Brendon Najm: Through My Eyes
Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.
Ronald Reagan
Tired of Tax Breaks for the Rich?

Are you tired of tax breaks for the rich? Do you want people like Romney or Buffett to pay the same tax rate as a middle-class American? You’re not alone.

Polls suggest that a majority of people think the concept of more flat tax rates is fair. Of course, I think when you poll people who have less money and ask if they want to tax somebody who has more than them, the answer can be antipated. Although, that idea for a poll does seem funny, it still might provide a fair perspective.

Before I go any further, I want to mention that the term “fair” is totally up for interpretation. More and more people each day seem to be telling Americans what’s fair or not and what’s more or less fair. Apparently, there’s a whole scale of fairness, which I don’t understand, but whatever…

Anyways, the Obama administration makes it a point all the time that the Democrats are watching out for the middle class and blah, blah, blah… That’s crap.

Democrats are usually people who are just as wealthy as Republicans, look out for their own special interests, and receive backing from all kinds of rich corporate folks. Their policies demonstrate plenty of crony capitalism and other non-sense they claim to fight. The one I want to attack in particular is the credit for people that purchase cars like the Volt.

You can get thousands of dollars from the government for buying a primarily electric car. Sounds green… but not the environmental green that it’s veiled to be. Even after the credits, these cars are way out reach for the average American family. So, who’s buying cars like the Volt or anything made by Tesla Motors? The statistics suggest that barely anybody does, but the ones who do are those evil wealthy people. Those same greedy, rich people that kick puppies (or whatever it is that they are portrayed to do), are benefitting from those deals.

Who could’ve seen this? I mean, a Tesla car is sold for over $100,000. The government makes it cost thousands less. Are you telling me middle class folks are reaping the benefits? Come on, I’m not dumb and neither are you. This is total garbage. We’ll keep raising taxes on millionaires and billionaires, unless your the right kind of millionaire or billionaire, and you’re looked out for by the right Democrats. The government can shove this credit.

It does go back to the Buffett rule. Rather than simply the system and tax rates, they’ll just add credits and deductions that further manipulate Americans. Government clearly shouldn’t be deciding what’s fair, more fair, less fair, or flat out not fair. They’ve lost touch. The only way to fix situations like this is to simplify.

The lesson: Don’t be taken for a ride with rhetoric coming from Obama and the Democrats. After all, it’s like the President said, ”this isn’t politics, it’s math.”

One way to make sure crime doesn’t pay would be to let the government run it.
Ronald Reagan
Antoine Thompson Attempting a Comeback? Not in my District!

The WNY political wire might be buzzing over the rumor of Antoine Thompson making a return to the scene. Apparently, he’s wants to challenge Tim Kennedy, a Democrat in the 58th State Senate District. This district happens to be my own. Thompson should stay out.

I firmly believe that Thompson represented everything that’s wrong with the state legislature. He is the epitome of a self-promoter. Ask anyone who can recall his endless stream of mailers and they’ll tell you, he’s bad news bears. Thompson was recognized as being so poor as a Senator, he managed to lose an election as a Democratic incumbent to Mark Grisanti (R) in a district that is heavily weighted for Democrats.

Thompson ran an office that spent too much money. His lack of any fiscal responsibility reflected in the way he handled campaign funds and later, taxpayer dollars. Whether it was using state money to fund a party for Italian Festival organizers or mishandling Casino contract revenue, one can always count on Thompson to do the wrong thing… then send you a fancy mailer about it.

He’s not the kind of person I’d want representing me in the NYS Senate and you should feel the same way. Just look at the track record. It tells you everything you need to know. If the local Democratic Party leadership has any sense, they’ll reign this guy in, before he weakens their incumbent.

It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first.
Ronald Reagan
Is Bobby Petrino Sorry? Probably not…

Bobby Petrino was the Head Coach of the Arkansas Razorbacks Football team. His future now comes into question after a motorcycle accident, which involved himself and a 25 year-old female Arkansas University employee whom he hired. He admits to having a inappropriate relationship with this woman and claims to want to fix his relationship with his wife, which is probably in jeopardy.

I’m just glad he didn’t actually use the word “sorry” in his press conference. Here’s where my judgments come in…

Bobby Petrino isn’t sorry he was having an affair with an employee at the university. Petrino is simply sorry that he got caught. Could you forgive Petrino if you were the school or a member of his family? I mean, he would’ve kept the whole thing under wraps if he wasn’t in an accident. I think it’s safe to say, his tenure as the Razorbacks coach is likely coming to a premature end. His marriage, we’ll have to wait and see on that one.

How do you sit in a family’s living room now and ask parents to trust you with their child as you take them through your program? The simple answer is, you don’t. You can’t. Coaching college football is a classic blend of ability and character. Gotta have both.

I guess my best advice to anyone is to keep clear of having affairs. If you’ve found yourself in one, I recommend airing your dirty laundry before somebody does it for you. Everyone cheating or whatever is an accident away from having life crash down on them. Nobody will be sympathetic when it happens either. Ask Bobby how he feels about that concept. I think he’d agree.

One picture is worth 1,000 denials.
Ronald Reagan
A Fulfilling Experience

A few days ago, the First Niagara Center hosted a SABAH ice skating exhibition for people with special needs. I had nothing to do on that particular day, so I decided I would go see what it was all about. What I didn’t expect was being treated to a potentially life-changing experience. I learned so much.

The participants put on quite a display. It could really warm your heart. Being on center-ice with a chance to show a respectable crowd what you’re capable of makes for priceless moments for folks who live a more challenged than the average person. It was their time to shine and they did exactly that. You could see it in the faces of the skaters. I couldn’t have been more proud in the stands.

To all the volunteers who made that experience possible, I salute you guys. The service volunteers provide cannot be valued in dollars and cents.

Can’t wait for the next exhibition. Everyone deserves a stage to be acknowledged on. Keep an eye out for the next event, you really have to go and donate some time to recognize these people. It means the world.

Why I was wrong about Fahey/Kearns result…

There’s something I never took into account when looking at the special election. Extremely low turn-out heavily favored pissy Republicans and Kearns supporters. Despite the spending by Fahey, the Democratic machine wasn’t activated and sat idle as opposition to the status quo in Albany came out.

I was wrong about this election. Set the same conditions up in November during a Presidential election year, and Fahey would take it each time.

Romney Might’ve Been a Progressive

There’s a lot of people claiming that Mitt Romney is a flip-flopping progressive posing as a Conservative. They tell you that you can’t vote for Romney if you’re a GOP primary voter, can you?

Well, I recall a certain Ronald Reagan being a die-hard, bleeding-heart liberal before becoming a Conservative. Oh, yeah. Forgot about that?

Let’s not set a double-standard, anyone can become a Conservative, especially if Conservatives can always claim that they’re not just right, but right!If this is how Conservatives think they can get people up for grabs on their side, by being jerks, they’re wrong. Policies aside, nobody likes a jerk.

Santorum might not be the Conservative that Conservatives want him to be and portray him to be. Newt Gingrich laid out Santorum’s lies and liberalism on Don’t be fooled, his record speaks for itself. I guess, Romney’s does, too. However, Romney admitted to his mistakes and was trying to be part of a party of solutions, not just “no.” Santorum thinks he’s done nothing wrong and is all about being a “team player” for fiscally loose Republicans. He was part of an establishment that led us the wrong way. He’s part of that team when it’s convenient and a man against the establishment when it’s not. Isn’t he the real flip-flopper?

They say the world has become too complex for simple answers. They are wrong.
Ronald Reagan
Corporate Tax Rate

I’ve heard just about enough of this “fair share” garbage. Talking about a guy like Mitt Romney or Warren Buffet is one thing. However, to say corporations aren’t paying their fair share is out of control.

Fact:Corporate Taxes are higher in the United States than in any other country in the world. Period.

The only country that had us beat before was Japan. We all know what kind of financial ruin they were in, even before the disasters that struck. However, recently they decided to roll back their taxes, which were the world’s highest, leaving us standing alone with that distinction.

When it comes to taxes, you can’t fool these companies. After all, Reagan said it best, “If the greatest minds were in government, business would steal them away.” Well, tax experts are sure to keep company money offshore. The most recent highlight of this is the great Apple Corporation. Arguably the world’s most innovative company, Chief Operating Officer Peter Oppenheimer just announced how Apple will keep over 60 billion dollars out of the US unless the government considers making their tax rates competitive. In a conference call, he was quoted as saying:

"Repatriating the cash from offshore would result in significant tax consequences under current U.S. law… We have expressed our views with Congress and the administration. We think that the current tax laws provide a considerable economic disincentive to U.S. companies that might otherwise repatriate the substantial amount of foreign cash that they have."

Need he say more? For the United States, the situation is more simple than Congress or the President might frame it. You either lower taxes to a competitive rate for these corporations so they can repatriate their money or you keep the status quo and collect no revenues on the money at all. Cut taxes, raise revenues. It’s not imaginary or made up, it works in the real world and has been suggested by economists like Stephen Moore and has been endorsed by politicians going all the way back to John F. Kennedy (Democrat):

“It is a paradoxical truth that tax rates are too high and tax revenues are too low and the soundest way to raise the revenues in the long run is to cut the rates now … Cutting taxes now is not to incur a budget deficit, but to achieve the more prosperous, expanding economy which can bring a budget surplus.” (11/20/1962)

The Current National Debate vs. What Should be Debated

I don’t know about you, but I’m sick and tired of politicians, candidates, and the media changing what should be debated in this country when it comes to issues of national importance.

To start with, the ECONOMY should be the #1 priority, without question. Finding a way to reduce unemployment, reduce government spending, and pay down our country’s debts should be the focus of every American. Without our financial house in order, no other issue can even be addressed, not even national security. Even Adm. Mullen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff identified the national debt as “the single biggest threat to our national security.”

Let’s take a look at the rest of the non-sense making headlines in this county…

One issue is the attempted use of photo ID requirements for voting. It makes sense to me. If you’re at the polls, poll workers shouldn’t just take your word that you are who you say you are. I know, photo IDs can be forged, but at least make it a hurdle for those trying to cheat the system. The argument against the requirement is that it would disenfranchise poor voters, mainly minorities, according to the Justice Department. I think Jonah Goldberg of the Daily Caller put it best:

"Right now, millions of adult Americans cannot legally fly on an airplane or rent a car. They’re not allowed to drive one, either. And if they really need to get somewhere fast, they can’t use Amtrak. When they (somehow) get there, they can’t stay at a hotel. If they dont have a social security card, they cannot get one without considerable time and effort. In most cases they cannot rent an apartment, take the SAT or enroll in college. They can’t buy cigarettes or alcohol, even though they are of legal age. They might be able to get credit cards, but in many instances they will not be able to use them. And they almost certainly won’t be able to get a bank account or a business license or even cash a check. Virtually 100 percent of these outcasts from mainstream society fit into one or more of the following categories: very old, very young, very poor, minorities or the disabled. And yet the Democratic Party wants to do next to do nothing to fix that."

Combating voter fraud shouldn’t be the first place the Justice Department wants to put an end to disenfranchising minorities. A democracy to me means one man, one vote. That’s important to me. Elections are serious business and they can be swayed by just a few voters. I ought to know, I lost a Board of Education election by 10 votes. If I had no decency, I could’ve fraudulently got those votes in. Ask yourself, do other politicians (especially career ones) have enough decency to restrain themselves? Are they all decent people all the time? I anticipate your answer of “Hell no!” It’s time to stop making up excuses and proactively end possible voter fraud. One man, one vote is more fair for everybody, minorities included.

The other issue I wanted to tackle is the contraceptive debate, which drives me nuts. To begin, I just want to say, I have nothing against women or women’s health. I am all for women living as healthy Americans.

The problem I have is that governments should not mandate any products be purchased. It is not an American ideal to have to buy something you might be personally against or don’t use. Don’t even try to tell me that reforms make contraception free now for places like Catholic Charities or Catholic Health. Nothing is free when it’s in a healthcare package, the costs are simply shifted. No product which costs money to produce and market is given for free in a market economy. It’s naive to believe something along those lines.

I disagree with crazy right-wing social engineers, who hate contraceptives. I disagree with left-wing social engineers, who claim that those who are against the mandate hate women and don’t care about their health. Both of those positions are untrue. If you want them, you should have the right to pursue and purchase them. However, don’t make somebody buy them for you when they disagree with the idea of them. It’s their right to reject them, just like it’s your right to buy and use them.

More recently, people have even complained that in certain health coverage plans medication for erectile dysfunction is covered and contraceptives for women are not. Well, the difference is that there’s no government mandate saying that it has to be covered. Government mandates in these situations are wrong. They un-Constitutionally force the hand of players in what is meant to be a Free Market Economy.

There are a few points to this rant: First, ignore the left and right-wing social engineering. This is America. If you want something, you buy it. And our democracy is only fair when everybody gets one vote each in the place they should be voting. Second, the economy comes first and should be a top priority of anyone pursuing office. The last thing we need is more people in government trying to run our lives, whether it’s contraceptives, pornography, or anything. Government is around to make sure I can pursue life, liberty, and property without infringing on your rights for the same stuff.

Status quo, you know, is Latin for ‘the mess we’re in’.
Ronald Reagan
Why bother voting in this one? Fahey vs. Kearns 101

It’s the mediocre election of the year. Mickey Kearns and Chris Fahey are battling for a State Assembly seat. It certainly looks like Democrats will be flexing their Assembly muscles with this one.

To set the stage, both the candidates are from South Buffalo, they come from politically savvy families. So there’s not much difference in upbringing. Here’s the fun part: They are both registered Democrats. Fahey was endorsed by the Democratic Party, while Kearns is making another election bid on the Republican ticket. Kearns is claiming this gives people “a choice” in while voting. Yeah, sure…

Somehow, Fahey managed to get the Conservative endorsement as well, which is odd considering his stance on the minimum wage, his pro-choice views, and support of gay marriage. Fahey will represent the Working Families Party as well, which come as no shocker since he is clearly a pro-union guy. Kearns has the Independence Party line, which essentially means somebody owes him something in that party’s leadership or he promised the right people patronage jobs. The Independence Party used to mean something… now it’s just a mess, which is not at all based on politics, it’s simply cash driven.

The two men had a terrible debate against each other. If you took a copy of their campaign donations sheet, their answers were totally predictable. For instance, Kearns came out strong against allowing casino gaming to be legalized beyond what the Indians do. Seneca Gaming made a $30,000 campaign contribution. Things like that were the theme of the debate.

Fahey has made some campaign point that sound great, but have contradictions and a few misleading statements. He claims he’s ready to cut red tape for businesses to raise employment. I’m sure he knows all about this even though he’s never had a job in the private sector before. He also wants to raise the minimum wage, which sounds like red tape to me. Nothing makes a business want to hire like higher wages. Sounds like that’ll just raise youth unemployment and increase fundamental problems in the area. His tag line has been that families shouldn’t have to struggle to get by on minimum wage if people are working full time. I don’t know a single person who uses an entry level job to support a family on minimum wage, though. Like I said, look for less entry level jobs in the end. Fahey continues to pound the idea that Kearns voted for himself to get a pay raise as his first move on Buffalo’s Common Council in 2007. That’s a stretch of the truth. Kearns was going to chair a council committee, which comes with an extra stipend, not exactly a pay raise. While Fahey worked for Congressman Brian Higgins, he wasn’t a stranger to raises and made an extremely high wage in the end for an aide.

Kearns is no angel, unfortunately. He clearly lacks any type of loyalty to a party, which has some appeal but also leaves people wondering what he’s actually about. He identifies himself as an “independent.” Seems like he goes wherever he can find some self-serving interest. He really fails to separate himself from Fahey at all. Since the two are so similar, look for the one with piles of more money and the Democratic endorsement to win no matter what.

Fahey should win a landslide victory with all his money, backing from Democrat powerhouses, and a weak opponent. There wasn’t much choice in this election, so everybody can just stay home. Republicans should be disappointed they couldn’t give some no-name a shot that at least represents what they’re all about. Kearns just doesn’t do “it.” In fact, he doesn’t even come close. His political career won’t move much past his Common Council role. Fahey, on the other hand, put in his dues for Democrats and should have a long future ahead as a career politician.

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