About Me

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

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Crossing The Swamp

Below is John McNaughton's latest painting entitled Crossing The Swamp.  Mr. McNaughton is an artist of world renown with previous paintings like The Forgotten Man & Respect The Flag.
click on painting to enlarge
The administration officials in the painting above are from left to right:  Nikki Haley, James Mattis, Ben Carson, President Trump, Jeff Sessions, Mike Pence, Melania Trump, Mike Pompeo, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Ivanka Trump, John Bolton, Kellyanne Conway, & John Kelly.
Click here to hear Mr. McNaughton explain why he wants to be on that boat crossing the swamp.  I hope we all get on board. 

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Why Politicians Don't Want To Solve The Social Security & Medicare Funding Problems

"Your estimated benefits are based on current law.  Congress has made changes to the law in the past and can do so at any time. The law governing benefit amounts may change because, by 2034, the payroll taxes collected will be enough to pay only about 79 percent of scheduled benefits." – from the June 2018 Social Security Statement.  A personalized Social Security statement including the up to date benefit reduction amount is mailed to everyone periodically starting @ age 25 & is also available online.
I have never met one person @ my FairTax seminars or anyone who has participated in radio programs I have been on that was aware of this benefit reduction warning – even though it has always been prominently displayed on page 1 or 2 of the aforementioned Social Security statement.
click on graphic to enlarge
The trustees annual report of Social Security & Medicare issued in June reported that for the first time since 1982 the Medicare hospital-insurance trust fund (HI) & both the Social Security trust funds for retirement (OASI) & disability (DI) will be forced to dip into their reserves this year.  These trust funds are projected to continue diminishing until they are depleted – the Medicare hospital-insurance trust fund in 2026, the Social Security retirement trust fund in 2034, & the Disability trust fund in 2032.  See graphic below.
click on graphic to enlarge
The depletion of the Medicare hospital-insurance trust fund is now projected to be three years sooner than was projected in last year's trustees report – so in the case of Medicare in one year's time we lost three years.  In the case of the Social Security retirement trust fund there was only a loss of a few months in the projected life of the trust fund since the last annual report.  Not good but much better than for Medicare.
With regard to starting to draw on the respective trust funds in 2018 Social Security moved up four years sooner than calculated in the last annual report & Medicare moved up five years sooner.  We can question the caliber of the calculations but the important point is that trust fund interest income plus both Social Security & Medicare payroll taxes are not enough to cover benefits starting this year.
As regular readers of RTE know the trust funds of both Social Security & Medicare are accounting gimmicks in that the money has been received from payroll taxes in the surplus years but Congress could not resist spending the surplus & putting IOUs in the trust funds' non-existent lock boxes.  There are no real economic assets in the trust funds whose bookkeeping balances will be recalculated as money is theoretically drawn down until it reaches zero – the point that the above mentioned 21% reduction in Social Security retirement benefits will occur for all participants regardless of age.  Medicare hospital benefit reduction is estimated to be 9% upon exhaustion of the Medicare hospital-insurance trust fund.
From the mid-1980s through 2009, Social Security took in more in tax revenue than it paid out in benefits, which allowed it to build up its trust-fund reserves.  In 2010 Social Security's expenditures began to exceed its tax income, so it began to rely on its trust funds' interest earnings, paid from the government's general fund. Source – Charles Blahous, former public trustee for Social Security & Medicare programs.
See graphic below that shows the way Medicare is financed – cost measured as percent of GDP on the graphic.  Note the increasing slopes of the curves for premiums for people on Medicare, general revenue transfers from taxpayers of all ages – young & old alike, & of course the total cost curve.  The Medicare deficit widens as shown on the top of the graphic – there is no provision under current law to finance that shortfall through general revenue transfers or any other revenue source.
click on graphic to enlarge
Now all of us who are breathing know that the demographics for the sustainability of Social Security & Medicare is terrible.  There are 10,000 baby boomers reaching the age of 65 every day between now & 2029 & the number of workers who support one Social Security retiree has dropped from 41.9 in 1945 to less than 2.9 today with projections of 1.5 in the out years.  See graphics below.
   click on graphics to enlarge
When I was in my 30s & 40s people just starting out in the business world in their 20s were fond of saying they believed more in flying saucers than they did in receiving any Social Security benefits.  Since they were new to the business world they had not paid a lot of payroll taxes so they thought they could afford to be cavalier about it & even possibly thought something would be done to improve Social Security's outlook.  But here we are today & these people have now paid payroll taxes all of their business lives & are ready to retire dependent on the Social Security & Medicare programs described above.
So with such an obvious problem that has been obvious for decades, why have our elected representatives not forged ahead to solve it?  Lawmakers have a broad list of policy options that could close or reduce the long-term financing shortfalls of both Social Security & Medicare – I have suggested the best ones repeatedly on this blog.  The sooner the problem is addressed & remedied the better – who can disagree with that?  The sooner a proper fix is implemented the more time will be available to phase in changes to give the public time to adjust & prepare.
Well, to answer the subject question, most politicians who advocate against poverty have no personal stake in eliminating poverty's cause or foresee themselves having Social Security & Medicare being the economic foundation of their existence.  In fact, statists - Democrats & RINOs - have a vested interest in keeping people in poverty or heading that way dependent on programs like Social Security & Medicare whose financial condition is only projected to deteriorate – their deceitful rhetoric gives false hope to those who have not yet realized man's natural God given condition is one of freedom, self sufficiency, & prosperity. 
The statists' aim is to make as many people as possible dependent on government – both financially through taxes & physically through universal healthcare.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Birthday Quiz

Thanks to the National Museum Of Mathematics (www.MoMath.org
) for providing the following quiz that appeared in the WSJ – although some in the readership will be relieved to know that this quiz is more about reasoning than math.
Please let me know how you work the problem.  I will post all correct answers or alternatively will send the solution privately to anyone who requests it if no one figures it out.
Birthday Quiz
A while back, Nick stated: "Sometime during last year, I was still 21; in two days I'll be in my 25th year."
What day of the year is Nick's birthday & on what day of the year is he speaking?

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

An Update & Solutions - Fraudulent Asylum Seekers Violate U.S. National Sovereignty

With regard to the asylum problem documented in the last post entitled Fraudulent Asylum Seekers Violate U.S. National Sovereignty an unaccountable federal judge in California recently ordered Trump to reunite all children separated from their parents @ our southern border & on Monday temporarily blocked Trump from deporting any of the reunited people – the total of which is about 2,000.  Specifically the 103 children under 5 years old were to be reunited with the adults who brought them, presumably their parents, by July 10 with the rest by July 26.
The problem is that almost half of the 103 toddlers & infants arrived @ the southern border with criminals or non-parents.  Only 57 of the 103 were eligible for reunification & these children were returned to their relatives on Thursday.
The remaining 46 children were deemed ineligible for reunification because their putative parents have criminal records including abduction, murder, & child abuse – in brief, the children would not be safe with the adults who brought them over 2,000 miles to America: 1) for twenty-two of the children the adults seeking to rejoin them were considered safety concerns, having been charged or convicted with cruelty to children, abduction, human trafficking, domestic violence, narco-trafficking, & murder, 2) a dozen adult aliens had been deported but declined to take their children with them - in one case the parent's location had been unknown for over a year, & 3) seven of the cases involved adults found not to be a parent.
The other cases included officials trying to contact parents who were in federal or state custody for murder, child abuse, & kidnapping.  Other adults had provided false proof of birth or had sought to place a child with a known child sex abuser or was being treated for a communicable disease.  
In short, since April 2018 almost half of the adults who brought small children with them to the U.S. southern border as shields & pawns are not very nice people, they are frauds – not the type of people we should welcome into our country.  See graphic below for Europe's experience with refugees & asylum seekers.
click on graphic to enlarge
The other half of adults @ issue are not respectful @ all of U.S. citizens, people who have applied for citizenship the legal way, refugees seeking safety who applied from their home countries, & asylum seekers who came to the U.S. through designated ports of entry or other legal channels.  These people are not even respectful of their fellow travelers who are legitimate asylum seekers, if any, that came to the southern border this spring @ points other than designated ports of entry.  They are just regular illegal immigrants who have tried to conceal that fact & they will be flushed out to a high degree – see graph below.  It just takes time & money.
click on graph to enlarge
All of these people are opportunists who are using our good nature, values, & the Constitution as weapons against us - playing us for chumps.  The Constitution was not meant to be a suicide pact - we can however purposely allow it to be & we are well on our way there.
The above statistics prove what a fraud of colossal magnitude we have @ hand that is playing on Americans' sympathy while the whole time our national sovereignty is being violated. 
Thanks to everyone who commented on the last post & particularly the long time reader who sent me the results of the June 28 Harvard-Harris poll which is very much in line with the CBS poll question presented in the last post – especially regarding sending fraudulent asylum seekers & other illegal immigrants back to their home country.  
Harvard-Harris poll summary – A majority of voters want immigration reform (73%).  Voters also want stricter enforcement of immigration laws (70%).  Voters support prosecuting immigrants who cross the border illegally (53%) & sending these immigrants home (64%).  A majority (55%) also stand against so-called "catch & release" policies.
Now only Congress has the constitutional authority to fix the impracticalities in our immigration laws that have made us look like chumps for decades.  If this is important to you the November midterm elections are the next time you can do something about this outrage.
But there is an even bigger outrage in this current rigmarole.  And that is the unaccountable federal judge, Dana Sabraw, who is micromanaging immigration policy by ordering Trump to reunite children with the adults who brought them to the border & now is temporarily blocking deportations. What would this judge say or do if Trump had reunited the 46 children indicated above who were brought by criminals & people who were not their parents – would Sabraw take any responsibility for his orders if it was proven that some of these children were murdered or sold into child trafficking as a result of his orders being followed.
Sabraw is a federal judge located in San Diego.  The overwhelming percent of the illegal entries are in Texas.  There never was a clearer example of judge shopping than in this case where one unaccountable judge usurps both the President's & Congress's constitutional responsibilities.  And so far he is getting away with it; although Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, a frequent critic of lower courts over the years, has recently talked about reining them in.
Here are some steps that can be taken to solve this problem:
1.  Mexico & the Central America Northern Triangle countries can rein in the flow of migrants to the U.S. or face consequences.  In this regard, on June 28 Vice President Mike Pence & Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen attended a meeting in Guatemala City with the presidents of El Salvador & Honduras & the vice president of Guatemala.  Economics501 has recommended that venture capitalists, economists, & academics should go to these repressive & economic backward nations to start to turn them around.
In addition, the recent budget enacted the largest investment in border security in nearly a decade including hiring more people to protect our borders & enforce our laws.
2.  Congress can rewrite our immigration laws to take into account all of the undesirable immigration movements that have taken place the past several decades.  As of 2014 DHS reports 12.1 million people comprised the unauthorized population in America.  See graphic below.
 click on graphic to enlarge
The table below shows the age & sex of the 12.1 million unauthorized people in America as of 2014.  Please note that three quarters of the total are between ages 25 to 54 – the prime working age.
click on table to enlarge
The graphic below shows the current phenomenon of people coming to America from countries other than Mexico & arriving in families.  The below left graph indicates that last year 128,000 Mexicans were apprehended @ the southern border & 176,000 people from countries other than Mexico were apprehended.
click on graphic to enlarge
President Trump has called the current U.S. immigration laws the worst in the world regarding what is best for their citizens.  The building of the southern border wall will stop asylum seekers, fraudulent or legitimate, who decide for themselves they want entry into America ahead of people who have properly applied for permission to enter – the asylum seekers can wait there until the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) decides there is room for entry.  We can set up a certain amount of housing near the border ports of entry so that asylum seekers can be orderly processed as room develops.  Once the housing limit is reached there will be no further entry until there is a vacancy.
The erection of the border wall & implementation of the above system would virtually eliminate the tremendous current annual expense.  Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) currently uses more than 100 facilities, including county jails & private detention centers, in 30 states to handle the number of migrants under their charge that are only increasing @ great cost & potential dangers for Americans.
Countries like Hungary, Poland, & the Czech Republic have strict immigration laws & only a small handful of asylum seekers are allowed entry – this should be our model.
The current immigration laws would literally let billions of people into America if they get one foot into our country & can say "asylum".  Just think, George Soros could go to Darfur & bring thousands of people to America & if they got in we would have to accept them, affording them constitutional rights as they were being processed.  This is not what the Founders envisioned because it clearly goes against everything they worked for. 
3.  In 1996 the Clinton White House wanted an opportunity to demonstrate it was tough on immigrants so President Clinton worked with Congress & signed the Illegal Immigration Reform & Immigrant Responsibility Act which limited the Supreme Court's jurisdiction by giving exclusive authority to the Immigration & Naturalization Service (INS) – now divided into three branches of DHS – to determine whether an immigrant will be granted asylum, without the right of appeal to the courts.
Any rewrite of our immigration laws should include this type of limitation of the court's jurisdiction.  The graph below shows the effectiveness of the 1996 Clinton law in that prior to 1996 less than 50,000 Mexicans were deported from the U.S. per year & that number jumped to 150,000 deportations per year before other acts were enacted after which the number reached almost 300,000 by 2009.

click on graph to enlarge

4.  If the Judicial & Legislative branches of the federal government cooperated in trying to remedy the illegal immigration situation described in the last two posts we wouldn't have Clarence Thomas scolding rogue lower court judges or any need for me proposing solutions to the problem like the three above.

In this era of political correctness the Judiciary is only too happy to have gone from "the least dangerous to the political rights to the Constitution"1 to the most powerful micromanager & usurper of the authority of the Legislature & President.  The Legislature & President think they gain political correctness cover by abdicating their responsibilities to the Judiciary & so far Trump has gone along with it.

But Trump is an admirer of Andrew Jackson & is quite aware of Jackson ignoring one of Chief Justice John Marshall's rulings by saying "John Marshall has made his decision; now let him enforce it!"  Jackson's position goes hand in hand with "The judiciary on the contrary has no influence over either the sword (Executive Branch) or the purse (Legislative Branch), no direction either of the strength or of the wealth of the society, & can take no active resolution whatever.  It may truly be said to have neither Force nor Will, but merely judgment; & must ultimately depend upon the aid of the executive arm even for the efficacy of its judgments."2

In summary, a terrible illegal immigration situation is being exacerbated by the Judiciary overreaching into an area where they have no business @ all & the Legislature abdicating the oath they took to be the responsible branch to solve the problem.  But the problem is even greater than illegal immigration – by their respective actions & inactions these two branches of government are taking an ax to the very foundation of our country; they are trying to make the elected branches accountable to the Judiciary.  They are saying one federal judge, anywhere in the country, can overrule the President on every & any issue that comes up.

Trump may have no choice but to ignore these rogue judges - whether the current ones or ones he will surely meet in the future as they continue to try to stop everything he does.


1 & 2:  The Federalist No. 78: Hamilton


Sunday, July 8, 2018

Fraudulent Asylum Seekers Violate U.S. National Sovereignty

"You have asylum seekers saying I'd rather be in jail in the U.S. than killed in my own country." – Maureen Meyer, an immigration expert @ the Washington Office On Latin America, a human-rights advocacy group.
"Don't risk your lives or the lives of your children by trying to come to the United States on the road run by drug smugglers & human traffickers.  If you can't come legally, don't come @ all." - Vice President Mike Pence speaking on the first day of his Latin American trip in June.
click on graphic to enlarge
The above graphic portrays one aspect of what Ms. Meyer is talking about.  The murder rate in the countries that make up Central America's Northern Triangle is between 25 to over 75 murders per 100,000 people.  Honduras & Guatemala each have well over 5,000 murders per year & tiny El Salvador has over 3,500 – about 10 murders each day.
In addition to murder, residents of Central America's Northern Triangle countries face human trafficking – modern day slavery that involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to illegally transport people from one country or area to another for the purpose of forced labor or commercial sexual exploitation - drug trafficking & smuggling, kidnapping, & extortion in the form of mafia-like demands to pay war taxes to neighborhood gangs.  There is no economic opportunity – about 2/3 of the population of Honduras live in poverty according to the World Bank.  And much of the police force is crooked – about 95% of homicides in the Northern Triangle countries go unpunished – source Adrienne Arsht Latin American Center – Atlantic Council.
In short, the six thousand years of human history has always been filled with barbarism & slavery & it appears that life in Central America's Northern Triangle countries hasn't advanced a little bit as evidenced by the above brutal description & statistics that make the American wild west of the 1800s look tame by comparison.
But as arduous a task as it is to travel over 2,000 miles from Central America's Northern Triangle countries to America's southern border seeking asylum the asylum seekers see it as a process with an end rather than staying & fighting to turn their countries around like Americans did in the 18th century.  Their position is also just one side of the coin – it does not take into account whether or not America needs or wants these people just because they showed up @ the border under their own terms completely ignoring U.S. immigration laws.
Applying for U.S. citizenship, refugee status, or asylum all involve long tedious processes of years that result in the liberties, benefits, & protections that each program offers if the applicant is successful in completing the required steps.
Now in the case of asylum, a difficult & complex process that can involve multiple government agencies – the process starts either from within the U.S. or @ the border – in which case the first step is for the asylum seekers to present themselves @ a designated point of entry; otherwise the asylum seeker can be charged with a misdemeanor that carries a six month jail term for entering the U.S. illegally.  In brief, to avoid federal charges of illegal entry, asylum seekers must enter the U.S. through designated ports of entry.  Those who cross the border other than @ a point of entry & walk up to a border guard with a well rehearsed speech about seeking asylum are the ones President Trump is detaining in accordance with existing immigration laws including Trump's zero tolerance policy.  I didn't know there was anything but zero tolerance for breaking the law.
See map below for select points of entry along the Texas-Mexico border.
 click on map to enlarge
Asylum seekers must demonstrate that they had been persecuted or fear persecution due to race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group – otherwise they will not be accepted into the U.S.  Congress incorporated this definition of asylum seeker into U.S. immigration law as part of the Refugee Act of 1980 under President Carter.
The graph below shows that for most of the past twenty years three quarters of migrants were found to not meet the aforementioned asylum requirements – giving strong suspicion that the majority of migrants are trying to game our system & take advantage of our immigration laws that President Trump has called the worst in the world regarding having the best interest of their citizens – namely us.
click on graph to enlarge
Click here to see an excellent video describing asylum seekers' many problems – it's Asylum Seeker 101. 
The basis of the current border enforcement policy is known as the Flores settlement whose origin dates back to the 1980s - it pertained to the treatment of unaccompanied minors who were in the care of the U.S. government & it specifically barred the government from jailing migrant children.  After going through several federal courts the case reached the Supreme Court in 1993 where finally in 1997 the Clinton administration & the plaintiffs, including the ACLU, reached a consent decree settlement regarding the standards for handling unaccompanied minors who were in the custody of federal authorities.
Over the years immigration authorities began to not fully comply with the Flores settlement & specific rules about exactly how long & under what conditions children could be held evolved.
In 2014 BO tried to reduce the number of Central American families seeking asylum (between 2012 & 2016 nearly 200,000 migrant children were referred to the Department of Homeland Security – DHS) in the U.S. by keeping families in detention & processing & deporting them as quickly as possible.  The courts struck down this procedure finding that BO was invoking this policy for the purpose of deterrence.
See photos below of children in cages in 2014 in Nogales Arizona & others in detention in 2014 in Texas under BO's policies.  In 2013 there were 25,000 unaccompanied minors in the care of BO's Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR).
click on photos to enlarge
Along the way the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Flores settlement not only pertained to unaccompanied minors @ the border but also accompanied ones as well – the government could hold children in custody for no more than twenty days according to the Ninth Circuit.  Until April, 2018 the practice had been to release the entire family into America after twenty days & many of these people never returned for their immigration court dates – in fiscal year 2017 there were 40,000 deportation orders issued in absentia; i.e., to immigrants who didn't show up for their hearing & accordingly they are illegally in the U.S. today.
To cut down on violations like the 40,000 described above, President Trump ended what he calls Catch & Release.  The Border Patrol started the Trump zero tolerance policy earlier this spring where children are separated from the law-breaking adult companions (some of whom may be parents) who accompanied them to the border.  The children are sent to HHS where they get better treatment than they did crossing Mexico in box cars or on foot.  The adults are held by Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE).
There are currently 12,000 children being held under HHS supervision – 10,000 of which arrived @ the border unaccompanied by an adult.  See breakdown below for fiscal year 2017 that shows 69% of the children are between 15 & 17 years old.
It is important to note that Border Patrol separates children from adults if they suspect that the children are not actually related to the adults because human trafficking is a persistent problem & cartels & other smugglers use children to get more people across the border or they try to sell the children into human slavery.
A federal judge in California recently issued a preliminary injunction that ordered Trump to temporarily stop separating families & to unite all children with their parents – the total of which is about 2,000.  Then last Monday a Washington, D.C. federal judge halted Trump from systemically detaining asylum seekers @ the border who have a credible fear of returning to their own country – this would apply to every one of them, & if extended to people throughout the world would produce a never-ending, immeasurable, enormous, unsustainable line of people totaling billions seeking asylum in America.
In short, all of the above reveals what a mess our immigration laws & policies are in.  And only Congress has the constitutional authority to fix it: under Article I, Section 8, Clause 4 of the Constitution – "The Congress shall have Power To . . . establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization."  This is the bedrock principle for our immigration policies so if they are out of whack, like they certainly are as described above, we should return to it for remedy.
In 1795 Congress claimed exclusive authority over immigration & in 1817 the Supreme Court affirmed that "the power of naturalization is exclusively in Congress."
The President has the power & responsibility to execute the laws & in the case of immigration the Judiciary has no role whatsoever.  But the ball for solution of the immigration-asylum problem is squarely in Congress's court – good luck with that one any time soon.
So in the absence of Congress's willingness to solve the immigration-asylum problem every president since Reagan has tried to enforce some law as described above & various courts have stepped in to rule on such things as the number of days migrants can be held & under what conditions – so much for Chief Justice John Roberts constantly stressing that the courts are not a policy-making body when all they do @ every opportunity is micromanage child welfare making policy regarding illegal immigrants including setting the current artificial deadlines to reunite children with parents – the problem being not enough time is allowed to properly vet the adults to ensure they really are the child's parents.
My theme & major complaint on this blog for years regarding the courts is that they constantly overstep their constitutional bounds & become way too involved in our lives when the two elected branches are best suited to solve problems in a liberal democratic constitutional republic.  Of course this is both by design & promoted by the two elected branches who think they receive cover from the courts so that no one notices they failed to fulfill their oaths of office.
The genesis of the above described border problem is that federal law treats children under 18 differently than it treats adults if the children illegally crossed into the U.S. without an adult relative - such children are primarily considered potential victims of human trafficking instead of people who violated our immigration laws.  How in the world are these laws constitutional?  You can see that with this designation how over the years opportunists from all over the world, of all ages, have come to take advantage of this policy thereby making it that much harder for those who really are in need of asylum. 
Americans don't want to see children abused but enough have seen through the facade of using children as pawns to be pitied thereby acting as shields for adults to enter America under false pretenses.  See Question #31 of CBS Poll below, June 21–22, that shows overwhelming support for sending entire families back to their home country if they try to enter the U.S. illegally:
 click on chart to enlarge
But the will of the majority of the people as indicated in the above poll is again thwarted because only migrants from Mexico & Canada (our two contiguous countries) can be turned away @ the border by Border Enforcement.  All others receive some degree of red tape asylum regulations as described above, including Border Patrol separating children from adults if they suspect the children are not actually related to the adults.
So the current problem regarding the total number of children separated from their parents is a fraction of what it was under BO when the hostile anti-American media was silent.  People have been whipped into a frenzy to worry about children being separated by their parents @ the border when 10,000 out of 12,000 children being held by Trump's HHS were sent alone or with human traffickers or smugglers known as coyotes – this is the real separation of children from parents.
Some like to say we are a "nation of immigrants" as a reason why we should be taking in every one who has trouble in their home country.  When I think of immigrants I think of Alexander Hamilton & the Marquis de Lafayette – people who not only assimilated into America but also wanted to fight for our liberty & work to make America stronger.  These are examples of people who wanted to augment the American liberty principles – not just people who came here because of problems in their home country.  If we ever were a "nation of immigrants" we are not now – look around to see how many people you know who were born in America compared to the number of immigrants you know.  Over 90% of the people you know are not part of any "nation of immigrants," but of an American nation.
But the hostile anti-American media, Democrats, & far too many Republicans never bring up the fact that people who cross our border illegally are violating our sovereignty – they'd rather discuss safety of children & a "nation of immigrants."  America is a "nation of laws" & few powers are more fundamental to sovereignty than control over who comes into the country.
HHS Secretary Alex Azar says "there is a surefire way to avoid separation from your children & that is present yourself @ a legal border crossing & make the case you have" for asylum, or stay home & apply to enter the U.S. from there under the refugee laws.
DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen reiterates Azar's points below:
click on image to enlarge
In summary, our feckless elected representatives & unaccountable judges have let illegal immigrants, who form caravans of 1,200 people to trek across Mexico, & who have absolutely no right to enter this country make fools out of U.S. citizens, people who have applied for citizenship the legal way, refugees seeking safety who applied from their home countries, & asylum seekers who came to the U.S. through designated points of entry or other legal channels.  Our good nature, generosity, & big hearts have been exploited by people who have in & of themselves decided they want to be in America & they have used children, not U.S. immigration laws, to gain sympathy for that position.  It's a fraud of colossal magnitude as our national sovereignty has been violated.
The aforementioned caravan recently traveled to the U.S. southern border & then made a sharp left turn to Tijuana where they expected, & received, entry into California – a sanctuary state that encourages this lawless behavior.  Talk about our being used – all of the people in the caravan who made it to the border correctly perceived & exploited the defenselessness of the U.S. immigration policies & accordingly accomplished their chef aim – entry into the U.S.
In light of the information in this post please consider the border wall, with doors that act as the legal points of entry, that President Trump has proposed.  It looks like rewriting our immigration laws so that we are no longer the chumps of the world & building this wall are the only ways to deal with this unwelcome, costly, & trouble prone intrusion into our domain. 

Monday, July 2, 2018

July 4, 2018 - O, America!

To understand your part in celebrating our nation's 242nd birthday please study the lyrics below & then click on Anthony Kearns singing O, America!.
O, America you're calling,
I can hear you calling me,
You are calling me to be true to thee,
True to thee I will be.
O, America no weeping,
Let me heal your wounded heart.
I will keep you in my keeping,
Till there be, a new start.
And I will answer you, and I will take your hand,
And lead you to the sun
And I will stand by you, do all that I can do,
And we will be as one.
O, America I hear you,
From your prairies to the sea,
From your mountains grand, and all through this land,
You are beautiful to me.
And, O, America you're calling,
I can hear you calling me,
You are calling me to be true to thee,
True to thee, I will be.
And I will answer you, and I will take your hand,
And lead you, to the sun
And I will stand by you, do all that I can do,
And we will be, as one
O, America you're calling,
I will ever answer thee.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

High Tax States Again Lead Out-Migration In U.S.

"Everyone in Trenton is aware of the tax problems that we have here & that the state's in a financial crisis.  Our goal is to come up with a solution that's not all these taxes.  I think that people that have the ability to leave are leaving." – NJ Senate President, Democrat Steve Sweeney speaking about the annual budget crisis that occurs every July 1 in NJ & specifically against NJ Governor Democrat Phil Murphy's proposed sales tax increase & imposition of a 19.8% tax boost to the highest marginal income tax rate in the state. 
click on map to enlarge
Well Senator Sweeney is certainly right to be concerned – the above map of the U.S. shows that states depicted in yellow experienced the largest moving deficits according to United Van Lines 41st Annual National Movers Study, which tracks customers' state-to-state migration patterns over the past year.  States depicted in dark blue had high inbound movements.
In 2017 NJ led the way in this negative category in the Northeast with 63% outbound moves followed by NY (61%), Connecticut (57%), & Massachusetts (56%).  Illinois is now in the top spot overall, also with 63%, inching out NJ by a decimal point.  NJ had infamously held the top spot for the past five consecutive years.
United Van Lines classifies states as "high outbound" or "high inbound" if 55% or more of the moves respectively are outbound or inbound. 
The 2017 data reflects the longer trend movement to the western & southern states – especially where housing costs are lower, climates are milder than the northeast or rust belt, & job growth is above the national average.  This migration also includes young professionals & retirees who leave California for many reasons. 
Moving Out:
The top outbound states for 2017 were:
1.  Illinois (previously #2)
2.  New Jersey (previously #1 five years in a row)
3.  New York
4.  Connecticut
5.  Kansas
6.  Massachusetts
7.  Ohio
8.  Kentucky
9.  Utah
10. Wisconsin
There was only 1% difference between #6 Massachusetts & # 10 Wisconsin so it would not take much to rearrange these bottom five states in the top ten.
Of course property taxes are a major player in all of the above ratings.  See list below for all 50 states & DC.  It is easy to see that New Jersey is 51st & Illinois is 50th in this regard.  The rankings are based on the highest effective real-estate tax rate – note that New Jersey's annual taxes based on homes priced @ the state median value are far & away the highest of any state.
The effective real-estate tax rate in the list below is determined by dividing the median real-estate tax payment by the median home price in each state.  Example – for NJ the $7,601 median real-estate tax payment divided by the $316,400 median home price equals 2.4%, the effective real-estate tax rate.  Applying the 2.4% effective real-estate tax rate to the $185,000 median value of a house in the U.S., as of 2016, results in the $4,437 annual tax figure for NJ on a $185K home.  The median value of a home was in accordance with the Census Bureau.
Every time I present this type of data we see that states that follow high-tax socialist-like government control of its residents, regardless of party affiliation, are @ the top of the out-migration lists.
I am still waiting to find a blue state that turns red because more conservatives moved in.
Real-Estate Property Taxes by State



Effective Real-Estate Tax Rate

Annual Taxes on $185K Home*

State Median Home Value

Annual Taxes on Home Priced at State Median Value

51 New Jersey 2.40% $4,437 $316,400 $7,601
50 Illinois 2.32% $4,288 $174,800 $4,058
49 New Hampshire 2.19% $4,038 $239,700 $5,241
48 Connecticut 2.02% $3,733 $269,300 $5,443
47 Wisconsin 1.95% $3,602 $167,000 $3,257
46 Texas 1.86% $3,435 $142,700 $2,654
45 Nebraska 1.83% $3,371 $137,300 $2,506
44 Vermont 1.78% $3,285 $218,900 $3,893
43 Michigan 1.71% $3,158 $127,800 $2,185
41 New York 1.65% $3,057 $286,300 $4,738
41 Rhode Island 1.65% $3,047 $238,200 $3,929
40 Ohio 1.56% $2,890 $131,900 $2,064
39 Pennsylvania 1.55% $2,867 $167,700 $2,603
38 Iowa 1.50% $2,762 $132,800 $1,986
37 Kansas 1.40% $2,580 $135,300 $1,890
35 Maine 1.32% $2,444 $176,000 $2,329
35 South Dakota 1.32% $2,446 $146,700 $1,943
34 Massachusetts 1.21% $2,238 $341,000 $4,132
33 Alaska 1.19% $2,190 $257,100 $3,048
32 Minnesota 1.17% $2,155 $191,500 $2,234
31 Maryland 1.10% $2,030 $290,400 $3,191
30 Oregon 1.07% $1,970 $247,200 $2,637
29 Washington 1.06% $1,962 $269,300 $2,860
28 North Dakota 1.05% $1,947 $164,000 $1,729
27 Florida 1.02% $1,885 $166,800 $1,702
26 Missouri 1.00% $1,842 $141,200 $1,408
25 Georgia 0.93% $1,712 $152,400 $1,413
24 Oklahoma 0.89% $1,638 $121,300 $1,076
23 Indiana 0.87% $1,606 $126,500 $1,100
22 North Carolina 0.86% $1,581 $157,100 $1,345
20 Kentucky 0.85% $1,579 $126,100 $1,078
20 Montana 0.85% $1,570 $199,700 $1,698
19 Mississippi 0.80% $1,470 $105,700 $841
17 California 0.79% $1,461 $409,300 $3,237
17 Virginia 0.79% $1,467 $248,400 $1,973
15 Arizona 0.77% $1,427 $176,900 $1,367
15 Nevada 0.77% $1,425 $191,600 $1,478
13 Idaho 0.76% $1,404 $167,900 $1,276
13 New Mexico 0.76% $1,408 $161,600 $1,232
12 Tennessee 0.75% $1,376 $146,000 $1,088
11 Utah 0.67% $1,240 $224,600 $1,508
10 Arkansas 0.63% $1,161 $114,700 $721
9 Wyoming 0.61% $1,130 $199,900 $1,223
8 West Virginia 0.59% $1,082 $107,400 $629
6 Colorado 0.57% $1,058 $264,600 $1,516
6 South Carolina 0.57% $1,056 $143,600 $821
5 District of Columbia 0.56% $1,026 $506,100 $2,811
4 Delaware 0.55% $1,009 $233,100 $1,274
3 Louisiana 0.51% $934 $148,300 $750
2 Alabama 0.43% $791 $128,500 $550
1 Hawaii 0.27% $501 $538,400 $1,459