Is Trump Required By Law to Release Tax Returns?

Here we go again… Recall that during the 2012 campaign, Harry Reid and other Democrats were constantly demanding that Mitt Romney release his tax returns. When Romney refused, they predictably began claiming that he was likely a felon and probably hadn’t paid any taxes for ten years. Did the Democrats have ANY proof of that? Of course not. Who needs proof when the accusation itself is so damaging?

During the midst of all the clamoring and posturing, some reporters actually decided to do some research (amazing, isn’t it?) to find out what the legal requirements actually were. Even MSNBC, certainly no conservative organization, admitted that there was no law requiring presidential candidates to release their tax returns. In fact, MSNBC concluded that “no law requires presidential candidates to release their tax returns, but history does..” You can find MSNBC’s article here.

Seriously? History “requires” it? I was unaware that history had the ability or authority to “require” anything. MSNBC even states that history MANDATES the release. Ummm… “Mandates” implies that something is “mandatory”, required, NOT optional… you get the picture.

Sorry, MSNBC, but history does not and CANNOT “mandate” this. When we look at what is “required”, we look at this thing called the LAW. I know, that’s a confusing concept for the Democrats. So in an effort to help them out, I’ve done some of the research for them.

According to the U.S. Office of Government Ethics (an oxymoron if ever there was one), a presidential candidate must file Office of Government Ethics Form 278 (OGE Form 278), which is a very detailed financial report. You can find the form here.

Nowhere is a tax return listed as a requirement. The OGE form appears to contain more detail than a tax return would. But regardless of any of that, it is clear that a presidential candidate is NOT required to release his tax returns. If it were, Hillary CLinton and her cronies would identify the specific legal requirement and demand that Trump fulfill such requirement. Because since it doesn’t exist, they have to resort to accusations and hope that the voters go along with it. Unfortunately, many of their supporters just march right in line without giving it a second thought.

It is clear that Trump is NOT required to release his tax returns. While many presidential candidates over the years have voluntarily done so, that does not translate into a requirement.

Trump has every right to reject these nonsensical accusations from the left and their unsupported demands that he release his tax returns. If he complies with OGE Form 278, he’s done what the LAW requires.

Laws, Laws and More Laws!

So all eyes have been on the Republican National Convention this week, and for good reason. The nomination of Donald Trump will likely go down in history as one of the most bizarre political events in the 21st century. Never have we seen a campaign cycle quite like this one, and it’s unlikely to happen again in our lifetimes.

On Tuesday night, Mitch McConnell took the stage, but he wasn’t particularly well-received, which is at least somewhat encouraging. One of the things he said, however, was disturbing. He stated: “with Donald Trump in the White House, Senate Republicans will build on the work we’ve done and pass more bills into law than any Senate in years.”

Watch Mitch McConnell Speak at the Republican Convention

Now perhaps I’m reading too much into this, but I have a problem with the idea that passing more bills into law is somehow a GOOD thing. It seems to me that every time Congress passes a law, our freedoms suffer the consequences. But for some reason, Americans have this notion that if Congress is not passing laws, it’s not doing its job.

Several years ago, the Washington Post published an article titled: “14 reasons why this is the worst Congress ever”.

While the article certainly made some valid points about Congress at that time (it’s unpopular, it’s polarized, it engaged in budget shenanigans…), what was the Number 1 reason why it was the worst, according to the Washington Post? “They’re not passing laws.” Seriously?

I understand how it works. Bills are passed by the Congress and signed as laws by the President. No problem. That’s civics 101. But that doesn’t mean that the worth of each Congress should be somehow measured by the AMOUNT of bills it passes! If most laws restrict our freedoms in some way, why in the world would we want each successive Congress to simply build on the ridiculous laws enacted by the previous ones?

Forget about protecting Americans from enemies both foreign and domestic. Congress has for years simply invited the enemies in or coddled those already here. Forget about protecting the freedoms of American citizens. No, Congress has consistently restricted those freedoms. And don’t even think about providing an environment in which small businesses can thrive and provide jobs and economic security for future generations. No, Congress would rather put so many rules and regulations in place that some hapless American with dreams of being an entrepreneur can’t even get off the ground!

Instead, Congress simply creates more and more laws that limit what we can do as Americans. The founding fathers understood that one of their primary objectives in drafting and instituting the Constitution was to protect the citizens from the Government. For most of my lifetime, the government has completely reversed that. Our representatives seem to be more concerned about protecting themselves from the citizens. It’s absolutely ridiculous.

And the fact is, most American citizens no longer recognize what freedom really is. Instead, they believe that the role of Congress is to continually pass more and more laws, and they measure the “success” of Congress by the number of laws they pass.

This mindset is troubling for future generations of Americans. Those of us who cherish our freedoms must do our part in trying to reverse this.

Trump and Essay Tests

We’ve all been there. At some point during high school, college, or even in law school in my case, we’ve taken essay tests. Likely, we’ve had at least one essay question where we didn’t have a clue about the correct answer. So we had a choice to make: we either left the answer completely blank, or we wrote something that we hoped could fool the teacher or professor. Of course, that probably didn’t work, but we tried it anyway.

That’s what happens when we aren’t adequately prepared. We try to “wing it”. It might work in high school, but the chances of success under this method decrease significantly as the stakes are raised. In college, this probably didn’t work. I can personally attest that it is a complete failure in law school AND on the bar exam.

Yet this is the only explanation I can give for the Donald Trump approach to his campaign. It becomes clearer by the day that he has not adequately prepared for this moment. Don’t misunderstand me: I’m not saying he hasn’t prepared to run a viable campaign. The fact that he continues to lead in the race for the Republican nomination would disprove that completely.

What I’m saying is that he hasn’t adequately prepared to LEAD the country in the event he is actually elected. He has not educated himself on the principles of federalism, limited government, state’s rights, the freedom of the individual, or basic governing methods.

Just the latest example of this arose during his interview with Anderson Cooper on March 29.

For a transcript of the interview, go here:

Most commentary from this interview is focused on the exchange between Cooper and Trump about Trump’s ridiculous tweet of Ted Cruz’s wife, in which Trump made her look like a monster. Trump defended his tweet by saying “He started it!” Cooper rightfully pointed out that Trump sounded like a 5 year old with his response. And of course that exchange has been great political fodder (although it is unlikely to sway any of Trump’s supporters, who tend to back him no matter what he says).

But what I find intriguing about the interview is Trump’s response to an audience question:

QUESTION: Good evening, Mr. Trump. In your opinion, what are the top three functions of the United States government?

TRUMP: Say it again?

QUESTION: In your opinion, what are the top three functions of the United States government?

TRUMP: Well, the greatest function of all by far is security for our nation. I would also say health care, I would also say education. I mean, there are many, many things, but I would say the top three are security, security, security.

Later, Cooper follows up with this exchange:

COOPER: So in terms of federal government role, you’re saying security, but you also say health care and education should be provided by the federal government?

TRUMP: Well, those are two of the things. Yes, sure. I mean, there are obviously many things, housing, providing great neighborhoods…


COOPER: Aren’t you against the federal government’s involvement in education? don’t you want it to devolve to states?

TRUMP: I want it to go to state, yes. Absolutely. I want — right now…

COOPER: So that’s not part of what the federal government’s…


TRUMP: The federal government, but the concept of the country is the concept that we have to have education within the country, and we have to get rid of common core and it should be brought to the state level.

These are the responses from someone trying to “wing it” on an essay test. Trump clearly has no understanding of the different purposes of the federal government and the state government. He has called for terminating the Department of Education, yet here he appears to be in support of federally controlled education. Yet he also tries to voice support for state run education in the same breath.

Moreover, he believes that two of the three most important roles of the “United States government”, which was the premise of the original question, are health care and education. He doesn’t seem to have any question regarding the federal government’s role in either of those issues in the first place. And then he even mentions “housing, providing great neighborhoods…” as within the federal government’s purview.

Seriously? He believes the federal government is responsible for providing housing and great neighborhoods?

This is not a man who has adequately prepared to lead this country. He has no understanding of Constitutional issues. He does not recognize the freedom of the individual (which is why he supports eminent domain so strongly). And he really doesn’t care about state’s rights, as the exchange with Anderson Cooper demonstrates.

Trump simply says whatever comes to his mind at a given moment. He knows that his supporters don’t care, as they’ll vote for him anyway.

But we have to consider what we’ll have if he actually becomes our President. Will we have someone who has prepared to govern? Or will we have a high school student hoping we won’t notice he has no clue what he’s talking about?

Role of the Senate in Supreme Court Nominations

Supreme Court

Now that President Obama has announced his nomination for the Supreme Court, all eyes have turned to the Senate. What actions will the Senate take? Should they be required to hold a hearing? Are the Senators refusing to do their “duty” if they do not hold hearings?

There seems to be a prevailing notion that the Supreme Court is REQUIRED to have 9 judges. That’s simply not the case, as the Constitution does not set any number at all. In fact, the court has had different numbers of judges over the years. The number is to be set by Congress, as specifically provided in Article III of the Constitution. So it’s not determined by the President or the judicial branch. This is part of the “checks and balances” we all learned about as kids. Of course, because the court has had 9 judges since 1869, much longer than any of us have been alive, it’s easy to see why we have become so accustomed to that number that we believe it must stay that way. But that is not what the Constitution requires, and Congress could change the number at any time.

The Supreme Court is more than capable of meeting its Constitutional duties and requirements without a 9th Justice. The Court began with 6 judges, and has had up to 10. That also means that it has had an even number of judges on several occasions in the past, so it was perfectly able to carry out its duties even without an odd number to break a tie.

Since the death of Justice Scalia in February, the Supreme Court has handed down 10 opinions, all in March. 5 of the opinions were unanimous. 4 of them were 6-2 rulings. Only one of them was 4-4. (An 11th decision was a case of “original jurisdiction”, where the Supreme Court was not reviewing a lower court’s decision, but was instead the original court of trial.) So of the 10 opinions since the tragic death of Justice Scalia, only one would have relied on his input. Even if he disagreed with the others, the rulings would have been the same. That’s not to say that his dissents, if any, would have been lacking entertainment, of course…

It is clear, then, that the Supreme Court is currently functioning in exactly the way it was designed, even with an empty chair. So the Senate has every right to hold a hearing, refuse to hold a hearing, or even participate in enacting a new law limiting the number of judges to 8 (or some other number), which would make the current nomination a complete nullity.

Or, the Senate could hold hearings, take a vote, and REJECT the nomination. That’s perfectly acceptable, and has been done on numerous occasions. (Anybody remember Judge Bork?)

Of course, I expect the Republicans will cave in to political pressure and hold hearings, and likely confirm the nomination. The current crop of Republican leaders (in both the House and the Senate) seem to cave in on most things.

But that’s different than saying the Senate is REQUIRED to hold hearings, vote, or consent to the nomination. They are not required to do any of those things by the Constitution. And as indicated above, there is no emergency situation which would dictate some immediate action. President Obama has made his nomination, which is all he is permitted to do, unless and until the Senate consents, at which point Mr. Obama may then appoint him. In the meantime, he can only sit and wait, and apply political pressure. We will soon see how much of that political pressure the Senate is able to withstand.

Supreme Court Checks and Balances

Everyone is of course talking about the Supreme Court. Who will Obama nominate? Does the Senate have the responsibility or duty to confirm the nominee?

Here’s what the Constitution says: “The President . . . shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law. . .” (Article II, Section 2, Clause 2).

So it’s a three step process. First, the President nominates. Second, the Senate gives “advice and consent”. Third, if the Senate actually “consents”, the President appoints. (In fact, the President has the ability to change his mind about the nominee, even if the Senate has already confirmed, as long as the President has not already taken the third step of appointing the nominee.)

It is clear that the Senate is not simply to “rubber stamp” the nominee. If that were the case, it would be wholly unnecessary to include them in the process. (Note that the House of Representatives is excluded from the process.) Furthermore, if the Senate is expected to do MORE than rubber stamp the nominee, that necessarily includes the ability to REJECT the nominee. Otherwise, the only other option would be to consent, which would bring us back to “rubber stamp”.

Imagine the result if the Senate could NOT reject a nominee, or was not even part of the process. You would lose the entire system of checks and balances, as the President would have the sole power to appoint whomever he/she chooses to both the Supreme Court, as well as the lower federal courts. The founders never intended that, as you can imagine.

The Constitution remains the most important document ever written, outside of the Bible. Even in this most critical political process of appointing a Supreme Court justice, our founders had the incredible foresight to implement sufficient checks and balances.

I’m hoping the current Senate will take their obligations seriously. I have my doubts, as most of the Republicans in the Senate are weak. But I remain hopeful nonetheless.

The Exception Swallows the Rule

Jeb Bush should step aside. After watching the third Republican Presidential Debate on CNBC last night, this has become clear to me.

Jeb Bush pauses at his podium during a commercial break at the 2016 U.S. Republican presidential candidates debate held by CNBC in Boulder, Colo. on Wednesday. (c) RICK WILKING / Reuters

There was a time when our politicians recognized that the Constitution was a document providing only “limited powers” to the federal government, reserving everything else to the states and to the people (hence the name of our site). In other words, federal laws and regulations were the exception. In order to regulate anything, the government had to demonstrate what authority it had to do so, and to show that its proposed regulations were directed specifically at the activity that needed regulation.

The EXCEPTION was regulation. The RULE was freedom. This was how the Constitution was designed. But in the last few decades, our federal government as turned that on its head. Now, regulation is the rule and freedom is the exception.

If you followed the debate at all, you know that the major news coming out of last night’s debacle was the ridiculous questioning put forth by the CNBC moderators. They were “rude” (Chris Christie’s words), they tried to get the candidates engaged in a “cage fight” (as pointed out by Ted Cruz) and they were flat out wrong on several of their statements (as aptly revealed by Marco Rubio).

But there was an interesting exchange with Jeb Bush that suggests he is not a viable candidate for President. His response to a ridiculous question perfectly illustrates that he does not understand the concept of “limited powers”. He was asked a question about fantasy football (or more generally, “Daily Fantasy Sports”). While he started his response with humor, the last part of his answer was striking. Here’s the exchange:

“QUINTANILLA: Governor Bush, daily fantasy sports has become a phenomenon in this country, will award billions of dollars in prize money this year. But to play you have to assess your odds, put money at risk, wait for an outcome that’s out of your control. Isn’t that the definition of gambling, and should the Federal Government treat it as such?

BUSH: Well, first of all, I’m 7 and 0 in my fantasy league.

QUINTANILLA: I had a feeling you were going to brag about that.

BUSH: Gronkowski is still going strong. I have Ryan Tannehill, Marco, as my quarterback, he was 18 for 19 last week. So I’m doing great. But we’re not gambling.

And I think this has become something that needs to be looked at in terms of regulation. Effectively it is day trading without any regulation at all. And when you have insider information, which apparently has been the case, where people use that information and use big data to try to take advantage of it, there has to be some regulation.

If they can’t regulate themselves, then the NFL needs to look at just, you know, moving away from them a little bit. And there should be some regulation. I have no clue whether the federal government is the proper place, my instinct is to say, hell no, just about everything about the federal government.”

Looking past the personal anecdote and humor, Mr. Bush stated that he thinks we need to look at regulations. Notice that there is no discussion at all regarding what right the federal government would have to regulate in the first place, no mention of any specific section of the Constitution from which such authority is derived, or any argument at all about it. His only reference in that regard is that he has “no clue whether the federal government” should do so, and claims that his “instinct is to say, hell no…”

If that is really your instinct, Mr. Bush, then you would have STARTED with that! But you didn’t. Instead, you began by stating that there “should be some regulation” and that we should look at doing so.

I would suggest that Mr. Bush’s answer to the question, as ridiculous as the question was, came from that viewpoint. He thinks that if there’s a problem, the government should regulate it. I think that’s his “instinct”, and that certainly was the focus of his answer. It’s almost as if while he was answering the question and calling for regulation, someone in his earpiece (if he had one) reminded him that he is “supposed to” answer the question otherwise, and so he reversed course and awkwardly claimed that his “instinct” is to say “hell no”.

Mr. Bush, it is clear that your “instinct” is to call for more regulation. In doing so, you will continue the policy of the exceptions swallowing the rule. Please step aside, sir. We do not need you in the Oval Office.

Would the Real Santa Claus Please Stand Up?

As a child, I absolutely loved Christmas. While we didn’t have much money, I still enjoyed the sights and sounds, the Christmas lights, the Christmas trees, the snow, and everything that went along with it. In fact, it’s still one of my favorite times of the year.

But of course, the best part of it was always the idea of Santa Claus. Like most kids, I would dream of getting lots of toys, games, and everything else children anticipate. And it’s certainly understandable – this mythical person that I wouldn’t see would just appear in my house after midnight and leave all sorts of “free” gifts for me. Who wouldn’t like that, right?

Now as a parent of four children, my perspective on Santa Claus has changed. I understand that there’s nothing really “free”. Even Santa’s gifts come with a price, and it’s a price that my wife and I have to pay. A couple of our children are still young enough that they don’t realize that. But for most of us, as we grow into adults, we come to understand how it works.

As I was watching the Democratic debate on Tuesday night, however, I came to the stark belief that the five candidates on stage, even though they are all obviously adults, still believe in the mythical idea that Santa is real. Consider these statements, which I quote from the New York Times transcript:

Bernie Sanders: “And in my view what we need to do is… make every public college and university in this country tuition free.”

Hillary Clinton: “My plan would enable anyone to go to a public college or university tuition free.”

And this free tuition was not just limited to American citizens, which on its own would be ridiculous. Several of them would make it available even to so-called “undocumented immigrants” (I call them illegals, but perhaps that’s just parsing words…). Anderson Cooper asked Hillary directly if she would include the “undocumented”:

COOPER: So, on the record, you believe that undocumented immigrants should get instate college tuition.

CLINTON: If their states agree, then we want more states to do the same thing.

So to Hillary, as long as a state agreed to pay for all illegal immigrants, she thinks it’s great!

When asked specifically about expanding Obamacare to the “undocumented”, Hillary stated: “Well, first of all, I want to make sure every child gets health care. That’s why I helped to create the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and I want to support states that are expanding health care and including undocumented children and others.”

When Senator Jim Webb was asked, here’s what he said:

LOPEZ: Senator Webb, do you support the undocumented immigrants getting Obamacare?

WEBB: I wouldn’t have a problem with that.

If it weren’t so scary, it would actually be comical. And the frightening thing is that so many voters will once again be caught up in this notion that these things are actually free.

We all know that in reality, somebody is paying for these “free” programs. While Sanders wants to tax Wall Street, and the others all want to continue raising taxes on the wealthy, the truth is that all of us who are working hard for our families will be paying for these things. The five on stage won’t have to pay anything. It’s always easy to start new programs when you’re paying for them with someone else’s money.

When it comes to my children and the Christmas season, I don’t have any problem playing the Santa. I just don’t want to see it in my President. There’s a time for fantasy and a time for reality.

Here’s the transcript if you want some entertaining reading:

Democratic Debate

Republicans No More

My Friends, the time has come to start calling things for what they are and stop pretending that there aren’t those who would deceive us with the labels they use. To start remembering their actions and stop forgiving their mistakes. To start naming names and pointing fingers.

Today, the Republican-lead House voted to do something so contrary to the Republican Platform that they need to be called out and removed from the Rolls of the Republican Party, never to be considered trustworthy of the conservative ideals that the Platform espouses. Today, 28 people formerly called Republicans voted for unrestricted borrowing by the federal government for the next 13 months – no strings attached. This clearly goes against stated goals of the party platform, which states,

“The massive federal government is structurally and financially broken. For decades it has been pushed beyond its core functions, increasing spending to unsustainable levels. Elected officials have overpromised and overspent, and now the bills are due. Unless we take dramatic action now, young Americans and their children will inherit an unprecedented legacy of enormous and unsustainable debt, with the interest alone consuming an ever-increasing portion of the country’s wealth. The specter of national bankruptcy that now hangs over much of Europe is a warning to us as well. Over the last three and a half years, while cutting the defense budget, the current Administration has added an additional $5.3 trillion to the national debt-now approximately $16 trillion, the largest amount in U.S. history. In fiscal year 2011, spending reached $3.6 trillion, nearly a quarter of our gross domestic product. Adjusted for inflation, that’s more than three times its peak level in World War II, and almost half of every dollar spent was borrowed money. Three programs-Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security- account for over 40 percent of total spending. While these levels of spending and debt are already harming job creation and growth, projections of future spending growth are nothing short of catastrophic, both economically and socially. And those dire projections do not include the fiscal nightmare of Obamacare, with over $1 trillion in new taxes, multiple mandates, and a crushing price tag.” –2012 Republican Platform

It is truly unconscionable to lift the debt ceiling, if this platform is what you actually believe. If spending is out of control, then STOP IT!. There IS a way to stop out of control spending in its tracks. There IS a way to put your money where your mouth is; to walk the walk; to stand up for what you believe and save the country from a catastrophic future predicted by your party’s platform… it’s called “STOP BORROWING MONEY”.

Raising the debt ceiling in the face of out-of-control spending and crippling debt is perhaps the single most irresponsible action that could be taken. Therefore, it is time to stop calling these people Republicans. No more. If indeed they ever truly were Republicans in the first place, they certainly aren’t now. These are the names of those who should be stricken from the party and I personally will from this point forward refer to them as many things – but NEVER again as Republicans.

John Boehner, R-Ohio.
Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va.
Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy,R-Calif.
Chief Deputy Whip Pete Roskam, R-Ill.
Ken Calvert, R-Calif.
Dave Camp, R-Mich.
Michael Grimm, R-N.Y.
Richard Hanna, R-N.Y.
Doc Hastings, R-Wash.
Darrell Issa, R-Calif.
Devin Nunes, R-Calif.
Hal Rogers, R-Ky.
Dave Reichert, R-Wash.
Chris Collins, R-N.Y.
Howard Coble, R-N.C.
Charlie Dent, R-Pa.
Mike Fitzpatrick, R-Pa.
Pete King, R-N.Y.
Frank LoBiondo, R-N.J.
Buck McKeon, R-Calif.
Patrick Meehan, R-Pa.
Gary Miller, R-Calif.
Ed Royce, R-Calif.
John Runyan, R-N.J.
John Shimkus, R-Ill.
Chris Smith, R-N.J.
David Valadao, R-Calif.
Frank Wolf, R-Va.

Republicans No More


By Jonathan Senn


Why Obama Lost First Debate

When my wife and I found out we were going to have our first child (we now have four), we did what many couples in that situation do. We started to read books about raising children. (Okay, mostly my wife read them and told me what they said…) It’s natural to do that. No new parent wants to go into it without any information.

However, until you have a child, you don’t have a clue! You can read all the research available, write all kinds of papers about it, and ask everybody you know for advice. But all parents know that research without experience is very limited. Until you’ve started raising a child, you really don’t know anything about it.

During the presidential campaign of 2008, many of us were saying that then Senator Obama didn’t have the experience to be President. He had never run a business. He had spent his entire (short) adult life being either a law school professor, a “community organizer” or a politician. The position of professor is the closest to real world experience, but the life of a professor is basically sheltered. Even as a professor, he had never published any legal scholarly material, which is what law school professors are supposed to do. So the argument was that he had never really done anything to give him any experience. Fortunately for him, he was running against an opponent who had spent most of his adult life (after his more-than-honorable service in the military) in political life. Again, not exactly a role that lends itself to gaining real world experience.

Fast forward to the current campaign. The argument about lack of experience is still a strong one. President Obama’s dilemma this time around, however, is that he’s running against an opponent who has spent most of his adult life IN the real world, running businesses (some successful and some not). While he may be wealthy now, there’s a reason for that, and it’s called success. He’s been a major risk-taker, and he has reaped the benefits of many of those risks. There was a time in our country’s history when such success was admired, appreciated, and imitated. In today’s political climate, such success is ridiculed, hated, taxed into oblivion, and otherwise scorned.

After Obama’s terrible performance at the first debate, the excuses were numerous. It was his anniversary. Romney cheated (with a handkerchief). Romney was too aggressive. The moderator was terrible. Romney lied. Or my personal favorite – the altitude affected Obama. (Thanks, Mr. Gore for that nugget.)

But one of the primary excuses given is that Obama didn’t have enough prep time. That’s where I think we may be onto something. Some Democrats and people in Obama’s inner circle have been saying he just didn’t have the time to put into preparing, because he was busy being President. I think they’re partially right.

Obama didn’t have the proper prep time, but not because he’s currently the President. It’s because he failed to prepare his entire adult life for this. Romney has been out in the world learning about business, seeing how things operate, running the Olympics, being Governor of a state, saving numerous corporations, worrying about employee payrolls, and otherwise being engaged in the private sector. THAT was his prep time. When he was asked questions about the economy, he could answer them, not because he spent a few days in Denver in advance of the debate, but because he spent a few decades working in the economic world.

You see, experience DOES matter. Ask any parent. Books are one thing. Life is another. I’m not sure that more debate prep can help Obama in advance of debates two and three, because you can’t cram life experience into a few days.

Backward Thinking

We’ve all been through difficult financial times. Loss of a job, extra unexpected expenses, increased cost of living. We’ve been there. Some of us had to dip into our savings. Others asked family or friends to help. Perhaps we sold some things we didn’t really need, took a part time job, or cut down on unnecessary expenses. We did what we had to do to survive and improve our situation. Nothing unusual about that.

The government, however, carried out a poll asking what people do when money is tight. The results?

•Savings 44%
•Family 21%
•Credit cards/loans 20%
•Government assistance 15%

Now, when I see those numbers, I can’t help but think that 65% are relying on savings and family, which is a good thing. Only 15% are relying on government assistance. So I start wondering if there are ways to get that 15% number to go even further down.

But that’s not how the government sees it. Instead, they would prefer that more people rely on them! They say: “Given that only 15 percent of you turn to government assistance in tough times, we want to make sure you know about benefits that could help you.” In other words, we want more people to know how to rely on us!

As I’ve stated many times, the government is not some entity that produces a product or service for which willing consumers are happy to pay. The government doesn’t generate its own income. It gets its money from you and me. So why would we want more and more people to rely on it?

Our personal freedoms decrease in direct proportion to the increase in our level of dependency on government. Wanting more people to rely on government is nothing more than backward thinking!

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