"I'll repeal the portions of Obamacare that are not beneficial to the citizens of the Mountain State; I'll cut government spending and take dead aim at the cap and trade bill. I'll get big government out of our lives and out of our pocketbooks." Bam, off goes a round in his hunting rifle and we then see a bullet hole in the cap and trade bill. From the sound bites of Gov. Joe Manchin.
"I will abolish the Internal Revenue Service and do away with the minimum wage law. The minimum wage law is archaic and never worked when it was first put into law and it doesn't work today. (But he makes no suggestions as to how he will replace either!) I will not be a rubber stamp to Barack Obama." From the sound bites of private citizen and multimillionaire John Raese.
We've heard these oh-so-worn-out sound bites so many times we can quote them verbatim. In reality, they mean nothing.
All across the nation the political rhetoric is the same. Those running for office can do no more than criticize their opponent rather than saying something substantial and beneficial. Perhaps, though, it's because they know that most if not all the promises they make in their efforts to gain the position they so desperately seek can only be hallow with no possible chance of doing anything to change the system. After all, we've heard these same promises for decades and the situation in Washington, and in many cases our own state government, hasn't gotten one iota better - and the chances of any improvement are slim to none at best.
Why aren't we hearing them talk about the things that really matter to our country like the staggering $13 trillion-plus national debt. The Outstanding Public Debt as of Oct. 14, at 11:01:11 p.m. GMT (7:01:11 p.m. EDT) was $13,616,620,442,560.62. It continues to increase an average of $4.14 billion per day and has done so since Sept. 28, 2007. The estimated population of the United States is 309,294,089 giving every U.S. citizen a debt of $44,024.83. This, by nearly every economist worth his salt, is the single most devastating issue facing the future of our country. We never hear a word from any of those seeking the Senate seat left vacant by the death of Sen. Robert C. Byrd say anything about what they "would like to do" to begin reducing this crippling obligation, most of which is owned by China.
In my hurried search for information on who owns our country's debt, I found the following (in billions of dollars): China (mainland) - 846.7; Japan - 821.0; United Kingdom - 374.3; Oil Exporters - 223.8; Brazil - 162.2; and Russia, coming in at No. 8 holding 131.0.
Here are some other subjects that our politicians aren't talking about that is both frightening and disgusting: The growing sense that our best days as a nation are behind us; that our kids won't live as well as we did; that China is in the driver's seat; that our country is being led away from private enterprise and toward a more European style of Big Government; the far left undermining American values; the disgraceful behavior of the financial community and its debilitating effects on the American economy; the constant state of war since 9/11; the cost of the war in Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan with little or no positive and tangible results; government spending; irrelevant provisions of the health care bill - including the requirement that small businesses set aside a specific area for nursing mothers to use their breast pumps (this nanny state officiousness is driving the American public nuts); jobs (oh yeah, we hear every one of them tell us that they will create more jobs, but that doesn't dovetail very well with the continued rise in unemployment claims - more than 150,000 of them last week alone - and how many of those outsourced over the past 20 years have you seen brought back to this country?); the loss of America's manufacturing sector (and the jobs that went with it); banks that leveraged buyouts in the 1980s and 1990s that sold local factories to national conglomerates, which in turn closed those factories and sent the jobs overseas - the same bankers who turned to housing in the 1990s and 2000s creating ridiculous mortgage products that encourage people without the proper financial resources to buy homes they couldn't afford and later defaulted causing the value of most middle-class housing to plummet; the unwillingness of political leaders to discuss real remedies for those excesses (indeed most Americans are convinced that the financiers have purchased the silence and acquiescence of both parties); our educational system that has proved incapable of taking students to a competitive level with that of China, India and other Asian countries (we are mired in mediocrity while China and other countries are streaming ahead); the incivility of public discourse about the loss of jobs to China and other Asian countries. The list goes on and on.
Where is the meaningful discourse that we should be hearing regarding these and other important issues that face our nation and the future of our children and grandchildren?
We are at the beginning of another school year facing an uncertain winter and, of course, missed days of school because of bad weather. One would think that school would have been in session on Oct. 11 (Columbus Day) when the weather was excellent in anticipation of those missed days to come. I don't know about the entire state of Ohio, but Jefferson County schools (Steubenville) were in session that day as was Union County, North Carolina - which, by the way, has much less severe winters than we do.
Our school system, like so many others, is facing serious issues and until our elected officials stand up and face down the teacher's unions, there is little hope of it getting fixed. Seems that being in office is more important to them than facing one of our most serious problems and correcting it by effective means instead of just throwing more money at the problem.
Only four merchants and Ed Griesel showed up at Tuesday's Downtown Merchant's meeting. Could it be that everyone else was experiencing withdrawal from a great Mountain State Forest Festival week. The weather through Wednesday wasn't much to talk about, but it was great for the rest of the week.
It was mentioned at the meeting that the children's parade, although threatened by rain, was a great success. Those at the meeting agreed that the "toddler parade" was well organized and very well executed.
Mayor Duke Talbott remarked that the city will no longer water the flowers in the boxes in town but anyone else is welcome to keep them watered until the end of their life cycle - about the first frost. He also commended and thanked everyone for their great efforts and cooperation in caring for the flowers during the summer. He mentioned, too, that those flower boxes in need of repair would be worked on during the winter months.
Merchants present commended Talbott for the excellent job city employees did of cleaning up the town after the MSFF was over.