Despite massive spending, underachievement prevails

r-SAN-FRANCISCO-MINIMUM-WAGE-HIKE-large570Did you know that the number of people on food stamps has grown over the past 13 years by nearly 30 million, which accounts for almost 20% of households receiving taxpayer-funded food subsidies?  At the same time, the federal government is spending more per household than ever before – in fact, a 152 percent increase since 1965.

Our middle class is shrinking – the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer, due in large part to insanely complex government rules and regulations that only those with resources can bypass.  In fact, the top 7% of households own 63% of the nation’s wealth.  During the so-called economy recovery, the other 93% of families lost wealth, putting into question the effectiveness of big spending government stimulus packages and who, in reality, the recovery truly helped.

ABC News reports that nearly 50 million people in the United States live in poverty, but yet, most Americans view our nation as the most prosperous in the world, fundamentally superior to our foreign counterparts despite our poor education system, insanely expensive healthcare industry and THE biggest government that we’ve ever had.

In fact, our healthcare system spends twice as much per person than any other developed nation in the world, a cost that accounts for more than 16% of our nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).  Our healthcare spending has increased at twice the rate of inflation, but yet our pharmaceuticals continue to kill and emergency rooms remain clogged with people using it as their primary care service.

A much-maligned segment of the population, the top 1% of income earners in the country have a greater net worth than the bottom 90% put together.  Perhaps this is due to nearly a quarter of all jobs in the United States that pay a wage of less than $10/hour.

Worse, spending in Washington continues to grow, more than it ever has despite record tax revenues.  Federal politicians managed to rack up $755 billion in deficits through the first eleven months of 2013′s fiscal year.  Spending during the same period amounted to a whopping $3.2 trillion.

Now, the government wants to take over healthcare.  Already the most expensive healthcare system in the entire world, the 10,500-page Obamacare monstrosity has authorized the government to spend even more money.  The new healthcare system’s broken Healthcare.gov web site cost the American taxpayer $634 million to build.  Obamacare has caused many insurance companies to cancel policies and create more expensive alternatives.  Premiums have risen and job hours have decreased to sub-30 hours to avoid Obamacare penalties.

The evidence of the big government effect is clear and overwhelming, and it is costing the American taxpayer trillions of dollars in reckless spending.  Both the Democrats and Republicans represent the cause of these problems, and our nation will never truly fix our ailing spending habits until we replace those responsible for it.

Fat, dumb and happy: Can rich politicians truly represent us?

MoneyAs the majority of middle class America struggles to keep up with economic uncertainty and punishing new health care regulations, the American political landscape is chalked full of extremely wealthy politicians that are far removed from the reality that our nation faces.  Do these politicians truly represent us?

What happens to government when men of wealth are responsible for its day-to-day functions?  Can Americans reasonably expect decisions to be made in their best interest when the majority of politicians will never have to worry about their own retirements, finances or future?  How can a rich political class put aside its own selfish interests and instead focus on the people they supposedly represent?

The leaders of our republic are saturated with cash.  President Barack Obama is worth nearly $10 million, but that’s only a drop in the bucket compared to others like Mitt Romney, who’s net worth is estimated at over $250 million, or John Kerry at $193 million, or Ted Kennedy at $163 million.

How about New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg?  He’s worth a whopping $22 billion (yes, with a ‘b’).  Arnold Schwarzenegger has nearly $400 million to his name, Jon Corzine enjoys a net worth of nearly $300 million and Darrell Issa at $220 million.  Politicians like Diane Feinstein, Jay Rockefeller, Mark Warner, Bob Corker and countless others – names you probably have never heard of, but serve in our government – are worth 10s of millions of dollars.

But, this does not account for the money needed to win national elections.  Including Super PAC spending, over $2 billion was spent on the 2012 presidential election alone.  $2 billion on one election!  That is more than the majority of Americans would see in 100 lifetimes.

This is not the way a democratic republic is supposed to work.

The elite cannot possibly rule over the masses in the best interest of the masses.  It is human nature to look after your own well-being, and when millions of dollars are available to do so, it gets much easier.  From lobbyists to kickbacks, from special interests to sweetheart deals, our political class is in the tank for nobody but themselves.  Why else would a campaign cost $2 billion?  Why is serving in our government worth spending more money than most Americans could ever dream of?  Because our government harbors wealth and protects the elite.

But let me ask a simple question: Who better to represent the middle class than someone in the middle class?  Serving in our government should be an honor and struggle, not a pulpit to be used to obtain and maintain wealth.  A man or woman who works hard every day to put food on their table at night is a person that knows the reality of our nation, each and every day.

Not just knowing the struggle, but experiencing the struggle, keeps politicians honest.  Sheltering politicians in Washington D.C. with taxpayer-funded aids, trips and resources removes the struggle that our political class needs to keep the best interests of the people in focus.

The people are forgotten as our political class continues to get rich.