Author Archives: Don Hays

Shredding George – The Latest in Nanny State Government

Last December, I wrote an article about a bill lurking in the dark shadows of Congress that would begin production of a fourth dollar coin over the past three decades.  Harmless right?  I mean, so what if the Susan B. Anthony and Sacagawea coins were total busts.  I remember the biggest deal about the SBA coin was that kids kept jamming them into the quarter slots of the “Asteroids” game at my favorite arcade.  All I remember is that I didn’t get my Atari fix for the week.

 

Oh…. But did I mention that this one wouldn’t be optional?  Yep, that’s right folks, this time, it’s mandatory!!  Say goodbye to George on paper and say hello to the dollar coin, weighing us all down, just like all the other government regulations in our lives.  So much for choice.

 

In the latest chapter of the “we know what’s best for you” bible being written by our government, HR 2977 and its companion bill S. 2049 (co-sponsored by Tom Harkin and that conservative icon we all know and love…. John McCain) would call for the replacement of the dollar bill with a coin….. as a deficit reduction measure…. Yeah, I’ll wait for the literary double-take…. a deficit reduction measure.

 

Nevermind that the minting of these beauties will be three times the cost of the printing of bills….  Yes, yes, I can hear you…  “but, but, but…  they’ll last longer than the bills, therefore they’ll save us in the long run!”  Uh…. That might be true if someone other than the US Government was running the show.  Seriously, you are just going to take their words that this will save us money?  The same folks that overspend $47,000 per SECOND??!!!

 

Yet there is a bigger point to be made here.  WE DON’T WANT A COIN DOLLAR!!  I can say this with confidence due to the fact that there are vaults full of Anthonys, Sacagaweas and Presidential coins…. Wait… only half of the Presidents even made it on this last coin venture – they discontinued them after Chester Arthur..  NO COIN FOR YOU, CLEVELAND!! (channeling the Soup Nazi here).  So naturally, the proper thing for Congress to do, when the whole voluntary transition thing didn’t work would be to force it on us…. Sieg Heil!!

 

And have we stopped to consider the impact this may have on some of the small business owners who deal almost exclusively in cash, like laundromats, vending machines and coin recognition devices?  Pish-tosh!  They’re just the “little people” in fly-over country anyway… no biggie.  So they might have to shell out thousands to replace or retrofit equipment.  We’ll just extend their unemployment benefits after we kill off their business dreams…

 

Today, it’s the appearance of your currency, tomorrow it’s how you spend it.  The next day is how much you can keep and….. oh crap, I think we are already into next week….

 

As someone who has actually taken the 22 minutes it takes to read the Constitution, with amendments, I know that one of the few expressed powers our federal government has is to coin money.  Sure, how it looks and how much is in circulation is implicitly included in that mandate, but it should be mentioned that said government still is basically one big employee – and the American people are STILL the boss.

 

This is bigger than the folding versus jingling argument.  It is about whether we want this level of government intrusion in our lives.  Remember, in 1930’s Germany, it started with regulations on how to cook your lobster.  So you say, “Heck! That’ll never happen here in the good old USA!!”  You mean like some government employee taking a kid’s lunch away because they deemed it too “unhealthy”?

 

I guess you’re right…. That would NEVER happen here in the U.S…..

 

 

 

 

Iowa Caucuses in a “Nut”shell

The giant sucking sound you may be hearing coming from the general direction of the mid-west is the sound of every politician, pundit, reporter and talking head bolting the Hawkeye state like a young boy caught with the farmer’s daughter. After the candidates that ‘cared so much for Iowa’, haul cookies out of the state for places east, we are left to interpret yet another set of baffling caucus numbers, now consistent with the “first in the nation” event. But if this year’s tally doesn’t prove to the world that Iowa has “jumped the shark” politically, nothing will.

After a contest that had more lead changes than a NASCAR race, we get what amounts to a tie between Mitt “please vote for me this time” Romney and Rick “the last un-Romney candidate who hasn’t been shot at” Santorum. Reynolds Wrap spokesman Ron Paul comes in third, followed by a limping Newt Gingrich and three other candidates that just should whip out the hari-kari sword and get it over with.

And what does it all mean in a post-winner take all style of delegate allocation caucus? NADA, ZIP, ZILTCH, ZERO! Did I mention it doesn’t mean diddly??

Here’s what you need to know about Iowa and the campaign season so far, especially if you are a conservative – circular firing squads kill people!

Perfecting the technique that worked oh so well in 2008, Republicans, in their attempts at “vetting” the candidates have once again shot down every viable prospect leaving only whack jobs and moderates who know when to duck. This brand of head-hunting left the dead political bodies of Mike Huckabee, Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney and the like strewn along the side of the road to the White House and paved the way for John “back to Mordor with you conservative Hobbits” McCain to fight the man, the myth, the manufactured legend – Barack Obama. Given the sentiments and economic woes of the time, only a conservative could have defeated the “change” machine and anyone who even resembled one was splayed out on the side of the road.

Nary a week into 2012, we have run from the same playbook, thinking this time it will work. Need I remind folks of the famous definition of insanity?

So, here’s what you really need to take from Iowa, what we should do about and what will probably happen:

Santorum & Romney tie, but Romney will win New Hampshire in a wash (Santorum may be a teeny bump, but nothing big) and that will propel him to likely victory in South Carolina. Santorum has NO shot in New Hampshire and will likely split the South Carolina vote with Gingrich, both with lose to Romney. Paul will do well enough in each contest to convince himself to stay in the race, but he will not win ONE state, ever. But for an ego like his, this will be fuel for his third party fire, which will pretty much secure the general election for Obama. Perry, Bachmann and Huntsman are done and should all suspend their candidacies now (looks like Bachmann is doing this as we speak), coalesce around either Gingrich or Santorum, shoot the other candidate and hope the anti-Romney chosen one can prevail.

My prediction: egos won’t let that happen, the conservative vote will again be split, Romney is nominated, Paul runs under the “Tin Foil” Party flag, Obama wins second term, America loses.

I have never been one to proclaim himself as a prognosticator and these are indeed dangerous times to even be in the business, but this isn’t really hard to call.

We made this bed folks! In the name of vetting, we slaughtered every good candidate, thinking we could survive a circular firing squad. In all likelihood, we will reap the harvest – Obama in the White House until 2016 and worse, Obamacare truly getting its meat hooks into the economy, never to be expunged.

There is one last shot: Put Reagan back in his coffin and let him rest in peace. Re-evaluate the living with the realization that NONE of them are Ronaldus Maximus and pick the closest one to him. Restore Reagan’s 11th commandment and immediately push anyone who violates it from this point forward off the political cliff. Bottom line, if your guy can’t win without having to pull down another one of his fellow Republicans, he doesn’t deserve to occupy the office.

We’ve got about a week to do this folks so quit pointing fingers, throwing rocks, put the kool-aid down and take off the tin-foil hats. Vote with conscious and confidence with visions of Reagan’s morning in America dancing in your heads. Only then will this road truly lead to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and not to Perdition.

The 730 Days That Continue to Change the World

After years of fighting, years of spilling our blood and treasure, we finally had our own independent, sovereign country. We were finally free of the shackles of tyranny. So many of our young men lay dead, so much of our property gone, so much of our innocence lost. Yet, we were finally in control of our own destiny. This precious gift of freedom bestowed upon and earned by us, now looked to us for its continued sustenance.

The answers would come with difficulty, just like our independence had done so. The solutions would not be unanimous nor perfect, but they would be ours, for better or worse. Many of the solutions would prove effective and many would not. Time and experience would, as always, would be the true indicators of success.

Finally, on a hot summer day in Philadelphia, a group of the finest leaders in our fledgling country signed a document that would give us the best chance of success for this new Republic. Within two years, it had been ratified and put into practice and since 1789, our country has enjoyed a simple freedom – that no more than 730 days would pass before we the people would have the opportunity to radically change the course of our government.

Fast forward to the year 2012. Only hours ago did we ring in the new year, as has been the custom for centuries. But unlike last year, this year brings that all-important day – day 730 – to bear. Because of the United States Constitution, we’re given the opportunity to change the entire makeup of the body of Congress, which was considered by our forefathers to be the most influential and powerful over the course of our nation. The House of Representatives was always intended to reflect the will of the people in the election process that is held every two years, and is the closest thing to a pure democracy that the framers ever wanted to approach.

Every 730 days (or 731) the charge is given to the people to point the country in the direction it wants. We now have a fixed 435 member lower house, not one of whom is guaranteed to hold that position for more than 730 days. Yes, some members continue to enjoy reelection to the post on a continual basis, but none of them are guaranteed a spot. Without filing the proper paperwork and formally declaring candidacy, no one in the House of Representatives may serve beyond his or her current term.

This means that if we, as a people, want to replace all 435 members with someone else and thus dramatically change the direction of the country, we can do that every 730 days. The next opportunity for this will be in a little over 11 months from now. If new people are elected, it will be because of the will of the people. If old people stay in their positions, it will be because of the will of the people.

It is far too easy in our cynical world just to say that we do not have control over our own political destiny. It’s too easy to blame big corporations, big government, unions, special interest groups etc. for having a stronghold on Washington, but at the end of the day, it’s the voter that sets the agenda and it’s the voter that must take ultimate responsibility.

Taking personal responsibility however is not in vogue in our current society. It is far easier to hold up signs that blame Wall Street, corrupt politicians and the like. Unfortunately, if we are going to be truly honest with ourselves, we will have to realize that our chance to right the ship arrived and we didn’t do our part. He it’s easy to chant slogans and shout “we the people!” It’s much more difficult to realize that the true “Buck” stops not at the desk of the president, but at our own front door. WE are the controllers of the destiny of this country, not our politicians, not special interests, not unions and not big corporations. “We the people” refers not just to our rights as United States citizens, but to our responsibilities as well – responsibilities given to us by countless individuals who gave up their lives, their liberties and their pursuits of happiness – for ours.

So before you go out and protest, before you call up a radio talk show, before you spout off to anyone willing to listen about how bad your country is, I challenge you to do the one thing that will make the most difference – VOTE! Your vote is no more or less valuable than that of the bigwigs on Wall Street or the CEO of a powerful company or the head of an influential union. Your vote is the greatest equalizer ever given to man in terms of his political future. It’s time to take your job seriously – a job you only need to exercise every 730 days. Consider the fact that for the vast majority of people on this earth, this job is not even offered to them.

If we as citizens/members/employers of our country neglect to use this great power and privilege, that is our choice. But by forfeiting this God-given right and privilege, we give up the right to be “boss” to those persons who, for the next 730 days, will control the direction of the country.