Monthly Archives: September 2014

America, 2014: The Land of Entitlements

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This article appeared on American Thinker September 12, 2014.  http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2014/09/america_2014_the_land_of_entitlements.html

I run an employee benefits company that focuses on helping small business owners with medical and other health benefit plans for their employees.

Earlier this week I had lunch with a CPA client of mine to talk with him about increasing the number of his small business clients who provide medical insurance plans to their employees.  Everything that I am recounting herein is from him; I am not making this up.

His answer and the reasoning behind his answer were stunning to me.  In my naivety I hadn’t even dreamed that I would hear anything like what he was about to tell me.

He explained that essentially all of his clientele is Spanish speaking business owners, almost all of whom employ essentially 100% Spanish speaking workers. They own firms such as restaurants, gardening services, custodial services, small grocery stores, painting companies, trucking companies and so on. But, he said, most of their employees who work only 20 to 30 hours a week, with only a very few who work the full traditional “full time” 40 hours a week. As a result, my CPA client said, nearly all of his clients, the business owners, don’t feel an obligation to provide benefits to these “part time” employees.

When I asked why they had mostly part timers instead of full time workers, he explained that the employees don’t want to earn too much money, or else they’ll lose their government benefits.

They like getting free things like food stamps, a housing allowance, MediCal insurance (California’s government subsidize medical care for low income people), and the like. They would rather earn less and get the entitlement programs for free than work longer hours, make more money, and have to pay for their own food, housing, insurance, and so on.

He shook his head, admitting that he found it a little embarrassing to be telling me this, and said that it was a sad commentary on the way our country operates these days.  But, he pointed out with a shrug, if these people worked a full 40 hour week, yet had to pay for all the things that they now get for free – they’d end up in pretty much the same financial position as they are now – but they wouldn’t have all the extra time to just lie around resting, doing nothing.

I was speechless.  “Are you kidding?” I asked him, but he assured me that he was not.

“They’d rather get stuff for free and spend more time kicking back or hanging out with friends for most of the day than work all day long and end up with no real increase in their standard of living.

“Getting everything for free is a whole lot easier than working for it,” he finished.

I guess the people he was talking about have a very different “American Dream” than my great-grandparents did when they came to America in the late 1800s.  A sad commentary on how our nation is being run here in the 21st century.

Tax-Credits

 

Third Parties Won’t Save Our Country

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Third Parties Won’t Save Our Country

(This article first appeared on American Thinker, September 4, 2014, and can be found at http://www.americanthinker.com/2014/09/third_parties_wont_save_our_country.html )

This upcoming November 2014 election is crucial for America and voting for a third party candidate will not achieve the victory.  To end the Obama “Rule by Decree” power grab, we have to wrest control of the Senate from the Democrats.  The only possible way to do that is for us all to unite and vote GOP.

Thirty-six seats are up for grabs in the Senate and all 435 seats in the House of Representatives will be contested.  Of those 36 Senate seats, 15 are currently held by Republicans while 21 are held by Democrats.  Clearly, the math is on the Republican side, as is the fact that the incumbent party typically loses seats in mid-term elections.

This November 4 election may well see the Democrat incumbents perform even more poorly than historical analysis might indicate because of the currently extremely low ratings of President Obama. Whether it’s his apparent bewilderment over what do to about the threat from ISIS, his “do nothing” policy towards Russian (I almost said “Soviet”) leader Putin, or his “deer in the headlights” reaction to the immigration invasion along our southern border, it is clear to even the most ardent Obama fans that his polling numbers are not encouraging for the Democrats.

CNN, normally a big fan of the President, called his ratings “underwater” and “stuck in a rut” with only 42% approving in their poll.

The Washington Post, another of Mr. Obama’s normally ardent supporters, asked, “Has President Obama bottomed out yet?” while pointing out that 58% of Americans disapproved of his handling of the immigration crisis and 52% disapproved of his performance regarding ISIS in Iraq.

A Gallup poll released August 28 found that 53% of Americans disapprove of the way Mr. Obama is handling his job as president, and that the number of those who strongly disapprove is more than double the number who strongly approve.

By comparison, at this same point (August of two years into their last term), George W. Bush had an approval rating of 54%, Bill Clinton of 62%, George Bush the elder of 68%, and Ronald Reagan of 61%.  I’m not sure it’s much consolation to the current occupant of the White House that he is doing better than Jimmy Carter who had an abysmal rating of 39%.

This November election could well change the course of history.  It might even be so critical as to decide the eventual fate of the United States and whether we remain a bastion of freedom or slip into the oblivion of universal entitlement, “Big Brother” government, and rule by decree rather than by the law of our Constitution, only to eventually dissolve into obscurity.

So, you ask, what’s my point?

My point is – the point is! – that one of the biggest obstacles to the Republicans regaining control of the Senate, and being able to stand off the Harry Reid/Nancy Pelosi cabal, are those who don’t understand the inescapable fact that the United States has a TWO-PARTY SYSTEM.

That’s right; count ‘em.  One – Republicans, two – Democrats.  There is no number three.  Whether it be the Libertarians, the Green Party, the American Independents, or whomever (take your pick –here’s a list of about 100 of them) – the other parties are simply not meaningful choices in the equation!  They can delude themselves into thinking that they offer a meaningful alternative, a reasonable choice to take a valiant step away from the mainstream political world and offer a wakeup call to America, but that’s all a fallacy.  More than a fallacy – it’s a fantasy!

In all of the 230+ year history of the United States, third party candidates for the Presidency have won a total of – are you ready? – zero elections.  That’s right, zero, as in none, nada, zip, zilch.  Not a single one.  And that even includes the Bull Moose progressive party of 1912 whose candidate was former President Teddy Roosevelt.  Even with a former President of the United States at the head of their ticket, they still lost!

Voting for a third-party candidate who drains votes away from a candidate who has a valid chance to defeat a liberal is the craziest so-called “logic” on the political landscape.  Those misguided people who vote for a candidate who cannot possibly win need to recognize that we in the USA have a two-party system.  If they don’t vote for the candidate of whichever of the two main parties is closest to their political point of view, then their decision is, with all respect, quite frankly ridiculous.

Most of you have probably heard the ancient proverb: “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.”  That concept was first published in a Sanskrit treatise on statecraft dating from the 4th century BC. It’s been repeated thousands of times since, not least by Winston Churchill, who went so far as to say, “If Hitler were to invade Hell, I would make at least a favourable reference to the Devil in the House of Commons.”

If there’s an election in which a liberal Democrat backed by Mr. Obama, Mr. Reid, and Ms. Pelosi is running for a Senate office and he’s opposed by a Republican, then by definition, the Republican is his enemy! And if you’re opposed to the Demo liberal, then he’s your enemy too, right?  Hence, by the almost inescapable logic that the enemy of your enemy is your friend, that Republican is your friend – so get out there and cast your vote for him.

I don’t care whether he or she is a Reagan Republican, a Rand Paul Republican or *shudder* a centrist, semi-liberal, barely-knows-how-to-spell-the-word-conservative Republican – she or he is a better choice than another chip-off-the-horrible-block Reid/Pelosi/Obama-ite.  He has to be better! Period.

I have no argument at all, none whatsoever, with enthusiastically supporting candidates in the primaries to oppose that “more-or-less-conservative” guy. In fact, those of us who want and stand for freedom and liberty in the USA should be trying our best to get the true conservatives into the final election.  But in the final battle, it’s one-on-one, them against us, and no time left for indecision.

The battle of the primaries is over!  The finalists are facing each other in November, and if you don’t cast your vote for one of the Big Two parties, you’re wasting it, tossing it in the toilet and flushing it away.

It’s about as logical as taking a shower with a raincoat on – you can pretend to yourself that you’re doing something meaningful, but in reality you simply are not. You’re wasting your time.  By refusing to make a rational, well-thought-out choice between the two real options, you are essentially abandoning your responsibility as an American by not voting for one who really has a chance to win.

To those of you who are considering voting for a third-party candidate, or maybe even not voting, I say:

Please!  I beg you!  As a vote-bearing citizen of the United States, stand up for what you believe in, but don’t forget the truth – the enemy of your enemy is your friend.

Vote for the better of the two candidates, the one closer to being a true conservative, the one closer to the ideals and beliefs immortalized in the US Constitution.  He or she may not be your optimal choice – but he or she has to be better than leaving the Senate in the hands of the Obama/Reid/Pelosi apparatus. Give your vote to one who has a meaningful chance to get elected, and to return control of our Senate, of our government, of our freedom to the only party who comes even remotely close to the ideas and beliefs that our forefathers stood for.

And, for the most part at least, that sure as heck doesn’t mean to vote for the Democrats.

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