Personal Responsibility – Part One

E-Newsletter No. 37______January 2017

On our website, we have a Conversation Piece entitled “Why Mitt Romney’s Comments About the 47% Were Not Correct”. Please note that we do not disagree with the fact / statistic cited by Mr. Romney – – 47% of our country’s citizens do not pay federal income taxes. However, we do take exception to the idea that we live in a country where 47% of our fellow citizens feel that they are “victims”. We continue to believe that the vast majority of Americans agree we live in a truly exceptional country – a land of opportunity.

We also take exception to the implication that because the 47% do not pay federal income taxes, these citizens are somehow deadbeats. The truth is that virtually every person who participates in our country’s economy (as an employee, or as a self-employed person) pays taxes to the federal government on the income that they earn. However, it is unfortunate that these tax payers are forced to redistribute a portion of their income to other recipients via Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes. And it is unfortunate that even with all of these payroll taxes and employer contributions, the deficits for these two “Democratic Socialism” programs contributed approximately $500 billion to the total $587 billion deficit last year.

And it’s unfortunate that when you include Medicaid, welfare programs, and interest on the country’s debt, the total of this “mandatory” spending now represents about 70% of the nearly $4 trillion the federal government spends each year. And this leaves just a fraction of the federal government’s tax revenues available for national defense and the other responsibilities of the government listed in the Constitution.

So, how have we allowed our federal government to get us into this predicament? As Ben Franklin warned, ”When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.” Mr. Romney’s solution to these problems (and the purpose of our Foundation) is to promote the concept of taking personal responsibility for your own life. Unfortunately, the Democratic Socialists would tend to disagree.

Many of us are familiar with one of Aesop’s Fables about the (irresponsible) Grasshopper and the responsible, industrious Ant. Unfortunately, our federal government (via its many “non-Constitutional” social welfare programs) has fostered a sense of entitlement among a large portion of our country’s citizens. But nowhere in the Constitution does it state that the federal government has a responsibility to provide for the essentials of everyday life (or a cash “pension” during your retirement years).

US Debt Clock – – December 1st – $61,262 per citizen / January 1st – $61,326

And Now The Difficult Work Begins

E-Newsletter No. 36 _____ December 2016

On November 8th, the American electorate declared “It is time to drain the swamp”. Now that the elections are behind us, in the words of President-elect Trump, “… it is time for America to bind the wounds of division… and for us to come together as one united people.”

Our Editorial Board believes that three main themes played out during the November elections. First and foremost, our country’s citizens made a definitive statement that a top priority is to eliminate corruption and cronyism in our nation’s capital. It was time to bring in an outsider, because in the eyes of many, the Washington cartel’s career politicians had established an elite political class that is at odds with our country’s “regular” citizens, who said “Enough is enough”. One of the most important planks in President-elect Trump’s “Contract With the American Voter” is a pledge to move forward with a Constitutional Amendment to impose term limits on all members of Congress. By passing and implementing such an amendment, our elected representatives will be free to make decisions that are the right ones for our country as a whole, rather than worry about how an extremely difficult decision might affect their long-term political career.

The election was also an initial step in the right direction of restoring the Founders’ concept of Limited Government. We need to have our elected officials respect the Constitution they are sworn to preserve, protect and defend. Over the past eight years, there has been a growing sense that our citizens’ rights were slowly being dwindled away. There was also a sense that maybe the government’s “experts” weren’t always right. Maybe we shouldn’t have been trying to “fundamentally transform” the country or “socially engineer” the country’s citizens, or show favoritism to this or that special interest group. Maybe the country’s Commander in Chief shouldn’t have been legislating using a phone and a pen. Maybe the Supreme Court shouldn’t have been legislating either. Maybe the executive branch should have been enforcing the laws that are on the books, rather than picking and choosing which laws should be enforced. Maybe we were being taxed too much and weren’t seeing an adequate return on our investment in the federal government and its many new programs and regulations. Maybe we didn’t want to pay for “free” college for everyone. Maybe the federal government was just getting too big, intrusive, and out of touch.

And one of the most important outcomes of the election is that the long and steady march of the Left’s “progressive” agenda has been momentarily halted. Unfortunately, the Left’s agenda remains intact. All you need to do is re-read the excerpts of The 2016 Democratic Party Platform (on our Foundation’s website) for a listing of the Left’s priorities. One of the most alarming aspects of the 2016 election cycle was the emergence of the “Democratic Socialism” ideology advocated by Senator Bernie Sanders. Keep in mind that the “progressive” agenda dates back to early 1900’s. It has had its many (failed) successes over the years, starting with the various Socialism programs put forward by FDR. The size of the federal government then took another giant leap forward during the 1960’s with LBJ’s “Great Society” programs. And most recently, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton attempted to move our country further to the Left. Although Senator Sanders was successful in moving the Democratic Party further to the Left, We The People were successful in blocking the further advance of Socialism in America.

Having said all that… The bulk of the hard work still remains. We need to have our federal government re-focus on its core responsibilities that are laid out in the US Constitution, and we need to fundamentally transform (and shrink) the federal government, and follow the wisdom of the Tenth Amendment in the Bill of Rights – The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. Entitlement programs need to be reformed. We need to stop stealing from our children and grandkids. We need to eliminate deficit spending and start re-paying the country’s cumulative debt. Obamacare needs to be repealed and replaced. We need to get the federal government out of the welfare business, and instead support Not For Profit organizations (The People’s solutions) that will be much more effective in eliminating poverty in America. We need to re-affirm the concepts of self-reliance and personal responsibility, and that All Lives Matter. And our federal government needs to re-focus its efforts on advancing the following agenda – Opportunity for All, Favoritism to None.

US Debt Clock – – November 1st – $60,976 per citizen / December 1st – $61,262

What the 2016 Elections Should Be All About

E-Newsletter No. 35 _____ November 2016

Our country’s (long and painful) 2016 political season will conclude with the general election on Tuesday, November 8th. Our Editorial Board encourages every registered voter to go to the polls and vote your conscience as you cast your votes for the various federal, state and local candidates, based on your assessment of each candidate’s “agenda” and platform, and whether they have earned your trust.

If you would like additional perspective as you sort through the issues, we recommend that you visit a non-partisan website ( and complete a 10-minute survey, which focuses on the issues (rather than the “personality” of a candidate). It is a wide-ranging survey with questions about social issues, the Constitution, the economy, education, the environment, healthcare, immigration, and other domestic and foreign policy issues. The response buttons are not simply just “yes” or “no” replies – – the survey allows you to customize your response, or you can submit your own stance on the issue. The survey is also a good way to figure out what is important to you in this election, as it allows you to “weight” the importance of the issue. The summary of the survey’s results can be enlightening, so it’s worth checking out.

Since the beginning of this year’s election cycle, our Editorial Board has attempted to keep the focus on the principles of the two major political parties. As we have noted earlier, the full text of the two parties’ platforms are available on the internet, and we are again providing the following links to two Conversation Pieces on our Foundation’s website that contain excerpts from the two parties’ platforms –

The 2016 elections represent an opportunity to choose between a smaller, better-focused, limited government, versus an ever-expanding, deficit-driven, more intrusive federal government.

Our Editorial Board agrees with the title of Hillary Clinton’s 1996 book – It Takes a Village (To Raise a Child). However, we strongly disagree with the Left’s “progressive” agenda. The Left’s solution to every issue is the federal government (its “experts”, its multitude of federal programs, and its attempts to funnel money and influence to its favored special interest groups).

Our Editorial Board believes that the best kind of village to raise a self-reliant, personally responsible child is civil society – – a strong family unit headed by a mother and a father, supported by other family members (aunts and uncles and grandparents), and backed up by Not For Profit charities, religious institutions, excellent (rather than poor) “chosen” schools, and other local “communities”. The worst kind of village is one headed up by “Big Brother”, who is distant, out of touch, intrusive and coercive.

We encourage you to re-read the Seven Inevitable Results that arise from Big Government, which were listed in our August newsletter, and keep in mind the Tenth Amendment – The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

The choice is ours to make on November 8th.

US Debt Clock – – October 1st – $60,208 per citizen / November 1st – $60,976

What the 2016 Elections are All About – Part Two

E-Newsletter No. 34_______October 2016
Opportunity for All, Favoritism to None

Our Editorial Board believes that there is probably general agreement among our country’s citizens that the federal government should promote a level playing field – – an equal opportunity for each citizen. America continues to be “The Land of Opportunity” – people have the opportunity to become whatever they want to be. But a key difference between the Right and the Left is in regards to understanding the fundamental difference between equality of opportunity and equality of outcomes (i.e., Socialism / Communism).

So, what does “Favoritism to None” mean? It simply means that the federal government should not advance any type of policy that benefits any particular segment of the country’s citizens. There should not be any “crony capitalism”. There should not be any special tax breaks given to any special interest group. There should not be any policies that attempt to “socially engineer” the country’s citizens.

The underlying meaning behind the “general welfare” clause in the US Constitution has been perverted by the Left. The general welfare of our country’s citizens is simply in reference to the federal government’s responsibility to ensure the general welfare of the country as a whole (i.e., national defense), and to protect each citizen’s rights (the level playing field discussed above). It was never intended to be a requirement to provide cash welfare payments to individual citizens, or “free” college, or subsidized healthcare, etc. As we have noted in earlier newsletters, there appears to be no limit to the Progressive agenda. The Left believes the US Constitution is a “living document” that should be interpreted to justify any program or policy that the Left would like to implement. Any program for any special interest group can be justified under the Left’s definition of the general welfare clause, and there should not be any limitations placed on the federal government. The Left rejects the concept of “Favoritism to None”.

The federal government also distorts the marketplace. All you need to do is look at the rising cost of education and healthcare to see the detrimental effects of the federal government’s involvement and dollars. The federal government needs to remove itself from any commercial activity and minimize its role in the economy. The time has come to privatize the US Postal Service. (Contrary to the Democratic Party’s platform, the post office is not a “national treasure” – it loses $5 billion a year). We also need to end the federal government’s role in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and privatize those institutions. Much has already been written about the federal government’s role in creating the housing bubble, along with the resulting credit market collapse during 2008.

Social Security and Medicare are unsustainable as currently constituted. Our elected officials need to stop avoiding this reality, and begin addressing the financial challenges that are facing these programs caused by the ongoing changes in the country’s demographics and the ongoing decrease in the number of workers per retiree. Having said that…. Our country needs to honor its commitments to current retirees. We also need to create a transition plan for people over the age of 55 who are approaching retirement. Everyone who has paid money into Social Security should get their money back (with interest). But, going forward, no one should ever get more than that amount, because anything above that amount represents theft from future generations. We need to transform Social Security into a means-tested welfare benefit that would be available to any retired citizen who needs such financial assistance.

Healthcare is not a “right” any more than food or housing is a right. Providing for healthcare costs is a personal responsibility. We need to repeal Obamacare and remove the federal government from the management of the country’s healthcare system. But we also need to move towards a new healthcare system for all of the country’s citizens – a system that doesn’t show favoritism towards employees versus the self-employed, or for healthy people versus people with pre-existing conditions. Our Editorial Board recognizes that there is an oversight role the government needs to perform in regards to the healthcare ikndustry, but the country’s healthcare system needs to remain firmly within the private sector (the doctors and nurses, their patients, hospitals, and healthcare insurance companies). This private market-based healthcare system should continue to cover the vast majority of the country’s citizens (as was the case prior to Obamacare). We then need to implement a second-tier “public” healthcare option (by transforming Medicaid) to cover those citizens who cannot afford to (or who choose not to) participate in the private healthcare marketplace. And each citizen needs to pay into this “public” healthcare pool via payroll tax withholdings for medical care.

The federal government’s welfare / poverty programs have been an absolute, abject failure. This result was inevitable, because this is not a proper role of the federal government – – it is a role of civil society. We need to get the federal government out of the welfare business by changing the federal income tax code to enable citizens to direct a portion of their federal tax obligations directly to those organizations that they wish to support, rather than have those funds coercively paid to the Washington cartel.

We recognize that the federal government has a valid regulatory oversight role that needs to be performed in any situation where “protecting the country as a whole” is involved. But we need to shrink the size of the federal bureaucracy (the administrative state). Once the US Senate and House of Representatives have determined (legislated) a particular regulation, the actual execution of a regulatory oversight role needs to be taken out of the federal bureaucracy, and be performed at the state and / or local level (financed by federal block grants, if necessary). We want a federal government so small you can barely see it.

We need to rebuild the US military after seven years of neglect, and we need to re-establish and strengthen our country’s relationships with our allies. The federal government needs to change its focus away from internal domestic “social engineering” issues, and have our federal government re-focus on its role of being the world’s leader. We agree that America should not be the world’s policeman, but we can no longer afford to “lead from behind.”

The Left will try to keep our government focused on their internal domestic “social engineering” agenda. We need to have our federal government re-focus its attention on its duties laid out in the Constitution.

US Debt Clock – – September 1st – $60,144 per citizen / October 1st – $60,208

What the 2016 Elections are All About

Opportunity for All, Favoritism to None
E-Newsletter No. 33_____ September 2016

We The People need a “new, New Deal” – – a promise to reduce the size and scope of an intrusive, ever-expanding, deficit-driven federal government. Using the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, FDR’s “Old Deal” from the 1930’s should never have been implemented. Unfortunately, those policies and programs represented the very first steps down the long and winding road towards Socialism. Our country desperately needs to change course, because the Old Deal and the “progressive” agenda is not working for America. Socialism, by its very nature, is contrary to the principles of limited government and individual rights that underlie the country’s founding. Socialism might sound like a good idea (or might make you feel good) but history has shown that the detrimental effects of Socialism vastly outweigh any potential benefit of an ever-expanding federal government.

It is immoral to push $19.5 trillion of debt onto our children and grandchildren. This past month, the cumulative US debt amount surpassed the mark of $60,000 for every man, woman and child in America. Think about that statistic for just a moment, and then consider the fact that the Democratic Party’s platform offers absolutely no ideas or solutions to the country’s growing debt problem. Instead, it promises even more “free stuff” to favored segments of the country’s citizens. This is truly immoral because our children and grandchildren have never had any input on the decisions that have been made to push this huge financial obligation onto them.

We need to eliminate deficit spending and begin re-paying the country’s debt. We The People need to take our government back from the Washington cartel. Unfortunately, career politicians are not inclined to put forward solutions to this growing problem. They would rather try to continue to buy votes with other people’s (our children’s and grandchildren’s) money. We need to implement Term Limits for the US Senate and US House of Representatives, so that the people who are running for Congress are free to fix this growing problem without being fearful of the possible effect on their long-term political career.

We need to stop talking about Tax Reform, and actually make fundamental (radical) changes to the tax code for personal income taxes. This includes linking Tax Reform to the related changes that need to be made for Social Security, Medicare / Healthcare taxes, and the country’s poverty/welfare programs. We should not “tinker on the fringes”, but we should use this opportunity to fundamentally transform (and shrink) the federal government.

We want the federal government to re-focus on its proper role – – the duties and responsibilities that are laid out in the US Constitution – – to protect the citizens’ rights, protect the country as a whole, and manage our country’s relationships with other countries around the world.

Thomas Paine in his pamphlet entitled “Common Sense” discussed the fundamental differences between government and civil society (families, religious institutions, charitable organizations, and other “communities”). The Progressive Agenda is simple and straight-forward – – government must continue to grow to become the most powerful force in society, and nothing should compete with the government’s “experts” who will develop a program to solve any problem that could happen in a person’s life.

Last month, we provided links to the 2016 platforms of the Republican and Democratic parties. Unfortunately, these are 66-page and 55-page documents. Although we encourage you to read the entire platforms of both parties, we realize that this is a significant investment of time. Therefore, we have prepared two new Conversation Pieces that are on our Foundation’s website that are excerpts from the two parties’ platforms –

US Debt Clock – – August 1st – $59,899 per citizen / September 1st – $60,144

Seven Inevitable Results

E-Newsletter No. 32______August 2016

The Republican and Democratic parties’ conventions are over, and the mudslinging has begun in earnest – an unfortunate, inevitable result of our country’s political process. But our Editorial Board would like to keep the focus on the parties’ principles, rather than the personalities and trustworthiness of individual candidates. The two parties’ platforms are available on the internet at –[1]-ben_1468872234.pdf and

Our Editorial Board was somewhat disappointed by the GOP platform, because it attempts to make a case for supporting certain initiatives (such as advancing responsible homeownership) that are beyond the scope of the federal government’s responsibilities spelled out in the Constitution.

The Democrats’ platform is extremely disturbing – – the Table of Contents is a three-page laundry list of “social engineering” progressive initiatives that are well beyond the scope of the federal government’s responsibilities, and several are counter-productive programs that will inevitably lead to unintended consequences.

In our February newsletter, we provided a link to a website that contains several 5-minute videos that highlight the key differences between the Left (“Progressives”) and the Right (“Conservatives”). The following link is to the video that discusses seven inevitable results that arise from Big Government –

1. There will be ever increasing amounts of corruption. [ Power and money breed corruption. ]

2. Individual liberty will decline.

3. Countries with ever-expanding governments will either reduce the size of their government, or eventually collapse economically.

4. In order to pay for an ever-expanding government, taxes are constantly increased.

5. Big Government produces big deficits and ever-increasing and ultimately unsustainable debt.

6. The bigger the government, the greater the opportunities for doing great evil. [ Coca Cola cannot break into your house or confiscate your wealth, or build concentration camps, or commit genocide. Only Big Governments can do that. ]

7. Big Government eats away at the moral character of a nation. [ People no longer take care of other people. They (erroneously) think “the government” will take care of that. ]

The Left believes the state should be the most powerful force in society – – not parents, not businesses, not private schools, not religious institutions, not even the individual human conscience. Without the belief in an ever-expanding government, there is no Left. Without a belief in limited government, there is no Right.

US Debt Clock – – July 1st – $59,640 per citizen / August 1st – $59,899

A platform for The Party of Personal Freedom

E-Newsletter No. 31________July 2016

In a few weeks, both major political parties will hold their conventions – – the Republicans in Cleveland on July 18-21, and the Democrats in Philadelphia on July 25-28. Unfortunately, once the parties’ conventions are over, our country’s citizens will be subjected to several months of negative television commercials regarding the personality and trustworthiness of the two major parties’ presidential candidates.

Our Editorial Board agrees that the trustworthiness of the individuals who are running for president is an important issue. However, we believe it is even more important that our country’s citizens have a constructive conversation about the underlying principles of the two major political parties regarding the size and scope and proper role of the federal government. To that end, we have added a new Conversation Piece on our website that puts forward a platform that would move the country towards a new and better “desired state” – – the Founders’ original idea of limited government. Let’s call it the platform of The Party of Personal Freedom –

We believe the most important question for the 2016 election is – – Do we want an even bigger, constantly expanding, more intrusive federal government? Or do we want individual liberties and personal freedom?

US Debt Clock – – June 1st – $59,569 per citizen / July 1st – $59,640

Benefiting from the wisdom of others

E-Newsletter No. 30_____June 2016

Just a short newsletter this month.

On our website’s Home Page, we mentioned that one of our Foundation’s primary objectives is to share with our readers some of the wisdom from our country’s founders and other influential thought leaders. We have added a new Conversation Piece on our website, where we have posted a collection of quotes about personal responsibility, the federal government, and other topics. Here is the link –

We hold these truths to be self-evident.

US Debt Clock – – May 1st – $59,558 per citizen / June 1st – $59,569

The US Constitution – An Opportunity to Learn More

E-Newsletter No. 29 ______ May 2016

Last month we provided a link to Article 1, Section 8 of the US Constitution, which lists the responsibilities of the federal government. Nowhere in the Constitution does it mention that the federal government should provide healthcare to all of the country’s citizens (or food or housing), or provide a monthly pension benefit to a retired citizen.

So, how did we start heading down this long and winding road towards socialism and an ever-expanding federal government and a cumulative debt of $19.3 trillion? The simplistic answer is that Article 1, Section 8 gives to Congress the responsibility To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper…. But unfortunately, the supporters of the liberal/progressive agenda fail to read the entire sentence – To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers – (the powers that are listed above this sentence in Section 8).

On our website, we have a Conversation Piece entitled “Don’t Tread on Me” / There Ought to be a Law (or Not). The Founders of our country established a federal government with limited powers, and with the intent that the federal government would focus on a few vital functions, which are primarily oriented towards protecting the country as a whole and the citizens’ rights. Unfortunately, over the course of time (and due to some of our elected officials’ desire to “fix a problem” or advance a favor towards a special interest group or some other sub-segment of the population) we now have a federal income tax code (including IRS Regulations and Official Guidance) that is in excess of 70,000 pages and 4 million words. We also have a situation where it is easy for a citizen to commit three crimes a day, oftentimes without knowing it. (We recommend that you do an internet search on a book entitled Three Felonies a Day by Boston civil rights lawyer Harvey Silverglate).

Fortunately, it is possible to get off the road that we’re heading down, if we simply return to the Founders’ idea of Limited Government. And fortunately, there is an educational institution that has created a series of online courses that gives everyone an opportunity to better understand our country’s founding principles. The following link takes you to Hillsdale College’s website and the page that lists the various courses that are available (for free) –

The course entitled Introduction to the Constitution is a good place to start, to refresh your understanding of representative government, the separation of powers, and the principles of Limited Government. The fourth segment of this course highlights the differences between centralized, bureaucratic rule and constitutional government.

Constitution 101 – The Meaning & History of the Constitution will provide you with a more in-depth understanding of the underlying principles behind our country’s founding. It includes a segment on The Progressives’ Rejection of the Principles of the Declaration of Independence, along with The Progressives’ Assault on the Constitution.

Lastly, we also highly recommend Constitution 201, which includes a segment entitled Restoring Constitutional Government. Common Sense tells us that the principles behind Limited Government are just as true today as they were back in the 1700s.

US Debt Clock – – April 1st – $59,420 per citizen / May 1st – $59,558

The Role of the Federal Government

E-Newsletter No. 28 _____ April 2016

Last month we put forward a radical idea – – the federal government should stop trying to assume all of the roles that properly reside with the states, or with civil society, or with the individual. The Tenth Amendment in the Bill of Rights states that The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. Our Editorial Board believes the federal government should re-focus its attention towards its responsibilities that were specified in the US Constitution.

However, the Progressives’ agenda is that the federal government should grow to assume whatever responsibility(s) the federal government deems that it should have. So the real question becomes, what is the proper role of the federal government? We have included the following link to the applicable section of the US Constitution (Article 1, Section 8) that lists the responsibilities of the federal government.

As you read through the list, it is readily apparent that there is one common theme – the federal government’s primary role is one of protection – to protect the general welfare of the country as a whole, and to protect the rights of the country’s citizens.

The first sentence sets forth the responsibility to provide for the common defense of the country. Section 8 goes on to make references to the country’s army, navy, militias, forts, arsenals, and dockyards.

The federal government’s responsibilities also include establishing tribunals (courts) to protect the citizens’ rights.

The specific language that was used by the Founders is interesting to note – for example, “To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries.” Again, the role of the government is to protect the rights of individual citizens. This sentence does not say that the federal government has the responsibility to make progress in science and the useful arts (although the supporters of the Progressive agenda would disagree).

It should be noted that our Editorial Board does disagree with one of the responsibilities that was originally listed in the Constitution – – it is time to privatize the US Post Office. There is no longer any reason for the federal government to run the Post Office (and lose billions of dollars each year while it mis-manages what is essentially a business operation).

The government is also responsible for providing punishment for any counterfeiting of the country’s currency. The government needs to protect the value of our currency (and it shouldn’t debase the value of our currency by borrowing $19 trillion of debt to be repaid by future generations).

The federal government is also responsible “To regulate commerce with foreign nations.” As we have noted elsewhere on our website, our Editorial Board believes the focus of the federal government should be directed outwards – – towards our country’s relationships with other countries around the world. Unfortunately, the liberal / progressive agenda serves to distract the attention of the federal government away from this fundamental role, and instead distracts the federal government with a focus on “internal” domestic issues that should be dealt with by the states, civil society, families, or by the people themselves (i.e., personal responsibilities). Common Sense tells us that these self-evident truths are just as true today as they were back in 1776.

US Debt Clock – – March 1st – $58,980 per citizen / April 1st – $59,420