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.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Poverty Deception

Thanks to a subscriber to ReturnToExcellence.net for providing this video concerning those living in so-called poverty in America.  Many of you may be surprised to learn the small difference between your standard of living & many who fall in the government's poverty classification. 
As a supplement to the video I present the Heritage Foundation's Robert Rector's stats & facts about people defined as "poor" by the Census Bureau, taken from various government reports:
  • Forty-six percent of all poor households actually own their own homes. The average home owned by persons classified as poor by the Census Bureau is a three bedroom house with one and a half baths, a garage, and a porch or patio.
  • Seventy-six percent of poor households have air conditioning. By contrast, 30 years ago, only 36 percent of the entire U.S. population enjoyed air conditioning.
  • Only 6 percent of poor households are overcrowded. More than two thirds have more than two rooms per person.
  • The average poor American has more living space than the average individual living in Paris, London, Vienna, Athens, and other cities throughout Europe. (These comparisons are to the average citizens in foreign countries, not to those classified as poor.)
  • Nearly three quarters of poor households own a car; 30 percent own two or more cars.
  • Ninety-seven percent of poor households have a color television; over half own two or more color televisions.
  • Seventy-eight percent have a VCR or DVD player; 62 percent have cable or satellite TV reception.
  • Seventy-three percent own microwave ovens, more than half have a stereo, and a third have an automatic dishwasher.
The problem starts with poverty being defined by the government as a function of income not wealth.  This provides the deception for how many of the over 47 million people in America collect food stamps.  The Census Bureau's poverty figures measure only pretax income & therefore does not include such non-cash benefits like food stamps & subsidies for housing or rent, or the cash benefits of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or entitlements like Medicaid.  As an illustration, the Census Bureau says that if the value of the federal EITC offered to working poor families was included in the poverty figures 5 million people would have been lifted out of poverty in 2004 & the number of children in poverty in 2007 would have been cut by 2.4 million.  It is important to realize that many people reading this message could manipulate their incomes so that they would fall under the government's definition of poverty & collect benefits accordingly.
The above photo provides an excellent example of the poverty deception.  The cost of the bowl of soup @ the homeless center or having MO serve the government funded meal costs the people in the photo nothing.  His Black Berry cell phone costs about $500.
I encourage everyone to click on to A Comparison Of The FairTax Prebate To The Earned Income Tax Credit To A Negative Income Tax To The Flat Tax – a piece I originally wrote in 2009 that shows how four programs attack poverty through tax systems. 
Poverty should be eradicated wherever we find it – but to solve the problem we should start by asking those in real poverty to explain how they got there & what they are doing themselves to get out of it before we plunge in individually or through some government program.  We should have a different approach for those who manipulate the system to live like leeches on the rest of us.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

America Bookended

BO's anti-American plans have been obvious ever since he entered the national scene & lord knows I have tried to expose them with facts & common sense reasoning every chance I get.  This posting focuses on the problems BO has caused (& is causing) people between 50 & retirement age & the two bookends of our society - seniors & young people, neither of whom have any relief in sight for what ails them.  BO has isolated & made bookends out of these latter two groups & plans to compress our societies' decay using both of them with people between 50 & retirement age being the most immediately affected.
Looking back @ recent history many pundits have been wondering if something like Japan's lost decade (no economic growth) that started in 1990 could happen here.  Well for starters Japan's lost decade is now exceeding two lost decades by my count.  With America's jobloss & jobless economy starting in 2008 we are already well over three years into a lost decade of our own.  Time moves on relentlessly for unemployed & underemployed people over 50 who have less & less time to financially recover before the time they would like to retire on their own terms with sufficient retirement income.
I know many people over 50 who have lost their jobs – people who will never work again @ the level they once knew unless BO is thrown out of office in 2012.  How dignified is it for people who made $50,000 to $70,000 per year &, after months on end of being unemployed, now have jobs that pays between $20,000 to $25,000 per year?   Now long time subscribers know I do not hold these people blameless in letting their skills deteriorate so that they now compete in trying to make a living with people in China who make pennies a day.  The point is that thanks to whatever wealth they may have accumulated over the years it will now be spent down as asset principal is needed to be added to their meager wages to make their reduced ends meet what ever standard of living they can throw together – pitiful isn't it? – but in accordance with BO's design.
Now for BO's attack on seniors & youth.  
1.  Seniors who rely on CD interest income for even a portion of their income (like a little extra spending money) have been victimized by the Federal Reserve's artificial manipulation of interest rates to virtually zero.  This damage to seniors has the beneficial effect for BO that the cost of all of his massive record borrowing is minimized – but @ the expense of savers.  Occupy The Fed is more justified by seniors than OWS ever was in lower Manhattan by people who never knew why they were there.
2.  The poor education & training systems (high school & college) in this country have caught up with America's youth – CUNY reports that "almost four out of every five freshmen who arrive @ its community colleges with a high school degree require remediation in reading, writing, & mathematics" – sounds like the three "Rs" with no hickory stick. 
No entrepreneur is going to hire someone who can not add value to their enterprise.  Accordingly, over 14% of the 42 million people aged 25 to 34 (compared with 10.6% in 2000) are forced to live in their parents' homes because they cannot support themselves.  See graph below.  A further breakdown of these stats reveals that 19% of men 25 to 34 & 10% of women 25 to 34 are forced to live with their parents – for those 18 to 24 it is 60% men & 50% women.  This means that 5.9 million young people aged 25 to 34 who by the laws of the jungle should be living on their own have not really started to create their own wealth while in the meantime their parents wealth is deteriorating as the parents support the unemployed youth of America.  Put another way BO has cheated today's youth that falls in this category (& more important to parents – much of tomorrow's youth because it will not get better) out of one quarter to one third of their lifetime earning power - wealth that will never be available to them to spend down decades from now.
By the Fed keeping interest rates artificially low seniors are forced to spend down their wealth (no matter how meager).  BO's purposely dreadful economy keeps young people who can't find jobs from literally moving out of their parents' homes.  Both phenomenons, coupled with what is happening to people between 50 & retirement age as explained above, keeps BO moving forward with his ideology of a government dependent society.
The two book ends – seniors & youth - of course squeezes the shrinking middle class.  As current seniors die out they will be replaced by a far poorer group (the aforementioned portion of people over 50 with no or poor jobs) who has already spent down a good portion of whatever wealth they had.  This obvious government dependent society progresses until today's youth becomes the pauper seniors of tomorrow. 
BO's plan is as plain as the nose on your face & yet only one in five holds him responsible for the hard times described above according to the most recent WSJ/NBC News poll.  Thirty four percent still blame Bush & 36% blame Wall Street Bankers meaning that OWS has been successful in deflecting responsibility away from BO thereby making our job that much harder yet.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Thanksgiving Day Present From A Patriotic Painter

Thanks to our SC businessman for passing on this link of a very inspirational & patriotic painter that makes a great Thanksgiving Day present.  Carol told me it took her breath away - before she heard the song.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Response & Silver Lining - Jim DeMint's Thirty - A Start

Great response to the original subject message - " Doug - You have just put your finger on the problem we have before us next November. Whichever Republican candidate becomes the contender against BO next year, should he/she win the election, the probability of any real change in fiscal policy will be as stalemated as now unless the body of the Congress also drastically changes as well.  I can't see our current Congress agreeing with the policies of any of this group of candidates.  As for Ron Paul, he is on the right track in cutting out whole Departments but some of his other ideas won't fly. We're in for a tough time at best but in my mind, having BO for another 4 years is not an option.  I wonder, did anyone believe that the so called Super Committee was really going to come up with a plan?  The people on that Committee were chosen because they were fixed on their party's agenda so the outcome was preordained.  It was doomed to fail.  I think this was part of BO's strategy. That will give him another reason to blame the opposition just in time for his campaign to gear up."

The writer is absolutely correct that the entire Super Committee charade & most importantly having the automatic spending cuts go into effect after the 2012 election was exactly BO's strategy.  Please read the op-ed below from the WSJ by Phil Gramm & Mile Solon that shows how the GOP may have outsmarted BO in this regard.

In summary, provisions of the Budget Control Act of 2011 included by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan triggered portions of the dormant Gramm-Rudman-Hollings bill from over 20 years ago.  A clean sweep of the House, Senate, & Presidency by the GOP paves the way, under provisions of this old bill, for the start of de-funding of ObamaCare beginning in early January 2013 – right in line with the provisions of the Budget Control Act that BO insisted upon.  If intrigued read on – & then back this to the hilt.

The Budget Sequester's Silver Lining By PHIL GRAMM AND MIKE SOLON

Barack Obama has made it easier for the next president to begin the repeal of government health care.

Uniting a divided Congress around a major deficit-reduction plan was never going to be easy, but it is virtually impossible when the incumbent president campaigns instead of governs and seeks to divide the nation based on how much money people make.
As markets and the media conclude that the congressional super committee on deficit reduction is likely to fail, public attention is increasingly focused on the "draconian" across-the-board cuts that will ensue. A little refresher course on the size of these cuts in the context of the spending spree that occurred since 2007—when the Democrats took control of Congress—is in order.
More importantly, it's time to look at the fine print of the 1985 Gramm-Rudman Act, which was revived by this year's Budget Control Act, and the final chance it might give to the next Congress and the next president to do the job right if this president and this Congress fail.
The super committee and the threatened across-the-board cuts were created by the Budget Control Act, which converted the debt ceiling agreement between the president and Congress into law on Aug. 2. It required that debt increases be fully offset by spending cuts over the subsequent 10 years. The first debt limit increase contained in the Budget Control Act capped and reduced total spending by $917 billion. The second debt limit increase will require an additional $1.2 trillion reduction to be accomplished either by the super committee or by automatic across-the-board spending reductions called a sequester—a budget-control mechanism from Gramm-Rudman. 
If the super committee fails to agree on a budget plan, or if the plan is rejected in Congress or vetoed by the president, the combination of the reduction in spending already made ($42 billion in fiscal year 2013) and the potential sequester ($68 billion in 2013) would reduce 2013 spending by $110 billion, with $16 billion coming from nondefense mandatory spending and the rest split between defense and nondefense discretionary spending.
Across-the-board cuts are clearly inferior to rationally setting priorities, but they'd be far from debilitating. Spending has grown so fast in the last five years that even if the cuts are triggered, total spending in 2013 would still be a whopping $3,582 billion—32% more than projected by the Congressional Budget Office in January 2007. Even after adjusting for inflation, real nondefense discretionary spending would be up $41 billion, or 7.6%, and real defense discretionary spending would be up $77 billion, or 13%.
While a sequester would not be the end of the world, even for Washington, happily there is another chance to get this right. When Congress passed the Budget Control Act setting up the sequester process, it also repealed the expiration dates in Gramm-Rudman, bringing back to life provisions enabling the president and Congress to propose alternatives after the sequester is ordered. Gramm-Rudman never intended across-the-board cuts to be used for anything other than a prod to action and an impetus to force hard decisions lest the dreaded sequester be unleashed on the programs Congress cherished. We also knew Congress would do the right thing only after it had exhausted every other alternative, which would take time. So we gave Congress and the president a few last-chance opportunities, after the sequester was ordered, to come to their senses.
When the Budget Control Act brought Gramm-Rudman back to life, the final alternatives to the across-the-board cuts were restored, allowing the president to submit a resolution reordering the Department of Defense sequester to shift reductions among defense accounts. This resolution is highly privileged, and while it can be amended, it cannot be filibustered. This option—when combined with the unilateral power the president already has to protect defense personnel accounts from the sequester, and the ability of the president and Congress to reduce other spending in lieu of defense spending—should be sufficient to protect our effort in the global war on terrorism.
But the most important Gramm-Rudman provision revived by the Budget Control Act provides that 20 days after the final sequester order, the majority leader in either house of Congress may proceed to consider a joint resolution that can "modify" or "provide an alternative" to the sequester order. Such a resolution can be amended only with relevant amendments, debated for only 10 hours and can't be filibustered.
As is always the case with complex legislation, there will be parliamentary debate as to whether the revived Gramm-Rudman process applies to this particular sequester, based on the frivolous argument that the sequester does not require various reports to be filed prior to the cuts going into effect. The old Gramm-Rudman sequesters were triggered by the filing of such reports. Republicans will argue that the reports are a technicality and that the intent of the Budget Control Act in explicitly bringing Gramm-Rudman back to life when it employed the sequester as an enforcement device is clear. Democrats will likely argue that the sequester following the failure of the super committee is so unique that the Gramm-Rudman post-sequester procedures do not apply. But given the clear intent of the Budget Control Act, their argument will be weak.
President Obama insisted that if the super committee failed, the sequester cutting $68 billion in 2013 had to occur after the 2012 election, in the next administration. As written, if a sequester is triggered, it would occur on Jan. 2, 2013. If Republicans win a majority in the House and Senate, they could use the provisions of the revived Gramm-Rudman Act to replace or modify the 2013 sequester with entitlement reforms or other changes in discretionary spending. Their plan could not be filibustered and would pass with a simple majority vote. The savings achieved would be in effect for only one year.
The resulting empowerment of a new Republican Congress and president would be profound. Rather than having to first adopt a budget, delaying real action until the summer or fall of 2013, a new Republican Congress could de-fund ObamaCare immediately and begin to reform entitlements for a year during which they could adopt a budget and use reconciliation to make these and other reforms permanent with a simple majority vote.
In his effort to put off the difficult decisions of governing until after the election, President Obama has made it possible for a new Republican Congress and a new Republican president, not tied to the mistakes of the past, to begin the repeal of ObamaCare and restore fiscal sanity the moment the new president's hand comes off the Bible on Jan. 20, 2013.
The super committee should write a good plan now if it can do so, but it should not take a bad deal that could hurt the economy and further Hellenize America's debt crisis. The committee members should bear in mind that help is just an election away.
Mr. Gramm was co-author of Gramm-Rudman and a U.S. senator from Texas from 1985-2002. Mr. Solon contributed to the passage of Gramm-Rudman as a staffer for the House Republican Study Committee.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Jim DeMint's Thirty - A Start

The last two messages re our elected reps lack of fiscal responsibility & budget gimmicks caused me to check the details of the Continuing Resolution (CR) that became law yesterday.  I also received responses from two more Ron Paul leaning supporters such as "Hi Doug:  I believe it is too early to unconditionally commit to a candidate. However, I am leaning toward Ron Paul. The national media, on the other hand, is engaged in an organized anti-Ron Paul campaign. I was upset when I learned Ron Paul received only 89 seconds of air time during the last 90 minute debate. Muzzling a candidate during a national debate is reprehensible."
It may be early for us in NJ but for people in Iowa, NH, & SC it is pretty close.  We have readers in NH & SC so for them the time is closer than you think to make a choice.  BTW – Ron Paul's first 30 seconds in the last debate was the best answer of the night – all about the Constitution & having Congress declare war rather than answer questions about whether or not the President should invade places like Libya. All of the others bit.
The other Ron Paul leaning response was "Maybe you can explain this to me?  In WWII, it took us about 4 years to win the war against powerful foes.  Now we are fighting a war against inferior forces - and this war has been going on for years.  Look at the money saved, if we were not in this war."
The answer of course is that we fought in WWII to win.  Since Vietnam our war efforts have been more about building schools & trying to win the hearts & minds of people who hate us.  In Iraq we see our boys killed by IEDs with signs on them that say "made in Iran."  We should either fight to win or come home so that the citizens have the same chance of dying @ home as the troops who are fighting with one hand behind them do overseas. That approach may change the way we fight.
With re to the CR – this latest temporary spending measure was passed one day before the government would have shut down @ midnight tonight.  This CR will keep the government funded until December 16.  The CR was passed as part of a larger spending bill, known as a minibus (as opposed to omnibus), that funded the Agriculture Department, the Food and Drug Administration, the Transportation Department and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, among others through September 30, 2012.  The CR was necessary because Congress once again failed to complete its full budget appropriations process.
Now the handful of fiscally responsible Members of Congress (led by Jeff Flake (AZ) & Steve King (IA) in the House & Jim DeMint (SC) in the Senate) once again fought against this type of measure.  The good news is that the size of the good guys appears to be growing.  Can barely believe it myself.  Jim DeMint famously said a few years ago that he would rather have 30 senators like him that 70 like Specter.  I hope he has this base to build on.
Of course establishment old guard Republicans like Boehner, Cantor, & McConnell all voted for the CR (we have got to get rid of these guys as quick as we can) as did Brown (MA), Collins (ME), Graham (SC), Kyl (AZ), Snowe (ME), & Murkowski (AK).  It was very encouraging that Lankford (OK), Noem (SD), & Ryan (WI) voted the right way.  Freshmen Tim Scott (SC) & Tim Huelskamp (KS) continued their show of fiscal responsibility. Most disappointing to me is Jerry Moran (KS), Allen West (FL), & of course Rob Woodall (GA) – all of whom voted with Boehner again.
To save my NJ neighbors some time Frelinghuysen, Lance, Runyan, LoBiondo, & Smith all continued to vote against you.  Check the lists below to see how your elected reps voted – I hope you are pleasantly surprised.  If so please let them know because the pressure is immense for them to go the other way.
---- House NAYS 121 ---

Barton (TX)
Brady (TX)
Broun (GA)
Burton (IN)
Clarke (NY)
Coffman (CO)
Duncan (SC)
Duncan (TN)
Franks (AZ)
Gingrey (GA)
Graves (GA)
Griffith (VA)
Hastings (FL)
Herrera Beutler
Huizenga (MI)
Johnson (IL)
King (IA)
Kinzinger (IL)
Lee (CA)
Miller (FL)
Miller (MI)
Murphy (PA)
Poe (TX)
Price (GA)
Ross (FL)
Ryan (OH)
Ryan (WI)
Scott (SC)
Scott, Austin
Walsh (IL)
Wilson (SC)
Young (IN)

---- NOT VOTING 14 ---

Bishop (GA)
Brown (FL)

Senate NAYs ---30
Ayotte (R-NH)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Burr (R-NC)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Coats (R-IN)
Coburn (R-OK)
Corker (R-TN)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Crapo (R-ID)
DeMint (R-SC)
Enzi (R-WY)
Grassley (R-IA)
Hatch (R-UT)
Heller (R-NV)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Johnson (R-WI)
Kirk (R-IL)
Lee (R-UT)
Lugar (R-IN)
McCain (R-AZ)
Paul (R-KY)
Portman (R-OH)
Risch (R-ID)
Rubio (R-FL)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shelby (R-AL)
Thune (R-SD)
Toomey (R-PA)
Vitter (R-LA)

Response - Beware Of Spending Cut Gimmicks

The spending cuts, if any, discussed in last night's subject posting will go into effect in January 2013 – not the start of fiscal year 2013 which is October 1, 2012 - just one month before the presidential election.  The timing of January 2013 is bad enough for our elected reps but October would just about be suicide.  I corrected this date on the blog & also clarified that any Medicare cuts would be to providers only – not beneficiaries.  Of course how do you cut doctors & hospitals & not affect beneficiaries?  A distinction without a difference.
Before beginning tonight's message please note that Congress has approved a CR to keep the federal government funded until December 16 – whoop de doo.
I present below one response from a long time subscriber who is an obvious Ron Paul supporter.  I know that we have strong supporters of many candidates in our readership.  I invite all of you to provide a write-up of the pros & cons that influenced your support.  I personally know of our supporters for Newt Gingrich, Herman Cain, Marco Rubio (for VP with anyone as President), & believe it or not BO.  I hope people will participate & that it will be educational for us all.
I have made the observation that in order to not be fooled again, like our country was by BO in 2008, it is best to contrast catchy one liners from debate performances with years of an actual record.  By this standard the only three unblemished believable candidates are Ron Paul, Michele Bachmann, & Gary Johnson.  Many of you have told me that you don't know who Gary Johnson is or anything about him.  I have been thinking of presenting a write-up about him – a great man who cannot get into the debates.  Maybe that is all we need to know about him.
---Response From Ron Paul Supporter---
Ron Paul proposes $1 trillion of spending cuts in the first year – not ten years.  He would cut the structural size of government by closing five cabinet departments – Education, Commerce, Energy, Interior, and Housing and Urban Development.  It is nonsense to even consider cutting $1.2 trillion or any amount over ten years.  First - you can't strap future congresses with fake cuts you make now.  So it's Ron Paul that would demonstrate that we are serious about fixing our fiscal house and he is ignored by the media.  His son, Senator Rand Paul, explains that if we were to freeze federal government spending for the next ten years, we would save $9 trillion and not the mere $1.2 trillion goal of the unconstitutional Super Committee.  Again you can't bind future congresses and so this is a solvable problem but as of right now it seems in 10 years we will have an additional $9 trillion on top of the $15 trillion national debt we just passed this week.
Our elected reps do not have the spine to do what's right for our country - no character or integrity.  That is really the problem and it's very sad.  They are feckless.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Beware Of Spending Cut Gimmicks

All of the attention in Washington these days is focused on the unconstitutional Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, aka the Super Committee, whose deficit reduction report is due by November 23.  Seemingly forgotten in all this is the fact that the latest Continuing Resolution (CR) that is required because Congress cannot agree on a budget expires @ midnight on November 18.  The CR has become the standard way the federal government is funded.  We have had several CRs during the last twelve months – but no actual budget.

The Super Committee needs to agree by November 23 on deficit reduction of $1.2 trillion over the next ten years, or if Congress doesn't approve a bill by December 23, automatic across-the-board spending cuts will be triggered on December 23 that start in January 2013.  (BO has said he will veto any measure that does not include @ least $1 trillion in tax increases.)  Programs such as Social Security, Medicaid, food stamps and veterans' benefits are not included in any potential cuts.  Potential Medicare cuts pertain to providers only - not senior beneficiaries.

Please be reminded that even an amount of $1.2 trillion over ten years amid all of the trillions that will be spent over that period is not really a significant amount of the total.  Congressman Paul Ryan's budget plan of last April – generally regarded as the most fiscally responsible budget presented - would still increase the national debt by some $5 trillion over the next 10 years and continue $400 billion annual budget deficits through at least 2021. 

All of this is a good barometer to see that the great majority of our elected reps are not taking their fiscal responsibilities seriously – they are just kicking the can down the road @ our expense & hope to be retired themselves before the people who are relying on all of the government programs they have promised have the rug pulled out from under them – how cruel.

As November 23 approaches we had better watch for more gimmicks rather than substantive spending cuts.  Please watch this short video prepared by Tea Party Patriots that shows how some of these gimmicks work.

Also the op-ed below from the November 15 WSJ provides an excellent illustration re how to reduce the deficit if we really want to.  This is especially important as we just reached another milestone into uncharted waters – the national debt just topped $15 trillion.

A Short Econ Quiz for the Super Committee By Steven E. Landsburg

Why an extra trillion in 'irresponsible' deficit spending can't become 'responsible' if paid for by higher taxes.

A) Spend less.
B) Earn more.
C) Stop at the ATM more often so you'll have more cash in your pocket.
Do we all understand why C is a really bad answer? Good. Now let's try another one.
Suppose that year after year, your government spends more than it collects in taxes. You are worried that it's become fiscally irresponsible. Which of the following could be a path back to fiscal sanity for your government?
A) Spend less.
B) Collect more tax revenue.
Spending less—at least spending less on things you don't need—can be a first step toward sanity for a government just as it can for a household. So A is a pretty good answer. What about B?
As the deadline looms for the congressional super committee, there seems to be a growing sense that tax revenue for the government is like income for the household. That's wrong. Raising taxes is nothing at all like earning income. Instead, it's a lot more like visiting the ATM.
The government's debt is the American people's debt. If we pay down that debt through higher taxes, we will, for the most part, pay those taxes by drawing down our savings. That's no more "responsible'' than drawing down those savings to finance overconsumption within the household.
If you buy a kayak you don't need and can't afford, you're unlikely to placate your spouse by saying "Don't worry, dear, I withdrew the money from our retirement account.'' If your government insists on maintaining social programs we don't need and can't afford, nobody should be placated by a congressional agreement to finance that program with money withdrawn from those same accounts.
Here's another way to say essentially the same thing: The government's chief asset—in fact, pretty much its only asset—is its ability to tax people, now and in the future. The taxpayers are the government's ATM. Make a withdrawal today, and there's less available tomorrow.
Now the ability to tax is a pretty huge asset and the government has not (yet!) come close to depleting it. In that sense, there's a lot of money in the bank. But no matter how much you've got in the bank, a policy of ever-increasing withdrawals is nothing at all like a decision to earn more income. It's important to get the analogy right. And it's clear from the blogs and the op-ed pages that not everybody gets this.
Instead, the notion persists that an extra trillion in federal spending can be converted from "irresponsible'' to "responsible'' as long as it's accompanied by an extra trillion in tax hikes. That's like saying a $500 haircut can be converted from "irresponsible'' to "responsible'' as long as you withdraw the $500 from your bank account. If the super committee loses sight of this fundamental truth, it is doomed to fail.
Mr. Landsburg, an economics professor at the University of Rochester in New York, is the author of, among other books, "The Armchair Economist" (Free Press, 1995). He blogs at TheBigQuestions.com.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Primer - Tea Party Replacements Needed

A typical response to the subject message was "Average young person does not care about the country running deficits - all they want is more and more. They do not care where it comes from."

To oppose the above all too prevalent attitude that many Tea Party candidates elected in 2010 agreed with once they got to Washington - below is an excellent response (actually a primer) to the subject message re what it takes to be effective in politics today if you are campaigning on limited government, personal responsibility, & free enterprise.  The writer is a long time subscriber who was one that encouraged me to write the blog – she is a committeewoman, mother of a small child, wife of a small business owner, a FairTax supporter, & a person I have tremendous respect for.  Anyone who lives in Middlesex County that would like to help her, as indicated in her message, just let me know & I will put you in touch with her.  The principles listed below are not just limited to Middlesex County, NJ.

---Primer For Tea Party Candidates---


IMHO, People should be attending Leadership Institute bootcamps and other GOTV training type events....NOW.   http://www.leadershipinstitute.org

This year I saw Tea Parties and Tea Party candidates making the very same mistakes the establishment Republicans have made in the past. Mistakes like: Failure to do research on their voting districts/base. Failure to canvass and recruit motivated voters and volunteers. Failure to communicate their message. Taking the year off and not getting to work until after Labor Day.

Guess what? Work for EVERY election begins the day after Election Day the year before ...if not earlier. They should take lessons from Anna Little and "Anna's Army" (which consisted mostly of Bayshore Tea Party members). ***They should look to towns like Old Bridge, which successfully defeated deeply entrenched Democrats for a landslide victory...AND DO WHAT THEY DID, and DO IT BETTER. Work harder, work faster, work more effectively.***

The only reason Anna came as close as she did last year was because of her own effectiveness and hard work as a candidate and the effectiveness and hard work of her volunteers. The only reason she lost last year is because too many establishment Republicans were once again lazy, flatfooted, and just plain stubborn and sour grapes, infighting among themselves as they always do, worrying about "what's in it for them" (just like corrupt members of the Democrat party) instead of fighting the common enemy...and because Middlesex County had not developed a strong grassroots volunteer army or Tea Party, as Monmouth County had done.

We're working hard in Middlesex County to get people aware and trained to be effective in elections. If you know anyone in Middlesex County who is motivated to work smart and hard to take our country back from those who would continue the entitlement state to the point of our destruction, please send them my way!  Thank you.

God bless you.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Tea Party Replacements Needed

"What happened to the Tea Party? - I see no difference one year after 87 Tea Party Members were elected to Congress" is a thought expressed by far too many people I talk to.  Subscribers to this blog of course know that the great majority of these Tea Party (Freshman) Members threw in the towel long ago & within the first three months of taking office joined the Republican old guard establishment led by the detestable John Boehner – click here for specific voting details on one issue - Only 21 Of 87 Freshman House Republicans Are Still With You.

Now with human nature being what it is it is not hard to see that we have looked for the root of the problem & have not recognized that it is us.  How else could Heather Haddon been able to report in the WSJ that "NJ appeared to show record apathy in Tuesday's elections, shattering previous turn out lows."  Ms. Haddon went on to say that the NJ turn out was 26% of the state's 5.2 million registered voters meaning that 3.8 million people eligible to vote did not bother. 

Of significant importance is that these stats prompted the marvelous congressional candidate Anna Little to send the first negative e-mail she has ever written to me – "Election Day is over and the results were VERY disappointing.   ONLY 26% of the registered voters came out.  SEVEN out of TEN people did not show up.  How can WE THE PEOPLE expect to change government if we do not show up?"  Lose enough candidates like Anna Little & you don't have much, if anything, left.

I know of congressional town hall meetings where less than a dozen people attended.  This type of participation would strain the purity of even the most patriotic of Representatives.  If it becomes so obvious to our elected reps that the citizenry is not watching the store or really not taking the time to care or be involved @ all are we not asking too much of these elected reps to care more about us than we care about ourselves? 

It is slipping away from us as the Ohio public sector union reversal vote so strongly indicates – the unions won 2 to 1.  Turn out in Ohio was 46% – the highest in 20 years for an Ohio off-year election.  It is hard to believe that Ohioans who are 60+ years old who know they will have to work the rest of their lives with no means to ever retire themselves voted for retirement & healthcare benefits for public sector employee neighbors.  The worst part of this arrangement for the working stiffs is that they will go off to work every day with an ever increasing part of their state & local taxes paying for the pensions & healthcare insurance of public sector union members who retire in their early 50s.  This vote is an indication of the power of $30 million of union money that poured into determining the results of the referendum. 

Watch the union effort in 2012 in Wisconsin to recall Governor Scott Walker who was elected to do exactly what he did – similar to the union situation in Ohio.  This effort has only gained momentum after the pro-union result in Ohio.

BO has targeted $1 billion for his reelection campaign.  The real bad news is that for the first time the "generic Republican candidate" loses in the latest poll to BO.  I received the following message right after the election from a long time reader – "As I see it people are fed up with BO AND also the Republican Party.  They hear talk about Republicans wanting to cut Social Security, Medicare and other government programs people now enjoy – Republicans can LOSE big.  Not that BO is any better - he wants to spend till he drops.  If there was truly a third party running that party would win."

Now I certainly am for a viable third party – in fact the more parties the better.  The two party system has not served us well – Judge Napolitano frequently points out it really has deteriorated into one Big Government Party with Democrat & Republican wings.  But in the meantime we have to focus on finding new Tea Party Members who will replace all of those who let us down since the 2010 election. 

Thanks to everyone who let me know that they are beating the bushes in their neighborhoods alerting everyone who will listen to the seriousness of the stakes of the 2012 election.  For those who have not started you can't get started too soon as this short video explains.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Response - AFP Attacked In DC

Below is a very substantive response to Steve Lonegan's report posted last night re AFP being attacked in DC last weekend by the Occupy DC protesters.
"OWS is funded by global Socialist and/or Marxist leaning organizations. Let's call them 'statist political supporters'. They would love to create an environment of near anarchy. They view this as a means to their end – toppling of capitalism. The DC event was part of their strategy. Similar to DC is the OWS Oakland riot last week; I think it was even more ominous than the DC event. Very disconcerting was the Oakland government's response which was to placate OWS and for some even to support OWS. Let's place the Oakland government also in the 'statist political support' camp. Below are my observations of OWS Oakland last week which I posted on IBD past weekend:

Saul Alinsky would be very happy with OWS (especially Oakland version) and their statist political supporters. Their goal is to destroy capitalism and current government. The Oakland government is loaded with statists who along with OWS would love to replace current system with socialism and Marxism. Call this their version of creative destruction: destroy semi statist government and replace it with a more powerful one. And BO is an Alinsky disciple. I would not be surprised if he is calling some of the shots."

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

AFP Attacked In DC

Thanks to Steve Lonegan for sending this intense message below depicting attacks & events from last week-end's AFP conference in Washington DC that vividly shows the disorder & lawlessness of the Occupy DC protesters.  These type of groups are using our Constitution & values we cherish as weapons against us.  Stick with as much of the videos & write-ups as you can stand – they are very intense - to see what is coming to the rest of America if people of substance do not put it down quickly.



"Occupy" Movement Launches Vicious Attacks on AFPF

Dear Doug,

If you weren't there you wouldn't have believed it yourself. As thousands of patriots gathered for AFP Foundation's Defending the American Dream® Summit on Friday night, the leftist fringe launched unprecedented attacks on our members.

This band of malcontents stormed the DC Convention Center in an outrageous attempt to blockade the exits. As attendees at the summit tried to leave, "Occupy DC" thugs locked arms just outside the doors so that people could not walk out. One of those attendees was 78- year old Dolores Broderson who had come to our summit all the way from Detroit, Michigan; an 11-hour bus ride.

As Dolores tried to exit the DC Convention Center, she was knocked down to the ground by the "Occupy DC" throng, suffering injuries to her hand and ankle.

In the video below you will see the incident in which Dolores was knocked to the ground by this lawless gang of agitators. Not only that, you will see how they tried to block a man with a two-year old in his car from driving home. And how they verbally assaulted Daily Caller reporter Michelle Fields. (Caution: Contains some vulgar language)

Click here to listen to Dolores and other activists give their account of the incident – including how no one from law enforcement came to their aid.

Read Michelle Fields' stunning account here as she tells why she will never try to cover the "Occupy" thugs again.

Click here to read The American Spectator's coverage: The Mob Who Came To Dinner

Before the "Occupy DC" protestors decided to turn violent, our Communications Director Mike Proto bravely went amongst them as they marched around the block unstopped by law enforcement. Mike took a number of photos of "Occupy DC" radicals holding all kinds of signs with venomous and hateful rhetoric.

Despite the attempts by these far left hooligans to disrupt our summit, the event was an immense success. Thousands of concerned citizens made the trip to Washington, D.C., including nearly one hundred of you from right here in New Jersey!

(Click here to see pictures of the Defending the American Dream® Summit!)

As I noted at the New Jersey Delegation Breakfast, we have accomplished a lot together in the past year promoting conservative principles in our state.

The fact of the matter is the "Occupy" crowd is losing. They are losing because of so many of you, hard-working taxpayers and concerned citizens, are willing to stand up for the cause of liberty.

For that, I can't thank you all enough!

On To Victory, 


Steve Lonegan
State Director 
Americans for Prosperity - New Jersey



Tuesday, November 8, 2011

More Responses - The Needed Activist Judge Mindset Change

I was just about to move on to other topics when I realized the quality & sincerity of the following three messages re the original subject message.  The writer of #1 told me he challenged my knowledge of his message.
---Response #1---
Your response number 1 reminded me that when push comes to shove the Supreme Court lacks the power to enforce or as President Jackson demonstrated in 1831 not enforce.
---Response #2---
It appears there are a number of issues that are misunderstood about Our Founding and Our Constitution. Our Republic does require an informed electorate at a minimum. As for me, " I have not yet given enough for my country."
---Response #3---
I certainly agree with Response NO. 3!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Responses - The Needed Activist Judge Mindset Change

Thanks for the three very complimentary responses below that add to the discussion of the subject message.
For those who also commented that the Supreme Court is the best chance we have to declare ObamaCare unconstitutional I remind you that this line of thinking (i.e., mindset) is a double edged sword – the next time something like this comes up the Supreme Court (nine unelected but appointed for life judges) may very likely vote against your preference & in fact may do so re ObamaCare.  We should be looking to return to the principles of our founding – not looking for temporary gains in a system destined for destruction.
Changing the mindset to return the courts to their intended constitutional place in our Republic provides an excellent, but just one example, of the citizenry not accepting business as usual in a country where everything is stacked against us just waiting to see how much we can lose.  We must recognize the current onslaught by statists to invoke a socialistic system on us. 
This is the moment of truth for the Tea Party – are we going to elect a candidate to run against BO who will only slow the growth of government or someone who will really rein it in & reduce government's size?  Tea Partiers are presented with the constant challenge to present someone who is electable – complying with this idea could very well be the slow burn to continue BO's dream of completing the socialization of America - with or without him.
---Response #1---
This is by far the most enlightening blog yet. You make it very clear that the judicial system has hijacked the role of the Congress and instead of supporting the law, has become the Law.  The speech that Gingrich gave was awe inspiring.  How telling that it has not been picked up by the media.  He makes a lot of good points with his message.
---Response #2---
Great letter, Doug....congratulations....and the points that you list certainly suggest the need for checks and balances in our government.
---Response #3---
I have to hand it to you.   You research your subject matter so intently.  What you should try doing, is "run" for office and turn your thoughts, via laws & amendments for the good of the country. Best Wishes.