Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Immigration Debate Suckers Rubio? : Schumer Smiles

Just try and read Chuck Schumer's mind as he looks on during a speech given by Marco Rubio  - could it be he know Rubio is in over his head?

What a hoot for Chuck - that Rubio would actually believe the progressive Democrats would negotiate in good faith.

Maybe he's thinking he really suckered Rubio this time, and that when the immigration bill passes Rubio career is over.

Schumer is a Democrats Democrat - trust them at your own peril.

Congressional Members Seek Special Care

Political Cartoons by Nate BeelerI think we all know what they are full of - and it's not good will.

Healtcare Exchanges Are Unworkable : Feds Fail Yet Again

Interesting - what will the states do if the federal government can't establish the exchanges until next year or even later - some are stating that maybe not at all as the government can't make them work.

I wonder if the government is broke has anything to do with the fact ObamaCare is just a plan to bring the entire country under a 'single' payer program where everyone will have no choice as to what kind of health care you might want. You will take what ever the government deems best for you and like it. If you don't like, no one will care. If you refuse to take the plan laid out for you, you will have options, pay a huge fine or go to jail or both.

Are the people of this country ready to accept a life of control by an all powerful government? I wonder why a majority voted for an agenda that states it wants total power over all aspects of our lives? Who are these people?

States Could Push Part-Time Workers Into Exchanges
Source: Mike Baker, "Governments May Push Workers to Health Exchange," Associated Press, April 24, 2013

April 30, 2013

Under the ObamaCare mandate, every American must obtain health insurance and every company must provide its full-time workers with health coverage or pay a fine. Now, Washington state lawmakers have found a creative way of transferring a large chunk of their health care expenses into the health exchanges, says the Associated Press.
  • Washington state's government is planning on pushing a group of employees out of their current state-supported health care plan into the health exchange mandated by the Affordable Care Act.
  • The employees in question are part-time employees who currently receive health coverage through the state.
  • The plan would shift substantial costs to the federal budget while likely adding costs for some part-time workers.
While Washington state appears to be the first considering such a move, it probably will not be the last as state governments struggle to deal with their budget deficits and massive unfunded pension and health care liabilities.
  • The Department of Health and Human Services declined to comment on the proposal and it is unclear whether or not the move was anticipated when ObamaCare was drafted.
  • As of now, there are no federal rules dictating that a state cannot take such an action, only that all employees working over 30 hours must receive coverage.
  • Authors of Washington's plan say it would save the state $120 million over the next two years.
Unlike many others, Washington offers health coverage to employees working as few as 20 hours a week. Under the new proposal, these workers would lose state coverage but then receive higher wages to pay for insurance in the exchanges.
  • Instead of offering to sweeten the deal with higher wages, other states are simply telling their part-time workers that they must work less than 30 hours a week.
  • Under the mandate, employers are not required to provide coverage to workers who work less than 30 hours a week.
  • For workers witnessing a reduction in hours, the change might create substantial financial woes.

Federal Reserve Putting Country At Risk?

It appears that the Federal Reserve is just a tool of the Obama administration to keep the economy on track until the 2014 election next year. But the amount of debt we are creating will be an anchor to pull the economy into a huge tail spin.

Even though the other Quantitative Easing projects that were implemented over the last five years have done little or good other then to allow the stock market to set new records, unemployment is still at record levels and is continuing to go up.

Just how far is the Obama administration willing to go to get the election results that they want? Is forcing the entire country into another recession or even a depression acceptable to get total power? It sure looks like it.

Federal Reserve's Huge Balance Sheet Poses Risk
Source: Michael Derby, "Fed's Balance Sheet Could Take Nearly 10 Years to Normalize," Wall Street Journal, April 23, 2013.

April 30, 2013

When the housing market collapsed in 2007, bringing with it much of the financial industry, the Federal Reserve had to take drastic actions to protect the economy. These actions included lowering interest rates, asset acquisitions and successive rounds of quantitative easing. The result is that the Federal Reserve now has an enormous balance sheet that could take nearly 10 years to normalize, says the Wall Street Journal.
  • The Fed is expected to continue its current path of stimulus and purchasing of Treasury and mortgage bonds through the third quarter of 2014.
  • If this occurs, the Fed's balance sheet will not return to its historical norm of around 6 percent of gross domestic product until 2022.
  • Goldman Sachs expects that the balance sheet, which is now just over $3 trillion, will top out at around $4 trillion when the Fed feels confident enough about the U.S. economic outlook to end its current strategy of bond purchases.
The Fed has said that it will not sell any assets soon, meaning the balance sheet is unlikely to shrink as the central bank continues to engage in its monthly purchase of $85 billion of Treasury and mortgage debt.
  • The purchases are aimed at boosting growth, lowering unemployment and providing liquidity.
  • While many Fed officials continue to support asset acquisition, some officials believe the purchases should stop due to fears that the excessively stimulative policy could create new asset bubbles.
  • Other officials are worried about inflation and the risk of outright deflation occurring, which could mandate even more bond buying.
Central bankers, like investors and the American public, are unsure about the future of the U.S. economy. The fate of the Fed's balance sheet is largely unknown and the size of the Fed's balance sheet is certainly reason to worry. The unprecedented size of Fed holdings could create inflation in the future, which to fix would require economic tools that the Fed has never employed outside of economic models.

When the Fed increased its bond buying two years ago, it said that bond sales would be a primary tactic to tighten policy. Whether the market could handle the volume is unknown.

Middle Class Tax Increases : Obama Budget Reality

I wonder if there is anyone left in this country that actually believes anything that Mr Obama says? If there are those that still belong to the church of progressive socialism, and millions do, and they have gotten their fill of Kool-Aid, it will be a short hope to the poor house where they will be more happy living life from hand to mouth. Really, living in a card board box isn't all that bad.

Still, If Mr Obama knew this was happening, he would never allow this to continue.

Hallelujah - life is good - praise be to the 'one'.

Obama Budget Proposals Raises Taxes on Middle Class
Source: Steven Sloan, "Taxes: President Obama's Budget Would Hit Middle Class," Politico, April 23, 2013.

April 30, 2013

Higher taxes on the richest Americans are supposed to support middle- and lower-income Americans. Ironically, Obama's new budget proposal for 2014 will target middle-class taxpayers more than any of his previous proposals, says Politico.
  • The new proposal calls for a cap on deductions, changes the way some tax benefits are calculated and includes a big increase in cigarette taxes.
  • These proposals would fall disproportionately on middle- and lower-class Americans.
  • For the first time in his presidency, Obama is proposing to raise taxes on people below the $250,000 threshold.
Some state and local Democratic leaders are afraid that the new taxes will affect their constituents who earn decent money but do not consider themselves rich. Capping the mortgage tax deduction will increase the tax liabilities of many middle-income Americans at a time when the housing market is finally beginning to gain momentum.
  • Obama's budget proposal seeks to change the way inflation is calculated, which would reduce the annual growth rate of federal programs like Social Security and subsidies like the Earned Income Tax Credit.
  • The proposal also seeks to cap deductions, which would affect people with taxable income as low as $183,000.
Along with his new proposals that target the middle class, Obama's proposal continues to push for higher taxes on the wealthy.
  • The proposal seeks to install the Buffett rule, which is a minimum 30 percent tax on income exceeding $1 million and also seeks to limit the amount of tax-advantaged contributions that can be funneled into Individual Retirement Accounts.
  • Taxpayers earning more than $1 million would see their tax liabilities soar by an average of $82,604 in 2015.
Under the budget proposal, those earning between $75,000 and $100,000 will pay an additional $74 in taxes and those earning between $100,000 and $200,000 will pay an additional $149 in taxes, on average.
  • The budget also seeks to raise the federal cigarette tax from $1.01 per pack to $1.95 per pack to fund education.
  • Twenty-nine percent of adults who live at or below the poverty line smoke while only 18 percent of the overall population smokes, meaning the new tax would be incredibly regressive.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Leadership in Washington Seeks Cutout on ObamaCare

Political Cartoons by Steve KelleyWhat more can one say about our leadership? Who voted for these guys? Twice

DHS Plans for Registration of Illegals at the fence

http://demwits.com/2012/03/we-can-put-the-polling-booth-right-o  This is just one of the ways the progressive Democrats plan on getting as many illegals registered as possible even if the new bill doesn't get passed before the elections next year.

White House Press Correspondents Dinner : Brokaw Declines

What next for the dinner? Why have this thing at all - the entire media is part and parasail of this administration, the Democrat party - this is like Obama holding class and allowing the students to laugh at his jokes to get a good grade.

Truly, the press has been coopted by the progressives to do their bidding, it's only in the last four years has the press completely allowed itself to stand front and center for all to see their duplicity and not care.

Tom Brokaw says ‘no thanks’ to White House Correspondents' Dinner
“But I think any organization,” he continued, “… has to have a kind of self-policing instinct and what we’re doing with that dinner, as it has been constituted for the past several years, is saying, ‘We’re Versailles. The rest of you eat cake.’”
Henry told POLITICO: “I have looked up to Tom Brokaw my whole life and take his journalism and his thoughts seriously.” Henry also said he is working to improve the image that the dinner projects.

“I have put a lot of energy into making sure as many White House correspondents as possible get invites, instead of celebrities and others. And, as we speak, I am working this very week with Jay Carney’s office on getting young staffers who work with the White House press corps some invites to the dinner,” Henry added. “As for celebrities, last time I checked it’s a free country, so individual news organizations can invite whomever they choose. It’s really not the WHCA’s place to dictate to members of our organization who to invite or who not to invite. But I continue to strongly encourage our members to invite as many journalists and White House aides to the dinner as possible because these are the people who deserve to be in the room for what is a very fun night.”

Brokaw stopped attending the WHCD years ago and says he won’t be there this year. “I would watch on C-SPAN, and as I watched on C-SPAN, I would try to put myself, kind of, if you will, in the person of an interested citizen in Kansas City, or in Little Rock, or in Spokane, Wash., saying, ‘That’s the Washington press corps?’ I mean, there was more dignity at my daughter’s junior prom than there is [at] what I’m seeing on C-SPAN there,” he said.

Despite his criticism, Brokaw doesn’t see himself as a never-say-die scold about the affair.
“This is not a crusade on my part. I’ve had my say. This is what I believe,” he said. “I think I still have some standing in the Washington press corps, having spent as much time there as I did, as I continue to, so it’s really up to the organizations and this generation of correspondents in Washington to make the determination for themselves. I’m not going to stay on their back about it. What I would do is take a hard look at it and find ways to temper the more outrageous qualities of it. Why do we think to have a successful evening, you have to have Donald Trump as your guest of honor, for example, or Lindsay Lohan?”

And it’s not as if Brokaw wants celebrities gone altogether. He recalls receiving a picture from CBS News’s Bob Schieffer last year of the newsman posing next to “Homeland” star Claire Danes. Along with the photo was a note: “Sorry, Brokaw, I’m not giving this up.”

“I get that,” Brokaw said. “Claire Danes is not someone I’m talking about. She’s a big deal. And you can bring in George Clooney, he loves to come there. He’s a serious guy in Hollywood. But it’s gone down-market, in my judgment, in too many ways.”

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/04/tom-brokaw-white-house-correspondents-dinner-90427_Page2.html#ixzz2Rt2KjQPL

ObamaCare Exchanges Designed for Failure : A Progressive Vote Getter

I wonder if anyone knows what the true effect of ObamaCare will be on us all? The fact that we have to wait until our fearless leader's elite in Washington gets around to letting us know what it will demand and what the real cost will be, does not bode well for our health care system.

But again, it's not about providing health care for the population, it's always about securing a large portion of the citizens to vote progressive Democrat for the foreseeable future, the fact that the agenda will destroy health care for everyone is no importance.

Millions who think they will be getting free health care will actually get little or no care, but still believe the progressives have their best interests at heart and vote accordingly. Being thrown under the bus is no reason to not vote Democrat. 

Health Exchanges Could Lack Competition
Source: Christine Vestal, "Lack of Competition Might Hamper Health Exchanges," Stateline, April 23, 2013.

April 29, 2013

By January 1, 2014, most states will have some form of insurance exchange as mandated by ObamaCare. The exchanges are supposed to provide more choices and greater competition. However, a lack of competition within the exchanges might hamper their ability to lower prices, says Stateline.
  • Alabama, Hawaii, Michigan, Delaware, Alaska, North Dakota, South Carolina, Rhode Island, Wyoming and Nebraska are all dominated by a single insurance company.
  • This lack of competition is unlikely to change once exchanges are introduced into the health care system.
  • Outside of the competition issues, many fear that the health exchanges will struggle to achieve their envisioned purpose.
ObamaCare skeptics wonder how many eligible individuals will show up given the fact that a majority of Americans do not know what an exchange is or how it works.
  • An exchange is supposed to operate as a private marketplace that provides insurance to individuals who do not receive insurance from their employers.
  • Individuals and businesses with up to 100 employees will be able to shop on the exchanges, which are supposed to provide an array of insurance options.
  • The American Medical Association estimates that a single insurance company held 50 percent or more of the market in nearly 70 percent of local markets nationwide.
With the lack of competition, federal regulations may push up premiums because carriers are now required to cover everyone, even people with preexisting conditions who cost more to insure.
  • Insurance rates for individuals may increase by as much as 32 percent over the first few years of the exchanges because many healthy people will not enter the exchanges.
  • The federal government is expected to provide more than $300 billion in subsidies to people who cannot afford insurance.
For states that choose to expand Medicaid, the federal government will pour even more money into the health exchanges. For the exchanges dominated by fewer insurers, this could equal huge profits.

Tax Code Designed to Strangle & Control Citizens : IRS Wants More

One has to wonder as this code gets more and more complex will the politicians ever have the spine to change this to actually benefit the taxpayer. I think this will only happen if the Republicans have both houses of the government and the presidency.

Maybe a 'super' majority in the House and Senate will be needed as many Republicans, along with all progressive Democrats, will cave to the pressures from special interests.

Tax Code More Complex Than Ever
Source: David Keating, "A Taxing Trend: The Rise in Complexity, Forms, and Paperwork Burdens," National Taxpayers Union, April 15, 2013.

April 24, 2013

Over the decades, the U.S. tax code has become incrementally more complex, with small additions, loopholes and deductions being added slowly. Today's forms and instructions are far more complicated than year's past and the trend is likely to continue, says David Keating of the National Taxpayers Union.
  • According to data from the Office of Management and Budget, the current paperwork burden generated by the Internal Revenue Service now totals more than 6.7 billion hours, which is equivalent to about 3.35 million employees working 40-hour weeks year-round with just two weeks off.
  • The value of 6.7 billion hours is more than $240 billion, including $34 billion in out-of-pocket expenses (tax return preparation and software costs).
  • The most recent publication of the official Tax Code contains more than 3.9 million words, which is a 112,000 word increase from 2010.
In addition to the law itself, there are 20 volumes of regulations spanning 14,000 pages with more than 10 million words.
  • Even for the common and simple 1040 tax form, there are 214 pages in the instruction booklet, about five times the number in 1975, one of the many reasons why the IRS has repeatedly said that the complexity of the Internal Revenue Code is the most serious problem facing taxpayers.
  • There are more than 2,022 publications, forms and instructions advising the public on tax compliance and average wait times for telephone assistance were more than 15 minutes last year.
  • U.S. tax compliance time burden ranks 63rd in the world while the total tax rate -- including corporate, payroll and other taxes -- ranked 132nd out of 185 in the world.
The tax system is so complex that now only paid professionals or tax preparation software navigate the intricacies of the tax code. General Electric, one of America's largest companies, files a tax return of over 24,000 pages every year.
  • Today, almost 60 percent of taxpayers use a preparation service, compared to 38 percent in 1980. The cost of such services rose from an average of $27.36 in 1980 to an average of $192 in 2012.
  • ObamaCare surtaxes, limits on exemptions and deductions, and a higher death tax rate have increased the tax complexity and more tax laws are currently being considered by Congress.

Postal Service Failing : Progressive Gov Officals Accepting Failure

Who Knew!!! Government stands in the way of reform at the Post Office - But why would our government of the smartest people in the room decide it's a good thing for the Post Office to lose billions of taxpayers dollars rather then finding ways to save the entire system from collapse?

This just has to be the politics of certain people getting benefits from huge deficit spending, and if the system comes under control where the Post Office has the opportunity to stop the looses,  all those dollars flowing into special pockets would dry up. For all of these special interests, primarily the postal unions and progressive Democrat voters, this is Unacceptable.

Postal Service Losing $25 Million Daily with "Broken Business Model"
Source: Joe Davidson, "USPS Losing $25 Million Daily with 'Broken Business Model,'" Washington Post, April 17, 2013.

April 19, 2013

Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe told Congress recently that the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) could become "a significant burden to the taxpayer" if it does not get needed flexibility to change its business operations, says the Washington Post.

Appearing before a congressional hearing for the first time since the Postal Service had to back away from a plan to reduce delivery days from six to five, Donahoe told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that "the Postal Service is currently operating with a broken business model."
"We are losing $25 million dollars every day and we are on an unsustainable path," he added.
  • Donahoe said USPS needs the flexibility to implement five-day delivery, "to develop and price products quickly," "to control our health care and retirement costs," and "to switch to a defined contribution retirement system for new employees."
  • Donahoe also said the USPS needs to be allowed to "to quickly realign our mail processing, delivery and retail networks" and "to develop a more streamlined governance model."
  • He concluded that the Postal Service "need[s] more flexibility in the way we leverage our workforce."
Donahoe announced in February that a five-day delivery schedule would save $2 billion annually and would begin in August. He had to change course, he said, after congressional action "specifically designed to prevent the Postal Service from changing its delivery schedule.  According to this law, we are now required to deliver mail as if it were the year 1983."

Though Donahoe's five-day plan was blocked, he views it as a delay, rather than a defeat.
"Our customers require certainty -- especially about something as fundamental as our delivery schedule," he said. "And so, we announced that we would delay implementation of our new schedule until we gained legislation giving us the ability to move forward."

Stimulus Money Wasted by Fraud and Theft : The Progressive Agenda

Again, this isn't news - most of us knew this program would fail just because it was directed by the federal government, and especially being run by progressive socialists. Who knew?

Where did most of the money  go, local and state governments to support state and local unions, the Democrat voter base, including GM auto workers.

2009 Stimulus Was Squandered
Source: Peter Suderman, "Down the Drain," Reason Magazine, April 15, 2013.

April 19, 2013

President Obama touted the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (the "stimulus") as a chunk of funding that would put people back to work rebuilding roads and bridges, modernizing schools, and building alternative and green energy capabilities.

Instead of creating the 2 million to 2.5 million jobs that were promised, however, the $833 billion stimulus package was largely squandered, says Peter Suderman, senior editor at Reason Magazine.
  • As soon as the bill was signed, a Spokane, Washington, construction firm was awarded more than $450,000 to replace 22 remote toilets in Mark Twain National Forest south of St. Louis.
  • New Mexico also received $2.8 million to spend on new toilets in its national parks and an astounding $42 million went to upgrading toilets and other sanitation facilities in Alaska.
The goal of the stimulus was to boost output by injecting money into the economy to stimulate consumer demand with the hope of creating a multiplier effect. A multiplier effect occurs when each dollar of stimulus creates more than $1 of economic activity. The multiplier effect for the stimulus is estimated between 0.5 and 2.0, but is hard to measure precisely.
  • Almost the entire $833 billion stimulus was borrowed because the government could not tax to raise the funds.
  • Stimulus money went for a variety of pointless absurdities including $760,000 for interactive dance software, $1.9 million for international ant research, $550,000 to replace windows at a Forest Service visitor center that was closed, $700,000 for behavioral research into how monkeys respond to inequality and $194,000 to study voter perceptions of the stimulus package.
  • Nearly half of the new hires that stimulus money generated were employees that were previously employed, meaning that it added far fewer jobs than expected.
  • Approximately 33 percent of the money went to transfer programs like aid for the unemployed and other low-income individuals.
"Shovel ready" projects were harder to find once the stimulus had been passed but the funds did keep some employers in business when they would have otherwise failed. Stimulus funds were spent quickly and with little regard for the economic impact. The Congressional Budget Office stated that it is impossible to tell how many jobs the stimulus created.

Whether the stimulus worked or whether it was wasted is a matter of opinion since the multiplier effect is unknown and much of the money was spent with little oversight. Four years later, with the economy still struggling to recover, there is plenty of reason to be pessimistic.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Post Office Enhanced Performace : Lance Armstrong Guilty?

Political Cartoons by Steve KelleyNow this is a good one!! I just love this.

Progressive Democrats Win on Free Stuff : Repubicans Cave

Political Cartoons by Robert AriailThis no joke - the Republicans have no idea what to do to win elections. To stand on principle is out of the question.

Too many believe they have to follow the progressive socialist plan of 'free stuff' - worse it's the progressive Democrats that are telling the Republicans this is the only way they can win, and even worse then that, many Republicans believe they are right.

Why would the Democrats want the Republicans to win anything? Ever! Go figure.

The Tale of Two Presidents : Berry and George

All of sudden George Bush is taking on new life from many on the right that bad mouthed him during is eight years in office. Still, given what we have now about Berry, George is starting to look a lot better then his critics.

How embarrassing it must be for Mr Obama to have the same approval rating as George Bush - the guy he has demagogued for the last 5 years.

But now, the bill boards that dotted the landscape for many months a few years ago are starting to make a lot more sense even to the die hard conservatives, "Miss me yet?" Yeah, we do. I missed him from the very beginning of this nightmare back in 2008. Many of us were never fooled. Unfortunately, many more were and still are.

If George W. Bush Were President Today
Mark Davis                

As President Obama joined four ex-presidents for the dedication of a facility honoring his immediate predecessor, comparisons were unavoidable. Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush were teenagers during the depression. The childhoods of Bill Clinton and the honoree, George W. Bush, spanned the 1950s. Generational and political differences jump out from any perusal of these five presidencies. But on a cool, sun-splashed morning in Dallas, there was harmony all around for the dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Center.

But as soon as the kind words of the morning were concluded, I dove back into the messy remains of a week containing tough, pressing issues: What to make of the Boston bombers? How to fix immigration? And what to do about an administration forcing pain onto citizens to make them fear spending cuts? And that’s just today.

Who knows what the future will bring in the remaining 45 months of the Obama presidency?
With those prospects wrapped around us constantly, amid a week of revisitation of the Bush years, a diverting exercise occurred to me. What if Bush were president today? I don’t mean at the beginning of what would be a fourth term. Who knows what Bush policies would have yielded during the years since 2009? (Although I dare say the product would have been preferable to what we have lived through).

No, for the sake of this flight of political fancy, we’re going to roust Mr. Bush from the retirement he seems to be enjoying so profoundly and put him back in the Oval Office right now. This is made more adventurous by 43’s steadfast refusal to weigh in on meaty issues since he left office. This is a show of consummate class and restraint that is foreign to the likes of Jimmy Carter, who remains embittered by the pink slip handed him by the American people 32 years ago. So with no archive of articles featuring George W. riffing on events of the last four years, we are left with his record and the handful of quote nuggets he has offered up in interviews this week.

As Vice President Joe Biden returns from a Boston memorial service where he referred to the Tsarnaev brothers as “cowardly, knock-off jihad’s,” the first thing I know is that a Bush administration would not be trying so hard to block any narrative assigning deep terrorist roots to the bombings.

We have much to learn about the brothers’ influences and motives, but as we learned of the jihadist flavor of their lives, it was another example of the term “radical Islam” sticking in this White House’s throat.

Say what you will about the methods and strategies of Bush’s war on terror. At least he waged it, and he never failed to identify the enemy by name. Obama fans grow frustrated that despite killing bin Laden, keeping Guantanamo open and launching the (brief) Afghan surge, the 44th president does not carry the image of a brave protector of America. That is because we cannot truly fight terror unless we recognize where it comes from. When Obama wants to protect our lives with the same energy he expends protecting Muslim feelings, we will be instantly safer.

On immigration, I suspect Bush would favor the Rubio-led “Gang of Eight” reform plan. I get that feeling because I have big problems with that plan, and they match up with some of my criticisms of immigration policy under Bush, who was never the border warrior many conservatives wanted him to be. Nor was he the spending-cutter Republicans supposedly require. This makes me suspect he might work to erode the sequester, which I love more with each passing day.

But if W were to plug back in, even with all of his “big-government conservative” instincts, in no way would he approach the severity of the plunder we have seen under Obama. And if he were to spend more than I would like, at least it would be fueled by the engine of an economy energized by lower taxes. If the fiscal issues would be a mixed bag, at least the social agenda would be returned to some level of human decency.

There is a reason why Barack Obama knows any remarks he makes to Planned Parenthood are an invitation to a reputational barbecue. He knows-- or should know-- that we are reminded of his Illinois State Senate votes against protecting babies who happen to survive the carnage of abortion. And we are stunned by the silence of this White House amid the ghoulish revelations of the Kermit Gosnell trial.

I don’t pretend that President Bush would be issuing daily Gosnell laments as the trial goes to the jury, but we would regain a President who believes the unborn deserve protection, and who would nominate Supreme Court justices who would see to it that states wishing to issue that protection were not thwarted by the constitutional obscenity that is Roe v. Wade.

But I do not suggest that a reinstalled Bush would seek a national abortion ban, any more than he would seek a federal definition of marriage as one man and one woman. Much is made of Laura Bush’s quote favoring “the same sort of rights” for gay marrieds. That is not “marriage equality” in its strictest sense, and she made clear to an advocacy group that she does not wish to be joined in an ad with various figures who have boarded the equivalency train. I believe the Bush approach would be to push for strong abortion limits and unique recognition of man-woman marriage in every state, with the knowledge that states may ultimately do what they wish on those issues.

Would that the current administration respected the states’ right to run their own affairs on matters not specifically described in the Constitution.

In short, a new Bush presidency would probably satisfy conservatives in some ways and annoy them in others, much as his eight actual years did. But at the dawn of a second term of Europe-style neo-socialism, insufficient attention to global evil and hard-left social leanings, it would be a substantial improvement.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Obama Offered Sharpton and Jackson Alternatives

http://demwits.com/2012/03/i-told-you-he-would-be-a-crappy-presThese are tough times when the guy you thought would bring home the bacon for you, instead he just kicked you in the ass sending you to the back of the bus.

The alternative that he offered was being thrown under the bus.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Free Market Profit Making Reduces Pollution : Who Knew?

Free markets work - always, and this is the basic reason the progressive socialists hate it and attack it every chance they get which is every day of the week - Who are progressives?, the Democrat party and they alias the main stream media.

Understand - believe nothing of what you read in the main stream media or what you hear and see on the lettered channels and progressive liberal cable news. Beware of Fox as well - even though they are better then the others, be on your toes when watching their reporting, listen and weigh the information as to what you know, but be aware of what you think you know might be wrong. Check the information out a difference sources before settling on a conclusion.

Fox, for the most part though, historically, is as close as one will come to the truth in the mass media television.

Capitalist Profit Motive Reduces Pollution
Source: Pierre Desrochers, "Greed Is Green: How the Profit Motive Helps the Environment," The American, April 19, 2013.

April 26, 2013

Environmentalists have always contended that greed and profits result in the depletion of non-renewable resources, habitats and species. Yet, as wealth has grown, the environment has gotten cleaner and emissions have fallen. This is because greed and the quest for profitably drives increased efficiency, says Pierre Desrochers, an associate professor of geography at the University of Toronto.
  • The reduced emissions and concentrations of some pollutants follows the environmental Kuznets curve (EKC), which predicts higher pollution levels at lower incomes which peak and then fall as income exceeds a threshold level.
  • The EKC-like results that the United States has witnessed are attributed to higher standards of living that allow increased consumption of environmentally-conscious amenities and a shift to less pollution producing economic activities.
These possible explanations do not truly account for the reason why pollution has decreased. In reality, firms seek increasingly efficient uses of material resources because it affects their bottom line. The transformation of industrial waste into lucrative byproducts is one trend that has ensured that pollution decreases while reliance on environmental resources is minimized.
  • Examples of this transformation include synthetic dyes manufactured from coal tar, which is produced from the manufacture of gas from coal, and plastics developed from once highly problematic petroleum residuals.
  • This view of the profit motive is counter to the dominant view held by sustainable development theorists and environmental activists who claim that economic expansion always brings increasing emissions.
  • Instead, the profit motive is now "green," as manufacturers seek out ways to supplement their revenue streams in the competitive market.
Even Karl Marx recognized that waste plays an important role in almost every industry because it reduces the cost of raw materials. Despite the empirical evidence proving the theoretical explanation of why emissions have fallen as economic expansion has increased, environmentalists will still lambaste the capitalist search for profits.

Voucher, Charter Schools Impact College Attendees/Outcomes

"What we have here is a failure to communicate". Cool Hand Luke knew what he was talking about when he restated those famous words just before he stopped a bullet from the originator of that statement, the prison administrator.

It's similar to how so many among us refuse to recognize the value of charter schools, and the voucher system, and why they are successful. It is a failure, refusal, to communicate the ideas of success to the general public by the mainstream media and progressive government officials that have a vested interest in teacher unions that control outcomes in public schools.

It's really just that simple. It's about power and control and those that have it will not share it or give it up.

The Impact of School Vouchers on College Enrollment
Source: Matthew Chingos and Paul Peterson, "The Impact of School Vouchers on College Enrollment," Education Next, Summer 2013

April 26, 2013

In the late 1990s, a group of philanthropists created the New York School Choice Scholarships Foundation (SCSF), which offered three-year vouchers worth up to $1,400 annually through a lottery system and set of qualifications that determined need. A new study continues the program's rigorous assessment by evaluating the college enrollment rates of voucher recipients, say Matthew Chingos, a fellow in the Brookings Institution's Brown Center on Education Policy, and Paul Peterson, a professor of government and director of the Program on Education Policy and Governance at Harvard University and senior fellow at the Hoover Institution.
  • The study tracks 2,637 SCSF scholarship applicants through the National Student Clearinghouse, which has data representing 96 percent of all college students.
  • The study finds that college enrollment increased by 0.7 percentage points when a voucher was offered, which is statistically insignificant.
  • However, when broken down by race, African American college-enrollment increased by 9 percentage points, an increase of 24 percent, when a voucher was used for a private school.
Increased African American college enrollment was found across all types of colleges, whether private, four-year or selective. Full-time college enrollment increased by 7 percentage points and an 8 percent increase in students who attended private school was observed with vouchers being offered.
  • The study found insignificant results for Hispanics with the voucher offer, presumably because Hispanics were more likely to attend college without the voucher opportunity.
  • Another reason for the disparity between African American and Hispanic college enrollment is the greater likelihood Hispanics already attended higher quality schools.
  • Students from other ethnic backgrounds were less numerous and less likely to use the voucher when it was offered to them, and were thus outside the scope of the study's results.
The study duplicates results from studies examining Washington, D.C.'s federally funded voucher program, which also found a higher impact for African American students.

Benghazi Murders A Cover-Up? : Progressives Stonewalling?

How can something like this disaster in Benghazi  be allowed to die as the White House and the media want it to? That this administration knew what was going on there, and did nothing to help save those people from death, that was a direct result of the White House and the Sec of State incompetence, must be called what it is, criminal negligence.
Then if I can go that far, then the next step is these people are guilty of negligent homicide. Remember Ted Kennedy and Mary Jo his girl friend that died, drowned, as he ran away?
 But according to Hillary Clinton, "what difference does it make anyway" that we abandoned all those people to certain death, it's far more important to cover our tracks so we aren't held responsible at the next election.
If you ever wondered just how far the progressives socialist liberal Democrats will go to keep control and power, wonder no further. Remember the motto of the progressives when seeking new avenues of power or keeping the power they have, "by any means necessary". This is not idle talk, this is ideology, this is the religion of the progressives.
Benghazi Lies and Cover-Up? It Does Make a Difference
The attack on the American consulate that left four Americans dead in Benghazi occurred a little more than seven months ago.
Today, we still have few, if any answers, about who attacked the consulate and killed an American ambassador. And we don’t have any answers as to why the American people were lied to over and over again in the wake of the attack.
Late on Tuesday, House Republicans released an interim report on Benghazi, trying to get the answers for the American people on what went wrong. 
Compiled by five House committees, the report is damning on a number of levels. It shows that the reduction of security prior to the attacks was approved at the highest levels of the State Department, contrary to the January testimony of Secretary of State Clinton.
In addition, the report finds that the talking points that misled Americans about a video and a protest were edited not to protect classified information but to protect the State Department.
What happened in Benghazi is tragic. Our failure to seek justice and punish those who killed Ambassador Stevens and the three other Americans serving in Libya is reprehensible.
No one at the State Department or in the Obama Administration has been held to account for these failures and lies. No one has even been fired.
But perhaps what is worse is that the Obama administration, their Democratic allies, and the mainstream media have successfully swept the entire scandal under the rug. Outside of Fox News and conservative media, few media outlets seem to care about the entire episode. And as a result, a great deal of Americans are tuned out.
This script has largely played out before with the Fast and Furious scandal. The Obama administration and Attorney General Eric Holder ignored and spun while the mainstream media buried the story. And today, there still are no answers or accountability for the family of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.
There used to be a day when the American people and media didn't tolerate lying and cover-ups in the highest levels of government. To paraphrase the Secretary of State, it did make a difference. And if we now accept the lies, if we now don't care, it calls into question the entire idea of an accountable government.

Food Stamp Recruiters : Progressive's Free Stuff Agenda

Does anyone really believe that this nation isn't headed for destruction? How does an Conservative governor allow this to happen in his state? How do other Conservatives explain this as a good thing?

Maybe there isn't an explanation to this grab for the free stuff - maybe this is what the majority of the population believes is the right thing to do. It would seem so given that a majority voted for more free stuff last November.

The real problem that I see popping up in the near future is, what will we do when the "makers" decide to stop 'making' and start 'taking' like everyone else? Who will be left to pay for all the free stuff?

 Moocher Nation: Paid Food Stamp Recruiters
Via Ben Domenech, your head-banging story of the day: the Obama Administration’s program to recruit folks onto food stamps. But don’t miss the story of the 60-year-old man at the end. 

"Why are there 47 million people on food stamps – and why have those numbers continued to climb even after the economic downturn? Because states have hired hundreds of recruiters to sign people up."
"[I]t is Nerios’s job to enroll at least 150 seniors for food stamps each month, a quota she usually exceeds. Alleviate hunger, lessen poverty: These are the primary goals of her work. But the job also has a second and more controversial purpose for cash-strapped Florida, where increasing food-stamp enrollment has become a means of economic growth, bringing almost $6 billion each year into the state. The money helps to sustain communities, grocery stores and food producers. It also adds to rising federal entitlement spending and the U.S. debt... 

A decade ago, only about half of eligible Americans chose to sign up for food stamps. Now that number is 75 percent. Rhode Island hosts SNAP-themed bingo games for the elderly. Alabama hands out fliers that read: "Be a patriot. Bring your food stamp money home." Three states in the Midwest throw food-stamp parties where new recipients sign up en masse." 

"The story of one 60 year old man wrestling against going on food stamps is at the center of the piece:" 

"Only later, alone with Celeste, had he said what he really thought: "A damn sky dive. That’s our life. How does anyone fall this far, this fast?" 

"And now SNAP brochures were next to him on the table — one more step down, he thought, reading over the bold type on the brochure. "Applying is easy." "Eat right!" "Every $5 in SNAP generates $9.20 for the local economy." … 

"Sir, can I help?" Nerios asked. She brought over some food. She gave him her business card and a few brochures about SNAP. "I don’t want to be another person depending on the government," he said. "How about being another person getting the help you deserve?" she said… "Makers and takers," 

Lonnie had told the kids then, explaining that the world divided into two categories. The Briglias were makers… 

He wondered: Sixty years old now, and who was he? A maker? A taker? 

"I’m not ready to sign up for this yet," he said. 

"Soon we might have to," she said. 

He tucked Nerios’s business card into his back pocket. 

"I know," he said. "I’m keeping it."

No word yet on whether the paid recruiters will be affected by the sequester. Somehow we think not.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Natural Gas Porduction Shows Low Emissions : Really? Who Knew?

Natural gas production is the future for energy production as this becomes more apparent, the progressive socialist Democrats are ramping up their the war against production of this energy resource.

The bases for the war against natural gas is the war being waged by eco-fascist progressives against 'fracking' which is used to retract the gas from bed rock. This is just more of the same when it comes to anything that is associated with fossil fuels. Does it matter our entire country depends on fossil fuel for it survival, hell no. "What difference does it make anyway", it's getting and keeping power by any means necessary, the country be damned.

Again, who voted for the progressive socialists, twice!!!!! It can't just be ignorance, this has to stupidity!!

Increased Natural Gas Production Lowers Emissions
Source: Russell Gold, "Rise in U.S. Gas Production Fuels Unexpected Plunge in Emissions," Wall Street Journal, April 18, 2013.

April 25, 2013

For years, environmentalists have lambasted all carbon-based fuels, primarily crude oil and natural gas, as the source of the carbon dioxide emissions that are causing global warming. Despite their warnings, U.S. natural gas production has increased and, as a result, carbon dioxide emissions have fallen dramatically, says the Wall Street Journal.
  • Carbon dioxide emissions from energy production has fallen 12 percent between 2005 and 2012, according to the U.S. Energy Department.
  • Carbon dioxide emissions account for nearly 84 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, but the main product of natural gas based energy production, methane, only accounts for 8.8 percent of greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Emissions are now at their lowest level since 1994, as natural gas emits half as much carbon dioxide as coal when used to make electricity.
The fall in carbon emissions is also due to a sluggish U.S. economy and increasing energy efficiency. But most of the decline is due to the transition of energy production from coal-fired electricity plants to natural gas powered plants.
  • Natural gas plants now account for 30 percent of power produced in the United States, up 11 percent from 7 years ago.
  • This trend may last only as long as natural gas stays more affordable than coal.
  • As soon as natural gas prices rise, which they already are, plants will begin switching back to burning coal due to its plentiful supply and stable price.
In the future, the U.S. Energy Department expects emissions to rise slowly beginning in 2015 but will not reach 2005 levels by 2040. While the United States has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions, global levels have not decreased because Europe and many developing countries still rely on coal-fired electricity.
  • The EU has said that European greenhouse emissions have fallen 17.5 percent since 1990, while U.S. emissions have risen 8 percent overall.
  • However, the faster decline in U.S. emissions between 2005 and 2012 puts the United States on track to reach the Obama administration's goal of a 17 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.
Opponents of natural gas production say that the reduced emissions statistics fail to account for the natural gas leaks that occur during production. Some companies are using technology to capture the natural gas leaks and some states require companies to implement the technology.

Wind Energy Not Competitive : Nothing New!

Here again is still more information damming wind energy and the insanity that is continuing to be demanded of the public. How can the voter be so uninformed, or ignorant to believe by voting for Mr. Obama our country will be a better place to live.

Bottom line here, how do the rest of us that didn't vote for Mr. Obama hold those that did vote for him responsible for their collective bad judgment as all the rest of us with better judgment are suffering as a result.

Wind Energy Cannot Compete in Free Market
Source: Marlo Lewis, "Can Wind 'Compete' without Subsidy?" GlobalWarming.org, April 18, 2013.

April 25, 2013

Renewable energy endeavors have been the recipients of massive federal subsidies meant to jumpstart the industry. A new House Science, Space and Technology Committee hearing recently examined the efficiency and effectiveness of federal wind energy incentives. The findings of the committee suggest that wind cannot compete in the free market without the subsidies, says Marlo Lewis, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.
  • According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, nine agencies administered 82 programs providing $4 billion in financial support to the wind industry in 2011.
  • The support, which was provided in the forms of grants, loans, loan guarantees and tax breaks, was used overwhelmingly for deployment of wind energy, rather than for research and development.
  • The American Wind Energy Association disputes the claim that 82 programs granted aid, saying that only two of the 82 programs were wind-specific and that less than 1 percent of wind projects took both a tax break and a Department of Energy loan.
Some members of the committee suggested shifting more funding toward research and development, which could serve to make wind technologies more competitive in the market.
  • The subsidies are currently wasted on start-ups and firms that use the government aid to prop up investments that will never be profitable.
  • The principles of the free market, as well as President Carter's energy programs, remind us that if a technology is viable the market will ensure its success, and if a technology is not commercially viable no amount of government support can lead to its success.
Despite this logic, the Cape Wind project, which seeks to place more than 130 440-foot wind turbines off the cost of the Nantucket Sound, has received regulatory approval from the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Federal Aviation Administration, each of which has noted the serious impacts of the proposal. In addition, the proposal would raise electricity rate for residents of Massachusetts.
  • Wind is not competitive because it is not reliable, it can fluctuate rapidly and consumers pay for certainty.
  • The cost per megawatt-hour (MWh) of combined capital and operating expenses of the lifetime of a new wind unit is $96/MWh versus $66.1/MWh for natural gas.
  • Wind turbines are also more expensive because they are usually built in remote locations and the energy they produce must be transported further, as well as the decreasing productivity they experience throughout their lifetime.

Wind Power Cost Huge : Production Small

This information has been around for a long time but still seems to go unrewarded by the general public and our legislators. Billions of dollars are still being pumped into the system without regard for common sense or regard for taxpayer's money.

What this is, is politics as usual for the progressive Democrats - just like the billions wasted on electric cars, battery companies, and the solar industry. The Obama administration picked the solar industry and the wind companies as a means to placate the environmentalists to get their support, and the far left eco-fascists that threaten violence if they don't get their way. That all of this will cripple our productive industries is of little concern.

The High Cost of Low-Value Wind Power
Source: Jonathan A. Lesser, "The High Cost of Low-Value Wind Power," Regulation Magazine, Spring 2013.

April 17, 2013

Subsidies for renewable energy distort markets and are economically inefficient, driving out legitimate competitors and leading to higher prices in the long run. Despite the evidence that shows the negative effects of renewable energy, there are still those that make an argument for it, says Jonathan A. Lesser, founder and president of Continental Economics Inc.
Consider arguments for subsidized renewable wind energy:
  • Renewable generation simply needs more time to innovate and reduce its costs to be fully competitive with fossil generation.
  • Conventional energy generation has been subsidized for over a century; therefore, renewable generation deserves subsidies as well.
  • Economic salvation will come from a subsidized "green energy" path.
  • Reduced emissions of air pollutants.
  • Greater energy independence, reducing dependence on crude oil.
  • Reduction in fossil fuel price volatility.
The reality counters the arguments for wind energy:
  • Wind generation is inherently variable and intermittent.
  • It produces electricity only when the wind blows.
  • Wind generation is not available when it is needed.
  • Pollutants are already regulated under the Clean Air Act.
  • There is no consensus on the social cost of carbon emissions.
  • Energy independence is not a social benefit.
  • There is no evidence that wind generation reduces the U.S. demand for crude oil.
  • Reduced fossil fuel price volatility is not a social benefit.
  • There is no evidence that wind energy reduces price volatility.
Subsidized wind energy also requires additional back up generation, which creates additional costs. Wind generation's production pattern is not only volatile and unpredictable, it also has low economic value.

Subsidized wind energy distorts electricity markets by artificially lowering electricity prices in the short run and leads to higher prices in the long run.

Higher Education Rise Peaked? Students See Too Much Debt

The reason why higher education is losing customers is that it is a poorly run business. It's like any other business that has decided their customers are stupid and will succumb to any hardship dumped on them to extract their money. This to have always worked as tuition and living costs have risen out of control.

As long as the federal government controls the funds that students need to gain a higher education, as the Obama administration has decided was a good idea, the decline in degree candidates will continue. Colleges and universities saw how easy it was for students to get a loan, and no matter how much they raise the tuition, the student seems to have the money to pay the increases.

What really was the icing on the cake for universities was the federal government assumed all responsibility for the loans, taxpayers that is.Little wonder then the endowments at the larger universities, especially the ivy league schools, is in the billions.

I believe the general public is waking up to these facts of crushing debt and how hard it will be to pay it back, so students are looking for other ways to make money without having the government in their pockets for decades.

I also believe when Mr Obama took control of the student loans from the banks, he saw the potential of millions of voters that would be indebted to the government, and if they want any relief from those debts, they had to vote for him. And now with the student loan debt at more then a Trillion dollars, the fix is in and  the plan has worked well.

Addressing the Declining Productivity of Higher Education
Source: Douglas N. Harris, "Addressing the Declining Productivity of Higher Education using Cost-Effectiveness Analysis," American Enterprise Institute, April 11, 2013.

April 24, 2013

Higher education productivity, as measured by academic degrees granted by American colleges and universities, is declining, says Douglas N. Harris of the American Enterprise Institute.
  • Since the early 1990s, real expenditures on higher education have grown by more than 25 percent, now amounting to 2.9 percent of US gross domestic product (GDP) -- greater than the percentage of GDP spent on higher education in almost any of the other developed countries.
  • But while the proportion of high school graduates going on to college has risen dramatically, the percentage of entering college students finishing a bachelor's degree has at best increased only slightly or, at worst, has declined.
The downward slope is steepest among universities, where current productivity is less than half of what it was 40 years ago.
  • Even when adjusted for the growth in overall labor costs in the economy, the decline in bachelor's-degree production is nearly 20 percent.
  • If these declines continue, maintaining the current rate of bachelor's-degree production will cost an additional $42 billion per year 40 years from now.
  • Thus, even if state support for public higher education did not continue to decline, tuition would have to increase by an average of $6,885 per full-time equivalent (FTE) student in public universities to maintain current spending, almost doubling today's tuition.
What accounts for declining productivity in higher education? Most analysts point to the role of rising costs, and others focus on declining degree attainment. Collectively, these explanations reinforce a widespread perception among higher education administrators and many scholars that productivity is impossible to control.

In his paper, Harris shows that policymakers and college leaders do in fact have some control over productivity, but generally lack the information necessary to take the appropriate steps toward improvement. Specifically, decision makers have little information about which programs, policies and resource decisions are most cost-effective.

 Relative to other areas of public policy, cost-effectiveness analysis is rarely applied to specific education policies and programs. Even research that looks at the higher education system as a whole rarely considers the relationship between the costs and output -- that is, productivity.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

America Gives Everything to Everyone : For Many It's Not Enough

If you think what you have is not enough, look around to see what other people have and how they are enjoying it.
We are living in the greatest country in the world but so many among us have no idea why. A fools paradise.
There was a professor in a large college who had
Some exchange students in his class. One day while the class was in session,The professor noticed one young man, an exchange student, who kept Rubbing his back and stretching as if his back hurt.
The professor asked The young man what was the matter. The student told him he had a bullet Lodged in his back. He had been shot while fighting communists in his Native country who were trying to overthrow his country's government and Install a new communist regime.
In the midst of his story, he looked at the professor and asked a Strange question. He asked: "Do you know how to catch wild pigs?" The professor thought it was a joke and asked for the punch line. the young man said that it was no joke.
"You catch wild pigs by finding A suitable place in the woods and putting corn on the ground. The pigs find it and begin to come every day to eat the free corn.
"When they are used to coming every day, you put a fence down one side Of the place where they are used to coming. When they get used to the Fence, they begin to eat the corn again and you put up another side of the fence. "They get used to that and start to eat again. You continue until you Have all four sides of the fence up with a gate in the last side.
"The pigs, which are used to the free corn, start to come through the Gate to eat that free corn again. You then slam the gate on them and Catch the whole herd. Suddenly the wild pigs have lost their freedom.
They run around and around inside the fence, but they are caught.
Soon They go back to eating the free corn. They are so used to it that they Have forgotten how to forage in the woods for themselves.
So they accept their captivity. The young man then told the professor that is exactly what he sees Happening in America .. The government keeps pushing us toward Communism/Socialism and keeps spreading the free corn out in the form of Programs such as supplemental income, tax credit for unearned income, Tax exemptions, tobacco subsidies, dairy subsidies, payments not to Plant crops (CRP), welfare, medicine, drugs, etc. while we continually Lose our freedoms, just a little at a time.
One should always remember two truths: There is no such thing as a free Lunch, and you can never hire someone to provide a service for you
Cheaper than you can do it yourself.

British Cab Driver Schools Arab Passenger : Humor

You just got to love the Brits!!
A devout Arab Muslim entered a black cab in London. He curtly asked the cabbie to turn off the radio because as decreed by his religious teaching, he must not listen to music because in the time of the prophet there was no music, especially Western music which is the music of the infidel. The cab driver politely switched off the radio, stopped the cab and opened the door. The Arab Muslim asked him, "What are you doing?" The cabbie answered, "In the time of the prophet there were no taxis, so I suggest you wait for a camel!"

IRS Tax Code Crushes Success

The current tax code may as well be just like a bandit with a gun that wants all of your valuables - the IRS just does it by make new rules that strip away your success and driving millions into subsistence. It seem so much easier to quit trying to get ahead when for every step you take forward, you lose two steps backwards.

It seems, as well, the answer to fixing these complexities is a simpler tax code for everyone - everyone pays according to what they make - everyone - instead of the few paying for the many. Why hasn't this been front and center by our politicians - isn't this fair?

Tax Code More Complex Than Ever
Source: David Keating, "A Taxing Trend: The Rise in Complexity, Forms, and Paperwork Burdens," National Taxpayers Union, April 15, 2013.

April 24, 2013

Over the decades, the U.S. tax code has become incrementally more complex, with small additions, loopholes and deductions being added slowly. Today's forms and instructions are far more complicated than year's past and the trend is likely to continue, says David Keating of the National Taxpayers Union.
  • According to data from the Office of Management and Budget, the current paperwork burden generated by the Internal Revenue Service now totals more than 6.7 billion hours, which is equivalent to about 3.35 million employees working 40-hour weeks year-round with just two weeks off.
  • The value of 6.7 billion hours is more than $240 billion, including $34 billion in out-of-pocket expenses (tax return preparation and software costs).
  • The most recent publication of the official Tax Code contains more than 3.9 million words, which is a 112,000 word increase from 2010.
In addition to the law itself, there are 20 volumes of regulations spanning 14,000 pages with more than 10 million words.
  • Even for the common and simple 1040 tax form, there are 214 pages in the instruction booklet, about five times the number in 1975, one of the many reasons why the IRS has repeatedly said that the complexity of the Internal Revenue Code is the most serious problem facing taxpayers.
  • There are more than 2,022 publications, forms and instructions advising the public on tax compliance and average wait times for telephone assistance were more than 15 minutes last year.
  • U.S. tax compliance time burden ranks 63rd in the world while the total tax rate -- including corporate, payroll and other taxes -- ranked 132nd out of 185 in the world.
The tax system is so complex that now only paid professionals or tax preparation software navigate the intricacies of the tax code. General Electric, one of America's largest companies, files a tax return of over 24,000 pages every year.
  • Today, almost 60 percent of taxpayers use a preparation service, compared to 38 percent in 1980. The cost of such services rose from an average of $27.36 in 1980 to an average of $192 in 2012.
  • ObamaCare surtaxes, limits on exemptions and deductions, and a higher death tax rate have increased the tax complexity and more tax laws are currently being considered by Congress.

United Nations Law of the Sea Treaty : Tyrants Stealing Resources

The best reason to reject the Law of the Sea Treaty is that it was developed by the United Nations, an organization made up of tyrants and mass killers that believes Western nations must pay for their collective success by giving resources to the more unfortunate countries that find themselves lacking in resources and ideas.

Why develop a civilized society when it's so easy to steal whatever you want from those that have worked hard for their success.

It seems most of the 'third world' remains the third world because their main claim to any success in cultivating a productive society for it's citizens is how fast they can steal what ever they produce or just shoot them when they have nothing else to give.

Unfortunately this is what the controlling body of United Nations has become, a ruling body consisting of cut throats and tyrants demanding blood money to continue their personal reign of terror over their citizens and threating to do the same to all other nations if they don't bet what they want.

I'm sure most people have heard about how our government in Washington now was founded on a Chicago style gangster rule of 'winner take all', right?,: the same thing is what rules the United Nations, the only difference is the gangsters at the UN what the whole world.

The problem we all have now the Obama administration is more then willing to give to them. I wonder what those that voted for Mr. Obama, twice, think about how their vote turned out? hmmmm Maybe that idea is not on solid ground, maybe why Mr. Obama got reelected is that the voters weren't thinking.

Reasons to Reject the Law of the Sea Treaty
Source: Iain Murray and H. Sterling Burnett, "Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST) Should Walk the Plank," Master Resource, April 19, 2013. Iain Murray, "LOST at Sea," National Center for Policy Analysis, March 25, 2013.

April 24, 2013

Oceans cover 71 percent of Earth's surface. As the new focal point of the environmental agenda, oceans are the subject of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea Treaty, called LOST. With Secretary of State John Kerry recently outlining the importance of oceanic conservation, a new attempt to ratify LOST should not be surprising, though its ratification would be a disaster, say Iain Murray, an adjunct fellow, and H. Sterling Burnett, a senior fellow, at the National Center for Policy Analysis.
  • LOST intends to socialize/internationalize the ocean by declaring the world's oceans "the common heritage of mankind."
  • Under LOST, any development of ocean resources on the seabed outside the 200-nautical-mile Exclusive Economic Zone off the coast of every sovereign state would require a permit from the treaty's new governing organization called the International Seabed Authority.
  • The Authority would require payments or contributions from states or their sponsored contractors to support developing countries.
LOST is essentially a new world government of the sea that redistributes wealth and seeks to control supply and demand of oceanic resources.
  • The Authority believes that it can create worldwide growth through production and price controls, which will ensure supplies to consumers while promoting just and stable prices.
  • The Authority also has the ability to set up its own company, like a nationalized industry, that would directly explore and exploit resources for the international organization.
  • Central economic planning by the Authority would obstruct free market forces and almost certainly result in the misallocation of resources.
Only the free market is best suited to pick winning or losing proposals. LOST seeks to stop seabed mining, which will result in more mining on land. The end result will be interference in the free market, which subsidizes land-based mining operations and denies the entire world access to seabed resources.
  • The treaty also gives international environmental lobbyists the power to stop economic development and establishes a permanent court to police the treaty.
  • If LOST is ratified into law, its binding directive would provide the platform the environmental movement to minimize emissions of carbon dioxide.
  • The funds transferred from LOST to developing countries could subsidize dangerous regimes in countries that have no access or history of activity on the ocean.
For these reasons, the United States should reject the treaty.

University to Hire Boston Bomber? Columbia? Maybe?

Interesting stuff given what has transpired in recent days with the Boston bombers and our new culture of 'forgive and forget'.

Here's how the new thinking might go - Maybe he was right, maybe after a few years the justice system will decide the killing of innocents in Boston was just a way for two misguided individual to strike back at a society that didn't allow them to be themselves.

Maybe the justice system will take another look at these two boys after a few years and decide that maybe the system was rigged against them because they were from a different place and time, a different culture. Maybe it will be time to understand how senseless it is to keep such global inspiration and initiative locked away. Maybe it's time to let the bird find it wings instead of crushing it's spirit of change and renewal locked in a cage.

Who will stand against forgiveness?  Who will stand against a decision to decide enough is enough repression of the few by the many? Will we allow ourselves to be defined by hate and remorse of past failures, so long ago, on these two men?

We must learn from our past failures by releasing this fine young man to rebuild his life that was nearly lost in misunderstanding and ignorance. Just think, one day this dedicated young man might run for high office in Massachusetts or maybe, just maybe, he might become our commander and chief. He certainly has the right resume to run as a progressive socialist liberal Democrat.

Interesting article……written two days before the capture of Suspect #2 in Boston.  From the New York Post
 Tale of two terrorists
 Columbia job for Boston bomber?
 By JOHN M. MURTAGH - Last Updated: 12:46 AM, April 18, 2013  - Posted: 11:54 PM, April 17, 2013
Somewhere near Boston early Monday morning, he packed a bomb in a bag. It was by all accounts relatively crude — a pressure cooker, explosives, some wires, ball bearings and nails . . . nails which, hours later, doctors would struggle to remove from the flesh of bleeding victims.

His motive is unclear. His intent is not: It was to maximize injury, suffering, pain, trauma and, yes, death. Perhaps Monday’s bomber will be caught, perhaps not. Perhaps Monday’s bomber will be offered a teaching job at Columbia University.

Forty-three years ago last month, Kathy Boudin, now a professor at Columbia but then a member of the Weather Underground, escaped an explosion at a bomb factory operated in a townhouse in Greenwich Village. The story is familiar to people of a certain age.

Three weeks earlier, Boudin’s Weathermen had firebombed a private home in Upper Manhattan with Molotov cocktails. Their target was my father, a New York state Supreme Court justice. The rest of the family, was presumably, an afterthought. I was 9 at the time, only a year older than the youngest victim in Boston.

 One of Boudin’s colleagues, Cathy Wilkerson, related in her memoir that the Weathermen were disappointed with the minimal effects of the bombs at my home. They decided to use dynamite the next time and bought a large quantity along with fuses, metal pipes and, yes, nails. The group designated as its next target a dance at an Officer’s Club at Fort Dix, NJ.

Despite the misgivings of some, it is reported that Kathy Boudin urged the use of “anti-personnel bombs.” In other words, she wanted to kill people not just damage property. Before they could act, her fellows were killed in the townhouse explosion. The townhouse itself collapsed; Boudin fled.

She reappeared over a decade later driving the getaway car for the rag tag mix of Weathermen and Black Panthers who held up a Rockland County bank in 1981, murdering three in the process. Survivors of the ambush along the New York State Thruway recount how Boudin emerged from the driver’s door, arms raised in surrender, asking the police to lower their guns. When they did, her accomplices burst from the back of the van guns blazing.

As I said, people of a certain age remember this history. For those that don’t, Robert Redford is kindly about to release a movie recounting the Rockland robbery (albeit relocated to Michigan). By all accounts, the film lionizes the Weather Underground terrorists, Boudin and her accomplices.

Perhaps to bring it full circle, Professor Boudin can soon guest-lecture at a film class at Columbia when the Redford movie is screened.

Other than the passage of time, one can find no real distinction between the cowardly actions of last Monday’s Boston murderer and the terror carried out by Boudin and her accomplices. Yet today we live in a country where our leading educational institutions see fit to trust our children’s education to murderers and Hollywood sees fit to celebrate terrorists.

The Web site of Columbia’s School of Social Work sums up Boudin’s past thus: “Dr. Kathy Boudin has been an educator and counselor with experience in program development since 1964, working within communities with limited resources to solve social problems.”

“Since 1964” — that would include the bombing of my house, it would include the anti-personnel devices intended for Fort Dix and it would include the dead policeman on the side of the Thruway in 1981.

Maybe, if he is caught, Monday’s bomber can explain that, like Boudin, he was merely working within the community to solve social problems.

Perhaps Monday’s bomber will be caught, perhaps not. Perhaps, some day, Monday’s bomber will be offered tenure at Columbia University.

John M. Murtagh is Of Counsel to the White Plains law firm of Gaines, Gruner, Ponzini & Novick, LLP. He lives in Westchester.
 Twitter: @johnmurtagh