Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Lost War On Drugs - Somebody Please Tell Washington Their Battle Is Already Lost

For the past four decades, the American political class has been fighting "the War On Drugs" in various different ways and with a tremendous amount of energy and taxpayer dollars. How is that "war" going, you may ask, thinking that after four decades surely some progress must have been made. In light of your curiosity, consider some recent news stories:
  • A Huffington Post article from earlier in July reported that a car bomb was used for the first time in drug related Mexican violence. It was detonated in Juarez, Mexico, just across the border from El Paso, Texas and killed three people. According to the article, the composition and detonation of the bomb was "seemingly lifted from the Al Qaida playbook."
  • An Associated Press article from July 24, 2010 reported that Veterans Affairs hospitals and clinics will be able to use medical marijuana in the fourteen states where it's legal. Now the Veteran's Affairs organization is a part of the same Federal government that raids California and other states' medical marijuana clinics for being in violation of Federal law that makes marijuana illegal. Seems like the Federal left hand and the right hand are working two different agendas and wasting taxpayer money in the process.
  • In an Associated Press article from July 19, 2010, it was reported that several gunmen drove up to a party, jumped out of their car, gunned down dozens of people (wounding 18 and killing 17), and drove off. This attack is believed to be drug gang related and came about a month after other gunmen raided a drug rehab center and killed 19 people. The article goes on to document the many mass shootings that have occurred in northern Mexico since the beginning of the year as the battle to control the illegal drug market continues to grow.
  • The July/August, 2010 Cato Policy Report quoted an article from a May issue of the Washington Post which described a deadly gun battle in Jamaica's capital between an alleged drug kingpin and police and soldiers that resulted in the death of thirty people. The kingpin was wanted in the United States for selling marijuana and crack cocaine in the New York area.
  • The Cato Policy Report quoted another May Washington Post article. This article reported on Federal surveys which put the District Of Columbia among the nation's leaders in marijuana consumption. The article quoted District teenagers who said they can buy pot more easily than beer or cigarettes.
  • California's Proposition 19 in November would allow cities and towns in California to regulate and tax their local marijuana market.

Okay, let's review. the Federal government and political class do not want you smoking any kind of marijuana for any purpose, including medical use, since it is illegal at the Federal level but fourteen states say it is legal for medical marijuana to be used within their state borders. After four decades, we have created an evolving, violent narco-state just south of our borders with violence from that narco-state condition now approaching epidemic levels. Despite untold TRILLIONS of dollars spent on the drug war, our kids can buy marijuana easier than they can buy cigarettes and booze. And one of the leading metro area for marijuana use is the capital from which politicians declare that marijuana for any purpose is illegal. This all sounds more like insanity than a coherent drug policy.

And while all of this is going on, what did our politicians do this week:

  • President Obama wasted numerous hours traveling to, preparing for, and appearing on a daytime TV talk show.
  • Many Democrats in the House of representatives are only worried about now not to get tarhished by the ethics violations of Charles Rangel and Maxine Walters.
  • Governor Bill Richardson, the governor of New Mexico, a U.S. border state with Mexico and whose eastern border is very close to Juarez, Mexico, site of the car bombing described above, was working on the issue of whether he should grant Billy The Kid a pardon - one hundred and twenty nine years after Billy died.

There you have it: a failed drug war and a distracted political class. That is why Step 26 of "Love My Country, Loathe My Government" is so important. Step 26 would convene a set of experts, similar to the Manhattan Project, without politicians and lobbyists, and come up with a coherent and sane national drug policy, doing a ground up approach and analysis of the current situation, and recommending a set of alternatives to the "War On Drugs" that the American people, not the political class would vote on. The political class has already proven they cannot get focused enough to take an unbiased look at the problem that gets worse every day from a violence perspective.

Although I am no expert in this field and would not want to prejudice any panel, I cannot help but think any new approach going forward has to embrace at least decriminalization, if not total legalization. The genie is out of the bottle with fourteen states already allowing medical marijuana usage and California possibly legalizing any type of marijuana usage. Our kids can easily get illegal drugs whenever they want to. We have proven that suppressing demand is extremely difficult. This does not mean we should not try and help those escape the clutches of their addiction and who want such help. But Portugal was able to do both, decriminalize illegal drugs and offer enhanced drug rehab services for those that wanted it. As a result, drug usage actually went down in Portugal as a result of this much saner approach as did wasted law enforcement resources.

Waiting for the political class to solve this problem, particularly the ever escalating and approaching violence due to our current laws, is a strategy of failure. After forty years or so, let's finally end this war.

Our new book, "Love My Country, Loathe My Government - Fifty First Steps To Restoring Our Freedom And Destroying The American Political Class" is now available at It is also available online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Please pass our message of freedom onward. Let your friends and family know about our websites and blogs, ask your library to carry the book, and respect freedom for both yourselves and others everyday.

Also visit the following sites for freedom:

Friday, July 30, 2010

The Political Class: Just Like The Kindergarten Playground

Believe me, I do try to look for the good in our politicians. However, they constantly remind me of what it was like in the kindergarten playground at lunch, let's not do anything construction, let's just call each other bad names. This analogy came to mind today when I read that Democratic Congressman Frank Pallone, speaking for the Democratic National Committee, tried to characterize Tea Party members and their supporters as elitists. My personal definition of an elitist is someone who pictures themselves as better and more deserving of favored treatment than others around himself, usually because he has a self perceived superiority in intellect or wealth, in other words a snob. I am assuming that Pallone was trying to portray Tea Party people as out of touch with regular voters and that regular voters have little in common with the Tea Party positions.

This gets me back to the kindergarten analogy. Rather than engage in straight forward debate of the issues, the Democrats, in this case, would rather throw derogatory names around and try to win with public relations spins and not facts and performance. The truth is, if the political class was serving this country, and eventually solved a major problem or two such as the drug problem, failing public schools, energy vulnerability, foreign affairs, rising health care costs, etc., the Tea Party movement would not exist. Now that it does exist, problem solving and intelligent debate goes out the window and personal attacks and political maneuvering reign supreme.

Beyond this childish way to address the issues, who really are the elitists in this country today? If you believe an April CBS/New York Times poll:
  • According to the Denver Post and the poll, Tea Party members are not right wing kooks.
  • On average, Tea Party members are better educated and slightly more affluent than the average American.
  • 57% of them support gay marriage or civil unions.
  • 65% of them support legal access to abortion.
  • A plurality of them do not think Sarah Palin is qualified to be President.

Hardly sounds like elitists to me. And even if they were, why not engage them in debate and argue the issues rather than stand behind childish press releases?

Who are the elitists in this country? Consider the following analysis from CBS News from late 2009 which summarized work done by the Center For Responsive Politics:

  • 44% or 237 members of Congress are likely millionaires while only 1% of the overall United States population are millionaires.
  • Four out of the top five richest people in Congress are Democrats.
  • These top five are all worth over $200 million each with two of them worth about a quarter billion each.
  • Fourteen out of the top twenty five richest people in Congress are Democrats.
  • The median net worth of the people serving in the Senate is $1.79 million, indicating that quite a few more than half are millionaires.
  • These estimates do not include their salaries or the worth of their homes and other residences so that these estimates may be on the low side.
  • In a disgusting conflict of interest highlight of the analysis, the Center For Responsive Politics noted that "in some cases, [lawmakers'] wealth is being derived form the very companies that in many cases benefit from taxpayers. The top companies at which members of Congress are investing, many of them are TARP recipients that have received billions and billions of dollars from you and me." These companies include Bank of America and Goldman Sachs.

Take these elitist type numbers and combine them with two more facts about the American political class: Bill and Hillary Clinton have earned well over $100 million over the past decade or so and are about to spend anywhere from $3 million to $5 million to marry off their daughter in the very near future. If you divide the low end of the estimate by the expected number of guests (500), we see that the Clintons are about to spend $6,000 per guest at their daughter's wedding. Nothing says elitist to me than that obscene number.

Thus, Pallone should maybe stop calling people names that do not correspond to the facts of life. Tea Party members are much closer to the average American than those serving the political class and even if they were not, kindergarten name calling is no substitute for honest and open debate of the issues. Tea Party people are entitled to their opinions without harassment from politicians.

This topic brings a number of Steps from "Love My Country, Loathe my Government" into play:

  • Our old favorite, Step 39, which would impose term limits on all Federal politicians, would certainly help destroy the elitism aura the political class likes to shroud themselves in by bringing in dedicated Americans for a short amount of time to serve their country without becoming so self centered that they view any differing opinion as a threat to be wiped out and not a chance to debate for the good of the country.
  • Step 41, a Step we do not talk about often, also comes into play here in that this step would not allow any Federal politician whose net worth was over $3 million to draw a Federal salary. If you are worth $200 million, as some of our current politicians are, than your Federal salary of $170,000 or so is about .085% of your net worth, i.e. it is a fly speck relative to you bank account and balance sheet. This money would be held by the Treasury as a small contribution to offsetting our national debt. You should be in Washington to serve the country, if you can afford to do it without a salary, that is what you should do as a symbolic way of helping to fix our financial straits.
  • Step 42, another step we do not talk much about, is also in play in this area. Many past Presidents, but especially Clinton, have left office and made untold millions of dollars after their term was up. Step 42 would set criteria for them to start paying back the country for their Secret Service expenses if their income or net worth exceeded certain thresholds. For the Clintons, and their $100 million earnings, with more to come in the future, the American taxpayer should not have to pay for their Secret Service protection. The wealth they have accumulated is a result of their time in office should be used to pay for their own protection.

Nobody wants to relive their kindergarten years but, unfortunately, we seem to do it just about every day when politicians throw around names rather than solutions. That is why we need to execute our own solution in November and throw all incumbents out of office and finally graduate at least to first grade from an issue resolution perspective.

Our new book, "Love My Country, Loathe My Government - Fifty First Steps To Restoring Our Freedom And Destroying The American Political Class" is now available at It is also available online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Please pass our message of freedom onward. Let your friends and family know about our websites and blogs, ask your library to carry the book, and respect freedom for both yourselves and others everyday.

Also visit the following sites for freedom:

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Old Version: Nero Fiddled While Rome Burned, New Version: Obama "VIEWed" While America Stressed

Today President Obama spend an hour or so on the daytime talk show, The View. It was the first time a sitting President had ever been on a daytime talk show. While he was "VIEWing", the following was going on:
  • During that hour, the Federal government spent about $160,000,000 more than it had collected in tax revenue, further throwing this country into deep, deep debt.
  • Another day passed without secure borders, resulting in untold hundreds or thousands of illegal immigrants crossing into the country along with some serious tonnage of illegal drugs.
  • Thousands of public schools started to get ready for another year where most of them will still not adequately educate America's kids.
  • Unemployment continues to be almost 10% with another 457,000 Americans filing first time unemployment claims last week, which was announced this morning.
  • Iran and North Korea are another day closer to having formidable nuclear arsenals.
  • Over a hundred thousand U.S. troops were still in wartime danger, fighting the terrorism war in two countries, Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • We still do not have a viable long term energy strategy and plan.
  • We have an ongoing ecological disaster in the Gulf of Mexico and a new ecological disaster up in Michigan, with oil flowing into Lake Michigan.
  • Today we learned from a public opinion poll that about 60% of the Pakistani population, a key partner in fighting terrorism, thinks that the United States is their enemy.
  • Social Security is another day closer to insolvency.
  • Medicare is another day closer to insolvency.
  • We are no closer to a resolution of the Israelis/Palestinian issue.
  • Congress was another day closer to its six week recess without having done much of anything this summer (the financial industry reform bill does not count since it is a sham, which I will cover within the next few days.)
  • President Obama continued to be neck and neck with Ronald Reagan regarding the dubious distinction of having the fewest press conferences by any sitting President.
What's my point? My point is that there are a whole lot more important issues and crises going on in the country and in the world to be dealt with than spending a large number of hours preparing for and appearing on a daytime talk show. It verifies my conclusions about the President about eighteen months into his term: this President is more interested in playing President than actually being President. He likes to control the forum and manage the message. he likes to pontificate in a condescending manner. He likes to be in the spotlight whether it is appearing on the View, meeting and glad handing athletic teams, representing the nation at the Olympics bid meeting, discussing his March Madness picks, filming a television commercial for the George Lopez Show, giving grandiose speeches around the world, appearing at the international global warming conference, etc. Playing President rather than being President.

We are facing some critical, critical issues in this country and we have a President that never gets out of campaign mode, he delivers nothing of consequence to the American people. That includes health care reform, which is already turning out to be a disaster, and financial industry reform which is a sham. This appearance on the View is just another in a long line of campaign appearances while wars, national debt, nuclear proliferation, an economic malaise, terrorism and a whole host of others issues goes begging. In the meantime, he gets his ego stroked by the View panel. We have a nation coming apart at the seams with Americans throwing hatred and animosity at each other daily, hatred that is encouraged by the political class to assure their re-election and power. This President does not lead and unite, he just campaigns and politics. The election is the ends, it is not the means to greater progress. Let's face it, you cannot make great progress and contributions to the nation if you spend your valuable time sitting on the View's couch.

What would the President say if he read this post? I am sure that he would delicately and slyly mention two things: first, all of the world's problems were personally caused by Bush even though Obama has been in office for over a year and a half and the Democrats have controlled Congress for over three and a half years. President for a year and a half and he still has not manned up to his shortcomings and failures. The second thing he would say or imply, is that I am a racist since every time I have disagreed with an Obama position or policy, which is my right as an American, his minions have called me a racist. Calling American citizens racists and blaming all of his problems on someone else is not being great or a leader, it is being petty and pathetic.

And that's my View for today.

Our new book, "Love My Country, Loathe My Government - Fifty First Steps To Restoring Our Freedom And Destroying The American Political Class" is now available at It is also available online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Please pass our message of freedom onward. Let your friends and family know about our websites and blogs, ask your library to carry the book, and respect freedom for both yourselves and others everyday.

Also visit the following sites for freedom:

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Homeland Security - Government Out Of Control

Just when you think that you have seen it all from a government waste and inefficiency perspective, you get blown away by more waste and more inefficiency. Today's blog is based on a recent Washington Post investigation by Dana Priest and William Arkin entitled "Top Secret America - A Hidden World Growing Beyond Control." They took a long, hard look at the homeland security, counter terrorism, and intelligence gathering function of the U.S. government. What they found is quite startling:
  • 1,271 government organizations and 1,931 private companies work on the nation's safety.
  • About 854,000 people work on the the safety of America, 50% more than the population of Washington D.C.
  • 33 building complexes (not buildings, complexes) have been built or will have been built since September, 2001 just in the Washington D.C. metro area.
  • Redundancy is rampant with the article giving the example of 51 Federal organizations and military commands, across 15 U.S. cities, just trying to track the flow of money among terror networks. Unknown is whether these 51 entities do anything about the flow, or they just track it as stated in the Post article.
  • The public budget part of all this effort is estimated at about $75 billion a year, two and half times what it was prior to the 9-11 attacks. The total budget is probably more but classified.
  • Soon after the 9-11 attacks, the Defense Intelligence Agency's staff rose from about 7,500 employees to 16,500 people today, the National Security Agency budget doubled, and 35 FBI Joint Terrorism Task forces became 106.
  • Over two hundred new Federal agencies, all somehow related to counter terrorism, intelligence, or homeland security were created since the attacks on 9-11.
  • Every day the National Security Agency intercepts and stores 1.7 BILLION emails, phone calls, and other types of communications, most of which are never viewed much less analyzed.
  • Intelligence analysts publish over 50,000 intelligence reports a year, a volume so large that many are just ignored.
  • While Congress created the Office Of The Director Of National Intelligence (ODNI) to bring the whole intelligence effort together after 9-11, it did not give the office any legal or budgetary power which meant that all of the independent intelligence agencies more or less continued to do their own thing and to defend their turf (e.g., the Defense department moved budget around to get it out of the reach of ODNI, the CIA reclassified some of its information to keep the information away from ODNI, etc.)
You get the idea, immediately after 9-11, with Congress randomly throwing over a $100 billion at the problem in a very short time frame, things got out of control very fast since 1) there does not seem to have been any overall plan and 2) there was enough money to go around to do anything you wanted in the absence of an overall plan. Where did this chaotic political class and government approach get for us? Consider some direct quotes from the article:
  • "I'm not aware of any agency with the authority, responsibility, or a process in place to coordinate all these interagency and commercial activities."
  • "It's impossible to tell whether the country is safer because of all this spending and these activities. It lacks a synchronizing process, it inevitably results in message dissonance, reduced effectiveness, and waste.
  • "We consequently can't effectively assess whether it is making us more safe."
  • "CIA Director Leon Panetta said he's begun mapping out a five year plan for his agency (CIA) because the spending levels are not sustainable."
  • "The ODNI doesn't know exactly how many reports are issued each year, but in the process of tyring to find out, the chief of analysis discovered 60 classified analytic Web sites still in operation that were supposed to have been closed down because of lack of usefulness."
  • "Who has the mission of reducing redundancy and ensuring everybody doesn't gravitate to the lowest hanging fruit? Who orchestrates what is produced so that everybody doesn't produce the same thing?"
  • "The data flow is enormous, with dozens of databases feeding separate computer networks that cannot interact with on another."
  • "The problem with many intelligence reports, say officers who read them, is that they simply re-slice the same facts already in circulation."
You get the idea. Mountains of data (one person interviewed for the article said God is the only one who knows everything about our intelligence apparatus) and very little actionable information. Data systems that do not talk to each other. Redundancy everywhere. Turf battles around every corner. Years to just fix one agency (CIA), assuming everything goes right. Totally unknown which parts of the whole security apparatus is effective and which parts are just wasting taxpayer money or actually gumming up the flow of information. In other words, another grandiose political class effort that started off with high hopes and very quickly sank into the abyss of failure and waste.

Speaking of failure, what do we get for all of this money? Last fall, a U.S. Army major went off at Fort Hood, indiscriminately opening fire and killed 13 people while wounding 30. The sad part of this tradegy, according to the article, was that an agency within our security apparatus was supposed to be looking at terrorism threats within the ranks of the armed forces. Data actually existed on this major, indicating that he might be a threat. However, this agency decided to do something else outside of its charter, even though other parts of the security network were already doing this outside work. As a result, the data on the major was never turned into information and 13 people are dead as a result.

Last Christmas, the so-called underwear bomber almost blew up an airliner over Detroit and failed only because of a faulty bomb and the quick actions of another passenger. The $75 billion security apparatus did not stop the bombing. However, the $75 billion security apparatus in this country actually had all of the facts/data about the bombing scheme at its disposal but again, never turned it into actionable information. But, according to the article, "nobody put them (the data points) together because, as officials would testify later, the system had gotten so big that the lines of responsibility had become hopelessly blurred."

There really are a number issues at work here.
  1. First, much like the rest of what the political class touches, nothing works in this country and it does not work at great expense.
  2. Second, we have no way of knowing how effective each dollar spent is in order to start making our dollars work harder in order to stop allowing shootings at Army bases, underwear bombers, etc.
  3. Third, it appears we have been just plain lucky so far. The underwear bomber and the Times Square bomber failed because of their incompetence, not because of our intelligence efforts and counter terrorism effort.
  4. Fourth, with our wide open borders, would not some of those 845,000 people be better used to control the flow of potential terrorists into our country rather than having them rework the same facts over and over in their offices in D.C.? Just as a fantasy, assume that you could do the whole U.S. security process with half of the people we currently use. You could then take the other 427,000 people, divide them into three eight hour shifts and would be able to place one person every 70 feet along the U.S./Mexican border 24 hours a day. I would wager that this deployment would have more anti-terrorism value than what these 427,000 people are doing today in their cubicles.
  5. Finally, there is a truly George Orwell/"1984" type danger lurking below the surface. With 854,000 people looking outward for terrorists, how long will it be before some unscrupulous politicians decide to use this security apparatus to start looking inward at American citizens? If what the article claims is true, that this is a process that is too big, too cumbersome, too inefficient to be tracked today, who is to say that some George Orwell shenanigans are not already going on, infringing on the rights of innocent Americans? The potential loss of freedom and privacy with such a bad operation is very high indeed.

This is why several steps from "Love My Country, Loathe My Government" need to be implemented as soon as possible. Step 1 would start reducing the Federal budget 10% every year for five years, including the intelligence budget. This is the only way to drive out redundancy and useless work, via the budgeting process. The trick is to make sure that the budgets dried up result in leaner and better remaining functions. Second, Step 34 would remove all members of any Congressional committee responsible for our intelligence community for having allowed this travesty of waste to take root and grow out of control. Steps 20 - 22 would relook at the Patriot Act and its related tentacles and hopefully, put in place the right safeguards and criminal penalties so that turning this massive security apparatus onto an innocent American citizen would likely not happen. Remember, out of control government is never a good thing for freedom and liberty.

Our new book, "Love My Country, Loathe My Government - Fifty First Steps To Restoring Our Freedom And Destroying The American Political Class" is now available at It is also available online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Please pass our message of freedom onward. Let your friends and family know about our websites and blogs, ask your library to carry the book, and respect freedom for both yourselves and others everyday.

Also visit the following sites for freedom:

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Disgust And Disappointment With Our Political Class....And Free Hugs - Part 2

This is a quick follow up to our blog yesterday where we went through and documented all of the ways that our political class disgust and disappoint us along with an ending message of hope through hugs. Lets continue that stream of thought today but end on another strong positive note:

- I am disgusted that the Federal government cannot keep its war documents secure, not because it might embarrass some politicians, but because the massive leak of Afghanistan war documents that were recently published on the Wikileaks website is likely to endanger our troops, allied troops and local civilians that have or are currently aiding our fight against terrorism.

- I am disappointed that another instance of government employees using government computers and their work time to has come to light with a July 23, 2010 Associated Press article that documented how a government investigation concluded that dozens of military officers and defense contractors, many with top secret clearance, probably bought and downloaded child pornography. This behavior was going on for almost a decade and involved individuals working with some of the nation's most closely guarded secrets, possibly exposing these employees to the risk of blackmail bribery and threats, according to the article.

- I am disgusted to learn that, according to a recent Washington Post investigative report, "the top secret world the government created in response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 has become so large, so unwieldy, and so secretive that no one knows how much money it costs, how many people it employs, how many programs exist within it, or exactly how many agencies do the same work." Despite all of this effort and all of the wasted taxpayer money used to fuel this growing monster, no part of this effort was able to prevent a terrorist from getting over the city of Detroit and almost igniting his underwear or was able to identify the Time Square bomber who failed only through his own incompetence to ignite a fire ball in the middle of New York City. {Note: more on this topic in the next few days as we will go into some detail of the fine work done by the Post writers}.

- I am disappointed President Obama will spend half a day or so traveling to and from and preparing for his appearance on the day time talk show, "The View." With everything going on in the world and the many challenges facing the country, appearing on a daytime talk show should be the last thing he does.This just adds to the rest of the list of un-Presidential things that he should not have done including filming a television commercial for the George Lopez show, traveled overseas to lobby for a Chicago Olympics, having photo sessions with every imaginable athletic team, and spending way too much time coming up with his March Madness basketball picks and going on television to explain them.

Okay, enough with the disgust and disappointment. How about a few free hugs for Americans doing something right:

- In the Briefing sections of the April 30, 2010 issue of The Week magazine, we found out what a great job that mayor Cory Booker is doing in trying to turn around the city of Newark, New Jersey. He has attracted more than $100 million in private philanthropy donations, he has expanded the number of charter schools, he has renovated and expanded 20 parks, he has made deals with large employers to hire more Newark residents, he has started to clean up the corruption inside the city government, and he has dramatically reduced the crime levels. All without going on "The View." Free hugs to Cory Booker.

- In a May 24, 2010 article in Fortune magazine, we see that the city of Grand Rapids, Michigan has redefined itself and has become a thriving, healthy metropolitan area despite the many hardships it faced as a Rust Belt town including losing the dominate industry of the city, furniture manufacturing. This renaissance was driven by the efforts of local, proud citizens, with minimal government and political class involvement, who executed a long term plan and was successful because these citizens understood the root causes of their problems. Their progress made for better lives for all of the Grand Rapids residents while across the state in Detroit, another city that lost its dominant industry of auto manufacturing, a corrupt local government lead the city into an abyss, to the detriment of its residents. Free hugs to the planners in Grand Rapids.

- According to a June 21, 2010 article in Businessweek, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels has helped his state to be one of only 10 states that has reduced its unemployment rate in the past year, it has a budget surplus while most states are scrambling to make budget, its bonds have a triple A rating, more people are moving into the state than out of the state for the first time since the 1970s, he has shrunk state government while improving its effectiveness, and he has convinced many industries to expand their operations into the state. Free hugs to Mitch Daniels.

These past two posts should do it for a while. However, rest assured that the political class will continue to disappoint and disgust us until the current inhabitants of Washington are booted out of office. The old saying: "If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem" applies ever so much to the American political class. Many of those sitting in Congress have been there for 20, 30 or 40 years; they are the problem since nothing has been solved during their tenure.

Which, of course, brings us back to Step 39 in "Love My Country, Loathe My Government." Step 39 would institute term limits for all Federal politicians. Of all of the fifty steps in the book, it always amazes me how we continually reference the term limits step as the most needed, relative to the 49 other steps. Free hugs for Step 39 and the good it would bring to the country. How much worse, more disgusting, and more disappointing could it be if Step 39 was the law of the land?

Our new book, "Love My Country, Loathe My Government - Fifty First Steps To Restoring Our Freedom And Destroying The American Political Class" is now available at It is also available online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Please pass our message of freedom onward. Let your friends and family know about our websites and blogs, ask your library to carry the book, and respect freedom for both yourselves and others everyday.

Also visit the following sites for freedom:

Monday, July 26, 2010

Disgust And Disappointment With Our Political Class... and Free Hugs

I was going to do a mid-year review of the behavior of our political class but they kept creating new gaffes or crises that I never got around to it until now. Someone recently asked me why I was so angry with our politicians. I found the question to be pretty ridiculous, given the horrendous performance of our politicians over the years, with that performance seeming to get worse and worse as time goes by. However, when I thought about the question, I realized that I am not so much angry as I am disappointed and disgusted with the American political class:

- I am disappointed in the inability of politicians to understand the concept of "conflict of interest" especially when Senator Dodd, chairman of the Senate committee that oversees the financial industry in this country, accepts very favorable mortgage considerations from a business (Countrywide Mortgages) in that industry (Earthlink News - 7/27/2009), when that same Senator Dodd receives substantial campaign donations from Federal mortgage agencies he is overseeing and regulating (Fannie and Freddie), when Senator Hilary Clinton gets substantial tax relief for a mall developer in New York after that mall developer makes a $100,000 to Bill Clinton's foundation (New York Times - 1/3/2009), or when Senator Baucus nominates his girlfriend for a U.S. attorney general position in Montana (New York Times/St. Pete Times - 12/6/09).

- I am disappointed when the government tells me that almost $100 billion of taxpayer dollars are wasted every year through fraud and incorrect payments (Earthlink News - 11/188/2009) and that number was up $26 billion or more than 36% from the year before, i.e. the fraud is getting worse at a very rapid pace.

- I am disgusted when that same article also quotes the government as claiming only .5% of the U.S. Defense budget is wasted, I simply do not believe that an entity that large and that far flung has that low of a waste factor.

- I am disappointed in the low level of esteem and high level of contempt Senator Reid displayed for the very taxpayers that pay his salary when he claimed back in December, 2008 that "in the summer could literally smell the tourists coming into the Capitol."

- I am disgusted that several months after the major financial corporations (including AIG, Citigroup and Freddie Mac) made substantial donations to the bankrolling of the national conventions for both the Republicans and Democrats, these same corporations received untold billions of taxpayer dollars as a bailout for their poor management of their respective businesses (Associated Press article - "Troubled Firms Bankrolled Political Conventions").

- I am disappointed that Senator Reid would resort to racial stereotypes when he described President Obama as "light skinned" and "with no negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one" (Associated Press - 1/9/2010).

- I am disgusted when some in the Democratic Party liken me to the racists of the civil rights era because I expressed an honest opinion in disagreement with Obama Care while Senator Reid can refer to a persons' skin color and stereotyped speech pattern and not get branded as a racist.

- I am disappointed that we continue to pay taxes to government safety agencies that are supposed to protect consumers from dangers when we have had three major heavy metal (lead and two cadmium product recalls) situations where these metals were involved in the production of children's toys (Associated Press 1/11/2010).

- I am disgusted that when the country faces so many major issues that Congress would take time to wastefully debate and expend resources to draft and pass a bill aimed at forcing college football to set up a new playoff system (Associated Press - 12/09/10).

- I am disappointed that when one of the few decent folks in the Senate, Senator Bayh of Indiana, decides that the fight in Washington is so dysfunctional and so no longer worth the battle that he decides not to continue his political career (Businessweek - 3/1/2010).

- I am disgusted that while the country's financial systems and economic base was falling apart in the lead up to the latest recession that at least two and a half dozen SEC employees, some at very high levels of responsibility, were spending most, if not all, of their work time surfing the Internet and downloading the pornographic images they found onto their government issued computers (Associated Press - 4/23/2010).

- I am disappointed it took so long for the government to figure out that the Federal Head Start program, which has already eaten up and wasted $150 billion in taxpayer money, has no long lasting positive effect on the children that go through the program, i.e. Head Start is no more than an expensive Federal day care program, as reported in a recently published Department of Health and Human Services study. This finding negates Obama's 2009 claim that "for every dollar we invest in these programs (like Head Start), we get nearly $10 back in reduced welfare rolls, fewer health care costs, and less crime." Why did it take so long to figure out the waste of the program? Very disappointing.

- I am disgusted that Department of Interior Minerals Management Service employees in the Gulf Of Mexico offices spent a lot of their work time downloading pornography to their government computers, did not do the required number of inspections of Gulf oil rigs, received free hunting and fishing trips from the companies they were supposed to be inspecting, negotiated job offers with the very companies whose rigs they were inspecting, and approved a safety and contingency plan for the ill-fated Deepwater Horizon well in 2009 that had absolutely no chance of working (Associated Press - 5/17/2010, 5/28/2010, and 6/9/2010).

- I am disappointed that the political class has not the faintest understanding of basic economics and this shallow understanding continually results in wasteful, expensive, and ineffective programs such as Cash For Clunkers, the New Home Buyers Credit program, Cash For Appliances, etc. that merely shift economic demand around in time, do not result in increased demand, and just give away taxpayer money to those that would have purchased a new car or new home anyway (Associated Press - 6/23/2010).

- I am disgusted that a candidate for Congress would stoop so low on the illegal immigration issue that he thinks "we should catch 'em, we should document 'em, make sure we know where they are and where they are going, I actually support micro-chipping them. I can micro-chip my dog so I can find it. Why can't I micro-chip an illegal?" (Cedar Rapids Gazette - 4/27/2010).

- I am disappointed that the Obama administration sees fit to sue the state of Arizona for trying to control the illegal immigration flow over its borders rather than trying to solve the root cause of the problem, i.e. the overwhelming illegal flow of people, guns, and drugs across all of our borders, while not suing U.S. cities that actually welcome and service illegal aliens in violation of Federal law.

- I am disgusted that President Obama has remained silent while those that respectfully and legally disagree with his policies have been called racists, un-American, knuckle dragging Neanderthals, terrorists, and other names, resulting in a country more divided than ever against itself.

- I am disappointed that it took over 3,700 claims by an elderly Brooklyn woman before the Federal government finally decided there was some fraud going on, resulting in 94 arrests and busts of crime efforts that had bilked the Medicare program of about $250 million. The disappointment is why did it take so long to crack down when Medicare fraud has been a problem from Day One of the program (Associated Press - 7//16/2010)/

- I am disgusted that the political class continues to pit one group of Americans against another, whether it is rich vs. poor, gay vs. straight, pro life vs. pro choice, resulting in Americans fighting each other rather than bringing heat to bear on the American political class to finally solve some real issues facing the country.

- I am disappointed that GM and the Obama administration thought the American public was too dumb to find out or too dumb to understand that when GM announced that it was paying back $4.7 billion in government loans, that it was not repayng the fund out of its own earnings but were drawing funds from another government fund to repay the government loan, i.e. taxpayers were paying taxpayers (The week magazine - 5/7/2010).

- I am disgusted that in these tough economic times, politicians at all levels seem to ignore these hard times and the suffering of their constituents: 1) members of the Illinois Governor's staff got substantial raises (some more than 20%) at the same time that the Governor was cutting the state budget by $1.4 billion (Associated Press - 7/2/2010), 2) three town administrators in a small town in California, where 17% of the town residents live in poverty, received $787,637 (city administrative officer), $376,288 (assistant city manager), and $457,000 (police chief) in salary in addition to outrageous pensions (Associated Press - 7/22/2010) and 3) the members of Congress that automatically raise their salaries every year regardless of how poorly they lead and perform and how poorly the economy and the nation is doing.

- I am disappointed that money still continues to pervert our elective system with a recent article reporting that a long time Democratic fund raiser, Hassan Nemazee, was recently sentenced to 12 years in prison for fraud, using some of the fraud money he gathered to donate to the campaign funds of Barack Obama, Hilary Clinton, and Al Gore (Associated Press - 7/15/2010) and another recent article (Associated Press - 7/22/2010) that reported that Congressman Charles Rangel was recently charged with multiple ethics violations including using government resources to raise money for the Charles Rangel Center For Public Service, receiving improper advantage from New York City's rent stabilization program, and his failure to report income on his disclosure forms.

- I am disgusted that so-called leaders of this country continue to have adultery problems including President Clinton, Governor Spitzer, Senator Ensign, Governor Sanford, Governor MacGreevey, and Senator Edwards, just to name a few. It is not the sex that I am disgusted with, it is the lies of adultery (if they lied in this area, can they be trusted in another area), it is the time it takes to cover up such affairs, time that could be better spent governing, and it is the potential for blackmail that would never result in the good of the taxpayer.

- I am disappointed in the inability of either party to solve any issue of consequence with the drug problem lingering over this country since the late 1960s, the inability to come up with a comprehensive and sane energy program hanging around since the mid-1970s, the continued failure of public schools despite the warnings of a national commission on education in the early 1980s and the failure to secure our borders from terrorists despite numerous terror attacks in the 1990s (USS Cole attack, African embassy bombings, first World Trade Center bombing), etc.

- I am disgusted when I see how poorly we are represented, as proven by the comments coming out of the Wisconsin county politician who believes that Arizona is not a border state with Mexico, the comments from a Georgia Congressman who spoke at a Congressional hearing of his fear that the island of Guam could tip over in the ocean, and the Speaker of the House who believes that unemployment is the best way to create jobs in this country (all of these outrageous claims can be found on YouTube).

It does get overwhelming so I will stop now. However, just when you start to lose all hope, you often stumble across something that reinvigorates that hope. For me, it was a YouTube video that was sent to me over the weekend. To view it go to the YouTube site and search for "Free Hugs In Sondrio, Italy." Apparently this movement has been going on for a while and while there are several related Free Hugs videos on the site, I recommend this Italian one. In a nutshell, people go to public places and hold up signs offering free hugs. The results are amazing. Total strangers going up to each other and giving each other a hug. No one accusing another of being a racist or a Neanderthal or a terrorist or unpatriotic or too rich or too white or too pro choice or too pro life or too anything. Just humans connecting on a very personal and enjoyable level. No politicians around to point out our differences, just individuals making some good, simple memories.

Thus, this video gave me hope, that all of us are basically good people and I still think we can overcome our differences, our disappointments, and our disgust. If we can go up to and hug a total stranger, than just about anything can be overcome. This proves there is a disconnect somewhere and the cause of that disconnect is the political class. They need us to hate each other and defend our "tribe," it allows them to divert attention from their failings and nonperformance. This video proved to me that term limits, as proposed in Step 39 of "Love My Country, Loathe My government" are needed more than ever. We need to continually replenish Congress with people that believe in hugs and not divisiveness. Getting them out of office before they lose the free hugs aspect is critical to working together and solving our problems going forward.

Our new book, "Love My Country, Loathe My Government - Fifty First Steps To Restoring Our Freedom And Destroying The American Political Class" is now available at It is also available online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Please pass our message of freedom onward. Let your friends and family know about our websites and blogs, ask your library to carry the book, and respect freedom for both yourselves and others everyday.

Also visit the following sites for freedom:

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Obama's Lack of Leadership And Our National March To Bankruptcy Continues

According to a NY Times article from July 23, 2010 by Helene Cooper, the Obama administration trimmed its estimate of the Federal budget deficit for this year (the good news) but said the continuing weakness in the economy will lead to an increased deficit next year (the bad news). Details of the announcement include the following:
  • The expected deficit was trimmed $84 billion to $1.47 TRILLION, or only about 5.4%.
  • This new deficit is still a record in dollar terms.
  • This new number still represents about 10% of the nation's total economic output, more than three times the level generally accepted to be safe from an insolvency perspective.
  • For 2011, the expected deficit estimate has been raised to $1.42 TRILLION, up $150 billion from the previous estimate and 9.2% of the economy's size next year. This is an increase of almost 12%, wiping out the measly 5.4% decrease listed above.
  • Expected unemployment is only expected to drop to 9% from its current level of 9.5%.

Let's do some simple math based on these latest estimates:

  • In the past two years. this administration has run up budget deficits exceeding $2.8 TRILLION. This equates to every American household kicking in an additional $8,800 over the past two years just to cover the deficit.
  • If next year's deficit estimate is right, than that $8,800 becomes about $13,200 to cover the budget deficits that have been put in place since Obama became President.
  • The Federal government is now spending about $168 million an hour that it does not have revenue to cover or about $2.8 million a minute that it does not have.

Whichever number you take, $8,800 or $13,200, that is how much money that the American consumer cannot plow back into the economy to spur growth and decrease unemployment. The numbers are mind boggling and will take decades to pay off.

And what does the political class do in light of these horrid budget results? As usual, nothing constructive. Democrats claim that deficit spending and stimulus programs are needed to get the economy going even though we have shown in this blog several times that, using Obama's own numbers, the cost of creating or saving a job under the stimulus program easily exceeded $200,000. You cannot cure unemployment by paying over $200,000 to create or save a job that is likely to pay far less than that.

Obama claims that he is waiting for the recommendations from his national deficit commission. However, that just delays the eventual confrontation with reality and puts off the hard decisions that the political class loves to put off, particularity in an election year. While the commission meets, billions of dollars a day are added to the national debt. In past posts to this blog we have listed out short term, relatively painless things that the political class could do ahead of the commission to start the long journey back to fiscal responsibility including:

  • Bring home our troops from Iraq, which is what Obama the campaigner promised but Obama the President did not do.
  • Bring home our hundreds of thousands of troops from Japan, South Korea, Germany, England, Italy, and elsewhere, troops that were deployed for another era and which no longer serve any purpose, and in many ways are counterproductive to American foreign policy.
  • Freeze all military recruitment immediately, the hundreds of thousands of troops coming home should fulfill any military manpower requirements.
  • Freeze all Federal salaries since recent reports have shown that 80% of Federal job titles and position now pay better than the private sector, most Federal employees are better off than the private employers who support them via taxes. This freeze extends to all members of Congress and the administration.
  • Immediately freeze all government hiring at the Federal level and allow the expected high level of attrition to whittle down the size of the Federal work force over the next few years to their historic levels.
  • Immediately terminate the Federal pension program as it applies to new hires. Since most new hires in the private sector no longer can get a traditional pension, that perk should be phased out for new Federal government hires once hiring resumes.
  • Do an immediate ground up, zero based review of all government functions and programs, as outlined in Step 1 of "Love my Country, Loathe My Government," looking to terminate those that no longer serve a substantial portion of the American public and combine and economize the remaining ones into a more effective management structure even if it means shutting down and consolidating Cabinet organizations. Check out the great work in this area that the Cato Institute is doing in this area.
  • Eliminate the entire practice of earmarks immediately, saving around $20 billion a year according to the Citizens Against Government Waste.
  • Eliminate the $100 billion a year the Obama administration freely admits is paid out fraudulently from government programs.

If I can come up with this short list, I am sure politicians could come up with a longer list if they had the courage to do so. If you look at this list, it could start saving hundreds of billions of dollars right away without putting undo strain on Social Security, Medicare, unemployment benefits and other people-related government programs. And I am not just talking about the Democrats, deficits ran wild under the Republicans also. But nobody wants to take the hard actions to fix the problem.

One of the big problems that still exists is the focus of the American public. Go to just about any blog or chat room and you see frenzied arguments being put forth on who is to blame regarding the national debt, Obama vs. Bush, Democrats vs. Republicans. the arguments and venom go back and forth and solve absolutely nothing. An NFL football coach once said: "You are what your record is." That also applies to the national debt. We are what our budget is and that is dreadful, regardless of who is to blame. By trying to pin the historic blame on the "other side," we play right into the hands of the political class. They use this anger to keep getting themselves elected and the the problem of the budget and the other major issues never get solved since we keep fighting ourselves.

This is what we are talking about when we talk about "tribes" in "Love My Country, Loathe My Government." The politicians want us to beat each other up, kind of like the gladiators in Roman times. The elite sit up in their boxes and party and the gladiators kill each other off for the bemusement of the politicians. The fact is we are in deep trouble regarding our nation's fiscal solvency. How we got here and who to blame is relatively unimportant. The more important factor is who can assume a position of leadership to get us out of the mess we are in. Winning the argument of whether or not it is the fault of the Bush administration or the Obama administration as far as our national debt is concerned is meaningless if the country goes bankrupt.

Regarding leadership and courage, however, I do not see it coming from Obama, at least in the budget arena. His delay in acting until the national deficit commission gives him some air cover is unacceptable, we do not have the leisure of time to start getting our economic house in order. But I guess I should not have expected anything more. Obama is just like any other politician regarding courage, a word that does not appear on the resume of most members of our political class

Our new book, "Love My Country, Loathe My Government - Fifty First Steps To Restoring Our Freedom And Destroying The American Political Class" is now available at It is also available online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Please pass our message of freedom onward. Let your friends and family know about our websites and blogs, ask your library to carry the book, and respect freedom for both yourselves and others everyday.

Also visit the following sites for freedom:

Friday, July 23, 2010

I'm From the Government And I Have No Idea How To Help You - Haiti Edition

Many times in this blog we have reviewed the inadequacy, wastefulness, and futility of trying to get the political class and the government to get anything done proactively, on time, effectively, and on budget. This ranges from skyrocketing budgets, government functions that do not regulate or protect us like they should (e.g. faulty Toyota brakes, EnergyStar products that are not energy efficient, toys and other imports laced with deadly metals, the horrendous follow up to Hurricane Katrina, the horrendous lead in to and follow up to the BP oil spill, etc.), stimulus plans that do not stimulate, economic plans that do not get unemployment down, the list goes on and on.

This history of failure was brought to mind this week when I read an article from the July 23, 2010 issue of The Week Magazine. The title of the article was "Haiti: Misery Amid The Ruins" and reported on the following facts since the earthquake hit the country six months ago:
  • While 230,000 Haitians died, over 1.5 million still do not have a permanent roof over their head and are still living in tent cities.
  • These homeless have set up camps atop a garbage dump, in a cemetery, and on the median of a highway between two lanes of auto traffic.
  • Of the $10 billion dollars that various governments from around the world have promised, only about 10% of the promise actually turned into real money.
  • Of the money that has been received, much of that has seemingly disappeared, according to the Prime Minister, i.e. fraud knew no boundaries.
  • The main problem is that over a quarter million buildings were destroyed and their ruins still clog the streets of the capital. Haitians are paid five dollars a day to clear the debris with shovels and wheelbarrows, a process that is estimated to take about 20 years to complete unless the process of removal is mechanized.

While I really feel sorry for the homeless and desperation of the Haitian people, it should come as no surprise. This appears to be a typical political class operation, lots of hoopla at the beginning, no real plan to solve the problem since the politicians do not understand the underlying root cause of the problem, and taxpayer money from around the world never seems to be spent efficiently or effectively, always coming with a high level of fraud. According to the article, while short term aid is still desperately needed, the long term solution is to overhaul the entire country's educational and government systems, i.e. understand the root cause of the long term problem, in order enable the Haitian people to learn to rule themselves in a non-dysfunctional manner. Given that the political class from the so-called developed world cannot even get some bulldozers into the country to clear the debris, do we really think that the current politicians from around the world can solve the underlying, long term problems of education and self governance?

In a related article on the same page of The Week, a Washington Post/ABC News opinion poll recently found that public confidence in President Obama has hit an all time low with almost 60% of Americans lacking the faith that he will make the right decisions for the country. His only saving grace, and what makes him "queen of the pigs," is that 70% of those polled do not think Congressional Democrats and Republicans can make the right decisions either.

There you have it. Another gross example of politicians' incompetence and another example of America finally waking up to the fact that these people in DC are not the solution. That is why it is so critical in November to dump all incumbents and to immediately enact Step 39 of "Love My Country, Loathe My Government" which would finally establish term limits for all politicians and finally get the incompetent long term office holders out of the way. Do it for yourself and do it for the suffering folks down in Haiti.

Our new book, "Love My Country, Loathe My Government - Fifty First Steps To Restoring Our Freedom And Destroying The American Political Class" is now available at It is also available online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Please pass our message of freedom onward. Let your friends and family know about our websites and blogs, ask your library to carry the book, and respect freedom for both yourselves and others everyday.

Also visit the following sites for freedom:

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Death Of America - How and When The American Political Class Will Complete The Execution

Many, many years ago I cam across a great book by Robert Ringer entitled, "Restoring The American Dream." Mr. Ringer was the first person for me who actually was able to strip away the myths of government that the political class uses to this day to control Americans' lives, reducing our freedom and liberty while simultaneously increasing their power and control. His logic and research was impeccable and still stands the test of time. What he predicted and explained several decades continues to unfold as he said but at a much faster pace then he could have imagined when he wrote the book.

One of the biggest lessons I took away from his writing was the observation and insight that you cannot separate political freedom from economic freedom. In other words, if you are not free to take the fruits of your labor and skills and use them for your own well-being, as opposed to being forced to give up substantial portions of your labor to government entities, then you cannot be free, even if you go to vote in every election. By confiscating a larger and larger portion of your financial resources, the government controls your life. You are less free to start your own business, you are less free to send your kids to a better school, your are less free to support your favorite charities, you are less free to support friends and family who may be down on their luck, you are less free to save for your retirement, you are less free to spend your damn money anyway you want even if it means blowing it in Las Vegas.

This insight came to mind today when I received an email from Mr. Ringer and the following reprint of an article that appeared in the Las Vegas Review Journal. It is by a past Libertarian vice presidential candidate and it enumerates the multitude of additional taxes that is about to hit America and the likely consequences of those additional taxes, not the least of which is the continued loss of freedom as our wealth is consumed and wasted by the American political class. I ask you to read it at your own risk. It is very depressing and may signal the death of America as we know it if something is not done.

I have not verified all of the article's claim of tax increases but would do so if any reader challenges them. Having been familiar with Mr. Ringer's works over the years I doubt that he would pass on something that was not true. However, if additional research is required, let me know and we will verify or refute any part of this avalanche of new and onerous taxes.

Before you start, consider the following quote from James Dale Davidson: "The politicians don't just want your money. They want your soul. They want you to be worn down by taxes until you are dependent and helpless. When you subsidize poverty and failure, you get more of both." If that quote is not enough to depress you, then read on:

Obama's Teleprompter Depression
By Wayne Allen Root

As a common-sense small businessman, I have a front-row seat to a slow-motion economic Armageddon that will be written about, discussed, and debated for decades to come. But big-shot economists don't listen to guys like me. They scoff as I keep predicting in commentary after commentary that small business is suffering a catastrophe of epic proportions and leading this nation toward levels of unemployment and economic crisis that will rival or surpass the Great Depression. Barack Obama is literally taxing small business to death.

I do not believe the tragedy that is unfolding before our eyes is a mistake, a coincidence, or due to incompetence. I believe my old college classmate Obama (Columbia University class of '83) is a Marxist who is purposefully trying to destroy capitalism by overwhelming the system, thereby creating a distraction that gives him cover to redistribute America's wealth to his voters (i.e., those who create no jobs, pay few taxes, depend on government handouts for survival, or work for government or unions). As a bonus, he gets to bankrupt the group (small business) that contributes virtually all the money to his political opposition. This is truly a "Marxist Triple Play."

Consider a few highlights of Obama's reign of destruction:
  • The biggest income tax increase in America's history will take effect on January 1. The new tax increase falls almost 100 percent on small business owners and high-income taxpayers (whose contributions happen to fund Obama's political opposition). As a result, many more jobs will be lost and more businesses will be closed.

  • A dramatic 60 percent capital gains tax increase (from 15 percent to 23.8 percent effective rate, including new universal health-care taxes) will accompany the big income tax increase. More jobs will be lost, more businesses closed.

  • Taxes on dividends will increase from 15 percent to 39.6 percent, and then another 3.8 percent by 2013 for Obama's new health-care taxes. Stocks will be crushed and older Americans will be devastated (because they live off dividends, investments and bank interest). More lives ruined, more jobs lost.

  • New taxes on income, investments, and even tanning-bed users soon take effect to pay for ObamaCare. Worse,18,000 new IRS agents will be hired to enforce these taxes (at a cost of billions annually in new government employee salaries, pensions, and benefits). More jobs lost.

  • The pending cap-and-trade legislation threatens dramatic new taxes on anyone who owns a business, a home, an auto, or buys products manufactured or delivered through the use of energy. Once again, the more you own, the more you'll be taxed. More jobs will be lost, more manufacturing jobs sent overseas, more homes foreclosed.

  • The pending financial reform bill threatens onerous new rules, regulations, and taxes on banks and Wall Street. More jobs will be lost and more banking and financial jobs sent overseas. The pending new jobs bill threatens gigantic new taxes on every Sub Chapter S corporation in America. More jobs will be lost and more small businesses ruined.

  • The threat of a gigantic new national sales tax (VAT) on everything manufactured, bought, and sold in America looms large. Fewer jobs, reduced consumer spending, more businesses closed forever. Obama is pushing for the reduction or elimination of tax deductions (such as mortgages and charitable contributions) for high-income earners (mostly small business owners). More jobs lost, reduced charitable contributions, and the real estate industry damaged beyond repair.

  • The threat of bans or restrictions on offshore oil drilling are being put permanently into place. More jobs lost and more jobs sent overseas where drilling is welcomed. As a bonus for Obama, he gets to ruin the Texas economy.

  • All signs indicate that Obama will soon propose to take the income cap off FICA (Social Security) taxes. If this happens, a successful small business owner (if there are any left) could see his or her FICA taxes go from an already bloated and burdensome $15,000 per year to an unimaginable $150,000 or more. In U.S. history, no taxpayer has ever seen a ten-times tax increase in one year. This devastating nightmare will wipe out small business and cause people whom Obama calls "rich" to lose their homes and businesses.

  • A new IRS law (with the passage of ObamaCare) requires business owners to file thousands of new forms each year documenting virtually every expenditures made by their businesses. As a result of this blizzard of new paperwork, small businesses face ruin. Let's not forget the gigantic tax hikes on the state and local level for income taxes, sales taxes, property taxes, and new taxes disguised as "user fees." Local taxes are already at levels that taxpayers and small businesses can no longer afford to pay.

  • Finally, Obama refuses to consider lowering the second highest corporate tax rate (40 percent) in the industrialized world. As a result, more businesses will choose to leave the United States and more jobs will be sent overseas.

  • Each of these taxes and proposed taxes is a job killer. Taken together, the Obama regime's policies are the equivalent of General Sherman's march to the sea - leaving a tragic path of destruction in its wake. Obama has launched an unprecedented, overwhelming, death-by-tax assault on the groups that fund fiscally conservative causes and candidates: taxpayers and business owners. And you wonder why there are no jobs? You wonder why there is no recovery?
This is the "Teleprompter Depression." Every time Obama steps in front of a teleprompter, another thousand businesses die.

Wayne Allyn Root, the 2008 vice presidential nominee for the Libertarian Party, is the author of "The Conscience of a Libertarian: Empowering the Citizen Revolution With God, Guns, Gambling & Tax Cuts." For more of Wayne's views and commentaries, and to watch his many media interviews, visit his website at This article is a reprint from the Las Vegas Review-Journal.


Scary stuff. That is why every incumbent member of the political class needs to be dumped out of office in November. A message must be sent to DC that many of us still cherish freedom and love our country, and we loathe the government, and those that operate it, for destroying both.

Our new book, "Love My Country, Loathe My Government - Fifty First Steps To Restoring Our Freedom and Destroying The American Political Class" is now available at and online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Five legged Dog Riddle - When A Federal Law or Program Is Just Not Worth The Effort

I believe it was Abraham Lincoln who posed the following riddle:

Question: If you called a tail a leg, how many legs would a typical dog have?
Answer: Four, just because you called it a leg does not make it a leg.
So it is with most Federal laws and programs. Congress and whatever Presidential administration that is in power goes to great lengths to convince us, the American taxpayer and voter, that they have been hard at work solving the nation's problems by passing landmark legislation or instituting new programs. Unfortunately, when you look back on their claims, you realize that the claims never pan out to be true benefits to Americans and in many, many cases, actually make the situation worse or drive us further into debt as a nation. Consider the following five legged dog claims that the political class has recently hoisted on us:

Five Legged Dog Claim: The new financial market reform law will solve all of our financial system problems and we will never again live through the economic trauma of the past couple of years.
Reality: Nice try but calling this reform comprehensive is false on two major points. First, the law that is about to be signed by President Obama does not address the malignant problems of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. Remember, subprime mortgages and loans were at the heart of the economic calamity we are still living through and Fannie and Freddie were at the epicenter of those problems, selling securities based on home mortgages that eventually failed. How can you say that you reformed the financial sector when the biggest problem in that sector, now and going forward, is Fannie and Freddie? There are some estimates that these two organizations are so broken that they may cost the American taxpayer $1 TRILLION in subsidies over the next ten years. Sounds like they needed to be included in any reform measure.

Second, according to an article summary in the July 16, 2010 issue of The Week magazine, James Surowiecki reported that the financial reform bill will exempt car dealers from the consumer protection agency that the legislation creates. These dealers arrange 80% of the $850 billion in car loans every year, they obviously have a big part in many household's financials. Their exemption from this legislation illustrates the five legged dog example: just because you said your reformed the financial market does not mean you did if you leave out this huge chunk of financial transactions. According to Mr. Surowiecki, by exempting car loans, "it's like creating the FDA and then denying it authority over painkillers."

Five Legged Dog Claim: Obama care will rein in escalating health care costs, will provide affordable health care insurance for everyone, and will reduce the Federal budget deficit.
Reality: We could spend a whole week on this topic but let's keep it short for now. The Associated Press has reported that when the legislation was passed, it did not include all of the funding that would be necessary for all of the aspects of the law. Thus, when you include all of the additional funding bills that will still have to be passed to fund everything in the law, the tiny budget surplus becomes another government deficit spending program.

Second, it will not rein in escalating costs since the legislation did not adequately address the underlying causes of escalating health care costs. As explained in a March 1, 2010 interview in Fortune magazine with Delos Cosgrove, head of the Cleveland Clinic, health care costs will continue to rise because our population is getting older, our population is too obese, our population does not exercise enough, and our population smokes too much. Until you address those issues, this five legged dog claim of reining in health care costs will not fly. According to the expert, Mr. Vosgrove, and not the non-experts, the political class, getting these few elements of life under control would make an incredible dent in our nation's health care costs. Until then, this legislation is still a tail and not another leg.

Five Legged Dog Claim: The first time buyer housing stimulus program gave a great economic boost to the housing industry.
Reality: According to an article summary by Kevin Hassett that was included in the July 23, 2010 issue of The Week magazine, this stimulus program did not stimulate anything. The numbers show that it may have moved up some housing purchases by Americans but once the program ended, housing demand fell though the floor; new home sales in May "dropped to their lowest level in recorded history" which just so happened to be one month after the new home buyer credit ended. Also, as Mr. Hassett correctly points out, some of those that participated in the program would have likely purchased a home anyway so that the credit used for them was money thrown away.

Five Legged Dog Claim: The Cash For Clunkers stimulus program gave a great economic boost to the auto industry.
Reality: This program was just a replay of the ineffective first time buyer housing stimulus program. Demand was shifted, not increased, no incremental market activity was created. Plus, many of those that received Cash For Clunkers Federal rebates would have purchased a vehicle anyway, with or without the program, so the program just threw away taxpayer money in these instances also.

Five Legged Dog Claim: The Patriot Act will protect the country's freedoms, liberties, and safety from terrorism.
Reality: The Patriot Act really does nothing of the sort. It provides the government with extraordinary powers to snoop into our lives with the least amount or provocation, which is obviously not freedom protection, and has only protected us from terrorism so far because of pure luck. The would be Christmas Day Underwear Bomber over Detroit and would be Times Square Bomber failed due to faulty bombing equipment, not the Patriot Act.

Five Legged Dog Claim: The Social Security Trust Fund will provide for you an your retirement.
Reality: the definition of trust fund in my dictionary states that it "is an account that holds money, securities, etc. in trust." Unfortunately, calling Social Security a trust fund does not make it a trust fund. The Social Security Administration holds on to nothing. As money comes in, it is paid out immediately to those that are eligible. If you "trust" and believe that the political class and the Federal government are holding onto the money you pay into the Social Security Trust fund, you are falling for this five legged dog fallacy.

Five Legged Dog Claim: Government pre school programs such as Head Start provide $10 worth of benefits for every tax dollar spent.
Reality: President Obama made this claim but his own HHS department recently released the results of an extensive study showing that those children who participated in the Head Start program were no better or no worse off than those kids that did not participate in the program. In other words, Head Start, on average, is nothing more than an expensive government baby sitting service. Thus, saying it returns a 10 to 1 benefit does not make it return a 10 to 1 benefit.

We could go on and on but you get the point.

The political class is so busy telling themselves and us how they have turned a tail into a leg that the fail to notice that calling it a tail a leg does not make it a leg, i.e. saying they addressed a problem usually means that they did nothing of the sort. Which is why November and Step 39 in "Love My Country, Loathe My Government" are so important. In November, we have a chance to dump out of office all of the incumbent politicians who constantly solve nothing and then constantly brag and compliment themselves about what they did not do. In Step 39, we have the chance to finally impose term limits so that the politicians are one and done and do not have the chance to fall into the five legged dog riddle: claiming they are working so hard yet accomplishing nothing.

Our new book, "Love My Country, Loathe My Government - Fifty First Steps To Restoring Our Freedom And Destroying The American Political Class" is now available at It is also available online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Please pass our message of freedom onward. Let your friends and family know about our websites and blogs, ask your library to carry the book, and respect freedom for both yourselves and others everyday.

Also visit the following sites for freedom:

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Federal Government As Jabba The Hutt - Too Big and Too Slow To Get Anything Right

In the early part of "Love My Country, Loathe My Government" I make the case that the U.S. Federal government is really nothing more than the political incarnation of Jabba The Hutt from the Star Wars movies. As you may recall, Jabba was a formless, slow moving, overweight entity that ruled with an iron fist while devouring resources brought to him. He did not pay for anything, he just took them, and he was not there to help anyone but himself. Those he ruled over had no say in how their resources and wealth were used and had no chance in dislodging Jabba from his position of power. Kind of sounds like our political class currently sitting in DC.

Jabba came to mind today as I thought about some recent occurrences in which the Federal government has gotten so big that it is doubling back on itself and putting itself in some very weird situations and conflicts with the reality of the world around us:

  • According to an article in the July 23, 2010 issue of The Week magazine, a Boston Federal judge has ruled parts of the Federal Defense of Marriage Act to be unconstitutional. This act forbids the Federal government from recognizing gay marriages and granting Federal benefits. The judge ruled that the Federal law forces Massachusetts to discriminate against it own citizens. Now for the weird part. the Obama administration is now forced to appeal the ruling, even though his administration and the Democrats in charge of Congress oppose the Defense of Marriage Act and want it repealed. The Federal government has gotten so big that it is expending legal resources for something that it does not want to exist in the first place.
  • This weird situation is similar to the illegal alien situation we blogged about a few days ago. You may recall that the latest statistics relative to illegal border crossers shows that the Federal government recently had the highest levels of prosecutions for illegal aliens and the highest deportation levels of illegals but at the same time was fighting the new Arizona state law that was trying to stem the flow of illegal aliens into that state.
  • Getting back to gay marriages, according to a July 15, 2010 Associated Press article, the country of Argentina recently became the first Latin American country to legalize gay marriage. The article reported that Chile and several other South American countries are likely to try and follow suit. Do we think that our Jabba, parading as the American political class, has any chance of making that happen in this country when it finds itself in court defending against gay rights?
  • According to an article in the August issue of Reason magazine, since 1996 fourteen states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana use for medical purposes and several other states are considering doing the same. This is in direct conflict with Federal law which has sometimes resulted in Federal raids of medical marijuana providers which are illegal under Federal law but legal under state law. This is also in conflict with Obama the campaigner who wanted to decriminalize the drug when he ran for President but now defends the outlawing of it at the Federal level. Again, government has gotten so big that we have entered the weird zone regarding medical marijuana where it is legal at the same time as being illegal.
    If you think the Federal government has a problem now, wait until next week when the Associated Press reports that the Oakland City Council will vote on whether to allow industrial farming of marijuana to be established in city limits, industrial farms which would produce marijuana for medical use as well as for use in products ranging from baked goods to body oil. Winning applicants who would operate these farms would have to pay annual permit fees and eight percent of their sales to taxes as well as carry $2 million in liability insurance. Similar efforts are being pushed in other cities throughout the state along with a November ballot issue to legalize non-medical use of marijuana, according to the article. Now consider the contents of a short blurb in the July 23, 2010 issue of The Week magazine that reported on a Rand Study that concluded from their analysis that the legalization of marijuana would reduce the street price by up to 90%. Thus, the efforts in California may help reduce the street price of the drug which in turn would significantly reduce the power, wealth and influence of the Mexican drug cartels which would be a good thing. However, in the face of this good set of outcomes (more revenue for the local governments, less of a stigma of marijuana users, less law enforcement resources spent on busting marijuana users, the weakening of the Mexican drug cartels) do we think that the Jabba the Hutt beast in DC is nimble enough to understand what the benefits are or will it continue down its path of conflict at the Federal drug enforcement level?
  • If I reach back into my book research I come across a Washington Post article from May, 2007, entitled "Federal Loans Fuel Push For Coal Power Plants." The article discusses a Depression era Federal program that provides low cost loans to build coal fired, high pollution power plants using taxpayer money. According to the article, "the support is a major force behind the rush to coal plants, which spew carbon dioxide that scientists blame for global warming." Thus, while the Obama administration is pushing a climate control bill in order to fight against global warming, the same government is funding power plants that do just the opposite. Makes no sense.
  • In our last blog we reported on another Associate Press article about how the Feds had busted 94 people for defrauding the Medicare program. This was a good development but why was our Jabba so slow in getting these arrests done? Medicare fraud has been going on since the day Medicare started several decades ago, why did it take such a painfully slow time to start arresting the cheats? One of those arrested had filed over 3,700 fraudulent claims under her name, how slow can you get?
We could go on and on. The U.S. government has gotten so big and so slow, just like Jabba the Hutt, that its many folds of skin hide waste, stupidity and the doubling back on itself, i.e. government laws and actions in conflict with itself or the desires of those running the government. We could go on and on about how slow, ineffective, and wasteful our Jabba is, about how our Jabba never solves a problem whether it is insecure borders, failing public schools, escalating health care costs, etc., how our Jabba wastes untold billions of dollars on earmarks, useless initiatives, and fraud-infested programs, or how our Jabba does not know how to regulated the economy, resulting in sky high national debt levels and a very creaky economic situation with low growth and high unemployment.

Jabba is very bad for all of us but he is difficult to dislodge. Through the earmark process, the gerrymandering of Congressional districts, do-nothing campaign finance laws, and other methods, Jabba has many defenses against defeat in an election, defenses that even a Jedi light saber could not easily pierce. That is why November is so critical as is Step 39 in "Love My Country, Loathe My Government." Step 39 would impose term limits on politicians so that they never again get as fat, slow, wasteful, and ineffective as Jabba The Hutt and November is critical since it begins the process of voting out the Jabba incumbents and finally getting in some sleek, effective, and courageous Jedi warriors who will make the difficult decisions to get the size of government under control and make that downsized government more effective and less weird and less conflicted.

Our new book, "Love My Country, Loathe My Government - Fifty First Steps To Restoring Our Freedom And Destroying The American Political Class" is now available at It is also available online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Please pass our message of freedom onward. Let your friends and family know about our websites and blogs, ask your library to carry the book, and respect freedom for both yourselves and others everyday.

Also visit the following sites for freedom: