The national spotlight is on my home state, Indiana in a huge way. All over our enactment of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) into law. Given my history of talking about such issues, rest assured I’ve been chomping at the bit to write. I’ve started on three different occasions, and haven’t quite hit on exactly what to say that’s really any different or helpful. Then it occurred to me what all the hubbub is about. Discrimination.
We buy candy every year to hand out to trick-or-treaters who come to our door. We’re happy to do it. It is interesting to see the costumes, or in some cases the lack of them. This year I saw a couple of Jokers, and thought of the Motley Fool. But if you’ve been following me for any length of time, you know there’s something else coming. And you’re right. You can tell quite a bit about the character of the kids who come to your door. When they say, “Trick or treat”, and I say, “Pick one”, many of them do exactly that, and I’m impressed. Then there was one young girl who asked, “how many?” I responded with my standard, “Pick one.” And she did. A very polite young girl. Those that know me well are waiting for this one. “Trick or treat”, they said. I said “Pick one.” I think they were trying to pick one, and got two. One fell on the ground, and they picked it up, and put it in their bag. I had no problem with that. Now here’s what you’ve been waiting for. Her brother grabbed as much as he could fit in his hand. I had to say, “Whoa there, JUST one.”
You didn’t think I was done with my story did you? Good! Because I have a lesson we all need to learn from this experience. You would never be the person who takes more than somebody is willing to share, but if you aren’t then both of your neighbors are. How can I make that statement? Well, look at it this way, at least one out of every two people in this country are receiving more generosity from their government than they are paying for. In fact a significant number of your neighbors (because you’d never do it) are not paying any income tax at all. They’re like the kid thrilled with getting candy for free, who looks at the full basket of candy I have, and instead of taking one, takes as many as they can grab with their hand. Maybe you’re tempted to say what’s wrong with that? What happens if during the course of the evening I run out because the first ten kids take handfuls? What do I do when the next 20 kids come to my house? Are they going to be “mad” at the first 10 kids? Maybe, but my guess is they’re going to be “mad” at me because I didn’t buy enough candy. What if I can’t afford more candy? What then? Will they know that?
This pretty much defines the life of a small business owner, or any business owner for that matter. People want businesses to give away their product without making a profit, because profit is “bad”. Or having a profit is seen as being greedy. News flash, if business owners are not able to make a profit, there’s no incentive for them to be in business. They won’t be able to afford any candy to give away to the kids for Halloween. Citizens are more than willing to push the taxes on those “wealthy business owners” and their businesses, asking them to “pay their fair share.” If only it was their fair share, but in reality business owners and successful people are being asked to pay more than their fair share.
I’m pushing back, and asking everyone to pay their fair share, including the poor. If you think your fair share is too much, elect people to represent you who promise to reduce the size and scope of all layers of government. If they are not able to get the job done, don’t elect them again. You see, term limits are a bad idea. They force us to get rid of people who are getting the job done, in the name of stopping those who are not getting the job done. The thing is, there are already term limits. We just have to have the resolve to enforce them. Every office has a length of term, otherwise we wouldn’t keep on having elections.
For once, ignore your party affiliation, and think about what electing the individual means. If they’ve held office for any length of time, have they helped the country? Or have they helped their own political career? Have they been self-serving, or have they truly taken on the tough challenges and solved them? I’d say there are 16 trillion reasons to say they have not tackled the toughest challenge! It is time to elect people who are serious about resolving our debt problem. The way you can tell they are serious, is if they are willing to curb government’s voracious appetite for spending more than tax revenues support. In order for me to not run out of candy, I need each child to take just one piece. In order for our government to not run out of money, we need to make sure our government isn’t doing more than it needs to do. We need to make sure we aren’t trying to take advantage of our government, because when we do we are really stealing from our neighbors, or from the kids who come later. That’s the real greed. The businessman’s profit allows him to keep meeting the needs of society. The businesswoman’s profit allows her to build up reserves for a rainy day. And if our government operated this way, and instead of a 16 trillion dollar debt, we had a 16 trillion dollar surplus, then President Obama can talk about making any investment he wants to make to get our economy going again. But honestly, he wouldn’t have to because we wouldn’t be in this problem in the first place. And there wouldn’t be a person in their right mind who would want a two term limit on somebody who was able to turn a 16 trillion debt into a 16 trillion dollar surplus. Unfortunately, President Obama took a 10 trillion dollar debt and turned it into a 16 trillion dollar debt. That’s the wrong direction.
Well, Trick or Treating has come to an end here, so I’ll wrap this up. Let me know what you think!
Unless you choose to put your head in the sand, it should be clear that we have created a problem of immense proportions. Many of us, as individuals are in debt beyond what we can bear. And, as if that wasn’t bad enough, we are in debt as a country beyond human comprehension. Many, who see this problem compound it by trumpetting this debt as foreign debt. While large chunks of it are, United States citizens either directly or through various mutual and other funds own a huge amount of that debt. So I will acknowledge that is isn’t all foreign, or as big a problem with foreign influence as some will attempt to scare people with.
Let me be emphatically clear, however; that there are natural laws in place which no government on earth, powerful as it may be, can forever circumvent.
That natural law is that the borrower is servant to the lender. Our Federal Government seems to forget that. Oh, I know, we’ve eliminated slavery and forced labor here in the United States. We’re the “land of the free, and home of the brave” after all. Really? No, not really! Not until the United States owes less than it could pay off if it decided to do so, would it truly be free. Until then, the United States is servant to its lenders. And we, as citizens of this country, are not truly free either. Our rugged individualism is eroding, and we are accepting dependence, if not outright reliance, on a growing, wasteful and inefficient government.
If you think that we can continue on this course without consequence, then you have not considered reality. Do you think it isn’t possible to have a revolution in this country? That we are too civilized? Do you really think that the United States can afford another foreign war? Or, a war within? Where does war fit into this equation, you may ask? Well, if China is not paid on the debt they own, would you put it past them to attack us? Their military strength is growing. Their population alone dwarfs the United States, so they could afford stunning human casualties. To those who say our Federal Government would never default on it’s debt, may I remind you that the Federal Government forced the debt holders of General Motors to accept pennies on the dollar for their loans. Is it any wonder that people and investors are hesitant to loan money, when the government seems willing to step in and force immense losses? What’s to prevent our government from saying $14 trillion dollars of debt is really only $14 million dollars of debt, causing everyone who holds the debt to lose money? If you say that can’t happen, then you haven’t looked at quantitative easing. That’s just a fancy way of saying “printing money”. If you print enough money, you can make $14 trillion dollars the equivalent of $14 million dollars today.
It is in this context that I share this article from Newsmax.com:
Democrats Play Chicken as Boehner Digs in on Budget
Thursday, 31 Mar 2011 01:27 PM
By David A. Patten and Matthew Belvedere
. . .“Between Harry Reid, Chuck Schumer, and Howard Dean, they let the cat out of the bag, and that’s that the Democrats’ political plan is to shut down government because they think they will benefit from doing that. Now we know that, if the government shuts down it’s not the tea party’s fault, it’s the Democrats’ fault, because they’ve made a decision they’re not interested in compromise. They just want to see the government shut down,” Backmann tells Newsmax. . . .
© Newsmax. All rights reserved.Read more on Newsmax.com: Democrats Play Chicken as Boehner Digs in on Budget
Please click the link above and read the entire article. Newsmax copyright policy limits a quote to 75 words or less, and we try to follow the rules around here.
One quote in particular caught my eye.
Boehner said he is glad that activists remain involved. But he cautioned that Republicans control just “one-half of one-third of the government here in Washington, we can’t impose our will on another body, we can’t impose our will on the Senate.” – Newsmax.com as above.
While this is true, “we the people” need to remind our elected officials that they derive their power from the consent of the governed, not from the position that they hold.
So, getting to the point of this post, let me address what it is that we need to do. We need to stop spending at all levels. We need to learn to make do with what we already have. We need to learn to spend within our means, not outside of it just to keep up appearances. Then, once all of that is under control, we need to start saving. Now, if you’re like me, and I suspect you are, you are thinking that means more cuts in spending. That’s right. You have to cut spending even more to be able to afford to save. Why go through this pain? Why is it important to start saving, and not just be satisfied that debt is being paid down? I’m glad you asked. Saving not only forces you to spend less, it makes you wait for a major purchase. It doesn’t mean you never make the purchase, it just means you have to wait. Saving means that your entire outlook changes. Instead of paying for things later, you pay for them before you buy them.
I’m going to interject a personal example here. Almost 9 months ago now I purchased an iPad. In the past, I would have gotten it right away if I wanted it. I would have made all sorts of rationalizations about how I really needed it, when in reality, I just wanted the latest cool thing from Apple. In this case, I waited for some time, partially because I really wanted to have an iPad with a camera. However, there was another more important reason. I actually assessed how I used my then current MacBook. I realized that it spent most of its time tethered to an external monitor. In other words it was essentially an iMac. Upon further thinking, I realized that when I was using the MacBook as a laptop, I was primarily surfing the web, or checking e-mail. Those are two things that the iPad is perfect for. So, as a pragmatic step to get me to the point where I could replace my MacBook with an iMac, I went with an iPad. Going this route put off a $2,000 purchase by at least a year, and only cost $800, a savings of $1,200. Well, the reality is the savings is actually much higher. I’ve shaved weight off of what I carry between home and the office each day. Once we started thinking like this, we actually figured that we could rearrange our existing iMac computers to put off a new purchase even longer. That’s te good part about a Mac. The only reason you feel the need for a new one, is if you make the mistake of using a new one and you see that faster is possible. Otherwise, these things run circles around PCs. My apologies to my friends who still think PCs are better, I know how hard it can be to admit there could be something better!
As you might be able to gather from my personal example, we didn’t stop spending altogether. We simply didn’t go and get everything I wanted. We figured out how to get more productivity out of what we already had, and how to extend the life of what we already had. Some would even say if we wanted to save money, we should buy PCs instead. At the risk of going down a rabbit trail, the cost savings on hardware is real. However, after supporting Windows based PCs for over 20 years, and dealing with sudden an unexplained inability to find network printers, and other devices, sapping hours of productivity, it is refreshing to now deal with the occasional lost file. Lost, not because it’s gone, but rather it was used on a different computer. If it’s just a file, I can connect to every single Mac we own securely over our Virtual Private Network (VPN), and mount those hard drives on my own Mac, and search. Or, if I don’t want to mount drives, I can log in to those Macs remotely and control the remote machine. It works every time, unlike my Windows experience. See, I told you it was a rabbit trail.
Before this becomes so long it takes two sittings to read, let me tie all of this together. I started by talking about our personal, and then national debt problem. We need to take responsibility for our own debt first, and then tackle the debt on a national basis. That would be ideal. However, we do not have that luxury. We need to tackle both simultaneously. If, our Federal government drops the ball and doesn’t reign in spending, then it will become even more important that we address our own debt issues. Just as the Federal government wants to kick the can to the next generation and the next, we too want to put off paying for things today. Part of us hopes we can pay off our debt with inflated dollars. The only problem is that in so many other places our inflated dollars are buying less and less. This is why we must demand the painful fiscal medicine, even though it will not taste good, feel good, or be enjoyable. We must demand it or we will die a slow and painful death from 14 trillion microscopic paper cuts.
Two years ago I replied to somebody’s blog post with this:
I agree we need to “make some changes around here”, and I like the idea of not completely abandoning government. We want government! We just want it to be more efficient, smaller, and less of a burden. Bringing about these changes will require a shift in how the voter thinks.
We need to fund voter education. Now, here is the challenge. If we want government to be efficient, smalller, and less of a burden, then we need to figure out how to do the exact same thing with this movement.
Could you imagine what would happen if we elected a TEA candidate in place of Pete Visclosky? Could you imagine if we spent less than $20,000 to do it? Now imagine if all the members of the house were unseated for the same amount. That would cost $8.7 million. Contrast that with what Obama spent to win… almost 86 times that amount. Now imagine if those TEA candidates went to Washington D.C. and cut federal spending that drastically!!! What if they converted Social Security into a private retirement program as the CATO Institute proposed years ago? What if Medicare, Medicaide, and welfare programs were turned into the insurance programs they should be, and you purchased the amount of insurance you wanted?
You see, if you did your own saving, and paid for your own insurance, you might get to a point where you have enough saved, where you don’t want the cost of insurance. If you have a rainy-day fund of 12 months of wages, without touching your retirement, then why pay a premium for unemployment insurance? Spend it instead on something productive!
I could go on, but basically the bottom line is common sense. We need to return to common sense. We need to help people realize that voting for their current member of congress, as likable as they are, means that we will get more of the same, regardless of current party.
Wow. Did you catch the part about a real unemployment insurance program? Could you imagine how much money this would save state governments, that are working like crazy to shore up failing unemployment programs, by of all things increasing the tax that employers have to pay. Sounds like my small business will not be hiring anyone new any time soon. It’s too expensive. Oh, and how does that help get us out of the unemployment fix we’re in?
To say that I am amazed at the lies, would in itself be a lie. What does amaze me though is why anyone in this country would want the government involved in health care in any way.
When Congressman Joe Wilson said what many people were thinking about President Obama’s promise that this plan would not cover illegal aliens, the level of interest overwhelmed the Congressman’s House Website. Follow closely here everyone. The House Website is run by the government and it could not handle the increased traffic caused by one outburst during a Presidential speech to Congress. What happens when the government is running health-care, and some sort of pandemic hits? What happens when millions of people all try to access the government health website? Will it crash too? Do you really trust these folks to run health-care?
Due to exceptionally high traffic, this site is temporarily unavailable.
Please come back shortly.
I made a copy of that, figuring they’d have the problems solved by now… but two days after the event, they still cannot respond to the volume of requests. That is crazy and completely unacceptable.
Beyond that, look at the other “success” stories of government help. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, The United States Postal Service, Amtrak, Freddie, and Fannie.
My advice is that no matter how much you like your congressman or congresswoman, if they even hint that they want the government to be involved in health-care, vote for someone who will prevent it.
I read local news online, and occasionally something will catch my attention and annoy me to response. Here is the quote from The Times Letter to the Editor.
| Saturday, June 13, 2009 |
If the American people want to know what kind of jerk George W. Bush was, they should go see the movie “W.” Bush failed in almost everything he did, including being president. His father was getting tired of bailing him out of trouble. He couldn’t hold a job, and he was considered to be an alcoholic.
Look what he did to this country in his two terms in office. We are in one of the worst recessions since the Great Depression. We have 10 million people unemployed, and many more are going to lose their jobs. We have 3 million foreclosures on homes, and the numbers are climbing higher.
Bush should be brought to trial for war crimes for starting the war with Iraq and Saddam Hussein with a lie that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Bush is also responsible for the deaths of more than 4,000 American soldiers and 170,000 Iraqi people. Look at the way our government tortured its prisoners during this senseless war. The American people should blame themselves for allowing this communist country to elect our president with the electoral college instead of the popular vote.
Is this really how the American people want to live in a world of communism like the Russian people did many years ago? Bush also stated on national television that God told him to become president. What a joke — and the joke is on the simple-minded American people.
– R***** K********, L*** V******
I debated whether this even deserved a response, but it was a short debate! Here is my response :
Facts and logic are stubborn things.
Presidential elections produce failures, yet President Bush succeeded twice, some failure! Prior to being president, he was governor of Texas. Prior to that he was trusted to be the General Partner of the Texas Ranger’s baseball team, sounds like a job. Bush admits being an Alcoholic, and avoids drinking for that reason.
Now for his two terms as President. He inherited a weak policy toward terror. We were repeatedly attacked, yet the muted response was some sort of minor air strike, if anything.
Then, the unthinkable happened. We were attacked in a major way on 9/11/2001, less than 8 months after Bush became president. Since that date, there has not been another successful attack on the United States, in large part due to Bush’s unpopular policy of taking the fight to the terrorists, and subjecting captured terrorists to torture. Those 4,000+ US soldiers gave up their lives defending your right to voice your opinion! In a communist country you would be dead by now.
Have we really forgotten how the terrorists treated our country? Torture seems too tame.
The TEA Party on April 15th brought to mind some interesting things. It took an e-mail I received today to remind me of one of the complaints that was raised as people were sharing at the TEA Party. Someone spoke about churches and prayer, and being involved in community. All things I agree with. But, then the comment was made from the audience that the church is largely silent on the issues and voting.
Why? Why is the church largely silent on the issues of the day? Do people really think that it is because churches do not care? Or, more importantly that God does not care?
I submit that it is fear of men, more than the fear of God that keeps churches from speaking to culture today. “How so?” you ask. Well, with the threat of having the tax exempt status revoked for being politically active, and having the donations of members of the church being invalidated as deductible contributions, it becomes easier to see how there is a reluctance to speak out on any issue that appears to be political in nature.
As it stands now, Congress is proposing “hate crimes” legislation that would criminalize the Biblical view of homosexuality. Make no mistake about it, homosexuality is a sin! However, so is lying, cheating, stealing, adultery, gluttony, drunkenness, and more. I haven’t even mentioned the “big one”, murder.
Should I be surprised that in a country that legalizes the murder of the innocent unborn, that we would try to rewrite other areas of God’s law?
So it is that I am hoping that the pen is indeed mightier than the sword. I am hoping that the message of repentance that the one crying in the wilderness some 2000 years ago is adopted today. John the Baptist prepared the way for Jesus Christ. Are you prepared for the return of Jesus Christ? The last time Jesus Christ came to earth, he was born to die. It was his death, and subsequent resurrection celebrated these past two weekends by millions of believers, that makes it possible for any of us to stand a chance before a holy and just God. Jesus paid the price my sin deserved. Has he taken care of that for you? or are you unprepared for his return??
Why am I so concerned? Well, this time when Jesus returns to earth, it will not be to redeem–it will be to judge. Most people I suspect think they are good enough. Watch this, and then see what you think…