Loss of Respect for the Man Equals Loss of Respect for the Office He Holds

by Richard H. Frank

Lee Iococca recently asked “where have all the Leaders Gone?”  It is difficult to find anyone in either political party possessing the personal integrity to stand in support of the Constitution that  they have sworn to protect and defend.  Party ideology and affiliation overrides the wants and needs of the electorate.  Special interests, corruption and manipulation of the Constitutional intent of the Founders has diminished and replaced our representative Republic.

Campaign slogans and promises evaporate in the light of day when real leadership for governance is required.  Pandering to their political base has replaced the true legislative process on both sides of the congressional aisle.  The honesty, integrity and truthfulness of our elected leaders establishes the world view of the United States.  When politicians disrespect the electorate, they as  individuals lose the respect of their constituents.  Eventually, that loss of respect carries over to the office they hold and results in disrespect for our nation around the world.

Today the legislative and executive branches of our government have achieved a new low in respect by those they purport to represent.  Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and yes, even President Obama, are masters at manipulating the truth, creating unsubstantiated statistics to support their  agenda and political double speak when addressing “We the People.” We dare not call their statements lies for fear of disrespecting the office they hold or being called racist, but should just sit down and politely shut up. I am all for civility within political discourse but when our constitutional rights are at risk I say enough is enough.

I for one am tired of the non-stop campaigning with promises of transparency, job creation and the nanny state taking care of us from cradle to grave.  Personal responsiblity is considered a radical philosophy within the lexicon of President Obama’s and the 111st Congress’ agenda.

The State of the Union address needs to be fact checked by every major media outlet in America to expose the false statements and hold those that perpetuate them  accountable to the American voter.  Nancy Pelosi’s stubborn assertions that she will pass the democratic health bill further diminishes her already miserable standing with the people.

Photo-ops and standing up in front of the television cameras imploring Congress to “just get along” flies in the face of the facts concerning bi-partisanship, transparancy and backroom dealings as a new way of doing business in Washington.

The real “grass-roots American political activists” must keep up the pressure on the two major political parties and rally independent voters to help and clean house in the 2010 and 2012 elections.  Restore Government under our Constitution as a truly representative Republic for “We the People.”

President Obama’s Agenda is The Clear and Present Danger in Washington

by Richard H. Frank

Last night the American public witnessed 70 minutes of President Obama attempting to deflect responsibility for our dismal state of the union from his policies and agenda to any entity he could remotely indict.  Wall Street, big banks, big oil, the prior administration and even Congress were all in the cross hairs for his attacks.

In the most partisan speech in memory for “The State of the Union”, he asserted that his agenda was stalled by Republican opposition in spite of the Democrats possessing an overwhelming majority in Congress.  He further asserted that his stimulus legislation had saved over 2 million jobs in state and local government which would have otherwise been lost if not for the stimulus plan.

His failure to acknowledge the private sector and the free enterprise system’s role in stimulating this economic, save for a new jobs bill (Stimulus 2) that would make $30 billion available in credit to small businesses, ignores the fact that Government does not create jobs but is more spending on the part of Government with money we don’t have.

The President’s assertion that his administration has not raised taxes a single dime completely ignores the expiration of the Bush tax cuts due to increase all of our taxes in 2011.

Obama remains steadfast in the assertion that his health care reform, cap and trade, green energy and jobs legislation are the only route to fiscal reform and future prosperity.  He is either deaf to the priorities of the people, totally incompetent or a devout marxist intent of fundamentally changing America from a representative Republic to a socialist dictatorship.

In so far as fiscal responsibility is concerned, his proposed freeze on discretionary spending is laughable.  His attempt to compare this initiative to the american family budget fell flat as he stated “That’s how the budget works” and “We will begin next year.”   That’s not how family budgets work; we stop spending NOW.   In the interim his message is spend, spend and spend some more.

Obama’s arrogance was on full display as he chastised the Senate for voting against forming a bipartisan commission to make recommendations for economic recovery and asserted their irrelevance by issuing an executive order to do his bidding anyway.

I still cannot find in the Constitution any authority for the Executive Branch to override Congress by issuing an Executive Order.  His message was “screw Congress!”

The most egregious insult to our Constitution and the balance of powers came when he chastised the Supreme Court’s recent decision with regard to campaign financing.

I expect most Americans could not keep from yawning as we listened to a rehash of campaign slogans.  “We will examine the budget page by page and line by line,” “I will not hesitate to veto any bill that retards economic growth,” “earmarks will be posted on a new government web site so American can view where their money is being spent.”

I, like most Americans, are sick and tired of listening to President Obama’s campaign rhetoric.

The most disingenuous statement he made last evening was with regard to Republicans having any ideas for health care reform.  He said “Just let me know….”  He is open to any ideas.  Well, where has he been for the past eleven months?  I seem to remember a Republican Bill that was blocked from coming to the floor that contained such radical ideas as tort reform, making insurance available across state lines and allowing small businesses to co-op and buy insurance at preferential rates as do the big corporations.

We witnessed a stubborn, arrogant man lecture every conceivable private and government body he could for the deteriorating state of the union.  He presented nothing new in the form of a plan save more Government intervention in the economy and continued spending at the heightened 2010 levels.

Lee Iacocca adopted a management philosophy that said “Lead, Follow or Get the Hell Out of the Way!”  I believe it’s time for Washington to abandon the Obama agenda and return to free enterprise principles, and then Get the Hell Out of the Way!

Obama’s Freeze on Discretionary Spending is Just a Drop in the Bucket!

By Richard H. Frank

According to the latest CBO projections, the Federal Budget for FY2010 will reach record spending of $3.5 trillion.  The deficit for the budget year will be $1.35 trillion and require Congress to increase the national debt ceiling once again from 12.3 trillion to 14.2 trillion.

Tomorrow evening President Obama is expected to announce a freeze on discretionary spending on approximately 17% of the national budget, that portion of the budget being equal to approximately $595 billion.  His proposed spending freeze is forecast to result in reductions of between $10 to $15 billion per year for the next three years.

According to the “Debt Clock” we are currently paying about $140 billion in interest annually on the $12.3 trillion debt, meaning the proposed spending cuts will fund about 10.7% of the interest bill on the national debt.

Congress and the the President just don’t seem to get the message.  Each and every bill they pass is loaded with earmarks and pork akin to fleas on a dog, sucking the life blood from us.  The 2009 Omnibus Spending Bill, signed by President Obama, contained 9,287 pork projects, costing the American taxpayer $13 billion, and when combined with 2,617 previous budget earmarks, cost us $28.9 billion.  When President Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid were asked what happened to their campaign  pledges to go over the budget “line by line” and cut out the pork, they responded that these programs were left over from the Bush Administration and therefore could not be cut.  If my memory serves me correctly, the Democrats controlled Congress and therefor spending beginning in 2006 not 2009.

Nancy Pelosi has stated the policy of “Pay Go” is in effect in the 111th Congress.  I guess that this statement says “We pay as they Go and Spend.”  Obama’s pledge not to raise taxes on anyone earning less than $200,000 is also a ruse.  In 2011, if the Bush tax cuts are allowed to expire the marginal tax rates will rise across the board for all Americans and not just the “rich.”

So please, don’t be fooled by Obama’s political rhetoric that his proposed spending freeze will “bend the curve” and reduce the national debt.  He could show real leadership by insisting on an across the board Government spending cut of 5% that would generate $175 billion per year and stop the increased interest on our debt while reducing the principal at the same time.  This is what businesses and individuals must do and do implement during economic downturns.  Why is our Government any different?

If the President and Congress are serious about stimulating our economy and growing the nation’s GDP, there are proven steps they can take now to fix the economy:

  • Extend the Bush Administration tax cuts to provide more disposable income to families and small businesses and increase consumer confidence.
  • Establish  a National Energy Policy that encourages domestic exploration, offshore drilling, expansion of distribution for natural gas, shale oil extraction, geothermal and nuclear power generation, all activities aimed at energy independence and ultimately infusing up to $10 trillion annually into our economy.
  • Provide tax incentives for small businesses.
  • Incentives for research in cost effective solar and wind generated power systems.

These are the initiatives our Government should and must sponsor if we are to quickly return to economic growth, increased tax revenues, provide for our national security and long-term prosperity.

Fuel the free enterprise engine, as opposed to stifling ingenuity and imagination with onerous regulation and and taxation.  This is the real path to prosperity and a lasting legacy for those responsible for leading the way.

Beyond Trust

by Jayne D. Frank

As everyone has experienced, because of our deep-rooted religious upbringing, Americans are a very trusting and forgiving nation.  We forgive our families,  friends, bosses, colleagues, and our neighbors for perceived or real slights and broken promises; then we move on.  The same extends to our elected state and federal leaders and most of all to our President.  Given the very close victory and community-organizing effort that pushed a totally unqualified and inexperienced person into the highest office in the land in 2008, ALL Americans gave him the benefit of the doubt and the chance to prove many of us wrong.

The President now prepares to go before us to offer the State of the Union address after the worst attempt at management that I have ever seen in my lifetime.  None of us would have put up with all of his arrogance and incompetence in private business and he at best would have been on “probation” at his place of employment. He has spent a year blaming everything on President Bush much like our young children did when they had a brother or sister to take “the blame.”   President Obama has presided over an unimaginable debacle called our Government and a few things come to mind that I find infuriating:

  • The security of American citizens is terribly far down on his list of priorities.  Because of his lack of a  sense of urgency towards national security, an increase in attempted terrorism has occured. His delayed reactions to these events further reinforced the perception that terrorist organizations are winning the battle. He doesn’t demand accountability from those that screwed up and  is treating those terrorists as equals by bringing them to trial in our American justice system.
  • He toured the world after first getting elected to apologize for the greatness of America and indicated that he would be a more progressive advocate for being part of the one world order
  • He has done more harm to our free enterprise system by handing out billions to banks, special interest groups, and private companies.  He has promised special favors, exemptions and has hired radical progressives in his Administration.  And he has rewarded those people who were instrumental in getting him elected to office; e.g., the unions, the big environmental progressives, and his associates in the Chicago democratic machine.
  • He continues to tell Americans that he is for the middle class while his actions have resulted in just the opposite.  He has suppressed job creation in the private sector while ballooning the growth of government and consequently increased the tax burden on the middle class. His misguided belief that our economic plight will be solved through “green” technology is fundamentally flawed.
  • Obama personally has tried to completely subvert the will of the American people in trying to ram down our throats one of the most onerous and costly Government-controlled programs ever – HIS health care bill.

Although currently stalled as a result of the recent election of the 41st “no” vote for this health care bill, rest assured that he will push for enactment of some vestige or form of health care to establish his legacy.  President Obama still doesn’t get it and sits in his office with his closest advisors who are comparing the failure of the Clinton health care bill in 1994 with this current  health care failure, and all he can say is “But they didn’t have Me…”  How narcissistic!

So once again, the President will make another teleprompter speech in the State of the Union on January 27, and he will ask us to “trust” him again because his Administration has created or saved 2 million jobs and brought us back from the brink of economic disaster.  He will say that we are aggressively revamping a national security system that has been obsolete and non-cohesive for years.  However, that same system kept this Country free of attacks for the past 8 years.  Where is the flaw?  In the system or through its administration? Why were none of his top security officials consulted regarding the decision to prosecute terrorists in our Federal court system?  He will talk about the many new jobs he will produce if only we can give him more money; Government does NOT produce jobs – the private sector does!  President Obama will address how the middle class is his priority and he will do everything to make sure they not taxed and that the “less fortunate” among us are “given” everything they need to be prosperous.  The question remains how he will pay for these initiatives. He will come up with new plans to try to get his  massive health care bill through Congress, and he will undoubtedly announce new programs to stimulate our economy and create jobs by implementing freezes on spending for three years.  Does this include giving taxpayers back the $500 billion of stimulus money that is still unspent?

But here’s the bottom line, Mr. President.  We don’t trust you any longer! We are at a $14 trillion debt ceiling, we have about 17% of our country unemployed (if you count the true numbers). America has lost almost all of our manufacturing base in this country while countries like China, India and Mexico continue to grow and prosper. The little money that we do have doesn’t buy much anymore, and most of us can barely take care of our families and our children’s education.  Many Americans have lost their “dream” of owning and keeping a home because of the increasing government intrusion in all aspects of ownership and financing.  And most of, Americans are not investing and spending because they see the onslaught of taxes on their income coming down the pike from all this past year’s government spending.

But there is hope for us, Mr. President, because Congress WILL “GET IT” this November and the 112th Congress will hopefully put the brakes on your agenda.  You indicated that you would rather be a “good President for one term than a mediocre President for 2 terms. ” If you continue to ignore the will of “We the People”, your legacy will be that of a mediocre one-term President.

America’s Failed Energy Policy

By Richard H. Frank

 Americans have short memories and I fear even shorter spans of attention when it comes to our government’s policy to attain energy independence. In the early 1970’s we allowed OPEC to impose a policy of economic blackmail on the greatest country in the world. The price for a barrel of imported crude skyrocketed while supply was artificially restricted causing chaos in the world energy markets. Long lines appeared at gasoline filling stations, prices at the pump increased to over $1.00/gallon for the first time as the supply lines to our refineries dried up. The impact upon the manufacturing sector of our economy was immediate as operating costs increased from higher energy prices and demand for products began to fall due to consumers diverting their spending to cover increasing energy prices.

As painful as this was it was short lived primarily due to greed on the part of OPEC members watching their revenues fall as their inventories ballooned into a sea of crude called the oil glut. Our government could do nothing but encourage conservation and legislate stricter standards for more fuel efficient vehicles to counter the actions of OPEC. Ultimately the law of supply and demand took over and stabilized the market and the price for a gallon of gasoline averaged at about $1.50. No efforts were pursued to increase our domestic supply of crude oil owing mainly to political resistance to domestic exploration. On the other hand oil companies were encouraged by governments in developing nations to develop their own natural reserves. Increasing world demand for fossil fuel products between 1975 and 2000 made it difficult for supply to keep up with demand.

In 1970 the United States imported 26% of our energy requirements that number and had increased to 65% in 2010 and is continuing to rise. In 2008 America transferred $475 Billion in wealth to foreign nations and that number is expected to exceed 10 Trillion over ten years. We consume 21 million barrels of oil every day of which 12 million are imported. It wasn’t until sometime between 2006 and 2007 when the cost of a gallon of gasoline reached $4.00 that Americans rebelled. The Mantra of “drill here, drill now” was heard from the politicians. Politicians in Washington and various state Legislatures have blocked efforts for exploration, expanding nuclear power generation and offshore drilling to increase our energy independence for the past 30 years. These tactics have effectively stopped providing a bridge for developing new, economically feasible, technologies such as geothermal, solar and wind energy production.

The Obama administration myopically believes that “green energy” is the panacea for all our economic woes today and in the future. They refuse to acknowledge that our entire economy is based on the production of cost efficient energy sources that can meet today’s demands as well as those demands in the future. The gap between today’s needs and tomorrow’s technology can only be filled in one of two ways. Paying higher prices for foreign supply to fill that gap, or increasing our own infrastructure and capacity to fill the need from our own reserves. Like it or not these are the only alternatives available to us. The former only make us more dependent and less prosperous, while the latter makes us more prosperous as we achieve total independence.

Today the Williston basin, or the Bakken, is estimated to be the largest domestic oil discovery in recent history. Valued at $107.00/barrel the reserve is estimated to produce $5.3 Trillion in wealth. It stretches from Montana to Canada and will produce enough energy to fill our needs for the next 41 years. Additionally, in April 2006 reserves at approximately 1000  feet below the Rockies are estimated at more than 2 Trillion barrels.

If our government would set their political ideologies aside, and focus on a real plan for energy independence, we can provide that bridge to new technologies and put America back to work now.  Both political parties need to pull their heads out of the sand and get to work removing the obstacles to energy independence, not through more government control and intervention but through encouragement of the free enterprise system.

President Obama needs to get off his campaign soap box and become presidential and provide real leadership for solving our energy policy problems.  His push for cap and trade legislation will, if enacted, raise the price of a gallon of gasoline between $4 and $6 dollars. This is not the change Americans voted for. Get government out of the way and let the free enterprise system drive solutions to our massive economic problems.

The answer is more nuclear power, increased refining capacity and “drill here drill now.”

Preview of Obama’s State of the Union Address

By Richard H. Frank

 What he will say:  Our Administration has achieved the greatest number of accomplishments than any administration in recent history:

What He really means:  We have screwed up the Free Enterprise System beyond all recognition.  For you military  guys, it is spelled FUBAR.

What he will say:  We inherited the worst economy since the great depression brought about by the Bush Administration policies and their lack of regulation of financial institutions.

What he really means:  Forget that the democrats controlled Congress since 2006.  Barney Frank and Chris  Dodd ignored warnings about the looming real estate crisis because of their “too big to fail” mentality.

What he will say:  We have saved or created over 2 million jobs as a result of our stimulus programs.

 What he really means:  Americans are too dumb to know that those 2 million jobs will cost them $395,000 per  job.

What he will say:  Our actions have pulled the country back from the brink of financial collapse.

 What he really means:  We now control the banks, the insurance companies and own controlling interest in the US auto industry.  Too big to fail is such a wonderful philosophy.

What he will say:  Ours is the most transparent government in the history of the United States.

 What he really means:  I hear you knocking but you can’t come in.  Knock a little harder and I will close the door  again.

What he will say:  Homeland Security has kept us safer today than in the past.  Any problems are the result of our out of date  procedures carried over from the Bush Administration.

What he really means:  The system worked.  Those dummies in our intelligence agencies just don’t get it when it  comes to connecting the dots so we will just have to make travel more burdensome on the average traveler.

What he will say:  The real war on terror is being fought in Afghanistan where it belongs.  Extremist criminals will be dealt with using our constitutionally authorized judiciary.

What he really means:  We don’t want to be accused of holding enemy combatants without a speedy trial whether they should be afforded protection under our Constitution or not.  Besides, the Constitution is serious flawed anyway.              

What he will say: Let me be perfectly clear, we will not allow the Wall Street bankers to take advantage of  Americans by paying huge bonuses and making gigantic profits on the back of Americans.

What he really means:  I’m gong to tax the hell out of bank profits even though they will pass the increase on to their customers.

 What he will say:  With regard to Health are Reform and Cap and Trade, I am aware of the polls and receive 40,000 letters a day regarding this legislation.  We cannot stop the exploding costs for insurance and energy independence without this legislation.

What he really means:  I really don’t care what you little people think, because I know better.  So just shut up and sit down since Nancy, Harry and I still plan on jamming it down your throats or up the other end of your anatomy if necessary.

What he will say:  This is just the beginning of the “change you voted for.”  The next three years will blow you away as we return to prosperity.

What he really means:  Hang on to your wallets because you haven’t seen anything yet.  Redistribution of  everything you have is my ultimate goal in my quest to “fundamentally change America.”

Ideology, Arrogance and Legacy

by Richard H. Frank

President Obama and his administration will celebrate their first anniversary in office on January 20, 2010.  The President’s stated agenda “to fundamentally change America,” is being received by he electorate as not being the change they voted for in 2008.  Aided by a Democratic majority in both Houses of Congress, he has ramrodded a $700 billion stimulus spending bill into law by telling citizens this action would keep unemployment below 8.5%.  The administration’s philosophy of “too big to fail” has produced sudo-nationalization of America’s banking system,  Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and a 60% ownership in GM (Government Motors).  All of these actions are financed through taxpayer dollars with no specific authority that can be found in our Constitution.  Simply stated, the current ideology seems to be, “Big Government is the solution to all of our problems.”

As time passes support for the Obama agenda is rapidly dwindling.  Today, over 60% of Americans oppose government-controlled health care legislation.  And yet Obama, Pelosi and Reid arrogantly stand before the country and proclaim the wonders of this bill and how America is demanding a change in the status quo.  They look us in the eye and declare that the bill is paid for and will not add a single dime to our nation’s deficit. I guess they think Americans are stupid!

Universal health care was a major plank in Obama’s campaign for President.  It was viewed by him as the one achievement upon which his “legacy” would be built.  He and the Democratic congress are now poised to pass anything no matter how bad it is in order to provide the President his legacy.

There is something fundamentally wrong in Washington when our leaders are more concerned about their legacy than in serving those that elected them to office.

Unless Obama and Congress see the folly of their actions and change course, I predict the next three years will produce a stagnant economy, inflation, rising interest rates and negative growth in our GNP.  The Obama legacy and that of the 111th Congress will go down in history as a failure! So much for legacy.

Americans may suffer just so much abuse by this Government before they revolt at their polling places.  We have 3 years to hire a new Captain and Crew capable of turning this massive ship of state called America and returning us to prosperity and freedom as individuals.