About Me

In writing the "About Me" portion of this blog I thought about the purpose of the blog - namely, preventing the growth of Socialism & stopping the Death Of Democracy in the American Republic & returning her to the "liberty to abundance" stage of our history. One word descriptions of people's philosophies or purposes are quite often inadequate. I feel that I am "liberal" meaning that I am broad minded, independent, generous, hospitable, & magnanimous. Under these terms "liberal" is a perfectly good word that has been corrupted over the years to mean the person is a left-winger or as Mark Levin more accurately wrote in his book "Liberty & Tyranny" a "statist" - someone looking for government or state control of society. I am certainly not that & have dedicated the blog to fighting this. I believe that I find what I am when I consider whether or not I am a "conservative" & specifically when I ask what is it that I am trying to conserve? It is the libertarian principles that America was founded upon & originally followed. That is the Return To Excellence that this blog is named for & is all about.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Four Points Highlight The Needed Change In Mindset

 
As a result of our IL subscriber's note last week where she was feeling down after watching the FL debate I called Jim DeMint's office on Friday & spoke to a member of his staff.  I told him of the many messages & recent blog postings asking for help from Senator DeMint – the blog itself is written @ the suggestion of Jim DeMint.  I asked the aide to let Senator DeMint know that many of us would like the senator to run for President.  I don't know exactly how Senator DeMint enters the race now.  I emphasized that I did not mean people like Jim DeMint but specifically Jim DeMint.  The young man will deliver the message to our best hope.
 
So what is it we are looking for & certainly have not found in the leading presidential candidates that will ensure America's prosperity?
 
The real solution requires a candidate who will promote a change in mindset from a "you deserve, you're entitled to" mindset to one of (even limited) personal responsibility – especially for Medicare & Social Security which are on track to overwhelm the federal budget in the not too distant future.  I present below four points that will help in this regard.  Please send me others.
 
1.  The Paul Ryan (R, WI) solution for Medicare of subsidized "premium support" will preserve Medicare for decades.  If today's seniors 55 and over will dare great enough to chance premium support will not affect them & people under 55 will start to adapt to the new system we have a chance to solve the current seemingly intractable healthcare entitlement problem that by itself will doom America if nothing is done to correct it.
 
Please look @ the above graph – it shows a decline in dependence on government under even the timid Ryan price indexing plan (bottom curve).  We can't afford not to do this. 
People erroneously feel that they are entitled to Social Security & Medicare benefits just because they had money withheld (e.g., – "I've been paying for it all my working life") from their paychecks when they were working or because they are now paying premiums, deductibles, & coinsurance in the case of Medicare.  Exacerbating the situation are internet pieces taking offense @ the word "entitlement" & believe that employers paid an equal share of the payroll taxes for both these programs.
 
The reality is that all of the proceeds collected from people make up about 25% of the cost of Medicare Parts A, B, & D – this is why they are going broke & also why senior citizens like the programs so much.  This is the mindset that a presidential candidate worth voting for needs to change.
 
2. The fix for Social Security is even easier.  Currently, the initial Social Security benefit – a person's monthly benefit when they start getting checks - is based on the average real wage growth of their earnings over their working lifetime. Real earnings growth is greater than inflation measures such as the Consumer Price Index (CPI) so in essence the government is guaranteeing a real positive return on Social Security tax withheld for the average person – a guarantee no other investor has. Just reducing this initial benefit so that it is calculated based on the CPI rate solves the Social Security problem – see Susan Lee column in the WSJ dated November 23, 2004 entitled All You Need To Know About Social Security.
 
Social Security benefits are not guaranteed.  Just like all entitlement programs, they can - & have been – changed by Congress. The Social Security administration itself says so & so did the Supreme Court when it ruled, in Fleming v. Nestor, that workers & retirees have no legal claim to benefits, regardless of how much in taxes they have paid into the system. For example, people who found their benefits taxed in 1983 & those who had those taxes raised in 1994 can not feel that there is a guaranteed benefit amount.
 
Also we should dispel the illusion that companies pay half of our Social Security & Medicare costs. If employees' productivity did not cover these costs the company would go out of business in direct proportion to the size of their workforce. Each of us pays the full 15.3% of payroll taxes – half out of our salaries & the other half out of our productivity. The companies pay nothing.
 
A Ponzi scheme is an operation that pays returns to its contributors by subsequent contributors (if any - or certainly less contributors in the case of Social Security), rather than from any actual profit earned. Such a scheme is destined to collapse because the cash flow, if any, becomes less than the payments of the original contributors. This is the standard definition of a Ponzi Scheme & it defines Social Security to a tee. Further, when Social Security began in the 1930s life expectancy was 64 years – meaning that someone in their twenties, thirties, or forties who originally paid into the system to help the elderly would actuarially not live to collect any benefits themselves. This not only takes the term "Ponzi Scheme" to another level but shows the fraudulent premise this government program was founded upon.
 
It is important for seniors to understand what is happening to their Social Security & Medicare benefits. Finding & voting for the right presidential candidate in 2012 could not be more important if you are totally dependent on these programs which far too many seniors are – 18% of seniors' only source of income is Social Security.
 
We need a president and Congress who will champion this change of mindset so that our founding principles of limited government, personal responsibility, and free enterprise will be restored. This is the return to excellence we need.
 
I am still hoping a presidential candidate will emerge who will clearly lead on this most needed mindset change.
 
3.  To specifically combat the debt limit problem Ken Blackwell & others have proposed a "cut, cap, & balance" plan in which federal spending would be controlled so that projected borrowing is cut in half next year (not 10 years from now), spending would be capped @ 18% of GDP (it's 24% now & going higher under BO), & under a balanced-budget amendment the president would be required to submit a balanced budget within the foregoing guidelines that call for super congressional majorities to raise future debt limits or tax rates.
 
Admittedly the "cut, cap, & balance" plan has a more immediate impact than the Medicare & Social Security fixes & has more things that can go wrong (thanks to politicians) – but all three plans present some ideas for solving America's economic problems if we are serious. Seniors have to trust that they will not be thrown off the cliff & younger people will have plenty of time to adjust. The main problem is that all of these solutions – especially the Medicare & Social Security solutions - will take time & are therefore subject to change under socialist statist influence in which case we are gone anyway.
 
Virtually none of the above problems or solutions follow our founding principles – but they do describe the mess we are in. The most effective way (& to take politicians up on their constant claim to make tough decisions) to solve the debt ceiling problem is to decide who we won't pay based on any shortfalls in actual revenue collected versus promises made – the only legal obligation is interest on Treasury securities. Even Social Security benefits are not guaranteed – again see above Susan Lee column for Supreme Court decisions.
 
Students of economics know that the budget is always in balance from an accounting standpoint – there is no such thing as a federal budget deficit. The staggering numbers of the so-called deficits & national debt really mean that there is a less robust economy for future generations – exactly what BO plans.
 
Off the top of my head in order to start to re-uphold the Constitution we should eliminate the Departments of Health & Human Services, Education, Commerce, Agriculture, Transportation, HUD, the EPA, the National Endowment of the Arts, the National Endowment of Humanities, & of course the progressive income tax system & replace it with the FairTax.
 
4. The fourth point we need is a presidential candidate described by a subscriber to ReturnToExcellence.net who has the best & quite possibly the last answer for us re this mess, if we are to come out of it any time soon, when he responded to a recent posting re the high percentage of the working population who are employed by the state in the Middle East & North African countries that are undergoing so much protest & turmoil:
 
"Doug - Thanks for passing along this article. This has clearly pointed out to me one obvious omission I have made in discussing the need for money to come in to an economy from outside its economic sphere. What I had said, I guess, sort of implies that government workers paying taxes to employ other government workers certainly does not build an economy any more than us serving one another hamburgers and selling one another products made in China.
 
"This article only goes to further fuel my fire to champion our last hope for saving the American economy and the American dream, and that is the FairTax."

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Heartfelt Responses That I Share

The heartfelt responses to the last series of messages re the November presidential election & the quality (or lack thereof) of the Republican candidates has been overwhelming.  Here are a few – two directed @ The Historian.  My comments are in red below.
 
---Response #1---
 
Doug, do you think there is any chance at all that one of the people who can really do the job will step forward at the last minute? You are so right in saying that we do not have a candidate to go up against BO....would someone like Jim DeMint step up to the bat at sometime between now and Nov 6 and hit a home run? I think I am feeling down after watching the FL debate tonight.
 
Carol & I share your frustration with the B team. In fact I don't think the so-called A team is much, if any, better. This is the most destructive campaign I have ever seen – BO is just sitting there taking notes. Earlier tonight Larry Kudlow could barely stand interviewing Newt. I don't know one person in SC who did not vote for Newt last Saturday – I don't know how they feel now.
 
Our only chance is for a brokered convention where someone like Jim DeMint comes forward & even then it depends on how far gone the country is. In 2008 I waited for McCain to ask Sarah Palin to run with him. I voted for Palin not McCain so a very strong VP selection will help.
 
You are doing the right thing in supporting Senator Sam McCann. If we don't win the presidency we must take advantage of our constitutional republic & have in place every patriotic Mayor, Councilman, Congressman, & State Senator that we can to ward off BO's thrust. As Bret Stephens wrote we can also hope for the Supreme Court to overturn BOCare & for us to take over the senate. All of this will slow BO down. We will get our cue if Hillary then wins in 2016 – @ that point we are almost assuredly gone if she wins. It would take a John Galt figure to bring us back & I do believe he is out there. Freedom is fragile – we had George Washington & President Reagan. We need one more.
 
---Response #2 re Bret Stephens column---
 
This is so true! It really speaks to my hope for a shining knight to come forward to rescue us....we are running with losers...good way to put it!
 
---Response #3---
 
Good afternoon Doug and Carol,
 
Even though I have not been in close contact recently I still read your comments each day.  More importantly I store much of the information in the files located between my ears.
 
If you have concerns with the words First Community Organizer please feel free to replace them.
 
In response to The Historian
 
If there are such Republicans who truly believe that this course of action would result in a more prosperous future for our county, I say please remove these people from any elected position.
 
Another four years of The First Community Organizer of the White House will certainly lead to the train coming off the track.........and it will resemble the path taken in the movie
The Fugitive........with Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones.
 
While I agree the candidates are taking turns playing Russian roulette with a full chamber the course offered in The Historian's words can only bring more nightmares to my slumber.
 
---Response #4---
 
The Historian... They will blame republicans no matter what happens, if it is good they blame for something else.
 
Forget the politics and the recovery must start. OMG - I agree. What was it Lady Thatcher said?
 
Socialism is great until you run out of other peoples' money.
 
 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Responses - Help Me Out Here

Thanks to all of the responses to the subject message & especially to the originator of the subject message, our SC businessman, & The Historian.  They have both been regular quality contributors to this blog (quite often unidentified) for almost a decade.  The state of America is a bitter pill to swallow for patriots like these men.
 
I have continually suggested that we all go out & find statists & convert their allegiance to real anti-statist candidates of value in the 2012 election.  This is the peaceful way to solve our problems.  Please don't think for a second that I believe people of substance will see our life savings & property given away to the poorest, least educated, most unskilled, unaccomplished, & laziest people you can imagine without a whimper.  This just won't happen no matter who wins any election.
 
I am honored to present the responses of our SC businessman & The Historian & hope they both know that Carol & I will be with them on the front lines no matter how messy it gets.
 
---SC Businessman---
 
Thanks for the 'wonderful' reply.
 
I don't know if the polls have any validity tho. The vast majority of Americans are still asleep politically. They will start taking notice around September.
 
But, if you are right, I don't know if the country can last 4 more years. And I don't think it will go out with a whimper. The 'have-nots' will rise up when the money runs out. Those remaining 'haves' are not going to roll over. Could get messy.
 
Thanks again for the good news.
 
OMG (Obama must go)
 
---The Historian---
 
I agree with the Bret Stephens column that you mentioned.
 
Take it for what it is worth, but Republicans who pull the strings, might want BO re-elected.
 
Why - they know in their hearts, economy will be in bad shape for next several years (not one year) and if Republicans were in office - who would get the blame??
 
But, if BO was re-elected and country went downhill for those years - would the public applaud BO.  I think not.
 
When the following elections are held, Republicans would win BIG, but only if they produce a person who has a plan to improve the country. Not the present ones who are busy shooting each other in the foot.
 
 
 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Help Me Out Here

Thanks to a long time reader of these messages who wrote - "Doug - I can't, for the life of me, figure out why the Republican pundits think Obama is a shoe-in...I just do not see BO's claim to be the only one who is electable.  Help me out here."  This posting is focused on answering this question.

For starters we are outnumbered & BO will call on all of his Alinsky community organizer skills to bring out the numbers in his favor – it will be harder than in 2008 but where else are these type of people going to go.  Even after the worst three years in memory BO still has a 43% job approval rating meaning 43% favor the redistribution of wealth rather than the creation of wealth as described in Death of Democracy.  In other words these people are not interested in any of the substantive reasons BO should not be reelected – click on Alphabetically A Through Y Why BO Should Not Be Reelected.

The latest poll reported tonight shows BO defeating Mitt 46 to 43 & defeating Newt 49 to 40.  Factor in that many Tea Party & far right voters simply will not vote for Mitt or Newt.  I personally know of some well informed people who did not vote in the SC primary – like it or not this is a factor favoring BO.

It is far better for people who are deeply concerned about our country like the writer above to work to find people who ordinarily would vote for statist candidates to convince them to vote for anti-statist candidates wherever they find them.  If we are going to develop a real & lasting coalition of such people - like the two subscribers highlighted in the last two postings - we cannot ask them to merely vote along party lines – this will produce people like Boehner, Cantor, & the two leading Republican presidential candidates which will ultimately turn people off.

The best answer to the above question though appeared in today's WSJ Global View column below by Bret Stephens.  Couple all of this together & then go work for all of the Jim DeMint-type candidates you can find if you want any chance @ all. 

It doesn't matter that Mr. Obama can't get the economy out of second gear. It doesn't matter that he cynically betrayed his core promise as a candidate to be a unifying president. It doesn't matter that he keeps blaming Bush. It doesn't matter that he thinks ATMs are weapons of employment destruction. It doesn't matter that Tim Geithner remains secretary of Treasury. It doesn't matter that the result of his "reset" with Russia is Moscow selling fighter jets to Damascus. It doesn't matter that the Obama name is synonymous with the most unpopular law in memory. It doesn't matter that his wife thinks America doesn't deserve him. It doesn't matter that the Evel Knievel theory of fiscal stimulus isn't going to make it over the Snake River Canyon of debt.

Above all, it doesn't matter that Americans are generally eager to send Mr. Obama packing. All they need is to be reasonably sure that the alternative won't be another fiasco. But they can't be reasonably sure, so it's going to be four more years of the disappointment you already know.
gloview0124
As for the current GOP field, it's like confronting a terminal diagnosis. There may be an apparent range of treatments: conventional (Romney), experimental (Gingrich), homeopathic (Paul) or prayerful (Santorum). But none will avail you in the end. Just try to exit laughing.

That's my theory for why South Carolina gave Newt Gingrich his big primary win on Saturday: Voters instinctively prefer the idea of an entertaining Newt-Obama contest—the aspiring Caesar versus the failed Redeemer—over a dreary Mitt-Obama one. The problem is that voters also know that Gaius Gingrich is liable to deliver his prime-time speeches in purple toga while holding tight to darling Messalina's—sorry, Callista's—bejeweled fingers. A primary ballot for Mr. Gingrich is a vote for an entertaining election, not a Republican in the White House.

Then there is Mitt Romney, even now the presumptive nominee. If Mr. Gingrich demonstrated his unfitness to be a serious Republican nominee with his destructive attacks on private equity (a prime legacy of the Reagan years), Mr. Romney has demonstrated his unfitness by—where to start?

Oh, yes, the moment in last week's debate when Mr. Romney equivocated about releasing his tax returns. The former Massachusetts governor is nothing if not a scripted politician, and the least one can ask of such people is that they should know their lines by heart. Did nobody in Mr. Romney's expensive campaign shop tell him that this question was sure to come, and that a decision had to be made, in advance, as to what the answer would be? Great CEOs don't just surround themselves with consultants and advance men. They also hire contrarians, alter egos and at least someone who isn't afraid to poke a finger in their chest. On the evidence of his campaign, Mr. Romney is a lousy CEO.

But it's worse than that. The usual rap on Mr. Romney is that he's robotic, but the real reason he can't gain traction with voters is that they suspect he's concealing some unnameable private doubt. Al Gore and George Bush Sr. were like that, too, and not just because they were all to the proverbial manor born. It's that they were basically hollow men.

Thus the core difference between Mr. Romney and Mr. Obama: For the governor, the convictions are the veneer. For the president, the pragmatism is. Voters always see through this. They usually prefer the man who stands for something.

What about Rick Santorum and Ron Paul? They are owed some respect, especially for the contrast between their willingness to take a stand for principle against the front-runners' willingness to say anything. But Messrs. Santorum and Paul are two tedious men, deep in conversation with some country that's not quite America, appealing to a devoted base but not beyond it. Sorry, gentlemen: You're not going anywhere.

Finally, there are the men not in the field: Mitch Daniels, Paul Ryan, Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, Haley Barbour. This was the GOP A-Team, the guys who should have showed up to the first debate but didn't because running for president is hard and the spouses were reluctant. Nothing commends them for it. If this election is as important as they all say it is, they had a duty to step up. Abraham Lincoln did not shy from the contest of 1860 because of Mary Todd. If Mr. Obama wins in November—or, rather, when he does—the failure will lie as heavily on their shoulders as it will with the nominee.


What should readers who despair of a second Obama term make of all this? Hope ObamaCare is repealed by the High Court, the Iranian bomb is repealed by the Israeli Air Force, and the Senate switches hands, giving America a healthy spell of Hippocratic government.


All perfectly plausible. And the U.S. will surely survive four more years. Who knows? By then maybe Republicans will have figured out that if they don't want to lose, they shouldn't run with losers.



 

Responses - The Next Twelve Years

"I'd be willing to wager the Hildebeast will not run in 2016.  She will be pushing 70 (& be 82 @ the end of the 2 terms).  I also think Bill will not be willing to sacrifice the lime light" was the type of comment that expressed the opposite of the opinion presented by me in the original subject posting.  Of course both points of view re Hillary are strictly opinion & we will have to wait a few years to see what happens.
 
Of more immediate importance - we do know what will happen in 2012 – namely one of two very flawed Republican candidates will run against BO & I don't know one person who likes our chances.
 
Every place I turn I read statistics like Hispanics have grown to represent 12.2 million people eligible to vote in 2012 & that for the Republicans to have any chance to win the presidency their candidate will need to win 40% of these Hispanic voters.  Now who can imagine Newt or Mitt winning 40% of an expanded Hispanic vote when GW Bush only won about this percentage in 2004 after all of his pandering.
 
The much more important message than Hillary running for anything in the future was presented by our Illinois member who wrote "We are again having fund raisers for our pal Senator Sam McCann who is being opposed by 2 REPUBLICAN candidates because he refuses to play the IL politics game. This time I am not making phone calls for Sam, but I AM talking about him, and the outstanding job he is doing for our state.....and I'm talking about why NOT to vote for BO."
 
To have any chance @ all everyone reading these messages must find candidates to get behind like Illinois Senator Sam McCann & go to the mat for him like our Illinois member did in 2010 & is doing again in 2012.  Find three statists & convince them to vote for anti-statist candidates @ any level of government.  Unfortunately we are limited @ the presidential level right now because we may lose forever someone we ask to support a flawed candidate @ the presidential level.  Better to find the real "Jim DeMints" wherever they are & put them in a position to make a difference praying we did it in time.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Next Twelve Years

As a follow-up to the Who Said It? – Quiz of a few days ago, highlighting many of BO's gaffes, below is the same type of quiz I sent out in October 2007.  Just like BO said all of the quotes in the recent quiz it was Hillary who said all of the ones below including the one I added @ the end. 
 
The point is that BO's quotes from the recent quiz really show how inept he is.  The ones from Hillary below are down right dangerous & vividly show what is coming.
 
I am not worrying about whether or not Hillary runs for VP in 2012 – we know she will run for president in 2016 & right now she could beat any one including BO.  She is almost a shoe-in in 2016 meaning the next twelve years will do us in if we don't find a way to change course.
 
What to do?  Try this from one of our more recent subscribers -  "What can we do?  Explain this to friends, relatives, and acquaintances. Risk being called a conspirator and a loon.  I have been but have also opened some minds.  Also encourage the alternative media to expand on this message that BO is a Marxist out to replace our economic system with his version.  That is 'change we can believe in.'  I will reach out to Mark Levin this week regarding this."
 
---Posting From October, 2007--- 
 
Below is a history quiz (source is the Neal Boortz blog) - see if you know who said the following six quotations.  If you don't know the answer make your best guess. Answer all the questions before looking at the answers. Who said it?  To help you tie this all together as to where America could be heading I include my own 7th quotation below Neal's quiz.

 

1) "We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good."

A. Karl Marx
B. Adolph Hitler
C. Joseph Stalin
D. None of the above

2) "It's time for a new beginning, for an end to government of the few, by the few, and for the few...and to replace it with shared responsibility for shared prosperity."

A. Lenin
B. Mussolini
C. Idi Amin
D. None of the Above

3) "(We)...can't just let business as usual go on, and that means something has to be taken away from some people."

A. Nikita Khrushev
B. Jose f Goebbels
C. Boris Yeltsin
D. None of the above

4) "We have to build a political consensus and that requires people to give up a little bit of their own...in order to create this common ground."

A. Mao Tse Dung
B. Hugo Chavez
C. Kim Jong Il
D. None of the above

5) "I certainly think the free-market has failed."

A. Karl Marx
B. Lenin
C. Molotov
D. None of the above

6) "I think it's time to send a clear message to what has become the most profitable sector in (the) entire economy that they are being watched."

A. Pinochet
B. Milosevic
C. Saddam Hussein
D. None of the above

Answers:

(1) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 6/29/2004
(2) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 5/29/2007
(3) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 6/4/2007
(4) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 6/4/2007
(5) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 6/4/2007
(6) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 9/2/2005


7) Referring to Exxon-Mobil's earnings: "I'm going to take these profits...." - If you didn't know this one you probably failed the above quiz too.

PS - Carol got 100% after just reading (& thinking about) the first quote.  "I'll bet that all of them are 'none of the above' - they are all Hillary" she said.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Responses - Who said it? - Quiz

Responses flooded in re the subject quiz such as “correct answers to all – BO” & “I always said Carol is a very bright person. Did I read the last paragraph correctly – Republicans conceding election to BO???” The Republicans have not conceded the election to BO but I am getting close to. More on this in the next posting.

Other fun responses – “After the first 7 questions I scrolled to the bottom to confirm my thoughts, it was BO,” & “Hi Doug - I just got a couple of them correct, mainly because I rarely listen to BO's many, many, many speeches!” & “Who else but BO ? Would I be wrong in assuming that every one of these quotes was uttered without the use of a teleprompter? The man can't string a sentence together unless he is reading it off a script.” I think you get the message of the responses received.

One very substantive response came from a FairTax supporter, former congressional candidate, & long time reader of these messages – “Hi Doug - Hope you and Carol are well and Happy New Year. Do you have the backup on when and where he said this? I would love to use it in my talks but I would need the backup verification. Thanks.”

The rest of this post documents that the quotes were made by BO. You can start with another response from a subscriber who wrote “Somehow I knew all the quotes were by BO, and surprisingly, I even remembered hearing most of them!” I remember many of them also.

The original Quiz came from our SC businessman who is a very reliable provider. Also you can click on this link which attributes all ten of the quotes to BO. I specifically recall hearing the one re the 57 states during the campaign of 2008  & the one about the 129 bowling score & special Olympics being said on the Tonight Show on March 19, 2009. Several sources reported the Israel quote in July 2008. The one re fallen Memorial Day warriors being in the audience – just click here to hear it yourself.

Taking the others one by one just click below as indicated for verification:

"What they'll say is, 'Well it costs too much money,' but you know what? It would cost, about. It it would cost about the same as what we would spend.”

"The reforms we seek would bring greater competition, choice, savings and inefficiencies to our health care system."

“You gave them treatment early and they got some treatment, and a, a breathalyzer

“The vital task of applying principles put to paper more than 20 centuries ago ."

“There's a lot of I don't know what the term is in Austrian” - April 04, 2009 - At a news conference after BO’s debut on the international stage.
I found documentation that the quote about “I have made good judgments in the future" is also attributed to Dan Quayle & John Kerry so I would not use this one in any presentations attributing it solely to BO. BTW - With re to John Kerry, who portrayed himself as an intellectual when he ran against Bush, his grades @ Yale were actually lower than Bushes’. Source – WSJ article entitled C Man In The Navy.

Finally, click on these two links to get even more quotes from BO:

Link #1 & Link #2

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Who said it? - Quiz

Test your memory by taking the Who Said It? – Quiz presented by our SC businessman.  All you have to do is identify who said each of the quotes below.
 
Long time readers may remember that I provided a similar Who Said It? – Quiz in October, 2007 – source for that one was the Neal Boortz website.  Please let me know how you do on the quiz below.  I plan to re-post the one from 2007 in the next few days & explain why it is relevant to our future.  BTW – Carol got all of them right on both quizzes without even reading all of the quotes.
 
1) "Let me be absolutely clear. Israel is a strong friend of Israel."
 
A. Barack Obama
B. Dan Quayle
C. Sarah Palin
D. George W. Bush
 
2) "I've now been in 57 states. I think one left to go."
 
A. Barack Obama
B. Dan Quayle
C. Sarah Palin
D. George W. Bush
 
3) "On this Memorial Day, as our nation honors its unbroken line of fallen heroes, and I see many of them in the audience here today."
 
A. Barack Obama
B. Dan Quayle
C. Sarah Palin
D. George W. Bush
 
4) "What they'll say is, 'Well it costs too much money,' but you know what? It would cost, about. It it would cost about the same as what we would spend. It. Over the course of 10 years it would cost what it would costs us. (nervous laugh) All right. Okay. We're going to do it. It would cost us about the same as it would cost for about hold on one second. I can't hear myself. But I'm glad you're fired up, though. I'm glad."
 
A. Barack Obama
B. Dan Quayle
C. Sarah Palin
D. George W. Bush
 
5) "The reforms we seek would bring greater competition, choice, savings and inefficiencies to our health care system."
 
A. Barack Obama
B. Dan Quayle
C. Sarah Palin
D. George W. Bush
 
(6) "I bowled a 129. It's like - it was like the Special Olympics, or something."
 
A. Barack Obama
B. Dan Quayle
C. Sarah Palin
D. George W. Bush
 
7) "Of the many responsibilities granted to a president by our Constitution, few are more serious or more consequential than selecting a Supreme Court justice. The members of our highest court are granted life tenure, often serving long after the presidents who appointed them. And they are charged with the vital task of applying principles put to paper more than 20 centuries ago to some of the most difficult questions of our time."
 
A. Barack Obama
B. Dan Quayle
C. Sarah Palin
D. George W. Bush
 
8) "Everybody knows that it makes no sense that you send a kid to the emergency room for a treatable illness like asthma, they end up taking up a hospital bed, it costs, when, if you, they just gave, you gave them treatment early and they got some treatment, and a, a breathalyzer, or inhalator, not a breathalyzer. I haven't had much sleep in the last 48 hours."
 
A. Barack Obama
B. Dan Quayle
C. Sarah Palin
D. George W. Bush
 
9) "It was interesting to see that political interaction in Europe is not that different from the United States Senate. There's a lot of I don't know what the term is in Austrian, wheeling and dealing."
 
A. Barack Obama
B. Dan Quayle
C. Sarah Palin
D. George W. Bush
 
10) "I have made good judgments in the past. I have made good judgments in the future."
 
A. Barack Obama
B. Dan Quayle
C. Sarah Palin
D. George W. Bush

Even though it was BO who said all of the above it is hard to believe that any of the current Republican candidates for president will defeat him in 2012.
 
 
 

Saturday, January 14, 2012

GE X-ray Division Move Message Needs Clarification To Have Credibility

Thanks to a subscriber to ReturnToExcellence.net for sending the note "more news which you may know already" along with the following message (e-Rumor) making the rounds on the internet that blackballs General Electric & their CEO Jeffrey Immelt.  Naturally I checked it out before posting it to you & the e-Rumor is basically true but does require the five clarifying points I highlight after the message below to bring it credibility.
 
---e-Rumor---
 
Keep your eye on Waukesha, Wisconsin ......Their biggest employer just moved out. Thanks Jeff, you're a "real" American....give Barack our Best !! General Electric is planning to move its 115-year-old X-ray division from Waukesha, WI, to Beijing. In addition to moving the headquarters, the company will invest $2 billion in China and train more than 65 engineers and create six research centers. This is the same GE that made $5.1 billion in the United States last year. but paid no taxes - the same company that employs more people overseas than it does in the United States.
 
So let me get this straight. the President appointed GE CEO Chairman Jeff Immelt to head his commission on job creation (job czar). Immelt is supposed to help create jobs. I guess the President forgot to tell him in which country he was supposed to be creating those jobs. If this doesn't show you the total lack of leadership of this President, I don't know what does. Soon, you all will understand that he has an agenda, this agenda is to remove the last super power from the world. He is getting very close.  Please pass this information to others.
 
Clarifying Points:
 
1.  GE Healthcare is moving its X-ray headquarters from Waukesha to Beijing.  The business unit had been headquartered in Waukesha since 1972, not 1896. The move will result in four management positions being moved to China (they may already be there), and will not result in any job cuts in Waukesha.  Company officials said the move will help GE focus on distributing products in China, as well as help them to train health care professionals in the Far East where the company is expanding to a new presence in China to respond to increased opportunities in the region.  Currently, the Wisconsin based X-Ray division oversees 820 employees world wide and has 150 employees in Wisconsin.
 
2.  The vice president and general manager @ GE Healthcare Global X-Ray, is relocating to Beijing from Waukesha, Wisconsin, along with several executives, including the chief financial officer and chief marketing officer.  Now these executives most assuredly have tremendous incomes compared to the overwhelming majority of Americans who never move more than a few miles from where they were born & concentrate more on their "time off" where they can spend time resenting the compensation of the type of people who will spend several years in China working 60 to 80 hours a week with no life whatsoever other than their jobs.
 
3.  GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt was appointed by BO to be the Chairman of the 26 member Jobs & Competitive Council & as you can see from the e-Rumor above Immelt has taken a lot of heat for moves like this Waukesha to Beijing move while Americans continue to lose jobs or find substandard work.  Immelt is doing his job as CEO of GE with this X-ray division move.  The question is why do we even have a government Jobs & Competitive Council?
 
4.  Bellyaching about the number of overseas GE employees will not make Americans any more prepared to participate in the global economy.  Neither will the economic illiterate repetition that GE did not pay any income taxes regardless of how many billions of dollars the company made.  Corporations do not pay income taxes – only people do whether they be consumers, employees, or shareholders.  Think of the business equation: Revenue – Expenses = Profit.  If corporate income tax is added or raised the consumer will pay it if prices can be raised, or the employees will pay it through layoffs or no raises, or the shareholders will pay it if the first two cannot.  The alternative is the company goes out of business in which case everyone loses.  In no case does the corporation pay this tax – they just pass it on.
 
5.  Finally the writer of the subject message hits on the point worth discussing when he says that BO has an agenda to remove America as the last superpower in the world.  Neither Jon Voight nor I could have said it clearer.  It is the other misinformation in his message that requires clarification to bring credibility to it before he recommends that recipients pass it on to others. 


 
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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Responses - The Debt Ceiling Example Of Why We Need A Mindset Change

The original subject posting brought many comments that I really appreciate – this is how we all learn including this series of exchanges from a long time reader who always questions everything as you can see below – my responses are in red to each of his points:
 
This professor (Krugman) does not agree with you.  Maybe he does not read the news.  Or should he be hit with the stupid hammer, my fingers know how it feels.
 
Most people start to produce wealth for themselves when they go into debt like buying a house with 20% down & an 80% mortgage. At the end of 30 years they have some real wealth that started with debt so debt is not a bad factor when it is a reasonable size compared to the income a person or country has. The problems with debt start when spending is too great as Professor Friedman taught. More simply – just live within your means to avoid trouble.
 
The home owners scenario works - the Federal Government debt does matter - otherwise why are we paying taxes?
 
Of course debt is important but the danger comes from too much spending beyond our taxing means. We are paying taxes to meet the burden borne by the American economy from spending on government programs. Just look @ the example I gave in the original posting – the burden is greater with a $2 trillion spending budget & no deficit than with a $1 trillion spending budget & a $500 billion deficit. BO wants us to keep our eye on the deficit while spending keeps going up – a financial loser for taxpayers but all in the name of deficit reduction. To use a calculus term – spending is the derivative of deficits.
 
Other responses:
 
---Response #1---
 
I do not always agree with you, but this time I do.  2013-2014 are years when the camels back is broken: Bad times.  Now both parties blame each other for rising deficits - makes good reading in the papers.  I pray I am wrong.
 
---Response #2— From our Wall Street Financial VP
 
Very relevant post  - Total debt has been growing almost 10% a year since 2008 while our GDP in 2011 Q4 just recovered to level prior to recession. Projections are our GDP will only grow 2% a year while spending and debt grow at almost 10% a year. Sooner or later our creditors will realize that financing our debt is not a great way to preserve capital. All hell will then break loose. So what can US do?

1 - across board 30% cut from our $3.8 trillion budget over 2 years or 15% per year. This will cut $1.2 trillion annually from $1.6 trillion projected annual debt increase. Bring spending back to 2007 levels adjusted for inflation.

2 - implement the FairTax for at least 2 reasons – A) reward success, grow economy, improve GDP to debt ratio and B) save $430 billion per year with replacement of IRS. Use this to reduce debt. This figure added to $1.2 trillion above reaches target projected annual deficit increase of $1.6 Trillion.

3 -- use Canada as an economic best practice. They safely drill for energy (oil, shale, gas, coal, frac, etc) and have a 6.5% unemployment rate. Our economic growth depends on energy. Greater domestic supply will decrease imports adding to our GDP.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Debt Ceiling Example Of Why We Need A Mindset Change

It's just about time for the next increase ($1.2 trillion) in the debt ceiling that was agreed to in a deal last August between Congress & BO.  You may remember that Congress agreed to the formation of the deficit-cutting Super Committee, & when it failed, to automatic spending cuts over 10 years conveniently starting in January 2013 - right after the 2012 election.  Making this deal even worse is that the spending cuts are really only decreases in planned increases & of course most of them will not even begin until years nine & ten if then.  Total spending will still increase as a result of this pitiful arrangement.  If this is the best Republicans can do what do we need them for?

The current portion of the deal concerning raising the debt ceiling starts when BO notifies Congress in writing that Treasury is within $100 billion of the current debt ceiling.  Congress then (symbolically) votes on whether or not to increase the debt ceiling & of course if they don't increase the debt ceiling BO will veto the legislation & the money will become available unless there is a veto overriding majority which there won't be.

The above provides a capsule summary of the projected spending increases that will be made under the guise of deficit reduction.  Please remember the real enemy is not the deficit but spending.  Professor Friedman would rather have a budget of $1 trillion with a $500 billion deficit, than a budget of $2 trillion with no deficit.  He taught that the burden borne by the American economy is measured by what government spends & disposes of, not by whether it calls its receipts "taxes" or "proceeds from bonds." 

Click on this link that illustrates the problems America faces if we don't have a mindset change to fiscal responsibility. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

One & Done

Thanks to a subscriber to ReturnToExcellence.net who sent along with the comment "If the FairTax and the Tea Party are not the answer, what in the hell is?" this link of a video showing how millionaires & billionaires can pay for federal government spending. 

It is perfect for the New Year because it takes you day by day from January 1 throughout each day of the entire year.  If you are like me you will see the catch about half way through the presentation.  Please let me know if you do.