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Saturday, January 30, 2010



If you agree with that sentiment, you probably were encouraged by the President…but if you are troubled by the prospect of bigger government, higher taxes and less freedom, let’s get behind the words and understand the reality of what was said.

In 1973, the movie “The Sting” starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford won seven Academy Awards including best picture. It was a great movie about The Big Con.

The idea behind “The Sting” was to put together a series of scams (cons) designed to fool the “mark” and steal his money while he was unaware of what was really going on.

To accomplish this, the movie had a devious team of very likable con artists (likeability is critical to success) with a plan to steal a large amount of money. The “mark” (the target of the con) was a very disagreeable chap who was gullible enough to think he could get something for nothing. As the plot unfolded, the unsuspecting mark was left with nothing while the scam artists made off with his money.

A Big Con is always designed to deceive, mislead and misdirect the mark. Among the tools of the con artist’s trade are:

Bait and Switch

                         3 Card Monte

                        The Shell Game

                        Role Playing

Ultimately, the con artist must be extremely arrogant believing he is brighter than the mark…can mislead him with impunity…and can pull off the sting before the mark is ever aware of the scam.

Perhaps there are some lessons to be learned from this Hollywood script that can be applied to what’s going on in DC right now.


The Team of Con Artists: The administration and the liberal Congress. Isn’t it interesting that we call our legislators “CONgressMEN”?

The Mark: You and me…the American public

Setting the Hook:

The Bait and Switch:

1. The bait… “No more earmarks”…the switch…more than 10,000 earmarks in the appropriation bills passed by Congress in 2009.

2. The bait… “The most transparent administration in history”…the switch…a total blackout of the healthcare legislative process and the backroom deals, bribes and threats required to get the bill through Congress.

3. The bait… “Change you can believe in”…the switch…the most partisan, most rancorous year in DC politics in memory.

4. The bait… “Give me a trillion dollar stimulus bill and unemployment will not rise above 8%”…the switch…10% unemployment for the last 6 months and no relief in sight.

5. The bait…“I don’t want to run the banks or the car companies”…the switch…government takeovers of many financial institutions and both Chrysler and General Motors.

The list is endless, but you get the idea.

The 3 Card Monte: How many different versions of the healthcare reform bill were there? How many changes in the various bills….in fact how many different ways did the bill “morph”?

To this day, do you know whether this is healthcare reform…or healthcare insurance reform…does it have a public option or not…will it ration care…will it cut Medicare …will it increase the deficit or be deficit neutral…will you be able to keep you current insurance…will your premiums increase…will the government pay for abortions…???

One thing we can know for sure…if passed, the government and the trial lawyers will be in charge of your healthcare.

So just where is the Ace of Spades…can you spot it? 

The Shell Game: The con artists’ proposal to deal with the ballooning deficit is a real shell game. The con artist made a big public announcement about saving $250 billion dollars over three years (with a spending freeze that doesn’t start until 2011), but failed to mention this effort doesn’t even cover the interest on the debt.

In fact this approach to paying down the $2.75 trillion (yes, trillion with a T) dollar deficit this liberal government is running up in just two years (2009/2010) is worse than you choosing to pay down your credit card debt by making the minimum payments each month. Since the minimum payment barely covers the interest charges, you hardly make a dent in the balance due.

The government’s spending freeze plan is worse because the payments don’t even cover the interest due.

Role Playing: Will the real Barak Obama stand up? Is he the slightly left centrist he modeled during the campaign? Or, the hard leftist, “spread the wealth” politician he displayed during his first year in office? Or, perhaps he is the populist on display this past Wednesday night in the State of the Union address.

The role he played during the State of the Union speech was certainly breathtaking. He came out swinging against his own party’s disgusting abuse of its majority power…abuse which he encouraged for the past 12 months. Then, he brazenly claimed (against all evidence to the contrary) that he had nothing to do with the bribes and closed door deals his liberal Congress endorsed to get the healthcare bill through the House and Senate. Maybe he thought we weren’t watching.

Actually he thinks we’re that dumb…everyone knows the “mark” believes whatever he’s been programmed to believe by the con artists’ sleight of hand.

Arrogance: The successful con artist must believe that he is more intelligent than his mark and can play the mark as a fool. Three incidents in the past 10 days demonstrate this administration’s arrogance well.

  1. On the 2010 elections…he said this will not be a repeat of the 1994 midterm elections when conservatives took control of Congress ”because this time you have me”

  1. On the focus of the debate…although he often insists this is not about him, in his recent “Jobs” speech in Ohio he used the personal pronoun “I”, 132 times…but of course it is not about him. (go to Youtube and search for “You probably think this speech is about you”)

  1. On the intelligence of the American voters…he said the problem is not with his policies. The people just don’t get it. After only 411 speeches and more than 50 appearances on national television, more than any first year President in history), “I have to do a better job of communicating our priorities to the people”

Yes, Mr. President, please use smaller words so we can get it (or, just maybe it is your policies after all).

But, for all this…never forget the President cannot spend money that Congress doesn’t give him to spend. The Constitution mandates Congress is the only branch of the federal government that can appropriate money and all appropriations bills must originate in the House of Representatives.

But, the Constitution currently puts no limits on how much money the Congress can borrow or spend. We must amend the Constitution to restrict a runaway legislature from bankrupting our country.

Go to to learn how you can make a difference.

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