1. After doing lots of research in who I thought would be the best pick for President this year I was able to come to a clear choice. Some of the major issues to me were taxes, the economy, the War thing going on in Iraq, health care, and foreign policy.
2. I have never considered myself a Democrat or a Republican. In the last election I voted for John Kerry mainly because I did not like George Bush. Last time I voted I was making $8 an hour busting my ass off for nothing just so I had enough money to make it up into the mountains in Colorado every weekend to go and “Shred the Gnar.” I did not care about anything else. I was 23 and just wanted to live. The only issues I had in my life was deciding to get a growler of microbrewery beer from Rock Bottom or picking up a case of Coors Light. Man do I miss those days.
3. After moving back to Detroit I started working at Quicken Loans. Talk about an eye opener. Working 14 hour days was not uncommon. I learned about finances and issues because the majority of my clients were in way worse situations than I was. I did okay at Quicken. I did not make a ton of money because I did not like selling people into new 30 year mortgages when the one they had was fine.
4. Before I started working at Quicken Loans I had never had to pay at income tax time. The most money I had ever made in a year was around $20k or so. My first year at Quicken I had made more than triple of my best year. Feeling pretty good about myself I was excited to see I might be getting back a ton of money at income tax time. Since I was not married, had no kids, and did not own a home I had zero deductions. I had paid over $6k in income taxes and was hoping to get back at least $2k. Since my income taxes are easy to do I do them myself. I’ll never forget this day. When doing my income taxes I got to the line where it said if this number is greater than 0 than this is your refund. If this number is lower than (or something like that) than this is what you must pay. I HAD TO PAY $2,200 MORE. I paced around my house for a hour dropping F BOMB after F BOMB. This is not like me as I am a pretty reserved guy. I told my dad about it and all he did was laugh. He was like “get use to it.” Luckily for the man I had developed good habits of saving money and was able to pay him his blood money. When I sent my check in I also asked for a receipt on what they were spending it on. Still have not got back anything from them in 2 years. It got me thinking about all of my clients I had and I knew probably 65% of them could not have wrote a check for $2k if asked. What happens to them? This was the turning point in my political opinions (or lack there of). From now on I was going to do my own due diligence and research the candidates. This way I would know who was going to tax me less and hold the government more accountable. I probably would not have done this if they would have sent me a receipt.
5. Getting more involved with political theory over the past 2 years because of this barrage of ads I decided to seek out my own info instead of this biased crap on tv and the newspapers. I was looking for a candidate who wanted a smaller government, less taxes, less government programs, understood that the war in Iraq is not a war, and had ideas unlike the other candidates.
6. It took my quite some time to do this. I took a look at one of those spreadsheets one afternoon where it had all of the Republican and Democratic candidates on it. After reading about the Democrats they all pretty much sounded the same. Nothing jumped out at me and said “I am that much different, vote for me.” All I saw was raising taxes one way or another. The Republicans were pretty much speaking the same. On the chart I saw from my local newspaper it only had the top 3 Republican candidates on it, McCain, Giuliani, and Romney. At the time back in 2007 I was pretty discouraged by all of the candidates at hand. It felt like more of the same or more of the same + worse.
7. Then one night I watched the Republican debate. There were a couple new faces up there. There was this one guy who kept saying things I have never heard before. Here is a highlight video of what he said at that debate. Um what. Eliminate the IRS in his first week of office? You have my attention. Only Republican to vote against the war. You have more of my attention. No “nation building,” no “policing of the world.” Seriously, stop it Ron. You must be crazy. Who says that kind of stuff?
8. Heading over to Ron Pauls website I started doing some research. He never voted to raise taxes. His foreign policy is just as simple as the Montgomery Bus Boycott. The black community had enough of segregation on the bus. So they stopped riding it causing the bus line to almost go bankrupt. The bus line needed them on the bus so they changed their ways to stay in business. Ron Paul did not want to fight wars with guns but with dollars. If we do not like you then we are not buying anything from you. By putting countries in the poor house, how are they going to be able to buy weapons to use against us. They can’t cause they are broke. Its really that simple. His policies were so simple and so in favor of letting the market decide what is best instead of the government just blew my mind. His argument was that the government is experts in nothing so why should they be the point of contact for information. Ron Paul’s resume is better than all of the candidates. He was a flight surgeon in the Air Force, had his own practice, delivered over 4,000 babies, and is currently a senator. It got me thinking that this guy knows a lot about the issues at hand and was not just some politician.
9. It was interesting watching some of the debates. Here is the only guy who sounds that much different than his party. The one guy who really wants to put power back into its citizens hands. The one guy who speaks the truth. I did my research about Barack Obama, John McCain, and all of the other candidates. This makes me a informed voter unlike the other 70% of the U.S population who probably voted because “I’ve always voted Democrat” or “Anybody but a Republican” or any other BS reason besides the real issues at hand. This led me to write about how we need to have a voter education course where voting is a privilege not a right. I could keep going on and on about his policies but instead you could read Ron Pauls website. I know Barack Obama was elected President last night and good for him. Unfortunately I believe it was because of popularity instead of issues. Maybe you could have watched a video like the one below to help you make a informed decision. There are so many videos on YouTube about Ron Paul but this is my favorite one. Every time I watch it I feel moved.