Why Romney Lost the 2012 Election

by Richard H. Frank

Five months following the 2012 Presidential election and the defeat of Mitt Romney by Barack Obama the pundits  from both parties have attempted to spin their message and place the blame on everything from one candidate having no message to the other having a superior ground game for getting out the vote.  There is an element of truth in every theory presented but I believe the real reason resides in the changing demographics in America experienced over the past 50 years.  The demographics not so much in terms of ethnic origin, race or economic status but the demographic of an individual’s collective life experience.

As our nation prepared to celebrate the Bicentennial in 1976, I had the occasion to view a video entitled “What You Are is Where You Were When” created by  and featuring Dr. Morris Massey, then an Associate Dean and Professor of Marketing at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

My first impression as I viewed the video was that I was watching a fast-talking used car salesman that resembled a flim-flam man or carnival Barker.  As I listened however, it become apparent that he had a lot of valuable information to convey in a relatively short span of time limited by the video itself.

His message was all about values  The values every human being possesses, where they were first introduced, what life forces imprinted them upon us and how they became part of our belief system.

According to Dr. Massey there are three major periods in each person’s life during which values are developed:

  1. The Imprint Period, up to age seven, when we are like sponges absorbing everything around us, accepting much as true, especially when it comes from our parents.
  2. The Modeling Period, between the ages of eight and thirteen where we tend to copy others, often our parents.  We may be impressed by religion or teachers.  Often times outside influences may take precedent over the values of our parents.
  3. The Socialization Period, between 13 and 21 when peer pressures largely influence our behavior and often are in conflict with values previously introduced by parents and teachers.  Other influences include media, and in today’s rapidly changing technology the largely uninformed social media.

If Dr. Massey’s theories are correct the country has been bombarded with secular-based values over the past 50 years, many of which are in direct opposition to those of people born in the first half of the 20th Century.  For example:

  • The distortion of our Constitution with regard to the separation of church and state (words which cannot be found in the document as written by the Founding Fathers.)
  • The role of the Federal Government taking precedent and usurping the power of the state – disregard of the Enumerated Powers within the Constitution.
  • Expansion of the welfare state to include redistribution of wealth, not through voluntary, charitable institutions or individuals, but by the fiat of Government.
  • A disregard for human life by advocates of abortion and a practice in this Country that makes the Holocaust pale due to the wanton disregard for the life of the unborn through millions of abortions performed in this Country.

Take a look at what has occurred in our public institutions of learning beginning in the 1960s.  Religion has been removed from the classroom and the very mention of God is no longer tolerated.  Music celebrating any form of religion is no longer included in the secular curriculum taught in our schools and holidays acknowledged for centuries under the law are now renamed for political correctness.

So how have we as a nation allowed all this change in our values to occur since the Declaration of Independence was written in 1776?  According to Dr. Massey any change in values must be preceded by a “Significant Emotional Event.”

Looking back over the past 100 years it is easy to mark the most “significant emotion events” and see how they impacted the value system of Americans living at that moment in time.

  • 1914 World War I and a call to America to protect and defend the principles upon which this Country was founded.  The significant event came with the sinking of the Lusitania Passenger Liner by the German “U” boats and the loss of American life.
  • 1929’s Black Friday crash of the stock market leading to the Great Depression.  Millions of Americans were out of work and lost their homes.  This significant event imprinted the value for  hard work and property on millions of Americans living through the Depression.
  • December 7, 1941 and the Japanese attack upon Pearl Harbor once again awakened the patriotic values of America to return to its core values and defend the world against Imperial Japan and facism in Europe.
  • November 22, 1963 President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas and shook the nation to its very foundation.  Politically, our Government leaders embarked upon social justice programs such as the  Great Society,  the War on Poverty and others that nurtured a growing segment of society addicted to entitlements which cannot be sustained.
  • September 11, 2001, the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon shook America awake and focused the threat of Muslim extremists directly on our security here in the homeland.
  • November, 2008 the election of Barack Obama, the first Black President in this nation’s history that campaigned against many of the values that made our Country the most free, most prosperous nation in the history of the world.  His promise was to “fundamentally change America” through his actions for social justice to correct in his words “a fundamentally flawed U. S. Constitution.”  The significant emotion to elect a black man regardless of his lack of credentials and experience to hold the office, and the fear of being judged as being racist, overrode logic and common sense of the electorate.
  • November, 2012 Barack Obama is reelected with a campaign based solely upon the premise that he could not fix all the economic problems created by  George Bush in a mere 4 years and that General Motors was alive and Bin Laden was dead.

Therefore, if one is to believe that Dr. Massey is correct, and I do, what will the next “significant emotional event” be that awakes America and returns us to our senses?

Possibly without real fiscal reform the collapse of the dollar which would throw this Country into the worst depression ever witnessed in modern history.  Continued deficient spending and growth of the Federal Government to support social justice at the expense of the free market and eventually individual freedom. Or perhaps another event might be millions of people protesting in the street in America because their handouts no longer can be sustained.   Simply put “there is no such thing as a free lunch.”  When the Government runs out of other people’s money to spend we will become Greece and that’s when the real revolution will begin.  God Help the United States of America should we ever reach that time.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Obama’s Shell Game – A Recipe For Disaster!

By: Richard H. Frank

On November 16, 2011 I wrote a blog entitled “On The Road To Greece” in an effort to point out how the professional spenders in Congress and the Obama White House lack any sense of responsibility to take action to cut spending by our Federal Government. Today the national debt stands at $15.1 trillion and is rapidly approaching the increased debt ceiling approved by Congress a little over six weeks ago and equals $48,500 for each and every citizen in America or more than twice the median income for our families.

What is even more frustrating is that Congress has failed to pass a Federal budget since August 29, 2009. Instead the Democrats led by Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid have resorted to passing continuing resolutions to fund our government in short spurts ranging from six months to one year at a time. The result  is spending levels of $3.6 trillion annually and deficits of $1.3 trillion each year since Obama assumed the Presidency. Obama’s shell game seems to be one of creating a fiscal crisis that threatens to shut down the government and then insist on increasing the debt limit in order to borrow more money from the Chinese  to satisfy the unending thirst to spend in Washington. When confronted with resistance from Congress Obama resorts to threats  and intimidation in the form of withholding payments to our military and their families and not paying our senior citizens their social security in a timely manner. This is always followed with a promise that he will appoint some commission to make proposals on how to reduce spending and balance the budget. Such was his promise in 2009 with the appointment of the Simpson-Bowles Commission on Fiscal Responsibility whose recommendations he totally ignored and the bi-partisan Super Committee that he charged with finding $1.2 trillion in spending cuts following the latest increase to the debt ceiling. Notice how Obama plays the shell game and removes himself from ever having to make a decision and then placing the blame for inaction on someone else.

So now our brilliant leader has come to the conclusion that Congress must once again increase the debt limit by $1.2 trillion additionally in order to sustain our present level of spending or massive tax increases will result as the only other alternative available for his administration. After all, if the rich would only pay a little more of their “fair Share” all this unpleasantness could be avoided. Obviously we are approaching an election year and Obama needs to remedy this situation before it becomes a distraction to his re-election efforts.

Unfortunately for every American citizen it is also an election for Congress many of whom are anxious not to have the debt ceiling issue obscure their efforts for re-election as well. So be prepared to bend over and grab your ankles once more as our President and the Democrats in the Senate slip another debt limit increase to us with a promise that a solution to our fiscal woes remains hidden under one of the shells remaining on the table. Also, don’t look for the Senate and Harry Reid to make any budget proposals for 2012 as it won’t be necessary until after the election and they will take care of it in 2013 as an issue high on Obama’s agenda following his re-election.

With the next increase in the debt limit Obama and the Congress will have pressed the express down button on the elevator to our becoming Greece. The only way we can stop this insanity is to clean house in November 2012 and vote out any member of Congress that places his allegiance to his party over his oath to uphold the Constitution and do the job he or she was elected to do. That also goes for Obama as well and his ilk. After three years of his administration how is that “Hope and Change” working out for you?

Wake up America before it is too late to correct course and return to the Nation of limited government and free enterprise envisioned by our Founders. We must not allow the career politicians to usurp our heritage of a “Government of, by and for the People being replaced by a socialist democratic machine akin to those found in Europe.

The Failed Policies of the Past

by Richard H. Frank

How many times over the past 3 years, beginning with the 2008 Presidential campaign, throughout the first two years of Obama’s Administration, have we heard that “We cannot return to the failed policies of the past?”  Well, just what are those failed policies and where and when did they begin?  For the most part these policies have their beginning with our Founding Fathers enumerating their beliefs in our Declaration of Independence which state “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

Two hundred and five years later our 40th President, Ronald Reagan, expressed his economic principles as having their roots deeply planted based on freedom, individual responsibility and the power of our free enterprise system to create and sustain America as the beacon of freedom and prosperity for the rest of the world to emulate.

Contrary to the Democratic view of Reagan’s policies as having been a monumental failure, the Joint Economic Committee reported in April 2000 that Reagan’s record included sweeping economic reforms, deep across-the-board tax cuts, market deregulation and sound monetary policies to contain inflation.  The results were the largest economic boom in American history and the creation of an estimated 35 million jobs.

If, indeed, these policies of the past were failures how do the Democrats, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Barack Obama explain the following facts as reported by the Joint Committee of the House and Senate for the 106th Congress?


1983-90 1991-99 Total Period
Real GDP Expansion Expansion
Total Growth 35.70% 33.00% 80.90%
Av.Annual Growth 4.10% 3.30% 3.60%
Real GDP/Person
Total Growth 26.70% 22.40% 54.20%
Av Annual Growth 3.20% 2.30% 2.60%
Real Consumption/Person
Total Growth 26.80% 24.10% 56.90%
Av Annual Growth 3.20% 2.50% 2.70%
Industrial Production
Total Growth 28.90% 38.70% 78.90%
Employment
Total Growth 19.9 M 16.4 M 35.0 M
Dow Jones Ind.Average
Average Annual Growth 14.50% 16.10% 15.00%

Today the Democrats assert that tax cuts initiated by the Reagan Administration and compounded by the Bush Administration in 2001 have drained the U.S. Treasury.  Let’s look at the facts and reality of the situation.

  • Total Federal revenues doubled from approximately $517 billion in 1980 to more than $1 trillion in 1990.  This amounted to a 28% increase in revenue in constant inflation-adjusted dollars for the period.
  • As a percent of GDP Federal revenues declined slightly from 18.9% in 1980 to 18% in 1990.
  • Individual taxes climbed from $244 billion in 1980 to $467 billion in 1990.  A 25% increase in inflation-adjusted dollars while lowering the marginal tax rate for individuals.

So what is the real failure of these policies of the past?  Looking at the facts it certainly could not be attributed to the lack of growth and the resultant increase in revenues to the Federal Government.  Therefore, something else must account for the current economic and fiscal difficulties we find our country in today.

The real culprit lies within Congressional spending.  If you provided an additional dollar to our Federal Government, rest assured Congress would find a way to spend $1.50 on some social crisis, real or imaginary.  Let us look at the record the facts for the ten-year period between 1980 and 1990.

  • Federal spending grew from $591 billion in 1980 to $1.25 trillion in 1990.  This is an increase of 35.8% in constant inflation-adjusted dollars.
  • As a percent of GDP Federal expenditures grew slightly from 21.6% in 1980 to 21.8% n 1990.  Congress loves to cite percentages when it suits their purposes to aid their extravagant, out-of-control spending binges.
  • Contrary to popular belief, inflation-adjusted defense spending increased by 50% from 1980 and 1989.  It was curtailed at the end of the cold war and fell by 15% from 1989 to 1993.
  • However, means-tested entitlements, excluding Social Security or Medicare, rose by over 102% between 1980 and 1993 and continued to rise ever since.

Critics of the Reagan economic policies argue that the Federal tax burden was shifted to lower-income groups and away from upper-income groups by adding the Social Security payroll tax to the burden.  Ronald Regan’s tax changes were in the income tax marginal rates, not the Social Security payroll tax.

Payroll tax increases were imposed by  Congress and proponents of Big Government entitlements over the past 50 years.  It is Congress and not the Reagan Economic policies that should be held accountable for the redistribution effects of Congressional spending legislation.

One again, let us review the facts.  If we include the Social Security payroll tax as argued by critics of the Reagan tax cuts:

  • Payments for the top 1% of taxpayers increased from 12.9% in 1980 to 15.4% in 1989.
  • the top 5% from 27.3% in 1980 to 30.4% in 1989.
  • The top 20% from 56.1% in 1980 to 58.6% in 1989.

Total Federal tax payments declined for four groups accounting for 80% of wage earning taxpayers:

  • The second-highest 20% went from 22.2% in 1980 to 20.8% in 1989.
  • The middle 20% went from 13.2% n 1980 to 12.5% in 1989.
  • The second lowest 20% from 6.9% in 1980 to 6.4% in 1989.
  • The lowest 10% from 1.6% in 1980 to 1.5% in 1989.

Today, and over the coming two-year Presidential campaign, Barack Obama and the Democrat machine will vilify anyone that supports the Reagan economic policies of small Government and individual freedom.  Their efforts to rewrite history will not stand the test of facts surrounding the most successful economic policy of the 20th Century.  The real threat to our economic well-being is that of Big Government intervention into our everyday lives and the nanny state mentality of the liberal progressives retaining power in our Federal Government.

During Ronald Reagan’s State of the Union Speech in 1986 he said “Government growing beyond our consent had become a lumbering giant, slamming shut the gates of opportunity, threatening to crush the very roots of our freedom… What brought America back?  The American people brought us back – with quiet courage and common sense, with undying faith in this Nation under God, the future will be ours, for the future belongs to the free.”

If the Reagan legacy is a result of “the failed policies of the past” then I say it is time to return to those policies and not those of the Big Government liberal progressive proponents.

The Baby-Boomer Generation – Americas New Underclass!

By: Richard H. Frank

Seventy-six million babies were born in the US between 1946 and 1964, a span of 19 years. According to the 2000 census 72 million of these babies have survived and are eligible to begin receiving full Social Security benefits in 2011 and it is expected that an average of 3.0 million will be added to the roles with each successive year. These individuals have paid into the SS system their entire working lives and some will continue to support the system over the next 20 years.

The average benefit paid to recipients is just under $1200.00 / month with those receiving disability benefits approximately $1100.00 / month. Annually that equates to about $14,400/ year slightly above the poverty level. The poverty level for all states in the U.S. for the 2009/2010 timeframe was set at $10,830 for an individual and $14,570 for a family of 2 persons. Assuming the CPI for food and energy continues to increase at an annual average rate of 5.0%, which is not included in the cost of living inflation rate, there will be substantial erosion to the fixed benefits paid to recipients and ultimately force them closer to the poverty level.

According to government estimates there were 44 million Americans living below the poverty level in 2009, or approximately 14% of the population. Most baby boomers retiring have no pensions, or at best limited IRAs, upon which to supplement their Social Security benefits. The largest investment made during their working lives was the equity built through the purchase of their homes. That equity has been diminished substantially by the recent crash of the real estate market. Those retirees that do not own their homes will bear the additional inflated costs to provide shelter for their families in addition to the uncontrollable inflated costs of food and energy.

Government, not the individual, is the problem with regard to having a sustainable Social Security safety net.  Social progressives have looted the mythical Social Security lock box of more than $2.5 trillion dollars for programs never intended to be funded under the original law. Today we have created an unsustainable Ponzi scheme in an attempt to redistribute wealth and level the playing field for all residents instead of creating a safety net for those seniors that have contributed to the system and are in real need.

Over time inflation and hyper- inflation will create a new underclass in America. That underclass will consist of illegal aliens, retirees and the growing numbers of baby boomers attaining retirement age over the coming twenty years.

The feeble attempts made by Congress to revise the SS system will only result in compounding the situation over the long run. The real answer is to limit the government influence over achieving energy independence in America as the stimulus that will drive efficient job creation and a resultant thriving economy. Government over- regulation of the free enterprise system in America must be reduced to the level of assuring safety and protecting against fraud. The reality is that Big Government has created Big Problems all of which were foreseen by our founding Fathers and warned against when drafting our constitution. Government must return to the values and principles ascribed to by the founders.

Unfortunately, there is an entire generation of Americans that will spend their “Golden Years” experiencing  a substantially reduced standard of living from that which they were anticipating all the years of their working lives.

After the Goose is Dead, Then What?

by Richard H. Frank

The lesson of Aesop’s Fable about the goose that laid the golden egg seems of no value to the Government employee unions in Wisconsin, New Jersey and Ohio, let alone those states saddled with other than “right to work” laws.  At least private sector businesses, subject to collective bargaining union contracts,  have the ability to save themselves from extinction through bankruptcy law and the right to renegotiate contracts.

This was the case up until the Obama Administration’s takeover of General Motors and Chrysler forced bankruptcy and nationalization.  Payback was to the unions in the form of ownership and subverted the principles behind collective bargaining for these giant companies.  The process resulted in promises made to shareholders, bondholders, salaried retirees and the community at large could not and were not  honored.

Listening to  Barack Obama, one would conclude that state and local governments should not be able to control their fiscal destiny by legislating changes to government union agreements, but are mandated to preserve the status quo and find other means to balance their budgets.

As with the goose that laid a golden egg, one daily, there is a limit to the number of eggs the goose is capable of producing.  However, local and state governments are borrow against eggs yet to be laid by “Mother Goose” until the deficit is insurmountable and unsustainable.

Unlike the farmer and his wife in Aesop’s Fable, state and local governments cannot declare bankruptcy, which would equate to stopping spending beyond the capacity of poor “Mother Goose” to lay eggs and thus like the farmer will end up slaughtering the goose.  In the case of Wisconsin, it will result in the eventual layoff of thousands of government workers.

We may not recognize it but the “Golden Goose” in American has been dead for decades.  Irresponsible, unrestrained government spending over the past two years under Barack Obama has exceeded the sum total of every previous Administration in America.  The national debt has soared to over $14 Trillion and the proposed 2012 Federal Budget of $3.7 trillion adds an additional $1.6 trillion to the deficit.

Over the past decade America has seen uncontrolled government spending, mortgaging our children’s futures in excess of $43,000 for each and every citizen alive now, or to be born in the future.

Those of us that have studied history have seen the results of mis-managed fiscal policy destroy the economies of countries including Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, all of which have defaulted on their soaring debts created through unsustainable entitlement programs.  Most recently we see our future in Greece, Ireland and Spain unfolding before our very eyes and yet government is reluctant to take issue and address changes in these unsustainable entitlement programs for fear of political blowback.

The goose is dead; what next?  You really don’t want to know.  Continuing unemployment, hyperinflation and devaluation of our currency and finally the collapse of the  American economy.

Wake up America!  Government, our elected Representatives, must make the hard decisions and no longer “kick the can” down the road for future generations to deal with.  Like every American family, government must tighten their belt and live within their means.  States like Wisconsin, Ohio and New Jersey are showing the way and need our support if this Republic, the United State of America, is to survive.

From One of Alan Simpson’s “Lesser People”

by Jayne D. Frank
Media coverage and discussion of what is going on behind closed doors with Obama’s Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform is deafening.   If you do a search on the internet, the only lone reporter covering the comings and goings of its members is Alex Lawson and he put forth a rather striking, and very telling 8 minute YouTube video of the Commission’s Chairman, Alan Simpson.  In the video, Simpson calls Medicare Recipients the “Lesser People.”
Is that right, Mr. Simpson?  My husband and I have had “real” jobs all of our careers, some 40 years apiece on average, paying huge taxes all the time so that you could stay on the dole all of these years, voting yourself a yearly raise with our money, and voting to spend our Medicare Trust Fund away on other Government programs.  And you have the guts to call us the “Lesser People?”
Now it is reported that you are out of money to do the rest of your work and make it to December.  Allocated a hefty $500,000, you say you cannot finish within budget because you wanted to get out of Washington to do field interviews and can’t live within your budget.  No wonder the government is in so much trouble.  How about a novel idea?  Bring people in who are experts in their area, and stay in Washington and do your job?  There are hundreds of great economists who would gladly come to Washington at their own expense and provide you with advice as to how to reduce our huge deficit, but the problem is that you wouldn’t listen to them and neither will your Boss.
Heritage.org also gave you free advice to solve our problems:
  • Move Toward Historical Levels of Taxes and Spending
  • Bring Long-Term Solvency to Social Security and Medicare and Reform Medicaid
  • Reopen the Health Care Law
  • Offer Specific Spending Reforms, Not Just Numerical Targets
  • No New Taxes or Tax Increase
  • Bring Budget Transparency

People should be outraged and calling for your removal from this Commission for your scurrilous comments about Medicare recipients and your inability to stay within your Budget. And we have words for you also, Mr. Obama:  No More Executive Orders giving the Commission additional funds.