Marilyn MacGruder Barnewall
August 26, 2012
"The American dream is not that every man must be level with every other man. The American dream is that every man must be free to become whatever God intends he should become." --Ronald Reagan
The Social Security Administration has purchased 174 thousand rounds of hollow point bullets to be delivered to 41 locations in major cities across the U.S. Is the Obama Administration planning to stop issuing Social Security checks? Do they expect violence?
Stories regarding the purchase of the ammo range from 20,000 Spetznazs (Russian commandos) having crossed over the Canadian border into the U.S. and being taken to the underground areas of Denver International Airport to… you name it. Are they true? Who knows?
Republican candidate Mitt Romney has a hard time connecting with conservatives (without whose support he will not be elected). He and his Vice Presidential candidate, Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI), want to keep the debate focused on the failed economic issues of the Obama administration, but the President favors personal attacks over meaningful debate. If we look at his record, that should surprise no one.
Stop and think for one moment about all of the poor people you’ve known in your life. If you are like me, you may have at one time been one of those people. How many poor people create jobs for others? I didn’t create any jobs for people when I was poor, but later in life after a lot of hard work resulting in success I created a lot of jobs.
We all need to understand that the reason the Obama camp needs to pit the poor against the affluent is because there are always more poor than there are rich – thus, more votes. He must make them feel like Romney is against them – when quite the opposite is true. That’s why Joe Biden told a group of low-income folks that the Romney-Ryan ticket was going to put them “back in chains.”
Regardless, Romney and Ryan both have difficulty (for different reasons) connecting with the American people when they discuss things like job creation and new business start-ups. Romney likes to think his experience as a venture capitalist gives him insight into independent business start-ups and job creation – and it does… slightly. A vast majority of independent businesses, however, are not traded on Wall Street.
The following data was taken from the Small Business Administration (SBA) pages.
Represent 99.7 percent of all employer firms.
• Employ half of all private sector employees.
• Pay 44 percent of total U.S. private payroll.
• Generated 65 percent of net new jobs over the past 17 years.
• Create more than half of the nonfarm private GDP.
• Hire 43 percent of high tech workers ( scientists, engineers, computer programmers, and others).
• Are 52 percent home-based and 2 percent franchises.
• Made up 97.5 percent of all identified exporters and produced 31 percent of export value in FY 2008.
• Produce 13 times more patents per employee than large patenting firms.
Independent businesses create most new jobs. Mitt Romney understands independent business from the perspective of a venture capitalist. Paul Ryan understands it from a budgetary perspective. Thus, neither really understands the banking problems of those who own independent businesses – almost all of whom are conservative and who frequently don’t understand their own business borrowing problems (they aren’t bankers either) and so can’t explain the phenomenon to political candidates. It’s a difficult problem.
Don’t get me wrong. Romney-Ryan are far more in tune with what needs to be done to get business growth and new jobs moving forward than Obama-Biden, but neither is very good at explaining why independent businesses are so important and what needs to be done to motivate new business start-ups. It’s a problem made up of banking and credit issues, not of venture capital or budgets.
First, existing independent business owners utilize their primary residence as their main source of loan collateral. Banks are not lending against personal residences because home values are falling. Before you criticize the bankers, make sure you don’t care if your bank takes risks lending your deposit dollars because poor quality collateral puts your bank deposits at risk. You have a vested interest in your personal bank remaining “safe.”
Second, political candidates need to talk clearly about the problems of independent business. It can be done in few words. For example:
1. “Banks can’t lend money to independent business owners who most often use their home as collateral for business borrowing because the Obama administration has failed to put a floor under the sinking real estate market and property values continue to drop. Bankers would be irresponsible to take people’s homes as collateral on business loans in the current real estate market. They would be putting depositor dollars at risk.”
2. “As Ronald Reagan once said, ‘Government isn’t the solution; it’s the problem.’ We can’t get independent business growth – which is where a majority of new jobs come from – until bankers understand how to make business purpose loans to individuals, not just to corporations. It has been done very successfully in the past and that area of specialty lending needs to be revived.
“Government’s answer is the Small Business Administration (SBA). The SBA does the same thing bankers do: They make business purpose loans to companies based on business assets, not to individuals based on personal income and assets.
“Independent business owners must borrow as individuals, putting their personal assets at risk, not corporate stock (like multi-nationals and publicly-traded companies do). The banking industry is set up to make business purpose loans based on company assets and cash flow; or, personal loans based on personal assets and cash flow. So, too, is the SBA.
“Independent business owners need business purpose loans based on personal assets and cash flow. The current structure of the banking industry and the SBA prevents that. What’s the result? No loans to independent businesses and thus no new jobs.”
I don’t believe there is one word in those paragraphs that would not be quickly understood by the average American… at least by the average productive American who works and pays taxes.
We have a Republican candidate for the Presidency whose campaign aides don’t know how to respond to demands for more and more years of tax returns. Could there be anything simpler?
There is a picture of Mitt Romney on the right side of your tv screen. The page is titled: “Missing Documents.” Under Romney’s name (and picture, for those who cannot read but who do vote) you list “Income tax returns.”
There is a picture of Barack Obama on the left side of the screen. Under his picture you list: 1) Occidental College records (California); 2) Columbia University records (New York); 3) Harvard University records (Cambridge, MA); 4) Unanswered questions, draft registration card; 5) Unanswered questions, multiple Social Security Numbers; 6) Explanation why Barack and Michele Obama lost licenses to practice law in Illinois.
No voice over is necessary. No one has to touch the birther issue of which Republicans are so frightened. They could just have someone in the background laughing – hard. It is laughable that the Obama campaign would talk about the importance of transparency and Romney’s need to produce tax returns when the President is the King of Hidden Facts.
I don’t know about you, but I’m sickened by the lies and distortions of this political campaign! It seems to be about womens’ uteruses (abortion rights and access to “free” birth control – paid for by taxpayers), the poor and how to give them something for nothing to buy their votes (along with their dignity as human beings), the elderly and whether they will have equal access young people have to health care or whether the Medicare system will fail because of empty promises that cannot be kept versus budgetary constraints that can save the system.
How did that happen when the real issues involve the economy and jobs?
Obama supporters say Mitt Romney killed a man’s wife because he bought a company that was failing (it wouldn’t have been for sale if it wasn’t failing). As you read the following facts about GST Steel, remember that Romney left Bain Capital in February 1999 to lead preparations for the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. Joe Soptic (the man whose wife died of cancer – may God rest her soul) lost his job in 2001 and his wife maintained health insurance with her employer. Soptic's wife died in 2006, seven years after Romney left Bain Capital. This is a typical liberal attitude… “Everyone but me is responsible that I didn’t have health insurance for over four years after I lost my job because my company closed. My wife got cancer and died. Mitt Romney killed her.”
Here are the facts:
GST Steel in Kansas City was shut down in 2001.
• Jonathan Lavine, a long-time Bain Capital executive and co-owner of the Boston Celtics. Lavine began his career at Bain in 1993. Today, he is a “bundler” for Obama and has bundled from $100,000 to $200,000 in contributions for the 2012 Obama Victory Fund according to estimates released by the Obama campaign.
• Joe Soptic was offered a buy-out when GST Steel was bought by Bain but refused it.
• Soptic got another job; he declined their insurance plan.
• Soptic’s wife had her own health insurance plan through 2003… two years after Soptic’s company was shut down.
• In 2006, Soptic’s wife was diagnosed with very late-stage cancer.
• She died 22 days after diagnosis.
PAC Priorities USA created the ad blaming Romney for Mrs. Soptic’s death. They should be sued under Federal Communications Commission truth in advertising laws.
Soptic’s pitiable behavior makes it clear that he suffers from guilt. So very sad… sad that it happened, sad that he has not yet come to grips with the reality of his wife’s fate and the factual reasons for it, sad that a politician would use such a situation to make political points. But personal attacks are the only dog Obama has to bring to this fight because his record as President since 2008 is so abysmal he can’t run on it. He – or his minions like PAC Priorities USA – are reduced to using people in pain to tell stories that help them blame others – like Mitt Romney – for their problems.
I’m sick of hearing about abortion… the only thing I’m sicker of is having the government pay for abortions which means my tax dollars are being used to pay for what I consider to be murder. I don’t care if you don’t consider it to be murder. I do. And the truth of the abortion issue is: The Supreme Court (Roe v. Wade still lives) has ruled on the abortion issue and as much as Barack Obama wants you to think the President of the United States can do something about it, he cannot. It doesn’t matter whether his name is Barrack or Mitt. The federal government shouldn’t be in anyone’s bedroom… this is an issue for each state’s voters to decide.
Another thing: We the People are supposed to pay for the birth control of female college students. If Sandra Fluke, a Georgetown law student who testified at Democrat hearings on contraception, is an example of the intellect of today’s law students, we need to prevent lawyers from holding office as elected officials. She is revered by liberals and is scheduled to speak at the Democrat National Convention in Charlotte, NC.
We have a dumbed-down public that it doesn’t realize all of these disinformation tactics are being used to divert attention from basic problems. To prevent solutions to problems (like job creation) and keep people focused on issues (like birth control).
Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney’s choice as his Vice Presidential candidate, has good insight into changes that can save Medicare… but the Romney campaign is so bereft of a good communicator! Paul Ryan is a good candidate – he has supported legislation with which I disagree, but our greatest weakness right now is budgetary resulting from Democrat Congressional over-spending – and that is Ryan’s strength. The problem is, his solutions are not easily explained in sound bites… and Obama uses that weakness against Romney-Ryan.
Romney-Ryan need to say: “Here’s your choice: Without changes, Medicare will fail altogether because it is bankrupting America. If that is your preference, vote for Barack Obama. If you want changes made that can save Medicare without changing benefits to current recipients, vote for Romney-Ryan.”
They need to say: “If you are a senior citizen and have a stroke in the middle of the night, Obamacare dictates that you will not be able to get more than basic treatment until a committee meets and approves or denies your doctor’s recommended care. If you have a stroke on Friday night, do you want to wait until Monday morning for the bureaucrats to meet and determine your fate?”
How difficult is it to say: “Those of you who support Obamacare also must approve of over $700 billion stolen by the Democrat Congress from the Medicare fund to pay for the implementation of Obamacare. The Romney-Ryan ticket doesn’t support that theft from Medicare and will repeal this socialist legislation.”
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How difficult is it to say: “You are told that an independent third party – non-partisan AARP – approves of Obamacare. AARP represents the best interests of seniors, right?
“AARP operates as a tax-exempt organization in Washington and if it were a for-profit business, AARP would be the sixth-largest insurance company in America with profits of $427 million in 2009. It is estimated AARP’s increased insurance profits will exceed $1 billion when Obamacare is implemented. Romney-Ryan doesn’t support AARP’s profit-based opinions and will work to repeal this legislation.”
Hopefully, after the Republican Convention in Tampa this week, the Romney campaign will start acting like it wants to win!
© 2012 Marilyn M. Barnewall - All Rights Reserved
Marilyn MacGruder Barnewall began her career in 1956 as a journalist with the Wyoming Eagle in Cheyenne. During her 20 years (plus) as a banker and bank consultant, she wrote extensively for The American Banker, Bank Marketing Magazine, Trust Marketing Magazine, was U.S. Consulting Editor for Private Banker International (London/Dublin), and other major banking industry publications. She has written seven non-fiction books about banking and taught private banking at Colorado University for the American Bankers Association. She has authored seven banking books, one dog book, and two works of fiction (about banking, of course). She has served on numerous Boards in her community.
Barnewall is the former editor of The National Peace Officer Magazine and as a journalist has written guest editorials for the Denver Post, Rocky Mountain News and Newsweek, among others. On the Internet, she has written for News With Views, World Net Daily, Canada Free Press, Christian Business Daily, Business Reform, and others. She has been quoted in Time, Forbes, Wall Street Journal and other national and international publications. She can be found in Who's Who in America, Who's Who of American Women, Who's Who in Finance and Business, and Who's Who in the World.
Web site: http://marilynwrites.blogspot.com