Posts Tagged ‘Congress’

Walking the Talk

August 2, 2010

I am continually amazed at the attempts of political candidates across the country to co-opt issues in which they have no experience.  Years ago, the Christian Right encouraged numerous politicians to have a “come to Jesus” experience and advocate platforms they neither agreed with nor could validate.  If one could say something enough times and get his/her picture made with the right people, then… voila! you’re automatically an expert.

I have thought about this in relation to my lifetime of experience in socially conservative issues.  Though these matters will always form the basis for strength in our republic, they do not currently rise to the top of the national discussion, except during Supreme Court nominee hearings before the U.S. Senate.  The nation’s attention is clearly focused on overly big government, runaway spending, excessive debt, unsustainable entitlements, an open border, energy dependence, an unfair tax system, and two wars against enemies that wear no discernible uniform.

To make the record clear, let me describe my walk compared to my talk.



In Tennessee, it’s all about Jobs

July 27, 2010

A recent Tennessean poll revealed what many had known for some time.  Tennesseans are worried about jobs, period. Yes, health reform has been a big topic. Cap and Trade has been a big topic.  Financial reform has been a big topic.  But these issues are not as important to constituents unemployed and unable to find work.  A lost health plan, increasing energy costs though unable to pay current energy bills, and changes to bank regulations on a house account with very little in it, etc. The solution to those issues is contingent on finding and securing a job.


This math isn’t fuzzy, part II

June 22, 2010

A few days ago, we laid out some basic facts about the financial situation in America for our Federal Government here.

What makes this even more difficult to swallow is that although the population of the United States is more than 309 million, that number includes many children and older retirees – America has only 110 million taxpayers. This translates to a national debt per taxpayer of more than $118,000.

Remember, all of our elected representatives, Republican and Democrat, have spent this money and left you with the bill. I can personally verify that paying back money borrowed to enjoy something in the past with present dollars is not pleasant. I can testify to the pain of using currently earned dollars on old expenses.

There is no solution to the problem that is painless. Either we continue on the path of higher taxes, more spending, punishment of the producers, increased federal control of business, and excessive intervention into our daily lives, OR we make a conscious decision to make a change in our spending, saving, and personal responsibility for America’s financial situation.

Will some citizens complain about the lack of compassion because we have to reevaluate many of the entitlement programs? Absolutely. However, the reality is truly frightening. These are facts, not opinion. We are in a very deep hole as a nation. Though it feels good to spend money to do good things for people, the fact is our government can not continue to spend money it does not have because We the People can not afford to pay the bill.

Long-time incumbents like Rep. Jim Cooper, who first went to Congress in 1983 when the national debt was just $1.6 trillion have added literal trillions more in debts. The Congressional Budget Office says that the recent health care reform bill, which Rep. Cooper voted for, will add more than $1 trillion to the national debt over the next 10 years.

There are many other examples of massive overspending that are equally problematic and equally damaging to the American way of life. Business-as-usual politicians, addicted to being re-elected, have made millions of Americans dependent on federal programs for which we no longer have the money to support. There is no painless way out of this crisis but perhaps there is good to come from it down the road.

Perhaps by slashing funding for many of the federal programs we can encourage our citizens to look more to their state and local governments to address community needs. Perhaps our churches and community organizations will become more engaged with local needs. Perhaps our citizens will get out of their homes and engage their neighbors through service and participation in their local communities. Perhaps people will learn to be more self-reliant and more involved in helping their families, friends and neighbors.

This is not a dream-world. This is a very possible reality. We are going to have to make a choice very soon; either we chose a reality based on responsibility, entrepreneurship and capitalism, or we can go the way of European socialism. We have a clear picture in Greece, Russia, and other countries, of where that road leads.

Each of us has more than 42,000 reasons to vote for a real change. If you are ready to help us fight to turn America away from the coming fiscal catastrophe and head in the right direction, please join our campaign at

You Get The Same Results

June 7, 2010

When I began my Healthcare Consulting career at Jackson & Coker (now Jackson Healthcare) in the early 1980’s, my boss, Rick Jackson, often opined regarding poor performance, “If you keep doing the same thing the same way, you get the same results.”  Over the years, I have heard similar phrases used as a definition of insanity and other negative words.  But the truth is right there.  This is why we study history.


It’s just like Monopoly money

May 25, 2010

First, it was AIG.  Then it was Goldman Sachs.  Then GM, Chrysler, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, ad nauseum.   Bailout after bailout after bailout.  And it’s not over yet?

Last year, Congress passed several stimulus bills under the guise of “shovel-ready” projects.  The only shovel that was ready was the shovel being used by individual state workers ready for layoffs because of irresponsible state spending during the past decade.  Good news is that the fellow holding the shovel got to work an extra year.  Bad news is that the stimulus money was a one-and-out.


What kind of responsibility?

May 13, 2010

Fiduciary: (fuh-doo-she-air-e) adj.  of, relating to, or involving a confidence or trust, held or founded in confidence or trust, holding in trust…

My own phonetic representation of this important word is a bit off the standard phonetic structure, but I hope you get the point.  It is important to revisit the definition of this word (here and here) as it affects the very future of the republic.


The Bribery House rules

March 18, 2010

Watching the United States Congress these days reminds one of the phrase, “Do as I say, not as I do.” We have developed exponential rules upon rules for lobbyists and their contacts with legislators, rules for campaign finance and execution, rules for everything. The one place we have developed few rules is the United States Congress. At least our expectations point to that fact.


Health Care – Is there a solution? Part II

March 5, 2010

This is the second post in a series of three on Health Care in America. Click here to view the first part.

Health Care – Is there a solution? Part 2 of 3

In a recent speech to the College Republicans at Vanderbilt, a student critiqued me for identifying problems America is facing but offering no solutions. Health Care matters deserve no less from us. Rather than discuss what is not working, what are some solutions to this quandary?


Health Care – Is there a solution? Part I

March 4, 2010

The single hottest issue in politics at the moment is Health Care in America. Many people have asked that I post on how I would work to “fix” the issue of Health Care in America, so I am attempting to do so in a series of three posts that will go up over the next few days.


Press Release 2.26.2010 – Health Care Summit in D.C.

February 26, 2010


15+ years experience in HealthCare sector for candidate

Mt. Juliet, TN – Jeff Hartline, a Republican candidate for Tennessee’s 5th District congressional seat, released the following statement Friday morning.

“Yesterday our President and members of the Congress met for an entire day to discuss healthcare reform. This “open-door” session was a waste of taxpayer time and money, and today we are no closer to a decision than we were on Wednesday. The President’s goal of winning support failed.”