Tuesday, April 19, 2016

April, 2016, Part 3, By The Numbers: Obama's Expensive Vacations, Hillary's Lies About Guns, Bernie's Lies About Denmark, and More

On a periodic basis we do some posts that fall under the theme of “by the numbers.” Rather than trust what the American political tells us about reality, we like to examine the real numbers and the real reality in the world to understand what is actually going on. Relying on politicians, and their cohorts in the media, to tell us what is reality is always a sucker bet. They have their own agendas and goals, usually centering around their needs and self-enrichment. So we need to look at the reality of the numbers to determine what is really going on.

Previous analyses of “by the numbers” can be accessed by entering the phrase in the search box above. This is the third and final post this month where we look at the numbers to truly find out how good, not likely, or bad, most likely, the American political class is doing in managing our tax dollars, protecting our freedoms, and resolving major issues that affect all of us. 

1) As Americans file their income taxes this week, consider what a good chunk of those taxes are being used for. According to dogged Freedom of Information Act action by the Judicial Watch organization, they have finally gotten some of the missing information they had been requesting for a long time from the Federal government, namely how much did the 2013-2014 Obama family Hawaiian Christmas vacation cost the American taxpayer. According to Judicial Watch: “This week we received expense records from the Department of Homeland Security revealing that Secret Service expenses for the Obama family vacation to Honolulu during December 2013-January 2014 cost taxpayers at least $316,698.03. These new expense records bring the total for the Hawaii Christmas vacation trip to $8,098,060.33.

Yes, over $8 million for ONE Obama vacation. How did you do with your bottom line tax bill this year? I bet you are not taking an $8 million vacation anytime soon.

2) Any rational human being wishes there were no nuclear weapons in the world. However, if there are going to be nuclear weapons, it is best that the U.S. have a large enough nuclear arsenal to deter any other nuclear weapons possessor from doing anything with theirs. Given all of this, consider the following nuclear weapons numbers that are occurring today, as reported by Stan Gertz of the Washington Free Beacon:

  • The State Department recently announced that while Russia was adding 153 nuclear warheads to its nuclear arsenal in the past year, the U.S. was cutting its arsenal by 57 warheads.
  • In addition, the Defense Department recently stated that Russia is doubling the number of strategic nuclear warheads it has and is still over the 1,550 warhead limit that was established by the START treaty in 2010.
  • Many of Russia’s new nuclear weapons are modern, multiple-warhead road mobile missiles and submarine launched ballistic missiles.
  • By treaty, both the U.S.and Russia are supposed to get their arsenal down to no more than 1,550 warheads by February, 2018.
  • Russia now has 198 MORE nuclear warheads than when it signed off on the latest START nuclear reduction treaty, i.e., they are going in the wrong direction.
  • Experts in this field are expecting Russia to not fulfill its promise to get down to 1,550 nuclear warheads by 2018, with Russian government press reports already estimating that country’s long term warhead levels to be around 2,100, 40% higher than the what the treaty allows, and a U.S. think tank believes the results will be even worse, with deployed Russian nuclear warheads topping out at around 2,500 by 2015, a whopping 67% higher than allowed by the treaty.
Given the total lack of respect that Putin seems to have for Obama and the ratcheting up of the number of Russian nuclear warhead totals, the numbers would tend to support the hypothesis that the START treaty’s targets are pretty worthless at this point in time and going forward.

3) Hillary Clinton recently renewed her hatred for the Second Amendment by calling American gun owners terrorists. I will not go into an in-depth discussion of how wrong she is about the Second Amendment and how it keeps Americans safer from all types of dangers in life, but I would like to do point out to her that gun owners in this country do not burn others alive like real terrorists do, they do not behead people like real terrorists do, they do not enslave women and young girls like real terrorists do, they do not throw gay men and women off high buildings like real terrorists do, they do not commit suicide bombings amongst innocent people like real terrorists do. 

But this post is about the numbers, let’s leave the above reasons of her idiocy on the Second Amendment and look at the numbers in the following two charts from the Heritage Foundation, numbers which prove that increasing gun ownership is strongly correlated with decreasing violent crime (double click on the graphs for a larger view):

No matter how hard Clinton and her types try, the numbers in these charts prove that you cannot say that increasing gun ownership increases violent crime, the numbers do not lie. 
4) Bernie Sanders wants the U.S. to be more like countries like Denmark. The illusion and myth is that these countries have people that get a lot of free stuff and could not be more happy. The fact that these citizens in countries like Denmark pay very, very high income taxes (at least 40%), that there is a value added/sales tax of 25% on EVERY item purchased, and that the cost of gasoline and cars are much, much higher than in the U.S. seems to get lost on people like Bernie. Still, Bernie and his types want to claim that people living in Denmark have a better economic deal.Mark Perry of the American Enterprise Institute has put together a set of numbers to test Bernie’s theory. He compared the cost of living in every U.S. state with a whole range of countries including those like Denmark. He put together a method to compare a nation’s GDP per person across the world and states based on publicly available data including the World Bank (double click on table for larger view):

A couple of obvious conclusions jump out:

  • If we were like Denmark, our economic worth per citizen would be about 20%, $44,916 vs. $54,629, less than it is today and would make our average economic worth comparable to New Mexico.
  • New Mexico GDP per person is about 40% less than the high levels of income in North Dakota and Alaska.
  • This would make us worse off than 38 states in this country.
Not quite the economic dream world people like Bernie lead us to believe.5) Let’s continue with another set of numbers that follow up with previous point, namely that life is pretty good, economically in this country. These numbers come from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. They show the “average individual consumption” for countries across the world.  The numbers are indexed with the average country having a value of 100. An index value greater than 100 means that the country’s economic well being is better than the world’s average. An index value less than 100 means that the country’s economic well being is worse than the world’s average:

The numbers show the following realities:

  • The wealth position of those living in the United States is 47% better than the world average.
  • The wealth position of those living in the United States is about 40% better than those living in Bernie’s Denmark.
  • The wealth position of those living in the United States is about 20% better than the second and third most prosperous countries, Luxembourg and Norway.
Bottom line from the two sets of numbers: life is pretty good in the United States from an economic numbers perspective ...despite those like Bernie, the numbers do not lie.That will do it for this month’s numbers review. As usual, the numbers are not good despite what our politicians try to tell us. What did today’s numbers tell us:
  • The Obama’s like to spend our tax money on very expensive family vacations.
  • Russia is getting stronger and stronger from a nuclear weapons perspective.
  • Hillary Clinton lied about gun owners being terrorists and causing violent crime to increase.
  • Economically speaking, life in the U.S. is much better than anywhere else in the world. 
The numbers do not lie.

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