Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Terrible Twos

The upcoming political debate has been described as a potential cage match but we speculate it will be more akin to a couple of toddlers in a sandbox.  More particular, it could be promoted as the Terrible Two in their terrible twos.  

We call these “debates” but, honestly, we should call the series of public displays of complaining and blaming the “Urinary Olympics”.  There will be little policy discussed as the Terrible Two spit and throw sand.  Most answers will be dishonest and disingenuous as will questions be bias.  Gone will be honest and reason debate on policy, as each candidate further shreds the Constitution.

The debate can be expected to achieve a level of viewership comparable to a major sports event.  It will probably be the most watched presidential debate in the history of debates – unfortunately for the wrong reasons.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Sunday Football & Freedom

Disagreement, discussion, debate. These are all things that should be celebrated as we have the opportunity in this country to freely disagree and debate our differing opinions. This is something that every citizen of the United States should participate in – respectfully of course.  We can have round table discussions and peaceful protesting to address dissent among the people in which the other side may be argued against but each party is still respected.

Colin Kaepernick’s action to sit during the national anthem to address his opinion of the unfair treatment of the African American community in this country has gotten quite a bit of media attention recently. His opinion can be respected, but his display has disrespected those who put their lives on the line for people of this country.

Whether you agree or disagree, respect is the backbone of discourse to insight progress.  When that respect is lost, true progress is forgone and pointless complaining replaces it.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Commander-in-Chief Forum

This week MSNBC presented a Commander-In-Chief Forum with an interview of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump by Matt Lauer.  However, the title belies the real mission of the show.  The questions ranged from – among other items – Clinton emails, Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome, the Veteran Affairs Administration, veteran suicides, and rape in the military.  Questions about the sequester effect on military readiness, approach to current conflicts, deployment and development of weapon systems, and engagement strategy were essentially absent.  Instead of asking these questions pertinent to the role of Commander-In-Chief, Matt Lauer wondered about Vladimir Putin’s compliment of Trump.

Today, on September 11th, is a day that marks the turning point of the nation’s response to terror.  President Bill Clinton saw terror as something for police action, but 9-11 transformed it into military action.

In light of this, we need to first remember the constitutional role of the Commander-in-Chief.  Only Congress can declare war while the president executes the war.  Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution states the "President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States."

The Commander-In-Chief when executing a war has to have a clear mission, a strategy for the mission, an ability to assure the resources for the mission, and a capability to communicate the mission to maintain the public’s support of the mission.  The MSNBC forum failed to show how either candidate is qualified for the job of Commander-In-Chief.

In essence, the show was more about advocacy for social programs for veterans than a probative interview in the duties and responsibilities of the Commander regarding our national security.

Men and women who volunteer to serve are a special class because they choose to put themselves in harm’s way for political causes – some just and some misplaced.  Honor, glory, duty, bravery, courage and dedication are characteristics of these men.  It would do the nation well if the political class had these characteristics too.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Too Much Spice Makes Nothing Nice

Government should act as a spice: used sparingly in the recipe of prosperity it enhances the public good but, too much overpowers the natural flavors and, in excess, will poison.

Politicians proclaim how more spending and bureaucratic controls will stimulate demand, but there is no example to demonstrate how more taxes create more demand and incessant regulations create productivity.  As we discuss in our book, Vigilance The Price of Liberty, economic growth is dependent on productivity. Productivity flows from innovation. Innovation comes from investment. Investment needs lower taxes that enable investors to take risk.  Therefore, past a modest point, taxes choke investments which strangle the innovation that drives productivity and grows prosperity.

Too much government works against itself.  For example, the highest taxed people, if you compare by percentage, are the poor.  Welfare programs that provide disability income to some 10 million people, provide them a financial disincentive to break from the disability hand-out because for each dollar they earn in honest work, they lose a dollar in hand-out.  Rational financial response: don’t work.

The point being, most of what government does simply does not, cannot and will not work. With anemic GDP growth at the lowest level since the Great Depression, here is a collection of charts received today that paint the overall picture:

So what is the answer?  The best solution is less government.  One that is used as a spice to enhance prosperity, not a poison to success.  So when thinking about what you want this election cycle, maybe by asking less of government is more prosperity.