Hold Congress Accountable! Save Your Country in 2012!

Do you have a better idea on how to fix this country’s problems then holding Congress accountable?

The power is in your vote. The power is within you. The responsibility is yours.

You know in your gut that something is wrong with the way the country is governed by the Republican and Democrat parties. You know that you are being played but you don’t know what to do about it, after all, you are just one person.

You must hold Congress accountable and you can do that by voting for independent candidates or by voting for yourself or by voting for the person you believe would be a good legislator and not a politician. By voting for somebody other than a Republican or a Democrat, you are sending a powerful message that you are fed up and you are doing something about it.

The country will not fall apart if you vote for new faces in Congress in 2012. You can help fix this country by replacing all of the congressional candidates in 2012 with new and fresh faces. If you do vote independent and not for political parties, you will have replaced all of the House of Representatives and 1/3 of the Senate and only two people in the Executive Branch. The country will not be destroyed but your voice and your vote will be understood by every political party in every state in the Union. They will get your message that things better change or in two years you will do the same thing again.

Hold Congress Accountable in 2012.

Are you doing something more important on November 6th?

If not, go save your country.

Just do it.

Fooling the Public…

Have you noticed that the bickering and partisan divide is less today than what existed a few months ago?

The major political parties have dropped their sabers and picked up their paint brushes  for the remainder of the Political Season. Each side has stopped trying to kill their opponent and instead they are painting each other with broad strokes. “Mitt Romney has foreign bank accounts and ships jobs to China” and “President Obama owes me an apology”. These are not go-for-the-throat politics right now. They are saving that for later.

Even the political pundits have dropped the tenor of their conversations about political events.

The last thing they want to do is convey an appearance that there is no hope of improvement. If you and I actually believe that the two political parties no longer do what is right for America, we might vote for somebody else. So both parties will pause their vitriolic attacks until it is time to gin up their base to vote. They will feint and paint with broad brushes just enough to attract donors for the next 12 weeks but will not score any bruising body blows.

For them, it is important that the public-at-large continue to think that ‘when one side wins then America will be all right again’. But that is not what will happen. Too much acrimony has been spilt for the two major parties to ever work together again for America. As Republican businesses continue to hold cash waiting for a Republican president, as Democrats continue to believe that we can spend our way out of this mess, well, it is like jackals and lions picking the  carcass of America. One is waiting for the other to leave so they can gorge themselves on the remains of America.

Do something different this year and vote differently. The way that you and I have been voting for the past 50 years has led us into this mess. Voting like we have been will not get us out of trouble. Vote differently this time. Vote different in 2012.

President Obama no longer a Muslim?

…and a corollary “President Obama no longer foreign born?”

Seems like every week for three years, the Washington Times has published advertisements from organizations or individuals that harp about President Obama and his Muslim background. And every week there has been advertisements that tell readers how President Obama was born in Kenya or why he is not a born citizen of the United States. But things have changed at the right-wing polemic-publishing jag of journalism.

The advertisements now attack Obama for his biblically-hostile approach and for his war on freedom without being too clear on their meaning.

This is evidence that the campaign for President is well under way. Those pesky birthers who ginned up animosity towards Obama during the non-campaign season ( was there one?) may now be pulled from full page ads. What a relief!

Now, if only the WashTime would stop publishing the screeds decrying the downfall of America via President Obama. Malkin rips about cronyism and a gangster government, Murdock fumes about “Obama’s War on Bald Eagles”, and Keene exposes Obama’s secret plan to “crucify” his opponents. (Lovely word “crucify”(sarcasm)). I guess Keene had to use a Christian bow to wrap his message and Murdock had to invoke a threat to bald eagles to describe the dangers birds face from wind turbines.

The presidential campaign season may have just begun but the WashTimes has been campaigning against President Obama for many years.

The dirty little secret in all of this is that Washington is corrupted. The ‘image of Washington’ is marketed by both political parties to their advantage. They do this for one reason: to convince enough people to vote for them so they can drain the coffers of our country. First, those parties came for  legislative power, then they came for the National Treasury, and now those two political parties are organizing to take away America’s good name. Each in a different way. Some thieves take your money, other thieves take away your reputation. The two political parties are accomplishing both.

What will you do about it this year?

We need a new Washington, a new process, and different results.

What will you do about it this year?

We don’t want Republicans and Democrats working together to destroy America. Just look at the results over the past 50 years. Debt, Deficit, and Demagoguery.

What will you do about it this year?

I am doing something different by running for Congress.

What will you do about it this year?

Walker and the Recall Election

Tuesday is the big day in Wisconsin. How will you vote?

It depends upon how you perceive what this election is about (unions, status quo, budget issues)  but to many people it is about the strength of the Republican Party versus the strength of the Democratic Party.

Each side is apparently mobilized to go to the polls. The outcome may be decisive on union busting but it will likely not be more than just a battle between the side with economic power and the side with ballot power.

 

Who really creates jobs in America?

Nick Hanauer, a venture capitalist from Seattle, whose speech at the TED University conference was deemed “too politically controversial to post on their web site” gave a speech about inequality. The speech is below and the slide show presentation can be found HERE.

If you are wise, you will read the speech below and then view the slide presentation at the above link.

Who creates jobs in America? Read the speech below.

It is astounding how significantly one idea can shape a society and its policies. Consider this one.

If taxes on the rich go up, job creation will go down.  

This idea is an article of faith for Republicans and seldom challenged by Democrats and has shaped much of today’s economic landscape.

But sometimes the ideas that we know to be true are dead wrong. For thousands of years people were sure that earth was at the center of the universe. It’s not, and an astronomer who still believed that it was, would do some lousy astronomy.  

In the same way, a policy maker who believed that the rich and businesses are “job creators” and therefore should not be taxed, would make equally bad policy.  

I have started or helped start, dozens of businesses and initially hired lots of people. But if no one could have afforded to buy what we had to sell, my businesses would all have failed and all those jobs would have evaporated.

That’s why I can say with confidence that rich people don’t create jobs, nor do businesses, large or small. What does lead to more employment is a “circle of life” like feedback loop between customers and businesses. And only consumers can set in motion this virtuous cycle of increasing demand and hiring. In this sense, an ordinary middle-class consumer is far more of a job creator than a capitalist like me.

So when businesspeople take credit for creating jobs, it’s a little like squirrels taking credit for creating evolution. In fact, it’s the other way around.

Anyone who’s ever run a business knows that hiring more people is a capitalist’s course of last resort, something we do only when increasing customer demand requires it. In this sense, calling ourselves job creators isn’t just inaccurate, it’s disingenuous.

That’s why our current policies are so upside down. When you have a tax system in which most of the exemptions and the lowest rates benefit the richest, all in the name of job creation, all that happens is that the rich get richer.

Since 1980, the share of income for the richest Americans has more than tripled while effective tax rates have declined by close to 50%.  

If it were true that lower tax rates and more wealth for the wealthy would lead to more job creation, then today we would be drowning in jobs. And yet unemployment and under-employment is at record highs.

Another reason this idea is so wrong-headed is that there can never be enough super-rich Americans to power a great economy. The annual earnings of people like me are hundreds, if not thousands, of times greater than those of the median American, but we don’t buy hundreds or thousands of times more stuff. My family owns three cars, not 3,000. I buy a few pairs of pants and a few shirts a year, just like most American men. Like everyone else, we go out to eat with friends and family only occasionally.

I can’t buy enough of anything to make up for the fact that millions of unemployed and underemployed Americans can’t buy any new clothes or cars or enjoy any meals out. Or to make up for the decreasing consumption of the vast majority of American families that are barely squeaking by, buried by spiraling costs and trapped by stagnant or declining wages.

Here’s an incredible fact. If the typical American family still got today the same share of income they earned in 1980, they would earn about 25% more and have an astounding $13,000 more a year. Where would the economy be if that were the case?

Significant privileges have come to capitalists like me for being perceived as “job creators” at the center of the economic universe, and the language and metaphors we use to defend the fairness of the current social and economic arrangements is telling. For instance, it is a small step from “job creator” to “The Creator”. We did not accidentally choose this language. It is only honest to admit that calling oneself a “job creator” is both an assertion about how economics works and the a claim on status and privileges.

The extraordinary differential between a 15% tax rate on capital gains, dividends, and carried interest for capitalists, and the 35% top marginal rate on work for ordinary Americans is a privilege that is hard to justify without just a touch of deification.

We’ve had it backward for the last 30 years. Rich businesspeople like me don’t create jobs. Rather they are a consequence of an eco-systemic feedback loop animated by middle-class consumers, and when they thrive, businesses grow and hire, and owners profit. That’s why taxing the rich to pay for investments that benefit all is a great deal for both the middle class and the rich.

So here’s an idea worth spreading.  

In a capitalist economy, the true job creators are consumers, the middle class. And taxing the rich to make investments that grow the middle class, is the single smartest thing we can do for the middle class, the poor and the rich.

Thank you

Ballot Access Not Achieved

Unfortunately,  I will not make ballot access this year. This makes my challenge larger but not totally unexpected.

I sent my collected signatures to the GAB in Madison and will now wait for the final tally.

Some say that it didn’t matter if I sent them if I didn’t have enough signatures but I think that I owe the people who signed for me a bit of respect; an acknowledgement that I appreciate the time they took to listen to me and sign my forms. Officially filing those forms is a sign of respect.

It was interesting when people declined to sign. Some said “I don’t sign anything.” While others said “I can’t, I am a convicted felon”.  I enjoyed the couples that invited me into their homes and asked questions about why I am running for Congress and how I will vote. It was good to hear from them on their issues.

As you can imagine, the recall in Wisconsin was the topic at hand. Some were quite good at not divulging their position until I stated mine. Others adopted a tone like “You’re not a union supporter are you?” And still others were upset by Governor Walker’s actions and ‘wanted to throw the bum out’.

My position is clear. I oppose the annual union re-certification. Governor Walker went too far; however,  I also oppose the recall because Governor Walker’s actions were not significant enough to warrant recall.  He committed no crime and was not unethical in the process.  When June 5th rolls around,  I will vote in an independent manner.

My favorite signature rejection was by an older man who wanted to know why I was running as an independent. I began to explain how the two major parties had mismanaged government and the American Dream. I went on to explain how the federal government had passed a federal law prohibiting anyone from selling certain kinds of baby cribs in garage sales.  I said that it was not a responsibility of the federal government to make it illegal for you to sell cribs in a garage sale. I said that community standards was the best way to address this and perhaps a state could set these standards. He tersely said “Well, the states were probably not doing anything so the federal government had to step in. I like babies so I am not going to sign anything for you.” Then he turned his back and closed the door before I could reply.

And as strange as it may seem, this man is one of the reasons I want to become a congressman. I like babies, too, but federal laws are not about choosing what kinds of cribs are sold in garage sales.  Men like this need practical legislators who know what the limits of a federal government are and can create a solution to keep babies safe without making a federal law about it.

When all you have is a hammer, everything begins to look like a nail. Federal laws are hammers and baby cribs now look like nails. Something is wrong in America when this happens.

While I won’t have ballot access this year, I will work toward increasing my vote tally in November. Babies and the rightful use of federal law require I continue.