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.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Pocket Constitution

To celebrate the writing of the Constitution 232 years ago this week below are two examples of correspondence Hillsdale College received regarding the Constitution & in particular
the 390,000 pocket constitutions that the school has sent to students across America.  Grateful teachers are also most appreciative.
 
For those who have not read the Constitution in years, decades, or ever please contact Gina Gallutia @ 517-607-2738 @ Hillsdale College to receive a free copy of the pocket Constitution.  Please let me know if you have any problem getting through & I will try to help.
 
You will find reading the Constitution invaluable between now & the November 2020 presidential election.
 
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Sunday, September 8, 2019

Green New Deal Is More About AOC's Economic Agenda Than Climate Change

“I said, we have an existential threat, we are in a situation where, if we don’t act quickly, we’re going to basically lose almost everything we have.  And that’s exactly the case.  It’s even more urgent now.”  Joe Biden speaking about the urgency of addressing climate change @ a campaign rally in NH in May where he claimed to introduce the first bill that addressed climate change in the 1980s – over 30 years ago.


After AOC, the de facto leader of the Democrat Party, presented her version of the Green New Deal to a group of fawning Democrat congressmen last February, all of the Democrat presidential aspirants have hopped on board to one large degree or another.  Joe Biden joined in to remind everyone that it is even more urgent now than it was the first time he told us about its urgency over 30 years ago.
 
But the devil is in the details & a check of the details of the plan reveals that AOC’s Green New Deal is in reality the largest expansion of government since LBJ’s Great Society.  It not only proposes getting the U.S. off of fossil fuels within 10 years but also providing universal healthcare, government job & housing guarantees, & a host of impractical ideas like replacing air travel with trains & upgrading & retrofitting every building in America to make them more energy efficient.  It is more about AOC’s economic agenda for America & less about eliminating carbon emissions.
 
The above understanding of the purpose of AOC’s Green New Deal plan was confirmed when AOC’s chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti, explained to the staff of former presidential candidate Jay Inslee (one-issue climate change candidate who has now dropped out) that “The interesting thing about the Green New Deal, is it wasn’t originally a climate thing @ all.  Do you guys think of it as a climate thing?  Because we really think of it as a how do you change the entire economy thing.”
 
Now you can check to see for yourself that AOC’s Green New Deal puts in just enough climate change points to mask that it is really about taking over the entire American way of life or as her chief of staff put it
the “economy thing.”  Just look below @ some of the points from the Senate Joint Resolution 8, entitled “A joint resolution recognizing the duty of the Federal Government to create a Green New Deal” within 10 years, but not later than 2030, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell & brought to the Senate floor for the purpose of putting senators on record supporting such a plan.
 
 
1.  establishing millions of high-wage jobs & ensuring economic security for all,
 
2.  securing clean air & water, climate & community resiliency, healthy food, access to nature, & a sustainable environment for all & promoting justice & equality,
 
3.  upgrading all existing buildings & constructing new buildings to achieve maximum energy & water efficiency,
 
4.  removing pollution & greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation & agriculture sectors – i.e., no more fossil fuels, &
 
5.  providing higher education, high-quality healthcare, & affordable, safe, & adequate housing to all.
 
The joint resolution was defeated in the Senate 57 to 0 with not one Democrat, including Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey who introduced the bill, voting for it when it counted (see photo above).
 
The urgency, or @ least the significance of making the right politically correct impression, about the Green New Deal was evidently lost on the “Google Campers” – i.e., celebrities who took 114 private jets & mega yachts valued @ between $200 million & 400 million to attend Google’s climate change conference in Sicily’s Verdura Resort last month.  The celebrities, most of whom thankfully I never heard of, very well could have used more fossil fuels getting to the conference than most people use in a year.  A classic example of do as I say, not as I do.
 
American Action Forum (AAF) headed by former Congressional Budget Office Director, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, analyzed the Green New Deal & provided a cost estimate of the several parts & its totality.
 
AAF calculated that it will cost over $5 billion just to meet
the Green New Deal’s goal of transitioning to “clean, renewable, & zero-emission energy sources” within the next 10 years.  Not to be outdone by AOC, his friend & one time presidential primary campaign worker in 2016, Bernie (also a co-sponsor of AOC’s Green New Deal) has added many bell & whistle giveaways to AOC’s mostly aspirational original plan & has
come up with his own version of the Green New Deal that is estimated to cost $16.7 trillion over the next 10 years - for both the fossil fuel elimination portion & the economic agenda portion of his plan that is not directly linked to climate policy.  To help understand why Joe Biden is considered a moderate – Biden’s climate change
plan is estimated to cost “only” $1.7 trillion in the next 10 years.
 
Bernie claims his plan will pay for itself within 15 years through a combination of new taxes, fees, & litigation against fossil fuel companies, new taxes on corporations & wealthy people, together with cuts in military spending related to U.S. reliance on oil & savings across the economy.  Source: Inside Climate News.
 
But getting back to AOC’s original Green New Deal – when all of the pieces of the above Senate Joint Resolution are added together AAF calculates the cost could be as high as $93 trillion over the next ten years.  See table below.


The Federal Reserve reports that the nation’s household net worth is currently about $108 trillion meaning that the $93 trillion estimated cost over the next ten years of AOC’s Green New Deal is just a little less than the nation’s current total wealth – the value of all assets such as stocks, savings accounts, & property minus liabilities such as personal debt.  AAF estimates the annual cost for each American household could be as high as $67,000 to meet the goals of the Green New Deal: “net zero” emissions, widespread high-speed rail service that makes air travel unnecessary, guaranteed government jobs, universal healthcare & its tax cost & diminished choices & decreased access to providers, & building, retrofitting, or otherwise upgrading every house & building in the country to maximize energy efficiency.
 
The Heritage Foundation provides the following graphic that shows the cost comparisons for electricity bills using coal versus those using wind & solar energy systems for a family of four.


The AAF report concludes that "the Green New Deal is clearly very expensive.  Its further expansion of the federal government's role in some of the most basic decisions of daily life, however, would likely have a more lasting & damaging impact than its enormous price tag."
A lot has been made the past several days about the erroneous track of many weather forecasting models that showed Hurricane Dorian going across Florida into Alabama.  Now if meteorologists can't get the forecast of a hurricane right over a period of a few days why would we trust them to surrender our way of life over climate change predictions & draconian regulations & their tremendous costs covering the next ten years?
 

Sunday, August 25, 2019

The Solution To America's Mass Shooting Problem

“Whether you like it or not, history is on our side. We will bury you.”Nikita Khrushchev, Soviet First Secretary 1953 to 1964 & premier of the Soviet Union 1958 to 1964, while addressing Western ambassadors at a reception at the Polish embassy in Moscow on November 18, 1956.  In this most famous of Khrushchev sayings he was not talking about literally burying the west with a shovel.  The first sentence shows Khrushchev’s understanding of the Death Of Democracy history in that a democracy, or constitutional Republic with strong democratic principles like America, is always temporary in nature because the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy which is always followed by a dictatorship.  In the second sentence I always thought he was referring to the erosion of the dollar’s purchasing power through inflation that required both the husband & wife to go into the workplace to meet the cost of living. This left children to be raised by others, or no one, to a large extent, which is the root cause of the continuous mass killing spree in America by mentally unstable distressed young men who had no family life or father figure @ all while growing up.
 
Khrushchev undoubtedly learned his lesson well from his communist predecessor Vladimir Lenin who was an advocate of putting an end to enemy countries by destroying that country’s families.  Lenin knew that a society could be overturned by debauching the currency so that “not one man in a million” would be aware of the subtle destruction brought by inflation – the government wealth confiscation program that secretly & unobserved steals the wealth of the citizenry.  It was the general increase in prices & the fall in the purchasing power of money that forced mothers out of their homes instead of raising their children like many of the members of this readership benefitted from. 
 
Whether it was Lenin or Khrushchev, the sentiment is certainly the same – just look @ America the past fifty to sixty years.  It takes both a husband & wife in a typical middle class family to go into the workplace to bring home two paychecks of debased currency so that ends can @ least see each other if not totally meet.  The purchasing power of the middle class has increased only infinitesimally over the last 40 plus years.  The median earnings for men working full time year round has been stagnate @ around $50,000 per year in constant 2017 dollars from 1972 to the present.  Since 1999 the median household income, in constant 2017 dollars, never surpassed the 1999 level until 2016.
 
Following the 1957 federal budget surplus the U.S. has run federal budget deficits every year since - except for 1960 & 1969.  It was the 1960s federal government spending that brought the inflation that necessitated two household earners as described above. 
 
The government spending on both fighting an unwinnable war in Indochina & LBJ’s Great Society (especially Medicare, Medicaid, & the expansions of Social Security benefits) ended the economic expansion started by JFK & was the inflation spark that required two paychecks coming in to virtually every middle class household.  Today, the Cato Institute has determined there are 126 taxpayer funded welfare programs that not just the needy are using but opportunistic cunning people who exploit the programs also.
 
Federal spending was 3% of GDP in 1928 – it continued to grow in the 1960s & has a long term average of 21% of a much greater GDP meaning that the federal government has continued to not live within its means. 
 
One source of ready cash that contributed to the inflation rise was the Social Security surplus from payroll taxes that was immediately spent on every program imaginable by a profligate Congress.  Today there is nothing but IOUs in the deceptively misnamed Social Security Trust Fund which is scheduled for book-keeping exhaustion by 2034, @ which time benefits will be reduced, as stated on the personalized Social Security statement that is mailed to everyone starting @ age 25 & is also available online.
 
The Budget Control Act of 2011, better known as the Sequester, was a feeble attempt to control a small portion of federal discretionary spending via automatic spending cuts that would go into effect unless both congressional Democrats & Republicans agreed otherwise.  The Sequester had put caps on discretionary federal spending – but in 2018 Congress raised the caps by $130 billion & just last month Congress again raised the caps $320 billion over the next two years above the Sequester limits.  In essence the Budget Control Act controlled nothing.
 
It was Sunday night August 15, 1971 that Nixon took America off what was left of the gold standard when he announced on national TV (I was watching in Ocean City Maryland) that the Treasury would no longer exchange $35 dollars for a troy ounce of gold, & vice versa.  Forty years later, to the day, the price of gold was $1,740 per troy ounce.  A 1971 dollar has lost 84.1% of its purchasing power – i.e., $1 in 1971 had the same purchasing power as $6.29 today.
 
In the next three years more than half of the nation’s $22 trillion outstanding debt matures.  The weighted average cost of that debt is less than 2%.  If interest rates would rise, say to the still historically low 3% level, interest payments would increase $220 billion a year.  Source Jason Trennert, CEO of Strategas, writing in the WSJ.
 
Professor Friedman taught that the villain is government spending that creates the debt & not the debt itself.  Inflation occurs when too much money chases too few goods.  Inflation follows when too much of the nation’s total available resources are unproductively used by government to produce things of no wealth creative value or as Henry Hazlitt wrote in Economics In One Lesson – “it [is] improbable that the wealth created by government spending will fully compensate for the wealth destroyed by the taxes imposed to pay for that spending.”  Accordingly, government spending provides the fuel that decreases the purchasing power of a nation’s currency that ends up with families needing more than one wage earner to make ends meet.
 
In short, Congress spends too much & that is the root cause why we have so many two income households – the government takes too much of the total resources earned by the private sector that should be available to the private sector where it would be used more productively than it would be by the government. 
 
Below is a graphic that shows the rates of both general inflation & medical care inflation that started in the 1960s & is the reason why both husband & wife work today instead of one of them staying home to raise their children.


Below is a graphic that shows the latest inflation source, college tuition loans, starting in 1990.  It has doubled the rate of inflation of medical care & has quadrupled the rate of general inflation.


And below is a graphic showing that much of a worker’s expected wage increase over the past twenty years went to paying employer-provided healthcare insurance.


The WSJ reports that in 1970, only half the women in the U.S. aged 25 to 54 were in the workforce.  That figure has now risen to 75%.  For men it has moved in the opposite direction, slipping from 96% to 89%.  Women currently make up 46.6% of the labor force, up from 45% in 2000.  In July, the breakdown of workers, 25 years old or older, in the labor force with a bachelor’s degree, was 29.23 million women & 29.07 million men.  This puts 2019 on track to be the first year women make up the majority of the college-educated labor force.  Source BLS.
 
The above statistics are not to be praised as a sign of women's rights or some politically correct equality, liberation, or superiority but rather as an indication of both men & women being forced to go into the labor force to make ends meet because of the inflation resulting from government overspending, as detailed above.  Accordingly, parents have abdicated their parenting responsibility – i.e., the way they raise their children – in order to meet the cost of living.
 
Not only do many children not have the family supervision structure they need they also find themselves separated from worthwhile programs & activities – i.e., they are left isolated online.  Several mass shooters had suffered from being bullied.  With limited family support even their homes were not safe havens when the bullying could continue online nonstop without a break or advice from their parents.  Under these circumstances it is easy to see how mental distress could reach a breaking point for some people.
 
The recent mass shootings in El Paso & Dayton, within thirteen hours of each other, has resulted in both politicians & the citizenry calling for the federal government to do something – anything.  What a sad commentary to turn to Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, & Donald Trump for help for a problem that can only be solved by the parents.  And of course the two dozen Democrat presidential candidates couldn’t wait to politicize these tragedies & demonize the NRA & Trump.
 
It is bad enough that the federal government makes a pretense of trying to do something, but even then is it not asking too much that it should @ least propose something that will help?  Not any of the proposed enhanced background checks would have stopped either the El Paso or Dayton mass shootings so they would not have been any help.  Passing more anti-gun & red flag laws will not reduce the carnage.  To put it in terms a dieter can understand – the fork does not eat the cheesecake.
 
Gun violence in Chicago & Baltimore has been infamous for years – Chicago has some of the toughest gun laws but to no avail.  Juarez, Mexico has draconian gun laws but had 1,247 murders last year compared to El Paso with lax gun laws & 23 homicides.
 
Red flag laws mostly act to take away a person’s right to keep & bear arms, without due process of law, based on a prediction of future bad behavior.  This is illogical & shortsighted.  If a person is that dangerous what will stop them from using a knife to kill or driving a car into a nondescript crowd that could just as easily been the target of a mass shooting?  Earlier this month a man in Southern California went on a stabbing spree when he used a machete to kill a 7-Eleven security guard, two people @ the man’s apartment complex, another person outside a Subway restaurant, & injured two others before police arrested him.
 
People who are genuinely interested in expanding red flag laws desire security & safety over liberty – these people have come to take their freedoms for granted which is another dangerous slippery slope.
 
Establishing “gun free zones” in schools or churches merely invites gun violence since a deranged person knows there is no one there to stop them.  Who would put a sign on their front lawn “there is no one home with a gun so you are not in danger to trespass?”
 
In summary, none of the politically correct proposed anti-gun & red flag laws would help solve the mass shootings problem that really has been caused by our own succumbing to the Death Of Democracy principles known by our Founders & Vladimir Lenin as well.  We have lived in a world of One Nation Under Government debauching the currency for over 50 years & the mass shootings is just one of the signs of America’s slide.  Only when we are truthful enough to address this actuality will we have a realistic chance to reduce, if not eliminate, the mass shootings that plague America.