Unicorns and Rainbows – Part 3

The typical Progressive Liberal confuses me, and quite frankly, I think they are confused as well.  What they say and do are so contradictory to a rational line of thinking leaves me with multiple WTH moments.

This is the third installment of the series.


The Progressive Liberal seems to have a soft spot in their hearts for the poor, the downtrodden, the unemployed.  They have spoken of their undying support to “help” the unfortunate among us.  While this is a noble sentiment, the Progressive Liberal seems to be at odds with what they promise and what they deliver.

Since the Johnson administration declared a “War on Poverty” in the 1960s, has there been much change?  Billions have been spent on this “war” and poverty is still in the United States.  Yes, the rate has risen and fallen over the years, usually tied to the strength of the nation’s economy, but it has not fallen below 11% from the data I have been able to find. 

The billions of tax dollars has been spent for jobs training programs (for those who sign up for them), and Welfare/Medicaid programs.  Over the years, there has been on/off requirements for people who sign up for Welfare enroll in jobs training and drug tests to weed out those people who are not serious in turning their lives around.  Depending on who was in elected office, those requirements were either enforced or removed, and the Welfare roles declined or increased accordingly.  Please note that relaxing the requirements was usually done in the name of compassion.  Remember this last statement…

Likewise, the unemployment rate has also risen and fallen with the strength of the economy.  When the economy is strong, the unemployment rate is low.  Likewise, when the economy is weak, the unemployment rate is high, and the unemployment benefits are at record levels.  Also note that with the last downturn in the economy, employment benefits were extended to a record 48 months (4 years!).  Unemployment rates are dropping, but with the way the data is gathered, it isn’t known if people are finding new jobs or are just dropping off the unemployment roles & not getting new jobs.  With the economy as sluggish as it is, I would think it is the latter.

We now find ourselves in an economy that is barely (and I mean barely) growing.  And what do the Progressive Liberal politicians want to do in the name of compassion (among others)?

Embrace the undocumented worker!

In a time of where Americans are unemployed or underemployed, the Progressive Liberal political elite wish to welcome and legitimize the illegal aliens that are in this country, and encourage others to do the same. 

This is madness!  This is insanity!  Not only will this take away job opportunities for Americans, but increase the burden upon the Welfare system when these people cannot find jobs! 

Yes, I have heard the arguments that these people will do the jobs that Americans will not do.  I have heard the pleas that these people are looking for a better life for their families and themselves.  Fine – I agree to some extent – but let them come in legally!! 

The reality of the above is to keep people on Welfare and dependent upon the Progressive Liberal for their sustenance, and to introduce another class of people into the world of depending upon the Progressive Liberal for their livelihood.

Ironic Lesson

Note:  By no means am I against people who have no other means of support to receive government assistance.  I am, however, against the pond scum who make it their mission in life to scam the system to receive my taxpayer dollars for their livelihood & make no attempt to better themselves nor to earn an honest living.

More in Part 4 of “Unicorns and Rainbows.”

Cyprus in the US?

I know that the following will probably nominate me for induction into the Tin Hat Society.  If so, then so be it…

Events from the past couple of weeks concerning the European Union’s economy concerning Cyprus have left me uneasy at best.  The Government of Cyprus has decided a one-time tax (i.e., legalized confiscation) of funds from any account over 100,000 Euros is necessary to raise funding to secure a 10-Billion Euro bailout package from the European Union.  Cyprus is the latest country to have financial problems, joining Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Italy.  Between you and me, this is only a temporary stopgap – I truly believe that the European Union experiment is imploding.

I look at the state of our economy, and that of the failure of our Congresscritters to pass budgets & responsibly spend our tax dollars, and find myself not only disgusted, but downright frightened.  With the national debt approaching the $17 Trillion mark without a viable budget proposal being agreed upon, I wonder about the safety of our savings and pensions.

Of course, many of you will poo-poo the idea of our government seizing our assets to pay off the national debt like what Cyprus is doing.  Folks, I will tell you right now that I believe that the groundwork is being laid to do just that.  Consider the following:

The ObamaCare legislation authorizes the IRS to confiscate funds directly from your accounts if you do not have a health plan that meets the requirements of the ObamaCare mandate.  This has been upheld by the Supreme Court because ObamaCare is now classified as a tax.

The Supreme Court has already heard cases concerning Eminent Domain which state that private property can be seized and used for the public use.  I can fully see where these laws & decisions could be used and extended to bail the government out of the financial mess that generations of irresponsible Congresscritters have put us in.  After all, the government is for the public good, right?

And what property would that be?  Our 401Ks, Regular & Roth IRAs, and any investments that we would have.  I have it on good authority that the politicians are salivating at the billions of dollars tied up in the tax-deferred savings accounts, and would love nothing more to get their hands on that money to fund whatever special project they have.

Oh, by the way, there is something called the Sixteenth Amendment, which give Congress (via the Internal Revenue Service) the ability to collect taxes.  Congress will write the legislation to cover both the eminent domain and the tax angles.

Now at this point, people would start screaming bloody murder, stating that such confiscation would be illegal, and violate their Fourth Amendment rights.  The Fourth Amendment states:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Haven’t any of you been paying attention to what is happening to the Second Amendment?  If the politicians are able to circumvent one of our Rights, what makes any of you think that they will stop at just that one, especially if there are huge sums of money involved?  In addition, the Supreme Court won’t stop it – they didn’t with ObamaCare, and with the Court constantly looking across the world to “improve” their legal decisions, I wouldn’t count on them to uphold the rights of the People.

This is where it is important to let your respective Congresscritter know that:

  • The Constitution and it’s Amendments are not to be circumvented by short-termed, self-serving legislation, which includes the Second and Fourth Amendments.
  • A budget must be passed to address, eliminate, and prohibit deficit spending.
  • A budget must be passed to address and eliminate the National Debt.

If any of your Congresscritters are unwilling to commit to the above, then it’s time to replace them with someone who respects and supports the People and the Constitution of the United States.  Remember:

The purpose of the Constitution is to limit what the Government can do to the People, not to limit what the People can do to the Government.

It’s up to us, the PEOPLE, to keep our elected officials in line.

Deadly Denial–Part 2

This is the second post in a series that hopefully will show that sticking our collective heads in the sand is not conducive for not only our health, but the health of our country.

“We need doctors, we needs scientists, engineers. We need all those people involved in government, not just lawyers…I don’t have anything against lawyers, but you know, here’s the thing about lawyers…I’m sorry, but I got to be truthful…got to be truthful – what do lawyers learn in law school? To win, by hook or by crook. You gotta win, so you got all these Democrat lawyers, and you got all these Republican lawyers and their sides want to win. We need to get rid of that. What we need to start thinking about is, how do we solve problems?” – Dr. Benjamin Carson, 2013 National Prayer Breakfast

I would hope that no one reading this finds the above surprising in the fact that our elected officials are not problem solvers.  Indeed, all one has to do is look at the antics of the politicians in Washington DC concerning sequestration understand that these folks are problem creators more than anything else.  Legislation to solve a “crisis” is now the hallmark of Congress creates more problems that what that legislation was originally to resolve.

We have all watched with more than a cursory interest in the pains of the funding of Social Security, Medicare & Medicaid, and it seems that every couple of years that there is a threat of these programs going under unless additional legislation was passed to continue funding the programs.  And there are many people that have bought into the premise that the government would take care of them.  To which I wrote:

To rely on the government for anything long-term is stupidity at best and insanity at worst. – Equal Diversity

Doesn’t one ever think that Congress, among the thousands of hours spent crafting various bills and laws, come up with a solution to fund these programs without having to revisit the funding of these programs under a crisis situation?

Now I do realize that Congress is tasked, by law, to propose and vote upon a yearly budget which should include the above programs.  Except that Congress has not passed a budget in close to four years, and this is in violation of the Constitution.  The consequences of such fiscal irresponsibility has been the constant raising of the debt ceiling and the lowering of the credit rating of the United States.

Initially, the raising of the debt ceiling doesn’t sound so bad except that it means that Congress can borrow more money that will eventually need to be paid.  With interest.  Which is kicking the can down the road farther until that road runs out.

Lowering the credit rating means that the interest at which Congress can borrow money becomes higher, which increases the amount of money that will need to be paid.  This means that not only is the road running out, but the end is coming faster.

One-half of Congress and the Administration have a solution – raise taxes. The other half of Congress wants cuts in governmental spending.  The Obama compromise is to do both (sequestration).  Taxes have already been raised.  Here’s what the cuts look like, and the Congresscritters are having fits.

BCA-Chart-Revised

Now mind you, the cuts that are being talked about are a drop in the bucket when compared to the amount of deficit spending that Congress runs up every year.  And for those uninformed, deficit spending is spending more money than what is taken in.  But that doesn’t stop the fear-mongering sky-is-falling rhetoric by the Administration or by the Congresscritters.

From the post Congressional Fiscal Malfeasance:

We, as a country and as individuals, are now being bombarded by visions of gloom and doom that the “fiscal cliff” is coming, and that Congress must act or the sky will fall.  Never mind that it was these clowns that created this situation and the situation that created the financial meltdown in the first place (read the post “The American Dream or Nightmare?” for an in depth background).  And isn’t it highly suspicious that although this situation was pending, very few politicians or news outlets brought it up until after the election?

I have no doubt that the political parties are playing political brinksmanship with this “crisis’ in order to score political points with the electorate.  I also believe that both the Republicans and Democrats have had their talking points & strategies in place long before now… 

No, we do not have problem solvers in Congress, nor do we have honorable public servants in the halls of our Government.  We have people with personal agendas that are contrary to not only the best interests of the People of the United States, but of the country itself.  To quote Dr. Carson from the passage above:

“We need to get rid of that. What we need to start thinking about is, how do we solve problems?”

Any solution, any response to the sequestration should include some if not all of the following bullet points:

  • A plan to reduce deficit spending from the current levels to zero within the next ten years not covered in the points below 
  • Reduction or elimination of non-essential functions or departments
  • Elimination of duplicate departments (ex. Do we really need multiple law-enforcement departments such as DHS, FBI, ATF that engage in turf wars and overlapping responsibilities?)
  • Aggressive prosecution of waste and fraud within the governmental agencies, and those who benefit from it.
  • Removal of programs that cost money instead of saving it (the new projections of the spending on Obamacare show that this legislation will cost billions more than it was promoted to save)
  • Rewriting of the tax code to be fair for all (individuals and businesses), instead of increasing penalties for earning more (i.e., flat tax)
  • Elimination of foreign aid to hostile regimes – our enemies should not receive our tax dollars
  • Reduction of foreign aid to friendly regimes – we need the money here to resolve our financial crisis before giving it away

The final bullet point is stopping something that Congress likes to do to legislation passes by previous Congresses – changing the laws.  Congress needs to make a long term plan, pass the legislation to support it, and don’t change it.

No individual or business can remain viable if the country they are residing in is in a financial crisis.  Jobs are tentative, benefits to those who need them are reduced, and businesses will go out of business.  If you don’t believe me, look at the riots in Greece and France over losses of jobs and benefits, and perhaps you will see the future of this country if Congress doesn’t get the country’s financial house in order.

If our elected officials of either party do not enact legislation solving the financial ills of this country, then I propose We the People give them this:

 

hlg-layoff


Cross-posted to Wise Conservatism

Kicking the Can–Again!

I really, really like Michael Ramirez –

Our politicians did not do anything to solve the fiscal cliff during the last-minute, middle of the night negotiations.  In fact, all they really did is kick the can down the road again.

The politicians created this crisis over a year ago, sat on it, and true to a previous post, political brinksmanship was fully in force with both parties of both Houses of Congress and the President weighing in on resolving “the crisis”.

What a load of horse manure!!

The Republicans caved with the “promise” that the all important spending cuts would be addressed later.  The details of this debacle are:

They won Obama’s signature on $1 trillion in cuts over a decade after using the debt limit as leverage, but were forced into a humiliating surrender a year ago after trying to block an extension in payroll tax cuts. And in the last major act of the 112th Congress, they were forced to swallow legislation that contained next-to-no spending cuts, raised tax rates on the wealthy while keeping them even for the middle class and boosted deficits by an estimated $4 trillion over a decade.

And now, the newly enfranchised Congress will begin by raising deficits. National flood insurance legislation to help victims of Hurricane Sandy will create slightly more than $9 billion in red ink if it passes as expected on Friday (it did – Tom). A follow-up disaster aid measure that Boehner has said will be brought to a vote on Jan. 15 would add $27 billion — more if the bill grows, as seems likely, after it is reconciled with a $60-billion Senate version.

Meanwhile, the national debt climbs higher and higher for another two months (when Congress will address the issue – again!).  And I have no doubt that yet another set of political Band-Aids will be enacted to temporarily fix this upcoming issue (from Townhall.com):

Legislation passed this week to avert the “fiscal cliff” could still leave in place deficits averaging more than $900 billion a year over the coming decade if Congress fails to follow its tax increases up with further spending cuts or tax hikes, the nonpartisan scorekeeper for Congress said Friday.

The Congressional Budget Office also says the measure should reduce the risk of recession this year by not slamming the economy with a huge tax increase.

The CBO issued a study in August predicting a $10 trillion deficit over the next 10 years if Congress simply followed existing tax and spending policies instead of following the laws that threatened a combination of automatic tax increases and spending cuts.

This weeks’ cliff law would cut $700 billion to $800 billion from CBO’s 10-year, $10 trillion deficit estimate. But it also leaves in place across-the-board spending cuts that would cut more than $1 trillion from the budget over that time.

Somehow, I don’t think that various Congresscritters are going to allow spending cuts to their favorite programs…

No, it’s going to be more of the same BS with the same result – more taxes, more spending, more debt, and a lower credit rating for the United States.  And we’re going to be in the situation below, only worse:

We’ll be in an inner tube or treading water before long.

End of the Year Wrap-Up

This is my usual view of the events of the past year.

GUN CONTROL

The past few weeks has been trying for many people in light of the tragedy in Newton, Connecticut. The loss of so many young ones at this time of year is especially heart-wrenching.

However…

Many people (especially the politicians) are taking a simplistic approach of how this horrific act could have been prevented. Take away or legislate away all firearms. Wrong thought…

Crime has been made illegal. That hasn’t stopped robbery, rape, & murder, has it?  In fact, there are parts of our major cities that the police don’t visit either because it’s too dangerous even for them.

Gun free zones haven’t made those places any safer either.  In fact, I think they are more dangerous for the wackos that want to spill blood in a bid for fun, glory, and/or whatever other sick thoughts they have.

And speaking of wackos & guns, I’m reminded of these statements made in my 2nd Amendment post:

Owning a weapon carries responsibilities. Quite frankly, there are people who should not even be near one because they are not responsible or mentally mature enough. Owning a weapon does not mean you should be able to strap one on & go out and play policeman. This is where careful licensing through education and the demonstration of qualifications is necessary.

Remember, guns don’t kill people. It’s the people who use guns that kill people. A gun is an inanimate object just like a knife, hammer, or screwdriver. It’s how it’s used and the person using it that makes the difference. And that is called personal responsibility.

I’ll make the politicians a deal – If the United States will go without one year of killings, robberies, and other crimes, I’ll give up my guns, no questions asked.

FISCAL CLIFF

Another manufactured “crisis” from our politicians that has an effect on everyone in the United States and beyond.  Our elected leaders kicked this can down the road for another year so everyone could say they did something without doing anything & still had time to hit the campaign trail.  Of course, the committees that were supposed to meet and resolve the “problem” didn’t, so now the last minute negotiations, arm-twisting, and posturing is in high form.  I’m not impressed…

David Limbaugh had this to say:

The budget debates essentially boil down to the Republicans’ desire to return the nation to financial health vs. Obama’s desire to use the government’s taxing and spending powers as tools to remake America in his image rather than to facilitate economic growth or balance the budget.

Before you write off my comments as unfairly partisan, I ask you to ponder Obama’s major negotiating demands. He is insistent, is he not, on increasing tax rates and reducing deductions for higher-income earners, even though it’s an objective fact that Obama’s plan to raise taxes on just a small percentage of Americans would not generate enough revenue to make a significant dent in our nation’s deficits or debt. He has to be demanding this change, then, for other reasons. I can think of none, other than his idea of fairness, by which he means punishing the rich, even if it won’t improve the economy or our fiscal picture.

Further, he has stubbornly resisted meaningful spending cuts and has absolutely continued to dig his heels in over GOP efforts to reform entitlements to avoid our nation’s impending financial meltdown.

I see the following possibilities for “resolving” this “crisis” –

  • A deal will be struck that largely involves kicking the can further down the road, and the politicians will be slapping each other on the back & shaking hands like their old buddies.
  • No deal, and the politicians will blame each other for the deadlock.

At no time do I expect that a full resolution to the “crisis” will be reached.  And if, by some miracle, there is any kind of resolution, you and I will pay for it in one way or another.

OBAMACARE

Part of the reason for the Fiscal Cliff will be how ObamaCare will be implemented.  The 2700 pages of legislation only provides a framework for how the Health Care is to be enacted.  That’s right – the details still need to be worked out by Congress, the Department of Health & Human Services, and the Internal Revenue Service (among others).

Some aspects of ObamaCare are known – things such as penalties, fees, and such – but for the most part, no one really seems to know what services are to be provided.  That appears to be a moving target, and that leads to a degree of uncertainty.  Which brings us to…

THE ECONOMY

Quite frankly, the economy is dismal.  With the implementation of ObamaCare (both known and unknown factors), companies are rethinking their entire hiring and retention strategies.  We are already seeing companies laying off or cutting back hours that their employees can work.  And the Unions are starting to pay attention, although not in the way you would think…

UNIONS

As many of you know, I used to belong to the UAW.  It was both good and bad, but the mindset of the Unions is that the companies that employ them exist solely to provide the Union Membership benefits and pay no matter how detrimental the terms of the contract are to the company.  They often see a company as a bottomless pit of money and benefits.  For instance –

Hostess declared bankruptcy earlier this year, citing (in part) the unwillingness of the many Unions to renegotiate contracts that would allow the company to continue business.  The Unions responded that mismanagement of the Company put them in a financial bind, and that one Union refused to any further concessions.  So now 18,500 Union members are out of work.

Way to go…

WRAP UP

That’s it for now.  What were your top issues of the year?