. At that time, the problems were blamed on too much government involvement when it came to our economic issues. The exact same thing is happening to us today, and the government wants nothing more than for the public to believe that what they are doing is ultimately going to create a more prosperous future for us all. I fail to see how borrowing money from China is going to somehow stimulate our growth (I would like to also point out that China is currently our largest debt holder...I am sure that they are grinning from ear to ear right now, patiently waiting for our collapse). This is the same China who, along with other countries has pushed for the dollar to be removed from its position as the base of determining currency value throughout the world as a result of its weakening value.

How can someone twist the truth when there is nothing that can be said to justify the wasteful spending that has occurred in the past 3 years? Don't think that you are a special target, Mr. President. Every president before you has been subjected to the same degree of scrutiny, but it has become quite easier with technology. Just as people say what they want, others will believe what they want. I will say this: I do not agree with what the United States Government represents today. Their solution to our economic and job problem is to spend more and add on to a deficit high enough to touch the stratosphere. This is not just about you, Mr. President, so don't make it about you with pathetic little sites used to promote snitches, rats and the like. Should we call this brand of politics Pre-School Politics?

I spoke on a previous blog about how our children need to be educated. Maybe I am mistaken; maybe it is our politicians who need to be re-educated on the history of the United States of America. Everything they are doing today is everything our Founding Fathers fought and shed blood to get away from. Imagine how they would feel if they knew they fought so hard to create a country that would eventually stand for everything they were against. The America once envisioned is nothing like the America we have today. The America that could be is far more prosperous than anyone can imagine, but we will never achieve that in our present path. This is one of those times where looking into the past can solve our problems today and create a much better tomorrow. Staying the course only guarantees a collapse of epic proportions (i.e., Spain, Roman Empire, Greece past and present...).

UPDATE: This will probably not sit well with the Dems in Congress as well as the President; the seat once held by Rep. Anthony Weiner, (D) New York, has now officially been taken over by Republican Bob Turner in fairly convincing fashion (by a margin of 53% to 47%). Let it be known that this is the first time that New York's 9th District has ever elected a Republican to represent them. This is just another example of how distraught our country is with the direction we are going. We, as a people, know not to expect problems to be solved over night; we also did not expect our economic issues to be further exacerbated with the passing of outrageous bills with no money to back them. I am proud to be an American for the simple fact that we, the people of this wonderful country, have the ability to completely change the dynamic of our government for better or worse. We do believe a change is needed to fix America: just not the change that is presently taking place. Hopefully we can expect better results from the people we elect into office in the future. I really could care less if a politician is Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, and everything in between; I just want people that not only have a substantive plan that doesn't keep the people in the dark, but also have a means of putting that plan into action in a way that does not negatively affect us for decades to come.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Educate Yourself...Seriously!

So, I've been reading and writing for the past month now, and I am beginning to see now why it is that we have such a divide in America today: people choose not to properly educate themselves. I am in no way saying that people are idiotic or naive, but I am saying that people are putting a lot more stake in what they hear as opposed to actually doing research and finding out the facts for themselves. I see a lot of arguments made in support of further taxing the wealthy, feeding more "stimulus" money into the economy, and even just bashing political parties just because of what they support or believe in. We do this because we are influenced by word of mouth and the media. We are content because - after all - why would these sources lie to us?

Michele Bachmann has expressed the desire to close down the Department of Education. It is easy for people to argue against that idea because of the benefits that people are told are provided to their children. I remember having a discussion with my brother. My brother told me that college was nothing like what he expected going in and he was in no way prepared for how challenging it would actually be. The reality is that he was not properly educated and not given the necessary tools to succeed in college. He was educated in a public school. So was I. I made an attempt at college, and failed quite miserably. I am not blaming public education completely; it also had to do with a lack of motivation on my part. The problem is that I did not go to a 4 year institution. I went to a community college, which was supposedly going to prepare me for a 4 year institution. I was not prepared for a 4 year college. Such is the case for hundreds of thousands of high school graduates each year who receive a public education.

My brother went on to tell me that a student in the public sector only receives half the investment toward their education that their privately educated counterparts receive. My brother believes that students in the public sector are being deprived of their due education. He also says that the teachers actually make matters even worse, doing the absolute minimum when fulfilling their curriculum requirements.

I agree with him on all accounts. It is not fair that a child/adolescent/young adult pursuing an education in the public sector is not exposed to the same education as one would receive in the private sector. It is as though the public sector is preparing our children for blue collar jobs and lower level management, while the private sector prepares children for upper level corporate positions and company CEO's. This is not to say that all kids educated in the public sector do not ultimately succeed, but it is plainly obvious that the vast majority do not make it past the first year or two of post secondary education.

Proponents of the DOE would profess that disbanding such an organization would prove to be detrimental to our youth: taking away their privilege to a proper education and therefore further reducing their chances of success in life. The reality is that the DOE is merely a federally run institution charged with the oversight of smaller state run components which serve the exact same purpose. Simply put, we are putting billions upon billions of dollars per year into an organization which serves no real purpose. If there is any change in education, it has been for the worst. For starters, there has been little - if any - improvement in standardized test scores between prior and post-DOE establishment. Additionally, they are responsible for statistics that can easily be acquired at the state level. By nationalizing the education system, you eliminate competition. Competition was what made this country great at one point. Seeing how other states performed was enough incentive for other states to improve their methods of educating the youth. The DOE has clearly done more harm than good.

No Child Left Behind is a complete farce because there are plenty of children who are indeed left behind. Children are being pushed through school despite not meeting or barely meeting established standards only to realize the brutal reality upon graduating from high school: they are nowhere near prepared to take on a college education. If nothing else, the DOE has proven two things: 1) Teachers in the public sector do not adequately prepare their students to pursue their secondary/post-secondary education; and 2) Public students are far less likely to succeed in pursuing their post-secondary education than their private sector counterparts. The DOE is a failed system that is in place simply because the name looks appealing...that has to be the reason because the results are a far cry from appealing.

Another area that folks choose to ignore is the spending rampage the government has been on over the last 10 years. I am not going to go into a history lesson, but going back to 2001 we have been on an absolute tear spending money that we basically don't have...and there are many who advocate spending more! Are you kidding me?! All I have heard in the news is "fiscal responsibility" this and "balanced budget" that. Out of nowhere, President Obama presents a brief glimpse of his new "stimulus" plan to create more jobs and reduce the unemployment rate in America. So, let me get this straight. It wasn't enough that President G.W. Bush used the TARP fund worth $700 Billion to bail out the bank and mortgage industries, and you also pushed through a $775 billion "stimulus" to serve the purpose of improving infrastructure, stimulate spending and create more jobs; now you want to push another bill worth a reported $300-$400 billion to stimulate job growth (which, by the way, was supposed to be accomplished by your previous "stimulus" package). Are Americans not quite realizing the trend here? In the past four years alone - including universal health care and the aforementioned bills and bailouts alone - we have accrued a debt of almost 3 trillion dollars; that's not even including the potential passage of this alleged job creator. If you were to divide that debt on to every living American today, that means that we are each on the hook for $30,000 a piece; considering that we are actually on the hook for over $14 trillion, I would gladly take the $30,000 any day.

Sadly, not very many people who favor the astronomical spending are really looking at the disastrous long term effects that are being created since they are getting what they want today. They don't care that the rich will get taxed more because they feel that the rich don't deserve their hard earned money (while I know it disgusts many of you to see or even think of rich people flying around on "corporate jets", and children inheriting mommy and daddy's fortune, realize that the vast majority of millionaires created their wealth from nothing but a small idea or investment...they were just like every other average Joe, but they had a vision that they chose to pursue with dogged determination: achieving the ultimate success as a result. Do people think of the fact that, if you take away the corporate jets from their owners, you're taking away the business from the jet manufacturers: resulting in more jobs potentially being lost from a decrease in the companies' revenues?). We went from being a country which prided itself in success by way of virtue and frugality, to now being a country engulfed by greed and entitlements. People who became rich were praised for doing so because of the work they did to get there; now, they are penalized for their success because a higher human power decided to supersede the real Higher Power to determine they did not legitimately deserve their fruits of labor.

So many of us choose to see the system as black and white. The problem is that there is soooo much more in between that folks choose to overlook: the reality which is gradually putting America's economic situation in serious jeopardy. We choose to turn a blind eye to reality because we feel safe in our little bubble, but how much longer will it be before that bubble shrinks and eventually dissolves? It is better to get a grasp on reality today than to wait until we realize what was once preventable has suddenly become inevitable. Yes, ignorance is truly blissful and the truth definitely hurts; however, knowing the truth also presents the opportunity to create a less painful outcome or to create a solution to avoid a painful outcome altogether, whereas ignorance leads to the painful realization that such a problem could have been avoided in the first place.

We are programmed to accept what is; it is up to us to educate ourselves so that we may eventually overcome what is and realize that which could be.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

A Revolution Brewing? Maybe...But It can be Avoided

When Politicians or collective governments overstep their limits of power, they are no longer considered politicians: they are considered tyrants or dictators. Over time, our elected officials have slowly introduced laws, acts or bills which establish limitations on society to the point where - not only does our freedom come at an extreme cost - but Americans are beginning to question whether we are truly free anymore.

There are two key elements necessary for a revolution to potentially result. The first is a power hungry government or individual, which looks to gain control over everything it can such as public welfare, medical benefits, taxation, and laws which prevent people from being able to live freely while also creating exceptions limited to the government. The second element is the people of the country in question. The citizens reach a point where they can no longer accept the ways in which the government operates and stage an uprising to overthrow the government and reclaim their rightfully deserved freedom.

We have bore witness - by way of the media - to a number of uprisings primarily in Tunisia, Egypt, and Lybia. However, there have been demonstrations taking place in other countries throughout the Middle East, such as Algeria, Morocco, and Jordan. While it is stating the obvious that two motivating factors were poverty and joblessness, other factors which have ultimately led to the protests we are witnessing today are corruption in the government as well as a lack of accountability.

Joblessness, poverty, government corruption, government not willing to fully take accountability for the state of one's country: it sounds a lot like what we have going on here. Politicians will unquestionably point to a scapegoat to defend their ineptitude in office, but you are also equally likely to see the same politicians try to take all the credit for something that actually works in their favor. Unfortunately for politicians, there is not a great deal of good they can take credit on. With our economic woes, unemployment being as high as it is, and poverty becoming more of a burden, you will not see politicians take accountability. After all, when in doubt, blame the other side. That is what we have been taught, right? The media has done an incredible job of doing the same: pointing to one side or the other depending on the media outlet's political affiliations, which seem to be mostly democratic.

Someone actually explained it very well to me recently. He told me that America is in an "awkward state." Right now Americans don't really know how to look at things. We know that the country is not doing very well by any means, but we are holding out hope that our elected officials can solve these problems and get us going in a positive direction again. We are also on the brink of losing all composure. While we really want our issues to be resolved, we are not going to stay out of the way forever: especially if we continue to spiral downward into oblivion.

In retrospect, I realize now that I was brought up and raised with the understanding that there are things which are just beyond our control, and that we must learn to accept them. It's not something that was necessarily taught to me by my parents or my teachers. It also involves the media, television, people you meet throughout your life to include peers and even complete strangers. Over time, parents have grown more prone to sheltering their children from reality. Teachers have been told what they can and cannot teach, even going to the extent of omitting parts of history to hide the cruel and violent past that we came from. Teachers are being told to paint a picture of sunshine and rainbows. Our children are being shown a false image of the future.

The media shows us what they are told to show us. They introduce the realm of entertainment because they know it is a way to take us away from reality: their job is to keep us from focusing on the big picture. It doesn't help that the media has decided to take sides as well. This only helps to distort reality even further: that coming together is going to be the only way that the issues of this country will be solved. The media has assisted the government in the one tactic that has always proved to work: divide and conquer. When you have a people that is politically divided, it makes it that much easier to govern/rule them. Congratulations government, you have succeeded in that much, but the real question is: how long will that success be lived. You see, eventually people will not just sit idly waiting for jobs to become plentiful, for others to truly prosper, for the government to no longer bleed corruption and greed, and to truly be accountable for their actions. No. America is watching, and with each passing day a few more Americans are opening their eyes to reality.

It's not so beautiful after all. America is not yet at the brink of another revolution, and most likely will not be for awhile. That means that such an occurrence can be averted, but only if you have the right people in office to create the REAL change that we - Americans - are truly looking for. What many have yet to understand is that - in order for things to improve here - everyone must suffer in one way or another. It won't matter if you are rich, poor, or in the middle class. We will all feel that sting whenever it comes, but isn't a common sacrifice ultimately what will lead to a common good?

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Education System...Another Epic Failure!!!

A few days ago, it was recommended by my neighbor that I read this article and write my personal opinion on it...even though the article in question is also an opinion based article.

After reading this article, I can conclude that I am definitely not the only one who believes that the government is intentionally making people feel weak. Not only are Americans becoming vulnerable, but we are also beginning to accept the way things are because we believe that the situation is beyond our understanding. This is only the case because we are only given so much information through media outlets and through politicians themselves. The problem with this is that we are left to draw our own conclusions, much like children when they are given the "because I said so" response from their parents. We are left to accept what is, but still question why it is this way.

The article, written by an individual named Bruce E. Levine, introduces a different angle. He digs deeper by targeting children and how they are educated, as well as how behavior issues are resolved, the acceptance of student loan debt and a number of other areas. Simply put, these days our children are being brainwashed from an early age to accept everything for what it is. It is no longer acceptable to be a creative, free thinker. It is now an expectation to become a robot. They are expected to learn and behave a certain way.

Young adults have usually been considered the free thinkers: the ones to challenge authority and push boundaries; the ones who see how things work today and know they can make it better for the future. This is no longer the case. They fear this approach will reflect negatively on them. This is yet another way that the government is winning the war over the control of this nation, and we are letting them have their way. Their claim is that they are helping the children: there are not leaving any kids behind. The reality is they are finding every way to gain oversight over everything. The more control they have, the weaker we become.

I will not say anymore about the aforementioned article. Go ahead and read it. There is some pretty awesome information in it. It's also pretty depressing when you realize that our children are being subjected to the greatest injustice compared to everyone else.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

We've Heard The Same Thing Over, and Over, and Over...


I think I heard the word I hate most (bipartisan) about 10 times today, and every time I absolutely cringed with disgust. I will give Congress this much: two sides did come together and - despite their differences - came to an agreement to push the debt plan through. There are two problems with this though. First, they chose to support a bill which 1) they hastily passed with no real support for it in the first place, and 2) they passed a plan that not only does virtually nothing to reduce our deficit, but virtually guarantees that we will have at least a 22 trillion dollar deficit in ten years...THANK YOU CONGRESS AND MR. PRESIDENT!!! Second, once the bill was passed, you had both sides pointing the finger at each other again! President Obama was at the forefront, once again using the past to fuel present day arguments (I find this to be a huge cop out because of the simple fact that a great deal of the economic woes we are experiencing today are as a direct result of this administration's knee-jerk reactions).

So, back to the finger pointing...at least, that is what the government has decided to revert to. Republicans are generally pointing fingers at the democratic party as a whole. The Democrats have decided to opt with the tact of narrowing down the blame to a portion of Republicans, The Tea Party. To top it off, I have heard a great deal of name calling from both ends; I will have to admit, the Republicans have been on more the receiving end. Not only are fingers being pointed like five-year-olds, but now I feel like I am watching a bunch of adolescents on television trying to diss each other to improve their credibility amongst their peers.

And if that wasn't enough - while the blame game is being played by our elected politicians in Washington, D.C. - the stock market has plummeted to levels not seen since 2008 post recession (at least, it was perceived that we were coming out of the recession...it is my opinion - as well as millions of others, I'm sure - that there was no true recovery from the recession and that we will most likely not recover for another 3 years at least!) as a result of abysmal revenue reports. It appears that we are not yet done with the drop in stock considering the poor job forecast due to be released tomorrow. I mean, seriously, what is it going to take for our government to WAKE THE HELL UP?! President Obama's solution: contact your state congressmen/women. What good is that going to do if you as well as your democratic constituents have made it clear that you will not work with Republicans?! What good will it do if Republicans have made it clear that they are going to do everything in their power to disrupt the Democratic agenda?! It will do not any good whatsoever!!!

Our words have fallen over the deaf ears of politicians for years. It is obvious because you could have gone over two years without watching the news, decided to watch the news today and will likely hear the same words coming out of politicians mouths as you did over two years ago! President Obama is still blaming the Bush administration for the problems we have been experiencing to date...HE HASN'T BEEN IN OFFICE FOR ALMOST THREE FLIPPING YEARS!!! The Republicans have been blaming the democrats for irresponsible spending...THANKS FOR STATING THE OBVIOUS!!! DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!!! Some people will say the Republicans made the Democrats flinch in this debt plan, but I completely disagree. How is reducing our deficit by a measly two trillion dollars in 10 years going to offset the additional 10 trillion the government is already in the process of spending?! It will do nothing to help!

What good does it do us to contact our congressmen/women when we are so politically divided that we may as well become the Union and Confederate States all over again?! I have said it before, and I will say it again and again until I am heard or the right eyes come upon this blog: the political divide in the government has flooded over to the American people. We now hate each other because of our political skin color! I hate you because your RED!!! I hate you because you're BLUE!!! We are becoming just like the politicians who are running this country, yet we don't realize that we share one extremely important interest that sits above all others: WE WANT AMERICA BACK!!! We waste our breath arguing that Democrats are wrong or Republicans are wrong...EVERYONE IS WRONG!!! We are in this position because no one wants to work together to create an outcome that benefits everyone! If you want to reduce our debt, cut spending by a trillion dollars per year! Completely reform the Tax Code, repeal Obamacare, bring our troops home, stop outsourcing so many jobs overseas, cut defense spending, and for goodness sake...STOP DUPLICATIVE SPENDING!!!

Unfortunately, our politicians will never be willing to work together to create such a result. That is, unless we suddenly decide to really look at who it is we are voting for. I almost think that it would be better to vote for politicians who are less known: politicians who have less affiliations and possess fresh ideas. We have played the broken record over and over for the past half century or more, and only once or twice did it accidentally play all the way through. It is time for us to play a different tune, one we know will play all the way through to the end; one we know everyone will equally enjoy. The politicians of tomorrow cannot mirror the ones of today. The less affiliated our future politicians are, the more likely they will be to work together.

I still have faith that America can rebound and once again be the greatest, most powerful country in the world. However, it takes us, THE PEOPLE, to come together and make it happen. We must unite, regardless of political affiliation, race, sexual orientation, religion, financial status and any other barriers one can think of. The people above us WANT us to be divided. It is when we are divided when we are truly the most vulnerable and susceptible to the government's wrath. Imagine how powerful - outright invincible - we would be if we came together as a country and said "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!" This is a time where we must set aside our differences and realize that disaster does not discriminate. In a disaster/catastrophe, everyone suffers.

It is the repeated antics, sales pitches, blaming, party politics and all other thing government related that has brought us to the position we are in today. You know WE can all do something about it...TOGETHER!!!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Why The Welfare System Promotes Poverty In America

Allow me to repeat what I have said in previous posts. I am very new to the concept of politics. That being said, I couldn't have picked a worse time to learn as I am seeing now how I am directly affected as well as every other tax paying American in this country. If there is anyone in this country to has earned the right to cry foul over the insane money being spent by our elected officials, it is the American tax payer. Time and time again we see bills passed with nary a detail regarding the allocation of money in said bills.

While there are so many areas where our tax dollars are being abused I would like to focus on a few areas which Americans have constantly harped on, but have been pretty much ignored by the government as a result. Hundreds of billions of dollars are spent every year to provide free medical, food, housing and a number of other benefits to low income households. Before you start bashing me for being callous toward the needy, allow me to state that I am a proponent in some areas and an opponent in others.

I am completely understanding that there are families that are stricken with unfortunate circumstances and are in dire need of assistance. That being said, I oppose people taking advantage of these benefits. As previously stated, I think this system is quite flawed.

The problem with the welfare system is that it is a trap. There are so many rules that one must abide by in order to be eligible to receive such benefits. You can only make so much money depending on how small or large your family is. I remember looking at my daughter's lunch form last year to determine whether or not she would qualify for free meals at school. According to the income eligibility guidelines established by the Department of Agriculture - and being a family of four - we could make no more than $28,665 per year to qualify for free lunch and $40,793 for reduced lunch prices. Needless to say, I did not qualify. I'm not necessarily complaining that we didn't qualify. The point I am making is this: the government is fueled by poverty.

It is quite easy to qualify for these public benefits, but it is just as easy to lose the benefits. In some cases, it is stipulated that you cannot have much - if any - money in your bank account. If they check your account, and you have so much in your account you benefits are immediately taken away without question. You can only keep your benefits as long as you stay poor. It is almost as if the government is giving society an excuse to accept a lifestyle of poverty. So much for people pursuing the American dream.

There are plenty of people who game the system. It is because of these people who take advantage of a system geared toward helping the needy that so many have become outraged and would much rather do away with public assistance altogether. After all, it IS the TAX PAYER that is footing the bill. Not to mention that the people who are taking advantage of the public benefits are likely not paying any taxes - and in some cases - are receiving plenty of money as a result of having dependants.

I am sure that there are plenty of people who are in America illegally who are also capitalizing off of said benefits as well. This is a bit of a sensitive issue with many, but I am going to go ahead and put it out there. I am sorry, but people who are in this country illegally do not deserve to be given benefits they are not legally entitled to. I understand folks want to make a better life for their children, but do so in a legal manner. It may take weeks, months, even years to accomplish. I would take no issue if immigrants have the proper legal documentation proving their eligibility to receive such benefits. And yet, President Obama has brought up a proposal to give all illegal immigrants amnesty. If I am not mistaken, that is pretty much like giving a child an XBox 360 after finding out they stole DVD's earlier the same day. You are rewarding people for breaking the law. I am not going to put out one race over the other: illegal is illegal. There is no gray area. The reason political figures from other countries are stepping in as advocates for illegal immigrants is because they don't want to deal with the financial burden of bringing them back to their country of origin. That's ok, the American tax payer will take care of it...so says the President and many of his constituents.

I know I sound like I am completely against public assistance, but I truly am not. I do believe that poverty stricken families deserve a chance. I do not think they deserve the blame because the real blame belongs to the government as well as the environment many of these families were brought up in. There are many times where there is truly no way out of poverty, and the only way is to receive some form of assistance. I also believe that these benefits should have limitations.

I think that a family should - as long as they qualify - be granted public assistance for one year. During that year, they can make as much money as they want (and be appropriately taxed on their earned income) and save as much as they want. Use the benefits as much as you want. Once that year has come to pass, the benefits are revoked and you must then press on from there. Some of you may pose the argument "but what about the woman with 5 kids who doesn't have time to invest in work?" Yes, that is an unfortunate situation: one which could have been avoided had proper protective measures been taken to avoid those circumstances. I am not saying I don't feel for people's situations, but it is the system that allowed people to accept the lifestyle they live today. People have accepted that it is just easier to live off the government and let the tax payer provide them with a roof over their heads, food at the table and guaranteed medical care free of charge.

It's a pretty strong argument for which you can't really generate a solid rebuttal. You get money for which you do not pay taxes. It either that, or succeed and be taxed along with everyone else. Yeah, it seems like public assistance is the way to go. Unfortunately, the tax payers are fed up. It is sad when - out of the 95% of tax payers earning less than $160,000 per year - there is more than 40% of filers who don't pay a dime in taxes. And we wonder why we are in a financial crisis. Of course the president wants to tax the wealthy...if he chose to start taxing that 40% he would be looking at a landslide defeat next year.

The poor are greedy for wanting to further tax the rich, the rich are greedy for not wanting to properly compensate those who work for them. The middle class is greedy because they want the rich to get taxed more AND the poor to start being taxed. We are all horrible and stricken with greed as a result. I guess it's true...money is the route of all evil. It doesn't matter who you are, it is easy to point the finger at someone else to avoid taking accountability for something that goes wrong. I'll say it again, we are the ones who elected the politicians to lead this country. Their poor performance over the last several decades is a result of our choices to put them there in the first place. We look to elect someone not for how they can help the country as a whole, but how they can benefit us and people like us. Evil begets evil. If we only choose to elect officials based on our own personal interests, they in turn will do the same. Therefore, the rich will will become richer, the poor will become poorer, and the middle class will cease to exist...oh, wait, it already has ceased to exist!

The more I look at it, the more America just doesn't make sense. We are losing our identity.

America Is Losing It's Identity

If there is one word I would use to describe the Debt Plan that appears to be on pace to be passed into law tomorrow, the word is pathetic. Maybe I could also call it depressing, appalling, suicidal, immoral, premature, and probably 1,000 other things; for now, I will just call it downright pathetic. So this is what we have devoted trillions upon trillions of tax dollars to: a government that has made it completely obvious that their own personal interests clearly outweigh that of the American public. In light of all this, one can only hope that the majority of the politicians in office are ousted with extreme prejudice when elections come around.

From what I gathered, the plan is to increase the debt ceiling by 2.5 trillion dollars while reducing our deficit by 1.5 trillion dollars over the next ten years...over the next ten years. Maybe I should say that last little bit again...over the next TEN years. To the politicians, I ask this question: you mean to tell me that you can only find $150 billion that can be cut out of 3 trillion dollars being spent on a yearly basis?! You folks are the epitome of a wine taste on a beer budget! I am no economist, so therefore I am not going to claim to have an understanding of the debt ceiling. They try to claim that it is not a credit limit, but everything they have said with regards to this debt ceiling falls completely in line with a credit limit. I especially loved when President Obama used the lame excuse that if the debt ceiling was not raised, we would be unable to pay our bills.

I remember one time when I was strapped financially. I decided to use my credit card to pay my bills; that was money I didn't have. I had my debt paid down, but I was planning on charging my card up again due to making a larger purchase, which I did not have enough money for. I requested a credit increase, and was quickly denied. I figured it out in the end. I don't care how anyone explains it. A debt ceiling is nothing but an astronomical credit limit. We are presently sitting at over 14 trillion dollars. With the passing of this debt plan, it will allow us to reach a deficit of 17 trillion dollars with the blessing of our elected officials. The public either doesn't know or doesn't care about what is happening with our tax dollars. Those who do know are not willing enough to step in the way of the government to prevent them from doing as they please with our money.

Democrats want to appeal to lower income earners. That has always been their base; if you didn't know, just pay attention to how much they attack the wealthy in their speeches. So, what is the best way to secure a democrat's re-election? Make people depend on you through federal aid. They will take jobs away and force people to live off of unemployment and food stamps. They will push for amnesty of illegal immigrants. Look, Republicans are no better. I've said it before, the political divide has trickled down into the rest of America. I shouldn't even say "trickled": it has overcome us like a mega tsunami. I said it before, and I will say it again: one side is not more wrong over the other. Both sides are completely wrong. We have gone through decades of Democrats and Republicans trying to carry out their own agendas. Where has that led us? Well, just look at the country today. How many people out there wish you could go back about 10 years and have a do-over?

Once upon a time, I hardly ever heard anything regarding politics when it came to normal conversation. Now I can't go more than half a day without hearing someone point the finger at Democrats or someone else pointing to Republicans for the financial mess our country is in. The Republicans did plenty of damage during George W. Bush's presidency. Obama inherited a lot of what was created in the Bush era, but things have just spun completely out of control these past 2+ years. I didn't think it was possible to just add 4 trillion dollars to our deficit in a little over half a term. The average person is trying to figure out how to avoid spending more than $3,000 per month on rent, food, utilities and other miscellaneous necessities. Meanwhile the government is hard at work spending $4 billion per day...mind you, it's money they don't even really have right now. They must have that new unobtanium credit card with limitless spending privileges attached to it.

We are always taught that - if you plan to enter a loan - you want to make sure you are on time with your payments and that you want to either drastically reduce or completely pay off that loan before entering another long term financial committment. So, these rules have been ingrained in us, and yet the government seems to be operating on a completely different set of fundamentals when it comes to budget management, or lack thereof.

I have heard a myriad of proposals that offered deficit reductions of anywhere between two and six trillion dollars. Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma absolutely floored me when he presented a deficit reduction plan that sought to bring the deficit down by as much as nine trillion dollars! I read through a chunk of it and realized something that many of us do not realize. He, along with a team of economic experts did a great deal of research and found a great deal of duplicatve spending. To give you a simple persective, duplicative spending is creating and funding two or more organizations/departments which serve the same or similar purposes. He also goes on to identify how much money is dedicated to all of these organizations as well as how they can all be condensed into one central location. It is amazing how much money is just being thrown away by the government. Sen. Coburn's proposal is not just an outline: it is a 600+ page document which is chalk full of footnotes citing his facts.

Many people will look at what I am putting in this blog and say that I am wasting my breath and increasing my chances of getting carpal tunnel syndrome. Many of you will continue to look at your own personal political views. I am not supporting one side over the other. I only want everyone to see how bad our country is doing. I want everyone to know that the vast majority of politicians are out there to fulfill their own private agendas while in office. I want people to actually think about who they are electing. When is the last time anyone could look at a politician and really say that he/she was the REAL DEAL?! Politicians today target our weaknesses and use them as their strengths. I wish I knew that method when I was selling cars, I would have sold at least 30 cars per month and I would be up a couple of notches in the tax bracket! I said it once and I will say it again: the government is unconstitutional! They violate our rights in so many ways, and make us feel powerless at the same time. We need to do something about it. I'm done talking about this issue. Time to bring up public assistance/welfare/amnesty/illegal immigration...that will be on the next entry.

Monday, July 25, 2011


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.