CAIN 2012

Trendies Panic




The following is the transcript of an interview with 2012 Presidential candidate Richard N. Cain. 





Why are you running for President?


            Our Government is broke, not just at the Federal level but at the State and Local level as well.  When I say broke, I mean that both figuratively and literally.  Figuratively, because it’s no longer doing its job, which is to do what is best for America and all of the people of this country.  Instead those that are elected are putting their political careers first, their chosen political party second, and their campaign contributors third, and somewhere way on down the line the people that elected them.  For the congress that means the State that elected them, not the Country as a whole.  As a result, they focus their efforts on getting Federal funds back to their State for pet projects that they can use as bullet stops for the next election.  Whether that’s a “bridge to nowhere”, or a multimillion dollar dam that will provide water for a few farms, these projects help the State and not the country as a whole. 


            Literally, our government is broke because it is no longer spending our money, its spending money that our grandchildren and great-grandchildren will have to pay back, if they can.  The failure of our elected officials to focus on the country as a whole, rather than their own personal agendas and careers, is leading this country to bankruptcy and most likely the end of our republic as we know it.  We need real leadership in the White House if we are to fix this nation.  Another puppet celebrity for the Democratic or Republican parties won’t get the job done, because they will continue to focus on pleasing their party, not the welfare of the nation. 


Is that why you’re not running as a Democrat or Republican?


            Yes, because I won’t be part of the bipartisanship that is currently corrupting the ability of the Government to do its job, and as an independent I’ll be able to provide the real leadership that this country so desperately needs.  A real leader leads by example, not by following the path that others want him take, or by taking the path that wasn’t chosen by the people that don’t want to follow him.  A real leader will find the best path for the country as a whole, not just the path that will make his allies happy and his enemies unhappy.


            Both the Democratic and Republican parties, are so focused on their “Good versus Evil” battle with each other, that they have failed to realize that they have both become the very evil they claim to be fighting against.  To win the nomination of one of these parties, you have to become part of that battle, and I have no desire to continue down this path of destruction that both of these parties are intent on taking this nation.  I want to end that “Evil versus Evil” battle, and focus the Government back on doing what is best for the entire nation and all the people of this nation, not just what is best for a particular political party and the selected few people that these parties want to reward for financing their never-ending battle.


So what makes you different from the other candidates, how do we know this is not just you saying what you think the voters want to hear?


That’s a tough question.


Are you going to answer it?


            Sure.  I guess the only way the people can judge that is by the history of the candidates and by their actions during the campaign process.  As a candidate, I am not soliciting campaign contributions to pay for my campaign.  I’m not hiring public relations firms to conduct polls to find out what people want to hear from the candidate.  I’ll continue to speak what’s on my mind and in my heart, and the direction I believe the government and this country needs to take in order to restore this nation as a real and viable leader of the free world.  Unlike the other candidates, I won’t be changing my message as the public opinion shifts, and I won’t be running political ads in the media, in an effort to get the name recognition like the other candidates.  I intend to be honest throughout the campaign, and honesty doesn’t allow you to waffle back and forth with the winds of rhetoric generated by the other candidates and political parties.


Why not?  Why not run campaign ads?  How else do you expect people to know you’re running?


            Well, for starters, I’m not wealthy.  I have a day job just like most of the people in this country do, and just like most of the people in this country, if I lose my job, I will also lose my car, my home, and just about everything I own and have worked for my entire life.  I’m not collecting other people’s money to gamble on getting elected, so I have to stay honest to my values.  One of those values is that elections shouldn’t be bought, and inundating the airwaves and media with campaign rhetoric, to me, gives the appearance of purchasing an elected position.  If you have to fill the airwaves with what you think people want to hear, and that’s not your real intentions, or you make promises that you know you can’t or don’t intend to keep, that’s not honest, and it cheapens the office you’re running for.  I’m hoping that enough people will see my honesty and integrity during the campaign, and spread the word amongst friends and relatives, and eventually the media will take notice.  I want to be a real leader and set an example for future elections when I get elected, by spending the least amount of money per vote.  Sadly, for this nation, in past elections it appears that the candidate that spends the most per vote gets elected.  I hope to change that.


Do you think it will work?


            I hope so, for all of our sakes, including our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, because it’s their futures that are most at stake.


What does "Trendies Panic" mean?


            “Trendies Panic” is an anagram for “President Cain”, and it is my motto as well.  I want those “trendy” candidates to start panicking.  It’s time to get America back on track, and put the meaning back in “We the People of these United States”, instead “I the elected member of your government”.  


“Trendies Panic” is also the name of my campaign committee.  Candidates usually name their committee something like “Committee to elect So-and-So”.  I think different, and I want everything about my campaign to show that I am different from the other candidates, so I named my committee “Richard Cain Trendies Panic”.  I would have preferred just “Trendies Panic”, but the campaign laws require that the candidate’s name be part of the primary committee name.


On your website you mention "Real Change", what do you mean by “Real Change”?


            I’m glad you asked that question, because unlike the other candidates I want to be clear about what I mean by change.  Ever since Barack Obama successfully campaigned on “Change”, every candidate has been shouting change on their campaign, even the Republican candidates, but they never really define what they mean by “change”.  A week before the election in 2008, Barack Obama started back pedaling on his promise of change, by saying it would take many years for change to take place, specifically about two years after he completed his second term!  After the election, in his interview with Barbara Walters, he said what he meant by change was “him moving into the White House!”  Certainly, the policy in Afghanistan and Iraq didn’t change, nor did the approach to the economic crisis.  These policies stayed the course that George Bush had set before he left office.  So instead of Bush/McCain, we got Bush/Obama, and not a lot of “Change”! 


Okay so that’s what President Obama meant by change.  Let’s get back to the question, what do you mean by “Change”?


            What I mean by “Change” is a change in the way decisions are made in inside the beltline, so that those decisions will start benefiting all Americans, not just the campaign contributors of the winning candidates, or the other select few that elected officials want to reward.  Every decision made in Washington should benefit or affect everyone equally.  There is too much fraud, waste, and abuse, in government, and that has to change.  Government has to start following up on their actions to ensure that the programs are still relevant and consistent with the original intent of the program, instead of just passing laws and forgetting about them.  Social Security and Medicare are two examples of programs that started with good intentions, but through habitual government neglect, lack of oversight, fraud, waste, and abuse, have fallen short of their original promise.  Instead of correcting the problems with the current programs, the governments’ response is to create a new program, which is doomed to fail through the same neglect as its predecessors’.  That has to change.  When a program is started, after much careful thought and planning, it should be maintained or discontinued if or when it is no longer viable.


Are you suggesting that Social Security and Medicare should be discontinued?


            Not at all, they should be fixed, not patched, or replaced with something else that will be ignored and eventually not work, or propped up by some clever new system that may or may not work, which results in a still broken system.  The current problems with Social Security have been known since before I started paying into the system over thirty-five years ago.  After all these years, Congress has failed to correct the problem, and every year the cost of fixing it will cost the tax payers more than the year before.  One of their current solutions is to raise the age limit before you can start collecting social security, and their justification is that people are living longer.  That will help the people that actually live longer, but what about all the people that have paid into the system, that don’t live to that new age limit?  Another solution they have come up with is to deny the Social Security to those that have what they deem to be an adequate retirement plan.  So after years of paying into the system, the government may decide that you don’t get Social Security when you retire, because you planned ahead for your retirement.  Once again, their solution depends on taking from some and giving it others.  Their solution is to turn the Social Security program into a lottery or raffle.  After paying in to the system all of your working life, if you live long enough you win!  If you don’t plan ahead for your retirement, you win!  But what you win will most likely not be enough to live on, so in the end the average Americans still lose.


            They could redirect funds from some of the current wasteful programs to shore up Social Security and Medicare now, if they spent more time providing oversight to all of the current programs to insure that they are efficient and not wasting the tax payers’ money; instead of trying to find new and clever ways distract the public from their failures.  Accountability, efficiency, and a common sense approach to finding solutions to problems that don’t require a few to support the many, or reward a few at the expense of many.  That’s what I mean by change. 


Well that all sounds good, but how do you expect to bring about this change?  You have never held a political office, and you’ll be taking on some of the most experienced politicians in the country.  How are you going to convince them to go along with your idea of change?


            Granted I’ve never held a political office, but I have had some experience with politics.  I was in the military for twenty years, and then another three years working as a contractor with the Indian Health Service.  Any time you are working with a government organization, or even a large corporation, there is some politics involved, usually, its inter-office politics.  Inter-office politics are centered on individual career management, rather than the good of the organization.  That’s how someone moves up the career ladder when they don’t have the talent or skills to do the job, and unfortunately that’s what has happened in government as well, there are too many politicians concentrating on their personal political careers that don’t have the skills or talent to do the job they were elected to do.  They have to resort to politics to cover-up for their lack of knowledge in how things work, and how to fix the problems that the country is facing.  Then they just go along with what the party wants, as long as it will help their political career.  The result is that government can’t do the job that it’s supposed to be doing for the people.


            While some view not previously holding a political office as a handicap, I see it as an advantage.  Having never been corrupted by politics as usual, improves my chances of getting something accomplished because I will not have to worry about falling back into the same old habits that the experienced politicians have become accustomed to.  That will also allow me to be the leader that Washington, and this country, so desperately needs after the past several decades of poor judgment and neglect.


So how are you going to convince the politicians, most of whom will probably be hostile towards you, that you have the answers that can fix the country’s problems, and they should give up doing business as usual?


            The way to break the cycle of “business as usual” is to expose it for what it is, and expose the politicians that refuse to give it up.  The reason it hasn’t happened already, is that only experienced politicians are getting elected to office, and they can’t complain about or expose, the other politicians for doing the same thing that they are doing.  It’s the pot calling the kettle black!  I’m not a politician, and I don’t intend to make a career in politics.  I’ve never participated in the “business as usual” politics that has corrupted our government, so I can expose the corruption and those that are corrupting it, without worrying about it affecting my political career or having it thrown back at me because I’ve done the same thing.


Why not do that anyway?  You don’t have to be President to expose the “business as usual” politicians.


            That’s true, but as an average citizen not a lot of people are going to listen.  Even the news personalities and political analysts in the media, have trouble getting the people to listen or even care about what goes on in government.  If the President says this Senator or this Congressman is not doing their job for the people, and tell them why, they will have a much tougher time getting re-elected.  It’s in their best interest to break the cycle as well, or face the possibility of being exposed.


And you think you can make this work?


            Yes.  I always find a way.





Do you have any foreign policy experience?


            Not really, but neither does the current president, or the two prior to him before they took office.  I believe that the current, and most of the former presidents, have considered a visit to a foreign country as foreign policy experience when they are campaigning, so that being said, I was stationed in Turkey for two years, and I have been to several other countries for short duty assignments while I was in the Air Force, and I have visited England and Mexico for short trips as a tourist.  I should also mention that the military always told us we were “ambassadors” of the United States when we were in other countries under orders, so we had to conduct ourselves as such.  The expectation of our behavior was a little different from someone that was going to school, or hitchhiking around Europe to discover themselves.  As for Foreign policy, I think the most important thing to remember when dealing with foreign governments is to treat them as equals, something that is difficult to do when you project an “elitist” attitude and demeanor.


What other countries have you been to?


            How many countries have I been to altogether?




            I have been to Turkey, Greece, Germany, Japan, Italy, Switzerland, Denmark, Spain, England, Mexico, and New Mexico, for various lengths of time.  Some I was just passing through and others for an extended stay.


New Mexico is not a foreign country.


            Tell that to the Post Office.


Is that some sort of joke?


            It’s an inside joke.  You had to have lived in New Mexico to get it.


Okay, so how would you handle foreign policy?


            I would continue to support our allies, continue to work with foreign governments to stop the drug and human trafficking, and of course continue to put a stop to terrorism.  I think that terrorist are going to be the biggest problem facing all the developed countries in the future, and they will get most of their support from the undeveloped countries, because the people of those countries will have the least to lose, and will be the easiest for the terrorist to take advantage of.  It will also be easier for hostile countries to covertly fund and support terrorism, than to openly declare war on one of their neighbors or the U.S.  A small terrorist cell is much more maneuverable than a large military unit, and it’s more difficult to detect and defend against.  The members of a terrorist cell doesn’t even have to know who is paying the bills for them, so there is less chance of them giving up which hostile government or group is supporting them if they are caught. 


That really doesn’t sound much different from any other administrations foreign policy.  What if anything would you do differently?


            I think the biggest foreign policy difference I would have is to let the United Nations be the first responder in areas of conflict.  The countries in the local region of a conflict should be the ones to determine how that conflict is resolved.  The United States is not a global police force, and we shouldn’t continue to act like one.  There are other solutions to regional problems than ours, especially in different cultures.  That is why there is so much animosity in the world against the U. S.  now; they see us as interlopers and bullies.  We have to change that perception, and the way to do that is to stop pushing our way into every conflict that arises and arrogantly force our solution on everyone involved.  The best way to be leaders of the free world is to demonstrate that we have the best way, by providing a good example for developing countries to follow.  Show them that our way works, works well, and provides for all of our people, not just the wealthy elite few.  If we set that example, rather than try to push our values and philosophies on others without the evidence that they work, because we have failed at home, then perhaps they can find it easier to follow our example, and make it work for them as well.  We need to give them the opportunity to grow and develop in a manner that’s most suitable for them and their culture.


If you were President today, how would you handle the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq?


            I think you have to start off with an approach that lets the enemy know that you’re not going to back down, or surrender.  When you hesitate, it sends the wrong message, and encourages the enemy.  When the General in charge in Afghanistan, McKiernan, asked for thirty thousand additional troops, the President decided to replace him with his own hand picked General, and then conduct a three month review to re-evaluate the strategy.  When that General, McChrystal, asked for forty thousand additional troops, he had to think about it.  He was more concerned with the “political” ramifications of sending more troops, than he was with actually accomplishing the mission in Afghanistan.  Instead of taking the advice and recommendation of his “hand picked” General, he only sent thirty thousand additional troops.  That shows weakness, indecisiveness, and a lack of desire to win the war, and that’s not what you want to show the enemy.  I think General George S. Patton had the right idea, " imperfect plan implemented immediately and violently will always succeed better than a perfect plan."   We proved that in the first Gulf War.  President Obama’s hesitation sent the message to the terrorists that America was weakening, and they just had to hold out a little longer to achieve victory.  The President has to be a strong leader, especially in war time, and he has to convey that strength at all times.  When he doesn’t have the experience necessary to make military decisions, he has to be willing to accept the advice of his Generals, and allow them to win the war.  A failure in Iraq or Afghanistan will bring the war against terrorism back to the streets of America.


            When politicians speak out against the war, especially the one’s that have national and international notoriety, it encourages the enemy and gives them additional rhetoric to raise support to continue their efforts.   When the Speaker of the House talks about withholding funding for the war on international television, it sends encouragement to the enemy and motivates them to continue fighting.  It might get the speaker a few more votes back home come Election Day, but it costs additional lives of our troops on the battlefield.  There are not enough votes in this country that’s worth a single life on the battlefield, our politicians need to be aware of that, and it’s the Presidents job as Commander in Chief, to ensure that it doesn’t happen.  The President and other leaders in Washington need to make it clear to everyone in Congress that campaigning negatively about the war to garner votes, and say what the people might want to hear regarding the war, is counter-productive to ending the war and it will not be tolerated.  Just because you are a big politician in Washington doesn’t mean you can’t give aid to the enemy, even if it’s unintentional aid when you’re trying to get more votes back home to get re-elected.


And how would you handle Iraq?


            As for Iraq, I think the President has done a fine job of implementing President Bush’s plan for withdrawal of our troops.  But rather than crow about his success to deflect from his failed campaign promise of bringing the troops home in sixty days, he needs to enforce our commitment to maintaining a democracy in Iraq, and our intent to continue to assist with preventing the insurgents and terrorists from getting a foot hold there now, and in the future.





Let’s move on to domestic issues.  What would you change here at home, in America?


            Well for starters, I would like to see campaign reform, tax reform, education reform, and some real accountability in government.  It’s time that our government, at all levels, start doing the job they are supposed to be doing.  They are supposed to be working for all the people, not just the special interests, or the campaign contributors, or the people that make the most noise.  I think it’s time for our elected officials to start worrying about the people that elected them and their welfare, rather than their own political careers and their place in the history books.  If they want to be celebrities, they need to move on to Hollywood, and let somebody who actually gives a damn about this country, and its people, take their place in office.


Why do we need campaign reform?


            Most of the problems this country faces now are a direct result of the people that get elected.  We’re not getting the best people for the job, we’re getting the people that have the most money, or can raise the most money, or that have ties to the people with the money to finance their campaign.  Once they get into office, their priority is to help the people that helped them win the office, and by that I mean the people that fronted them the money to win the election, not necessarily the voters, or the people of this nation.  The only way to stop that is with campaign reform.


What would you like to see for campaign reform?


            The first thing we need to do is eliminate the individual and party contributions.  If you want to make a campaign contribution, it should go to a general fund that is available to, and used, by all the candidates.  And none of them will know who made the contribution, and they won’t be able to “return the favor” if they get elected.  That, in and of itself, will eliminate most of the corruption that we see in politics.  Once all of the candidates have access to the same advertising, then the people can actually chose between the candidates, rather than which one spends the most time in the media.  It levels out the playing field, so that it’s no longer only the wealthy that can get into office, but instead it would open up the door to other, probably much more qualified candidates, that currently don’t bother running because of the daunting amounts of money required to purchase an election.  We need the best qualified candidates to get elected, and when we eliminate candidates just because they can’t afford, or don’t have the connections to people with the money that is required to win an election, then we are not going to get the best qualified candidates, but instead we are stuck with people that are more interested in their personal careers, rewarding their campaign contributors, and worst of all the candidates who simply want to make history at the expense of the American people!


            When this country was founded, the founding fathers decided to “not” have a royalty, but rather that any citizen could become a member of the government.  The problem is that over the years, we have inadvertently created a royalty through our elections.  We have installed career politicians in the Government, which consists of the wealthy.  It is almost impossible for a member of the working class to win an election, much less become President.  To many people associate wealth with success, and of course we only want successful people running the country!  The problem with that philosophy is that wealth is not a true indicator of success.  There are three ways to obtain wealth, you inherit it, you get lucky, or you are doing something that either is or should be illegal.  None of these make you qualified to lead or run anything, much less a country!


            That being said, I think we should also have an IQ test for all of our elected officials.  As soon as they register to run for office, they should be given an IQ test to ensure that they are qualified to be in that office.  One look at the deficit, and some of the solutions to fix it coming out of Washington, makes it clear that we have too many politicians that have trouble with elementary math, not to mention basic comprehension, and critical thinking skills!


            I would also like to see term limits for all elected officials.  I realize that getting them to vote for this would be practically impossible because the elected officials are not going to be too keen on putting themselves out of business.  Being an elected official has its perks, and once you have those perks its hard to give them up.  But, this is something that “we the people” can do without an act of Congress.  All we have to do is “vote” them out of office after they have been there for a couple of terms!


Okay, how about tax reform.  What do you want to see there?


            Our current tax code is a mess.  It’s so complicated that I don’t think anyone really understands it anymore.  There needs to be a simplified tax system so that the average person can understand what they are paying, and where the money is going.  The only reason for having an obfuscated tax code is to make it easier for the politicians to misuse the money that they say is being collected for one purpose, when in reality it is being used to fund something entirely different. 


            Everyone in Washington wants to change the tax code in one way or another, especially on the campaign trail, but they can never seem to get anywhere with it.  For example we have Senator Wyden here in Oregon who is working on a bill to change the tax code by increasing the tax rate for the top two tiers.  This sounds good, especially since most of the voters are in the lower two tax brackets, and that’s where most of the votes come from.  At the same time Senator Nelson in Florida is working on a bill that would provide tax breaks for the commercial space companies and the people that invest in them.  It creates a couple of thousand jobs in his state, in theory, and it provides a nice tax shelter for the wealthy that will help finance his next campaign.  One Senator is working to the tax the rich, and the other is working to provide them a tax shelter.  That’s the problem with the current tax code, no matter how much you try to shift the burden to the wealthy, there will always be tax shelters for them to get out of picking up more of the burden.  On the surface it looks like the wealthy are paying more, but in reality they are not.  How many people living from paycheck to paycheck, will benefit from the tax shelters?  None!


What is your solution?


            I think it’s time to throw the personal income tax code out, and start over from scratch.  If you are really going to make the tax code fair, I think you have to get out of the mindset that everyone should pay a certain percentage of their income in tax.  As long as you have deductions, and tax shelters it’s not going to be a fair system, because the wealthy are always going to find more deductions and shelters that are not available to the average working man or woman.  If you give everyone the same deduction, then everyone will pay their fair share.  My solution is to set the deduction at one hundred thousand for everyone.  If you make less than one hundred thousand, you don’t pay taxes.  If you make more than one hundred thousand, you pay tax on the amount over one hundred thousand.  No deductions, no shelters, everyone pays their fair share.  This will also benefit the economy because now the working people will have more of they’re earnings to spend, which will help the businesses that employ them, and allow those businesses to hire more people.  This will in turn generate more tax revenues from the businesses, and the wealthy.


How is that fair?  That eliminates a large part of the population from paying taxes at all!


            Yes, but these are the people that are actually doing the labor that the wealthy depend on to make their fortunes.  Too many of the politicians have the wrong assumption that wealth trickles down, the reality is wealth flows up.  No matter how much wealth you allow the wealthy to keep by providing tax breaks, shelters, and bailouts, if the people that actually do the work don’t have money to spend, those few jobs created will not keep the economy functioning, and the wealthy will not get any richer.  The only way for the wealthy to get richer, so that they will loosen their death grip on their wealth, is for people to spend money.  They can’t spend what they haven’t got.  The only way for the economy to work is when there is a lot of people spending money, not when there are a few people amassing wealth for a “rainy day” or so they can brag at the country club that their bank balance is larger than someone else’s! 


            In 2009 6.7% percent of the households that made over one hundred thousand had no tax liability, according to the Tax Policy Center!  Is it fair for 1.5% of the people making over one million a year to not pay taxes, while people living from paycheck to paycheck have to shell out fifteen to twenty percent of their income to pay taxes, when they can’t even afford a home?  In 1913 when the 16th Amendment to the Constitution was passed, with tax rates between one and seven percent for people making over five hundred thousand, that was less than one percent of the population that paid taxes!  Today roughly fifty-three percent of the population pay taxes and how much you pay don’t really depend on how much you earn, but rather how much you can deduct.  The result is that some people that make over a million a year don’t pay taxes, while other people that can barely make ends meet do.  How is that fair?


Well when you put like that, it’s not.  I can see you are getting fired up, so let’s move on to accountability in government?


            I think the government needs to be more open with where the people’s money is spent, and where it’s coming from.  In election years we hear a lot about waste, but not a lot of specifics.  Why weren’t these issues brought up before the election?  I hear a lot from the democrats about how money was spent on “no bid” contracts in Iraq, and contractors that received money for goods and services that weren’t provided, but this happened several years ago!  Why are we just hearing about it now?  Why weren’t these democrats bringing up these issues when the transgressions were occurring?  When I was in the military, we verified that a contractor provided the goods or services before we paid them.  I don’t want it to seem like I’m picking on the military, this is going on in the private sector as well.  It’s a problem at all levels of government, contracts are awarded and the goods and/or services are just not delivered, because the people that should be responsible aren’t doing the follow up required to insure that the contractor is meeting their obligations.  The politicians are simply moving right on to the next bullet stop for their next campaign.  They are not concerned about the accountability, because they already have a tried and true method of shifting the blame when, and if, the error gets discovered.  The accountability comes when they are forced to take responsibility, and liability, for their actions while they are in office. 


How do you force them to take responsibility and liability for their actions?


            Well, while they are in office, they need to show that they are insuring that the money is being spent where and how it is supposed to be spent.  A monthly report to show the numbers would be a good start.  The government requires monthly reports from most businesses and industries, especially when it comes to collecting taxes, whether its payroll or sales taxes.   Hospitals are required to provide statistics on patient counts, various illnesses and diseases, and even the costs associated with patient care.  Some of these reports are monthly, others are quarterly, and some are annually.  I think the government should also provide this type of information regarding where the tax dollars are going. 


Wouldn’t that just create a lot of paperwork, not to mention being time consuming and costing the tax payer more in the long run?


            Most of these reports can be generated automatically if they are tracking the numbers as they should be.  When they cut a check, they should also be insuring that the work was done.  To often today, they just assume that the work was done, without verifying it.  Once they get into the habit of doing the job right, we the tax payers won’t have to pay for it to be done over.  As for the paperwork, with computers doing most of the work today, it would be a lot easier than when I first joined the military, and we did it all with pencil and paper!  The main ingredient to making accountability in government work is having someone be responsible enough to take charge and ensure that the job gets done right to begin with.  As for the cost, how many millions or was it billions that are unaccounted for in Iraq, while our elected officials in Washington just sat back and did nothing? 


            When it comes to liability, let’s start taking it out of the politician’s paychecks.  When I was in the military, if we couldn’t account for funds or equipment that we were responsible for, we had to pay for it, either with money or by doing time.  It’s too easy for a politician to say, “Hey, I dropped the ball.  Let’s move on and learn from our mistakes.”  When we’re talking about millions and billions of tax payers dollars, I think we need to see some restitution and time behind bars!  Then we will learn from our mistakes, as long as there is no restitution there will be no learning to go with it!


Okay, and what would you like to see as far as education reform?


            For starters, I would like to see our children actually get an education.  For the past twenty years or so, it seems as though they just have to show up at school and they get promoted to the next grade.  Their needs to be a certain level of expectations that they can meet before moving on to the next grade, and by that I don’t mean lowering that expectation so that they can move on if they’re not ready.  We’ve all heard about the “dumbing down of America” for years, but no one is doing anything about it.


            When I went to school, we had to pass a test at the end of the year and if we failed we got a “do over” the next year, not after someone gave us the answers so we could move on with our classmates to the next grade.  We also had vocational classes so people could learn to work on cars, work with wood, and learn electronics, and even home economics classes, where you could learn to cook.  Today, our children are graduating high school with the expectation that someone will be able to do all that for them, they just have to pay for it.  The downside of that philosophy is that they don’t have the skills required to get a job that will earn enough to be able to pay for it!


            I think that education is one of those requirements that government should take responsibility for, and ensure that a viable system is available for our children so that they can get a good education.  We are getting taxed for an education system, why aren’t our children being provided a decent one?  Again it’s a matter of the government not doing it right the first time, so we are left with children that are not prepared to move on into the world after high school. 


So what is your plan to fix it?


            Let’s set up an actual expectation for K-12, and instead of expecting the local governments to provide for schools and teachers, let’s have the Federal government pick up the tab.  That will allow us to ensure that all students are provided with the same opportunity for success, rather than limiting the students in the rural regions of the country because the local government can’t provide the funds for an adequate education program.  I would also like to see the education system go beyond K-12, and pick up the tab for the community colleges as well. 


            This would provide our children with an opportunity to figure out what further education they want, and begin building towards a higher degree as they decide what direction they want their career path to take, or if they choose they could learn a vocational trade if they are not interested in a higher education.  I’ve worked with a lot of people that jumped into college after high school, and got stuck in careers they weren’t really happy with, because their college funds were spent before they had time to decide what they really wanted to do.  Others have simply dropped out because they were pushed toward something they didn’t want, or couldn’t afford the tuition for the career path that they would prefer.  If America is going to be competitive in the world markets, we have to have well educated children.  By letting the education standards slip, our government has made it easier for the politicians to pull the wool over our children’s eyes in the future, but they are letting the nation down in the long run because our children will not be able to compete in the global market place.





Let’s talk about the economy and the national debt.  How would you deal with the deficit?


            The first thing we need to do is have educated people in Congress.  Simple math, reading comprehension, and critical thinking, skills should be a requirement to get elected.  When the Democrats passed the healthcare bill, they were telling the people how it reduced the deficit.  Did they actually think that spending a trillion dollars they don’t have over ten years, would actually reduce the budget by three hundred and eighty billion, or were they just hoping that they could convince the public that by shifting debt from one place to another is reducing the deficit?  Either way, it’s unacceptable! 


            The Congress establishes the budget, not the President.  The President just approves it.  The Congress should set their budget based on the money on hand, not what they expect or want to have next year.  The President should hold them to this, not cave in to his party because it’s an election year, and he wants to help the members of his party get re-elected.  That’s how the deficit has gotten so out of hand, a complete failure on the part of Congress and the President, to act responsibly because they are not accountable and/or they simply have no clue when it comes to the simple math skills required to establish a budget and stick to it.  The former could be corrected by campaign reform, verifying that our elected officials have the basic skills to hold office.  The later could be explained by the failure of our education system to require certain skills before allowing students to move on.  Both could easily be corrected in the future if we start now by electing real leaders with the skills to get the job done, and stop electing the want-a-be celebrities, just because they can obtain the funds necessary to inundate the media for their name recognition on Election Day.


You mentioned the "Affordable Healthcare Act of 2010", what is your opinion of that?


            Well for starters, it has little to do with “healthcare”.  The bill is more about health insurance, and it certainly does nothing to make healthcare more affordable, in fact it does just the opposite, as we have already seen.  Most of the new requirements that the bill puts on the insurance companies are necessary and should have been done a long time ago.  I certainly have no problem with that.  The States where gambling is allowed have requirements that prevent the gambling facilities from keeping all the money that is gambled, and they are required to return most of it to the patrons.  That prevents them from taking advantage of people.  The insurance companies should be required to do the same, and that’s what this bill does.  The problem is that it also requires the working class to purchase insurance or pay a fine, and it provides a mechanism for the government to funnel tax dollars to the insurance companies to keep them afloat in the future, without having the embarrassment of a public bailout as we saw with AIG.  This would be like States that allow gambling to require everyone to patronize those facilities!  Can you imaging driving through Nevada and being required to gamble at the casinos at every stop!  By requiring people to purchase insurance, or pay a fine, this bill eliminates the insurance companies need to be competitive in their pricing.  The government is twisting our arms to force us to purchase a product that we might feel is over-priced, and taking away one of the very basic tenants of a free market society, “what the market will bear”! 


            President Obama pushed for this bill stating that it wouldn’t cost the tax payers one cent.  It would tax the Insurance companies, the pharmaceutical companies, and the manufacturers of healthcare equipment, to pay for the health insurance for the people that couldn’t afford it.  Six months later, the cost of health insurance nationwide has grown by roughly three percent; the cost for most workers has risen by roughly fourteen and three-quarters percent.  Mr. Obama is now telling us that the cost will level out over the next several years.  So after initially costing the tax payers a lot more for their coverage, so the government can insure the people that can’t afford insurance, then it won’t cost the tax payers one cent more.  Did the President realize this was the case six months ago and was he trying to pull the wool over the tax payers’ eyes, or was this just a complication that he hadn’t anticipated?  I think that either case is unacceptable for an elected official!


How do you feel about the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP)?


            I would give the government an “A” for effort, and an “F” for execution.  While the President campaigned on a promise of “Change”, this is another program that was set up under the Bush administration, by Bush appointees, whom the President continues to employ.  Where’s the “Change” Mr. President? 


Is that all you have to say about TARP?


            No.  Let’s first look at what brought about the need for TARP.  The banks and mortgage companies were pushing the variable interest rate loans for mortgages, which is basically purchasing a home on a credit card and having a never ending balance.  They did this by telling people that they could get a low variable interest rate loan now, and in a couple of years when the rates went up they could refinance to a fixed rate loan to keep the interest rate low.  Sounds good, right?  The only problem is that when the rates started going up, they made it impossible for most people to refinance by requiring large sums of money that the people couldn’t afford in order to refinance, because the property was no longer worth what they owed on it.  Let’s face it, it wasn’t in the Banks best interest to refinance at a lower rate, they would make less money!  They were depending on people to be more concerned about their credit rating, than losing their equity in their home and being saddled with debt they couldn’t repay.  It worked for a while, but then the housing bubble burst, and all of a sudden people owed more on their home than it was worth.  When these numbers started reaching the hundreds of thousands, people started walking away, and leaving the banks with properties that they couldn’t sell and were worth less than they had invested.  All of a sudden the Banks were stuck holding the tab for the bad investments that they were more than happy to finance when they weren’t the one’s getting screwed! 


            That brings us to what the real need for TARP was, at least as far as the Banks were concerned, they couldn’t pay their Christmas bonuses!  That’s not what they complained about to congress, but that was the real need for TARP.  Once they got the TARP funds, they were able to pay their bonuses, and it gave them more time to deal with the “Troubled Assets”.  The TARP funds were intended to help the people that were being foreclosed on to keep their homes.  The banks, after paying their bonuses, were just doing their due diligence to make sure they were only using government funds to help those that could be helped.  In the end, this meant very few people were helped, and most likely only those that could have refinanced anyway without TARP, had the banks been willing to refinance.  Once the public caught on to the banks bonus programs, the government decided to get involved and started complaining.  Too little, too late!  The banks are still writing off the loses on the foreclosed homes, at tax payers expense, while the tax payers pick up the tab for the overpriced houses that were foreclosed on.  And the bank executives still got away with the bonuses that were paid for with tax dollars!


Well that seems like a pretty pessimistic view!  Do you always see the worst in people?


            One of the things that I learned when I was in government service is that it is easier to apologize than it is to get permission.  Something else I learned a long time ago is, “fool me once shame on me, fool me twice shame on you”.  When it comes to the government, I think that it should be “fool me once shame on you”, giving them a second chance just gives them the opportunity to get away with fraud again!  There is no room for fraud or second chances, when it comes to the debt that we are leaving our children, grandchildren, and even our great-grandchildren!


Good point.  Would you like to say anything about the “Cash for clunkers” program?


            Yes, I think it is another example of good intentions gone wrong, by an administration that is either to trusting or simply doesn’t understand how business and the economy works.  Either case is an example of how the government is letting the people of this country down, either through ignorance or incompetence, and why “we the people” have to take this country back in 2012.


Right, could you expand on “Cash for Clunkers”?


            Yes.  “Cash for Clunkers” was intended to help people that couldn’t afford a new more fuel efficient vehicle to trade in their older less fuel efficient vehicle.  The idea was that this would help reduce the nation’s dependence on foreign fuels, reduce the green house gasses, and boost the economy.  At least, that is what the selling points were.  What really happened is the auto dealerships increased the price of their vehicles that had already been reduced because they weren’t selling, as soon as the “Cash for Clunkers” deal was announced, so the people that purchased these vehicles ended up paying more in interest for the car loans, and the dealerships made more money.  So who really benefitted?  The banks and the auto industry, the same people that were bailed out with the money that our great-grandchildren will have to pay back, with interest, in the years to come!  The people that purchased vehicles while this program was in effect, did not get a bargain, but once again got shafted by ineffective government, and poor leadership in Washington.


Okay, is there anything else you would like to talk about?


            Yes.  Over the past several years, I have noticed here in Oregon that in every election there has been a bill that sought passage of a tax increase that was intended to allow the State to continue to pay for law enforcement, firefighters, teachers, and continue to keep the prisons open.  This was basically extortion of the voters by the State government.  Agree to a tax increase or your children will suffer because the State will not be able to pay for the police officers, firefighters, teachers, and the prisoners will be let back on the streets, all of which will endanger your children!  I don’t think that the government, at any level, should resort to extortion of the public, in order to cover up for their mismanagement of public funds, or to finance their own special interests.  When these bills failed, instead of rewording and resubmitting them, the elected officials should have mended their ways, corrected their behavior and actions, to allow them to provide for the people as they were elected to do.  Extorting the tax payers so that they could continue to finance their pet projects, by threatening the services that should be their priority, is not good government! 


            Originally, I thought this was just an Oregon issue, but then I heard President Obama use this as an example of how the Democrats were working for the people as a rebuff to the Republicans, stating that many of them would be going back to unemployed police officers, firefighters, and teachers, in their states, if not for the Democrats and their “let’s just keep spending until the credit card gets confiscated” policies!  Apparently, the President did not realize that he was endorsing extortion of the tax payers by his party, or he simply did not know what was going on, neither of which I find to be acceptable in a leader.


Is there anything else you would like to add?


            Yes, earlier I mentioned Senator Nelson’s bill to create tax breaks for the “commercial space industry”.  I just want to add that I fully support the exploration of space, and even the commercial space industry.  However, I don’t think that creating tax breaks for the wealthy is the best way to support this industry or the people of this country.  Instead, I think that increasing NASA’s budget, and allowing the commercial space industry to bid competitively for contracts is a better solution for all.  It’s better for the American people, because the tax payers are not subsidizing the commercial space industry, and it’s better for the commercial space industry because it requires that they be innovative and competitive rather than allowing the tax payers take up the slack for mismanagement or failures on behalf of these companies.  In the commercial space industry it should still be survival of the fittest, that’s how capitalism is supposed to work.


We need to wrap this up, but no interview of anyone seeking any political office, from dog catcher to President of the United States, would be complete without asking “Is Sarah Palin qualified to be President?”


            She meets all the qualifications required of the Constitution of the United States of America, so yes she is qualified.  The most important qualification of all, which is not a constitutional requirement, is can she convince enough of the American people to vote for her on Election Day.


Okay, and one final question, why are you interviewing yourself?


            Well, I admit on the surface that might seem to be a little strange, but when you look behind the scenes at how campaigns are run, it really isn’t.  When you look at the campaigns, all the interviews and debates, are conducted in a scripted manner.  Usually, prior to a scheduled interview or debate the candidates are provided a list of questions that the interviewer will ask.  This allows them to memorize their response so they don’t look stupid when the question is asked. 


            Recently, I was watching a debate between the two candidates for Governor of the State of Oregon, and after the “official” questions of the debate were asked, the candidates took questions from the audience.  At least one of the questioners, actually read the question from a piece of paper that she held in her hand.  This is called “seeding” the audience.  If you recall, during the primaries in 2008, then Senator Obama accused then Senator Clinton, of seeding the audience with questions.  While, he had been coached on how to respond to questions, not that he needed to be coached, he did after all have his Teleprompter to tell him what to say, he apparently didn’t realize that his campaign staff also seeded the audience, which we the voters later found out! 


            So, I don’t think that it is all that strange that I would interview myself, while waiting for the media to realize that I am a candidate as well.  This merely allows me to express my views, and give the people an opportunity to get to know me as a candidate, and develop a campaign history, so that they have something to compare me with the other candidates.  It’s just that I haven’t required a lot of campaign contributions to accomplish the same thing that the other candidates have.  That says a lot in and of itself.  How many trillions of tax payer dollars will the other candidates require to implement their solutions to the country’s problems, if the only way they can get elected is by spending millions of dollars of other people’s money to elaborately, and expensively, ask themselves questions?

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