Monday, March 29, 2010

Anything but the economy

Healthcare?Done.Or not,since Obama chooses to taunt the GOP to "go for it" and make repeal the central focus of the mid-terms.So we'll keep arguing.

Next step?A surprise visit to Afghanistan.All of a sudden,the war is a priority again.What's going to be next?

The pattern we're seeing is anything but the economy,stupid.Obama does not want to make it a focal point so we will see a variety of issues rise up to center stage.When you have no plan and no answers,you must try to divert attention elsewhere.

When the federal government enacted the legislation that allowed the housing bubble to balloon,most of us were not cognizant of what was happening.In fact,we got our re-assurances from the Barney Franks of the world that Fannie and Freddie were doing just fine.Everyone knows different now and we've been able to determine that the government created,allowed and encouraged it.

The left will claim the opposite.That it was simply the greedy banksters.No blame goes to the government or the irresponsible homeowners.Standard lefty reasoning.

Now we've been able to witness first hand the genesis of the next great bubble.The dependency bubble.The Obama health care debacle will create the single largest expansion of the population that will depend on government wholly.They will not be able to progress out of the trap laid because earning more income will reduce their subsidies making it pointless to try.

Unemployment is moving in the same direction with literally years of benefits now available which totally disincentives one to dig their way out of their hole.Why get off the gravy train when it's free and seemingly never ending?

All of these will pale with what is waiting in the wings.Cap and trade and the VAT tax.Far worse than health care.Health care is one sixth of the economy.Cap and trade will affect at least 99% of what industry produces.We will all pay,including the poor,with higher prices.The VAT tax will have a similar effect as it will be simply tacked on top of the sales tax rather than replacing it as it was designed to do.

Once our costs of goods and services gets fantastically more expensive,many more will join the ranks of the dependency nation.Throw in the millions of illegals that Obama will grant amnesty to as also going straight to the dependency crowd and we will have the majority of our population depending on our government for all of their basic needs.

Try to find enough conservative candidates who will have to sell self-reliance,responsibility and accountability to that crowd that is on the gravy train.Not going to happen.When we hear that these next election cycles are the most important in the history of our country,it is not overstated at all.We are already well past the tipping point on dealing with the debt.We sit on the tipping point of our liberty.What will you do to make a difference?More to come...

Saturday, March 27, 2010

U.N. doesn't believe health care is a right

I was researching the case for health care being a right and came across this declaration of universal rights from the United Nations.

Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,

Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,

Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,

Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations,

Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,

Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in co-operation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms,

Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge,

Now, Therefore THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY proclaims THIS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.

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Article 1.
•All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
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Article 2.
•Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.
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Article 3.
•Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
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Article 4.
•No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.
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Article 5.
•No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
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Article 6.
•Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.
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Article 7.
•All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.
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Article 8.
•Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.
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Article 9.
•No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.
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Article 10.
•Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.
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Article 11.
•(1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.
•(2) No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.
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Article 12.
•No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.
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Article 13.
•(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.
•(2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.
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Article 14.
•(1) Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.
•(2) This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.
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Article 15.
•(1) Everyone has the right to a nationality.
•(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.
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Article 16.
•(1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.
•(2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.
•(3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.
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Article 17.
•(1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.
•(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.
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Article 18.
•Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.
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Article 19.
•Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
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Article 20.
•(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.
•(2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association.
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Article 21.
•(1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.
•(2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.
•(3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.
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Article 22.
•Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.
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Article 23.
•(1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
•(2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.
•(3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.
•(4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.
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Article 24.
•Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.
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Article 25.
•(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
•(2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.
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Article 26.
•(1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.
•(2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
•(3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.
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Article 27.
•(1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.
•(2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.
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Article 28.
•Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.
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Article 29.
•(1) Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.
•(2) In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.
•(3) These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.
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Article 30.
•Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.

No mention of health care being a right.In fact,article 17(2) states that we should not be arbitrarily deprived of our property.Are you reading this,President Obama?No taking of my property (wages) to pay for an others health care.While I in no way agree with this declaration or the U.N.,it's just interesting to see that even the U.N. doesn't support Obama ideology either.More to come...

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Poor mans affirmative action

I would equate the health care law as the poor mans affirmative action.That's really what it is.It's easily understood by a growing number of Americans how the progressive movement has steadily evolved over the last century.It's been a slow creep.Just like Al-Qaeda,they learned to be patient long ago and bide their time,taking a little bit at a time.Stealing our liberty,for our own good mind you,is not accomplished overnight.

We've now reached the tipping point where they can no longer contain themselves and want to sprint toward the finish line.With the ideologue-in-chief at the helm,they can make huge strides in the next couple of years.The GOP can talk about repeal and replace all they want,but they won't have veto override strength no matter what the outcome of the mid-terms.

Obama will now plow headfirst into amnesty,climate change,financial reform,card check and the VAT tax.Those are the main components left on his plate to provide the progressives all the tools they need.I think the right is far too short-sighted today.The belief is that if we can just get 40 back in the House and a couple senators,we can reverse course and save the country.

Why can't they pay attention to the lessons of the past?The left owns the media,the courts and academia.Simply installing Boehner as Speaker will not accomplish anything,just more gridlock.Sure,we must move in the right direction,but baby steps are now too late.

To my main point,we are already at the point of half the country producing and the other half dependent.Maybe worse already,but certain to become worse soon.Just as the blacks in this country are held down by the appeal of affirmative action,so will the dependency nation.The public will not have the stomach to cut the cord and tough it out without the government safety net.And the GOP has already shown it doesn't have the political will to be the parent and do what's right for the children (the public).They can talk repeal all they want,but they will cave just like Stupak.

Can you imagine the feeling in the pit of your stomach when the day of realization hits you that all of the conspiracy nuts were right?And it's too late to reverse course?That's been the course all along.Never overreach so much as to give the people no choice but to react.You must take into account the whole picture to put the concept into perspective.Revolution will be the only option left.More to come...

Monday, March 22, 2010

America fundamentally transformed-as promised

There are few times in your life when you witness historical events that will forever live in infamy.Passage of the health care reform bill certainly qualifies.Barack Obama will now be remembered as the father of socialized medicine.Like FDR and the New Deal,this will be written about and analyzed forever.One cannot overestimate just how profound an effect this will have on each of our lives.

You'll probably never again see so divisive an issue pass on the slimmest of margins,yet will affect every single citizen.There is a misconception that our elected officials will vote reflecting the will of their constituents.Rather,they vote for what they believe.This is why it is said that elections have consequences.Those of you who voted for Obama and his message of hope and change,this is what he meant.And there will be more to come.

Of course,the bill doesn't add up.Half a trillion in tax hikes to be offset by half a trillion in Medicare and Medicaid cuts is reform?Just as with the stimulus,you'll find out why it can't work after the fact.Those of you who believe that it was simply the fault of the evil,greedy corporations will see first hand just how badly the government can run a program.Every single entitlement program they have ever created is insolvent,inefficient and filled with fraud,waste and abuse.

10 years of taxes for 6 years of benefits.We must prepay for 4 years to build enough revenue to fund the program.Do you really believe that they will just leave that fund alone and not reallocate it for other uses?Fools.Go visit the Treasury website and see what's left in the Social Security and Medicare trust funds.Unfortunately,it's people like me that will have to forever pay the price along with you.With socialism,everybody pays,willing or not.More to come...

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Reconciliation changes summary

Here are the changes as adopted by the House rules committee that will be voted on today.Courtesy of the Hill.


Improves the financing for premiums and cost sharing for individuals with incomes up to 400% of the federal poverty level. Modifies the assessment that individuals who choose to remain uninsured pay in three ways: (a) exempts the income below the filing threshold, (b) lowers the flat payment from $495 to $325 in 2015 and from $750 to $695 in 2016 and (c) raises the percent of income that is an alternative payment amount from 0.5 to 1.0% in 2014, 1.0 to 2.0% in 2015, and 2.0 to 2.5% for 2016 and subsequent years to make the assessment more progressive. Improves the transition to the employer responsibility policy for employers with 50 or more full-time equivalent workers (FTE) by subtracting the first 30 full time employees from the payment calculation. Modifies the definition of income that is used for purposes of subsidy eligibility and the individual responsibility requirement. Provides a $250 rebate for all Medicare Part D enrollees who enter the donut hole in 2010. Builds on pharmaceutical manufacturers' 50% discount on brand-name drugs beginning in 2011 to completely close the donut hole with 75% discounts on brand-name and generic drugs by 2020. Freezes Medicare Advantage payments in 2011. Beginning in 2012, the provision reduces Medicare Advantage benchmarks relative to current levels. Ensures Medicare Advantage plans spend at least 85% of revenue on medical costs or activities that improve quality of care, rather than profit and overhead. Strikes the provision for a permanent 100% federal matching rate for Nebraska for the Medicaid costs of expansion populations. Provides federal Medicaid matching payments for the costs of services to expansion populations at the following rates in all states: 100% in 2014, 2015, and 2016; 95% in 2017; 94% in 2018; 93% in 2019; and 90% thereafter. In the case of expansion states, reduces the state share of the costs of covering nonpregnant childless adults by 50% in 2014, 60% in 2015, 70% in 2016, 80% in 2017, 90% in 2018. Requires that Medicaid payment rates to primary care physicians for furnishing primary care services be no less than 100% of Medicare payment rates in 2013 and 2014. Lowers the reduction in federal Medicaid DSH payments from $18.1 billion to $14.1 billion and advances the reductions to begin in fiscal year 2014. Delays the application of the high-cost plan excise tax until 2018, which gives the plans time to implement and realize the cost savings of reform; increasing the dollar thresholds to $10,200 for single coverage and $27,500 for family coverage ($11,850 and $30,950 for retirees and employees in high risk professions). Amends the Higher Education Act to include mandatory funding for the Pell Grant. Terminates the FFEL program for federal consolidation loans. This section also provides that, for a 1 year period, borrowers who have loans under both the Direct Lending program and the FFEL program, or who have loans under either program as well as loans that have been sold to the Secretary, may consolidate such loans under the Direct Lending program regardless of whether such borrowers have entered repayment on such loans. Directs the Secretary to award contracts for servicing federal Direct Loans to eligible non-profit servicers. Permits the Secretary to reallocate, increase, reduce or terminate an eligible non-profit servicer's allocation based on the performance of such servicer. Extends the prohibition of lifetime limits, prohibition on rescissions, and a requirement to provide coverage for non-dependent children up to age 26 to all existing health insurance plans starting six months after enactment. Starting in 2014, extends the prohibition on excessive waiting periods to existing health plans. For group health plans, prohibits pre-existing condition exclusions in 2014 (for children, they are prohibited starting six months after enactment), restricts annual limits beginning six months after enactment, and prohibits them starting in 2014. Increases mandatory funding for community health centers to $11 billion over five years (FY 2011 - FY 2015).


Would (1) reduce the growth rate of the Part D spending threshold for catastrophic benefits between 2014 and 2019, providing additional benefits for seniors with high drug costs; (2) add a transitional phase up period for the coding intensity adjustment for Medicare Advantage plans; (3) strike a provision that would have deposited funds collected from Medicare Advantage plans for failing to meet the medical loss ratio into the CMS Program Management Account; (4) insert a new section 1108 that accelerates phase-in of Medicare physician practice expense adjustment for areas with below average practice expense payment rates. In 2010, national blend would be increased from ¼ to ½. Inserts a new Section 1109 that provides an additional payment under the Medicare inpatient prospective payment systems to hospitals located in counties in the bottom quartile of counties as ranked by risk adjusted spending per Medicare enrollee; (5) clarify the timing for the election period for territories to choose to establish Exchanges; (6) clarify new requirements for community mental health centers to be eligible to participate in the Medicare partial hospitalization benefit; (7) strike section 1303 of the legislation (CMS-IRS Data Match to Identify Fraudulent Providers); (8) delete a provision providing for transfers of amounts collected from the supplementary medical insurance trust fund; (9) modify the pharmaceutical industry annual fee schedule; (10) modify the excise tax on importers and manufacturers of medical devices by lowering the rate to 2.3 percent and by eliminating the exclusion for Class I medical devices (except if such devices are of a type which is purchased by the general public at retail and for individual use.); (11) strike section 1411 of the legislation (No Impact on Social Security Trust Funds); (12) amend section 1501 to incorporate the funds into the Trade Act and strikes the provision in section 1501 that expands the focus of programs to individuals eligible for unemployment insurance; (13) move the $13.5 billion in additional Pell funding for fiscal year 2011 into section 401 of the Higher Education Act; (14) strike section 2102 of the legislation (Student Financial Assistance); and (15) strike section 2213 of the legislation (Agreements with State-Owned Banks).

Don't stop calling or e-mailing until the vote is taken.More to come...

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Call,call,call TODAY!

Call,e-mail and fax every member of the House today.It's the last chance to stop this travesty called health care.

In particular,Bart Stupak may be the key to defeating it if his group receives our support and holds together.Contact him at (202)225-4735.More to come...

Monday, March 15, 2010

The last word on earmarks

I've addressed this subject previously,but it seems pertinent to do so again with the issue currently on center stage in Congress.There are strong misconceptions in this country about earmarks attached to legislative appropriations bills.They are viewed as evil and wasteful spending.

An earmark is simply a portion of a spending bill dedicated to a specific area or project.In fact,I believe every bill that passes should be 100% earmarks.Ron Paul has also made this statement.The reason being is that every dollar is then tied to a specific project and thus also tied to a specific member of Congress.

This is the ultimate in transparency in Congress.You get to see exactly who spent what,where,when and why.When an election cycle comes up,you then have a track record of spending tied to the candidate.Earmarks are a good thing.When you don't earmark specific dollars of a spending package,it falls into the general slush fund.Take the stimulus,which is rampant with fraud.Billions of dollars going to who knows where.We can only hope to find out after the fact where the money ended up.

Earmarks are mistakenly confused with pork.Pork is money ADDED onto a spending bill for a project after the original bill was drafted.An earmark DOES NOT increase the amount of a bill,it only specifies where the existing dollars go without increasing the size of the bill.This is a major difference and misunderstood by nearly all including the media apparently as they continue to denigrate earmarks.

For example,say we have a $100 billion dollar road building bill.Without earmarks,that money will end up in the general fund where it can be redirected to payoff lobbyists,reward specific contractors or just disappear.Sound like the social security trust fund money?With earmarks,the $100 billion is divided up amongst the variety of designers,construction companies and anything else required to complete a project such as this.You at least know where the dollars were intended to go as the government,of course,will still succeed in redirecting it and wasting money anyway.Nature of the beast when government is involved at all.But you see the difference.

If you want the best you can hope for in accountability of where your tax dollars are actually being spent,you want 100% earmarks.How many black hole government projects have you seen where no one ever finds out where the money went?This is not to say there aren't wasteful earmarks.Absolutely,the vast majority of them are.But the point is this way you know who initiated the earmark,who else signed onto it,how much it was,and where it was targeted.You make that member pay at the ballot box if they aren't spending your tax dollars wisely.

You can certainly argue the point that earmark reform is needed and the rules for how they are used to protect against abuse should be changed.There is no question this is a problem and needs to be addressed.But it mystifies me as to why anyone would think we are better off leaving the discretion of where the money is spent to the White House and other bureaucrats rather than members who are accountable to their districts.This is,after all,one of the main reasons they are in Washington is to fight for their districts and make sure federal dollars are spent there.That's how we get at least a portion of our federal tax dollars back.More to come...

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Does your party have the right plan?

President Obama is leading the way continually telling us that we must tax the rich more.The IRS has released results from the 2008 tax year which show why this isn't enough.Over 51 million filers paid zero federal taxes or even received a refund.We have 305 million citizens in this country.142 million filed a tax return.This means that 163 million didn't file and 214 million total paid NO federal income tax.This doesn't factor in the illegal aliens living here that don't file either.Estimates vary from 11 million to up to 20 million.The bottom line is that over 70% of the people living in this country pay NO federal income tax.

Try to imagine a scenario where 7 out of 10 people contribute nothing toward the bottom line.That's a recipe for failure.To say that those 3 people need to pay an even larger share of the burden is simply wrong.The focus needs to be on reducing the overall burden on the 30% of Americans that are supporting the other 70%.In other words,not on raising taxes,but on cutting spending.Neither major political party is interested in this despite the political posturing supporting it.Actions speak louder than words couldn't be more fitting than in this case.

For the first time since the 1930's,Americans are actually receiving more money from the government than they are paying in.An average of $260 for every U.S. resident.This means that we get more money thru programs like social security and unemployment than is taken in from taxes.Another unsustainable formula.When we receive more money back than is paid in thru personal income taxes and payroll tax withholding,it can't work.

So far,we have 30% paying for the other 70% and we are taking out more than we are paying in overall.This is not rocket science.The news is filled with stories showing that we need more money for schools,roads,police,fire,etc.You name it and no one has enough funding.Just as every cause is important to somebody.Maybe not you,but someone else thinks so.I haven't even mentioned the debt yet either.Let's just say that with a $12 trillion dollar debt and tens of trillions more in unfunded liabilities,it is overwhelming.

The facts are that the population is always increasing.That a smaller percentage of it is carrying the tax burden.That the needs of the non-paying portion are increasing.The Democrat solution is to make the smaller percentage of the population,otherwise known as the rich,pay an even greater share to balance the burden.The Republican solution is to spread the burden across a larger percentage of the population to balance the burden.The facts are that neither side has succeeded in implementing a plan that pays for what Congress spends.

The decisions we make as voters are getting more vital each election.It's easy to see that the path we're on is unsustainable.And there isn't a single entitlement program or other use of tax dollars that isn't important to somebody.The fact remains that the money going out exceeds the money coming in and that imbalance is rapidly going to get worse.Is your party and your candidate going to fix it?Do you know what their specific plan is to do it?If you continue to vote for the same old message from the same old two parties that have shown they can't deliver,you have the definition of insanity.Better have that checked out.More to come...

Detroit/Haiti-opposite directions

A Tale of Two Cities

Haiti’s President visited the White House on Wednesday to discuss his plan for rebuilt Port-au-Prince. The plan has a price tag, of course, something that I’m sure the Obama administration would consider small potatoes:

Haiti’s President went to the White House yesterday with a vision of a Caribbean paradise waiting to be rebuilt after January’s catastrophic earthquake — and a price tag that could rise to $14 billion (£9 billion).

In a document that the Haitian delegation calls simply “the plan”, the slums and rubble of Port-au-Prince make way for a model city of cycle paths, beachfront boardwalks and ecofriendly housing. The economy roars back to life, thanks to tourism and cash crops such as coffee, mangoes and freshly cut flowers, and a hugely ambitious social engineering project permanently relocates at least half a million refugees to suburbs outside the devastated capital as the beginning of a new Haitian middle class.

The Mayor is always behind “hugely ambitious social engineering projects”. Forcing half a million people from the city where they live and relocating them to the *suburbs* (whatever a Haitian suburb is) sounds like a winning idea to me. And I find it especially appealing that once these people are forced to the suburbs, they will be rebranded as “middle class”. That’s a nice touch.

Up the road and to the left - Detroit, another third-world country - has a plan to deal with its urban blight:

Detroit Mayor Dave Bing said Tuesday the city will focus on demolishing thousands of its most dangerous vacant homes and fixing up salvageable ones as he lays the groundwork for a long-term plan to downsize.

It’s not known, Bing said, how much downsizing might cost or how much of the 139-square-mile city could be involved. He wants to make sure residents are a part of the long-term planning process and buy into the city’s plan.

To downsize Detroit, large swaths of the now-blighted, rusted-out city would be turned back into the fields and farmland. The city would pump new investment into stronger neighborhoods, which would become pockets in expanses of green.

For much of the 20th century, Detroit was an industrial powerhouse. Now, the city of nearly 2 million in the 1950s has less than half that number. According to one recent estimate, Detroit has 33,500 empty houses and 91,000 vacant residential lots.

As with Haiti, many Detroit residents will have to be relocated out of their current mess and into a new atmosphere. Fortunately for them, they too will be regarded as middle class after they are booted from their houses.

What does the Haiti plan and the Detroit plan both have in common? They have that sweet Chairman Mao smell to them. And just like the policies of Mao, perhaps these relocated urbanites will be sent to the countryside and to the mountains to be re-educated. An American Great Leap Forward®, as it were.

Sometimes if you want to build you have to destroy first. And it’s great to see the liberal policies that have destroyed this once great city are now willing to raize Detroit to the ground and rebuild it by not rebuilding. Power and greatness through neglect. That can be Detroit’s new logo. No charge, gratis, courtesy of The Mayor.

I have an idea how we can make money off Detroit’s demise - with t-shirts. Let’s design a series of shirts with different landmarks on each. For instance, one shirt can have a crumbling GM on it, while another can have a razed Gillette building; another shirt can have a picture of a corroded steel plant. Below each crumbling infrastructure we have the words, “Razed in Detroit.”

It’s a winner, all I ask is for a small royalty

Thanks to the Mayor of Mitchieville.More to come...

Saturday, March 13, 2010


Here's a sobering look at how difficult our debt situation has become.The Tax Foundation produced this chart showing the tax increases that would be required merely to eliminate the federal budget deficit for just this year.This would not touch the total DEBT,only this years DEFICIT.

Table 1
Federal Individual Income Tax Rates for Joint Tax Returns
Current Law Versus Rates Necessary to Erase Deficit

Tax Brackets for
Couples Filing
Joint Returns
Current Law
Tax Rates
Rates Needed
to Close Deficit

$0 to $16,750

$16,751 to $68,000

$68,001 to $137,300

$137,301 to $209,200

$209,201 to $373,600

$373,601 and over

Note: The rates are the same for single taxpayers,
but the brackets vary. For the bottom three brackets, the
threshold amounts are exactly one-half what they are for
couples. For the top bracket, the threshold is the same for
singles as for couples. Brackets are shown for 2009; inflation
adjustment for 2010 will be announced in the summer of 2010.

Source: IRS and Tax Foundation

Of course,Obama and his co-horts in Congress plan on racking up trillion dollar deficits for years to come,so these tax increases would have to be permanent merely to keep pace.The obvious solution would be to cut spending dramatically,but let's keep it real here.

The debt and spending issues are well known.We are also led to believe that the recovery efforts are based on consumer driven spending.The White House publicly states that it wants us to become savers again as a nation.Unfortunately,it's policies dictate that we must spend like drunken sailors for the economy to rebound.It's a misconception that consumer spending is down drastically.Less than 2% from 4Q2007 thru 2Q2009.That's significant,but not a deal breaker.Consumer confidence is,however,down appreciably and that is a more telling statistic.

The more critical number to watch is investment spending.Down almost 30% from early 2006 thru late 2009.This has a direct negative effect on the economy.Investment in equipment,software,training,etc. by companies allows them to stay competitive and grow.

The clock is ticking.State budgets are collapsing.More banks are failing.Unemployment is still growing,even if less severely.Commodity prices continue to rise.Commercial business foreclosures are escalating.The Federal Reserve continues to lend money nearly free which is encouraging banks and other investment companies to wade back into the derivatives markets.The bailouts have given the signal that they will be rescued should they fail enabling them to leave good fiscal practices out of the equation.Even if the bomb blast doesn't get you,the flying shrapnel likely will.More to come...

Friday, March 12, 2010

Detroit HUD office about to be exposed

James O'Keefe of undercover ACORN videos fame has turned his sights on HUD.The Detroit and Chicago offices will take centerstage and the Detroit Free Press is also in on the cover-up.Here is the link from Breitbart.

More to come...

Be pro-active in tax planning

Hopefully you take some time at the beginning of each year to review your tax situation and make sure you are having the correct amount deducted from your paycheck each week.Many people fill out their W-4 when they get hired and then never revise it again the entire time they are employed.

This is bad for the obvious reason of deducting too much so that you get that big fat refund check back each year.This simply means you have succeeded in allowing the government interest free use of your money for the entire year.Bad idea!Your goal should always be a zero return,nothing owed and nothing returned.This gives you the maximum amount in your paycheck and allows you to make money on your money and not the government.

However,this year is more important than most to get it right.State budget woes across the country are causing some states to delay tax refunds.So that refund check you may have been banking on to be there right around now may not be there.Next year the stimulus program will be completely done and states that may have utilized it for balancing their budgets may be cash-strapped and go to this step of holding back your refund.You can prevent this now by reviewing your tax situation today and making the necessary adjustments to your withholding so you don't get a refund next year and potentially face having your money withheld.Interest free I might add.

Here is a story concerning this subject from the USA Today.

States May Hold Onto Tax Refunds for Months
(USA TODAY/March 12, 2010) Residents eager to get their state tax refunds may have a long wait this year: The recession has tied up cash and caused officials in half a dozen states to consider freezing refunds, in one case for as long as five months.

States from New York to Hawaii that have been hard-hit by the economic downturn say they have either delayed refunds or are considering doing so because of budget shortfalls.

“It’s an indicator of how bad it is,” says Scott Pattison, executive director of the National Association of State Budget Officers. “You know things are bad when you have to do that.”

New York, hit with a $9 billion deficit, may delay $500 million in refunds to keep the state from running out of cash, says Gov. David Paterson.

Hawaii’s Department of Taxation says some residents may not see state income tax refunds until the end of August, The Honolulu Advertiser reported. It was part of a plan by Gov. Linda Lingle to deal with a revenue drop-off by pushing costs into the next fiscal period, which begins in July.

States often do not have a timetable for refunds because delays are based on cash flow. Most states typically issue refunds within 30 days.

Delaying refund checks isn’t unprecedented, Pattison said, but it is something virtually no politician wants to do, because taxpayers are owed the money and in most cases want it fast. Delays in paying refunds and other state bills can trigger interest on those overdue payments, depending on state laws, he said.

California’s massive budget shortfall of more than $20 billion last year prompted it not only to delay tax refunds but to issue billions of dollars in IOUs to vendors and others who were owed money. State Controller John Chiang called the delayed payments a “shameful chapter in the State’s history” when the IOUs ended last September.

California still faces budget problems, but Chiang said that revenue is running ahead of projections so far this year, lessening the threat of a repeat.

“Californians should expect to receive their hard-earned tax refunds on time,” Chiang said.

The delays come as some states continue to face deep budget holes, even as economists say the nation as a whole has begun recovery. In a recent report, the budget officers group and the National Governors Association said state fiscal conditions “have continued to worsen,” and that state revenues can be expected to lag one to three years behind a national recovery from recession.

This fiscal year, the report said, 36 states have cut nearly $56 billion in spending, and 30 states have cut funding to public and higher education.

More to come...

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Policy wishful thinking

What's good for the goose is apparently not always good for the gander.At least in the world of Obamanomics.I just finished reading thru the 2010 economic report from the White House council of economic advisors.Christina Romer is the council chair and she likes to play the blame Bush game as much as Obama.Here is a statement discussing the inherited problems.

"All told, the Obama Administration inherited a very different budget
outlook from the one left to the previous administration. Figure 5-5
compares the budget forecast in January 2001 (Congressional Budget Office
2001) with the budget outlook in January 2009 described above.3 In 2001,
CBO forecast a relatively bright fiscal future. After a decade of strong
growth and responsible fiscal policy, the budget was substantially in surplus,
and CBO analysts projected rising surpluses over the next decade, even
under their more pessimistic policy alternatives. Rising health care costs
would squeeze the budget only over the long term, and the retirement of the
baby boom generation was still more than a decade away. The intervening
time could have been used to pay off the national debt and accumulate substantial assets in preparation. But policymakers chose a different path.
They enacted policies that added trillions to the national debt and doubled
the size of the long-run problem. Combined with a deteriorating economic
forecast and technical reestimates, the result was a much worse budget
outlook in January 2009 than in January 2001."

She makes a point that Bush should have payed off the national debt.The whole thing.She didn't say pay it down,she said pay it off.According to her,the only reason Bush didn't pay off the entire thing is policy choices.He could have if he wanted to in his two terms.Now,when it comes to Obama,the rules have changed.Quickly paying down the debt is considered unstable and unwise fiscal policy.Lucky for us,Obama has chosen a long term gradual approach.Here is her quote.

"The actions the Administration has taken and is proposing would
reduce deficits by more than $1 trillion over the next 10 years and by even
more after that. These actions are significantly bolder steps toward deficit
reduction than any taken in decades, and they will face serious opposition by
those with vested interests. Even with these actions, however, the primary
budget is forecast to remain in deficit in 2015. And the longer-run fiscal
problem facing the country still centers on the growth of health care costs
and the aging of the population. Thus, barring a substantial and sustained
quickening of economic growth above its usual trend rate, further steps will
be needed to get the deficit down to the target in the medium and long run."

No longer do we see the urgency to address the debt.Particularly from an administration that prides itself on urgently passing every program it creates.We also have a small discrepancy from the non-partisan CBO on those projected deficits.

"(Reuters) - President Barack Obama's budget plans would rack up $9.8 trillion more debt by 2020, or $1.2 trillion more than the White House has forecast, the Congressional Budget Office said on Friday."

Christina Romer makes the point of stating the deficits will be reduced by more than a trillion in the next decade.She doesn't point out that is ANNUALLY and not cumulatively.All in the eye of the beholder.I just wonder why Bush could have completely eliminated the entire national debt with some policy changes,yet Obama can only hope to keep the annual deficits under $1 trillion dollars each year after a decade of his policies.More to come...

Friday, March 5, 2010

Michigan gets an 'F' for race to the top money

The state of Michigan was bypassed in the first round of the race to the top funding.This is the $4 billion grant program for state education programs.16 states were selected in the first round by a panel using a point ratings system based on the states application.

Michigan sent in their application at the deadline and some wonder if this is the reason we were passed over despite the massive funding issues for education in this state.The MEA,Michigan education association,dragged their feet in signing off claiming they didn't have adequate time to review the application.Finger pointing will be on full display now.The second round application is due on June 1st.

I read the recommendations for the budget.Michigan is a category 2 state meaning the Dept. of Education is recommending our budget request be in the $200 to $400 million dollar range.The Michigan budget request came in at $526,274,787.How about that?Even when we are asking for handout money,we go over budget.I don't know if this was a deciding factor in Michigan being passed over,but you'd think the state would have kept the request in the stated guidelines for the most positive consideration.The reviewers comments and scores will be posted later,so maybe we'll find out at that time.More to come...

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Jobs bill vote exposes the hypocrites

Many argue that there is no practical difference between the 2 parties.The recent flare-up over Sen.Bunning effectively blocking the jobs bill is a prime example of this.Make no mistake,this was all about politics,not trying to deprive the little guy of his unemployment extension.That's the Democrat spin,but it's not what was really going on.

Bunning was absolutely 100% correct in taking the stand that he did and he exposed the other 99 senators as hypocrites.Even though 18 eventually voted no with him,they would not have his back prior to the vote.They just passed the silly paygo rules that Obama wanted to make a show of fiscal responsibility.This was not necessary as they have no constitutional authority to deficit spend anyway,so the paygo pledge is irrelevant.

Bunning was merely forcing the senators to take a vote and go on record as being hypocrites.Senate majority leader Harry Reid made the decision to force this bill thru without debate and he wanted the 100-0 commitment prior to bringing it to the floor to pass it.Obama is also in the hypocrite camp as he has already signed it.

Only a portion of it is "paid" for and this is why Bunning objected.The vote was 78-19.Three didn't vote.All 19 nays were republicans.The bottom line is Bunning got no support from the republicans who let him hang out to dry because their internal focus group polling decided this was a political loser.So much for standing on principle.This whole debacle shows that in some areas,there really is no difference between the parties.If the American voters believe they can simply install republicans back in office this fall and then see a change in our governments spending habits,they are fools.More to come...