Let's Stimulize Some Reform, Not Stupidity.



Well, recession is barking at our door once again. With all the doom and gloom about our economic forecast is it any wonder the average American is sweating bullets about 2008. Not to mention the band fixes being proposed by both sides of the aisle to enhance their posture for the election year. Much of the stimulus package that is suppose to be a shot in the arm for the economy will amount to nothing more than a shot in the pocket book.

The stimulus package is like Britney Spears attempting self therapy, nothing more than a recipe for disaster. It is pointless and not much thinking has been applied to the long term corrections needed to avoid these monetary problems in the future. One fact about the package itself that I do find intriguing is the tax cuts for businesses. The "bonus depreciation," allows a company to deduct qualified investments from their tax liability. This in turn, should make investments more lucrative. Enhancing growth, creates jobs, and strengthens the economy. This portion of the package actually displays some forward thinking, unfortunately it ends there.

The problem with most of the package is the approach the government is using. It is nothing more than fiscal trickery, rather than sound monetary policies. For example, the personal rebates. This lagniappe, Louisianan for "something extra," is supposed to jump start the economy by giving the average consumer some money to spend. Okay, sounds great, until you look into it.

First where is the money going to come from? The Federal government does not have magical money powers like they think. There are only a limited number of sources the federal government can borrow the money from which will either cause future tax burdens, furthering a trade deficit, or less money for investments.

What about consumer attitude towards the money they are going to receive? Most people are living in debt, what do people with excessive debt do with any extra money they have? Pay bills.

This in turn keeps the average person's head above water for a month, maybe two. But what about after that? What has it really accomplished for the economy, other than keeping it going in it's floundering state for another couple of months. Most recipients of the 2001 rebate used their money to pay down their debt. Although, there was increased spending later in the year, credit for this was actually given to the tax cuts. Which consumers viewed as more permanent.

Then there is the households who will actually spend their money. The primary question is what are they going to buy? How many people are going to use this money for a down payment on a new car, a home, or even invest it? Need we forget that most U.S. firms sell their services and goods to foreign businesses? Most American consumers receive their goods from abroad. An increase in spending might be good for the retailers here in the States for a short term, but the greatest benefactor of this stimulus is foreign business.

If there is to be any correction then ideas such as the tax rebates for businesses must be looked into. This type of correction can create both short term and long term benefits for the economy. Other possible avenues are an attitude adjustment by the government. Let consumers and businesses decide how to spend their money and where to invest. A profit driven free market, has proven that if left to its own devices, can be wildly successful. Anytime government has interfered you have the result which we are facing today. Let politicians stay in politics not our pocketbooks.
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Paulinites Highjacking the GOP?


Rasmussen reported that the number of people who consider themselves Republicans has increased two percentage points in December to 34.2%
.[1] An interesting phenomena, considering the hits the party has taken over the past few years. Now the Republicans, for the most part, had a great year in 2007. Victory against SCHIP, the Surge, confidence in Republicans to carry out the G.W.O.T more effectively, etc. All plausible reasons for people to return to identifying themselves with the GOP once again.

I offer another possible scenario. One that is straight out of the universe of the man that I am about to point at. Ron Paul. Yup, you read it right, Ron Paul. This is not to say that his message has resonated with so many people that they are coming home to the GOP. Just the opposite in fact. Paul is pulling support from more than just Republicans who feel disenfranchised or far right wingers. There is the whole Green movement, anti war Dems who feel let down by Hillary and the rest of the gang, conspiracy theorists, Truthers, and the rest of the Bubbas getting ready to fall off the grid.

Yup, I know straight out of conspiracy corner itself. But, how else could these folks get their boy into office if he is running under the Republican banner and they aren't registered Repubs? Simple, switch party affiliation. It would be the only possible way Paul could hope to have a shot at surviving the primaries.

Now I realize this Rasmussen poll probably does not measure the amount of increase in the registering of new Republicans. Rasmussen's polling data is more indicative of who identifies themselves with the party. Does this theory tie in with the Rasmussen poll? I do not know. The true test would be the new registration data on a national level.

Only one little spot of minor proof for my ridiculous theory. This is a small excerpt taken from the DailyPaul, back in May of 2007.

As you may realize, there are many people from across the spectrum planning to support Ron Paul: Libertarians, Constitutionalists, Green Party members, disenfranchised Democrats, and of course the disenfranchised Republicans.

Many of these people may not realize that they NEED to change party affiliations to Republican to vote in the GOP Primary in many States.

All this shows is that the thought was on their mind. As I have already stated, I have no proof that they have actually been engaged in this action.

This may just be pessimistic thinking on my part, more than likely it is the banner year that the Republican party is having. After so many let downs over the past two or three years it is hard to believe they might be making a comeback. But, if there is a shred of truth to this, the GOP and the primaries would have been highjacked and that is some seriously criminal behavior.


Polling Trends

Change Party Affiliation to Republican to Participate in Primaries
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What our Candidates Should Want in us.


I highly suggest reading
What We Want in a President by LAWRENCE B. LINDSEY. Strictly an Op-ed, but wow, I was impressed! (Some might say that is a very easy task.) Nevertheless, he covers the idea about what Americans should expect from a President and our responsibility to understand the candidate's strengths and weaknesses.

Since he mentioned Fred Thompson, I will get my plug in.

Or consider the comments of a friend of mine and active fund-raiser about Fred Thompson, who is my choice. My friend agreed that Mr. Thompson was smart and well informed and had good judgment. But he felt that Republicans should definitely not nominate him because he was temperamentally unsuited to the campaign trail. Mr. Thompson probably would rather discuss the nuances of issues than shake hands or write thank-you notes to donors, two skills very important to the running.Polls now suggest my friend may be right. If so, all it means is that the process of selecting a president has little to do with the skills needed for the job. [1]

Quite. This does not display a weakness in the candidate, but a weakness in ourselves. We have spent most of our lifetimes being groomed by the MSM to faithfully trust their judgement on the candidate that best suits the needs of the country. Beyond Thompson, how do polls, media plugs, 30 second campaign ads, or 60 second op-eds on stage really gauge what a candidate is about. You and I have a responsibility to research these people and understand their backgrounds. This does not mean tirelessly pounding website after website or story after story. It means look at what they are saying, take time to judge their promises versus their past. An hour of research, every couple of days, done by an interested voter can actually change the course of this country for the better.

Our job as voters should be to select someone who will (1) know what he or she doesn't know, (2) get up to speed quickly, and (3) avoid making serious mistakes in the meantime. [1]

That is alot to ask of another human being. But when that human being is asking to lead the free world they better be up to the task. Although, it is their responsibility to "prove" it, it is our responsibility to find out if that proof is real or media generated.

Mr. Lindsey uses three criteria that I feel are a good place to start.

First, has the candidate faced a crisis or overcome a major setback in his or her life?

Second, has the candidate had a variety of life experiences? The presidency is a job for a generalist.

Third, can the candidate tell the difference between a foreign enemy and a political opponent? [1]

These are a great measurement of their personal characteristics. It should not stop there, a voter needs to look at the information about the political history of the candidate and couple that with their personal characteristics.

A certain degree of ruthlessness is a necessary attribute for any successful CEO or president. But our liberty, which is ultimately our nation's greatest resource, requires that a president restrain this trait when acting domestically. [1]

While being an admirer of Burke, I really appreciated the above mentioned comment the most. Burke understood that their must be a balance between the liberty of the individual and the authority of the state. As a conservative with self admitted Libertarian leanings, I want a candidate who matches this quality with actions not words.

We should seek an individual who is ruthless about protecting us against others, but acts with charity toward all and malice toward none at home: a tall order. But this trait comes out on the campaign trail, and in the past job performances of the candidates. We should opt for candidates who are ruthless in debating real public policy issues but steer away from attacking the personal traits of their opponents. [1]

Hallelujah! Take Mr. Lindsey's advice to heart. It is high time that we should critique ourselves and how we go about judging our candidates. Understand the person who you want to be your President. Know their strengths, weaknesses, their past, and try to understand them. No one is expecting perfection, that is unrealisitc. But if their Presidency is an abysmall failure, is it really their fault? Afterall, it was us who elected them.


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