Sunday, June 28, 2009

Obama wants to strip my Health Care Benefits

MSNBC is reporting that Obama (who has thoroughly and without any hope of ever retrieving them lost the use of honorifics from yours truly) has:

left open he possibility Sunday that President Barrack Obama might pay for his health care overhaul by taxing employer-provided health insurance.

Which fundamentally means that he is actively trying to strip my health care benefits.

I work for a small technology consulting firm, we have less than 10 folks in total.  I do not see any possible way that my company could continue to provide cost-effective health care for me and my family if Obama and the brilliant brain-deads which we currently are calling Congressmen.

I call them all brain-deads because even Jon McCain, the so-called “Republican” Senator of Arizona is proposing a new tax on health benefits much like the one which Obama wants to use to strip me of my health insurance.

But I digress, the point is that my company would inevitably have to drop my health insurance (and/or fire a person or two) rather than actually pay this tax.

I’m sure that my boss will try to come up with a solution. After all, solutions are what we’re paid to devise, but it’s kind of insane to think that we’ll continue the level of benefits that we have if he’s having to pay an excessive amount of taxes on it.

But of course, the Liberals WANT that. If they can force more and more small businesses to stop being able to offer affordable health-care to their employees, then that’s just more schmucks that have to feed at the public trough.

Not I though.

My wife would not like it, but if my boss was forced to drop our insurance, I would start paying into my HSA again, and pay cash for any medical needs before I suffer at the hands of a Federal Health Care system.

I Lied Last Night

In the post yesterday evening I told something of a fib. Mainly that I didn’t know what the Liberals were thinking when they claimed that the Cap-And-Trade bill was a good idea.

The sad thing is that I know exactly what they’re thinking, and exactly how they’re duping large numbers of people into believing in it, and more or less all of their messages and programs and attacks against the economy.

They’re trying to make things “easy” for everybody. They’re trying to make the government into this massive big-brother which watches all, knows all, and decides what is best for all.

Freedom be damned, because it’s not about freedom. Sure, on things they like, they’re willing to turn a blind eye. They’ll find all sorts of new “rights” in the Constitution, and in the process will “get out government out of the bedroom.”

But the important things? Our livelihoods. Our ability to keep the money which we work hard to earn? No, they want control of that.

They want you to look at all these good ideas they have. All these plans and programs which look great on paper, but have faltered and screwed up, and turned out like the old Soviet Union time and again.

How long will it be before we have our own Tiananmen Square massacre because some college students got uppity enough to demand freedom?

The Liberal/Progressive out there wants you to judge him or her based upon the goodness of their idea. Not the potential end result, or the end result of other programs like it in the world.

They offer free health care, and don’t mention that it will end up just like Medicare.

They wave this magical wand to lower the world’s temperature by less than a tenth of a degree over the next fifty years, but tell you to not pay attention to the massive costs in raised energy prices and loss of jobs.

They talk about wealth redistribution, and evening the playing field, forgetting the fact that most Congressmen make more money than most of their constituents.

They talk about the horrors of the common citizen owning guns, but fail to report that time and again it has been proven that the more access the general populace has to weapons, the less violent a city is (compare crime statistics of Chicago with its draconian gun control laws and basically all of Florida with its rather open definition of the Castle Doctrine).

Conservatives/Libertarians/Constitutionalists just cannot go up against that. Are offer of smaller government, less intrusive government falters when we don’t offer the pretty shiny penny to go along with it.

Forget that our concept means that you get to keep dollars that you earn.

You see, the Progressives have realized a simple truth. They can keep power by offering people money. What do they care where that money comes from, from their point of view, it’s the governments.

Whereas a Conservative sees it as the populace’s money which the government has sucked from the economy and those able to build true wealth.

There’s a fundamental disconnect with a Conservative’s message in this day and age. Conservatives believe that a person must make it on their own. They have to stand up and try and succeed. They have to have the knowledge to make informed and good decisions, and that they have the right and responsibility to do so.

And that’s not easy to take.

Especially if you’ve lived off the government for years upon years of your life.

But there it is, and fundamentally that’s the choice the between progressives and conservatives. Do you want government controlled (tyranny) and easy, or freedom and hard.

For me, that choice will always be an easy one; for no matter the hardships, I choose my freedom.

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Saturday, June 27, 2009

A Sad, Sad Day

Well, Thursday evening was, at the “Cap-And-Trade” bill was passed in the House.  What is saddest is that there were 8 so-called Conservatives (at least they get a little “R” next to their name) who voted FOR this bill.

Those Republican Representatives are:

  • Bono Mack (CA) (202) 225-5330
  • Castle (DE) (202) 225-4165
  • Kirk (IL) (202) 225-4385
  • Lance (NJ) (202) 225-5361
  • LoBiondo (NJ) (202) 225-6572
  • McHugh (NY) (202) 225-4611
  • Reichert (WA) (202) 225-7761
  • Smith (NJ) (202) 225-3765

Now, one may wonder why it is that I despise this particularly bill. After all, the Democrats promise us that it’s ever-so-important in regards to the environment.

What the Dims don’t want you to know, is that this bill will be responsible for raising that cost of energy by thousands of dollars.  And that price tag is even before you factor in the jobs that will be lost, and the 1.6 Trillion dollar price tag attached.

In effect this is a massive tax on every person in this country.

But of course the Liberals don’t want THAT to be the sound bite. They tell everyone that the Businesses pick up the bill. That the “Cap and Trade” in question here are just fines and fees levied against businesses.

But that belays the most obvious thing that any business owner will tell you:

 Businesses do not pay taxes.

It’s simple. They don’t. They never have, and they never will. Anything that comes their way that is labeled as a tax or a fee or a fine, is merely passed onto the consumer. It’s part of the price that you pay for any good or service.

Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying or ignorant. Or both.

But it gets better, those folks who know these things—and I’m including the greenies here –state that this bill will influence the environment by less than 1/10th of a degree in 50 years.

Yes, our “fair” leaders have seen fit to saddle us with massive debt, a program which encourages the wasteful spending of states such as California, and passes that burden onto more fiscally conservative states (such as Indiana) and one which seems to be designed to drive businesses overseas.

They will be driven to counties which produce more “greenhouse” gases than we do, and by driving our businesses to them, they will see no real reason to stop producing the gasses which get an environmentalist’s panties into such a bunch.

In fact, this is what the Heritage Foundation has defined as the end result of this bill if it manages to pass the Senate:

  • Compared to no cap and trade, real GDP losses increase an additional $2 trillion, from $7.4 trillion under the original draft to $9.6 trillion under the new draft;
  • Compared to no cap and trade, average unemployment increases an additional 261,000 jobs, from 844,000 lost jobs under the original draft to 1,105,000 lost jobs under the new draft; and
  • Peak-year unemployment losses rise by 500,000 jobs, from 2 million under the original draft to 2.5 million under the new draft.

By 2035 the bill will:

  • Reduce aggregate gross domestic product (GDP) by $9.4 trillion;
  • Destroy 1,145,000 jobs on average, with peak years seeing unemployment rise by over 2,479,000 jobs;
  • Raise electricity rates 90 percent after adjusting for inflation;
  • Raise inflation-adjusted gasoline prices by 58 percent;
  • Raise residential natural gas prices by 55 percent;
  • Raise an average family's annual energy bill by $1,241; and
  • Result in an increase of $28,728 in additional federal debt per person, again after adjusting for inflation

Why anyone thought this was a good idea is beyond me, but I guess that’s why I’m a Conservative.

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

"We the people are coming."

Republishing this letter from The Smallest Minority, just because it rocks.
I'm a home grown American citizen, 53, registered Democrat all my life. Before the last presidential election I registered as a Republican because I no longer felt the Democratic Party represents my views or works to pursue issues important to me. Now I no longer feel the Republican Party represents my views or works to pursue issues important to me. The fact is I no longer feel any political party or representative in Washington represents my views or works to pursue the issues important to me. There must be someone. Please tell me who you are. Please stand up and tell me that you are there and that you're willing to fight for our Constitution as it was written. Please stand up now. You might ask yourself what my views and issues are that I would horribly feel so disenfranchised by both major political parties. What kind of nut job am I? Will you please tell me?

Well, these are briefly my views and issues for which I seek representation:

One, illegal immigration. I want you to stop coddling illegal immigrants and secure our borders. Close the underground tunnels. Stop the violence and the trafficking in drugs and people. No amnesty, not again. Been there, done that, no resolution. P.S., I'm not a racist. This isn't to be confused with legal immigration.

Two, the TARP bill, I want it repealed and I want no further funding supplied to it. We told you no, but you did it anyway. I want the remaining unfunded 95% repealed. Freeze, repeal.

Three: Czars, I want the circumvention of our checks and balances stopped immediately. Fire the czars. No more czars. Government officials answer to the process, not to the president. Stop trampling on our Constitution and honor it.

Four, cap and trade. The debate on global warming is not over. There is more to say.

Five, universal healthcare. I will not be rushed into another expensive decision. Don't you dare try to pass this in the middle of the night and then go on break. Slow down!

Six, growing government control. I want states rights and sovereignty fully restored. I want less government in my life, not more. Shrink it down. Mind your own business. You have enough to take care of with your real obligations. Why don't you start there.

Seven, ACORN. I do not want ACORN and its affiliates in charge of our 2010 census. I want them investigated. I also do not want mandatory escrow fees contributed to them every time on every real estate deal that closes. Stop the funding to ACORN and its affiliates pending impartial audits and investigations. I do not trust them with taking the census over with our taxpayer money. I don't trust them with our taxpayer money. Face up to the allegations against them and get it resolved before taxpayers get any more involved with them. If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, hello. Stop protecting your political buddies. You work for us, the people. Investigate.

Eight, redistribution of wealth. No, no, no. I work for my money. It is mine. I have always worked for people with more money than I have because they gave me jobs. That is the only redistribution of wealth that I will support. I never got a job from a poor person. Why do you want me to hate my employers? Why ‑‑ what do you have against shareholders making a profit?

Nine, charitable contributions. Although I never got a job from a poor person, I have helped many in need. Charity belongs in our local communities, where we know our needs best and can use our local talent and our local resources. Butt out, please. We want to do it ourselves.

Ten, corporate bailouts. Knock it off. Sink or swim like the rest of us. If there are hard times ahead, we'll be better off just getting into it and letting the strong survive. Quick and painful. Have you ever ripped off a Band‑Aid? We will pull together. Great things happen in America under great hardship. Give us the chance to innovate. We cannot disappoint you more than you have disappointed us.

Eleven, transparency and accountability. How about it? No, really, how about it? Let's have it. Let's say we give the buzzwords a rest and have some straight honest talk. Please try ‑‑ please stop manipulating and trying to appease me with clever wording. I am not the idiot you obviously take me for. Stop sneaking around and meeting in back rooms making deals with your friends. It will only be a prelude to your criminal investigation. Stop hiding things from me.

Twelve, unprecedented quick spending. Stop it now.

Take a breath. Listen to the people. Let's just slow down and get some input from some nonpoliticians on the subject. Stop making everything an emergency. Stop speed reading our bills into law. I am not an activist. I am not a community organizer. Nor am I a terrorist, a militant or a violent person. I am a parent and a grandparent. I work. I'm busy. I'm busy. I am busy, and I am tired. I thought we elected competent people to take care of the business of government so that we could work, raise our families, pay our bills, have a little recreation, complain about taxes, endure our hardships, pursue our personal goals, cut our lawn, wash our cars on the weekends and be responsible contributing members of society and teach our children to be the same all while living in the home of the free and land of the brave.

I entrusted you with upholding the Constitution. I believed in the checks and balances to keep from getting far off course. What happened? You are very far off course. Do you really think I find humor in the hiring of a speed reader to unintelligently ramble all through a bill that you signed into law without knowing what it contained? I do not. It is a mockery of the responsibility I have entrusted to you. It is a slap in the face. I am not laughing at your arrogance. Why is it that I feel as if you would not trust me to make a single decision about my own life and how I would live it but you should expect that I should trust you with the debt that you have laid on all of us and our children. We did not want the TARP bill. We said no. We would repeal it if we could. I am sure that we still cannot. There is such urgency and recklessness in all of the recent spending.

From my perspective, it seems that all of you have gone insane. I also know that I am far from alone in these feelings. Do you honestly feel that your current pursuits have merit to patriotic Americans? We want it to stop. We want to put the brakes on everything that is being rushed by us and forced upon us. We want our voice back. You have forced us to put our lives on hold to straighten out the mess that you are making. We will have to give up our vacations, our time spent with our children, any relaxation time we may have had and money we cannot afford to spend on you to bring our concerns to Washington. Our president often knows all the right buzzword is unsustainable. Well, no kidding. How many tens of thousands of dollars did the focus group cost to come up with that word? We don't want your overpriced words. Stop treating us like we're morons.

We want all of you to stop focusing on your reelection and do the job we want done, not the job you want done or the job your party wants done. You work for us and at this rate I guarantee you not for long because we are coming. We will be heard and we will be represented. You think we're so busy with our lives that we will never come for you? We are the formerly silent majority, all of us who quietly work , pay taxes, obey the law, vote, save money, keep our noses to the grindstone and we are now looking up at you. You have awakened us, the patriotic spirit so strong and so powerful that it had been sleeping too long. You have pushed us too far. Our numbers are great. They may surprise you. For every one of us who will be there, there will be hundreds more that could not come. Unlike you, we have their trust. We will represent them honestly, rest assured. They will be at the polls on voting day to usher you out of office. We have cancelled vacations. We will use our last few dollars saved. We will find the representation among us and a grassroots campaign will flourish. We didn't ask for this fight. But the gloves are coming off. We do not come in violence, but we are angry. You will represent us or you will be replaced with someone who will. There are candidates among us when hewill rise like a Phoenix from the ashes that you have made of our constitution.

Democrat, Republican, independent, libertarian. Understand this. We don't care. Political parties are meaningless to us. Patriotic Americans are willing to do right by us and our Constitution and that is all that matters to us now. We are going to fire all of you who abuse power and seek more. It is not your power. It is ours and we want it back. We entrusted you with it and you abused it. You are dishonorable. You are dishonest. As Americans we are ashamed of you. You have brought shame to us. If you are not representing the wants and needs of your constituency loudly and consistently, in spite of the objections of your party, you will be fired. Did you hear? We no longer care about your political parties. You need to be loyal to us, not to them. Because we will get you fired and they will not save you. If you do or can represent me, my issues, my views, please stand up. Make your identity known. You need to make some noise about it. Speak up. I need to know who you are. If you do not speak up, you will be herded out with the rest of the sheep and we will replace the whole damn congress if need be one by one. We are coming. Are we coming for you? Who do you represent? What do you represent? Listen. Because we are coming. We the people are coming.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Respect Mah Authoritah!

There's been a lot of recent media attention revolving around the 72-year-old Grandmother in Texas who was tasered by a cop who pulled her over for a routine speeding ticket.

Early on, she got on the media and claimed that the cop lied about her being verbally abusive. Frankly, I believed her--this due to the fact that it seemed more reasonable to me that a cop tasered this woman for jollies than she was verbally abusive.

Well, the police released the video, showing exactly what happened in all it's glory.

And yes, the woman was a bit verbally abusive towards the officer.

But does that give him the right to taser her? Would your opinion be different if he had hit her with his fists or his nightstick? What if he had shot her with his gun?

Frankly, I see no difference between a taser, a gun or a nightstick. All are weapons, and all can, and do, kill.

Now, yes, this woman was speeding, and Texas law does require you to sign a reckless driving summons. So, yes, this woman was in violation of the law by refusing the ticket.

At which point, the officer should have taken her and placed her in the back of the squad car as he was doing.

Which if you've watched the video, it is on this being escorted to the squad car that the woman said she would go ahead and sign the ticket. It is this point, at which this government-mandated goon should have allowed the woman to sign the ticket and go about her merry way.

Instead, he proceeds to push her against the back of her truck, and when she attempts to return to her vehicle, he blocks her, pushes her again, tosses down his ticket book, and then tasers her as she turns away from him.

Yes, this big man, tasered a grandmother who had her back turned to him. Big man there. Oh wait, I'd better not say that, don't want him to come taser me.

But you know what, none of that matters. Sure, the woman was being argumentative, and wasn't the most responsive to the officer's demands. But so what? That's not a reason to taser her.

And as is usually the case, it gets better! The officer in question has been praised by his direct superior, because the officer in question did everything by the book. He treated this woman just the way that the Officers of the Law are expected to treat any one who dares to not immediately bow down in obeisance to said Officers of the Law.

As if wearing a state-approved costume automatically grants you the wisdom and right to be above the citizens who pay your salary.

Most of the people who are approving of this cop's actions are doing so because the lady didn't listen to what the cop said, and worse, because she had the audacity to argue with him.

Maybe if more folks argued with the Powers That Be, we would have less Powers That Be.

No, I cannot think of any legitimate reason that this woman should have been tasered. She had no weapons, and was not physically violent. She was merely argumentative, and unwilling to a) sign a summons and b) place herself into the back of a car driven by a man that she did not know, and was attempting to physically restrain her.

God forbid that there's someone who's not instantly deferential to the "Boys in blue."

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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Why so hard to contact a Representative?

You know, in this day and age of instant communication, I find it odd that our elected Representatives in Washington still see the need to enforce filters on their email between us and them.

Oh sure, you can go to the House website, and enter in all sorts of information and then click the SEND button. But that's just a hassle.

What's worse, is that when you do do so, and you finally get a response (weeks later mind you) then you're are out of luck if you try to RESPOND.

Your representative begins an email dialogue with you, but as in most things where Washington is concerned, it's all one way. You try to respond to the email you just got, and you get the following error message:
550 550 5.7.1 Unable to deliver to (state 14)
I find it odd. Now, what brought this on you might ask? Well, I recently contacted my Representative (Gregg Harper) through that hard-to-use form on the House website, and provided him my view on H.R. 1256--which I see as a fairly straightforward power grab by our Congress.

He responded, told me that he voted in the AFFIRMATIVE for a list of "feel-good" reasons, mostly involving minors and "research."

Then he ended his email with this line:
Again, I appreciate you sharing your views with me. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can ever be of assistance.
So you can see why I'd be annoyed that I could NOT immediately contact him with my response and thoughts. It's annoying. It actually makes me think that they make that form hard to use just so that they will be bothered as little as possible by their constituents. They certainly don't want a dialog on their decisions.

But, since I'm fed up with the online form at House.Gov, I've decided to place my response here on my website. This is the email that I attempted to send by way of further dialog on Mr. Harper's decision to support H.R. 1256:
Mr. Harper,

Sadly, I don't remember (nor can I find) the part of the Constitution which grants the government--or Congress specifically--the powers as outlined by this bill. Could you please provide me an annotated copy of the proposed legislation detailing the relevant articles (or amendments) of the Constitution which allows Congress to infringe upon these rights of the states and citizenry?

Another concern is the fact that this is nothing but a sin tax to be levied against those individuals who chose to partake of cigarette. After all, any fee which is imposed upon a business (and this bill imposes a fee upon businesses) are inherently passed onto consumers in the way of higher prices.

Then I have to wonder on the wisdom of raising the minimum legal age at which an individual can purchase tobacco products (which routine--and expensive--studies to determine the feasibility of such are a part of this bill). It is currently 18 in most states, the age at which an individual reaches their majority--and can thus enter into contracts, join the military and vote. Why then is this not also an appropriate age at which they can make the decision to smoke or not?

Additionally, State Laws already prohibit the sale and marketing of tobacco product to minors. Why exactly do we need another level of bureaucracy and legislation--at a Federal Level-- to reiterate this point? If the minors in question decide to break the state laws in regards to the purchase of tobacco products, how is having another way to fine the business people who are duped by these teens to purchase tobacco products a good and relevant thing? How is the cost of enforcement of this law going to help anything, especially in the current climate of financial insecurity in which we find ourselves.
Maybe later I'll find the time and energy to actually wade through the House website and send this through their arcane "Contact Us" form.

And maybe one day, they'll actually be concerned enough about what their constituents think that our elected Representatives would welcome a dialog from their constituents.

But I'm not holding my breath for that....

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Sunday, June 7, 2009

Another Government Land Grab

Over the past few years, the government has broadly reinterpreted it’s abilities of Eminent Domain.  While traditionally, Eminent Domain was used to gather land for roads, schools, and other uses for public use, the government has extended that to mean that if a local government wants your land to give to someone else on the off chance that a different owner would provide more tax revenue, then it is legally able to do so.

It’s a horrid, and despicable action on the government’s part, and there have been too many instances of this collusion between government and private enterprises to steal land already.

Which makes me even more annoyed at the latest thing.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that our government is telling landowners that they have 1 week in which to sell the land to the U.S. Department of the Interior, or else they would take it via Eminent Domain.

The reason for this particular land-grab is that the government wants to take a bit over 2,200 acres of land up there in Pennsylvania and turn it into a memorial for Flight 93.

To put this into perspective, let’s consider some other numbers:

  • Disney Land sits on less than 300 acres
  • The 4 theme parks of Walt Disney World takes up less than 1,100 acres (Disney owns nearly 30,000 acres in Florida, of which 7,100 acres are truly developed)
  • Six Flags over Georgia takes up 230 acres
  • Busch Gardens Tampa Bay sits on 334 acres
  • The National Mall takes up 310 acres
  • Arlington National Cemetery is a bit over 600 acres

Now all of these theme parks and national icons have hundreds of thousands of visitors annually, and they don’t need 2,200 acres.

Heck, even Walt Disney purchased the 30,000 acres of swamp land and citrus groves where Disney World sits—despite the fact that the government knew about it coming to town. Back then federal, state and local governments did not conspire with private firms to force other private firms/individuals to sell their land.

The thing is that the park/memorial itself I have no qualms over.  It doesn’t bother me that they’re making it per se (though I do have questions on whether or not a new park is a good use of resources while we’re in the midst of a recession, and the government is borrowing nearly half of every dollar it spends).

What bothers me is the simple fact that they are forcing people to sell land that they own under threat of having it taken from them by force. Maybe these people don’t want to sell this land for sentimental or familial reasons. Maybe they don’t want to sell this land because they really like it, or want to hunt it. Maybe they don’t want to sell their land because  they want to develop its natural resources for profit (all this land holds decent amounts of lumber, natural gas and coal).

But the government doesn’t care. All it is concerned about is taking enough land from private citizens that it can build this memorial to this flight, and do so for the tenth anniversary of 9/11.

What a way to honor those willing to die for their fellow citizens. What a way to honor the death of the only one of the 4 hijacked planes who had the gumption to fight back against hijackers armed only with box cutters.

I know that I’d hate to think that I was to be “honored” for the things that I’ve done in my life by having the government steal from others, or to force people to sell their property under duress of having it taken by Eminent Domain.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The RNC Wants You!

In the past few weeks, I’ve received two surveys from the Republican National Convention—an odd state of affairs as I’m a rather vocal Constitutionalist these days.

It’s the usual stuff, with the Republicans struggling to realize what they need to do, and fundamentally they just have a bunch of recent bullet points that Obama and company have been working on, and give everyone the option to cast a yea/nay on their “survey.” Ultimately, what the survey is saying is “if you elect us again, we’ll not be big-government liberals this time, we promise.”

Yeah, I’m holding my breath for that.

But what amuses me the most about these ballots is that the last question is asking for money. The first one, was fairly standard and only gave two options (yes, I’ll contribute, here’s X or XX amount, or yes I support you, but I don’t have money right now, here’s $11).

I can understand, gaining and keeping power is expensive these days apparently.

But, as I said, I’ve gotten two recently, the latest of which came in today. While the previous one was labeled a “2010 Congressional District Survey” the new one has a title of  “2009 Republican Party Census Document.”

Just the titles of these things are amusing, but what really got me, was the last question of the “Census Document.” It read the exact same way as the first one (well the “I don’t have money right now” option went from $11 to $12) but with the addition of a 3rd option.  Now, they had a no option, and it read “No, I favor electing liberal Democrats over the next ten years.”

I laughed. Heartily, and loudly.

Then I got up, went into the other room to show it to my wife, who in turn laughed.

I’m amused, and disgusted, because the RNC just doesn’t get it. They still don’t understand, and they assume that I’m stupid enough to just forget the past 8 years of big government policies which they’ve endorsed and pushed through.

Their survey yaps about not supporting Obama’s bailouts, but happily overlook the fact that the Republicans started it. 

Public Law 110-33 (H.R. 1424) was passed with the following votes:

  • House: 263 Yea; 171 Nay
    • Democratic: 172 Yea; 63 Nay
    • Republican: 91 Yea; 108 Nay
  • Senate: 74 Yea; 25 Nay; 1 Absent
    • Democratic: 41 Yea; 10 Nay
    • Republican: 33 Yea; 15 Nay

And then signed by a Republican President.

Of course, the Republicans suddenly remembered their “fiscal conservative” roots once Obama took office, and no House Republicans voted for Obama’s “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009” (Public Law 111-5) which is some 1,000 pages that absolutely no one in either the House or the Senate actually read in its entirety.

Which is why I do support a “Read The Bill” Amendment to the Constitution, something which forces both houses of Congress to have every piece of legislation read aloud prior to a vote.

But I digress.

The simple fact is that the Republicans have lost touch. They did nothing to stop the growth of government during the Bush years (on the contrary, they happily helped it along). They did nothing to shrink the government during all those years when they had power.

They gained power during the mid-nineties on a small government platform, yet  that never came into being. Instead they hemmed and hawed and passed pork-laden bill after government growth bill.

There is no way that I’m voting along party lines for this group. I’ll find the person who votes (or promises to vote) for smaller government, for less taxes, and to do away with any and every government program out there.

In the end, I’m not sending the RNC there suggested donations. I’m not sending the RNC the “$12 to tally the survey.”

No. I’d rather have a Liberal Democrat in office---after all, they’re honest in their liberalness as wrong as I view it-- than a Republican who claims to be a Conservative all the while voting for big government, insane spending bills and/or higher taxes.

Anyways, my $12 would be better spent buying myself a book, a meal, or even just shoving it under my bed.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Barbour: It's Tax & Spend Time

Ah, the idiocy of politicians. A few months ago, I was proud of Governor Barbour for standing up against the idiocy of the "Bailout" where the Federal Government sends itself further into debt with nations that are actively hostile to our way of life.

Yet, here he is, just a few scant months later pushing to ensure that I think he's fairly worthless as a politician.

Mississippi, like most states, is facing a shortfall in its general fund. People are spending less which means all those taxes on sales, and Corporate fees, and the various other things where the government takes money away from those who actually produce wealth, are down. It's estimated that the state is ~$300 million down from expectations, and there's only a month left in the fiscal year.

That's a lot of money to have not been collected. So of course, the politicians are in something of a frenzy. After all, they need that money to further their own little power schemes, and to hand out money to their constituents. Oh, excuse, we're supposed to call them, "the worthy poor" or some tripe like that.

So, after taking in 300 million dollars less than expected, you'd think that someone in Jackson would realize that now would be a good time to cut spending. After all, if I bring home $300 less than I expected I would certainly do so. After all, contrary to the Government's belief, one really can't continuously spend money which one does not have.

But alas, that's where one gets into the issue of politicians and their idiocy.

My guess is that they don't really understand where that money comes from. They don't understand that for every penny they bring in, that's taking a penny away from one of their constituents. Those thousands of dollars that I spend on sales taxes, state income taxes, property taxes, sin taxes, and my share of fees levied against the companies I frequent could have been spent on my family.

That's money that they're taking from me under duress, all because they feel the need to push their social agenda and hand out money. In 2008, this is how the state split up the money they took in from its people (the General Fund):
  • Social Welfare - 2%
  • Agriculture & Economic Development - 2%
  • Corrections - 5%
  • Debt Service - 6%
  • Hospitals & Hospital Schools - 5%
  • Medicaid - 8%
  • Other - 9%
  • Colleges & University - 17%
  • K-12 Education - 45%
It's easy. Take a category, and cut. Look at K-12 Education, nearly half of the funds taken in go towards that. On average, 20% of their budget goes to indirect costs--which are those things not directly related to teaching our kids. How much of that is needed? Would it not be better to do things like cut back on the cleaning staff, and instead make the kids clean up the school? Would it not be better to strip away the administrative overhead, and give more power directly to the school's principles? I think so.

It's easy to find things to cut--it's just sad that so many people come to expect the government to hand things to them, or to take care of things that a generation ago, our parents/grandparents would have done.

It's even sadder that the politicians are so determined to keep their jobs and their power, that they'd willing drive us all further into debt, rather than do the right thing and work towards shrinking our government.

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Obama: Ignore The Man Behind The Curtain....

Sometimes, I really do have to wonder what the Democrats/Lefties are smoking up there in their little world-outside of Reality.

The White House has published a new report that claims that to "fix" the economy requires a revamping of our health care system. Their justification? The fact that Health Care, which currently accounts for ~18% of our GDP is estimated to grow to be around 30-34% of our GDP in THIRTY years. Yes, thirty, 3-0.

What, the report is not telling you is that the taxes to pay for the another expansion of Government abilities and capabilities, would crush our economy with 5.

Let's look at the two biggest tax items which are in the works to "pay" for health care by Government Mandate. The first is the "beverage" tax. What this is, is a tax on any drink you drink. Everything from sweet tea, to coke to beer to wine falls under the purview of this tax, dedicated to drive a majority of the food/dining industry out of business.

After all, if you want less of something, add a tax to it.

The next tax is the VAT, or the Value Added Tax. This works similar to a National Sales Tax, except it is on EVERY transaction (while sales taxes are typically applied only to transactions where no resale is involved). And while this does have potential, they're talking about adding it to the top of our already complex Income Tax system. This will ensure that our already weakened retail industry falters further.

After all, if you want less of something, add a tax to it.

And that's just the issues involved on the TAX side of things that health care reform will cause. Then there's also the simple fact that health care as we know it will cease to exist. After all, once Bureaucrats get in charge of making health decisions for you what you want, or think you need, will be irrelevant.

We'll see more cases, like the recent one where someone is being forced to undergo chemotherapy at a Judge's orders, despite the fact that he does not want to.

In every area of our lives that bureaucrats exist, we see petty tyrants doing things to harm the very people who they are supposed to be helping.
Here in the U.S., Liberals love looking at our neighbors to the East and seeing all these grand, and wonderful plans they have in action. They see the social systems in place in France, Britain, Germany and Sweden, and they salivate and say "This is good."

But they never stop and actually LOOK at these things. They don't pay attention to the fact that Britain, France and Germany are all limiting access to health care. They're rationing doctors and medicines and diagnostic treatments.

In 1996, Michael D. Tanner wrote an article entitled "A Hard Lesson About Socialized Medicine" for the CATO Institute. In it he explains how Medicare fails. How the properties of a very elementary rule forces programs like this to fail.

That rule: If something is perceived as free, people will consume more of it than they would if they had to pay for it.

This is a simple truism. I have free cell phone minutes to my wife, therefore I call her routinely just to chat and hear her voice. Before "family plans" and free mobile-to-mobile minutes, I would only call to provide relevant information--things I needed for her to know.

These problems, the access issues, the poor service, the general... crappiness of medicare, are proof that the government should not be involved in health care for the people. The fact that they can't even get Veteran health care right--and there's a lot less of them, than on either Medicare or private insurance--is proof that they should not be doing this.

But above and beyond that, this is something outside of the bounds of what our Founding Fathers expected us to do with this country. They would be appalled at the thought that we have invested so much power into the hands of so few.

Need proof, then we but have to look to the words of one of our Founding Fathers, James Madison, who in the Federalist No. 45 wrote:
The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.
and during a speech at the Virginia constitutional convention in December of 1829 said:
The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse.
Our Government was not designed to hold this power, and it should not, for it puts too much power over ourselves, our bodies and our health, into the hands of just a few bureaucrats.

Bureaucrats whose sole purpose will be the gaining of more power and prestige for themselves.

A scary thought, where the health of my family is concerned.

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