Friday, January 18, 2013

How About More Hate Control Before More Gun Control, Part 4 - Protecing Our Kids, Protecting The Second Amendment, No Tax Increases, it Can Be Done

This is the final post in our series on how to protect ourselves and our families from violence and gun play without shredding the Second Amendment in the process. We have discussed how the political class is again not looking for the root causes of the violence that happened in Newtown, Connecticut last month, instead focusing on the “what” of the incident, guns were used to kill innocents, rather than the “why” of the incident, why and how could someone become so irrespective of life and humanity. As a result, we will end up with less freedom via more government control without solving the root causes.

We have discussed several real life examples of how Americans and their legally owned weapons defended themselves, their families, and their assets from violent criminals, an option that some politicians would like to see eliminated via more draconian gun control laws.

We discussed the fact that more stringent gun control laws do not reduce violence. We reviewed examples of where higher legal gun ownership resulted in less crime but lower gun ownership, more restrictive gun control laws resulted in higher rates of violent crime (e.g. Chicago). We reviewed scientific studies that proved this point and other studies that pointed to the legal overmedication of Americans as a high potential cause for mass slayings like Newtown, not the availability of guns.

We concluded from all of this discussion that outlawing or severely restricting the ownership of guns by responsible Americans will result in more violence, will not cause violent criminals to turn in or register their guns, or solve the problems like what happened in Newtown.

But there is a simple, better way to protect our kids without endangering the rest of the population, without shredding the Second Amendment, and without viciously dividing the country again along political lines. On December 24, 2013, we proposed a way to protect our kids in while in school from violence and gun play without raising the taxes on any American:

Thus, the Independent Journal Review’s vote for the worst Federal spending in 2012:
  • Tax loopholes for the National Football League (NFL), National Hockey League (NHL) and Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) – professional sports leagues that generate billions of dollars annually in profits pay nothing in Federal income taxes($91 million worth of taxes)
  • Moroccan pottery classes (part of a $27 million grant from U.S. Agency for International Development)
  • Efforts to promote caviar consumption and production ($300,000)
  • The building of a robotic squirrel named “RoboSquirrel”- part of a $325,000 grant from the National Science Foundation
  • Promotion of specialty shampoo and other beauty products for cats and dogs ($505,000)
  • Corporate welfare for the world’s largest snack food producer, PepsiCo Inc. ($1.3 million)
  • Government-funded study on how golfers might benefit from using their imagination, envisioning the hole is bigger than it actually is ($350,000)
  • “Prom Week,” a video game that allows taxpayers to relive prom night ($516,000)
  • Oklahoma’s layover boondoggle, a scarcely used airport in Oklahoma receiving nearly half-a-million in taxpayer dollars only to transfer funds elsewhere in the state ($450,000)
  • The 2012 Alabama Watermelon Queen tour, paid for in part by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, “to promote the consumption of Alabama’s watermelon through appearances of the Alabama Watermelon Queen at various events and locations” ($25,000)
  • Out-of-this-world Martian – $947,000 – NASA is studying what food astronauts could eat on Mars by simulating a Mars outpost at a barren location in Hawaii
  • ObamaPhones’ – $1.5 billion. Enrollment in the Lifeline program has skyrocketed as people sign up to get free cell phone for which they qualify if they are on federal tested programs
  • Speed reading faces – $30,000. NSF funds used to study whether people can determine a person’s sexual orientation with just a glance.
  • Fighting obesity with giant graffiti carrots – $13,000. Anti-obesity funds pay for a giant graffiti mural focused on sustainability.
  • Another bridge to nowhere – $520,000. A covered bridge in Ohio that is not used by cars or tied to any walking or bike trail will be rehabilitated with federal funds
  • Free bus rides for Super Bowl attendees – $142,419. A Department of Transportation grant paid for free bus rides during the 2012 Super Bowl in Indianapolis. Average prices for Super Bowl tickets are around $3,000
  • Movie theater field trip to see “Red Tails” – $57,000. Federal education funds were misused in Texas to send fifth-grade boys to a movie theater to see “Red Tails” (girls were left behind).
  • Self-reflection video game using Henry David Thoreau’s 1845 writings – $40,000. National Endowment for the Humanities funding pays for video game simulating Thoreau’s experience at Walden Pond.
  • U.S. Iraqi police State Department training program burns through hundreds of millions, crashes in flames – $400.2 million. State Dept’s Iraq police training program has failed miserably, according the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction. No objectives were created, and classes did not help Iraqis at all. The State Department will hand over to the Iraqis several building projects that ended up being unnecessary
  • The streetcar named No Desire – $35.6 million. Federal transportation money will help build a trolley in St. Louis that has been called the “Streetcar Named No Desire” by one local. It duplicates existing light rail and public transportation, some say.
  • Sidewalks to nowhere anger local citizens – $1.1 million. Department of Transportation funds are used for “sidewalks to nowhere” in Florida and Michigan that have local citizens angered. In Florida, the sidewalk was a “safe route to school” that was still unsafe. In Michigan, Federal requirements forced a county to make sidewalk ramps at an intersection without sidewalks.
  • Congressional salaries total almost $100 million. Seems like they should be able to get something done for that much money? Especially since these people will work only 13 Fridays in 2012 and worked less than three weeks in the three months leading up to the November elections.
These 22 wasteful spending expenses total $2,160,420,419. Let’s
do some simple math, in light of the Connecticut school shootings:
  • According to the Federal government, there 132,183 private and public schools in this country up through high school. (
  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average police officer in this country earns about $55,000 a year.
  • If we decided to place an armed, trained police officer in every school in America, the annual cost would be about $7.3 billion a year.
  • If we could somehow magically redirect the above wasteful spending away from these trivial expenses to funding protection for our kids in school, we would be able to put a trained, armed police officer in 30% of the nation’s schools. ($7.3 billion in police officer costs divided into the $2.16 billion in spending on the 22 projects/program listed above.)
  • Thus, if we could find another 50 or so other, similarly wasteful Federal government spending instances (something that would be extremely easy to do), we could annually put a trained, armed police officer in EVERY U.S. school, without raising taxes on any American.
  • Another approach would be to magically redirect the $2.16 billion to protecting 30% of our schools and charge every American household just $.85 a month in taxes to cover the other 70% of schools.
  • Still another approach is to consider the fact that the U.S. has needlessly deployed over 130,000 troops in Europe, Japan, and South Korea. Rather than using taxpayer money to defend Seoul, Tokyo, and Paris, maybe it is time to maybe it is time to use that taxpayer money to defend our kids within the confines of this country.
The bottom line is that, as nation, we have the wealth and ability today to more fully protect our kids in their schools without killing any vital Federal program or project, without going through the fruitless and divisive political debate of gun control, and without raising taxes on any American.


Since this blog post and the solution it proposed, we found out that:
  1. President Obama signed legislation that will guarantee that he and his family, along with former Presidents, will have armed, Secret Service protection for life.
  2. The school that President Obama’s kids attend is protected by 11 armed guards everyday in addition to the Secret Service detail assigned to protect his kids.
If the President can provide trained, professional armed guards for his kids in their schools, why can’t we do the same for every American kid while in school? The above math indicates it is possible if we just cleaned up wasteful government spending a little bit.

But there is another way to finance such a program, without raising taxes on any American, if we only could force the political class in Washington to stop spending and wasting taxpayer wealth on themselves and start spending it on our KIDS.

In our January 6, 2013 post, we revealed excessive and useless wasting examples of politicians spending our money on themselves. A few examples include the following disgraces:
  1. Georgia Senator Isakson - Arranged a $4 million earmark for Northrop Gruman in exchange for a $7,000 donation and arranged a $1.6 million earmark for Scientific Research Corp. in exchange for a $2,900 donation. (Source: Seattle Times)
  2. Hawaiian Senator Inouye - Secured a $135 million taxpayer financed bailout after intervening on behalf of a poorly managed, non-qualifying bank. Why? Inouye had most of his net worth invested in that bank. (Source: Hawaii Free Press)
  3. Illinois Senator Durbin - Arranged a $1.6 million earmark for Gentex in exchange for a $2,000 donation and arranged another $1.6 million earmark for Epir Technologies in exchange for a $2,700 donation. (Source: Seattle Times)
  4. Rep. Corrine Brown (D - Fla.) - Between 2005 and 2010, Brown helped secure $21.9 million for six clients of a lobbying firm where her daughter works.
  5. Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D - NC) - Butterfield has helped obtain $817,500 over the past few years toward revitalizing buildings in Wilson, N.C. The lawmaker owns 19 properties within three-quarters of a mile of the project.
  6. Rep. Norm Dicks (D - Wash.) - In 2008, Dicks, as an appropriations chairman, secured a $1.82 million earmark for a Washington state environmental agency where his son worked as executive director.
These are just six random examples of politicians wasting our money on their families and their careers, money that could be spent protecting OUR kids. You can visit the dozens and dozens of other examples of similar waste at that January 6th post.

If you did read that post and added up the amount of waste that the political class in Washington dispenses for its own goals every year you would find it sums to $711.6 million. Since, on average, it costs about $55,000 a year to staff a police officer throughout the country, if the political class had used $711.6 million in taxpayer wealth to put an armed police officer in schools rather, than divert the taxpayer money to their financial backers or their friends and family, as outlined in detail in our January 6, 2013 post, we could have armed protection in another 13,000 schools protecting our kids.

Since we have already calculated above that terminating just 22 wasteful government projects would allow us to staff armed officers in about 39,300 schools, this additional savings would put armed police officers in 52,300 schools or about 40% of our schools. No taxes raised, no Second Amendment shredding, just good solid trained protection in over 50,000 schools FOR OUR KIDS! It is that simple.

All it requires is for the Federal government to stop spending over $2 billion a year on stupid, inane, useless projects and programs and stop the political class from using taxpayer money to grease their reelection campaigns and the personal wealth of themselves and their family members. You decide what are the better spending priorities, I know what my answer is.

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