Posts Tagged ‘Ronald Reagan’

To be President of the United States

There are only two constitutional requirements to be president of the United States of America.  You must be a natural born citizen of the United States and at least 35 years of age.  That is all that is needed for the most important job in the world.  Although considered enough in 1787, is that enough today; or should we set more criterion for the office?

 

Today’s presidential races have entered the rock star media age of politics, an obvious difference between pre- and post-television presidential campaigns.  Candidates now have image consultants and are “packaged” for public appearances just like actors and actresses, even including $400 haircuts.

Spending the people’s money

“Government is like a baby: An alimentary canal

 with a big appetite at one end and no sense of

 responsibility at the other.”

                                 − Ronald Reagan

 Is it an appropriate use of taxpayer money to fund a “tattoo removal violence prevention program,” a Sparta Teapot museum, a program to communicate with extra-terrestrials, the Pleasure Beach water taxi service, a Waterfree Urinal Conservation Initiative and a swine odor and manure management program?  Moreover, where in the Constitution is the power for Congress to spend our money this way?

What should we ask Congress?

Last week President Obama reprimanded Wall Street CEOs’ for their outrageous salaries and spending, saying they must show “restraint and responsibility.”  Should he have admonished Congress instead, because it puts Wall Street executives to shame with irresponsible spending?  Moreover, Congress displays righteous indignation toward companies going on extravagant junkets and sponsoring lavish conferences, while it does the very same thing.

Perhaps writer P. J. O’Rourke was correct saying, “Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.”  But, this is probably an unfair statement because it insults teenage boys. 

Roosevelt or Reagan?

Our country’s leaders believe President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal ended the Great Depression and saved the economy.  Are they right?  Did his New Deal end the depression or even shorten it?  Take a moment and consider the Roosevelt logic Congress is using with our current situation.  They believe they can fix the economy if they interfere with market forces and spend unprecedented sums of money.  But, if all that is needed to end a recession is government meddling and spending, how could we ever get into a recession in the first place? 

How do we fix the economy?  Two former Presidents.  Two choices.   

California’s latest budget crisis

Experts projected California would have budget deficits of more than $35 billion, requiring massive budget cuts and tax increases.  The Governor proposed $17 billion in program cuts and $8.3 billion in tax increases.  Education programs faced over $2.7 billion in cuts with proposed additional cuts of $5.2 billion. 

In a recall petition, the governor was accused of “gross mismanagement of California’s finances by overspending taxpayers’ money and by cutting funds to local governments.”  Are these the statistics of California’s current financial crisis?  No.  These program cuts and tax hikes are from 2003 when Governor Gray Davis was in office and facing a recall election. 

Is FDR’s New Deal the answer?

Did President Franklin Roosevelt and his “New Deal” shorten the recovery from the Great Depression?  Was government intervention in the economy helpful or hurtful or both?  Some economists suggest the government manipulated market forces too much and actually prolonged the recovery. 

President Roosevelt put into effect his recovery plan immediately after his inauguration in 1933, calling Congress into a special 100-day session with a whirlwind of new programs.  He believed the recovery required what he called “government partnerships” with the private sector.  But, in his zeal to speed the recovery, some economists suggest he was wrong believing that competition inappropriately drove prices and wages down and that the government had to manipulate the economy to artificially force prices and wages up. 

What really happened November 4th?

What really happened on November 4th?  Whom did we elect as President?  Did we elect a liberal, leftist, socialist President; a gun control President or a welfare President? 

Maybe we elected an African-American President, a hyphenated President that Theodore Roosevelt expressed displeasure with in a speech in 1915 saying, “There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism … This is just as true of the man who puts ‘native’ before the hyphen as of the man who puts German or Irish or English or French before the hyphen.  Americanism is a matter of the spirit and of the soul.  Our allegiance must be purely to the United States.” 

Civility in presidential politics

Will civility ever return to presidential campaigns?  Is it reasonable to hope for respectful debating?  Or, are we obliged to accept the mudslinging as a given in politics?  What would our founding fathers think if they were to witness one of today’s presidential campaigns?  Would they be impressed or would they be embarrassed?  Can we ever return to the ethical debating they so prized? 

ABC declared 2008 the “dirtiest presidential campaign in history.”  With estimates of the cost of this year’s election exceeding $1 billion, will the candidates see a choice other than negative campaigning?  There is no second place.  “The art is to damage your opponent without getting caught doing it,” said Rob Shealy, a campaign strategist who was convicted for violating campaign laws.

Taps for the fallen brave – MEMORIAL DAY

Today we remember those who died in our nation’s service. Today we proudly display the American flag, a small flag in the living room window or a huge flag on a flagpole, the size is irrelevant. The flag is flown at half-staff until noon to honor the fallen brave, and then flown at full staff the remainder of the day. At 3:00 P.M. offer a moment of silence, remembering those who died for us. Memorial Day is the day we are not republicans or democrats, we are Americans, united honoring our war dead.