Terry Paulson
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Donald Trump may have left the presidential race, but his early, rapid rise in the polls should provide a lesson for the Republicans still vying to become the 2012 GOP standard-bearer. Americans have had enough and are looking for truth-tellers who aren’t afraid to rock the boat, even flip a few boats over to provide common-sense solutions to the challenges America faces!

President Obama’s current deserved poll improvements as a result of the courageous military mission that killed Osama bin Laden won’t give him an advantage over any Republican candidate who would’ve surely done the same. With a weak economy, increasing inflation, anemic job growth, a spiraling deficit, and out-of-control gas prices, he remains vulnerable on domestic issues to any GOP candidate who has the courage to take a strong stand where it counts!

Had enough of our exploding national debt? Take a stand for a true debt ceiling! On May 16th, the United States officially hit the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling, and nothing happened! Why? U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner began what he called a "debt issuance suspension period" delaying the need for raising the federal debt limit. How? He did it by borrowing money from two federal retirement funds to fill the federal coffers. He warned in a letter to key lawmakers that on August 2, 2011 “the Department of the Treasury predicts that the borrowing authority of the United States will be exhausted." Politicians and economic “experts” keep claiming that they loathe raising the debt ceiling while sharing dire warnings if they don’t. But it is clear that raising the debt ceiling remains a painful habit! Congress has raised the debt limit 78 times since 1960. Common sense lets you know that we can’t keep spending money we don’t have. We need a candidate who won’t cave to demands for spending as usual. It’s time for government to start living within its means like responsible taxpayers are forced to do!

Had enough of out-of-control entitlements? Take a stand to tackle the burgeoning unfunded mandates that promise to bankrupt America. With Medicare and Social Security seriously underfunded, the president’s Affordable Care Act takes $500 billion from Medicare to help fund a new, expensive entitlement. Businesses and labor groups are applying for waivers from the stifling costs and nearly half of the states are fighting implementation. While protecting vulnerable seniors and those close to retirement, we need a candidate who’ll take on entitlements—first, by rescinding the increasingly unpopular Obamacare, and ,second, by actually implementing practical reforms in Social Security and, most importantly, Medicare.

But no party can cut their way to greatness or to an election victory in 2012. Austerity messages alone may win primaries; it doesn’t win general elections. The Republican nominee must drive an optimistic message that goes beyond austerity to talk about changes that’ll positively impact every American.

Had enough of high gas prices? Take a stand for developing American oil reserves! Continue incentives for green energy options, but we still need oil to make our economy and life work. With the instability in the Middle East and speculators taking gas prices into the stratosphere, we need a candidate that’ll work to restore America’s energy independence. We have all the oil we need if companies are freed to use it. When you combine the Bakken Formation oil reserve in Montana and North Dakota, the oil shale reserves in the Green River Formation in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming, and the offshore and Alaskan discoveries with recent technological breakthroughs, America has trillions of barrels of oil reserves that could fully fuel our needs for years. With Americans throwing money at the gas pumps, never has America been more ready to embrace a candidate ready to champion “Drill Baby Drill!” Don’t raise taxes on oil companies; free them to drill their way to success and energy independence for America.

Had enough of looking to Washington for answers? Take a stand for freeing American workers, entrepreneurs and investors to make the American Dream work! Are we the country of “Yes I Can” or “Yes the Government Can?” We need a candidate that will echo the populist message of Ronald Reagan’s optimism—“It’s the people who make America great!” Big government has worked hard to destroy individual responsibility and opportunity, because it is dependent citizens who keep liberals in power. It’s time for smaller government and more empowered citizens. If we’re to remain the land of the free and the home of the brave, candidates must champion the American Dream and challenge workers, entrepreneurs and investors to create their own economic recovery and more private sector jobs. We don’t need a perfect candidate who has all the answers; we need one who will lead Americans to find common-sense solutions that will free us to invent America’s future together!

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Terry Paulson

Terry Paulson, PhD is a psychologist, award-winning professional speaker, author of The Optimism Advantage: 50 Simple Truths to Transform Your Attitudes and Actions into Results, and long-time columnist for the Ventura County Star.

 
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