Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Bernie Sanders' $18 Trillion Spending Problem

Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher once famously said: "The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money."  That statement has never been truer when applied to Bernie Sander's and his socialist agenda for America.

On the campaign trail, he has proposed free college for anyone wishing to go, and free Medicare for everyone.  He wants a guaranteed 12 weeks of paid family leave.  Then there's the universal free childcare and free pre-K education.  In fact, the word "free" just goes on forever.

The problem with "free" is that it has a cost.  The folks at the Wall Street Journal found that the cost of Bernie's "free" would come to about $18 trillion dollars over ten years; or, $1.8 trillion a year.  To put this into perspective, this year our federal government will spend just under $3.8 trillion dollars at a net deficit of nearly two-thirds of a trillion dollars because we already don't have enough tax money to pay our bills.  Now, Sanders wants to hike spending by another $1.8 trillion or almost another 50% per year.  Without substantial tax increases on everyone, and not just the rich, our national debt wouldn't just go up by 50%, it would go up by 2-1/2 times the current annual amount.   A fact that would eventually bankrupt the country.

At that point, Margaret Thatcher's words will have come to fruition.


Quote: The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money:

Bernie Sanders on the issues:Income Inequality:

Price Tag of Bernie Sanders's Proposals: $18 Trillion:

Historical Federal Receipt and Outlay Summary:


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Americans Living on Less Than $2 a Day?

Every once in awhile, I will run across a news or opinion piece that is so over-the-top and intellectually dishonest that I can't believe a major news outlet would dare to print it.

One such case was a recent CBS News article titled: "The Surging Ranks of America's Ultrapoor" written by freelancer Aimee Picchi, who has a history of writing about income inequality in the U.S.

In her opening sentence to this article, she states:
By one dismal measure, America is joining the likes of Third World countries.
Then, goes on to say:
The number of U.S. residents who are struggling to survive on just $2 a day has more than doubled since 1996, placing 1.5 million households and 3 million children in this desperate economic situation.
Then, there was this:
While it may be the norm to see families in developing countries such as Bangladesh and Ethiopia struggle to survive on such meager income, the growing ranks of America's ultrapoor may be shocking, given that the U.S. is considered one of the most developed capitalist countries in the world.
So, in just three statements, the reader is led to believe that the ultrapoor is such a big problem in this country that we have joined the ranks of Bangladesh and Ethiopia.  This is why, along with other facts, that this article is so intellectually dishonest and so over-the-top.  While it may be true that we do have 4-1/2 million adults and children who are living on under $2 a day, it is only 1.3% of our 324 million population.  According to the World Bank, 76.5% of the people of Bangladesh live under $2 a day.  For Ethiopia, it's 72.2%.

But, understand this.  The whole point of the article is to blame this under $2 condition in America on the 1996 reform of welfare and the creation of something called the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, otherwise known as TANF.  That is why, up front, she claims the under $2 population has doubled since 1996; directly because of TANF giving such meager income to the ultrapoor.  To that point, she makes this statement:
Once a family qualifies for TANF, they can receive benefits ranging from about $300 a month for a family of three in Texas to as much as $780 per month in New York. That's hardly living in the lap of luxury, but it would lift those families out of dire need.
However, to simply focus on TANF is both dishonest and totally ignores reality.  Besides TANF, the poor in this country are also eligible for dozens of other assistance programs such as Medicaid, food stamps, housing, child care, and  energy and utility. They also get a free telephone or at least a free cellphone.  All of which add up to a helluva lot more than $2 a day.  Just the free cellphone, alone, cost more than that.

She even takes aim at Wal-Mart for the "under $2" growth in this country.  So, we are supposed to believe that Wal-Mart is hiring and uniforming bunches of people to work less 2 hours a week. That's what you get when you divide the Federal minimum wage of $7.25 into the $14 dollars a week that would qualify someone to be living on less than $2 a day.

What this author, and the study that she outlines in her article fail to inform the reader is that the primary reason for the ultrapoor is homelessness.  For example, she claims 3 million children are ultrapoor.  That's very close to the latest study that found that 2.5 million children are homeless.  The problem with homelessness and TANF and other welfare programs is that they can't be served by those programs.  Without an address, they can't even request that a welfare check be sent to them.

The bottom line is that this author is throwing out a bunch of real, but deceptive, facts in order to convince the uniformed reader that we have a broken welfare system.  The reality is that we don't.  The problem is that we have no good way of rectifying the homeless situation in this country.  Money is available to do so, but the system can't accommodate the homeless other than with food banks and other charitable activities.


The surging ranks of America's ultrapoor:

World Bank:  Poverty headcount ratio at $2 a day (PPP) (% of population):

Info: U.S. Welfare Programs:

Number Of Homeless Children In America Surges To All Time High:

Monday, September 28, 2015

Climate Deniers! Off With Your Heads! Or, At Least Some Jail Time.

This cartoon is from the website . It laughingly shows the kind of wild predictions we have gotten from the so-called scientists on climate change. From predictions of an impending ice age in the 1970's to contradictions in the frequency of hurricanes that were just years apart. More than a few times climate alarmists and the scientific community have gotten it all wrong.  In fact, a website by the name of pokes fun at these kind of contrary predictions that we keep hearing from the unsettled-theories of the scientific community. Such as predictions of more rain followed by another prediction of less rain.  Or, Antarctica's ice melting and another predicting growing ice.

With this in mind, it's no wonder why many people are skeptical.  That's why in many polls on what this country's priorities should be, climate change is either not even mentioned or falls in the bottom half.  In ongoing Pew Research polling, less than half those polled (45%) believe that global warming is man-made.  Although, that's up from 36% since President Obama took office.  Apparently, his constant calls for action are working to change the opinions of some.

Now, 20 scientists want to shut down those skeptics by using this country's Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), to throw anyone in jail that denies or promotes the non-existence of man-made global warming and its subsequent impact on climate.  Those scientists have written a joint letter to President Obama and his Attorney General to start prosecuting climate deniers on the basis of racketeering.  And what about the 55% of Americans who don't believe climate change is man-made? Do we have enough room in our jails for them, too?

Well, if were going to start using RICO to go after anyone who denies climate change, then turnaround is fair play.  We should also use RICO to go after those making wildly false climate change claims.  That initself is a form of racketeering. Especially for those who have taken federal funds to do so; starting with NASA and NOAA who appear to have manipulated land-based temperature readings to make global warming seem more severe.  Those two agencies of our federal government are now the subject of an investigation being launched by the scientists at the Global Warming Policy Foundation.  Maybe our Attorney General should launch their own investigation using RICO laws.  Ya think?


Debate no more! Jailed for scientific dissent?! Twenty climate scientists, including Top UN scientist, call for RICO investigation of climate skeptics in letter to Obama:

Wednesday, 29 April 2015: Scientists Launch Investigation into Climate Data “Adjustments”: Problems and Priorities Polls: Climate Change and the Environment:

Record Heat? Where Are the Records Being Broken?:

Friday, September 25, 2015

Has Donald The Bully, Peaked?

Trump is a bully. In addition, he's an adolescent one who focuses on peoples physical characteristics as a way of diminishing them.  He said Perry wore glasses to make himself look smart.  He said Ben Carson made Jeb Bush look like the Energizer Bunny.  The highly acclaimed neurosurgeon was just an "OK" doctor. Megan Kelly was nothing special. Then, his "coup de grace" was telling people to look at Carly Fiorina's face and implying that someone with a face like hers couldn't be President.

Well, I think this kind of bullying is taking its toll.  The recent Real Clear average of the  now has Trump at just 24%.  Down from 30% in the previous 4 polls.

I think people are finally getting tired of Trump's bullying and this may be the beginning of the end for the Republican front runner.

Reference: Real Clear Politics:

Thursday, September 24, 2015

America in 2014: Poorer with More Poverty

Just recently, the U.S. Census Bureau released its annual data on the median household incomes and poverty rates for 2014.

The saddest news from the data is that the average American family (household) lost $800 in income in 2014 as compared to 2013; dropping 1.5% from $54,462/year to just $53,657. The fact that this wasn't widely reported is amazing.  And, its even more amazing when you think that the average American paid 1.6% more for the things they bought in 2014 -- as measured by the Consumer Price Index. This means that with the combination of inflation and a falling wage, the typical American family lost 3.1% or roughly $1690 in buying power in 2014.

Falling wages and higher costs hardly justify the claim that our economy somehow grew by 2.4% in 2014; the supposedly fastest growth since the recession ended in 2009.  Yet, this is what the Obama Administration told us at the beginning of the year.  If you're going to tell a lie, at least be consistent.

The other bad news was that the rate of poverty rose from 14.5% to 14.8% of our population; meaning that 46.7 million people are struggling to make ends meet. Even worse than that, 26.2% of blacks and 23.6% of Hispanics were in poverty in 2014 while whites had a rate of just 10.1%.

It's numbers like these that make the so-called low unemployment numbers and stronger economic growth claims meaningless to the average American.


Typical American Family Earned $53,657 Last Year:

Historical Inflation Rates:

U.S. 2.4% Economic Growth In 2014 Strongest Since Recession:

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Ben Carson, Islam, Shariah Law and a Muslim Presidency

Once again, Dr. Ben Carson is taking heat for something he said.  This time for his statement that a Muslim should not be elected President.

Well, basically, he's right.  If the person running for the country's highest office is a Muslim who believes in the teachings of the Quran and/or Shariah Law, then there's a problem.  Much of the Quran and most of Shariah Law is in direct contradiction with our rights under the Constitution (see references below).  For example, we don't stone people to death; behead them; or whip and beat them for certain offenses.   All of which appear in the Quran as punishments for specific crimes. We also have a civil judicial system which is counter to the Muslim belief that criminal behavior should be judged by clerics.

Thus for a Muslim to be President, they must set aside much of the teachings of the prophet Muhammad in order to uphold and defend our Constitution; which is the primary responsibility of a U.S. President.


Ben Carson: US shouldn't elect a Muslim president:

Quran vs. Constitution: Why they're incompatible:

Shariah Law vs the Constitution:

Monday, September 21, 2015

The Media Firestorm Over Trump But Not Sanders

Last week, while taking questions at a Trump campaign event, a man stood up and told Trump that we have a "Muslim problem" in this country; and, that "Obama is Muslim"; and, that "Obama isn't even a U.S. citizen".  Because Trump didn't admonish the questioner for what he falsely said, the media literally spent all day Friday and throughout the weekend in a  frenzy painting Trump as a bigot because he, because of his inaction, broadly labelled all Muslims a "problem".

However, the same media didn't have a similar "broad-brush" reaction with Bernie Sanders when he, at a similar event at Liberty University, stated that this country was "founded on racist principals" and it wasn't until "Obama was elected" that we took a big step forward in shedding those principals.  So, with two sweeping statements Bernie erased why we fought a bloody Civil War and passed several Civil Rights acts that laid the foundation for Obama to ultimately be elected President. According to Bernie Sanders, the whole country is racist.

So, where is the outrage over what Sanders said?  None.  That is because the left-leaning media essentially agrees with him and, like Obama, protects Muslims from any remarks that imply terrorism.


Trump criticised for not rebutting 'Muslim Obama' claim:

Bernie Sanders demands Donald Trump apologize over anti-Muslim question:

Bernie Sanders declares America was founded on 'racist principles' - and tells students at evangelical university Obama's election was a step toward redemption:

Friday, September 18, 2015

An Economy That Can't Even Stand a 1/4% Interest Rate Hike?

Normally, when the American economy is trying to recover from a recession, the Federal Reserve lowers interest rates to stimulate borrowing, and in theory, cause job growth and economic expansion. Since early in the last recession, they have held interest rates between zero and one-quarter of one percent. Yet, all that time, the economy and the jobs situation have been so weak that the Federal Reserve hasn't been able to raise rates.

Last Thursday, the Federal Reserve was expected to raise rates by a baby-step:  a quarter of a percent.  But, once again, they avoided the hike for fear that it might not only hurt our economy, but the global one, also.

To all those who claim that our economy and employment is strong, the Federal Reserve's inaction speaks volumes to the contrary.  The fact is simple.  Under Obama, we have had the weakest recovery since 1932.  The fact that the Federal Reserve has had to hold rates at zero to 1/4% just proves that weakness.


Stuck on Zero - Wall Street Journal:

Obama Owns Worst Economic Numbers in 80 Years, Since 1932:

Obama and the ObamaCare Numbers Game

Earlier this year, ObamaCare concluded its second open enrollment.  With the end of each enrollment period, President Obama was quick to take a victory lap on the numbers. After the 2014 enrollment, he touted that they had met their goal of 8 million signups.  Then, this year he took another victory lap when nearly 12 million (actually 11.7) had enrolled in the state and federal exchanges.

But, the one thing you will never hear from the President are the "real" numbers that show how many people have actually paid for the healthcare insurance they signed up for.  Last year, ObamaCare's enrollment had to be lowered from the original 8 million signups to just 6.7 million.  We didn't see him at the microphones on that one.

This year, the supposed 11.7 million enrollees has shrunk to just 9.9 million paying customers.  Again, we could hear crickets chirping in the background when that was revealed.

But, one thing that the Obama Administration is right on, is the fact that the number of uninsured has been lowered to 11.4%.  And so it should be.  ObamaCare is enrolling millions more people in Medicaid and is imposing fines on individuals for not buying insurance and fines on businesses for not providing insurance.  Simply put, when a girl scout comes to your door and puts a gun to your head, you're going to buy those cookies.  Also understand what 11.4% of 324 million people represent.  That's nearly 37 million who don't have health insurance.  Three-and-a-half times the number of people who have signed up for ObamaCare in the last two years.

Here's another fact that the Obama Administration isn't telling you.  ObamaCare is falling well behind its budget projections.  So much so, that another 10.2 million will have to signup in 2016 to meet the budgetary goals.  Something that's a little hard to believe will happen when you consider that enrollment increases are being halved each year from 8 million in 2014 to just another 3.7 million for 2015. This doesn't even consider the fact that in 2014, 12% of those enrolled never paid; and for 2015 that percentage grew to over 15%.

Of course, none of the major news outlets are reporting any of this in "toto" to show how poorly its actually performing.  No, Mr. President, ObamaCare is not working!


ObamaCare Enrollment and Sign Up Numbers Quick Facts:

Administration admits Obamacare enrollment numbers error:

Obamacare 'paid' enrollment drops to 9.9M -

U.S. Uninsured Rate at 11.4% in Second Quarter - Gallup:

Obamacare enrollees must double to make budget projections work:

CBO Downgrades Obamacare's Enrollment And Subsidy Projections:

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Why Bernie Sanders Is Doing So Well

Socialist politics in America has been around for more than a century, but socialists have rarely made any significant inroads into the workings of the U.S. government.  To that point, Bernie Sanders is the only U.S. Senator who claims to be a true socialist; although the Socialist Party of America claims 69 members in the House of Representatives. Still, that's only about 16% of the current-serving 435 Representatives in this country, but one thing is true, we have never had a "declared" socialist President.

So, why is Bernie Sanders doing so well on the campaign trail?

Simply, socialists do well when the electorate senses that the current economic conditions are stacked against them.  The Great Recession hurt a lot of Americans, and the policies of the Democrats and Barack Obama have done nothing to pull those Americans out of the hole that they were left in since the end of that recession.

This, then, was an open door for Bernie Sanders to walk through and garner large crowds with a lot of socialist rhetoric.  He tells his crowds that the deck is stacked against them.  He says it isn't fair that the ranks of millionaires and billionaires has been growing while their own incomes are in decline.  He further tells them that big banks and big corporations such as Walmart, are getting rich off the backs of the poor; and, for that reason Wall Street is also evil.  That no one should have college debt.  College should be free.  All of us should have Medicare.  His list of his nanny state agendas goes on for ever.

Of course, this is music to the ears of those that envy the wealth they see, everyday on TV, and in the movies.  What Bernie Sanders never tells you is how he's going to pay for all this.  Other than tax the rich out of existence which, by itself, would never actually cover the cost of all of his socialist programs.  Nor, does he explain how he would convert America to a nanny state with so little support for this in Congress.

Yet, people come out in hordes to hear him, and he is gaining ground against Hillary in the polls.

To every other politician in this country, Bernie's popularity should be a warning sign that this country is drifting towards socialism.  A fact that has left many European countries, like Greece, in tatters.  As a conservative, I believe that less government intervention and smaller government would better serve this country.  The current glad-handing between lobbyists and politicians -- on both sides of the aisle -- is truly favoring the rich, big labor, and big business; playing right into the hands of the likes of Bernie Sanders.

Don't think it is just the Republicans who are playing favorites in our economy.  Barack Obama -- just days before the $787 billion Stimulus Package was voted into law -- issued an executive order that told all of his departments to apply Project Labor Agreement rules to any federally funded project; wherever possible. Simply, what that did is funnel the vast majority of construction dollars to the 18% of construction workers and their companies that were unionized; leaving the almost all, small, independent, non-union construction companies out in the cold.  It raised the cost of all projects so that there were fewer that could be done; and, as such, reduced the overall impact of the Stimulus Package. 


American Socialists Release Names of 70 Congressional Democrats in Their Ranks:

Bernie Sander On the Issues:

Influence & Lobbying | OpenSecrets:

Greek disaster is all about socialism -

5 Ways Socialism Destroys Societies - John Hawkins:

Executive Order 13502 -- Use of Project Labor Agreements for Federal Construction Projects:

Project Labor Agreements:

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

My Take On the Kim Davis Same-Sex Marriage Controversy

Kim Davis, a County Clerk in the State of Kentucky, has refused to issue a same-sex marriage license. Because of this, a national media firestorm has once again divided the country in much the same way abortion had after another Supreme Court decision known as Roe v. Wade.

According to Kim Davis and her attorney, she refused to issue a same-sex marriage
license that would have her name on it; as if she, and she alone, is the sole authority for issuing a marriage license in the State of Kentucky. The authority to allow two people to get married lies with the State and not a county clerk.  As a clerk, Kim Davis is simply a paper-pushing recorder and a fee-collecting agent of the State of Kentucky who merely certifies that an appropriate fee was collected and that the proper paperwork was generated.  Additionally, county clerks come and go.  That doesn't mean that a license, previously issued by one, is suddenly invalidated when another is elected. Also, a marriage license issued in one county in Kentucky is valid in them all and, through reciprocity, any marriage license issued in one state is valid in all states.  Kim Davis believes that the scope of her job is much bigger than it really is by irrationally believing that she is the one who is authorizing a same-sex marriage.

I believe that a fair God -- as preached by and throughout Christianity -- understands that Kim Davis isn't promoting same-sex marriage in the performance of her duly elected job.  If not, why would any Christian believe in an all-knowing and understanding deity?

Just my opinion on the Kim Davis story.


Marriage Licensing:

Kentucky Clerk's Request For A Stay Is Denied By U.S. Supreme Court:

Same-Sex Marriage in Kentucky:

Monday, September 14, 2015

The Democrats Officially Own Iran Getting the Bomb

Iran will get a nuclear bomb. Its just a matter of time. Some say in as little as 3 years, and others believing up to 10. At that time, President Obama and the Democrats will be forced to own that fact.

Last week, Harry Reid gained just enough votes to procedurally avoid the embarrassment of the President having to veto a Senate "no vote" on the Iran deal.  Following that, all the House Republicans and only 25 Democrats won a symbolic vote that disapproved of the Obama led deal.  Whether or not he ever saw a dissenting vote from both Houses of Congress, the President will still be politically responsible for Iran getting the bomb.

This will definitely be a problem for the Democrats in 2016.  A recent CNN/ORC poll showed that 59% of those polled disapprove of the President's negotiations with Iran.  Thus, by proxy, those Democrats who voted to "not" go against the President share in the nation's dissatisfaction with the so-called "deal".

Once again, politics trumps what is good for the nation and what is good for our only real ally in the Middle East: Israel.


Senate Democrats protect Obama on Iran vote:

House goes on record against Iran nuclear deal, in symbolic vote:

Poll: Americans skeptical Iran will stick to nuclear deal:

Friday, September 11, 2015

Two Distrubing Employment Facts That Aren't Being Reported

Every month the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) releases two reports regarding the state of employment in the country.  The first is the Employment Situation Report which most of us simply call the employment report or monthly jobs report.  The other is less-known and is called the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (aka the JOLTS report).

On September 4th, the Employment Situation Report was released with data covering August's employment data. It showed that the August unemployment rate fell to 5.1% from 5.3% in July with a total of almost 8 million people out of work. But what is generally overlooked is the fact that 4.1% of the workforce is working part time because they can't find full time work.  The BLS labels this as workers " working part time for economic reasons". This is an amazing 6.5 million workers which is not that much less than the 8 million who are officially out of work.  To put it into perspective, normally part time workers equal about 2.7% of the workforce, and this 4.1% is 52% higher than the norm.

It is quite possible that ObamaCare is responsible for this substantial increase in part time work. After all, the employer mandate and the associated penalties are based on how many full time equivalent (FTE) workers an employer has.  Businesses that are close to the mandate threshold can escape it all together by converting some full time workers to part time.  Something that many opponents of ObamaCare said would happen.

Then, just five days later, the BLS released its JOLTS report for July.  In that month, the number of unfilled job openings rose  to a record 5.8 million since this reporting began in the year 2000, and that July number beat the previous record of 5.4 set in May. So, here we have 8 million unemployed workers looking for work and 6.5 million working part time for economic reasons, and the number of job openings is increasing.  This, too, is not normal.  If in fact, the unemployment rate is falling, so should the number of job openings.

This contradiction exposes the fact that we have a skills and education problem in this country.   Essentially, job openings are being left on the table because we don't have the kind of workforce that can fill them.  This is why big businesses and major corporations want immigration reform.  They don't care about a bunch of uneducated or poorly educated workers streaming over our southern border.  What they desperately need is more H1B work visas to provide the kind of educated employees we need so that we don't have 5.8 million jobs left open.  This is something that no politicians -- especially the political left that supports the teacher's unions -- want to talk about when the subject of immigration is broached.


The Employment Situation for August 2015:

Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey for July 2015:

CNN Money: Business wants immigration reform. Why? Because they can't find enough workers:

H1B Work Visas:

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Hillary's Latest Big Email Lie? She's 'Sorry'

Whenever a liar gets caught, they always tell another lie in the hope that you'll accept the new one and forget the original.  That's what liars do, and if they sense that you're not believing the latest version, they will create another and dig themselves in even deeper.  This has been the case, for months now, with Hillary and the saga of her private email server.

When the "not-hardly-a-vast-right-wing-conspirator New York Times" exposed Hillary's private server, her immediate "lie" was to say she didn't want to have to use two devices for her personal and State Department emails. Then it was determined that she had already been using two anyway, a Blackberry and an iPhone. She also claimed that Colin Powell also used a private email system.   When the question of the security of her private server came up, we were told that it was secured in her house in Chappaqua with secret service agents guarding it.  Besides that, she claimed that no classified information was ever sent using that server.  When it was disclosed that several emails had contained classified information with two being labeled Top Secret, she claimed that she never sent or received any emails that were in any way marked classified.  Those that have been found, are now being classified after the fact.

Last week, she said that the State Department knew of her server and approved of it.  If that were true, why is she, this week, saying "I'm Sorry" for having the server.  The "I'm sorry" simply exposes the untruthfulness of everything she has said since March.  However, the sincerity of her apology also come across as a lie since it was literally formulated after seeing the result of a focus group.  She doesn't mean it.  It's just another political tactic in an attempt to bury the problem all together.


Hillary Clinton Used Personal Email Account at State Dept:

Hillary Clinton's five email lies | New York Post:

Smoking guns aplenty in Clinton emails:

Hillary Clinton on emails: 'I'm sorry':

Hillary Apologized for Email After Focus Group:

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The Violent Criminals are Gaining Control of our Streets

With the execution of two white police officers, just days apart, the media has been focused on the increasing number of cops that have been killed since last year's Ferguson riots.  There has also been much attention drawn to the surging murder and other violent crime rates on our major city streets.  All this because many feel we have a President and a Department of Justice that is too quick to blame the cops, and not the criminals.   Thus, weapons are being left on  city streets at increasing numbers because the police have been intimidated into "NOT" conducting traffic stops of suspicious people; especially when it is a car full of blacks.

But, the one thing that the media has not focused on, is the fact that amid rising crime, many police departments are shrinking at an alarming rate.  Back in July, ABC reported this:
Police Face Severe Shortage of Recruits
With the number of applicants down more than 90 percent in some cities, police departments may soon be posting more signs that say “Help Wanted” instead of “Most Wanted.”
Then, too, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch ran this story about the police department of St. Louis County (the home of Ferguson, Mo.):
St. Louis County police losing officers at increasing rate
St. Louis County police officers are quitting the force in what may be unprecedented numbers, leaving commanders scrambling to fill vacancies.

Also, there was this headline about the Camden County Police Department, in one of the most violent counties in Pennsylvania:
Camden County Police Department struggling to keep officers
Nearly 120 officers - including large swaths of recruiting classes - have resigned or retired, making the department's turnover one of the highest in the state.
Simply, because of the politics of policing, existing and potential cops just don't want the job anymore. America's population is increasingly becoming the prey of the violent criminal. I would also expect, that the increased murder of cops will only result in even more resignations; more early retirements; and fewer police recruits in the future.

Thank you Mr. Obama for fundamentally changing America.


Police: Off-duty officer killed in Texas -

Fox Lake officer's killing: Police find new evidence:
Several big U.S. cities see homicide rates surge - USA Today: 
Police rattled by spike in violent crimes across US:
Police Face Severe Shortage of Recruits: 


Friday, September 4, 2015

Huckabee's Biggest Problem: The FairTax

As long as the former Governor of Arkansas, Mike Huckabee, has been running for the Presidency -- both now and previously -- he has been pushing something called a FairTax.  More often than not, he calls it a consumption tax rather than its real name. Essentially, the FairTax would replace all federal taxes with a 30% national sales tax on most goods and services.   In the first year of implementation, it would start out at 23%, and then, incrementally go up to 30%.

Also, in order to placate those who would argue that the tax disadvantages the poor, who currently pay no taxes, but would be faced with higher prices, the FairTax proponents have come up with the concept of a Prebate.  The Prebate would be a monthly check to every head of a household so that their basic needs and the needs of their family would be taken care of.  How socialist is that?  For, example, every single person aged 18 or older, and not living at home, would get a monthly check for $226 to cover their basic needs; this based on 2015 calculations.  A family of 4 -- two adults and two children -- would receive a monthly stipend of $611.

Of course, one of the biggest arguments for the FairTax is that it would eliminate the  Internal Revenue Service and their 83,000 employees.

My problem with the FairTax is that it will fall well short of funding the government; stymie growth in the economy; hurt the poor and middle class; and highly advantage the rich.  All this starts with the concept of a Prebate.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), in its latest report on food plans, the cheapest that an average family of four can feed themselves in 2015 is with  $564 a month; assuming their two children are under the age of 5 and the family practices "thrifty" food planning. If the children are older, the  cost would be $648 a month.  So, this begs the question, how is a family of four supposed to cover their basic monthly needs if they only get a check for $611?  What about the basic needs of home heating, electricity, clothing, water, toiletries, rent or mortgage; all of which will be another 30% higher.  Even higher in places like California where the state and local sales taxes combined can run as high as 10%.

So, think about this.  If you're in the lowest tax bracket (10%) and the Prebate won't even cover the cost of food and you are living paycheck to paycheck, how are you supposed to manage the cost of goods and services going up 30%?  It's ridiculous to claim that the FairTax doesn't disadvantage those with lower incomes.

Then, there's the rich. Does anyone think that they will suddenly pay their fair share? The rich are better positioned to avoid the FairTax by avoiding building a new house or mansion and, instead, buying an existing old money mansion.  They might relocate to the Bahamas or Canada.  Also, since the deductions for charitable giving will be gone, our nation's needy will suffer as the wealthy give less.

One group, those aged 40+ will be hit the hardest. This is because the FairTax, unlike most state sales taxes, will tax healthcare and prescription drugs.  So, every monthly premium, co-pay, or health care expense that has yet to meet the deductible, plus prescription drug costs will be hit with a 30% tax.  We already pay the highest cost for healthcare in the world and Huckabee thinks we should pay even more.

But, the biggest impact of a consumption tax will be on the economy.  A high, 30% tax will force people to think twice about purchasing anything new. Take autos, for example.  People will hold on to them longer, buy used, or lower their standards and choose to buy a cheaper model.  And, this will happen on all types of goods and services.  Also, the FairTax is sure to create a black market for all kinds of products, and robbery is sure to rise.   All of this will slow the economy and result in less tax being collected.  As a result, the government will counter by raising the 30% to God only knows what.

In my opinion, The Fair Tax is very simple minded.  It will not work and will only serve to change the country for the worse.  We don't needs a tax system that punishes consumers for buying products and services; which today, accounts for 70% of the economic growth  and creates jobs.  Instead, we need a tax system that stimulates consumer activity.



California sales tax:

USDA Cost of Food:

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Hillary's Lame Assertions On Classifed Emails

Years back, while serving in the military, I had a classified secret security clearance.  When it was issued to me, I was given a briefing in which I was told that anything I see or hear on the job should be considered classified unless told differently by an official source.

In order to cover her backside for having classified emails on her private server, Hillary Clinton now says that none were marked as such at the time she sent or received them; and that they are now being classified after the fact.  Well, yes.  That's normal policy.

The fact that the State Department had a secured server -- which all personnel were to have used -- was, in itself, a clear indication that the they consider any and all email correspondence as classified until, at some point later in time, those emails were determined to be declassified or appropriately marked as "Top Secret", "Secret", or "Confidential".  This way, State Department personnel are relieved of the constant burden of having to try to determine and personally assign some level of security for each email that they write at the time they are writing them.

The fact that Hillary's emails are now being heavily redacted or being assigned as having some level of security classification, is both consistent with my opening and third paragraph of this blog entry.  Because a Federal Judge has ordered that Hillary's State Department emails be released to the public, personnel who are charged with classifying the emails are pouring over them and editing out any classified information.  This is normal and this is why Hillary's "at the time" excuse is so lame.


Hillary Clinton emails contained 'top secret' material:

Clinton, using private server, wrote and sent e-mails now deemed classified:

Obama to Destroy Franchise Business in America

Because of a 3-vote majority of Democrats, on a small panel of five federal bureaucrats that make up the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), contracted labor and franchise operations may have been forever changed; assuming their ruling doesn't get contested in the courts and is left to stand.  If left in place, it will not be for the better.

The ruling is the "Joint-Employer" rule.  Simply, if an employer hires a subcontractor or sells a franchise, and in doing so, exerts so much power over that subcontractor or franchisee that work rules effecting quality, number of positions, uniformity of work being done, or the fact the employee must wear uniforms with the joint-employers name, then that employer is now said to be an adjunct employer.   Thus, even though the joint-employer has no say in the hiring, firing, salary and benefits of a subcontractor's or franchisee's employees, he, as joint-employer, is responsible for them just as if they were his own.

Because of this ruling, a union can drag the joint-employer into unionization negotiations by organizing at the local franchise or subcontractor level.  Therefore, if 60 employees at a single franchise operation at a McDonald's in Topeka, Kansas want to unionize, McDonald's must join in the process by allowing all its employees at corporate-owned McDonald's restaurants and its franchise operations to vote on unionization.  Also, they  will only have less than 21-days to react to a unionization vote request.  This, thanks to another NLRB ruling this year that is not so affectionately called the "Ambush Election Rule" which reduced the number of days to react to a unionization vote from nearly two months to just under 21 days.

So, because of 3 pro-union, unelected Obama appointees, the franchise and subcontracting business models have literally been destroyed.  Understand this, McDonald's and other franchise operations will be put into constant turmoil until a union or unions get their way. For example, even if the Topeka example (above) yields a no vote on unionization, what's to stop them from focusing in on another store in some other city; and again, forcing another vote in 21 days.  The unions won't stop until McDonald's finally cries uncle and decides to unionize on its own. Essentially, this makes contract business owner and franchise owners outsiders.

Simply, this ruling will do what unionization has always done: destroy jobs and businesses in this country; and in cities like Detroit. That's because unions don't help businesses but, instead destroy them through excessively increasing wages and benefits that you and I as consumers can't afford.  And, in order to get their way they will always use the threat of a nationwide strike.  The unions think they're in the drivers seat on this one because, this time, their business adversaries can't just break the back of the union by moving their manufacturing operations to China or somewhere else.  In the case of franchisees and subcontractors, their businesses are local and can't avoid union wages by moving  overseas.  The one thing they can do is just go out of business.

Ask yourself a simple question: Why would anyone want to buy a franchise and put up with union rules, wages, and benefits?  First, the startup costs just got a lot higher.  Secondly, who would want to deal with arbitration rules and the potential of a local strike when trying to fire someone in a business that is so small it can ill afford being short even one employee during the arbitration process.


Labor Board Ruling Eases Way for Fast-Food Unions’ Efforts:

NLRB Ruling On Franchises: A Power Grab:

 NLRB’s New “Ambush Election" Rules Go Into Effect: Is Your Organization Ready?:

How This New Government Ruling Destroys the Franchise Business Model:

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Enough with the Phony Calls for Gun Control from the Democrats

It seems like every time a gun violence incident reaches the national media, a bunch of Democrats take to the nation's airways to decry the number and easy access of guns in this country.  And, every time, there are calls for stricter gun control laws they blame the National Rifle Association and the Republicans for blocking additional control.

Of course, this was the case after the killing of a Roanoke, Virginia TV reporter and her cameraman. Now, just days after, presidential-candidate Hillary Clinton vows to be this nation's gun-control president.  Bernie Sanders, the other Democrat running, says that he too is strong on gun control.

But here's the problem with Democrats and gun control.  They could have done something about it in 2009 and 2010 when they controlled both houses of Congress and the Presidency, but they did nothing, and sometimes I think they "do nothing" on certain things, like gun control, so they can keep it alive as another key election issue.  Yet, they know that America backs gun ownership and that if they actually blocked it, they could lose votes.


Hillary Clinton vows to be gun-control president:

Bernie Sanders says he's 'strong' on gun control: