Friday, May 28, 2010

Alabama’s Dale Peterson of YouTube Political Ad Sensation “We Are Better than That”

Are Americans Now Embracing Blunt Honesty in Politics?

Political passion is running high in America with what many feel are out-of-control problems mainly being caused by weak politicians and powerful special interests. Americans seem sick and tired of ineffective political solutions as a result of no political will to make tough national security and illegal immigration decisions and to cut entitlement and other spending programs we can not afford locally and nationally. Americans are wary of political correctness that now seems to defy common sense and the interest of our own well-being as a nation in many cases.  


Americans now seem to be embracing blunt honesty in politics even if the real solutions put forth mean less entitlements; being called racists; or being mocked by federal government officials and the media. Is the strangle-hold of political correctness fear in the US cracking - even in politics? All you have to do is watch political speak on both sides of the isle put up on YouTube to see this may have growing acceptance as frustration with the current political system and a national deficit that hit $13 trillion this week is growing.

New Jersey Republican Governor Chris Christie has pledged to balance the state budget with no sacred cows in spending cuts and no new taxes. He has taken on reporters questioning his tone. In answer to critics of the recent Arizona legislation that cracks down on illegal immigration enforcement, Arizona Republican Governor Jan Brewer put out a no-nonsense ad hitting back, and she is not backing down even in the midst of her being called a Nazi and all Arizonans being called racists. ABC Political Strategist James Carville did not mince words in how he felt about President Obama’s poor response to the BP oil spill disaster, and he’s a strong Democrat.

Alabama Agriculture Commissioner candidate Dale Peterson is being called the Steven Seagal of Republicans. The AC is a powerful position in Alabama with a $5 million budget and a far reaching affect on farmers and ranchers as well as employment opportunity in the state. Dale’s political ad titled ‘We are Better than That” has reached YouTube sensation status with over 1.2 million views and pages of viewer comments in just a few days. Duplicate YouTube postings of the ad have also generated approximately 300,000 more views and numerous additional pages of comments. Some viewers have called him campy and redneck in their comments, but most wish he was a political candidate running in their state and cheer him for his blunt honesty in the content and delivery of the ad.

Dale Peterson is not the established Republican party endorsed candidate, but he is endorsed by the influential iCaucus. It’s important to note incumbent Senators Bob Bennett (R-UT) and Arlen Spector (D-PA) are very recent examples of being the party endorsed candidate does not guarantee a primary race win any more. Never having run for political office before, Dale is a citizen candidate taking on the establishment which also seems to be a growing trend this mid-term election year. He is honest about our problems and plain spoken in what he sees as solutions to the problems. Dale is anything but politically correct and believes Americans will welcome honest, blunt politicians that will work for them and not to line their own pockets in a political position. As he tells you in his ad, he’s been a farmer, a businessman, a cop, and a marine during Vietnam – so listen up.

An Interview with Alabama Agriculture Commissioner Candidate Dale Peterson:

BKH: You’ve never run for political office before. What was the catalyst for you entering the Alabama Agriculture Commissioner race?
DP: It was a combination of four things really:

1. Politicians are slicing and dicing the constitution now. We need to get back to the integrity of our constitution.

2. I am a strong proponent of the 2nd Amendment. That’s the reason for the gun in the ad.

3. I am a strong proponent of the 10th Amendment. Government at all levels has forgotten who gives whom the power. People give rights to their state through elections. The constitution gives rights to the states not specifically given to the federal government. This has been all turned around now. We need to get back to the correct basics in understanding governing.

4. The state of Alabama has been good to me. I want to give back to the people of Alabama by serving them. People should not go into politics looking for a career or a way to get rich by lining their own pockets. People going into service should already have had a career and now be in a place to give back in true service. We need real-life experience and wisdom in politics.

BKH: How has America gotten so far off track in your opinion?
DP: Mainly because policians no longer stand up for the people and their interests. They stand up only for themselves and their own personal interests. President Obama has distorted words like “change” and “transparency”. I also believe the creation of the Federal Reserve in the 1920s started an agenda that has resulted in unstable finances for the US. With the creation of the United Nations and encouraging, if not just plain allowing, US policy and direction to be dictated by the UN and the IMF; we are undermining our own best interests for our country and our own people. Political correctness has disarmed us in many ways, but refusing to acknowledge terrorists threatening America are Muslim extremists and coming from an extreme position in Islam is putting us further in harm’s way. We are not paying attention and are down playing those that want to harm us. We also have too much unelected power concentrated in Washington now.

BKH: What are the top three ways to get us back on track?
DP: First, we must push, pull, and drag good people into politics. So many don’t want to run for public office knowing they or their family will be dragged through the mud. There isn’t a soul who doesn’t have something in their past they aren’t proud of. You haven’t lived or ever made a mistake if that is the case. If you can get good people in political service, then those people must be able to be counted on. I’ve always believed in term limits until recently. A wise person explained to me that we do in fact have term limits – it’s called a vote, and it’s powerful. I realized if we do have good people in elected office that really work for the people, we would want to keep them in office to continue to serve well. We must have tenacity and resolve in having real transparency in government and holding politicians accountable. Politicians must not be allowed to rally around each other to hide or make light of corruption. It’s time to stop having the wolves be the only ones with the power to watch the hen house and be the only authority on whether the wolf ate the hen. And lastly, we must get back to the original intent of our constitution. We must change laws or repeal laws made by a previous Congress or White House Administration that do not truly serve the interest of the people, just plain don’t work, or are only creating big government wasting the people’s money.

BKH: Is it possible for a “politically incorrect” person to get elected by voters?
DP: Today, yes, with the state of our economy and with the rights and the power of the people being taken away, voters want honesty and common sense restored in governing. People are hungry for honesty, whether politically correct or not, because they have not had it for so long. There is a difference between being direct and blunt and being belligerent though. Belligerence should never be tolerated by those serving you. I saw this in some of the town hall meetings earlier this year. That’s unacceptable in any meeting. Honest and respectful communication with voters is what is needed and will always be acceptable.

BKH: What has been the overall reaction to your ad?
DP: Absolutely positive – 98% positive. What it did was shed some good light on the people of Alabama. It’s not about me – it’s about the people, what they care about and what they need. I’ve had comments on the ad from people as far away as Denmark, Germany, and Iceland. I even had a soldier stationed in Afghanistan call me and thank me for standing up. I don’t take special interest money. I have had $5 to $10 donations from people in every state in the US. I believe Americans are standing up. It’s been very humbling for me. I received a letter from a woman in California that told me she had been looking for a job for two years. She said she didn’t have much but wanted to support me being honest and standing up. Her letter contained a $2 donation. It made my eyes tear up. It also made me humble in understanding Americans want to believe in honesty again. I feel a deep sense of responsibility and accountability to make sure every dollar spent in my campaign, and in the office of Alabama’s Agriculture Commissioner if I’m elected, be spent remembering this is the people’s money. And, they are trusting me to spend it wisely.

BKH: You mention illegal immigration in your ad. What do you think of the new Arizona enforcement legislation?
DP: It’s simple really – if the federal government was doing its job in protecting American borders and American citizens, Arizona would not have been forced to take this stand on their own. The Arizona law is not even as strong as the federal law if you have read it.

BKH: Why do you think polls show approximately 65-70% of Americans support the enforcement efforts of Arizona?
DP: It is because people are fed-up with our borders not being protected not just from illegal immigrants but from possible terrorists coming here unknown also. Americans are not anti-immigration – they are anti-illegal immigration. Our country is still the greatest country in the world and the country that so many want to come to for opportunity and freedom. I don’t blame anyone for wanting to come to our great country to make a better life. But other immigrants throughout our history have done it legally. Illegal immigration,and the political defense of it, is a slap in the face to legal immigrants and Americans. Illegal immigrants have not earned the right to be in the US as other legal immigrants did before them. Illegal immigrants should not be able to qualify for welfare, food stamps, free housing, free child care, free public education or other social services that are in reality on the backs of the American legal citizens and residents in higher costs and taxes. That’s why Americans are angry and want solutions that do not include rewarding illegal behavior with any form of amnesty or free social services.

In the agriculture business, we have more than any. We’ve always had migrant workers. They worked the season and then returned home. It’s not honest anymore. The US can not afford the costs of illegal immigrants in resource money, crime, and lives.

BKH: Will Americans bite the bullet and accept less entitlements for lower taxes?
DP: Well I know the right side will – not a hard bullet to bite – just good common sense. I explain it to folks that when things are going well, we have more money in the government kitty. The more in the kitty we have, the more we can provide. If we don’t have money in the kitty, we don’t have money to fund entitlements and must cut back on them. Families and businesses do this all the time. They make priorities and stick to them when times get tougher. It’s like you sweep with a vacuum if you can afford the vacuum. It you can’t, you sweep with a straw broom until you can afford the vacuum.

BKH: Alabama is number 1 in the US for rural unemployment. What is the answer? What can you do in the role of the Agriculture Commissioner to put Alabamans back to work?
DP: Communication with citizens and facilitation of workable solutions are the keys. My goal is to have a radio or television weekly program in office as the Alabama AC to communicate directly and honestly what my office is working on, what we have accomplished, and who is standing in the way of getting things done if necessary. I believe all levels of government office should be doing this. I know some have websites that say they are doing this, but they are not being completely honest and transparent.

The Alabama AC needs to be a communicator for the interests of the people of the state. We must educate and alert the general public on why we need to maintain a buffer to depending on foreign sources of food and product. We must not minimize safety concerns from Chinese products. We must also market and promote Alabama grown products giving people information and a choice in what they buy. I want to see a “Made in Alabama” label on our products, and for the people of Alabama to have the pride this brings. Every state can take an active role in communicating and promoting with pride products from their state. Americans as well as other world citizens want to buy American if openly given the information and the choice.

We need to make common sense efforts to reduce product costs and increase local job opportunity in the production process of local products. For example, there is no meat processing plant in Alabama, yet we have plenty of ranchers and meat here. Cattle are sent to Texas at 300 pounds by freight to be finished (gain to 600 pounds) and then processed and shipped back to Alabama. There is a product cost in paying for all that shipping. Why not have private entrepreneurs in Alabama build a processing plant? The Agriculture Commissioner is a facilitator. The AC’s office can get all parties to the table – the ranchers, the processing plant, and the local grocers to work together to promote local products, save everyone money, increase capital expenditure, increase profits, and increase local job opportunities. This helps every family and business in Alabama or any other state that is willing to approach their local production this way. This is how government and free enterprise should be working together – for all of the people of the state not just for a group that politicians collect the most money from.

BKH: If you could have lunch with President Obama, what would you tell him?
DP: I would not have lunch with President Obama. I can no longer believe he has this country's best interest at heart, and I can't respect him or anyone for that, so I could not have lunch with him.

You can learn more about Dale Peterson at http://www.dalepeterson2010.com/

Is acceptance of blunt honesty in politics a force in America or just a passing novelty? I believe it is a force that will strengthen as the impact of higher taxes and higher healthcare costs hit Americans in 2011. As Dr. Phil always says, “You can’t fix what you don’t first acknowledge is broken.” Americans are acknowledging our current government solutions and career politicians have created an unsustainable financial mess. The current political system and direction are not working.

Unapologetic honest politicians that will tell it like it is are needed now more than ever. When the rubber hits the road, the majority of Americans are honest, and Americans are tough enough to personally sacrifice to restore integrity in our political system and for a better future for coming generations. Our Founding Fathers and the WWII generation were not the last Americans with the integrity, courage, and resolve to face and beat daunting challenges. Don’t underestimate the ability of Americans to handle the truth.

Is Dale Peterson the Steven Seagal of Republicans? – Maybe. Is he the John Wayne of Republicans? – Definitely. And who doesn’t love John Wayne? Its men like him in real lives that help build our strong nation. And if you think regular Americans don’t give a rip about their state and their country, you are in a word - Mistaken. Given the truth, Americans will not only listen up - they will man-up/woman-up.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Current Real Estate Trends - The New Wave of Foreclosures

Leading Real Estate Data Trend Expert Tom Ruff''s Monthly Housing Report:

"The only correct actions are those that demand no explanation and no apology." - Red Auerbach


The above link takes a look at strategic defaults, our soup de jour. I hear the young couple explaining their four to five year strategy. Last month I heard Citigroup’s chief executive before Congress apologizing for the financial crisis; a lot of explaining, a lot of apologizing going on. We know the ramifications of lending practices during our housing bubble, in 3 to 5 years we will know if a strategic default today is a good or bad decision. From the lessons of childhood I hear the voices of depression era parents, “The in thing is seldom the right thing.” I hope 60 Minutes revisits this story in 4 years.

Defining the Bubble

In March of 2005 the median price of all resale homes sold in Maricopa County rose above $200,000 and remained there through June of 2008. The housing bubble can simply be defined as the 40 month period when median sales prices were above $200,000. There were 405,900 sales in this period with the highest sales volume taking place in the first 20 months; there were 154,620 sales in the last 9 months of 2005; 128,802 in 2006; 89,247 in 2007 and 33,231 in the first 6 months of 2008.

A Closer Look

A closer look at the 405,900 sales reveals 343,010 unique home sales. Parties purchasing in the early months of the bubble were actually able to successfully sell their properties. Of the 343,010 unique homes purchased during the bubble, 70,433 or 20.18% have already been foreclosed, an additional 18,033 sold after June of 2008, most likely short sales. From within the bubble 84,767 were cash purchases or had down payments greater than $50,000. The foreclosure rate on these properties is less than 3% compared to the current 20% foreclosure rate of all homes purchased in the bubble. We currently have 21,594 active notices on homes purchased between March 2003 and June 2008, and an additional 16,516 purchased earlier than March 2005 but refinanced within the bubble. Of the 343,010 homes purchased during months where the median sales price was greater than $200,000, 194,827 have either been foreclosed, had a short sale, put down over $50,000 at the time they purchased their home and have a greatly reduced risk of foreclosure or have an active foreclosure notice. Anyway you dice it, that’s a lot of water under the bridge.



More Sixty Minutes


In doing research I came across a convincing video done by 60 Minutes regarding the second larger wave of foreclosures. In the report investment fund manager Whitney Tilson stated we were only half through the correction. For those of you viewing this video for the first time, I’d like to remind you, it was made in December of 2008. At the time this video was made Maricopa County had seen 109,397 recorded notices in the previous two years and 50,470 Trustee’s Deeds. Since this piece was aired, we’ve had an additional 135,952 notices filed and 71,206 Trustee’s Deeds, these numbers reference all property types.

The Next Wave

Over the past year and half two topics have consistently made media headlines, shadow inventory and the next bigger wave of foreclosures. The bigger wave theory was in part inspired by the 60 Minutes piece linked above. We have always contended we’re in the middle of an equity crisis; a loan for more than the property is worth is a troubled loan, period, regardless of its exotic name. There are three ways to remedy this situation quickly; foreclosure, short sale, and modifications with principle reductions. The fourth sure fire way, although a little old fashion, make payments as agreed. Since the foreclosure crisis began, 113,827 homes have gone to Trustee’s Sale, 107,969 were from mortgages originating inside the bubble, breaking down as 70,433 foreclosures on homes purchased within the bubble and 43,394 homes purchased prior to March 2003 and refinanced inside the bubble. For those predicting a new wave, I ask the simple question, where are they going to come from? In order for a new larger wave to happen, new notices by origination dates are going to have to move back in time. The chart below gives a break down of all pending notices. We have more active notices on 2007 originations than 2005 originations, and it has been this way for several months.



Current Trends

The number of active notices peaked on December 31, 2009 reaching 51,466; today that number is 46,078 a decline of 11.69 % since January 1st. We’re seeing a 20% decline in new notices this year over the first four months of last year; 36,981 to 29,497. The number of recorded trustee’s deeds have increased 18.90% over last year; 15,575 to 18,518. The biggest change we are seeing is in cancellations, with a 79.41 % increase in the first four months compared to last year, 7986 to 14,231. For whatever reason, the banks are beginning to make quicker decisions; whether a foreclosure, aggressive pricing strategy at auction, how short sales are handled or implementing loan modifications; they are picking up the pace. Look for May’s notice numbers to continue their downward trend as May filings are expected to be around 6500, the lowest total since the summer of 2008.

Final Thoughts

I recently caught up with some old friends from High School on Facebook. Last week we reunited after 38 years, horse back riding and camping. Since returning from my brief vacation, I’ve had a difficult time gathering my thoughts for this month’s opinion and newsletter. Tying foreclosures to the horse manure clean up tasks at last week’s retreat would have made for easy analogies albeit somewhat inappropriate. In LeBron James fashion I offer my apologies for this month’s opinion, this will be only my third bad opinion in seven years and I hope my spoiled readership understands.

To Contact Tom Ruff - The Information Market




Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Creating Jobs & Balancing the Budget – Is New Blood in Congress Our Only Hope?

An Interview with Liz Carter, Candidate for US Congress, GA-4


Everyone knows small business is responsible for 50%+ of all the private sector jobs created in the US – even politicians know this. The wealth of a country is created by the private sector not government. It seems everyone but most of our current politicians know this. A good environment for creating new businesses and the resulting new job opportunity determines the health of our economy. Employment opportunity and our economy does not grow with deficit increasing federal stimulus money mainly spent on special interest projects and state and city government agencies to allow for their own continued out-of-control spending. Even the majority of Americans that benefited by having unemployment payments extended would rather have had real job opportunities created and a normal life again.


Everyone knows businesses as well as families must balance their budgets or go under. Many are balancing their budgets with a lot less money each month these days, but they still do it. Businesses and families know you can’t keep spending money you don’t have and remain financially solvent. It’s hard, but everyone cuts back on expenses when they must except big government supporters it seems. Americans are frustrated with the level of spending and the trillions of dollars in deficit resulting from the spending. Instant additional revenue, through higher and higher taxes and fees, is not the sustainable answer to balancing bigger and bigger budgets. Government just can’t tax enough. A 100% tax on every business and every person will not pay off the deficit especially with the continued spending levels. Former Presidents Kennedy and Reagan lowered tax rates to encourage economic growth. Both saw government revenues increase with lower taxes. Every President that has increased taxes has seen the overall government revenue decrease.

Everyone knows the more money government takes the less money there is in the pockets of businesses and families already trying to make ends meet. Additional taxes, in any form, will further slow down our economy and increase unemployment. The more businesses are forced to go under and the more people are forced into unemployment, the less taxable income is available and government actually collects less revenue even with higher tax rates and additional tax and fee demands in place. And, higher taxes on those that still have a business or job without major government spending cuts will ultimately do nothing toward balancing our national budget and bringing down deficits. You get this, I get this, why doesn’t our government get this? We need those with taxing and spending power to get this.

Is new blood in Congress our only hope? Will shifting the current paradigm of career politicians and electing people that have started a business or worked their entire lives in the private sector the only way the US will create jobs and see stable growth? Is this the only way our political leadership will understand what legislation grows our economy and what legislation destroys it? We need people in Congress that have lived it, not politicians that have spend their entire careers in the government sector immune from the pain of trying to run a successful business while adhering to over-regulation and over-taxation. We need legislators that have not spent their lives personally immune from economic recession and job killing legislation.

As a highly successful small technology business owner and technology award winner with a patent for an HTML product, Liz Carter is an example of one congressional candidate that has a proven track record of understanding business, technology, employment, and the economy. She grew up poor and is self-made. Liz is plain spoken and her direct answer to questions is refreshing in politics. She is a citizen politician running for Congress in Georgia’s District 4. One click on her website’s issues tab and you know where she stands on the issues of the day without spin. She is polling well and has received many local endorsements in a district that seems ready for change and up for grabs this mid-year election. District 4 is a minority majority area, and Liz has been warmly received by the local NAACP. She has also been well received by the Tea Party movement which is quite strong in the Atlanta area.

President Obama recently made a point of endorsing the Democrat incumbent Hank Johnson. This was a move many interpreted as nervousness of an incumbent possibly loosing the GA-4 seat in a district that has gone from 60% Democrat and 40% Republic to 38% Democrat, 30% Republican, and 30% Independent in the last year. The unemployment rate ranges from 10-16.7% in Georgia and District 4 depending on the area you live in, and there is a 14% poverty level. In a state that has been plagued with deep private sector lay-offs and local government corruption, many believe Georgia voters are ready for a new approach and new blood.

An Interview with Congressional Candidate for GA-4, Liz Carter:

BKH: You've never run for national office before. What was the catalyst to deciding to run for the GA-4 seat, especially against an entrenched incumbent?
LC: When you work with businesses across this great nation, and your focus is helping them succeed and helping them grow, you study and closely watch the economy. My clients were being impacted by the uncertainty this Congress has created. Small and large businesses have not had a clear picture on how current legislation will impact them or what regulation would further cost them. There were several market indicators that unemployment was on the rise, yet it seemed as though the focus in DC was on fighting each other instead of doing what is right for the American people and the private sector.

When I combined the market factors with the knowledge that my current congressman did not represent my values and with his ridiculous statements, I said enough is enough. I looked at our current leaders and realized most do not have the business acumen to balance a budget or understand how their actions impact business and unemployment.

I don’t view my incumbent as entrenched; I view him as an individual who won because GA-4 was so embarrassed by our previous congresswoman. After talking with many across District 4, it became evident that a great number of them did not vote for Congressman Johnson, but against Cynthia McKinney.  The people of this district need a leader who will unite and bring prosperity back, not seek to divide and ignore the serious issues we face with unemployment, education, and immigration. I am that leader.

BKH: A Democrat has held the GA-4 seat for 25 years. Why do you believe a Republican can replace a Democrat in your district this election?
LC: This is not the year of party; both political parties have made mistakes and have individuals who are polarizing. People of GA-4 are looking for someone who is fiscally responsible, and who will listen and represent them well. In fact, this district now has more voters who identify themselves as Independent than Democrat or Republican. This district needs someone who will do more than show up - they want a leader who will help unite the community, who will help reverse the embarrassment we have suffered for years, and who will address the hard issues directly.

BKH: You easily won a straw poll in the Rockdale forum recently against the other 3 Republican primary candidates. What most sets you apart from them?
LC: There are a number of areas that set me apart from all the candidates running in District 4. I am the only candidate whom has put her career and company on hold to serve the people of District 4 now, not just when elected. This is a Congressional Race. It cannot be done part-time, and it is critical to fully understand and know your district before being elected. As with any freshman congressman, there will be a learning curve when I get to DC, but that learning curve will not include understanding my district and whom to work with. My days are not full of simple campaigning; I am meeting with the Sheriffs Departments, Fire Departments, Mayors, Police Officers, Teachers and other members of the community now.

- I am the only candidate with executive experience and who has owned and operated my own company.
- I am the only candidate who has followed and been in 100% compliance of the FEC rules, which shows a complete lack of respect for our processes and election laws by the other candidates.
- I live in the district; my boys go to school in the district, and I understand the education issues we are facing.
- I’m the only individual who is working to bring this district together, instead of running a campaign targeted at political party or race.
- I am running a fiscally responsible campaign and not running my campaign on borrowed money.

BKH: What most sets you apart from the Democrat incumbent Representative Johnson?
LC: We are very different people. I have a business background, know what environment companies need to create sustainable job growth, and understand the private sector. I have a true desire to serve, and I know how to get things done. I am also not afraid to address unpopular issues.

Representative Johnson has not been responsive or focused on the hard issues facing this nation and this district. He does not understand the drain illegal immigrants put on our communities and how they impact jobs – he supports amnesty. His racial statements demonstrate his lack of concern to unite a very diverse district. He has not demonstrated strong leadership and has further embarrassed a district in need of change. He also has demonstrated a complete lack of respect to our military families and the important role our military has for the safety of our nation.

BKH: What are the top 3 voter needs or concerns in your GA-4 district and nationally?
LC: District 4 is experiencing very high unemployment, education is a mess, and yes, illegal immigrants are hurting the job market and community. Jobs, education, and immigration are at the top, but we also need a leader to unite a very diverse district.

Nationally we are facing high unemployment; the private sector must be allowed to recover. We are facing a debt crisis that will cripple the opportunities our children will have. The Federal Government must correct itself and focus on building an infrastructure of empowerment and success in the private sector. We cannot continue to focus on entitlement programs that actually suppress those they serve and line the pockets of those who administer them.

BKH: Most in Congress and the White House currently have little or no private sector experience. What impact does that have on our country?
LC: They don’t have the knowledge or ability to manage or lead. Those who have never been faced with having to make payroll, cut costs or cut jobs, or grow a business are not the leaders who will help this country recover.

BKH: What about sending a business owner to Congress will make the biggest difference for the average person in their daily life?
LC: It brings real world experience and understanding. When you have never experienced opening and operating your own company, it can be difficult to understand how legislation will impact a business owner. Small business owners need a voice at the table, and I will be that voice. This is important for the average person, because this is where jobs and new opportunity will come from.

In the private sector, money is not granted without a plan and a solid business case. One has to demonstrate that they can and will get the results from the monies spent. There is accountability, not just handouts.

BKH: What do you believe is needed to move job creation and the economy forward in a significant way?
LC: We must cut the corporate tax and remove the uncertainty that the current Congress has created. Business owners will not move forward until they have a clear picture of what legislation is going to pass and how it will impact them.

BKH: With your technology and business background, do you believe it is possible to save money by updating government?
LC: Absolutely, it has been proven in the private sector when you streamline processes and utilize technology, it reduces operating expenses. We need to be doing the same thing with government agencies. For example, look at the stark differences in how UPS and FedEx are run verses the United States Post Office.

Too often cost is the only factor looked at, and legislators say we can’t afford it. What they are not looking at is the cost is an investment and the return on investment can be rapid, ultimately reducing the over all cost over a short time by more than invested. Those savings continue and will provide a higher yield of return, saving more tax dollars.

Cost and the return on investment are just the start. Technology also provides huge efficiencies, so people can get more done in a day’s time period.

BKH: If modernizing technology and eliminating duplicate agencies and jobs means downsizing the federal government, and federal workers, will it ever really be done?
LC: Yes, it will and has to be done. We can’t continue down this path of throwing money away by continued investment in what is broken. Congress has passed and is trying to pass regulations that protect consumers from mismanaged companies – yet our government agencies continue to be mismanaged and they are funded with tax dollars. The American people deserve to have a well-run government and to have Congress be good stewards of their tax dollars. Congress must be accountable.

BKH: I know you support the Fair Tax. Do you support a Value Added Tax?
LC: No, I do not support a Value Added Tax. There are too many areas that we can reduce costs and save money. Adding more taxes to the American people is the “lazy” way out of the mess we are in. It’s time to cut costs, not raise taxes.

BKH: Do you believe President Obama will go against his tax pledge to those making less than $200,000 single/$250,000 couple per year?
LC: He already has with the taxes that are hitting businesses and with the new health care legislation. Individuals are paying more for every day living expenses to cover the ever-increasing tax burden on large and small businesses. If the cap and trade legislation passes, that will also be a direct tax increase to every American household.

BKH: What do you believe the effect of hiking taxes, any taxes, will have on the economy and job creation right now?
LC: The tax hikes continue to delay job growth and recovery in the private sector.

BKH: Why doesn't Washington get this?
LC: They don’t understand the private sector and they are out of touch with the American people. Too many sit in their “ivory tower” and want to tell us what is best for us. They need to listen to and understand the reality of everyday Americans. They have forgotten they were elected to serve the people, not rule. It is the government’s role to create an infrastructure of empowerment and success within the private sector, not to create a dependent people.

BKH: What is your position on the healthcare reform legislation passed a short time ago?
LC: I read the legislation, and I am very disappointed that it passed. Too many say it is a good starting point. A good starting point could have been real reform, not money for special interests, not over 200 new government agencies, not IRS control, and not earmarks that had nothing to do with health care. Too many are saying “that’s the way things work in DC,” instead of demanding that we change the way it is working and stop the abuse of power.

There is absolutely no reason why this Congress could not have stopped and approached health care reform in a logical and phased approach, just like large corporations do. This legislation does not address or provide quality health care for our nation.

BKH: What do you think of the bank and Wall Street bailouts – of the “too big to fail” policies?
LC: I don't like the too big to fail logic. It is another way the federal government and politicians pick winners and losers in the private market. The bail out money did not help the majority of the American people.

BKH: What do you think of the federal money going into General Motors, especially to unions and Canada over secured stockholders in their bail-out?
LC: General Motors paid back their debt with stimulus funds. Their pay-back claim is dishonest and should not have been able to take place.

BKH: What is your position on the Illegal Immigration legislation just passed by Arizona?
LC: If we were actually enforcing our current immigration laws, Arizona would not have had to pass this legislation. It is that simple.

BKH: Thanks for your time today. You can learn more about Liz Carter at http://www.lizcarterforcongress.com

As Americans, we get what we vote in, and new blood in Congress may be our only hope of creating real jobs and balancing our nation’s budget. . We must no longer elect politicians that spend billions, oh wait, that’s trillions of dollars now, and not require they have proven experience in balancing a budget; in understanding Economics 101 in the real world; and in updating technology to lower operating costs and increase productivity and effectiveness. Successful businesses require experience and proven skill sets in those that handle their money and operations, but voters give money to the government every pay period and do not. It’s time voters look for candidates with proven skill sets in the private sector to turn our government around. It’s also time to require politicians and press secretaries to answer questions directly and honestly without 5 minutes worth of spin that never actually answered the question and isn’t factually honest. As we have seen lately, not all companies require that of their CEOs, but honest, law-abiding, financially stable ones do.