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.

Monday, December 26, 2016

New Year's Message - 2017

Thanks to a great new 2016 subscriber to RTE for sending this message that I present as a New Year's message.  If it can't make you smile I don't know what can. 
Happy 2017.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Silent Night

click on photo to enlarge
Click here to hear Placido Domingo sing Silent Night accompanied by a piano, a cello, & a children choir.
Reference Post: The Christmas Scale

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Stock Market Quiz

Here is a stock market quiz regarding the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) closing above 19,000.   I think most people will be surprised @ the result of the quiz – including the many investors in the readership.
Stock Market Quiz:
The table below shows the dates of each of the nineteen 1,000 point incremental milestones reached by the DJIA, starting with 1,000 in November 1972 through 19,000 last month.  
What is the real (inflation adjusted) compound annual rate of return from November 1972 to November 2016 for the DJIA given a compound annual inflation rate of 4.04% during this time?  Do not consider broker fees, dividends, taxes, timing regarding the payment of taxes, or slippage between the expected price of a trade & the price @ which the trade is actually executed.
I will post all correct answers or alternatively will send the solution privately to anyone who requests it if no one figures it out.
click on graphic to enlarge

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Holiday Season Cyber Crime Message From The FBI

Thanks to the Borough of Somerville for sending the timely subject message.  It provides several red flags & reveals common schemes to be aware of that cyber criminals use to steal money & personal information.  If you are unsuspecting you will find the message very educational.  For others it will be a good reminder of things to look out for. 
Since reading the FBI message I have noticed reports of malicious software disguised as legitimate apps for Android smartphones & tablets that have gained control of over one million Google accounts (out of 1.4 billion) – specifically the Trojan-horse software Gooligan & its predecessor Ghost Push.
I sent all of the above information to the best computer expert I regularly work with who offered the following advice – "follow the Google recommendations, download only from official app store, and don't rely on outdated versions of operating systems."
Hope the information herein is useful. 

Sunday, November 27, 2016

An Outsider's Selections For The Fed & DOE

"The key to better jobs is increased business investment in equipment & research to raise labor productivity, supplemented by more skill training in firms & community colleges."  - Harvard economics professor Martin Feldstein writing in the WSJ on November 15
"You educate people - & you give them the keys to freedom." – Dr. Ben Carson being interviewed by Harris Faulkner on November 20
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Professor Feldstein & Dr. Carson both succinctly express above the essential bedrock feature that is key to obtaining employment & the freedom that produces the dignity of people supporting themselves & their families – skill training & education.
But the 2015 science test scores from the Nation's Report Card [National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP)] shows that 78% of high school seniors were not proficient in science with scores @ "basic" or "below basic" achievement levels.  Twenty percent scored @ the "proficient" level" & two percent  were recognized as "advanced."  Hardly a sign that these young Americans are ready to face college &/or the global economy.
The above education state of affairs is a perfect example of what I have for years called Citizen Control Point #1 - provide seemingly free education through government schools where the graduates are little more than illiterate & not proficient in math or science.
Professor Friedman writes in "Free To Choose" that "@ first schools were private & attendance was voluntary.  Increasingly, government came to play a larger role, first by contributing government support, later by establishing & administrating government schools . . . That movement gained additional support in the 1930s along with the general tendency toward both expansion & centralization of government."
So now we know how America's government-dependent society was formed – attendance in failing government schools that make up the largest socialized enterprise in America.
In addition to skill training & education Professor Feldstein includes above increased business investment in equipment & research to raise labor productivity as the key to better jobs.
Since 2008 employer business startups have been exceeded by business failures.  Gallup reports there were 400,000 new business startups & 470,000 business failures in 2011.  This not only is not the formula for better jobs it is the reason the number of jobs keep decreasing in America.
Jim Clifton, Gallup CEO & Chairman speaking about business survival in America says "when small & medium-sized businesses are dying faster than they're being born, so is free enterprise.  And when free enterprise dies, America dies with it.  Let's get one thing clear: This economy is never truly coming back unless we reverse the birth & death trends of American businesses."
Professor Carl Schramm of Syracuse University writes that "considering population growth, America needs @ least 325,000 new jobs every month to stanch the growing numbers of discouraged workers . . . New firms are the country's principal generator of new jobs . . . fewer than 500,000 new businesses were started in 2015. That is a disastrous 30% decline from 2008 . . . In eight years more than a million new companies have 'gone missing' from the economy. This absence accounts for an estimated seven to 10 million jobs that, had they existed, could have provided employment for every one of the nation's discouraged workers. Simply put the U.S. will never reach full employment without more startups . . . More businesses start when GDP expands @ 4% rather than 2%."
Nick Eberstadt, author of Men Without Work, reports that between 1965 & 2015 the percentage of working-aged men outside the labor force increased to 22% from 10% with many millions more underemployed (U-6), including many college graduates in their twenties who can not & never will find a job in their chosen field of study - a consistent theme on RTE highlighting that the official U-3 unemployment rate has not been representative of the health of employment in America the past eight years, if not even longer.  The employment to population ratio for men 25 to 54 is 6.8% lower than it was in 1930 @ the start of the Great Depression.  See graphic & table below prepared by Mr. Eberstadt.
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Check out the following table to see where America's productivity is going:
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Mr. Eberstadt's research also shows that the U.S. does not fare well in the percentage of working-aged men outside the labor force when compared to European nations:
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Business investment in equipment & research to raise labor productivity has been hampered because, under BO, the total business cost of compliance of federal regulations has soared (cost of compliance in 2012 was $2.028 trillion in 2014 dollars) – the annual compliance cost burden for an average U.S. firm is 21% of its payroll thereby leaving little or no room for investment of any kind.
In addition to the burden of increased regulations, BO has purposely worked against encouraging business investment by raising income tax rates & subjecting many business creating investors to the 3.8% ObamaCare surtax on capital gains & dividends as well as a 0.9% additional Medicare payroll tax plus putting barriers in front of business hiring with requirements to participate in ObamaCare based on the number of employees in a firm.
BO insincerely pays lip service to cheap money as the financial tool used to promote economic growth but without any proactive fiscal policies cheap money can only go so far – in fact not far enough.  The Fed has held interest rates near zero for years in America & the European Central Bank (ECB) followed by the Bank of Japan (BOJ) has pushed the large economies of both Germany & Japan respectively into negative interest rate territory in an attempt to force commercial banks to increase lending – which so far they haven't. Given the choice of lending their excess reserves or paying negative interest rates on these reserves the commercial banks have chosen not to lend into what they consider to be an uncertain global economy.
Taken in the entirety of all of BO's policies cheap money is just a way that BO has inexpensively financed all of his government spending.  Just imagine what the annual deficits & cumulative national debt would be if interest rates had not been purposely manipulated by the Fed the last eight years. 
There are 94 million Americans who do not have jobs & are not looking for one – some of the 94 million people are too young to work & some are too old but it still is a record number & these people need a growing economy to sustain them in their youth & their old age.
A majority of economists surveyed thought that uncertainty to one degree or another regarding the U.S. presidential election was hurting the economy but the Trump victory has relieved these tensions.  Trump, being a Washington outsider, has the astonishing opportunity to reverse or put an end to the great majority of BO's ruinous anti-American policies that were intentionally pursued to rob people of their freedom & make them dependent on government.
Little noticed or rarely mentioned is that President-elect Trump has the opportunity to recast the Federal Reserve's seven-member Board of Governors over the next 18 months – when he could fill as many as five seats.  This gives Trump a perfect opportunity to nominate governors interested in auditing the Fed before ending the Fed – the biggest currency manipulator in the world.
With regard to the above education points – Trump has nominated Elisabeth "Betsy" DeVos – American politician, billionaire (her husband's family is heir to the Amway fortune), businesswoman, philanthropist, & education advocate for more school choice to liberate children particularly in poor neighborhoods as Dr. Carson mentioned above.  DeVos supports charter schools & vouchers which is a good start but her higher calling, as Trump's DOE secretary, is to abolish the Department of Education.
Selecting people who would end the Fed & abolish the Department of Education – that is my idea of a president who is an outsider.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Thanksgiving Proclamation In The Year Of Independence Of The United States The Eighty Eighth

Below is President Lincoln's Proclamation 106 – Thanksgiving Day, 1863 – written in the midst of the Civil War - that made the customary & time-honored Thanksgiving observance a nationwide holiday on the "last Thursday in November."
Every president from 1863 to 1938 issued an annual Thanksgiving Day proclamation designating the holiday as "the last Thursday in November" – in 1939, for one year only, FDR moved the holiday to the third Thursday in November to expand the Christmas shopping season.
Congress tried to end the debate by passing a joint resolution assigning the holiday to the last Thursday in November but soon after amended the resolution calling for the Thanksgiving Day holiday to be observed on the fourth Thursday in November – where it has been observed since 1942.
Abraham Lincoln
Proclamation 106—Thanksgiving Day, 1863
October 3, 1863
By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

The year that is drawing toward its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added which are of so extraordinary a nature that they can not fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever-watchful providence of Almighty God.

In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign states to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere, except in the theater of military conflict, while that theater has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.

Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense have not arrested the plow, the shuttle, or the ship; the ax has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege, and the battlefield, and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.

No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners, or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the divine purposes, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and union.

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the city of Washington, this 3d day of October, A. D. 1863, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-eighth.


By the President:

WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Trump Was Good Enough & We Were Worth It

"Two posts ago I wrote 'Trump has time to reach all of these people & if he is good enough & they are worth it he can win.'
"To be good enough I wrote 'If Trump is to make a difference he has to focus & relentlessly drive home what he can do to improve the lives of every American – Blacks, Whites, Hispanics, Asians, single mothers, teenagers, Republicans, Democrats, Independents, homosexuals, transgenders, & people who think socialism is the answer to their problems.  Trump has to convince all Americans that it was capitalism that originally made America great & it is capitalism that will make America great again.'  Trump has to present the ideas in the Charlotte speech over & over again until people understand what he is talking about & believe it.  He has to change the government dependent mindset that now totals over 50% of Americans.
"By whether or not we are worth it I meant that if Trump makes his case will people rise up & take the chance that we can return to the excellence of the free enterprise prosperity that enriched everyone's lives.  To do this the citizenry would have to know in their heart of hearts that we are on the road to socialist ruin with Hillary Clinton & that each & every one of us has to help turn this around.  It is a tall order in an apathetic society where people have been brainwashed into taking all of America's freedoms for granted never realizing that these freedoms will disappear along with their government benefits that maintain their standard of living.  In brief, they have to be able to see that the future will be nothing like the present.
"With the polls showing Hillary slaughtering Trump as of August 21 we are counting on The Principle Of The Opposite more than ever." - excerpts from RTE post of August 21 entitled The Principle Of The Opposite
The results of Tuesday's election showed that Trump was good enough & we were worth it. 
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In Tuesday's election of Electors of President & Vice President Donald Trump caught America @ the brink of the apathy to dependence cliff of the Death Of Democracy
& stopped us from falling into the final dependence back into bondage stage that we surely would have fallen into had Hillary Clinton won the presidency.
Trump's victory, which will be confirmed on December 19, when the electors assemble in their respective states to give their votes for President & Vice President per the Constitution, is the most exciting thing to happen to America since 1980.
House Speaker Paul Ryan called Trump's victory "the most incredible political feat I have seen in my lifetime."
Trump gives us a chance to reach "Mitt Romney's 47%" -  Mitt had said in 2012 that "47% of the people will vote for BO [in Mitt's case] no matter what . . . these people are dependent on government, believe they are victims entitled to government handouts, & pay no income tax".  In fact, in order to win Trump had to already reach some of Mitt's 47%. 
There is no question that Democrats thought Hillary would win – which gives the following political cartoon relevance.
But Democrats had good reason to believe Hillary would win the presidency if for no other reason than people of substance are terribly outnumbered in America.  Proof: Democrats have now won the national popular vote for the sixth time in the last seven national elections – the polls were right in this determination although wrong in the electoral college prediction.  As votes continue to be counted Hillary has now exceeded Gore's popular vote margin over Bush in 2000 of 547,398 votes.  Hillary's current lead is 700,588 & increasing as the western states continue to report in.
The problem with many of these Democrat voters is they are
not able to be relied upon
to vote.  Hillary received 900,000 fewer Black votes than BO did in either 2008 or 2012 – had she won these votes she would be President-elect.  Jenna Lee reported on FNC from North Carolina that several voters told her they were for Hillary but would not stand in line to vote for her.
The important point is that Trump did better than either Romney or McCain with both the Black & White votes & better than Romney with both the Hispanic & Asian votes.  See graph from Washington Post below.
 click on graph to enlarge
Although the vote tally is not finalized Hillary received between five million to six million fewer votes than BO did in 2008.
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In summary, Black, Latino, & younger voters were certainly not for Trump but failed to vote for Hillary in sufficient numbers for her to win.
Wisconsin & Michigan are two of the surprise swing states that went for Trump.  Please consider the following to see how fragile Trump's electoral college win was – with a small swing in votes to Hillary as indicated below in these two states the entire election would have come down to Pennsylvania – a state no Republican has won since 1988.  With 99% of precincts reporting, Trump won Pennsylvania by 73,224 votes.  All other things being equal in the electoral college Trump won the presidency via Wisconsin, Michigan, & Pennsylvania by a combined 110,224 votes out of over 120 million votes cast nationwide.  In brief, Trump won several large states (such as Florida, Pennsylvania & Wisconsin) by very narrow margins, gaining all their electoral votes in the process, even as Hillary claimed other large states (such as California, Illinois & New York) by much wider margins – hence the mismatch between the electoral college vote & the popular vote.
Obama total votes 2012: 332,000
Clinton total votes 2016: 289,000 (-43,000)
Obama total votes 2012: 595,000
Clinton total votes 2016: 517,000 (-78,000)
The best way I know to express the changing demographics in America is to understand that Bush (41) got 59% of the white vote in 1988 & won 426 electoral votes while Romney also got 59% of the white vote in 2012 & received only 206 electoral votes.
The Democrats are also well aware of this demographic & will never again nominate a tired elderly woman of questionable health who had been on the national scene for decades, was laced with corruption charges, & had to be dragged to the Democrat's beloved left by her primary opponent.
Instead look for a natural socialist like Elizabeth Warren, the identical twin brothers – Julian Castro (current HUD secretary) & Joaquin Castro (current Texas congressman) – & NJ Senator Cory Booker to lead the way.  Any combination of these people representing Democrats as president & vice-president will be a very formidable ticket.
But Trump has time to put his programs in place & work on winning over Romney's self-described 47% of the electorate that are government dependent with a natural inclination to vote Democrat. 
I have always envisioned Trump introducing real free market capitalism to Blacks, Hispanics, & Millenials – debunking & rejecting the current mixed economy that is over 50% socialist that these people know, have lived in for decades, & were told was capitalism.  When they see first hand the prosperity that capitalism brings to their lives through the dignity of holding a job & creating their own wealth the hold that statist Democrats have on them will be loosened.
Such a program by Trump is the only way to reverse the anti-American forces described hereinabove.
But it will be harder than winning over 47% government-dependent people because the following table prepared by Duquesne economics professor Antony Davies & James R. Harrigan shows that @ least the bottom 60% of income earners, on average, receive more in the form of tax credits and transfers from the federal government than they pay in taxes to the federal government.
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But Trump has been good enough & so far we have been worth it.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Voting Against Hillary Clinton's Dangerous Plan For The Supreme Court

This post focuses on Hillary Clinton's position, stated in the 3rd & final presidential debate on October 19, regarding the Supreme Court & the selection of justices - a key point that many if not most Americans never take into account when voting for president, but they should.
Mrs. Clinton's answered the first question of the 3rd presidential debate saying:
"You know, I think when we talk about the Supreme Court, it really raises the central issue in this election, namely, what kind of country are we going to be?  What kind of opportunities will we provide for our citizens?  What kind of rights will Americans have?
"And I feel strongly that the Supreme Court needs to stand on the side of the American people, not on the side of the powerful corporations & the wealthy.  For me, that means that we need a Supreme Court that will stand up on behalf of women's rights, on behalf of the rights of the LGBT community, that will stand up & say no to Citizens United, a decision that has undermined the election system in our country because of the way it permits dark, unaccountable money to come into our electoral system.
"I have major disagreements with my opponent about these issues & others that will be before the Supreme Court.  But I feel that @ this point in our country's history, it is important
that we not reverse marriage equality, that we not reverse Roe v. Wade, that we stand up against Citizens United, we stand up for the rights of people in the workplace, that we stand up & basically say: The Supreme Court should represent all of us.
"That's how I see the court, & the kind of people that I would be looking to nominate to the court would be in the great tradition of standing up to the powerful, standing up on behalf of our rights as Americans."
In the above response Mrs. Clinton showed she expects the Supreme Court not to interpret laws impartially (interpreting laws impartially is the only role of the Supreme Court – "to secure a steady, upright & impartial administration of the laws" – The Federalist No. 78: Hamilton) but to rule against "powerful corporations & the wealthy" in favor of the rights of women, the LGBT community, marriage equality, abortion, & people in the workplace.
In brief, Mrs. Clinton prefers picking winners & losers using the court system thereby making the courts the branch of government that writes the laws that count & are followed. 
The Founders never intended or imagined that nine people (nine Supreme Court Justices – mere mortals like the rest of us) who the great majority of Americans could not name or identify if their lives depended on it would hold the type of power that Hillary described above.  The judicial power the Founders intended in the Judicial Vesting Clause, Article III, Section 1, of the Constitution was to expound laws when deciding particular cases, i.e., neutrally deciding a case by interpreting the law & applying it to the facts, then rendering a final & binding judgment.  Mrs. Clinton envisions nothing like this.
This post is not just about a ninth grade civics lesson regarding the role of the Judicial branch of our government – although that lesson is clearly not understood today making me wonder if it was ever taught to people under 40.
This post is about exposing & stopping Hillary Clinton's plan to undermine the legal system using the Courts so that the rule of law is upside down, not predictable, & bears no resemblance to judging right from wrong. 
Already lunatic statist judges routinely rule in favor of criminals & illegal aliens in cases where right & wrong are no longer the deciding factor.  This turns what is supposed to be predictable case law into a free for all that ultimately will destroy the basis of our society – the rule of law. 
Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy imposed his personal views on the citizenry when he relied on foreign law (Northern Ireland, the European Court of Human Rights, & the European Convention on Human Rights) instead of the Constitution to conclude that homosexual sodomy is a constitutional right in Lawrence v. Texas.  In the 2012 ObamaCare case Chief Justice John Roberts nonsensically found Congress cannot regulate a non-activity (not buying a healthcare insurance policy that the government determines you need) but they can tax it– please keep in mind that the the majority of Justices found ObamaCare constitutional despite the word "tax" never once appearing in the 2,500+ page legislation, or that "all bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House" – Article I, Section 7, Paragraph 1 (revenue raised in the House not the Supreme Court), or the particular tax Roberts cited is undefined & really non-existent in the Constitution. 
The above are just two of the types of ugly examples of the liberties & freedoms of the American people that Hillary Clinton plans to tear away from us by letting the Supreme Court do her dirty work. And to a high degree it is working except for people like Rand Paul (& me) who correctly said regarding the Roberts – ObamaCare case - "just because a couple of people on the Supreme Court declare something 'constitutional' does not make it so.  The whole thing remains unconstitutional."  I couldn't have said it better myself – in fact I did say it when the decision was announced.
So please take the foregoing into account before you vote if this is important to you.  Mrs. Clinton plans to form the Supreme Court into a Democrat rubber stamp with all the several expected appointments @ her disposal during her presidency if elected.  The thought of replacing an originalist like the late Antonin Scalia with a 45 year old statist or liberal Ruth Bader Ginsburg with a like minded statist forty years Ginsburg's junior clearly shows the danger of a Hillary Clinton presidency that all lovers of liberty, freedom, & America should fear & vote against. 
Hillary Clinton is looking for Supreme Court Justices who, like her, would rule in favor of partial birth abortions – including such abortions just hours before the babies' delivery – & reverse expanding gun rights cases until the Second Amendment was completely abolished.
Hamilton wrote in The Federalist No. 78 that "the power of the people is superior to both" that of the legislative branch & the judicial branch.  Hillary intends to take this superiority away from you so the once cherished freedom & superior position the Founders envisioned will be lost thanks to the majority of a society who voted for the Death of Democracy
Lincoln recognized the type of threat Hillary Clinton has in mind when he wrote: "If the policy of the government, upon vital questions, affecting the whole people, is to be irrevocably fixed by decisions of the Supreme Court, the people will have ceased, to be their own rulers, having to that extent, practically resigned their government, into the hands of that eminent tribunal."

Sunday, October 30, 2016

An Analysis - Trump Versus Clinton - Issue By Issue

Shortly after the third presidential debate Donald Trump released what he calls Contract With The American Voter – an eighteen point program that starts Trump's first day in office & will dominate the agenda the first hundred days, if he is elected. 
Highlights of Trump's contract include: 1) cancelling all of BO's unconstitutional executive actions that bypassed Congress on immigration law & bestowed work authorization benefits on illegal immigrants including providing cash in the form of tax refunds even for years when no income tax return had been filed, 2) pursuing a constitutional amendment to place term limits on members of Congress, 3) placing a hiring freeze on all non-military employees – except for public safety & health needs, 4) requiring that each new federal regulation eliminates two existing ones, 5) picking Supreme Court justices "who will uphold & defend the Constitution" based on a list of twenty prospective justices previously presented, 6) cancelling all federal funding to sanctuary cities, 7) suspending immigration from terror prone regions like the Middle East, 8) removing two million dangerous undocumented immigrants & cancelling visas from countries that won't take them back, 9) repealing & replacing ObamaCare with Health Savings Accounts where healthcare insurance can be purchased across state lines & Medicaid is managed by the states following block grants of funding, 10) cutting red tape @ the FDA where there are over 4,000 drugs awaiting approval, 11) supporting Kate's Law (HR 3011) that calls for a mandatory five-year prison sentence for those who illegally reenter the country with a felony conviction on their record – the law is named for Kate Steinle who was murdered by a homeless man who was an illegal alien who had previously been deported five times, & 12) authorizing the Keystone XL Pipeline Project.
In addition Trump has an economic growth plan that lowers taxes on the middle class & businesses, has vowed to eliminate the fallacious destructive anchor baby claim to birthright citizenship, & will restore the enforcement of immigration laws.
If you are not one of the 17 million people who have already voted please compare Trump's contract vis-à-vis Hillary Clinton's positions before you vote.
Hillary Clinton's positions include raising taxes & increasing regulations on businesses, expanding Social Security benefits, reintroducing the public option to the ObamaCare legislation, enacting a $15 per hour federal minimum wage law, providing free college to people making less than $125,000 per year, mandating overtime pay for salaried personnel, enacting paid family leave legislation, & increasing the proposed 65,000 poorly vetted Syrian refugees by hundreds of percentage points in her quest for simultaneous open borders & a welfare state & all the government-dependent problems that follow such an arrangement.
Let's take them one by one:
1) raising taxes & increasing regulations on businesses - Name one job that you create when you tax income?  Name one small business that actually expands when you increase taxes or regulations?  Name the economic freedom principle that is enhanced when you raise taxes?
2) expanding Social Security benefits - Social Security & Medicare along with Medicaid & ObamaCare (see below) form the cornerstone of the American welfare state.  To illustrate just how dependent many Americans are on these programs please consider that two thirds of our seniors depend on Social Security as the main source of their income & for one in five it is the only source of income.  Without Social Security half of all seniors would be living in poverty so naturally seniors love Social Security.  If possible seniors love Medicare even more.  Today's retiring baby boomers are the only people who have paid into Medicare their entire working lives.  Medicare Part A is primarily paid for by the 2.9% payroll tax plus co-pays & deductibles paid for by the recipient while Medicare Part B is primarily paid for from funds taken out of the general tax revenues taken from the U.S. Treasury plus monthly premiums & shared co-pays & deductibles  paid for by the recipients.  The portion of Medicare Part B paid by seniors amounts to only 25% of the program's cost.  Medicare Part D is under a similar arrangement as Part B & is 75% funded by the U.S. Treasury meaning that the drug plan constitutes a public subsidy of 75% of the cost of the program.


So what's not for seniors to like – except that these programs are not financially sustainable? How unkind is it for our elected reps to let this continue until total collapse of the programs?  It is the elderly & people over 55 who are dependent on these programs who will be hurt the most when the programs collapse.  Just what will these people do then? 


See graphic below for couples, both one earner & two earner, that shows the projected lifetime Social Security benefits compared to the lifetime taxes paid in.  The lower the annual income the higher the projected lifetime benefits ratio.  Two earner couples start to pay more in lifetime taxes than they receive in benefits around the $130,000 annual income level while the same is true for single people around the $65,000 annual income level (not shown on graphic).


 click on graphic to enlarge

3) reintroducing the public option to the ObamaCare legislation – This is the next step toward single payer universal healthcare but ObamaCare has its own problems in the meantime.  Average premium hikes for 2017 are 25% across the 39 states served by the federally run online market (22% increases are the average hike for all insurance marketplaces, both federal and state-based exchanges), before subsidies, with increases ranging all the way up to 116% in Arizona.  With United Health, Humana, & Aetna dropping out of some state exchanges many consumers have far fewer plans to choose from.  Some consumers have lost coverage because smaller insurers have shut down.  And of course many consumers cannot see the doctor of their choice.
The welfare part comes in because 85% of customers on the exchanges qualify for subsidies which reduce the monthly premiums.  And more than half the people who receive subsidies to help pay their premiums also qualify for additional assistance that reduces their deductibles in a feature of ObamaCare known as cost sharing reduction subsidies. 
But the deductibles are still too high for many people to pay their hospital bills meaning hospitals are still suffering from bad debt. "It feels like a sucker punch.  When someone has a really high deductible, effectively they're still uninsured, and most people in Childress don't have $5,000 lying around to pay their bills" says John Henderson, chief executive of Childress Regional Medical Center in Texas.
So taxpayers keep paying their fair share & everyone else's for that matter.
4) enacting a $15 per hour federal minimum wage law – Just debunk this Democrat idea by asking how can a politician declare a worker is suddenly worth more to an employer than they were the day before – that is what a raise in the minimum wage really is, a government decree.
The people most hurt by raising the federal minimum wage are the most unskilled workers – people who do not add more to a businesses' revenue than to costs when making a higher wage.  Women are twice as likely to fall into this category than men.  Teenagers are especially priced out of the labor market by increases in the minimum wage more than any other group - with the biggest cost being their lost opportunity to gain experience & training that they will need later in life.  In essence the people who carry their weight @ a wage rate agreed to by their employer & themselves, but not @ a higher rate, will be the ones who lose their jobs.
Democrats love to automatically assume the high moral ground by saying Republicans & Tea Partiers abandon the morality issue in not caring about low income people who do not make a living wage – but every bit of evidence I am aware of makes me not trust Democrats & government with morality.
5) providing free college to people making less than $125,000 per year, mandating overtime pay for salaried personnel, enacting paid family leave legislation, & increasing the proposed 65,000 poorly vetted Syrian refugees by hundreds of percentage points in her quest for simultaneous open borders & a welfare state & all the government-dependent problems that follow such an arrangement - These points only further cripple what's left of America's free enterprise system by continuing the last sixteen years of two-party government-dependent socialism. 

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Hillary's Doublespeak

Thanks to a new 2016 subscriber to RTE for sending this collection of Hillary Clinton's changing positions & deceptions – the video is only 4 minutes long so please let me know of any double-dealings, frauds, trickeries, lies, or false pretenses you would like to add to help make the list more complete.
click on photo to enlarge

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Answer To "Who Said It?" Quiz Reveals Election Choice

No one has had more quotes misattributed to him than Thomas Jefferson – click here for a list of misattributions compiled by the historians @ Monticello.  Makes me wonder if TJ ever said anything @ all other than what he spoke directly to a young Ronald Reagan about age being unimportant.  Early in his administration Reagan said, speaking of Jefferson – "We should never judge a president by his age, only by his works.  And ever since Jefferson told me that, I stopped worrying."
I have also seen one of my favorites -  "I have come to the conclusion that one useless man is called a disgrace; that two are called a law firm; and that three or more become a Congress!" – attributed to Ben Franklin or John Adams.  Actually it was neither – it was the character John Adams in the Broadway play 1776 that said it as the opening line of the play.
But we probably never will know whether Lenin or Lord Keynes was the originator of the famous saying that Keynes (Essays In Persuasion, p 78 – 1931) attributed to Lenin, although later researchers attributed to Keynes, – "Lenin was certainly right. There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of Society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and it does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose."
Ever since first reading Lenin's thought decades ago I took inspiration from it & have tried to live my life with the people I thought could diagnose those hidden forces of destruction.  I always told Carol we want to spend our time with the one tenth of one percent who could figure out what Lenin was talking about.  No, its not that I got the arithmetic wrong, it is that I always remembered it as one man in a thousand, not million.
No matter the author the sentiment is certainly true – just look @ America today where it takes a husband & wife going 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 not increased in over 40 years.  The median earnings for men working full time year round were stagnate @ $50,000 per year in constant 2014 dollars from 1972 to the present.
There are 94 million Americans who do not have jobs & are not looking for one – see graph below for breakdown of U-6 unemployment/underemployment rate as of July 2015.  U-6 was still 9.7% in September (up from 9.6% in June).  Some of the 94 million people are too young to work & some are too old but it still is a record number & these people need a growing economy to sustain them in their youth & their old age.
The U.S. GDP inflation-adjusted (real) annual growth rate of 2% under BO's first seven years in office is the weakest expansion since World War II - with a slowing in the first half of 2016 to a 1% annual growth rate & projections of 1.8% for all of 2016.  At 2% growth it takes 35 years for the economy to double & @ 1% growth it takes 70 years to double so people favoring Democrat party government-dependent policies are asking for little to no increases in their standard of living during their entire lifetimes.
The Census Bureau reports that fewer people own their own home than in any time in the last 50 years. 
None of the above is the stuff that prosperity & wealth creation are made of & Hillary Clinton will not only continue but will expand BO's policies that brought us the deliberate continuous unrelenting underemployment, stagnate standard of living, & misery that is turning into the new normal for America.
 click on graph to enlarge

All of this means that people are increasingly living by spending down the wealth accumulated over their lifetimes &/or their parents lifetimes – exactly what Lenin had in mind whether he said it or not.
With the above background I submit below a six question quiz that requires you to identify "who said it"? 
Following the questions I present the answers – unlike the above three examples all of these six quotations have been positively identified as to speaker, date, place, & context with which they were said.
Please don't peek – answer all of the questions before looking @ the answers. 
I am interested to know how you make out – so please let me know.
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. Barack Obama       E. None of the above
2) "It's time for a new beginning, for an end to government of the few, by the few, & for the few . . . & to replace it with shared responsibility, for shared prosperity."
A. Lenin             B. Mussolini             C. Idi Amin             D. Barack Obama        E. None of the above
3) "(We) . . . can't just let business as usual go on, & that means something has to be taken away from some people."
A. Nikita  Khrushchev        B.  Joseph Goebbels          C. Boris Yeltsin       D. Barack Obama         E. None of the above
4) "We have to build a political consensus & that requires people to give up a little bit of their own . . . in order to create this common ground."
A. Mao Zedong              B. Hugo Chavez                C. Kim Jong II         D. Barack Obama          E. None of the above
5) "I certainly think the free-market has failed."
A.  Karl Marx                    B. Lenin                            C. Molotov              D. Barack Obama          E. 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. Barack Obama      E. None of the above
No peeking!
Scroll down for answers . . . 
(1)  E. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 6/29/2004
(2)  E. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 5/29/2007
(3)  E. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 6/4/2007
(4)  E. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 6/4/2007
(5)  E. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 6/4/2007
(6)  E. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 9/2/2005
Click here & here to see the statist context with which each of the six quotations was made.  But whatever the context the point is they were Hillary's words.
America is off the rails as Trump falls further & further behind Hillary Clinton in the polls, who along with her husband are the most corrupt, crooked, & scripted-to-say-anything people imaginable; whereas Trump is a multi-billionaire who told Oprah many decades ago that he would run for president only if he thought "it got so bad" that his leadership was needed. 
For voters to abandon Trump for his alleged, & highly possible if not probable, misdeeds in favor of the Clintons misses the entire point of where the country is headed.  Over their years in Arkansas & then in the White House we know for sure that both Clintons were involved with the actual deeds described by the same sort of allegations being made against Trump.  Why should we side with the Clintons to our continued statist government-dependent detriment when we have a chance with Trump to undo the politically correct things that are destroying our country?  It is many of the same people who feign offense @ Trump's alleged racist & sexist statements who go to the raunchiest movies they can find for entertainment, could only hope to be in charge of beauty contests, listen to the Howard Stern radio program where Trump has been a guest, & engage in locker room talk that makes me wonder what example they are themselves for their daughters & granddaughters.
Trump has surrounded himself with advisers representing all sides especially on the economy – from protectionist professor Peter Navarro of the University of California, Irvine, to Larry Kudlow & Steve Moore, both advocates of free market policies & supply side economics, to Judy Shelton, an advocate for sound money & return to the gold standard.  This mixture of policies certainly has a better chance of improving America than the Clintons' socialist plan of higher taxes on the job creators if for no other reason than Trump really wants to help & the Clintons don't.
We had better be very sure that Trump's transgressions warrant electing Hillary & continuing the path that two thirds of Americans think is the wrong one.  It is best to look past the titillating talk of the women claiming sexual harassment by Trump & look @ the more substantive list of WikiLeaks news dumps that show the Clintons for what they are – connivers who will do or say anything to return to the White House.
Democrats show that they are politically playing the rest of us for fools when they say that Trump should be disqualified from becoming president for his words but did not think that Bill Clinton should have been removed from office for his actions after the proven Lewinski affair of oral sex in the White House with a 22 year old intern. 
To fall for the Democrats' political strategy is to surrender the presidency to Hillary Clinton who has calculatingly stood by her man, to a fault, attacking Bill Clinton's accusers even as she now supports Trump's accusers.  Where would Hillary be if not for Bill?  Certainly not the Democrat nominee & that is what she has focused on & worked for all of these years.
If Hillary wins Trump will return to the luxurious life he left 16 months ago while an ever increasing percentage of Americans will continue to become dependent on government for larger portions of their incomes – the Death Of Democracy spiral that ends liberty in America as we have known it all of our lives.  Hillary will continue, or worse yet expand, both BO's government-dependent policies that will ensure slow or no economic or job growth & the federal regulations that result in more than $2 trillion in annual compliance costs that ensure poor productivity increases & lackluster job growth.
But getting back to the quotes: Jerry Falwell Jr. summed the election up nicely – "concentrate on America's future – not Trump's past."
And even more basic & to the point Dr. Franklin replied when asked what members of the Constitutional Convention had brought - "A Republic, madam – if you can keep it."