Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Bible Trumps The Nielsons

                                                   


Well, the secular world is in a screaming tizzy this week.  Seems a ten hour miniseries about, and entitled The Bible has been winning the ratings war all week.  Broadcast on The History Channel, The Bible has been the most watched program on all of cable for the week.  And on some nights it's been beating out the Big Three programming as well.

This has just frustrated the hell out of non-believers.  Liberal politicians, having nothing else to criticize, raised a ruckus because the devil in the film resembled The Anointed One.  They accused the producers of the film of trying to demonize The Great Obama, savior of the secular and government "suckular" as well.  After all, it is only Big Government who can fulfill the dreams of the masses!  Despite the denials of the producers, liberals just couldn't be mollified.

Most clergymen had no problem with the movie, other than to quibble about some of the biblical history  not receiving adequate dramatic attention.

However, elite academia found the massive viewer following a reason for concern.  "Pure Fiction!" they cried.   "A clear setback for the voice of scientific reason", they lamented.   "It's despicable that a group of people might have an influence on our young...who might defeat everything we've done to rid our schools of allusions to Christmas and Easter and religious folklore!  

Indeed, the Nielson folks were taken aback somewhat by the millions of young Americans who tuned in.  Could it be that these young people are hungry for a spirituality?  Could it be that more and more young people are finding their entertainment icons to have feet of clay?

Well, the academics may stand firm on evolution versus divine creation.  Their scientists may dispute the idea that God created our world.  But sadly, academia cannot dispute the fact that a fellow named Jesus of Nazareth walked the earth some 2,000 years ago.  Though they may dispute his position of "son of God", they can't deny nor decry the words of a humble carpenter.  Those words have endured for over 2,000 years under greater assault than those of 20th century academia.  For it is those words that speak of love, of forgiveness, of compassion for the poor and sick...and yes, even compassion for those too arrogant to acknowledge his grace.

"He is risen....even in the Nielson ratings.




Saturday, March 30, 2013

Hollywood; Hubris, Arrogance, Ignorance

                                                     

From Websters:
Hubris:  Extreme Pride or Arrogance.  Hubris usually indicates a loss of contact with reality and an overestimation of one's own intelligence and capability, especially with a public figure.

Most of us go to a theater, agree to suspend reality for two hours, see a good movie, then walk out of the theater to the real world.  Perhaps three out of ten in the audience are young, impressionable, or suffering from low I.Q.'s, and refuse to return to reality.  Those unfortunates live in the world of music and matinee idols and are so poorly grounded that they elevate their celebrity idols to "golden calf" stature.

In turn, those ephemeral screen and stage idols fall prey to the spell of their "worshippers."  Soon these Hollywood icons, sealed away from their own world's reality, pampered and protected behind security gates and security guards, begin to believe they really do have all the answers, own the only morals relevant to their world, and develop an hubris, an arrogance so massive as to presume they have the supreme knowledge that will heal the world's ills.

So detached from reality they become that their own personal failures; multiple divorces, drug and alcohol addictions, nervous breakdowns, poor career choices have no effect on their own estimation of their self worth.  No matter how massively they fail, they feel qualified to dictate how others should think and how they should live their lives.

And when these fragile icons are challenged they will lash out with the vilest language, the most hateful speech and the most hurtful displays against those who disagree with them.

It wasn't always so.  Our cinematic idols of fifty years ago were trained in their craft by the studios.  The ability to act or dance or project a personality truly mattered.  Many of them even had some standard of morality; some didn't take drugs, or drink themselves to death, or breed so frequently and casually that they didn't develop aids and die at 50.  Most importantly the studios chiefs served as a counterweight, a dual of two egos, which kept the star's ego somewhat in check.  Now, in the Hollywood of today, the star is free to ask for $20 million dollars per film and leave 80% of the movie's importance to the computer geeks and stuntmen who can gin up crash scenes and explosions and animations.

So now we are left with a Hollywood smack dab full of hubristic maniacs who, having played Caesar on the big screen, feel free to step outside Spagos and publicly declare how our government should be run.  We have these cinematic idiots who champion illegal immigration because it provides them a steady source for their heroin and cocaine and a labor pool to clean their pools, make their beds and mow their lawns.

In Hollywood's most recent "flame-out" we have a small army of cinematic action heroes, who made their millions portraying the most violent characters ever to don pancake makeup, condemning Americans who opt to own guns.  Jim Carrey's machine gun in The Mask, Stallone's arsenal of weapons, Pacino's The Godfather...none of this cinematic violence, they believe, could ever have influenced a movie fan to commit violence.  None of the casual death tolls from violent video games could ever affect an impressionable youth or half-brained movie goer.

So Stallone and Carrey says "turn in your guns"....doesn't everyone have a security detail guarding them 24 hours per day?  Doesn't every body live behind the security of gated communities?  

So we have Stallone, who made a fortune making one good Rocky movie and seven bad ones, living off the ill gotten gains of cinematic violence, telling you to surrender your guns.  

Sadly, these idiots go farther in directing how you shall live.  Despite Stallone's and Carrey's and the rest of the Hollywood contingent changing wives as casually as they change their clothes, who live under the cloud of lotus, who spread gossip about a competitor in order to win a favored role, who despise Jesus, even as they portray him on screen (for the right price) will tell those who "believe" are being silly and stupid.

To enhance their public stature these Hollywood icons will leave their $50 million dollar estate,  ride their chauffeur driven limousine down from Beverly Hills, down to a sound stage, and step forward and demand that you send their favorite charity a generous donation from your paycheck.

Or they will drive their gas-guzzling Maserati, or jump into their private jet and fly from Lake Como, Italy to Hollywood and tell you that you need to drive a Prius and give up your own SUV.

Perhaps the winner of the "sad sack of the week" is poor Jim Carrey.  Having failed in every personal relationship he ever had, he is now badly failing at the box office.  His last five years of film making has cost the producers big money as America has become tired of of the rubber face, the dumb slapstick and the worst case of over-acting known to man.

                                                 

So, in a desperate attempt to grab some publicity he releases a distasteful satire of American gun owners.  The little do-si-do, full of hate, but bereft of humor, and performed so badly that he must come out with a public "encore" saying his critics are just gun-worshipping "mother fuckers."

"Hubris" indeed.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Liberal Logic

                                                 


Liberal Logic:

Have you ever noticed that liberals in federal, state, and city government always choose to build a half a billion dollar community theater, a museum, or a performing arts center in the middle of a ghetto?  It's called "urban renewal" and it's done under the theory that you build something grand where nobody wants to live, where the drug trade thrives, and where the crime rate is the highest, you will "invigorate" that ghetto.  And yet, after floating a 30 year bond to build the thing, no one supports it, no one attends events in it because they don't want their car  broken into, or be assaulted, or killed, the grand center runs millions of dollars a year in the red, then taxpayers are expected to pay higher taxes to pay for the millions in annual operating losses!  Brilliant! 

Liberal Logic:  

Vice President Joe Biden, stung by criticism that taxpayers paid over $585,000 dollars for his one night stay at a hotel in Paris, fought back.  Biden said he brought 136 people with him on that trip so the hotel costs was for all of them.  Then some Fox Reporter said "gosh, if 136 people stayed with you, and if you paid $3,000 a piece for everyone to have a hotel suite, you'd still have a couple of hundred thousand dollars left!  But Biden swears he didn't use the mini-bar!

And you know what?  That half a million dollar one night hotel bill is a bargain when compared to another tax payer funded Biden Bennie.  For over twenty years Joe Biden took the Amtrak home every night (he brags about it) from Washington D.C. to Delaware when he served in the Senate.  Amtrak, from its very beginning has been subsidized 10 to 1 by taxpayers, having lost billions over the last two decades.  We've paid millions of dollars to subsidize Biden's Amtrak excursions.

Quote:  Joe Biden: "We don't have a spending problem...we have a revenue problem!"

P.S.  That "Air Force Two" that carried Joe Biden and friends to Paris cost $1.2 million dollars for the single flight.  There was an "open bar" with the booze paid for out of Defense Department funds (Air Force).....last month the Defense Department quit serving hot breakfasts to our troops in Afghanistan, citing the high costs. 

P.S.S.  Update:  Just learned yesterday that Biden has been flying a hugely expensive Air Force 2 every weekend for the hundred mile trip from Washington D.C. to Delaware...as if it couldn't get more ridiculous.

Liberal Logic.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Obama/Reid/Pelosi Grand 2014 Collapse

                                                       


For the last few months we're beginning to see a trend that just might bode well for Republicans in the 2014 mid-term elections.   Obama lost millions of his "brain dead" Kool Aid drinkers when he upped the payroll tax back to the 6.2 percent rate established previously.  Most of us knew the temporary cut was just to put a couple of hundred extra dollars in worker paychecks, enabling him to buy an election using the Social Security Trust Fund.  (And of course underfunding Social Security which is already under assault)

So things weren't so "kumbaya" between Obama and his groupies even before being sworn in to his second term.  Then this month we learned that the average health care premium (already up 25% since Obamacare was signed) is scheduled to increase another 32 percent next year!  The political boards are on fire over these explosive increases.

Then last month all those Obama voters went to their state health care exchanges to sign up for Obamacare, only to thwarted by obsolete IRS computers which must mate with the exchanges but have proven unable to do so.  Even more troubling for the "gravy train" crowd were the rates they are being asked to pay to secure Obamacare.

The next bombshell was released this morning.  Forbes ran a report showing more than 45 million Americans will not get free Obamacare because they do not meet the guidelines.....but you know who does qualify?  Illegal aliens qualify because last week Senator Jeff Sessions, when finding a loophole in Obamacare that allowed illegals to enroll, tried to pass a bill that would bar them from the benefit.  The Democrats in the Senate voted the bill down, not wanting to offend their future voters.

Then this morning Yahoo News ran an Associated Press report that said Medicare is no longer paying for their patients' diagnostic tests!  Now Grandpa and Grandma can't get their PSA or cholesterol tests because Big Government dropped the ball.  It seems that, under Obamacare, Obama wanted to lower the reimbursement rate for these tests and put reimbursement on hold until a reimbursement formula was established.  Problem is, they never wrote them.    So a lot of those old folks who voted for Obama because he said Romney would hurt their Medicare...aren't getting the treatment they need..from Obama!

So, you add em up folks.  Look at all the folks Obama and company has pissed off just since January.  All of a sudden Obama's 2% popular vote victory, a "mandate" Obama crows, has dried up.

Then, the rest of America is scheduled for "the grand wakeup" in the spring of 2014 when prices of both product and services explode, hundreds of services being taxed at higher rates to pay for Obama's free Obamacare for the lifelong Obama tit-suckers.  Tens of thousands of Americans will be paying special taxes when they sell a house, get a tan, or get a heart stint installed.  

I would not be a bit surprised to see Republicans take control of both the House and Senate in the November 2014 elections.  That would stop Obama's socialization program in its tracks...which might, in the end, just save our country from total collapse.


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

America; Sick, Lame...and Lazy

                                                   



I was in the mood for a little numbers crunching this morning.  Frankly, I wanted to to look again at how it was possible for Obama to "buy" that last election.  I already knew a significant number of Americans were dependent on Big Government for sustenance and succor.  But I had no idea how dramatically the numbers have changed since Obama took office.

Let's look at some of those numbers. 

According to the last census there are about 300 million human beings living within the borders of the United States.  Of that number about 80 million are adults.  And what percentage of those adults are "producing citizens and contributing to the general welfare?"  

Let's see:  14 million Americans are unemployed.  Another 16 million Americans are working less than thirty hours per week and are underemployed.  According to a report released this morning from Health and Human Services Americans are now supporting 14 million adults who have declared themselves disabled.  (An astounding 5.4 million increase since Obama took office).  Of those on the disability rolls, HHS reports disability cases associated with "bad backs" and drug-related mental illness represent at least half, making a decision on whether they are able to work extremely subjective.  

Whew!  Okay let's do a sub-total so we don't get confused here.  14 million unemployed, 16 million underemployed, 14 million claiming disability and unable to work.

Okay, so far, out of 80 million working age adults we have 44 million who aren't working for one reason or another, or working so little they can't pay taxes or support themselves.  What about the remaining 36 million working age adults?  

Whoops!  Of the 36 million remaining working age adults,  according to HHS, 15 million on are on welfare.  That leaves 21 million working adults left to pay the bills for everyone else!

Please tell me that's all!  

Nope, it seems that even among the working class, we are having to lend them a hand as well.  Joining the unemployed, underemployed, self-declared "disabled" and the welfare queens, we have working folks being paid so little they qualify for Food Stamps which now includes over 50 million Americans.

Need I be ungracious and mention that, after we send all those great bennies directly to their mail box or direct deposit account, we then pay for free breakfast AND lunch for 77 million children, to include illegals?

Are we done now?

Sadly, no.  To be fair, 7 million of the disabled are retirement age folks.  So let's eliminate them entirely from having working potential.  But then we have to remember that we have an obligation to pay Social Security and Medicare to our retirees.  (funded but already spent by the U.S. government).

Finished?

No.  We forgot to count the 12 to 20 million illegals who have at least one "anchor baby" which makes them elgible for food stamps, WIC, Medicaid and Section 8, taxpayer paid free housing.

Done now?

Sorry, no.  USA Today recently reported that the federal government has over $2 trillion dollars in "unfunded liabilities"; retirement pay for millions of federal employees, 21,000 of whom draw retirement salaries over $100,000 per year!

What can we conclude about all these numbers?  Well, when we see those IRS numbers that says 30 percent of American workers are paying 70% of all taxes, and thus federal benefits, we can now believe it true.

And what do our liberal friends continue to say?  "Tax the rich!"  "Gouge the rich!"  "Raise Taxes Higher!", they scream. And not one Democrat will even allow that, among the 75% of Americans drawing some form of government succor, there just might be some sick, lame...and lazy Americans.

But, hey!  That's who delivered Obama another victory.  And that's who keep the Democrats in power!  That is...until the last few million working Americans finally just give up...and walk in to claim "back problems" and "disability".


Sad.  Damned Sad.

Note:  The numbers and statistics cited here came directly from government sources; the Department of Health and Human Services, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Social Security.gov, the IRS, Department of Agriculture, etc.  I do not "copy" numbers from any blog, political or otherwise, in order to insure accuracy.














Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Comcast Bans Gun Ads

                                                 
Dear Comcast,

I just read last Friday that you have directed that gun commercials will no longer be aired on any of your stations, or on any of your programs.  So you have now joined the Disney corporation in censoring and in deciding what is appropriate material for Americans to see.

Well, let me tell you I believe it's ironic, and so indicative that your managers are simply pointy head idiots, that you would choose to decide you have the right to keep gun commercials from the public eye, but simply can't afford to ban the vulgarity and massive violence displayed in your entertainment programming.

I see nothing of you banning the broadcast of Hamburger Hill, Diehard, Apocalypse Now, or any of the scores of violent action movies you need to bring eyeballs to your screens.  Really, could anything be more phony and wrong headed than your pandering to gun control advocates?

Comcast, if you're so concerned about violence against children, will you also be banning those Black music channels that promote teen sex and gangsta thuggish?

I doubt very much that anyone watches those gun commercials that are aired locally on your stations.  A cheap gun commercial with Billy Bob pimping guns in Dallas, Texas is going to draw far fewer suggestible eyes than Die Hard 1, 2 or 3!  But hey,  ya gotta suck up to special interests, right?  To hell with the 1st or 2nd Amendments!

Well, Comcast manager, I wish I could tell you that I'll boycott you for your effort to censor what I choose to see.  But we don't have Comcast over here, and even if we did I doubt I would subscribe.  I've read your customer service is the worst of all the cable networks.

I do boycott your NBC-Universal network.  But that wasn't because of your policy on the advertising of guns sales.  I boycotted your MSNBC because it is no more than a Russian Style "Pravda" that no longer airs the news but serves as a liberal propaganda machine.  The most recent Pew "Fairness in Media" survey reported that 85% of everything said on MSNBC is liberal opinion, not news.  Oh, by the way, I stopped watching NBC too; stopped watching the evening news when we caught you censoring news reports to favor the liberal viewpoint.  As to your entertainment programming; well guys, I"m sure you already know the latest Nielsons show you are now in 5th place in the ratings.  Even Telemundo beats you in the ratings!

So keep on with the liberal pandering Comcast.  Keep censoring the news and censoring what only you deem appropriate for commercial use.  After all, you have nothing to lose; there are so few now watching your programs how bad can it get?


Monday, March 25, 2013

Filet Mignon; On The Taxpayer's Tab

                                                   
This is Monday morning...and Monday mornings have never been one of my favorite days.   But I am especially saddened this morning.  I am depressed beyond reason upon reading of the hardships our leaders in Washington are enduring as a result of that 2% Sequestration cut in their staff budgets.

Just last week Democrat Debbie Wasserman Schultz was lamenting that her staff may not be getting the nutrition they need after seeing her staff budget cut by 2%.  While most of us might not think such as tiny percentage cut would have any effect, apparently it is tragic.  Staff members have been forced to fore go Filet Mignon for lunch and settle for Porterhouse or T-Bone.  So sad.

Then the next day we learned that Vice President Joe Biden had to scrape by on $585,000 dollars for one night for his hotel in Paris!  No doubt Joe was forced into not using the mini-bar!

Just as I'm trying to get over all of this tragic news, ABC issues a report this morning about taxpayer paid coffee and water for Congress.  It seems Speaker of The House John Boehner spent $2,200 for coffee for his staff in November.  That equates to over $25,000 a year for Starbucks...for one Congressman's staff.  I don't even want to know what the lunch and dinner tabs come to.  Apparently, according to Gannett Investigations, Congress spends hundreds of thousands of tax payer dollars at Starbucks, P.F. Changs, Taylor Gourmet and Dunkin Donuts every month of the year....and keep in mind, they only stay in town three days a week!

ABC also reported that Congress spends over $500,000 a year on bottled water, despite having all those grand marbled water fountains all over Capitol Hill.

Alas, now we learn that Sequestration has forced our fearless leaders to shave 2% of the catering tab.  I understand leaders of both houses are getting ready to appoint a special commission to study the problem and how best to achieve that 2% cut while inflicting the least pain in doing it.

Blue Monday....sigh.

Obama & D.C. vs The States

                                                     
The power struggle between the States and the Federal Government has existed since George Washington's first cabinet.  While the U.S. Constitution clearly delineates a pretty impressive array of states rights,  over the last two centuries the Federal Government has continued to encroach on those states rights.  Most of the power assumed by the Feds has come via the power of the purse.

By the middle of George Washington's first term his two key cabinet officers were at war with each other.  Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton, a great admirer of Britain's governmental system, believed in a strong central government.  Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson greatly feared that the Federal government would place an onerous burden on both the states and their citizens and would garner powers not granted it in the Constitution.  Jefferson believed that the most efficient government was the one closest to the people, whether it be city or state, but certainly not some monarchical leader in Washington far away.

Sadly, for those who believe in the supremacy of states rights, Alexander Hamilton had the ear of Washington, as evidenced by the flowering of the different cabinets.  There were only four cabinet posts in the beginning.  Secretary of War Frank Knox, Attorney General Edmond Randolph, Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson and Secretary of The Treasury Alexander Hamilton.

By 1792 Alexander Hamilton pretty well commanded all of the Cabinet power.  Hamilton had built an "empire" of staff that included over 500 pioneering Washington bureaucrats.  By contrast Jefferson, Knox and Randolph had less than six each on their staffs.

Hamilton ran everything from banking, collecting custom taxes, to overseeing the establishment of the Coast guard, to building light houses on the Eastern Shore.  In commanding so much centralized power, Hamilton set precedents that are troubling the states even today.

And yes, Hamilton did face pushback!  As a matter of fact, the Jefferson-Hamilton feud would soon lead to the formation of the first two political parties.  Jefferson's Democratic Republicans were fighting the overreaching power of the federal government long before our state governors and today's Republican party took up the fight.

If we go back to that first decade of the Republic it is quite easy to see the exact moment when the states "folded" to Washington's power grab.  Quite frankly, it was in the form of a "bribe" from Hamilton.  Hamilton proposed that all of the state colonial debt be assumed by the federal government. The states, failing to see the long term implications of this move, were all too willing to surrender their debt to the feds.  So they did so.

The Hamilton debt maneuver proved to be the "nose under the tent" moment when the feds began to intervene in states rights and states business.  As a result the federal government has grown so monstrously that nearly every facet of our lives are now influenced by the "deciders" in Washington.

And the Obama administration has taken this power grab to a whole new level.  It wasn't enough that Washington pretty well calls all the shots on how our economies are to perform, Washington now assumes the role of "supreme dictator" and telling us who can marry, what number of illegal aliens we must host, what morals we will follow, how our religions shall be organized and mandates what social organizations will be championed or condemned.

When states opt to exercise their constitutional rights Obama trots out a team of lawyers from the Attorney General's office and sues the states into submission.

But, perhaps most onerous has been the resurrection of Washington's use of the power of the purse to cajole and tempt the individual states to accept massive debt burdens in the name of social progress.
Does anyone remember when Lyndon Johnson's War On Poverty programs began?  Congress dangled huge sums of money in front of state noses if only they  would implement Johnson's programs.  But that money came with caveats; follow the dictates of the feds, regardless of whether they worked locally or not.  As a result trillions of dollars in fraud, waste and abuse exist in all of these national programs, run and dictated by Washington.

Then, as the years go by, the states are told they must fund the brunt of the costs for these programs, which leaves the states burdened with huge costly programs that they simply cannot fund.  One only need look at Welfare, Medicaid and Education programs to know this is true.

Now Obamacare is being implemented using the same tactics.  The feds are at least truthful this time:  Washington has promised to pay 90% of the costs of Obamacare for the first three years, then the states must begin paying the enormous costs.  The state of Arizona is kind of a test tube for this problem.  Governor Jan Brewer, like Governor Scott in Florida, has opted to take the Obamacare money and worry about the long term state costs later.  However the Arizona statehouse, under Republican control, is crying foul.   They have all looked at the $5 billion a year costs of Obamacare when the federal "pump priming" money has run out and can't see how they can fund such a massive program on only $10 billion dollars in annual state revenue.

Moral of the story?  Don't let Washington be your "drug pusher".  They get you hooked by giving you free samples, then start demanding you pay up...and pay up big....or they start breaking legs!

Forget "blaming it on Bush"....blame this mess on Alexander Hamilton 220 years ago.!


Sunday, March 24, 2013

Senate Democrats; The Resurrection

                                                   
Like another fellow who was resurrected a couple of thousand years ago,  Senate Democrats have at last resurrected the budget process.  For the first time in four years Harry Reid and company have presented their budget.

It calls for $3.7 trillion dollars in spending and makes no effort to cut fraud, waste and abuse in government programs.  Sadly, since we take in only  $2.5 trillion dollars in taxes, the Democratic budget calls for borrowing another $1.2 trillion from China, and sending our national debt to over $18 trillion dollars.  Oh, and the Democrats want to raise taxes again, this time by $985 billion dollars; this to pay for more monkey sex studies and free cell phones for welfare queens and food stamp cards for illegals.

After seeing how Dems wish to spend it's pretty clear now why they refused to present a budget before the last election.  Even yesterday, Harry Reid held up his hands and showed the holes in his hands, evidence of his own sacrifice on the political cross.  By voting for orgasmic spending increases, Reid's "yes" vote provided cover for four Democrats up for election next year to vote "no".    Seems those with a seat on the line perceived that American voters might frown on still another year of deficit spending.

But that didn't stop the Dems from holding an Easter egg hunt.  Senate pages spent hours hiding little colored Easter eggs before the Senate went into session.  Any Senator who found one of those little colored eggs got to add an earmark to the budget.

Chuck Schumer from New York won a colored egg and added another $30 billion or so for Hurricane Sandy disaster relief.  Feeling generous he peeled off a roll of hundreds and dispatched a page down to the House to give Debbie Wasserman Schultz some extra dough so her staff could again dine on Filet Mignon.  Seems that, in the last couple of weeks, Debbie's staff were forced to eat T-bone steak due to the 2 percent Sequestrian cuts.

So now, the Senators can go home for two weeks in celebration of Easter.  As they exited the Senate Dems were patting themselves on the back for having the chutzpa to finally present and vote for a budget.

Resurrection!  A wondrous thing indeed!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Navigating America's Economic Maze

                                                     
Our nation's economy is a confusing and complex monster which makes it almost impossible to decipher all the many mixed signals thrown off by economic indicators.  Those wizened Wall Street prognosticators do okay with predicting what the growth of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will be this year.  That's because they pore through all the numbers available only to them, then crunch em down and they spit out reasonable guesses.  But figuring out the direction of the overall economy is not as easy.

For example, a profile of our current economy:

Banks aren't doing that well.  They are under pressure from the Dodd-Frank regulations to operate ultra conservatively so as to pass their next scheduled Federal Reserve "stress tests".  When the banks go to banking regulators to query some aspect of Dodd Frank they're given no answers since Dodd-Frank was simply an outline of what the House Banking Committee wanted.  Sadly, regulations under Dodd-Frank haven't been ironed out and Congress, in their infinite wisdom, instituted the program but failed to fund a staff to administer the program.  So banks are stuck in limbo, not knowing which direction to take their banking business.  Shall they invest in Wall Street's recent success?  Will the Feds allow them to?  How much fund reserve must they set aside to comply with Dodd-Frank guidelines?  If they again begin making home loans will they be accused of predatory lending?

So the banks do the conservative thing.  They make few loans.  They hoard their cash.  They borrow from an accommodating Federal Reserve at 0 percentage interest, then buy federal 30 year bonds that yield them 3% a year.  This vicious cycle leaves small businesses scrambling to find loans to start or expand a business (and keeps unemployment high, since they can't hire) and those who want to buy a home out in the cold.

Big Business is doing "just okay" and kind of stuck in the mud as well.  American business is sitting on over $2 trillion dollars in cash, yet aren't investing that cash.  They are fearful of Obamacare and what frightful regulation might be coming out of Washington this month.  So Big Business sits on that huge cash hoard.  Exxon buys Chevron corporate bonds and Chevron buys Exxon corporate bonds right back, so that their cash earns 4% but no new jobs get created and the economy continues to plod along at 2% growth.  Since 6% growth signals a healthy economy our 2% growth leaves the American economy with kind of a low grade fever; you don't feel well but you're alive.

Housing is starting to show signs of life but most of the home sales continue to be short sales or foreclosures..and the housing market hasn't achieved a state of health that would allow under water home owners the flexibility to sell and move where the jobs are.  It seems that, no matter how many dollars the Fed prints it does little to prime the economic pump.  For nearly a year now the Federal Reserve has been pumping $85 billion dollars a month into the economy and has seen little improvement.

During the first quarter of the year Retail has hit a huge bump in the road.  Obama's restoration of the payroll tax to 6% took a couple of hundred dollars a month out of the monthly paycheck and consumers slapped their wallet shut and quit buying.  Walmart recently reported the worst quarter in their corporate history.  Apple's stock price plunged from over $700 dollars a share to a little over $400 a share as even  Iphone and Ipad worshippers quit buying.  Bankruptcies in the Retail Sector are continuing to rise as 120 year old J.C. Penny clings to life and Best Buy is at death's door.  The only sector of retail that continues to do well are those dollar stores.

The Leisure industry is suffering as Carnival Cruise lines can't seem to keep their generators running and their sewage confined to the septic system.  Luxury hotels are offering "motel type" rates in an effort to boost occupancy.  Were it not for the Obama family's rigorous vacation schedule it could be even worse.

Savers aren't doing well either as their rate of saving is less than 1%, which doesn't even keep up with a real inflation rate of 6% a year.  So year after year they see the value of their savings decline by 5% a year.

Perhaps the worst of the current economy is not what is happening now, but what is to come.  When one looks at the value of the American dollar, at first blush it appears we're not doing that badly.  But that's only because the rest of the world's currencies are so much worse.  We just have a little more rouge on the corpse.  In fact, the Fed's orgasmic printing of dollars and the huge amount of American I.O.U's they've issued, and the staggering interest we are currently paying on nearly $17 trillion dollars of national debt, it leaves the American monetary system tighter than the tightest rubber band.  Eventually the tension has to be relieved, and every time that tension goes we begin to experience sky high interest rates and runaway inflation, just as we experienced during the Carter years.

But, thankfully, there is some bottom line rationality to be gleaned here:  Do like Warren.  If you had invested $1,000 dollars with Warren Buffett in 1965 you'd be a millionaire several times over now.
What is Warren buying?  He's buying companies that have some dominance over commodities.  Railroads, coal, solar energy plants (and he's careful to say away from those solar execs who donated to the Obama campaign), steel plants, etc.

And Warren is right.  If you follow only the federal statistics you would think our annual inflation rates are 2% a year.  Yet the price of gold continues to rise, as does oil and coal and iron and aluminum and fertilizers and lumber.  And you need not be a Harvard educated economist to see that we are suffering from 6% inflation.  Every housewife knows it when she walks into Safeway to buy a loaf of bread and a pound of hamburger.

So save your copper pots, your silver dinnerware and your gold jewelry.  If you have anything left after paying 25% higher Obamacare premiums and after paying higher taxes, invest in silver and gold and the hard commodity industries like oil and coal and steel.

Buy what Warren's buying and you just might survive the great Obama economic comeback!




Friday, March 22, 2013

North Korea; The Mouse That Roared

                                                     
In one of Peter Seller's earliest comedies he portrays a royal from a tiny European nation that declares war on the United States.  It seems the small duchy's only source of revenue is a pinot noir wine, and even that comes under duress as the U.S. produces a better, cheaper version.

So, the powers that be decide their only option is to declare war against America.  After all, after defeating Nazi Germany, America spent 15% of their entire GDP on the Marshal Plan which rebuilt Europe.  Japan enjoyed the same American post war generosity.  So, having studied America's benevolence toward those they defeat in war they feel certain by declaring war they'll enjoy the bounty associated with losing a war with America.

For the last half century North Korea has seemed bent on a similar strategy.  Lacking even the basic capability to even feed her own people, North Korea has used the tactic of saber rattling to get our attention.  The two remaining communist countries, Cuba and North Korea, have been fighting it out to see who can produce the most misery for their own people.

Thus, when the rice crop fails, and a few million North Koreans starve to death, the government announces that they're going to test their intercontinental nuclear program by launching a long range missile.  The ground roars and shakes, the rocket is launched and falls impotently into the Sea of Japan.

When things get really bad their "fearless leader" Kim Jon Un (the IV?; all appear to be retarded) declares that he's more than ready to dispatch a suitcase nuclear bomb to the middle of Manhattan and set it off.

After enough grumbling and rumbling the Western powers send the brute a few million tons of rice and grains and manages to keep his communist minions alive on a starvation level diet.

The latest aggression has been the massive cyber attacks on South Korea and the United States.  And we should take this threat seriously.  Coupled with North Korea's export of nuclear technology, at garage sale prices, to folks like the Iranian mullahs, the threat of cyber war is real...and we need to be paying attention....and responding to these acts of hostility.

First of all, let's quit feeding the North Koreans.  People hungry enough will eventually overthrow tyrants who can't and won't feed them.  Secondly, it wouldn't hurt a bit to send Kim Jon Un a little early morning wakeup call with a few tactical strikes at their nuclear facilities.

And, god no, we don't need to start a war of occupation, trying to battle a million man North Korean army.  Just shake em up, bomb their granaries and nuclear sites, then send Dennis Rodman in to negotiate a truce.

Let's kill this mouse before he's able to bring cyber plague to our nation's essential computer networks. And if China utters a single squeak we threaten to empty Walmart of all Chinese made goods.

Problem solved.



Thursday, March 21, 2013

Middle America vs Politicians; Divergent Roads

                                                     
I have to admit to something; I'm a slow learner.  But eventually I will chew on something long enough so that I come to a logical answer to a quandary.  In this case my wonderment has been concentrated on why so many so called conservative politicians have been moving to the left, to a more liberal political spectrum.  Why would politicians advocate for conservative principles for their entire political career, only to abandon those principles in the face of a single electoral defeat?

I refer of course to the new benevolence of Republicans toward illegal immigrants, a new found acceptance of gay marriage and the abandonment of the idea that healthy societies exist only when the traditional family continues to be the cornerstone of community.  And January couldn't come fast enough for Republicans to lay down, spread their legs, and allow Obama to have their way with them as he succeeded in imposing a massive tax hike on the American citizen.

My first thought was that perhaps I am misreading the sentiment of Main Street America!  Perhaps most of America had become "closet liberals" since the mid-term elections in 2010!  Maybe we really did want Obamacare!  Maybe we really did hunger to pay higher taxes!  Maybe those millions of folks that dined on Chick Fil A sandwiches last year just happened to all be hungry for chicken that day!

Then I wandered back to the morning of November 7th and remembered the shock and awe among the citizenry that the worst President in our generation had actually won re-election.   Were people really happy with 8 percent unemployment and 20% underemployment?  Was America no longer worried about a national debt approaching $17 trillion dollars?  Was America, as Obama claimed, giving him a huge mandate to raise their taxes?

 And I remembered all the bitter comments about defeat by those 50% of Americans who opted not to vote!  Even before his second inauguration Main Street turned a deaf ear to Obama's "perty words".  His popularity polls began to sink and his "the sky is falling, Sequestration tour" failed miserably.  And the winter of our discontent became even more pronounced when those who had slept through the election were furious when they took a look at their January paychecks and saw they had lost a couple of hundred bucks in pay through Obama's hike in the payroll taxes.  (Yes, the sleepy citizen, those who bought into Obama's grand lie, and those who didn't even bother to pay attention, those who didn't realize that Obama's cut of the payroll tax was just a means to win re-election; a year long bribe if you will).

So again, my quandary, and my "grand query":  why were Republicans scrambling to abandon conservative principles to curry favor with special interest voting blocks?  Aha!  Said I!  To stay in power!  To maintain their cushy congressional offices and franking privileges and taxpayer subsidized barber shop and gourmet restaurant and lobbyist lunches and paid trips to Europe and all the grand benefits associated with political power!

Sure, we've always had the Republican in Name Only, the RINO's.  But now we are seeing a massive move to RINOism as these so called conservatives scramble to embrace, not what is moral, not what is right, but what is politically correct.

Of course the danger with embracing "political correctness" is that you end up mis-reading the electorate.  And what is politically correct today will surely be something different two years from now.  And then where will these phony politicians be?  Will they get any votes from the liberal left?  Will they get any votes from those 20 million illegals granted amnesty, citizenship and the power of the ballot box?  Absurd to even think so.  Will the gay voter flock to the new "conservatives with a heart?"  I hardly think so.

And yes, as I chew on this grand conundrum,  I continue to ask "has America changed all that much?"
My considered opinion is "no".  As Americans, both those who opposed Obama to begin with, and those "sleepy-heads" just beginning to wake up to the checkbook costs of Obamacare, the bureaucratic minefield they'll be treading through to secure adequate and affordable medical care, will all be streaming toward an alternative; free market solutions in lieu of federal government tyranny over their finances and their personal choices.  And if that is so, where will the American voter find that alternative?  Certainly not the RINO's for they are so closely aligned to the liberal left they pose no alternative choice!

So I chewed and chewed and chewed on all of this...and came to this conclusion.  Come the mid-term elections in 2014 America will still be faced with high unemployment, more deficit spending, they'll be angered beyond belief by the costs of their Obamacare premiums, and they'll be sickened by liberal tyranny!  And they'll begin throwing out the "bums" en masse, Democrats and Republicans both!

America will be looking for "statesmen" and not politicians.  You'll see more Ted Cruz's being elected to Congress.  You'll see more courageous leaders like Rand Paul who'll filibuster for 18 hours for something he sincerely believes in.  And you'll see more apologist RINO's  like John McCain and the other Obama "boot lickers" marginalized and turned out of office..and left wondering what the hell happened.

Obama and his liberal minions won no mandate.  They won because the Republicans put up a RINO for President, a man so wealthy he couldn't connect with blue collar America.  They won through voter apathy as almost half of Main Street America stayed home on voting day.  The Democrats will have no such luck come 2014 and 2016 as the damages of liberal policies begin to hit the American pocket book.

America will be looking for alternatives and the Republican Party would do well not to mis-read what happened in the last election.  Victory will go to those who have stuck to their principles throughout.  The RINO bootlickers, the panderers to special interests will be left out in the cold...as America diverges to a different road.









Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Medicaid "Skin In The Game"

                                                     
Not long ago I was reading an article from the New York Times.  They were reporting on the percentage of doctors who still accept Medicaid patients.  According to the Times, in 2008 73 percent of doctors accepted Medicaid.  In 2012 the number of doctors treating Medicaid patients had shrunk to 63 percent and the rate is still declining.

When surveyed doctors attributed the abandonment of Medicaid patients to a number of factors.  One was the extremely low Medicaid reimbursement rates, as low as $25 dollars for a doctor visit.  The docs say they can't pay their overhead, buy and maintain equipment, pay $200,000 a year in liability insurance and purchase supplies with rates that low.  Many doctors cited the poor Medicaid patient-doctor relationships; patients who routinely abuse drugs, patients who are so obese they develop Type II Diabetes and heart problems and show no willingness to fore go the fast food or make attempts to eat a more healthy diet.  Another survey conducted by the Texas Medical Association in July, 2012 cited the troubling trend of Medicaid patients who fail to keep their appointments.  Unlike Medicare patients who suffer penalties for missed appointments, the federal government forbids doctors from charging Medicaid patients either a co-pay or fines for missed appointments.

Ask any doctor who takes Medicaid and they will tell you that the Medicaid system is abused and "overused".  While the typical family who pay premiums for their medical care, along with co-pays, exercise judgement on when a family member needs a doctor's care, the Medicaid patient consults a doctor for a headache or when little Johnny develops a sneeze, thus putting a great strain on the system.

Note:  While Medicaid beneficiaries are given free dental care as well (unlike Medicare patients), the percentage of dentists who accept Medicaid is even lower; only 40 percent of dentists today are willing to accept Medicaid reimbursement.

Critics of Obamacare cite Medicaid as the prime example of why Obamacare will decimate America's medical system.  Bringing some 30 million more "free ride" Medicaid patients into the system will crowd out adequate care for those who pay the freight with medical premiums and eventually lead to a federal government "single payer" system where Uncle Sam dictates what a doctor and/or hospital will receive in compensation and lead the best doctors and the best hospitals to leave the system and construct a separate "free enterprise, cash only" system which will only be available to the very wealthy.

When one looks at the problem it becomes increasingly clear that if the federal government would just institute some "skin in the game" rules for those on the free medical care gravy train they could stop much of the waste, fraud and abuse in the system.

If seniors, who paid into Medicare for their entire working life,  continue to pay monthly premiums as high as ten percent of their retirement income, and continues to pay for doctor and hospital co-pays, what's wrong with mandating that Medicaid patients at least pay for missed appointments and a $12 dollar co-pay for doctor visits?  It would force those on Medicaid to think twice before burdening a doctor when a couple of aspirin might alleviate the sniffles and headaches.  And it would save the taxpayer a hell of a lot of money!

And if those welfare queens with eight or ten kids were forced to pay ten percent of that $6,000 to $12,000 dollar maternity bill how many would she then deem she can afford to breed?  (Prenatal and birth costs (a nine-month pregnancy typically involves at least a dozen obstetrical checkups) are better discussed as ranges. Because normal pregnancies can result in delivery by cesarean section, a more expensive procedure that accounts for about one-third of all U.S. births, the typical pregnancy costs between $6,000 and $12,000.)

We are now spending $16,500 hundred per year for every Medicaid family...and their "cost share" is zero!  What's wrong with insisting that Medicaid patients put some skin in the game, no matter how small!

We don't need Obamacare.  We just need the federal government, and those on the medical "gravy train" to exercise a little common sense...and spend a few cents as well!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Obama Praises Tuition Assistance For Illegals; Cuts It For Military

                                                     
At least a dozen states have voted to give illegal immigrants reduced rate, in-state tuition rates for illegal aliens who reside in their respective states.  However, out of state American kids, American citizens, continue to be charged double the rate if they choose to come to these states to attend college.

Obama praised this policy, citing the need to bring illegal invaders "out of the darkness", and welcoming them by offering a vast array of generous tax-payer funded benefits.  To the American kids Obama says "go to hell"; you can afford to pay $20,000 more per year than the illegal kid.

Then, this past week Obama upped the ante.  While both state and federal money is going to illegal immigrant education, Obama has cancelled tuition assistance for the military, using Sequestration as the cause.

For those who are not familiar with military tuition assistance I can only offer my own experience.  While on active duty I participated in off duty college classes to get my degree.  It took me eight years going part time to get my BA degree.

But I would not have been able to pay for all those classes without the Military Tuition Assistance Program.  The way the program worked; you went to the base education office, filled out a form that listed the classes you had enrolled in, describing the benefits this education might apply to enhancing the Air Force mission, pledged to pay a share of the tuition fees, etc.  ( I believe I paid 75% of the costs and the Air Force paid 25%) The form would then be signed by your military supervisor and the Director of Military Education, then forwarded to the college registrar.  When you registered for the courses you wrote a check for your part of the tuition, then the college billed the government for the remaining portion.

But now, in a further bout of pique, Obama has told military members that, because of Sequester, Uncle Sam can no longer offer Tuition Assistance to our troops.   That may very well be true.  The TA program probably costs one millionth of one percent of the Defense budget but if Obama says we can't afford it let's take him on his word.

But of course the obvious question is "if we can't afford it for our active duty military how do we afford it for a few million illegals?  And no, the programs to help illegals have not been halted.  Just last week the state of Massachusetts expanded education aid to illegals and last week, the 5th of March, the Colorado legislature voted to give reduced tuition rates for illegals.

Not a word about a reduced tuition rates for all those military grunts at Fort Carson or the dozen other military bases in that state.

A world truly turned upside down.  Sigh.

Monday, March 18, 2013

1.6 Billion Rounds To Suppress Dissent

                                                 
Okay, for the last month we've all read the news reports about the Department of Homeland Security buying a massive amount of ammunition.  1.6 billion rounds to be exact.  DHS executed a purchase order for that amount a few weeks ago.

This caught the eye of most Americans who are still intelligent and alert enough to follow the news.  The rest, the vast majority, most probably those sleepy Obama voters who took both his side and his checks, could care less.

But even among those Americans who follow the news, and who still care, dare not contemplate what Homeland Security intends to do with that much ammo.  Our forces in the Middle East go through 6 million rounds a month, about 72 million rounds a year.  And yes, our military has their own stockpile of weapons and ammunition, not part of the DHS inventory.

So why does DHS need enough ammunition to last 20 years of all out war?  Do I really need to tell you?  It's to be used against YOU, fellow citizen!  Have you not seen enough clues?  Have you not recognized the growing dissent erupting amidst America's tax-paying middle class?  Tax-paying, hard-working, law-abiding middle class Americans are gagging on the fanatical liberalism that has turned the morals and traditional American values on their head!  America is tired of supporting a growing "entitlement class" of folks who have forsaken the work ethic that kept us, well, America!  America is nauseated by the "tyranny of the minority", where we are branded as right wing "nuts", "racists" and intolerant of alternative lifestyles!  America is fearful of our massive national debt!  Americans are tired of the massive illegal invasion and the liberals pandering to them to win political favor!  America is tired of seeing our schools produce illiterate kids and liberal zombies brainwashed by the liberal National Teachers Association.

Yes, America is mad as hell and we're not going to take it much longer!

Obama knows that!  That's why he accused us of "clinging to our guns and our religion".  Attorney General Eric Holder says he is far more fearful of militant Americans than he is of militant Muslims!  DHS Head Janet Napolitano said the same thing.

So the Obama regime is hearing the beat of war drums all across America.  And somewhere up there in Washington, deep in the bowels of the Justice Department, and the DHS headquarters, are secret plans all drawn up in blue binders, and classified TOP SECRET, on how to put down the Great American Insurrection!  Yes, folks!  I'm talking about the 2nd Civil War.  It's coming and Big Government knows it..and they have planned for it...and they are ready for it!

And by the way:   The more weapons they can confiscate from American citizens, the more weapons they can outlaw, the easier it will be to suppress the coming revolution!

I quote again our great founding father, Thomas Jefferson:    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Tit-Sucker's Lament

                                                 

Last Wednesday morning I went over to a thrift shop not far from my home.  I was looking for a used replacement for my old G.E. 60's era toaster.  Just adjacent to that thrift shop is a community food bank.  I've taken cans of soup and boxes of citrus from my trees there on several occasions.  On this particular morning I noticed a Help Wanted sign displayed prominently in the front window of the community bank.

That sign sparked my curiosity.  I walked in the door to the food bank and asked the counter clerk in the little "sorting foray" they have at the front why they would need to solicit volunteers for help when so many are getting stuff for free?  I'm sure I was overheard by some of the dozen or so folks sitting in chairs filling out applications for access to the free food.  The clerk just shook her head; she didn't want to say what she was really feeling.  So I left, still wondering how could it be that, among the thousand or so people who come here every week, that there's not a single one of them who are willing to put in a few hours of stocking shelves in exchange for the free grub.

On further thought I was pretty sure I knew the reason why the only food bank volunteer workers are those who are already working, maintaining a home, raising kids, helping with homework, and still had time to give to their community.  It is what plagues America in all facets of our society.  It is the plague of tit-suckers who can't even comprehend the idea that they should contribute something when they get so much for nothing.  Whether it is three years of uninterrupted unemployment checks, food stamp cards, or a nice welfare check, it is something they feel entitled to without regard to the idea of earning it.

Then, just this morning I read that Hall of Fame Basketball player, and very wealthy Adrian Dantley, is working as a school crossing guard at a predominantly Black school in Maryland.  He earns $15,000 per year and gets his health insurance for free.  The crux of the article was really focused on how strange it is that a man who owns dozens of businesses, and who is one of those rare ones that always managed his millions in player earnings carefully, would be working for fifteen grand a year.  Dantley does it because he enjoys being around kids in his retirement...and I found that admirable and enduring.

But I couldn't  help but chew on the article a little more.  I wondered why this Black school couldn't find a single parent or family member who would be willing to help kids across the street and augment their poverty level income, especially if the job also offered free health insurance!

Then I thought on it a little more and, sadly, it all became clear.  Who, in that neighborhood is going to go out for two hours a day and hold a crossing sign for $15,000 a year when you've already got a welfare check coming each month, and you don't have to stand out in the heat or cold, even if it is for two hours a day.

And the free health insurance that comes with the job no doubt requires an employee contribution and doctor and hospital co-pays.  Who in that neighborhood would be fool enough to take a commercial health insurance plan when you can draw Medicaid where you don't have to pay any co-pays and Uncle Sugar throws in free dental along with it!

Even sadder; when I was a kid, either parents or middle grade students performed crossing guard duties for nothing.  Parents volunteered and felt it was part of keeping their children safe.  Middle grade students volunteered to do it because it made them feel responsible and "grown up".  Oh, and you did get a free .25 cent lunch ticket on the following school day!  But of course that was back in the days when government wasn't giving 70% of all students free breakfast and lunches.

Ah, the plague of 100 million American tit-suckers.  Far too important to stock food bank shelves and far too important to heft a 6ft crossing sign for a couple of hours a day....even for pay!

Sad.  Damned Sad.



Friday, March 15, 2013

Beware Of What Big Government Promises

                                                       
The following is not a "pity me" story.  It is offered simply as a cold, rational assessment of the level of trust you can expect from Big Government and politicians.   It's not even a personal story; it's the story of a million Vietnam era vets for whom the U.S. government betrayed.  Those naive enough to believe that government will "take care of you", or for that matter, even honor contract law, should read this and come to your own conclusions.

When I sat at my Air Force recruiters desk, preparing to sign my enlistment contract, I held a little pocket pay chart.  My jaw dropped a bit when I saw I would be making $68.00 per month, far less than I was making picking grapes and mowing lawns.   Hoping that it might get better as I rose in rank I noticed mid level sergeants, with families, were making $200 dollars per month.

My recruiter just smiled and said, "don't sweat the small stuff son",  "we make less than civilian, but get  a load of the benefits!".  If you're man enough to make a career in the military, look at those medical bennies!".  The contract read "Free Medical For Life".

Well, truth be told I signed with the Air Force because the army draft was hot on my trail...and who knows, someday I just might need that huge "medical bennie".

And each time it came time to re-enlist my career counsellor always offset the "less than civilian" pay by emphasizing that "free medical for life" clause in every contract.

And even after many years of off duty college study, and subsequent officer commission, I was making about $600 dollars per month while managing a large work force and millions of dollars in resources.  About a third of what my civilian counterpart was making.

And so after 22 years in the military, three tours in Vietnam, two in South Korea, I finally retired.  During my retirement briefing I was told I could walk into any military hospital and be treated, at no charge, except for any meals I consumed.  Whew!  Well that's going to be important to my wife and I now, said I.

Then, my masters, the U.S. government closed hundreds of military bases, as well as their hospitals.  "Sorry", says the Air Force, we don't have enough beds to accommodate  military retirees.  Sorry, says Congress...but you still have the VA hospitals, and if you're willing to start paying premiums we've got a program for you called Tricare.

So, I began to pay premiums for that "free healthcare for life".  And I still had the VA hospitals, right?

Wrong.  About twenty years ago the VA said "look, we're just overrun with a few million vets we put through the grinder during Vietnam.  We can't handle all of you anymore".  So the VA began "means-testing" VA care.  The last time I checked if you make over $24,000 a year you're not eligible for VA care.

So I've been paying my TriCare medical premiums, and my doctor co-pays and my hospital co-pays and making sure my coverage didn't lapse, leaving me without any form of medical care.

And now, I have just received a letter from my local Social Security office.  It announces that I am now officially in the Medicare pool, no longer a military beneficiary, joining my fellow citizens in worrying how I'm going to fare as doctors begin dropping Medicare patients due to the Obamacare cuts to the Medicare program.  The letter is my official "drop dead" from a government that paid me "less than civilian wages" but "remember the bennies".

So, as nearly as I can figure, I'm no better off than anyone else who never served in the military.  And, truth be known, I am far worse off than the 30 million additional Medicaid patients Obama just added to the free medical and dental rolls under Obamacare.  They pay no co-pays and have the advantage of free dental as well!  Which is all good until they too are told "sorry, we just can't afford it anymore...the Chinese have stopped buying our trillion dollar annual deficits.

Moral of the story:  The U.S. government is the only agency in America allowed to violate contract law.  They can fool all of the people half the time...they can fool half the people all of the time...but they can't fool all the people all of the time.




Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Amazing 24-month Deficit Diet!

                                                       
What would you folks say if I told you I could eliminate the trillion dollar annual federal budget deficits in 24 months?  What if I said those ten year deficit reduction plans are silly and un-serious and not grounded in reality?

And, to sweeten the pot, what if I told you that Uncle Sam gets to keep every wasteful government program they now fund....and still achieve balanced annual budgets year after year, without a penny of further government borrowing?

What if I promised that every street prostitute, every drug dealer and every personal and business tax cheat in the nation would finally be paying their fair share of taxes?  Sound good?

What if I tell you that you need ever again file a Form 1040 with the IRS?  That you need not buy TurboTax or hire a tax preparer to file your taxes?  What if I told you that you can stop paying personal income taxes on day 1?

How do I do that?

First of all,  I would implement a national sales tax of 15 percent on everything sold in the U.S., except for food or prescription drugs.  Further, to offset the undue hardship of this tax falling on the poor, I would rebate all sales taxes paid throughout the year for every family with a gross income below $36,000 per year.  I would accomplish this by allowing poor families to submit a "Schedule F" documenting sales tax paid using their sales receipts, and receive a check back from the IRS for all sales taxes paid throughout the year.

Is this a national sales tax a novel idea?  No.  Former Presidential Candidate, and billionaire business publisher Steve Forbes has advocated for either a flat tax or national sales tax for twenty years!  Former Arkansas Governor and Presidential Candidate Mike Huckabee also promoted the idea of a national sales tax.

Why eliminate the income tax in favor of a national sales tax?

In January 2012 the Internal Revenue Service conducted a study on tax fraud.  That study revealed that every year the U.S. government fails to collect nearly $400 billion dollars in tax revenue through tax fraud, under reporting or non reporting of taxable income or failing to file taxes at all!  However, they offered the caveat that their estimate may be off by a trillion dollars a year in lost revenue.

The IRS now employees 100,000 full time, highly paid government employees at a cost of $12 billion dollars per year.  Go with a national sales tax and you could reduce that work force, and the accompanying costs by fully one third.  Without having to accomplish costly audits and litigate income tax disputes, without having to conduct tens of millions of tax reviews, the IRS budget could be slashed dramatically!

Upset that American vice is conducted tax free?  A sales tax would eliminate that.  A tax free "whore" would pay that same fifteen percent that you do every time she buys a tire, a dress, or six inch stiletto heels!  The illegal drug trade does hundreds of billions of dollars of business every year in America, and all tax free!  A sales tax would insure those wealthy drug dealers would pay out the nose when they bought their Maserati's, or luxury yacht, or Armani suit!

Concerned that 20 million illegal Mexicans may be working for cash under the table and paying no taxes on their income.  Ta Da!  Instant tax collection every time they bought a six pack of Modello or Dos Equis, or four of those fancy spinning silver rims on their big SUV!

Tens of millions of Americans work for cash, or just refuse to file their taxes and go on without being caught for a decade or more!  Slam that 15% sales tax on em and make em pay up like everyone else!

Just imagine Uncle Sam taking in an extra trillion dollars a year in tax revenue, currently lost through fraud!  This time next year that annual trillion dollar deficit would be gone!  Yes, gone, without having to cut a single wasteful government program!

So why won't the government do it?  Well, they've considered it many times.  But they can't seemed to think clearly with those 10,000 Washington lobbyists whispering in their ear!

Sad.  Damned Sad.




Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Barack Obama; "Prince Charming"

                                                       
After three weeks of "screaming wolf" over Sequestration, and having concluded his month long "Republican Demonization Tour", Obama came back to the capitol last week and is "making nice" with Republicans.  Last week he dined with key Republicans at a posh D.C. bistro, then the next day had Paul Ryan over for a tuna salad and chicken noodle soup lunch.

This week he's deigning to travel down Pennsylvania Avenue, to the capitol building and will share sweet tea and split pea soup with the Speaker of the House and other "grandma killers" from both the House and Senate.

Forgive me my skepticism but I just can't help but think that his polling staff took a look at that 9 point drop in his popularity polls and figured his  Sequestration "the sky is falling" tactics didn't set well with Americans.

So, Obama has, for the first time in four years, decided to exert a little executive leadership, descend from the Presidential throne, and hear what the peons have to say.

Is he sincere?  Well, frankly we won't know that until his next appearance at an NAACP convention.  If he stands in front of Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton, et al, and begins speaking in ebonics about "white devils" you'll know his "charm crusade" was simply a ruse.  Conversely, if he begins to admonish Blacks for their 75% one parent households, and their 12 percent of the populace consuming 43% of every welfare dollar, and if he challenges Al and Jessie to march down the streets of South Side Chicago to protests last year's 516 street murders in that neighborhood, we just might be seeing "the new Barack".

Pardon me if I reserve judgement until he actually puts numbers to paper about what entitlement cuts he's willing to make.   I'll also want to see if, after that huge tax on the wealthy he got in January, if he's still coveting more hundreds of billions from the Middle Class.

He could really "seal the deal" if he would plant a size 12 shoe right in the center of Harry Reid's rear-end, tell that Black chick from Texas to remove her red ten gallon hat when in the Capitol rotunda and tell Nancy Pelosi he's cutting funding for that $15 million dollar rat preserve in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco.

All "princely ideas".  :)


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

I've Got Some Bad News...And Bad News

                                                     
I've been anxiously waiting for this week to arrive.  This is the week that the Democrats will present their first budget in four years, supposedly "pre-blessed" by President Obama.

To get an early jump I've been scouring investigative reports from the Wall Street Journal and Washington Post.  I also looked over on the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) site in order to glean some insight on what's coming.  After gathering all the intel on the Dems I then re-visited Paul Ryan's budget plan.

And folks, I've got some bad news....and bad news.

It seems the "bare bones" Democratic budget calls for spending $46 trillion dollars over the next decade.  And, yes, that figure represents a huge increase in spending, not cuts.  To illustrate, for the last few years Obama and company has spent $3.6 trillion dollars per year and that's $1.1 trillion dollars more than we are taking in with tax revenue.   In the last four years we've added $6 trillion to the national debt (counting the nearly one trillion dollar stimulus bill passed in 2009, Cash For Clunkers and the HARM program to write off bad home loans).

Now the CBO has run the numbers out for the next ten years and, with the costs of Obamacare, Washington, under the new Democratic budget guidelines, will be spending $4.6 trillion dollars per year through the year 2023.  Assuming we don't have another recession, we might be able to produce a 2% Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth.  With the 2% GDP growth we'll be spending $2.1 trillion dollars per year more than we take in.  Sadly, that increases the national debt from the current $16.5 trillion to over $26 trillion in the red by 2023.

And sadly, the other bad news is the Ryan Budget...yeah, the one that liberal Democrats says will push old people off the cliff.  Ryan's ten year budget calls for federal spending of $41 trillion dollars over the next ten years, just $5 trillion dollars less than the Democratic budget plan!  The Republican plan does not cut a single dollar of federal expenditures; it merely cuts the rate of spending growth!

Now folks, I'm going to ask you to go up in the attic, open up that old box of college texts, and pull out Samuelson's "Economics 101".  That basic economic text will tell you that, when the government soaks up the nation's supply of capital, business growth will be anemic to non-existent.  As the government, which is always given the most preferential borrowing rates, crowds out loans for business, you can expect an economic recession.  Worse, as we saw during the Carter years, you begin seeing 20% annual inflation and 18% home loans.

And yes, it can get far worse:  China now holds over ten percent our national debt, over $1.1 trillion dollars in our federal bonds.  (Last year China told us to get straight on the budget or they would quit buying American debt, then sold $500 billion of government bonds just to show us they were serious!)
Budget gurus at The Economist and Reuters say that, if China and Japan stop buying U.S. government bonds, America could expect to see Banana Republic type inflation and interest rates.

20th Century America last experienced 20 percent inflation rates during the Carter presidency.  During those years the economy was stagnant, unemployment soared, home buying was nearly non-existent and life was pretty miserable as soaring prices put a lot of folks on a Ramen diet.  Older folks living off of their savings saw their buying power reduced by 60% as their retirement dollars were eaten up by inflation and a lot of Alpo was eaten by senior citizens during those years.

Could the next ten years be worse than that?  Well, consider this; during the Carter years our national debt was less than $1 trillion dollars.  There was still room for the feds to maneuver and manage the debt.  We are now scheduled to hit the $20 trillion dollar debt mark in 2016...and will have maxed out that big national "credit card" called Uncle Sam.

So folks, choose your bad news.  As the Dems and Republicans currently fight over a 2% cut ON THE INCREASE OF SPENDING for this year, and less than 2% of one year's budget,  both parties should be asking how they'll pay the bills when 63% of every tax dollar will be going just to pay the interest on our national debt come 2016!

Get ready folks.  When our creditors stop buying our debt you can expect more pain than the cancellation of White House tours, furloughing some teacher's aides and fish inspections in South Carolina.

Pardon me.  I've got to go.  I feel a migraine coming on.





Monday, March 11, 2013

Entitlement Hubris

                                                       
Back when President Franklin Roosevelt signed Social Security legislation it was inherently understood that American workers would contribute a stated amount each month to fund a retirement account that would supplement a senior's basic needs after their working life was over.  When Medicare was approved for seniors a similar charge, or tax, was assessed each week from a paycheck.  These "paid up front" programs are valid "entitlements" because they were paid for by the worker.

Unfortunately, when Lyndon Johnson implemented his Great Society Programs it created a totally new "entitlement class".  Those programs, purportedly meant to end poverty in America, unfortunately created a different class of "poverty"; the poverty of the American work ethic.

And Congress were willing participants...and why not?  Doling out trillions of dollars in welfare, WIC, food stamps, free Section 8 government housing, free minority scholarships is a great way to buy votes!  It was at that point that Congress began calling the great government give-a-aways "entitlements".

However, unlike Social Security and Medicare, these daring new entitlement programs did not require a single dime from the beneficiaries of these programs.  Indeed, they were more generous than that!  It became entirely possible to live off one or more of these new "entitlements" without the need to even look for a job.  And, just as Social Security and Medicare pensioners feel "entitled" to a pay back for their contributions, the welfare queens feel equally "entitled" though their sole contribution to our society was reckless "breeding".

So Washington has now created a "petri dish" of victimhood from those who have no guilt about not working, and have become accustomed to receiving their "entitlements".  The logic of this entitlement thinking is quite astounding.  Millions of Black folks feel "entitled" because someone they were related to 150 years ago were slaves and they'll be damned if working Americans now don't owe them a lifetime on the American gravy train.

After witnessing the gravy train passing them by, many of the White race said "what the hell", and climbed aboard.  Women were free to breed, men were free to breed and walk away from child support as the government stepped in to feed, medicate and educate the tens of millions of "one parent orphans".

Soon, Congress, recognizing a winning hand, broadened the scope of benefits.  American workers are not only taxed on their work but must now pay higher utility rates to fund "poverty discounts" for those who won't, don't work, or game the system by not reporting their income.  Soon after, Big Government told the phone companies that they too must assess a federal tax on your phone bill to provide free cell phones to tens of millions of Big Government tit-suckers.    And when that wasn't enough Congress passed tax laws that further sweetened the pot.  Now, if you're willing to breed half a dozen children you receive a huge Child Tax Credit check directly from the IRS.  How's that for encouraging a work ethic?

But even that wasn't enough!  Remember that big Social Security fund that held trillions of dollars in the Social Security account?  Well, first Congress and Lyndon Johnson confiscated those funds to pay for the explosion of spanking new welfare benefits, with the cost of the Vietnam war thrown in!  Was that enough?

No, sadly not.  The next claim on the Social Security fund went to poverty level green card immigrants.  If I may apply an example:

My wife began working forty years ago.  Now a Social Security recipient, she draws $700 per month.  From that amount, the government takes out $105 per month to pay for her monthly Medicare premiums.  However we know many immigrants who immigrated to this country ten or fifteen years ago.  Some worked, some didn't.  Some of those who worked didn't report their income.  Some went on welfare immediately.  None of them paid into Social Security or Medicare.  However, these same senior immigrants are drawing Social Security SSI (poverty level needy) checks of over $1,000 dollars per month, have free Medicaid (not Medicare) and pay no monthly fee for it, nor any co-pays.  These immigrants are further enriched by having their dental care paid for while no such program exists for Americans who worked a lifetime in this country.

I dare any of you to now walk into a Social Security or Welfare office anywhere in America.  You will find the office packed with illegal immigrants who are applying for benefits in the name of their anchor baby; deemed an American citizen by right of an illegal invasion and a taxpayer funded birthing in an American hospital.

Ahh, the new America...a fiscally and morally bankrupt America...where everyone is "entitled", regardless of effort.  And now the Social Security and Medicare funds are broke, its trillions of dollars stolen by politicians and given to the "entitled"

And as Congress prepares to cut the budget, both Republicans and Democrats speak only of cutting Social Security and Medicare....and not a peep about the trillions being spent on those who never contributed a single dime....Viva free cell phones!  Viva the new Food Stamp cards that can now be used to buy fast food!  Viva Obamacare to an additional 30 million!....and death to seniors who paid the bills for fifty years.

"Entitlement" indeed.