Monday, June 29, 2009

A reality 'check' you can cash...

Change, it's all the rage. From late night info-mercials to presidential campaigns. YOU need to CHANGE, WE need to CHANGE, CHANGE we can believe in...etc...

Well, quite frankly, you can keep your Change. Someone is...and spending it in unprecedented fashion.

Seriously, what about the last election cycle? Where is the change? What is 'New'? New rhetoric....not really. New, not there either. You see, taxing & spending is not new. Not at all, the only thing different is that under the guise of "change" we have a whole heck of a lot more of it. Every time we have a Dem Executive branch (President) aligned with a Dem Legislative branch (House/Senate) we see an increase in spending and then taxes to pay for it. That’s same-'ol, same-'ol politics to me. Nothing changed...

I pray that next election cycle someone decides to run on a 'reality'. Slogan: "Keep the change, I want my country back... Vote XYZ Candidate 2012"

With all the new government controls (auto industry, finance, healthcare, even tobacco...), Unprecedented Spending, and...*newsflash*...taxes will increase; FOR EVERYONE...not just the $250k and above wage earners as promised. BHO is going to make an appeal started with the most recent 'roll up your sleeves' email, next will be 'empty your wallets, it's patriotic'. Trust me, its coming. In 2012, Someone needs to give the country back to the people.

We need to get back to what made this country great in the first place. Innovation, Values, Hard Work, Dedication...too many costly services are provided to too many 'eligible' (I use the term eligible very loosely) people.

Oh, but we can't cut these 'necessary' services. Really? Why not? Well, old folks may not get their medications, single mom's may not have reliable daycare, people may not get their Digital TV converter boxes, the auto industry may no longer produce cars in America, Congress won’t get new hybrids, the military will buy a few less tanks/jets/missiles, we may never see Universal Healthcare, etc...

I'm sorry, am I the only one who says that everything is negotiable? From medications, to WIC services, to defense's all fair game when you have multi-trillion dollar deficits.

The entire system is wrought with waste as well as opportunities to fine tune the budgets. Not all people who qualify for government provided social services (including welfare) need it. We've all seen the lady at the grocery store with the two carts full of groceries telling the cashier ..."Oh the front cart is for WIC"... while the back cart is loaded with junk food and cigarettes. I've always said if there were an actual audit service with a bonus structure to find waste, we'd find it, and it would more than pay for itself. BHO, are you listening? I just created X (insert your overly aggressive made up number here) jobs that would actually put money back into the taxpayers pocket. Daycare can be provided by other welfare recipients as an education/job training program. Did I just create more jobs? Wow! Most of all. Welfare is made temporary; with a set timetable that has a beginning and an end. Call it an 'exit strategy' for Welfare. The Social worker is simply a Program/Project Manager with set milestones and held accountable to his/her performance. Heck, bonus them for successful early conversions from welfare to work. Hey, you can make this a new job too! I'm on a roll!

The point is, we can all agree these are tough times, and tough times require tough decisions. The government is not responsible for my TV, my insurance, or my milk and eggs. Non-profits (with appropriate tax incentives) and other organizations can, and often do, pick up the slack when it comes to helping people thrive.

Also, at our very core, is an innovative, hard working American. Some of us lack the serious motivation to act the part when it is too easy to accept the easy way out.

No one was, or at least should have been, raised to fail. In fact, it can likely be scientifically proven that if you create a system, someone will find a way to take advantage of it. That, as poor of an example as there is, is innovation at work. Let's get people to take advantage of circumstances rather than our government.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Quotes of the day…

The union will be the death of the auto industry, and perhaps BHO’s presidency (for the obvious vote garnering payback, also known as “bailout funds”). Here’s a quote from President Obama in Chicago, addressing the AMA today:

"A big part of what led General Motors and Chrysler into trouble," he said, "were the huge costs they racked up providing health care for their workers — costs that made them less profitable and less competitive with automakers around the world."

What?! So Healthcare costs led to the demise of two American auto-making icons? What about the unionized workforce that currently produces the American automobile?

Here’s a quote that seems so much more fitting.

“You can not pay someone $50.00 per hr. to build a car and sell it to someone that makes $12.00 per hr.”

I wish I could take credit for it, but alas it was an anonymous online poster responding to NASCAR’s considering allowing other foreign manufacturers into their circuits.

I make it no secret that I am a NASCAR fan, I have a yellow ‘17’ in the upper corner of the back window of my American made SUV (it’s a Ford, Explorer even). For not having a mullet, red neck, or a beer dispensing hat, I could fit into a conversation with any level of fan. I respect that they all have a passion for racing. But I digress…

I wish we had the time to talk about racing all day, me to write about it and you to read, but that’s not how it works in the real world, is it? Speaking of the real world again. Labor costs make up for a much bigger % of how profitable a business is rather than healthcare. It doesn’t matter what industry you are in, profit margins exist in the narrow confines of production costs and retail price.

Kudos to Ford Motor Company for not taking any bailout money; also for negotiating with the UAW and getting the best concessions for their business to run…for now. I tend to negotiate with a little more logic, such as…”concede, or we are all out of a job”…but hey, I’ve never been much of a “union guy”. I understand how/why they were created. To protect the workers from abuse, unsafe conditions, etc…but today, those poor working conditions simply do not exist anymore. Wal-Mart, operates it’s retail/grocery store union free, and may get a bad rap for low-paid workers, but you’ve got to hand it to them…do we, as consumers, really care? The worker has federal laws protecting them from discrimination, long hours, unfair pay rates, and poor working conditions. The employee is not an indentured servant, if they disagree with the corporate policy they can file a grievance, or resign.

Back to the real world where folks are just happy to have a job, and public outcry is beginning to harden regarding labor disputes, strikes, etc. With near-historical unemployment numbers, and growing jobless claims. No one is happy to see their tax dollars go to obviously failing businesses. No one is happy to see workers fight for more money rather than making concessions to stay employed.

I am a consumer, these are hard times, if someone in China is making a better product cheaper…and I’m more apt to buy it. Does it make me un-American? Not at all…consider that China already owns our debt, our government has made the same decision, well before I did.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A prayer for President Obama…

Father, today I lift up President Obama to you. May your spirit enter his heart and provide him with Your Divine guidance. I pray that You walk beside him and guide him to act in a manner that would be more pleasing to You. Please grant him the wisdom to make appropriate decisions and lead this country as You would have us be lead.

I have personally forgiven President Obama for many of the anti-family and anti-life decisions and ask that You may be able to as well. As a follower of Christ, I fully believe in the power of redemption and ask that Your Grace be upon President Obama.

I pray that he is humbled in your presence and ask that President Obama be given every opportunity to succeed in his role. I also pray that the American people can learn to forgive each other, and ourselves as we move forward in a manner that is honoring and pleasing to You, Father.

All of this I pray in Your Holy name…

Soli Deo Gloria


Thursday, June 4, 2009

Obama's celebration of anything non-Christian

So Barrack Obama writes a proclamation to make June, National LGBT month. I wonder if he knew that June is also:

· National Adopt-A-Cat Month
· National Drive Safe Month
· National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month
· National Iced Tea Month
· National Rose Month
· National Safety Month
· National Tennis Month

As well as these other, non-National months.

· Potty Training Awareness Month
· Turkey Lovers Month (there’s a joke here somewhere…I just know it)
· Zoo and Aquarium Month
· Dairy Month
· Great Outdoors Month

I’m still finding it hard to believe the LGBT community deserves a month, but if Iced Tea (Not the Rapper) can have a month then I suppose it’s really no big deal, right? Well, its juts more ‘Change’ any of the Christians, primarily Catholics, who voted for BHO probably never counted on. Reflect for a moment, this is the same president who declined to recognize the National Day of Prayer; the same president who included, for the 1st time in History, atheists in his inaugural address while also omitting his Father’s religious preference (Muslim) stating during his inauguration speech that he is of Christian faith and his father was “agnostic”. Yet right now he is in the Middle East celebrating his Father’s Muslim heritage, almost wearing it as a badge of honor. Which is it, agnostic or Muslim? You certainly cannot be both.

I personally do not have an issue with either Muslims, Agnost’s or even Atheists, as a Jewish friend of mine would say “We can’t all be perfect” ;-) This is the same friend who said to me one time; “It’s not your fault you weren’t chosen” ;-) It is important to celebrate our Diversities, and even make light of them through humor…but to give a Day to anyone is a pretty big Deal; to give a month is a little ridiculous.

There is a trend with this president; he seems to adore, celebrate, and recognize everything. Everything that is, except the Christian faith. Challenge me on this, and I ask why has President Obama only been to Church (1) time since taking office. Don't tell me how busy he is, he makes time for basketball playoffs, baseball games, and a Super Bowl party at the White House. I don't know about you, but I went to Church Super Bowl Sunday and still made it home with hours to spare before the big game.