One of the many blessings of running my own accounting firm are the relationships that I build with people I would have never met otherwise. After running in the Republican primary for my congressional district last spring, I had yet another group of incredible new friends and partners. Through some of those new friends, I was put in touch with an American businessman living in Japan who had an absolutely incredible story of how the recent tsunami had affected his life and the lives of those closest to him.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems like the Scott Walker’s throwdown in Wisconsin over public union workers is long, long overdue. It is almost unfathomable to me that no government official in recent memory has had that intestinal fortitude to step up and say ‘enough is enough.’ Mr. Walker, I applaud you. I also fear for your job, not because I think the voters of Wisconsin disagree with what you are doing, but because you have now incurred the collective wrath of labor unions both public and private nationwide who see their purse strings being closed tight. Like a wild animal trapped in corner, they will fight to the death.
I recently had Ann Coulter on my radio show which airs on Sunday nights on KRLA 870 out of Los Angeles. Ann is a conservative political commentator, author, and syndicated columnist, well-known for her right-wing political opinions and the controversial ways in which she defends them. Coulter has described herself as a polemicist who likes to “stir up the pot” and, unlike “broadcasters,” does not “pretend to be impartial or balanced.”
We had a great conversation that night about the recent elections and the ramifications of the historic Republican seat pickup in the House. I am so impressed with the willingness that Ann has to attack tough issues that many pundits would never approach. We need more people like her who are willing to take unpopular positions and stand behind them.
Ann is an American patriot who is not afraid to take on the establishment or voice an opinion that is unpopular or politically incorrect. When given the opportunity to book Ann for the inaugural event of my new venture, the Liberatore Lecture Series, I jumped at the chance. Like me, Ann is fed up with the way that government has been treating Americans and our constitution. We are not an ATM or a get-out-of-jail-free card for politicians needing to appeal to their constituency with pet projects. In the past, the cost of pork projects and earmarks were described in the millions, now they are billions and trillions. Like all of you, I’m tired of footing the bill.
Recently, Ann was criticized for expressing her opinion on Twitter regarding President Obama. The story was picked up by a liberal blog site and Ann was raked over the coals. The author also encouraged his readers to go out and try to keep me from having Ann take the stage and give her lecture on the 15th. Needless to say, I’m not going to give in to bullying. If anything, I am ecstatic to be hosting someone who is so willing to put her reputation on the line for the sake of her beliefs.
Whatever your political leanings, no one can deny that our nation is struggling. Unemployment is staggering, the deficit is soaring and people are unhappy. The elections last week only confirm the fact that we need to do something differently.
So please, join me, Rick Amato, Brad Dacus, Robert Davi and Ann Coulter on November 15th at the Richard Nixon Library in Yorba Linda as we discuss all the issues facing America and how to take action to restore liberty to America.
Please go to www.liberatorelectureseries.com to purchase tickets.
Now that elections are over many people are going to jump straight into analyzing the races, who did what right/wrong and what we can expect from this new House and Senate. There will be plenty of time for that in the next weeks and months, but I want to take a quick time-out to talk about something very close to my heart.
Last weekend at the UCLA-Arizona football game, I had the opportunity as a sponsor to speak to 600 children in the Lift Up America program. For those of you not familiar with LUA, it is a non-profit humanitarian organization that encourages and educates underprivileged youth while providing them opportunities with leading corporations, sports teams, media groups and other non-profits. The whole idea behind LUA is turning these amazing kids into ‘ambassadors of compassion,’ who go back into their neighborhoods and share the things that they have learned with their peers.
The kids were at the game to celebrate their completion of the first level of training, during which they helped clean up city parks, remove graffiti, created a recreation center out of an abandoned building and some of them even returned to school after dropping out. To celebrate their accomplishments, as Ambassadors of Compassion, they were awarded diplomas at pre-game tailgate party and got to run across the field before taking their seats and enjoying the game.
I was personally so encouraged to see so many people going out of their way to help others and it just reinforced in my mind what a great country we live in. After the last few months of political wrangling, I am exhausted from the negativity that surrounds us at election time. I know for some, the result of these elections will bring great joy; for others, dismay. I think we can all agree that regardless of how we lean politically, we can certainly do better as human beings.
I speak only for myself when I say that it is all too easy to expect others to get involved. All too often, the “others” is the government. I can guarantee you that as a community, we can be far more efficient and caring than any government bureaucracy could ever be.
Well, we’ve made it this far.
I usually try to stay away from predicting election outcomes because often I let my optimism get in the way. This time however, I think my expectations are realistic. If you have been paying any attention at all to your newspaper or television over that last few months, you know that Republicans are predicting huge gains in the midterm elections. Pundits predict Republican takeover of the House and recent polls indicate that the Senate might not be out of reach either. After two years in the shadows, Republicans appear poised to return to relevancy.
I’m intrigued to see how Republicans handle having a hand on the steering wheel instead of being relegated to the back seat. I hope Democrats in Congress and the White House will realize that this is a statement from America that their change was not the right kind of change- we need reform that goes beyond reacting to symptoms of dysfunction (I’m looking at you health care bill), we need to attack the dysfunction itself.
House Republicans are already talking about slashing $100 billion in Federal spending from the budget if they gain power in November. It’s a nice gesture, but it’s mostly a political ruse to get people into the polls. $100 billion doesn’t represent the kind of change necessary to begin to fix the problem with America.
The majority of the problems facing America right now come back to one thing: poor fiscal planning and an abuse of power by government in regards to money. Imagine this: you’re playing a game with your brother with a fixed set of rules. The game is set up so you are trying to beat the game, rather than each other, but your individual actions still affect each other. It’s your brother’s turn and he decides to try something new: he changes the rules so that he can arbitrarily change the value and amount of the game money to suit his needs. He doesn’t have to ask you and he certainly doesn’t have to consider what is best for you before acting.
This essentially what happened in the United States in the 1930’s when a bank panic forced the end of the gold standard, a system that guaranteed gold for every piece of paper money. It further deteriorated in 1971 when Nixon ended the gold-dollar standard in response to the Vietnam War and French run on the dollar. Like many things, it worked for awhile. I’m convinced now that the Fed and White House honestly don’t know what to do. They know that the system is broken but aren’t willing to risk their political capital to fix it.
What we have today is a government that takes no responsibility for their actions. Sadly, by election time, it is often too late to undo the actions of rogue politicians en masse. What would happen if you gave a five year-old a credit card with no limit and unlimited access to candy and toys? Mayhem. That’s what we have had for political representation in the last 50 years; a bunch of star struck five year-olds dreaming of new ways to spend money they don’t have. Luckily for them, they can just create it. This year, we are running a deficit of $1.17 TRILLION, which is nearly enough to lay a blanket on $1 bills over the entire state of Connecticut. Where does this money go? Of the entire budget, 61 percent ($2.17 trillion) is devoted to Social Security, Medicare, and interest on the current debt. Whoever said we aren’t a socialized nation clearly hasn’t been thinking clearly, or has determined to ignore the facts.
We have allowed government, Republicans and Democrats alike, to pull the wool over our eyes in exchange for the comfort of not having to worry about what the future holds. I am hopeful that this new batch of legislators, from both parties, will know what I now know. After 70 years of financial malpractice, there is literally no time to waste getting back on track to fiscal solvency.
In a hail-mary attempt to garner main street support for Democrats before the elections put an end to the legislative season, President Obama finally was able to push the small business lending bill through the Senate, thanks to two retiring Republicans who crossed the aisle to vote for the stimulus package.
If you live in California, I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know when I say that our state is in trouble. As of today, 77 days have gone by since the deadline has come and gone for our state budget to be passed and implemented, but we are still not close on a budget. Until now, the budget crisis has mostly been limited in its impact to state employees and private contractors, but its implications for the future of the state are frightening.
As a long time owner of my own small business, I know when a project isn’t working the way it is supposed to. At that point I have to make a decision to cut my losses, shoulder the blame, and move on. Granted, sometimes perseverance is warranted, but in the face of complete failure even the most well-meaning attempts at ‘staying the course’ are at best misplaced, and at worst frighteningly destructive. Sadly, we as a country have fallen into this destructive cycle of disillusionment, made clear early this week by President Obama’s new plan to save the economy and create jobs- three bills totaling $350 billion to improve transportation infrastructure, provide permanent research and development tax credits for business and a proposal that allows businesses to deduct capital investments in 2011.
Unfortunately, his new plan sounds an awful lot like the old plans that have pushed us into record budget deficits and stagnant job creation. This bill is actually remarkably conservative compared to his past bailouts, as President Obama has apparently grown weary of the beating he takes from conservatives when he treads too heavily on the toes of private businesses. I firmly believe that government spending is not the way to pull America out of the recession, but of all the spending bills that have been floated around over the last few years, this is one that I neither love nor hate.
Would the $50 billion for infrastructure be more efficiently used if it had been left in the hands of the taxpayers? Absolutely. But this bill would have at least one conservative ally, Adam Smith, the 18th century author of The Wealth of Nations and champion of free-market conservatives, who believed that infrastructure spending was one the few things that should be handled by the government. This bill should improve the infrastructure which undoubtedly will have some kind of positive effect on commerce. The question I have to ask is why now? The original stimulus bill had over $100 billion in infrastructure spending and we all know how successful that was in stimulating the economy.
The truth is that it isn’t much of a question because the answer is so obvious: political maneuvering. With November elections just around the corner, Democrats are distancing themselves from the Washington establishment that Obama once eschewed but he has now has come to represent. Trying to handicap the chances of these bills passing through Congress before elections would be futile, but I can’t believe that the odds are good the bill will pass. Obama is doing everything possible to show that he still has a grasp on the economy when it is so clearly slipping out of his control. If he truly wanted stimulate the economy with an infrastructure bill, he would throw more than $50 billion at it. Recent estimates put infrastructure needs at $1.6 trillion to modernize air routes, refit railways and repave roads. $50 billion is a peace offering, nothing more, nothing less.
This is a mixed bag of reactions for me. For one, I am disappointed that our president is floundering to find his footing at a time when Americans need strong leadership backed by sound social and economic policy. Political games like the one he is playing now are never going to go away, especially at election time, but the solution to failure is not hiding your failure behind a mask, it is changing the way you think and operate. On the other hand, I am optimistic about the opportunity that is being presented to conservative candidates in the upcoming election and the change of guard that they represent. People point to the Bush years as the cause of all our problems today, but it has actually been sixty years of straying from the ideals and principles that the Founding Fathers put in the Constitution that have turned America into a country they wouldn’t recognize. Democrats and Republicans alike are to blame, and likewise, both parties can be a part of the solution. Libertarian-leaning voters are gathering behind candidates who represent true American values and within the year those candidates will take the floor of Congress and begin to challenge the status quo that has ruled politics since the Great Depression.
On Tuesday, the Democrats passed a $26 billion bill that will raise taxes and cut government funding to food stamp recipients. I’m left wondering who the Liberal insiders are really looking out for? For years the Left has claimed to be for the low- and middle-class workers, claiming the rich need to carry the load. Tuesday showed us who the Left really cares about- public employee unions. The bill that Obama pushed through Congress robbed the poorest Americans of much needed food stamps while guaranteeing that highly paid public employees will still have their jobs.
The USPS announced today that it wants to close doors on Saturday to save an estimated $3.1 billion. Two weeks ago, the USPS announced another 2-cent raise in the cost of a stamp. Last week’s announcement that they lost $1.9 billion did not come as surprise, but instead as another grim reminder that government-run business is a losing proposition. Sam Pulcrano, vice president of sustainability at USPS, said they can get back on track to being profit neutral again if given the opportunity.
I am new to the world of politics. For 20 years I’ve been serving my community as a CPA and Tax Accountant. I never imagined that when I entered the race for Congress from the 42nd district that I’d be swept up into a world of half-truths and deceptions but that is what has happened in my campaign to unseat six-term incumbent Gary Miller.
On Saturday, I had the most incredible experience. April 24th was the first Liberty Celebration of my campaign. It included free hamburgers, popcorn, cotton candy, a bounce house and drinks. We even gave away bikes and IPods. I wanted to do something for the people in the 42nd district.
I’m sure that you have heard about the judge in Wisconsin who recently ruled that the National Day of Prayer was unconstitutional. While the allegations of such atrocious thinking were not widely accepted or acted on, even the thought of having that right taken away was enough to move us to action.