Happy Birthday to US!

It's America's Independence Day, the day our nation was born. And we're a spry 233 years old today.

So, after the kids have shot off their fireworks (if it's still legal where you are), and you've had your fill of barbecue and apple pie, please take some time to reflect on what this day means to all of us. Think about all the folks that have fought and died and are still fighting to keep our freedom. Please think about what that word FREEDOM means and then ask yourself whether what is going on politically in this country is the direction our country should be going in. And then I urge you to make the time to call, write or fax your congress person to let them know what you think - particularly about the cap and trade bill and universal healthcare.

I don't want to make this a political blog but I think this day in particular is one in which I have to stand up in my little part of the world and say something. I'm not a Democrat or Republican. I'm a 38-year-old American who was taught to love this country and all it stands for, to respect my fellow citizens, to uphold the Constitution, to stand up and do what is right and most importantly....to have personal responsibility. Where have those values gone? The idea of personal responsibility appears to have been thrown out the window and yet that's the very thing that has made this country great. We have the OPPORTUNITY to succeed. Sometimes we fail (whether it's losing a game or failing at business) but that failure is a learning experience. Failure now is apparently not an option as we bailout huge businesses like Chrysler and GM and CitiBank (and on and on) because they are "too big to fail". Nonsense. If we had let GM fail, they would have gone into bankruptcy (like they are now - wasn't the bailout supposed to avoid that?) and broken the UAW contracts and been much better off than they are now. And it irks me that I've been responsible enough to not buy the huge mansion or cars that I can't afford, and I faithfully pay my mortgage and other debts because *I* owe them. Now, we the taxpayers are paying for the folks that were living outside their means as well. Our government is printing money and then spending it like a drunken sailor. I heard one Congresswoman from California say that the idea of working under a balanced budget is "unrealistic". Are you kidding me? Don't we have to do this in our households every day? Why can't the government do it?

Now let's talk about cap and trade. This bill, which just passed the House, could be the death knell for our economy. Did you know the whole point of the Waxman-Markey bill (a.k.a. cap and trade) is to raise the price of gas and electricity so that we'll use less of it? That doesn't just mean that our utility bill will be higher or we'll pay more at the pump. Think about it....that's all part of a business' costs as well and you can bet they'll be passed on to you, the consumer. So the price of just about everything will go up. In addition, it limits the emissions of plants and does some other stuff that will cause many of our industries to move manufacturing out of the country to somewhere less restrictive. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the minimum initial cost to every household will be $175.00 year. And that's BEFORE the really restrictive stuff kicks in. Once that happens, it's estimated to be in the thousands. Folks, I'm all for the environment. I'm a closet tree-hugger. But GLOBAL WARMING is not being upheld by the scientists. It's not even being upheld by Obama's own EPA. If you want to know more about Cap and Trade, check out this Wall Street Journal article.

So, on our birthday, I urge you as a citizen of this beloved country, PLEASE stand up and make your voice heard. So many times we talk about this with our friends and family but never do anything about it. YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE. There are Tea Parties all over the nation today - take an hour out of your busy day to go and meet like-minded folks. Call your Congressperson - you can write or email or fax, but calls "count" more. Please don't sit idly back and watch this nation be run into the ground. Our Founding Fathers certainly didn't.


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