The Tea Party Has This One Wrong!

by Jayne D. Frank

When we joined the Tea Party and the 912 Group in March of 2009, we did so because we knew the Marxist/socialist agenda of Barack Obama would lead to moral decline and become an economic disaster for this Country.  We fought hard for fiscal conservatives to win in the House and we helped accomplish this goal.  This Presidential Campaign has changed the Tea Party focus from the real issues of this Country to the “red meat” proclamations of  Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul.

There is a group of Paulbots in the Tea Party that feel that adhering strictly to the Constitution, despite Ron Paul’s very naive foreign policy, is where America has to go.  There is yet another group, reinforced by a Cain endorsement, that absolutely loves Newt Gingrich’s snarky comments about Barack Obama and the other Republican candidates, especially Mitt Romney.  This is where I believe the Tea Party has it all wrong this time around.

Those of us who are old enough to remember Newt Gingrich’s rise through the ranks of the Republican party, also remember his divisiveness and testiness concerning anyone in the Party or in Congress that did not agree with his “lofty” positions.  He did many good things as a Speaker of the House, but we are in a different time because of how Barack Obama has divided this country into “classes” and has pitted one group against the other, all to the detriment of our People and our Country.  We can no longer can afford someone who only gets attention for the nasty things he says, some of which are outright lies, such as “Mitt Romney is a anti-life candidate,”  or some of his eccentric goals to grow Government such a moon colonies.  Also many forget the dozens of times that Newt Gingrich has flipped on conservative views of global warming, illegal immigration and energy independence.  His stripes won’t change with an election to President.

To the bigger point, this is a time in our Country, where if we are not to go down the same path as Greece, we must elect someone who can govern, who did not spend his whole life in Government, and who can debate Barack Obama on the issues with facts and not wisecracks. As a man, we should also realize Mitt Romney is very stable and focused, does not go around patting himself on the back, and is not easy to anger and nasty remarks.  As well, his faith rules his life and the way he treats other people.  He has been a success in life, both financially and as a family man, generous to a fault with his success to benefit his community.  And most of all he loves his Country.

Are we in it to win it fellow Republicans, or are you more interested in a war of words in our Presidential Debates.

Obama’s State of the Union Speech More Appropriate for February 2 (Groundhog Day)!

by Richard H. Frank

Prior to the President’s address to a joint session to Congress and the Nation on the State of the Union, I reviewed my blog following last year’s speech entitled “Reality vs. Campaign Rhetoric.”

I fear, as in the movie ‘Groundhog Day” we are destined to relive his speech over and over again until he gets it right or until the electorate gets it right and votes Obama out of office.

The true measure of the “State of the Union” is outlined in last year’s blog and if anything has changed since then, the change has been for the worse.  I expect the Obama speechwriters labored tirelessly to find some undistorted facts for him to claim as his accomplishments.  Obama lives in a different universe than does the rest of America.  Unfortunately, Congress shares much of that same universe as Obama and is willing to accept the myths he spreads as accomplishments.  Half truths are obvious throughout his 65-minute performance to convince America that he deserves 4 more years as President.  Consider these statements compared to the facts:

  • Three million jobs have been created over the past 22 months.  According to the Administration’s own labor statistics, 1.7 million jobs have been lost over the same period since he was sworn into office.
  • His Administration saved the auto industry and GM is once again the world’s #1 producer of automobiles.  The truth remains that last year GM sold an estimated 9 million vehicles worldwide, a number that includes sales of manufacturers in which GM holds minority investments such as in China.  Volkswagan and Toyoto would be the first to challenge Obama’s claim as holding the sales title should their numbers include figures from Scania and truck makers like Man.  As for Toyota, their 2011 sales haven’t been reported for the full year and their estimate is that sales will be down by 7.9 million units as a result of the natural disasters and tsunami experienced in Japan and Thailand.  Should  Toyoto include Wuling sales they will outperform the new GM. As with the employment figures in the U.S., if the numbers don’t support your position, just change the base until they do.
  • “What’s happening in  Detroit can happen elsewhere!”  May God forbid this will come to pass.  Detroit has been transformed into a ghetto as the result of liberal, Progressive, Democrat Government over four decades.  This once proud city with a population making it the 4th largest in the nation in the past has degraded into a wasteland and now occupies 18th position in the nation.  The intercity population has fallen to under 800,000 and is surrounded by decay and a failing infrastructure, and vacant buildings and home line the city’s neighborhoods and provide a magnet for crime.  This area has a 28% unemployment rate under Obama.  Once known as the “Motor City” and the “Capital of Democracy”, it acquired the title of “Murder City” in the 1980s and has continued its rapid degradation since then.  If Detroit provides Obama’s vision for this nation, something is radically wrong with our President’s vision.
  • “Oil production in  America is the highest it has been in 8 years.”  I recall reading an article indicating this increase amounts to less than 2 million barrels a day.   The existing capacity to produce is somewhere between 10 to 20 million barrels per day if it were not for the onerous Government Regulations stifling production.

His statement that he has directed Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to purchase eco biofuel for the Navy once again provides a subsidy to an industry that cannot compete in the free market environment.  Official estimates are that this biodiesel will cost the American taxpayers up to 38% more than diesel fuel derived from crude oil.

Since our President has virtually no record of accomplishment to base his campaign for reelection upon, he must resort to tactics that attack Congress, demonize his Republican opponents and avoid at all costs a debate on “Obamacare.”

His tactics were evident with his every utterance last night:

  • His subtle accusation that Congress is not doings its job in comparison to our military completing its mission in Iraq and Afghanistan shifts the blame to others for his lack of leadership.
  • Stating that every American must do and pay their fair share and play by the same rules is pure class warfare and anti-capitalism.
  • His statement that over the past decade, the rich have benefitted and the poor have suffered due to a tax structure having rates that favor the rich is a distortion of the truth and blatantly false.  An individual having $1 million earnings from investment pays tax at a rate of 15% or $150,000 on those capital gains.  This is over and above the original 25-36% they paid on their investment when taxed as wages.  That amounted to between $250,000 and  $360,000 paid in taxes on those investment dollars.  When Obama compares the total $400,000 to $510,000 paid n investment income to Warren Buffet’s secretary paying 28% on $50,000 income, or $5600, the distortion becomes ridiculous and not worthy of our President.
  • Following his pledge to open 75% of Federal lands and offshore regions for energy production, he qualified the promise by stating he would not walk away from his promise of clean energy and development fo safe energy.  He avoided any mention of the Keystone XL pipeline in his remarks and took refuge behind the “BP horizon” incident in the Gulf of Mexico.
  • In one breath he advocated smaller Government and less regulation when in the next he advocated appointment by executive fiat three new agencies composed of a “trade enforcement unit,” “executive order to remove red tape for infrastructure projects ” and creation of a special unit in the Justice Department to investigate financial crime, sounds  like growing the Government and more regulation to me.
  • His call for “comprehensive immigration reform” came against a statement that our southern borders are safer and more secure than ever.  A claim heavily disputed by Arizona, Texas and New Mexico.  Although not mentioned by name, his proposed reform smacked with elements of the “Dream Act” or amnesty for the children of illegals presently here in America.

The only positive to be found following the President’s address was the focus groups composed of Republicans, Democrats and Independents are no longer swallowing Obama’s rhetoric.

During the 2010 mid-term election “We the People” made our voices heard loud and clear.  Returning to the principles embodied in the Declaration of Independence and the limits of government defined in our Constitution is imperative in this Republic is to survive while individual freedom to prosper is the opportunity provided for every American.

When two-thirds of Americans believe this country is on the “wrong course” under the Obama Administration, it is their duty in the upcoming 2012 election to change course by removing that Administration and replace it with individuals dedicated to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America.

Choose a Nominee on Substance Over Style!

by Richard H. Frank

Observing the Republican Presidential nominee debates over the past few months has solidified the notion that voters are swayed by the 60-second sound bite or the passionate, sometimes angry response to a question posed by the Debate Moderator.  The closer to the election, the more influence such events have upon the election outcome.  Undoubtedly, some of these “spontaneous” responses or outbursts are orchestrated to create the desired effect to cause voters to switch their preference to some other candidate in the race.  Likewise, depending upon the organization and network sponsoring the debate, the focus of questioning shifts from “real issues” that are of substance, to personal attacks upon one another by the participants.

The advent of super-PACS has raised the art of misinformation to a new level and distortion of facts hinging on outright lies to a level never before seen during the election cycle.  Unfortunately, the average voters accepts as truth much of what these negative attack ads allege.

The undisputed fact is that people remember the latest impression made by a candidate and their rhetoric as opposed to studying the record and positions taken on issues of substance.  Typically, voters only remember three things about a candidate when they make a selection upon entering the voting booth.

In South Carolina, Newt’s performance attacking the news media overshadowed any previous consideration given to issues of substance and propelled him to a victory overcoming a 10-point deficit just days prior to the election.  Undoubtedly, this was the “red meat” rhetoric directed against the mainstream media having little to do with defeating Barack Obama in November.

Primary voters in Florida and the coming battleground states must be cautious and not allow a single “flash in the pan” during a debate be the emotional reason to vote for a particular candidate.  After all, looking back to 2008 and the Democrat’s Primary that is how Obama secured the nomination.  Three years following his election we are witness to what all his soaring rhetoric has wrought upon our country.

No one individual can alter the course of this nation.  A President must have the support of the House of Representatives and the Senate if his agenda is to be implemented.

The substantive issues upon which a Presidential candidate must be selected are:

  1. Upholding the principles stated in our Declaration of Independence and enumerated in the Constitution.
  2. Protecting the nation against all threats both foreign and domestic to sustain our freedom through strength.
  3. Provide support for policies that foster free enterprise in America and energy independence for the nation.
  4. Restoring fiscal responsibility in the form of a balanced budget and eliminating the national debt.
  5. Returning Government to the States as enumerated in the 10th Amendment thus assuring we remain a nation “governed for and of the People.”

Listen carefully to the candidates and if their policies support these five principles that have made this country great and prosperous in the past.

Regardless of what any of these candidates say relative to creating jobs, remember only a free market creates jobs; Government regulation deters and destroys job creation.

Ronald Reagan and Newt Gingrich did not create 16 million jobs in the 1980s, nor did Bill Clinton and Newt create 11 million jobs in the 1950s.  The free market and the American entrepeneur created those jobs.  Government can only serve to provide an environment for growth or depression.  We are living the result of Obama’s environment.  Listen carefully to the policies of substance  each candidate  embraces and how they differ from Barack Obama’s.  It must be those policies and not debates or speeches that drive our selection of the Republican candidate for President.

Three years of speeches from Obama have resulted in a country poisoned through his promotion of class warfare, a disregard for our Constitution and a disdain for capitalism.

Make your selection based upon substance and not style as you participate in the primary election process!

Barack Obama: A Study in Contradiction or Political Corruption?

by Richard H. Frank

Barack Obama, true to his promise to “fundamentally change America” once again has contradicted himself and his claim that creating jobs is his number one priority.  His campaign rhetoric to create jobs, fix our economy and achieve energy independence have all failed to materialize over the first three years of his administration.

Today, our Fearless Leader hid behind the State Department and Secretary Hillary Clinton in rejection of the permit application from Keystone and XL to build an oil pipeline to supply the U.S with Canadian crude oil.  The rationale given by the White House is that sufficient time has not been provided to the State Department to study the environmental impact of the proposed route for the pipeline.  Additionally, Obama stated the project is not in the national interest of the United States.

If moving toward energy independence is not in our national interest, how does Obama justify losing $500 million  taxpayer dollars on his pet renewable solar project at Solyndra?  To add insult to injury, his rationale fails to state that the Keystone XL Project is being paid for by private enterprise and not the Government.

The State Department has had three years to participate and analyze the environmental impact study conducted by a private firm at the behest of Keystone.  Our Government would rather reject the findings of this study and ignore the experience and excellent record established by over 25,000 miles of Canadian pipelines currently in use in the United States.

As for the promise to provide the impetus for job creation, Obama is either ignorant of how to achieve this or he is just a plain liar.  The Keystone Project is estimated to produce up to 20,000 jobs for construction of the pipeline and potentially 200,000 plus jobs stemming from the Project.  Construction wages alone would add over $1 billion to the economy each year with economic output from ancillary business too great to estimate.

Unfortunately political ideology takes precedent over what is best for America when it comes to decisions by the Obama Administration.  If a crisis does not exist, Obama will create rhetoric to convince us one is imminent.  Following the BP Oil Spill, he imposed a 6-month moratorium of oil exploration in the Gulf of Mexico.  A study by Joseph R. Mason, phD, Louisiana State University, found that Obama’s actions resulted directly in the loss of over 8,000 jobs and $2.1 billion in economic outputs.

So once again, Barack Obama has extended his middle finger to citizens of the U.S. and the Canadian Prime Minister.

Without a doubt, should the U.S. fail to work with our neighbors to the North, Canada will take their oil elsewhere.  Obama is tossing the dice in hopes that the decision to reject the Keystone XL pipeline permit will buy him the environmentalists’ vote in November.  He risks alienating the labor vote and assuredly many independents by this contradiction of promises made to foster job creation.

The claim of Progressives and Liberals that increased drilling and building the pipeline will not impact oil prices in the short term is ringing hollow on ears of the voters.  Had we acted to become truly energy independent 5 years ago, we would be reaping the benefits of that action today.  Keep this fact in mind every time you fill up your car and see the dollars out-pacing the gallons indicator on the pump at a rate of 4:1 or more.

Remember in November and vote for the change we truly can believe in by sending Obama back to Chicago.

Rick Perry’s Distortion of Venture Capital

by Richard H. Frank

Rick Perry needs a lesson in economics and the role of venture capital and private equity firms with regard to growth of our free enterprise system.

Private equity companies such as Bain Capital are in business to make a profit for their shareholders from the capital they invest in private enterprise.  Their mission is simply to “create value” through the free market system and eventually divest of their interests via a sale or IPO (initial public offering) in an effort to recoup their original investment at a profit.

Rick Perry would have you believe Bain Capital uses predatory means to acquire ailing companies for the sole purpose of looting their assets, destroying their capacity to produce at a profit and forcing them to liquidate through bankruptcy.  Any person with an ounce of business sense would consider Governor Perry’s explanation of venture capital as the height of stupidity.

With regard to Bain Capital I think I am more qualified than Rick Perry to talk about the process they employ for making a decision whether to invest in a particular company or enterprise as I actively participated with the Bain Capital process from 1995-1999.  Venture capital or private equity firms conduct exhausting due diligence investigations before making any decisions regarding a potential investment.  They are provided with hundreds of prospectuses from companies seeking venture capital.  Not all of these companies are distressed and facing eventual bankruptcy.  In fact, the opposite is true for many institutions seeking additional capital.  Many small companies that are profitable need new capital to expand, to increase market share, create new employment opportunities and create lasting value for their shareholders.  Others find themselves participating in a market that is over capacity and struggling to achieve a profit on their limited market share.  For these companies, buying out competition to make better use of existing capacity and eliminating duplication of overhead becomes their only road to survival and private equity firms play a larger role in achieving the objective of consolidation in some particular industry or market.  In the long term, this consolidation helps keep jobs in America.

Buying losers for the sake of bankrupting them in no way creates value in the market place nor a profit for investors.

The marketplace and potential growth is the ultimate criteria upon which companies such as Bain Capital make their decisions for investment.

My experience in dealing with Bain Capital proved to be both educational and rewarding.  The due diligence process extended over a period of four months and assessed every aspect of our business including our market segments and prospects for growth, financial performance for past years and future projections, strength of the management team, reputation with our customers and of utmost importance the ability to manage growth and change.

Between 1995 and 1999 with the financial backing of Bain Capital our business grew from  $300 million in sales to $1.2 billion.  The phenomenal growth came from a combination of acquisitions and organic market growth.  The process of consolidating capacity and elimination of duplicate overhead structures impacted approximately 300 positions across 5 states and 10 manufacturing locations while establishing upwards of 5000 highly paid positions for both union and non-union people.

Were it not for private equity firms such as Bain Capital, the industrial consolidation process in this Country would have been considerably more painful and much slower.

To be sure, Bain Capital had an exit strategy when they first invested in our industry.  That strategy included creating value for present and future shareholders from their initial investment, supporting growth through new capital from the sale of bonds and/or a future IPO.  And finally, divesting of their holdings at a profit when it appeared feasible to do so without impacting the company negatively.

According to Rick Perry, this is a portrait of “vulture capitalism.”  From my prospective, it is a portrait of the free enterprise system in action rewarding those who take a risk on the initiative and expertise of the American worker.

Time for Drastic “Anti-Smoking” Policies

by Jayne Frank

Of the several hundred articles written in Libertyssong Blog over the past couple of years, the one article receiving the most views, and I should say negative comments from smokers, is our previous article on whether smoking should really be considered a Right.  A few years later, my opinion that smoking is NOT a right is validated by the Centers for Disease Control, American Lung Association and our Government’s own current statistics.  This discussion is critically important today because the U.S. is broke and cuts must be made.

Here are the stunning statistics about the cost of smoking in the U.S.:

  1. $.25 of every health care dollar is used for illnesses related to smoking and other behavorial lifestyles, and practically NONE of those dollars are paid for by the person involved in such behavior, but are paid for by 1) increases in insurance premiums for the rest of society, b) disability costs and c) government expenditures for health care.
  2. There are 443,000 deaths (1 in 5) attributable to smoking each year.
  3. 49,400 deaths are attributable to second-hand smoke
  4. Smokers will die 14 years earlier than their non-smoking counterparts
  5. 8.6 million people live with chronic illness (and those costs are multiplying rapidly as life span increases).
  6. $96 billion is the staggering number spent on medical costs related to smoking.  Medical costs for smoking related illnesses have risen 8 times more than in 1980.
  7. $97 billion lost productivity costs to U.S. businesses each year

The argument you get from the liberal left in this country is exemplified by the following excerpt from an article by Santa Monica University:

“Clear as this reasoning seems, penalizing individuals for unhealthy behaviors could result in great injustice and social harm. While 18 percent of U.S. citizens with incomes above the poverty line smoke, for example, the figure almost doubles to 33 percent for those with incomes below the poverty line. A one-dollar cigarette tax would have a strongly regressive effect on the low incomes these individuals receive. Consider the added problem of tobacco addiction and the probable result of a tax is not less smoking or lower health care costs, but fewer dollars spent on nutritional food and other essentials – conceivably leading to more illness and higher health care costs.”

As a “middle class” citizen, taxpayer and a Conservative, this kind of rhetoric is deplorable and does nothing but  make people feel guilty who want to see our insurance and medical industry reformed because of those who smoke.  The costs and impact of smoking are staggering and quite frankly, I really don’t care if putting higher taxes on cigarettes will affect lower income people and I don’t care of they choose to buy a pack of cigarettes instead of taking care of themselves–choosing to smoke cigarettes instead of eating.  Shame on this kind of argument!

What I would like to see is a real economic punishment for those that choose to live an unhealthy lifestyle, in the form of higher insurance rates and lower benefits for unemployment and welfare if recipients continue to buy cigarettes.    Period.

Our Congress and the Obama Administration have started this class warfare argument and are currently targeting the very expenditures for which Government was instituted (our national security).  They are also mass targeting seniors for COLA and benefit cuts, even those who have never smoked and are attempting to live an active lifestyle.  The real argument to be made is whether seniors have to do without their prescriptions which they pay for because of rising insurance premiums which they also pay for.

It is high time our Representatives stand up and start addressing this epidemic in America, both for economic and health reasons.

Again, smoking is NOT a right.  It is costing this country immeasurably in human treasure and financially for our children and grandchildren.  Let us all take a stand for what is right for the country as a whole.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Distortion of Reality

by Richard H. Frank

Over the past nine months the American public has been force-fed a steady diet of political rhetoric as we  rapidly approach the 2012 General Election.  Cable news and networks desperate to fill 24 hours of broadcast air time call upon a never-ending legion of pundits to predict the outcome of votes in the primary election race to pick candidates for the respective political parties.  Should you believe the pundits, the process would be all over with the results from Iowa and New Hampshire.  The reality is that these votes and caucus results choose less than 2% of he delegates needed to establish a candidate.

Today, the talking heads are quick to state that no candidate for the Republican nomination has caught fire with the electorate and assumed a commanding lead to secure the nomination.  Somehow, they have lost perspective that eight individuals were seeking the nomination as recently as last week.  Under these circumstances simple math would indicate that any candidate receiving 12.5% of the vote or more should be considered a serious contender.

The news media however, with their liberal bias has skewed the debates away from addressing the issues facing our nation and purposely structured their questions to foster attacks by one nominee upon the other.  The underlying purpose of their distortions is to tilt the momentum away from whomever the Republican nominee eventually emerges toward the re-election of Barack Obama.  Their bias is plain to see, not only in questioning of candidates during the debates but in the post-debate analysis by carefully selected pundits.

Fortunately, for Republicans and independents, the field of prospective candidates for the Republican nomination will be pared down significantly following the Florida primary.  That is when media distortion and bias will be evident for all to see, especially as they “position” each GOP frontrunner as wanting to kill the benefits given to senior citizens, a huge voting block of that state. If you think the primary race has been ugly, just wait until a Republican candidate has to go up against Barack Obama.

The media distortions will kick into high gear as the media places Obama on a pedestal for his “achievements” in foreign policy, his leadership as Commander-in-Chief and his accomplishments in fostering economic recovery, all of which are distortions of reality.  One only needs to look around to know the truth about Obama’s socialist policies.  Unemployment and under-employment about 25%, foreclosures accelerating at a rate to reach 6 million or more, 47 million American families receiving food stamps; inflation creeping upward to decimate our middle-income families and senior citizens, and  a national debt of 16 trillion.

These are the realities given to us by Barack Obama and his administration.  I for one do not believe this Nation and our Republic can withstand four more years of Barack Obama and his administration’s policies.

Keep these realities in front of you as you endure the continuing media onslaught of distortions over the coming eleven months  before the November, 2012 General Election.