The Contract from America

Although it started a while back (September 1, 2009), many people haven’t heard of the “Contract From America” let alone the text it contains.

In the interest of making sure each person knows what it says, I thought I would post it here. Let me know if there are sections you don’t agree with, and why. It should make some interesting conversation, at the very least. Who knows, it might even change America.

The Contract From America

We, the undersigned, call upon those seeking to represent us in public office to sign the Contract from America and by doing so commit to support each of its agenda items, work to bring each agenda item to a vote during the first year, and pledge to advocate on behalf of individual liberty, limited government, and economic freedom.

Individual Liberty

Our moral, political, and economic liberties are inherent, not granted by our government. It is essential to the practice of these liberties that we be free from restriction over our peaceful political expression and free from excessive control over our economic choices.

Limited Government

The purpose of our government is to exercise only those limited powers that have been relinquished to it by the people, chief among these being the protection of our liberties by administering justice and ensuring our safety from threats arising inside or outside our country’s sovereign borders. When our government ventures beyond these functions and attempts to increase its power over the marketplace and the economic decisions of individuals, our liberties are diminished and the probability of corruption, internal strife, economic depression, and poverty increases.

Economic Freedom

The most powerful, proven instrument of material and social progress is the free market. The market economy, driven by the accumulated expressions of individual economic choices, is the only economic system that preserves and enhances individual liberty. Any other economic system, regardless of its intended pragmatic benefits, undermines our fundamental rights as free people.

1. Protect the Constitution

Require each bill to identify the specific provision of the Constitution that gives Congress the power to do what the bill does.

2. Reject Cap & Trade

Stop costly new regulations that would increase unemployment, raise consumer prices, and weaken the nation’s global competitiveness with virtually no impact on global temperatures.

3. Demand a Balanced Budget

Begin the Constitutional amendment process to require a balanced budget with a two-thirds majority needed for any tax hike.

4. Enact Fundamental Tax Reform

Adopt a simple and fair single-rate tax system by scrapping the internal revenue code and replacing it with one that is no longer than 4,543 words—the length of the original Constitution.

5. Restore Fiscal Responsibility & Constitutionally Limited Government in Washington

Create a Blue Ribbon taskforce that engages in a complete audit of federal agencies and programs, assessing their Constitutionality, and identifying duplication, waste, ineffectiveness, and agencies and programs better left for the states or local authorities, or ripe for wholesale reform or elimination due to our efforts to restore limited government consistent with the US Constitution’s meaning.

6. End Runaway Government Spending

Impose a statutory cap limiting the annual growth in total federal spending to the sum of the inflation rate plus the percentage of population growth.

7. Defund, Repeal, & Replace Government-run Health Care

Defund, repeal and replace the recently passed government-run health care with a system that actually makes health care and insurance more affordable by enabling a competitive, open, and transparent free-market health care and health insurance system that isn’t restricted by state boundaries.

8. Pass an ‘All-of-the-Above” Energy Policy

Authorize the exploration of proven energy reserves to reduce our dependence on foreign energy sources from unstable countries and reduce regulatory barriers to all other forms of energy creation, lowering prices and creating competition and jobs.

9. Stop the Pork

Place a moratorium on all earmarks until the budget is balanced, and then require a 2/3 majority to pass any earmark.

10. Stop the Tax Hikes

Permanently repeal all tax hikes, including those to the income, capital gains, and death taxes, currently scheduled to begin in 2011.

— Posted with Stuffr! —

Spenders, Snubs, & Shakespeare

As you’ve read in the previous few posts, this was a busy week. Next week will be even busier. Thank God it’s Friday. (No that was not an ad). Tomorrow I am taking the boys over to Sweetwater Creek State Park to do some birdwatching. Who knows what we’ll see.

For now, let’s see what else happened this week that I forgot to talk about.

Thought #1

The current debt ceiling is $12.1 trillion. Democrats want to raise that ceiling 14.87% this year alone.

In a bold but risky year-end strategy, Democrats are preparing to raise the federal debt ceiling by as much as $1.8 trillion before New Year’s rather than have to face the issue again prior to the 2010 elections.

“We’ve incurred this debt. We have to pay our bills,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told POLITICO Wednesday. And the Maryland Democrat confirmed that the anticipated increase could be as high as $1.8 trillion — nearly twice what had been assumed in last spring’s budget resolution for the 2010 fiscal year.

I don’t know about you, but my bank doesn’t increase my credit line 14.87% everytime I get close to reaching my limit. It’s time to stop this b.s., isn’t it?

Thought #2

Wow. It’s one thing to change protocol at the White House and attempt to change things at every level of government here in the United States, but isn’t it a bit arrogant to cancel out on the events that Norway plans for all Nobel Peace Prize winners?

Barack Obama’s trip to Oslo to pick up his Nobel peace award is in danger of being overshadowed by a row over the cancellation of a series of events normally attended by the prizewinner.

Norwegians are incensed over what they view as his shabby response to the prize by cutting short his visit.

The White House has cancelled many of the events peace prize laureates traditionally submit to, including a dinner with the Norwegian Nobel committee, a press conference, a television interview, appearances at a children’s event promoting peace and a music concert, as well as a visit to an exhibition in his honour at the Nobel peace centre.

He has also turned down a lunch invitation from the King of Norway.

Oh that’s right, President Obama isn’t like most of the other Nobel Peace Prize winners. They actually had to earn theirs. I found this following line the funniest of them all in the article.

The Norwegian Nobel committee, which awards the peace prize, dismissed the criticism. “We always knew that there were too many events in the programme. Obama has to govern the US and we were told early on that he could not commit to all of them,” said Geir Lundestad, secretary of the committee.

President Obama is far too busy governing the United States so it’s understandable that he cannot find the time to attend all of these events. I suppose the Nobel committee forgot all about his trip to Copenhagen to lobby for the 2016 games for the city of Chicago.

The Obama administration said at the time that the President could ‘multitask’ so there was no problem with him traveling to Copenhagen to lobby the Olympic Committee.

So what’s the problem with Oslo and the King of Norway? No kickbacks? No incentive to attend? Come on, tell the truth for once.

Thought #3

Al Gore doesn’t know how to read

. It must be all those carbon credit fumes clouding his mind.

Q: How damaging to your argument was the disclosure of e-mails from the Climate Research Unit at East Anglia University?

A: To paraphrase Shakespeare, it’s sound and fury signifying nothing. I haven’t read all the e-mails, but the most recent one is more than 10 years old. These private exchanges between these scientists do not in any way cause any question about the scientific consensus.

Yet, the East Anglia emails are dated from March 7,1996 through November 12, 2009. Wow. First we have global warming now we have time warping. Ten years have passed since November 12th? Someone get me a few thousand global second credits, this is going to be painful.

The Reality Of Broken Promises

When it comes to politics, I never expect the candidates to uphold all of the promises they make while on the campaign trail. Call me a realist, but I know it’s impossible for someone who has no idea what the job will entail to make promises on how they will do that job before they actually get it.

Presidential candidates have no idea what it really means to be President of the United States until they win the election and are brought up to speed on what’s really going on in the world. There is no other job in the world that can help them prepare for their first national security briefing. They have no idea what it takes to be, or what needs to be done as, president. If they knew what it took they would never want the job in the first place.

Over the course of the past two years we heard three words. They became the focus of Barack Obama’s campaign for the presidency.

Hope, change, and inspiration.

For two years Barack Obama promised to fill our lives with hope. He was going to bring new hope and vision to the Oval Office. For two years he promised to bring change to Washington, D.C., he said there would be no more business as usual. He spent two years inspiring people to believe he was the man that would change everything. He inspired enough people to be elected the 44th President of the United States.

Now, reality sets in.

Continue reading

Character Versus Change

Two weeks ago I wrote about character and how we define our own reputations. Our reputations are based on the shadow cast by our character, but the size and depth of that shadow depends on our own actions, the hardships we’ve faced, and the destiny we forge for ourselves.

We are experts when it comes to our own character and we alone make the choices by which our reputation takes shape. By what measure do we judge another person’s character? What if things are a bit clouded and we can’t see their shadow too clearly? How do we judge their character?

Do we judge another person’s character by their words, actions, and accomplishments? Do we consider their opinions, thoughts, experiences and values? How long does it take to learn the true nature of someone’s character?

I’m sure the answer varies with most people. Sometimes you can judge a person’s character the moment they walk up to you, with others it can take much longer. Character plays a large part in how we interact with each other everyday. From the teenager working at the coffee shop to the seasoned business executive, we interact with people differently based on our perception of their character. You would most likely hesitate doing business with someone who had a bad reputation, and you would probably avoid taking stock tips from a bum sitting on a park bench.

Shouldn’t we take character into account when choosing the next President of the United States?

Continue reading

I Finally Get It!

For months I have said that this presidential election would come down to the candidates’ choice for vice-president. I know, it’s crazy isn’t it? Who bases their choice for President of the United States on that person’s choice in a running mate? I’m not sure if anyone else does, but this year, I do.

I do not like Barack Obama. I never have. With all his talk of hope, change, and inspiration, I have yet to hear him state a single thing he will do that fills me with hope. I have yet to hear him tell me what he is going to change that will actually make things different. I have yet to hear him say anything that inspires me to vote for him. Don’t get mad, I am just being honest.

Now, here’s another tidbit you will love.

I do not like John McCain either. I never have. He has worked hard on the opposite side of many issues that are important to me. For years he has been known as a RINO in Washington. A Republican In Name Only. While it’s true that he has an exemplary record when it comes to some conservative issues, I have a hard time reconciling that record with his record on many issues like illegal immigration and energy.

Both candidates have now chosen their vice-presidential running mates.

Barack Obama chose Joseph Biden, the senator from Delaware. I found nothing hopeful in that decision. Joe Biden has been in Washington since 1972, where is the change? Truth be told, I do not find the Obama-Biden ticket to be inspiring at all.

John McCain chose Sarah Palin, the governor of Alaska. And now, I finally get it.

For the past year I have heard Barack Obama talk about hope. I saw that hope today when Sarah Palin walked out and greeted the crowd in Dayton, Ohio. For the first time since this election cycle started I have hope that America might not be going to hell in a hand-basket.

In addition to hope, Barack Obama has spoken of change. Nothing embodies the word change more than Sarah Palin. She is known as a barracuda on the basketball court, and as governor she spent her time cleaning up corruption in the state of Alaska. If any of the candidates, for president or vice-president, represent the true possibility that things can change, it’s her.

It’s an understatement to say that I haven’t been inspired much this election cycle. I threw my support behind Fred Thompson when he announced his candidacy only to find that Fred really didn’t want the job. Since then, I haven’t endorsed a single candidate on the national level, and I had no intention to do so. Neither Barack Obama nor John McCain have inspired me in the slightest, and truth be told, until today I was planning to vote for a third-party candidate. But John McCain chose Sarah Palin and inspired me.

Barack Obama was right. We can have hope for the future. We can change things. We can be inspired. Thank you Senator McCain for choosing Sarah Palin as your running mate.

Tossing Change Out The Window

By now you’ve heard that Barack Obama has chosen Joe Biden as his vice-presidential running mate. Some think Biden was a good choice, others not so much. Let’s put some things in perspective here.

For months, Barack Obama has been sending a message of hope and change to people across the nation. He has promised a new America. He has spent the better part of this year railing against “Washington insiders” convincing voters that he was bringing something different to the White House, something new and full of hope.

Instead, he’s bringing Joe Biden. A six-term U.S. Senator.

Joe Biden was first elected to the senate in 1972. In comparison, Dick Cheney was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1978. This makes Joe Biden more of a “Washington insider” than Dick Cheney. So much for new.

In 1988 while running for President, Joe Biden was caught plagiarizing a speech, and then within days it was discovered that he had also plagiarized a law review article while in his first year of law school. He dropped out of the race following those accusations. So much for hope.

Joe Biden voted for the final resolution to support the war in Iraq. He has consistently supported appropriations to pay for it and has argued repeatedly to increase the number of soldiers in Iraq. So much for change.

It is being said today that Barack Obama chose Joe Biden as his running mate because he brings solid foreign affairs credentials to the campaign. Well, he also brings a lot of baggage from inside Washington. Baggage that will most likely weigh down the campaign. Baggage that Barack Obama should have left at the curb.

As a right-leaning independent voter, I can’t help but think that Obama has just harpooned his own campaign.