I grew up in a Democratic home. My Dad was always very aware of what was happening in government. We have copies of letters Dad wrote to the politicians of his day and the responses he received. Dad kept a chart on the fridge of all the local, state and national politicians for whom he could cast a ballot. When the specified politician did something Dad agreed with, said politician earned a check. If he or she did something Dad deemed offensive that person earned a zero. When it was time to vote, Dad did his research for every candidate and took his chart to the polls. Too many zeros and they were out.
My Dad was a wonderful husband and a very loving father. He lived a life dedicated to personal integrity, responsibility, good example and a strong devotion to his God, his church, his family and his job. He expected no less from the government that he always said "worked for us." His duty as a U.S. citizen was very important to him.
When I was in 8th grade, we studied a thin book titled, "Civics," and a large textbook on American history. My Dad talked to my siblings and me often about the lessons taught in both books. As we grew older, Dad was the go-to source when we needed information about politics and politicians. He eased us into the independence of reading, researching and studying each potential candidate who ran for political office and then making a very educated decision. Dad has been gone (and terribly missed) for many years. Over those years, I have kept my own counsel about the voting decisions I made. But the 2012 Presidential election has made me step out of my comfort zone.
My husband and I are retired and on a fixed income. As the prices of food, gas, and other necessary items increase, we have to adjust our budget — buying fewer things we would like to have so we can buy the things we need. We cannot print more money or ask someone else to support us. Like most Americans, we have always taken care of our family. We never lived beyond what we could afford. We educated our children and did not expect the government to take care of our family. If we could not afford it, we did not get it. President Barack Obama has sent us into terrible debt. Our children and our grandchildren will inherit the debt that he has incurred. In 2008, he criticized President George W. Bush for increasing the nation's debt by $4 trillion in eight years. Mr. Obama has increased it by $5.4 trillion in 3 1/2 years. The debt is now over $16 trillion. That is more than $50,000 for every man, woman and child in the U.S. The federal budget deficit just exceeded $1 trillion for the fourth straight year under Mr. Obama's watch. Total federal and state "welfare" spending tops $1 trillion — a nearly 30 percent increase since the start of the Obama administration. Regarding welfare, my husband and I have always felt that people with real needs should be able to get assistance from the government to help them through a difficult time. Like most Americans, we have given to many different charities but I feel strongly that "handouts" where there is no real need do not aid anyone.
A few weeks ago, we were in our neighborhood grocery store waiting to check out. In front of us was a young couple in their mid-30s, very well dressed, wearing very good jewelry and pushing a cart full of groceries. They loaded the conveyor belt with groceries and paid the cashier with 2 WIC forms (The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, better known as the WIC program, serves to safeguard the health of low-income pregnant, postpartum, and breast-feeding women, infants, and children up to age 5 who are at nutritional risk). Each signed a separate form. They refilled the counter again and the young man used a debit Food Stamp card to pay the bill. They showed no identification. When asked the cashier said he was not permitted to ask for ID. When I paid my bill with my credit card, I had to show my driver's license. Mr. Obama increased the Food Stamp rolls from 14 million to 43 million in his first term. He forced the states to streamline their processing of applications for Food Stamps so there was no time to adequately investigate the applicants. In our National Parks there are signs that say, "Do not feed the animals. They will become dependent on your food and will no longer know how to forage for themselves." Good advice.
At the Nuclear Security Summit last March, Mr. Obama, thinking his microphone was off, was heard telling outgoing Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. "This is my last election. After my election, I will have more flexibility." Mr. Medvedev replied, "I understand. I will transmit this information to President Vladimir Putin."
In Benghazi, Libya, Mr. Obama would not authorize additional security for the U.S. Consulate as requested by Ambassador Chris Stevens. On the night of Sept. 11, Mr. Obama watched the attack on the consulate in Benghazi in "real time" and in response to requests for help, he ordered troops to "stand down." His order caused the deaths of four Americans. No life is more important than any other but these people were already putting their lives on the line for the U.S. When they needed us to "have their backs," the commander-in-chief was missing in action.
Recently, Mr. Obama spoke about equal pay for women. That is admirable, however, the White House pays the female employees 18 percent less than it pays the male employees doing the same job.
Mr. Obama embraces the idea of redistribution of the nation's wealth to other countries. Consequently, he has sent large amounts of tax dollars to other countries so they can drill for oil to be used in their countries while our people continue to bear climbing gas prices. Worse, we've been borrowing about 31 cents of every dollar we spend from countries like China. What happens when they request repayment? Mr. Obama wasted billions of dollars on green energy companies like Solyndra, Ener1, Aptera Motors, Beacon Power — the list goes on and all went bankrupt. He has promised to take the money that is being spent on the wars and put it into building the economy. That money is borrowed and we are in debt for all of it. His attempts to bankrupt the U.S. serve to re-enforce the idea that he wants to bring the nation's economy to the level of some third world countries.
Obama wants more of the taxpayers' money. He wants to hire 100,000 teachers. I was a teacher. I was hired by a school district in Maryland, not by the President of the United States. Beyond hiring those teachers, what else would he spend it on — more wind, solar and biofuel energy? What has that investment done for us? The Department of Energy boasts that it has spent $34.7 billion on green technologies, creating nearly 60,000 jobs. Do the math: That's $578,333 in taxpayer funds for each job.
In 2008, Mr. Obama told a crowd in Virginia, "You don't deserve a bunch of name calling." In 2012, Mr. Obama or his representatives have said that Mitt Romney caused a woman's death, is a felon, is a "vulgar expression for meadow muffins," is a liar (a charge repeated many times), is "Romney Hood," or suffers from "Romnesia."
Mr. Obama has become a "schoolyard bully," an undisciplined child using name-calling, finger-pointing and making threats in an attempt to get his way. His recent political ads are an insult to women and children.
Mr. Obama is pro-choice. He supports abortion rights 100 percent. As a U.S. Senator, he voted against the Born Alive Infant Protection Act. According to a study published in Family Planning Perspectives, 3 percent of women abort because of concerns that there is something wrong with the fetus, 3 percent of women abort because of concerns for their own health, and 1 percent aborts because they are pregnant through rape or incest. That totals 7 percent, leaving 93 percent of abortions (1.3 million a year) being done for birth control.
David Axelrod has promised, "When we win, we will use whatever tools are out there, including a constitutional amendment, to limit the First Amendment."
Mr. Obama has spent $1.4 million to hide his birth certificate. He has sealed his school records and his school writings. We know very little about his life before he became president. His wife insisted at the Democratic National Convention that he was from poor roots and yet his grandparents enrolled him in a very exclusive middle school and high school. Mr. Obama kept none of the promises he made in 2008. He had no business experience and what he received as "on the job" training has not served him or us well. Where is his agenda for the next four years? He wants to go forward on the exact same track as the past four years. It is a road to failure.
We must remember that these elected officials work for us. If they are "career" politicians, then it is time, as our founding fathers suggested, for them to return home and resume their lives with their families. If they have spent many years in Washington living well at our expense then I would doubt that they have any understanding of life in our American cities.
I do not need my President to be an exceptional orator (with a teleprompter), to be "warm and fuzzy," or to entertain me on television but I do need my President to have personal integrity, a sense of responsibility, a deep love for the country, a concern for our military and our people and to always tell the truth because he has a moral compass and a conscience that understands right from wrong.
Mr. Romney is a dedicated family man and faithful to his church. In 2011, he gave over $4 million of his income (19 percent) to charity. Mr. Obama gave 1 percent of his income and Mr. Biden 0.0013 percent of his income to charity. Mr. Romney's school records and his work history are available to the public. Mr. Romney's background, experience and trustworthiness show him to be a great leader and an excellent candidate for President of the United States.
Please do your research. This is a critical election for our children, our grandchildren and for us. Vote for less government.
Mary Horner, BaltimoreCopyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun