Saturday, February 07, 2009

"Good evening, and happy Mardi Gras"

After working hard and experiencing what is likely to be my greatest political victory in my lifetime, I have been tired. Add a beautiful wife who has begun gaining weight for all the right reasons (Madison Elizabeth is due March 20th, 2009!!!), and things get even tougher. A large work project that has kept me working late for weeks is also worth a mention. Then, I am finally taking a risk and attempting to start my own business in the near future. Sometimes life sure can keep you churning lemonade. However, you won't find me frowning.

My Thanks to You:
I have read what Grey Fedora and SueBee have posted with great appreciation. When my life begun handing me lemons...they stepped up and continued to keep this blog active and a good place to check in on now and then. I thank both of you from the bottom of my heart and am glad to have you as authors. (I am still accepting applications if anyone is interested)

"Hope & Change" - Dead Ideas?

Of course not. But to hear a conservative talk show or a quick glance at FOXNews Channel and you'd think Barack Obama is already a complete and utter failure. He's not, of course. However, he's also not perfect. And get this... he actually admits it now and then!

Yes, a long glance or a quick listen to all things conservative shows them so riled up that I continue looking for a stained blue dress from an Obama intern. What are they so amped up about? The republicans in Congress are upset that the policies and ideas they've been shouting from the rooftops for the last 8 years aren't being included in the "Stimulus Package." Their solution is, quite literally, to use the same exact strategies they have been using the last 8 years that clearly do not work.

Tax Cuts

Yes, tax cuts need to be a part of any passed stimulus (Jobs) package. Guess what...they are? In fact, 42% of the package go to tax cuts, while the other 58% goes towards new Government spending. I think he was very generous.

State of the Union....sorta...

Obama has addressed Congress in I can safely call a well delivered ball of caution wrapped in hope. He spoke of cutting the deficit in half, saving or creating 3.5 million jobs, our kids having the highest proportion of college graduates in the world, double our renewable energy supply and lastly (and certainly least) moving our medical records into the 21st Century. Add finding a cure for cancer and you can begin to see why some ignorant people would begin viewing him as the Anti-Christ or Hitler.

Wow, really? So because our new President is an incredible speaker, an leader and we're going through a recession that we can compare him to a psychopathic sociopath? I don't think so. I won't go into the Anti-Christ accusation as there is no comparison to actually make. The ridiculous comparison is beyond any condescending words I could come up with.

Either way, Obama gave a great, mostly factual speech that worked well and sat well with the American people.

"Good evening and happy Mardi Gras"

So as I sat there beaming in the glory of the distinguished gentleman I helped get elected there was mention of a "Republican response." While this is normal practice for an official State of the Union address I didn't realize it would be happening. At the mention of Piyush "Bobby" Jindal I began to worry that some of Barack's thunder would be stolen. I had heard his name and seen him speak before when all the Governer's met with Obama in the preceding days. After suffering through the open mic of Chris Matthews' "Oh, God..." cry, Mr. Jindal began to speak (here is some "FOX News" analysis).

I was immediately relieved.

I felt like I was being lectured by Mr. Rogers without a changing of the shoes. I believe Jindal may have ruined his chances with that one blip in time he had to do well in front of a widespread audience. In fact, most people turned him off before he finished. That says it all...

It has to be seen, to be believed.

When the old policies don't work...suggest the old polices anyway:

I have heard much criticism of the stimulus package over the last few weeks and if I wasn't such a political nut I would have tuned out long ago. My biggest problem with 99% of the critics is that the only ideas that are offered meant to "one up" the ideas of President Obama are nothing but the SAME EXACT IDEAS that got us into the recession that former President Bill Clinton pulled us out of and the SAME EXACT IDEAS throughout the awful years of the G. W. Bush administration. Trickle down economics. If we give money to the rich, they give money back to the poor and middle class. It didn't work for Reagan and Bush Sr. and it won't work now.

Wealth can be earned quite easily even if the Capital Gains tax rate goes up to 40%. Wealth can be earned easily even if the largest corporations see their taxes go back to the way they were in the 90's. It was earned at an incredible rate then and it can still do it now.

What can we do to help?

Honestly, I think taxes should go up for anyone making over $100,000 a year. I don't make even close to that, but would pay more taxes for a few years if it meant solving the economic crisis we're in. Since that will likely not happen, as I'm too "middle class," I will now make larger donations to the local food bank, the Salvation Army and Red Cross.

Anyone who can afford to chip in, should. If it's not through helping or volunteering for a government entity, then send it to your favorite local charity. Scrapped for cash? Don't get that box of cookies or bag of chips the next few times you're at the grocery store and put it towards a charity you like. Skip going out to eat for a few weeks and give that money to a favorite charity. Do as my wife and I do...have a competition for the most "luxury or unnecessary spending" skipped.

Even if you don't like who is in office, you can still help out those less fortunate who have lost their jobs and are less fortunate that those of us who still have one. I will not be that person who tells you to "Go out and shop" as others have in the past. Charity and contributions to society through volunteer work and helping your neighbor can go a long way into turning this great country of ours around.

I apologize for my long absense...but the fight for peace and prosperity still hold true.