Friday, January 30, 2015

Coal Exports Under Attack by EPA : Progressive's Agenda of Destruction

How is it possible that so few can cause so much trouble for so many without having to explain why they are doing it. This explains the progressive socialist democrats and their friends in the environmental movement that demand everyone has to do what they say because they are right. What?

The problem is that Gruber was right, too many among us easily fall prey to the clarion call of the ravings of the insane. It's nearly impossible to tell the difference between a progressive
democrat before the cameras and a lunatic under restraint.

What Does the Future Look Like for American Coal?
Source: Jacopo Zenti, "The Future of the American Coal Industry," National Center for Policy Analysis, January 30, 2015.

January 30, 2015

As the debate on global warming heats up, renewable energy has received increased attention.  As of 2012, 40 percent of the United States' electricity came from coal. The rest came from natural gas (26 percent), nuclear power (20 percent) and hydropower, renewable energy and other sources (14 percent).

While coal remains America's most used energy resource, it faces mounting challenges, writes Jacopo Zenti, research fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis. Natural gas is becoming increasingly popular compared to coal due to a decrease in natural gas prices spurred by hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling technologies. 

Worse, coal is the target of many Environmental Protection Agency regulations which seek to limit power plant emissions. However, the decreased domestic demand for coal does not necessarily spell doom for coal producers.  In 2012, the United States produced 1 billion short tons of coal and exported 125 million short tons. More could be exported:
  • India, Japan and China all have increasing demand for coal, and China relies on coal for more than 70 percent of its energy production. 
  • Demand is also high in Europe -- Germany decided in 2011 to replace its nuclear energy production with coal by 2022, which led to a doubling of American coal exports to Germany between 2010 and 2011. 
  • The United Kingdom and the Netherlands were the two largest importers of American coal in 2012, and American coal exports to Britain were 73 percent higher in the first three quarters of 2012 than in 2011.
Unfortunately, Zenti says projects that would aid in the exportation of coal have been delayed by environmental groups who want the global environmental impact of coal exports to be taken into account before authorizing new, local projects.  This has led to extensive delays and the cancellation of several projects.

While one might think increasing coal exports hurts the environment, Zenti says it's not the environmental detriment that many would expect -- restricting American coal exports to China, for example, will do nothing to reduce coal emissions, because China will consume more of its own coal (which comes from less regulated sources and is arguably dirtier than American coal) or import it from other countries.

In short, other countries will not stop burning coal if America restricts its exports -- they will simply stop burning American coal.

Progressive Parties Poster Boy : Michael Moore

Is this the true face of the new progressive socialist liberal democrat party? This guy has made $millions of dollars in a system that millions of people died to preserve, but he will come before the cameras and demonize it as corrupt.

Michael Moore is the very essence of the progressive socialist motto, " pull up the rope, I'm aboard". Being two faced is not adequate to describe this man. Just being a democrat is enough.

Republicans Of Old? : Scared Stiff to Act

I believe this is the true story of the Republican party as it constituted after the landside election last November.

The frustration level has to be at an all time high given the mandate from the voters to stop the Obama administration from further destruction, but are fall back into the old hand wringing and whining of old.

But the reality is the Republicans, as is their history, are unable to follow through on promises they made before the election. It seems that they see the task just to difficult to stand on principle to solve the countries problems. It's a lot easier to demonize Sarah Palin and others that stand for good Conservative principles that have always worked when implemented.

Ronald Reagan? Remember this guy and how it worked?

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Mr Obama Insulted by Netanyahu Visit : Israel Is The Problem

I guess I'm out of the loop when it comes to what the White house uses for common sense or just honesty. Israel

What Mr Obama has done to the office of the presidency is like allow members of the Black Panthers to visit the White House, oh wait, he did that, right? Eric Holder is over there all the time.

Unemployment Benefits End : Jobless Seek Work

Who knew? This was the argument for the last 6 years in congress by Republicans and Conservatives but the progressive socialist liberal democrat ideology that controlled the majority, was to keep extending the benefits to ensure a reliable and dependent voter base for the elections in 2010 and 2012.

It didn't work in 2010, but as the unemployed and underemployed grew and stopped seeking work gained momentum to more then 90 million, and a work force participation rate not seen since the 1950's, the election for president saw a significant number of disaffected and disadvantaged vote for continued support or even more subsistence.

Cutting Unemployment Benefits Created Jobs
Source: Marcus Hagedorn, Iourii Manovskii, Kurt Mitman, "The Impact of Unemployment Benefit Extensions on Employment: The 2014 Employment Miracle," National Bureau of Economic Analysis, January 2015

January 28, 2015

Unemployment benefits lasted 26 weeks in most states prior to the Great Recession.  But in response to the financial crisis in 2008, the federal government extended unemployment benefits, and by the end of 2013, the average unemployment benefit duration across the states was 53 weeks.

Congress chose not to reauthorize the program in December 2013. At that point, extended benefits were halted, with average unemployment benefits dropping from 53 weeks to 25 weeks.
A new paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research by researchers Marcus Hagedorn, Iourii Manovskii and Kurt Mitman identifies what happened to state employment rates when extended benefits were halted.  They found:
  • Cutting the extra benefits created 1.8 million new jobs in 2014.
  • One million of those jobs were filled by workers who were not participating in the labor force and who would not have participated in the labor market had the extended benefits program continued.
  • Cutting benefits was responsible for 61 percent of aggregate employment growth in 2014.
  • 2014, the first year without the extended benefits, had employment growth that was 25 percent higher than in the best preceding years.
Why the positive impact on employment? Unemployment benefits can create disincentives to work. Consider a 2014 Harris Poll of 1,500 unemployed Americans: 82 percent of respondents said they would search "harder and wider" for a job if their unemployment compensation ran out. Almost half reported not having had to look for work as hard because of the benefits.

Single Parent Families Prove a Determent to educating Children

According to this study it seems the United States has a problem that does not bode well for the future, our next generation is lacking in a motivation to be educated and passing it along to the generation after that. Generational ignorance and poverty will eventually drag the entire country down  to third world status.
Single parent families are on the rise as divorce ramps up and the welfare system that rewards non commitment to marriage as the new norm. 

Children in Single-Parent Families Perform Worse on Achievement Tests than Their Two-Parent Peers
Source: Ludger Woessman, "Single-Parent Families and Student Achievement: An International Perspective," Education Next, January 9, 2015.

January 28, 2015

The United States has a higher share of single-parent families than do other countries. What does this mean for academic achievement? Ludger Woessman of the University of Munich analyzed achievement differences across 28 OECD countries that participated in the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) test in 2000, in order to determine whether children in single-parent families performed as well academically as children from two-parent families.

Among 15-year-old students in the United States, 20.7 percent live in single-parent families, a percentage matched only by Hungary, where 20.8 percent of 15-year-olds live in single-parent families. On average among the 28 countries Woessman analyzed, just 13.7 percent live in single-parent families.

Woessman notes that single-parent homes tend to have fewer resources -- and less time -- to devote to their children, and various studies indicate that children of single parents in the United States face greater emotional distress and have lower educational attainment. What about academic achievement? According to Woessman's study:
  • Children of single-parent families score lower than students in two-parent families, on average scoring 18 points worse.
  • In the United States, the difference is especially pronounced: the average achievement difference in math between children of single- and two-parent families is 26.6 points -- roughly equivalent to one grade level.
Notably, Mexican children did not perform differently based on family structure, and the difference for Portuguese children was not statistically significant. Otherwise, Woessman found that all achievement differences in other countries based on family structure were statistically significant.

Woessman also adjusted the data for students' backgrounds in order to see whether their socioeconomic background, parents' education levels, immigration status or family language could be impacting the numbers. After accounting for these factors, he found that the disparity between single-parent and two-parent children's scores was cut in half.

In the United States, the difference dropped from 27 points to 10 points. By far, the largest factor for the achievement gap was socioeconomic background.

Income Inequality Myths Debunked : Census Facts for Clarity

It appears that most of the inequality in income comes from people and groups that have a interest in creating the problem for political gain, especially the 'war on women' that the progressive socialist democrats have been waging for mare then a decade but ramped up for the 2012 presidential campaign.

As this article points out there are reasons to believe income inequality does exist, but there are several other reasons for the inequality other then those we find in the media headlines.

Debunking Income Inequality Myths
Source: Rachel DiCarlo Currie, "Understanding Income Inequality," Independent Women's Forum, January 22, 2015.

January 27, 2015

Income inequality may be a popular topic, but it's also one that's largely misunderstood. Rachel DiCarlo Currie, a senior fellow at the Independent Women's Forum, explains the state of income inequality in America and debunks some popular misconceptions about the distribution of wealth in the United States.

Currie identifies three common beliefs about income inequality:
  • Since the late 1970s, middle-class incomes and living standards have stagnated.
  • Social mobility has declined.
  • The United States has far worse income inequality than does Western Europe.
These conceptions may be popular, but are they accurate? Not quite, says Currie. As for incomes, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, median household income in 2013 was only 6 percent higher than it was in 1979. However, those figures only look at pretax income -- ignoring government welfare transfers, capital gains and employer benefits such as health insurance -- and they aren't adjusted for changes in household size.

Using Congressional Budget Office data that does take into account household size, tax credits, government transfers, capital gains and employer-provided benefits, median household income increased 47 percent from 1979 to 2011. Significant gains took place among middle-income earners, with incomes rising 35 percent to 45 percent.

What about social mobility? Despite rhetoric, it's stable: people are still moving up the income ladder, and a 2014 study found that mobility has been stable for decades, despite increases in income inequality. However, Currie does identify one area that is responsible for sluggish income growth: the drop in the marriage rate. A study from Robert Lerman and Brad Wilcox found that median family income growth between 1980 and 2012 would have been 44 percent higher if the married parenthood rate had remained stable.

While a 2011 study from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development identified higher income inequality in America than its Western European peers, Manhattan Institute Senior Fellow Scott Winship determined that, ignoring that top 1 percent of households, income inequality in the United States is equal to that in Europe. Moreover, Currie notes that family breakdown is much more prevalent in the United States.

Lastly, raising taxes on high earners is not the answer. If lawmakers want to improve mobility and opportunity in America, they should focus on improving the country's economic environment. She suggests supporting apprenticeship programs, reducing burdensome occupational licensing requirements, expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit and eliminating marriage penalties.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Citizens Worred About Health Care Costs : Time to Change the Narrative - It's Climate Change

Little wonder our progressive socialist leader has 'pivoted' from health care to climate change. If you have been paying attention at all to the progressive leadership in Washington, anytime the people become concerned with one of their policies, it's time to change the narrative.

New Poll Shows Americans Are Worried about Health Costs
Source: Art Swift, "Americans See Healthcare, Low Wages as Top Financial Problems," Gallup, January 21, 2015.

January 27, 2015

While President Obama said the economy was in good shape and touted the Affordable Care Act during his State of the Union speech, Americans don't necessarily think things are so great. What are Americans most concerned about today?

According to a new Gallup poll, people see health care costs and low wages as the "most important financial problem" facing their families.

Gallup has asked Americans this question for the last decade, and for the first time since 2010, health care costs has topped the list of people's financial concerns. Fourteen percent of respondents called health care costs their biggest financial problem, while another 14 percent pointed to low wages or lack of money.

What else has changed from previous years' polls? Eleven percent of Americans called gas prices and energy costs their most important issue in 2012. In this year's poll, just 2 percent said oil and gas prices were their biggest financial problem.

Medicaid Explodes : ObamaCare's Gruber Strategy

I wonder who voted for their health care program, plan, to be destroyed? Twice! Now all we have is chaos and dysfunction. Yet millions still believe. Gruberism at work?

Medicaid Is Bigger, Not Better
Source: Sally Pipes, "Obamacare's Medicaid Expansion Is Nothing to Brag About,", January 26, 2015.

January 27, 2015

Obamacare's Medicaid expansion expanded an already troubled program. According to Sally Pipes, president of the Pacific Research Institute, Medicaid costs had already been growing at 7 percent annually over the last 10 years.

But with the Affordable Care Act, which encouraged states to expand their Medicaid programs to adults up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level, the program has only gotten bigger: 27 states expanded their programs, putting the total number of Medicaid enrollees today at 65 million. For reference, that's one in every five Americans.

But does expanded Medicaid coverage mean better health care? Not at all, says Pipes. She notes that a study from 2011 found that one-third of doctors wouldn't accept new Medicaid patients, and according to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine, Medicaid patients were six times more likely not to get an appointment compared to Americans with private health insurance.

Why are doctors so unwilling to treat Medicaid patients? Because the program reimburses them at very low rates. In fact, Pipes says that providers spent a whopping $13.7 billion more caring for Medicaid enrollees than they received in government reimbursements in 2012.

How to solve this problem? Pipes suggests turning Medicaid into a block grant, which would give states flexibility in how they spend their Medicaid dollars. In fact, this is something that NCPA Senior Fellow John R. Graham recently suggested in a new report on antipoverty program reform.

Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) has suggested reforming America's welfare system with a program of "Opportunity Grants," but the Ryan proposal does not include Medicaid. According to Graham, safety-net reform without Medicaid makes little sense: Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program made up more than 41 percent of all safety-net spending prior to Obamacare's Medicaid expansion.

Mortgage Crisis Coming Again? : New Progressive Lending Policy Demanded

It looks like we haven't learned anything from the financial crisis in 2008 as the two people that brought the first mortgage crisis, Barney Frank and Chris Dodd, have started us down the same path with their Dodd/Frank banking bill that is destined to destroy what is left of the banking system in this country.

And it's not lost on many of us that have been paying attention to what the progressive socialists have been doing when they had they power as Chris Dodd and Barney Frank did as progressive liberal democrats, are on schedule again to bring more chaos by allowing more bad mortgages to again drive our financial system to ruin.

New Lending Standards May Spark Another Financial Crisis
Source: Michael Barone, "Could the Financial Crisis Repeat Itself?" National Review, January 20, 2015.

January 26, 2015

What caused the 2008 financial crisis? It wasn't greed or deregulation, says Michael Barone at National Review: it was government policy that promoted lax lending standards.
What happened?
  • The federal government encouraged banks to give mortgages to aspiring homebuyers with poor credit.
  • At the same time, it required that a certain portion of mortgages (30 percent) purchased by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac be those risky mortgages. That requirement was eventually raised to 56 percent.
  • Fannie and Freddie -- which previously had only purchased mortgages when buyers made down payments of 10 percent to 20 percent -- began purchasing mortgages with just 3 percent down payments, and sometimes zero down payments, in order to meet those requirements.   
The result? A ton of "subprime" mortgages. In 2008, over half of all U.S. mortgages were subprime. Moreover, three-quarters of those mortgages had been purchased by Fannie and Freddie or government agencies.

Barone explains that the low down payment requirements led housing prices to rise, because buyers could afford larger homes without putting down more money. Eventually, the bubble burst, and when housing prices fell, the mortgage-backed securities market did too.

These policies were instituted in the name of improving homeownership for low-income households. While the homeownership rate increased, government policies distorted the market and led to a financial panic.

Have we learned our lesson? Barone is not so sure: Fannie and Freddie announced in December that they will again purchase mortgages with just 3 percent down payments.

School Choice Improves Achievement, Incomes : GDP

One thing that has brought our educational system down to the lowest denominator, other then the unions, is the lack of parent participation in what is going on in our schools. As this article points out and is common knowledge to many of us that have been paying attention, when given the opportunity to choice what they believe what is for their children, they will take the responsibility on themselves.

And as history of the school choice programs around the country has proven, it works to improve education and the community when people become involved in outcomes that effect them personally.

And if this isn't enough, it's improving the unions relationship with the community where the choice programs are the strongest. Unions are taking an interest now that they have to compete for the taxpayers dollars.

The Benefits of School Choice: Higher Achievement, Higher Incomes, Higher GDP
Source: Arthur Laffer, "The Texas Economy and School Choice," Texas Public Policy Foundation, January 7, 2015.

January 26, 2015

The Texas legislature is currently considering a school choice program known as the Taxpayers Savings Grant Program (TSGP). Under the TSGP, public school students would qualify to receive a grant equal to the tuition at a private school of a student's choice or 60 percent of the state's average spending per student, whichever is less.

Anew study by economist Arthur Laffer estimates that the TSGP would save the state of Texas billions (because the state pays just 60 percent of its previous costs for the students who exercise school choice), while at the same time improving education performance for all students -- those who remain in public schools, as well as those who exercise school choice. The Texas Education Agency projects that over a five-year period, the TSGP could save taxpayers $1.76 billion.

Laffer estimates that Texas' GDP would increase by 17 percent to 30 percent over the next 25 years with the TSGP, adding a whopping $260 billion to $460 billion to the economy annually -- the equivalent of adding the economies of Vermont, Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Maine, Alaska and Idaho to Texas.

Why the economic growth? The school choice program would reduce dropout rates and improve academic performance, translating into jobs and higher incomes. And studies not only show that school choice benefits the students who choose their schools, but it also improves public schools by creating competition -- public schools who lose students to choice programs are forced to improve their performance in order to win back enrollment. This is not just a theory: public school systems across the country have attempted to compete in response to school choice.
Broad, universal school choice like the TGSP, would:
  • Close the educational achievement gap between races, between students from lower and higher income families and between the United States and other countries.
  • Slash the number of dropouts statewide from 130,000 to less than 65,000 (in half). The rise in the high school graduation rate would mean $800 million in additional earnings for these graduates, which ultimately translates into higher GDP growth.
When parents have choices about where to send their children for school, schools pay more attention to student needs because families can pull their children out and send them to better schools. A decentralized market in education allows students to choose schools that best meet their needs and preferences.  For more information on introducing private school choice to Texas, see this NCPA report.


America Held in Contempt - A laughing Stock : Top 10 Reasons

America is the laughing stock of the world, but it doesn't seem to matter to millions of voters that  still believe everything if fine and more of same is okay. Vote democrat. What is the definition of insanity, doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results? And yet millions of voters did just that in 2012. Gruber is right?
When one stops to contemplate what we have accomplished over the last 236 years, and where we are now and how our government lead by Barack Obama and the progressive socialist democrats, seem to have no basic skills that can connect them to reality, one has to understand if we any chance for our country to survive the current trajectory we are on, we must vote in the next election as though our very lives depend on making the right decision. They do!
I know it seems impossible that in such a short time we could have fallen as fast and as far as we have into economic and foreign catastrophes, but the reality is we have. But burying ones head in a smart phone or some other electronic distraction won't make our country's problems go away, it just ensure their invariability.
So stop what you are doing,lLift your head, look around, understand. 
(Author Unknown)
Of course we look like idiots - we are!
# 10 Only in America... could politicians talk about the greed of the rich at a $35,000.00 per plate at a Obama campaign fund-raising event.
# 09 Only in America... could people claim that the government still discriminates against black Americans when they have a black President, a black Attorney General and roughly 20% of the federal workforce is black while only 14% of the population is black, 40+% of all federal entitlements goes to black Americans - 3X the rate that go to whites, 5X the rate that go to Hispanics
# 08 Only in America... could they have had the two people most responsible for our tax code, Timothy Geithner (the head of the Treasury Department) and Charles Rangel (who once ran the Ways and Means Committee), BOTH turn out to be tax cheats who are in favor of higher taxes. 
# 07 Only in America... can they have terrorists kill people in the name of Allah and have the media primarily react by fretting that Muslims might be harmed by the backlash. 
# 06 Only in America... would they make people who want to legally become American citizens wait for years in their home countries and pay tens of thousands of dollars for the privilege, while they discuss letting anyone who sneaks into the country illegally just 'magically' become American citizens. (probably should be number one) 
# 05 Only in America... could the people who believe in balancing the budget and sticking by the country's Constitution be called EXTREMISTS.
# 04 Only in America... could you need to present a driver's license to cash a check or buy alcohol, but not to vote. 
# 03 Only in America... could people demand the government investigate whether oil companies are gouging the public because the price of gas went up when the return on equity invested in a major U.S. Oil company (Marathon Oil) is less than half of a company making tennis shoes (Nike). 
# 02 Only in America... could you collect more tax dollars from the people than any nation in recorded history, still spend a Trillion dollars more than it has per year - for total spending of $7 Million PER MINUTE, and complain that it doesn't have nearly enough money. 
# 01 Only in America... could the rich people - who pay 86% of all income taxes - be accused of not paying their "fair share" by people who don't pay any income taxes at all.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Talk Radio Call-in Explains Goat Head at Wigley Field : Stop Complaining WGN

Good stuff that will lighten the end of a hard day - heh
Last night I was driving and listening to a call-in program on WGN in Chicago. People were calling in, very upset, about a goat's head that was sent to Cubs owner Tom Ricketts at Wrigley Field.
Then some guy called in from Wisconsin and said, "Why are you people so upset 'cause someone sent a goat's head to Wrigley Field?   Aren't you Chicagoans the same guys that sent a horse's ass to the White House?"

Wealth Redistribution Is Progressive Fairness : What and Who's Taking the Fair Share

For Mr Obama and his pals in the progressive socialist liberal left democrat party is not about what's fair, although they always use this tactic to gain sympathy for their heart wrenching ply for more revenue, this about the ideology of wealth redistributions that has been used for centuries to gain control of populations. Stealing what others have worked hard for is a signature tactic of the progressive socialists agenda.

It's really called stealing everyone's legacy for freedom to chose your own destiny to benefit those that are in power and believe you really don't have rights other then those dictated by the governing socialists.

Remember how this works, the last presidential elation the people voted again to be victims of an government that see them as pawns, weak and Gruber stupid. Yet they lined up to agree.

What Is a Rich Person's "Fair Share?"
Source: Lewis Uhler and Peter Ferrara, "The rich pay more than their fair share," Washington Times, January 20, 2015.

January 26, 2015

That the rich should "pay their fair share" is a constant refrain in American politics, but what exactly does that mean? Wealthy Americans are already paying disproportionate amounts of taxes. National Tax Limitation Foundation Chairman Lewis Uhler and Senior Fellow Peter Ferrara detail exactly who is paying federal taxes - and how much:
  • The top 20 percent of income earners earn just 50 percent of pretax income, yet they pay 70 percent of all federal taxes.
  • The top 20 percent of earners pay 93 percent of all federal income taxes.
  • The top 1 percent earn 14.6 percent of pretax income, yet they pay 24 percent of federal taxes.
Contrast these figures with the taxes paid by those on the middle and lower ends of the income scale:
  • The middle 20 percent of earners earn 14.1 percent of pretax income, yet they pay just 8.9 percent of federal taxes.
  • The bottom 20 percent of earners earn 5.3 percent of pretax income, yet they pay just 0.6 percent of federal income taxes.
In fact, looking specifically at federal income taxes, Uhler and Ferrara cite Congressional Budget Office figures showing that the bottom 20 percent of earners actually pay a negative federal income tax of 7.5 percent, and the next 20 percent of earners have a negative tax rate of 1.3 percent -- both groups are net takers when it comes to federal income taxes. The middle 20 percent of earners (those earning 14 percent of pretax income) pay a 2.4 percent income tax rate.

While the president insists the rich aren't paying their fair share, the numbers are pretty stark, say Uhler and Ferrara: the top 1 percent in 2012 paid 28 percent more in federal income taxes than did the bottom 90 percent of earners who, despite earning 52 percent of income, paid less than 30 percent of federal income taxes.

Obama Taxing 529 College Savings : Beware : Only the Beginning

It's always about the money, who has it and who Mr Obama believes what he can take from them to further his "fundamental" change. Mr Obama's next two years is going to be a travesty of theft and corruption. Stealing from the 529 accounts is only the beginning.

That the country and  the middle class will suffer the most is of no concern, as he has shown on many occasions, he will do what ever he wants to establish his ideology as a permanent way of life, replacing our Constitution that he believes stands in his way, with his 'new world order' of a living constitution where government is all things to all people.

Obama's Plan to Raise Taxes on College Savings
Source: Kara Brandeisky, "Why Obama Wants to Tax College Savings,", January 22, 2015.

January 26, 2015

How does President Obama plan to make college more affordable? By ending tax breaks on college savings plans.

College savings plans, known as 529 plans, allow parents to deposit money into savings accounts that grow in value over time. When those dollars are withdrawn to pay for higher education expenses, the earnings aren't taxed (though if they're withdrawn for non-education expenses, they are subject to tax).

Kara Brandeisky at reports that the president wants to end that tax advantage in order to use the additional revenue to pay for an education tax credit for lower-income families. He's raising taxes on families saving for college in order to reduce taxes on less wealthy families.

Are 529 plans only for upper-income households? Not at all. In fact, Americans for Tax Reform cites numbers from the College Savings Foundation concluding that 70 percent of families with 529 plans have incomes below $150,000 and notes that the average 529 account has a balance of less than $21,000.

Moreover, according to Brandeisky, there are a couple of reasons that low-income households aren't using the accounts as much. First, she says households with relatively higher incomes tend to use the savings accounts more than low-income households simply because they're subject to higher taxes. Lower income families, she says, aren't paying as much in taxes, so they're not as likely to be lured by the tax incentives of a 529.

Additionally, many families simply aren't aware of the accounts: According to a report from student loan corporation Sallie Mae, 49 percent of parents who plan to send their children to college do not know what a 529 plan is.


Robin Hood or Prince of Thieves or Both?

Which is it? Given over the past 6 years we have found out the truth as many of us are living the results of our votes.

Unfortunately the damage is huge and the repair might take more then a generation. Worse even the consequences of voting twice for the 'prince of thieves' is seen by millions as a good thing.

Stealing from the productive to support a voter base that is unproductive is okay. That is as long as the support keeps coming, but when it stops the consequences will be a different story entirely. Hope and Change brought millions to their collective knees weeping for the "ONE".

What happened?

But not to worry, the maximum leader will be long gone enjoying the fruits of your labors in someplace warm and fulfilling of his well earned labors.

Don't you feel better now knowing all will turn out well for our supreme leader that brought so much healing for our country?

Air Port Security Made Easy/Cheap : Inspection Booth of Truth

This is a great idea - everyone will be happy, right?  heh


TEL AVIV, Israel - The Israelis are developing an airport security device that eliminates the privacy concerns that come with full-body scanners.
It's an armoured booth you step into, that will not X-ray you but will detonate any explosive device you may have on your person.
Israel sees this as a win-win situation for everyone, with none of this crap about racial profiling.
It will also eliminate the costs of long and expensive trials.
You're in the airport terminal and you hear a muffled explosion. Shortly thereafter, an announcement:
"Attention to all standby passengers,   El Al is pleased to announce a seat available on flight 670 to London . Shalom!"

Progressive socialism's Conundrum : Life Without Responsibility Is Okay

In summation, this below is who we are and what we are about, have become? I hope not, but for many who live in a dream land where everything is low hanging fruit, and the trees that produce the dreams will keep growing tall and strong over night so the good times will never end, is just that, a dream, an ideology for failure.

But we that have to live in the real world know dreams of a life that consists only of people that are willing to work hard, take responsibility for their own survival so others do not have to is just that, a dream that fades and ends in the light of reality. Yet millions wait in line for the promised 'hope and change' that will ensure their life without responsibility. The reality of this situation is the line never grows shorter.

The author of this is unknown, but no matter who makes the case, common sense and logic must rule the day if we are to survive and prosper. 

Makes good sense to everyone except those who have their heads in the sand.

Conundrum: "A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and don't have one, you'll probably never need one again."

The definition of the word Conundrum is: something that is puzzling or confusing. Here are six Conundrums of socialism in the United States of America:

1. America is capitalist and greedy - yet half of the population is subsidized.
2. Half of the population is subsidized - yet they think they are victims.
3. They think they are victims - yet their representatives run the government.
4 Their representatives run the government - yet the poor keep getting poorer.
5. The poor keep getting poorer - yet they have things that people in other countries only dream about.
6 They have things that people in other countries only dream about - yet they want America to be more like those other countries.

Think about it!

And that, my friends, pretty much sums up the USA in the 21st Century. Makes you wonder who is doing the math. These three, short sentences tell you a lot about the direction of our current government and cultural environment:

1. We are advised to NOT judge ALL Muslims by the actions of a few lunatics, but we are encouraged to judge ALL gun owners by the actions of a few lunatics. Funny how that works. And here's another one worth considering...

2. Seems we constantly hear about how Social Security is going to run out of money. But we never hear about welfare or food stamps running out of money? What's interesting is the first group "worked for" their money, but the second didn't. Think about it.....and Last but not least,

3. Why are we cutting benefits for our veterans, no pay raises for our military and cutting our army to a level lower than before WWII, but we are not stopping the payments or benefits to illegal aliens.

Am I the only one missing something....?

Monday, January 26, 2015

Washington Leadership Lacking Rattesanke Lobic : Ideology Under A Rock

Author unknown but he makes a lot of sense. What is so scary about those that are in power in Washington is they don't have any common sense let alone rattlesnake logic.
Rattlesnake Logic
As long as we insist on maintaining the "moral high ground" we will NEVER win the war on terrorism! We're in a conflict in which we absolutely INSIST in playing by the rules against a maniacal group who have NO rules!
Rattlesnake Logic....
After the Boston bombing the news media spent days and weeks trying to determine why these men did what they did. They want to know what America did(!) to make these brothers so angry with us. They want to know why these men were not arrested before they did something so terrible. The media is in a tizzy about this new era of homegrown radicals and about why and how they can live among us and still hate us.
A friend of mine from Texas explained it all to me: “Here in west Texas, I
have rattlesnakes on my place, living among us. I have killed a rattlesnake on the front porch. I have killed a rattlesnake on the back porch. I have killed rattlesnakes in the barn, in the shop and on the driveway. In fact, I kill every rattlesnake I encounter.
I kill rattlesnakes because I know a rattlesnake will bite me and inject me
with poison. I don’t stop to wonder WHY a rattlesnake will bite me; I know
it WILL bite me because it's a rattlesnake and that's what rattlesnakes do.
I don’t try to reason with a rattlesnake or have a "meaningful dialogue"
with it…I just kill it. I don’t try to get to know the rattlesnake
better so I can find a way to live with the rattlesnakes and convince them not to bite me. I just kill them. I don’t quiz a rattlesnake to see if I can find
out where the other snakes are, because (a) it won’t tell me and (b) I
already know they live on my place. So, I just kill the rattlesnake and
move on to the next one.
I don’t look for ways I might be able to change the rattlesnake to a
non-poisonous rat snake...I just kill it. Oh, and on occasion, I
accidentally kill a rat snake because I thought it was a rattlesnake at the
time. Also, I know for every rattlesnake I kill, two more are lurking out
there in the brush. In my lifetime I will never be able to
rid my place of rattlesnakes.   
Do I fear them? Not really. Do I respect what they can do to me and my
family? Yes!! And because of that respect, I give them the fair justice
they deserve....I kill them...  As a country, we should start giving more
thought to the fact that these jihadists' are telling the world their goal
is to kill Americans and destroy our way of life. They have just posted two
graphic videos on the internet showing them beheading Americans. They are serious. They are exactly like rattlesnakes. It is high time for us to
start acting accordingly!
I love this country. It's the damn government I'm afraid of!

Supreme Court Judge Ginsburg On SOTU Speech : Emotional & Thought Provoking

And now Supreme Court Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg will explain the merits of Mr Obama's State of The Union speech - - -  Oh, well, maybe later. She appears to be overcome by emotion.

Capital Gains Taxes Rising on Wealthy : Who Actually Loses Weatlh?

I wonder who in our leadership believes the wealthy are stupid? How did they get wreath? The wealthy won't just stand by and allow the progressive socialists to steal their money. They will do everything in their power to retain their earnings. Who is going to lose in all this are the people in the trenches, the taxpayers. But what's new about this?

To allow the capital gain tax to expire would be unacceptable to those demanding more control of the economy through regulations. Eliminating the capital gains tax altogether will allow individuals to gain prosperity and therefore increases the individuals ability to function more independently.

And here is where the socialist will do everything in their collective power to stop anything that has to do with individual freedom. Socialism dies as individual freedom raises. 

Raising Taxes on the Wealthy Would Hurt the Economy
Source: Scott A. Hodge, Michael Schuyler, "What Dynamic Analysis Tells Us About the President's Tax Hike on Capital Gains and Dividends," Tax Foundation, January 21, 2015.

January 23, 2015

The president is planning to increase taxes on the wealthy to fund tax credits for the middle class. One way he intends to do this, explain Scott Hodge and Michael Schuyler of the Tax Foundation, is by increasing the top tax rate on capital gains and dividends for higher-income Americans.

The capital gains tax is a tax on the sale of an investment. What happens when this tax gets raised? People retain, rather than sell, their assets -- meaning less government revenue.

Presently, the current top capital gains and income tax rate is 20 percent for couples who earn more than $450,000 and for singles who earn over $400,000. On top of that, investment income is subject to an additional 3.8 percent tax imposed by the Affordable Care Act, resulting in a combined tax rate of 23.8 percent.

Obama wants to increase the rate on capital gains and dividends to 28 percent, the idea being that it would only impact high earners. But that's not the case -- changes in tax policy affect economic behavior, something that "dynamic scoring" (as opposed to "static scoring") recognizes.

Using dynamic analysis, Hodge and Schuyler assess the effect of a 28 percent capital gains tax rate. According to their model:
  • All income groups, not just the wealthy, would see lower after-tax incomes.
  • The amount of tax revenue the government would receive would fall. While static scoring estimates the tax would add $20 billion annually in new revenue, dynamic scoring concludes it would lose $12 billion in revenue.  
  • The United States would have $142 billion less GDP each year.
  • Wages would fall, resulting in $461 less annually for families earning between $50,000 and $75,000.
The president wants to help the middle class by redistributing wealth from top income earners, but in practice, this policy would hurt the people he intends to help, creating a smaller economy and lowering wages. These effects are not evident when analysts use static scoring models, but they become clear with dynamic scoring.

Instead of tacking on more taxes, lawmakers could eliminate the capital gains tax. This way, savings and investment would rise, top income earners wouldn't be taxed twice and all Americans could benefit from a growing economy.

EPA's Methane Regulations : Ideology of Control

It's not about Methane or anything else other then the ideology of control, it's just that the EPA is the most unregulated agency in a progressive socialist government which can do what ever they are told to do from the White House without limit. Congress has little or no say in what transpires in this agency. They can debate but the iron fist of the progressives will rule the day.

If anyone has been watching congress for the last 6 years, this scenario of helplessness is apparent.

With more then 40% of all energy for industry and living condition in America coming from fossil extraction, little wonder then why the Obama administration wants to destroy the fossil fuel industry and thereby restrict prosperity for the country.

Without prosperity for the people they will have no future which then establishes the ground work for socialism. Everything supposedly will come from the benevolent government that the people will need, there will be no need for self will and personal accomplishment as a result from individual freedom .

Methane Regulations: Are They Really Necessary?
Source: Chip Knappenberger and Patrick J. Michaels, "EPA Methane Regulations Are Wasted Energy,", January 17, 2015.

January 23, 2015

The new target in the Obama administration's war on greenhouse gas emissions is methane.  The Environmental Protection Agency has proposed new regulations that would reduce methane emissions by up to 45 percent by 2025.

But do we really need these regulations? According to Chip Knappenberger and Patrick Michaels of the Cato Institute, the oil and gas industry has already reduced emissions by 10 percent since 2008, thanks to new technologies.

Moreover, the global warming predicted by the climate models has not happened -- the earth has seen an 18-year plateau in warming with barely any temperature rise.

Moreover, limiting methane emissions would do little to reduce the earth's temperature. According to Knappenberger and Michaels, methane emissions from the oil and gas industry make up just 3 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions.

The agency's regulation would result in nothing more than a paltry 0.002 degrees Celsius change in warming by 2100.

California Bids for 'Fast Train' : State Pensions $142.7 Billion in Debt

If you ever were seeking a definition for who the progressive socialist liberal democrats are, other then Nancy Pelosi, look no further then those that are in control of California. The next question will be, why do the people continue to elect and reelect those that are responsible for the problems?

Is this what Gruber was talking about?

Pension Debt Burdens Will Fall on Millennials
Source: Lance Christensen, "Millennials and Pensions - Do They Know Public Pension Systems need Reform?" Reason Foundation, January 13, 2014.

January 22, 2015

Millennials were credited with Obama's electoral victories, and many believe they will continue to vote Democrat. But Lance Christensen, director of the Pension Reform Project at the Reason Foundation, says that in states with large pension deficits such as California, millennials might become disillusioned with the crushing debt that can accompany big government.

What kind of shape is California's pension system in? CalPERS, its public employee retirement system, has an unfunded liability of more than $60 billion. This is relatively healthy compared to the $70.5 billion unfunded liability from the state teachers union and the nearly $14 billion unfunded liability for the University of California.

Altogether, Christensen says the California defined benefit pension system (defined benefit plans guarantee payments based on funding formulas, not based on contributions) had $142.7 billion in unfunded liabilities as of 2012, and last year, the state paid just 65.6 percent of required contributions to its pension funds.

What does this have to do with millennials? They'll be the ones paying for these promises through the higher taxes that will be necessary to fund public employees' retirements. Christensen argues for reforming the pension system, including making state retirement accounts portable and transferable.

SOTU Speech : Economic Smoke & Mirrors

Here again, Mr Obama can be seen as just more smoke and mirrors on economic growth. Like he said during the 2008 campaign on his political rhetoric, 'they're just words'. Even today nothing has changed for Mr Obama and his administration, everything is about his 'words' but no substance.

The Economy Still Isn't That Great
Source: Katrina Trinko, "What Obama Got Right and Wrong in the State of the Union," Daily Signal, January 20, 2015.

January 22, 2015

President Obama painted a pretty economic picture in his State of the Union address, but is the economy really on solid footing? Writing at the Daily Signal, Katrina Trinko cites data from Heritage Foundation economist James Sherk, who says the reality behind job growth and employment under Obama has been less than stellar. According to Sherk:
  • Today's recession recovery is the slowest in the post-war period, and it was not until midway through last year that the economy recovered the jobs lost during the recession.
  • However, those job gains have been from part-time positions, not full-time jobs.
  • While unemployment is down to 5.6 percent, it's largely due to the number of Americans who have dropped out of the labor force. The labor force participation rate today is 62.7 percent, a rate that has not been seen since the 1970s.
Sherk says that only 25 percent of the falling labor force participation rate can be explained by demographics, such as growing numbers of retirees.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Obama Agencies Stonewall Investigation : Obama : 'Go Pound Sand"


 Interesting stuff as always from Sharyl Attkisson - but what is most troubling is if this would have happened during a Republican administration stonewalling would not be allowed. The democrats would not let it drop if they smelled blood in the water, and as everyone knows now there was a lot of blood.

And if this was enough, Rep Cummings is sitting the panel who is complicit in the IRS attacks on Republicans. He willingly received data from the IRS to attack his opponent in the reelection cycle. But it's okay, he's a democrat. It's who they are and what they do.

Federal Agencies Stonewall House Committee’s Benghazi Investigation
Sharyl Attkisson /

 Some federal agencies continue to stonewall when it comes to the ongoing investigation into the Benghazi terrorist attacks, according to insiders familiar with the process. They say the House Benghazi Select Committee isn’t getting access to all relevant documents and witnesses.
That will be the topic of the committee’s first public hearing of 2015 called for Tuesday next week.
Most of the committee’s work since a (slightly) bipartisan vote created it May 8, 2014, has quietly focused on the massive task of gathering information. The committee has provided relevant federal agencies a list of several dozen witnesses it wishes to interview.
Hillary Clinton testifies before the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on Benghaz, Jan. 23, 2013. (Photo: Ron Sachs/Newscom)
Hillary Clinton testifies before the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on Benghaz, Jan. 23, 2013. (Photo: Ron Sachs/Newscom)

But Republican staff members are encountering some of the same roadblocks that other committees met as they investigated pieces of the events surrounding the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attacks on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya. Four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, died in the assaults.

 26 Ways the Media Botched Their Reporting on the Latest Benghazi Report
The House resolution creating the committee authorized it to investigate all aspects of what happened in Benghazi, as well as looking at how to improve executive branch cooperation with congressional oversight. Tuesday’s hearing is part of the effort to obtain a complete record of the events before, during and after the attacks, on a timely basis.
The committee’s goal is to strike a balance between information and witnesses withheld for legitimate reasons of national or individual security—and the possibility that those reasons may be improperly invoked to prevent the release of information embarrassing or damaging to the Obama administration or former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C. is head of the House Select Committee on Benghazi. (Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C. is head of the House Select Committee on Benghazi. (Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Much of the Benghazi committee’s work will be done in non-public interviews rather than public hearings. Committee Chairman Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., a former prosecutor, has said that format allows members and staff to spend “hours” with a relevant witness rather than having to ask questions in short, restricted bursts under the rules of a public hearing.
Democrats, including Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, praised Gowdy’s measured approach last fall when he agreed to their request to have the first hearing be on their topic of choice: the Accountability Review Board’s recommendations and progress on implementing them.

 Still Digging for the Truth About Benghazi
“I sincerely hope the select committee will stay on the course of constructive reform and keep this goal as our north star,” Cummings said. “It would be a disservice to everyone involved to be lured off this path by partisan politics.”
Cummings did not respond to a request for comment for this article.

An armed man waves his rifle as buildings and cars are engulfed in flames after being set on fire inside the US consulate compound in Benghazi late on Sept. 11, 2012. (Photo: Getty Images/Newscom)
An armed man waves his rifle as buildings and cars are engulfed in flames after being set on fire inside the US consulate compound in Benghazi late on Sept. 11, 2012. (Photo: Getty Images/Newscom)
Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., has called the continuing investigation into Benghazi a Republican “witch hunt,” and said there have been more than enough hearings and all questions have been answered.
When asked to comment on the impetus behind next week’s hearing, Gowdy said it would be a “reasonable inference that we would not be having a hearing to compliment [the federal agencies] on the speed with which they have complied with [our] requests.”

 Hillary Clinton State Department Official Reveals Details of Alleged Document Review
What happens if federal agencies simply refuse to provide documents to Congress, as they have done in the past? It’s not clear there is much Congress can or will do about it.

One official said they could try to get help from Senate Republicans to exert pressure, or could figure out a way to use the federal funding process, which is in the House’s hands, to exert pressure.
President Obama and Hillary Clinton after his remarks during the ceremony at Joint Base Andrews, marking the return to the United States of the remains of J. Christopher Stevens, U.S. Ambassador to Libya; Sean Smith, Information Management Officer; and Security Personnel Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods, who were killed in the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. (Photo: Pete Souza/White House/Sipa Press)
President Obama and Hillary Clinton after his remarks during the ceremony at Joint Base Andrews, marking the return to the United States of the remains of J. Christopher Stevens, U.S. Ambassador to Libya; Sean Smith, Information Management Officer; and Security Personnel Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods, who were killed in the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. (Photo: Pete Souza/White House/Sipa Press)

Among the many outstanding issues and questions the committee is expected to take on:
1) Interviewing key witnesses who have never yet appeared before any congressional committee.
2) Obtaining the elusive military “after action” report(s) that detail the military response and any issues encountered.
3) Piercing secret processes used by the Accountability Review Board in its investigation into the State Department’s actions.
4) Who was behind the administration’s decision to direct the narrative of the attacks as having been prompted by a YouTube video that caused a protest to spiral into violence?
5) Who wrote the original talking points and who was behind the edits and deletions before they were used by U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice when she appeared on Sunday network talk shows to discuss the attacks?
6) What did Rice know, and from whom, prior to her appearances on the programs?
7) Was there a State Department “document separation” operation designed to withhold embarrassing documents, as former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Raymond Maxwell alleges? If so, who was behind it?
8) What role did presidential adviser Ben Rhodes and former Deputy CIA Director Mike Morell play in the talking points and narrative?
9) What light can former CIA Director Gen. David Petraeus shed on the events?