Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Labels

Hello all,

First of all Merry Christmas, Happy Hanuka, Happy New Year and Happy Festivus.

It has been awhile since I blogged and that has been because I have been spending a majority of my time with my wife and kids. Everything I do, all of the political activism, my job, etc. is to help my family live the life that we want to live. With that said, I believe it is good for the body, mind and soul to occasionally take a step away and just relax. So, that is what I have been and will probably continue to do for awhile.

As always, with that said, there is something that I want to get off my chest that has been weighing heavily on me. I am probably going to get flamed for this, but so be it.

Maybe it is just me, but I have been noticing that people and the media are really looking to be labeled lately. It harkens back to high school and everyone wanting to choose what group you are/want to belong to. We have people saying they are Conservatives, Republicans, Tea Partiers, Moderates, Liberals, Fiscal Conservatives, Democrats, Blue Dogs, etc. Why do we feel the need for these labels? I understand that as we know it today there is a two party system and that the rule of government is broken up based upon party lines. That I can deal with, but now we are dealing with people who want to continue to fractionalize those groups. Lindsey Grahm is a RINO, Jim DeMint is a Conservative, Michelle Backman is a Tea Partier, Ben Nelson is a Blue Dog Democrat and on and on and on. Why?

Does it really matter?

There are fellow bloggers that will call out Lindsey Grahm for taking a moderate position and say he is a RINO, he is not a true conservative. There are Democrats who are calling out Claire McCaskill for wanting to ban earmarks as not a true Democrat. Whatever.

Let's face it people, there is no true conservative. There is no litmus test for being a Republican or Democrat. We need to get over the labels and the name calling. Period.

If you are fiscally conservative, but believe in gay marriage and allowing abortion in some cases, you can still be a Republican.
If you are progressive in your social beliefs but believe in a strong military and defense, you can still be a Democrat.

Both parties and its members want to say they are big tent parties. We welcome all sides and will listen to all points of view. It seems to be that way until you join, when you are told to sit down, shut up and follow our party positions.

As bloggers and as politically active members of our society, we need to each get beyond these labels and talk about the root of the matter. Say what you believe in and what you expect of your representatives. Understand that other representatives may make different decisions or have different opinions based upon the people they represent. Remember, this is a BIG country and not everyone thinks like a North County Blue Collar Republican, a South County White Collar Democrat, a St. Charles Catholic Conservative or a Ladue Jewish Progressive (Don't you just love the labels). Because of the desires of others around the country, our Congressman/women and Senators have to negotiate to get things done. Pure and simple. We cannot start calling people names and labels because they do not conform to what we think they should be.

That said, there are times when people have had enough. That is where the Tea Party came in. The Tea Party was a name for a group of people that were tired of government as is. They were a group of people that are against something. They are the party of NO. Because the Tea Party is not a true party, but a label of people that are sick of the standard government. The Tea Party should stay that way but instead it is being converted and twisted into a part of the Republican party. It is becoming and being twisted into some sort of alternate ego for fiscal and in some cases social conservatives. Those that say they run the Tea Party should be wary of allowing this. The Tea Party label, if we must have one, should continue to be independent of Conservatives, Progressives, Republicans and Democrats. It should be no different than the NRA or any other advocacy group. The Tea Party should be the label for the people who are saying NO to big government. No more, no less.

So, after saying this, let me tell you who I am. Not in a label that can be summarized, but in words.
  • I am someone who usually votes Republican but has voted Democrat.
  • I am someone who votes based upon the issues and the stances taken by the candidates.
  • I am someone who believes in a small and limited government.
  • I am someone who believes that the best offense is a good defense (and if we are talking sports a good QB or Albert Pujols helps).
  • I am someone that wants you and everyone else to stay out of my and everyone else's bedroom.
  • I do not think the government should be able to license marriage. Marriage is a religious act. I personally believe that the government can license civil union contracts between a man & woman, a man & man, and a woman & woman. Let the churches decide how they want to or do not want to define marriage.
  • I think the best way to have equality is to get rid of any and all social programs that push one race, gender, religion or sexual preference over another
  • I think America is one of the most perfect places to live because of our liberties.

So, are you just a label or are you more?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Homeland Security Intervenes on the Internet

With everything else going on, this one could have easily slipped by. Luckily, I picked up on this short article while doing some research for my day job. Take a read at this.

Homeland Security Seizes Domain Names

What is scary is how much the Obama administration is getting involved in their attempt to limit the Internet. I am in no way condoning the illegal distribution of copyrighted material, but at the same time the Department of Homeland Security should not be getting involved with shutting down websites.
With all that this administration is trying to do with Net Neutrality and the FCC wanting to play a larger role in Internet traffic, this is a scary sign of what could be coming. As I documented back in May the FCC is interested in making the Internet and its providers a public utility so that they can have more control.

If I were a conspiracy theorist, I would think that this is the first step in the government taking over control of web based content. Is that too far off the mark?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Television You NEED To Watch

My friends. I told you that I probably would not post unless I saw something that I thought needed to be shared. Last week, I saw such a thing.

As someone who does his research before going out with a story, I watched three hours of truly remarkable television that i want to share. Glenn Beck did an amazing three hours on George Soros AKA "Spooky Dude" and his influence, power and attempt to change the United States.

I suggest each of you watch this. Dedicate some time to it and reflect. Then as Glenn says, go out and do the research. I can tell you from a personal standpoint, there have been countless times as I investigate different things, whether it be Lacy Clay or various other things that I look into, groups like the Tides Foundation continue to come up.

This is well worth your time to watch. Please do.


















Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Post Election Thoughts

Tuesday night's election brought both joy and sorrow. I am very happy with the tsunami of Republicans that have won. With the support of Tea Party patriots, we have seen several candidates win and send packing many Congressman and Senators that needed to be sent home. I especially was happy with the wins by Rand Paul, Marco Rubio ,Pat Toomey and several other House gains. I was also very happy with the pickups in the Senate and the Governor races. More on the governor races in a bit.

I was also saddened by several things, probably most specifically the loss of Robyn Hamlin and Bill Corrigan. My wife and I are both big supporters of these two politicians. North County and St. Louis County saw fit to support the status quo instead of riding the wave of change. I expect that the union vote really helped Dooley and Clay. While Ed Martin is contesting his race with Russ Carnahan, I am also saddened with the voting issues that we saw in the third district. The issues that occurred statewide and the convenience of the additional votes appearing out of the city are truly suspect. It will be interesting to see what occurs once the vote is counted and completed.

As I write this after a long night I am listening to a replay of Obama's conference this afternoon. He takes little blame for what happened last night and he sputters a feeble attempt at an olive branch to the GOP. He refuses to admit that his administration's overreach is the reason for last nights large GOP gains. If this is what we are to expect over the next few years, it will make for a very interesting two years.

The elections are now, for the most part, over. Let's all take a breath and survey the surroundings. Let's truly look at what's ahead. There are a lot of things to consider now, including:
  • Nancy Pelosi and the older house reps - There are indicators that many of the older House Dems will not look at retiring since the Dems lost so handily. Many of them do not want to go back to being the minority. These departures will lead to openings in the House. How will these openings change the dynamic.
  • The census - The census will greatly effect the makeup of the house. As I discussed in THIS post and THIS one, the census will change the lay of the land. Missouri will probably lose a house seat as will a couple of other states.
  • The governors races - Governors can help set the political tone of each state. The GOP wins in these races will dramatically help Republican causes. These governors will also help set the new lines for House districts as part of the upcoming redistricting.

  • The legislative agenda - What will the House and Senate have as their legislative agenda. With Reid probably retaining leadership in the Senate and Boehner probably taking over the House, there are going to be two different and possibly competing agendas.

The next two years cannot be carte blanche no. Boehner cannot try and legislate from the House. Instead, the Republicans need to push for plans that lower taxes and create smaller government. I think everyone will agree that limited compromise is totally acceptable, but the Republicans cannot be obstructionists, otherwise they will get ousted in two years. If Senate Democrats and the President insist on not compromising or pushing a far left agenda, while the GOP lead House offers compromise and moderation, 2010 will be a warm up act for 2012.

Much like Boehner, Rubio and Paul all said last night, this was not an endorsement of the GOP, this was a call to action and a mandate against the president, Pelosi and Reid. I think Jamie Allman says it best, we are not married to you guys, we are just dating. We will see what happens from here on out. You better not disappoint us.

The two pet projects I would like to see addressed are some gerrymandering restrictions and Congressional and Senate term limits. I will be posting more on that in the future, but DSM over at Reboot Congress has written volumes on term limits and I suggest you take a look.

For Robyn Hamling and my fellow Robyn Hamlin supporters I say this, you put up a very valiant fight. It was a fight that many people have tried to wage. All of you spent countless man hours working the phones, going door to door and educating the public. Robyn had all of the right answers for a public group that just did not care. For some, this Congressional race was just about race. For others, it was about supporting the union machine that Lacy regularly supports. Just take a look at Lacy's FEC filings and you can see the amount of money the unions poured into his campaign. He helps them out by pushing through government spending for Boeing, the Federal Government and other big union shops. This loss was probably a combination of the right candidate at the wrong time. I do take some solace that Lacy got less than 75% of the votes. This district has been gerrymandered to the point where winning would be tough for just about anyone without a D behind their name. Robyn and her team worked hard and were able to accomplish a lot. I hope that this can be the stepping stone for bigger things in 2012. Even though we did not get a win, we can continue to work with the St. Louis Tea Party and other local candidates and representatives to make North County and North City a better place. For all you have done, though, I say thank you and good job.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Tomorrow's Election - Thoughts and Recommendations

To everyone that reads this blog, I first say thank you. I started it with the simple goal of venting my frustration. In doing so it has turned into a type of catharsis, a source of new friends and a way to pass on the knowledge that I have acquired through my years and my obsessive tendencies to research an issue, person, etc.

After tomorrow, I may post once or twice and then I am going to take a break. My wife and I have been busy helping raise awareness and campaigning for several candidates. Rather than go to a victory party, we are going to spend the evening, quietly, at home, watching the results. I will say a prayer for the winners and losers, go to bed, and go to work the next day. With that said, I feel the need for a sanity break and have chosen to take one after the election. Yes, I will probably post some post election thoughts, but afterwards I will be out of the loop for awhile.

Before I go any further, I want to take a moment and give a special hat tip to Darren over at Reboot Congress. He was one of the first people in the blogging community to welcome me as well as give advice. He does some great work that should be noticed by all. I love his recent YouTube video, which I have embedded below.






Now, on to my suggestions for the upcoming election. I am sticking to the first district and not including state representatives on this one.



  • US Senate - I am holding my nose on this one and picking Roy Blunt. This is more of a vote against Robyn Carnahan than it is support of Roy.

  • US Congressional Race - This is a no brainer. I am voting for Robyn Hamlin (@Hamlin4Congress )

  • MO State Auditor - Tom Schweich has my vote. Susan Montee is a drunk and a fool and needs to be fired and Tom has the experience needed to do this job.

  • St. Louis County Executive - Bill Corrigan has my vote. Charlie Doolie is as crooked as a country road. We need Bill Corrigan in there for St. Louis County.

  • Amendment 1 - I am voting and recommending a YES vote. Any governmental assessor, city or county, should be elected and not appointed

  • Amendment 2 - As much as I would like to vote yes, I am voting NO on this one. Look, we all want lower taxes, but to amend the state constitution to give tax breaks to one group of individuals over another is wrong. Everyone should have lower taxes.

  • Amendment 3 - I am voting and recommending a YES vote. Leaving the possibility of any additional taxes to the sale of real estate is like leaving your front door open when you leave the house and expecting yourself not to get robbed. Just because there is not one in place, does not mean there should not be a rule prohibiting it. A tax like this can kill home sales and the real estate market.

  • Prop A - I am voting and recommending a YES vote. Let the voters decide whether or not there should be a tax increase on the municipal level. If St. Louis and Kansas City choose to continue having one, let them vote on it.

  • Prop B - I am voting and recommending a NO vote. Everyone hates puppy mills but there are already laws on the books to prevent them, they are just not being enforced. A law like this, as loosely written as it is could definitely hurt any and all ranching in the state of Missouri.

If all polling is correct, tomorrow could be a very good day for the GOP and the Tea Party. With that said, those that win should know that I and other bloggers will still hold them accountable, no matter what party affiliation, to representing their constituents and acting in good faith on our behalf. If they do not, they will be fired just as many already have.

Finally, make sure you get out the vote. Over 200 years ago, many brave men and women fought and died for the privilege of voting that we have today. The simple act of voting makes your voice heard and quite frankly gives you the right to complain about those that do not act in your interest. #GOTV - GET OUT THE VOTE.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Clay vs. Hamlin - The Choice Is Clear

So Lacy Clay is out stumping to retain his seat in Congress. He is trying to say that he is being misrepresented and...

My Republican opponent wants to reverse course, cancel the Recovery Act, put insurance companies back in charge of your health care, give Wall Street speculators a free handle to steal even more of your retirement dollars, and then explode the deficit by giving tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires.

Her Tea Party friends and the Republican leadership are part of an extremist partnership who want to use intolerance, ignorance and outright lies to cripple President Barack Obama, and turn America back to a much darker time. I’m confident that the voters of the First Congressional District will totally reject that.
More of this dribble can be found here. I suggest you read it and take notice to his lack of agenda or plans. He talks of job creation and building a stronger community, but he does not talk about what he plans to do about it.

As I have talked about in several posts, Lacy Clay has not done anything to truly improve the first district. In fact he refuses to hold open townhall meetings and as noted by myself and others including a letter to the editor in the St. Louis Post Dispatch, is nearly impossible to get a hold of.

As a refresher, take a look at these posts:

NEW TAXPAYER FINANCED JOBS IN ST. LOUIS
WHAT HAPPENED TO TRANSPARENCY LACY
CLAY WILLING TO GO THE DISTANCE - FOR RENT TO OWN INDUSTRY
CLAY BACKS BANKS WITH NO BUSINESS PLAN
LACY CLAY AND PAYDAY LOANS - Two articles HERE and HERE
LACY CLAY AND THE RENT TO OWN INDUSTRY

On top of this, Lacy has yet to even speak his opinion on what his plan is for the expiring Bush Tax Cuts (other than blame Republicans) and he has not yet commented on the claim that he is one of 70 members of the Democratic Socialists of America (Discussed HERE). Add to that, Lacy Clay was given a failing grade by the Center for Security Policy.

All Lacy has proven he can do is attempt to expand government to create jobs and promote himself. I give the guy credit, he comes off as a like able guy in interviews and he knows how to present himself. That said, he has had the job for 10 years and has not proven himself as a true leader for the first district or Missouri.

His opponent, Robyn Hamlin, is a small business owner who has had to deal with the concepts of job creation, health care benefits and balancing a budget. She has not done these as some ivory tower intellectual in Washington, who has never held a job outside of politics. No, she has done so in the real world, dealing with real world issues.

Is Robyn perfect. No, but I think she would agree that she is not. Does she have a better sense of what we need to do to create jobs, balance our federal budget and keep our nation safe? I think so and I am not the only one.

NumbersUSA has ranked Robyn as a "True Reformer"
Robyn is endorsed by

Robyn also signed the Tea Party Treaty

Just listen to and read her interviews, and you can see that she is the candidate that we need. You can find some HERE, HERE and HERE

If Robyn is elected, I plan, and expect each of you, to hold her feet to the fire, just as we would Lacy Clay or any other candidate.

If you are happy with things in the first district and our country, then Lacy is your guy. If you want to see a non politician go into Washington and help to clean up the corruption and politics as usual, then vote for Robyn.

Let's send Robyn to Washington as part of the Republican congressional takeover and party like it's November 1994

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Yard Sign Theft


All,

We need your help in the 1st district. Robyn Hamlin's office has been made aware of people stealing yard signs and in one reported case replacing them with signs for Charlie Dooley.

According to Robyn Hamlin as posted on her Facebook page:

We have a voice mail on the campaign phone and a guy says that he is removing 5
of our signs a day from St. Louis City. The call came in from Cutex Corp and I
called them and let them listen to the voicemail. The VP there assured me it was
not one of their employees. We have tracked it back to a truck driver.
And
..Just got a call from a lady who saw an elderly man taking down our campaign
signs on Shamrock at Howdershell. She said he had a lot of our signs
in his trunk and was putting up Dooley signs.

It is obvious that the opposition is afraid of the message that is being presented. Lacy is just now sending out mailers. He assumed that he was not going to get a fight and Robyn is giving it to him. Check that, Robyn is giving him a fight and YOU are not willing to sit on the sidelines and let him win.

If any of you see these things happening, take a camera phone picture or video. Call the police and email it to Robyn or me. We will post it online and get it all across the blogosphere.

Be vigilent. They are worried and resorting to illegal tactics to keep the message from getting to the voters.

It is happening in other states and we are now seeing signs of it happening here.

Do what you can to help. We CAN win this!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Robyn on Allman In the Morning

On Thursday morning, Robyn Hamlin appeared in the last hour of Jamie Allman's show on 97.1 FM Talk.

video

It's great to hear her message getting out there and that people are receptive to her and her campaign.

Add to that the letter to the editor which just appeared in the Post Dispatch and that leads to a lot of positive momentum going into November 2nd.

There is still a lot to do and we still need a lot of volunteers to help Robyn and her campaign. If you can spare anytime during the week or weekend, do what you can to help her campaign out. Let's help get out the vote and fire Lacy Clay!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Get Out and Volunteer While You Still Can

This is a quick post.

I received an email from a friend asking me where I have been. In all bluntness, I am out working the ground. My wife volunteered to work on a couple of campaigns and I am helping her. Even now there are still many people who have not made up their minds. It is our job to inform them of their options and make sure they are informed voters.

As I have said all along, it is now up to each of YOU to make sure you are working with a candidate. Are you in the second district and want to make sure that DC is not being controlled by Reid and Pelosi, then get up off your couch/office chair and volunteer.

This weekend, Robyn Hamlin, ED Martin, Bill Corrigan and the St. Louis Tea Party can all use your help.

If you want to help but don't know how check out these sites

Robyn Hamlin - http://www.hamlinforcongress.com/
Ed Martin - http://edmartinforcongress.com/
Bill Corrigan - http://www.corriganforexec.com/
St. Louis Tea Party - http://www.stlouisteaparty.com/

Also, do you live on or near a busy intersection or street. You can help out by allowing one or several of these campaigns to put out yard signs. Believe it or not, the name recognition helps.

Right now, the Dems are on the ropes and are scared. All of their gerrymandering of districts over the years is not helping them with this election. Carnahan and Clay have both voted for very unpopular bills including health care control, TARP, and the auto bailout. These bills were all passed and have done little to nothing to improve our overall economic condition.

I am signing off for now to go work the campaigns. You should do the same.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Lacy Clay's Radio Interview

In case you did not know or hear about it, Congressman Lacy Clay was on KWMU on Monday. Don Marsh gave what I will call a friendly interview with Clay, not really challenging him as much as he could have been. You can listen to the interview here:


Honestly, you do not really get anything new out of Lacy that we have not heard before. That said, there were a couple of things that I found interesting.
  1. Why is it that Lacy feels the only way to creat jobs is via the government. He touts jobs saved but it was only through government intervention. He talks about 600 jobs created but it was only because of newly created government jobs. At no time did he talk about making it easier for businesses to hire new employees. He did briefly mention the small business bill, but that was in reference to his whining about Republicans being obstructionist.

  2. When did Lacy Clay become a hawk (pro defense). This is a man who repeatedly talks about and speaks ill of going to war in Iraq and Afghanistan, yet he talked highly of the defense spending for Boeing. Maybe it is just me, but it seems hypocritical.

  3. He talked of the cynicism and obstructionism of Republicans and how after the election they should have come together to work with Obama. Well, it seams to me that the Democrats are just as guilty of obstructionism, see Freddie and Fannie reform as covered previously, and Republicans did offer alternatives that Obama, for the most part refused to listen to.
After listening to the interview, I was able to touch bsae with Robyn Hamlin regarding his remarks about the Federal Reserve. He took some not so subtle swipes at Robyn and others regarding the Fed. This is what Robyn had to say.

He would not co-sponsor HR 1207 until Barney Frank told him it was okay and by
that time there were enough co-sponsors for the bill to pass if it made it to the floor. Clay sits on the financial services committee and they watered it down then added it to another bill. He did NOT vote for HR 1207 to Audit The Fed in it's initial wording. The Audit The Fed bill was a one page bill.
In essence, Lacy did not have the backbone to do what is right and stand up for a cause. He had to wait for others to get involved.

Lacy is lock step in with the likes of Nancy Pelosi and Barney Frank.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Truth Behind Budget Surpluses

You know how Dems are out there saying that it was Clinton and the Democrats that brought about budget surpluses. Well this great video debunks that myth with the one thing that Dems cannot argue, statistics and facts.

It was not Clinton that brought budget surpluses, but a Republican majority that forced it.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

New York Times Gives Hamlin & Martin No Chance

It’s funny what you can stumble across when surfing the web. While surfing through the many news websites I stumbled upon this piece of gold from the New York Times. Apparently, the grey old lady is not giving Robyn Hamlin and Ed Martin much if any chance of winning their elections. Even though their polling shows Martin and Carnahan in a tight race, they are giving Ed Martin only a 5% chance of winning. In the case of Robyn Hamlin, they are giving her no chance of winning, predicting she will only take 24% of the vote in the first district.

You can find these forecasts here and here

Now, you may be asking yourself, where does this come from? Well, the Times appears to be using a group call FiveThirtyEight. You can find out more about them by going here.

I am sure some of you will read this and immediately believe this guy, Nate Silver, to be a political hack. You know what, he may be. That said, he is a stats junkie for Baseball Prospectus and tends to be right more than he is wrong. I have read and listened to this guy on the radio and he knows his stuff. Additionally, he made some early calls on the 2008 primaries that were spot on. He tends to know his stuff given enough information.

That said, I post this as more of a wake up call to you first and third MO district residents. This information is based upon history of the area including voter turnout, etc. but is also based upon polling data. In the case of Robyn Hamlin vs. Lacy Clay, it does not appear there is any polling data to support this case, it is all based upon history. In the case of Ed Martin vs. Russ Carnahan, it is based upon history and polls from August.

What does this mean, it means the establishment is writing off the challengers for these two districts. They are saying that Robyn and Ed have no chance of winning. Do no let this get you down, though. The forecasters have been wrong and will continue to be wrong. It is up to YOU to make the difference. In the case of Robyn Hamlin, all we have is history of the district. There have been no polls that I can find to show where she is truly at. In the case of Ed Martin, even though the polls are old, the forecasts are showing a fairly close race. YOU are the ones that need to make sure you vote and get other like minded individuals out there voting. YOU are the ones who need to make sure that the uninformed are informed. Otherwise the uninformed and the like minded will get their information from the MSM and either skip voting or be an uninformed voter.

We are now less than 30 days away. Quit hitting the snooze button and do what has to be done. Let’s prove the forecasters and the New York Times wrong.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

It's Time For Us To Go John Galt

My friends, whenever I go away for work I always bring a book with me. You never know if you are going to be stuck in a terminal, a hotel room, waiting room, etc. You cannot always guarantee Internet coverage on your phone or an interesting movie in your hotel room. With this past week, even though it had not been that long, I decided to pull out my well worn copy of Atlas Shrugged. It being one of my favorites, I thought I would re-read it as time allowed. Considering what was supposed to be a 1 week trip turned out to be much longer, I was glad I did.

I bring this up because as I read about this and the more I think about it, the more I think it is time for each of us to go John Galt. No, I am not saying that we need to disappear in the cloak of night and come together in some secret society. No. Instead what I feel we should each do is start to disassociate ourselves from our communities. Instead, we should make do with what we can without using that which any government has to offer. Are you or your spouse a stay at home parent, then home school and make the educational choices for your children instead of having the government make them for you. Teach them the way that you think they should be taught. Give them the education they deserve instead of the education that the school system has elected to give them. This is just one of many ways you can unplug yourself from the shackles of the government. If you can, restrict your usage of any government buildings and properties. Do not purchase from companies that support non-defense government agencies. The more you remove yourself from the government, the free-er you become.

I know this sounds seperationist, but it is not. You see, the more that you become reliant on the government, the more you become enslaved by it. That is the beauty of a book like "Atlas Shrugged". Those doers of society, those of us who work hard, pay our taxes and do what we can to improve ourselves are constantly penalized by a government that is trying to create some sort of equality that is not possible or plausible. By removing yourself and as many dependencies as you have from the government, you are taking away their power and influence.

The government, and I mean all forms of government from Federal to state and local, has made each of us dependent upon them. This was done in order to make the government and each of those government employees necessary. Unlike working in the private sector where streamlining and cost efficiency is paramount to survival, the government works with what they believe is a limitless check book. They can justify their spending because of each one of us and the way we use them. By removing ourselves from them, their need becomes less and more prevalent.

The US Constitution is a set of rules and limitations on the government, not a set of rights for its citizens. This is a powerful thing. The way the government has gotten around this is by making each of us more and more addicted to what it has to offer. As of now, there is no way that I know of to be a part of a community that completely disassociates ourselves from the government, but we can slowly remove ourselves. So, as we go into the upcoming elections, vote for smaller government, vote for less government intervention and work to remove yourself as much as you can from the use of any government program.

Go Galt.

Post Script
I wrote this article late in the evening on 9/30. I decided not to post it so I could have a close friend read this article and give me any feedback. This is something I normally do when I write an article at night. This way another set of eyes can look at it and make sure I do not ramble or I made my points. After reading this article, he called me laughing,
"So you listened to Glenn Beck?"
"No", I told him, "I could not find a station it is on down there"
"Are you sure", he said.
"Yeah."
"Well then you two must be mind melding. Check out the link I just sent you."
Opening it, I read the link and started to laugh.
"Well", I said, "Maybe Glenn just got done re-reading Atlas Shrugged too."
I am glad to know that I am not the only one thinking this way.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Robyn Hamlin Radio Interview

This post marks my 100th post as a blogger. Seeing as I do not post multiple times a day this is a somewhat momentous occasion for me. This post occurs just a few weeks after my 1 year anniversary of starting this blog. No matter what happens in the coming months, I hope to continue to offer the investigative and in depth reporting for the 1st district that the St. Louis Post will not do.

With that said, I do not know if anyone caught it, but Robyn Hamlin was a guest on St. Louis NPR yesterday morning. Here is her interview with Don Marsh from this morning. Robyn makes up the first 23 minutes of this recording.


While NPR may not be the most hospitable crowd for Robyn as a candidate, I was glad to hear that someone gave her a chance to talk on the radio. We all need to make sure that we listen when Lacy Clay is on so that we can ask him the questions that we would normally have at a town hall, if he were to ever have one. We must be respectful but at the same time ask him the hard questions he should be asked and hold him accountable for his actions and inactions in the House of Representatives.
Additionally, everyone needs to recognize that part of politics is getting your name out there. Lacy Clay has had it easy since he can ride on the coattails of his father. Robyn does not have that luxury. If you know anyone in the radio, TV or print business, work with them to get Robyn's name out there. Ask them to do an interview with her, do a piece on the small businesswoman running for office, etc. This is the type of press that she needs and is not getting. Lacy Clay is smart and his inaction during recess means that the press does not have to look for opposing viewpoints. We need to get Robyn and the first district on every one's minds. This blog can only do so much.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Do You Know Your District? - UPDATED

As I talked about in an earlier post HERE, the census is very important to politicians. Yes it gives government an idea of who lives where and all sorts of statistical data, but it also plays a very important part to the House of Representatives. After the 2000 census, St. Louis was re-districted.

Here is what the 1st, 2nd and 3rd districts looked like pre-redistricting. Maps courtesy of the US Census



The districts were changed after the census to look like this.



The third district saw some changes, but the second and first districts were changed the most. Parts of north county as well as a decent chunk of west county were all taken from the second district and moved into the first. This change was done in such a way to almost guarantee the status quo, thus meaning the first district would be represented by a Democrat.

The sad thing is, a lot of people do not know that they were moved around. This became very apparent when a co-worker who lives in Maryland Heights was complaining that she had no one to vote against Todd Akin (she is a yellow dog Democrat). When I challenged her on whether or not she was in Akin's district, she swore she was. I had her go to this tool HERE. Low and behold she found out that she is in fact in District 1. She was not even looking because she was sure that she was in the 2nd district. This got me thinking, so I started asking more and more people that live in Maryland Heights, Hazelwood area and many, not all, thought that they were still in the second district.

So, it was with great surprise that I received an email with the following video.

Take the time and learn what district you are in and make sure you cast your ballot come November 2nd.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Fannie and Freddie and the art of Hypocrisy

I have seen it in my own neighborhood and you probably have too. People quickly and quietly packing up their houses, putting everything they can in cars, trailers and trucks, suddenly leaving the neighborhood they called home. Why were they doing this, because they were being foreclosed upon.

The market crash of 2008 was one of the worst that this country has seen in a couple of generations. Today, we are still suffering the repercussions of that crash. Many people are still out of work, many houses sit empty due to foreclosure and 401K’s were greatly diminished. The reason, or much of the reason for this is due to the gross mismanagement of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.

I was reminded of this topic while going through my emails and looking at an e-newsletter I had received from Lacy Clay. His letter read as such:

Thank you for reading another edition of my e-newsletter.

In the wake of our nation’s current economic crisis, I strongly support the establishment of a Consumer Financial Protection Agency to hold big banks and Wall Street accountable. Congress must ensure that taxpayers will never again be forced to bail out big banks and huge firms because they are "too big to fail."

Financial reform is vital to ending the reckless schemes and outrageous abuses that nearly caused a second Great Depression and contributed to millions of Americans losing their jobs.

As a member of the House Financial Services Committee, I am committed to working with my colleagues and President Obama to adopt strong, common sense rules that will protect our economy and working families.

Honest and transparent financial reform will help create a stronger financial sector so that small businesses can get loans, families can get affordable mortgages, and entrepreneurs can create the jobs of tomorrow.

Consumer financial protections are currently spread across seven different government agencies. Our objective is to create one single Consumer
Financial Protection Agency -- tasked with preventing predatory practices and
making sure you get the clear information you need to understand your personal
finances.

You can learn more about the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act that I strongly supported by clicking here.

For additional information on Financial Reform and many other topics, please visit my website at http://lacyclay.house.gov/.

It is a great honor for me to represent your interests in Congress. Please do not hesitate to contact me with your thoughts and concerns. I value your views, as your input helps me to better represent the people of Missouri’s 1st District.

Sincerely,

Lacy

Re-reading this, I had to laugh to myself as he is trying to talk of economic reform and ending the reckless schemes that hurt our nation. It was with great amusement, then, that I stumbled across this you-tube video featuring Lacy and several other Democrats railing against those trying to create oversight over Freddie and Fannie.



I find it funny that Lacy and others try and make this into a racial issue rather than deal with the facts from those that know what they are talking about. While not coming out and saying those suggesting oversight were racist, they used words like “..the political lynching of Franklin Raines” and such. This is the standard move by Democrats when they cannot discuss things using logic or are proven to be wrong, throw out the race card.

Now, of course, the Democrats want to point the blame at the Republicans for all of this. They talk about how this could have been avoided when the Republicans had control if they really knew there was an issue. Never mind that even Bill Clinton had concerns about the size and power of Fannie and Freddie. This is just pure hypocrisy on their part; complain about wanting regulation and then when things fall apart, blame those who tried to implement it for not doing so. That said, the Republicans do have some blame in this. They could have pushed more to get something done. Yes, the called for regulation, but did not really push the matter as far as it could have gone. In this case, the Democrats were the obstructionists that created much of the mess we are in now.

This is just another thing for everyone to think about when it comes time to vote. Sure, they are claiming they are for oversight now, but where were they before the crisis? I am sure this is another question that Lacy does not want to have to answer at a town hall or a debate.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Skip Starbucks Week

In the theme of helping those candidates out, I am starting Skip Starbucks Week. I have nothing against Starbucks. In fact, I love Starbucks coffee. This week, though, I want everyone to skip out on their Starbucks fix and use the money saved to help a candidate of their choice.

I have posted the following on my Facebook status:
This week is skip Starbucks this week. Take the $25.00 and donate to the candidate of your choice. There are a lot of good campaigns that can use the funds.
Did you know that 5 day's worth of Starbucks coffee can buy a campaign about 625 flyers, 3 - 4 campaign shirts, 2 yard signs or 59 bumper stickers.
If you like this post, copy it and make it your own!

So whether it is via Facebook, Twitter or word of mouth, pass the word on and get everyone to skip their Starbucks, QT soda/coffee, morning donut, whatever and donate that money to the candidate of their choice.

With this being a short week for most people, it should make it that much easier. You already have a jump start with no work on Monday.

Pass the word on.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Political Donations and You

What does a donation mean to a political candidate? Well, if you are challenging an established incumbent, it can mean a lot. In St. Louis, we have two candidates that are challenging established incumbents with decent war chest funds. These challengers need YOUR time, effort and yes money to be able to succeed.

Why do they need YOUR donations, you may be asking. There are two reasons.

  1. Candidates need donations of time and money. They need:
    • time because they cannot be at all places at all times. They need people to help organize fundraisers, drop literature, assist at events, make phone calls, make mailers, answer the phones, etc. A volunteer, a true volunteer and not one of the Democrat paid volunteers, is worth their weight in gold to a candidate. They are the lifeblood of a challenger and can make the difference in a tight election.
    • money because that is what it takes to get their name out. Money is needed to register to run, print flyers, run advertisements on radio and TV, get a web page made, have a phonebank make calls and even rent and operate a headquarters.
    • stuff. You would be surprised what kind of stuff a candidate needs. They need computers and printers. If they have printers, they need toner and paper. If they have a headquarters, the need furniture. They need yard signs, bumper stickers, buttons, shirts and hats. They need all of the things that a normal business needs to operate, but they need it quicker.
  2. If the money comes from you, the candidate is being paid for by you. If the candidate gets their money from PACs and companies, they are indebted to these companies. Not all candidates are this way. There are several out there that do what is right for the people. That said, there are many that are willing to do what is right for their campaign contributors. Do you think Lacy Clay would give a care for the Rent to Own industry if they did not pay him or his personal PAC so much money? If you want a candidate that is going to represent you and not have to make deals with companies and PAC's to get money, then YOU have to donate and not leave it to the interest groups

Based upon the current, as of data available today, Federal Elections Commission information, here is how the two races look in regards to donations. Both Russ Carnahan and Lacy Clay have received more money from PAC's than they have from individuals. Don't believe me, click on the images below to see for yourself. These come straight from the FEC website.


If you want to do your own homework, click HERE to go to the Missouri page.

To add insult to injury, of Lacy Clay's $185,642 in individual contributions, $89,420 is from people out of the state of Missouri. In the case of Russ Carnahan, $96,510 out of $575,207 is from people out of the state of Missouri. While Russ has a higher percentage of Missouri donations, both seem to be receiving a lot of money from out of state interests.

In the interest of fairness, I have to say that Ed Martin has received a considerable amount of money from out of state individuals too. Of his $820,064 in individual donations, $101,916 comes from individuals out of state. Robyn Hamlin does not have any individual donations listed, meaning that she has not received, any individual donations over $200.00.

Across the board, people agree that it is time to get rid of the established and entrenched Democrats that have sat in the Senate and Congress for years and done nothing for their constituents. If you really want this to occur, the candidates need your help. They need your financial support and they need your time.

Now, let me say something for those in Missouri in and out of the MO first district. Robyn Hamlin needs your help. There has been no time within in recent history that we have been this close to being able to get rid of Lacy Clay. While many are focusing on the Russ Carnahan vs Ed Martin fight, Robyn is getting ignored. She needs your help too. Lacy Clay is beatable. If you would just please give her a few dollars, it can go a long way. Skipping Starbucks or brown bagging lunch for a week for one person can by some additional flyers, yard signs or bumper stickers. If you can, please go to her website at http://www.hamlinforcongress.com/ and make a donation.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Lacy - I have a simple question

OK, in case you have not heard about this, there is a chain email going around stating that there are 70 members in the US Congress that are a member of the Democratic Socialists of America. A copy of the document can be found on Scribd HERE

Now, I am not one to forward rumors and such, but there is something very interesting about this email. Why has no one that has been listed on this email stood up and said that it is not true? There is no way that they do not know about this email chain. It has been picked up by bloggers all over the US. I know that someone from the US House of Representatives hits my blog at least once a week, so you know that Congressional members are having their staff surf the net to look for news on them. How could they claim they have no knowledge of this.

There are either two answers:
  1. It is completely true and the seventy members listed cannot stand up and deny it.
  2. It is not true, but since the MSM will not run with the story, they are not going to answer it.

While I am not the mainstream media, as a voter I will ask the question. Lacy Clay, are you a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, their PAC, caucus or any related group?

Look at the list and see if you have a Congressman or Congresswoman on that list. If so, call up their office and ask them or their staff to answer this question. Post a comment or email me with the answer you get.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Space Exploration - The REAL Stimulus Plan

Space

A little over 41 years ago, man first walked on the moon. For the first time in probably centuries, a human being was walking on terrain that had never been touched by a human being. And during that time, the whole world was united in watching as a man gently floated down to the surface of the moon, implanting his footprint into the dusty surface.

As we all should know, the lunar race was sparked by a call to action from John F. Kennedy. He called for man to break the bonds of Earth and move into the stars. Unfortunately he was not able to live to see that, but his call to action was answered. That call to action also brought forth economic prosperity and technological advances that are still in use today or spawned greater advances in technology. I could write a whole post on that, but Computerworld did a great article on this which I will occasionally reference. It can be found HERE.

The beauty of the 60’s space program was that it was similar to the early days of America. It is almost fitting that popular culture moved from Westerns to Science Fiction/Space. I say this because; space exploration is the wild west of now. Much like the early explorers of the Americas, whether it be the Spanish and French explorers, discovering the new lands or those on the East Coast looking for land and prosperity and exploring the “wild west”, the journey into space is the journey into the unknown.

With the journey into the unknown, there is a price. This price is an investment in the future and an investment into discovering the unknown. Much like the Spaniards of old, they invested gold into exploration of the western hemisphere. The reward, they believed, would be faster trade routes. What instead they found were lands full of riches. These riches included new foods, animals, minerals and land. Seeing the investment pay off, the kingdoms increased their investment and expanded their expeditions. These early kingdoms, Spain, France, England, etc., saw the value of investing in these ventures as they provided benefit for now and the future.

Fast forward several hundred years and we see that our government is not looking towards the future. Since mothballing the Apollo program, NASA has been asked assigned to manage flights for the delivery of satellites and to limit the true exploration to the use of satellites. Don’t get me wrong, I think it is smart to use satellite technology to act as our “scouts”, but we are not following that scouting up with additional exploration. The investment in space exploration and colonization is essential for our long term growth.

First, let’s talk turkey. Space exploration is expensive. It is really expensive. It is really, really, really expensive. That said it is completely worth it. According to Scott Hubbard of Stanford University where he is a professor in the aeronautics and astronautics department, $7 or $8 in goods and services are produced for every $1 that the government invests in NASA. Scott should know, he used to work for NASA for 20 years. Right now, NASA is set to receive just 0.52% of the overall national budget or 18.7 billion dollars. Imagine what could happen to our economy if the US Government were to initiate a true space exploration program or an aggressive lunar or mars mission. The money needed would be great, but the rewards could be tremendous.

NASA does it right when they work with various companies. They provided some “seed” money to get the various companies to solve various needs. In doing so, these companies are allowed to keep the patent on whatever they create. In 1998 a study was done on the impact of this process. Of the 15 companies that agree to participate it was found that NASA gave $64 million, these companies invested and addition $200 million and the return on that investment is conservatively estimated at $1.5 billion. This does not even include the social benefits that come from these discoveries. That means that about $23.4 dollars per dollar was generated off of NASA’s initial investment. More information on this can be found HERE

In regards to MO 1st district, McDonnell Douglas played a big part in the early space program. All of the Mercury and Gemini space capsules were actually built by McDonnell Douglas here in St. Louis. Specifically, they were engineered and built at the MD facilities just north of Lambert Airport. While I could not find any studies done to give specific impact, I would have to believe there was some. Personally I know of many former McDonnell engineers and technicians who do or used to live in the North County St. Louis area. Anecdotally, those people lived there because it was close to work.

Just think of what advances and economic stimulus the country would have if the government were to truly re-invest in space technology. All presidents have spoken with words, but few have chosen true action. An aggressive space agency would help bring major innovation to technology, bio-science, aerodynamics, and propulsion technologies, just to name a few. By letting these companies keep the patents, we could see consumer ready variations of these products in the market in just a few years. An investment in an aggressive space program, similar to what NASA received in 1966, 5.5% of total budget, would give the US space program $198 billion dollars which is less than the total committed to TARP.

This type of funding would help employ jobs at all levels and should yield substantial increases and technology.

Moving beyond the economic impact, think of the social impact that this type of program would bring. With the jobs, would come greater prosperity for many people. Using the current NASA model, many companies would be able to offer additional services. Daniel Lockney, the editor of Spinoff, NASA's annual publication that reports on the use of the agency's technologies in the private sector, said the advancements during the Apollo missions were staggering.

"There were remarkable discoveries in civil, electrical, aeronautical and engineering science, as well as rocketry and the development of core technologies that really pushed technology into the industry it is today. It was perhaps one of the greatest engineering and scientific feats of all time. It was huge. The engineering required to leave Earth and move to another heavenly body required the development of new technologies that before hadn't even been thought of. It has yet to be rivaled."
Imagine what would be created for a manned mission to Mars, or a true lunar base. We would need to create all of these things along with green, renewable energy and more importantly sustainable nutritional technology to sustain such missions.

Instead of looking to future, our government and politicians have grown short sighted. Rather than looking at investments, they are too worried about the here and the now, the special interest groups and the party politics. During the 60’s we were united on a cause of reaching where no human had gone before. When Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin stepped on the moon, all of mankind watched. It was a spectacle to behold. It was to be the first step of many. It was a promise to the future.

That promise has turned into a lie. Instead of moving forward, we have become stale. Rather than moving out the way, government has made spaceflight a bureaucracy. Rather than see the potential for jump starting innovation, we have become mired in the politics of it. In regards to blame, it is across the board. Both Republicans and Democrats have cut funding to this agency, routing it instead to their pork barrel projects or social programs.

If the government is not going to move forward, then they need to get out of the way and let private enterprise move forward. The problem is private enterprise can’t. In the United States, there is so much red tape that someone has to go through to test and launch a vehicle; it becomes nearly impossible to do it without government intervention.

While kingdoms sponsored the early exploration to the western hemisphere, it was the small groups, individuals and private industry that helped pave the way to western America. These explorers and pioneers went west to discover and lay claim to the untapped land and resources that were out there. These people/parties did so by financing projects on their own and just moving forward. It was their work that helped pave the way for the rest of the country. They were able to do so because the government encouraged them and staid out of their way. The same could be done for the space program.

By loosening up the restrictions on space flight, allowing companies access to closed military bases for storage and launch sites or even allowing limited land, discovery or mining rights for interplanetary travel, companies would be willing to invest in space exploration using their own money.

While we may not see the economic increase that a government sponsored program would bring, loosening restrictions as well as incentivizing participation would create opportunities that many companies would be willing to take the risks on.

Now, there will be some that say that this is too risky and dangerous and not worth the costs. Space travel should be limited and left to the government. To that I say this. If we had lived by those standards over all these years, we may just now be discovering the Americas.

Man is a wanderer and explorer by nature. We yearn to see what else is in store for us and what is on the other side of the mountain. Curiosity is part of our makeup. You can see it in babies. They take their first steps and immediately begin going to the places they were told not too. They do this because they want to see and know more. Space is the next frontier. It is an infinite place, filled with wonder and danger, where we can go, “what’s next.”

Those who participate know the danger they are exposed too. Those brave men and women who have died in the name of space, knew the dangers that were inherent with space travel. They knew it and went anyway. We cannot and should not try and overly protect those who are willing to go forward. We should encourage that growth and discovery balanced with safety, whether it be via a government sponsored program or private industry. I long for the day that I can sit on my sofa and watch as a human being takes steps off of some Martian lander and makes the first imprint on Martian soil.

In closing, I ask you to think about this as budgets and politics are discussed. Think about tomorrow and the greatness that could be achieved. Think about the potential that an aggressive space program could give us. And think of the promise of a future among the stars for our children. While you are doing that, watch the following videos and just think of what could be.



Sunday, August 22, 2010

Pics from the North County GOP Rally

Thanks to one of my readers, I am posting pics from the North County GOP rally.

Unfortunately I was not able to make it due to prior commitments, but thankfully one of my readers sent me some pics. It appears to have been well attended with some good conversation.


A couple of cars with some good bumper stickers on them. Go figure at a GOP rally : )


While Roy could not make, apparently his RV did. I hear the Blunt campaign had a lot of people there.


The organizers for the event.


Bill Corrigan talking to the crowd about the race.

Tom Schweich came to the event to talk to the crowd as well as have lunch with some of the attendees.

Robyn Hamlin go up and talked to the crowd about the importance of her race to beat Clay.

MO state Senator Jane Cunningham got up to talk on behalf of the Blunt campaign

Some of the attendees talking before the festivities got started.
I am sure that there was a lot more that went on. If you have some pictures or want to mention more about what occurred at the event, please email me.
Also, I would remiss for not mentioning the following:
  • Robyn will be having a U-Stream town hall discussion on Wednesday from 7 - 8. You can get more info HERE
  • Thursday night the North St. Louis County Republicans will be having both Robyn Hamlin and Bill Hennessy speaking. The meeting starts at 7:30 on August 26th, at Yacovelli’s Restaurant located at 407 Dunn Road in Florissant.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Just a Couple of Things.

NEW TAXPAYER FINANCED JOBS IN ST. LOUIS

So, did you hear that 500 million dollars in stimulus money was used to create 200 new jobs here in St. Louis. That means that it cost the government $250,000 per job to create these new positions here locally. And you will love this, these are not private sector jobs. No, these are Federal Government jobs and are a part of Social Security. You can find more on this story HERE

Isn't it amazing that the government can spend $250,000 per person to create 200 new jobs. While I understand they had to renovate an empty building to create the offices, it took 500 million to do so? Really. I would think that they could outsource this to a qualified company for a lot less money. Don't you.

And I love Lacy's quote

“Any time we can do a better job at serving and saving taxpayers money at the
same time, that is a double win,” said U.S. Rep. Wm. Lacy Clay.

It's a shame that he does not know anything about budgeting money and such. I think a regular business student from UMSL would realize that the private sector could probably do this job cheaper and just as efficiently as the Federal Government. That said, people like Lacy only know how to make the government bigger and make more people dependent upon the government for their livelihood.
NEW PICS

As I drive around St. Louis, I like to take pics of things that I find amusing. Here are a couple from the past few days.

I really hope to start seeing more of these soon.

In case you cannot read it, it says - FREEDOM LIBERTY NOT MORE GOVERNMENT
Even though it is out of the way, I make sure I patronize this establishment.
They are located on Howdershell near 270

If you have any pics from the 1st District you would like to share, send them my way.

FACEBOOK

I am now on Facebook. If you want to friend me please do. You can of course find me as MiddleClass Joe. I will be posting pics, links etc.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Message From Candice

Candice Britton contacted me and asked that I pass the following message on to all of you:

Thank you to all that cast your vote for me on August 3, 2010.
I am sorry I did not get the job done for you.
The people spoke and they hired Mr. Clay.
I respect their vote.
Congratulations’ Mr. Clay.
God Bless to all,
Candice “Britt” Britton
http://www.candicebritton.com/index.html

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Bush Tax Cuts and You

A lot has been made about the Bush tax cuts. Paul Ryan, God love him, has been on just about every pundit show expressing and emphasizing the need to extend the Bush tax cuts. Although he has not said so lately, to my knowledge, Lacy Clay voted against making the Bush tax cuts permanent in April 2002 (107th Congress (2001 - 2002) H.R.586).

We all know that President Obama promised not to increase taxes for anyone making less than $250,00 a year. So I had to find, how do the Bush tax cuts effect MO 1st District.

Here are the parameters I set for this exercise. I assumed I am dealing with a family of 4, 2 adults and 2 children under 17 who make whatever the median household income is for the 1st district. I also assumed that they filed using the EZ form and did not take out advanced deductions.

To start, I had to find out what the average income was for all of the first district. For this, as I do not pay for the latest and greatest information, I referred to CQ Politics and their page on MO 1st. Their information was all based upon the 2000 census. Based upon their information, the median household income was $36,314. Assuming that the range would be the same, I adjusted for inflation and came to a 2010 median household income of $44,796.

Taking, that $44,796 I calculated the MO income tax using the MO Dept of Revenue page. Based upon the calculator, this family would pay $1,272 in income taxes each year.

Using this information, I plugged these figures into the calculator at MyTaxBurden.org and here is what I found. (CLICK THE PIC BELOW TO ENLARGE)

As you can see, a family making $44,796 would see them owe $2,000 in taxes , while they would pay nothing in and get a $93 return should the Bush tax cuts continue. The proposed Obama proposed budget would give this family a over $1,000 tax return. That said, the Obama proposed budget has not been passed, therefor it is truly difficult to assume that these figures would remain the same once put in place.

Focusing back on the difference between the expiring cuts and extending them, we are looking at some pretty substantial changes should these cuts not continue. This includes

  1. Tax Rates. The top tax rate will go from 35% to 39.6%. In addition, if nothing is done, it will mean higher taxes across the board. See the proposed 2011 tax rates for more information.
  2. Capital Gains. The 0% long term capital gains rate will go away. Capital gains rates will go up to 10% for lower tax brackets and from 15% to 20% for higher tax brackets.
  3. Dividends. Dividends will be taxed as ordinary income, with the new higher rates. Right now the dividend tax rates are 10% and 15%.
  4. Child Tax Credit. The child tax credit will return to $500 from the current $1,000 per child. In addition, it may not be refundable for some taxpayers.
  5. 529 Plans. 529 plan withdrawals will not be allowed tax free for computer or Internet access.
  6. Business Taxes. In addition, various business taxes will change including the payroll tax credit and section 179 expense deduction.
  7. Estate Taxes. Without any action, the estate tax (or death tax as some like to call it) exemption will go back to a $1 million exemption.
  8. Other Tax Credits. The tuition credits will be limited, as will the earned income tax credit.
  9. Mortgage Premiums. You will no longer be able to deduct mortgage insurance premiums after December 31, 2010.
  10. Return of the Marriage Penalty. Married couples filing jointly will no longer get equal tax breaks compared to non-married couples who file separately.

Based upon these facts, expiration of the Bush tax cuts will have a dramatic affect on many of the people in the first district. Looking at the 2000 census statistics alone, you see that 42.2% of those living in the first district will see an increase due to the return of the marriage penalty. Using those same numbers, 62% live in owner occupied housing. You would have to assume that at least 5% of that 62% (3.1%) pays some sort of mortgage insurance which would increase their tax burden. Additionally, 26% of the total population of the first district is under the age of 18. This means that a good chunk of the taxable population would lose the additional child tax credit. The amount of people is difficult to estimate due to not knowing how many children there are per household and whether or not those children have both parents living at home. That said, even if somehow every household had just 2 children per household, this would affect 91,109 households or 14.7% of the district.

The numbers I have put up here are staggering. In this day and age, $2,000 can still mean a lot of money. It can mean being able to afford sending your kids to private school or even homeschooling your children. It can mean being able to afford a home improvement. Or it could just mean padding your savings account for a rainy day.

Without a budget in place, it is imperative for the first district and the country that the Bush tax cuts continue.

Run the numbers for yourself using the calculator. It WILL scare you.

Now is the time to educate your friends and family. Don't trust that the Congress will do something. Get on the phone and demand to know what your representative is going to do. Demand to know if they are going to push to extend the tax cuts or what their plan is. Let them know that you WILL hold them accountable come November if they do not take care of you, their constituent.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Now On To November

First off, I want to congratulate Robyn Hamlin on winning the primary to run against Lacy Clay. She and Martin D. Baker both had good primary showings. I talked to Martin earlier today and he wanted to "thank all of the wonderful people who helped through this adventure and will continue to support the conservative movement and true conservative candidates". Martin had more to say which I will discuss in an upcoming post

I also want to take a moment and congratulate Candice Britton on a well fought race. Candice had the tough challenge of taking on an incumbent within her own party. Candice was able to secure 19% of the Democrat vote during this primary. With few funds and a lot of hard work, she was able to do a lot. I think this shows the level of dissatisfaction voters have with the current Congress.

With that said, it is now on to November. Robyn Hamlin vs. Lacy Clay will be on the ballot for the November election in the first district. Not to be a wet blanket, but we need to now talk facts. Here are the numbers being reported for Tuesday's vote.

Name

PartyVotesVote %

Clay, Lacy (i)

Dem

36,762

59.549%

Britton, Candice

Dem

8,488

13.749%

Hamlin, Robyn

GOP

10,231

16.573%

Baker, Martin

GOP

4,509

7.304%

Works, Marshall

GOP

1,457

2.360%

Stone, Julie

Lib

149

0.241%

Cunningham, Robb

Lib

138

0.224%

As you can see, Lacy has a commanding lead in the vote totals. He took nearly 60% all votes coming in. I know he is the incumbent, but that means we are going to have to work harder and be even more diligent.
The public needs to be made more aware of how he is not working for the people, but instead for special interests and himself. There is enough out there to show his ineptitude. Simply look at:
  • his convienent relationship with the rent to own and cash advance companies
  • his desire to not be held accountable by the Congressional Ethics Committee
  • the documented waste of money in this years census of which Lacy is the Congressional chairman of the committee in charge
  • His support of the Federal Health Care
  • The mysterious campaign payments to his sister
  • His lake of ethics when it comes to taking corporate campaign contributions from companies he rallies agains.
My friends, now is the time to unite and bring down Lacy. We can bicker with one another about certain policies, fiscal reform, etc. I welcome those debates. I encourage those debates. But now is not the time for people to take their ball and go home. We have a candidate in Robyn who has the potential to bring Lacy down. We are all responsible adults who love our country and want to see it prosper. We want everyone to have the chance to succeed and fail. Lacy wants everyone to have guaranteed success by making those that have succeeded fail. We can't afford that. Let us all stand together to help and support Robyn.
Let me tell you a quick story. At my work, there is a small group of us that are all varying degrees of right of center, some more than others. On the day of the elections, a couple of people were talking about voting for Ed Martin. I was asked if I voted for Ed and I explained that I was in the 1st district. Both of them basically sighed and said," ooooh, that's Lacy Clay. You will never be able to get rid of him."
That statement right there is why Lacy continues to win. The perception is that he is a guaranted win for the Democrats. In Robyn, we have a politically active, small business owner, who can step up and talk about everyday scenarios. She can talk to the issues everyone is facing because she is facing them too. Lacy wants everyone to think he is unbeatable, so no one tries. Those that do are not able to get the support needed because everyone thinks it is a no win situation.
So, here is what we need to do.
  1. Everyone needs to call Lacy Clay's office and ask for debates between him and Robyn.
  2. Everyone needs to start talking up Robyn as the alternative to Lacy
  3. Donate. Donate. Donate. We all need to donate either our time, our money or both. Pick up a yard sign, a car magnet or something.
  4. Stay alert to what is going on. Lacy and his team will be out there robo calling or making statements about Robyn. If you hear these things or see them, pull out your cell phone and take a picture/video. Email me and we will get it out among the people.
  5. Host a get together and invite Robyn or one of her staff. If you are having a big enough get together, call a Jamie Allman, Dana Loesch or Gina Louden and talk about it on one their shows.
These are just a few things that we all can do. This is our district, not Lacy's. Let's take it back for all of the people and not just a select few.
So, what do you think? Are you in?