FEMA And Heartless Federal Aid

FEMA7643 FEMA and Heartless Federal Aid

Five boroughs in New York City and towns in New Jersey continue to struggle with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy—storm damage, power outages, and of course the clean-up. The damage is unprecedented, and the images are startling.

Once again, a major natural disaster—like Hurricane Katrina—questions the role of the federal government and its polo shirt, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Should disaster response fall on the shoulders of FEMA, the states, or private individuals? At its core, the question is about money and, more importantly, where the heart of giving lies.

The late economist Milton Friedman made it simple and said money is spent four ways. First, Friedman said you could spend your money on yourself. You’ll save as much as possible and get the most for your dollar. It’s like buying a certified pre-owned car.

Second, you could spend your money on someone else. You’ll still save as much as possible but will care less about the quality. For example, you buy a blanket for someone living on the street. If it’s warm and does the job, you’re not worried about the thread count. It helps a person in need to get by until they’re on their feet. In the Christmas context, it’s the horrendous, corded sweater for a distant relative. It was on sale, and you’re just sure (more so, desperate) it’s the right size.

As for Friedman’s first two ways to spend money, they both involve a person. That person, having a heart, recognizes a need and uses his money to meet it. The interests are aligned; the person who made the money spends the money.

Third, Friedman said you could spend someone else’s money on yourself. You’ll get the best money can buy, but you won’t fret over how much it costs. It’s the tasty nectar of the expense account. That business lunch will be exquisite and the check in the triple digits.

And finally, you could spend someone else’s money on someone else. You’ll neither worry about the quality or the amount spent. It’s a terribly inefficient combination. Worse, it’s the federal government’s daily M.O. It takes our money and spends it on others.

Perfect example: FEMA trailers. They’re low quality, high-priced relief wagons used to house those rendered homeless by Sandy and other major disasters. Prime targets for those who assail government waste, the trailers were a major issue during Katrina’s aftermath and FEMA’s ineffective response.

Money aside, the heart of giving lies in individuals, not the federal government. Ignore the illusive pile of “compassion” liberals try to sell in times of need. It’s shallow, fleeting, and still leaves you stranded. Following Sandy, a Wall Street Journal editorial commented about the federal government’s role:

Citizens in the Northeast aren’t turning on their TVs, if they have electricity, to hear Mr. Obama opine about subway flooding. They’re tuning in to hear Governor Chris Christie talk about the damage to the Jersey shore, Mayor Mike Bloomberg tell them when bus service might resume in New York City, and Connecticut Governor Daniel Malloy say when the state’s highways might reopen.

Ultimately, disasters that cause severe, local impact call for efficient, localized responses. More than that, they call for individuals to bind together, identify specific needs, and help each other. Sure, FEMA can drop-off countless trailers, chainsaws, and other resources.

But lacking a combined brain—much less a heart—the expansive agency will mess up. After Sandy, some neighborhoods in the Northeast received aid while others didn’t. The neighborhoods that didn’t would have made national news under a Republican president (e.g., under George W. Bush, circa 2005). At least Kanye West can’t call President Obama a racist.

In early England and America, churches and other groups—by majority—took responsibility for social services like relief for the poor, downtrodden, and sick. Whether it was taken or given up, that role is now—by majority—in the hands of a heartless federal government.

And because it spends money that others earn, its response with respect to Hurricane Sandy is inherently flawed. It can neither identify needs appropriately, nor meet them effectively. That’s the outcome when government takes the heart out of giving and taxes its people to do so.

Related posts:

  1. Detainment Camps Going Live: FEMA Seeking Subcontractors To Provide “Temporary Camp Services” In All 50 States For the better part of two decades FEMA detention camps…
  2. Obama Denies FEMA Funds To GOP-Leaning Virginia In case anyone needed more proof that Barack Obama governs…

Trick-or-Treat: For Or Against Either Schmo

Obama Romney SC Trick or Treat: For or Against Either Schmo

It’s how many of us feel. We’re watching our favorite show on Hulu or listening to music on Pandora, and then we hear a 30-second stack of lies, half-truths, and a candidate having crafted the art of saying “I’m so and so and I approve this message.” Yes. We’re in the middle of political ad mania.

Over the past couple weeks, the Obama campaign got smart and signed Mr. Voiceover Heaven from the films Bruce Almighty and Evan Almighty. They picked none other than Morgan Freeman and scripted him to say: “Every President inherits challenges. Few have faced so many. … There are still challenges to meet—children to educate, a middle class to rebuild, but the last thing we should do is turn back now.” The closing frame, of course, wraps the ad with the campaign’s “FORWARD” logo. Trick-or-Treat.

Poor guy. If Freeman wasn’t such a Democratic hack, I could imagine charging, even bankrupting, Obama for America for putting such nonsense to such dramatic music.

Though Freeman makes a great Visa commercial and is second only to the voice of James Earl Jones, repetitious ads have become nauseating. Hailing from the hotly contested battleground state of Virginia, I can tell you that my wife may put five knuckles through her radio if the madness continues much longer.

Close to Virginia’s coal region, the Romney camp has reminded us that mining is way of life. He’s told us that President Obama’s energy policies have crippled the industry and axed countless jobs. Okay, that’s true.

On the other hand, President Obama has reduced women to complaining, home-bodied “air traffic controllers” reigning over a casa full of kids. Suffice to say, we’re ready to hear “That’s a wrap.”

At this point, it’s almost over. Take some ibuprofen, try to avoid election hangover, and get the job done. The same is still true: 2012 will be the most pivotal election of our time. No one doubts that we’re gazing at two distinct paths when comes to America’s future. As compared to elderly and middle-aged America, Millennials have the most daylight to go.

In our lifetime, we will see whether government debt will swallow-up our future wealth. We’ll know if government or private sector innovators will run our healthcare, one-fifth of the U.S. economy.

We’ll see whether government will step out of the student loan business and force colleges to compete for students’ business—thereby driving down tuition costs. Finally, we won’t forget that over 50 percent of us are currently unemployed, underemployed, or back at school because we couldn’t find a job after graduation.

Though many high school government classes focus less and less on America’s foundational principles, it’s hard to imagine any founder foreseeing the day where campaign bumper stickers would tout love for government-run healthcare slapped with the namesake of an incumbent president. Though many of them, I’m sure, would have appreciated vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan’s reminder that our rights and abilities come from nature and God.

There’s an old adage that says voters vote four ways—for or against either candidate. On November 6, 2012, you’ll basically say that you gave President Obama another four years to finish the job (fueled on “hope”) or that you gave Mitt Romney the opportunity to clean things up. Opposite that, you’ll say that you prevented a President Romney or fired President Obama.

As for me and my house, we’ll fire President Obama. As a soon-to-be lawyer in a depressing legal market and a husband who will one day raise a family, I don’t trust the President who ballooned America’s debt to $16 trillion. He’s likely robbed the future prosperity of our generation.

Nor do I trust the man that claims to have saved students from astronomical tuition and burdensome student loan debt through a small, temporary freeze on interest rates. That did nothing for tuition rates that continuously outpace inflation.

This is our country, not points scored in debates or political ads. This is about the preservation of our American heritage and our opportunity. As far as your decision, the economy, your job, or the lack thereof speaks for itself.

Photo credit: Cain and Todd Benson (Creative Commons)

Related posts:

  1. Economy Trick Or Treat … Continue to Post…
  2. Mud-slinging: The Left’s One-Trick Pony Liberals have taken Chicago politics to a whole new level…

Shelving Our Can Of Whoop …

Barack Obama speech 4 SC Shelving Our Can of Whoop ...

By pursuing love and popularity, President Obama has dashed our foreign policy and embraced sheepish naivety. He’s created a rise in hate and anti-American feelings in a Middle East set ablaze. In Egypt and Libya, he attempted purchasing “allies” in the Muslim Brotherhood—an organization with oft-cited connections to terrorist groups.

Quoting his mother at the 2012 Republican Convention, Governor Chris Christie (R-NJ) said:

… [T]here would be times in your life when you have to choose between being loved and being respected. She said to always pick being respected, that love without respect was always fleeting ….

Our President has chosen that which is fleeting. He chose coolness; the lessening of America’s leadership prowess; and the dampening of our excellence, innovation, and position on the world stage. More than anything, he squandered our best tool: peace through strength.

In 2009, President Obama largely defined his Middle East foreign policy in his speech at Cairo University in Egypt. He said:

I have come here to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world; one based upon mutual interest and mutual respect; and one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive, and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles – principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.

The speech encapsulated themes of “we’re all in this together” and foolish dreams of a world without nuclear weapons. Overall, it represented apology and appeasement.

More than anything, the Cairo address lacked a message of leadership. For example, he said, “America will align our policies with those who pursue peace … [italics added].” Instead of carrying the big stick—not being afraid to use it—the President essentially communicated that America will jump on the bandwagon of anybody who leads for peace. He simply refused to demand respect.

Fast forward. In 2011, the U.S. provided $25 million in non-lethal support to rebels seeking to overthrow Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi. Our military intervention cost an estimated $896 million. Worse, the rebels admitted that some fighters had links to al-Qaeda, and the Muslim Brotherhood now runs the new government.

In 2012, the U.S. gave $1.5 billion in military and economic aid to Egypt’s transition. Following Hosni Mubarak, Mohamed Morsi (also from the Muslim Brotherhood) took over as the nation’s president.

So do we have the “new beginning” our President spoke of? How about the “mutual respect”? On the eleventh anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, radicals assaulted our Libyan Embassy—killing Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others. They struck with rocket-propelled grenades, mortars, and AK-47s. It was calculated and deliberate.

In the immediate aftermath, the President and his national security team pandered—blaming the spontaneous airing of a “movie” poking fun at the prophet Mohammed. The administration’s conclusion was that the attack simply arose out of a protest over the video. Right, because most protestors show up with rocket-propelled grenades, mortars, and AKs.

The President’s actual response was worse than the pandering. He said, “While the United States rejects efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others, we must all unequivocally oppose the kind of senseless violence that took the lives of these public servants.”

Translation: “You bad, bad ‘protestors.’ We condemn your actions (whatever that means). But just in case you were upset about that ‘movie’ which was created under our Constitutional Right to Freedom of Expression here in the United States, we’re sorry.” I’m just sure that radical Islamists everywhere are trembling at the sound of his voice.

On Twitter, columnist Matt Barber put it this way: “Under Reagan, there’d now be a 15 block crater where the Libyan Embassy used to be. Under Obama, we apologize to our enemies #Weakness.”

More recently, the United Nations welcomed leaders from around the world and specifically the Middle East. In an interview with the New York Times, Egypt’s President Morsi indicated he wouldn’t be as compliant as former President Mubarak when working with the U.S. So much for our $1.5 billion to support an “ally’s” transition. By the way, we’re cutting them another check for $450 million.

As the Middle East burns, our President is absent. His weakness and refusal to lead on a message of peace through strength (in a way only America can) has emboldened radical Islamists. And though a president’s first responsibility is to protect the American People, President Obama has eroded our deterrent effect and ability to command respect.

Related posts:

  1. Obama Apologizes To Muslims (after They Murdered Chris Stevens In Libya!) It defies common sense, patriotism and respect for the dead….
  2. Barack Obama, The Blamer-in-Chief Barack Obama has become America’s blamer-in-chief. He and his administration…

Empty Wallets, Gutted Freedom

empty wallet SC Empty Wallets, Gutted Freedom

Get real. Our wallets and purses rule the day. Financial freedom often defines our ability to support movements, charities, churches, and political parties. Not to mention it fulfills our insatiable taste for the crack that is materialism—houses, cars, iPhones, flat screens, and powdered doughnuts (related to crack).

Though money seems only a piece to life, it’s how we chase our individual interests and values. When government closes in and cheapens our financial flexibility, it works to destroy other liberties. It makes us instruments of those in power and removes their accountability. Bottom line: our political and religious freedoms are shallow when government controls our means to act.

Our Founders knew this. Through penning, signing, and delivering the Declaration of Independence, they might as well have said: “We’re traitors. Bring it, King George.” And in the last sentence—ahead of their John Hancocks—they pledged to demand Independence with their Lives, Fortunes, and Sacred Honor.

trans Empty Wallets, Gutted FreedomThey were “all in”, and their fortunes came second only to their lives. Following the war and 25,000 American deaths, a tablet on a Virginia plantation reminds us “Seventeen signers lost everything they owned.” Their fortunes were instruments for Independence. All in they were, but the question is, are we?

Remember four years ago—the hype and hope? How about those dreams to blaze your frontier? Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, put it this way:

Every new college graduate thought they’d have a good job by now, a place of their own, and that they could start paying back some of their loans and build for the future. … This was the hope and change America voted for. It’s what Americans deserved.

Sound about right? Break down the theme. A job, if you have one, generates money. A house costs money. Loans and building for the future—you guessed it—cost money. Alex, I’ll take “Money, Money, Money” for $26,000 (average student loan debt per individual).

Trust me. We’ve been economically gutted—entrails and everything. Our opportunity to buy, own, and sell property is gone. Government loans, albeit inflated, have put home-buying at bay. Rent we will for a long time. At least we can hope for some change in a returned security deposit.

As for healthcare, its take-over by the President and Congress cuts deeper. Now more expensive, current and future employers will offer fewer benefits. Better find coverage quick though, unless you’re willing to fork over a $750 penalty to the IRS for being uninsured.

Worse, if you find solace in government health insurance, there will be federal panel of doctors deciding on the kinds of tests, medicines, and supplies you’ll get. Break down that theme. Control, perhaps? Examples are numerous, but remember our government’s primary purpose: to protect our individual rights and freedoms.

Economically, the ability to buy, sell, and trade stuff is to be free and voluntary. Command over the same is absolutely unwelcome. Because government can’t control everything, an attempt to is inefficient and miserable. Not to mention it leaves our wallets empty.

See, our Founders’ Lives, Fortunes, and Sacred Honor were the ammunition for Independence. Our fortunes are the ammunition to pursue goals and support private efforts to preserve values. When “leaders” bankrupt the ammunition, they bankrupt freedom.

As Hitler pelted Great Britain in World War II, Prime Minister Winston Churchill said to America: “Give us the tools and we will finish the job.” Though our tools, ammunition and morale, are lacking, we will end the spiral.

At the 2012 Republican National Convention, Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) said: “Standing strong for freedom will make the next century as great an American century as the last one.” Push the chips to the center. We’re going all in.

Photo credit:NoHoDamon (Creative commons)

Related posts:

  1. Obama Super PAC Chief GUTTED On CNN Again, CNN surprisingly tells it like it is. It is…
  2. Obama Empty Promises: Debt & Deficits The GOP counter attack is weak. Obama puts our a…

Millennials: How To Build Prosperity’s Casket

Obama Forward SC 690x1024 Millennials: How to Build Prosperitys Casket

Shallow minds we have, thinking November is about the next four years. No. This is about the remnants of our productive lives. We have two choices with no gray area. Either we preserve the pursuit of prosperity, or float from crisis to crisis like those in power.

This isn’t about the President writing two memoirs before age 40. Nearly every modern-day candidate pens a book or two. This isn’t about Obama’s college records. Three-and-a-half years is enough to grade his performance (Hint: word ends in “-ailure”).

This isn’t about Mitt Romney’s tax returns. We get it; he’s a rich guy who paid $3 million to the government in 2010. It isn’t about his offshore bank accounts. Seriously, if you had $200 million in the midst of a looming financial crisis, wouldn’t you trust the Swiss?

It simply isn’t about whether you’d have a beer (non-alcoholic for Mitt) with the guy you’ll never meet. 2012 concerns whether we’ll leave the keys with the “cool guy” driving America in drunken circles.

Our Moment In History

For Millennials, we face the decision of our lifetimes. And following Mitt Romney’s pick of Paul Ryan as his running mate, we have a choice. It’s stark—showcasing two divergent paths for the country we will lead.

There is a crisis in America—one that will absolutely worsen in the future. Given where we sit on disaster’s timeline, now is the pivotal moment. This is the moment in which the wrong choice will force young people to live with a mediocre chance of achieving prosperity.

Despite that choice, we’ll work hard. However, excessive government spending, monstrous regulation, and the inevitable bankruptcy of failing government programs will keep us from surpassing the success of our parents.

Though we’re seated on a bus teetering on the financial cliff, the right choice could save us (Hint: choice doesn’t end in -bama). The right decision would incentivize companies to create jobs in the United States under a competitive corporate tax rate. As of now, ours is the highest among developed nations.

The right choice would also incentivize and quicken the small business heartbeat of Main Street. Individually, it would get us out of our parents’ basements, allowing us to experience the milestones we’ve been forced to put off—like getting married and buying a home.

Obama’s Picasso and Romney’s Monet

The campaigns have painted their pictures. From the Obama campaign, we’ve seen subtle suggestions that Romney’s a racist (e.g. Virginia Senator Louise Lucas). We’ve seen an unending discussion of his tax returns and offshore accounts.

We’ve watched the media brand Romney’s wife as a clueless homemaker that wears $1,000 shirts. Never mind that Michelle Obama dawns the same at a $6,800 price point. Double standard?

With regard to Paul Ryan, the Obama campaign says he isn’t looking out for seniors and will end Medicare “as we know it”. Small detail: Medicare will end on its own by going bankrupt in about 12 years.

From Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, the message has been fact-based. They’ve told the truth. Both remind us that our national debt (over $15 trillion) and deficit are out of control. America can only spend more than it takes in for so long.

And though it’s often political suicide to advocate for reductions in spending, they demand it. They also insist that Medicare be fixed before it fails. What a concept. As for economic prosperity and growth, the campaign knows where that begins—in the shop down the street, not in Washington.

Summarizing both camps, syndicated columnist George Will said: “Obama’s campaign of avoidance—say anything to avoid the subject of the country’s condition—must now reckon with Ryan’s mastery of Obama’s enormous addition to decades of governmental malpractice.”

Build a Home, or Close the Coffin

Ultimately, we’ve seen an aggressive Mitt Romney pick a lightening rod of a vice presidential candidate—showing he’s serious about tackling our crisis. Furthermore, he shows us that the days of handing Millennials the tab are over.

Young people, we share in the experience of over 16% unemployment. Many of us will graduate jobless. Though we balk, our childhood bedrooms are calling us home. Despite our desire to avoid the realization that our degrees aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on (at least not for now), we must decide.

This election will define our productive lives. It will set the tone. We can build the home of economic prosperity or sand and stain its casket. By choosing to keep what we have, we’ll live out what we deserve. As pollster John Zogby would say, we’ll remain “college-educated, not going anywhere.”

Photo credit: Dave Merrick

Related posts:

  1. Without The Big O, You Can’t Build That Meet Julia. She doesn’t have a last name, but just…
  2. Obama Pushes Back On ‘You Didn’t Build That’ Flap NEW YORK (AP) — President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign has…