Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Compare national spending and debt with your own

Remember the outcry stemming from S&P's down grade of the US credit worthiness? Well, let's have a closer look (Note: These figures are several days old. The Numbers are worse today.):

Current status:
• US Tax revenue: $2,170,000,000,000
• Federal budget: $3,820,000,000,000
• New debt: $1,650,000,000,000
• National debt: $14,271,000,000,000
• Recent budget cut: $38,500,000,000
Now drop 8 zeros and pretend it's your household budget:
• Annual family income: $21,700
• Money the family spent: $38,200
• New debt on the credit card: $16,500
• Current outstanding balance on the credit card: $142,710
• Total budget cuts: $385
When it is broken down like this, it makes it easier to see how much trouble we are in!
Our huge public debt ultimately reflects our lack of individual restraint. But we can do better. — Lawrence W. Reed

Government is the only enterprise in the world which expands in size when its failures increase. — Janice Rogers Brown, Associate Justice, California Supreme Court

My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government. — Thomas Jefferson

The multiplication of public offices, increase of expense beyond income, growth and entailment of a public debt, are indications soliciting the employment of the pruning knife. — Thomas Jefferson, letter to Spencer Roane, 9 Mar 1821

Americans have been spoiled by a generation of extravagant federal spending made possible by an orgy of irresponsible borrowing. Now the party is over and the pain of long-lasting and unpopular austerity must come. — Zach Bogue, US Army veteran

Everyone wants to live at the expense of the state. They forget that the state wants to live at the expense of everyone. — Frederic Bastiat

The budget should be balanced; the treasury should be refilled; public debt should be reduced; and the arrogance of public officials should be controlled. — Cicero (106-43 BC)

People look at me and say, "What are you talking about, Joe? You're telling me we've got to go spend money to keep from going bankrupt?" The answer is, "Yes, I'm telling ya." - Joe Biden, US Vice President and economic idiot (No wonder we're in such trouble!)

It's the Democrats whose position is that the only problem in Washington, D.C., is the peasants aren't sending enough cash in for the king to spend. — Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform

We have allowed our nation to be over-taxed, over-regulated, and overrun by bureaucrats. The founders would be ashamed of us for what we are putting up with. - Dr. Ron Paul, Congressman

Would you be willing to give up your favorite federal program if it meant never having to pay the income tax again? — Harry Browne
We need smarter voters.

Check out a more detailed version of the US Debt Clock.

Glenn Beck interview with Michelle Bachmann

Monday, November 28, 2011

The wealth gap

I'm puzzled by all this talk about the wealth gap.

On one end of the spectrum, we have creative people who produce new products and services that people are willing to pay for, people who are willing to invest their own time and money to get those products and services into the market, people who invest in themselves by getting a good education, and leaders who can put all that together to create wealth.

On the other end of the spectrum, we have people whose knowledge, skill, and motivation are saturated by the act of opening a can of beer or filling out an application for public assistance.

Is there a gap? Yup. A big one. But the gap isn't simply wealth.

Most of us are somewhere between. We who are in between don't have what it takes (sometimes it includes luck) to be in the upper crust, but we're far too motivated to be on the bottom. We get along fine, so long as the government stays out of our lives and doesn't foul up the economy.

For some bizarre reason, there are those (represented by the likes of "Occupy Wall Street" selfish, childish protesters) who feel that this spectrum of wealth is unfair, that wealth must be taken by force from those who have earned it and "redistributed" to those with no motivation or talent.

I have earned my place in the economy. I have two college degrees. I have considerable technical training in my field of employment. I have a good job. But, I have not done what it takes (including being lucky) to rise to the top as did Bill Gates or Warren Buffet. Financially, I've had some tough times, but with the support and sacrifices of my wife, I got through them. In the end, I have what I've earned and I'm satisfied with that.

As a follower of Jesus, I give at as much time and money to charity that I feel I should and can -- far more than the national average -- and even more than typical liberals and Democrats. I am deeply annoyed by those who give less than I do, yet demand that the government force me to give more -- especially to support those who are societal parasites -- not truly needy.

So, somebody, please tell me why is the so-called wealth gap unfair?

What is unfair is that the current tax code is designed more to manipulate the behavior of Americans than to raise money to run the government.

What is really unfair is the claim that the wealthy are not paying their fair share in taxes when half of American households pay no income taxes at all! These people have no skin in the game when it comes to taxation. They have everything to gain in voting for more taxes on the other half to pay for their own government handouts.

More than a wealth gap, what we have is a morality and character gap. Half of this nation has no morals or sound character. Fix that, and the wealth gap will shrink significantly.

Monday, November 21, 2011

First families and Secret Service secrets

I've heard many stories over the years from coworkers who flew Air Force One, coming into regular contact with the first families. Wild Bill for America confirms how the presidents and their wives treated the military and law enforcement.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Another demand for federal intrusion

Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government’s purposes are beneficial… the greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well meaning but without understanding. — Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis
At Penn State University, Jerry Sandusky, a former assistant to longtime football coach Joe Paterno, has been indicted with 40 charges related to the child sex abuse of eight boys over 15 years. One of the victims was as young as 7. Many of the alleged offenses took place on the Penn State campus. Paterno and University President Graham Spanier were fired because trustees felt they did not do enough to alert law enforcement authorities after an alleged assault by Sandusky in March 2002.

Now enters a courageous Utah woman named Elizabeth Smart. As a 14-year-old girl, Miss Smart was the victim of kidnapping and months of child rape. She was finally rescued and appears to have gone on to live a remarkably healthy life, although I suspect she still suffers deeply from her ordeal.

Today, in response to the Penn State scandal, Miss Smart called for the president of the United States to declare a national emergency to rescue children who are victims of sexual abuse and exploitation.

There is no question that those who abuse children -- especially sexually -- deserve harsh penalties. But, I disagree with Miss Smart that the President or anyone else in the central government has a roll in this issue.

The US Constitution gives authority to the central government to deal only a couple of crimes. Child or sex abuse is not among them. The Tenth Amendment clearly states that all powers and rights not specifically delegated to the central government are retained by the States and the People.

If we, the People, expect to ever regain control of the central government, we all must stop demanding Congress and the President fix every problem for us.

I admire Miss Smart's strength after the horrible crime she suffers from. Instead of asking the President declare a national emergency (which only enables the central government to grab even more unconstitutional power), I suggest she lead a campaign to address the issue with state legislatures and governors nationwide. That is the appropriate level to address this sort of crime.

Be very careful what you wish for, Miss Smart. You might get it.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Congress vs Gun Rights

"A person’s rights are best secured by conceding the very same rights to every other person under the same jurisdiction." — Balint Vazsonyi

"For something to truly be considered a right, it must apply to every member of society equally." — Timothy B. Lewis of the Constitutional Freedom Foundation

The Domestic Violence Offender Gun Ban, commonly referred to as the "Lautenberg Amendment" to the Gun Control Act of 1968) prohibits possession of a firearm or ammunition by persons convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence or who are under a restraining order for domestic abuse. This legislation was passed in 1996 by an overwhelming majority of Congress, including a self-described defender of the Constitution named Orin Hatch.

Of course, I heartily condemn domestic violence and I support appropriate punishment for those who are convicted of such a cowardly crime.

However, I object to this law for the following reasons:
▪ Most of the powers of Congress are listed in Article 1, Section 8 of the US Constitution. The 10th Amendment clearly warns that the central government has no authority beyond what is specifically delegated to it by the Constitution. Therefore, the central government has absolutely no authority or right to stick its nose into the vast majority of criminal acts – especially domestic violence. Nearly all crimes are matters of State or local law – never national!
▪ The central government has absolutely no authority or right to distort and abuse the commerce clause in order to regulate who can possess arms.
▪ The central government has absolutely no authority or right to distort and abuse the commerce clause in order to regulate the purchase of arms or ammunition by any person from any seller within their own State. That clearly is a local or intrastate transaction -- not an interstate transaction!
▪ The "Lautenberg Amendment" violates Article 1, Section 9 of the US Constitution ("No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.") in that it retroactively punishes non-felons for relatively minor crimes committed prior to enactment of the Lautenberg bill.
▪ Congress is specifically restricted from regulating the use and ownership of arms by the Second Amendment. There is absolutely no loophole allowing Congress to restrict arms for those convicted of domestic violence or any other crime or otherwise regulate arms in any way.
▪ The prohibition against the free exercise of a constitutionally-enumerated right is an extreme (cruel and unusual) punishment for a misdemeanor. If a crime is so severe as to warrant the termination or suspension of a constitutionally enumerated right, it certainly should be severe enough to warrant a felony conviction.
▪ An assault is an assault. To make the punishment more severe simply because the victim is a family member (or a person of another race -- so-called hate crime) is, again, cruel and unusual.
▪ Parents have been convicted for simply spanking their own children. Americans have even been convicted for intrafamily verbal confrontations with no physical contact!
▪ The "Lautenberg Amendment" potentially affects every soldier, police officer or any other person who has, or will have, a conviction of domestic violence.

The "Lautenberg Amendment" is only a few words of many thousands of pages of federal law, regulation, and policy which are outside the authority given to the central government through the Constitution.

As an elected official of the United States, every member of Congress took an oath to " and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same....." By voting for the Lautenberg Amendment (and most other legislation) nearly every member of the Senate violated their own oath – including a self-described defender of the Constitution from Utah named Orin Hatch.

The right to arms of all non-felons must be restored by immediately repealing the Lautenberg Amendment. This is bad law!

Congress must immediately reverse this egregious Congressional crime against the people of the United States!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Saving children is extreme and radical!

Some of the States are trying to enact constitutional amendments that say human life begins at conception

Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), chair of the Democratic National Committee, said Thursday that this effort is "an extreme and radical step."

Apparently, in her tiny little mind, 42 million induced abortions per year (most of which are performed because the pregnancy is merely inconvenient for one or both of the parents) is not "extreme and radical." She apparently believes that ending the practice of legalized child sacrifice on the altar of hedonistic secularism is not "extreme and radical."

If secularists like Debbie Wasserman Schultz can believe that life on Earth started with a single cell, why won't they believe that each human life starts with the union of two cells in the womb? But, they won't. In fact, because they don't respect life, Debbie Wasserman Schultz and her fellow abortion advocates have endorsed and enabled more human death than Attila the Hun, Genghis Khan, Hitler, Lenin, Mao, Pol Pot, and Stalin combined!

A mother's womb should be the safest possible place for a child of God. Sadly, due to people like Debbie Wasserman Schultz, it is not. Can there possibly be anything more "extreme and radical" than killing the most innocent among us -- an unborn child, fresh from heaven -- to atone for the behavior of his or her parents?
A person's a person, no matter how small! (Dr. Seuss, Horton Hears a Who)
Is there not any behavior that embarrasses or shames us Americans anymore?

Some argue that keeping induced abortion available and legal saves the lives of many pregnant women. But, consider this: Abortion is 100% fatal for the child regardless of whether the abortion is legal!

I belive in a woman's (and a man's) right to chose. I also belive she (and he) must accept and live with the concequences of her (his) choices. After making a choice that gives them an unwanted result, they do not have a right to chose the result of their bad choice. Surely, consenting adults understand that a natural consequence of sexual relations is pregancy. Those who are not willing to live with that consquence have a moral obligation to chose and behave in a way that eliminates all posibility of pregancy. Those who chose to behave in a way that results in pregnancy must live with that choice -- not destroy the result of that choice. Abortion is most often nothing more a safety net for irresponsible behavior. We no longer teach or advocate responsible behavior.

There's nothing extreme or radical about efforts to protect unborn children. The instant a sperm fertilizes an ovum, that cell has a different and unique genetic make-up from any of the mother's tissues (or the father's) making it a different and unique and separate individual person from the mother. It is not, as abortion advocates claim, merely a lump of tissue. A woman's time to make the choice is before conception, not after she has created this new life!

I'm reminded of a story I heard many years ago. An Indian boy asked his grandfather, the old tribal chief, "What is the conscience?" The old chief replied, "The conscience is a three-cornered stone inside the heart. Every time you do something wrong, that stone turns and makes the heart hurt. If you do lots of bad things, you eventually wear off the rough corners of that stone and you no longer feel pain in your heart for doing wrong."

That is what we have done in America. We have destroyed our own consciences with regard to nearly every moral issue. Our nation is filled with men and women who
...walk in the vanity of their mind, having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. (Ephesians 4:17-19)
Debbie Wasserman Schultz is just one more piece of evidence that poltics today is not a struggle between Democrats or Republicans or between liberals and conservatives. Politics today is a struggle between good and evil.

There must never be a compromise with evil. A compromise with evil only moves the people farther in the direction of evil and away from the good. Very few of the "good" politicans and voters understand or care about that very simple truth.

We have the government we deserve. We need smarter and wiser voters.