Friday, October 29, 2010

I"m Tired... And That Is Why I Voted Republican For The First Time In My Life

Earlier this week I submitted my mail-in ballot for the pertinent Florida political races that affect me. Up until that time, I took pride in truthfully stating that I had never voted for a Republican for national office in my life (I am 57 years old). However, that all changed this time around, it was Republican straight down the line from U.S. Senator down to county offices. Why the change. One reason: I'm tired:
  • I'm tired of looking at the almost $5 TRILLION that the Federal government has run up in national debt since Democrat Nancy Pelosi became Speaker of the House.
  • I'm tired of looking at the almost $44,000 per U.S. household in national debt that the Federal government has run up since Harry Reid was Senate Majority Leader.
  • I'm tired at looking at the 10% unemployment rate that we have faced for much of the time that the Democrats controlled Congress over the past few years and the White House for the past two years.
  • I'm tired of being called a racist by Democratic politicians like Charles Rangel and Shelia Lee Jackson simply because I had serious and legitimate concerns and disagreements with the health care reform bill that the Democrats forced through the back door of reconciliation.
  • I'm tired of being called un-American by Democrats like Nancy Pelosi for having legitimate concerns and opposition to the Democrats' ill conceived health care reform legislation.
  • I'm tired of being called names like knuckle dragging Neanderthal, Ku Klux Klan member, terrorist, and ass#!$* by people like Democratic Congressman Alan Grayson and Democratic czar Van Jones simply because as a United States citizen I dare to have valid and legitimate differences of opinion with politicians' ideas and plans.
  • I'm tired of President Obama as he stands mute and allows U.S. citizens that legitimately and honestly disagree with his policies and to be called racists, Neanderthals, terrorists, ass#!$*s, and Klan members
  • I'm tired of Democratic President Obama not standing up against some of the disgusting names that have been used to describe female Republican candidates, names that I will not repeat here, but include what a member of Jerry Brown's staff called his opponent, Meg Whitman, in the California governor's race, the name of a concert a rapper held to fight Republican Michele Bachman's Minnesota Senate campaign, what Joy Behar called Nevada Republican Candidate Sharron Angle, and what an online Playboy article said should be done to ten Republican political candidates; disgusting and debasing and the President did nothing to civilize the discussion.
  • I'm tired of Joy Behar.
  • I'm tired of Democrats telling me that they saved the economy from going into a ditch while they controlled both houses of Congress for the past four years and the White House for the past two years or so, i.e. they are just as responsible, if not more so, for driving the car into the ditch as the Republicans.
  • I'm tired of President Obama still refusing to man up to his responsibilities and failures, still trying to blame the Bush administration for things that go wrong.
  • I'm tired of Democrat Bill Clinton and other high powered national Democratic leaders going into local election processes and trying to usurp the will and decisions of the people for the good of the Democratic national party, re: Sestak in Pennsylvania and Meeks in Florida.
  • I'm tired of the broken promises of Democratic candidate Barack Obama, from not getting ALL U.S. troops out of Iraq to not closing down Guantanamo to not dumping the Don't Ask/Don't Tell military policy (it took a law suit from a Republican organization to get a ruling against the policy) to rubber stamping the renewal the Patriot Act and continuing other Bush administration secrecy policies to not getting wasteful earmarks under control to facilitating the further divisions within the country.
  • I'm tired of the condescending attitudes of Democratic politicians with the best example being Harry Reid's contempt for American tourists visiting D.C. in the summer since, in his opinion, those that pay the taxes that support his life style, physically smell.
  • I'm tired of President Obama not acting for the good of all Americans and for the uniting of America but rather stooping to the lowest and basest of political tactics, including the latest where he addressed a Hispanic audience and slandered those citizens that honestly disagree with his policies, calling  them the "enemy." Very, very un-Presidential.
  • I'm tired of Democratic economic programs that have been a total failure including Cash For Clunkers, Cash For Appliances, Cash For Caulkers, mortgage relief, economic stimulus and TARP.
  • I'm tired of Democrats telling me that their economic programs were a success including Cash For Clunkers, Cash For Appliances, Cash For Caulkers, mortgage, economic stimulus and TARP despite the fact that second grade math can prove them all failures.
  • I'm tired of Democrats telling me that the recently passed financial regulation reform act is a great bill when a third grader knows that if you do not include car loans, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac in any kind of financial reform you have reformed nothing of consequence.
  • I'm tired of Democratic President Obama circumventing the Constitutional checks and balance system via Congressional review of major government appointments by establishing his own politburo of czars.
  • I'm still tired of Joy Behar.
  • I'm tired of the campaign costs being expended to execute this latest election cycle with the most current estimates calculating that approximately $4 million will be spent per open Congressional seat.
  • I'm tired of election campaigns dedicated to  childish personal attacks and not issue debate and analysis.
  • I'm tired of having to decide what "side" each news outlet is on and then try to filter their prejudices appropriately in order to get to two things I like to call the truth and reality.
  • I'm already tired of the talk about the President's plans and positioning for the next Presidential election in 2012, as if we do not have enough problems to address in this country today and tomorrow, why would any true leader and statesman be already worried about his or her political future two years down the road?
  • I'm tired of this Democratic run administration and Democratic Congress being as incompetent as all other administrations and Congresses with this one unable to stop the flow of oil in the Gulf for months, unable to fix the economy, allowing government program fraud and corruption to waste hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars every year, and running up record spending deficits while critical issues like failing public schools, rising health care costs, illegal immigration, the rapidly insolvency of Social Security and Medicare, the lost war on drugs, and the lack of a national energy strategy go unaddressed and unsolved.
  • I'm tired of Democratic President Obama being nothing more than a typical Chicago/Cook County/Illinois politician and not the great hope and national unifier he originally presented himself as.
As you can see, I am plenty tired. I am also plenty ticked off and disappointed. The country has never been more divided and more in debt, two aspects of life that I put firmly at the feet of Democratic President Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and the rest of the Democrats. As I stated above, they have actually been driving the car for the past four years. If Bush had it going in the wrong direction, they certainly have turned it in a worse direction.

I know my Democratic friends that have not already seen the light and gotten tired of where this country is today will not be happy with my voting decision. To them, I ask them to carefully reread the points above and consider a professional Brazilian clown who recently got elected to the Brazilian National Congress. His platform: how much worse could it get if he was elected. Same principle applies here: how much worse could it get? Record national debt, a bitterly divided country, no issues addressed or solved, name calling that borders on disgusting and pornographic, respect for diversity of opinions and other ideas out the window.

Republicans, your turn, but I will tire very quickly of you also unless you heed the reasons for my malaise above.

P.S. I am still very tired of Joy Behar.

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.

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Why There Will Not be Another British Invasion (And That Is Good News!)

For those of you that, like me, came of age in the 1960s, you remember the so-called British invasion of that time. Great musical groups came to the U.S. from Britain and brought some great British rock and roll sounds with them including the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, The Animals, Herman's Hermits, Freddie and The Dreamers and who knows how many more. These "invasion" years were great times and great music.

But today, and in a different context, I think we can confidently say that there will not be another British invasion anytime soon and that is good news. Why? Consider the details from an Associated Press article from October 19, 2010 entitled, "UK's Cameron Announces Military Austerity Plan:"
  • British Prime Minister David Cameron announced a sweeping military austerity plan for the British government to help reduce the national debt of the country.
  • The country will reduce its armed forces by thousands of troops and a whopping 25,000 civilian staff.
  • It will delay a program to upgrade its traditional nuclear defenses.
  • While two new aircraft carriers will be built, one will be mothballed immediately and the other will not have enough aircraft for it to be serviceable until 2019, only because construction contracts and budgets have already been committed. In the universal and  perverted government budget process, it is less expensive to build the carriers and not use them than it is to stop building them. At least they thought through the process.
  • Numerous military bases will be closed.
  • The country's nuclear weapon stockpile will be reduced 25% from 160 warheads to 120 warheads.
  • The changes would reduce the overall defense budget by 8% over current levels within four years.
  • The new defense budget will still be more expensive than the recommended NATO guidelines.
  • Planned expenditures to replace Britain's four nuclear-armed submarines will be delayed until 2016 and the number of warheads on each of the new submarines will be reduced, saving almost $1.2 billion.
  • Cameron stated that Britain's military will refocus its defense efforts on its special forces and develop expertise to repel cyper threats.
Wow! A politician that has the courage to challenge his country's military-industrial complex, understands that the out sized and in many cases, unnecessary, military expenditures were helping to inflate an unacceptable national budget deficit, and realizes that the military Britain has in place today is ill-equipped to counter the new security threats in the world today. Kudos to Mr. Cameron for doing the right thing for his country vs. doing the right thing for his campaign donors and political future.

What could the U.S. learn from this positive and strategic effort in Britain?
  • We should be able to downsize our out sized international military deployment by bringing home our 50,000 or so troops in Germany, our 10,000 or so troops in Britain, our 27,000 or so troops in South Korea, and our 50,000 or so troops from Japan. The Iron Curtain is down so we need much fewer troops stationed in Europe, South Korea has one of the strongest economies in the world so let them defend themselves against the North Koreans, and Japan is now an ally so there is no need to occupy their land. Realize that these deployments are from another age and era and are no longer necessary.
  • Bring home the remaining 50,000 troops in Iraq as Obama the candidate promised to do but Obama the President has failed to do, with him just continuing the plan of deployment that Bush had in place.
  • Stop recruiting new people for the armed forces and use attrition to reduce the hundreds of thousands of troops returning from around the world, substantially reducing military deployment costs and personnel costs.
  • Refocus some of these freed up troops to counter the Islamic terrorism threat now facing the country in so many different ways including nuclear terrorism, biological terrorism, chemical terrorism, home grown terrorism, and cyber terrorism. As you can see, our biggest national security threat today and for the immediate future is terrorism, not the Iron Curtain, not North Korea's traditional military capacity, and not the potential of Pearl Harbor II.
  • Close unnecessary military bases, doing it through another Base Closing Commission if the current members of the political class do not have the courage to do it themselves, further reducing the military budget.
  • Delay or cancel new weapons systems, naval ship building, and other military build programs that do not address the terrorism threats listed above regardless of the impact on a local economy.
  • Improve, enlarge, and redeploy special forces troops to counter foreign based terrorism threats, avoiding massive foreign military intrusions like Iraq and Afghanistan wherever possible.
Taking these steps would reduce our deficit spending, reduce our meddling in other countrys' affairs, and focus our armed forces on real threats, not past threats. It would help clean up our election processes since there would be less money available to give out as earmarks in exchange for re-election campaign contributions.

If we achieved Britain's target of 8% reduction in military spending, we would be able to trim about $60 to $70 billion out of our huge military budget. I believe that 8% is a conservative estimate since we have so much more wasted resources deployed under our Defense Department budget. In fact, if our defense spending was in line with the NATO benchmark of 2% of a country's gross domestic product, our defense budget would be about $280 billion or about $420 billion less than it currently is. Thus, an 8% reduction seems to be very doable and a little on the low side.

Why would we not do this? Because it does not appear that we have the forward thinking, problem solving politicians that Britain has. Obama has been in office for almost two years and nothing has changed relative to what the Bush administration would have done it if was still in control. The defense budget is still way too big, our troop deployment around the world is still too extensive, we are building and planning weapons systems that nobody thinks will be useful in the terrorism world we live in today, and most of our troops are trained and deployed to fight the types of wars we are highly unlikely to face any time soon. As a result, we spend a lot of money for less protection than we probably had years ago. Not a good deal but a deal I do not see changing anytime soon, based on the current administration's actions and plans and the lack of backbone of our current political class.

Thus, it is good we will not be seeing another British invasion soon since they are focused on evolving their national defense resources so that they more effectively and more efficiently protect their nation from today's threats, and are far less likely to invade any nation under this progressive strategy. Maybe we can take a hint from Mr. Cameron and his associates and ensure that the United States does not do any invasions either while simultaneously increasing the protection per defense dollar spent.

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.

Please visit the following sites for freedom:

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

President Obama's Administration in 2010 Vs. Orwell's Government in "1984"

I cannot help feeling that the Obama administration, and the entire American political class,  has some frightening similarities to the dysfunctional and totalitarian government that George Orwell foresaw in his classic novel, "1984." The loss of freedom, the frightening rise in power by the ruling political class, the declining quality of life for ordinary citizens, the manipulation and spin doctoring of reality,  etc. are very similar to the storyline in "1984."

Consider some George Orwell quotes, most of which come from the novel, and recent news accounts and events:

Orwell Quote: "The propagandist's purpose is to make one set of people forget that certain other sets of people are human."
Obama Administration: During the lead up to and after the passage of Obama's health care reform legislation, the President allowed members of his party to dehumanize those that had honest problems and issues with the legislation. Consider the slander:
  • Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi called those citizens opposed to Obama Care "un-American."
  • Florida Congressman Alan Grayson called those citizens opposed to Obama Care "knuckle dragging Neanderthals."
  • New York Congressman Charles Rangel likened those that opposed Obama Care to the real racists that opposed the early civil rights movement.
  • Texas Congresswoman Shelia Jackson Lee also likened those opposed to Obama Care to the racists of the 1950s and 1960s.
  • Alan Grayson stated that all Tea Party members were wearing white sheets 25 years ago, an obvious referral to the racist Ku Klux Klan movement.
Rather than celebrating diversity of opinion and debating the issues, the President allowed his henchman and women to bad mouth and slander those Americans for having a different opinion. Rather than acting Presidential and bringing people together by ending the name calling, the President became nothing more than the propagandist that Orwell talks about.

Orwell Quote: "War is a way of shattering to pieces or pouring into the stratosphere or sinking in the depths of the seas, materials which might otherwise be used to make the masses too comfortable, and hence, in the long run, too intelligent."
Obama Administration: Although this problem existed long before the President came into office, he has done nothing to counter what Eisenhower called the military-industrial complex. The United States, by far, is the biggest investor into military resources, by any measure you chose, in the entire world. We have troops stationed all over the world, defending interests and property that no longer need to be defended. Why do we have tens of thousands of troops in Europe? The Iron Curtain is down, communism has been defeated but still, we waste taxpayer money stationing troops there. Why do we have almost 30,000 troops in South Korea? They have one of the strongest economies in the world, let South Korea defend itself. Why do we have tens of thousands of troops in Japan? They are unlikely to attack Pearl Harbor again and these troops would be useless against any aggressive move by the massive Chinese army. Why do we not reorient these resources from defense to tax reductions and helping ordinary American citizens? According to Orwell, that would make the masses more comfortable and intelligent, two aspects that the political class would see as a threat to their own power.

Orwell Quote: "War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength."
Obama Administration: Shortly after coming into power, the Obama administration decided to change the language when describing Islamic terrorism. His administration went on a journey to purge Bush era terms like "war on terrorism,"  "radical Islam," "jihadist," and Islamic terrorism" from all government publications, speeches, testimonies, etc. For example, rather than talk about "Islamic terrorism," the administration wants everyone to talk about "violent extremism."

Thus, it appears that Obama is trying to do the same word games that the government did in "1984." By controling language, you can control the situation. The problem with such an approach is while it may give those in power more control over the debate of a specific issue, it obscures the true reality of the situation. If you do not understand the reality of an issue, the chances of successfully solving that issue are minimized. How can you argue against war if it has the same meaning as peace? How can you solve the problem of Islamic terrorism if you deny that it exists? Obama's attempt to control the language will put us further away from understanding the root cause of the Islamic fanaticism and how to defend against it.

The further problem with this language gambit is that it has not worked. According to an October, 14, 2010 Yahoo News article, several studies are now showing that changing the language is not solving any problems. A study by the Brookings Institution in Washington found that between May, 2009 and May, 2010, the number of Middle Eastern Arabs expressing optimism in Obama's approach toward their region dropped from 51% to 16% with those becoming discouraged with the President rising from 15% to 63%. A Pew Reserach Center study shows that in August, 2010, fewer Americans held a favorable view of Islam, 30%, than during the Bush administration (41%). The Pew study also found that more Americans (35%) say Islam encourages violence more than other religions, up from 25% in 2002.

Thus, not only is this process of muddying the waters of language a bad way to solve problems, these two studies show that Obama's purging of our government's vocabulary is not working, either domestically or abroad from an attitude perspective.

Orwell Quote: "And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed - if all records told the same tale - then the lie passed into history and became truth. 'Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present, controls the past'"
Obama Administration: three examples here where the administration has tried to control and suppress information and perpetuate the lie in order to advance its own agenda. If you can suppress contrary views, you can control the past, the present and the future that the political class wants.

The first example was from early in the Obama administration. EPA engineer, Alan Carlin, researched and then wrote a 98 page report that challenged some of the assumptions and predicted outcomes regarding global warming that were at odds with what the Obama administration wanted to hear. Mr. Carlin has an undergraduate degree in physics from Cal Tech and a PhD in economics from MIT so that he is not an uneducated scientist. However, he was told to suppress his findings and not communicate them to anyone outside of the agency. Rather than discuss his findings publicly and have a scientific debate over his conclusions, the political class, in this case the Obama administration, decided to suppress the analysis and possibly perpetuate the potential lie of global warming. In all of the news reports I saw in this matter, no one was questioning Mr. Carlin's methodology, analysis, etc., it was purely a political suppression of information, something that Orwell would have been proud of. By suppressing information like this, the political class can control the debate and any kind of control is not good in a democratic society since it usually does not help arrive at the right solution for a problem. Is the administration tyring to pass the lie into history and make global warming the truth, contrary to a scientific conclusion that it was not the truth?

The EPA report suppression is not the only instance where the Obama administration tried to suppress information. A soldier at Fort Hood who videotaped the killing spree by Major Nidal Hasan was told by his commanding officer to delete the video. The soldier testified that a non-commissioned officer, acting on orders from an officer, was told to delete the video the same day of the shooting. Now why would anyone want to delete a videotaping of a live crime, wouldn't it be a great piece of evidence at the trial of the shooter? Is the Obama administration trying to control the situation by controlling the information? No reason for that video to have been destroyed unless someone, somewhere high up the chain of command did not want to lose control of the situation, even if justice was not served in the process.

Finally, consider an Associated Press report that appeared on October 6, 2010. According to the article and a finding by the commission appointed by the President to investigate the Gulf oil spill disaster, the Obama White House deliberately blocked efforts by government scientists to tell the public just how bad the oil spill could become. The article also reported that other missteps and incompetence were also suppressed by the Administration.

According to the article, the commission's documents "show that the White House was directly involved in controlling the message as it struggled to convey that it, not BP, was in charge of responding..." There is that pesky word again, controlling. Control the information and you can control the lie, control the lie and history will turn that lie into the truth. If the Obama administration focused more on the oil spill and the root cause of the Fort Hood shooting and the reality that global warming might be a piece of fiction, and less on controlling the lie, the country might be better off, even if the political class was worse off.

Orwell Quote: "The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history."
Obama Administration: Consider an October 20, 2010 article from the Heritage Foundation that covered a speech that the President recently gave in Rockville, Maryland. In that speech he quoted from the Declaration of Independence: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that each of us are endowed with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."  Sounds harmless enough, right? Celebrating our heritage. But look closely, he did not "exactly" quote the Declaration of Independence. The accurate quote reads as follows: We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

According to the article, the President omitted the exact same phrase from two other recent speeches, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute's 33rd Annual Awards Gala and at a New York City fundraiser. Once is an oversight, three times inside of a month is a trend. Sounds very Orwellian to me, "to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history." Denying the words "By Their Creator" may run contrary to the President's beliefs but it is our history. It all gets back to the examples above, the political class is constantly trying to control history, the lie, the information flow, and the decision process, all of which are detrimental to freedom.

Orwell Quote: "There was no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork. It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time. But at any rate they could plug in your wire whenever they wanted to. You had to live - did live, from habit that became instinct - in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized."
Obama Administration: Very simple analogy here, " the Patriot Act." Passed during the Bush Administrating and rubber stamped renewed under the Obama administration we are rapidly approaching this Orwellian world of surveillance. The scary thing is that Orwell probably did not imagine how many ways this quote could come true today. From getting access to our library records, tapping our phones, tracking our movements via our cell phone signal, monitoring our emails, observing our social network activity, watching us via thousands and thousands of public video cameras to easy to get warrants and wire taps, the pervasive intrusion into our lives by the political class is the Orwellian nightmare we face today, a reality not conducive to freedom at all.

Orwell Quote: "Political language... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind."
Obama Administration: the best example of Obama Orwellian thinking under this quote is the failed economic stimulus plan that Obama and the Democrats passed. The original purpose of the stimulus plan was to create jobs. When the stimulus money started to get spent but very few jobs were created, the Obama administration changed gears and stated the economic stimulus package was to both create AND save jobs. However, when not many jobs were created AND saved, the administration came up with the term like jobs "affected" or "touched" by the economic stimulus package. Thus, if the first definition does not work, try a second definition and a third definition, etc., anything to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. In this case, the pure wind is the utter failure of the stimulus package to create solid jobs.

Orwell Quote: "Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them."
Obama Administration: The best example here is the whole problem of illegal immigration and the immigration law passed this summer by Arizona, a law that was patterned after the existing Federal law regarding illegal immigration. The Obama administration has gone to court in an attempt to overturn a law that a state wants to use to return illegal immigrants to their respective countries, hopefully improving the living conditions of the state's citizens. At the same time, the Obama administration has been returning record numbers of illegal immigrants to their respective countries and has beefed up security along the Mexico/U.S. border. Sounds like Doublethink to me: from the Obama administrationn perspective, we will vilify the Arizona law for doing the same thing we are doing at the Federal level, i.e. returning illegal immigrants to their countries. Doing the same think but holding one effort as bad but the other effort as good.

Orwell Quote: "Never again will you be capable of ordinary human feeling. Everything will be dead inside you. Never again will you be capable of love, or friendship, or joy of living, or laughter, or curiosity, or courage, or integrity. You will be hollow. We shall squeeze you empty and then we shall fill you with ourselves."
Obama Administration: This quote response is not just via the Obama administration but by the whole American political class. Right now, the politicians in this country control a large part of our retirement financials via Social Security, they control our retirement health care via Medicare, they control our personal wealth and income via dozens and dozens of government taxes and fees, they control the education of our kids via public schooling, they control a larger portion of our pre-retirement medical care via Obama Care, they control who we eventually get to vote for (via gerrymandering of Congressional districts, controlling of campaign financing sources, using taxpayer money to fund earmarks which are just campaign finance tools, etc.), they control and criminalize what substances we put into our bodies, they belittle us for daring to have a difference of opinion, and they control who gets certain rights based on sexual orientation. They use these forms of control to drain us of our individuality in order to make us more controllable and reliant on their needs and desires. Orwell nailed this one right on the nose when describing life under our political class in American today.

Very scary stuff. As Orwell predicted, the United States and other democracies around the world are at risk of failing not because of some outside agency or foe but by the devious and dishonest manipulations of truth and the ever increasing control by our own political class. That is why every election now becomes so critical if we are to turn back our march towards "1984" and again become a free country, of the people by the people and for the people.

We no longer can allow the political class to control the debate, control the language and control our lives. That is why many of the steps in "Love My Country, Loathe My Government" need to become a reality as soon as possible:
  • Reduce government's size by 10% a year for the next five years.
  • Review and amend the Patriot Act to make it more freedom and liberty friendly.
  • Stop gerrymandering Congressional districts to level the playing field between incumbents and new political candidates.
  • Implement term limits to eliminate politics as a career opportunity.
  • Bring home almost all of our foreign deployed troops and begin downsizing the military-industrial complex.
  • Start reducing the deficit and the debt grip politicians will hold over us for decades to come.
  • Repeal Obama Care and fix the health care crisis the right way, not the controlling political class way.
So much work to do and so little time to do it before Orwell proves himself right. We are living George Orwell's "1984" and it is disguised as Obama's 2010 agenda. Stop the madness, stop the doublespeak, stop the lies.

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.

Please visit the following sites for freedom:

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Insanity That Is Our Expensive Election Campaigns

As the midterm election process finally and gratefully draws to a close, I thought it would be a good time to review the insanity that has entrenched itself in our electoral process when it comes to campaign spending. Consider a article by Ruth Marcus that appeared in the October 29, 2010 issue of The Week magazine:
  • According to the article, Republicans will receive and spend more than $100 million from anonymous donors, an outrageous sum that has been loudly criticized by the Democrats.
  • However, in 2004, Democrats set up campaign groups that fronted for labor unions and big dollar individual contributors, which contributed more than $150 million to the Democrats.
  • Ms. Marcus reported that the "hapless" Federal Election Commission levied only a $1.3 million fine on this 2004 outrageous spending three years after the fact which, obviously, had no impact on election results. The $1.3 million fine is a pittance of a slap on the hand, less than 1% of the amount collected.
  • According to the article's conclusion: "When it comes to campaign cash, Democrats and Republicans have essentially the same position: when we have more to spend because of some loophole in the law, that's just fine; when the other side has more money, democracy is being subverted."
According to a recent article in the St. Petersburg Times, House and Senate candidates running for office in these midterm elections have already shattered the previous campaign spending record and will likely spend over $2 billion in total on this election. According to the article, this is roughly equivalent to about $ 4 million spent per vacant Congressional seat. This number obviously does not include the money being spent at the local, county, and state government levels for their elections and does not include special interest group spending which the article estimates could be as high as $400 million.

And while the numbers are high, the consequences are not. A 2006 U.S. News and World Report article by Dan Gilgoff showed that once a politician gets into office, the access to campaign funds almost always guarantees that as an incumbent, that politician will almost always stay in office. The title for the article was "A Fake Democracy? Why No One Has Much Chance of Toppling Congress's Incumbents." According to the article, in the 2004 elections, 98% of the incumbents retained their seats. You cannot be living in a democracy with that kind of re-election rate.

And financial situation seems to be getting worse. If you believe Mr. Giloff's numbers, in 2004, it cost about $1.5 million to run a House Of Representives campaign. Just six years later, that cost is now about $4 million, two and a half times larger than in 2004. The article concluded in 2006 that the increasing costs were stifling competition for political seats, creating a state of  "partisan stasis."

How outrageous is all this insanity? Consider some simple math:
  • The average Congressional office holder makes about $170,000 a year in salary. If you divide the campaign cost by the salary of the eventual winner you get a ratio of more than 23 to 1. In other words, for every salary dollar received, more than $23 will be spent to receive that $1. Makes no sense on the surface.
  • If the average flu shot costs $10 per shot, then this $2 billion could have given two thirds of the country's population a free flu shot.
  • If you had been alive since the birth of Christ and had spent $2,500 a day, every day from then until today, you still would have not spent $2 billion.
  • According to a Parade Magazine article a few years ago, $2 billion could hire almost 5,000 teachers for a year, buy the health insurance for 50,000 American households and provide 83 million school lunches for needy children.
Obviously you can go crazy with the numbers. The bottom line, though, is that $2 billion total, $4 million per Congressional seat, is a lot of money to spend for a job that only pays $170,000. It is this 23 to 1 payback that illustrates how much power and freedom has migrated away from the ordinary citizens in this country to those sitting in Congress. No sane person would personally pay $23 to possibly win back $1, if successful. Only in an American election can this type of irrational behavior be considered rational.

And the holier than though attitude of the Democrats in this election does not hold water. We all know that if any politician can get their hands on money to ensure their re-election, then principles go out the door. The Democrats are not mad because the Republicans are spending so much money. They are mad because they do not have that amount of money to spend this time around like they did in 2004. Their hypocrisy is incredible. No one says that any politician HAS to take the money presented to them for their election campaign. However, has there ever been an politician that not take money shown to them?

It is obvious from this insanity that our political class at all levels of government cannot control their urges to take any money at any time to ensure their comfortable positions in Congress and elsewhere. That is why the following suggestions from "Love My Country, Loathe My Government" are needed to take the money decisions out of their hands and structurally change the election process in this country:
  • Step 6 - allow only individual Americans to contribute to election campaigns, not corporations, unions, PACs, etc. The U.S. Constitution guarantees freedom of speech for individuals, not organizations.
  • Step 7 - allow only those affected by an election to contribute to their respective election campaigns. For example, only those living in a specific Kansas Congressional district should be allowed to contribute to those running for Congress from that election district, i.e. no outside money allowed.
  • Step 8 - strengthen the Federal Elections Commission by staffing it with seasoned prosecutors, not political appointees, so that cronyism is not a factor in prosecuting election law violations.
  • Step 18 - hold all of the Democratic and Republican primaries on the same day in order to shorten the election cycle that should also result in less money being spent on the primary election cycle.
  • Step 39 - impose single term limits on all politicians which would remove a huge amount of corruption and money exchanging going on since a lame duck politician, which a single term politician would be, would not be given campaign funding for their re-election since it does not exist anymore.
These steps, when implemented, would greatly reduce the amount of money that goes into our election process and would reduce the distortion that the huge amounts of money cause. Waiting for our political class to voluntarily behave is not going to happen, they are part of the insanity. Only the structured electoral changes listed above in these steps will restore sanity and fairness to our election process.

And, a side benefit of these steps might be that some of this wasteful $2 billion would find its way back into society and be used for some more useful purposes, such as growing the economy, adding teachers to our schools, increasing the health benefits of our citizens, etc.

 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.

Please visit the following sites for freedom:

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Mess That Is Afghanistan

A few recent news articles from various sources illustrate what a mess our political class has allowed Afghanistan to become:

- In an Associated Press article on October 6, 2010, Chris Brummitt reported on how black markets for U.S. taxpayer funded goods have appeared throughout the Afghan and Pakistan countrysides. He found the following for sale in these markets:
  • U.S. Army gear stamped with soldiers' names.
  • U.S. military booklets stamped "for official use only."
  • A manual that shows how "jammers" can stop remote controlled bombs.
  • U/S. boots, flashlights, tools, medical equipment, office supplies, food, and military uniforms.
A warehouse raid in Pakistan in early October turned up the following American goods:
  • Helicopter spare parts
  • Medical instruments
  • Flak jackets
So, nine years into this war and lord know how many U.S. taxpayer dollars have been spent to provide these supplies but which ended up on the black market. As always with our government and political class, no one has had to face the consequences of such waste. The article provided no hint that a crackdown was underway or changed procedures were imminent to cut down on the waste and leakage of American goods into potentially lethal hands, hands intent on killing American service personnel. How sad would it be if road side bombs became more prevalent in the war effort because the manual on how to jam them fell into terrorist or Taliban hands? How sad would it be if Americans were killed by American guns bought in these black markets? Pitiful

- Laura King of the L.A Times  reported on October 25, 2010, as have other news sources, that Afghan President Hamid Karzai had confirmed that his office regularly received large cash sums of money from Iranian officials but insisted that it was no big deal. No big deal??? We have poured billions of dollars and how much American bloodshed into supporting his government and his life style and then he accepts regular payments from a serious, serious enemy of our country, it is not big deal? The payments, about $2 million a year were in "bulging sacks of currency," and according to Karzai, were intended to defray government operating costs. I would hazard a bet that those bulging sacks of money are much lighter once they get to the intended use of defraying operating costs.

However, you do have to hand it to Karzai. He is a master of leverage, playing one side off against another to his and his cronies personal and financial benefit. According to the article, he is worried that the United States and other Western powers will eventually abandon Afghanistan and he wants to cover his bets with such powers as Iran and China who might then step into the void. He is playing Obama and the U.S. political class for fools and getting rich in the process. The very sad news is that our politicians either do not see the reality of being played or do not know how to handle the situation. In either case, the American taxpayer is the loser.

- We are rapidly coming up on the one year anniversary of Obama's West Point speech regarding Afghanistan. At that time, he committed another U.S. 30,000 troops to the battle but immediately then declared that we would start withdrawing those and the rest of the troops within eighteen months. We now know, according to a recent Washington Post article by Charles Krauthammer, that those latter words gave encouragement to the Taliban and other terrorists. This conclusion came from intercepted Taliban communications where they told each other that they just had to wait out America's resolve.

Why did Obama put a time limit of eighteen months? According to the latest Bob Woodward book, "Obama's War," the reason for the timeline withdrawal was because "I can't lose the whole Democratic Party."  Just another example where we see that President Obama is not a leader, he is just another Chicago style politician, comfortable with putting his political fortunes ahead of the lives of our service men and women and the tax dollars of America's citizens. What leader would further endanger our soldiers lives because of the potential political ramifications?

What has Obama done relative to Afghanistan since that speech on December 1, 2009? His focus has certainly not been on the war since he has held not a single press conference or given a major speech (or a minor one) on the war effort in Afghanistan. We do know that during the Gulf oil spill crisis that he played seven rounds of golf, took two vacations, and made at least two cross country trips to campaign for California Democrats so we know for at least that time period Obama had no focus at all on the war. We know that for the past few months or so he has been flying all over the country endorsing and helping fellow Democratic politicians. In the mean time, our forces have been fighting, and dying, in a war that has received next to zero attention by the commander in chief put them in further danger with his eighteen month deadline.

According to Woodward, "He [the President] is out of Afghanistan psychologically." He may be out but our soldiers are not out, our taxpayer dollars are not out, and our reputation and original mission are not out. What a mess and all because the man sitting in the White House refuses to lead and thinks only of his own political fortunes. Even more of a mess.

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.

Please visit the following sites for freedom:

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Conflicts Of Interest and The Lies That Are Our Political Class When It Comes To Banks

Consider the sleazy, conflict of interest behavior of our political class that has occurred over the past year or so:

- In the middle of the TARP bank bailout discussion and debate, the Associated Press reported that Congresswoman Ginny Waite Brown from Florida was actively trading stocks of the very banks she was helping determine if and how much taxpayer bailout money those very banks would be receiving. She obviously had insider information since she knew what banks would be getting a government bailout boost and which ones would not. In real life this is called insider trading and is generally a felony. In the political class reality, this is business as usual. When called out on this obviously conflict of interest, her staff tried to justify these actions by revealing that she had actually lost money on these trades. How ridiculous is this justification? It was alright to participate in insider trading and have a gross conflict of interest since she was an incompetent stock trader? Don't think that argument would hold up in court. Conflict of interest, insider trading style.

- A report, that was reprinted recently in an October issue of The Week magazine, reported that six dozen Congressional staffers had traded in stocks of companies that their political bosses were actively involved in. One staffer heavily traded in Bank Of American stock when he found out early, before the rest of the world, that Bank of America had successfully passed its so-called "stress test," i.e. it was deemed a healthy company. Conflict of interest, being a parasite off of a politician style.

- Congresswoman Maxine Walters is likely to go on trial before the House Of Representatives after the midterm elections, accused of allegedly using her influence in Congress to get the Treasury Department to change their minds on a specific bank and to allow it to get bailout funds. Apparently, according to the investigators. Ms. Walters' husband stood to lose a substantial investment he had made in the failing bank unless it was bailed out with taxpayer money. Conflict of interest, family style.

- It is interesting that Ms Walters will be facing charges while Senator Daniel Inouye of Hawaii will not. The Associated Press reported some time ago that Mr Inouye's staff had encouraged those in charge of bailouts to funnel some taxpayer bailout money to a local Hawaiian that was initially not going to receive any government funds. The reason his staff was allegedly involved: the Senator had invested a substantial amount of his personal funds in the bank, which would be lost if the bank was not bailed out by the Treasury Department. Conflict of interest, personal wealth style.

- A December, 2008 Associated Press article reported that earlier in the year many of the big banks and financial institutions that received taxpayer bailout money were also heavy contributors to the implementation of both the Democratic and Republican national conventions. AIG, Goldman Sachs, Citibank, and Freddie Mac (a government entity!) had themselves contributed $3.1 million to the parties and celebrations that are also known as political conventions (other banks had also contributed more). Several months after the conventions, these same companies received tens of billions of dollars in unwarranted taxpayer funds. Not a bad deal, give the political class millions, have the political class give them back billions in taxpayer dollars. Conflict of interest, corporate welfare style.

- And now the latest in sleazy political class behavior. According to an October 22, 2010 article in the Boston Herald by Dave Wedge, Massachusetts Congressman, Barney Frank, has accepted $40,000 from financial institutions that received bailout/TARP from the government. Two things make this action so despicable. First, Congressman Frank was at the center of the whole taxpayer bank bailout activity since he was chairman of the lead House of Representatives committee that was determining which institutions got how much taxpayer money, if any. Second, in 2009, Mr. Frank told the Washington publication, Roll Call, that he "won't take any PAC money from banks that took TARP funds, nor would I take it from the top executive." However, according to Mr. Wedge's research and article:

  • According to Mr Frank's own campaign disclosure reports, he accepted a campaign donation of $7,000 from top executives from Bank Of America. Bank of America received  $45 billion in taxpayer bailout funds.
  • He received $5,000 for Bank Of America's Federal PAC fund.
  • He received $10,000 form the Bank Of New York Mellon Corporation which received $3 billion from the bailout fund.
  • He received $2,000 from the Financial Services Roundtable PAC that includes representatives from TARP recipients Bank of America, JP Morgan, Chase, and Wells Fargo.
  • He received $1,000 from U.S. Bancorp's PAC which received $6 billion in bailout funds.
I guess the pledge had a time limit or expiration date. It was good for as long as Mr. Frank did not need the money. Makes you wonder why we ever believe what the politicians tell us. They never seem to really mean it and have no problem justifying their behavior in their own minds, hypocrisy and conflict of interest be damned.

These are just a few examples of how the political class is so much more concerned about their own wealth, their own welfare, and their own future and not the wealth, welfare, and future of ordinary Americans and the country as a whole. That is why systematic changes are needed to structurally change how politicians behave, they have proven time and again that when left to their own devices and integrity, they cannot do the right and ethical thing. Several steps from "Love My Country, Loathe My Government" would be a good start to this structural change:
  • Step 39 - implement term limits so that re-election campaigns and their financing become a thing of the past since re-elections would no longer exist.
  • Step 40 - prohibit any politicians to go to work for a company or lobbying firm or other entity that the politicians had responsibility for during their tenure in office for at least ten years after they leave office.
  • Step 7 - implement election financing rules and laws that allow only individual citizens to contribute to election campaigns. The Bill of Rights guarantees freedom of speech for individual Americans, not freedom of speech for corporations, unions, PACs, etc., they should not be protected by this individual freedom and should not be allowe to flood the election process with funding. Only individual American should be allowed to contribute to election campaigns.
  • Step 38 - require all politicians to sign off on an annual shared values commitment pledge which includes enhanced anti-conflict of interest rules that result in stronger penalties for personal wealth, family welfare, insider information, insider trading, and other conflict of interest situations which could result in stiffer penalties including dismissal from office and criminal prosecution.
Our politicians have proven that they cannot prevent the conflict of interest sleaze that follows them around. We will have to do it for them with the above steps and an ever vigilant watch that requires us to identify subtlee and overt conflicts of interest and demand that they be eliminated. It is time for America and its citizens to retake the central focus of the government, not the individual welfare of the 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.

Please visit the folloiwng sites for freedom:

Thursday, October 21, 2010

If You Thought The Federal Government's Finances Were In Bad Shape...

Many times in this blog we have talked about how dangerously high the Federal government's debts and spending are and how that debt and spending threaten the very solvency of the country. Just in the last three fiscal years during which the Democrats controlled Congress,  including the first two years of the Obama Presidency, the national debt will have gone up about $4 TRILLION or about $35,000 per U.S. household. It is on a trajectory to go up another $8 TRILLION in the next decade and that is probably a best case scenario. This comes out to over $100,000 per household. All of the standard measures of sound fiscal policy, e.g. annual deficit as a percentage of GDP, total national debt as a percentage of GDP, etc. are raising red flags of how dire our nation's Federal government finances are.

But, wait! There's more. If you thought the Federal government was in bad financial shape, consider some statistics for some local and state governments that appeared in a recent New York Times article by David Brooks:

  • In New Jersey, employment benefit packages for state employees are 41% higher than similar benefit packages for those working for the average Fortune 500 company.
  • New York City schools are in bad shape, possibly because the city has allowed over 10,000 former policemen and police women to retire before the age of 50.
  • In California, a state very, very close to bankruptcy, in-state police officers receive 90% of their salaries when they retire at age 50.
  • An average California corrections officer can earn over $100,000 when overtime is taken into account. The article points out that California spends more money on its prison system than its school systems.
  • Unfunded state government pension obligations total about $2 TRILLION. According to a source quoted in the article, a political scientist at the City College of New York, government employees at all levels of government earn, on average, make $14 more per hour in wages and benefits than their private sector equivalents.
  • Buffalo, New York has 50% fewer citizens than it had in 1950 but the same number of local government employees.
Want some more torture? Consider the following facts from the November, 2010 issue of Reason magazine and the article that provided a blueprint for financially saving the country:
  • During the Great Recession, the private sector of the economy shed almost 8.5 million jobs but all levels of government actually added government employees during the recession to the tune of 100,000. Thus, there were fewer and fewer private sector jobs and their taxes to support more government employees, putting tremendous strains on the government budgets below the Federal level.
  • In a July report, the national conference of State Legislators estimated that the states face a total budget gap of $84 billion for the next fiscal year, with almost half of all states thinking that their deficits will be more than 10% of their total budgets.
  • In a June analysis, the National Governors Association estimated that the cumulative budget shortfalls for state governments over the next three years will be almost $300 billion. Despite their own estimates, the same Governors are recommending budgets that are actual 3.6% HIGHER for fiscal 2011.Talk about insanity. Fewer private sector jobs are available but state and local governments expand. Governors know they will have less money in the coming years but recommend that state government budgets be increased. Population bases shrink substantially but the governments supporting substantially fewer citizens does not. It's crazy.
Why are we in this situation. Two possible causes:

  • Mr. Brooks suggests that it all comes down to the political class looking to spend taxpayer dollars to buy votes for the perpetual re-election. Take care of the public employee unions with high salary raises during economic boom times and promised future pension increases in lean times, essentially kicking the financial time bomb of pensions down the road to future generations, and you will most assuredly get most of the union votes and a good chance of re-election, fiscal sanity and prudence need not apply.
  • The Reason article debunks the claims by state and local politicians that the economic downturn caused their budget problems. The article calculates that between 2000 and 2008, i.e. good economic times before the full impact of the recession took hold, the national population grew 8% and the CPI inflation indicator grew 25%. Thus, a rough estimate of how much state and local government should have grown to take into account more people and inflation ( Buffalo, follow closely) would be about 33%. However, during the good times and before the Great Recession, overall state government spending actually increased about 60%, almost twice as much as it logically should have. Thus, the political class has no one to blame but themselves. They increased their power and statue at the expense of their taxpaying constituents well before they can blame the economic downturn. Thus, ego, not recession, got most of the states into the budget mess they are in today.
The sad part of the whole situation is that the state and local governments are now so hamstrung by these outrageous commitments to unions and pensions, they have very little money left for helping out their citizens. By overpaying police and corrections officers, both active and retired, the state of California neglects its school systems. The New Jersey Governor recently suspended work on a new tunnel into New York City from New Jersey because it was getting too expensive and also because the state has such high commitments to its public sector unions that there is little money left over for such projects, even though the long term financial benefit of the tunnel is high. Buffalo's city government is 50% less efficient than it was 60 years ago simply because it has the same number of public employees serving  half as many people, despite productivity and efficiency enhancements in the way we live and work, e.g. computers, communications, etc.

Mr. Brooks really nails the underlying problem with the following thoughts:

"Many of us would be happy to live with a bigger version of 1950s government: one that ran surpluses and was dexterous enough to tackle long-term problems as they arose. But we don't have that government. We have an immobile government that is desperately overcommittted in all the wrong ways.... Someday there will be a political movement that is willing to make choices, that is willing to say 'this but not that.'"

"Immobile government," what a wonderful vision that also applies to the Federal government and the political class running it. Politicians seem to spend most of their time in office running for their next re-election, never willing to say no to any group or organization in order to scrounge up as many votes as possible, logic and fiscal sanity be damned. We never run surpluses and we never see them tackle long term problems. Problems like the War On  Drugs, the energy crisis, failing public education, illegal immigration, impending fiscal insolvency of Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid, etc. are never solved. Seems like the same paralysis is also happening at the local and state level. Be scared, be very scared.

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.

Please visit the following sites for freedom:

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

One Final Pass At Obama's Failed Economic Stimulus Program

I know we have beat this issue to death over the past year so this is hopefully the last time we have to review what a failure it has been. I do it one more time since I am tired of the midterm election political rhetoric from the Democrats that claim how successful it was. Much like the failed bank bailout program (TARP) that gave taxpayer money to banks that did not need it or that deserved to go out of business because of their own incompetence, Obama's economic stimulus program also severely over promised and  under delivered, mostly because they were 1) based on faulty assumptions about life and reality and 2) were developed and administered by the low performing political class.

So, one last time:

- In order to get the stimulus package passed, Obama administration representatives tried to scare us with economic horror stories that might come to pass if the stimulus bill was not passed. The most famous horror story was the one that said U.S. unemployment would soar to 8% if the legislation was not passed. Well, the legislation was passed and unemployment soared right past 8% and keep rising before setting into about 10% for the past untold number of months. This number probably underestimates the true unemployment rate since it does not include those Americans that have dropped out of the workforce due to the frustration of not finding a job. Hundreds of billions of dollars spent under the stimulus umbrella and unemployment soars, not a good plan.
- The November, 2010 issue of Reason magazine has a fine article called "How To Slash The State." The article does a detailed and meticulous job of going through Federal government functions and identifying places where the Federal budget could be slashed with minimal impact on most Americans' lives. One of the article's recommendations is to not spend the remaining portion of the economic stimulus legislation, $301 billion. Given that the stimulus legislation authorized $794 billion to be spent, that means that about $493 billion was spent in order to drive up the unemployment rate to 10%. The article points out that through June, 2010, a government operated website,, had estimated that the stimulus money spent so far had created 749,143 jobs. What the article does not do is do the basic math which is to divide the amount of money spent to create jobs by the number of jobs created, which in this case equals $658,085. I doubt that we can fix the unemployment problem by spending over $650,000 per new job.
- And these numbers assume that the government estimate of jobs created is accurate. When the first set of numbers came out, it was widely reported that a lot of double counting had taken place, inflating the jobs created total. A Florida day care center reportedly saved 129 jobs with stimulus spending but when you got to the core of their estimates, it turns out that the day care center gave raises to 129 workers with the stimulus money, no jobs were created or saved. Thus, the numbers in the above paragraph are probably worst than calculated.
- The sad thing about these numbers is that even if they had worked as advertised, this program would still be a disaster. For example, the administration claimed that if we spent the $749 billion, we would create 3 million jobs. If the program had worked as promised,the cost per job created would have been about $250,000 per job created ($749 billion divided by 3 million new jobs). Again, you cannot solve the unemployment problem if it costs you a quarter million dollars to create one job. Did no one in the Obama administration think to do this simple math calculation ahead of time?
- Why did the economic stimulus bill not stimulate? Well, maybe it was because of how the money was spent in some cases, as detailed in the Wall Street Journal in January, 2009:
  • $554,763 to replace windows in a closed Forest Service visitor center in Washington state.
  • $762,372 to create an interactive dance software program.
  • $72 million for a useless tunnel in Pittsburgh that even the Pennsylvania Governor did not want.
  • $1.9 million for international ant research.
  • $89,298 to replace a new sidewalk that leads to a ditch in Boynton, Oklahoma.
  • $16 million to help Boeing clean up an environmental mess that Boeing itself created in 2007.
  • $200,000 to help Siberian communities lobby Russian policy makers.
  • $39.7 million to upgrade the statehouse and political offices in Kansas.
  • $760,000 to Georgia Tech to study improvised music.
  • $456,663 to study the circulation of Neptune's atmosphere.
  • $529,648 to study the effects of local populations on the environment in the Himalayas.
Is there any doubt now why the economic stimulus bill did not economically stimulate? You cannot stimulate the economy if you pay to research ants or Neptune's atmosphere or spend U.S. taxpayer money in Siberia or the Himalayas. I would bet that if you peeled back the cover to each of these expenditures you would find a politician that personally benefited from the project that was funded. Kansas politicians can now go home and brag about how they got the rest of the country to pay for the Kansas statehouse renovation, a renovation that only Kansas citizens should have paid for. The Georgia politicians can go home and brag about the money they grabbed from the U.S. taxpayer for an in-state university for a project that has no economic bearing or potential. I would bet that some politician got an election campaign donation for giving Boeing $16 million to clean up a mess that Boeing made. As always, our politicians were looking out only for their own political careers and their perpetual re-election, the good of the country be damned.

Consider for a moment if a different approach had been taken to the economic crisis. Would if the $794 billion had been returned to the taxpayers? It is our wealth and our money so why not return it to us? We are going to have to pay off the debt of Obama's failed stimulus package so why shouldn't we get the rewards? It is not the government's money, it is not Obama's money, it is not the politicians' money, it is our money. Consider:
  • If each American household got an equal portion  of the $794 billion, each household would have received a check for about $6,900.
  • This comes out to about $133 a week.
  • This money would have helped a struggling family put meals on the table for a year while they tried to get back on their feet.
  • This money might have helped some families avoid foreclosures on their house or least help pay down their mortgage.
  • This money might have been used to buy a new car, go on a vacation, go out to a restaurant once in a while, repair or refurbish their homes, buy a new television, or spend the money on something else and thus, stimulating the economy themselves for things they wanted, far more efficiently than spending it on ant research  and dance software.
  • Families might have been able to use the money to seed a new business venture, also stimulating the economy.
It does not matter what they would have spent the money on, they would have spent it immediately and injected most of the money into the a moribund economy. Ask yourself:  how much worse could this approach have been vs. the doomed Obama economic stimulus approach? At least as citizens we could have seen where our financial futures were going, we would have been spending it ourselves.

That's it, hopefully forever. The economic stimulus program did not work, the numbers do not lie. Depressed GDP numbers, stubbornly high unemployment numbers, and political approval ratings for both the President and Congress heading south. Enough said.

 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.

Please visit the following sites for freedom:

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Speak Out Against The Madness Of Irritating, Aggravating, And Possibly Illegal Antics Of The American Political Class

Mid-term elections are coming up and the mudslinging has been building for a while now. Never mind that we do not talk issues and solutions any more during campaign season, just name calling and sleazy behavior. In this spirit of sleaze, today's post is dedicated to an eclectic set of less than honorable situations that the American political class is involved in that are irritating, aggravating, and possibly illegal: 
  • An October 14, 2010 Associated Press article covered how the largest Medicare fraud scam had recently been uncovered and shut down. According to the article, Armenian gangsters, not even American gangsters, used fake health care clinics and other methods to defraud the Medicare fund of $163 million. 73 people were arrested throughout the country. The article states that the "scope and sophistication puts the traditional Mafia to shame." Law enforcement officials labeled  the head of the fraud operation as roughly equivalent to a traditional godfather of crime. Some of the group's undoings were instances where eye doctors filed claims for bladder tests, ear, nose and throat specialists performed pregnancy ultrasound tests, and  a dermatologist billed Medicare for heart exams. The aggravating thing about this situation is why was it was this operation not shut down sooner?  Why did it take so long, which allowed millions of taxpayer dollars to be sent out, before someone, somewhere realized that a dermatologist should not be doing heart exams? The scarier aspect of this bust is that these were Armenian gangsters. I am assuming that the Russian mob in this country are also involved in similar fraud operations, that some of the larger gangs in the country are involved, etc. When will they get shut down? And finally, the real depressing aspect is that while this is the largest operation ever uncovered for this type of fraud, it represents less than .2% of the overall suspected Medicare fraud. Nice effort, but still a long way to go. Unless much larger and more numerous shutdowns like this occur, when Obama Care kicks in you will see fraud numbers like you have never seen before.
  • According to a short article in the October 8, 2010 issue of The Week magazine, another small town Mexican mayor was killed, supposedly by drug traffickers. He was stoned to death. and was the fifth Mexican mayor murdered in six weeks in drug cartel violence.. He was mayor only because the former mayor and city council resigned after the town's city council leader had also been killed. Also, an American was recently killed when he and his wife came under attack while jet skiing on a lake that separates Texas and Mexico. One of the Mexican investigators following up on the killing was also killed. We are facing unprecedented violence just south of our border as a result of our faulty drug policies and laws and no one in the political class seems to care. What will it take besides a dead American on vacation to sit up and realize that sooner or later this dreadful violence is going to come across the border?
  • According to a Wall Street Journal report that was printed in the October 22, 2010 issue of The Week magazine, at least six dozen Congressional aides bought or sold shares in companies their bosses oversee. One aide invested in Bank Of America shares after he found out in advance that the bank had passed its so-called "stress test." The aggravating aspect of this situation, according to the article, is that this behavior is not illegal. Political class members and their staffs can legally trade on nonpublic information they learn on their jobs. Any other American doing this would go to jail for insider trading. Talk about irritating hypocrisy.
  • In that same issue of The Week, a Washington Monthly article reviewed how one Senator, Alabama Senator Richard Shelby, was holding up the nomination of Peter Diamond to a Federal Reserve Board seat because Shelby does not  think he is qualified. This resistance is despite the fact that Diamond just won the Nobel prize for economics earlier this month. I am not necessarily mad at Shelby and I do not know whether Diamond is qualified (although the Nobel prize should carry some weight). I am aggravated that we allow one person in a country of over 300 million people to hold up legislation and appointments via antiquated Senate rules and courtesies. If Shelby has a problem, let him speak out and then vote  yes or no. Don't stop the process by allowing a single individual to be a road block to legislation or appointments.
  • According to an article in the  October 22, 2010 issue of The Week Magazine, a Washington Post article reported that as part of Obama's stimulus plan, the Social Security Administration sent out 89,000 checks for $250 each to people who were dead or in jail. The prisoners, while not entitled to the checks, will be allowed to keep the money. There's another $22,650,000 of taxpayer money down the drain. A few irritating questions for the political class: how many teachers could that money have paid for, how many meals for the homeless could that money have paid for, how many vaccinations for the poor could that money have paid for, and most importantly, how many Social Security employees got fired as a result of this incompetence? Unfortunately, those politicians sitting on the Congressional committees that should have oversaw and prevented this waste get to continue in their committee seats, just another reward for their incompetence.
  • President Obama and the rest of the Federal level Democrats are constantly harping on the fact that if they had not risked hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars in the bail out of the banks back in 2008, the banking system would have collapsed and led to a world wide economic depression. However, we have already reported in this blog that many of the banks returned their bailout money within six months of receiving it, indicating that maybe things were not so dire as we were led to believe. A bank probably cannot go from the brink of extinction to the picture of health in a few short months just because they received bailout money. The more likely scenario is that the banks saw a free lunch that they sat down to eat, only to find out that the lunch came with a bunch of conditions, including limits on executive pay, that made banks give back the money as soon as possible. Furthermore, we now learn from a Wall Street Journal article that appeared in the October 8, 2010 issue of The Week magazine, only 279 U.S. banks have actually failed since 2008. According to my research, there are currently 8,430 FDIC insured banks in the country, over 9,500 credit unions in the country, and other banks that are not FDIC insured. If you divide the number of banks that failed by the total number of banks in the country, you see that only 3.3% of the banks have failed in the past two years. The number goes down to 1.6% if you include the number of credit unions that surely picked up some of the slack when these 279 banks went under. The article goes on to point out that another 829 banks are at risk of failure. If you assume worse case, i.e. that all of these banks fail, you are still only looking at 13% of all banks and 6% of all financial institutions including credit unions. Thus, this charade that we were on the brink of a banking catastrophe is hogwash. There would have been enough banks, along with the FDIC, to provide consumer protection and other financial options if this small percentage of banks had failed or do actually fail. It is so aggravating that the political class constantly assumes we are too dumb to do the math in these types of situations.
  • A recent blurb in the Organic Gardening and Farming magazine was recently brought to my attention. The magazine recently reported that total U.S. energy consumption in 1973 was 75.7 quadrillion BTUs. That has now grown to 101.6 quadrillion BTUs, a 34% increase. Our energy imports since 1973 have gone up a whopping 137%. The article failed to point out that since 1973, the American political class has come up with exactly zero effective national energy policies and strategies, leaving us ever more dependent on carbon based fuels and tenuous foreign sources of energy. Very aggravating and frustrating.
  • According to a recent Business Week article, nine years after we militarily entered Afghanistan, we have yet to capture Bin Laden (the original intent of the occupation), we have allowed the Taliban to regroup and dominate southern Afghanistan, we are supporting a corrupt and ineffective central government, if we were to leave tomorrow the Taliban would likely prevail and come into power again, we have suffered almost 10,000 dead and wounded service men and women, and we have spent over $400 billion in military and reconstruction dollars. This waste of time, energy, lives, and money goes far beyond irritating and aggravating, it enters the realm of disgusting. So much cost and so little to show for it. And rather than finding a doable and intelligent solution and an end to the insanity, Obama mostly cares about not "losing the Democratic party," i.e. politics trumps our troops safety and our investment of time and dollars.
The political class never stops irritating and aggravating us and possibly involving themselves in unethical and criminal behavior (we did not even bring up the alleged improprieties of Charles Rangel and Maxine Walters). We need to find a way to break away from the same myopic and unoriginal thinkers we constantly resend to Congress and elect people who are innovative, hard working and ethical. Many of the steps needed to begin this journey out of our current national rut are outlined in "Love My Country, Loathe My government:"
  • Step 5 - aggressively step up the investigation of fraud and criminal activity as it relates to all government programs to stop the leaking of hundreds of billions of dollars year that eventually end up in the hands of criminal enterprises.
  • Step 14 - stop the gerrymandering of Congressional districts that have been used to virtually assure the re-election of incumbents in the past.
  • Step 26 - convene a panel of drug experts from various fields to finally come up with a coherent national drug policy and strategy that helps with addiction, minimizes the criminal aspect of illegal drugs, and helps to destroy the Mexican drug cartels and their related violence.
  • Steps 23, 24, 25 - implement these three steps to finally come up with a coherent and doable national energy policy that is environmentally friendly and relieves our dependence on foreign energy sources.
  • Step 34 - remove politicians from their committee posts if they do not properly oversee or perform their jobs over the areas of government they are responsible for, e.g. those committee members sitting on the Social Security committees that missed the snafu of sending taxpayer money to prisoners ands dead people, should lose their committee posts.
  • Step 39 - institute term limits so that we can regularly get rid of the aggravating, irritating, and criminal people that are always seem to get re-elected.
Speak out against the madness, as Crosby, Stills and Nash once sang. Stop the irritations, the aggravations, and the illegal activities of our current, low performing crop of politicians. 

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.

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