Tag: Obama

Unnecessary Enemies

Last week I had an interesting experience over on my youtube channel. I reviewed a film called Southside with You. This is a romantic comedy about President and Mrs Obama’s first date. As you all know I am a conservative who strongly disagrees with the president on nearly every major issue. As a bit of a joke I even wore my Romney t-shirt from the 2012 election to do my review. The interesting thing is that I actually liked the film. It’s not groundbreaking but a solid, sweet romantic comedy.

What? You say? How could I like a movie about the Obamas? Well, just because I disagree with the President on policy doesn’t mean I think he is a terrible person. From everything I can see he is a good person and he and Michele have a healthy solid relationship. Why wouldn’t I want to find out about their first date? The script was solid and it felt like an authentic voice of a young Barack and Michele. There was one moment where I felt the writers couldn’t help but aggrandize their hero president but for the most part it was about 2 people going on a date and that’s it.

The interesting thing is I posted my review and the next day lost 10 subscribers which is a big dip for me (I just can’t seem to get to that big 1000 sub number!). I don’t know if it was because I said nice things about the president so I upset my conservative viewers or because I wore a Romney shirt and upset my liberal viewers. Either way it is very silly.

Why do we have to turn people who think differently into an enemy? What is so wrong about a conservative person learning and admiring something about a democratic president? Why must we be so partisan to not even listen or admire an opposing view in any way? It’s all nonsense if you ask me! I have actually read both of President Obama’s books and I can see why he thinks the way that he does. I don’t agree with him but I can see his perspective. And isn’t there a famous quote about you never understand your own argument until you can adequately explain your opponents?

I’m not saying Southside with You is some kind of masterpiece but it was an enjoyable romantic comedy.¬† It certainly was much better than say the Tyler Perry romantic comedies often served up to African American audiences. But the target demographic shouldn’t really matter. We should all be able to appreciate good writing and acting and want to learn more about our elected leaders.

I think it is kind of sad I lost those 10 subscribers but I have gained 6 of them back so good riddens! ūüėČ Life is too short to create enemies where no enemy exists and to not listen to all kinds of perspectives. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

Romney’s Funny

So I’ve been sick the last few days and been working more than I should.¬† I still struggle to sleep at night even when sick so after my 20 minutes of trying to go to sleep I turned on the TV and stumbled up on Mitt Romney’s remarks at the Alfred E. Smith dinner.¬†¬† It made me laugh a lot.¬† In fact, I thought it was much funnier than anything SNL has done this season.

Favorite lines:

“…tomorrow‚Äôs headlines would read, ‚ÄúObama Embraced by Catholics; Romney Dines With Rich People.‚ÄĚ

‚ÄúUsually when I get invited to gatherings like this it‚Äôs just to be designated driver‚ÄĚ

“In the spirit of big bird this dinner is brought to you by the letter “O” and the number 16 trillion”

After looking at recent job #s President will boast “you’re better off than you were four weeks ago”

On the bias of the press, headlines will say “polls show Obama leading from behind.”

Nice to have a good laugh! Hopefully it will make a few people see Romney in a new light. Not as stiff an unapproachable as the primaries made him look.

Things I Like About President Obama

My¬† readers will probably be stunned to read this title of my post.¬† Clearly I am not a fan of most of the President’s policies and opinions.¬† I think the bailouts, TARP and the budget have been financial disasters.¬† I also have concerns with his views on abortion, health care, the environment, and other issues. ¬† Still, with today being nearly a year after the inauguration¬† it seemed appropriate to mention a few things I admire about President Obama.

1.¬† I admire his life story.¬† I’ve read his book Dreams of my Father and found it very moving.¬† It is amazing that the son of a single mother and an absent father from Hawaii has made it to the Presidency.¬† Just the determination he showed to gain an elite education and a law degree would be impressive on its own, let alone becoming senator and then president.¬† Notice I didn’t mention his race as a point of praise.

Of course it goes without saying that his election as the first African-American president is a tremendous moment for our country. I was just reading a book about the Jim Crow South and find it amazing that things could be so different between 1950’s and today.¬† It gives a girl cause to hope for good things to come in the future.

Another aspect of his life story that I appreciate is his diversity.¬† Growing up in Hawaii and Indonesia has given him a real-life understanding of the world, and the way many foreigners view America.¬† While I am nervous about his views on global governance, I do think Obama’s worldview is helpful and admirable.

2. I admire his family.¬† From all I can gather he seems like a loving husband and father. He has frequently expressed his love for Michelle and the girls, which I love to hear. I think it is a good thing that the Obama’s have been out on a few dates as President and First Lady.¬† It sets a good example for other American couples.

President Obama has also came out in support of marriage to the chagrin of many liberal followers.  In the 2008 Presidential questionnaire he said:

“I do not support gay marriage. Marriage has religious and social connotations, and I consider marriage to be between a man and a woman.”

It would be easy for a man abandoned as a boy to repeat the destructive patterns of his father.  I admire that President Obama chose to be a transitional character and be a good father and husband.

One of my favorite quotes of his is about the family:

How many times in the last year has this city lost a child at the hands of another child? How many times have our hearts stopped in the middle of the night with the sound of a gunshot or a siren? How many teenagers have we seen hanging around on street corners when they should be sitting in a classroom? How many are sitting in prison when they should be working, or at least looking for a job? How many in this generation are we willing to lose to poverty or violence or addiction? How many?

Yes, we need more cops on the street. Yes, we need fewer guns in the hands of people who shouldn’t have them. Yes, we need more money for our schools. Yes, we need more jobs and more job training and more opportunity in our communities.

But we also need families to raise our children. We need fathers to realize that responsibility does not end at conception. We need them to realize that what makes you a man is not the ability to have a child–it‚Äôs the courage to raise one.

3. I agree with his views on immigration.  I know this is a hotly debated issue but it is one I tend to differ from Republicans on.  I feel our current system is too difficult (my sister-in law was from Canada and it took her a year to get a greencard after marrying my brother and she had an attorney).  There are many hard-working, good people that deserve a shot at the American Dream.  If you look at the history of immigration in this country, the immigrants have always proven the doubters wrong.  They have always been a benefit to our country.  President Obama shares this view:

“For all the noise and anger that too often surrounds the immigration debate, America has nothing to fear from today‚Äôs immigrants. They have come here for the same reason that families have always come here–for the hope that in America, they could build a better life for themselves and their families. Like the waves of immigrants that came before them and the Hispanic Americans whose families have been here for generations, the recent arrival of Latino immigrants will only enrich our country.”

4.  I admire his desire to help the down-trodden, ill and hurting.  I believe he sincerely wants to help others with his programs and policies.  Do I agree with the actual policies? No, but I can still admire the heart that inspired them. Perhaps I am naive to their liberal wicked desires for control (or so many conservatives claim) but I prefer to believe the best in people until proven wrong.

I admire the desire of many liberals to relieve suffering and pain but the problem I have is that the cure often becomes worse than the disease. The government should be minimally involved in our lives- it should be just enough to protect rights and keep people from starvation and revolt.  Beyond that there are other, more effective avenues for assisting the needy, preserving the environment and educating our youth. It seems to me that the government works best as an overseer rather than a manager.  For instance, the national parks need some government enforcement to prevent wildlife poaching and destruction; however, the parks service is notorious for its terrible management of  park funds and other resources.

Those are the four attributes that come to mind immediately.¬† Perhaps I will add more later as I give it a bit more thought.¬† I’d love to hear your ideas on the President but be clean and as non-combative as possible!

Ps. If any of you are in Massachusetts vote Brown!

I Told You So… The Stimulus Was a Bad Idea

My dear blog readers- let me draw your mind back to an entry of mine entitled “Why I think the stimulus plan is a bad idea.”¬† It was one of my most popular entries- even getting a space on the blogroll at cnn.com!¬† Now we have had several months of the plan, and I have been hoping it would prove me wrong with our economy showing signs of growth.¬† Unfortunately, even the media is beginning to realize the plan isn’t working and economic disaster could be looming.¬† In recent months we have seen GM declare bankruptcy (which the bailout was supposed to stop!), consumer spending go down, foreclosures increase, and unemployment rise (where are all those jobs the stimulus was supposed to create? There are some states with unemployment as high as 15%!).

I hope the media and the people keep a little bit of fire on their darling President Obama before he goes enacts another stimulus plan, which he is talking about doing!¬† It is fascinating to me that repeatedly President Obama’s personal approval ratings are always higher than the ratings for his policies.¬† Shouldn’t a politicians success be based on his policies?¬† Sometimes I feel like with President Obama we’ve created royalty- everyone loves him for the image but nobody pays that much attention to what he is actually doing.

Judging his policies, it is just common sense to not go into massive amounts of debt when there is no sign of paying other’s back in the near future.¬† There isn’t even a ghost of a chance we will be able to pay back the astronomical debts President Obama is creating- even he admits that.¬† What the president is doing is kind of like GM- they took a poorly managed, in debt company, propped it up with money without changing much of anything, and big surprise bankruptcy happened.¬† The infusion of money does not change ideas or policies- it merel gives bad ideas a longer timetable to waste money. For example, instead of GM declaring bankruptcy last fall like they should have, they did it in May after wasting 80 billion dollars.¬† This is how President Obama views a productive economy!¬† It’s nuts!

I encourage all of you to put pressure on the president and your individual representatives.¬† Let them know we are not in favor of this ridiculous spending and the unnecessary programs that go with it (and the increased taxes, which President Obama promised not to start). Listen, I don’t think President Obama is a bad person.¬† He just views the world differently than I do.¬† He feels that spending will catapult the country out of economic disaster.¬† I feel it is digging us into a deeper hole than ever before.

If you want an easy way to follow what your representatives are doing check out this bipartisan webpage http://www.thepeopledecide.us/home.php.  On this page you can see upcoming and recent votes, learn more about bills and find ways to contact Congressman.

The only hope I have is the few representatives who are standing up against the spending.  Keep going people like Jason Chaffetz!  You are the type of person we all need representing us!   Thanks for fighting against all of this crazy spending. Great job!

Here’s the article that blew me away:

Why Do Home Foreclosures Keep Rising? 6 Things You Need to Know

by Luke Mullins, USNews.com

Jul 20th, 2009

Five months after the Obama administration unveiled a sweeping initiative designed to reach 9 million struggling homeowners, home foreclosures continue to rise at an alarming rate. Foreclosure filings were reported on more than 1.5 million properties in the first six months of the year, a 15 percent increase over the same period of last year, according to RealtyTrac. All told, 1 in 84 American homes–or 1.19 percent–received a foreclosure filing during the period. “We talk about green shoots or about things getting worse at a slower rate, but this is one thing that is getting worse month by month,” says Patrick Newport, an economist for IHS Global Insight.

Here are six things you need to know about the rise in home foreclosures:

1. Unemployment: The erosion of the labor market–the unemployment rate recently hit 9.5 percent–is the key factor in the rise of home foreclosures, says Celia Chen, an economist at Moody’s Economy.com. “Employers continue to shed jobs, and that makes it difficult for even people with good credit who were doing fine to keep up with their mortgage payment,” Chen says. For example, a recent report issued by federal bank regulators found that home loans to borrowers with solid credit histories were going bad at a rapid clip. “Prime loans, which represented two thirds of all mortgages in the portfolio, experienced the highest percentage increase in serious delinquencies, climbing by more than 20 percent from the prior quarter to 2.9 percent of prime mortgages,” the report stated.

2. Plunging home values: Nearly three years after its peak, the painful decline in home prices continues. Although the pace of decline moderated slightly from the previous month, home prices in 20 major metro areas dropped 18.1 percent in April from a year earlier. Falling home values have dragged more than 20 percent of American homeowners “underwater”–meaning they owe more on their mortgages than the property is worth–as of the first quarter. By sucking equity out of homes, the price declines have also evaporated much of a homeowner’s financial incentive for paying their mortgage bill, Chen says. “When somebody doesn’t have equity in their house and they are struggling to pay their mortgage, the likelihood of a foreclosure is much higher,” she says. In addition, home owners with less equity in their homes will have a more difficult time refinancing their mortgage.

3. End of foreclosure moratoriums: The end of certain foreclosure moratoriums-including those of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which were lifted in late March-also contributed to the rise in foreclosures during the period, Chen says. As these efforts unwound, lenders and servicers put additional properties into their foreclosure pipelines, she says.

4. Is Obama’s plan working?: A key component of Obama’s housing rescue plan is an effort to restructure–or modify–as many as 4 million troubled loans. So far, about 325,000 modification offers have been made through the program, according to Bloomberg news. Chen says the program is having an impact for certain individual borrowers, but the efforts–at least so far–have not put much of a dent into the national foreclosure epidemic. “The program is making progress. It’s just that there are a large number of distressed borrowers out there,” she says. “It’s so hard to process all of those loans, and then second of all, not all of those borrowers will qualify for the program.” Borrowers have complained of long delays and bureaucratic hurdles in their efforts to modify their mortgages.

Though the administration’s effort includes incentive payments to convince servicers to modify the loans, Newport says some may find it less costly to foreclose on the property. “My understanding is that there is going to be some pressure from the administration to get banks to start renegotiating more loans,” he says. “But if [modification is] not in [the servicer’s] self-interest, I don’t think that they are going to do much.”

5. Mounting political pressure: Mortgage services appear to be facing mounting pressure from Washington to redouble their efforts. “We believe there is a general need for servicers to devote substantially more resources to this program for it to fully succeed and achieve the objectives we all share,” Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and HUD chief Shaun Donovan said in a recent letter to 25 mortgage servicing
firms. In a hearing last week, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd, a Democrat from Connecticut, expressed his frustration more directly. “Why am I still reading about lost files, understaffed and undertrained servicers, and hours spent on hold on the phone?” Dodd said in a prepared opening statement. “Why are servicers and lenders refusing to accept principal reduction so that homeowners can start building equity and get the housing market moving again?”

6. Foreclosure outlook: Despite this pressure, Newport expects foreclosure rates to creep higher for the next year or so. “It’s going to keep on getting worse until the unemployment rate peaks, which we think will happen in about the middle of next year,” he says. For her part, Chen argues that a successful mortgage rescue program could expedite a housing recovery. “The hope is that we will be able to push through enough mortgage modifications to prevent home prices from falling too much more,” she said.

Tea Party

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My friends, you are reading the blog of a right-wing extremist. At least that is what the media would have you believe.  On April 15th I proudly attended a tea party held in Provo, Utah.  Along with 700-1,000 concerned citizens I gathered in the cold snowy weather to protest for the first time in my life.  As I have mentioned many times on this blog- I am not a die-hard Republican.  In fact, I have realized lately that I lean more Libertarian than any other party; however, I do not define myself by a party.  I define myself by my core values of faith, charity, integrity, hard work, and liberty.  I have a deep patriotic vein within me, and I feel the United States of America is a sacred land.  I believe it was founded by men inspired by God as a sanctuary for freedom.

What does freedom mean?¬† I don’t know what it means to you, and I could go on a mini-rampage about the various theories, but I will spare you.¬† I can tell you what freedom means to me.

One of my favorite books is called Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs or Linda Brent.¬† In this stirring narrative Harriet Jacobs tells her story of fighting for freedom.¬† Even as a little girl Harriet Jacobs refuses to concede the idea she is a slave- that she is property.¬† Despite terrible trials she keeps the pursuit of freedom as an unending goal.¬† Eventually she ends up hiding from her owner in a garret under her grandmother’s porch for 7 years- watching her children grow up, unable to mother them or help in any way.¬† Why does she do it?¬† Because she believes that freedom is worth the price.¬† Of course, such a price should not be required of anyone, but it proves the point that freedom is a precious gift from God- worthy of sacrifice.

Harriet Jacobs wanted the chance to pursue happiness- to create her own life.  That is what she and many others fought for.  One of most famous phrases from the Declaration of Independence is:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

To me this phrase means that we are born equal and with the same potential for greatness- the same potential to pursue happiness.  This is something Harriet legally did not have but she created it anyway.  The triumph of her character would not be stifled.  Just imagine what she could have done without the grasp of slavery trying to throw her down. Amazing. In many ways our current President, Barrack Obama, is proof that the potential for greatness is available for any American.  He is the son of single mother who grew up in Hawaii.  Of course, he is also the first African American president.  Nothing stopped him from becoming a success.

So, back to my extremist activities.¬† I believe this country is great.¬† I want to keep it great.¬† I want to be able to pursue happiness- to be free to own a business, raise a family, or live singly and happy.¬† It is my opinion that the current over-spending in Washington is removing some of that ability from¬† my life.¬† They want to burden me with debt, regulation and my neighbors mortgage- something I resent as I have sacrificed to be debt-free. I feel strongly that 12.8 trillion dollars in debt (caused by both parties!) is drowning our country’s future.¬† My sweet nieces will not be able to pursue happiness the way I have and certainly not the way the founders intended.

We have become a country that has twisted the Constitutional idea of equal creation with equal outcomes.¬† Perhaps part of this is a result of the unequal beginnings groups such as African Americans, women, and other minorities clearly had.¬† For years they had an unequal opportunity to succeed; therefore, the outcome was inherently unfair.¬† Government intervention in such a situation is appropriate and fair.¬† Today’s situation is mostly different (and where it isn’t intervention is still appropriate).¬† For the most part, equal opportunities exist for all but naturally so do unequal outcomes.¬† This is part of life in a free society. The government has decided to step in and create equal outcomes, which is not only costly but it strips freedom from citizens under the guise of equality. Because we are unwilling to see people (and yes big corporations) fail we are piling on more debt each second.¬† We forget that part of freedom is the potential for unhappiness too.

It is my belief in freedom that pushed me to attend my first government protest- coined¬† a “tea party” by the organizers.¬† The tea party refers to the Boston Tea Party of the Revolutionary War, where angry citizens dumped tea in the Boston harbor because of the unfair tax Britain was imposing.¬† This was a violent act perpetrated by men who were angry at having their freedom to chose taken.¬† They were angry at being forced to pay for programs and a government they didn’t want or believe in. They felt their voice was marginalized and ignored.

In this modern movement the protesters ALSO FEEL MARGINALIZED AND IGNORED BY BOTH PARTIES.  Instead of doing something violent, however, these men and women including myself peacefully gathered.  I was proud to be there.  I was proud to be waving my sign, and I will never forget the moment of connection I felt with my country.  It was a great moment.

On a lighter note, it was also a lot of fun. I brought my sign and a couple of boxes of warmers and made friends with the crowd.¬† I even got a few hugs!¬† My friend Bethany Maddox and her family were there and we cheered together.¬† It was interesting that even in Republican Provo, UT there were democrats in the audience waving signs.¬† This is about anti-spending, not anti-Obama, or anti-Democrat.¬† It is about pursuing happiness which according to some very wise men is my “unalienable right”.¬† These were not weirdos or extremist as the media would have you believe.¬† It was men and women who want small government, want less taxes and believe both parties have let them down.¬† This is how I feel and I will do whatever I can to continue in this cause- even if it means running for local office down the road.¬† It is like they said at my rally as they announced “This is the end” someone said “No, this is the beginning”.¬† That is how I feel, so I guess this extremist is going to keep on being extreme until I see a difference.¬† I am going to do my part that’s for sure.

Jason Chaffetz (who I just love) spoke at my event and here is some¬† video I took of what he said.¬† (sorry you can’t see him and the camera is shaky but you will get the idea).

Here is Jason again.  I agree with what he is saying.  He is the kind of representative I believe in.

The tea party was wonderful!! I encourage all to take part in anyway you can.

Why I think the stimulus package is a bad idea

Ok so I normally don’t get into politics in this blog, but I can’t¬†go on without¬†stating my peace about this stimulus package.¬† This is just my opinion, so take it for what it is worth.¬† (You’all know I love politics- so it can’t come as much of a surprise!).

Recently President Obama has put forth a $800 billion stimulus package and that’s only a small portion of his $3.5 trillion budget.¬† Even left-to-center media outlets such as the Los Angeles Times has called Obama’s plan and resulting projections “optimistic, even quixotic”.¬† I agree.¬† Do you know this package, inflation aside,¬†is the “largest single spending bill in human history”?

Personally I have always been a believer in low to no debt- purchasing only what¬†I need first and then what¬†I want second.¬† Call me old fashioned but I have lived to 28, gotten myself educated (earned my MBA last year), rent a nice apartment, and live a nice life without scraping up an ounce of debt- not for a car, credit card, nothing.¬†¬† Yes, I have been given some advantages to help me stay out of debt; however, there were certainly moments when I could have gotten credit card and other types of debt if I had let my guard down. For example, I went to an affordable graduate program,¬† and I have always driven cheap cars. The truth is I”m not even that thrifty but on the other hand I have never allowed my spending to get out of control- to build into debt.¬† If I can do it than the federal government can. It just has to be a priority and there has to be sacrifices.

Clearly I understand that debt is a necessary tool for our economy and that balancing the budget at this point with two expensive wars and other problems is an impossibility.¬† However, that does not mean that we need to add to the debt by billions and trillions of dollars. Such a spending spree would be like me maxing out on my credit card when I am low on funds just to boost my confidence.¬†¬† Everyone would think I was crazy.¬† Millions of people like myself feel the same way about the stimulus plan- a giant spending spree when we need to cutback! Why do you think Wall Street has failed to respond to the supposed promise of the stimulus package? It’s because economists know or¬† at least are uncertain of the possible side effects of¬† the plan’s high price tag.

Some will counter my argument by saying that the spending will increase consumer confidence, build public works and provide new jobs.¬† I am not convinced we need to spend this much- if the concept is true to begin with.¬† Obama’s stimulus package is often compared to 1940’s legislation such as the GI bill, which paid millions to educate our troops.¬† Such legislation shows a clear investment benefit that I do not see from the stimulus package- nor do I believe such an investment would cost trillions of dollars.¬† To me it feels like anything whether it is of value or not is being tagged as something that will stimulate the economy.¬† It’s like a giant stimulus parade that keeps growing and growing- right along with our debt. Take a look at this interesting article in the Wall Street Journal about this over-spending.¬† In it the author argues that such reckless spending actually hurts our economy and will force us into “a longer period of recession”:

“But after five weeks in office, it’s become clear that Mr. Obama’s policies are slowing, if not stopping, what would otherwise be the normal process of economic recovery. From punishing business to squandering scarce national public resources, Team Obama is creating more uncertainty and less confidence — and thus a longer period of recession or subpar growth.”

Others will argue that the New Deal of¬† the 30’s and 40’s was an example of government stimulated growth.¬† I used to think this to but in recent reading I have done there appears to be much debate on this topic.¬†¬† Economist’s Christina and David Romer (who incidentally actually work for Obama on his Council of Economic Advisers) said “a simple calculation indicated that nearly all of the observed recovery of the US economy prior to 1942 was due to monetary expansion.¬† Huge gold inflows in the mid- and late- 1930’s¬† swelled the US money stock and appear to have stimulated the economy by lowering real interest rates and encouraging investment spending and purchases of durable goods.”

Isn’t that interesting?¬† My whole life I have¬†been taught¬†that the Roosevelt spending and the war got us out of the Great Depression.¬† (Despite my mother arguing the opposite!) In fact, the National Bureau of Economic Research did a a study on the effect of the economy from military spending during World War II.¬† They found that “military spending had virtually no effect”.¬† Even if you do not accept such an argument, the stimulus presented in the 30’s and 40’s paled to what is being offered now- and my fear is that we’ve only just begun.

I do think that some of the New Deal programs had a positive economic impact merely for the motivation it gave  melancholy unemployed workers.  Massive groups of unhappy citizens are bad for democracy and create shaky policy, even revolutions; therefore, some government spending in this regard is appropriate- just not trillions of dollars.

There are clearly items such as stabilizing the credit market that need to be addressed- but wasn’t that what the $700 billion was for that we already spent? $700 billion we did not have?¬† Now we are adding to it!¬† To me it is outrageous.¬† Do you all realize that with just this $700 billion you could give every American $3500 to spend how they wish?¬† Doesn’t that put it in perspective!

Again, I recognize the need for some intervention and spending but I just think the stimulus plan and the budget are out of control. The fact is that before this our government was already in debt to China and other countries.¬† Now we could end up as a pawn in their international games.¬† I want a fiscally independent America.¬† One that can look at this crisis and actually plan for a productive economy in the future- instead of building mountains of debt for future generations.¬† Let’s have a little bit of perspective here and be willing to sacrifice pork programs (and even good but non-essential programs) for the plans that will truly build up the confidence and strength of Americans and our economy.¬†¬† I love this country and I want to see it succeed not flounder in wasteful debt!

Take a look at this video.  It is admittedly right-wing but I think the statistics make some good points.  To Senator Shumer- I am one of the chattering class, and I care: