Sunday, February 28, 2016

Panic and Chaos

Talk about panic. The Republican party is in full panic mode. Donald Trump has them scared. The national politics Republicans have ignored their voters for so long they thought they were an irreplaceable lot. They made tremendous effort to intimidate and marginalize the Freedom Caucus in the House of Representatives. Freedom Caucus members were reflecting the views of their constituents, which did not mesh the National Republican Party priorities.

What the heck is the Freedom Caucus you ask? Remember after Barack Obama won his first election to president and he, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi raised taxes on corporations and individuals. Soon Thereafter the “taxed enough already” groups started popping up around the country and calling themselves the Tea Party. Tea Party members realized their wrath went far beyond the Democrats in office. They had to get rid of some of the Republicans that never listened to their constituents. They began looking for conservative candidates to replace members of congress. They were successful and Republicans retook control of the House of Representatives in the 2010 election, because of the energy of Tea Party members. The newly elected house members joined together in a conservative voting bloc called the Tea Party Caucus. The Tea Party caucus evolved and enticed new members through conversion or election and became the Freedom Caucus.

Congressional Republicans still would not listen. Now two leaders in the House have been replaced in recent years. In 2014 Eric Cantor, the House Majority Leader, lost his seat in the House of Representatives in a primary election to Dave Brat. Cantor lost because he spent all his time in Washington DC and did not appear interested in what people that elected him wanted him to do in Washington. The voters of Virginia had enough and Found a Tea Party endorsed candidate to challenge Cantor. Challenge he did and Brat sent Cantor packing.

Next came John Boehner who was the exalted Speaker of the House. Boehner spent 5 years marginalizing the Tea Party Caucus and continued to do so after their evolution to the Freedom Caucus. Boehner went along with everything the Democrats wanted and the Freedom Caucus finally had enough. They began looking for a candidate to replace Boehner and started a revolution in the House of Representatives. Boehner finally had to give up his job as Speaker and retire from the House of Representatives.

Then along came “The Donald.” Donald Trump may win the Republican nomination for president and Congressional Republicans are now up in arms, because the people’s choice for a presidential candidate is not a Washington insider. Boo hoo hoo. Republican donors and Republican leadership and their supporters are in full panic mode. They are trying every dirty trick they can muster to keep someone from getting into office that might actually listen to the people instead of letting them continue business as usual. They are openly hoping they can force a brokered convention to thwart the people and “The Donald.”

Mitt Romney is even offering to come back and challenge Trump. He could not muster enough votes to win last time. Does than not make him a loser? The Republican Party would prefer a loser in the White House they can control. They absolutely do not want a candidate that might actually do what he was hired to do. The panic and chaos is well deserved – Republican leaders asked for it loudly and for a long time.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

RAS 2



My last post titled, “Republicans are Stupid” was considered too harsh by some of my readers, so I am toning it down some in this post. Other possible titles I thought of were: “Republicans Do Not Pay Attention,” “Republicans are Silly” and “Republicans are Asleep at the Wheel.” They did not seem to have the same pizzazz. I will just use RAS this week and after you finish the post the initials can mean anything you choose. Please read the entire post before making a decision. Thanks.

Another way Democrats pull the wool over our eyes is with the tax system. It starts with the difference in Republican and Democrat tax policies. Republicans prefer lower taxes that gives people more money to spend and gives entrepreneurs more cash to create small businesses and thus create jobs. Democrats like high taxes, because it punishes successful people and gives the government  more money to spend. This is a falsity Democrat economists have not figured out yet. They have no clue that raising taxes too high gives them less tax money. Art Laffer and the Laffer Curve displays this fact graphically and it makes sense. Democrats spend a ton of time and ink trying to discredit the Laffer Curve, because it does not fit their agenda.

What the curve shows is that beyond a certain tax level revenue decreases.

 The Democrats devised a plan to get their way and foolishly the Republicans fell into the Democrat trap, as they usually do. The Democrats changed the tax plan to exclude people in poverty from paying taxes. Of course being humanitarian, the Republicans fell for this ploy and let that tax plan stand. Then the Democrats began nudging the poverty level up, with the Republicans standing by and watching. Now we are approaching 50% of the population not paying taxes. My questions are: Will the majority of people approve of the Republican tax policy or the Democrat tax policy? Are the Democrats not the best connivers in the world? Are Republicans really as stupid as the Democrats continue to make us look?

Another subject
We have a whole host of Republicans that swear they will not vote for Donald Trump. We had a whole host of Conservatives that refused to vote for Mitt Romney. Look what that got us. Four more years of Barack Obama, a flood of illegal immigrants and a major push to allow illegal immigrants to vote in our elections. They have already been given the right to vote in California in all but Federal elections.

If Republicans do not get together and support whoever the Republican nominee is, Hillary Clinton will win the next election and the Republicans will never win another presidential election in this country. Never is not an exaggeration. Look at the demographics. Democrats have a long range plan and Republicans are __________________. You fill in the blank.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Republicans are Stupid

Do you think it is an accident the demon and Democrat begin with the same four letters? While you ponder that over, I will get on to the subject of the day.

At the conclusion of this post I think you will understand why I have the opinion expressed in the title of this post. Republicans are stupid about a lot of things, but today I am going to write about one issue – immigration.

The United States government allows about 1,000,000 legal immigrants to come into our country every year and we have for a long, long time. The problem for the Democrats is that they want to use immigration as a means for changing the voter base to demographics that are more in their favor. A large portion of the Democrat base includes the less prosperous portion of our population. The Democrats started sucking in new voters big time when FDR was president and he began his wealth redistribution program called “The New Deal.”

Now the Democrats knew if they allowed their base to prosper, using the power of our capitalistic system, their base may evolve to become Republicans. To prevent that the Democrats began to systematically give the poor just enough free stuff to keep them poor and told them they would have to sacrifice the free stuff if they tried to prosper. Well this worked pretty well until the Democrats started calling themselves progressives. Progressives realized the demographics were not shifting fast enough for them. They immediately set out on a plan to rectify this by allowing more poor people to cross the border, legally if possible. Then along came the most radical of the progressives, Barack Hussein Obama. He moved our border patrol off the border and advertised in all American countries south of our border that now was the time to move to the United States for permanent relocation. He and the Democrats obviously did not care if some of the immigrants coming in were gang-members, drug dealers, rapists or murders. Asking questions could slow down the traffic flow.

The main goal of Republicans in Washington is to keep their job and their power. They get their election money from National Chamber of Commerce members. The Chamber wants cheap labor and more customers. So big corporations donate to Republicans that will keep the status quo. That means allowing the Democrats to keep illegal immigration high and try not to take any of the blame themselves. So Republican office holders complain religiously about the President’s overreach allowing a flood of new Democrat voters into the country. Republicans in office are too stupid to recognize the Democrat plan to allow these illegal immigrants the right to vote, so the Republicans can be displaced from office.

The Republican voters are stupid, because we keep electing these same people that do not care about us, they only care about their staying in office and keeping their power. We stand by and watch the Democrats demonize Tea Party members and watch Republican in congress try to minimize the Tea Party Caucus members, who are actually the only ones trying to uphold the constitution and keep our country intact and prosperous.

What should we do? Elect people in favor of term limits. Elect people that will change the tax structure, so that every person pays taxes, with the most tax being paid by the wealthiest people. Elect people that will stop corporate welfare – we should not have to pay people to do business here.

Do not listen to what candidates tell you. Think for yourself. Think about this. We have a lot of Republicans that claim they will not vote for Donald Trump if he wins the nomination. How stupid is that? Do they not understand the result of that? How stupid are we? Can we please do better?


Thursday, February 18, 2016

Lost Jobs

Today I am writing about jobs lost in the USA under President Barack Obama. This is not a new topic, but I have some Democrat friends that would like more information. I will try and provide some.

As most people are aware most of the jobs in this country are created by small businesses. The Obama administration has done three things that have strangled small businesses, stopped new businesses from starting and cancelled the jobs these businesses offered or would have offered if they were allowed to operate.

1st Dodd Frank
Soon after Obama got into office he signed the Dodd-Frank bill to add more regulation for banks. This sounded like a good idea at the time, but the results have been disastrous for jobs. The Dodd-Frank effect is that big banks grew and smaller banks were forced out of business. Big banks do business with big companies and small banks did business with small companies. With the small banks gone the small business capital disappeared. New business could not start and many existing businesses had to shut down.

2nd Tax increases
The Obama administration raised taxes on individuals and corporations. Small businesses normally survive on small profit margins. They can survive like that because the owner has almost exclusive control of costs. After the tax increases, small business owners found themselves with less capital to invest in their business. The result was a lot of people got laid off and many small businesses shut down all together. There was not an immediate effect on big businesses, because they let their pricing schemes absorb the cost. In other words, things got more expensive.

3rd Obamacare
Obamacare is a huge burden on small businesses. This is one of the worst pieces of legislation in our history. Many small businesses were forced to lay off people or reduce them to part time, because they could not afford to provide their employees with the mandated healthcare the law required. Many of them already provided healthcare that was affordable and they lost it for a plan that was not affordable.

Obama inherited a major economic problem when he came into office. Instead of going about with job creation, he preferred to kill more jobs and put people on extended unemployment. The impact of that decision was that many people took unemployment money instead of looking for work. In the mean time they lost their job skills and became unemployable.

Next, I will relate how Obama has hurt jobs from big business. Obama offered corporations the highest corporate tax rates in the industrialized world. The result has been that many companies moved their businesses out of the US to more tax friendly countries. The jobs they offered went with them. Big businesses are sitting on several trillion dollars they will not spend until the government policies are more business friendly in this country. That is right. Businesses had the money to expand, but did not.

The Obama administration and the EPA are at war with the coal industry. Power plants are being shut down and new plants are not being created. We have lost about 20,000 coal related jobs in the country that will never be back. We had an opportunity to create some jobs with the Keystone Pipeline, but Obama stalled until it was no longer viable.

The unemployment number in the last report I saw was 4.9%. Unfortunately, that number only includes people who looked for work in the last four weeks. Most people have given up looking, because there are no jobs available. When you add them in the unemployment number becomes 9.9%. There are about 90,000,000 people able to work who are unemployed. Many will never rejoin the work force. They are living off disability, often for pretended disabilities, early retirement which they could not afford to take or they moved in with other family members to survive.

The labor reports always talk about new jobs created, but they never tell you about the number of jobs lost in the same time period. Do you suppose this is an accident? Democrats like to praise Obama for low unemployment, but they never look at how he got it. Every time people stop looking for non-existent jobs, the unemployment number goes down. Thanks a lot. I think people would rather go to work.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Culper Spy Ring

Have you ever heard of the Culper Ring? It was new to me. The Culper Ring is a group of six spies that George Washington used during the Revolutionary War to gather information about British forces strength and movements in the New York area. Manhattan and Long Island were occupied territory, Washington had the feeling that the war could not be won without defeating the British in New York.

George Washington’s field headquarters was in New Jersey and the information gathered in Manhattan and on Long Island could not be delivered directly to him. At that time communication was always done through letters and clandestine transportation was slow and dangerous. Many times the spies destroyed their messages, lest they be detected.

Think about the situation. You live in occupied territory where most of the people are loyal to King George and the few people that supported the revolution had to keep that fact hidden. Spies were hesitant to serve and by necessity had to do business with the British.

Washington asked his friend Benjamin Tallmadge to set up the spy network. Tallmadge realized he must use people that were established in occupied territory to gather information and people who had right-of-passage to carry messages. Tallmadge acted as chief of intelligence. He recruited Abraham Woodhull and asked him to recruit the rest of the team. Woodhull assumed the code name Sam Culper with code number 722. Woodhull recruited Robert Townsend who ran a store. He was known as Culper Junior, with code number 723. Woodhull became Culper, Senior. The two of them recruited James Rivington, who owned a coffee house/tavern and printed the Rivington Gazette. Austin Roe, code number 40 was recruited to deliver messages Woodhull collected from Townsend and Rivington. Roe delivered the messages to Caleb Brewster, code number 725. Brewster had a boat to go across Long Island Sound to Connecticut and on to Washington in New Jersey.

They required strict secrecy of their identity and actions.  Often only their handler knew who they were. As a matter of fact, Robert Townsend’s name was not discovered until 1929 when the historian Morton Pennypacker was given the Townsend family papers. The one female agent was known as 355 and her identity is still not known. She is assumed to be a lady of means who had access to British soldiers that occupied her home during this period. Agent 355 was arrested and her fate is unknown.

The spy ring tried and used several techniques including dead drops, code numbers for names and locations, disappearing ink and round about delivery routes. When the heat was on they may be out of commission for weeks at a time. The ring stopped Benedict Arnold’s plot to cede West Point to the British. They helped divert the British to allow the French Navy to land in Rhode Island to support the revolution. They foiled a British counterfeiting scheme and the stole a British Navy Code Book that help Washington win the battle or Yorktown.

The reason we have information about the Culper Ring is that Washington saved all their letters. Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger tell the Culper story in their book, “George Washington’s Secret Six: The Spy Ring that Saved the American Revolution.” I did not find this book as readable as their newest book, “Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates,” but it may be due to the number of people involved in keeping the spy game working. The story is still fascinating and worth the effort to read.


Friday, February 12, 2016

HUD


What do you know about the Department of Housing and Urban Development? I hear a lot of talk about that department by President Obama. One of the initiatives they are working on right now is diversification of every neighborhood in the United States. The first thing that came to my mind was desegregation and busing students to change the racial mix in every school. I have no problem with integrated schools, but most government efforts to force change do not work very well, especially when trying to put people together that live differently based on their personal economics.

The Housing Act of 1937 created the Federal Housing Authority. The law was signed by FDR. Their purpose was to provide mortgage insurance for FHA approved lenders. Remember Ginnie Mae? The agency was changed to HUD by The Department of Housing and Urban Development Act of 1965, signed by LBJ. Today HUD has over 8,000 employees and an annual budget of $45 billion.

The following is HUD’s mission as stated on their website. “HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes; utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination, and transform the way HUD does business.”

I think this agency does some good things, but mission creep is always a problem. Congress tinkers with laws pertaining to this department on an intermittent basis. Tweak, tweak, tweak is often how we end up with agencies that abuse their power. I especially think they do some good with their section 8 housing projects that manage affordable housing for handicapped and elderly people.

American people are free and I cannot state this often enough. What we are free from is government oppression. Many presidents try social engineering and it works, but it is so slow coming to fruition, you cannot determine if the change would not have occurred without government meddling. Trying to coerce people to stay in neighborhoods where they do not feel safe or comfortable is destined for failure. People with enough money to relocate will relocate. This gives us a clue to the actual solution to the problem and it is so simple. Provide the poor people stuck in a neighborhood they do not like with an opportunity to get out. Do it by allowing them to get good jobs with good pay.

We have a political party that thrives on making people think they cannot succeed on their own; that they must have government help. The truth is most successful people are successful because they took responsibility for themselves, not because the government gave them something. There is a big difference in the thinking of students. For instance, one student that gets a student loan to learn a marketable skill compared to another student that gets student loans just to have extra money to spend while learning a foreign language or the old cliché, basket weaving.

We need political parties that will convince the people they can all do better on their own. The truth is everyone that expects the government to take care of them is disappointed. Government help is only help, if it is taken with the mindset that it is temporary as you increase your own opportunities for success. Independence is a desirable trait in a person. Elected officials should be giving individuals confidence to strive for this independence.




Wednesday, February 10, 2016

10th Amendment and Education

The 10th amendment is one of the most abused portions of our constitution. The amendment states: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

We talk a lot about the abuses of the federal government, but they have become so commonplace, no one seems to pay attention anymore. This is the first of a few articles I will write about where I think the federal government has overstepped its bounds.

Education is clearly not a function of federal government specified in our constitution, yet the federal government has gained more and more power and exercises control of state school funding. This control of the purse strings allows them to dictate policy to schools. Health, Education and Welfare was a bureaucracy originated by executive authority of Dwight Eisenhower in 1953. Then in 1979, Congress passed a bill called the Department of Education Organization Act which divided the Department of Health, Education and Welfare into the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services. The bill was signed into law by Jimmy Carter. As you see, both parties are complicit and congress is quite compliant in helping the executive branch overreach and abuse states’ rights.

No child left behind initiated by George W. Bush had noble intent, as did the actions of other presidents who infringed on states’ right to control education. The unfortunate part is that the federal officials cannot stop meddling. Bureaucracies themselves are often an unnecessary expense and the programs they initiate are likewise costly. In other words, they spend our federal tax money foolishly in areas that clearly belong to the states. The end result is more testing, more reports by school administrators, less teacher time with students, lower test scores and the worst of all a poorer education for our children.

Head Start affects pre-school, kindergarten and elementary school children. Head start is not even managed by the Department of Education. It is managed by the Department of Health and Human Services. This is a program to remove responsibility from parents for children’s nutrition and give control to the government. Each bureaucracy created seems to have a desire to increase their reach and power. They do this at the expense of our children and in this case push the parents out of the way.

Common Core was started by the states as a means to monitor and compare educational success of school districts throughout the country. This program was usurped by the Obama Administration. It is no longer a program about increasing student knowledge. Now it has become a tool of indoctrination.

The anti-bullying campaign ran by the DOE under the Obama Administration was not aimed at bullying in general. The target was to stop ridicule of gay and lesbian students. That was a great idea, but it did not stop there. The administrator of the program thought the best way to stop people from discriminating was to teach children how to perform sexual act of all kinds. Can you imagine thinking teaching anal-intercourse to a seven-year-old to be a good idea? Obama’s administrator did.

I think the Department of Education needs to be shut down. I think states and school districts should manage all aspects of education and make every effort to keep parents more engaged. Testing that compares educational abilities among states is a good idea, but should be managed by the states. Testing should not be so frequent that it becomes routine or overburdening. Better we can do.




Friday, February 5, 2016

Labor Report

Barack Obama held a press conference this morning to regale us with the latest jobs report. He told us that there were only 151,000 new people seeking unemployment support this week. He also touted the 4.9% unemployment number and well he should. This is the lowest the unemployment number has been since he got into office. Many economists consider 5% unemployed as full employment.

Obama took credit for saving us from the terrible recession caused by the Bush Administration. However, he did not acknowledge that the economy is getting worse. In fact, he calls our economy vibrant. G.W Bush averaged over 4% GDP for 8 years. Obama’s GDP in December 2015 was 0.7%. The highest GDP under Obama is 2.5%. For sure we are in a downturn right now, but the last seven years make me think it is too late to blame Bush for what is happening today.  

Were you aware that the Bureau of Labor Statistics has six (6) unemployment tables. I knew, but I do not look at these tables very often. They are filled with numbers and me being a theoretical mathematician, I feel more comfortable with algebra than I do with tables of real numbers. A, B, C and X, Y and Z are more fun for me to work with. Sorry for the digression, but now more about the labor participation rate tables (U1 – U6).

·         U-1 is the percentage of the labor force out of work 15 weeks or longer.
·         U-2 is the percentage of people who lost jobs or completed temporary jobs.
·         U-3 is the percentage of people on unemployment that actively looked for work in the last four weeks. This is the official unemployment number used by all administrations.
·         U-4 is U-3 plus the people who have stopped looking for work.
·         U-5 is U-4 plus the people marginally employed (Temporary jobs, etc.).
·         U-6 is U-5 plus the people on involuntary part time jobs.

Using the U-3 numbers, white unemployment is 4.3%, black unemployment is 8%, Asians 3.7% and Hispanic unemployment is 5.9%. Unemployment for teenagers is 16%. For the life of me, I cannot understand why minorities keep voting mostly for Democrats.

The labor participation rate is the percentage of working age people that are actually working. It was 65.7% when Obama took office and it is 62.5% today, the lowest it has been in almost 40 years. This relates to around 90 million working age people not in the work force. Obama may want to lower the normal retirement age to get this number back up. This group of people is reflected in the U-6 table unemployment number which is 9.9%. By the end of the year he may get it down to the 9.2% he inherited. Smile broadly, if you think a Democrat president will actually solve the unemployment problem.


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Spending and Elections

Paul Ryan our recently elected Speaker of the House of Representatives met with the Freedom Caucus  members in the house. What Ryan proposed was adopting a budget that puts us $1.5 trillion more in debt this year. He got little support. After all, is this not the very reason John Boehner was ousted from office. Do we have any Republicans in leadership positions that are capable of sane ideas?

When you get ready to vote for a new president in November, consider the spreadsheet below, especially the budget deficit column at the far right. The data collected stopped at 2014, but the deficit increased in 2015 and will increase again in 2016 to near the $1.5 trillion mark for which Ryan is asking.



Both Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton want to increase their voter turnout by buying votes. They both want to increase federal spending to give free day care, free pre-school, free college and free healthcare.

Sanders says healthcare is a right. Now I want to know when did Sanders get the right to declare rights. We do not even allow our government to declare rights. In the United States of America, the only rights recognized by our constitution are rights endowed by God. There will be a major problem if we ever allow an elected official to declare rights. That also implies they have the power to deny rights. This means the rights the people have may hinge on which party we elect. Talk about chaos.

Consider the impact Obamacare has already had on the country and it is getting worse. People are still being forced to accept part-time work, because small companies cannot afford to pay insurance premiums for full time employees, which is required by Obamacare.

If we do not hire some people in our federal government that will cut spending, we will fail as a country. I think only a few Republicans have the political will to cut spending and reduce the size of government. Rand Paul probably had the best ideas on how the federal government should spend its money. Unfortunately, he is now out of the presidential race. I think Ted Cruz is our next best chance for fiscal responsibility and getting the budget under control.