Monday, February 18, 2019

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Insanity, Part 1: Not Knowing Simple Economics, Not Knowing Simple Civics, Not Knowing Simple Math and More

Over the past few months, New York City Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has established herself as a human gaffe machine. Her inability to do simple math, her outlandish ideas based on an alternative reality, her economic ignorance, and lack of common sense has resulted in an almost daily stream of idiocy, inane comments, and ridiculous ideas that have no basis in reality.

As a result, most of our recent political class insanity posts have almost always had an Ocasio-Cortez piece of insanity. Thus, we have decided to separately track her craziness and idiotic takes on economics, business, government, and whatever else on a regular basis under its own set of posts. She deserves to have a separate effort that captures all of the ridiculousness she espouses.

The format we will do is to start with a set of her original inane ideas and just continue to build on that initial list as time goes by. If the list gets too large, which it is likely to do, we will then find a good breaking point to start another list. We will try to source the original source of all of her gaffes, trying to use her own words that were stated either orally or via her Twitter account, a source of endless inane comments and ideas.

1-Despite supposedly having an economics degree, she made an initial fool of herself when she claimed that the reason the unemployment rate was so low was because so many Americans had to work more than one job to get by. Any halfway smart high school economics class student could probably tell her that the unemployment rate calculation does not care how many jobs a person is working, just whether or not they are working. And yet this college graduate had no idea.

2- She compounded this lack of knowledge on the unemployment rate by claiming that the number of people in this country holding multiple jobs was large and growing. However, a simple check of government statistics would show her that the number of people holding multiple jobs is actually quite small and shrinking, the exact opposite of what she claimed. Thus, she was either lying or making up a reality not based on actual data.

3-Despite being an elected member of Congress, she erroneously claimed that the structure of our government process included three branches: the Presidency, the Senate and the House of Representatives. Pretty sure that the Supreme Court justices were surprised to find out that they were no longer a branch of the government.

4-A financial audit of the Pentagon found that over a twenty year period, about $21 TRILLION in budget dollars was mishandled, misclassified, or not accounted for properly. Rather than understand the audit, she immediately and incorrectly assumed that the Pentagon had misspent and wastefully spent $21 TRILLION.

However, if she had done a simple math and logic calculation based on history and actual data, she would have found out that the ENTIRE Pentagon budget over that twenty year period was only about $12 TRILLION, making it impossible to waste $21 TRILLION when the budget was about 40% less than that. This idiocy earned the highest level of lying from the Washington Post, the dreaded four Pinocchios: ”Ocasio-Cortez is not the first Twitter user to mangle information from a news report. But it’s unconvincing to try to pass this off as a rhetorical point being misread. She cited the $21 trillion figure and said ‘66% of Medicare for All could have been funded already by the Pentagon.’ That’s a direct comparison. It’s badly flawed. The same article she referenced on Twitter would have set her straight. The tweet is still up, probably causing confusion. So we will award Four Pinocchios to Ocasio-Cortez.”

5-As a socialist and/or communist, Ocasio-Cortez wants to impose massive socialism/communism programs on the country. One of her favorite pipe dreams is the so-called “Medicare For All” program that would put people like her and the Federal government in charge of every aspect of every American’s health care. A generally accepted cost estimate for this disaster is $32 TRILLION over the first ten years or about $3.2 TRILLION a year. She proposed funding this program by raising the marginal tax rate to a whopping 70% on every dollar over $10 million that any American earned. 

However, a simple calculation using public IRS data easily shows that such a plan would raise only about $50 billion a year at most, or about only 1.5% of the amount needed for the Medicare for All program. Thus, she has really, really bad math skills (highly likely given the gaffes we discussed above), she is lazy and did not do this simple calculation, or she is a liar, claiming that the rich would fund the entire program.

6-Prior to being sworn in to Congress but after being elected, she railed against Congressional members for still drawing a salary even though 800,000 Federal employees were not being paid during the government shutdown. However, once elected, she refused to not draw a salary, ducking press questions about her massive hypocrisy on the matter of berating those that took a salary in December but refusing to not draw a salary after she was sworn in in late January.

7-In a Twitter spat she had with a healthcare expert, she put forth the following tweet: “Actually, we have for-profit “death panels” now: they are companies + boards saying you’re on your own bc they won’t cover a critical procedure or medicine.” 

As always, she is talking about a subject she knows nothing about and has not done the research for. For starters, anyone with an Obama Care insurance policy has to have critical procedures and medicine covered. Second, According to the National Conference of State Legislatures: “There are more than 1,900 such statutes [statutes that guarantee medical coverage/treatment] among all 50 states; another analysis tallies more than 2,200 individual statute provisions, adopted over a 30+ year period.”

Do we have a health care issue and overall health insurance issue in this country? We certainly do, for a minority of citizens, but there is nothing close to being a set of death panels in this country being operated by greedy corporations, there are loads of safeguards to prevent death panels, safeguards that obviously do not exist in her world or mind.

Okay seven major faux pas and she has only be in office for about a month. Unfortunately, we have a whole folder of other bouts of idiocy and bad math that we will present over the coming weeks and months.

And while her gaffes may make us smile, given how out of touch she is with reality, sadly remember that she helps write and vote on legislation that affects all of us.

Never forget: "M.A.B.A. - Make Alexandria a Bartender Again" which would allow her to screw up a drink or two but not screw up the country or our freedoms.


Our book, "Love My Country, Loathe My Government - Fifty First Steps To Restoring Our Freedom And Destroying The American Political Class" is now available at:


www.loathemygovernment.com

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:


http://www.reason.com
http://www.cato.org
http://www.bankruptingamerica.org

http://www.conventionofstates.com
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08j0sYUOb5w






Sunday, February 17, 2019

February, 2019, Part 12, Political Class Insanity: Corruption In Washington, Corruption and Financial Ruin In Illinois, and Public Defecations Throughout The West

It is another month which means it is again time to review the latest political class insanity from Washington and around the world. Political class insanity takes many forms including the wasting of taxpayer wealth, criminal fraud within government programs, inane and stupid political quotes and actions, the inability to create and implement effective and efficient government programs, stupid and ill performing economic policies and strategies, and other forms of insanity that continue to evolve and surprise and shock us.

This will be the 12th and last post this month for political class insanity. Trust me, we could have done more. It seems the idiocy, insanity, and ignorance of the American political class at all levels of government is on an upwards trend over the past several months. We could probably rename this blog to “political Class Insanity” and have enough material to support for a long time. But after today, let’s move onto to a few different themes before we return to the insanity early next month.

Let’s get started:

1) We have often made the strong case that at least one state government will go belly up financially in a short time. Usually due to high pension and retirement costs, these states have far more unfunded liabilities looking at them in the coming years than resources and reserves to service those liabilities. The top candidates for bankruptcy look to be California, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Illinois. 

However, given the following information, I would put Illinois in the lead for this dubious award of being the first state to go bankrupt:
  • According to a recent Bloomberg article, the new Illinois governor is supporting the selling of bonds and raising the tax rate to service the state's debt and unfunded liabilities.
  • Governor J.B.Pritzker would sell $2 billion in state bonds, change the state’s flat tax income tax structure to a progressive tax rate structure and leverage government assets (e.g.roads, bridges, etc.) to feed needed financial resources into the state government retirement system.
  • The hilarious part of this plan is that the state has $134 billion in unfunded liabilities in its pension system and his plan is to sell $2 billion bonds to help offset this deficit, i.e. the bond sale would cover a measly 1.5% of the shortfall.
  • The change in the income tax structure would be even more lame, raising about $200 million a year.
  • According to the article: “The shortfall built up from years of failing to set aside enough money to cover all the promised benefits, leaving the government facing escalating annual contribution payments. That has left Illinois’s credit rating dangling just one step above junk, lower than any other state, and caused investors to demand large penalties on its bonds.”
  • The governor’s plan calls for the money raised to go directly into the pension system for long term use and not be used for short term payouts of the pension liabilities or used for other government purposes as what has happened in the past.
Too little too late, it appears. First of all, the amount of money that could be raised is a fraction of the unfunded liabilities. The cost of issuing bonds that are hovering new junk bond status will be very high given that the investors will want high returns for a risky venture. And raising taxes that are already very high usually results in people leaving a high tax state for a lower taxed state so that raising the income tax rates will likely suppress, not increase, tax revenues.

The cure obviously was not to offer such lucrative pensions and retirement benefits to begin with. But that is how politicians buy votes, offer freebies and worry about paying for those rich benefits down the road. But it looks like Illinois's road is going to end pretty soon, $134 billion in unfunded liabilities will do that to your financial bottom line.

2) Let’s move from financial mismanagement to a more serious topic, treason. It is no secret that many long time government employees, politicians, and operatives were not happy that Donald Trump was elected president. They had a cozy, enriching deal going and they were not happy that an outsider had a high potential of disrupting their cozy arrangements.

Which brings us to a recent NewsMax article:
  • Former acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, was fired by Trump for his shady dealings while the acting director.
  • Now McCabe has written a book and is asserting that high ranking officials at the Justice Department had at least discussed removing a legally elected President from office by conspiring with Cabinet officials to invoke the 25th Amendment.
  • The 25th Amendment’s intention was to remove a President for not being able to do the job, e.g. for health reasons, not to remove a sitting President because you did not like his policies, policies that would disrupt the corruption and self serving culture that Washington insiders had cultivated over the years.
  • Highly respect lawyer and Harvard Law Professor, Alan Dershowitz, called this effort, if true, a “coup d’etat” and a “grievous offense against the Constitution: ”The 25th amendment is about Woodrow Wilson having a stroke. It’s about a President being shot and not being able to perform his office. It’s not about the most fundamental disagreements. It’s not about impeachable offenses."
  • He went on to say: "That's why you need two-thirds of the House and two-thirds of the Senate agreeing, and it has to be on the basis of medical or psychological incapacity, and not on the basis of even the most extreme crimes which there is no evidence were committed. But even if they were, that would not be a basis for invoking the 25th Amendment."
Serious, scary stuff. Washington bureaucrats plotting to overthrow a sitting President who was legally elected because their lives were disrupted. Scary, scary stuff from a freedom and democracy perspective.

3) Okay, back to Illinois, specifically Chicago. Not surprisingly, according to a recent Godfather Politics website story:
  • Chicago was recently named the most corrupt city in the country.
  • The University of Illinois at Chicago made the pronouncement.
  • It gained this dubious title by having the highest number of Federal corruption convictions from 1976 through 2017, 1,731 convictions.
  • It beat out LA (1,534 convictions), Manhattan (1,327 convictions), Miami (1,165 convictions), and D.C. (1,159).
  • More than 30 Chicago City council members have been linked to corruption cases over this period of time.
  • On a statewide basis, the state of Illinois was the third most corrupt state on a per capita basis.
So, Illinois is a state that is not financially corrupted but morally and legally corrupted also.

4) Speaking of corruption, it appears that abusing the 25th Amendment to depose Trump was not the only corruption going on within the FBI over the past couple of years. Newly obtained government documents by Judicial Watch under a Freedom of Information effort, revealed that the FBI had been in negotiations with the Hillary Clinton campaign to suppress criminality as it related to the misuse to classified information in return for favorable treatment from Clinton's State Department.

Specifically, according to the Daily Wire article on the subject: “The trove of documents turned over by the FBI, in response to a lawsuit by the transparency group Judicial Watch, also included discussions by former FBI lawyer Lisa Page concerning a potential quid pro quo between the State Department and the FBI -- in which the FBI would agree to effectively hide the fact that a Clinton email was classified in exchange for more legal attache positions that would benefit the FBI abroad, and allow them to send more agents to countries where the FBI's access is ordinarily restricted.” In other words, the FBI would cover up Clinton's law breaking if it could get favorable treatment from Clinton’s State Department."

In a specific email exchange disgraced Justice Department Lisa Page, someone who was active with her FBI lover Peter Strzok in trying to discredit Trump, outlined the deal: "As you will see, they describe a discussion about potential quid pro quo arrangement between then-DAD in IOD [deputy assistant director in International Operations Division] and an Undersecretary at the State Department whereby IOD would get more LEGAT [legal attaché] positions if the FBI could change the basis of the FOIA withhold re a Clinton email from classified to something else."

So corruption at the highest levels of the state government in Illinois and the highest levels of the Federal government in Washington.

5) One last piece of insanity for today and this month. A basic function of government is to protect the welfare, assets, and lives of its citizens. If government did nothing more than that they would be successful and fulfill a basic tenet of government. But apparently that is not happening in some major cities out west:
  • According to the Freedom Outpost website, in an article by Michael Snyder, many major western U.S. cities are becoming major health safety hellholes.
  • The Los Angeles city hall may have to have all of this carpets ripped out as rats and fleas are running wild in the building.
  • The cause of the infestation is believed to be the major homelessness problem that infects the city.
  • We have already reported how the infestation is causing a rise in the Medieval disease, typhus.
  • The number of homeless people living in LA has been rising about 20% a year, drug abuse is everywhere on the streets, and mountains of trash pervade many city streets, giving rats a fertile breeding ground.
  • In Salem, Oregon, officials shut down a disgusting homeless encampment that was a rat breeding ground.
  • The city government of Denver just made public defecation and urination legal so that is probably the next city to face a major public health issue.
  • Denver also made camping on public and private land without permission legal, panhandling is now legal, and lying across public right of ways like sidewalks is not illegal.
  • The most infuriating aspect of the whole Denver debacle is that the mayor explicitly said that these new laws and rules were to protect immigrants from “unintended consequences.” 
  • Seriously, what about the “unintended consequences” of the disease and pest infestation that could occur to non-immigrants from these public health hazards that the local politicians have made legal?
  • But Denver has a ways to go when it comes to public defecation since in a recent seven day period, the city government of San Francisco received 16.000 complaints about piles of human feces, 16,000 instances in seven days.
  • In 2015, there were 60,491 official complaints about public defecation, about 170 companions a day.
  • Besides public defecation, you can also legally shoot up drugs in the streets without ramifications, with the city government actually handing out free drug syringes to the tune of 5.8 million in 2018.
  • Which has resulted in million of used drug syringes hanging out on the city streets somewhere.
  • A visitor recently described what the local politicians in San Francisco had turned the city into: “I found it quite shocking the number of folk sleeping rough on the sidewalks, the smell of weed and drug impedimenta everywhere, the filth, mental illness and degradation on view just a few meters from the financial centre driving Silicon Valley. It’s a city where the destitute seem to have become invisible to the Uber hailing elites. We found ourselves hopping on one of the beautiful F-Route Trolley Buses to find nearly every seat occupied by someone lugging around their worldly possessions around in a plastic bag. It was desperately sad.”
And American politicians have managed to screw things up this badly from a health and homeless perspective in the bright light of a great economy. Can you imagine how bad things will get once the next recession hits?

Sorry the post ran a little long but we wanted to get in the last bits of political class insanity today: politicians destroying the health and wealth of great American cities, Illinois trying hard to be the poster child for economic and financial mismanagement, and corruption at the highest levels of Washington. Lord help us, save us from those that populate an ineffective and vindictive political class.

Our book, "Love My Country, Loathe My Government - Fifty First Steps To Restoring Our Freedom And Destroying The American Political Class" is now available at:


www.loathemygovernment.com

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:


http://www.reason.com
http://www.cato.org
http://www.bankruptingamerica.org

http://www.conventionofstates.com
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08j0sYUOb5w






Saturday, February 16, 2019

February, 2019, Part 11, Political Class Insanity: Taxed Into Oblivion In New Jersey, Hating Israel In Congress, and Killing The Golden Goose in Queens

It is another month which means it is again time to review the latest political class insanity from Washington and around the world. Political class insanity takes many forms including the wasting of taxpayer wealth, criminal fraud within government programs, inane and stupid political quotes and actions, the inability to create and implement effective and efficient government programs, stupid and ill performing economic policies and strategies, and other forms of insanity that continue to evolve and surprise and shock us.

Let’s get started:

1) I used to live in New Jersey. When I moved to Florida over 13 years ago, I was paying over $12,000 a year in property taxes for a 3,000 square foot house or about $4.00 per square foot a year. This property tax payment did not include local police protection, we were served by the State Police, and did not include garbage collection, we had to contract with a private garbage collector. We lived in an unincorporated area so there was no need to support a local government structure. In addition, we had to pay sales tax and state income tax.

Thirteen years later, I pay just under $2.00 per square foot in Florida property taxes, for about the same deal: no local police, no local government, and paying for my own garbage collection but with the added bonus of not having to pay a Florida income tax. Thus, you can see that my property tax rate 13 years ago was double what my current Florida property tax rate today is. 

My point is that New Jersey residents are much heavier taxed than Florida residents, which may explain why there are a lot of people like me who have fled high tax states like New Jersey for places like Florida. However, this point seems to be lost, based on the political class insanity from New Jersey’s recently elected governor:
  • Daniel Mitchell recently wrote an article for the Townhall website entitled, “New Jersey’s Message To Taxpayers: Move Or We Will Tax You To Death”
  • Before getting into the current taxation problems and proposal about to hit New Jersey residents consider that “Freedom in the 50 States” has New Jersey ranked in the bottom ten states when it comes to freedom, it is in the bottom ten states according to “Economic Freedom of North America,” and dead last according to both the “State Tax Climate” and “State Fiscal Condition.”
  • New Jersey residents have to pay a sales tax, a gasoline tax, an income tax, property taxes, inheritance taxes, and a tax if they sell a home and move out of state.
  • And now the state politicians are putting together a “rain tax” that would tax a homeowner or business based on how much porous surface they have on their property.
  • But a rain tax is just a start of the forthcoming increasing tax burden for the state.
  • As the article explains, “…a silver lining used to be the Garden State’s relatively low gasoline tax of 14.5 cents a gallon—second lowest in the U.S. No more, and therein lies a tale of why taxing the rich to finance government is an illusion. In October 2016, then-Gov. Chris Christie signed a bill raising the gas tax by 22.6 cents to 37.1 cents a gallon…the bill also included a clause that automatically raises the gas tax if it doesn’t produce the expected revenue each year. This is a self-fulfilling economic prophecy. A higher gas tax causes people to drive less, which in turn has meant that revenues have fallen short of the expected $2 billion target. So on Oct. 1 the gas tax will rise another 4.3 cents to 41.4 cents per gallon, which will be the ninth highest in the U.S. …This will be the state’s third tax increase in four months, following June’s increase in income and corporate tax rates. …The larger lesson is that sooner or later the middle class always gets the bill for bigger government. Higher income and corporate taxes drive the affluent out of the state, which means less revenue. That leaves the middle class to pay in higher sales, property and now gasoline taxes.”
  • A classic economic death spiral, taxing more gets you less which results in higher tax rates which gets you less, etc., etc., etc.
So let’s review: very high current tax levels, increasing with the creation of a rain tax and a gasoline tax program that almost guarantees that gasoline taxes will go up every year. Oh, and according to the Trump tax cut legislation, high earning New Jersey earners will have their Federal income tax deductions capped at $10,000.

So the question is basically: how many high earning taxpayers will leave New Jersey before the state goes bankrupt despite having some of the highest tax rates in the country? Insanity.

2) We have celebrated the ignorance, idiocy, and absence of worldly experience of new Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez over the past month or so. She is our new go to politicians for gaffes and stupid ideas.

But there is also another newly elected Congresswoman, Ilhan Omar from Minnesota, who is also causing a bunch of insanity with her quotes and views:
  • Since being elected she has been accused, and rightly so, of being strongly anti-Semitic.
  • In the past week she accused many in Congress of being controlled by Israeli interests and lobbyists which causes the U.S. to be very biased to helping Israeli interests vs. Muslim interests in the Middle East.
  • For her quote she was roundly condemned by both Democrats and Republicans.
  • This continues a trend over the years, including the following tweet from 2012: “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel. #Gaza #Palestine #Israel.” 
  • Pretty anti-Semetic to me which leads to the following hypocrisy: Omar contends that the tweet is offensive but yet it remains live on her Twitter account.
  • Back in 2013 she told a television host that Islamic terrorism is a reaction to America’s foreign policy and that America caused the Islamic terror attacks.
  • The TV host has a history of anti-Israeli hatred, once calling Israel the “Jewish ISIS.”
Just a real class act, Pretty sad that an elected politician has such much overt hate for an American ally, a hatred that is counter productive to addressing any and all issues facing the world.

3) As a Libertarian, I am generally not in favor politicians using taxpayer money to entice private interests to come to their city/county/state. Study after study almost always show that this money never gets a positive return on investment and anyway, why should private citizens’ tax money be used to subsidize private, often wealthy, business interests?

I say “generally” against such government payouts. But the potential to land an Amazon headquarters location may be the exception. As most probably know, Amazon put out a proposal that said they were planning to open up not one but two new headquarters locations across the country and wanted to know what states and cities wanted to host those locations, i.e. what cities and states would put forth the best economic incentives for Amazon.

Amazon finally chose two locations, northern Virginia and Queens in New York City. According to news reports, for the New York City deal, Amazon was to receive about a $3 billion in favorable tax treatment. In return, a downtrodden part of Queens would get the following:
  • Amazon would invest $2.5 billion in developing the location for their headquarters location.
  • This $2.5 billion would result in a load of high paying construction jobs and ancillary jobs and economic benefit to the area, e.g. food trucks to service the construction workers.
  • Eventually Amazon would station 25,000 employees at the location, highly paid employees that would buy and renovate housing in the area, eat in local restaurants, go to local movie theaters, buy clothes from local merchants, buy furniture to furnish their new homes, spend money on local transportation, etc.
  • Amazon promised to provide computer science course to 130 area high schools.
  • Amazon promised to hire at least 30 people from a nearby housing complex to work in its call center.
  • Amazon would help fund local infrastructure improvements.
  • Amazon would help fund a new 600 seat public school
  • Amazon would create a 3.5 acre waterfront park open to the public.
  • Amazon would set aside 25,000 square feet for a “community facility use/artist workspace.”
  • Amazon would set aside 10,000 square feet for an art and tech accelerator.
  • Amazon would set aside 263,000 square feet for light manufacturing space.
  • Amazon would set aside 10,000 square feet for workforce development and training space.
  • Amazon would set up internships for high school students.
  • Amazon, starting in 2020, would host semi-annual job fairs and resume workshops at the local housing complex for at least three years.
Again, I generally do not support so-called corporate welfare programs but this is a once in a lifetime deal for a local area, especially given all of the community efforts besides housing employees that Amazon had committed to do.

The community service commitments is in addition to the financial windfall that would come to Queens:
  • As mentioned above, just during the construction phase, the city, county and state would reap state income tax benefits from construction and other jobs and would get state sales tax gains as contractors purchased material to build the complex.
  • But once open with 25,000 highly paid employees on site, state taxes of all sorts would go up from the area as 25,000 employees make purchases from everything from furniture to restaurant meals to lord know what else, purchases that were no going to happen without an additional 25,000 employees and taxpayers in the area.
  • And speaking of taxpayers, that is where the real upside comes in.
  • Published reports indicated that the 25,000 employees would annually be earning $150,000 on average.
  • This comes out to $3.75 billion a year in taxable salaries.
  • Since the city income tax is 3.876% and the state income tax is 6.28% let’s say the total annual tax rate for these two entities is 10% to keep the math simple.
  • This means that New York governments would get about $375 million a year in new tax revenue from the Amazon deal.
  • At $375 million a year, within about 8 years that $3 billion tax incentive the company got would be paid off and any income tax the city or state received after the eighth year would be purely incremental tax benefits JUST FROM AMAZON EMPLOYEES!
  • The economic break even is actually less than eight years because there would have been incremental tax benefits from the construction jobs and the neighborhood economic growth serving 25,000 employees.
Wow, like I said a once in a lifetime opportunity. A chance to increase the tax base directly and indirectly, benefits to the local community from a job and standard of living perspective, investment in education, and a nicer place to be from a park and improved neighborhood perspective.

And yet, as hard as it is to believe, the New York political class blew the deal. They made life so miserable for Amazon that the company last week said adios and dropped the entire project. No more 25,000 jobs, no more improved neighborhood, no more construction jobs, no more computer training for high schools kids, no more internships for kids, etc., etc., etc. Local opinion polls showed that local residents approved of Amazon coming to town by a two to one margin and a plurality were in favor of giving them a $3 billion incentive to come to town and yet, the local politicians still blew the deal.

The local political class got so petty, so demanding, so stupid that they blew the entire deal. And of course, our new favorite gaffe machine, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was the leading political buffoon in hassling Amazon, And she was actually proud that the deal fell through. Proving again, in her case, there is still no cure for stupid but still a requirement to serve in Congress. We will be discussing her political class insanity and economic ignorance as it pertains to this misadventure in upcoming posts.

That will do it for today’s insanity: taxed into oblivion in New Jersey, hating Israel in Congress, and killing a golden goose in Queens.


Our book, "Love My Country, Loathe My Government - Fifty First Steps To Restoring Our Freedom And Destroying The American Political Class" is now available at:


www.loathemygovernment.com

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:


http://www.reason.com
http://www.cato.org
http://www.bankruptingamerica.org

http://www.conventionofstates.com
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08j0sYUOb5w






Wednesday, February 13, 2019

February, 2019, Part 10, Political Class Insanity: NYC Politicians Killing Amazon Deal, Virginia Political Circus Continues, and A Mean A Spirited Presidential Candidate

It is another month which means it is again time to review the latest political class insanity from Washington and around the world. Political class insanity takes many forms including the wasting of taxpayer wealth, criminal fraud within government programs, inane and stupid political quotes and actions, the inability to create and implement effective and efficient government programs, stupid and ill performing economic policies and strategies, and other forms of insanity that continue to evolve and surprise and shock us.

Let’s get started:

1) As most people know, Amazon sent over 200 cities in a tizzy over the past few years when they said they would be setting up new headquarters office complexes across the country to handle their ever growing business. These headquarters efforts would obviously be a big boost to local economic conditions, creating new and high paying jobs both inside the company and in outside businesses, e.g. restaurants, that would support this new, highly paid workforce.

Cities and local politicians jockeyed hard to be selected, given the obvious economic upside, and tried to outdo each other with tax abatements, economic incentives, and a myriad of other bribery gems to try and be one of the two locations.

Amazon eventually ended up choosing northern Virginia and Queens, New York as the sites of these two new headquarters locations. Local politicians were ecstatic….for a while until at least in New York, the whole thing started to fall apart when politicians started screwing up a good deal:
  • According to CNBC, Amazon is likely at least taking a second look at whether or not the NYC locations is worth the hassle and grief it is getting from local politicians.
  • According to CNBC, the announcement of NYC as one of the two locations “met almost immediately with protest by some New York officials and residents who feared Amazon would take over the Queens neighborhood, drive up prices and and push out existing residents.”
  • In other words, Amazon may pull out of New York if the politicians hassle them too much and just go somewhere else, with over 200 cities more than happy to not hassle and hound the company.
  • Just the Queens location would be home to 25,000 well paid employees, employees who pay taxes, eat in local restaurants, buy from local merchants, improve neighborhoods with home purchases, and generate a whole lot of economic growth.
  • Of course, the newest and most out of touch and economically ignorant member of Congress, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, put her two cents in, objecting that Amazon selected Queens for their location, proving that it is a great idea if she thinks it stinks.
  • She issued the following, most ignorant tweet: “Can everyday people come together and effectively organize against creeping overreach of one of the world’s biggest corporations?”
  • So, in her world and reality, creeping overreach is good, high paying jobs, economic revival of all aspects of the local economy, and lower unemployment.
  • The governor, Andrew Cuomo, is besides himself in frustration that a deal that took so long to to is possibly falling apart because of politicians like Ocasi-Cortez: "We have to make Amazon a reality. For the state Senate to oppose Amazon was governmental malpractice. And if they stop Amazon from coming to New York, they're going to have the people of New York state to explain it to. It is irresponsible to allow political opposition to overcome sound government policy. You're not there to play politics. You're there to do what's right for the people of New York, and what they did here was wrong."
I love it when the political class eats its own, they are so inept at anything they do. Over 200 cities saw this Amazon opportunity as a good thing and now some politicians in New York want to kill the golden goose of economic growth.

Now, look, I thought what Amazon did to these 200 cities was disgusting, economic blackmail. In New York, for example, the local politicians agreed to give Amazon a tax rebate of $3 billion if Amazon generated $27 billion in revenue for the state. Similar offers were made in the over 200 cities as well. As I said, economic blackmail.

But it is still so funny to see incompetent politicians trip over themselves trying to screw up a deal of a lifetime to the detriment of the people they serve. But that should not surprise anyone, these people screw up just about anything they touch.

2) Let’s review the Virginia political situation, or circus, that we have previously discussed in recent posts:
  • It came to light that the medical school yearbook page of the current governor had a picture of two guys at a costume party, one dressed in a KKK costume and one dressed in black face in addition to listing the governor’s nickname as “Coonman,” certainly a racial slur.
  • The governor first admitted that he was one of the guys in the picture and a day later contradicted himself and said he was NOT one of those in the picture, making himself look like a liar.
  • Then the lieutenant governor was accused of a sexual predator attack years ago.
  • Then the lieutenant governor implied that the governor had released the sex attack story to take the pressure off of him. 
  • Then the state’s attorney general admitted that he had dressed up in blackface long ago.
  • Then a member of the state government admitted that he knew of the sexual attack by the lieutenant governor for over a year.
So every day, the situation got worse and worse, and more comical. But just when you thought you it could not get any worse: 
  • A second woman has now come forward to accuse the lieutenant governor of a sexual attack.
  • Now he wants the FBI to investigate the charges.
  • And many of his peers/politician friends are calling for him to resign but he says he will not.
Makes you wonder what insanity will unfold tomorrow in Virginia.

3) Okay, we talked about politicians fighting among themselves to screw up a once in a lifetime economic opportunity, we talked about Virginia politicians screwing up their public offices, and now let’s talk about a Washington politician possibly screwing up her Presidential run before it if got underway:
  • Democrat Senator Amy Klobuchar recently announced she was going to run for President.
  • But according to the Washington Examiner she has a very nasty temperament and personality.
  • Apparently she has a reputation for mistreating staff.
  • At least three potential campaign aides withdrew their names from being considered to be on her Presidential campaign.
  • According to the Huffington Post. the Senator cultivates a nasty work environment.
  • She allegedly made staffers cry if they were late, constantly describing staff work efforts as “the worst,” sharing criticism in public emails, and giving staff tasks that were in conflict with Senate ethics rules.
  • No surprise that she has had trouble filling her chief of staff position.
Sounds like she has a great temperament to unite the country and get everyone working together….not! If she cannot even get a small staff to function coherently and positively it is highly doubtful that she will be able to get the country to function coherently and positively.

That will do it for today, the insanity just keeps on coming.

Our book, "Love My Country, Loathe My Government - Fifty First Steps To Restoring Our Freedom And Destroying The American Political Class" is now available at:


www.loathemygovernment.com

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:


http://www.reason.com
http://www.cato.org
http://www.bankruptingamerica.org

http://www.conventionofstates.com
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08j0sYUOb5w





Sunday, February 10, 2019

February, 2019, Part 9, Political Class Insanity: Cities Going Bankrupt, Food Stamp Fraud at The Strip Club, and Democrats Out of Touch With America

It is another month which means it is again time to review the latest political class insanity from Washington and around the world. Political class insanity takes many forms including the wasting of taxpayer wealth, criminal fraud within government programs, inane and stupid political quotes and actions, the inability to create and implement effective and efficient government programs, stupid and ill performing economic policies and strategies, and other forms of insanity that continue to evolve and surprise and shock us.

Let’s get started:

1) We have previously reported how much in debt the Federal government and state governments are in:
  • The Federal government national debt recently broke through $22 TRILLION.
  • The Congressional Budget office estimated that the Federal government is looking at $82 TRILLION in unfunded liabilities, mostly Social Security and Medicare.
  • State governments have about $7 TRILLION in unfunded liabilities.
  • Total state and Federal debt and unfunded liabilities: $109 TRILLION and growing.
Given that the total wealth of the entire country is less than $100 TRILLION (and a lot less than $100 TRILLION depending on your data source), the country now owes more money than what it is worth.

But it is not just states and the Federal government that have a huge debt problem:
  • Truth In Accounting (TIA) is a nonprofit, politically unaffiliated organization composed of business, community, and academic leaders interested in improving government financial reporting.
  • It researches and publishes an annual analysis, “Financial State of the Cities.
  • Unfortunately, their latest analysis of 75 of the most populous cities in the country found that 63 of these cities cannot pay their bills, if real accounting methods were used, and have a total unfunded liability debt load of almost $330 billion.
  • Much like the state and Federal governments, most of this unfunded liabilities is related to pension and health care costs of government retirees.
  • This year, pension debt accounts for $189.1 billion, and other post-employment benefits (OPEB) – mainly retiree health care liabilities – totaled $139.2 billion. Many state and local governments are not in good shape, despite the economic and financial market recovery since 2009,” Bill Bergman, director of research at TIA. 
  • The five cities in the worst shape are New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia, Honolulu, and San Francisco.
  • These five worst cities and Dallas, Oakland, and Portland all got F grades from the TIA.
  • NYC has set aside reserves of $4.7 billion but needs to have $100.6 billion to cover its expected liabilities.
  • In Philadelphia, the city would have to access every city taxpayer a one time levy of almost $28,000 to cover its city debt while San Francisco would have to bill every taxpayer almost $23,000 to cover its debt load.
  • The TIA concluded that local politicians are just plain lying when presenting the current and future financial picture to voters: “Unfortunately, some elected officials have used portions of the money that is owed to pension funds to keep taxes low and pay for politically popular programs. This is like charging earned benefits to a credit card without having the money to pay off the debt. Instead of funding promised benefits now, they have been charged to future taxpayers. Shifting the payment of employee benefits to future taxpayers allows the budget to appear balanced, while municipal debt is increasing.”
Wow! Politicians who lie and who cannot manage money. Who knew?! 

The scary part of all of this is that this debt at all levels of government has been piling up in a record length economic recovery and prosperity. Imagine what happens when the next recession hits, and it will hit: fewer jobs, smaller tax revenue streams, more debt and the financial death spiral is underway. This will result in fewer and fewer benefits to retirees at all levels of government as tax rates increase as politicians desperately try to extend the Ponzi Scheme of debt. Scary indeed.

2) One of the things that the Washington political class does really, really bad is make sure that our hard earned tax dollars are not wasted. Consider one instance where they failed miserably to do so:
  • After a five month undercover operation, a strip club in Dayton, Ohio lost its liquor license because it accepted Federal food stamps in exchange for lap dances and the purchase of drugs.
  • Undercover agents used over $2,400 in food stamps to buy lap dances and drugs including cocaine heroin, and fentanyl
  • As a result, Sharkey’s Bar has been shut down and criminal charges filed against both employees and patrons for drug trafficking, food stamp trafficking, aggravated shipment, distribution of heroin, and other offenses.
  • This is the second Ohio strip club shut down for using food stamps to purchase strip club services..
This helps you understand why millions of American go hungry every day and why we have a $22 TRILLION national debt. The good news is that these two abusing businesses got shut down, the bad news is there are probably many more out there that are doing the same thing.

3) A lot of politicians want the government, in other words themselves, to have much more power over the government bureaucracy, your money, and your freedoms. They somehow think that they know what is best for 325 million individual Americans.

But according to s recent Godfather Politics website article by Warner Todd Huston, Americans seem to have a and different and better view of what is going on in reality:
  • While politicians may think they are the be all and end all when it comes to handling the matters of the country, according to a recent Gallup poll, Americans view government, and consequently the politicians that run it, as the nation’s biggest problem.
  • Gallup asked a sample of Americans what were the biggest problems facing the country and then reported those problems that attained at least a 3% response rate.
  • The largest issue identified was government as the biggest problem facing the country at 19% with immigration second at 16%.
  • According to Gallup: “These data come from a Gallup Dec. 3-12 survey, conducted as a looming budget impasse between Republicans and Democrats threatened to shut down the government. The government has commonly been cited in recent years as the most important problem facing the country, with the problem having received or been tied for the most mentions — 22 times in the last 24 months.”
  • 22 times in the last 24 months, and probably further back than that, indicates that this is not a one time fluke in the measurement, it is a trend that Americans view government as the biggest problem facing the country today.
  • Only 3% of those polled viewed gun control as the biggest issue facing the country today.
What makes these findings so hilarious is what Nancy Pelosi and Democrats/liberals are focusing on:
  • They want to make government more intrusive in our lives with such inane and impossible programs like Medicare For All, the New Green Deal, free college, etc. but Americans view them, the government and politicians, as the biggest problem facing the country.
  • They want to open up our borders to any and all people to immigrate into this country be they drug cartel members, crime syndicate members, terrorists, disease carrying individuals, etc. but Americans view these types of behaviors and immigration in general as the second biggest problem facing the country today.
  • They want to institute broad ranging gun control laws but Americans view gun control as a very, very minor issue facing the country today.
Could a bunch of politicians be any more out of touch with what Americans want done in the country today? Probably not.

That will do it for today’s insanity: politicians out of touch with the issues American find important, more food stamp abuse and criminal fraud, and financially strapped cities and the coming debt bomb that will bankrupt them.

Our book, "Love My Country, Loathe My Government - Fifty First Steps To Restoring Our Freedom And Destroying The American Political Class" is now available at:


www.loathemygovernment.com

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:


http://www.reason.com
http://www.cato.org
http://www.bankruptingamerica.org

http://www.conventionofstates.com
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08j0sYUOb5w





Saturday, February 9, 2019

February, 2019, Part 8, Political Class Insanity: Screwing Needy Kids, Unethical Behavior in the Senate, Political Circus In Virginia and More

It is another month which means it is again time to review the latest political class insanity from Washington and around the world. Political class insanity takes many forms including the wasting of taxpayer wealth, criminal fraud within government programs, inane and stupid political quotes and actions, the inability to create and implement effective and efficient government programs, stupid and ill performing economic policies and strategies, and other forms of insanity that continue to evolve and surprise and shock us.

Let’s get started:

1) In recent posts we discussed the political circus going on in Virginia:
  • A yearbook page from the medical school that the current governor attended showed two people in a picture, one with blackface on and one dressed as a KKK member along with the designation of the governor at that time as “Coonman,” certainly a derogatory phrase relative to African-Americans.
  • The governor first apologized, claiming he was in the photo, and then denied he was in the photo.
  • A woman came forward to accuse the lieutenant governor of sexual assaulting her years ago.
  • To that accusation the lieutenant, in a closed door meeting, allegedly said “F*** that b****!”
  • The attorney general, after calling for the governor to resign, admitted that he had used black face back in college.
And just when you thought it could not get more ridiculous, it does. Turns out that a fourth Virginia politician, Bobby Scott, knew about the alleged sexual attack aspect of this whole mess over a year ago and did nothing about it. In fact, Mr. Scott got the low down on the alleged attack straight from the alleged victim.

These are the so called leaders of the country. So sad, so insane.

2) Staying with the Virginia situation, let’s take a look at what CNN had to say. CNN, in our opinion, is no longer a news organization, it is a wing of the Democratic National Committee. Somehow, they were able to twist the instances of racism in Virginia and in a contorted way actually tried to justify it in a most convoluted manner that this type of thing can be good for race relations. Obviously this spin is to try and make the Democrats look less bad than the reality of the situation.

See the pretzel logic of CNN’s John Blake: “Some of the biggest champions for black people in America’s past have been white politicians who were racists….What happens to [governor] Northam is ultimately up to the people he serves and to his conscience. But what I’m saying is that what matters to some black people — not all, maybe not even most — is not what a white politician did 30 years ago. It’s what he’s doing for them today.”

I can absolutely, positively guarantee you that Blake and CNN do not spin this scandal this way if the governor was a Republican. Guarantee it. Which brings us back to another of our regular conclusions: the mainstream press in this country is often now the enemy of truth and integrity.

3) Alright, let’s get out of Virginia, for now, and back to Washington. We have a new list out from a Washington watchdog group that lists out the worst ethics violators list:
  • A December 17, 2018 Washington Free Beacon article by Cameron Cawthorne discussed the latest and worst ethics violators as identified by the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT).
  • Two Democratic Presidential candidates, Senators Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren, made the list.
  • Besides developing the ist, FACT actually filed a complaint with the Senate Ethics Committee against these two for “improperly soliciting campaign donations” as a result of the Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court hearings.
  • FACT made the case that the two of them violated the prohibition of “promising an official action or legislative work while directly asking for campaign cash.”
  • According to the Senate Ethics Manual, a Senator: “”should never use the prestige or influence of a position in the Senate for personal gain . . . . This provision was intended ‘as a broad prohibition against members, officers or employees deriving financial benefit, directly or indirectly, from the use of their official position.'" Moreover, Senators are to act based upon merit, not on partisan affiliation or for campaign contributions.”
  • Former Senator Bill Nelson was also slammed by FACT by disclosing classified information about Russian election meddling.
The official FACT set of findings can be accessed at:


At least Nelson is no longer in office. Harris and Warren are not only still in office but they want to be President, something that might be a little more difficult now given that they are probably serious ethics violators of the Senate’s own rules. Oh, I forgot, politicians never punish themselves, that would endanger the cozy and enriching environment that they have set up for all of themselves at taxpayer expense.

4) Even when politicians think they are doing something good, they usually screw up it up and they usually screw it up to their own benefit and financial swell being. 

Consider a recent article on the Godfather Politics website by Warner Todd Huston on January 1, 2019:
  • Apparently, a group of black politicians from the state of New York set up a charity that was supposed to funnel funds and support to needy school kids.
  • Nice idea but apparently despite holding a bunch of fancy affairs and good times, the charity ended up donating zero dollars to any needy kid according to a year end investigation of the charity.
  • According to the New York Post, the group of Democrats spent thousands of dollars on their annual fundraising event, “Caucus Weekend,” including spending on limos, well known entertainers and rappers, and high profile public speakers, a speaker list that included Hillary Clinton, a speaker that you know did not come cheaply.
  • Sponsors were charged upwards of $50,000 to join the partying, with the money supposedly to be spent on needy kids.
  • The group also held a high end black tie event that had the theme of “changing lives, one scholarship at a time.”
  • Which would have been wonderful if they had actually handed out a scholarship or two but according to the article: “But in the last two years there has been no cash for scholarships, according to two sources — a former lawmaker, and a community organizer who has relied on the money for needy students since just after the group was founded in 1985.”
  • Tax filings verify these allegations since in the fiscal year 2015-2016, tax papers show that the group collecting more than half a million dollars in donations and gave out zero scholarships.
  • But the politicians did spend $128,000 to feed themselves during “Caucus Weekend,” they spent $36,000 on music, and $59,494 on “equipment rental” for that event.
So pathetic to party at the expense of saying you were helping needy kids. But as with the Washington ethics violators cited in the previous point, want to bet these politicians will suffer no consequences of squandering donations meant for people far less fortunate than themselves?

That will do it for today’s disgusting political class insanity: partying under the fake cover of helping kids, ethics violators who want to be President, the unethical behavior of CNN, a truly political circus in Virginia continues. More insanity to follow.

Our book, "Love My Country, Loathe My Government - Fifty First Steps To Restoring Our Freedom And Destroying The American Political Class" is now available at:


www.loathemygovernment.com

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:


http://www.reason.com
http://www.cato.org
http://www.bankruptingamerica.org

http://www.conventionofstates.com
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08j0sYUOb5w