We the People are Taking Back Our Country

we_the_people We usually talk about money on Mondays. As we discussed possible topics for today’s post, we realized there was no bigger issue than what’s going on in Washington and Wall Street. Our apologies to our international listeners, but we’re going to be domestic today. But as we’ve seen, it obviously affects everyone worldwide.

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We usually don’t talk about politics. We won’t be partisan; there’s plenty of blame to go around. We know that we may upset everybody today; that’s not our intention.

We think it’s time to look at the facts so we can make the right decisions here in a few weeks … who are we going to hire?

Not just for President, but for government at all levels. It’s time that we, the people, take back our country, our states, and our cities.

We’re sick and tired of the blame game and passing the buck on personal responsibility. Leadership is about taking responsibility. The leaders of our biggest companies aren’t taking responsibility, but even more sad, our elected officials aren’t bearing it, or requiring it, either.

We, the taxpayers, invested $85 billion in AIG. What was AIG’s response? They threw a $440,000 “party”. Sure they called it a “planning meeting” or an “executive session”. But how can you justify spending that kind of money for a retreat when you’re using our money and you’ve been on the brink of financial collapse?

It was a complete slap in the face and our leaders should have seen it as such. But what did they do? Turn around and give AIG another $38 billion two weeks later!

How many of us could walk into a bank two weeks after we borrowed a bunch of money in desperation and get more?

How successful would we be at getting more money if we so grossly underestimated how much it would take the first time around?

“Oh, and by the way, Mr. Banker, we know you’ve heard that we wasted some of it on a spa getaway, but we need about half as much again as we borrowed the first time. Will you lend it to us?”

Can you imagine the response?

Fortunately, AIG scrapped plans for another “party” after news got out about the first one. Of course, we’ve also learned that they tinkered with the idea of spending some of our money running an advertising campaign to apologize for the first “party”.

Some insight into the mismanagement

Warren Buffett was interviewed by CNBC’s Becky Quick back in August. Part of the conversation turned to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. We’ll paraphrase …

Congress set up the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) back in 1992. The sole job of this agency was to evaluate the soundness, accounting practices, and the like of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Two companies … that’s all OFHEO had to oversee. Buffet, of course, notes that he does more than that all by himself.

It took 200 OFHEO employees and a $65 million dollar a year budget to do that.

Year after year, OFHEO reported to Congress. They stated that the accounting was sound. The directors were great. Everything was just fine. There was nothing to worry about.

Well, we all know what happened – two of the greatest accounting misstatements in the history of the stock exchange caused by management misconduct. What was OFHEO’s response?

A report to Congress blaming the management, the directors, the audit committee. Everybody but themselves.

200 people with a budget of $65 million overseeing just two companies. Yet they assumed no responsibility for this huge blunder.

The problem we have is that everybody blames anybody else every time there is a problem. It needs to end now.

How to put an end to it

The solution may surprise you. It starts and ends with us. We need to take personal responsibility. We made mistakes too. We bought in.

We saw government borrowing and living beyond its means, so many of us borrowed and lived beyond ours. From this day forward, that ends. We won’t forget this lesson. We will bailout ourselves. We will get back on our feet. We will prosper.

We also delegated too much. We voted, but we didn’t pay close enough attention to what our elected officials were doing. Well, Mr. or Ms. Politician, you have our attention now. And we’re going to keep paying attention.

What we can’t control

Here’s what paying closer attention has shown us – we see a complete vacuum of leadership. You’re not a leader if you don’t take responsibility for your mistakes. You’re not a leader if you don’t solve problems; you only assign blame to others. You’re not a leader if you can’t tell us where we’re at, why we got here, and what we’re going to do about it to make tomorrow better than today.

We can’t personally do much to change the leadership on Wall Street. We can’t do much to change who reports our news, because the media missed the boat on this one as well. We can’t choose the bureaucrats, like the ones at OFHEO, who oversee key agencies and put policy into action.

What we can control

We do get to choose who we hire to represent us. We have important decisions to make in a few weeks. Not just for President. Not just for the Senate or the House in Washington, D.C. We get to choose who will represent us at all levels of government.

So here’s how we put an end to it now. Quit thinking like a Democrat or a Republican. That’s another trap they’ve led us into and we bought in.

No, we will hire the best person for the job. We need to do our homework: What’s their record? What have they accomplished? How have they handled their fiduciary duties in the past?

The past is the best predictor we have of the future when it comes to human behavior. That’s how we would hire anybody else. Why would we hire our elected officials any differently?

We have access to the records of our current elected officials. We can know what they’ve done. We need to start paying closer attention.

Resources

Current legislation before Congress

Votes Database by The Washington Post

Records of the U.S. House of Representatives

Official site of the U.S. House of Representatives

Official site of the U.S. Senate

List of government agencies – federal, state and local

Find the official sites of state, county, and city governments

We the people

We’re looking for public servants, not party servants or power servants. We the people are taking our country back.

Go ahead, Mr. or Ms. Politician … take that special interest money. But you better be clear about who you serve. We the people.

Mr. or Ms. Elected Official, go ahead and listen to your party leaders. Just know that, on Election Day, we won’t vote for the person who serves the powers that be. We will vote for the person who serves us. We the people. 

Combined, we’re more powerful than Washington can ever be when we are educated and informed. We will take personal responsibility to learn who best serves our interest, and the interests of our children and grandchildren.

We the people are taking back our country.

What do you think? 

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9 replies
  1. Ryan
    Ryan says:

    Great article! I agree 100%

    Unfortunately I do not think that either parties are “for the people” anymore.

    If I do vote for president, can I write-in George and Mary-Lynn?.

    We the people! Bigg Success!

    Reply
  2. Amy
    Amy says:

    I know this is long, but a friend sent it to me today, and I thought it was so fitting, given your topic. I have copied and pasted this article from my email.

    545 PEOPLE
    By Charlie Reese

    Charlie Reese is a former columnist of the
    Orlando Sentinel Newspaper.

    545 PEOPLE
    By Charlie Reese

    Politicians are the only people in the world who create
    problems and then campaign against them.

    Have you ever wondered why, if both the Democrats and the
    Republicans are against deficits, we have deficits?

    Have you ever wondered why, if all the politicians are
    against inflation and high taxes, we have inflation and high
    taxes?

    You and I don’t propose a federal budget. The
    president does.

    You and I don’t have the Constitutional authority to
    vote on appropriations.

    The House of Representatives does.

    You and I don’t write the tax code, Congress does.

    You and I don’t set fiscal policy,

    Congress does.

    You and I don’t control monetary policy, the Federal
    Reserve Bank does.

    One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one president, and
    nine Supreme Court justices 545 human beings out of the
    300 million are directly, legally, morally, and
    individually responsible for the domestic problems that
    plague this country.

    I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because
    that problem was created by the Congress. In 1913,
    Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a
    sound currency to a federally chartered, but private,
    central bank.

    I excluded all the special interests and lobbyists for a
    sound reason. They have no legal authority. They
    have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman, or a
    president to do one cotton-picking thing. I don’t
    care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in
    cash. The politician has the power to accept or reject
    it. No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the
    legislator’s responsibility to determine how he votes.

    Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy
    convincing you that what they did is not their fault.
    They cooperate in this common con regardless of party.

    What separates a politician from a normal human being is an
    excessive amount of gall. No normal human being would
    have the gall of a Speaker, who stood up and criticized the
    President for creating deficits.. The president can only
    propose a budget. He cannot force the Congress to accept
    it.

    The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land,
    gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives
    for originating and approving appropriations and taxes.
    Who is the speaker of the House? She is the leader of
    the majority party. She and fellow House members, not
    the president, can approve any budget they want. If the
    president vetoes it, they can pass it over his veto if they
    agree to.

    It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 300 million
    can not replace 545 people who stand convicted — by present
    facts — of incompetence and irresponsibility. I
    can’t think of a single domestic problem that is not
    traceable directly to those 545 people. When you fully
    grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise the power of
    the federal government, then it must follow that what exists
    is what they want to exist.

    If the tax code is unfair, it’s because they want it
    unfair.

    If the budget is in the red, it’s because they want it
    in the red.

    If the Marines are in IRAQ , it’s because they
    want them in IRAQ .

    If they do not receive social security but are on an elite
    retirement plan not available to the people, it’s
    because they want it that way.

    There are no insoluble government problems.

    Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats,
    whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to
    lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to
    regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from
    whom they can take this power. Above all, do not let
    them con you into the belief that there exists disembodied
    mystical forces like “the economy,”
    “inflation,” or “politics” that prevent
    them from doing what they take an oath to do.

    Those 545 people, and they alone, are responsible.

    They, and they alone, have the power.

    They, and they alone, should be held accountable by the
    people who are their bosses provided the voters have the
    gumption to manage their own employees.

    We should vote all of them out of office and clean up their
    mess!

    Charlie Reese is a former columnist of
    the Orlando Sentinel Newspaper.

    What you do with this article now that you have read it is
    up to you, though you appear to have several choices.

    1. You can send this to everyone in your address
    book, and hope they do something about it.

    2. You can agree to vote against everyone that is
    currently in office, knowing that the process will take
    several years.

    3. You can decide to run for office yourself and
    agree to do the job properly.

    4. Lastly, you can sit back and do nothing, or
    re-elect the current bunch.

    YOU DECIDE, BUT AT LEAST SEND IT TO EVERYONE IN YOUR
    ADDRESS BOOK, MAYBE SOMEONE IN THERE WILL DO SOMETHING ABOUT
    IT!

    Reply
  3. Mary-Lynn
    Mary-Lynn says:

    Ryan, I don’t like hearing “if I vote” you HAVE to vote! Remember, the Presidential election is just a part of the equation. We have to hold our local / state officials accountable too. If writing us in will get you to the polls, then go for it!

    Amy, this is PERFECT and thanks so much for sharing it!

    Reply
  4. Pat Drake
    Pat Drake says:

    Nationally, we have our biggest deficit in history and they are saying it could double before the end of next year. Our state govenment is broke. Our county government is looking for ways to raise more money (taxes) and our local government is in the process of trying to figure out how they can tax their way out of a budget that won’t balance. Yet, we keep on going. Pensions and benefits for our government employees are out of line! Federally, our lawmakers exempt themselves from laws they pass. Our country has become one of career politicians not citizen government. Shame on us for allowing it to happen.

    Thanks for the great program! We all need to study, know the facts and then vote!

    Pat Drake

    Reply
  5. person
    person says:

    revolution. we are not going to fix this mess in a voting booth. your vote has not counted for many many years. the only way we the people can take back our country is by force. wake up!!!

    Reply
  6. Dale
    Dale says:

    We definitely need to take our Country back. My proposal is to impose an Amendment to our Constitution through the initiative process available to the voters. Article 5 allows this by THE APPLICATION OF TWO THIRDS OF THE LEGISLATURES OF THE SEVERAL STATES.
    See http://limitsoncongressnow.org
    Hopefully it won’t come to force if we work smart under the Constitutional Provisions.
    Keep up the vigil.

    Reply

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Mary-Lynn Foster first gave us a wake up call last October. In their Bigg Success podcast episode, We the People are Taking Back Our Country, they said “It starts and ends with us. We need to take personal responsibility” But we […]

  2. […] Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight – now dissolved into another agency – didn’t spot the problems with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Yet Fannie and Freddie were the only two agencies for which OFHEO was […]

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