Monday, May 28, 2012

Legacy of Freedom

It’s a hard thing to lay down one’s life for another; most of us would never do it. Yet, over the brief history of our American Union, from the Revolutionary War to the present, more than 1.3 million American soldiers have done exactly that.

We owe them far more than a day of remembrance: we owe them our very lives. We owe them the liberty we so take for granted.

This Memorial Day the average American will enjoy the extra day off work. Maybe he will drink some beers with friends and toss some burgers on the grill. Maybe he won’t give a second thought as to why he can do these things.

This national holiday was originally known as Decoration Day: a day of remembrance to honor the fallen of the Civil War. Since WWI, it has been broadened to include America’s heroes in any war. We should not lightly take the sacrifice they made on our behalf. (The immediate families of those fallen soldiers certainly didn’t.)

I encourage every individual who breathes American air to take time, at 3PM on Memorial Day, to observe the National Moment of Remembrance. Stop what you’re doing for a few minutes to consider the freedom you have and the price paid to give it to you. Consider what you would do to preserve it. Give thanks to God and to the American soldier, for being willing to die for you.

After the moment passes, consider carrying on the rest of your day in a manner worthy of their sacrifice. And when the day is done, carry on that way tomorrow, as well.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high!
—Lt. Col. John McCrae, “In Flanders Fields”

For our great future together, I remain
Most Solemnly Yours,

Scott Rupert

* Images provided courtesy of

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

FaceBook and FairTax

Eduardo Saverin’s renunciation of citizenship over taxes would be of little concern, were we to replace income and capital gains taxes with “The FairTax,” a single-rate, federal retail sales tax.

Mr. Boehner is right to be incensed that one who has earned so much, from the resources available to him in the U.S., would take such extreme action to avoid having his money taken from him by a wasteful government. You see, I’m not particularly excited to have my hard earned cash confiscated by wasteful government either. But John, a new law to PUNISH one of our own (or one who was our own) for exercising his liberty? C’mon! Wouldn’t it be better for everyone to step back and ask why this happened? Because another law won’t prevent it from happening again.

Here’s an idea:  PASS H.R. 25! This is better known to your constituents (and God willing, it will be known to mine, as well) as The FairTax. It solves a multitude of problems for you and your friends across the aisle. It promotes economic growth by putting everyone’s hard earned money into their own pocket, where they can spend it as they wish. It promotes free markets by letting individuals pick the “winners” and “losers.” Let’s not forget: it allows those of us who pay into a Social Security program—we know we’ll never benefit from it—the opportunity to save and invest for our retirement. Best of all, it taxes the wealth of the rich, not merely their income, and that’s important to your Democrat counterparts. True, it doesn’t punish them for making money, but it soaks them when they spend it. The Dems will love that. That will “teach the wealthy to rub the noses of the poor in all their consumption.”

So John, whaddya say? Let’s MAKE Eddie pay his taxes the smart way, when he spends his money. You’ll feel better. Eddie will feel better. We’ll ALL feel better, and our economy will begin to grow immediately. Just think of all the money Washington will save by eliminating the Internal Revenue Service.

Oh, one more thing for the record: passing The FairTax is a mission of mine. Nobody in Congress understands better than I do the destructive power of the IRS.

Find out more about me at

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Dance with the one who brung ya... In the club they brung ya to.

The following is an example of an average working American trying to make the most of his time.  It was originally written as a response to a blog, posted yesterday, by another patriot whose views and opinions I respect.  He was quite excited at the prospect of Josh Mandel running for Ohio's seat in the Senate.  Because the Department of Transportation requires me to get a certain amount of rest, I've decided that anytime I say something I feel is worth repeating, I would do well to copy it and re-post it anywhere I can...

While it may be true that Josh Mandel would make a great challenger for Mr. Brown, as well as a great Senator, should he win, I'm having some difficulty with the pattern of "stepping stone" politics that has become the norm of late.  Mr. Brown would argue that Josh Mandel is "just another ambitious politician", in view of the fact that he signed up for a 4 year term as State Treasurer (less than 1 year ago).

I feel at this point I should mention that I intend to be on the ballot myself, as an independent candidate, partly because I believe that it is an independent who can win in Ohio, mostly because I believe the only way we will ever get away from the "us vs. them" style of politics that is ripping this great nation apart, is to elect men and women based upon their IDEAS, instead of their IDEOLOGIES.

While it is most certainly true that it is conservative ideas that will save our economy, the rhetoric has become so divisive that it has to come from leaders who can speak to BOTH SIDES.  True, the economy is the most pressing of our problems, but the very fabric of our society is being torn apart.  If we could wave a magic wand and solve our debt problem, we would only be on slightly firmer ground with regard to the division of the people.  Which party bears the most responsibility for it is somewhat irrelevant at this point.  The question is "How do we fix it"?  The solution can't be to compromise the truth, so it must be to change the way the truth is presented.

It pains me to hear conservatives talking about any newly elected leader as though they can't wait for him or her to take the next step.  I recall one of the more renown t.v. and talk show hosts asking Scott Brown about a presidential bid, before he had even been sworn into the Senate.   Same for Gov. Christie.  I can't tell you how pleased I am with his response to all the pestering he has endured.  He may make a fine president some day, but he understands the commitment he made.  He has gained a great deal of respect, at least from me, because of it.

No doubt, we need great leaders.  But let us not confuse great leadership with great political skill.  I think we've had enough of that already.

I'll get back to ya...
Scott A. Rupert

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Real Key to a Strong Economy

Ben Bernanke said, last week, that it was hard to put a finger on why the economy isn't "turning around" as quickly as they would like.  "We don't have a precise read on why this slower pace of growth is persisting", he said.

I have a theory as to why the Fed doesn't have a grasp on why the economy is slow to rebound.  I think it could be because the members of the Federal Reserve Board, while they may know a lot about money, know little about the people who spend it.

The U.S. economy isn't money.  It's people... people spending money.  If they understood the real cause of this crisis we are in, not that I've heard anyone else get it right, perhaps their previously optimistic growth projections would be tempered a bit, by reality.

I said I haven't heard anyone else get it right.  That's a bold statement, coming from a high school dropout.  It implies that I think I know something the "really smart" people have missed.  I'm willing to admit that I may be wrong, but hear me out.  See if this doesn't make a bit of sense.

According to the "talking heads", the thing that precipitated the tanking of our economy was the decline of the housing market.  I submit that what precipitated the fall of our economy was the unprecedented, and unexpected rise in the price of gasoline, combined with an unprecedented, and embarrassing level of saving by "We the People".

Before you get defensive, let me acknowledge that my own level of saving is not merely embarrassingly low, it borders on nonexistent. That's a large part of the reason nobody has heard from me for the past year (More on that later).
"We the People" have been transformed from a nation of self-reliant savers, willing to delay gratification until we could afford things, to dependent debtors, bent on instant gratification.  If we get a raise at work, we go out and buy something new, on credit, because now we can afford another 50 dollar per month payment.  Again, I've been as guilty as anyone.

For me, the light came on in 2007, when an unexpected catastrophe with the truck forced me to see the necessity of creating my own "safety net" for my personal economy.  I vowed to work myself out of debt in as little time as was reasonable. Unfortunately, everything had already begun to come unglued in our national economy, making it extremely difficult to carry out my plan.  (I AM still working on it).

So, how do these elements combine to crash our economy?

I would like to suggest that when the price of gas nearly doubled in 18 months, from  a little more than 2 bucks a gallon, in early 2007, to more than 4 by mid 2008, Americans were forced to use money they didn't have to fill their tanks to get to work each day.  Because we had no savings to speak of, the only option was to get out the plastic.  After all, it was only temporary, RIGHT?  That worked for a while, but then those pesky credit card bills started getting higher, and the cards were maxed out anyway, so since getting to work is more important than paying the rent, (or the house payment, as the case may be), many found themselves putting the mortgage payment into the gas tank.  After a while, the higher credit card bills, the mortgage payment "in the tank", so to speak, and prices rising on everything else that's energy related (like the utility bills and groceries),  some people throw in the towel and file for bankruptcy.  Others allow their mortgages to be foreclosed.  Then the banks are in trouble, because after all, they borrowed the money they loaned to you, so they are forced to take what they can get for the foreclosed properties, which in turn, caused the bottom to drop out of the housing market, and the rest, as they say, is history.

What everyone except the Fed... and our leaders on Capitol Hill, have learned from all this is that it's pretty important to have something to fall back on.  The reason the economy isn't moving as quickly as some would like is because those of us who are fortunate enough to still have an income are doing our best to save some of it.  "We the people" have more than doubled our savings, as a percentage of income, from a dismal 2.3 percent, in 2003, to somewhere between 5 and 7 percent today.  Regardless of what the Federal Reserve would like me to believe, I see this as a good thing.  If only our leaders in Washington thought the way the rest of us are thinking, America could be well on her way to a strong and truly "healthy" economy.

I mentioned that my own savings account was woefully inadequate, and that it was the reason for my apparent lack of enthusiasm for the Me the People blog, and by extension, the Rupert for Senate campaign.  I assure you, my desire has not waned.  On the contrary, I've determined that the greatest obstacle to success is debt.  The reason I have no nest egg is because I have debt.  Because I have debt, I have to work... a lot...  More than I should.  More than I can log, if I'm honest with you.  Debt is what keeps me from being politically productive.  Debt keeps each of us from realizing our full potential.  I am doing all I can to retire my debt, so I can devote myself entirely to "changing the way politics is done".  May I suggest, to each of you, that you do the same?

It has occurred to me that it's our government that has encouraged us to incur so much personal debt, with a good deal of help from corporate advertising.  Perhaps because if we are in debt to someone, for things we would like to keep, we are forced to work to repay it.  The more we work, the higher our income. The higher our income, the higher our tax.  Because we owe others, a tax increase forces us to work even harder to maintain the same net income, when what we would really like to do is throw down our picks and shovels and say, "If this is all I get to keep, I'm not doing it anymore".

If "We the People" ever hope to force our government to control spending, we have to start by controlling our own.  If we can't make them stop with our vote, maybe we can starve them into submission.  We may have to actually lay down our picks and shovels and earn only what we need, instead of all we can. By lowering our income, to a level that decreases our tax burden, something we used to do by borrowing and writing off the interest, perhaps we can force our leaders to exercise control over spending.  It will be better for all of us if it never comes to that.  Well, easier anyhow.  I don't think that being out of debt can ever be anything other than good.  But desperate times call for desperate measures.  The real benefit will come when the savings account begins to grow.  The peace of mind that comes from knowing you can ride out a bad patch is empowering.  Borrowed money is not wealth, it's debt.  Do you know what you have when you don't have debt?


I'll get back to ya...
Scott A. Rupert

Saturday, January 15, 2011

One Idea to Solve Many Problems

I'm driving down the road, listening to the news.  Unemployment is moving up again.  No surprise, since the holiday temps are being let go.  Prices are going up on energy and food, and the Russian government now owns  five percent of British Petroleum (BP).  None of those stories comes as a surprise either.

The laws of supply and demand dictate that price goes up, when demand goes up.  That is, unless the supply can be increased.

Demand is going ever higher, because China has become a very thirsty beast. Thanks to the new prosperity her people are experiencing, China is becoming the new America, at least as it pertains to oil consumption.

Since, at this point in our history, we can't increase the supply... guess what.

Because it takes energy to produce food and get it to market, we can naturally expect that the price of food will increase with the price of energy.  Add to that the fact that a portion of our food is being used to produce energy, and, since that affects supply...  guess what.

Another pretty big story in the news, and on Capitol Hill is the debate over raising the debt ceiling, so our government can borrow more money, so it can continue to meet its obligations.  The obvious question is, if you can raise it at will, why call it a ceiling?  A better question is, what else can we do?

It seems to me there is ONE thing that can be done that would address every one of these stories I've mentioned.


The way I see it, if the U.S. were to begin producing her own oil, that one act would make a dent in all of these problems.

A.  It would create an awful lot of jobs in numerous areas of our economy.  Construction, Fabrication, Transportation, etc.  And, let's not forget, drilling itself.  Of course, these jobs would cause an increase in consumer spending.  I would HOPE some saving too.  That would cause even more jobs to be created in other areas.

B.   It would lower the price of energy.  Domestic production would increase the supply of oil in the world market, bringing the price down.  To maintain the same revenue stream, the current oil producers would have to increase supply.  That would bring the price of a barrel of crude down further yet.

C.  It would increase GDP (Gross Domestic Product).  The amount of goods and services produced in a the U.S. in a year.  A measure of economic health.

D.  It would free the U.S. from the need to involve herself in the affairs of nations who are hostile to our way of life.  It would also allow us to, in effect, stop funding the efforts of our enemies to make war against us.  Which should mean we would not have to make war against THEM, saving even more money.

E.  It would lower the cost of goods produced domestically.  Because it would cost less to produce, and transport, the price of everything America produces, including food, would decline.

I'm sure there are other advantages worth noting, but I think I've made my point.  I'm sure there are a some who would like to bring attention to the negatives as well.  Possible environmental impact... the oil isn't as good.

The possible impact on our environment is not something to be ignored.  We should be good stewards of our environment.  Every effort should be made to protect against possible disaster, and even a degree of concern for habitat.  But we can't continue to sacrifice the U.S. economy on the alter of "Mother Earth".  We have to find equilibrium between the foul extreme of the days leading up to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the prohibitive extreme of today.

As for the quality of the oil?  I'm not sure that's true, but it's not really relevant anymore.  Since the U.S. is no longer the biggest consumer of oil, we will not likely get the best oil anymore.  If we are going to have to spend more to refine it anyway, doesn't it make sense to pay less for the oil?

If you think this idea makes sense, share it with a friend or two.

I'll get back to ya...

Scott A. Rupert 

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Welcome to Nottingham

Anyone notice how much more active our local law enforcement agencies seem to be these days?  Oh I don't mean with real police work.  I mean with menial things like traffic tickets.  It seems one can't drive down the road with a burnt taillight, without being pulled over and sited for something.  I know, I know, you shouldn't drive with a burnt taillight.  But it happens.  It seems to me that if our friendly neighborhood police officers took their vow to "protect and serve" seriously, they would simply pull us over, inform us that we have a light out, tell us to have a nice day, and drive on to catch some real bad guys.  After all, our taxes are paying their wages... RIGHT?  To tell you the truth, I can remember when that was exactly what they would do.

I mean no disrespect to law enforcement personnel.  I don't believe for a moment that any of you chose police work because you wanted to harrass motorists.  I have the uttmost appreciation for the sacrifice you make.  I know you are only doing what you've been told by those in authority over you.  I have it on good authority, at least in one town near me, that your very JOBS are on the line, if you don't produce enough revenue to cover your paychecks.  And, after all, catching real bad guys doesn't produce revenue.

It's a sad but true story, in far too many communities.  Due to budgetary shortfalls, municipalities are finding new ways to confiscate the cash of their residents.  From traffic and parking tickets, to late fees for not renewing your dogs license on time.  As if your dog or the folks in your neighborhood are somehow in jeapardy because of your negligence.  Speaking of stories, this reminds me of a fairly popular one.

We're all familiar with the story of Robin Hood.  The guy who took from the rich to give to the poor.  WRONG!!!  He was the guy who took from the government and gave back to the overtaxed people.  If I remember the story right, the people were poor because the Sheriff was taking their money.  Sound familiar.  Well sheriff, I have a question...

When the people come to the conclusion that the only way they will be allowed to keep their money is to make sure they drive 2 miles per hour under the speed limit, in a car with all the lights working, and their seat belts buckled like good little boys and girls...  What will you do then?  You'll still need their cash.  Will you start making stuff up?  Lower the speed limit to an intolerable 25mph so you can catch us doing 26?  What WILL you do?

I've said all that to say this...

Our government is working from the wrong end.  We give the bulk of our resources to the Federal government, who then doles it back to the States and Municipalities in the form of loans, and grants based on certain criteria.  The States and Municipalities then must tax us even more to pay back loans, (loans that were given by taking money from us), and meet other real obligations.  Because incomes are down for the people, they are down for the government at every level.  Just like us,  the fact that income is down doesn't deminish the need for cash.  Unfortunately, WE THE PEOPLE don't have the luxury of being able to pull over each passing automobile and demanding that the driver give us a part of their dwindling paycheck.

If WE THE PEOPLE bring our Federal government back to a place where it is performing only the functions assigned to it under the Constitution,  it would be comparatively inexpensive to operate.  If we bring our State back to it's Constitutional roots, the same could be said of it.  If THOSE were only recieving what they need to operate, the municipalities would have abundant resources available, from willing communities, for any number of programs.  Even programs that would be considered welfare programs.  The citizens of this great Union have no problem being generous.  Especially when the need is close to home.  Keeping the chain of custody for our cash short has the added benefit of making fraud and abuse very difficult to get away with, while making the cost of beaurocracy exceedingly cheap.

If this seems to you like an idea with merit, I'd appreciate it if you would PASS IT ON!!!

I'll get back to ya...

Scott A. Rupert
independent candidate for Ohio's U.S. Senate, 2012

Thursday, December 2, 2010

More reasoning with Mr. Brown

In an interview with Chris Matthews, on the subject of economic growth, (I'm being generous), Senator Sherrod Brown said, and I quote, "Extending unemployment benefits creates economic activity that creates jobs, not giving a millionaire an extra 10-20-30 thousand dollars in tax cuts, that they likely won't spend, because they're already buying what they're going to buy anyway".

Mr. Brown.., Come... Let us reason together.

As you may recall from my last correspondence, I am neither rich, nor Republican.  I guess that will improve the standing of my argument, in so much as the instrument most commonly employed by you and your party to derail it is that of class envy and partisanship.  Another mark in my favor is that, though I am self-employed now, and have been most of my adult life, I have at times been unemployed, and collected unemployment benefits.  I admit it was a very long time ago, when I was still in my Democrat phase... ... I guess that's another point I can claim.

The way I remember it, when I was unemployed and collecting benefits, there were a couple of things that I did NOT  do.  I did NOT put a whole lot of effort into finding another job, and I did NOT spend money on anything other than the necessities.  Why, you ask?  Because unemployment, rightly, doesn't provide enough to allow one to do more than that.  Which brings me to my point.

It seems to me that buying the things we NEED, to get by, doesn't really create economic activity at all.  At least, it doesn't create economic GROWTH.  That would be accomplished by buying the things we WANT.  The things we all buy from our extra cash, THOSE are the things that create jobs.  If I remember correctly, when I was drawing unemployment, I couldn't qualify for a loan to buy a new car, or a stereo.  I couldn't take my girlfriend out for dinner and a movie.  In short, I couldn't contribute to economic growth.  I could only keep the heat and lights on, the rent paid, and food in my belly.  I'm NOT complaining.  For the effort I had to put forth to get it, I was quite content.

But that was then.  Today I am, as I've said many times before, self-employed.  I don't have a large bank account... or any bank account at all, to speak of.  But I understand that it's the people WITH the money that make the economy grow.  You say, "GIVING a millionaire an extra 10-20-30 thousand dollars in tax cuts that they likely won't spend".  A more accurate statement would be, ALLOWING a millionaire to KEEP an extra 10-20-30 thousand dollars of their own money, but that's a topic for another discussion.

While you may be correct in your assertion that they won't SPEND it, millionaires don't get to be millionaires by leaving large sums of cash in their mattress.  They INVEST their money where others can use it to grow their business and create jobs, that is, when they have confidence in the stability of the economy.  I'm okay with the rich getting richer,  because everyone else who's putting out some effort gets richer as well.  At least, so long as the government doesn't take it away in the form of income tax.  Remember what I said on October 4th?  How the income tax prevents those of us in the middle class from becoming wealthy?

Well, Senator Brown, I've taken up enough of your time.  I look forward to a time when we can have a real discussion.  I'm sure the opportunity will present itself, sometime between now and November, 2012.  If you have a few more minutes, here is a link to an older post.  Perhaps it will give you some insight as to whose "side" I'm REALLY on.

I'll get back to ya...