Corporate Welfare

A recent conversation spurred me to write this post

A person I know asked me if conservatives support corporate welfare. Well, the short answer is no, of course not. The long answer is a bit more complex.

No, conservatives do not support corporate welfare, at least this one doesn’t. I certainly don’t agree that companies like GE had enough tax breaks last year and the year before to effectively pay zero taxes to the federal government. Yes, just like us, even with deductions you still pay taxes over the course of the year. The problem arises when companies like GE , that are extremely profitable all on their own, get favored tax status from the federal government ostensibly to spur growth, or to give them incentive to hire workers. If their product is good enough and priced fairly enough that should be all the incentive they need to stay in business and expand. I am using GE as an example but this applies to many industries in this country.

Know why sugar is so expensive? The feds use protectionism in the form of subsidies to protect domestic sugar growers from having to compete with cheaper sugar produced in foreign countries. This has led to the increased use of high fructose corn syrup in many of our products. It’s cheaper than sugar and therefore allows companies to stay price competitive in the marketplace. High fructose corn syrup is not as good as sugar for a variety of reasons, but it’s cheaper , so it is used instead of sugar.

Oil companies get subsidies from the feds too. I am pro oil, our OWN oil and very pro becoming energy independent. However, at the same time, there is no logical why we taxpayers should give any tax breaks to these multi-billion dollar industries. These are just a few examples , there are many more, too many to mention.

What do these subsidies/tax breaks do for us? Nothing good, that’s for sure. All of these things in general skew the market and directly affect prices we pay and not in a good way for us as consumers. Why are they there? Because this is how politicians on both sides of the aisle gain favor from these industries. This allows politicians to play favorites with this or that industry, Green Energy is yet another example of this problem. It is not up to the government to decide for us which way our economy is headed. That is for us to decide on our own as consumers. If company A makes a better product than company B, then company A will be more successful. That is how  free market works. To be clear, I support green energy, so long as it can replace our need for oil and in a cost-effective way. As of now, it can’t and our government throwing billions of our dollars at it , doesn’t change that one bit.

You might say, but, but , if we take away all of these incentives prices might go up, or some people could lose their jobs. Yes, both of these might happen, but if they do, other companies will come along to offer us a better and cheaper product or service. People that lost their jobs in company B will be able to find work at company A since company A is making a better product and thus increasing their need for additional workers. Like it or not, the Free Market will work out the kinks on its own. When the government gets involved it screws things up and makes it worse for the rest of us, not better.

All of this is basically an argument for abolishing our current tax system in favor of a Fair Tax or Flat Tax system. This allows all of us to “pay our fair share” while preventing the politicians from playing favorites and spending our money like drunken sailors, no offense to drunken sailors. I don’t fault companies for taking advantage of these tax breaks. There is nothing nefarious about them doing so, despite what you hear from our politicians. These are legally available to them. If you want to blame someone, blame Congress. They write the tax code, they are the ones that offered these tax breaks to these companies and they are the same people who get up in front of the cameras and claim it’s not fair that the “rich” are using tax loopholes to avoid paying their fair share.

Take all of this into account the next time you hear some politician complain about this or that industry and their tax breaks. Ask them, Well, if you’re not happy with their tax breaks, why do you not change the tax code to address the issue? When you hear liberal groups or conservative groups complain about the unfairness and evilness or this or that company or industry ask them…Who wrote the tax code? Who is it that is making it possible for this company to do the things you say are unfair? Don’t blame the companies, blame the morons in Washington DC.

 

 

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The Logic of Legal Gun Ownership and the Fallacy of Gun Control

Quite a few of the people I know think I’m a one or two issue person, if any of you have been reading my rantings over the years you know this to not be true. That being said, yes I’m going to talk about guns in this post.

On guns: This country has a long , long history of guns and gun ownership. Having read many of our founders’ writings on this subject , I’m quite clear on what they meant by the Second Amendment. Frankly, it had nothing to do with hunting as many would have you believe. It had everything to do with self protection and keeping the government honest and well behaved.

Thomas Paine said this in regards to the people owning arms

“The supposed quietude of a good mans allures the ruffian; while on the other hand, arms like laws discourage and keep the invader and the plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property. The same balance would be preserved were all the world destitute of arms, for all would be alike; but since some will not, others dare not lay them aside…Horrid mischief would ensue were one half the world deprived of the use of them

This speaks to the basic human right to be able to defend ones self , family, and property from those that would do us harm.

George Washington said this in regards to the people owning firearms and the importance of this basic right

“Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people’s liberty teeth and keystone under independence … From the hour the Pilgrims landed, to the present day, events, occurrences, and tendencies prove that to insure peace, security and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable . . . The very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference – they deserve a place of honor with all that is good”

What is it that gun control people don’t understand about this basic human right we have to defend ourselves? I’ve heard all the arguments in favor of gun control. They all come down to one basic premise…Need. Why do you need more than ten rounds in a magazine, why do you need this type of gun, why do you need this or that. Last I checked, the Second Amendment is not based on need, but on rights. It’s not for a politician, Hollywood actor, or anyone else to determine whether or not I need a certain amount of ammo, or a certain type of rifle or pistol. That is the entire point of the Constitution, it’s not the government’s business to determine our needs. None of this means I, or any responsible gun owner believes there should be no laws in regards to guns. That has never been our position and it never will be our position.

We can all agree that by definition, criminals don’t follow laws right? I, and many others have said this many times, but it bears repeating once more. How do gun control people think that making more laws in regards to guns will keep guns out of the hands of people that wish to do us harm?  The vast majority of crimes committed with guns are done by people that never once followed any law in acquiring their gun/guns. Statistics and studies have shown that in areas with higher legal gun ownership crime is reduced. Conversely, in areas that have low rates of legal gun ownership, or excessive limitations on such, crime increases.

Why are mass shootings committed in Gun Free Zones? When a person stops and thinks about it for a few minutes , it becomes clear why this is the case. Criminals are humans, with a human desire to continue living. Despite everything else they are, they all have the desire to stay alive. In areas where more people are armed , criminals run into a greater chance of encountering an armed person and thus a higher risk of being injured or killed in the commission of their crime. Thus it is really no surprise to see why places like Chicago and Washington DC  have some of the highest gun crime rates in the nation and why Gun Free Zones are popular targets of mass shooters. They have the most restrictive laws in regards to legal ownership of guns and in the case of Gun Free Zones, no guns. Criminals aren’t stupid ( in a general sense ) and they realize that the likelihood of them running up against an armed citizen is much lower in these locations. Another observation  is that despite these restrictive laws in regards to guns, the bad guys have no trouble whatsoever in acquiring guns. All these laws will do is put more law abiding citizens at risk, while doing nothing to keep guns out of the hands of criminals.

I can fully understand the emotional need , in the wake of school shootings etc, to do something to end the carnage. But emotion and laws do not mix. Rushing to just do something in the wake of these tragedies leads to idiotic thinking and poorly thought out laws. For instance, the assault weapons ban proposed by Diane Feinstein. First of all, to be clear, an assault weapon is a fully automatic weapon. These weapons are owned and used by the military. You can apply for a special permit to own one yourself but it is extremely difficult to obtain. This effectively prevents true assault weapons from being prevalent in society.

What people call assault weapons are semi-automatic weapons, i.e. an AR-15. Despite what it looks like cosmetically, it is no different than any other semi-automatic rifle on the market in operation or lethality. AR-15′s shoot .223 caliber rounds, the same exact rounds many hunting rifles use. Yet, the only rifles that would have been banned by this assault weapons ban were the ones that looked scary, i.e. AR-15s. They do look like military weapons, but they are not military grade weapons. Your typical hunting rifle can shoot just as many rounds in the same amount of time as the AR-15 , but they were not part of the ban. Where is the logic in any of this? The point is, there is no logic in any of this. It was an emotional response to a problem, and therefore an ineffective solution.

On the limitation of rounds in a magazine. This too is illogical when you stop to think about it. Where is the logic in limiting how many rounds I should be allowed to have in my gun? Was there ever a law proposed to limit the number of rounds in a criminal’s gun? That, in a nutshell , is the proof of the fallacy that limiting the number of rounds in a magazine will make us safer. The magazines are already out there, the criminals already have access to them. Does anyone think that preventing law abiding people from owning larger magazines will somehow make us safer from the bad guys? How is that argument even remotely logical? The logical solution is to allow law abiding people the means to defend themselves on equal terms with the bad guys.

This reminds me of a shootout in L.A. many years ago. Two brothers suited up in body armor and many high powered rifles. The robbed a bank and began a running gun battle with police in the streets of L.A. Up until this shootout police didn’t carry very powerful weapons. The officers had their sidearms, and maybe a shotgun or two in their cars. The police quickly realized they were more than out gunned by these two guys. If I remember correctly a couple cops were killed and it took the SWAT teams with their more powerful weapons to finally take them down. Since that time the L.A. police dept and many other jurisdictions re-thought how they arm their officers. Now many squad cars carry high powered rifles on par with the types they could face in the course of their day to day duties. The police didn’t limit the rounds that their officers carry, they didn’t ban the use of semi-automatic rifles by their officers. They logically concluded that they needed to upgrade their firepower to meet the threat they were facing. The same logic applies to legal gun ownership in this country. The police can’t always be there in time to protect us. More often than not it is up to us to defend ourselves and hope the police get there in a timely fashion.

After the Boston bombings , the police had finally closed in on the suspects. During this manhunt , the suspects and police exchanged hundreds of rounds in running gun battles. Where is the logic in the government telling us that we only NEED ten rounds in a magazine to protect ourselves if there is a possibility you could face a criminal with larger capacity magazines? You’ll be out of rounds long before they will and then, you’ll be dead.  Of course there is no guarantee that if  someone has more than ten rounds in their gun they could fend off a potential invasion. But, the more rounds you have access to, the better chance you have of holding off or stopping multiple attackers.

As I said before, the Second Amendment does not speak to need, it speaks to rights. We have the right to defend ourselves , loved ones, and property. An armed citizenry is also a deterrent to an overreaching and oppressive government. It is not up to our politicians or government to decide for us whether or not we need a gun, or how many rounds we decide to load in to that gun.Even though I have shown a clear need for law abiding people to own guns, the fact remains that we do not require a need determined by the government to own firearms. Until we can prevent bad guys from possessing guns or the will and means to use them against us, there is no logical reason to restrict legal access to guns for the rest of us.

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A Tale of Two Philosophies

In Two days we will be going to the polls to choose a president. A few words about what we are facing this time around.

We are facing a choice in this country between two diametrically opposed political philosophies. One a proven failure, the other a proven success.

The current administration has tried to carry out a European style economic model for the past four years. It has made an already bad situation much worse. Big government is not the answer to our problems, it is in fact the cause of many of them. Now I’m not saying that all that is going wrong now is exclusively due to the current administration. It took many years to get to where we are and many administrations. However, throughout our history as a nation , we have faced similar down times and we have always recovered faster than we are now. The only exception, and a lesson for what is going on now would be The Great Depression.

The reasons behind this anemic recovery stem from the fact that government can not stimulate an economy, period. For the government to “invest” trillions of dollars in the economy to stimulate it, it has to first Take that amount of money out of the private sector. The government has no money of its own. The only money the government does have comes from us, the taxpayers of this nation. You can’t take a trillion dollars out of the private sector, then give it back and expect it to stimulate anything, that’s not how things work. If you take money out of the private sector, then give it back, it’s a wash, you haven’t added anything to the total. In fact, you’ve actually retarded growth by removing money that would have otherwise been spent improving businesses, giving people raises, companies investing in Research and Development and so on.

A perfect illustration of this in action is Europe and their big government model. These countries are facing a real fiscal cliff and some have already fallen off, Greece for instance. This is because , for them, the government has become king. They have excessively high taxation rates, onerous regulations, and overly generous benefits for their citizens. Well beyond what can realistically be given due to their economic output. The way to create more money in a country is for that country’s economy to expand. You can’t do it by constantly increasing taxes and fees, eventually you run out of people to tax. You increase the pool of money in a country by an expanding economic output. This leads to more products being made, more people working, and thus more taxpayers, paying taxes. If an ever-expanding government were the answer to economic success, then Europe should be the largest economic powerhouse on the planet, but they are not. They are an economic mess and it’s only getting worse as more and more people realize the gravy train has derailed. I direct you to the riots in Greece and a couple other European countries in the past year as proof.

All of this has a name, it is called a Keynesian Economy. Wherein the government controls economic output and provides for everyone’s needs. This is the failed political philosophy that the current administration is advocating and exactly the reason it needs to be rejected on November 6th. The core of our problem is not enough government, it is too much government in our lives. There are countless examples of this throughout our history. The New Deal from FDR actually prolonged The Great Depression, it did not shorten it. Massive government spending took money out of the private sector and re-tasked it to what the government thought would be a better way to spend it. It is telling to note that after WWII almost all of what FDR had put in place was removed and it led to a boom time in our country. Taxes were slashed, regulations were removed, government was reduced. When government gets out-of-the-way our country prospers, when it grows, our country declines.

Now , the other philosophy is the philosophy that has always worked throughout our history. Smaller government, lower taxes and less regulations. It worked in the 1920′s, it worked after WWII, it worked when Kennedy did it, when Reagan and GW did it. Doing these things did allow us to prosper as a nation. Tax revenue increased, business increased , jobs increased, our nation’s economic output increased. This is a proven method to recover from down times. This is not , helping the rich, or whatever other class warfare B.S. you hear about these days. Everyone prospered during these times not just the rich. The facts are undeniable, less government in our lives equals a more prosperous nation where everyone benefits. When more people are paying taxes you increase revenues to the government. When taxes are low and loopholes are reduced or in some cases eliminated , more people pay their taxes. There is a chart and explanation that explains how this all works. It is called the Laffer Curve. In short it shows that there is a decreasing return on revenue the higher the tax rate rises. This is due to human nature. The more taxes rise, the more people find legal ways to avoid paying them. Economists can make charts showing how if you increase taxes X amount revenue will thus increase.However, people aren’t charts, they are humans with desires and dreams and goals. The majority of people are willing to pay some tax , to “pay their fair share” as people like to say these days. The Laffer Curve explains how to achieve the optimum tax rate for the greatest gain on taxes. It is fact that the higher tax rates go, the less revenue the government receives.

The problem with increased revenue to the government is that people who ascribe to the Keynesian economic philosophy start spending the money on all sorts of programs to “help” everyone. Thus negating the benefits of increased revenues. As Reagan often said, we don’t have a tax problem we have a spending problem. Congress sees all this new money and goes on spending sprees which then burden our finances for generations to come. People come to expect these so-called entitlements and begin to demand that government do more for them. This began during The Great Depression and continues to recur periodically since then. It was stopped in the 1950s and we prospered. It happened again in the late 60′s under LBJ and we began to decline to how bad it was when Jimmy Carter was in office. Regan came along and put us back on the path to economic success and we once again prospered as a nation. His legacy lasted well into Clinton’s administration. For all his faults, Clinton knew a good thing when he saw it and co-opted this philosophy and joined with Republicans in continuing many of the programs originally put in place by Reagan. This all came to a screeching halt on Sept 11, 2001. Our economy was once again plunged into the abyss, except this time it was not due to overspending by Congress. However, the solution was the same as if it had been caused by an increase in government. Bush and the Republicans slashed taxes and regulations and viola , revenue skyrocketed to the federal government. But then Congress, this time both Republicans and then in 2006 Democrats went on a spending spree. It all came crashing down in 2007-2009. This is when the current administration took over. Instead of using tried and true methods to spur economic growth, this time the government decided to go all in on Keynesian economics. This is why we are still floundering as a nation economically. Why we have barely 1.5% GDP, why unemployment is stagnant. This is why we are not growing and prospering as a nation.

Four more years of this will not solve our problems , it will only make them worse, just as in The Great Depression 80 years ago. Increasing taxes on “the rich” will not solve our problems. If 100% of their money was taken in taxes it would only fund the government for barely a week. We can’t tax our way out of this. We can’t stimulate our way out of this because like I said earlier, in order for the government to inject money into the economy,it has to first take money Out of the economy to do so.

I’m not some rabid Romney fan. He was not my first choice to be president. But he is the one we have now. And it is time to give someone with his experience, a chance to fix things. I don’t believe everything any politician says, I’m long past that naivety. But one thing I do know is that without someone new in office things are not going to get better. With a new leader we have a chance that things might turn around. Ignore the class warfare B.S. you hear these days, it is a smokescreen to keep you from seeing how bad things really are. We Americans have always celebrated success and successful people. We have striven to be like them. We do not denigrate success or claim they aren’t paying their fair share. When the top 5% of income earners in this nation pay close to 50% of the taxes in this country, I would say that they are paying “their fair share” We don’t have a revenue problem in this nation, we have a spending problem. Obama advocates more and more government spending to solve the problem ( Keynesian) Romney advocates less government and to get out of our lives and let our natural talents help us succeed and prosper ( Free Market ). I’ve shown how each one has led to either failure or success. On Tuesday November 6th we have a choice to make. Do we become Europe? or do we once again lead the world as the economic superpower that we have been in the past. The choice is ours to make in two days. Think real hard before casting your ballots.

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Critical Thinking and You

I’ve got a few things to say, so please, hear me out. I’m not trying to preach to anyone, nor am I claiming I have all the answers.

When we fall for media or political hype, we fall into the trap they’ve designed for us. Don’t get me wrong, the media has its role to play, but their bottom line is to make money for their shareholders/owners. Be they FOX or CNN or any of them, they follow the age-old adage, If It Bleeds, It Leads. In other words, they sensationalize anything and everything to draw in viewers and thus be able to sell more advertising. All media outlets have a bias to one degree or another. Some more than others, but all of them tell you the news from their perspective. This is neither good, nor bad it is simply the nature of the beast. The trick is to cut through the bias for the nuggets of real news, then do your own reasoning or research to reach a conclusion. For example….

Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman. If all you did was listen to what the media has said about this case you’d assume that Zimmerman went out that night to shoot him a black guy. The media have so over-hyped this case that the truth and facts were the second casualty in this case right after that kid. None of us truly know what happened that day, none of us. There are only two people who truly know what happened and one of them is dead. We have NBC doctoring a 911 tape to make it seem like Zimmerman identified this kid as black, when the truth is, he never mentioned race until prompted by the 911 operator. Trayvon has been held up as a saint, cut down by a racist system and bigoted white people. The kid was not a saint and the man who shot him isn’t white. None of this justifies his death, but I say it to point out how the media has distorted and sensationalized every aspect of this case, before a trial has even started. Were mistakes made by the police, it certainly seems that way, but this too is nothing new when dealing with humans. It doesn’t show racial bias or nefarious goals, unless evidence comes out to support that claim. Furthermore, as sad and horrible as this case is, in the larger scheme of things , it’s actually a pretty run of the mill case.

Nothing is special about this killing in any way compared to the thousands of killings that go on every year in this country. Nor does it show rampant racism in this country, especially when you consider that 90% of the blacks killed in this country die at the hands of other blacks. Yet, you don’t see Reverend Al and others marching for these people. Aren’t their parents just as sad and distraught as are Trayvon’s? Don’t these victims deserve justice too? Are they less important than Trayvon? No, they are all equally important to their families, yet we hear nothing about them. The media can’t sensationalize their killings and try to paint America as a racist country so you don’t hear about them. It doesn’t bleed enough to fit the narrative, so they are forgotten , except by their grieving families and loved ones.

This case will soon play itself out in the courts and finally we will all know the facts of the case. Until then it is incumbent upon us to not fall into the mob mentality egged on by media hype. If it turns out that Zimmerman is guilty of a crime, he should and will be held accountable for his crime, and rightly so. Critical thinking would suggest that until that time, we don’t know what happened that night and should wait until we have more information before reaching for a rope. We are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, not the court of public opinion. Remember the Duke Lacrosse case? Remember that media frenzy and how it ultimately turned out? The lives of 3 young men were tarnished and dragged through the mud. Later, we found out the entire thing was a lie told by that stripper.If we don’t support the ideal of,innocent until proven guilty in this country, the next time something happens that gets plastered all over the media circus, it could be you, me , or someone we care about that is running from the lynch mob.

A different example of the need for critical thinking skills comes to mind, Oil and the price thereof. Everyone is jumping down the throats of those evil oil companies for their ungodly profits and so-called subsidies these days. Let’s look at some facts about how all of this works.

These subsidies we hear about in the news are not exclusive to oil companies, many large companies in America get those same subsidies from the government, GE , Microsoft, etc. Since it’s all about “fairness” these days, why not remove the subsidies for ALL of them? It’s harder to demonize these other companies for political gain so all we hear about are subsidies for oil companies. A lie of omission, is still a lie.

The price of oil is not controlled by the oil companies, market forces, both real and perceived control the price of oil. It is, at its core, a matter of supply and demand. The more supply of a product, the less that product costs, the less supply, the more it costs. The supply of oil in this world goes up or down in large part by oil-producing nations or groups, i.e. OPEC. They decide how much to produce each year and thus decide how much supply will be available to meet the demand of consumers. If that were the only factor affecting price , it would be an easy equation, but it is not.

A good percentage of the price of oil derives from real or perceived fears of a sudden loss of supply. If you’ve paid attention lately you will have noticed that this latest run on oil began around the time that the Iranians started chafing under the threat of sanctions over their nuclear program. They very publicly announced that if the West went through with these sanctions or tried to forcibly stop their nuclear programs they would close the Straits of Hormuz.

Anyone that knows anything about geography knows that this is a major choke point at the entrance/exit of the Persian Gulf. Nearly 20% of the world’s oil supply comes through this strait. If that were suddenly closed to shipping, it would drastically affect the world’s ability to get the oil it needs to survive economically. Thus the fear of this loss, even though it hasn’t actually happened, began to drive up the cost of oil, and thus gasoline.

Another reason is the weak U.S. dollar due to our own economic crisis and the Federal Reserve printing more and more money in the form of Stimulus. The more dollars that are out there , the less each one of them are worth ( supply and demand in a sense ) Since oil trades in U.S. dollars worldwide, this increases the cost of oil worldwide.

Yet another factor affecting the price of oil is the basic equation of supply vs demand. Demand remains high, yet the supply has not been increased to meet that demand. OPEC has decided to not increase their production of oil. Our government has decided to not open the floodgates and began to seriously tap the oil reserves we have here in the United States.

Conservative estimates by even our own government show that when you factor in all the various sources of oil available to us here, we have as much or more oil than the combined output of Saudi Arabia and many other oil-producing nations. Estimates show that we have enough oil to supply our own needs for the next 200 years. We have natural gas reserves so large that only Russia has anywhere near the amount of natural gas we have right here in America.

All of these factors  affect the price of oil, and thus the price of gas at the pump. It’s not a conspiracy by the oil companies to gouge us, they make about 8 cents  for every gallon of gas sold in the U.S. Our own government brings in around 40 cents on every gallon of gas sold here through taxes, who is gouging whom here? Put another way, oil companies run on an 8% profit margin, the U.S. government operates on a 40% profit margin and they don’t do anything at all to produce that oil, nor do they assume any of the risks involved.

One last factor that affects the price of gas in this country that our government could solve tomorrow. Every spring and fall , our refineries have to shut down and retool to produce the 18-20 different blends of gas required by the various states. That increases costs because they have to support separate pipelines for each blend of gas. They have to shut down their plants while they retool, if the refinery isn’t operating, it’s not producing gasoline and this affects the supply.

If the government said it was going to tell the oil companies, you only need to produce one blend of gas for the entire country, this would lower the price of gas by upwards of 40 cents a gallon. I’m not talking bout the different octanes you see at the pump, I’m talking about the additives put into gasoline for winter and summer blends.

All of these factors affect the price of gasoline we put in our vehicles. But if you just listened to the media and certain politicians, you’d think these oil companies were greedy and raising the costs on purpose to increase their profits.  Their profits are up because the price of oil is up.

High oil prices lead to inflation in our economy, along with our devalued dollar. Anyone who’s gone to the grocery store lately will know that food is much more expensive these days. This is because it costs farmers more to produce the food since they have to fuel their equipment. It costs shippers more to move the produce since they have to fuel their trucks. It costs more to fly because the airlines have to buy fuel for their planes etc. Some of this we can control, some of it we can’t, but to abdicate our responsibility to reason for ourselves we are at the mercy of media and political hype.

Without critical thinking skills and their use, you easily fall victim to media hype and mob mentality. The media count on this from the public, it helps their profit margins. Don’t fall for the hype, think about what they’ve said, then apply critical thinking skills to decide whether they’re full of shit. You’ll soon find out that 9 times out of 10, the media isn’t even close to the true picture. Same holds true for politicians and political parties.

P.S. and no, doubling down on green energy won’t solve our problems. You can’t drive your car with sunshine or wind. You can’t fly planes with it either. Nothing wrong with continuing to develop and use these technologies where we can, but like it or not, for now…Oil is what makes the world go around so we’d better get off our butts and go out there and get more of it.

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Yeah, Mr. President, About That Math Thing

Obama said it’s not about class warfare, it’s about math. While that statement is true, it leads to the obvious question.  Then why do he and the Democrats constantly engage in class warfare?

The Rich are always evil, or practically getting away with murder and the poor are “trapped” in their situation. Kept there by The Man for various reasons, skin color, socioeconomic status, citizenship status , etc. It’s the same old song and dance. Now, making $200,000 dollars a year is the cut off for being called a millionaire or billionaire by our president.

Never have understood that math, he talks about millionaires and billionaires not paying their fair share, yet he wants to raise taxes on people making more than 200,000 individually or 250,000 as a couple?? Mr. President, it would take FIVE people making 200,000 dollars a year to equal one Millionaire. Cuz like you know, 200K goes into 1 Million 5 times. That’s , umm, math Mr. President.

From the beginning of his presidency he and his party in Congress have been on a spending spree. Granted , immediately before the Democrats took over Congress, the Republicans were having their own little spree. The difference is that frankly , Republicans are amateurs when it comes to spending. The Democrats and Obama professionals. They went to Spending Warp 9.2 , Scotty screaming his head off that he’s givin ‘im all she’s got Capn’

NOW, two and a half years into his presidency he suddenly realizes how much trouble we’re in financially?? Talk about someone who needs a remedial Math course, sheesh.

After Stimulus One, QE I , QE II, and Obamacare a 6th Grader could have told you that we were heading for debt up the wazoo. Because it doesn’t take a math wiz to understand the simple math of  x – (x+y) = a negative number unless y is zero. That is what’s called math Mr. President. To be clear, in the real world the value for y is NEVER zero, jus sayin’.

So I find it a tad insulting when the supposedly most intelligent president we’ve ever had, has some major issues with simple math equations. Yet tells the rest of us that WE don’t understand math because we balked at yet MORE spending? No Mr. President, even we conservatives went to school, a lot of us even paid attention to our Math teachers.

When he and the Democrats put us on the hook for potentially trillions of dollars with things like Obamacare, he and the Democratic party refuse to lift a finger to do anything to truly save programs like Medicare and Social Security, and keep proposing new taxes and ever increasing regulations.It’s not all that difficult to figure out where that train is heading.

Keynesian economics does not work, it’s been proven time and time again throughout history. In fact, during his presidency it was proven yet again that this economic model doesn’t work. Why do you think Europe is in so much trouble financially these days??

So his latest big , huge, enormously stupendous plan to get the country working again is to ignore all of that and do more of what he’s already done.? You know, the stuff that hasn’t worked that he tried already.

Mr. President, when you spend more than you take in, the math just doesn’t work out, no matter how many speeches you make.

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Is There Still Right and Wrong?

A recent “discussion” with a liberal, got me to thinking.

This person claimed that the sooner we get over this outdated concept of right and wrong the sooner we’ll be better off as a country. He said this concept of team spirit , in other words..patriotism, makes those of us believing in this, nothing more than mere tools of global elites.

Well, far be it from me to claim the title of final arbiter on what is right or wrong. However, we can ask ourselves some pertinent questions to put things in perspective. If this ultimately disproves this liberal’s contentions then so be it.

When you in your day-to-day life realize that your outflow is more than your inflow of cash what do you do?

Well, you have two choices, either keep spending and getting new credit cards to pay off old ones, or cut back on your spending , go without certain items, and try to pay down some of your debt. Most of us will obviously choose the second option since the first option leads to bankruptcy and a host of other undesirable outcomes. In this case there is a right and wrong choice to make.

Setting aside the Republican/Democrat part of the debate, ask yourself which political philosophy , liberal/conservative, is advocating which option as a solution to our financial problems.

On the liberal side we have many advocates of the first option. When you get to the scale of governments, Keynesian economics represents the first option. In this economic model government spending is a good thing. In this model, the more government spends and regulates(controls) the better the economy will be for all. Many Western European countries are perfect examples of this economic philosophy. We typically call these Socialist countries, but in an economic sense they are practitioners of our first option. Since Obama’s election, we’ve been witness to the utter failure of this economic philosophy on our own shores. The libs got their wish, we’re just like Europe.

Unless you live under a rock it has become clear to anyone paying attention that these countries are all on the verge of economic collapse. To paraphrase Margaret Thatcher, they’re running out of other people’s money. The old Soviet Union, Cuba, and to a lesser extent China are extreme examples of this philosophy. Last I checked, the Soviet Union self destructed and went bankrupt. Cuba is an economic basket case and people are braving sharks to make to our shores. China , however, is actually now, more of a hybrid of philosophies. They represent the first option but they also are becoming more enamored with our second option. They’re not an economic powerhouse by adhering solely to the first option. They’re capitalists in many respects.

Free Market economies are the governmental equivalent of our second option.  Here we find less government regulation ( less control ). Trying to spend less than you bring in, and using the savings to pay off debt. We have many examples of this philosophy of government working. Almost all of them come from the U.S. Throughout almost our entire history we’ve had very little government control over our lives. What was the result? Well, for one, the promise of personal and economic freedom, spurred one of the largest migrations of humans in the planet’s history. All of them headed here. This led to many benefits , not only to us, but the world .

Many of the technological advancements that we take for granted today are American inventions by individuals, not the government.. Many of those by people emigrating here to live free with little governmental control of their lives. Some inventions we take for granted even came from people whose relatives didn’t come here by choice. Dr. Carver comes to mind as an example.

We won WWII mostly through our unrivaled capacity to produce things. Not to diminish the bravery of our forces back then, but a large part of how we beat the Germans was due to superior numbers. We just out produced them 10 times over. Why do I cite WWII as an example of a benefit? Consider the alternative had the Axis powers won WWII. But I don’t mean to imply that being able to out produce machines to kill people is all we have going for us. Many technological advancements that make our lives easier were invented in America.

My point is that this type of economic power can’t be sustained under any other system other than a free market, low governmental control system. Yes, the Soviets far out produced the Germans too, but it couldn’t be sustained, hence their ultimate implosion economically. Thank you Ronald Wilson Reagan for helping them over the cliff. Furthermore, their initial success came at the price of personal freedoms, i.e. forced labor and deprivation.

Why are we in the mess we’re in now? Well, since The Great Depression and FDR the lure of the first option has become the norm in our lives. Since that time we’ve been in a battle between those advocating the first option and those advocating the second option. One option has been proven throughout human history to not work, and one option has been proven to work. Look at who is advocating for each option and decide for yourself. Hopefully you’ll quickly ask yourself the question…Why is there even a debate about this stuff?

Is it right or wrong to follow an economic model that has proven to not work?

Is it right or wrong to follow an economic model that has proven to work?

One last thing to ponder. Almost exclusively, the former Soviet Bloc countries of Eastern Europe have decided to follow the second option. They’re not in the same economic mess the rest of Europe is dealing with. They’re actually doing well. That should tell you something.

 

Yes Virginia, there is a right and wrong.

 

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Stop Trying To Help

We’re from the government and we’re here to help. No phrase, that I can think of, has struck more abject terror into the hearts of Americans. It seems the more that government tries to help, the worse things get. The sad thing is, we keep falling for the same thing over and over again throughout our history.

The New Deal of FDR and all the increased regulations and government spending , didn’t actually help get out of the depression. In many ways it prolonged it longer than it historically would have lasted. The only thing that “saved” FDR’s legacy and the U.S. economy was the outbreak of World War II. Getting sucked into a world war doesn’t seem like a sound fiscal policy to me, I’m jus’ sayin’. Immediately after WWII we were in a very similar fiscal mess to what we’re in now. High debt , deficits , and mountains of regulations left over from the war and The New Deal. The Republicans in Congress SLASHED federal spending , subsidies, regulations and simply got out-of-the-way of private enterprise. The result was the 1950s, one of the largest economic booms in our history.

Then there was LBJ’s Great Society, this got us Medicare, Medicaid, and The War on Poverty. How’s all that going for us so far? Judging by the current mess we’re in with unfunded liabilities for Medicare in the tens of trillions of dollars, to name just one, I’d say we’re in worse shape now than we were before the government stepped in and helped.

Here is one hard cold slice of reality for you to chew on. Before The Great Society and The War on Poverty, black families, almost exclusively , consisted of a mom and dad that lived at home, one or both had a job, their children did well in school, and their neighborhoods weren’t plagued by crime and drugs when compared to black families today. What the government did, under the best of intentions, was incentivize the destruction of the so-called nuclear family. This applied across all races in America, it just hit blacks the hardest.

Being a male, I hate to say this because it doesn’t show us in all that good a light…but many men ( not all of course, but far too many), released from the responsibility to provide and care for their progeny, will jump right on that bandwagon and share the love as it were , far and wide. It’s unpopular to say these sorts of thing in this PC world we live in, but they’re the truth.

Carter basically inherited a shitty economy, brought about in large part by the government trying to help, ala LBJ and The Great Society. He promptly made it worse by trying to help more and became a one-termer….thankfully. Reagan was the polar opposite of Carter. He proved that more government isn’t the answer. By Reagan’s time the creep of the federal government had once again grown to stifling levels, helped on by The Great Society and The Carter “Legacy”. Reagan came in and did essentially what the Republicans did in 1948 ( Reagan was a Democrat back then, just to put things in perspective ) What was the result? 23 Million jobs and a booming economy. Are you starting to see a pattern here??

Obama is sometimes compared to Reagan, by slavish reporters that would otherwise spit on what Reagan stood for.To borrow a phrase….. I remember Ronald Reagan, he was a president of mine, and you , Mr. Obama,  are no Reagan…. Obama with help from the Democrat Party have done everything Reagan wouldn’t do to stimulate the economy. How do I know this? Wellll, what Reagan did worked!! Obama?? Yeah, not so much.

That isn’t an argument for no government oversight. There are some legitimate roles for government. Protecting our borders comes to mind, I mean , it’s like in the Constitution and stuff. Once again at the risk of belaboring the point…I’m jus’ sayin’.

But the government can’t be everything to everyone in this country. Government does have a role in our lives, but at some point it’s up to people to make it on their own. And left to our own devices, we will all make it. Look at our history, when the power of the American people is set free, great things have happened.

Don’t believe me? Look at the late 19th Century and Entire 20th Century and all the different things, ideas, etc which came out of America. Do you think they just magically appeared through the power of benevolent government? No, it was us, the American people through our sweat, ingenuity, intelligence, insight and determination that these things came to pass. Government wasn’t involved in the invention of the Light Bulb, the production line, the Cotton Gin, manned flight, air conditioning, the list is ENDLESS.

Government didn’t settle the west and make it the productive place it is today, WE did that. All government did back in the 1800s was open the door to us and say. Pay us a small fee for the right to some land…and that was it. They stayed out-of-the-way for the most part ( they did follow the Constitution back then and sent federal troops to protect us and our interests ) and let us do our thing. I’m not trying to gloss over the bad aspects of that, nor am I advocating we go back to that extreme version of government philosophy, but we are clearly today at the polar opposite of the government philosophy during the time of the Land Rush of the 1800s. A middle ground between the two is achievable with a little thought and effort.

The economy is bad and not really getting any better. The sooner government gets out-of-the-way and stops trying to help, the sooner we’ll be the powerhouse we once were. Leave it to us, We the People, we’ll get the job done , we don’t need Uncle Sam’s help.

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