Five 2010 Predictions

The Crystal Ball. J.W. Waterhouse.

The Crystal Ball. J.W. Waterhouse.

Only one of my five predictions for 2009 succeeded. I predict in 2010 that I will do better.

1. The Dow will drop below 6,750 FAILED

In October 2006 the Dow Jones industrial average crossed over the 12,000 mark briefly for the first time in its 112-year history. On 9 March 2009 the Dow Jones industrial average lost 80 points, or 1.2%, to end at 6,547.05, its lowest point since 15 April 1997.

2. Gas will go above $4 a gallon FAILED

The price of gas here in Kaysville, Utah is currently $2.47 a gallon. It is not unrealistic for gas to go over $4 a gallon next summer. I’m glad I run on CNG.

3. Republicans will gain 40 seats in the House SUCCEEDED

A more realistic prediction would be a gain of 20 to 30 seats but I am optimistic for a net gain of 40 or more seats.

4. Gold will drop below $750 an ounce FAILED

Since 1968 the price of gold on the open market has ranged widely, from a low of $252.90 an ounce on 21 June 1999, to a high of $1,023.50 an ounce on 17 March 2008. Indexed for inflation, the 1980 high of $850 an ounce would equate to a price of around $2,400 in 2007 US dollars. Gold passed $1,200 an ounce on 2 December 2009 but has dropped into the $1,100 range since. It is time for further declines.

5. Utah unemployment will drop to 5% FAILED

Currently the Utah unemployment rate is 6.3%. My prediction of 5% or less is optimistic but achievable considering the positive business climate, the need for services from a growing population, and a fiscally responsible state government.

More Predictions

My predictions are rather bold so I do not expect all of them to succeed. What do you think? Which ones are sure to fail or will any succeed? Do you have any predictions for 2010? If you have blogged about them consider putting a link to your post(s) in the comments.

Check out these predictions:

8 Predictions for SEO in 2010
Oscars 2010 Predictions – Early Oscar Predictions 2010
10 Apple Predictions for 2010
Earth2Tech Predictions: 5 Biggest Hurdles for 2010

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Kaysville City Council Thanks Mayor Neka Roundy

Gil Miller presents Neka Roundy with a plaque sporting a gavel and citation

Gil Miller presents Neka Roundy with a plaque sporting a gavel and citation

Two of my sons, Paul and Jake, were headed out the door for the Kaysville City Council Meeting. They invited me to come along, so I did. I asked Paul why he was going to a council meeting. He said he always goes to council meetings — when he doesn’t go to Institute. Which would be once, maybe twice a year when class is not held.

The agenda, item one, simply said “Opening”. That turned out to be an opening prayer by Councilman Lynn Galbraith. I always wonder if a prayer will be said as the practice seems to have been driven out of public gatherings over the years. After the pledge of allegiance the spotlight was on Dr. Clark B. Rampton who presented his Orthodontics Practice at the invitation of the council. This is the same business that straightened out all five of my children’s teeth.

One thing I like to do at meetings is to pay close attention to what is said. I learn a lot that way. At the same time, I am observing human behavior. Who gets angry, who is persuasive, what agenda items take up the most time, who is helpful, which people put off decisions, and so on. I find it all very interesting.

Next up was a citizen who was quite irate about his cul-de-sac not being plowed after the last snow storm. He wanted the council to have a snow policy. They said they responded to each storm depending on several factors. So the citizen became more irate. But with some carefully worded and empathetic responses by councilmen and the mayor-elect, he calmed somewhat. He didn’t get what he wanted — a very specific list of streets and the order in which they would be ploughed, but he did get a commitment for the city to look at his situation.

There were other items of business but no more irate Kaysvillians. Near the end of the meeting, under item 8, “Council Member reports”, gifts of appreciation were given to outgoing Councilman Lynn Galbraith and Mayor Neka Roundy. Neka’s plaque read:

Neka F. Roundy
Kaysville City Mayor
2006 – 2010
Kaysville City Councilmember
2000 – 2006

Related Articles

Snow plowing still an issue in Kaysville
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Davis County Early Voting

Jill early voting in the Kaysville City elections

Jill early voting in the Kaysville City elections

This information is for 2009. Do not rely on the information here but use Vote Utah.

I am accustomed to voting early. I don’t feel as rushed because I can pick a day and time that better suits my schedule. Today my wife and I went to Kaysville City town hall to early vote at 2:30 pm. and found there was no waiting. If you wish to early vote then you are too late — today was the last day.

However, there is still the election on Tuesday and I can direct you to information that may be helpful.

Where To Vote

Find election dates, your candiates, registration and voting information

Find election dates, your candiates, registration and voting information

A lot of voting information is located at Leave Your Print. If all you need is to know where to go to vote, wander on over to the Voter Information Website. Enter you name, birth date, county, and house number and your polling place will be shown. The site will also tell you with which party (if any) you are affiliated. A sample ballot is available tailored to your city. Here is where I would go to vote on Tuesday if I hadn’t voted already:

A quick way to find your party affiliation, voting location, and sample ballot.

A quick way to find your party affiliation, voting location, and personalized ballot.

Who To Vote For

The personalized sample ballot is a great help in knowing who is on the ballot. I don’t like to be surprised when I get to the polling booth. My Kaysville City ballot looks like this.

Cities in Davis County will cast votes for mayors and city council members Tuesday 3rd November. Generally one mayor and two council members will be elected. Candidates currently on the ballots include:


Bountiful

Mayor

  • Joe L. Johnson (Incumbent)
  • Jeffrey L. Novak

City Council

  • Ernie Cox
  • Fred Moss (Incumbent)
  • Thomas B. Tolman (Incumbent)
  • Phill Wright

Centerville

Mayor

  • Ron Russell (Incumbent)

City Council

  • Justin Y. Allen (Incumbent)
  • Melissa Hogan
  • Sherri Lyn Lindstrom (Incumbent)
  • Brian M. Plummer

Clearfield

Mayor

  • Don Wood (Incumbent)

City Council

  • Glen Mills
  • Kathryn Murray (Incumbent)
  • Vern R. Phipps (Incumbent)
  • Bruce L. Young

Clinton

Mayor

  • L. Mitch Adams (Incumbent)
  • Carl Rumsey

City Council

  • Blair A. Bateman
  • Joanne Hansen
  • Barbara J. Patterson (Incumbent)
  • Michael Petersen

Farmington

Mayor

  • Scott C. Harbertson (Incumbent)

City Council

  • John S. Bilton
  • D. Kevin Poff
  • Jim Talbot
  • Anita Todd

Fruit Heights

Mayor

  • Todd Stevenson (Incumbent)

City Council

  • Don Caroll (Sagebrush)
  • Bette Hubrich (Sagebrush)
  • Nicole Miller (Pinecone)
  • Eileen Moss (Pinecone, Incumbent)

Kaysville

Mayor

  • Steve Hiatt
  • Neka F. Roundy (Incumbent)

City Council

  • Brian D. Cook
  • Richard Lenz
  • Gil A. Miller (Incumbent)
  • Jared R. Taylor

Layton

Mayor

  • Steve Curtis (Incumbent)
  • Bob J. Stevenson

Council

  • Mike Bouwhuis (Incumbent)
  • Barry T. Flitton
  • Adam S Gardiner
  • Sherri Lee Tatton

North Salt Lake

Mayor

  • Leonard K. Arave
  • Lisa Watts Baskin

City Council

  • Matt Hardy (Incumbent)
  • Stewart B. Harman
  • Matt Jensen
  • Hayward B. Oblad

South Weber

Mayor

  • Jeffery G. Monroe

City Council

  • Sara Lusk
  • Farrell Poll (Incumbent)

Sunset

Mayor

  • Chad W. Bangerter
  • Ryan Furniss

City Council

  • Brent L. Andrews
  • Ricky Carlson (Incumbent)
  • Bradford S. Weller

Syracuse

Mayor

  • Craig Jenkins
  • Jamie Nagle

City Council

  • Matt Kimmel
  • Theresa A. Sheffield
  • Larry D. Shingleton (Incumbent)
  • Robert Whiteley

West Bountiful

Mayor

  • James Behunin (Incumbent)
  • Ken Romney

City Council

  • George Biada
  • Kent Bond
  • Mark Preece
  • Teresa Thomas

West Point

Mayor

  • Erik R. Craythorne (Incumbent)
  • Terry Matthews

City Council

  • Andy Dawson (Incumbent)
  • R.Kent Henderson (Incumbent)
  • Shawn Watkins
  • Brogan L. Fullmer

Woods Cross

Mayor

  • Kent Parry (Incumbent)

City Council

  • Leo Beecher
  • Tamy Dayley (Incumbent)
  • Jon Hadlow (Incumbent)
  • Ryan Westergard

What Bond To Vote For

There is only one bond and if you guessed it was for education you would be right. Seems like there is always a bond for education. The controversy this time around is about whether your taxes will increase or not. The school district claims it is not a true tax increase because an equivalent amount of debt is being paid off. So let’s put it another way: your taxes will decrease if the bond is rejected.

This is the text of the Ballot Proposition:

Official Ballot Proposition for Davis School District, Utah

Special Bond Election
November 3, 2009
Bruce D. Williams
Business Administrator

PROPOSITION
Shall the Board of Eduction (the “Board”) of Davis School District, Utah (the “District”), be authorized to issue general obligation bonds in an amount not to exceed Two Hundred Fifty Million Dollars ($250,000,000) (the “Bonds”) for the purpose of defraying all or a portion of the costs of new school construction, land acquisition, equipment acquisition, and renovation and improvement of existing school facilities, and for payment of expenses reasonably incurred in connection with the acquisition and construction of said improvements and the authorization and issuance of the Bonds; said Bonds to be due and payable in not to exceed twenty-one (21) years from the date of the Bonds?

NOTICE OF PROPERTY TAX INCREASE DUE TO BOND ISSUANCE

Passage of this Proposition means that the tax on a $252,000 residence within the District would increase by $156.93 per year.

The tax on a $252,000 business within the District would increase by $285.33 per year.

However, the Board expects to issue the bonds in such a manner that no increase in the current tax rate for debt service will occur.  If the bonds are approved and sold, the current tax rate will continue for more years than if the bonds are not approved.

The foregoing information is only an estimate of tax increases and is not a limit on the amount of taxes that the Board may be required to levy in order to pay debt service on the Bonds.  The Board will be obligated to levy taxes without limitation as to rate or amount in order to pay the Bonds, as provided by law.  The amounts are based on various assumptions and estimates, including estimated debt service on the Bonds and taxable values of property in the District.

FOR THE ISSUANCE OF BONDS

AGAINST THE ISSUANCE OF BONDS

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The Day I Met Steve Hiatt

Steve Hiatt For Mayor

Steve Hiatt (left) and Myself

Steve Hiatt (left) and Myself

The Day I Met Steve Hiatt sounds a little dramatic but it really isn’t. I was rototilling a couple of pickup loads of compost from the sewer plant when Steve Hiatt showed up like a breath of fresh air. He was out campaigning for Mayor having won the Kaysville City primary.

He had to introduce himself because I didn’t recognize him, even though I voted for him in the primary. After we conversed for awhile I asked Steve if he had anything to say for my blog. He was a good sport and allowed his photograph to be taken and said a few words. I will see if I can remember correctly what he said. Steve, if you read this, correct in the comments what I get wrong. Although the paragraph below is in quotes it is really me paraphrasing:

We need leaders who value trust. We don’t have to agree with each other but we should keep communicating. Residents must be able to be heard even if some things cannot be acted upon.

An Impressive Candidate

I was impressed when my wife asked about other candidates and Steve spoke well of them. He mentioned by name those running for office and specific positive traits they possessed that would be useful in serving the city.  I asked Steve that in the future as solar power becomes more affordable would the residents be able to connect to the grid to sell unused power back to the city. Steve said that the city’s situation is a little different as a member of UAMPS and that the city works with the association. To give you a little more of a feel for Steve’s platform, below is a quote taken from Steve’s website:

For the most part, I believe our citizens and elected officials share the same values, beliefs, and desires for this great town. When opinions differ, our citizens deserve a voice and the right to have their voice heard. We deserve leaders who ensure fiscal responsibility while providing the services we need and expect. We deserve leaders who will protect our heritage, ensuring our parks and open spaces are not for sale. We deserve leaders who keep an open mind, who encourage resident participation, who exercise “full-disclosure,” and who engender trust. Not only must Leaders be trustworthy, we must be trusting of others. (Steve Hiatt. Open * Fair * Ready)

After visiting with Steve Hiatt I see no reason to change my vote for him.
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Kaysville City Elections Early Voting Results


Kaysville early voting results.

Kaysville City elections early voting results 14 September 2009

Early Voting Early Results

The results of the early voting shows that Steve Hiatt, with 61 votes, has taken an early lead over Mayor Neka Roundy who has garnered 51 votes.

In the City Council race Gil Miller’s 58 votes lead, followed by Brian Cook sporting 42 votes. Jared Taylor (38 votes) and John Jensen (37 votes) are very close behind. Here is a full screenshot of the results.

Early Posting

Who would have thought that early votes could be posted on the city website before the day of the election? Other voters may be swayed by seeing who has an early lead. Maybe that’s why they are called early votes — because you get to see them early.

Updates

15 Sep 2009 — A check at 9:30am this morning (election day) showed that the early voting tallies had been removed.
16 Sep 2009 — Unofficial results: Steve Hiatt (1,570) and Neka F. Roundy (910) move on to the General Election. Gil A. Miller (1,427), Brian D. Cook (1,035), Jared R. Taylor (889), and Richard Lenz (801) also qualified for the General Election.

It is interesting to note that of the six winners, the top five followed the same order as the early voting results. Remarkable.

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A Balanced Budget Amendment Will Cut Federal Deficit Spending

United States Constitution

Before discussing a Federal Balanced Budget Constitutional Amendment let us first look at Utah’s constitution that has a section on public debt.

Utah Constitutional Balanced Budget

In Article 14, Section 1 of the Utah Constitution the state is allowed “To meet casual deficits or failures in revenue, and for necessary expenditures for public purposes” by “contract[ing] debts, not exceeding in the aggregate at any one time, an amount equal to one and one-half per centum of the value of the taxable property of the State.” The one and one-half percent can be exceeded only for the public defense as provided by the following:

Article XIV, Section 2.   [Debts for public defense.]
The State may contract debts to repel invasion, suppress insurrection, or to defend the State in war, but the money arising from the contracting of such debts shall be applied solely to the purpose for which it was obtained.

Article 14 has working well for Utah (see the full text of Article 14). The state budgets conservatively because of the constitutional mandate to balance its budget every year. In times of lower state revenues very little money has to be diverted for debt servicing, hence reductions in services can be minimized. A requirement for a balanced budget has also resulted in the creation of a rainy day fund to mitigate the difficulties of revenue shortfalls.

Federal Balanced Budget Constitutional Amendment

Many people baulk at a Federal balanced budget amendment because they feel that it would hobble the government in times of emergency, such as war or an economic depression. But just as the state of Utah makes provision for emergencies in its constitution so too would the federal government. For example, Representative Jason Chaffetz’s (R-Utah) co-sponsorship of a balanced budget amendment has these provisions in a section-by-section summary:

  • Section 1. Requires that total spending for any fiscal year not exceed total receipts.
  • Section 2. Requires a 3/5 vote for any increases in the debt limit.
  • Section 3. Requires that the President’s proposed budget to Congress be balanced each year.
  • Section 4. Requires that any legislation to increase revenue must be passed by a true majority of each chamber and not just a majority of those present and voting.
  • Section 5. Provides an exception to the balanced budget provisions in times of military conflicts that pose imminent and serious military threats to national security, as declared by Congress.
  • Section 6. Requires Congress to enforce this amendment through appropriate legislation.
  • Section 7. Stipulates that total outlays do not include repayment of debt and total receipts do not include those derived from borrowing.
  • Section 8. Provides the effective date of the amendment.

Representative Chaffetz has this to say about the Balanced Budget Constitutional Amendment:

Washington obviously lacks the discipline to live within its means. We cannot be all things to all people. We are $10+ trillion in debt and the number is growing every day. This is unacceptable and unsustainable…. We cannot continue to run this country by putting more debt on a credit card. The State Constitution in Utah requires a balanced budget. This works well for Utah and will work well for our country.

As can been seen in Section 5, provision is made for exceptions in time of war. The debt limit can be raised by a 3/5 vote which should adequately cover emergencies. See the full text of the balanced budget amendment proposal with 166 co-sponsors.

Over the years there have been several attempts by Congress to pass a Balanced Budget Amendment. The closest was in 1995 when a Balanced Budget Amendment passed the House of Representatives and was one vote shy in the Senate.

The States and a Balanced Budget Amendment

Article V of the Constitution states in part:

The Congress, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress; …

Between 1975 and 1980, 30 different state legislatures submitted 34 petitions to Congress concerning a Balanced Budget Amendment. Those states were Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Wyoming. Since 1980, Alaska and Missouri have petitioned Congress for a convention for a Balanced Budget Amendment. If two more additional states were to petition, then the required two-thirds majority of states would be reached (34 out of 50 states) and Congress would be required to call a convention to propose a Balanced Budget Amendment.

Article XIV of the Utah Constitution

PUBLIC DEBT

Article XIV,  Section 1. [Fixing the limit of the state indebtedness — Exceptions.]
To meet casual deficits or failures in revenue, and for necessary expenditures for public purposes, including the erection of public buildings, and for the payment of all Territorial indebtedness assumed by the State, the State may contract debts, not exceeding in the aggregate at any one time, an amount equal to one and one-half per centum of the value of the taxable property of the State, as shown by the last assessment for State purposes, previous to the incurring of such indebtedness.  But the State shall never contract any indebtedness, except as provided in Article XIV, Section 2, in excess of such amount, and all monies arising from loans herein authorized, shall be applied solely to the purposes for which they were obtained.

Article XIV,  Section 2. [Debts for public defense.]
The State may contract debts to repel invasion, suppress insurrection, or to defend the State in war, but the money arising from the contracting of such debts shall be applied solely to the purpose for which it was obtained.

Article XIV,  Section 3. [Certain debt of counties, cities, towns, school districts, and other political subdivisions not to exceed taxes — Exception — Debt may be incurred only for specified purposes.]
(1)  No debt issued by a county, city, town, school district, or other political subdivision of the State and directly payable from and secured by ad valorem property taxes levied by the issuer of the debt may be created in excess of the taxes for the current year unless the proposition to create the debt has been submitted to a vote of qualified voters at the time and in the manner provided by statute, and a majority of those voting thereon has voted in favor of incurring the debt.
(2)  No part of the indebtedness allowed in this section may be incurred for other than strictly county, city, town, school district, or other political subdivision purposes respectively.

Article XIV,  Section 4. [Limit of indebtedness of counties, cities, towns, and school districts — Larger indebtedness may be allowed.]
(1) (a)  If authorized to create indebtedness as provided in Section 3 of this Article, no county may become indebted to an amount, including existing indebtedness, exceeding two per centum of the value of taxable property in the county.
(b)  No city, town, school district, or other municipal corporation, may become indebted to an amount, including existing indebtedness, exceeding four per centum of the value of the taxable property therein.
(2)  For purposes of Subsection (1), the value of taxable property shall be ascertained by the last assessment for State and County purposes previous to the incurring of the indebtedness, except that in incorporated cities the assessment shall be taken from the last assessment for city purposes.
(3)  A city of the first or second class, if authorized as provided in Section 3 of this Article, may be allowed to incur a larger indebtedness, not to exceed four per centum, and any other city or town, not to exceed eight per centum additional, for supplying such city or town with water, artificial lights or sewers, if the works for supplying the water, light, and sewers are owned and controlled by the municipality.

Article XIV,  Section 5. [Borrowed money to be applied to authorized use.]
All moneys borrowed by, or on behalf of the State or any legal subdivision thereof, shall be used solely for the purpose specified in the law authorizing the loan.

Article XIV,  Section 6. [State not to assume county, city, town or school district debts — Exception.]
The State shall not assume the debt, or any part thereof, of any county, city, town or school district except as provided in Article X, Section 5.

Article XIV,  Section 7. [Existing indebtedness not impaired.]
Nothing in this article shall be so construed as to impair or add to the obligation of any debt heretofore contracted, in accordance with the laws of Utah Territory, by any county, city, town or school district, or to prevent the contracting of any debt, or the issuing of bonds therefor, in accordance with said laws, upon any proposition for that purpose, which, according to said laws, may have been submitted to a vote of the qualified electors of any county, city, town or school district before the day on which this Constitution takes effect.
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Senator Buttars says Homosexuality is a Perversion

Senator Chris Buttars
Senator Buttars

Today Senator Chris Buttars was in the news. Referring to homosexuality, he is reported to have said, among other things:

I believe the whole thing is immoral. What is the morals of a gay person? You can’t answer that, because anything goes. So now you’re moving toward a society that has no morals. [Homosexuality is] a perversion. They don’t want equality. They want superiority.

Predictably many were shocked and expressed their contempt. For example, there was this from homosexual rights activist Jacob Whipple:

It’s extremely offensive and inappropriate, especially for an elected official. It should not be tolerated.

And from Senator Scott McCoy, the only (thankfully) openly homosexual member of the Senate:

An apology is not going to do it at this point. I’m not sure I’d find an apology sincere anyway.

[Read more…]

The Super Bowl Ad NBC Rejected

By now most of you will have heard about the ad that NBC disallowed from the Super Bowl. I rather like it and I am thrilled to be able to show the ad here at Rickety. There will be a few less viewers than the Super Bowl but you get to see it ahead of time. Also, as an added bonus, the ad will not be interrupted by any football and you won’t have to stay home from church to watch it. Produced by CatholicVote.org and as of today the ad had generated 6,475 comments on their website and 3,344 on YouTube. Here is the ad on YouTube.

Update

20 Feb 2009 Perhaps the title of this post should now read: The Ad That CNN Rejected. The ad was submitted to CNN to be broadcast following President Obama’s first State of the Union Address — scheduled for next Tuesday. The response from CNN? A representative from CNN wrote:

Thank you for your patience. We have decided to pass on this creative. CNN doesn’t accept advocacy ads that portray personal decisions in a manner that suggests a position in favor of the advocacy message, without having permission of the persons involved.

There’s not much we can do about it except to write to CNN President Jonathan Klein.
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Reagan and Obama: Contrasting Views of Government

Peruse these contrasting quotes from President Obama’s inaugural speech and President Reagan’s first inaugural address. Notice how with Obama the government is not the problem whereas with Reagan the blame is placed on government and the elites. Obama spells out three entitlements the government should give the people whereas Reagan advocates self-rule and confidence in the people. Obama and Reagan both mention important points: Obama wants the light of day on government and Reagan stresses that no one group should be singled out to pay a higher price.

President Barack Obama

…not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works.

The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works — whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. And those of us who manage the public’s dollars will be held to account, to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day, because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.
President Barack Obama


President Ronald Reagan

Courtesy Ronald Reagan Library

…government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.

In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. From time to time we’ve been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people. Well, if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else? All of us together, in and out of government, must bear the burden. The solutions we seek must be equitable, with no one group singled out to pay a higher price.
President Ronald Reagan

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