Your inescapable role as a citizen: talking politics with friends and family

Having read David McCullough’s fantastic biography of John Adams I was among those who enjoyed how the story was used to make a screenplay by HBO. In one scene written by screenwriter David Ellis, Abigail Adams has an exchange with her husband:

Abigail: “Send a woman to the Congress, she might knock some sense into them.”

John: “This is not a question of men and women, Abigail. It is a matter of politics.”

Abigail: “Politics? And do women not live politics, John Adams? When I go to the cupboard, and I find no coffee, no sugar, no pins, no meat — am I not living politics? This war touches people that your congress treats with the same contempt King George reserves for the people of Boston.”

We all live with the consequences of politics. I work in politics, and one of the most common topics of social and family conversations involves work. Avoiding the subject has never been on my short list of goals. The old adage about the need to avoid “religion and politics” at the Thanksgiving table has been ignored by me for over twenty-five years.

However, with the number of uninformed citizens and the growing cost of that ignorance, it has never been more important to drop the fear of discussing politics.

Of course it’s perfectly normal to have an aversion to politics – especially the petty and power-grubbing side of it. But with the culture what it is today – and the size of government, government spending, debt, and unfunded liabilities, one of the most important things we can do is share with those we know what we have learned – and from where we get good information.

Despite all the gloom – the good news is that there are trustworthy sources for good information on the Web, on talk radio, and on the Fox News Network. Busy people who have little time or money to donate to the political arena can nevertheless make a huge contribution by becoming a trusted source for good information in their circle of friends and family.

The following – posted with permission of the company’s chairman – is a great essay from OTTO Engineering’s 2010 March newsletter “Otto News.”

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Obama’s Job’s Bill

By Tom Roeser

President of Otto Engineering

America has shed over 8 million jobs during this recession. Otto has 130 fewer employees than we had in 2008. This has been a terrible economy for jobs. America has spent $800 billion on stimulus spending that has not created jobs. Now the Obama Administration has passed a “Jobs Bill,” another big spending bill costing $18 billion. Here’s what it will do…

OTTO will receive about $650 in tax savings for every job we create. If the new employee stays one year we will get another $1000 in tax savings. This will not an have effect on OTTO’s decision to take the risk to hire more people. Programs that stimulate business investment are needed.

The total tax revenue that the government gets from the corporations in America is about $300 billion. Cutting the corporate tax rate by a big amount, say a whopping 30% tax cut, would cost only about one-tenth (10%) of what they have spent on stimulus programs. Bold moves like this are needed to get companies to start hiring again.

We have all been told that we should not talk about religion or politics because we might offend someone. Well, somebody else’s religion probably doesn’t affect you but their politics surely do. Get informed about what your government is doing and talk about it with your friends and family. Join a Tea Party movement. We need to get American moving again.

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©2010 John Francis Biver