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July 5, 2015

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Letter to the editor:

Serious leaders are not being elected

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I am disappointed in my country and our elected leaders. It should be obvious to anyone that our country needs to pay for what it spends, but we don’t.

Tax more, spend less or a combination of both are the solutions to the worry most of us are feeling, but we do none of the three.

Because real solutions are painful and unpopular, our elected leaders won’t call for them and we continue to elect those leaders and not demand that they do better.

I understand all the various reasons put forth as to why this is continuing but I guess, in the end, it means that all those words about America being an exceptional country with exceptional people were just words.

Just sign me one very disappointed American.

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  1. Sacrifice and pain are hard sells Michael.

  2. The fiscal cliff will do what you suggest, and we will survive.

  3. Michael:

    It's always darkest defore the dawn. Don't underestimate the intelligence of the American people. Cases in point: Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan: aka the rustbelt, heartland of America. All joined the right-to-work states: 24 states in total and growing. Based on polls in Michigan, they support right-to-work by 51 to 41 percent. Michigan: The home of the United Auto Workers! So, if the union bosses [led on by President Obama] want to try a Wisconsin maneuver, it will definitely fail, like it did in Wisconsin.

    Ohio is next.


  4. All,

    This isn't a one sided problem. Bush and the Republicans spent more than tax revenue produced. Then Obama and the Democrats did the same. A small tax increase on the wealthy and some minor spending cuts are not going to change much. All of you should be able to understand that, whatever side of the political divide you happen to sit on.

    The FED just announced plans to buy 40 billion dollars of mortgage debt... per month... as part of QE3 and a small rating agency downgraded our credit rating again. The money for QE3 and many other things is being borrowed and printed, adding to the deficits and debt.

    I understand that the lives of many Americans are still fine and they have not been very affected by all that is happening and not happening, but that doesn't guarantee that the 'good' times will continue.

    And that's my point. What I consider 'pollyanish' attitudes of 'don't worry, it will all work out' are very naive, at least in my opinion.


  5. Michael,

    America is exceptional! You sound like your quitting! We don't quit! You sound as if your feeling sorry for yourself.

    Being an America allows one to fix a problem, not watch a problem and do nothing about it. Being an American is not a spectator sport.

    Suit up, get in the game. Get on the field and make a difference!

  6. Longtimevegan,

    Too many Americans are not in the game and those that are, seem content to pick between two losing horses. Here is how I see it.

    The people we elect as President and in Congress, regardless of party, are human beings, just like you and I. Their first priority is self preservation, just like you and I.

    They all know that they and their predecessors made huge mistakes that landed the country and its citizens where we are today. They also know that very large and very unpopular changes are going to have to be made to correct what is wrong. They further realize that if they call for them and make them, the self preservation they so cherish, will be put at great risk.

    For that reason, they have chosen and will choose to slowly 'roll the ball' down the road until it just won't roll anymore. When that day arrives, they will have the 'cover' to say to us that 'now' we have to do the nasty because it is now an 'emergency' and 'we have no choice'.

    Whether Americans support the Republican, the Democrats or just don't pay attention, when the 'emergency' finally does arrive, all will be affected. Americans seem to belong to 3 groups: The oblivious group that doesn't even know what's going on. The group that believes the whole mess is the fault of Republicans and that Democrats will do whatever is necessary to fix everything. The group that believes the whole mess is the fault of Democrats and that Republicans will do whatever is necessary to fix everything.

    The truth is that in large measure our Presidents and our elected representatives belong to one group ,made up of human beings, whose first priority is self preservation. If we sit back and allow that, without protest, we will end up regretting it but we will get exactly what we deserve.


  7. Michael

    Don't get discouraged. Part of the problem is that people have been predicting the Debt Bomb would explode since at least the beginning of the Reagan Administration in 1980. At that time the National Debt was just under one trillion dollars. So here we are 32 years later (20 years Republican Presient, 12 years Democratic President) later and "wolf" warnings just don't have an impact anymore.

    It's like jumping off a cliff (fiscal or otherwise). Nothing bad happens until the bottom. Hang in there but keep your expectations realistic.

  8. Probably the worst possible thing to happen in our country was the great depression which started on Oct. 29,1929 when the stock market crashed, putting millions out of work. The great depression lasted until 1940 when the U.S. entered world war two.The war put many millions of people back to work and added to the growth of our country and putting our country on solid footing once again at that time.

    Wars of today did not help us to get out of debt.They only seemed to get us deeper in debt from borrowing money from China to pay for them.

    One of the best single factors to fixing our economy would be massive construction projects around our country fixing infrastruture,such as bridges,highways,dams, adding high speed rail systems,just to name a few of these much needed projects and improvements.

    We got ourselves out of the great depression and we will get outselves out of the great recession.
    Both parties need to work together on this and stop worrying about their own political skin.Time to start caring about fixing the country and our problems.Blame,blame,but so far no fix in place,jobs are the answer.

  9. Bradley,

    If performance and results are used as measuring sticks, my votes certainly can be criticized. So can the votes of others, as you pointed out. I choose not to criticize how people vote. If one wants to participate, one has to vote. If one really wants his or her vote to court, due to the way 3rd parties are marginalized and locked out, one must vote Republican or Democrat.

    Where I have an issue isn't over which party one supports, it is that people are too accepting of lousy performance, regardless of party and even more importantly, that so many people buy into the fiction that one party or the other is responsible for everything that is wrong and the other party has every correct answer for every issue.

    We still need a 3rd party... a 3rd way to go, so we break the two party monopoly and then our two parties cannot simply demonize the opposite party to successfully cover up their own failures.


  10. Bradley,

    I have talked with Jim several times about the Whig party and he'd like to see me involved in it. I think it is a good idea but will be difficult to get off the ground. I agree with what you've said however.


  11. The funny thing is that the GOP has already won this debate. Obama has allowed Republicans to characterize the deficit as the country's most pressing issue, even though it does not pose any sort of immediate threat. (I do agree that the deficit is a serious long-term problem.)

    Our short term focus, however, should be on JOBS, JOBS and JOBS. We should be looking at significant stimulus. As unemployment comes under control, we should be shifting our focus simultaneously to deficit reduction AND reducing our third-world levels of income inequality.

  12. Emthree,

    I have an issue with your view. The government is so big now that the waste, fraud and duplication are at historic levels. The waste could easily total hundreds of billions of dollars. That should be addressed right now, at the same time the President wants another stimulus.

    NOBODY knows when we will reach the point where we have borrowed and printed enough money that it becomes a clear and present danger... not sometime down the road, but right now.

    I don't know about you, but I don't want to continue to play Russian Roulette. It is time to start to raise taxes over time and it is time to find ways to spend less. If we just do more stimulus and don't do much else, we are liable to pull the trigger on a chamber with an economic bullet in that devastates our economy.


  13. To Carmine. Where do you get your numbers. I live in Mich. And Michigan Polls are showing 70% against right to work. Most of these state reps voting on these Bills will be gone on Jan. 1, This was Rammed through by the outgoing teaparty. Also the Reps that remain are going to be recalled in short order. By 2014 this law will be repealed.
    The rest of this conversation is actually pretty good.

  14. The right to work law debate is an interesting one. Personally, I think it is unfair that just because one works in an industry that happens to be unionized, that someone is forced to join the union and pay dues, whether they want to or not.

    Conversely, it seems unfair that people who refuse to join the union and don't pay dues obtain the benefits that the union is able to negotiate.

    It is a vexing issue.


  15. Rusty, The dues can be negotiated for the employer to forward to the Union. Mich is using the same model as the Fed Gov. Where you are not required to join a union, and the union must defend you in adverse actions. They also get all benefits from bargaining. However there are drawbacks for non paying workers. Such as not getting the same fervent representation dues paying employees receive, being harrassed on the job by union members. I've seen it first hand as a retired supervisor within the Gov. After awhile the people who choose not to join will join.
    One more thing my experience was that union emp. had better attendance, better safety records, and were more productive. The reason being I had active stewards who watched and counceled their members before I had to.

  16. I can't claim credit for that idea. It's from Robert Reich:

  17. Michael,

    You saw on a different thread that there are those here who think you have ideas and qualities that would make you a reasonable candidate, for any party. Whether they would vote for you is a different question, but at least they wouldn't cuss you like some others. :)

    Personally, I think you fall within the realm of the Whigs, being a moderate. Running as a Whig would also mean there would likely not be a nomination fight so all available resources, such as they might be, could be directed at the general election.

    You have about 9 months to decide if you want to take a shot at being a "serious leader" in 2014. :)

  18. "If one really wants his or her vote to court, due to the way 3rd parties are marginalized and locked out, one must vote Republican or Democrat." - wtplv (Michael Casler)

    Let me begin with a disclaimer: I am the Chairman of the Whig Party of Nevada and a member of the national Modern Whig Executive Committee. I have a dog in this fight. That said, I will do my best to be objective in the following comment.

    Michael, I must point out as strongly as possible that the sentiment expressed by your sentence is exactly what allows the current major parties to "marginalize" third parties. If all the people like you would take action by finding and supporting candidates who represent your values, even if from third parties, then the marginalization would disappear overnight.

    The only reason third parties don't pose more of a threat to the majors is because people believe the majors when they say third parties don't count.

    This is truly a case of the emperor having no clothes.

  19. One more thought. Some of the blame has to put on the media.

    News outlets rarely report on third party candidates, therefore the voters rarely even know there are any other candidates until election day. Worse, there are some members of the media who knowingly decline to cover any third party candidates until they reach a certain number in the polls.

    That is a chicken and egg situation.

    How can voters know what other candidates are available to choose from, unless the media makes them visible?

  20. "To Carmine. Where do you get your numbers. " @ Ernest Binder

    The 51 to 41 percent for and against right-to-work comes from a Wall Street Journal editorial Thursday Dec 6, 2012 called "Right to Work in Michigan." WSJ quoted a poll from Mitchell Research & Communications about right-to-work advocacy.

    Google and read. Sometimes there is a delay in the WSJ allowing the public to access the articles. WSJ gives preferential treatment to subscribers in this manner, I opine.


  21. First you need serious educated voters to elect serious leaders. Since we don't have that, we may as well enjoy what the media and advertisers feed us. The "good cop, bad cop" game of disinformation.

  22. Carmine, For State issue's the WSJ is not a reliable source. Everything they print is skewed to the right. The numbers I have are local, taken from the Det. papers and local radio and tv. Sorry I just don't trust the WSJ.

  23. All that rhetoric... yet in the 2010 election, Mr. Casler vocally supported a Norquist zombie, Sharron Angle, who swore to never raise taxes.

    Serious leaders aren't being elected? Look in the mirror, Mike.

  24. "Carmine, For State issue's the WSJ is not a reliable source. Everything they print is skewed to the right. The numbers I have are local, taken from the Det. papers and local radio and tv. Sorry I just don't trust the WSJ." @ Ernest Binder

    WSJ quoted a poll from Mitchell Research & Communications about right-to-work advocacy. This firm has its headquarters in Lansing, Michigan.