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America’s path to prosperity

29 Jan

I think many Americans would agree that today America is on a wrong course. It seems that the economy for now is very slowly recovering from the meltdown of 2008 however how many of you still personally know people who are unemployed or underemployed? Right now we have record numbers of people on food stamps and government assistance, and in some states there are more people on unemployment assistance than are employed. Many on the right blame the policies of Barak Obama and the growth of the Federal government for the problems America is facing. Of course many on the left try to make the argument that Bush is the one to blame for not having enough government involvement and that Obama simply inherited the problems Bush caused. Me personally, I think it is the fault of both ends of the political spectrum. In fact I think the problems America is facing now did not just start around 2008, I think America has been going down a wrong path for decades and we are now seeing just small fragments of the results of bad government policy on both sides of the aisle. America has been overspending for decades. The Federal government has participated in over reach, over extension, over involvement and intervention for quite some time and now. I believe America has to take some drastic measures to not only dig its way out of the hole its in, but to set the stage for long term sustained prosperity. Here is what I think should be done;

Address monetary policy

 

I am no expert on the Federal Reserve. I can tell you though that I have a problem with the idea that a very small group of people who work for a company that looks to be largely a private corporation, being able to have so much influence over economic decisions, and the value of the American dollar. I remember refinancing my house when I was in my 20’s. The mortgage officer told me that maybe we should wait on closing for now because “it looked as though the Fed was going to lower interest rates”.  Why should one small organization hundreds of miles away be able to have so much influence over my mortgage transaction with the bank? Couldn’t this set up a scenario where thousands of people would make economic decisions based on the actions of a small centralized group? How is this any different from the centralized planning that takes place in communist countries like China or Cuba? Is this what we call economic freedom? The Federal government right now participates in deficit spending. They are spending more money than what is being brought in. Whenever the Federal government falls short of money they simply print more money which aids in the erosion or devaluation of the currency. Think about that, if you or me had maxed out our credit card, we would be thinking more along the lines of cutting back on our spending and paying off our debts. Instead, because of the Federal Reserve the government is able to keep spending money and they simply print more money when they run out. This has to stop. There were American presidents in the past who opposed having a central bank. In fact the Federal Reserve bank is a relatively new idea in the history of America, coming into existence as of 1913. The Federal Reserve bank is being used by politicians to pay off corporate higher ups and even give money to foreign central banks. Why is the government participating in this when so many Americans are hurting at home? It’s time to start having a serious debate in this country about monetary policy. It would be nice to see people discussing terms like fractional reserve banking, competing currencies, Austrian free market economics and bimetallism. The monetary policy in America needs an adjustment so that the American people can stop being ripped off.

Cut Spending

 

America is 16 trillion dollars in debt and counting. It’s my belief that the 16 trillion dollar debt, along with a culture out of control spending is the greatest threat to America.   Many of us have heard that 16 trillion dollar figure so many times, that we are now desensitized to a frame of reference as to how much money that really is. I’ve heard a radio talk show host put it this way. Think about how much money you spend in one day in your day to day dealings. You probably buy food, gas, maybe some spending at a retail store. What number do you come up to? Now think about if you were to spend 1 million dollars per day. Think of all the things you would buy if you could spend 1 million dollars per day. Let’s say you had a really really long lifespan and you’d been alive since the time that Jesus was born, and you were spending 1 million dollars per day since then. If you were to spend 1 million dollars every single day since the day Jesus was born you still would not have spent 16 trillion dollars. That is how much trouble we are in with spending in America, yet the politicians give themselves raises and ask to raise the debt ceiling. I’d like to think that if any responsible and sane person had 20,000 dollars in debt and were spending more money than they were taking in, they would rethink their spending habits and begin to make the necessary cuts to avoid staying in debt and get to a point where they were prosperous. After all, individual wealth is directly related to a person’s savings and their ability to save money. If a business were overspending and putting itself into mountains of debt, how would they ever be prosperous? The government is different though, when the government runs out of money they do not necessarily go out of business, they simply raise taxes or print more money. We see no serious effort even by the Republicans in Congress to stop the spending problems. I’ve even seen Republican politicians complain about spending then immediately speak in favor of the idea of policing the planet and fighting more wars, both of which are methods of spending. In order to address the spending problem, we have to start talking about limiting government to its constitutional functions domestic and abroad, and therefore the abolishment of certain federal government agencies. No reductions or tinkering with code or regulation…abolishment. Here’s how you cut spending; Abolish the IRS, DEA, FDA, TSA, and the Federal board of education. Make drastic cuts to the FCC, EPA, Department of Homeland Security and begin to phase out the Federal Reserve. Lastly maybe we should consider bringing troops  home from Iraq and Afghanistan and remove troops from all conflicts where war has not been declared by Congress against a tangible measurable enemy. If we were to do these things, I think it would be a great start to cutting some spending.

Rethink the role of the Federal government

Tying in with the spending cuts, I think it’s important for people to think about the role of the Federal government. I believe that we arrived at 16 trillion dollar debt because people over decades have been asking the government to do more and more and more. We have become conditioned to seeing the Federal government in a more centralized far reaching role whether domestic or abroad. Americans to some degree seem to have lost confidence in their own decision making abilities and have developed a fear of personal responsibility. In part I blame a school system that has not really seemed to educate kids on the value of personal liberty and the intentions of America’s founders to have a small unobtrusive federal government. But then I guess we probably should consider the origins of the American public school model  and Horace Mann, who was influential (along with the Prussian education system) in the shaping of American public schools. Do we really need the government to regulate so much of our lives? Do we really need laws and regulations every time something goes wrong? The people that are more likely to be in touch with your daily lives are your friends, neighbors and social groups, why not place more emphasis on solving problems at the local level rather than looking to the federal government to do things for us? Every time we ask the federal government to act, regulate, provide or fight a war it is costing money that America simply does not have. Let’s start having a little more faith and confidence in ourselves and our abilities. If we put some emphasis into electing officials to different areas of state and federal government who believe in the 3 solutions I’ve mentioned here, I’m willing to bet that we would see an economic turnaround overnight.

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Why did Mitt Romney lose?

19 Dec

As Republicans are still in recovery mode from losing (or should I say giving away) the 2012 presidential election I think a few things must be discussed. Many in the GOP aren’t going to want to hear it, but I feel as though the GOP worked very hard to earn this loss. Though I am more of an independent who leans to the right, I did not vote for Mitt Romney. I could not bring myself to do it. From start to finish I saw a guy who talked and talked but never really and truly distinguished himself from Barak Obama. Sure he sounded at times like he would be different, but the more Romney spoke is the more I realized that Romney and Obama were simply two sides of the same coin. Both would not introduce competition to the Federal Reserve, both would not abolish the IRS, both have the same unaffordable foreign policy of pre-emptive wars against countries that do not seem to pose a threat to the mainland U.S, both were in favor bailouts and stimulus packages to corporations at some point, both offered no new ideas on the extremism that we see in American drug war policy, and both would not out right overturn the Patriot Act or NDAA.

Even though I despised Romney from the very start, I still watched the debates hoping he would give me something I could latch onto but that moment never came. Romney got to the debates and seemed to use focus group tested tag lines about ‘jobs’, ‘the economy’ ‘Reagan’ and ‘Iran’. He came off as a fake, and his record seemed to be all over the place on different issues. We got to the problems we have in this country mainly because of large obtrusive, expensive Federal government. We are not going to solve our problems with more of the same. I think it is also important to note that we amongst the small Federal government crowd are not going to solve our problems by parading ‘conservatives’ to run races that have any remote resemblance to George W. Bush. It’s not so much that Obama won, it’s more so that Romney turned off so many small government conservatives that actually believed in principles, conservatives simply rejected Romney. Just think about it. The GOP went up against a person that sounds eerily like a Marxist in a country that professes to love freedom yet the Republicans could not pull off a win. That’s how much people did not like Romney. While I am mentioning George W. Bush I think it is important to mention that 9/11 Republicanism is dead. Mccain’s loss proved it, Rick Santorum’s joke of a campaign proved it and now Romney’s failure to captivate conservatives has proven it. Enter Ron Paul.

I believe completely that Ron Paul has single handedly destroyed 9/11 Republicanism. I would argue that he is in the process of putting a stake in the heart of Neo-conservatism and given rise to something called the Constitutional Conservative. He has brought certain issues to the forefront of the GOP with his plain spoken logic that just will not go away. Because of Ron Paul the GOP is now in the middle of a shift. There is no way forward in the GOP without constitutional, liberty based (some might say Libertarian) ideas. I would go as far as to say that any Republican trying to get conservatives pumped up about pre-emptive war, getting involved militarily in more countries (despite very clear 16 trillion dollar debt) and not addressing the problems with the Federal Reserve, the NDAA and the Patriot Act will simply lose elections at the national stage. Ron Paul brought in a massive segment of people from all walks of life and racial backgrounds who were not there before, into the GOP. I remember seeing the percentages before the primaries indicating that minorities favored Paul to the other GOP candidates. Paul was the only one who had the courage to address the racial bias in America’s drug war problem. Ron Paul was and still remains a motivator. He renewed a confidence in liberty and the constitution and brought fresh ideas to the table that drew in millions of people, in many cases away from the Democrats. If Romney had whole heartedly embraced a lot of Ron Paul’s ideas, maybe he would have stood a better chance. Instead the GOP higher ups along with Romney’s people chose to work dedicatedly against the Paulistas, mainly in the nationwide conventions, disrupting them, disregarding rules, participating in fraud, physically assaulting people, censoring their speech, ignoring people who showed up and followed the rules that they’d taken the time to learn, dividing the party and some may even say, cheating Ron Paul out of the nomination in Tampa. The point of an election is to encourage people to vote for you and your party, not reject them and then somehow be surprised or shocked when your party loses. To the older guard in the GOP reading this, it is important to understand that there is no way forward without the Ron Paul people. Let me rephrase that…there is no way forward in the GOP without the Constitutional conservative or the small government ideas of people like Thomas Jefferson. Already, the higher ups in the GOP are talking about Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush and Paul Ryan as potential 2016 presidential candidates. I think any one of those will mean another loss for the GOP. These gentlemen have not decisively rejected the George W. Bush doctrine. I have heard none of these gents come out against the Patriot Act, NDAA and pre-emptive war. That alone will cause people (many of them young) to reject them. The GOP will need someone who is a stark difference from George W. Bush. Maybe the GOP needs to be looking at Judge Napolitano, Thomas Massie or Rand Paul for 2016. The advice I would give the GOP higher ups? Read the constitution, stop trying to tell the liberty crowd to basically give you money, sit down, shut up and vote for more expanded unconstitutional government, and realize that liberty ideas will expand the party. If the GOP does not wake up and realize this, they will keep reliving the Romney experience.