Author Archives: Warren Beatty (not the liberal actor)

Benefits: Well, It Was Fun While It Lasted



fun
Americans receiving monthly federal government benefits (148 million) exceeds the number of full-time workers in the private sector (86 million) by 62 million. That means that the number of people that are taking money out of the system is greater than the number of people that are putting money into the system. And that situation cannot go on forever. The federal budget is structured around entitlement programs – and they increasingly don’t leave room for much else.

As a percentage, benefits (what the government calls entitlements) such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and other health care consumed 49 percent of all federal government spending. And income security and other benefits consumed another 20 percent. The percentage spent on National Defense was only 18 percent. National defense has been cut, while the major entitlements picked up an even larger percentage of tax expenditures. Interest on the (ever growing) national debt accounted for 6 percent. K-12 Education got a whopping 1 percent.

Nobody does it better than the U.S. government when it comes to wealth transfer. Approximately 108.6 million US citizens have become completely addicted to government money, and are on one or more government benefits programs. For example:

  • 82.5 million people receive Medicare benefits
  • 49.1 million people receive food stamps
  • 23.2 million people receive WIC benefits
  • 20.2 million people receive Federal Supplemental Security Income
  • 13.4 million people receive public housing benefits
  • 43 percent of all immigrants that have been in the United States for at least 20 years are still on welfare
  • In 1968, there were 51 full-time workers for every American on disability; Today, there are just 13 full-time workers for every American on disability
  • The number of women in the US on food stamps actually exceeds the number of women that have jobs
  • The ratio of social welfare benefits to salaries and wages is currently approximately 35 percent; in 1960 it was 10 percent; in 2000 it was 21 percent

Yes, there is some multiple counting, but still it portrays a sad situation.

So the next time you hear (or read) that the primary reason why we are so heavily taxed is so that the government can defend or educate us, recognize it as a lie. The primary reason why the government taxes you so much is so that it can take your money and give it to someone else.

As of right now (April 20, 2014) our national debt is $17.542 trillion. And more than half of that amount came to us via Dear Leader Barack Hussein Obama and his vote buying. Your 2013 tax dollars covered only 80 cents of every dollar spent by the federal government. The other 20 cents were borrowed from younger generations.

But that’s just my opinion.

Cross-posted at The Pot Stirrer, my very conservative web site.

Will The EPA Come After Beer Next?



beer
The famous saying “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy” has been mis-attributed to Benjamin Franklin. But Plato DID say “He was a wise man who invented beer.” And Abraham Lincoln DID say “I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts, and beer.”

Yeah, so? Those sayings conjure up thoughts about that wonderful, flavorful (except for lite), world-wide brew, liquid bread that is BEER. And, yes, I’ve been known to tipple (but never a lite, which IMHO is just watered down beer). My motto is “Everything in moderation, even moderation.”

Why all this about beer? Well, beer is brewed, which requires fermentation. Again, so? Fermentation produces carbon dioxide (CO2). As the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) declared in 2009, CO2 is a greenhouse gas, a “public danger,” and therefore must be controlled.

According to a preliminary endangerment finding published in April, EPA scientists fear that man-made carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are contributing to a warming of the global climate.

So, one can only surmise that the EPA will, after it gets through with cars, soon be after beer brewers. After all, the EPA wants to protect us from ALL sources of CO2. The EPA seems oblivious to the fact that ALL living animals expend CO2. Or that ALL plants use CO2 in the photosynthesis process. Or that plants convert CO2 into oxygen, an element we all need to live. Or that CO2 levels are increasing, but the global temperature is not increasing.

Consider this fact. The EPA, in 2009, while under Obama, concluded that the release of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases endangered human health and welfare. The administration used that finding to extend its regulatory reach beyond automobiles and develop national standards for large stationary sources. Breweries are not mobile, are stationary. What’s to stop the EPA from going after them?

After beer, then what?

And let’s not overlook the Supreme Court’s role in this drama. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the utilities industry, and 13 states (led by Texas) are asking the Supreme Court to rule that the EPA overstepped its authority by trying to regulate greenhouse gas emissions through the permitting program. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit concluded in 2012 that the EPA was “unambiguously correct” in using existing federal law to address global warming. So the Supreme Court is the next step. And it’s not looking too good, either. The “swing vote” belongs to very liberal Justice Anthony Kennedy.

Go ahead and laugh. But just remember that the EPA is currently looking at cows. And consider that the EPA is (under Obama) power-drunk. Our only hope is the fact that Obama is a beer drinker.

BTW, Franklin DID say “Behold the rain which descends from heaven upon our vineyards, there it enters the roots of the vines, to be changed into wine, a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy.” Same sentiment, but wine ain’t beer. Either way, CO2 is involved.

But that’s just my opinion.

Cross-posted at The Pot Stirrer, my very conservative web site.

Obama Sells Out The US … Again



open skies
Did you know that there is a White House meeting scheduled for tomorrow, April 15, 2014, about the “Open Skies” treaty? The meeting is supposed to resolve (read, Obama gets his way again) an inter-agency dispute over a request from Russia with respect to the Open Skies treaty.

Why should we be concerned about this? Because it concerns US security, and because it provides Dear Leader Barack Hussein Obama with yet another opportunity to sell us out to the Russians in the name of “reset,” or “flexibility,” or whatever he calls his foreign policy this week.

First, the Open Skies treaty. It was signed in 1992, and permits each signer to conduct short-notice, unarmed, reconnaissance flights over any others signer’s territories to collect data on military forces and activities. Satellites can provide the same information (usually in greater detail), but not all of the treaty signers have such capabilities. Observation aircraft must be equipped with sensors that enable the observing party to identify significant military equipment. The treaty went into effect in 2002.

Now we get to the heart of the matter. Russia has asked for a spying equipment upgrade for planes that will fly over the US, one that would result in a large increase in Russia’s spying capabilities. Obama wants to approve the request. Hence the meeting. The Defense Department and the House Intelligence Committee are against permitting the upgrade, especially in view of Russia’s actions in Crimea and Ukraine. But the White House and State Department favor it. Sources say that Obama is likely to side with the State Department. It’s also interesting to note that Obama has been “less than forthcoming” regarding information requests from the House Intelligence Committee.

Is this another attempt by Obama to “reset” relations with Russia? Obama has a history of this kind of action. The chaos in Kiev, Ukraine, the deteriorating conditions in Syria, and the failures with Iran are the results of Obama’s “reset” with Russia and Putin. On Tuesday, February 18, George Will said:

What we are seeing in the Ukraine, what we’ve seen in Syria and what we will see again in Iran is a complete failure of what I think was the centerpiece of the president’s foreign policy and that is the reset of the relations with Russia. They are not helpful with regard to Iran. They are positively pernicious in Syria. And Putin is obviously bolstering the government in Ukraine. … I don’t know what reset was supposed to mean but I know I can’t see any of it that it has helped.

Or is Obama just being “more flexible?” In 2012, in Seoul, Korea, Obama was caught on camera assuring out-going Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that he will have “more flexibility” to deal with contentious issues like missile defense after the US presidential election.

Will Obama overrule his own defense and intelligence officials in order to placate Vladimir Putin and Russia? How many more “resets” can we take?

But that’s just my opinion.

Cross-posted at The Pot Stirrer, my very conservative web site.

2nd Amendment Attacked … Again



stevens
Former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens (appointed by Gerald Ford in 1975), in an article written in response to the shooting of school children in Newtown, Conn., in December 2012, wrote:

It is … legislators, rather than federal judges, who should make the decisions that will determine what kinds of firearms should be available to private citizens, and when and how they may be used. Constitutional provisions that curtail the legislative power to govern in this area [2nd amendment] unquestionably do more harm than good.   [emphasis mine]

Stevens then proposes that, in order to assist legislators, five words (when serving in the Militia) be added to the Second Amendment so that it reads as: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms when serving in the Militia shall not be infringed.”

He then writes this statement: ” The [altered] amendment certainly would not silence the powerful voice of the gun lobby; it would merely eliminate its ability to advance one mistaken argument.”   [emphasis mine]

Now we get to the crux of Stevens’ way of thinking. He suggests that the the Founding Fathers were mistaken when they worded the Second Amendment as they did. At the beginning of the article, Stevens writes: “The adoption of rules that will lessen the number of those incidents should be a matter of primary concern to both federal and state legislators.” By “rules” Stevens means gun control legislation to limit access to weapons approved by government. He wants to make life easier for legislators. He advocates weapons ONLY for the military. He cites and quotes a lot of “legalese” (would you expect anything else from a lawyer?) in an effort to try to substantiate his position. But NEVER, not even once does he ever blame the “killing” problem on people. He never says (or even hints) that the people doing the killing are the problem. Never once does he defend law-abiding gun owners. He only blames the gun! Access to the gun must be limited.

As an example of Stevens’ “legalese” consider this:

The Second Amendment expressly endorsed the substantive common-law rule that protected the citizen’s right (and duty) to keep and bear arms when serving in a state militia. In its decision in Heller [District of Columbia v. Heller], however, the majority [of the Supreme Court] interpreted the amendment as though its draftsmen were primarily motivated by an interest in protecting the common-law right of self-defense. But that common-law right is a procedural right that has always been available to the defendant in criminal proceedings in every state. The notion that the states were concerned about possible infringement of that right by the federal government is really quite absurd.

The above is an example of Stevens’ tortured, twisted logic. Stevens says that our right of self-defense should be struck down. But he offers no alternative to self-defense if a criminal threatens to harm us. I guess Stevens wants us to cite rules to people with guns.

Stevens must really think highly of himself if he concludes that our Founding Fathers were mistaken. We should be thankful that The Washington Post ran Stevens’ article in the Opinions section, but many unthinking readers will accept his opinion as fact. Therein lies the rub.

But that’s just my opinion.

Cross-posted at The Pot Stirrer, my very conservative web site.

Giving The Country Away, Again



obamacare
Well, that abomination we call ObamaCare has again bitten us. This time it’s illegal immigrants. The problem of enforcement of those aspects of ObamaCare that Obama hasn’t yet waived or delayed is coming to the fore. Particularly challenging is the verification of the immigration status of those applying for taxpayer subsidized medical insurance.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), on April 1, issue new guidance to health insurers, saying that people whose immigration status is uncertain will be presumed eligible for subsidized coverage in Obamacare’s marketplaces while a further review is pending.

From the Registration for Technical Assistance Portal (REGTAP) we get this:

Consumers who attest to an eligible immigration status while completing the application will be asked to provide the Marketplace with information about the type of immigration document that they have supporting their status. The Marketplace will attempt to match the information provided with information contained in data sources used for eligibility verification. If any of the information provided does not match information contained in data sources used for eligibility verification, it’s called an application inconsistency.

If there is an application inconsistency, the Marketplace will provide the consumer with eligibility while the inconsistency is being resolved based on the information provided on the application.

Got that? The consumer is assumed to be eligible while the inconsistency is being resolved based on the information provided on the application. And we all know that illegal immigrants NEVER lie about their status, and would NEVER submit bogus information.

Three questions arise:

  • How long will it take to verify the inconsistent applications?
  • How much money is currently being spent to subsidize application inconsistency coverage?
  • How will the government recoup any taxpayer dollars spent subsidizing illegal immigrants who inappropriately obtained subsidies?

This fiasco goes right along with the Obama administration’s announcement that verification of eligibility in state exchanges would operate on the honor system. Obamacare specifically says undocumented immigrants are not eligible for subsidized coverage in the insurance exchanges. But it’s difficult to see this directive to insurers as anything but an encouragement to willfully disregard the spirit of the law.

Implementation is only getting worse. State portals are so bad that the continually crash, as well as make hacking easy. Meanwhile, the Obama administration basically said “trust us” on portal implementation. Now it’s saying “trust us” on whether or not the eligibility of these applications with questionable immigration status will be confirmed in a timely way. Trust is wearing a little thin. But we’ll NEVER hear of any of this from the MSM, which also says “trust us.”

Will the “gotchas” in ObamaCare ever cease? I guess we shoud have read it BEFORE it became the law of the land. Oh, wait, we couldn’t!

BTW, REGTAP is a government portal through which CMS provides technical assistance and training related to Marketplace and Premium Stabilization programs guidance and operations.

But that’s just my opinion.

Cross-posted at The Pot Stirrer, my very conservative web site.

If Voter Fraud Is A Myth, Why Does It Keep Occurring?



voter fraud
U.S. News & World Report, on April 24, 2012, published an article entitled “The ‘Myth’ of Voter Fraud.” The article references Tova Wang, who says instances of polling place fraud are extremely rare. The article says that Wang is a fellow at progressive think tanks ‘Demos’ and the ‘Century Foundation’.

In response to the question, “What about widely publicized stories of registration fraud?”, Ms Wang responded:

… there’s absolutely zero evidence that anyone who has put any false information on a voter registration form has actually voted using that information.   [emphasis mine]

Really? Ms Wang said that almost two years ago, so an update is in order. Perhaps she will find this article by Brian Preston to be interesting. In it, Preston says:

The North Carolina State Board of Elections has found thousands of instances of voter fraud in the state, thanks to a 28-state crosscheck of voter rolls.

765 voters with an exact match of first and last name, DOB and last four digits of SSN were registered in N.C. and another state and voted in N.C. and the other state in the 2012 general election.

35,750 voters with the same first and last name and DOB were registered in N.C. and another state and voted in both states in the 2012 general election.

155,692 voters with the same first and last name, DOB and last four digits of SSN were registered in N.C. and another state – and the latest date of registration or voter activity did not take place within N.C.

And the voter fraud facts just keeps coming. The crosscheck found that more than 13,000 deceased voters remain on North Carolina’s rolls, and that 81 of them showed voter activity in their records after death.

Preston didn’t just make these numbers up. They come from a report published by “Interstate Crosscheck”, a Kansas company that checks 101 million voter records in 28 states. CA, FL, NY, and TX do not have their voting records checked. NC State Board of Elections Executive Director Kim Westbrook Strach delivered the report findings.

A NC congressman (Rep. Tim Moore, R-Cleveland) said, “This is proof positive that voter fraud has in fact occurred. For years, all of us have known anecdotally of different types of voter fraud.”

Voting rights advocate Bob Phillips with Common Cause NC, tried to minimize the study findings by saying: “I think a lot of [lawmakers] are saying, ‘Aha, this proves what we did.’ [voting multiple times] But if I have an ID, how is that going to stop me from voting in North Carolina if I’ve already voted in Florida?” Phillips said it still doesn’t justify House Bill 589, the 2013 law that included voter ID.

When words are carefully parsed, like Bill Clinton did, Wang is correct. She said “… put any false information on a voter registration form …” Numerous time voters did not put false information on registration forms. But they committed voter fraud none the less. They were too stupid to cover their tracks, to offer false information. So the question becomes, “How many voters DID offer false information?” The voter fraud issue doesn’t simply go away if Wang is correct. The voter fraud problem may be larger than evidence suggests. Just because none have been successfully prosecuted doesn’t mean voter fraud doesn’t exist.

The remainder of the U.S. News & World Report article illustrates just how “out of touch” Wang is with reality. It’s not long, so read it if you want a good laugh.

But that’s just my opinion.

Cross-posted at The Pot Stirrer, my very conservative web site.

I can be reached at “[email protected]”. I would like to read what you think. And, yes, I’m a big Richard Petty fan!

Deportation: “What, Me Worry?”



koffler
As Keith Koffler at Whitehouse Dossier says, “Unless the Obama administration starts allowing non-citizens to send absentee ballots from Mexico, is does Democrats no good to deport all these future voters.”

Key Words: “future voters.” When what Dear Leader Barack Hussein Obama is currently doing (or not doing) is examined through a future voter lens, his actions make perfect sense.

Although most illegal immigrants come to the attention of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) because of proven or alleged criminal behavior, the Dear Leader Barack Hussein Obama administration deports only about a quarter of the illegal immigrants it retains. According to a Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) report:

In 2013, ICE reported 722,000 encounters with potentially deportable aliens, most of whom came to their attention after incarceration for a local arrest. Yet ICE officials followed through with immigration charges for only 195,000 of these aliens, only about one-fourth.

About three-fourths of the aliens ICE detained in 2013 had criminal and/or immigration convictions so serious that the detention was required by statute.

ICE reports that there are more than 870,000 aliens on its docket who have been ordered removed, but who remain in defiance of the law.

Under current policies, an alien’s family relationships, political considerations, attention from advocacy groups, and other factors not related to public safety can trump even serious criminal convictions and result in the termination of a deportation case.

Over 541,000 illegal immigrants were released in 2013 alone, 68,000 (35%) with criminal convictions. A majority of the releases occurred not because the illegal immigrants had legal status or were qualified to stay in the United States, but because of current policies that shield most illegal immigrants from enforcement of our laws.

And the situation is only getting worse. The Obama administration’s pending review of deportation practices, its “prosecutorial discretion” policy, has, since 2011, caused a 40% decline in deportations. The administration may further relax its lenient “prosecutorial discretion” when deciding whether or not to deport illegal immigrants. And it is possibility that enforcement is being reduced now that Obama has been reelected.

The CIS report notes that the administration’s claims to have deported record numbers of illegal immigrants is based on its redefinition of “deported:”

An independent analysis of ICE records … showed that ICE was able to achieve these “record” departures only because the agency was taking credit for removing a large number of individuals who were apprehended by the Border Patrol. Such cases made up the majority of ICE’s reported deportations in 2013, but they had never been counted that way in previous administrations.

DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson recently admitted to a House committee that the administration’s deportation figures are not comparable to previous administrations because of the large number of border removal cases.

Where is the MSM on this? Oh, yeah, they want to protect Obama regardless of the cost to the U.S.

But that’s just my opinion.

Cross-posted at The Pot Stirrer, my very conservative web site!

Voter Fraud: What Americans Think



voter fraud
When Democats and/or liberals resist efforts to ensure the integrity of our electoral process, they often say, “What voter fraud?” They continue to resist any efforts (like voter ID) that would help ensure that you are who you say you are when you register and/or vote. They claim that requiring voter ID is akin go voter supression, and that voter fraud is so rare that errors should side with permitting anyone to vote.

Voter fraud DOES exist. For example, in the 2012 presidential election, Ohio Secretary of State John Husted announced that he had discovered that 17 non-citizens had illegally cast ballots. Husted also found that 274 non-citizens remain on the voting rolls. And in Florida, “One Naples voter admitted she was an illegal alien – but election records show she voted six times in the past eleven years.”

Well, it seems as if American citizens are fed up with the entire situation. A recent Rasmussen poll found that 78% of “Likely U.S. Voters” believe everyone should be required to prove his or her citizenship before being allowed to register to vote, up from 71% a year ago.

And 61% of voters believe laws that require proof of citizenship before allowing voter registration does not discriminate against such voters, while 29% think it does. That 61% is up from 58% in March 2013. Supporters of proof-of-citizenship laws say that they are intended to keep ineligible voters from casting votes, while opponents claim they are intended to keep eligible voters from voting.

Then there is Melowese Richardson, who said on camera that she voted for Dear Leader Barack Hussein Obama six times, once for herself and five times for other people. She was recently embraced and congratulated for her efforts by Al Sharpton at a voting rights rally in Cincinnati. A vast majority of Americans are fed up with people like her as well. A Rasmussen survey shows that 70% of “Likely U.S. Voters” believe all voters should be required to prove their identity before being allowed to vote, while only 25% oppose such a requirement.

And the legal tide seems to be turning a well. A federal judge ruled on March 19 that Arizona and Kansas may require residents to prove they are U.S. citizens in order to register to vote. This is a clear rebuke to the DOJ and Obama Administration: both had strongly fought the move.

$300 Million for Detroit: Arbitrary Sequestration Continues



Sequestration
It seems that there is some $300 million in the federal budget for the bankrupt city of Detroit, despite what Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said. But there are no funds to conduct White House tours. Or to continue National Park services.

By cutting out White House tours, the Secret Service is saving $18,000 per week. If the money for Detroit was spent instead on tours, there would be 16,666 weeks, 320.5 years of tours that could be restored. The National Park Service endured $153.4 million in budget cuts due to sequestration, just over half what is being given to Detroit. As a result, government officials worry that these cuts will hurt towns and cities across the country, since the park system generates $30 billion in economic activity and supports 252,000 jobs.

And half of the cuts mandated by sequestration will fall upon the defense of this nation. According to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta (an Obama appointee), sequestration cuts will mean:

  • The smallest ground force since before World War II
  • The smallest Navy since before World War I
  • The smallest tactical fighter force in the history of the Air Force
  • Termination of the Joint Strike Fighter and next generation bomber
  • Delay of the next generation ballistic missile submarine, as well as cuts to our existing sub fleet
  • Cancellation of the littoral combat ship
  • Elimination of all modernization of ground combat vehicles and Army helicopters
  • Undermine our ability to meet our national security objectives
  • Generate significant operational risks and delay response time to crises, conflicts, and disasters
  • Severely limit our ability to be forward deployed
  • Severely reduce force training and threaten overall operational readiness
  • and, most importantly, undermine our ability to meet our national security objectives

What was Dear Leader Barack Hussein Obama’s response to sequestration that he proposed? He called it dumb and arbitrary, and blamed Republicans.

Perusing the OMB “Preliminary Estimates of Sequestrable and Exempt Budgetary Resources and Reduction in Sequestrable Budgetary Resources by OMB Account – FY 2013″ shows that Obama’s favorite programs, such as childhood nutrition, student aid, unemployment assistance, and renewable energy, have been largely (and arbitrarily) exempted from sequester cuts.

Obama was correct – sequestration is arbitrary. What does and doesn’t get sequestered is entirely and arbitrarily up to him. It’s interesting to note that ALL Detroit mayors since 1962 have been Democrats. It now appears as if Detroit is one of his favorite programs.

Nancy Pelosi, a political hack if ever there was one, assured us this past weekend that “The cupboard is bare. There’s no more cuts to make.” Well Nancy, I hope you are embarrassed because $300 million was “found” that could have been cut.

Please visit RWNO, my personal, very conservative web site!

Carbon Emissions Cause Global Warming? IPCC Admits Error, But Obama Not Phased



global warming
Irony of ironies. Or perhaps it’s just ideology of ideologies.

Here’s the ideology part. On Friday, September 20, 2013, Dear Leader Barack Hussein Obama announced tough new requirements for new coal-fired power plants. He is set to ban all future coal-fired power plant construction by regulatory fiat by having the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issue new regulations. This is a central part of Obama’s global warming prevention plan, because it will help end what he calls “the limitless dumping of carbon pollution” from coal-fired power plants. Obama said at Georgetown University on June 25, 2013:

“As a President, as a father, and as an American, I’m here to say we need to act.
I refuse to condemn your generation and future generations to a planet that’s beyond fixing. And that’s why, today, I’m announcing a new national climate action plan, and I’m here to enlist your generation’s help in keeping the United States of America a leader — a global leader — in the fight against climate change.  [emphasis mine]

The only way coal-fired power plants can comply with his latest requirements is to capture carbon-dioxide emissions and stick them underground, but that is a costly process that hasn’t been demonstrated on a commercial scale before. There are currently two coal-fired power plants being built that will meet the new EPA regulations. They are in Canada’s Saskatchewan Province and in Kemper County MS.

But (and there’s always a “but” when Obama is involved) there two troubling facts about the Kemper County plant. First, the $4.3 billion Kemper County plant has been plagued with at least a $1.9 billion cost overrun. Southern Company, the power plant’s builder, explains the overrun as a byproduct of “first-of-a-kind technology.” That is precisely the technology needed to meet the new EPA regulations. Second, the Kemper County plant has received a $270 million grant from the Department of Energy (DOE) AND a $133 million investment tax credit.

So we taxpayers get it in the shorts in the form of higher electricity rates and by paying subsidies.

But wait, there’s more! Here’s the irony part. The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 5th report (AR5) states that “computer predictions for global warming and the effects of carbon emissions have been proved to be inaccurate.” And that “computers may not have taken enough notice of natural variability in the climate, therefore exaggerating the effect of increased carbon emissions on world temperatures.”

As David Rose wrote, “A leaked copy of the world’s most authoritative climate study [AR5] reveals scientific forecasts of imminent doom were drastically wrong.” Rose also wrote “Last night Professor Judith Curry, head of climate science at Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, said the leaked summary showed that ‘the science is clearly not settled, and is in a state of flux’.”

Obama promised in 2008 to “fundamentally transform America.” He has certainly done that, and this latest regulatory fiat continues his efforts. And he hasn’t let little things like facts stand in his way! Irony or Ideology, or some of both?

Please visit RWNO, my personal, very conservative web site!

Skin In The Game



skin
Dear Leader Barack Hussein Obama, in January 2009, told George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s This Week, “Everybody’s going to have to have some skin in the game.”

What does that phrase mean? Well, my first stop was Investopedia.com , which says “… the best vote of confidence is putting one’s own money on the line just like outside investors!” I then went to UsingEnglish.com, which says “A person who has skin in the game has invested in the company they are running.” I then went to wikipedia.org, which says “To have ‘skin in the game’ is to have incurred monetary risk by being invested in achieving a goal.” And I consulted William Safire’s The New York Times 2006 article, which quotes Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) as saying “This bill will move us closer to a true consumer-oriented health-care system. H.S.A.’s (Health Savings Account) give consumers some ‘skin in the game‘ by putting them in charge of health-care dollars.”

So, combining those definitions with what Obama told Stephanopoulos, EVERYBODY, all US citizens, are going to have to sacrifice financially in order to accomplish an economic recovery. Obama preceded his “skin” remark with “Everybody’s going to have to give.”

There are only three little problems with what Obama said. First, all US citizens don’t “have skin in the game” because only 53 percent pay federal income taxes. Second, benefits paid by the federal government have actually increased under Obama. Third, to finance the benefits increase, the deficit has exploded.

According to Dr. Walter E. Williams, “Roughly 47 percent of Americans pay no federal income tax.” That means that about 47 percent of US citizens don’t “have some skin in the game.” Mitt Romney said, in September 2012, “There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it.” I’m sure some commenter will explain how those people have (from the Obama perspective) skin in the game.

In order to overcome the “skin in the game” faux paux, Obama introduced the concept of “fairness,” that the rich should pay their fair share. But (and there’s always a “but” when Obama is involved) the “rich” pay much more than their fair share when it comes to income tax. Those “non-rich” (let’s say the bottom 50 percent of tax payers) paid, in 2009 (the most recent year for which data is available) 2.25 percent of all income taxes paid. As this chart shows, half of those who do pay income tax have very little skin in the game.

Income Percent Taxes Paid
Top 1% 36.73%
Top 5% 58.66%
Top 10% 70.47%
Top 25% 87.30%
Top 50% 97.75%
Bottom 50% 2.25%

Source: National Taxpayers Union

Remember, the above chart applies ONLY to income tax payers, those that “have some skin in the game.” The chart does not include the 47 percent with no “skin in the game” but still vote.

As Phil Izzo says in his Wall Street Journal article, “The increase [in benefits spending] in recent years is likely due in large part to the lingering effects of the recession. But even without the effects of the recession, there would be a larger reliance on government.” So, let’s examine benefits spending for “The Big Three”: Welfare, Social Security, and Medicare, and increases in benefits spending:

  Welfare Social Security Medicare
2009 $530 billion $650 billion $410 billion
2013 $580billion $800 billion $500 billion
Spending Increase 9.4% 23.08% 21.96%

Source: usGovernmentSpending.com

It’s interesting to note that welfare spending in 2010 was $690 billion, a 30.2 percent increase over 2009. By the way, the inflation rate for 2009-2013 is 1.7 percent. As the above table illustrates, government spending on benefits has increased. Some will say that the spending increases were due to increased recipients. That may be true, but WHY the number of recipients increased is a subject for a subsequent article. Plus, the above table is in terms of percentages, not numbers of recipients. Don’ compare apples to oranges.

Now let’s turn our attention to the deficit. Obama said on February 23, 2009, “I’m pledging to cut the deficit we inherited in half by the end of my first term in office.” So, with that post-inauguration promise, let’s see what has actually happened:

Year Deficit Amount
2009 $1.413 trillion*
2010 $1.294 trillion
2011 $1.3 trillion
2012 $1.087 trillion
2013 $0.973 trillion*

Source: usGovernmentSpending.com

* – 2009 and 2013 deficits provided as reference

Half of $1.413 trillion is $0.7065 trillion, so if we say the 2012 deficit was amassed during the last year of his first term, Obama did not even come close. And he missed his target again in 2013. Some will say that deficit reduction progress is being made. But at what cost? The amount of deficit reduction will be of little consequence if we cannot defend ourselves. And, as Evan Soltas says, the Congressional Budget Office’s deficit forecasts are, at best, suspect.

Regarding the deficit, so what? Well, there is a major consideration here: the economy. As John Mauldin said in 2012, the five biggest problems facing the US economy are the deficit. The US will lose, if it doesn’t get its deficit under control, access to the global bond market at reasonable rates. An 2010, Communist China of (all countries!) lectured Obama about debt:

“Sovereign debt troubles in Europe underscore how important it is for the United States to control its own borrowing as its indebtedness reaches concerning levels, a senior Chinese official said on Thursday.”

And, we have already seen that access degradation happen, unprecedentally, in August 2011, when Standard & Poors downgraded the US credit rating to AA+ from AAA.

Debt can be viewed as accumulated deficits. Deficits themselves are not a problem most of the time. It is the total debt rather than the deficit that is the real problem. Deficits become a problem, however, when servicing the accompanying debt becomes a problem. As Dr. J.D. Foster said about debt (and therefore about deficits):

“Federal government debt has nearly doubled since President Barack Obama took office.”
“Recent and projected growth in U.S. government debt poses a serious hazard to the nation. At a minimum, high levels of government debt mean substantial government resources must go toward servicing debt – to pay interest. Further, theory indicates and a growing body of research suggests a consistent relationship between high levels of government debt relative to the size of the economy and abnormally high interest rates consistent with lower levels of domestic investment.”
“Current and projected increases in government debt, cutting into future economic growth rates, also mean slower future growth of government revenues.”
“Slower economic growth, higher interest expense, fewer resources for other priorities – these are the legacies of President Obama’s debt-based fiscal policies and of his and Congress’s refusal to deal with long-standing fiscal and programmatic flaws in Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.”

“The U.S. economy is recovering from the Great Global Recession, but President Obama’s massive deficits, soaring debt, and tepid support for reforms to render America’s entitlement programs affordable pose a grave economic threat.”

Regarding the deficit as a percentage of GDP, I’ll be the first to say that George Walker Bush was no bargain. But, even including 2009, Bush’s average deficit from 2001 through 2009 was 2.88 percent of the US GDP. Obama’s deficit average has been 7.62 percent of GDP for 2010-2013. So, it turns out that Obama is an even worse bargain. Even using Obama’s (wildly optimistic) forecasts for 2014-2018, the average is 3.01 percent of GDP, still above Bush!

Have the above tables illustrated Obama’s 2009 “skin in the game” and “Everybody’s going to have to give” statements to be, at best, fraudulent? Die-hard Obama supporters will not admit it, saying that the economy is just fine and that unemployment continues to drop (artificially), but that’s not what’s being addressed here.

Sour grapes? Yes! That’s because those who have no “skin in the game” are taking those of us who DO have “skin in the game” down as well.

Sure, everyone pays taxes: sales tax, car tag tax, property tax (if they’re not renters), phone tax, and on and on and on. But the last time I looked, Obama was president of the United States. So, can his “skin in the game” remark be construed as talking about federal taxes, more specifically income tax? Perhaps it’s time that we took Obama literally, that it’s time for a 28th amendment to our US Constitution, one that specifically states that in order to vote one must be a tax payer, a contributor, must have “skin in the game.” But that will never happen because Democrats would lose their voter base. And one takes Obama literally at one’s hazard, as his recent Syria remarks illustrate.

But that’s just my opinion

Obama: In Way Over His Head



over
If ever there was proof that Dear Leader Barack Hussein Obama is in over his head with regard to world politics, this current Syria situation illustrates it. First, he said “he” would go it alone, would have “his military” attack Syria for crossing the red line he drew in August 2012.

Obama then nominated, in December 2012, John Kerry, a colossal fool, as his Secretary of State, replacing another colossal fool, Hillary Clinton. Kerry, last Friday, said “America intends to act” in reference to Obama’s threat to attack Syria without congressional approval. Kerry also said that the president had the right to take action “no matter what Congress does”.

Now, it seems, that Obama is seeking Congressional approval for his actions. Perhaps someone reminded him of what he said in 2007: “The president does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.”

Can anyone say “flip-flop?” So now where do we stand? As Charles Krauthammer said of Obama’s actions, “… this is sort of amateur hour.”

In Damascus, the state run newspaper, Al Thawra, said that Obama’s actions are “the start of the historic American retreat.” It continued, saying Obama had hesitated because of a “sense of implicit defeat and the disappearance of his allies,” and he fears that an intervention could become “an open war.” Faisal Mekdad, Syria’s deputy foreign minister, said “… it is clear there was a sense of hesitation and disappointment in what was said by President Barack Obama yesterday. And it is also clear there was a sense of confusion, as well.”

This from that world power, Syria! Mocking Obama. Mocking the USA.

And Vice President Joe Biden isn’t much better! He said, in 2007: “The president has no authority to unilaterally attack Iran, and if he does, as Foreign Relations Committee chairman, I will move to impeach.”

Jim Clayton’s excellent article also cites some examples of Obama’s actions.

But hey, that’s what a majority of US citizens voted for. Are they chagrined? Naaah, Democrats don’t care, and most Obama voters can’t even read, so they don’t know what a fool Obama is making of himself and the country. I only hope the USA survives him.

But that’s just my opinion
Please visit RWNO, my personal, very conservative web site!

Debt Ceiling Arbitrarily Raised



debt ceiling
Did you know that the debt ceiling was arbitrarily raised by $51 billion back in July? It seems that Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, an unelected Obama appointee, took it upon himself to raise the ceiling. Without a vote by Congress. Not a word of protest from the Republicans who were elected to keep this from happening. And there was not a word about the raise from the MSM either. Or did I somehow miss it? Please watch this short (1:10) video.

Lew said that the “standard set of extraordinary measures” allows him continually raise the debt ceiling. Lew just arbitrarily gave himself permission to print an additional $51 billion.

Here’s a little nugget of information that you need to (but probably don’t) know. The Budget Control Act of 2011 (Pub.L. 112-25) set the debt ceiling at $16.4 billion. It was supposed to prevent default of the US government on or around August 3, 2011. But (and there’s always a “but” when Dear Leader Barack Hussein Obama is involved), Obama and Congress suspended the debt ceiling from February 4, 2013, until May 18, 2013. Guess how much additional debt was added during those four months. $300 billion. That’s additional debt. Obama and Congress decided in February that they would continue borrowing through May 18, with the new debt limit becoming the then-current limit of $16.4 trillion, plus whatever was added on during the February-May period.

You will remember that the Budget Control Act of 2011 was supposed to obviate the need for any more debt ceiling increases. The act established the Congressional Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (the so-called “super committee”), options for a balanced budget amendment, and automatic budget sequestration. And you will remember that, during debt ceiling negotiations, Speaker of the House John Boehner said of Lew: “I don’t need somebody who just knows how to say no.” And, that’s the same Jack Lew who, on February 13, 2011, said:

“Our budget will get us, over the next several years, to the point where we can look the American people in the eye and say we’re not adding to the debt anymore; we’re spending money that we have each year, and then we can work on bringing down our national debt.”

Irony of ironies. So, the question is, “Was Lew lying in 2011, did he really believe what he said, or was he just stupid?” Unfortunately, the MSM did not bother to broadcast his statement, and enough low-information voters re-elected Obama.

I guess the $51 billion debt ceiling raise was such a small percentage (3.054%) of the debt ceiling of $16.7 trillion that a protest was just not worth the effort.

Borrow, borrow, borrow. Raise the debt ceiling. And the RNC wonders why the TEA Party is so popular!

But that’s just my opinion
Please visit RWNO, my personal, very conservative web site!

Thwarting Upward Mobility, Exacerbating Racial Tensions



Il Duce Obama
Did you know that YOU are thwarting a chance at upward mobility, that you are causing Americans to lose a sense of security? That’s what Dear Leader Barack Hussein Obama said on July 24, 2013, in an interview at Knox College in Galesburg, IL. Obama said:

“And there was a sense of not upward mobility in the abstract; it was part and parcel of who we were as Americans. And that’s what’s been eroding over the last 20, 30 years, …[.]”

Did you know that if Obama doesn’t get his way economically, racial tensions will increase? In the same New York Times interview, Obama said:

“If we don’t do anything, then growth will be slower than it should be. Unemployment will not go down as fast as it should. Income inequality will continue to rise.”
“And racial tensions won’t get better; they may get worse, because people will feel as if they’ve got to compete with some other group to get scraps from a shrinking pot.”

And, did you know that focusing on the deficit is bad?

“And if we’re doing that [focusing on the deficit], then ultimately I think that we won’t get everything done that I want to see done, but we will have shifted away from what I think has been a bad – a damaging framework in Washington, which is to constantly think about is there more we can do to cut the deficit without asking are we making the right cuts, the smart cuts that actually help people in their own lives and help us grow over the long term.”

So, the only way out of this economic and racial mess, according to Obama, is to “get everything done that he want to see done,” to make what HE defines as “the right cuts, the smart cuts that actually help people.” But nowhere, in this interview or elsewhere, can I find where he specifically defines what a right or smart cut is. Cuts, indeed. All we ever hear from him (reading on his Teleprompter) is that the “rich” should “pay a little bit more, their fair share.”

And, did you know that Obama is going to act on his own if Congress (those pesky Republicans) doesn’t give him his way?

“I’m not just going to sit back if the only message from some of these folks is no on everything, and sit around and twiddle my thumbs for the next 1,200 days.”

So, rather than blame George W. Bush, he is now blaming the US citizens and Congress for his and the country’s problems. Of course, all of his policies, his economic decisions, his race relations speeches have been just perfect. Said very sarcastically, “Shame on us!”

For perspective, consider this. The last time Obama spoke in Galesburg, IL, in June 2005, the Illinois unemployment rate was 5.9 percent. The Illinois unemployment rate is now 9.2 percent.

But that’s just my opinion
Please visit RWNO, my personal, very conservative web site!

Obama Ignores Congress – Again



obama-angry_05
Why do we even bother to have a Congress? It seems that Dear Leader Barack Hussein Obama just does what he pleases. His latest action was, yesterday, to give $148 million to the Palestinian Authority (PA).

There are two things wrong with this scenario:

  1. Obama continues to bypass Congress. First, it was his “We can’t wait” program to get his way, to do what he pleased. He now cites “national security interests” as the reason for his most recent bypass. The memorandum that he signed can be read here. An Obama administration official said of the $148 million, it is “the most immediate and efficient means of helping the PA maintain and build the foundations of a viable, peaceful Palestinian state.” Obama made this “helping” gift despite section 3 of the Palestinian Accountability Act, which says “No funds available to any United States Government department or agency to carry out the provisions of chapter 4 of part II of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 for any fiscal year may be obligated or expended with respect to providing funds to the Palestinian Authority.”

  2. As of now (July 27, 2013) the US is in debt for over $16.7 trillion. That’s about $51,300 per person. So where does Obama get off giving money we don’t have to anyone, let alone the Palestinians? Obama, four months ago, gave $500 million to the PA, in addition to the $148 million yesterday.

The yearly cost of Congress is about $4 billion. We could save that money if we disbanded Congress. We might as well. We have an imperial president now, one that, when it’s convenient, bypasses Congress in order to get his own way.

But that’s just my opinion
Please visit RWNO, my personal, very conservative web site!