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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Dishonest Republicans & Democrats

I find it shocking that both Republicans and Democrats, with the total complicity of the news media, including FOX News, have not made it crystal clear to the American people that the sequester does not include any actual cuts in spending.  There are no cuts to domestic spending or to the Department of Defense, none.  The so-called cuts are simply a reduction in the rate of growth.  They are as mythical as the long touted Reagan cuts in domestic spending.  Check the facts for yourself, the domestic budget increased every year under Ronald Reagan.

This is total dishonesty by the White House, the Republican leadership (with the exception of some Republicans like Rand Paul, who have called attention to this lie), and by the Democratic leadership.  This is an intentional distortion designed to confuse the American people.  It's a con called base line budgeting.  Essentially it means that the baseline calls for projected increases in spending.  If Congress spends more than the baseline increase, they call it an increase in spending.  If they spend less than the baseline increase, they call it a cut in spending.  It is bizarre.  Even after the sequester the US government will spend $15 billion more in 2013 than it did in 2012.  Some cuts!

This is Orwellian at best, it is total dishonesty perpetuated by both parties at worst.  This is an incredible kind of double-talk that is a telltale sign of a nation in decline.  When both political parties agree to intentionally confuse the American people by talking about reductions in the increase in spending as draconian cuts that will damage our Republic, the bond of trust between elected officials and the people they are to serve has been severed.

If you are having a hard time making it, running up credit card bills, and unable to take care of your basic needs such as mortgage payments, school needs, heating, and home repairs, you will make cutbacks in your spending.  These will be real cuts, not reductions in the rate of growth in spending.  No matter who you are, you find a way to cut back.  You spend less on food, you quit going out for recreation, you drive less, turn down the thermostat, you do whatever is necessary to make ends meet.  That is what you and I understand as cuts.

If, as I do, you run a business, and you find yourself running in the red, you make serious cost expenditure reductions, i.e. cuts.  You know that you cannot continue in business if you are spending more than you take in.  If you do, you are soon out of business.  I've been in business for nearly 40 years.  During that time I have, on several occasions, had a bad year.  In order to survive, I had to make major cuts, starting with my own compensation.  The last time this happened I had to cut about 10% out of our annual expenditures.  It was painful, but we survived because we were willing to make real cuts in our spending.  When we made these cuts we learned how to do things better and faster for our clients.  And, when we were back on track, we expanded, always keeping an eye on the bottom line, making sure that the amount of money coming in was more than the amount of money going out.  And, unlike the government, we don't borrow money we can't afford to repay.  In addition, we keep a financial reserve to get us through the next difficult time that is sure to come.

What you do to make ends meet and what I do to stay in business is sometimes difficult, even painful.  But, we do it because we have to live within reality, not in the Willy Wonka land of Washington, DC.  What you and I do to survive and to prosper isn't brain surgery, or rocket science, it's just plain common sense.

Unfortunately, there seems to be no common sense in Washington, DC.  Worse yet, candor and honesty seem to be in scarce supply.  The least we should be able to expect out of the President of the United States and members of the US Senate and the US House of Representatives is honesty and truthfulness.  We deserve better than gobble-D-gook, and double talk.  Our representatives in Washington, DC are public servants, something they seem to forget.  They serve at our pleasure.  They work for us, we don't work for them.  They are not Kings and Queens and Princes, or potentates who are to dictate how we live and what we do with our lives and with the money we earn.  It is our money.  The government doesn't have any money (i.e. wealth) that is not taken forcibly from you and me.  Those dollars represent the goods and services that we labored to earn.

Sadly, the men and women in Congress and the man in the White House seem to have either forgotten their role as public servants, or they choose to ignore it and see themselves instead as our masters.  This is not the Republic envisioned by our Founders.  In fact, it is the nightmare they revolted against.  They risked their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to secure liberty for us, and our leaders have betrayed that trust. 

In the 20th century, our leaders rejected our heritage of freedom repeatedly.  Government grew and grew and grew.  It became the all-consuming, all controlling, nanny government that our forefathers fought against.  The Founders saw America as a unique "shining city on a hill", a place where those in need were taken care of by virtuous people who believed that they were their brother's keeper.  They gained their virtue from their Christian faith.  The Founder's ideal was liberty and opportunity for all, regardless of background, or circumstance.  They weren't perfect, but their goals and ideals were grounded in reality and truth.

The Founders understood that there are no guarantees in life.  They understood that a government big enough to do anything was a government dangerous enough to take everything, including wealth and freedom from the people.  But in the 20th century, and now in the 21st century, the wisdom of the Founders has been either rejected or forgotten.  Crafty men and women, who see themselves as wiser, and more benevolent than others, seek to rule our nation as emperors, telling us what to do with our lives from cradle to grave.

For a brief moment, with the election of Ronald Reagan, a Founder's class President, common sense re-emerged.  President Reagan spoke to the American people truthfully and plainly.  He didn't lecture, demand, or disdain the wisdom of the hard working men and women of America.  He spoke once again of America as a "shining city on a hill."  His goal was to unchain and unleash American citizens from the burden of overreaching government.  He sought to reduce and restrain government from intervening in the lives of free citizens.  His understanding of history was in sync with that of Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Madison, Franklin, and Henry.  He respected the people and he respected their right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  He never looked down on American citizens and thought them unworthy or unable to run their own lives.  He believed that they had the right to keep and spend the results of their labors.  Ronald Reagan made us proud to be Americans.  He was a man of character, of integrity, and of clear vision. 

He was also a man of great personal compassion, even sending personal checks to those in need who wrote to him.  He understood that charity (love) comes only from individuals, not from some huge government bureaucracy.  He knew that burdening the people with high taxes, unending regulations, and restrictions on their financial capacity to be generous to others was not only wrong and un-Constitutional, but the path to universal misery.

I am sick of the dishonesty in Washington, DC and the sordid complicity of the news media in trying to hoodwink the American people.  Spending more money we don't have will never help the economy.  It is 180 degrees out of phase with common sense, and it is doomed to failure.  Individuals, companies, states, and nations have never and will never spend their way into prosperity.  Intentionally dividing Americans by race, wealth, age, sex, or in any other way is simply wrong.  It is evil.  Great leaders do not divide their nation and create disharmony, they seek to unite a nation.  Those who divide are not leaders, they are destroyers.

Ronald Reagan lifted us all up.  The prosperity of all citizens rose as Ronald Reagan lifted the burden of government from the backs of the American people.  He brought harmony to our land, he united us.  Driven by a love of country and a love for the American people, Ronald Reagan brought us together as Americans.

I sincerely wish I could say the same of Barack Obama.  I really do.  As our first black President, he had a unique opportunity to unite Americans as never before.  He had a chance to be the President of all Americans, but he chose not to do so.  Through hostile rhetoric and endless dividing and campaigning, he has driven the spirit of America down.  His mantra is envy and jealously, not love and compassion.  He has encouraged hostility between races, between sexes, between young and old, between rich and poor, and driven a wedge any place where he sees a possibility for political gain.  He words are often angry, divisive, and dishonest.  It is sad outlook for so young a man who benefitted his entire life from being an American.

He has spoken plainly of his desire to transform America, but America doesn't need to be transformed from the vision of our Founders, it needs to return to that vision.  We don't need a monarch that rules over our lives, we need a leader like Ronald Reagan who respected the greatness of America, the goodness of America, and the promise of America.  We need a President who sees Americans as a people who are compassionate, caring, hard-working, industrious, and freedom loving.  We need a President who will minimize government intervention into our lives, and thereby maximize freedom and opportunity for all of its citizens.  We need leadership that bases policies on traditional moral values of hard work, fairness and decency.  We need leadership that defends and protects life.  And, above all, we need and deserve truth and honesty from all of our leaders.

It's time for a new American Revolution, one that springs not from the cartridge box, but from the ballot box.  It's time for freedom loving men and women all across our nation to stand up and be counted.  We won a great, historic victory in 2010, but it was just the beginning.  It's time to quit licking our wounds from our losses in 2012, and kick the rascals out in 2014.  This is not about us, it's about our children and our grandchildren.  It's about preserving the heritage of liberty that was passed along to us by our forefathers.  It's about pledging our own lives, our own fortunes and our sacred honor to re-creating the vision of the Founders, so that our children and grandchildren can live in freedom.  Can we do any less?

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