Ryan the Best VP Candidate Since Kemp.

Paul Ryan

Paul Ryan 

The announcement that Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan will be Mitt Romney‘s running mate is a breath of fresh air for our country. Ryan has served in Congress since being elected by the district West of Milwaukee in 1998. His budgetary brilliance and political courage saw him rise fast. He is now Chairman of the House Budget Committee and almost singlehandedly wrote each of the past two Federal Budget’s passed by the lower chamber of Congress. Even if you are a Democrat you’ve got to be pleased to see a man of real gravitas named for our nation’s second highest office.

If you doubt me just look at recent VP’s and VP nominees.

Joe Biden? Puhleez!

English: Vice President Dick Cheney bids farew...

Vice President Dick Cheney and Vice President Joe Biden 

Sarah Palin? Seriously lacking, though not the imbecile Dems would have you believe.

John Edwards? Need I say more?

Joe Lieberman? Not a lot wrong with good ol’ Joe except that he was the Democrats VP nominee and isn’t really part of that political party. He endorsed the Republican Presidential nominee in 2008 and was re-elected Senator from his state of Connecticut as an Independent after losing the Democratic Primary in his last election.

Dick Cheney? Again, not a lot wrong with Cheney other than his complete and total incapability of showing any human warmth, making him the Democrats poster boy for mean old white men occupying the Republican party.

Al Gore? Back in 2000 I didn’t think Gore was that bad. Since losing the 2000 Presidential election in the closest election in U.S. Presidential election history he seems to have come unhinged and revealed that him as a President could very well have been a disaster.

Jack Kemp? Nothing at all wrong with Jack Kemp. A lot of us wish he’d been at the top of the ticket instead of Bob Dole in 1996.

English: Jack Kemp speaks at the National Pres...

Jack Kemp 

Dan Quayle? All you have to do is look at his incredibly non-existent accomplishments since leaving the Vice Presidency nearly 20 years ago to realize how lacking Quayle is as a man and/or leader.

Portrait of DoD Mr. J. Danforth Quayle, Vice P...

J. Danforth Quayle, Vice President of the United States 1989-1993

So out of the past eight VP’s and VP nominees only one, Kemp, is one we can ALL look back on with any sense of pride. And now there is Paul Ryan. And guess what. Paul Ryan was a Jack Kemp protege`. Before becoming a Congressman in January 1999 Ryan served as an aide to the former Buffalo, New York Congressman.

 

 

Thanks for visting. Comments are welcome.

Democrats Continually Make Excuses. Is that Leadership?

It just makes me sick how Democrats so willing excuse the inexcusable done by their elected leaders. Time and again you point at lies and failures, and uncontrolled spending and Democrats (at least the ones I talk with, read, listen to, see on tv, hear about, etc) wave off the offense as if its nothing, no big deal, everybody is doing it. I got news for you Democrats; if you keep ignoring the offenses of your chosen elected leaders merely out of an irrational hatred of Republicans you’re likely to get exactly what you want. You’ll have someone else taking responsibility for and running your lives.

This is an election year. As such there will be no Federal Budget passed by the Democrats in the U.S. Senate. This comes as nothing new. This will be the fourth consecutive year the Democrat controlled Senate has failed to comply with U.S. laws and perform their most basic of tasks. As of this writing its been 1100-days since it was accomplished.

The fact that it’s taken so long indicates this failure is not so much incompetence as it is cold, calculating politics. Democrat Harry Reid leads the Senate, and has throughout this whole period of failure. In the past two years he has allowed two budget votes for the budgets proposed by President Barrack Obama. The combined number of votes in favor of passing the Presidents proposed budget the past two years was – ONE! The Senate, which is led by the same incompetent party as the President gave him 1 vote of support last year. This year, bupkis.

The Federal budget cycle is governed mainly by the following six laws,

1 Budget and Accounting Act.
2 Congressional Budget Act.
3 Antideficiency Act.
4 Impoundment Control Act.
5 Government Performance and Results Act.
6 Federal Credit Reform Act.

The Budget and Accounting Act was passed in 1921 and says: “Each budget shall include a budget message and summary and supporting information. The President shall include in each budget the following….” The provision goes on to list about thirty items, such as expenditures and receipts for the past year through the fourth year following the budget year, information on debt, financial information, and information on employment levels.

Without a budget we lose the summary and the supporting information and the close examination of what our leaders have decided to make their, or our, priorities. In essence, Democrats are saying “We will not give you a basis in which to judge our performance. We will talk a lot of rhetoric. But there will not be a measuring stick from which you can find flaws with my decision-making.” What kind of leadership is that?

The problem I see and hear repeatedly from run-of-the-mill Democrats not in elected office is “Well…that’s what all politicians do. You can’t blame Democrats for doing what Republicans do.” To which I respond…name the last time a Republican led body of Congress, House or Senate, went 4 years without passing a budget.

Wait! You don’t need to answer that. You don’t need to answer because we have a fair comparative example. In the past two years Republicans have put their political carcasses on the line and passed budgets. The GOP Paul Ryan budget would aim to cut $4-trillion dollars from government spending. It would also take a huge step toward entitlement reform which is mandatory for controlling this country’s deficit spending.

Passing these budgets have shown all Americans what plan the Republicans have going forward. It’s left them open to a lot of scrutiny and criticism; or haven’t you seen the Democrats commercial depicting Paul Ryan wheeling a wheel-chair bound old lady to the edge of a cliff and then pushing her off. And hard-core Democratic voters BELIEVE this crap! Are you idiots? I digress.

Until Democrats decide to grow a backbone and show the world their plans for the future, and how to pay for them, and how they prioritize them not one should get our votes. We can disagree with our political leaders. We can see them make promises they never keep. We can tolerate the mudslinging that makes every election cycle vomit inducing. But we should no longer abide by Senators hiding their goals for our country. They must pass a budget or be removed from leadership.

Our Leaders Ought to Sell Christmas Trees

A Christmas Tree at Home

When I was young I learned the basics of economics and selling from dealing Christmas trees. My Dad was a cheap son-of-a-gun and had no desire to give my older brother and I money for buying his Christmas present, or anything else for that matter. He wanted us to earn it. So in addition to the work we did for his business of renting motor homes, during two holiday seasons when my brother and I were both in High School my dad set us up with our own Christmas tree lot.

At the corner of Main Street and 148th, next to the now defunct Shell gas station I learned about the basics of supply and demand and how cash availability would drive up the prices the buyer paid for the trees. The same principles apply to all forms of capitalistic enterprise, in particular health care and a college education. I often wish our nations leaders had run their own Christmas tree lots in their youth so that they could learn what 16-year-old me found very basic.

Winnebago Adventurer photographed in USA.

Winnebago Adventurer photographed in USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My Dad rented Winnebago Motor Homes for a living. At any one time in my youth he owned anywhere from six to eleven RV’s. Skier’s in the Winter and campers in the Summer paid for my modest upbringing. My Dad kept the vehicles parked next to the gas station near our home. Since the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas was kinda slow for his business and since he already had the lot in which to display the trees he came up with the brilliant idea of selling Christmas trees to earn himself a few bucks and help his teen-aged sons pocket some easy money, while staying busy and out of trouble.

Anyone who has run a retail business knows the process. My Dad would pay wholesale prices for the trees from a grower, and pay to have them delivered to the Bellevue location. Using 2-by-4’s, nails, and a hammer my brother and I set up easy to construct stands in which to lean the trees. One of the larger Winnebago’s was parked beside the designated space in the Kmart parking lot beside the aforementioned gas station. There my brother and I would report after school, eat our snacks, do our homework, and watch whatever tv we could pick up with rabbit ears on a small black-and-white tv we had. We were set up for business.

We were cozy and warm inside the motor home until a family pulled up outside and got out of their cars to peruse our selection of trees. Each tree had a colored ribbon tied to it so, though our customers didn’t know, we would know how much we paid for it. My memory is foggy from over thirty years passing but my best guess is that the smaller yellow ribbons meant my Dad paid $5 for the tree, Red- $10, Blue- $15. My Dad told us he would take $10 for every tree we sold. But anything above the whole price-plus-$10 was ours to keep. Strictly cash transactions. There were no debit cards back then, or mobile electronic credit card processing. Put simply, my brother and I could charge customers any price we felt we could get away with.

Needless to say the same tree could go for $40 to one family or $100 to another. We learned to pay attention to what size and kind of vehicle a family drove as they climbed out to see the trees. A nicer car or a truck meant these people would pay more. My brother and I practically fought our way to be first out the door when a family with young kids walked onto the lot. It was those little tikes who happily screeched at their Daddy , “Oooo Daddy that’s the perfect tree can we get that one. Can we PUHLEEEEZZZ get THAT one?”, who unknowingly drove up the price of the tree. My brother was ruthless. He had no problem telling the haggard Dad that one of the $15 trees was $125. I could seldom muster the nerve to ask for $80. And if anyone hesitated on paying what we were asking, we simply offered to give them a “special” deal, and lowered the price $20 “because you look like such a nice family”. Once again, big brother remained much more rigid in his pricing than did I. He would only lower his price when the family had left the lot and was packing into their car. Selling the trees was easy. In fact, there was no “selling” involved. The only question was how much they’d pay. And if they had the money, and we could see that, they always paid extra.

An article in today’s Seattle Times Newspaper reported the fact that 1-in-2 college graduates faced unemployment when getting out of school this year. It raised in my mind the question, just how worth it is a college education anymore. The average cost of a four-year degree at a public university is now about $35-thousand; for a private university it’s almost $120-thousand. And NOBODY gets a bachelor’s degree in four years anymore. The cost of a college education has climbed 600-percent since 1980. To determine the reason for the massive increase in college costs one need look no further than our Federal Governments constantly supplying universities with an unending, unquestioning source of revenue. Our spend-happy Washington DCers have increased funding for  higher education assistance 141% since 1991. It’s like all the colleges are Christmas tree lots and our Government Representatives are parents with screaming kids who don’t know how to say, “NO”.

Health care has been similarly effected. Who truly pays health care bills? Most are paid by our Federal Government piggy bank. The rest is picked up by large, rich insurance companies or equally large and powerful corporations. Doctors, hospitals, pharmaceutical firms and other health care providers are standing in the lot holding up the big tree with the blue ribbon on it smiling broadly. This tree will sell, and their will be a large profit. The only question is, “how large?”.

The hardest sale my brother and I ever had to make was the guy who tromped into our tree lot with no wife and no kids and interested in nothing more than getting the tree and going on with his day. Usually this guy had a station wagon, that was probably missing a hub-cap. When confronting us he’d ask “How much?” and no matter what we said, it was too much. He’d offer less and we’d happily accept.

Were the giant feeding troughs of government funds removed from the college revenue and health care equation these behemoths would be forced to deal with that one guy (or gal) who ultimately will pay the bill for the services provided. The one guy buying the Christmas tree isn’t swayed by emotional pleas that “we’ve got to have it”. And the tree seller can see the guy doesn’t have much money to begin with. So he’ll offer it for less and accept far less. He would have to, or he wouldn’t sell the tree and he’d eat the $15.

Obamacare, promising health care coverage for all Americans, was  passed two years ago. It’s laws not completely going into effect until 2114. And still, we’ve seen the cost of health care continuing to climb. The President has made a lot of news this Spring berating colleges about increased tuition costs. But colleges continue to raise fees. THIS Christmas tree salesman knows why. It’s basic.

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Poor People Shouldn’t be so Comfortable.

English: Poverty Rates by Age: 1959 to 2008. U...

Here I go again. Where is my compassion? This is what my Democratic friends and non-friends will say.

But as I wrote in an earlier blog called “Get Mad! Defend yourself. Conservative Values are Worth Defending”  I won’t take it. When I say “those in poverty in the U.S. live too comfortably and need to find it a little bit more challenging”; I’m the one with compassion. I’m the one who cares for their well-being. Democrats who want to keep them down by giving them JUST enough to continue their meek existence are the inhumane, the uncaring. Believe it. They’ve been dominating the poor in this country for far too long by keeping them fat and happy…and poor.

A recent study reported by The Heritage Foundation demonstrates dramatically that being poor in the United States doesn’t leave you much worse off than the average American. “Air Conditioning, Cable TV, and an Xbox: What is Poverty in the United States Today?” by Robert Rector and Rachel Sheffield points out that 97.7% of poor households have televisions. That compares to 98.7% of average Americans.

Additionally the study finds:

  • Over 78% of poor have air conditioning; compared to just 36% of all Americans in 1970.
  • 63.7% have cable TV
  • 65.1% have more than 1 TV
  • 38.2% have a personal computer; compared to 68% of the general populace.
  • 29.3% of poor families have a video game system, compared to 31.3% of average American households.
English: Number in Poverty and Poverty Rate: 1...

The list is extensive and alarming. As the article points out the overwhelming majority of the 50-million who are classified as “in poverty” live relatively well with all kinds of modern amenities. The majority of them have air-conditioning, tv’s, cars, microwaves, adequate housing and ample access to food. The home of the average poor family was NOT over crowded and was in good repair. The average American poor family had more living space in their home than the average (overall average, not just poor) European.

There is no doubt that the poor in our country are struggling; but when they are struggling to pay for cable tv, the latest video game, and the comfort of air conditioning we have to ask why tax payer funds should go toward helping that struggle. The overwhelming budget deficits run by the current administration make it an even more important question.

MORE IMPORTANTLY there are people without adequate shelter or food who are hurt by the exaggerated deprivation of those classified as “in poverty”. But according to the study those who are homeless and at times without adequate food only represent 0.5% of the population; not 15-16% as Census reports in September 2011 indicated.

Of course its in the interest of certain demographic groups and organizations to exaggerate the numbers on poverty. In doing so more government money can flow to your demographic group through Federal programs designed to ease your burden and/or deprivation. But when a poor family’s amenities are nearly equal to the average household where is the deprivation. The study asked survey respondents if their home included a list of 30 household items they would have classified as amenities. The median average American household had 19 of these 30 items. The median poor household had 14.

Its worth noting that the average poor person does not represent all poor people. Like everything in life there is a range. But in order to come up with effective and efficient public policy to help care for those who are truly in-need we should be able to have a clearer definition of who is in need. And those who receive public assistance shouldn’t be so comfortable, and if they are, they shouldn’t receive public assistance.

The good news from this seemingly harsh stance is that those who live comfortably with lots of household amenities will be forced to make wiser choices for how they spend and save their money. They’ll certainly have greater motivation to work harder and smarter for the amenities they covet. And our nation’s deteriorating work ethic will get a necessary kick in the butt. And could it be that we all, even the poor, will learn to be more grateful for the things we have and the great nation in which we live.

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

( Here is the link to the article in which the majority of this blog is based:  http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2011/07/What-is-Poverty )

Rick Perry was right. Nails a good idea.

When Texas Governor and GOP Presidential hopeful Rick Perry

"The Honorable Rick Perry (front right), ...

Image via Wikipedia

sticks his foot in his mouth he manages to include everything from toes to heel. His gaffes and awkwardness on the debate stage have made him look more like a buffoon than the highly successful three term Governor of our nations 2nd largest state. But Saturday in the CBS debate he let rip an idea whose time has come. A foreign aid budget that starts at zero every year and requires any nation, including Israel, to make their case for that which the United States gives them.

The United States gave somewhere in the neighborhood of $26-billion in foreign aid this year. And they’ll give more next year. Such is the nature of Washington. Increases are just done; period. No reason…just because. Israel is the largest recipient at over $3.1-billion; Egypt gets over $1.5- billion. The payoffs to these two countries coming as a result of the

President Jimmy Carter welcomes Egyptian Presi...

Image via Wikipedia

Camp David Accords of the Jimmy Carter presidency. Essentially we’re paying these two rich countries not to fight one another.

Interesting that our next door neighbor, Mexico, gets only $300-million dollars in Federal aid though they’re a poor nation with lots of people shooting at one another.

But Perry’s point was seconded by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich

Newt Gingrich

Image via Wikipedia

who probably did a better job of explaining Perry’s idea than did Perry.

The best example of why we should ask countries to come in every year and make their case for what foreign aid we provide is Pakistan. This Muslim Country on the Indian Ocean gets nearly a billion dollars a year of our hard-earned and hard paid tax dollars. And yet, they harbor terrorists that kill Americans. “Come back next year, Pakistan”, is what I’d say. You want more money earn it. Otherwise “kiss my budget”.

Foreign aid only amounts to 1% of the Federal budget. But when we’re trying to cut expenses and aide to fellow Americans is being slashed drastically, foreign nations, especially those who don’t like us much, can wait in the back of the line.

And while we’re on the subject, why not start at a zero sum budget for MOST of our Federal programs? It’s our money. We should decide how we spend it, and not let that decision be based solely on what someone else started years ago.

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

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