December 13, 2016

Sometimes the only way you know where you are is to look back and see where you have been.  My grandfather use to say this to me when I was a kid.   Heard it a thousand times.  It was his way of saying that frequent reflection is “good for the soul” and reminds us we are going to have good days and bad days, at least on this earth.  Countries are like individuals in that respect—not really that different at all.  We still live in a great country, full of promise.  For the most part, a kid born today can be just about anything he wants to be as long as he has a dream AND the work ethic to put that dream into motion.  This fact has been demonstrated time and time again and with a diverse cross-section of our population.  Woody Allen was pretty much correct when he said that 95 percent of success was just showing up.  A dude names Thomas A. Edison indicated that 90 percent of his success was due to perspiration and 10 percent to inspiration.  A fairly smart guy named Einstein said the world is not dangerous because of those who do harm, but because of those who look at it without doing anything.  Years ago, when I played high school football, I had a coach named E.B. (Red) Etter.  Coach Etter had two great sayings, “You boys had better show me something and damn it, if you make a mistake, make it at full speed.”  “The next one seen loafing will do laps to Pittsburg and back.”  Coach Etter did have a way with words.   One more and I will get to the point; “I don’t get to blow the whistle, I don’t get to ring the bell, but just let the train jump the track and see who catches hell.”  Some of us, are quick to place blame, throw someone under the bus, cry foul, put on that “poor me” attitude.  Ever listen to talk radio?  We do have problems and it has become evident, forgive me—more than evident, that the American people are going to have to help themselves.  We are going to have to work around our Federal government if we get any problems solved.  We start by getting “liquid”.  Eliminate debt, become much more independent and much less dependent upon Federal services.  Employ our full resourcefulness.  Engage.

The significant inactivity we see today from our “Executive” and “Legislative Branches” of government results from nothing more than fear.  Fear of taking a stand.  Fear of performing.  Fear of engaging.  Ever hear these before?

  • If I do something to make the train jump the track, I might not get reelected.  Then what would I do?  Better not even try.  Stalling is the best policy.  Let’s consider action AFTER the mid-term elections.
  • I definitely don’t want to offend the unions.  OK, so what if our kids can’t read.  How is that my problem?  I send my children to private schools.  After all, I am a member of Congress.
  • If I protect our borders I will lose 12 million votes.
  • There is more ( and better ) officiating in an NFL game on Sunday than we get from the SEC relative to oversight of the stock market.  Then again, porn sites are much more interesting than working a “day job”.
  • Tort reform!—Do you know how much money those guys contribute to our PAC?
  • We know that “Freddie” and “Fanny” are in terrible shape but a “re-org” right now would be too disruptive.  Besides, fixing them would mean admitting they need fixing and we have been saying all along that they were in “fine working order”.
  • We can fight two wars.  We just have to make sure we send our best and brightest back—again and again and again.  PTST doesn’t last forever—does it?  After all, those prosthetic devices seem to work well enough.

You get the picture.

Ever wonder when these guys work?  Is “The View” more important than sitting at your desk in the Oval Office, with your sleeves rolled up and your tie loosened?  Head down, plowing through.   We have viable information that most of Congress did NOT read the new health care bill.  We have viable information that the most of Congress did NOT read the 2500 page “jobs bill”.  We have viable information that the Attorney General did NOT read the bill passed by the Arizona Legislature BEFORE the Federal suit was levied.  I don’t think in my lifetime (and I’m 74) I have seen a president that travels more than Mr. Obama.  It seems as though he relishes the spotlight and finds great pleasure in conveying absolute minutia to just about anyone who will listen.  When you think about it, what great revelations come from Washington anyway?  I’m not talking about news; I’m talking about “stuff” you can use.  Information that, once known, changes your life; makes every day living easier; reduces stress; promotes a minimal feeling that things will eventually be OK; addresses a growing unemployment; addresses the feeling that there may be a  double-dip recession and does something about it.  Where are the “guys and dolls” we elected?  Well, they are feeding at the public well.  We are truly on our on so, let us act that way.  Develop a resourcefulness that is indicative of our American heritage.  Can do spirit.  The difficult we do immediately, the impossible takes a little longer.  We know that if we don’t they won’t.  Let’s learn from history.

I wrote the above post three years ago.  Since that time—we have a new sheriff in town, Donald John Trump. His message— “Make America Great Again”.   Drain the swamp.  I have absolutely no argument with this but can he do it?  According to the web site POLTIFACT, “the Donald” has promised to do the following during his first four-year term as president:

  • ‘Build a wall’ — and make Mexico pay for it
  •  Temporarily ban Muslims from entering the United States
  • ‘Bring manufacturing (jobs) back’
  • Impose tariffs on goods made in China and Mexico
  • Renegotiate or withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement and Trans-Pacific Partnership
  • ‘Full repeal of Obamacare’ and replace it with a market-based alternative
  •  Renegotiate the Iran deal
  • Leave Social Security as is
  • Cut taxes
  • ‘Bomb’ and/or ‘take the oil’ from ISIS

I am assuming he will accomplish these things using executive orders where necessary and obtaining Congressional approval when available.  When I was a kid it was always easier climbing up a tree than coming down.  Governing is complicated even when you have a majority in both houses of Congress.  The time it takes to make corrections may take as long as creating the problems in the first place even without objections from the rank and file Senators, Congressmen and Women.  I can NOT imagine what might take the place of the Affordable Heath Care Law or how long it will take to implement corrections allowing a better and more workable system.  At an average of 1,100 words per page, the 10,535 pages of Obamacare regulations consist of approximately 11,588,500 words. By contrast, as officially published by the Government Printing Office, PPACA is 906 pages long and HCERA is 55 pages long.  It would take me four years to read it.

Our tax code–takes 73,954 pages to define and explain.  Light reading for a rainy Saturday afternoon.  Nothing that long can be completely understood by any individual. You see the problem.

I personally would be satisfied if he accomplished reinvigorating manufacturing, once again creating jobs, reducing our individual and corporate tax burdens and removing regulations that unnecessarily restrict commerce.  Then again, that’s just me.  I suppose we “hide and watch”.  TO BE CONTINUED!


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