All the President’s Men……

My dog Susie says

Who are these guys?

Since we already know a lot about President Obama, I decided to find out about Mitt Romney.

Personal Information: His full Name is: Willard Mitt Romney  (Do you think anyone calls him Willie?)

He was Born: March 12, 1947 and is 65 years old. (Wow, he’s way older than my Big Daddy)
His Father: George W. Romney, former Governor of the State of Michigan & President of American Motors. They made Jeep & Rambler during the 50’s & 60’s. (
What’s a Rambler?)
He was raised in Bloomfield Hills , Michigan (
Michigan is really nice for about 6 months out of the year) He is Married to Ann Romney since 1969; they have five children and a bunch of grandchildren.


Education:B.A. from Brigham Young University ,
J.D. and M.B.A. from Harvard University
(Now this is just crazy smart)


Religion: Mormon – The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints (Why were they late?)


Working Background:
After high school, he spent 30 months in France as a Mormon missionary.
(But I doubt  it was the Riviera!)

After going to both Harvard Business School and Harvard Law School simultaneously, he passed the Michigan bar exam, but never worked as an attorney. (He’s smarter than I thought)

In 1984, he co-founded Bain Capital a private equity investment firm, one of the largest such firms in the United States . (Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns sure wished that Romney ran them instead.)

In 1994, he ran for Senator of Massachusetts and lost to Ted Kennedy. (Who didn’t?)

He was President and CEO of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games. (Park City has the best snow on Earth)


In 2002, he was elected Governor of the State of Massachusetts where he eliminated a 1.5 billion deficit.

Some Interesting Facts about Romney:Bain Capital, starting with one small office supply store in Massachusetts , turned it into Staples; now with 2,000 stores employing over 90,000 people. ( I wonder if Mitt could do the same for an organic dog food company I’d like to start?)

Bain Capital also worked to perform the same kind of business successes again and again, with companies like Domino’s,Sealy,TheWeather Channel, Burger King, Warner Music, HomeDepot, and hundreds of others. (So, after eating a Cheeseburger for lunch and a Pizza delivered for dinner, you can listen to music while lying on a comfortable bed, watching TV for a weather update, thanks to Mitt.)

He was an unpaid volunteer campaign worker for his dad’s gubernatorial campaign 1 year.
He was an unpaid intern in his dad’s governor’s office for eight years.
He was an unpaid bishop and president of his church for ten years.
(Where does the collection plate go?)

He was an unpaid President of the Salt Lake Olympic Committee for three years. ( Hope he got free skiing)
He took no salary and was the unpaid Governor of Massachusetts for four years. (
But he got all the freelobster and clam chowder he wanted)
He gave his entire inheritance from his father to charity.
(So he started with no money?)

Mitt Romney is one of the wealthiest self-made men in our country, but has given more back to its citizens in terms of money, service and time than most men. (See list of wealthiest Presidents below) And in 2011 Mitt Romney gave over $4 million to charity, almost 19% of his income. Over his lifetime, it’s been rumored that he’s given over $250 million to various charities.

To me, Mitt Romney seems trustworthy and qualified to run for President of the United States.

Because of the recent shooting tragedy in Colorado recently, all the “Presidential “ negative advertising was pulled and we all got a few days of no attack ads:  Thank Goodness!

Catch you later,

Susie and Sandy,

P.S. My big Mommy and Daddy always vote as independents. I don’t really know who they’ll vote for this time around. However, from what I’ve heard, both Mitt Romney (dog on top of car) and President Obama (eats dogs for dinner) have a way to go to before this Border Collie is convinced who is better!

Also, I researched what some of the past Presidents were worth in today’s dollars: 

  1. Bill Clinton $100 million
  2. George W. Bush $ 20 million
  3. Lyndon Johnson $100 million
  4. James Madison $101 million
  5. Andrew Jackson $120 million
  6. Franklin D. Roosevelt $ 90 million
  7. Thomas Jefferson $212 million
  8. Teddy Roosevelt $125 million
  9. John F. Kennedy $400 million

And the most interesting fact is that the wealthiest and poorest of our past Presidents are considered our very best:

George Washington was worth $525 million and Abraham Lincoln was worth less than $250,000.  Who knew?

 

 

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Has America gone to the Dogs?

My dog Susie says

The Sky is Falling”

 

 

Chicken Little is famed for proclaiming, after being hit on the head with an acorn, that the sky was falling. Her friends, hen, duck, and goose, helped sound the alarm to all the animals when they heard the news. Mr. Fox, however, didn’t really believe it. Instead he used their fears to lure them to his inviting safe den where he enjoyed a great feast of fowl. There’s a lesson to be learned here I reckon.

 

My Big Mommy and Daddy have been watching the news and there always seems to be somebody on TV telling us that the sky is falling. I know things are bad, but are they as bad as World War II?  Or World War One? Or Viet Nam? The Cold War? How about the 10 year Depression in the 30’s? I don’t think so!

 

One advantage to being a dog instead of a human is that we sort of keep things in perspective. And since we don’t live very long compared to people, we sort of keep things more positive. We don’t sweat the small things and try to stay ahead of the pack by watching what’s around us at all times. You never know when you might run into a bear or mountain lion in the woods. So, let’s look at the facts and see if it’s fixable.

 

This current economic downturn began in 2006 according to most experts. But it really began in 1996. That year mortgage companies started giving generous discounts on mortgages to congressmen and women. Over the years, these representatives stated that they only received the same benefits as anyone else and only a few special mortgages were actually utilized. Oh really? CNN reported today that House and Senate members received lower mortgage rates and no up-front fees. Can the average person get this? Also, over a ten year period from 1996-2006, about 17,000 of these special mortgages were given out to our elected officials and other selected individuals. That works out to over 1700 mortgages a year for a total of 100 Senate and 435 House members. So a bunch of their staff and worker-bees must have received these discounted mortgages as well. What about the Presidents office? Hummmm.

 

Then in 1999 another interesting thing happened. The repeal of a major finance law called Glass-Steagall which was implemented after the bank failures in 1933. The collapse of the banking system is regarded as the main reason for the Great Depression. This law had worked perfectly since then and kept the banks from risking their depositors’ money. So why change a good thing? Was the fox getting into the hen house?

 

Congress smelled a golden opportunity to use the banks to not only loan money directly to homeowners, but to allow banks to “securitize” these loans into bundles that the banks could sell and own for themselves. This meant that an unlimited amount of money was now available to purchase homes by virtually anyone. Next, Congress decided to dramatically reduce the qualifications and down-payment requirements to purchase a home. Through Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, the two largest mortgage companies in America, pressure was brought again by “well-meaning” Congresspeople to make it easy to buy as many homes as you wished.  Everyone, including undocumented people, jumped on the bandwagon.  How could we lose?

 

The Stock Market went up to its highest level and peaked in 2007. Much of it was the result of an exploding real estate market. Coincidentally, it was recently acknowledged that all Congresspeople can do something that the average person can’t. In fact, if you do this, you might go straight to jail for a long time.

 

Unbelievably, these same Congressmen and women can trade on “inside information” for their own stock accounts. In other words, when they decide to do something that might affect an individual company or industry, they can buy stock way before the average citizen knows anything. So let’s summarize:

 

Starting in 1996, our elected officials could buy a home on special terms. Next, in 1999 a powerful but simple law, Glass-Steagall, which many believe would have prevented our current “Great Recession” was repealed. Wall Street was encouraged to make available trillions of new credit available via the bundling of these “easy” mortgages. The result was a explosion in home values and stock prices. I wonder how many elected officials became millionaires during this time as a result of their actions. This period in history reminds me of a children’s game where you run around chairs until there aren’t enough to sit down and everyone loses but one. Are we the losers and Washington officials the “one”? Maybe Chicken Little was right!

 

Eventually, the whole financial domino game imploded. My Daddy frequently follows a premise in all his business dealings. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Where would we all be, if Washington had followed this?

 

Catch you later,

 

Sandy and Susie

 

P.S. I had a lot of help with this as my Big Mommy and Big Daddy are business people. However, being a Border Collie I’m smarter than you think. How smart? Well, I know which city has the most people making over $200,000 a year. Is it New York, Dallas, Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Houston? Nope. It’s Washington D,C. There you go!

 

To read a few more “Susie says” barks: http://sandy-steele.blogspot.com

 

More info on Sandy Steele:  http://sandysteele.com