Thursday, December 17, 2015

December, 2015,By The Numbers, Part 1: Guns Reduce Crime, Americans Do Not Want More Syrians, Another Financial Bubble, and More

This is the first post this month as we continue our periodic discussion of “by the numbers.” We do this theme occasionally where we look at the reality of the numbers in the world and not the lies, deceptions, and spin of the American political class. I used to work for a boss whose favorite quote was: “There is nothing more devastating to an opinion than the correct number.” By looking at the statistics, trends, and numbers in our world we can cut through the politicians’ smoke screen to truly understand what is going on and hopefully, remedy the issues of the day.

And there will be a lot of smoke to cut through in the next few posts. Much of what we will touch on has to do with many of the current lies, deceptions, and ignorance many politicians, including this President, have been spewing regarding gun control and terrorism, two topics that this President seems to want to link together for his political gain. 

If you have an inability to believe that guns are anything but evil or that this President always stays in integrity, than do not waste your time reading any further. The numbers we will be reviewing come from reputable sources, often from the Obama administration itself, and these numbers will prove that the American political class only uses facts when they fit their political aims and schemes.

1) According to a Wall Street Journal report that was summarized in the December 4, 2015 issue of The Week magazine, more than $110 billion in auto loans have been given out to borrowers with credit scores below 660, the cutoff that is generally considered as less than “good” credit. About $70 billion went to borrowers with credit scores less than 620, the level considered to be bad credit. 

Sub-prime auto loans are now at almost the same level as they were in 2006, just prior to the onset of the Great Recession. Which seems to indicate that banks and other financial institutions have learned nothing from the horrid experiences they put the coutntry through in 2008 with their sub-prime housing loans that led directly to the Great Recession. And it also proves that Washington’s lame attempt to prevent a future occurrence of a sub-prime fiasco via the Dodd-Frank legislation is a failure since we are right back to where we started with dangerous car loans taking the place of dangerous home loans.

2) We have often made the case that much more often than not, American politicians do the exact opposite of what Americans want them to do, as measured by valid public opinion polls. This is because they are more concerned and focused on their own personal needs, careers, and enrichment rather than what Americans want them to do. The last set of examples of such thinking was summarized in the following post:

The following is just another example of such thinking. According to Obama, we should allow at least 10,000 Syrian refugees to immigrate into the country. But according to a recent NBC News/Survey Monkey poll, 56% of Americans are opposed to letting the Syrian refugees into the country and only 41% favor allowing them in. 

Thus, when the President goes off and ridicules those that are opposed to his view, claiming that there is nothing to be scared of from immigrant orphans and widows, he is actually insulting and opposing the majority of Americans. 

And as the recent terrorist shootings point out in California, such a cavalier attitude can get Americans killed and wounded since at least in this one female immigrant case, she was more than willing to kill Americans even if it turned her child into an orphan.

3) Obama and other liberal politicians are hell bent on stripping Americans of their Second Amendment rights. They cry out passionately they are trying to protect us from those with guns who would do us harm. Many of us know this is a total smoke screen to confiscate as many guns as possible and disarm the American citizenry in the face of an overreaching and liberty destroying Federal government and political class. 

And we know this is total bs because we looked at the government crime numbers and trends. Given the gun industry in this country has had a great run of record breaking sales during the Obama administration, the gun control logic would been that crime, especially violent crime, was rising rapidly as more and more citizens had guns. That is why those guns have to be taken away. But the latest FBI annual crime report shows the lunacy of their claims:
  • Despite high guns sales and increasing gun ownership across the country, the overall national crime rate went down 1% in 2014 vs. 2013.
  • It was also down 9.6% in the past five years and a whopping 22.1% over the past ten years.
  • The rate of murder and manslaughter was down 1.2% year over year, down 6.1% over the past five years, and down 20.8% over the past ten years.
  • Auto theft was down an amazing 48.1% over the past ten years.
  • Rapes were down 17.2% over the past ten years and aggravated assault was down 20.1% over the past ten years.
Down, down, down. All of these downward crime rates occurred in the midst of record gun sales and increases in concealed weapons permits being issued. Could it be that the politicians are that stupid to see that arming law abiding citizens with safe firearms training is an effective crime prevention measure, that we really do not need their help in “protecting” ourselves, we can use the Second Amendment to do that for ourselves? The numbers do not lie, unlike politicians who do, especially when it comes to gun control hysteria.

4) The January, 2015 issue of Reason magazine had some very depressing numbers as it relates to foreign aid. Before we check those numbers, keep in mind the following sad domestic numbers in this country:
  • 45 million Americans are receiving Federal food assistance every month.
  • 14 million Americans cannot find a full time job.
  • Millions of Americans find themselves homeless at least for part of the year every year.
  • Millions of veterans are still probably not getting the health care attention that they were promised.
Thus, there are tens of millions of citizens that are having a rough go of it from a healthcare, housing, and food perspective. Which makes the numbers from Reason all that more frustrating. A chart from that article showed the top sixteen countries who received American taxpayer foreign aid in 2012, to the tune of almost $30 billion. 

Think how many Americans could have been helped for with that money vs. what little, if any, benefit we received back from usually hand over billions of dollars to corrupt foreign government officials and their crony pals. 

Some of the most insane features of this foreign aid includes the following:
  • Russia received $440.9 million in American foreign aid in 2012. Really?!?! Russia, what conceivable reason could there be to give Russia upwards of half a billion dollars? What is better, giving Russia, a now strong global enemy, over $400 million or providing housing for homeless Americans?
  • Israel, one of the most vibrant economies and democracies in the world, got over $3 billion in 2012, all in the form of military aid. What is better, taking care of our vets or funding $3 billion in military spending for Israel?
  • Afghanistan got a whopping $12.9 billion in just 2012 alone. Has any U.S. foreign endeavor ever been more wasteful and insulting to the American taxpayer than the whole Afghanistan fiasco?
  • Tanzania, Somalia, and Ethiopia each got well over $400 million each in 2012. Does anyone think that the U.S. taxpayer got back in benefits the over $1 billion that we paid out to these countries?
What these numbers, and what the Reason article nicely explained, is that the vast amount of wealth we spend on foreign aid is almost always a waste of money that makes no sense from a political, common sense, or societal perspective.

So, what did the numbers tell us today:
  1. Foreign aid is a joke in so many ways.
  2. Higher gun possession levels appear to reduce crime, not increase it.
  3. The majority of Americans want less Syrian immigrants, not more.
  4. The Federal government is failing in preventing another financial industry bubble from developing.
The numbers do not lie, politicians do. More numbers, and more lies, tomorrow.

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