Here is a Youtube video sent to me that I thought was a very interesting defense of Wall Street Bonuses. The video is between 6 and 7 minutes in length.
Thursday, February 28, 2013
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
§ Aircraft purchases by the Air Force and Navy are cut by $3.5 billion.
§ Military operations across the services are cut by about $13.5 billion.
§ Military research is cut by $6.3 billion.
§ The National Institutes of Health get cut by $1.6 billion.
§ The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are cut by about $323 million.
§ Border security is cut by about $581 million.
§ Immigration enforcement is cut by about $323 million.
§ Airport security is cut by about $323 million.
§ FEMA’s disaster relief budget is cut by $375 million.
§ Public housing support is cut by about $1.94 billion.
§ The FDA is cut by $206 million.
§ NASA gets cut by $970 million.
§ Special education is cut by $840 million.
§ The Energy Department’s program for securing our nukes is cut by $650 million.
§ The National Science Foundation gets cut by about $388 million.
§ The FBI gets cut by $480 million.
§ The federal prison system gets cut by $355 million.
§ State Department diplomatic functions are cut by $650 million.
§ Global health programs are cut by $433 million; the Millennium Challenge Corp. sees a $46 million cut, and USAID a cut of about $291 million.
§ The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is cut by $55 million.
§ The SEC is cut by $75.6 million.
§ The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is cut by $2.6 million.
§ The Library of Congress is cut by $31 million.
§ The Patent and Trademark office is cut by $156 million.
Of course Obama and Democrats want to replace sequester cuts with tax increases including cutting tax loopholes. They claim up to 2 million jobs will be lost to sequestration cuts. Even if this is true, more tax increases (remember Congress just passed a tax increase on those making 400 thousand per year), will also destroy job creation and lead to more layoffs. But let’s face facts; most Democrats are in favor of defense cuts and against discretionary spending cuts. And we should not forget that Obama signed sequestration into law and it is coming to fruition because he and liberal lawmakers refused to implement any Simpson-Bowles budget cut proposals.
Republicans, on the other hand, prefer to replace the defense cuts with more domestic cuts including to the food stamp program, ObamaCare, Medicaid, and the Dodd-Frank Act.
And of course, most special interest groups in Washington do not want to see any sequestration cuts enforced.
Cutting the deficit, debt, and spending is not going to be easy. Let’s put the sequestration cuts in perspective – they amount to just over 2% of the 2013 fiscal budget of 3.8 trillion dollars and only account for about 9% of our budget shortfall for the year. In the big scope of things, these cuts are not enough to avert our growing deficit issues. We need more cuts!
I agree with Republicans that cutting defense is more cataclysmic than cutting other discretionary and entitlement spending for several reasons. First, defense spending directly affects private sector companies and economic growth whereas most discretionary and entitlement spending do not. Secondly, most intellectual property generated by the U.S. government comes from defense research and development and NASA. Thirdly, these cuts will make the U.S. more vulnerable to terrorist attacks at home and abroad and will lead to more illegal immigration.
Despite my objections to defense cuts I am 100% in favor of the sequestration cuts as proposed today. If Republicans, Democrats, Independents, and special interest groups do not like the sequestration cuts, then that means it is a good compromise and starting place for budget cuts. In fact, we need further and more deep cuts to avoid fiscal oblivion because sequester cuts do not scratch the surface of U.S. financial woes. There will have to be a lot of pain to avert the fiscal calamity we face as a nation. It is sad that people will lose their jobs, but we cannot keep spending money we do not have. And it is a national security risk to have countries like China owning our debt. We need to break our growing addiction and dependency on government handouts – they are not free for all. Americans have made this problem and now it is time for us to correct it.
Monday, February 25, 2013
If the sequestration cuts are such a big deal and opposed by both Democrats and Republicans alike, then why hasn’t the President met with congressional leaders? Why did Congress and the President (golfing with womanizer Tiger Woods – but it is Republicans that are at war with women) go on vacation this past week? In the real world (private sector), when we face deadlines – there is no vacation time. Hence, if sequestration happens (and I hope it does – explained below), Washington politicians have no one to blame but themselves.
The sequester was originally passed as part of the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA), better known as the debt ceiling compromise. It was intended to serve as incentive for the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (aka the “Super Committee – Simpson - Bowles”) to come to a deal to cut $1.5 trillion over 10 years. If the committee had done so, and Congress had passed it by Dec. 23, 2011, then the sequester would have been averted. This did not happen, but in the fiscal cliff negotiations a new tax deal was obtained, but a ruling on sequestration was postponed until March 1, 2013.
The cuts are evenly split between domestic and defense programs, with half affecting defense discretionary spending (weapons purchases, base operations, construction work, etc.) and the rest affecting both mandatory (which generally means regular payouts like Social Security or Medicaid) and discretionary domestic spending. Only a few mandatory programs, like the unemployment trust fund and, most notably, Medicare (more specifically its provider payments) are affected.
The sequestration does not eliminate any programs and most entitlement and anti-poverty programs are exempt from cuts. Social Security, food stamps, low income housing, Medicaid, and many of the fastest growing entitlement programs are exempt from cuts.
The 2013 sequester includes:
§ $42.7 billion in defense cuts (a 7.9 percent cut).
§ $28.7 billion in domestic discretionary cuts (a 5.3 percent cut).
§ $9.9 billion in Medicare cuts (a 2 percent cut).
§ $4 billion in other mandatory cuts (a 5.8 percent cut to nondefense programs, and a 7.8 percent cut to mandatory defense programs).
That amounts to a total of $85.4 billion in cuts. Over 10 years these cuts would amount to 1.2 trillion dollars. More specifically, the cuts breakdown as follows:
Friday, February 22, 2013
I will boycott watching the Olympic Games starting in 2020. Why? In a shocking move, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) voted to drop wrestling from its schedule for the 2020 Games. The unexpected decision was made via secret ballot during a Tuesday meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland where officials were discussing ways to "streamline" the Olympics. Though many assumed modern pentathlon would get the boot, the committee instead decided to eliminate wrestling, which has roots in the ancient Greece games and has been a part of every modern Olympics since they began in 1896. That is right; the IOC dropped the only true sport in all Olympic events (winter or summer) – wrestling. The IOC claims they support universally sponsored sports. Yet, the London games in 2012 was represented by 71 nations for wrestling (and yes, countries have to qualify for the Olympics – so over 100 nations tried to qualify individuals for Olympic wrestling), which was much more than other popular sports.
Now wrestling will have to face off with seven other sports that are fighting for inclusion in the 2020 Olympics. The list includes baseball and softball, which were dropped from the Olympics after Beijing in 2008 and sports trying to make the Olympics for the first time, including karate, squash, roller sports, sport climbing, wake boarding and wushu. The Associated Press said it is "extremely unlikely" that wrestling would be brought back so soon after the committee voted to eliminate it. As if wake boarding and wushu are real sports.
The Olympics contains so many events / sports that I would not even characterize or define as a sport – Diving, shooting, archery, curling, and equestrian to name a few. Without question a skill set is required to compete in these events (skills I do not have), but like golf these are not real sports. I am not saying these events are easy to perform well, but they are not physically demanding by any stretch of the imagination. And when I think of a sport, it should be physically demanding.
Wrestling is the most physically and mentally demanding sport period. It combines the agility of gymnastics, the strength of weightlifting, the stamina of timed events, and the strategy of chess. To make it even more difficult, athletes compete after cutting up to 10 to 15 percent of their body weight. I have played lots of other sports, but I was never as physically or mentally drained playing baseball, volleyball, football, basketball, or running track than when I wrestled a complete match. Wrestling is much more demanding than any sport! Besides, wrestling is the only sport where I have seen athletes compete who are disabled and or with major injuries. In wrestling, if you blow out your knee it is tapped up and you are competing again within a week!
Wrestling saved my life as a youth. I originally joined the team in high school because a teacher was becoming suspicious of my family life. She noticed I never ate lunch and came to school frequently with bruises and injuries. My excuse was that I was wrestling and that kept family services out of my already dysfunctional childhood. Wrestling helped me cope with my troubled childhood which was filled with physical and mental abuse. And as a youth wrestling coach I have seen how wrestling has helped many troubled kids. The great Dan Gable said “Wrestling teaches you to fight off your back in life.” This is true because I have not met any wrestlers who grew up to be “dead beats”. Our society is filled with so many takers, slackers, irresponsible, and unaccountable people, and it sad to say that without wrestling these numbers will go up.
Wrestling has been decimated at the college level as well. Wrestling has been an easy sport to cut because of Title IX and budget issues. Some of this is surprising because of boom in Mixed Marshal Arts (MMA) fighting which combines wrestling, tae-kwon-do, and boxing. It's also difficult to estimate just how big of an impact this decision will have on the sport at the high school and college levels. The prospect of an Olympic gold medal has been the ultimate goal for so many wrestlers getting into and sticking with the sport and again, it's hard to imagine the IOC just took that prize away when no one saw it coming.
The subtraction of wrestling from the Olympic Games is a sad day for the United States because it will ultimately hurt the American economy.
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
One of the biggest problems facing most Americans is denial. Everyday people fail to take responsibility or accountability for their actions by making up excuses and denying the truth. And what’s much worse is that over time people start believing their made up stories instead of facing the consequences of the truth. People addicted to drugs or alcohol; people who are overweight; people who are lazy; people who have mental disabilities; people who drop out of school; and so on, all these people are in denial. It is much easier to make up an excuse for our mistakes, shortcomings, and faults instead of addressing them.
One of my biggest strengths is that I admit I have lots of faults. Acceptance of the truth is the only way to correct faults and to become a better person. That being said, in the past, I was one of the biggest denial and excuse makers for my faults. For example, it took me over a decade to address my alcoholism problem. We all do it; it is just a matter to what degree. For instance, procrastination is one of the biggest faults of most Americans – this is a form of denial because we tend to make excuses to put off correcting problems.
Denial is very common in politics. Republicans are in denial over many things. For example, after losing many key Senate races and the Presidency in the 2012 election, most Republicans are on record saying something to the effect that there is nothing wrong with their positions and beliefs – they simply have not conveyed that message to the public very well. In essence, this means Republicans will continue to operate in the same manner (status quo) and only work harder to convey their message to the American people. Republicans are sadly mistaken if they feel a majority of Americans are behind their message.
Recently, Democrats have demonstrated a big case of denial. Nancy Pelosi, Barack Obama, Stenny Hoyer, and Tom Harkin have said that the Federal Government does not have a spending problem. Hoyer went further by stating that the United States has a paying problem. This is flat out denial. Think about it, if the U.S. government taxed those making over 200 thousand dollars a year at a rate of 100%, the federal government would still be operating at a deficit. Federal and state governments have poured 1 trillion dollars a year into anti-poverty programs. Yet, nearly 50 million Americans remain in poverty. One Trillion dollars is enough money for those 50 million impoverished people to collect 17,000 dollars annually (51,000 for a family of 3 – which equals the U.S. median income), and to dish out another 50 thousand dollars a year to 3 million people to work on these programs. In other words, the U.S. spends enough money on anti-poverty programs to wipe out poverty – yet 15% of Americans remain impoverished. This not only shows we have spending problem, it shows the government has a fraud, waste, and bureaucracy problem. The fact Democrats call federal spending an investment is also a misleading denial of misinformation. For an investment, one would think the government should show some gain on that investment over time, but when you are operating at 16 trillion dollars in debt – it is obvious spending is not and investment. Thus, if federal spending is an investment then it is a bad investment. I have heard proponents of federal spending say that it helps the economy and gives people jobs. If this is true, then economic growth and employment should reward the government with more taxable income. This is not happening; tax revenues are stagnant at best. The government has poured over 6 trillion dollars into the economy in the form of stimuli programs, unemployment benefits, quantitative easing measures, and anti-poverty programs over the past 4 years with negative results. This is equivalent to saying a family who has run up a debt of over a million dollars does not have a spending problem, but they have a paying problem. They would not have a paying problem if they did not overspend to start out with. This is denial.
Monday, February 18, 2013
I do not have a high opinion of doctors these days, especially neurologists. But I have become a fan of Dr. Benjamin Carson. He’s the director of pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University Hospital. Carson has a very compelling life story growing up in poverty to become a best-selling author and world-class physician. Carson made the following remarks at the White House Prayer Breakfast a few weeks back:
"We don't necessarily have to do 10% but it's the principle. He didn't say if your crops fail, don't give me any tithe or if you have a bumper crop, give me triple tithe. So there must be something inherently fair about proportionality. You make $10 billion, you put in a billion. You make $10 you put in one. Of course you've got to get rid of the loopholes. Some people say, 'Well that's not fair because it doesn't hurt the guy who made $10 billion as much as the guy who made 10.' Where does it say you've got to hurt the guy? He just put a billion dollars in the pot. We don't need to hurt him. It's that kind of thinking that has resulted in 602 banks in the Cayman Islands. That money needs to be back here building our infrastructure and creating jobs.
"Here's my solution: When a person is born, give him a birth certificate, an electronic medical record, and a health savings account to which money can be contributed—pretax—from the time you're born 'til the time you die. If you die, you can pass it on to your family members, and there's nobody talking about death panels. We can make contributions for people who are indigent. Instead of sending all this money to some bureaucracy, let's put it in their HSAs. Now they have some control over their own health care. And very quickly they're gong [sic] to learn how to be responsible."
This speech went viral and it led to the Wall Street Journal writing an editorial “Ben Carson for President”. But what was so interesting about this speech was Carson did it with Obama sitting a few feet away from him. This is the best part about Carson’s speech; you could see how uncomfortable it made the President feel. Carson has done what no other media outlet has been able to accomplish – challenge the president and his ideological positions. Obama is so comfortable in all his media interviews because he know no one will ask about Benghazi, the Middle East unrest, the unemployment rate, the debt, federal spending, the budget, issues with ObamaCare, implications of taxing the wealthy, and so forth. Carson used his opportunity to question the President’s position on not only ObamaCare and taxes, but our unsustainable debts and deficits.
It is interesting how two impoverished African Americans can grow up to achieve the American Dream and have two completely different solutions to American problems. I will have to take Carson’s side on this one since he has worked in the private sector and healthcare industry. He understands how to run a business and how to create jobs. Obama has meddled in affairs he knows absolutely nothing about – like economics, businesses, and healthcare.
I love the line “Where does it say you’ve got to hurt the guy?” Carson understands that liberals and Obama want to punish success. After just raising taxes on the wealthy, they still want to raise them more. In other words, the punishment for success will never be enough. Bravo to Carson for having the fortitude to do what no one else dares to do – question this President’s controversial positions. Now Obama knows how it feels to be the target of someone’s ire. But I doubt it will stop Obama from using these tactics against adversaries in future speeches.
Friday, February 15, 2013
The key to Obama’s SOTU address was when he opened with the lie “Nothing I'm proposing tonight should increase our deficit by a single dime.” This made it easy for the President to lie his way through the rest of his speech. Remember, Obama has already added nearly 6 trillion dollars to our deficit in just 4 years.
On the deficit Obama had this to say “We are more than halfway towards the goal of $4 trillion in deficit reduction that economists say we need to stabilize our finances. Now we need to finish the job.” However, Obama claims to make these savings from the recent tax increase on the wealthy, ending the wars, and cuts to Medicare. Unfortunately, there are no future monies allocated for wars and the Medicare cuts went to help fund ObamaCare. So this statement is misinformation at its best.
Obama then blamed Republicans for the sequestration cuts “In 2011, Congress passed a law saying that if both parties couldn't agree on a plan to reach our deficit goal, about a trillion dollars' worth of budget cuts would automatically go into effect this year.” Unfortunately, these spending cuts were proposed by the White House. Think about it; most of these cuts affect the defense department – and everyone knows this is the one thing Republicans do not want to cut.
Obama had this to say about ObamaCare “Already, the Affordable Care Act is helping to slow the growth of health care costs.” Just a few weeks ago at his inauguration speech Obama said Congress must act to control healthcare costs which are spiraling out of control. Besides, anyone who has seen their health insurance premiums rates since ObamaCare was passed into law understand healthcare costs are going up faster than ever.
Obama had this to say about Climate Change “But if Congress won't act soon to protect future generations, I will.” Yes, once again, the President plans to move unilaterally and use executive orders to implement carbon taxes. It’s a complete abuse of power for the President to bypass Congress especially on important legislation including immigration reform, education, war (Libya), and now climate change.
Obama had this say about the economy “Tonight, I propose a "Fix-It-First'' program to put people to work as soon as possible on our most urgent repairs, like the nearly 70,000 structurally deficient bridges across the country.” Yes, this is stimulus 3.0 but remember it will not cost us a dime. And let’s not forget Obama’s track record on trying to create “shovel ready jobs” – he has failed miserably.
Obama had this say about education “So let's do what works and make sure none of our children start the race of life already behind.” In other words, Obama wants to universally implement pre-kindergarten education across the nation. But once again remember, it will not cost us a dime.
Obama had this say about the minimum wage “Tonight, let's declare that, in the wealthiest nation on Earth, no one who works full time should have to live in poverty -- and raise the federal minimum wage to $9 an hour.” Sure this sounds great, but what happens if the employer cannot afford to pay people higher wages? That’s right, employee hours are reduced or they are laid off.
Obama had this say about our defense “As long as I'm commander-in-chief, we will do whatever we must to protect those who serve their country abroad, and we will maintain the best military the world has ever known.” It is hard to take the President serious about our national security after what transpired in the Benghazi attack. The President was MIA for this attack because he was too busy campaigning. And let’s not forget all the cuts to the defense budget this year – this certainly will not make it easier to protect Americans at home and abroad.
And finally, Obama used the Newtown massacre to politicize his gun control measures: “Hadiya's parents, Nate and Cleo, are in this chamber tonight, along with more than two dozen Americans whose lives have been torn apart by gun violence. They deserve a vote.” This is typical liberal politics to never let a good crisis, massacre, or national disaster go to waste.
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Immigration – Expect more illegal immigration if the border is not secured before a bill provides amnesty to those already here illegally.
Al-Qaida – Contrary to White House misinformation, Al-Qaida is not decimated. They may not be as strong as in 2001, but they are still a presence as the Benghazi attack illustrated.
Drones – Obama has increased drone military strikes enhancing the chances of killing innocent civilians. Liberals should be outraged, but there are no more war protests.
Transparency – According to Bloomberg in a recent article “Nineteen of 20 cabinet-level agencies disobeyed the law requiring the disclosure of public information: The cost of travel by top officials. In all, just eight of the 57 federal agencies met Bloomberg’s request for those documents within the 20-day window required by the Act (FOIA – Freedom of Information Act).”
Media – We have a media which refuses to hold Obama accountable for Benghazi, Fast and Furious, and the economy. Remember how the media scrutinized the Bush administration for the outing of CIA agent Valarie Plame? Well, where is the coverage and demand for answers for Fast and Furious and Benghazi which has cost the lives of hundreds of people? Today’s media has an agenda and the truth is secondary. For instance, Obama’s performance for the Gulf Oil spill and Hurricane Sandy were viewed as good despite a poor response from FEMA whereas Bush’s performance for Hurricane Katrina was viewed as not only poor but racist. Other examples include how the media labeled Mitt Romney as a vulture capitalist whereas Obama’s wasteful and fraudulent 100 billion dollar green energy projects are not even scrutinized. What about the scrutiny and the death count the Bush administration faced daily over the Iraq War, why isn’t Obama being held to the same standards for Afghanistan, Libya, or for his drone strategy? The truth is that the media can no longer be trusted for unbiased news coverage.
Afghanistan – The U.S. will end the decade long struggle on the losing side (maybe a draw) of history.
North Korea – The rogue nation is closer to long range missiles and a nuclear bomb.
Crime – For the first time in 20 years, the violent crime rate in the U.S. went up this past year.
American Dream – China and other nations own the American Dream. In 2012 alone, the interest on U.S. debt was over 500 billion dollars; this is equivalent to nearly half of our nation’s discretionary spending.
There is plenty of blame and fault to go around for America’s problems and Republicans are complicit with many of them. However, there is no avoiding the fact that we cannot continue under the same policies of mortgaging our future. We are turning into a country that wants handouts, but no one wants to pay for those handouts. And even if we taxed people making more than 200,000 dollars annually 100%, it is still not enough to pay for current entitlements and future unfunded liabilities. It does not take a genius to realize we are on an unsustainable fiscal path, but everyone continues to think we can pass our fiscal issues created by Ponzi-Scheme structured entitlement programs onto future generations. There is nothing strategic or “Forward” about Obama administration policy, especially fiscal policy. Welcome to Obama’s “New America”.
Monday, February 11, 2013
The confirmation hearings for John Brennan for CIA head as well as Benghazi testimony from current CIA head Leon Panetta and General Dempsey have not only raised more questions about the Benghazi terror attack, but they proved our commander-in-chief was missing in action.
Panetta testified "He (Obama) knew generally what was deployed out there but as to specifics about time, etc., etc., he left that up to us." Yes, Obama the great military tactician who made the critical decision to kill Osama bin-Laden made no decisions when our embassy in Libya came under attack.
General Dempsey testimony was as follows: McCain interrupted, "You never heard of Ambassador Stevens's repeated warnings?" "I had, through General Ham," responded Dempsey, referring to the commander of AFRICOM. "But we never received a request for support from the State Department, which would have allowed us to put forces--" McCain snapped "So it's the State Department's fault?" "I'm not blaming the State Department," Dempsey responded. Dempsey later admitted it would have been a huge oversight if Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had not seen any of the cables from Ambassador Stevens wanting more security.
It was also revealed that Panetta and Dempsey supported a gunrunning program from Libya to Syria (via Turkey) to support rebel fighters. Clinton and the White House denied this activity had ever taken place since it has been widely reported that this led directly to guns getting in the hands of terrorists who attacked the U.S. embassy in Libya.
Brennan has also received scrutiny over his anti-terrorism drone program which has escalated under Obama’s watch. Some concerns raised are as follows: 1. the administration’s approval to kill American terrorists abroad without due process. Remember the Left’s outrage over the Bush administration’s enhanced interrogation techniques (EIT) and their claims this was violation of the civil liberties of terrorists. Liberals cannot have it both ways; if EIT was a violation of civil liberties than so is killing terrorists, especially Americans. To date, the Obama administration has killed three Americans – two known terrorists and one who was deemed collateral damage 2. The drone program of killing terrorists has replaced the capture and interrogation methods used under Bush. This means our intelligence department is obtaining no intelligence. The Obama administration has only captured one al Qaida terrorist to date. 3. The drone program is high-profile and attracts a lot of media attention, but the Obama Administration has relied on its use extensively while neglecting other parts of valuable counter-terrorism strategy – such as gaining intelligence from capturing terrorists and drone strikes do nothing to stop radical ideology, state sponsorship of terrorism, or terrorist’s ability to exploit ungoverned spaces. 4. Perhaps the biggest concern of the CIA during the Brennan years is it has suffered from both leaks and a casual attitude towards national security secrets that may have harmed American interests abroad. Many leaks were made to the New York Times so they can publish stories about Obama being tough on terrorism.
So we now know a little more about the truth. First, Obama was too busy campaigning to be bothered by the Benghazi attack. Secondly, Obama is also unwilling to admit his gunrunning strategy to Syria provided the terrorists the weapons to carry out the attack in Benghazi. And finally, if all of this is not bad enough the Obama drone policy is not only hypocritical about civil liberties, it is failing in many ways to obtain intelligence and contain the spread of extremism.
Friday, February 8, 2013
Unilateral Action – No President has expanded the power of the executive branch by using executive orders for controversial measures such as immigration, education, guns, and war (Libya). Executive orders are used to advance political ideology and agenda while avoiding debate and transparency over controversial subjects.
Executive Power – This President has expanded the power of the executive branch through executive orders, executive privilege (Fast and Furious), the appointment of Czars who have no oversight, and through the passing of a record number of rules, regulations, and mandates which cost the taxpayers an additional 430 billion dollars.
Constitution – With the ruling that ObamaCare is Constitutional then what rights belong to the states and individuals anymore? If the government can force individuals to buy a service or product what laws can’t they pass? The Constitution is becoming less relevant than ever before.
Nanny State – The ObamaCare ruling along with locality laws such as banning McDonalds Happy Meals or soft drinks over 16 ounces means government intrusion into our lives continues to escalate. This suggests the government believes Americans are too stupid to make mundane decisions over their health and wellbeing. Maybe this is true, but why punish everyone for the irresponsibility of a few.
Lazy America – Liberals say that Americans are not lazy and receiving entitlements or handouts does not make than any lazier or government dependent. I disagree and the statistics prove we are lazier. The percentage of Americans receiving entitlements is increasing dramatically (a sign of dependence), Americans are less innovative, the American economy no longer dominates global competition, and Americans are more obese and less likely to exercise then play with electronic gadgets, and so on. All statistics point to the fact that Americans are becoming increasingly lazy.
Medical Costs – Since ObamaCare does nothing to control healthcare spending, but instead increases spending expect medical and insurance costs to continue to spiral out of control.
Drugs – States such as Colorado and Washington have legalized marijuana and since the federal government does not seem to be concerned with enforcing federal drug laws, expect this trend to continue.
Gender, Ethnic, and Class Warfare – Obama and Democrats, with the aid of the media, have created a state of fear mongering making the public paranoid that conservatives are waging a war on women, the poor, and minorities.
Blame Storming and Apologies – No President in our history has blamed a predecessor for his shortcomings than Obama and to make matters worse, no President in history has apologized to enemies for predecessor policies than Obama.
Middle East - The Middle East is chaos and tensions between Israel and Palestine are at their highest levels. Iran is closer to an atomic bomb and long range missiles to transport these bombs. The Arab Spring has brought inept and radical Muslim leadership in Egypt and Libya. Our Embassies have been attacked around the region, including the death of 4 Americans including Ambassador Stevens in Benghazi.
War on Terror – Obama’s policy has been to identify and kill and terrorists instead of capturing them to obtain information. Since Obama policy provides terrorists more rights than U.S. combat soldiers, the administration is unable to collect critical intelligence from captured terrorists anyway.
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
To celebrate Obama’s first term and Time Magazine’s “Man of the Year” for being the architect of the “New America”, let’s highlight some of his historical and unprecedented achievements.
Employment – The average unemployment rate for Obama’s first term was 9%. To make matters worse, although the unemployment rate seems to be on the mend (currently at 7.8%), the size of the U.S. workforce has declined to its lowest levels since the late 70’s (nearly 4 decades). People no longer looking for work and no longer on unemployment are masking the true unemployment rate in the U.S.
Income – The family income under Obama has decreased by 6% from $54,000 to $50,500 annually. This is the lowest level since 1969 when adjusted for inflation. The number of people living in poverty is approaching 47 million nationally or 15.1%. Not only are millions of people unemployed, millions more are underemployed working fewer hours per week than ever before (more people have part time work). To complicate matters, ObamaCare incentivizes part time work, since the law mandates anyone working more than 30 hours be mandated as a full time employee; hence companies will have employees working fewer hours.
Entitlements – Anti-poverty entitlement spending and enrollment is up across the board (780 billion in 2009 to 930 billion in 2012 – 18.8% increase). The number of people collecting social security disability, food stamps, Medicaid, housing, and other forms of welfare are up dramatically. In fact, over 40% of all Americans are being subsidized by some government program. To make matters worse, the Democrats passed ObamaCare, which is the costliest entitlement of all time.
Taxes – Taxes on all Americans will go up under Obama, not just the income earners over $400,000 annually. ObamaCare, for instance, has dozens of taxes that will hit each and every American. For example, if you do not own health insurance you must purchase it or face a tax.
Spending – Obama has accumulated more debt and deficits than any other president, nearly 5 trillion dollars in 4 years which more than 30% of the total U.S. debt generated in our history. And for the first time in U.S. history, the credit rating for U.S. treasuries had been downgraded from AAA to AA+.
Political Money – Under this president the influence of political money has increased in terms of lobbying and campaign contributions (Nearly 2 billion for Obama alone and much coming from the heads of Oil and Wall Street banks). Obama claimed he would wipe out lobbying, but the fact of the matter is K Street is booming and has grown nearly 10% under Obama. This explains why Obama’s Recovery Act and ObamaCare legislation are 2,000 page bills – because there are lots of earmarks, carve outs, and pork in the legislation to satisfy K-Street lawyers and their clients.
Innovation – Obama has cut NASA, the most innovative program in government history. And instead of investing in innovation, Obama is investing in companies with no technological or intellectual property advantages over global competition. Hence, the result of Obama’s “green” initiative has been a complete failure despite pouring over 100 billion in taxpayer money into this cause. Unfortunately, this type of policy not only proves to generate less innovation, but it also places the government in position of picking winners and losers in industry. And to make matters worse, the companies Obama is picking to win are the same companies that contribute to his campaign. In other words, Obama is more interested in a quid pro quo process yielding favors instead of innovation.
Monday, February 4, 2013
It looks as if Congress and the White House are light years apart on immigration reform. What a surprise! In an immigration (campaign style) speech Obama gave in Las Vegas he said he wanted to expedite the citizenship process for those 11 million illegal aliens already in the United States. Obama also said he did not want to link citizenship to any border security enhancements. Here is a statement from the White House: “Administration officials were quick to say the president objects to linking an earned pathway to citizenship to enforcement or border security triggers, a contingency concept included in the bipartisan “principles” outlined by pro-reform senators who have been dubbed the “immigration eight.” Immigration enforcement goals have already been met by the administration, the officials said, and any new triggers or thresholds set by law would create unnecessary obstacles to those seeking legal status.”
In previous posts I point out that Obama would never let Republicans move further Left than Democrats on immigration reform. It is a pipe dream for Republicans or conservatives to think that their approval on immigration reform would yield any significant gains in the Hispanic electorate. Obama’s rhetoric on the subject only reinforces what I previously stated; he will not let Republicans be more liberal on the issue of immigration reform.
The “immigration eight” are willing to provide illegal aliens a pathway to citizenship, but they do not feel as if the pathway should be expedited. After all, these individuals broke the law and it makes little sense they should receive preferential treatment over immigrants who are following the law. This administration and liberals love to reward irresponsible and unlawful behavior with bailouts, entitlements, and now citizenship. This needs to stop. A reasonable solution to the problem should place at least some set of consequences in the pathway for citizenship for illegal aliens.
In 1986 Congress passed the Immigration and Reform Act. What was the result? Eleven million more illegal aliens have come to the United States over the past 25 years. Why? Because the bill did not improve border security; it did not hold illegal aliens accountable (it was not against the law) to apply for jobs; and it provided amnesty to any illegal aliens who came to the U.S. prior to 1982. This law was an invitation for illegal aliens to come to the U.S. in droves (nearly a half million per year). And Obama wants to make the same mistake Reagan made in 1986.
If there are no consequences for coming to the U.S. illegally and we fail to secure our borders then what do we expect the outcome to be? Yes, it does not take a rocket scientist to realize that another 11 million illegals will be flocking over the border to get the same preferential treatment. This is an ideal situation for Democrats because this means they will never lose another national election since Hispanics break for liberals about 70% of the time. The problem is that encouraging illegal immigration and expedited amnesty pose many potential problems. This effort will stress our already fragile entitlement spending programs. It will stress our healthcare system which already faces a doctor shortage. It will lead to more criminal activity including property destruction and environmental degradation in border states. There is a reason our immigration system has limits on how many people can enter to the U.S. and become citizens each year. It is because our country can only handle so much expansion from a fiscal and practical standpoint.
It will be much cheaper in the long run for the U.S. to increase border security then to invite millions more of illegal immigrants. There is no excuse for us not to have top flight border security. With technological advances there is no reason drone technology cannot be used to enhance border security not only along the Southern border, but along the Northern border and along our coastlines.
Friday, February 1, 2013
How do you change public opinion on guns or any issue for that matter if you are President Obama? First, politicize a tragedy such as the Newtown massacre. Second, use children to sway public opinion by having them present when signing unpopular executive orders. Finally, tell some seemingly harmless fibs to sway public opinion. Obama and Biden repeatedly stated that 40 percent of all gun purchases fail to go through a background check. The Washington Post released an article refuting these statistics: “In other words, rather than being 30 to 40 percent (the original estimate of the range) or “up to 40 percent” (Obama’s words), gun purchases without background checks amounted to 14 to 22 percent. And since the survey sample is so small, that means the results have a survey caveat: plus or minus six percentage points.”
The Washington Post also revealed some other interesting details about how the Obama Justice Department is failing to do its job in terms of gun control. “The penalty for selling a gun to a person who is a criminal, mentally ill, mentally incompetent, alcohol abuser or drug abuser is 10-year federal felony. That’s now, today, with no changes to the law. It is even a federal felony to submit false information on a background check form for the purpose of purchasing a firearm. Even so, according to a 2012 report to the Department of Justice, more than 72,000 people were turned down on a gun purchase in 2010 because they didn’t pass the background check. Yet, only 44 of those cases were prosecuted.” That is right; the government is only prosecuting less than 0.01% of all federal violations to background checks. This means these individuals are free to pursue other illegal ways to obtain a firearm if they are desperate. So what is the purpose of having universal background checks if the DOJ is not willing to follow up and file charges against those people who violate federal law? This is another federal government mystery.
To help sympathize with gun owners Obama claims to go skeet shooting “all the time” at Camp David. Interesting how this subject has just recently come up and how there is no proof Obama is telling the truth. We see pictures of Obama playing basketball, shooting pool, swimming, and just about anything he does. I find it odd we have never seen a picture of him with a gun especially if he does this all the time. Is this just another fib to win public opinion over an unpopular unilateral move on his part?
It never ceases to amaze me what this administration is capable of doing to win public opinion. They fabricate statistics to push through executive orders to hold the public accountable, but at the same time the federal government is exempt from any reforms even when they are failing to hold up their end when it comes to gun control. And then to play this game and insinuate Obama is a big gun user. This is really out of line (and not relevant to his actions), especially if the President is lying.