Tag Archives: deficit

5% Growth and 5% Unemployment!

The American entrepreneur is extremely resilient. This is evidenced by even a paltry 1.9% growth rate in the face of staggering regulation, looming health insurance burdens, and uncertain taxes.

The one thing business needs to thrive is certainty. That is the thing above all others that they have lacked from the current administration. Business will find a way to grow and profit in any environment so long as the environment is stable.

Business people need to be able to plan in five and ten year terms. If a businessman presents themselves for a business loan at a lending institution, the first thing the institution wants to see is a five year business plan. You would think the administration would understand that since that is what the government’s small business administration website advises, but no.

This administration, through its regulators and legislation changes the business landscape on an almost daily basis. The health care law is hideous. Dodd-Frank is just as bad, yet in spite of this daily turmoil our producers and providers have still managed to eek out some meager growth.

To fix the problem is really fairly simple. Government get out of the way. Stop helping! No more helping! It was helping people who could not afford to buy a house buy houses that got us into this mess to begin with. It was helping commercial banks get into the investment banking business that got us into this mess. Helping doesn’t help.

This country was founded on people helping themselves and their own neighbors, not on government help. Every time the government helps, it makes those whom it is trying to help worse off.

Fixing the economy in five simple steps:

1. Repeal Obamacare
2. Repeal Dodd-Frank
3. Reinstate Glass-Steagall
4. Pass the Mack-Penny budget plan
5. Go to a flat 20% income tax with only mortgage, charitable and health savings account deductions.

Then do nothing else. America will fix its own economy if given half a chance.

I’m just sayin’

Memorial Day Call To Action!

In reflecting over the Memorial Day Holiday, perhaps one might take the time to consider our first war, our revolution, and ponder the reason not only for that action, but for so many which came after. If freedom and individual liberty is our cause, how does our current government and it’s head compare to that of the late 18th century? The Declaration of Independence will provide guidance.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. – That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, – That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. ”

In drafting this doctrine of governing philosophy, Thomas Jefferson was speaking of the right for each man and woman to own the fruits of their own labor, to have and to hold their own property and to be secure in that property and their papers; to live their lives unmolested. He states clearly in this document, that the purpose of government is only to defend these rights and to secure the people from foreign enemies. When its government goes beyond these purposes, and begins to use its power to violate the rights of individuals to their property, safety and freedom, it is time for that government to be dissolved and reformed. This dissolution may be in the form of reorganization, or whenever possible by replacement of those in power with those who will not abuse the form of government already in place.

If a man were to point a gun at another man’s head and take from him a third to half of his salary, no matter what the reason, that man would be a criminal guilty of theft. When a government does the same thing for any purpose other than providing for the common defense, for the judiciary and the police, it is no less a crime. When a government puts it yet unborn citizens in debt for any purpose, it is stealing the fruits of their future labor with no consent from them whatever. This is an abomination. It is indentured servitude foisted upon our children. It is selling them into slavery. When it is done solely to insure that those in power can be secure in their future power, and cement themselves into such positions in perpetuity, it is beyond time for those with moral conscience to rise and shout “This will not stand!”

What grievances propelled those early patriots, those lovers of freedom and independence to put their lives at risk to secure their rights not just for themselves alone but for their posterity, for us?

Jefferson went on to list them, and many of those grievances apply as clearly today as they did in 1776.

“The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.”

“He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.”

Our current President has refused to defend the Defense of Marriage Act. He has refused to enforce our immigration laws. His agents have repeatedly refused to comply with lawful subpoenas. He has refused to seek approval from congress for military actions in Libya and Yemen and he has refused to purge the voter registration roles of ineligible voters.

“He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.”

Our current President, through his “Department of Justice” has filed suit against State after State to thwart their legislatures in their attempts to secure their own borders and citizenry, and from insuring their polling places against fraud.

“He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.”

From Car Czars who put vast numbers of automobile dealers out of business, to Fish and Wildlife agents who, without charge or remuneration, confiscate inventory from guitar manufacturers, to EPA regulators who shut down power plants, our President has used his appointed agents to harass, hinder and intimidate all manner of business people and land owners, depriving them of their fortunes, property, and livelihoods.

“He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power. ”

Our current President has refused to seek approval from the people’s elected representatives to send our troops into harm’s way, preferring to seek council from the United Nations – a body unaccountable to the citizens of the United States.

“He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation: ”

Our President is attempting to subject our Navy and Merchant Marines, as well as our communications infrastructure to the will of the United Nations, forsaking our sovereignty.

“For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:”

By continuing to increase the public debt at a record pace this President is imposing a crushing tax burden on those yet to be born who are without any voice or suffrage whatsoever in the matter.

“For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:”

American citizens may now be executed or detained without benefit of trial or charge merely for the suspicion of terrorism. The President is proud of his “Kill List” of assassination targets.

“For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighboring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies”

By co-operating with the Mexican Drug Cartels and supplying them with arms this Government led by our President has turned the southwest into a lawless region. By refusing to secure our border he is allowing all manner of criminals and their poisons to freely enter our nation and injure our citizens.

“For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:”

“For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.”

By executive order after executive order and through his regulators, this President has sought to circumvent the will of Congress and of the people. He has shown little or no regard for our constitution and no respect for the limits on his power.

“He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.”

By not securing our borders and by encouraging violent revolt in other nations, our President has made our border regions much less secure and put our nation at risk.

Those early patriots believed that man’s dignity, prosperity, and honor were based in the idea that each person is responsible for themselves. They believed that everyone had the right to the fruits of their own labor and that a great nation could be built on the principal of citizens trading freely and openly with each other, value for value. They put their lives on the line for these beliefs. They fought and died for them. They refused to be indentured servants to the British Crown, and while it is true that many of them wished to continue the British practice of slave owning, many thought it abhorrent, and so constituted their government in such a way as to make the abolition of the practice likely.

They also knew that in order for this new system of governance to work, it would require the honesty and integrity of its citizens and of its elected representatives.

It is then with great sadness that we witness the current administration’s utter lack of devotion to truth telling. We witness speech after speech filled with misleading and outright false information. We watch our news media perpetrating these falsehoods, and we watch our popular culture encourage our youth through advertising and entertainment media, to be dishonest and to view dishonesty and lack of openness and personal integrity as a natural part of life.

Those of us who have moral conviction, those of us who honor truth, those with great respect for the principals of duty, liberty, personal responsibility, private property, ingenuity, reason and logic, those of us who remember what it was like to be proud of this great nation, those of us who are able to admit our faults, learn from our mistakes and move on toward better actions, it is time for us to stand up, to make ourselves heard.

It is time to find among us those rare few who will exercise these principals, and elect them to office. It is time for us to say enough! It is time to rid ourselves of those scoundrels in Washington and in our State Houses who cry “public good” while acting solely upon the good of themselves and their campaign contributors. If we value our nation at all, if we see that the innovation of the last two hundred years, surpassing in that short time the innovation of millennia before, was born of the principals of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, then the time is now, the hour is short, and this may be our last chance!

Talk to your friends, your neighbors, to anyone who will listen. Now is the time to elect to office persons of reason, of honesty and integrity. Now is the time to eject from office, with extreme prejudice, those who steal from us our hard earned wages, the profits from innovation, risk and great effort, the future wages of our children! Now is the time to say to them, no! You may have no more of our dollars to throw down the waste pipe of even one more “green” project of your cronies. No more of our dollars to throw yourselves lavish parties, and to reward your constituents for their lack of ambition. We will no longer allow you to waste our sweat ensuring our children learn less and less how to think for themselves. We will not continue to allow you to indoctrinate them into whatever sewer of depravity any organized voting block can come up with. No longer will we allow you to teach our youth to be dependent upon government for their existence!

Stand and be counted fellow patriots. Stand at the ballot box, stand at your civic group, stand at your PTA meeting, stand at your union hall. Stand up wherever people are gathered together. Do not fear them, your fear is what they count on. Laugh when they paint you as racist, cheer when they call you heartless. Fear and ridicule are the only weapons they have, for now. So do not fear them!

But if we do not stand, if we do not do it now, the time will come when their weapons will be much more lethal, and those weapons will be turned against us!

cross-posted to Yahoo Voices

Are Republicans to Blame for Washington’s Problems?

In a new book entitled “It’s Even Worse Than It Looks”, author Norman Ornstein (described by Yahoo News, a card carrying member of the “progressive” Party Pravda, as a “scholar”), blames Republican for governance problems in Washington DC. Although Ornstein, shows a flicker of willingness to lay part of the blame at the feet of Democrat’s, “progressive” anti-American bias is clearer than expensive Waterford Crystal.

On video, Ornstein describes it this way: “Democrats have moved left, to probably their own 25 yard line. President Obama’s probably around the 40. The Republicans have moved behind their own goal post.” In an obvious swipe at Tea Party reps and senators, Orenstein said: “I wouldn’t say it’s all Republicans, it’s 80-20 at this point.”

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/power-players-abc-news/blame-party-washington-problems-102604505.htm

Democrats have moved left to probably their own 25-yard line? obama’s probably around the 40? Republicans have moved behind their own goal post? Based on his personal opinion, perhaps. Historically, Orentein’s facing fourth and 99, trying to complete a Hail Mary pass with hurricane force winds in his face.

“progressives” have been moving America to the left for at least a century. Today’s totally partisan left wing extremists like obama, Pelosi and Reid have been driving America hard left since they took office. Pelosi and Reid began their latest push in 2007 when they took over “leadership” in the House and Senate. obama joined them in earnest after his 2009 inauguration.

Pelosi, who’s from an extreme leftist Congressional District in the San Francisco area, is as fringe “progressive” as is the district she represents: the birthplace and capitol of the anti-American hippie counter-culture. She responded: “Are you kidding? Are you kidding?” when asked to cite the Constitutional basis for a piece of her legislation.

Reid’s such a partisan hack that to create and support the false narrative of a “do nothing Congress” with his co-conspirator obama, the Senate under Reid’s “leadership” hasn’t passed a budget in over 1,000 days. Thanks to Reid, several dozen bills dealing with jobs, the economy, deficit reduction and reforms passed by the House have been completely ignored by the Senate.

obama’s as fringe left “progressive as” they come. To say that someone who’s 100% partisan, who sat in the pews of a black separatist (read Marxist) church for twenty years, who by his own admission (in writing) sought out the radicals and the Socialists while in school, who’s father was a Marxist, who’s mother and grandparents were Communists, who’s boyhood mentor was a card carrying member of the American Communist Party, who has appointed the most extreme, out of the American mainstream radicals to be his czars…to say that this individual is anything but an extremist is as intellectually dishonest as is humanly possible.

This is the trio who, after whining about obama’s predecessor having added $5 trillion to the national debt in eight years, increased that debt by over $5 trillion in under four. This is the bunch that passed their “stimulus” bill, which stole from taxpayers to pay off their political cronies on Wall Street, in unions, with “green energy” company fronts and former campaign donors/bundlers. obama openly joked about the “shovel ready” jobs the “stimulus” bill was “intended” to fund weren’t so “shovel ready” after all. Lest America forget, this is the gang who, despite loud public outcries against it by a majority of the people, used secret payoffs and backroom deals agreed to in the dead of the night behind closed doors to shove government controlled healthcare down America’s throat.

Orenstein calls what these people have done moving to their own 25-yard line, or in obama’s case, to the 40? He alleges that Republicans have moved behind their own goal post? Does Orenstein expect to be taken seriously? Under what form of delusion must one be suffering in order to plead such a case?

The Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, the founding documents of the United States, are unsurpassed in the freedoms, rights, and opportunities they secure for the people. That there are elected Republicans who want to follow the recipe for successful governance bequeathed upon America by its founders means they either want to prevent America from being driven farther to the left, or return America to where it’s supposed to be. Following the Constitution. It’s really that simple.

Although it clearly wasn’t Orenstein’s intent, in a strange, almost perverse way it’s good to see a member of the institutionalized “progressive” left publicly acknowledges that some elected officials in the USA are still American. For Orenstein, his philosophical teammates and their march in lock-step “progressive” followers, that fact is seen as a negative.

Thanks to “progressives”, the most divisive, partisan, uncompromising group of politicians to exist in the past century, America is deeply divided. Either you’re an American or you’re a “progressive”. You cannot be both.

http://mjfellright.wordpress.com/2012/05/23/are-republicans-to-blame-for-washingtons-problems/

What the obama Administration Has Taught America

Facebook Inc.’s $16 billion initial public offering has made Mark Zuckerberg the 29th richest carbon based life form on Earth. Facebook provides entertainment and a fun way to spend your leisure time. America should love Zuckerberg. Whatever happens, do not ever criticize him for not paying his fair share of taxes…he’s cool in the administration’s eyes and they’re down with whatever he does. Heck, he might even turn out to be as cool as George Clooney.

According to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the top three U.S. oil companies alone paid $42.8 billion in income taxes in 2010. Ignore that fact and describe them as evil billionaires who don’t pay their fair share. After all, the petroleum, coal and natural gas industries all provide cheap energy to America, which stands in the way of implementing the administration’s agenda to fuel America with recycled unicorn poop.

It’s OK for the New Black Panthers to stand in front of polling places, wearing uniforms, wielding clubs and intimidating white voters with taunts of “now you’ll find out what it’s like to be ruled by a black man”. It’s also OK for Eric Holder, who publicly said: “I am not the tall U.S. Attorney. I am the black U.S. Attorney” to drop all charges against them.

It’s not OK for a “white hispanic” to defend himself from attack by someone who’s black

Tea Party demonstrators, who obeyed the laws, obtained permits, and cleaned up after themselves when they peaceable assembled to petition their government for redress of grievances are violent, racist extremists who should be monitored by the Department of Homeland Security as potential homegrown terrorists.

Occupy Wall Street, who squatted on public and private land for weeks at a time without permit, cost cities across the nation millions in clean-up and other costs, engaged in rape, drug use, public sexual acts, attacked police, destroyed property and generally disrupted the normal flow of life are great patriots. They deserve the public support of Barrack Obama, Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, the DCCC, Elizabeth Warren, Barney Franks, Debbie Wasserman Shultz, Charlie Rangle, Dennis Kucinich, et al. As Nancy Pelosi said: “God bless them, for their spontaneity. It’s independent … it’s young, it’s spontaneous, and it’s focused. And it’s going to be effective.”

When kids are failing in school after being subjected to exposure to incompetent teachers who couldn’t teach a dog to bark yet can’t be fired because they’re protected by unions, lower testing standards. The possibility of hurting a student’s feelings by giving them a failing grade couldn’t possibly pass politically correct, everyone has to feel good about themselves at all times muster.

If you’re a kid who wants to hold a bake sale, open a lemonade stand or engage in similar activities which demonstrate initiative, ambition or a desire to utilize the free market in order to better yourself, you must be trained to first beg permission from the government. And boys and girls of all ages, don’t ever forget broccoli is good for you and snack cakes, candy bars and chips are bad. Since you’re too stupid to make the proper decision, government is going to enact legislation that deprives you of the right to choose.

Whenever “progressive” politicians are caught in an outright lie about where they were born, their bloodlines or military service rendered it’s due to a clerical error. If criticism persists, blame someone else for each and every one of your failures. When all else fails, play the race card.

http://mjfellright.wordpress.com/2012/05/18/what-the-obama-adminstration-has-taught-america/

Will Obama Learn From Sweden?

 Have you ever heard of Anders Borg? He has a ponytail and wears an earring. He is an economist. He is also the finance minister of Sweden. When Sweden’s prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt became party leader in 2003, he made Borg his right-hand man.

Since becoming Sweden’s finance minister, Borg reduced the size of government and cut taxes. His ‘stimulus’ was a permanent tax cut. Borg’s actions, to his critics, were fiscal lunacy. They called it the ‘punk tax cutting’ agenda. Borg, however, thought lunacy meant repeating the economics of the 1970s and expecting a different result. Borg cut taxes and cut welfare-spending to pay for it. He even cut property taxes for the rich to lure entrepreneurs back to Sweden. For Borg, economic recovery started with entrepreneurs – if cutting taxes for the rich encouraged risk-taking, then it had to be done.

And guess what! Today (May 10, 2012) Sweden has no deficit – and economic growth. While the Euro started to melt down, most countries in Europe borrowed massively, Sweden and Borg did not. Though not officially not in the Eurozone and it does not use the Euro, Sweden is still part of Europe.

Borg said, “Everybody was told ‘stimulus, stimulus, stimulus’,” referring to the EU and IMF urging a debt-fuelled spending splurge. But when we look at Spain, Portugal, or the UK, whose governments were arguing for large temporary stimulus, it’s clear who was correct. What even Borg did not expect was that his tax cut would increase economic growth so much that it has almost entirely paid for itself. Borg had created something that British MP and the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne’s critics say does not exist: a self-financing tax cut.

Sound economics is part of the government mission in Sweden, but not in Britain, which has no such economic luxury. British Prime Minister David Cameron once observed that no one “gets up in the morning thinking ‘I wish the state was smaller’.” That sentiment is perhaps true in London, but not in Stockholm.

So the question is: Will Obama and his economic advisors learn from Sweden? Or will they continue along their present path, one that has proven not to work?

But that’s just my opinion.

Cross-posted at RWNO, my personal web site.

Postal Workers Caught in Tax Refund Fraud

A ring of criminals operating out of the Dominican Republic have been running a massive income tax refund scam in which billions of false income tax filings have cost the taxpayers billions of dollars in losses. In an article in The Wall Street Journal we see the following information:

Between October 2010 and June 2011, the IRS received phony tax returns based on stolen Puerto Rican identities that would have led to the disbursement of $5.6 billion to alleged fraudsters, two of these people said. It is unclear how much money the IRS ultimately sent but one person familiar with the matter said an estimated $2 billion in checks was distributed.

Bronx mail carrier Robert Anthony Warren and at least two other USPS employees have been convicted and are doing prison time for their part in the scam. Back in September five men were also convicted of participating in the same scam and sentenced to between 40 and 98 months in prison, while also being ordered to pay a whopping $12 million in restitution. Good luck recovering any of that cash there. With all of these arrests and convictions, has the oh-so-competent federal government shut down this scam for good? Not quite, as can be seen in a statement from the Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, whose office was among the first to investigate the group: (emphasis added)

“What we have uncovered may very well be the tip of the iceberg,” said Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, whose office was among the first to investigate the group. “It’s a massive fraud.”

With a federal government that is running up trillion dollar deficits faster than the Roadrunner rocketing past the outgunned Wiley E. Coyote in cartoon-land,  as the federal bureaucracy grows bigger by the minute….so increases these numbers of incidents that highlight their incompetence and dysfunctionality. In the meantime, Senate progressives are currently working tirelessly (yes.. sarcasm intended) to rig up a massive $42 billion-dollar-bailout of the USPS UNION pension fund under the guise of…. reform.  From the thieves that are scamming the taxpayers from the Dominican Republic through fraudulent tax refund checks, to today’s Senate Socialists giving their Democrat-supporting labor [USPS] Unions $42 billion tax dollars, America is being robbed blind on a daily basis, in more ways than one. Americans should keep this in mind as they head to the voting booth in November.

Obama Tilting At Windmills Again – With Money We Don't Have

 We are broke, have a huge national debt, running record deficits, and STILL President Barack Hussein Obama wants $770 million to combat “global warming.” That, in and of itself, would be bad enough, but he wants the money to counter global warming in the developing world. Obama and his administration continue to pursue its policy of using foreign aid funds for anti-global warming measures, known as the Global Climate Change Initiative (GCCI). Despite our financial situation, the government has spent a total of $2.5 billion on GCCI since 2010 on overseas anti-global warming efforts in Latin America, Asia, and Africa. Here is yet another case of Obama, like Don, Quixote, tilting at windmills.

According to the Congressional Research Service (CRS), there are three major component to GCCI: adaptation, clean energy, and sustainable landscapes.

  • Adaptation seeks to help developing countries insulate themselves from the effects of climate change by giving farmers and government planners access to better climate data, and to aid countries by teaching them new agricultural and land use methods, as well as methods to protect against the rising sea levels, floods, and increased droughts said to be the result of global warming.
  • Clean energy seeks to aid poor countries in developing their own clean energy infrastructures in order to offset the fact that developing countries are the single fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions. The federal spending supports the creation of so-called green jobs in the developing world as well as the creation of clean energy projects.
  • Sustainable landscape projects seek to stop developing countries from cutting down forests, particularly in tropical areas, for farming or logging, or at least teach them to develop more modern logging and farming techniques, laws, and regulations.

Let’s see… Obama and his administration have already spent $2.5 billion of our tax dollars (and money that we don’t have) on foreign projects, when he can’t even get our own house in order, particularly with respect to clean energy, the second GCCI component mentioned by the CRS. Can anyone say “political payoffs?”

Global warming is a hoax, as these articles document: Article, Article, Article, and Article. So the “tilting at windmills” analogy, attacking imaginary enemies, is quite appropriate.

The CRS said that Congress should consider several issues as it weighs the administration’s fiscal year 2013 GCCI budget request, and there is a high probability that foreign countries would misuse or waste GCCI funds. Also the CRS noted that foreign economic aid programs like GCCI have a mixed record of results.

All we can do is shake our heads in disbelief, and say that November, 2012, cannot get here soon enough.

Federal Funds: Uncle Sam’s Gravy Train to the States

In his 1981 inaugural address, President Reagan reminded us of the separation of powers embedded in the U.S. Constitution. This separation goes in two directions: laterally by separating legislative, executive, and judicial branches, and vertically by separating federal, state, and local governments.

A lot of attention has rightly been focused on the blurring of the demarcation lines between lateral powers. Today it is difficult to distinguish executive powers from legislative powers. This is especially true when it comes to the notorious Affordable Care Act where the Secretary of Health and Human Services is granted very far-reaching powers to shape the health care system.

Less attention is focused on the blurring of the vertical separation of government powers. This is unfortunate. Our Founding Fathers were very wise in designing the constitution in such a way that – as Reagan again reminded us – the sovereign states created the federal government. While the states are still formally sovereign, their actual status has changed dramatically in only a few short decades.

The force at work eroding state sovereignty goes under the rather inconspicuous name of “Federal Aid to States” (FAS). It is an umbrella for a long list of federal spending programs where the U.S. government and the states jointly pay the bill. Medicaid is largest, and perhaps the best known, of the FAS programs. Another hotly debated program is No Child Left Behind.

About 80 percent of the FAS spending goes to programs that easily fall in the welfare state category. Medicaid is obviously a welfare-state program, and it is joined by numerous others. Some examples:

  • Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF);
  • Food Stamps/Supplementary Nutritional Assistance Program;
  • Women, Infants and Children (WIC) welfare checks;
  • Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP);
  • Child Care and Development;
  • Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity;
  • HUD Public Housing Programs

FAS is a multi-billion dollar operation. The welfare-state part, which again is about 80 percent of FAS, exceeded $500 billion in 2011. Add to that approximately $250 billion in state MoE funds, and we have a welfare state that spends three quarters of a trillion dollars every year.

This is before we add Social Security and Medicare, the federal-only welfare state programs.

The welfare state hidden under the FAS umbrella is bigger than our annual defense budget. And it is growing fast: the average growth rate for entitlement programs under FAS has been 6.5 percent over the past ten years.

This obviously causes a number of problems, the most important of which is the steady erosion of state sovereignty. As an indicator of what this means for the future, the ARRA Stimulus Bill added so much more federal dollars in state pockets that 13 states now get more than 40 percent of their total revenues from the federal government.

In 2008 only three states depended that heavily on Uncle Sam.

The ARRA funds are set to expire in 2011-12, but that does not mean that state dependency on FAS money will fall. In February 2011 the National Governors Association practically begged the federal government not to turn off the stimulus faucet. The nation’s governors talked about serious budget problems in their states if Congress did not let the extra cash keep coming.

Federal aid to states is not a new phenomenon. It has been around for at least a century, though on a very small scale initially. In 1929 FAS accounted for 2 percent of state expenditures. It spiked in the early 1930s, increasing to 12 percent, where it remained until the early 1960s. After Medicaid was introduced in 1965 states have gradually grown more and more dependent on the federal government.

Notably, the only period when states actually saw a little bit of relief in their dependency on federal dollars was in the Reagan years. The dependency rate dropped from 33 percent of total state spending to 25 percent. That rate is back up again: it was 34.1 percent in 2010, not counting state MoE spending.

Some states are worse off than others. The preliminary estimate of state spending for 2011 by the National Association of State Budget Officers shows that South Carolina gets 50 percent of all its revenues from the federal government.

This raises an urgent question. Who is actually to be held accountable for state spending in South Carolina? Is it the legislators who are legislatively responsible for the state budget? Or is it U.S. Congress, who has created and decided to fund the FAS programs?

Put bluntly: is the South Carolina state government an independent jurisdiction, or a federal spending agency?

The consequences of eroded state fiscal independence go beyond simply controlling the budget. With FAS programs come a truck load of regulations. Among the most notorious these days are the regulatory incursions into children’s school lunches, even those brought in from home. But other regulations can be just as harmful, such as the coverage mandates that come with Medicaid funds. States have to dole out more and more money for health insurance to low-income families, regardless of whether or not the state can afford it.

Welfare programs are also tightly regulated as a result of federal funding. Uncle Sam de facto controls everything from what people can buy for their food stamps to city-level zoning and housing (partly under the new Unified Development Code). All of this brings new costs to states and local governments, but every new federal dollar also nibbles away at state and local independence.

The importance of being governor, state legislator, mayor or city council member is withering away. Instead of being the representatives of the will of local and state voters, these elected officials are becoming administrators of a federally sponsored, one-size-fits-all welfare state.

Furthermore, with each new program and each new dollar that Congress puts on the gravy train to the states, the welfare state gets more and more solidified. More people become dependent on it, and with more enrollees in federally sponsored programs, the more difficult it is to roll back those programs.

The worst part, at least for our state and locally elected officials, is that Uncle Sam is borrowing four dimes of every dollar he spends. Soon enough Congress will have to slam the spending brakes. When that happens, there will be noticeable cuts in FAS programs. That will force states to execute the cuts, even though they are not the ones who are ultimately pulling the trigger on the cuts. State lawmakers and governors will pay the political price.

There is a better way forward. It involves rolling back the welfare state, gradually phasing out entitlements and returning responsibility for welfare to the private sector. It can be done, but time is running out.

Positive economic news masks worsening crisis

Positive economic numbers touted this week conceal the inevitable crisis soon to strike the United States. Indicators like unemployment, job creation, and stock market valuations are showing signs of recovery, according to many experts. Official unemployment numbers are down, stocks are up, and more jobs have been created in recent months than predicted. Plus, some financial analysts are claiming that US markets are less exposed to Europe than previously thought, meaning the mess in Greece soon to be the mess in Italy, Spain, Portugal and eventually the rest of the euro zone, will have much less of an effect on the US economy than feared.

On the surface, this may appear to be good news, but America’s economy remains in terrible shape, plagued mainly by enormous debt that no one – neither Republicans nor Democrats – are prepared to deal with, yet. So what?

Whenever the debt issue is mentioned people react in one of two ways: they either grimace in pain, knowing financial calamity will befall us sooner or later, or they blithely dismiss it as a non-issue, attacking those who fear the worst as ignorant reactionaries unfamiliar with central banking or macro-economics. So what is the truth, which view is correct?

The truth is that debt matters, and has throughout history. Just ask the Greeks right now. Or ask the Argentinians and Mexicans, countries that defaulted within the last 20 years. To find examples of default we don’t even need to look beyond American borders. This past decade alone cities like Harrisonburg, PA and Vallejo, CA have declared bankruptcy, and yet another California city Stockman, is on the verge of bankruptcy as we speak. Even Orange County, CA defaulted, though that happened almost twenty years ago in 1994.

Of course, many of these defaults like the bankruptcies on Wall Street can be quickly salvaged by higher level government support. As long as some level of government can come to the rescue and infuse credit where it is lacking, perhaps things will be ok. Unfortunately, going forward this is less and less of an option. After years of overspending, whether for pensions, union contracts, healthcare, or to combat the recession, America is systemically in debt. Basically, every level of American government and society is in the red.

The mountain of debt piling up in Washington is only part of the story. Everyone knows that the federal government has amassed trillion dollar debts, and is on the hook for tens of trillions more in unfunded liabilities. But the real crisis is at the state, local, and private levels. States are in bad financial shape, strained by rising pension and operating costs coupled with falling revenues. Municipal finances may be the worst. Municipal debt has doubled over the last ten years, which means cities and towns are facing huge cutbacks state governments will be unable to cover.

Then there is consumer debt. Consumer debt is nothing short of gigantic. Since the 1980s US wages have been relatively stagnant, so families across America financed higher standards of living by going into debt, using credit cards or taking out loans. It is hard to estimate the exact amount of consumer debt but some studies report numbers as high as 100 trillion and some say higher. Again, this means that consumers have to save not spend to deleverage, and standards of living will drop as a result, probably for a decade, if not longer.

So if debt matters, and America’s debt is so huge, why hasn’t there been a crisis yet? Part of the answer, ironically, is debt. The only reason America has not fallen into a deep depression is because the US government and to a lesser extent states and municipalities continue to find markets for their bonds, enabling them to continue borrowing. To support this effort the FED has maintained extremely low interest rates, keeping credit cheap. So America’s sluggish economy continues to crawl forward, using debt to finance its debt.

Nevertheless, taking out more debt to finance debt only increases the amount of debt. This is a game that always ends badly. At the moment, let’s refer to the end game as the “Keynesian endpoint,” the point at which America’s revenue will be entirely devoted to paying down debt service (making interest payments), sending investors running for the hills. This idea has been coined by Kyle Bass, a hedge fund manager famous for seeing the subprime mortgage crisis ahead of time and betting accordingly. His sober analysis leads him to conclude that Americans should invest in “Guns and Gold.”

This may sound ridiculous, but it isn’t. There is a massive debt crisis coming, one that has only been worsened by more government spending and the FED’s easy credit monetary policy. Be prepared for a situation worse than Greece. America’s dependency is at an all-time high. According to a recent Heritage Foundation report welfare rolls, public housing assistance, healthcare and retirement, and overall spending on dependency programs accounts for 70% of Federal spending. Meanwhile, states and cities are laying-off government workers, cutting back on police, and reducing basic services. And millions of people are out of work, in debt, or both, making them particularly vulnerable when the crash comes.

To be blunt, America is headed for tough times ahead, something that can no longer be averted, only softened or worsened. The silver lining might be that default leads to recovery, however difficult. But the longer Washington and FED Chairman Bernanke delay the deleveraging process to preserve the status quo, the more painful the recovery period will be.

Cameron Macgregor is a former naval officer and USNA graduate. He is writing his first book, America Resurrected.

Senator Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) Calls it Quits

Citing good health and wishes for Congress to return to a more Centrist platform, Senator Olympia Snowe has announced that she will not seek reelection this year. Senator Snowe explained her decision in the following statements, courtesy of Fox News:

“After 33 years in the Congress this was not an easy decision. My husband and I are in good health. We have laid an exceptionally  strong foundation for the campaign, and I have no doubt I would have won  re-election,” she said in a statement.

“I do find it frustrating, however, that an  atmosphere of polarization and ‘my way or the highway’ ideologies has become pervasive in campaigns and in our governing institutions,” she said.

Saying that she does “not realistically expect the  partisanship of recent years in the Senate to change over the short term,”

What Senator Snowe does not explain in her statements above, are the reasons why there is so much partisanship in American politics today.  America is approaching $16 trillion dollars worth of Greek-style debt insolvency.  America’s irresponsible debt-spending must stop, and therein lies the divide in Congress today. On one side of the aisle, you have responsible representatives seeing that dangers of America having her credit downgraded [again] and the resulting austerity measures that will come with it, while on the other side you have the irresponsible big government debt-spenders who have no regard for the future of America. Liberal Democrats and their allies have controlled both houses of Congress for four straight years and still control the United States Senate and the White House. What has that gotten America?  Historically massive amounts of record  yearly deficits  of over $1 trillion dollars for every year since 2008 when Democrats took over Congress.

Senator Olympia Snowe has voted with the big government debt-spenders of the Democratic party on virtually every single spending bill of the past 5 years as can be seen here and in the latest revelations about Senator Snowe voting against Republicans more times than with them… by a very large margin. From The Washington Post:

Snowe is known for her independent streak, often voting with Collins against many of her Republican colleagues. According to the just-released National Journal 2011 vote rankings, only Collins voted with Democrats more than Snowe last year.

As America watches Greece go up in the flames of chaos and citizen discontent due it’s massive debt-load and the resulting austerity measures, expect more irresponsible RINO-Republicans and big debt-spending Liberals to run out on the very people who voted them into power, and leave Congress in 2012. Olympia Snowe was a big government spender not a conservative, and future generations across America will be made to pay the price one day for the trillions of dollars of debt these people have racked up. Bi-partisan cooperation in Congress used to mean that representatives across America came together to do what was best for the people. Now it has been perverted into being nothing more that a steal-the-tax-dollars-while-adding-to-the-national-debt free-for-all by the shameless elitists and their crony-capitalists in big government. Greek style debt-chaos and austerity measures are coming to America, and with the current trillion-dollar deficits and refusal to enact measures to control spending, it is coming a lot sooner than most people expect.

The only question left to ask is whether Senator Snowe will take the other big government debt-loving RINO  from the Northeast, Senator Susan Collins with her into retirement? Maybe then we could actually start moving America forward towards ensuring a stable financial future for generations to come.

 

 

Who’s Offering Economic Solutions?

Given America’s growing national debt, now in excess of $15 trillion:

http://www.usdebtclock.org/

A per capita government debt that’s worse than Greece’s:

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/chart-america-s-capita-government-debt-worse-greece_631797.html

Unemployment numbers “officially” listed at 8.5%:

http://www.bls.gov/bls/newsrels.htm#OEUS

Petroleum prices trending higher, adding pain at the pump for consumers while decreasing money available to them for spending on vital necessities like food and shelter:

http://www.livecharts.co.uk/trend_signals/trend_forecast_chart_selector.php?ts=Futures_WI

A statement like: “America’s in need of economic solutions” is certainly far from a stretch. Many would say such a statement falls more into the “You have a firm grasp of the obvious” category.

The questions are:

Who will offer the solutions? What solutions will be offered? When is someone going to offer these solutions? Why are the solutions being offered the best solutions available? Where will the money come from to put these solutions into motion?

According to an Associated Press-GfK poll conducted February 16 to 20, 56% of Americans preferred cuts in government spending, compared to 31% who considered higher taxes as the best medicine.

http://apnews.myway.com/article/20120224/D9T3L7SG3.html

With Social Security burdened by a growing $15.5 trillion in unfunded liabilities, with Medicare’s unfunded liabilities surpassing $81.6 trillion, plus an additional $20.5 trillion for Medicare Part D, there simply isn’t enough discretionary spending available to make the cuts necessary to get America out of debt. However, despite over $15 trillion in debt and unfunded liabilities exceeding $117.7 trillion, with America’s economy in the midst of a deep, long recession struggling to display a flicker of hope for a less than vibrant, jobless recovery, most economists agree that now is not the time to raise taxes.

The first order of business is to get the American economy growing.

Higher tax rates results in reduced profits to investors, thereby inhibiting capital investment. Reduced capital investment leads to economic contraction, resulting in fewer jobs and reduced tax revenue, which in turn tempts government to raise tax rates. In the face of lost private sector growth, Statists persist with the illusion that government spending stimulates economic growth. It didn’t work for FDR to end the Great Depression, and it resulted in a “Misery Index” during Jimmy Carter’s term in office. Government spending on “jobs creation” is inefficient. Not only is money wasted on unproductive pet projects, a portion of the revenue is lost before it ever hits the streets thanks to the cost of government overhead. The end result is less long term private sector growth and larger deficits, which in turn tempt the government to increase tax rates yet again. A downward spiral is set into motion.

Historically, the most efficient way to stimulate America’s economy has been to allow individuals and businesses to keep their own money by cutting taxes. When tax rates are reduced, the economy experiences sustained periods of growth. It worked when Calvin Coolidge reduced taxes in the 1920s. It worked when John Kennedy cut tax rates in the 1960s. It worked again when Ronald Reagan followed suit in the 1980s. Not only does cutting taxes create jobs, the increased revenues lower the government’s deficit. Despite businesses and individuals paying smaller percentages, thanks to economic growth, the IRS collects more revenue from a larger pool of taxpayers. Businesses enjoy profits which allow investments in expansion, which creates greater output, sales and profit, which in turn stimulate the need to hire new employees, who have more revenue to buy products created and produced within the private sector. An upward spiral is created.

Once the private sector economy is growing and providing new jobs, the next step is to cut government overhead.
First, government employee unions should be ended. Government employees could choose between keeping their jobs at private sector salaries or seeking employment elsewhere. Since unionized government employees make an average annual salary that’s $32,000 more than private sector employees doing the same jobs, the across the board savings would be considerable.

Second, with the exception of proven friends and allies, America should cut all foreign aid. Why does the United States borrow money from Communist China and allow the Federal Reserve to inflate its currency in order to give foreign aid to countries hostile to America?

Third, the United States should withdraw from the UN, stop paying dues to the organization, and expel them from American shores permanently. The UN was founded after World War II to prevent a third world war involving nuclear weapons. Since North Korea has and Iran is on the brink of deploying such weapons despite the existence of the UN, why does America allow dictators to come to the United States, grant them diplomatic immunity, then sit idly by while they insult Americans and the American way of life…on America’s dime? The UN is involved in programs and regulations that go so far beyond its original mandate that continuing to fund and be a member of this organization is no longer in the best interests of the United States.

Fourth, cut all government subsidies. With the exception of being the referee as required, government should not be involved in the free market system. Government subsidies interfere with the free market principles of supply and demand, and are being kept alive by corruption breeding special interest groups.

Fifth, defund and dismantle government departments that have proven to be costly and ineffective. The quality of America’s education has declined steadily the Department of Education was established. Additionally, centrally planned curriculum has allowed “progressive” infiltrators to use the Department as a means to indoctrinate generations of American youth to their Marxist agenda. The Department of Energy was founded during the Jimmy Carter Administration with the expressed goal of making America less dependant on foreign energy. The results have been the exact opposite of the stated goal. America is more dependent on foreign energy than ever before. Why is this failure still being funded?

There are other big government programs that feast on the national treasury that can also be eliminated. Among these are the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Homeland Security. At a time of pending fiscal crisis, surely it’s to America’s advantage to free itself of the weight and expense of these bloated bureaucracies.

This is the pathway to reducing America’s annual budget deficits. But what of those looming unfunded liabilities? The inevitable conclusion is that that major reforms are needed in the way Social Security and Medicare function.

When Social Security was established, the age of eligibility was 65. At that time, the average life span of an American male was 58, while women lived to an average age of 62. Combine that life expectancy and eligibility age, factor in people making Social Security payments for the duration of their working careers and the original system was financially solvent.

Today, the average lifespan of men is now 73, while women live to be an average age of 79. Combine this longer duration of payout with the increase in eligible recipients that is resulting from the maturation of the baby boomer generation and there is clearly going to burden the existing system. The age of eligibility should be adjusted to conform to our increased life expectancy. This same revised actuarial formula should be applied to Medicare.

Additionally, no payments should be made to those who have not paid into the system. This would apply to all foreign nationals. If a foreign national is working legally within America, they won’t be responsible for paying in, because they won’t be eligible to collect. If they’re here illegally, they shouldn’t be on anyone’s payroll to begin with.

This is by no means a complete list. More needs to be done, but this is a place to start the conversation. The debt America has and continues to accumulate is an existential threat to the United States. To mortgage the well being of future generations in order to postpone the inevitable is not only irresponsible and dishonorable, it would be the first time a generation of Americans chose to leave the country a worse place for their children than was the one they inherited. All to spare themselves the pains of growing up.

http://mjfellright.wordpress.com/2012/02/25/whos-offering-economic-solutions/

Obama’s Budget Squanders the Future

The Senate Republican Budget Press Office released these charts illustrating just how dangerous Obama’s FY2013 budget is for Americans, their families and specifically our children. We are no longer talking about an unbearable amount of debt being put on our grandchildren – it’s much closer to home than that.

President Obama’s formal FY 2013 budget, submitted on February 13th, represents his financial vision for the future, detailed in 2,571 pages as delivered by his Office of Management and Budget.

 

Federal Debt $200,000 per household under Obama's plan

 Feds Would Spend $44,000 per household under Obama's plan

Americans' Lifetime Share of national debt by age group

 

Shredding George – The Latest in Nanny State Government

Last December, I wrote an article about a bill lurking in the dark shadows of Congress that would begin production of a fourth dollar coin over the past three decades.  Harmless right?  I mean, so what if the Susan B. Anthony and Sacagawea coins were total busts.  I remember the biggest deal about the SBA coin was that kids kept jamming them into the quarter slots of the “Asteroids” game at my favorite arcade.  All I remember is that I didn’t get my Atari fix for the week.

 

Oh…. But did I mention that this one wouldn’t be optional?  Yep, that’s right folks, this time, it’s mandatory!!  Say goodbye to George on paper and say hello to the dollar coin, weighing us all down, just like all the other government regulations in our lives.  So much for choice.

 

In the latest chapter of the “we know what’s best for you” bible being written by our government, HR 2977 and its companion bill S. 2049 (co-sponsored by Tom Harkin and that conservative icon we all know and love…. John McCain) would call for the replacement of the dollar bill with a coin….. as a deficit reduction measure…. Yeah, I’ll wait for the literary double-take…. a deficit reduction measure.

 

Nevermind that the minting of these beauties will be three times the cost of the printing of bills….  Yes, yes, I can hear you…  “but, but, but…  they’ll last longer than the bills, therefore they’ll save us in the long run!”  Uh…. That might be true if someone other than the US Government was running the show.  Seriously, you are just going to take their words that this will save us money?  The same folks that overspend $47,000 per SECOND??!!!

 

Yet there is a bigger point to be made here.  WE DON’T WANT A COIN DOLLAR!!  I can say this with confidence due to the fact that there are vaults full of Anthonys, Sacagaweas and Presidential coins…. Wait… only half of the Presidents even made it on this last coin venture – they discontinued them after Chester Arthur..  NO COIN FOR YOU, CLEVELAND!! (channeling the Soup Nazi here).  So naturally, the proper thing for Congress to do, when the whole voluntary transition thing didn’t work would be to force it on us…. Sieg Heil!!

 

And have we stopped to consider the impact this may have on some of the small business owners who deal almost exclusively in cash, like laundromats, vending machines and coin recognition devices?  Pish-tosh!  They’re just the “little people” in fly-over country anyway… no biggie.  So they might have to shell out thousands to replace or retrofit equipment.  We’ll just extend their unemployment benefits after we kill off their business dreams…

 

Today, it’s the appearance of your currency, tomorrow it’s how you spend it.  The next day is how much you can keep and….. oh crap, I think we are already into next week….

 

As someone who has actually taken the 22 minutes it takes to read the Constitution, with amendments, I know that one of the few expressed powers our federal government has is to coin money.  Sure, how it looks and how much is in circulation is implicitly included in that mandate, but it should be mentioned that said government still is basically one big employee – and the American people are STILL the boss.

 

This is bigger than the folding versus jingling argument.  It is about whether we want this level of government intrusion in our lives.  Remember, in 1930’s Germany, it started with regulations on how to cook your lobster.  So you say, “Heck! That’ll never happen here in the good old USA!!”  You mean like some government employee taking a kid’s lunch away because they deemed it too “unhealthy”?

 

I guess you’re right…. That would NEVER happen here in the U.S…..

 

 

 

 

Speaker Boehner Channels Obama in Tax Cut Deal

Republican House Speaker John Boehner was in full spin mode during several interviews concerning the recent addition of $100 billion dollars in debt that is inherent in the new “Tax Cut Extension” deal. The Hill points out how Boehner is not celebrating the tax cut deal as follows:

“The agreement that’s been reached to stop a tax hike on middle-class Americans is a fair agreement and one that I support,” Boehner said in opening a Thursday press conference.”Let’s be honest, this is an economic relief package, not a bill that’s going to grow the economy and create jobs.”

  While The Hill  article does mention the small fact that this bill is not paid for, and will increase the nation’s debt once again, Speaker Boehner seems reluctant to admit that fact. Instead, Speaker Boehner seems content on blaming Obama for this irresponsible continuation of Greek-style debt-spending. This has to make folks wonder if Speaker Boehner will eventually start to blame G.W. Bush for the debt-spending coming out of the current House of Representatives. Has Boehner come to the conclusion that the only way to retain the majority in the House of Representatives in 2013, is to channel Obama in blaming everyone else for his [and Obama’s] obvious lack of leadership? It certainly appears so here. The House controls the taxpayers purse strings, and therefor any increased debt-spending falls on the shoulders of the Speaker of the House.

One minute Boehner hates the tax cut deal and the next he  approves of it, all the while refusing to acknowledge the continuation of  increased debt-spending in the latest tax cut “deal,” that he promised to put a stop to when he took over the House. Boehner was just on TV again saying he approved of the tax cut deal, while again refusing to discuss the increased debt-spending inherent in it. How gutless is that? Blame Bush, blame Obama, do anything but accept the responsibility for the increase in debt spending that is being perpetuated by the Republican House of Representatives, and the Harry Reid-approved “compromises” that have been done here.

“According to the White House, when he signs this bill, he’s finished,” Boehner said.”For those of you who haven’t noticed, the president checked out last Labor Day, and has been unengaged in leading our country ever since. It has been one non-stop campaign trip after another. So he can campaign all he wants, but the Republicans are going to stay focused on jobs.”

The President indeed, has been in full campaign-mode on the taxpayer dime for most of his first term in office. He is not, however the Speaker of the House. You are Mr. Boehner, and we the people expect you to stop the debt-spending and the pathetic excuses you are making for allowing it to happen. Clear enough?

Update: Yes the tax cut extension bill passed both chambers today, (Friday, Feb 17) without ever being made available for public viewing and comment, as was promised when republicans took over the House in 2011. Despite the claims to the contrary, this bill will add $90 billion dollars to the deficit = more debt, according to the CBO: “The Congressional Budget Office put the tab at closer to $90 billion; regardless, dozens of Republicans were unhappy with the GOP leadership’s decision to advance the payroll tax extension with no pay-for.”

 

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