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Family, Faith and Favorite Things
In May 21 Issue
By Linda Stephens, Columnist

Favorite thing… the color yellow.

I love yellow. I’ve painted kitchens yellow in 3 houses. Yellow makes a room feel warm and cozy. My very first cat was yellow and yellow cats continue to be my favorites.

I have many fond memories of   Sam, Gus, Clyde, and  Petey , all yellow cats, now  all  deceased.  Barney Cat is my current beloved yellow cat.   I love the color yellow especially in kitchens and  cats. That’s why yellow is one of my favorite things.

The Heritage Foundation has created “Solutions for America”, a blueprint for governing. It’s a bold and comprehensive policy agenda designed to replace the failed policies of the Left with solid conservative solutions that will shrink government, reduce debt, keep taxes low, put Americans back to work and keep us safe.

You may not be familiar with The Heritage Foundation that was established in 1973. In their own words, they are “a conservative idea factory.

They turn  policy ideas into action in various projects, like “Solutions for America”.  A primary audience of Heritage is  members of Congress. Find out more at their website www.

It’s no secret that our country is in huge, financial trouble. Trillions of dollars in debt and spending out the wazoo.  We’ve must get our financial house in order and soon.  And we can, if Congress will do the hard work that must be done and make the tough decisions that must be made. If not, we’re headed for disaster.

If you’re like me, you can’t get your head around these gigantic numbers that define our debt… trillions of dollars! I can’t grasp those kinds of numbers. But I do know that when you spend more than your income for years and years, and you borrow huge amounts of money to continue  the spending, there will come a day of reckoning. And our day is in sight. Something must be done and  now!

 On every issue, “the left” has only three answers: more federal spending, higher taxes and more federal control. These are failed policies. They don’t work. Never have and never will. It’s time to follow a course of action that will work.

Our country’s problems can be solved.  Conservatives in congress and state legislature need a positive blue print for governing.

They need a workable, practical alternative to the failed liberal policies. “Solutions for America” identifies our country’s most pressing problems in 23 policy areas. Their plan recommends specific solutions to guide the new Congress. Here’s a few of their concrete ideas:

1) Cap Federal Spending- President Obama has given lip service to  the need for government to live with in its means. According to the Congressional Budget Office, Mr. Obama’s latest proposed budget would lead to $ 9.5 trillion in deficits over the next decade.

Here’s the fact: the Administration’s plan will never bring the federal budget  in balance.  Heritage Foundation recommends a “binding cap” that will force lawmakers to make the tough decisions required to get us back to fiscal sanity.

 2) Put entitlement programs under the Budget. Seventy seven (77) million baby boomers are flooding into Social Security and Medicare. If Congress is ever to control spending, it must end the era of open-ended entitlements! “Solutions for America”  puts Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security into the congressional budget process. The plan does not call for denying any benefits to current Social Security and Medicare recipients. But the plan does call for lawmakers to establish a five year budget for these programs and to include protective mechanisms that will automatically keep spending within the congressionally approved limits.

3) Keep taxes low. First, no tax increases. Do not implement a Value Added Tax, a Carbon Tax or any  of the endless “tax the rich” schemes liberals love to propose.

We know that tax increases, especially those loaded on small-business owners (our most productive and entrepreneurial individuals) are counter productive at any time. To raise taxes during a time of economic uncertainty- like now- is a recipe for crippling the economic growth and job creation. “Solutions” calls for tax cuts to stimulate our ailing economy.

 I don’t know about you but capping federal spending, putting entitlement programs under the budget,  and keeping taxes low sound like  great solutions. Sounds like the  American  thing to do.

In closing I’d like to share a poem by Beth Moore from her book… Further Still. This poem really spoke to me and I hope it will to you, too.

“My name is Pride. I cheat you of your God-given destiny…because you demand your own way. I cheat you of contentment… because you “deserve better than this”. I cheat you of knowledge… because you already know it all. I cheat you of healing…because you’re too full of me to forgive. I cheat you of holiness…because you refuse to admit when you’re wrong. I cheat you of vision…because you’d rather look in the mirror than out a window.

I cheat you of genuine friendship…because nobody’s going to know the real you. I cheat you of love…because real romance demands sacrifice. I cheat you of greatness in heaven…because you refuse to wash another’s feet.

I cheat you of God’s glory…because I convince you to seek your own. My name is Pride. I am a cheater. You like me because you think I’m always looking out for you. Untrue.  

I’m looking to make a fool of you. God has so much for you, I admit.

But don’t worry, if you stick with me…you’ll never know.”  

Till next week. 

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