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Friday, July 29, 2011

The Truth about Romney

The 2008 GOP primary was the first primary I was legally old enough to vote in. For months leading up to February 2008, I researched each of the candidates and began to decide who to support. In the end, I threw my support behind a strong business man, Mitt Romney.

As "Big Tuesday" drew closer, more and more decent candidates dropped out of the race, including Romney. With a the media hyping up a McCain victory, it was impossible for any decent candidate to have a fighting chance. When the big day came, I ended up just casting a symbolic vote for the non-candidate, Mitt Romney, and walked out of the polls disappointed.

While Romney is not my candidate of choice this time around, if he is our worst case scenario, we are in pretty good shape. While he catches a lot of heat for his role in implementing the Massachusetts Health Care reform (I agree he should), the rest of his resume is pretty flawless and full of stories of him raising companies from the grave and implementing fiscal responsibility. (To read more on this just glance at his Wikipedia Biography; Yeah I know it's not a "great source".)

Most consider his Mormon faith a serious character flaw. While this could indeed hurt him in the general election, I feel as though it could be a positive trait to have in a President. One characteristic i've seen in every mormon I know is that they are pretty incorruptible (believe me i've tried).  Having a president that is not phased by the competing interests in Washington, would not be bad for our country.

While it is customary to hate the front runner candidate for president, it is comforting to know that this time around the candidate is at least competent. The last election cycle, the Republican "Hero" was McCain and it was difficult to rally behind such an unimpressive candidate. Whatever the outcome this primary has in store, the most important thing is that we choose a candidate we can all united behind and defeat Barack Obama. That is and should remain priority number one.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Looking towards 2012 and Beyond

Balancing realism with ideology is a tough task for anyone that follows politics religiously. How one wants policy to be shaped is often at odds with what is realistically possible, thus one’s realistic political position is often different from their diehard philosophical views.

As conservative as I am ideologically, I realistically know that there are many people that will not agree with 100% of what I believe. The important thing to me is that the portion that people agree with is what is most important, namely fiscal responsibility (capitalism, balanced budgets, tax/spend policy, etc), individual freedoms, national defense and border security.

The GOP would be smart to have the same strategy as the future goes forward. In 2012, we need a candidate that not only is a conservative and a leader but one that is electable and can beat Barack Obama. Without defeating Obama, it is impossible for the party to repeal Obamacare and look towards getting our country out of debt.

Below I have outlined a couple things I feel the GOP should focus on as it moves towards the future and looks to regain its stronghold with the American electorate.

I) Focus on issues that are important.

This is not to say that issues such as abortion, gay marriage, etc. are not important topics, but more so to say that there are other things more important for the future of this nation. Let me put it this way, on a typical day how much does it affect you if Bob and Jim get married? Not much. However, on a typical day, how much does a crumbled economy and high taxes affect you? Quite a bit.

Social issues are important for instilling traditional values in the generations to come. However, when push comes to shove, the church and the family will always be there to push for these values and ensure the moral stability of future generations. As of now its important to put these things aside and focus on what is urgent and important.

So what is important?

1. Fiscal Responsibility

 This should be priority number one for any candidate seeking office.  In their campaign, a good candidate must stress ending our country’s deficit and putting into place a balanced budget.
As part of this, they should also stress reforming social welfare programs. These programs cost hundreds of billions of dollars each year and are detrimental to both the economy and the general work ethic of our country. Welfare should not be awarded based on how many children you can squeeze out, it should be used to get people back on their feet and working.

Privatization should be stressed in regards to Medicare, Medicaid, and social security, these programs are important to the elderly and it is important that we fulfill the promises that were made to them in their working years. By privatizing these programs, we will be able to use the market to generate the most revenue possible instead of relying on the falling standards of public finance.

In fact, the government should privatize everything that it can. Public jobs lead to unionization and less competition. Without this competition, it is impossible for people to thrive. Why work harder if you are receiving the same benefits either way? In fact, why work hard at all if you are not at risk of being fired? Private companies give their employees a sense of risk and reward, the people that put in the most effort will reap the most and the people that put in the least amount of effort will reap the least. If equality can be found anywhere it is found in the free market.

On this note, it is imperative that Obamacare is repealed. Socializing healthcare is expensive and would be detrimental to this country. Additionally it would inevitably create an even greater reliance on the government for those that are not self-sufficient. Healthcare like everything else in this world is not a right but a privilege, if someone is able to purchase healthcare they should be able to do so without having their taxpayer dollars pay for others to compete with them to receive the same treatment. It also should not be mandated for anyone to purchase a service, including healthcare, against his or her free will, it is unconstitutional (commerce clause) and is morally apprehensible.

2. Individual Freedoms & State’s Rights

A big part of being an American is one’s ability to pursue happiness without government interference. In fact, the Bill of Rights were put into our constitution to ensure that the government could not do away with a set of what they believe to be our most fundamental rights. Unfortunately, through the increased size of the Federal Government and Judicial Activism many of these rights have been limited and other rights that were not enumerated eliminated all together. This must stop.

The perfect 2012 candidate would make this a major platform as well. He or she would emphasize local control and restoring the government to the people. It is much easier for a state to look after the interests of its own constituency than for a bunch of strangers in Washington to do so. People are not stupid and they should be allowed a lot more control over their interests than the Feds would like.

3. National Defense and Border Security

A strong army and secure borders are important to protecting our nation. Dangers ranging from extremist terrorism to old-fashioned country-on-country warfare are always looming in the distance, so to be the best we must also remain the most powerful. At the same time, it is not fiscally responsible to throw our hat into every conflict that arises on the planet. We need to pick and choose our battles more wisely and focus on realistic threats to national security.

With cartel violence increasing everyday along the US- Mexico Border, it is important that we secure our borders to prevent guns and drugs from being smuggled back and forth. If we can cut this off, we can cut them off, which would save thousands of Mexican and American lives each year.

Protecting our borders not only saves lives but also it saves money. Illegal immigrants use billions of taxpayer dollars each year on social welfare, education and medical costs alone. One should not be able to reap the benefits of being a US Citizen unless they are in fact a US Citizen and pay into the system. This goes back to restoring fiscal responsibility, we cannot continue to fund those that are not our own if we can’t pay our own bills as a nation.  

II) Push the Party Towards the Future

If the GOP intends to accomplish its most sincere goals, it is important that as a party they are electable. As Republicans, we cannot continue to market ourselves in the same way we have in the past, we must capture the next generation of voters before they begin to identify with the Democratic Party. Below I have outlined 3 key things that could help make this happen.

1. Revamp Our Image to Capture the Future Voter

The media makes the Democratic Party look like the party of the people, a party that emphasizes with your situation and is looking out for “the average American”. While this is obviously far from the truth, people believe it. To capture the next generation of voters, the Republican Party should do better at playing at its strengths and marketing itself to the general electorate.

We need to make it sexy to be a Republican. Being the “party of capitalism” this should be no problem. What is “sexier” than capitalism?!? It is social Darwinism; one can come from literally nothing and die with all the riches in the world with nothing but hard work and raw talent.

We need to remind people that it is through the free market and hard work that dreams can be fulfilled, not through handouts and government regulations. It is such a simple sell, yet I have rarely seen the Republican Party push this.  Simple rags to riches stories are so inspirational that it makes it almost impossible to resist capitalism; we need to share these stories with the youth so they desire to do something similar and make their own way in life.

2. Capture the Hispanic Vote

If the Republicans are to succeed in the future, it is important that they win back the Hispanic vote from the Democrats. This is definitely possible, because as Ronald Reagan said, “Latinos are Republicans, they just don’t know it yet”.

While many doubt this can be achieved because Hispanics have historically been a voting block for the Democrats, I think it can be. Hispanics agree with Republicans almost completely on social issues, in fact if you were to ask them issue-by-issue I am almost sure they would agree with Republicans 9/10 times. Often they even agree with Republicans on issues involving national defense and personal freedoms.

Where Hispanics tend to have problems with the Republican Party is when it comes to social welfare issues and issues regarding immigration. The social welfare obstacle, while a difficult hurdle, is best overcome through the capitalism strategy I mentioned above. Hispanics are some of the most hardworking men and women in America and if we can get them to see the power of capitalism and the free market, social welfare would largely lose its appeal.

The immigration obstacle is one that needs to be handled more delicately. The Republican Party needs to be very stern towards illegals while emphasizing their support for the Hispanic community at large. In essence, avoid passing legislation that sounds like it directly targets Hispanics while still passing legislation that strengthens our borders and removes obstacles from deporting those here illegally. Tackle these two issues and the Hispanic vote will overwhelmingly vote GOP.

3. Effectively Use New Technology and Media Tools

The radio is a fine tool for mobilizing voters that we already have, however, to capture new voters we must utilize emerging technology and media tools. Social Media, Blogging, Youtube, etc. are all great tools that the GOP has greatly underutilized. If you don’t believe me just look at the 2008 Presidential race, Obama utilized all of these things and it greatly contributed to his ability to mobilize (and whoop McCain). 

Obama currently has over 22 million fans on Facebook, where as “front runner”, Mitt Romney, has barely over a million. Advertising online through these sites is cheap and effective. Candidates need to be active on all the major sites and keep their supporters up to date with Youtube updates. This will make mobilization a lot easier and allows for new comers to see what that voting Republican is all about.

The road towards a large victory in 2012 is a difficult one but is one that is definitely obtainable. To do this, the GOP needs to revamp itself and face the future or it will get left behind. Because Obama has made a lot of mistakes in his first term, a good campaign that focuses on what is important could definitely lead to a change in administration in 2012. Voters can hope for change all they want, but only through free market ideals will it be a change that can truly improve their lives. More government is not the solution, it is the problem. 

Friday, July 22, 2011

FFR Extremists Versus Perry

The 'Freedom From Religion Group' has made allegations that Gov. Rick Perry is constitutionally prohibited from speaking at "The Response", an all day prayer and fasting event that will be hosted at Reliant Stadium in Houston on August 6th. Where in the constitution they found this prohibition I have no idea.

The First Amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The FFR argue that they "support the free exercise of religion, but strongly oppose the governmental establishment and endorsement of religion, including prayer and fasting". Why a group would waste such a large amount of time, energy and resources to fight something as harmless and positive as a day of prayer is beyond me.

It is obvious that this group isn't afraid of this day of prayer or even thinks it could lead to the establishment of a national religion. They are simply trying to raise awareness to their minority opinion, while attempting to defame a rising conservative leader on his path to the White House.

If anything this lawsuit is unconstitutional. As a citizen of America, Rick Perry is entitled to his freedom of religion and should be able to speak on his beliefs in whatever forum he wants as long as it isn't supported directly with Taxpayer dollars.

Groups like this make no sense to me. If I was an atheist, I don't think I would ever waste my time fighting for it. I would believe in my mind that God didn't exist and that would be the end of it. No need to discuss it, no need to join groups about it, just live my life and try to enjoy it as much as possible.

There are rumors that Perry may not speak at the event after all because it could create legal problems when he announces his presidential bid (FULL STORY HERE) but I still give him kudos for not backing down and canceling the event. While it can be argued that advocating a day of prayer should not be the job of the Governor, what he does in his spare time should be his business and should not be limited by a group of extremist wackos.

Perry will likely announce his candidacy in the next 3 weeks and begin his battle for a victory in the  2012 GOP primary.

World Ventures?

Last night I received a text from an old college buddy that said "Hey man, I need to talk to you about something really important... can you be by your computer in 10 minutes". Being a good friend, I of course obliged, logged into my computer and awaited his call.

At about 9 o'clock, I get a phone call and he tells me to visit the following website: and click number two. I then proceed to watch a twenty minute video clip, with him on the phone, all the while being skeptical and knowing what I was watching had to be a scam.

After watching the video, he asks me "So what do you think? Do you want to be a part of this business opportunity"? I almost didn't know what to say, after watching the video it was obvious to me that the company was either A) A pyramid scheme or B) a tough sell commission job, either way not my cup of tea. I then proceeded to try and explain this to him, but he would not have any of it and seemed offended that I was insulting his new get rich quick plan.

The problem with "companies" like this is they prey on people like my buddy; people that are above the poverty line, but are not faring well in this recession. They charge membership fees to be a "Travel Agent" in their "company" and tell you that you will be able to make a lot of money and go on a lot of vacations. That offer sounds enticing to anyone, but it is especially enticing to people like my friend that work 60 hours a week and barely get by.

The company tries to hook you with a video. They explain that being a member of their "MLM" company is like being a member of SAM'S or Costco, they buy vacations in bulk so that you can sell them cheap and make money as you sell people the product.

Here is the problem:

You are not selling pizza or a magazine subscription. You are not even selling a one time discounted vacation. You are selling a membership to a travel club, and it isn't cheap. You have to be able to convince someone to spend $200 dollars up front and then spend $55 each month to keep their membership before they even purchase their first vacation. Actually you don't have to convince just someone, you have to convince at least 4 someones before you break even each month (a this point they pay your monthly membership). Here are some facts: the poor can't afford this and the wealthy and middle class are too smart to buy into this. You will only be able to sell this to others that are looking to get rich quick and will not look into it deeply.

Any "company" that charges you to be an employee is probably a scam. Yes it is true that when you start your own business you must spend money to make money, but this isn't starting your own business.

$200 (base price) + $100 (to be a sales associate)= $300 up front
$55 (membership fee) + $10 (associate fee)= $65 each month
in one year you will have spent $1080!
(+ they occasionally have seminars for $200 to teach you how to sell more memberships)

This "company" is a great opportunity for the people that own it. They get to make over a grand from each chump they are able to sign up and do so with very little work. For the average American, all I can say is stay far away from World Ventures. As my father always said, "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."

Hey, at least they give an income disclosure for their employees.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

It's Official: Dewhurst is running for US Senate

It's official, David Dewhurst is the 4th GOP candidate for U.S. Senate.

This is what he had to say:

Dear Friend,
I’m running for U.S. Senate because we need a proven conservative to fight Obama’s war on the Texas economy! Your commitment to conservative principles and grassroots activism has been invaluable to our state and our nation. That’s why I wanted you to be the very first to know of my decision to run for U.S. Senate, and why I am asking you to join me in this fight today.
Click Here to hear why I’m running!
Our nation has gotten off track. While our country is over $14 trillion in debt and 14 million Americans are out of work, Washington spends money we don’t have on programs we don’t need.
Instead of looking to Texas, the beacon of American job creation with the best business climate in the nation, President Barack Obama has targeted our state’s employers, taxpayers and families with his job-killing liberal agenda.

I’m asking for your vote and your support to take our country back.
My campaign will be straightforward, unapologetically conservative and as serious as the problems we’re currently facing.
I’m the only candidate in this race who is a successful businessman and a proven fiscal conservative. Working with Gov. Rick Perry to build the best business climate in America, we’ve proven time and again that Texas conservative values work.



Looks like the senate race is heating up, let the games begin. 

Dewhurst to Announce Senate Race Candidacy

According to his press secretary, Texas Lt. Governor David Dewhurst is to announce his run for the U.S. Senate later this week. This will very much be a game changer in the current three way race between Ted Cruz, Tom Leppert, & Elizabeth Ames Jones because Dewhurst has millions of dollars to personally finance a race and by far has the highest name recognition of the candidates.

David Dewhurst has been Lt. Governor of the state of Texas for the past 8 years and has presided over the Senate for the last 5 legislative sessions. His help in the 2003 redistricting helped increase Republican US House seats from 15 to 21 and is probably to date one of his greatest contributions to the party. Before being elected to the position of Lt. Governor, Dewhurst served as Texas Land Commissioner for 4 years.

Before politics, David Dewhurst was a businessman, rancher, Air Force Officer, CIA Agent, and college basketball player. With a past like that, a large bankroll and outstanding abilities as an orator, all candidates facing off against this literal giant will have much difficulty winning the Republican Primary.

The U.S. Senate race be a huge test of the 'Tea Party's' influence on Texas politics. If a successful and wealthy moderate like Dewhurst can be defeated in the lone star state's primary, we may finally get a U.S. Senator with the guts to stand up against to the federal government and say enough spending. If Dewhurst succeeds, Texas will probably end up with another Senator similar to Kay Bailey Hutchinson, a moderate by actions and a conservative by words.

Original Story

Monday, July 18, 2011

Balanced Budget Amendment

Each biennium, the Texas Legislature is required to produce a balanced budget. Because of this, as a state, Texas cannot run a deficit. The writers put this in the state's constitution for a purpose, to limit government spending and keep the size of government small. So far, it has achieved it goals and has helped make Texas one of the strongest states in the Union.

The US constitution, however, does not contain an article that requires the Legislature to keep a balanced budget. Because of this, in recent years our debt as a nation has gradually climbed to the massive $14 trillion dollars it now sits at. As I have argued in previous blog posts, a balanced budget amendment to the US constitution is absolutely necessary if we are to have a country that is debt free and economically stable.

I am dedicating a blog post to this lone topic because not only is it an absolutely vital piece of legislation but it is also coming before Congress next week. I urge you to contact both of your state's sitting Senators and the House member that represents you and tell them to support a "Balanced Budget Amendment" to the US Constitution.

Without requiring the Legislature to balance our country's budget, they will continue to spend our country's future into the ground. With a balanced budget amendment, Legislators will be required to look into every governmental program and assess its merits and flaws, to make cuts everywhere physically possible.

Below are links to contact information for those that represent you in congress.

Full Story

"Think of how different our fiscal picture would be if we'd passed one in 1997," Hatch said. "Fourteen years later, our nation faces a debt crisis of epic proportions. Our national debt has gone from roughly $5 trillion in 1997 to over $14 trillion today. That's more than $45,000 for every man, woman, and child in America." Full Interview

Texas Senate Race: The Contenders

Officially, three candidates have announced their candidacy to replace Kay Bailey Hutchinson as Senator from the State of Texas:  Ted Cruz (former Solicitor General), Tom Leppert (former Mayor of Dallas), and Elizabeth Ames Jones (R.R. Commissioner). All three are highly qualified and are are well known in particular regions of Texas. However with David Dewhurst (Lt. Governor) and Dan Patrick (Tea Party Favorite Texas Senator) looming in the background, teetering with notion of running, the race for the Senate seat could be over before it even begins.

 In my next five blog posts I will give a short bio for each of these three candidates, as well as cover Dewhurst and Patrick for the sake of not being naive.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Free frequent flyer miles?

Due to an act of Congress, the US mint is required to have a billion dollars worth of gold presidential or Sacagewea dollar coins in circulation. Since the use of these coins has never caught on (because none of us go to Hogwarts), the US has attempted to make it easy to acquire this currency by charging no shipping for people ordering mass amounts of these coins.

This has lead to a frequent flyer miles scam in which people buy thousands of dollars worth of these coins on their credit card, only to take them to the bank days later and pay off the card immediately. As news of this scam reached the public eye, the US mint put restrictions on purchasing these coins to $1000 worth every 10 days. Still, 3,000 free miles each month isn't a bad way to rack up cheap travel.

The real problem here is a mistake in policy. The US is encouraging the use of an expensive, non-practical form of currency through using tax payer dollars to ship the coins free of charge. There will always be people out there that look to manipulate the system in ways most of us couldn't imagine.

It is the general public that really get harmed by scams like this in that frequent flyer programs will get stricter and their tax dollars get to pay the tab on all the transactions involved in both the shipping and exchanging of the currency. My suggestion: stick to paper money. Many people have switched to credit or debit, but people are not going to go back to carrying a satchel of gold coins.

Yahoo Finance: Fly-for-free

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Rick Perry: Then and Now

It is only a matter of time before Texas Governor Rick Perry throws his hat in the ring for president. As the longest serving Governor of the world's 15th largest economy, Rick Perry seems to have the experience and leadership skills necessary to take it to the next level and be the leader of the Federal government.

Before he was Governor, Lt. Governor, or even Ag. Commissioner, Rick Perry was elected to the Texas House of Representatives as a Democrat. Even as a Democrat however, he was shown to be one of the biggest voices of fiscal conservatism, voting more often than not to keep spending low.

As a freshman, his views on government spending led him to a swift appointment by Speaker Lewis to the State Appropriations committee, a powerful committee that controls the budget for the entire state. With the exception of his 1987 vote to raise taxes, his House record was pretty consistent with his views on tax and spending.

On September 29, 1989, Rick Perry switched to the Republican party and began a campaign to become Ag. Commissioner for the State of Texas. Within a year he defied all odds and became one of only two Republicans elected to statewide office. A decade later, after a short stint as Lt. Governor, Rick Perry would become the Governor of Texas as George Bush moved on to the Presidency.

Rick Perry undeniably is a good leader and has shown that he has the ability to push through legislation when he makes it his priority. With that said, he has a lot of skeletons in his closet that would arise in an instant if he made a run for the oval office: he was democrat, he voted to raise taxes in a recession, he was an outspoken Al Gore supporter (when he ran as a southern conservative), he was responsible for eminent domain in Texas, there was the HPV shot controversy, there is video of him attempting to use his political influence to avoid a ticket, he has been weak on securing the Texas border... and i'm sure there are more.

It will be interesting to see how the GOP primary plays out if indeed Governor Perry attempts to run for office. He is loved by both the 'Tea Party' and the Republican Party and is very good at raising money. His tendency to challenge Obama on every issue that comes up makes him a favorite for those voting against the current establishment. He is an experienced leader that has made a lot of mistakes in his almost 30 years in politics, but he has also shown that when his supporters need a voice he will stand up and speak for them.

Taking a Look at the Governor, Back when he was a Democrat

Bigger threat to Michele Bachmann: Media scrutiny or Rick Perry?

“All of them were very conservative guys and had a good head on their shoulders, and that’s how I picked ’em,” Mr. Lewis said. “When he first came to the Legislature it was predominantly white, Democratic, conservative. He was one of them, and I was, too.”

Sarah Palin to Announce in August or September

Few political figures are as heedlessly loved and hated as Sarah Palin. At the mention of her name you can make a liberal cringe or a social conservative light up like the fourth of July.

There is much speculation as to whether or not the former Alaskan governor will make a run for the oval office in 2012. The addition of her to the Republican primary is a wild card and could definitely be a game changer. If she does enter the race, she claims it is "in the name of service", as she believes she can defeat President Obama in the general election.

Her idea of the perfect candidate is someone "willing to serve with good executive experience" and is not "so excessively partisan that they can't just do what's right for the people". By her own standards, however, it seems as though she only meets the requirement of "willing to serve" as she was only the Alaskan governor for less than 3 years and is what most would consider to be "excessively partisan".

I for one hope she stays out of the race and does what she does best: fundraising. If she can rally the 'Tea Party' behind a fiscally smart leader with the 'cajones' to stand up for what is right, the Republicans could take back the White House in 2012.

USA Today Article

Is this the end of Netflix?

Netflix and Redbox have in a few short years taken over the movie renting game. Netflix through its instant view feature made movie renting super convenient and gave you the ability to watch seasons of TV without commercials back to back.

It's greatest draw, however, was how incredibly cheap it was. For under $10 a month you could have just the instant view feature and stream thousands of choices from the comfort of your couch. For under $15 you could have 2 dvds rented at a time with the instant view player as well.

Yesterday, Netflix announced a 60% price increase and the separation of the DVD and instant view feature. This out of the blue change angered many current customers, so much so that the comments on Netflix's blog maxed out.

With many of their contracts to content running out, do you think this increase was due to an increase in renting royalties? Or do you think Netflix finally got smart and realized they could get more money out of their services? Do you think people will stay with netflix despite their increase in price?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Eliminating 14 Trillion Dollars of Debt

America is over 14 Trillion dollars in debt. If the US was a person we would be worst off than Nicolas Cage, loosing all his possessions and having to take every small acting role he can get.

Even with this massive debt looming above our heads, the current administration desires to dig ourselves deeper and take out an additional loan of 2.4 Trillion dollars. Their claim is that it is necessary to keep us afloat and keep the country from grinding to a complete halt.

What they fail to realize is that by doing this they are essentially making our currency more and more worthless. When you are in debt, the solution isn't to take out more loans and keep paying the minimum balance. The solution is to cut out all unnecessary spending and find new ways of generating revenue. Both solutions are unpopular, because none of the poor want their welfare check to stop and none of the wealthy want their taxes to be raised.

Because social welfare programs are such an important rhetoric tool for the Democratic party and keeping taxes low a rallying tool for the Republicans, neither is willing to concede on either issue. As opposed as I am to raising taxes, much of it is because those taxes go towards paying for people to live off the government instead of joining the rest of us as productive members of society. It is for this reason that I think the first step towards eliminating our country's debt is to eliminate the majority of these services and limit them to only the most vulnerable members of society (i.e. children without parents, the elderly without family, and those that are mentally handicapped). Able-bodied citizens should not be able to reap these services, especially those that are not here legally.

The next step is to examine the budget of all governmental agencies, there is waste everywhere, even in programs as important as education and the military. Between scrubbing these agencies free of wasteful spending and eliminating the majority of social welfare, the US would spend much less per year, and at least quit adding more debt the deficit.

Next comes the tricky step for fiscal conservatives like myself, increasing revenue. Sure we can quit adding to our debt by spending collective dollars wisely, but we must also get ourselves out of the hole that we are in. This means, finding new ways of raising state dollars, much of which would have to be done through some sort of taxation.

Now Im a big believer in the Laffer Curve and believe that taxation strongly discourages ingenuity. It leaves employers less willing to expand and hire more employees and it makes it less lucrative to take risks and do something great. This being said, I also believe that having a 14 Trillion dollar national deficit makes our country much less competitive and will only continue to cripple us as the marketplace becomes even more globalized.

Tax increases need to be used only sparingly and for good causes. I think most fiscal conservatives would agree that eliminating the US deficit is a good cause and would over time produce a favorable business climate that would compensate for this period of increased taxation.

In addition to these steps, action would also need to be taken at the legislative level to propose both a both a balanced budget amendment to the US Constitution and to establish term limits for every level of office. Politicians too often look out for themselves, instead of looking out for the people they represent. With term limits, politicians are forced to do all they can in one term, without having to worry about campaigning or being reelected. By default, it makes them less crooked and less able to be bought.

I have ignored a lot of factors in drafting this very rudimentary vision of what a solution to the national deficit could be. However, someone needs to stand up and make some radical changes or our economy will collapse. It is better to weather the storm and have a few hard years, then to sign away the future of this country and the future of my generation with it.

"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been 200 years.

Great nations rise and fall. The people go from bondage to spiritual truth, to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependence, from dependence back again to bondage." -- Author Unknown 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Rationality gone in my generation?

I feel as though I was born 50 years after my time. 

Reading about the Humberto Leal Garcia case is almost enough to make my blood boil. This man raped and murdered a 16 year old girl in San Antonio while staying in America illegally. In a rare strike of judicial justice, Humberto was put to death today after being given the death penalty sentence in 1994 at the conclusion of his trial. Any logical (I know thats asking a lot in the 2000's) person would see this as justice at its best, a man losing his life for killing an innocent girl and forever changing the lives of the people she was close to. The "international community", however, sees it differently, branding Texans as barbarians and criticizing Perry for allowing his execution. 

Their argument is simple, since Garcia is not an American citizen, America has no right to execute him regardless of his actions. Well if we can provide non-citizens with education, medical services, welfare, etc. and they don't have any problems with that, why is it any of their damn business what we do with people who rape and murder our citizens? It shouldn't be. If I went to Mexico tonight and got pulled over by a crooked cartel cop and didn't have enough money to buy my way out of Mexican jail, would the international community weep for me? No because I am an American and I am not "helpless". 

This is the problem I have with progressivism in general. As a country we spend so much time and money helping those that "can't" (don't want to) help themselves that we have lost the competitive edge that has historically made us a powerful nation.

Ideals such as personal responsibility, fiscal conservatism, personal freedoms and hard work are what this country was built on. The idea that given the freedom to prosper, a person can do great things with hard work is the notion that made America great. As the country has aged, people have slowly started sacrificing these freedoms in favor of government assistance in the form of handouts and regulations. 

Instead of being an individualistic nation, in which each person is responsible for their own happiness and success, we have developed this mentality of "they can't help it" and "it's not their fault". "She murdered her 8 children because she is crazy, she can't help it", killing 8 children is crazy... its crazy enough to warrant the death penalty. "He dropped out of High School and doesn't have a job, it is our responsibility to take care of him", if we didn't take care of him maybe he'd get his GED and find a job. Some of the greatest men in history stepped up and became men out of necessity, we are depriving our most vulnerable citizens of this chance but not allowing them to accept personal responsibility. 

Being soft is no way to be a great nation. We became the best because as a country we could kick ass and take names without thinking twice. World War II wasn't won through being a humanitarian, it was won through the individual efforts of Americans using force and ingenuity. We didn't go easy on Hitler "because he's crazy", we did what we needed to win and we weren't afraid to work hard to do it. 

It is imperative that as a nation we move away from this trend and soon. Mediocracy should not be something celebrated but something feared. To be a great nation you cannot just settle for good enough, you have to aspire to improve with every step you take. This is not a harsh critique but a reality: If we do not work harder as a nation, we will be surpassed within the next two decades.

As a child, Teddy Roosevelt was frail and not expected to live to be an adult. Doctors continuously used the words won't and can't and Roosevelt's father presented him with a choice: live a short, half-hearted life or prove them wrong. Roosevelt worked hard and strengthened his mind and body, becoming a successful outdoorsman, businessman and most memorably one of the greatest presidents we have ever had. Men like Roosevelt were not born, they were made. 

America, lets stand up and make some more great men.