Friday, November 9, 2012

America needed a turnaround, but instead chose the what happened?

by David L. Alvord DDS

      It has been three days since President Obama was reelected.   The President got ten million fewer votes than he got four years ago, but it was enough to win. It wasn't so much that Obama won, but more that his opponent lost.  So who was Obama's opponent?  He must have been a terrible candidate, right?  One would assume that he was worse than Kerry, worse than Dole.   But actually, the opposite was true. In my opinion, never before had the nation been presented a candidate who so perfectly matched the problems America faced and still faces.

      Everyone knew that America was and is deeply in debt.  Everyone knew that our economy was and is not as good as it should be.  The President faced a candidate who had turned around countless organizations.  Romney's resume was deep, his record was one of high achievement, and not only were there no skeletons in his closet, he actually had no closet.  And get this: Mitt Romney looks like a President.  Was Mitt a poor debater?  No, he was a superb debater.  Was he too extreme?  No, Mitt was much more moderate than the president. The election should have been a slam-dunk for Romney.

    So what happened?

    Much as been written about changing demographics.  Much has been said about Republicans failing to get more of the minority vote and the Hispanic vote.  Other questions have been asked since the election like:  "Is America becoming less conservative"?  Are we becoming a nation who wants hand-outs?   Was the democratic "get-out-the-vote" apparatus more effective?  Was Obama more likable than Romney?

    While each of the above factors contributed to Romney's defeat. I would like to present what I believe should have been central to the campaign, and yet was strangely absent.

    "What got us into this mess?"

It has been said that our nation is divided.  We are conservatives vs. liberals.  The rich vs. the poor.  The workers vs. the idle.  And yet, nearly 100% of Americans have felt the effects of the recession.  Each of us has had our home go down in value, each of us has had to tighten our belts.  The housing bubble, with the subsequent collapse was felt by nearly all of us.

    I believe that it was Romney's inability to effectively explain "what got us into this mess" that was his undoing.

     Obama's explanation was pretty simple.  "We can't return to the policies that got us into this mess".  When asked to expound, Obama would explain that tax-cuts for the wealthy, and a lack of regulations are what got us into the mess we are now in.  Whether or not you think his statement was accurate, the President was offering some kind of explanation.  You'll notice that he never went much deeper than this.  "The Bush policies got us into this mess, and Romney wants to return to those policies."  It was actually pretty brilliant.

    So what was Romney's explanation for the collapse of 2007?  He never offered one.  In fact, Romney's stump speech often admitted that "Obama didn't cause the collapse", but simply that the "President had made it worse".  Mitt also went on to say that the first rule of any turnaround is to "focus, focus, focus".  But focus on what?  What was the problem?  Was Mitt conceding the point, that it was indeed Bush's fault for the housing bubble?  That tax-breaks caused the recession?  That lack of regulations were at the heart of the whole fiasco?

    You see, Mitt gave no answer to the President's central argument; that the Bush policies are "what got us into this mess".  Notice I used the phrase gave no answer.  There certainly were answers for what got us into the mess.  It may have been a lack of regulation, but it was a lack of regulation of a program that government had no business ever engaging in.  Over and over, I heard the President make the case that the Bush tax-cuts, and lack of regulation were what got us in the mess in the first place.  And what was Romney's response?  I never heard one.

     Time magazine gave an excellent overview of who really was to blame here.  The article goes through 25 people to blame.  On the list is Bush, but guess who else was there: Democrats, including Bill Clinton.  So there was certainly plenty of blame to go around.   But never has anybody with any credibility ever attributed the housing bust to the Bush tax cuts.

    Obama was sloppy.  He tried to blame everything on Bush.  His argument was only effective if no one ever called him out on it.  And yet, no one ever did call the President out on this.

   Mitt should have owned this subject.  A turnaround artist learns what is going wrong, and then fixes it.  Throughout the campaign, I kept wondering when Romney was going to respond to Obama's silly charge that Mitt wanted to return us to Bush.  I wanted to see Mitt give a speech entitled "What really got us into this mess".    Romney could have put on his suit and tie, got out power-point, and gave a step-by-step analysis as to what really got us into the mess, who really was to blame (include Rs and Ds) and what to do about it.  I envision the speech being detail rich and full of charts and facts and figures.  Give us a sample as to what the CEO turnaround artists does when he's in action.  Once Romney demonstrates that he "get's it", he could then add, "you see, adding Obamacare at the end of one crisis only made matters worse, it was going from one crisis to another".   Romney needed to demonstrate that he was the master of the subject.

   And so, when the Republican convention came along, I was expecting a big educational event.  A time to set the record straight.  A time to admit where Republicans had been wrong, and where we'd been right.  A convention full of facts and figures.  A conservative forum to tout our ideas, and to prove where they had worked.  Instead, it was vague. It was flag-waving, and Obama bashing.  It was at times petty.  "We did build that!"  An entire convention based on a gaffe by the President?  I have to admit that I feared we had lost the election the minute I heard Romney say: "I don't want to lower the oceans, I want to help you and your family".

    Ouch!  Ronald Reagan had once said that "the nine most terrifying words in the English language are 'I'm from the government, and I'm here to help'."  And then there goes Mitt, "I'm going to help you and your family".  Totally vague, and totally assuming undecided voters would buy such a vague promise.

    In contrast, Bill Clinton gave the kind of speech the Republicans should have been giving all through their convention.  He had facts and figures.  He had details.  He got into the weeds.  He showed real passion.    He spoke to the big recession and said "Let me assure you, no one could have done any better with the economy the President was handed".  Clinton spoke to 100% of the American people.  He spoke directly. He spoke without pandering.  He didn't assume we were stupid.

   Many of you know that I have been one of the biggest Romney supporters ever known.  I read his book, No Apology. I happen to still firmly believe he would have made a fantastic president.  His policies were ones that I almost salivated over. But there was a disconnect from the Romney who wrote the book, and the Romney who ran for President.

   Why did he not address the central argument Obama had made?  Was it due to the fact that he had hired McCain people?  Was it his campaign strategy?  He admits in a leaked video that he figured the race was 47% vs. 47%.  That he had to win over the middle, or the undecideds.  Was that kind of thinking that prevented him from seeing that 100% of the American people wanted some kind of explanation as to what caused the recession in the first place?

    I don't believe that Americans rejected conservatism.  I believe that they simply went with the candidate who most effectively spoke to what got us into our current mess, and what would get us out of the mess.  The frustrating part for me is that Romney never lost the argument, but was, instead, absent from the argument.  An argument, I believe he could have won easily.

I hope Republicans learn the right lessons from this election. And it would help if the American people woke up a little more too.  If Obama fails to turnaround the economy in 8 years, he'll be left with little excuse.
2016 can't come soon enough.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Pull up, America! A constitutional amendment is long overdue

by David Alvord

We've all seen a movie like this: The hero rushes towards a cockpit only to find that the airplane's pilots have parachuted-out minutes ago. The plane is plummeting towards the ground as the altimeter is spinning like a fan. The protagonist looks stunned as he decides what to do next. He puts his hands on the wheel while the camera zooms in on his face as beads of sweat form. "PULL UP ON THE CONTROLS" we all scream, (at least in our minds).

America is facing a similar fiscal crisis. But too few are demanding that we "pull up"... and make the needed correction.

This year, Americans will pay 2.1 trillion dollars in taxes. Yet, in spite of this gargantuan income, the federal government will spend 3.6 trillion taxpayer dollars causing the deficit to reach 1.4 trillion dollars! This is money that is going to be spent by the government in excess of the taxes collected.

Put another way, the government is spending 170% of what it is able to bring in. That is like an individual making 50K and spending 80K that same year. Obamacare has yet to be paid for, and retiring baby boomers start their entry into social security and medicare next year. We can expect federal expenses will only increase as an aging population begins to collect their entitlements.

The CBO's latest report said:

Unless policymakers restrain the growth of spending, increase revenues significantly as a share of GDP, or adopt some combination of those two approaches, growing budget deficits will cause debt to rise to unsupportable levels.

(Pull up! Pull up! Is anyone listening?)

"...a growing level of federal debt would also increase the probability of a sudden fiscal crisis, during which investors would lose confidence in the government’s ability to manage its budget..." (CBO 7/27/2010)

The Democrats argue that taxes must be raised, but offer little by way of spending decreases. Worse, their party seems drunk on spending at the time. And so, it begs the question: Can any amount of taxing satisfy the spending habits of Washington? Could the economy afford this added burden? Will businesses continue to hire if they are so heavily taxed? The answer is obvious: No! And there is no amount of taxing could ever cover the spend-lust of those currently in power. Besides, many economists will argue (correctly, I believe) that an increased tax burden would actually hurt the overall economy and that the IRS would, in fact, collect less money. The increase in taxation without a decrease in spending can only result in an increased deficit.

Where is the cap? Where is the limit? When do we say enough is enough?

An unknown author once noted:

"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury. After that, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits with the result: the democracy collapses because of the loose fiscal policy ensuing, always to be followed by a dictatorship, then a monarchy."

Can our democracy exist as a permanent form of government? Will we watch from afar as the fiscal solvency of the country plummets towards the ground? Are we naive enough to think that a collapse wouldn't effect us individually. Can the republic be saved?

I believe it can, if we make the necessary changes NOW. Unlike a pure democracy, we are a Constitutionally-based democratic Republic. Our constitution has the power to keep us together and to keep us fiscally sane if we will use the tool the founders left for us: the power to amend the constitution.

The solution to our fiscal problems isn't complicated. Simply put, the federal government needs to live within its means. Like any family or individual that has to prioritize its expenditures and abide by a budget, so must our government prioritize its expenditures and stay within a budget. But there must be force. The budget must have teeth.

Therefore, I propose a Fixed Budget Constitutional Amendment. This Amendment would go beyond that of a "balanced-budget amendment". The problem with a balanced-budget amendment is that if congress wants to spend more, all they have to do is raise taxes...just as long as the budget is balanced. No. We can do better than that. And frankly, we must do better than that.

The Fixed Budget Constitutional Amendment (hereafter FBCA) would mandate that congress shall not spend more than the National Fixed Budget for the year. This NFB would be figured by taking the national GDP of the previous year and then multiplying that by the percent we Americans feel should go towards federal government expenditures. I think 10% of the GDP should be more than adequate to cover what we really need our government to do for us. Maybe the actual percent could be debated and voted on. But once agreed upon, it would be the law of the land.

The FBCA could be worded as follows:

"Congress shall not authorize spending beyond that of the National Fixed Budget. The National Fixed Budget shall be no more than ten percent of the previous year's national Gross Domestic Product as certified by independent auditors. Taxes shall not be collected in excess of the National Fixed Budget."

By the way, 10% of the GDP would be 1.4 Trillion dollars. This is more than adequate to protect our nation from foreign invaders, as well as pay for infrastructure and welfare. But that is the point. Congress will have to argue and get the consent of the people about how to spend the 1.4 trillion. Maybe the people want NASA. Maybe the people want military. Maybe they want free pop vending machines. But whatever congress allocates money towards, it must keep in mind that it can spend no more than the fixed amount. As the population grows, and as the economy grows, the amount of dollars government can spend will increase, but not the percent, that remains fixed, unless another amendment comes along. If a threat to our security arises, other programs must be curtailed to pay for it. 1.4 trillion could buy a lot of bombs and F22s, even if we can't build new roads or pay for NPR for a couple of years. If we stay out of debt, we'll have the economy to support another war should our enemies dare threaten our freedom!

It is imperative that we, the people, take bold action to insure that our form of government remains. Our freedom has been a bright light and unique gift in all the history of the world. Our children deserve to receive an inheritance of freedom, not an inheritance of debt and oppression. Now is the time to "pull up on the wheel" by employing fiscal restraint and wise leadership. I believe that God has given us the Constitution for this very reason and that only a constitutional amendment has the power to enforce the fiscal sanity that Washington so dreadfully lacks.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Romneycare vs. Obamacare

by David Alvord

Let's face it. Healthcare is a problem that needed to be dealt with...and still does need to be dealt with. The costs of healthcare are increasing way beyond that of inflation. Not only is Medicare going bankrupt, but there are abuses and waste that are spiraling out of control.

Romney is just the kind of guy who could take all of the data for such an important and complicated problem and make the necessary changes. That's what he did in the private sector. He and his team would look at large businesses and analyze the data to see where there was waste or duplication. He would in essence, turn them around and make them profitable. That's also what Romney did in Massachusetts, he balanced the State's budget in a time of crisis. I believe that he can do the same for America.

The irony is that Obamacare looks a lot like Romneycare.

Or does it? One of my favorite sites, Evangelicals for Mitt, names just four of the important distinctions between the two plans:

In summary the major distinctions they cite are:

1. RomneyCare was uniquely designed for Massachusetts; ObamaCare is a one-size-fits-all imposition on all states, regardless of their economic condition.

2. RomneyCare was enacted only after Mitt balanced the state budget.

3. Mitt created bipartisan consensus while Obama rammed his reform down our throats and against the majority opinion of the American people.

4. RomneyCare is constitutional; ObamaCare may very well prove to be an unconstitutional abuse of federal power.

These are important distinctions, but I feel there are two more major differences between the two plans:

5. The democrats plan is designed, in the long run, to destroy private health insurance altogether. When Romney was in office, he brought insurance companies to the table and wrote a bill that they agreed to. Romney never had designs to bring to pass Universal and government run healthcare. This is a guy who is passionate about the private sector and understands the simple truth that the private sector will always outperform the government-run. It is only years later, and in a weakened economy, that the State of Massachusetts has placed price controls and regulated the premiums that now threaten private healthcare insurance in Massachusetts. The democrats have taken over and now so-called Romneycare is morphing into Obamacare. This is a very, very important distinction.

6. Romney was not in a position to fix the major problems that exist in healthcare. If you want to understand why Romneycare and Obamacare do share some similarities, is due to the fact that as Governor, Romney had to deal with the federal mandates that already existed. Romney couldn't address Medicare or Medicaid. Those were Federally run. Romney couldn't address lawsuits against doctors and hospitals. When it came to controlling the rising costs of healthcare, Romney's hands were tied.

The President, on the other hand, had the opportunity to address rising costs by allowing competition between state lines. Obama could have included Tort reform. Obama could have reformed Medicare. Obama could have looked at Medicaid. Instead, Obama has created a trillion dollar program that does nothing to keep the prices down. If the federal government were a business, they'd be bankrupt. But the feds have the ultimate business plan: Pay up or go to jail!

I am convinced that if Romney had the mandate to make Federal Healthcare reform, the result would have been very different from the so-called Romneycare that exists in Massachusetts today.

It is disingenuous to peg the problems in Massachusetts on Mitt Romney. Each of have filed our 2009 taxes. We each have to budget within those parameters. Does that mean we are responsible for the US tax code? Does that mean we are each responsible for the deficits and national debt? Likewise, Romney had to operate in the environment imposed by the Feds. His was a State where 90% already had healthcare. There was a small percentage that were slipping through the cracks that he helped to get coverage, that's all. He wasn't "reforming healthcare". He didn't have the power. You really can't honestly compare the two.

The Republicans now need to tackle healthcare. We need to do more than to simply repeal the law. We need a better law of our own. We need to address the major sources of price inflation, namely, tort reform, entitlement spending, waste, and competition. We need to get a bill that will address Medicare and control the costs. Our country is going to go bankrupt and this new law only speeds that process along. We can't blame Obama solely for the problems in our budget, but the recently passed law has done nothing but fan the flames and add fuel to the fire. Government needs to be regulated and cut. Not the other way around. Romney understands this and I believe that it is a mistake for him to be judged unfairly.

I invite each of you to obtain a copy of Romney's book "No Apology". I have read the book, and frankly, couldn't put it down. In it, you will discover the real Mitt Romney and will, like me, eagerly anticipate his presidency.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Brown wins and healthcare fails; this is why conservatives must stay united.

by David Alvord

His campaign promises were pretty simple. He said he would vote against the Democrat's healthcare bill. He said that he was upset by giving terrorists rights normally reserved for citizens of the U.S. He reminded the voters that it wasn't "Ted Kennedy's seat", but rather, the "people's seat". He ran as "one of the people" and had the slogan: "I'm Scott Brown, and I drive a truck." This infuriated the left, and so they sent the "anointed one" to turn things around. Obama poked fun at his truck, but was not able to turn the tide. So, Brown wins by a significant margin, especially significant in liberal Massachusetts.

The rest is now history. Healthcare dies, and within days, Nancy Pelosi announced that she did not have the votes to pass the Senate's bill.

Those of us who are in favor of freedom and liberty all gave a collective sigh of relief. It was a victory for the American people who wish to limit the size of government. Because of Brown, a Bill that was unpopular with the American people, did not pass.

Were Ron Paul supporters happy? Scott Brown did not mention the elimination of the Fed. Brown did not demand a return to the gold standard. He didn't run on a promise to legalize drugs, or get us out of Afghanistan and Iraq. Brown didn't promise to legalize prostitution. There was no mention of "empire building" or the devaluation of currency. In so many ways, according to Paul supporters, Brown simply did not "get it". Yet, his election did accomplish the defeat of a bill that would have accelerated the growth of government power and the devaluation of our currency. I would think that in spite of his weaknesses, Paul's supporters should have been very happy about his election. I am not sure that they were, but if so, I would love to read your comments.

So, what if Ron Paul had been on the ballot? What if he was there as a third-party candidate? Who would Paul supporters vote for? Keep in mind, this is liberal Massachusetts. I think Paul could have gotten no more than five to seven percent of the vote, if that. But that is a dangerous five percent because it could have meant a Coakley victory.

There are so many opinions out there. I am sure that those that voted for Brown did not agree with 100% of what he stood for. Yet, they voted for the candidate that best represented their values. They also wanted to vote "no" to the advancement of big government. The truth is, there were many Republicans who voted for him who did not agree with everything he stood for. He is a "socially liberal" Republican, after all.

I understand that Americans get tired of party politics. I wish we had a better system. I would be happy to get rid of party politics. I just ask one thing: Democrats, you go first! The left would love for us to splinter into groups and form a third or a fourth party. Then they with their big one party, swoop in and win every election.

They have managed to unite unions, educators, Hollywood, welfare recipients, pro-choicers, anti-military, socialists, communists, and so on. The democratic party has enough to get 40% of the vote, or more, in almost every State. The conservatives have no choice but to unite under one tent: the Republican party. Ronald Reagan understood this point very well.

I don't disagree with much of what Ron Paul and his supporters espouse. I welcome them to the debate in forming public opinion and educating the people. There can be debate within the party. I welcome that. It makes us better, but when it is time to vote, we need to be united. We need to remember that the left is united against us. The main problem I see is that the Ron Paul people don't vote with their party in the end. They "write in" Mr. Paul. And where is Ron Paul when the primary is over? Is his supporting the Republican nominee? No, he is silent.

This next time around, I encourage Ron Paul supporters, and all conservatives, to do all they can to give their candidate voice in the primaries. Do all you can to let his or her message be heard. But if he is not nominated to represent the party, please support the person who best represents your values and ideas of good governance. Thankfully, the people of Massachusetts did just that.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Does taxing in order to give to the poor = charity?

by David Alvord

Often times during the recent healthcare debate I hear the argument that by supporting government healthcare we are being our "brother's keeper". The pitch by President Obama is that we who are more fortunate should take care of those who are less fortunate and do so in the form of giving government more of our money so that they can go ahead and give it to programs to assist the poor. I find that while the stated intentions of liberal democrats are good, they have to assume that people are not already their brother's keepers, and that they have to be made to be their brother's keepers. A cynical view indeed!

I have to ask the question: If I am interested in being my brother's keeper (I am BTW), why don't I go and help my brother personally? Where is my heart when money is taken and then given by no choice of my own?

I would like to make the case that tax-collecting and wealth redistribution does not a charity make.

First, government administering charity is less efficient than when families and individuals give to the poor.

So, let's say that my literal brother has some kind of catastrophe that disables him or sets him back and then I, as his brother, choose to be his keeper and I help support him until he gets back on his feet. Let's say that he needs $1000 to get through the next month. What would be the best way to get him that $1000? I could give it to him directly, and he gets exactly what I gave: One thousand dollars. Or, I could give $1000 to a government agency and they could hire people to: 1) take my money 2) issue a receipt 3) issue tax forms for a tax write-off 4) enforce if I don't pay them 5) interview my brother to determine his eligibility, and then finally, 6) issue a check to my brother. How much of the thousand bucks that I gave to the government would be left over to finally get to my brother? I think that it is optimistic to say that he would get even $700 of the $1000 that I gave to Uncle Sam.

What a boring job that would be to be employed at the bureaucracy that administers these kinds of programs. They are not producing anything. They are not serving anyone directly. They are like robots in some kind of weird cubicle and they are squeezing away the money that could have gone directly to the poor. I wouldn't want to work there, would you?

Second, when taxes are collected and then given to the poor, no love or bond is formed between the giver and the receiver. No love, no charity.

Who loves to pay taxes? Not even liberals love to pay their taxes. I always ask my liberal friends that if they think the Bush tax cuts were wrong, why don't they pay at the old higher rate. Why not make a donation to the US Treasury? It is safe to say that when you pay your taxes, or see your taxes withheld by your employer, no tears of joy are shed. No hearts are softened. No one runs out of their homes like Scrooge on Christmas morning shouting "Merry Christmas to all" or "God bless us every one". No miracle takes place when money is exacted from us, with the threat hanging over our heads of going to jail if we don't pay every last cent.
The giver is not truly giving, instead the money is taken.

What about those who receive money from the government? Is there a feeling of gratitude towards those who gave that money? Do they even know who gave them the money? Or is the government some gigantic unfeeling bank in the sky? Are they grateful for the support, or do they wish they could be given more? I am sure that they never complain. I am sure that they try to repay the debt incurred to society once they are back on their feet. I am sure that they pay extra taxes so that other poor people can enjoy the fruits of their labors.

When the money is disbursed by the government, is there a greater feeling of brotherhood, patriotism, and goodwill? Not likely.

Third, Government programs do not foster accountability.

Hypothetically, if my brother needed help, and I gave him $1000, then he started smoking pot and watching TV all day, I would get after him and threaten to cut off support. As his brother, I would have a pretty good fix on his abilities and if he was truly living up to his potential or not. I also give fast offerings to the Bishop of my church. He then serves, without pay, and gives 100% of the donated money to the needy. He can act as a judge and have the individuals set goals, and serve in the welfare facilities while they receive assistance. But sadly, the government gives with little accountability. Entire generations of people have been able to live off the government with no end in sight because there is no accountability.

Fourth, the dole threatens the characters of our citizens.

America proved that when money is left in the hands of the people, it fosters innovation, technology and hard work.

This story was shared by an LDS apostle, Marion G. Romney:

“In our friendly neighbor city of St. Augustine great flocks of sea gulls are starving amid plenty. Fishing is still good, but the gulls don’t know how to fish. For generations they have depended on the shrimp fleet to toss them scraps from the nets. Now the fleet has moved. …

“The shrimpers had created a Welfare State for the … sea gulls. The big birds never bothered to learn how to fish for themselves and they never taught their children to fish. Instead they led their little ones to the shrimp nets.

“Now the sea gulls, the fine free birds that almost symbolize liberty itself, are starving to death because they gave in to the ‘something for nothing’ lure! They sacrificed their independence for a handout.

“A lot of people are like that, too. They see nothing wrong in picking delectable scraps from the tax nets of the U.S. Government’s ‘shrimp fleet.’ But what will happen when the Government runs out of goods? What about our children of generations to come?

“Let’s not be gullible gulls. We … must preserve our talents of self-sufficiency, our genius for creating things for ourselves, our sense of thrift and our true love of independence.”

Fifth, too much power is trusted to the heads of State.

When a few govern the many, and have control over so much of the money, the leaders end up with too much power. A benevolent leader may be succeeded by a tyrant. Who is to stop them from abusing that power? History has proven that men are too easily corrupted when they get too much power. The pride of a leader may view competing loyalties as a threat. I can almost hear a wicked king say: "What? Your God doesn't allow you to work on Sundays? That is a threat to the productivity of the nation. Therefore, for the good of the country, I will prohibit any religion that interferes with the productivity for the rest of us." Eventually, all religion will be seen as a competing force, with competing loyalties.

Am I being paranoid? I have history as my witness that these things have happened several times throughout the ages.

Let us choose to be charitable in the truest sense of the word. Let us be our brother's keepers! But let us not surrender our liberty and self-reliance to a government hand. For we must remember that the hand that giveth, can also taketh away. I would rather put my trust in God than my trust in man. As good a guy as Obama is, I cannot trust him, or his successors as much as I can trust in my God! Our founders have made us free. They had faith that we would take care of each other, and we have created the most prosperous nation the world has ever seen! Let us remember that wonderful heritage and once again put our faith in God and in each other. Not fearing the worst in ourselves, but hoping for the best in all of our natures. We can take care of each other without a strong hand to force us to do good. We will be happier and more free because of that faith.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Huckabee, you've found your calling!

by David Alvord

I have watched Huckabee's self-titled show on Fox News several times. I have to say, it is actually very heart-warming! I can't believe I am finding myself liking the man who was the hardest on my candidate, Mitt Romney. Just a few months ago, I hated this guy!

I think Huckabee has found his calling. He is a very likeable and heart-warming speaker. He has tremendous skill with timing and eye-contact. He seems so down to earth and presents conservative views with grace and a sense of peace. Contrast that to Glenn Beck's approach, "the sky is falling". I also like Glenn, but after watching him I feel scared. After watching Huck, I feel warm and fuzzy. And then he gets up and plays the bass-guitar for the grand finale! Tonight's show had a song "If ten percent is good enough for Jesus, why isn't it enough for Uncle Sam?". That's good stuff.

During the Republican primaries, Huckabee was the perfect anti-Romney. And Romney was the perfect anti-Huckabee. Where Romney lacked in personality, the Huckster was dripping with it. Where Huckabee lacked in intelligence, Romney answered with his dual-Harvard degree brains. Romney's religion was in the minority, while Huckabee's was in the majority. Huckabee had style while Romney had substance.

I give it as my opinion that those two, Romney and Huckabee, cancelled each other out and left McCain with the victory. Of course, there was Fred Thompson and Guiliani. But those guys didn't show up until after the first states had been decided. The momentum had been established. Huck stayed in the race just long enough to make sure McCain won. He was the Romney antidote and the best friend to the McCain campaign.

Then along came Obama who, as a candidate, had more style than McCain, Huckabee, and Romney combined. The cult of personality had arrived. McCain knew he needed style and so he threw a hail-mary and put in the unvetted and inexperienced Palin. The election became style vs. style...and Obama had boat-loads more of it. America confused the presidential race for "American Idol" and gave it to the ticket they liked the most and who "had the best story", instead of voting for the ticket that was most qualified. McCain had a hard time getting conservative passion...because he had been a "maverick". Well, conservatives held their noses (me included) and voted for McCain, but some stayed home. And a few wrote in Ralph Paul...I mean Ron Nader...and viola, we have President Obama.

I really think that Huck has found his calling. He is the perfect conservative/christain talk-show host. But he dosn't have the brains to pull-off being president with the current problems we face.

I give it as my opinion that if the economy isn't better in the next two years, America will choose substance over style. So PLEASE PLEASE, Huck, STAY ON FOXNEWS! I'll keep watching...

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Commodity-backed currency? It's time to give Mr. Paul the old "heave-ho"!

by David L. Alvord DDS

In the conservative movement, there is one small voice that is making a deafening sound. In one hand, he summons the Constitution and the founding-fathers and speaks of revolution. In the other, he accepts money for his district that is "unconstitutional" but "would be stupid not to take". Ron Paul takes conservatives, warns them of impending doom, and then converts them to a cause that is impossible to achieve politically and impractical to carry out in the real world. His followers find themselves isolated from both the Republican and the Democratic parties. The effect of this isolation is a neutralization of a portion of conservative voting power. The so called "Ron Paul Revolution" may turn out to be a revolution alright, a revolution for the opposition. In elections that are decided by only a few votes, 2-3% may be all that is needed to win.

If Ron Paul were just an idealist, a man "too conservative" for the Republican Party, I'd say: "leave him alone"..."let him speak". But in many cases Ron Paul is just dead wrong.

To name just a few:

1. Ron Paul supports the legalization of illicit drugs.

2. Ron Paul supports the legalization of prostitution.

3. Ron Paul would shrink spending on the military.

4. Ron Paul wants to abolish the Federal Reserve.

5. Ron Paul demands a return to a commodity-backed currency.

When considering the above list, how many main-stream conservatives would go along with this?

I actually take issue with all five of these on the list, but let me just take issue with #5: a commodity-backed currency. I would like to make an example of #5.

Historically, coins were minted that had intrinsic worth. Gold and silver coins were used to trade with because they were made of gold and silver. People liked gold. People liked silver. That's why they were of worth, because people considered gold and silver to be valuable. They were metals that didn't rust easily, and looked could make are cool ring out of gold, or a cool belt-buckle. So people used them to trade for other things of worth like food or labor.

But why was gold worth so much? Because people considered it valuable. There could be some aliens come down from "planet gold" and they may think gold is worthless. They could be a lot more impressed with the metal iron that "tarnishes before me very eyes". (Why aliens speak "pirate"...I am not sure).

Nowadays, gold is still valuable. I suppose we still like to make jewelry and some stuff out of gold. And it is scarce. But my point is that gold is valuable because we think it's valuable. There could be a mountain range discovered somewhere made of solid-gold. This would undoubtedly drive the price of gold down to the price of iron or nickel.

And gold also has the risk of waning in popularity with mankind. It's already not as hot as it once was. You used to say such and such is worth "it's weight in gold". Nowadays, I'd rather have something worth it's weight in microchips. Pound for pound, microchips are worth more than gold, diamonds, platinum...or anything. And microchips are made of silicon: one of the most abundant substances on earth.

As mankind advances, we are becoming less and less concerned with where a substance appears on the periodic table of the elements, and more concerned with how those atoms are organized, and what they can do for us.

Mankind's idea of value is evolving. And when it comes down to it, things only have worth because we think they do. We have faith that they have worth...and we can and will change our minds about that. Once, we thought shiny metal was worth a lot. Later, we thought green paper was worth a lot. Maybe in the future it will be numbers in a computer that have value. And maybe, just maybe, someday we'll realize that it wasn't the gold or silver or green paper that we cherish, but rather the memories we made stealing that gold, silver, and green paper...(ahh, me thinks me eyes are a tear'n up).

America once had a big vault with a bunch of gold in it. (I think it was for show). Anyway, the concept was that you could go to the vault with some dollars and say, "I'd like my gold please". It was what Ron Paul thought was so wonderful; gold-backed money. America was still stuck in pirate-mentality. "Ahoy, me hearties, shiver me timbers, avast is me pieces of eight, me batten down the hatches ye swabs...don't try to hornswaggle me out of me booty ye landlubber".

But fear not, me hearties! You can still take money and trade it for gold! Uncle Sam doesn't run that vault...but someone will trade you dollars for what's the big deal?

Ron Paul wants a commodity-based currency. Really? What commodity would you suggest? Gold? I suppose there is still some ancestors of the pirates that still think gold is worth a lot. Okay, so for now, gold is still worth quite a bit and for now is quite scarce. So let's say that you have x amount of Gold sitting somewhere...backing our paper dollars. How much gold do you need? Well, you would need a trillion dollars worth of gold to back our trillion paper dollars that are currently in circulation. Now let me ask you a question; How much of your total money do you have in paper currency? Right now, less than 1% of my money is in paper form (greenback). The rest is "in the bank". That seems to hold true for the rest of the country. In fact, as of 2005, there is 10 trillion dollars in total circulation. If we are going to back our money, we had better back all of it. I want more than 1% of it backed by pirate-booty...I mean gold.

So just picture it: TEN TRILLION in gold sitting there collecting dust. (There's not enough gold in the WORLD...see link and then "disadvantages") Wouldn't that cost us ten trillion dollars to get all that gold? Actually it would cost us quite a bit more to mine all that gold and then melt it and store it somewhere. What would the vault cost to build? Where would we stash all that gold Ron? Couldn't a terrorist hit that vault with a nuke someday? What is RADIOACTIVE GOLD worth?

So what other commodities are there? Well, I mentioned microchips. Maybe we could back our dollars against microchips! Oh, yeah, but wait....they keep coming out with better ones... so in a few years our TEN TRILLION dollars worth of microchips would be worth TEN CENTS...not too many people still use the commadore 64.

How about wheat? Everyone's got to eat right? Okay, so 10 trillion dollars worth of wheat would be a great way to back our dollars. But what about all those weevils? They'll get in there and ruin our country. And then worse, what if some jerk bio-engineer comes out with a new stalk of wheat that has a kernel ten times the size of the old one? Wouldn't that reduce the value of our wheat by ten times?

Maybe Hashish (weed) could be the standard. But then again, if it becomes legal, it'll be worthless. DUDE!

There is no commodity that is timeless in its value. Maybe that's why Jesus said: "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where theives break through and steal."

So Mr. Paul: What commodity will we base our currency on? A treasure on earth? Or perhaps it is in God in whom we can trust.

I am far more concerned that America keep the commandments of God, than whether we back our money.

This is just one example of Ron Paul, sounding constitutional, sounding founding-fatherish...but proposing something completely impractical and politically impossible.

And so, my conservative friends that support Ron Paul, will you continue to isolate yourself and your vote from the rest of the conservative movement? Will you continue to listen to the man who would have you back your currency with "pirate booty"? Or, will you unite with the rest of the conservatives? If so, it's time to give Ron Paul the old "heave-ho"!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

At what point will we acknowledge that Obama's economic strategy has failed?

The stimulus hasn't stimulated. Most members of congress weren't even given a chance to read the package because they were told it was so urgent. Turns out, that stimulus money won't hit the economy for several years. It was not stimulative, it just grew government. The consequences of that move have not been felt yet, but they will be negative and they will eventually be felt.

When will the country acknowledge that Obama's policies have failed to fix the economy? His folks will never admit failure, so don't wait for them to admit anything. They're stuck on blaming Bush for everything bad that has or will ever happen. I'm sure that when Obama stubs his toes at night, that it's Bush's fault for putting the bed too close to the dresser.

What will it take? When will the American people give Obama the blame for this economy? I believe that so many of the citizens of our country are so enamored by Barack's persona that they are cutting him a ton of slack. So much slack that the dow will have to hit a low of 5000 and unemployment at 15% for the majority of people to realize that they have elected the wrong guy.

Taxing energy and expanding health care will only make things worse.

My only hope is that the pain occurs before 2012 so we can get back onto the road to recovery...instead of having a wasted decade and a great depression part II.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Romney calls Obama a Timid Advocate of Freedom

A Timid Advocate of Freedom
President Obama has failed his early foreign-policy tests.

by Mitt Romney

At last week’s Summit of the Americas, President Obama acquiesced to a 50-minute attack on America as terroristic, expansionist, and interventionist from Nicaraguan president Daniel Ortega. His response to Ortega’s denunciation of our effort to free Cuba from Castro’s dictatorship was that he shouldn’t be blamed “for things that happened when I was three months old.” Blamed? Hundreds of men, including Americans, bravely fought and died for Cuba’s freedom, heeding the call from newly elected president John F. Kennedy. But last week, even as American soldiers sacrificed blood in Afghanistan and Iraq to defend liberty, President Obama shrank from defending liberty here in the Americas.

In his first press interview as president, he confessed to Arabic television that America had “dictated” to other nations. No, Mr. President, America has fought to free other nations from dictators. And in Strasbourg, the president further claimed that America has “showed arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive.” London’s Daily Telegraph observed that President Obama “went further than any United States president in history in criticizing his own country’s action while standing on foreign soil.” Of course, it was not just the Daily Telegraph that was listening: People around the world who yearn for freedom, who count on America’s resolve and support, heard him as well. He was heard in China, in Tibet, in Sudan, in Burma, and, yes, in Cuba.

The words spoken by the leader of the free world can expand the frontiers of freedom or shrink them. When Ronald Reagan called on Gorbachev to “tear down this wall,” a surge of confidence rose that would ultimately breach the bounds of the evil empire. It was the same confidence that had been ignited decades earlier when John F. Kennedy declared to a people surrounded by Communism that they were not alone. “We are all Berliners,” he said, because “freedom is indivisible, and when one man is enslaved, all are not free.” Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s confident commitment, spoken as he led us into the war that would free millions in Europe, inspired not only Americans but freedom fighters around the globe: “The American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory.” Such words of solidarity, of confidence, and of unwavering conviction that America is indeed “the last best hope on earth” are what freedom’s friends would have expected to hear from our president when our nation was slandered. Instead he offered silence, smiles, and a handshake.

Even more troubling than what he has or has not said is what he has not done. Kim Jong Il launched a long-range missile on the very day President Obama addressed the world about the peril of nuclear proliferation. As one of the world’s most oppressive and tyrannical regimes is on the brink of securing the “game changing” capability to reach American shores with a nuclear weapon, the president shrinks from action: no seizure of North Korean funds, no severance of banking access, no blockade.

Not to be outdone by Kim Jong Il, President Ahmadinejad announced that his nation has successfully mastered every step necessary to enrich uranium, violating the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty it has signed. So, like North Korea, Iran will have changed the world’s equation for peace and security: It will be capable of devastating Europe and America, and of annihilating Israel. And as with North Korea, the Obama administration chooses inaction — no new severe sanctions, no hint of military options. Ahmadinejad can act with confidence that the forceful options once on our proverbial table have been shelved.

Vice President Biden was right that the new president would be tested early in his administration. What the world learned was not good news for freedom and democracy. The leader of the free world has been a timid advocate of freedom at best. And bold action to blunt the advances of tyrants has been wholly lacking. We are still very early in the Obama years — the president will have ample opportunity to defend America and freedom, and to deter nuclear brinkmanship. I am hoping for change.

— Mitt Romney, formerly the governor of Massachusetts, was a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008.

This article appeared in the National Review Online on April 21, 2009