Tag Archives: Election

Do You Want The Peaceful Overthrow Of Our Government?

Cheering on my training buddies for the IronMan in Providence

The First Tuesday After The First Monday Of November is this week. Federal Elections in the United States are an opportunity for the peaceful overthrow of our government. If we aren’t happy with things we can make a sweeping change and put new people in charge of our government. Do you think they can do that in Venezuela? or China? or North Korea? or even Cuba? No, they cannot. These can wine and dine with Hollywood elite like Oliver Stone and Sean Penn but their citizens do not have free elections. In fact, their citizens are routinely put in jail or killed for making statements about their government like those made by Messrs. Stone and Penn.

An fact of much concern in our country is jobs. Or lack of them. Currently, unemployment has been at or above 9.5% for fourteen months. This is the longest stretch since the Great Depression. How does that make you feel?

Our national jobs crisis is actually more dire when factoring in the part-time workers who want full time work, the under-employed, and those who have “given up” looking for full time employment. When these groups are included the unemployment rate is reportedly approaching 20% for those making under $75,000.

So, what needs to be done to get people working? My Conservative friends and colleagues believe we need to cut taxes to everyone. Then people can consume more goods (i.e.: spend more money) so businesses will invest in new technologies, or expand, and then will increase their payroll. My Liberal friends and colleagues believe we need to increase government spending via job training programs, which would retrain workers, and government sponsored construction projects which would provide jobs while improving our deteriorating infrastructure. Do you agree with my Liberal friends or my Conservative friends? In two days you can have your voice, and your opinion, be heard this election season.

Peaceful overthrow of our government or a rubber stamp to “stay the course”? Clearly there is quite a bit at stake; President Obama has been out trying to energize his “Base” while Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney, and others from the Right have been doing the same. It will be interesting to see which side is more energized and who is crying in their beer and who celebrating on Wednesday morning after (presumably) all the election returns are in.

Let us not forget, many young men and women have given their lives and limbs so that we can have the right to vote and maintain our American lifestyle. This is our ONLY VOICE in how our governance is conducted; so let your voice be heard loud and clear.

Happy Halloween:)

Thanks for stopping by.

May You Be Healthy, Wealthy, & Wise

Public Works Projects: Can Taxpayers Afford To Allow Government To Control Spending Without Accountability?

The “Biggest Little State in the Union” is in the final stages of the relocation of Interstate Route 195. The Iway is a short stretch of highway that passes over the Providence River, and is easing the traffic congestion that plagued commuters between the West Bay and East Bay of the state for years.

Last night, as I was zooming across the new “Iway” bridge, I found myself admiring its design; the internally illuminated concrete piles, the arches (that seem to be the same color as the garages at the house where I grew up,) the suspension cables, and its over-all smooth-ness. There aren’t potholes or big bumps to jar ones passage across the Providence River as had become the norm with the old Providence River Bridge. Perhaps it was my imagination, but even the road surface material seemed to be quieter, surreal.

Alas, that was then this is now. This morning I decided to skip the gym and, while the weather permits, read the ProJo Online with a cup of coffee on my deck. Much to my chagrin, I read that the cost of relocating route 195 is already more than double from initial estimates and the project won’t be completed until 2012. That is a swing from $299 million in 1993 to a whopping $758 million today and the initial estimate accounted for inflation. One would hope that there are people much smarter than I am who cost these things out at the outset. In commercial real estate we use a Pro Forma to determine the feasibility of a project/venture so there aren’t any surprises and the developer/owner doesn’t run out of money. Try to imagine the developer of a housing development, an office building or retail plaza going back to the lending institution every year or so asking for additional funds to complete the initial project. We have all seen enough unfinished housing developments and commercial buildings sitting vacant to know that lending institutions won’t hesitate to kill funding on a poorly managed/executed construction project. It is not so easy with Public Works Projects. We can’t have unfinished bridges, roads, sewers etc because the public welfare and safety depends on these projects.

What can we do? For sure there is no easy answer, but we need to address the fiscal irresponsibily of governments because we are at, or quickly approaching, the “tipping point” where our society just cannot afford more taxes without permanently handicapping the economy at-large. Every dollar that is paid in taxes is one less dollar that can be spent on breakfast in a local coffee shop, or on a bouquet of flowers, or dining out, or attending local theater. The segment of society that “feels it most” could be those that can afford it least – those with lower income. They may not pay income taxes but they pay the onerous gas tax every time they fill-up, and other “sin taxes” when they buy a six-pack of beer, or a pack of cigarettes…and these monies are continually squandered by the politicians who control the purse-strings of government. Why do the Gas Tax and other “road taxes” often go into the General Fund and not remain earmarked for transportation issues? Why aren’t monies received from liquor and cigarette taxes earmarked for healthcare/Medicaid? Monies received from specific sources should be disbursed for corresponding specific uses. This would force our politicians and the bureaucrats to be responsible and accountable with our money. There would be no General Fund “black hole” sucking in these revenues to be lost and only to resurface as some pet project or other pork-barrel spending.

So as we approach the Primary and then the General Election, pay attention to what the candidates say, and what the politicians have done. This is the only time the citizenry has a voice. We need to speak with a voice that is loud and clear: “We are not going to tolerate, nor can we afford wasteful spending.” Don’t forget to vote.

Thanks for stopping by.

May You Be Healthy, Wealthy, and WISE