Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Politics Burnout

Am I the only one who feels this way?  I tried to remain interested in the goings on in DC after the re-election of BHO, but somehow I found myself drifting in a sea of apathy.  I didn't mean to; the decisions  being made now will fundamentally change in the way America is run.  We had the beginnings of this during the first great financial crisis of the 20th century.  Great government social programs designed to keep the poorest among us from suffering in old age became huge entitlement programs that nearly all of us will depend on at some time or another.  Overreaching regulations mostly enacted by over reaction to some crisis have run manufacturing businesses out of our country.  Politicians being bought off by special interest lobbies have disenfranchised the average voter.  Heavy propaganda disseminated by what used to be our trusted news media has nearly turned me away from news at all.

I don't like what's going on in DC.  Their actions will affect me someday.  When they do, I will certainly fall into the safety net somewhere.  I will be very comfortable by current world standards, but I won't be free.  Liberty above everything else used to be what made this country great.  Liberty is being stripped away from us at an ever increasing pace and I find myself strangely apathetic about it.  What the hell is wrong with this picture?

Wal-Mart's Sales Problem—And America's

The Super Bowl was played on Feb. 3, with the Baltimore Ravens coming out on top. The loser claimed, with some justification, that the officials stole the game. The loser I refer to is Wal-Mart, WMT +1.04%not the unlucky San Francisco 49ers.
February was a rotten month for the Bentonville Giants. Rarely does one hear musings such as "Where are all the customers?" and "Where is their money?"—let alone grumblings such as "total disaster" and "the worst in seven years"—from senior executives in a publicly traded company. Such wording is frowned upon in Investor Relations 101. But that is how Cameron Geiger, Wal-Mart's vice president for merchandise replenishment, described woeful February sales in a leaked email.
Wal-Mart CEO Bill Simon quickly stepped in bearing higher shareholder dividends and an explanation. It was the officials' fault, he said. Mr. Simon didn't mean the pinstriped guys who rule the gridiron, but the U.S. Congress and the Internal Revenue Service. The Washington zebras made two misjudged calls that wrecked Wal-Mart's hopes for February.
One was the expiration of the payroll-tax cut on Jan. 1. With the tick of a clock, the take-home pay of the average American family dropped by $80 per month. The second bad call for Wal-Mart was the IRS delaying the start of its tax refunds to Jan. 31 from Jan. 17.

According to economists at UBS, UBSN.VX +1.09%pre-Super Bowl tax refunds dropped $20 billion from 2012 to 2013. In past years, Wal-Mart could rely on big sales of flat-panel TVs and party accessories during the week before the Super Bowl. This year, not so much.
But perhaps Wal-Mart shareholders can take heart: Since the delayed IRS checks hurt sales in early February, sales will rebound in March as the IRS checks flow in. Maybe Wal-Mart's customers will rush out to buy new TVs before college basketball's March Madness begins.
Even if they do, though, Wal-Mart faces a long season of headwinds.
The expiration of the payroll-tax cut will continue to hurt. Wal-Mart's customers aren't thriving, and they will sorely miss that $80 lost per month. The average American family of four earns around $50,000 in annual income. The income of Wal-Mart households is thinner yet, with analysts typically pegging it around $45,000. Incomes in this range have stagnated and lost ground to inflation in 2011 and 2012.

Food prices are rising faster than overall inflation. Inflation is the great hidden tax, especially when it hits essentials like food. Core inflation is running at about 2%, but the U.S. Department of Agriculture predicts that food prices will be up 3%-4% in 2013. This will nip at Wal-Mart customers and Wal-Mart itself, which now gets half of its U.S. revenue from groceries.
Will Wal-Mart eat the inflation and hurt its profit, or will it pass it onto its customers and risk driving them away? Food inflation presents no good choices.
Gas prices are up 30 cents a gallon in 2013. History says that gas hikes always hurt Wal-Mart (and other big-box stores such as Lowe's). Back in spring 2011, Wal-Mart's sales slumped for several months as gas prices rose to nearly $4 a gallon. Here's an obvious fact that isn't always obvious to pundits who live in large cities: To get to nearly all of Wal-Mart's more than 4,000 American stores, one must drive—usually several miles to the edge of town or outer suburb.
Wal-Mart shoppers have a higher unemployment rate than the national average. An Advertising Age study from 2003 showed that only 23% of Wal-Mart shoppers had a four-year college degree. The degree-less are suffering in today's economy. As of January, their unemployment rate was 8.1%, while the national average was 7.9%. Worse, the employment-to-population ratio among this group is only 54%, as compared with 62% in the general population.

It once was true that as General Motors GM +2.20%goes, so goes the U.S. economy. Today that is truer of Wal-Mart, and that's a problem. The political left loves to see the Bentonville Union Bashers suffer a bit, but does Wal-Mart's bad February herald another recession? If so, what would that do for the Obama administration's recovery narrative and credibility?
If higher gas prices and lower income levels represent a new normal, consumer spending is in trouble—and with it, the fortunes of both Wal-Mart and the U.S. economy at large.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323384604578324742262321694.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop

50 Signs That The U.S. Health Care System Is About To Collapse

Submitted by Michael Snyder of The Economic Collapse blog,
The U.S. health care system is a giant money making scam that is designed to drain as much money as possible out of all of us before we die.  In the United States today, the health care industry is completely dominated by government bureaucrats, health insurance companies and pharmaceutical corporations.  The pharmaceutical corporations spend billions of dollars to convince all of us to become dependent on their legal drugs, the health insurance companies make billions of dollars by providing as little health care as possible, and they both spend millions of dollars to make sure that our politicians in Washington D.C. keep the gravy train rolling.  Meanwhile, large numbers of doctors are going broke and patients are not getting the care that they need.
At this point, our health care system is a complete and total disaster.  Health care costs continue to go up rapidly, the level of care that we are receiving continues to go down, and every move that our politicians make just seems to make all of our health care problems even worse.  In America today, a single trip to the emergency room can easily cost you $100,000, and if you happen to get cancer you could end up with medical bills in excess of a million dollars.  Even if you do have health insurance, there are usually limits on your coverage, and the truth is that just a single major illness is often enough to push most American families into bankruptcy.
At the same time, hospital administrators, pharmaceutical corporations and health insurance company executives are absolutely swimming in huge mountains of cash.  Unfortunately, this gigantic money making scam has become so large that it threatens to collapse both the U.S. health care system and the entire U.S. economy.
The following are 50 signs that the U.S. health care system is a massive money making scam that is about to collapse...
#1 Medical bills have become so ridiculously large that virtually nobody can afford them.  Just check out the following short excerpt from a recent Time Magazine article.  One man in California that had been diagnosed with cancer ran up nearly a million dollars in hospital bills before he died...
By the time Steven D. died at his home in Northern California the following November, he had lived for an additional 11 months. And Alice had collected bills totaling $902,452. The family’s first bill — for $348,000 — which arrived when Steven got home from the Seton Medical Center in Daly City, Calif., was full of all the usual chargemaster profit grabs: $18 each for 88 diabetes-test strips that Amazon sells in boxes of 50 for $27.85; $24 each for 19 niacin pills that are sold in drugstores for about a nickel apiece. There were also four boxes of sterile gauze pads for $77 each. None of that was considered part of what was provided in return for Seton’s facility charge for the intensive-care unit for two days at $13,225 a day, 12 days in the critical unit at $7,315 a day and one day in a standard room (all of which totaled $120,116 over 15 days). There was also $20,886 for CT scans and $24,251 for lab work.

Read the entire article...

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-02-27/guest-post-50-signs-us-health-care-system-about-collapse

#2 This year the American people will spend approximately 2.8 trillion dollars on health care, and it is being projected that Americans will spend 4.5 trillion dollars on health care in 2019.
#3 The United States spends more on health care than Japan, Germany, France, China, the U.K., Italy, Canada, Brazil, Spain and Australia combined.
#4 If the U.S. health care system was a country, it would be the 6th largest economy on the entire planet.
#5 Back in 1960, an average of $147 was spent per person on health care in the United States. By 2009, that number had skyrocketed to $8,086.
#6 Why does it cost so much to stay in a hospital today?  It just does not make sense.  Just check out these numbers...
In 1942, Christ Hospital, NJ charged $7 per day for a maternity room. Today it’s $1,360.
Etc....

Have a nice day

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

More Good News About Obamacare ?

Well Look at this

Obamacare will increase the long-term federal deficit by $6.2 trillion, according to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report released today.
Senator Jeff Sessions (R., Ala.), who requested the report, revealed the findings this morning at a Senate Budget Committee hearing. The report, he said, “confirms everything critics and Republicans were saying about the faults of this bill,” and “dramatically proves that the promises made assuring the nation that the largest new entitlement program in history would not add one dime to the deficit were false.”
President Obama and other Democrats attempted to win support for the health-care bill by touting it as a fiscally responsible enterprise. “I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits — either now or in the future,” Obama told a joint-session of Congress in September 2009. “I will not sign it if it adds one dime to the deficit, now or in the future, period.”
The new report exposes the “lack of honesty” surrounding such claims, Sessions argued. “This is how a country goes broke,” he said.

This Posted today by National Review

Andrew Stiles.

Bob Menendez DID pay me for sex



Bob Menendez DID pay me for sex: Long-time escort claims senator is lying

  • Escort identified scandal-hit senator from a photograph
  • Claims Menendez was a former client who 'sees a lot of girls'
  • Politician has been accused of paying for sex in the Dominican Republic
  • Menendez has forcefully denied the allegations

A prostitute has claimed scandal-hit Senator Robert Menendez is a former client and that he still 'sees a lot of girls'.
The New Jersey Democrat has previously been accused of sleeping with prostitutes in the Dominican Republic - allegations he has forcefully denied.
Now the anonymous U.S. escort - who claims several senators have availed of her services - has identified Menendez in a photograph and said he paid her for sex.

The woman, who is aged in her late 30s, told the Daily Caller she had been paid to provide services of a sexual nature to a number of U.S. senators, including a New Jersey Democrat and other, now deceased, politicians.
The prostitute, who claimed there was significant demand for elite escorts among lobbyists, politicians and attorneys in Washington, said many of her customers use pseudonyms when contacting her. When the newspaper showed her a picture of Senator Menendez, she identified him as a former client.
She described him as a 'hobbyist', a term she said was used to describe clients who see 'many girls, as many as they can'.
'He sees a lot of girls and doesn't seem to have the skills to have a relationship,' said the woman, who received no fee for her interview, according to the report.

USA Bankruptcy Buried Within Programs

1.
$11 Billion to $22 billion is spent on welfare to illegal aliens each year by state governments.  Verify At:
http://www.fairus.org/site/PageServer?pagename=iic_immigrationissuecenters7fd8

2.

$22 Billion dollars a year is spent on food assistance programs such as food stamps,WIC, and free school
lunches for illegal aliens.  Verify At:
http://www.cis.org/articles/2004/fiscalexec.HTML

3.

$2.5 Billion dollars a year is spent on Medicaid for illegal aliens.  Verify at:

http://www.cis.org/articles/2004/fiscalexec.HTML

4.

$12 Billion dollars a year is spent on primary and secondary school education for children here illegally and they cannot speak a word of English!  Verify At:
http://transcripts.CNN.com/TRANscriptS/0604/01/ldt...0.HTML

5.

$17 Billion dollars a year is spent for education for the American-born children of illegal aliens, known as anchor babies.
Verify At:
http://transcripts.CNN.com/TRANscriptS/0604/01/ldt.01.HTML

6.

$3 Million Dollars a DAY is spent to incarcerate illegal aliens.  Verify At:

7.

30% percent of all Federal Prison inmates are illegal aliens.  Verify At:
http://transcripts.CNN..com/TRANscriptS/0604/01/ldt..01.HTML


8.

$90 Billion Dollars a year is spent on illegal aliens for Welfare & Social Services by the American taxpayers.  Verify At:
http://premium.cnn.com/TRANSCIPTS/0610/29/ldt.01.HTML

9.

$200 Billion dollars a year in suppressed American wages are caused by the illegal Aliens.  Verify At:
http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRI

10.

In 2006, illegal aliens sent home $45 BILLION in remittances to their Countries of origin.  Verify At:
.

11.
The Dark Side of Illegal Immigration: Nearly One million sex crimes committed by illegal immigrants in the United States.  Verify At:

M
The total cost is a whopping...

338.3 BILLION DOLLARS A YEAR
AND IF YOU'RE LIKE ME, HAVING TROUBLE UNDERSTANDING THIS AMOUNT OF MONEY;
IT IS $ 338,300,000,000.00 WHICH WOULD BE ENOUGH TO STIMULATE THE ECONOMY FOR THE CITIZENS OFTHIS COUNTRY.
Are we THAT Stupid?
YES, FOR ALLOWING THOSE in THE U.S.
CONGRESS to GET AWAY WITH DOING THIS
YEAR AFTER YEAR!!!!!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Swedish Meatballs

Read thin morning that meatballs sold at Ikea stores have been found to contain Irish horse meat. Maybe thay should rename them Swedish Stewballs.

Friday, February 22, 2013

The Neutron Bomb That Will Decimate Employment

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-02-22/guest-post-obamacare-neutron-bomb-will-decimate-employment

Submitted by Charles Hugh-Smith of OfTwoMinds blog,
ObamaCare will act as a neutron bomb on employment in the U.S. for two basic reasons.
Longtime readers know I have repeatedly explained why healthcare, i.e. sickcare, will bankrupt the nation. Here are two of the dozens of entries I've written on sickcare:
America's Hidden 8% VAT: Sickcare (May 10, 2012)
Can Chronic Ill-Health Bring Down Great Nations? Yes It Can, Yes It Will (November 23, 2011)
 
I have also explained why ObamaCare's "fixes" are simulacra reforms that don't even address the systemic costs arising from the cartel-fiefdom structure of sickcare:
Why "Healthcare Reform" Is Not Reform, Part I (December 28, 2009)
Why "Healthcare Reform" Is Not Reform, Part II (December 29, 2009)

If you set out to design a corrupt, inefficient, wasteful, unfair, deranged and unreformable system, you would arrive at U.S. healthcare.

86% of Workers Are Obese or Have Other Health Issue Just 1 in 7 U.S. workers is of normal weight without a chronic health problem.
 
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), i.e. ObamaCare, is a neutron bomb for employment. A neutron bomb is an enhanced-radiation thermonuclear weapon that famously leaves buildings, autos, etc. intact but kills all the people, even those inside buildings, vehicles, etc.
 
ObamaCare will act as a neutron bomb on employment in the U.S. for two basic reasons:
 
1. It is immensely complex, and already-marginalized small business owners will shed employees or simply close rather than have to figure out what all those thousands of pages of regulations and statutes mean to the survival of their business.
 
2. ObamaCare's primary mechanisms of lowering costs, insurance exchanges and technocratic selection of "best care practices," do nothing to change the systemic flaws of sickcare.


 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Four Of The Year's Best Comeback Responses


NUMBER 1:


If you ever testify in court, you might wish you could have been as sharp as this policeman. He was being cross-examined by a defense attorney during a felony trial. The lawyer was trying to undermine the police officer's credibility.


Q: 'Officer --- did you see my client fleeing the scene?'


A: 'No sir. But I subsequently observed a person matching the description of the offender, running several blocks away.'


Q: 'Officer, who provided this description?'


A: 'The officer who responded to the scene.'


Q: 'A fellow officer provided the description of this so-called offender. Do you trust your fellow officers?'


A: 'Yes, sir. With my life.'


Q: 'With your life? Let me ask you this then officer. Do you have a room where you change your clothes in preparation for your daily duties?'


A: 'Yes sir, we do!'


Q: 'And do you have a locker in the room?'


A: 'Yes, sir, I do.'


Q: 'And do you have a lock on your locker?'


A: 'Yes, sir.'


Q: 'Now, why is it, officer, if you trust your fellow officers with your life, you find it necessary to lock your locker in a room you share with these same officers?'

A: 'You see, sir, we share the building with the court complex, and sometimes lawyers have been known to walk through that room.'


The courtroom EXPLODED with laughter, and a prompt recess was called. The officer on the stand has been nominated for this year's 'Best Comeback' line -- and we think he'll win.


NUMBER 2:

                                Now We Know Why He Was a General –
 

In an recent interview, General Norman Schwarzkopf was asked if he thought there was room for forgiveness toward the people who have harbored and abetted the terrorists who perpetrated the 9/11 attacks on America.

His answer was classic Schwarzkopf.


The General said, "I believe that forgiving them is God's function... OUR job is to arrange the meeting."

                                                   NUMBER 3

Dana Perino (FOX News) describing an interview she recently had with a Navy SEAL. After discussing all the countries that he had been sent to, she asked if they had to learn several languages?
"Oh, no ma'am, we don't go there to talk."

NUMBER 4

Conversation overheard on the VHF Guard (emergency) frequency 121.5 MHz while flying from Europe to Dubai.
Iranian Air Defense Site: 'Unknown aircraft you are in Iranian airspace. Identify yourself.'


Aircraft: 'This is a United States aircraft. I am in Iraqi airspace.'


Air Defense Site: 'You are in Iranian airspace. If you do not depart our airspace we will launch interceptor aircraft!'


Aircraft: 'This is a United States Marine Corps FA-18 Fighter. Send 'em up, I'll wait!'


Air Defense Site: ( ... total silence)



There is something about our military that makes other countries listen to reason.

Until the elcetion of our current "President".......

This New Law Will Ensure You Pay More For Online Purchases...

Via Simon Black of Sovereign Man blog,
In another brilliant move aimed at destroying the few table scraps of economic freedom which remain in the Land of the Free, a bipartisan group of esteemed lawmakers in the United States Congress has introduced the Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013.
Remember the golden rule of legislation: the more noble the name of the law sounds, the more disastrous its results. This one is no exception.
Generally speaking in the United States, retailers must collect state and local sales tax at the point of sale. When you walk into a Main Street shop in Anytown, California, you’ll pay the sticker price PLUS hefty city and state sales taxes that can easily be 10% or more.
But if you purchase goods through the mail from a company in, say, Nevada or Oregon, either through the mail or online, no sales tax is charged. This goes back to a 20+ year old US Supreme Court decision which exempted out of state companies from collecting sales tax.
Well, according to the intellectual luminaries in Congress, local retailers are at a disadvantage, effectively having to charge 10%+ more for their products than an out-of-state retailer.
And by God, they’re going to do something about it. After all, it’s just not ‘fair’ that mom and pop retailers on main street have to charge sales tax, while mom and pop retailers on the Internet do not.
The Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013 aims to level the playing field by requiring online retailers to collect some sort of sales tax from their customers. Needless to say, if the bill is passed, it will be the customer who ends up paying the price.
The thinking on this is completely absurd.
One of the primary reasons people shop online is because online retailers have reduced overhead costs, and these cost savings are passed along to consumers in the form of lower prices.
So if the idea is to ensure that brick and mortar retailers don’t suffer any competitive price disadvantage, why not just regulate prices altogether? Or even better, why not just abolish sales taxes altogether?
That’s because this bill has absolutely nothing to do with fairness, and everything to do with the government taking more of your money. This bill constitutes STEP 1 on the road to a national sales tax, which, given the state of national and state balance sheets, is a financial inevitability.
It’s the most insidious form of deceit – creating new taxes masquerading as ‘fairness’. It’s a total fraud, brought to you by the same people who tell us that there is no inflation, and that we must sexually assault airline passengers in order to protect ourselves from men in caves.
Have you hit your breaking point yet?

Monday, February 18, 2013

Democrat says arm women with whistles, not guns

His logic? women fearing rape may suddenly and haphazardly ”pop a round at somebody.” I would be PO'd if I was a woman and read that. He also said that if a woman feared being raped she should go find one of those call boxes with a blue light on it... I think because they are always conveniently located close by and that's exactly where rapists prefer to commit their crimes, right by a callbox.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Blade Runner Pistorius

Anyone else sick of his family saying what a great guy he is? Isn't that what we hear all the time in the states when some teenager is busted and his mamma comes along and says he is innocent? Who shoots at something you can't see especially if you aren't the only one living in the home? The most "innocent" explanation is that he totally lost control of his emotions (steroid abuse?) and shot through the door she was hiding behind to scare her not thinking she was directly behind the door. Still, that would mean he is lying about thinking it was an intruder. Those tears of his are tears of reality sinking in that he had a pretty good life and he just screwed it up with a possible life sentence in jail.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Choices for Deficit Reduction

http://www.cbo.gov/publication/43692

This report reviews the magnitude and causes of the federal government’s budgetary imbalance, various options for bringing spending and taxes into closer alignment, and criteria that lawmakers and the public might use to evaluate different approaches to deficit reduction.

How Big Are Projected U.S. Deficits and Debt?

Federal debt held by the public currently exceeds 70 percent of the nation’s annual output (gross domestic product, or GDP), a percentage not seen since 1950. Under the current-law assumptions embodied in CBO’s baseline projections, the budget deficit would shrink markedly—from nearly $1.1 trillion in fiscal year 2012 to about $200 billion in 2022—and debt would decline to 58 percent of GDP in 2022. However, those projections depend heavily on the significant increases in taxes and decreases in spending that are scheduled to take effect at the beginning of January.
If, instead, lawmakers maintained current policies by preventing most of those changes from occurring—what CBO refers to as the alternative fiscal scenario—annual deficits would average nearly 5 percent of GDP over the next decade, and debt held by the public would increase to 90 percent of GDP 10 years from now and keep rising rapidly thereafter.

What Factors Are Putting Increasing Pressure on the Budget?

The aging of the baby-boom generation portends a significant and sustained increase in coming years in the share of the population that will receive benefits from Social Security and Medicare and long-term care services financed through Medicaid. Moreover, per capita spending on health care is likely to continue to grow faster than per capita spending on other goods and services for many years. Without significant changes in the laws governing Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, those factors will boost federal outlays as a percentage of GDP well above the average of the past four decades—a conclusion that applies under any plausible assumptions about future trends in demographics, economic conditions, and health care costs (see figure below).



What Are the Consequences of Rising Federal Debt?

Prolonged increases in debt relative to GDP can cause significant long-term damage to both the government’s finances and the broader economy. Such increases in federal debt would have the following consequences:
  • Higher federal spending on interest payments;
  • A reduction in national saving;
  • Limits on policymakers’ ability to use tax and spending policies to respond to unexpected challenges, such as economic downturns, natural disasters, or financial crises; and
  • An increase in the likelihood of a fiscal crisis, in which investors would lose confidence in the government’s ability to manage its budget, and the government would thus lose the ability to borrow at affordable interest rates.

What Are Some Possible Targets for Deficit Reduction?

Making policy changes that are large enough to shrink the debt relative to the size of the economy—or even to keep the debt from growing—will be a formidable task. For simplicity, this report focuses on potential deficit reduction in one year: 2020. It concentrates on CBO’s alternative fiscal scenario, rather than on the current-law baseline, to show the size of the policy changes—relative to policies now in place—that would be necessary to put the budget on a more sustainable path.
Lawmakers could set various deficit reduction goals for 2020, such as the following:
Approximate Amount
of Deficit Reduction in 2020
(Relative to the alternative fiscal
scenario and excluding interest savings)





    Impact on Budgetary Outcomes
 
$1 TrillionThe budget would be balanced by 2020;
debt would be on a steadily declining path relative to GDP.
$750 BillionDeficts would be similar to those projected in the current-law baseline
(equaling a small percentage of GDP each year), and debt would be on a
 slightly downward-sloping path relative to GDP.
$500 BillionDebt would be about the same percentage of GDP at the end of 2020
that it will be early in 2013 under the alternative fiscal scenario
(about 75 percent).


What Kinds of Policy Changes Could Lead to a More Sustainable Budgetary Path?

The report lists a number of options, mostly taken from previous CBO publications, that illustrate how challenging it would be to shrink the deficit in 2020 by any of the amounts shown above, relative to the shortfalls projected under current policies. The options—some of which would increase revenues and others of which would reduce spending—are meant to be illustrative only; many other possible policy changes could be considered.
Very few of the policy changes that CBO has examined in the past are large enough, by themselves, to accomplish a sizable portion of the deficit reduction necessary to put the budget on a more sustainable path. In addition, many of the options that would have a substantial budgetary impact would require large numbers of people to pay more in taxes or receive less in government benefits or services.
For example, it is possible to keep tax revenues at their historical average percentage of GDP—but only by making substantial cuts, relative to current policies, in the large benefit programs that aid a broad group of people at some point in their lives. Alternatively, it is possible to keep the policies for those large benefit programs unchanged—but only by raising taxes substantially, relative to current policies, for a broad segment of the population. Changes in other federal programs can affect the size of the changes needed in taxes or large benefit programs, but they cannot eliminate the basic trade-off between those two parts of the budget. Ultimately, significant deficit reduction is likely to require a combination of policies, many of which may stand in stark contrast to policies now in place.

What Criteria Might Be Used to Evaluate Policy Changes?

In considering policy changes that would reduce budget deficits, lawmakers and the public may weigh several factors. The types of changes that people will be willing to accept will depend in part on their view of the proper size of the federal government and the best allocation of its resources. People may also want to consider the distributional implications of proposed changes—that is, who would bear the burden of particular cuts in spending or increases in taxes and who would realize any long-term economic benefits. In addition, some policy changes would have a large and immediate impact on the budget, whereas others would have effects that would grow considerably over time.
A related consideration is how policy changes would influence the pace of economic recovery and longer-term economic performance. Lawmakers face difficult trade-offs in deciding how quickly to implement policies to reduce budget deficits. For example, CBO projects that the significant tax increases and spending cuts that are due to occur in January will probably cause the economy to fall back into a recession next year, but they will make the economy stronger later in the decade and beyond. In contrast, continuing current policies would lead to faster economic growth in the near term but a weaker economy in later years. Potential policy changes would have different effects on federal borrowing, people’s incentives to work and save, and government investment, all of which would affect the nation’s output and income during the next few years and over the longer term.
Updated November 9, 2012, to correct errors in the placement and wording of footnotes in table 4.

Growth in Means-Tested Programs and Tax Credits for Low-Income Households

http://www.cbo.gov/publication/43934

The federal government devotes roughly one-sixth of its spending to 10 major means-tested programs and tax credits, which provide cash payments or assistance in obtaining health care, food, housing, or education to people with relatively low income or few assets. Those programs and credits consist of the following:
  • Medicaid,
  • The low-income subsidy (LIS) for Part D of Medicare (the part of Medicare that provides prescription drug benefits),
  • The refundable portion of the earned income tax credit (EITC),
  • The refundable portion of the child tax credit (CTC),
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI),
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF),
  • The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly called the Food Stamp program),
  • Child nutrition programs,
  • Housing assistance programs, and
  • The Federal Pell Grant Program.
As shown in this report and an accompanying infographic, in 2012, federal spending on those programs and tax credits totaled $588 billion. (Certain larger federal benefit programs, such as Social Security and Medicare, are not considered means-tested programs because they are not limited to people with specific amounts of income or assets.)
Total federal spending on those 10 programs (adjusted to exclude the effects of inflation) rose more than tenfold—or by an average of about 6 percent a year—in the four decades since 1972 (when only half of the programs existed). As a share of the economy, federal spending on those programs grew from 1 percent to almost 4 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) over that period. (For ease of presentation, this report frequently uses the term “programs” to encompass both the spending programs and the tax credits.)


Medicaid accounted for more than 40 percent of the federal spending on those programs in 2012, followed in size by SNAP. A decade from now, Medicaid will account for an even larger share of spending on those programs, CBO projects. A new means-tested program—federal subsidies to help low- and moderate-income people buy health insurance through insurance exchanges, which will begin in 2014—will be the second-largest means-tested program in 2023, CBO estimates.

What Caused Total Spending on Means-Tested Programs and Tax Credits to Rise Over the Past 40 Years?

Two broad factors were responsible for the growth of spending on means-tested programs and tax credits between 1972 and 2011: increases in the number of people participating in those programs and increases in spending per participant. (This discussion focuses on the 40-year period ending in 2011 because that is the most recent year for which data on the number of participants are available for those programs.) Both of those increases were themselves the result of multiple factors. For example, the rise in participation stemmed from three important causes:
  • Population growth (the U.S. population increased by almost 50 percent during that period),
  • Changes in economic conditions (particularly the recession that occurred from 2007 to 2009 and the weak recovery that followed it), and
  • Actions by lawmakers to create new means-tested programs and tax credits and to expand eligibility for some existing ones.
Increases in spending per participant resulted mainly from two factors:
  • Growth in the cost of providing assistance (such as rising costs for medical care), and
  • Actions by lawmakers to provide more generous benefits (such as increases in SNAP benefits).

What Caused the Growth of Specific Categories of Means-Tested Programs and Tax Credits?

Roughly half of the total growth in spending between 1972 and 2011 on the means-tested programs and tax credits examined in this report came from increases in spending for health care programs—Medicaid and, to a far lesser extent, subsidies to help low-income people pay for prescription drugs under Part D of Medicare. Spending for such programs grew about 15-fold over the 1972–2011 period: from $20 billion to $305 billion. (Those and other dollar amounts for program spending in this report are presented in 2012 dollars to remove the effects of inflation.) The main reason for that growth—which averaged about 7 percent a year above the rate of inflation—was increased spending per participant. Had the amount of spending per participant in Medicaid remained unchanged between 1972 and 2011, total spending on the health care programs examined here would have been about $88 billion in 2011, or less than one-third of the actual amount.
Growth in each of two other broad categories of means-tested programs and tax credits—programs that provide cash assistance and programs that help people obtain food, housing, or education—was about equally responsible for the other half of the total increase in spending over the 1972–2011 period on the programs included in this study:
  • Spending on cash assistance programs and tax credits (the largest of which is the refundable portion of the EITC) rose from $18 billion in 1972 to $151 billion in 2011—that is, by nearly 6 percent a year above the rate of inflation.
  • Spending on programs that help people afford food, housing, or education (the largest of which is SNAP) rose from $17 billion to $172 billion—that is, by about 6 percent per year above the rate of inflation.
Unlike growth in spending for health care programs (primarily Medicaid), which stemmed mainly from greater spending per participant, growth in spending for those other programs resulted primarily from increases in the number of participants.

How Much Will Means-Tested Programs and Tax Credits Cost Over the Next Decade?

If current laws that govern the means-tested programs and tax credits examined in this report do not change, total spending on those programs will grow faster than inflation over the next decade, CBO projects. However, changes in spending will vary among programs.
Spending on means-tested health care programs is projected to more than double, from $272 billion in 2012 to $624 billion in 2023 (adjusted for inflation), an average annual increase of 8 percent above the rate of inflation. That rise reflects expected growth in the cost of providing medical care; it also reflects expanded eligibility for assistance and new types of assistance to be provided under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The ACA will not only make more people eligible for Medicaid but also allow many low- and moderate-income people who do not qualify for Medicaid to purchase federally subsidized health care coverage. Subsidizing that non-Medicaid coverage through cost-sharing subsidies and the refundable portion of a new premium assistance tax credit is projected to cost $109 billion (in 2012 dollars) in 2023.
In contrast to spending on health care programs, total spending on the cash assistance programs and tax credits examined here is projected to fall over the next decade—from $148 billion in 2012 to $137 billion in 2023 (adjusted for inflation). That expected decline mainly stems from changes to the earned income and child tax credits that are scheduled to occur under current law.
CBO also estimates that spending on the nutrition and education programs discussed here will decline in the next 10 years, partly because spending on SNAP is projected to drop substantially as the economy continues to recover. (Unlike the other programs included in this study, the housing assistance programs rely on annual appropriations for all of their funding. In this report, CBO has not projected the size of those appropriations, which will depend on future actions by lawmakers.)

Tea Party State of the Union Response with Rand Paul

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oOh78XZ0Jrk&list=UUK0zFZzBPgAPF8jxSagYg7w

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Pivoting or Corkscrewing?

•“Obama to return to jobs and the economy” (Washington Post, Feb. 10, 2013)

•“President Obama pivots to jobs — and dares GOP to follow” (Politico, Sep. 8, 2011) 
•“After bruising debt battle, Obama pivots to jobs agenda” (Agence France Presse, Aug. 3, 2011)

•“Obama pivots from bin Laden’s death to economy” (Reuters, May 7, 2011)

•“Obama Pivots to Job Creation With Few Tools to Spur Growth” (Bloomberg, Aug. 10, 2011)

•“Obama pivots to job creation in speech” (San Francisco Chronicle, Jan. 28, 2010)

•“Obama pivots to the economy and jobs” (Christian Science Monitor, January 8, 2010)

Monday, February 11, 2013

Single payer health care disaster

6,000 needless deaths in just 14 hospitals. The cray thing is the Brits are so brainwashed, most think they have a GREAT system. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/9863060/Mid-Staffs-14-hospitals-under-investigation.html "Along with the 3,000 excess deaths estimated at the five hospitals already announced, it could mean that almost 6,000 more patients have died at the 14 hospital trusts than should have."

Saturday, February 9, 2013

This Prayer Breakfast Speech Upstaged Barack Obama & Went Viral

http://todaysnewsnj.blogspot.com/2013/02/this-prayer-breakfast-speech-upstaged.html

Perhaps the most important speech given in the United States in the past four years.

Friday, February 8, 2013

California

I used to think that Texas would be the first state to succeed if one ever did. But now I think it will be California and they will join Mexico.

EPA moves forward with climate change protection plan; asks for comments

The Environmental Protection Agency is formally moving forward with its Climate Change Adaptation Plan.
Beginning Friday, the EPA is accepting comments on its draft plan, which calls for the agency to amend its operations – including the promulgation of new regulations – to account for increasingly rapid global warming.
“It is essential that EPA adapt to anticipate and plan for future changes in climate,” according to the 55-page plan, which carries a 2012 date but was put forth now for public consideration. “It must integrate, or mainstream, considerations of climate change into its programs, policies, rules and operations to ensure they are effective under future climatic conditions.”

Rising sea levels, loss of snowpack and drought linked to climate change will likely require the agency to take additional steps to protect watersheds, wetlands and water supplies, the report argues.

Increasing temperatures and more frequent extreme weather events, meanwhile, will demand measures to protect public safety and adapt emergency response plans, it says.

The report does not propose specific rules, but rather sets a framework to support and prioritize future actions. By 2015, the report says, EPA will have integrated “climate change science trend and scenario information” into its rule-making processes. 
The agency would also account for future global warming in its grant and loan programs and contract decisions by that year, according to the report.

The plan stems from President Obama’s 2009 executive order requiring federal agencies to issue annual Strategic Sustainability Performance Plans, which set targets for reducing waste and pollution. For the first time this year, those plans include the climate change adaptation plans.
The public has 60 days to comment on the plan.


Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/regwatch/energyenvironment/281915-epa-puts-forward-climate-change-adaptation-plan#ixzz2KKMQNgkH
Follow us: @thehill on Twitter | TheHill on Facebook

The Great Depression: A Diary

The Great Depression: A Diary
Benjamin Roth

When the stock market crashed in 1929, Benjamin Roth was a young lawyer in Youngstown, Ohio. After he began to grasp the magnitude of what had happened to American economic life, he decided to set down his impressions in his diary.

This collection of those entries reveals another side of the Great Depression—one lived through by ordinary, middle-class Americans, who on a daily basis grappled with a swiftly changing economy coupled with anxiety about the unknown future. Roth’s depiction of life in time of widespread foreclosures, a schizophrenic stock market, political unrest and mass unemployment seem to speak directly to readers today.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The White House is "Judge, Jury and Executioner" of Both Drone and Cyber-Attacks


NBC News reports:
Legal experts expressed grave reservations Tuesday about an Obama administration memo concluding that the United States can order the killing of American citizens believed to be affiliated with al-Qaida — with one saying the White House was acting as “judge, jury and executioner.”

Anyone should be concerned when the president and his lawyers make up their own interpretation of the law or their own rules,” said Mary Ellen O’Connell, a law professor at the University of Notre Dame and an authority on international law and the use of force.

***

“This is a very, very dangerous thing that the president has done,” she added.
Glenn Greenwald, a constitutional lawyer who writes about security and liberty for the British newspaper The Guardian, described the memo as “fundamentally misleading,” with a clinical tone that disguises “the radical and dangerous power it purports to authorize.”

“If you believe the president has the power to order U.S. citizens executed far from any battlefield with no charges or trial, then it’s truly hard to conceive of any asserted power you would find objectionable,” he wrote.
Senator Wyden said:
Every American has the right to know when their government believes that it is allowed to kill them.
Top constitutional law expert Jonathan Turley notes:
In plain language, [the Obama administration memo]  means that [any Americans can be assassinated if] the President considers the citizens to be a threat in the future. Moreover, the memo allows killings when an attempt to capture the person would pose an “undue risk” to U.S. personnel. That undue risk is left undefined.
I think I've seen that movie before ...
Given that drones are being deployed in the American homeland, some fear that the war is coming home.
Indeed, the military now considers the U.S. homeland to be a battlefield.  The U.S. is already allowing military operations within the United States.    The Army is already being deployed on U.S. soil, and the military is conducting numerous training exercises on American streets.  (For more background, see this, this, this, this, and this.)
Similarly, the White House has claimed the unilateral power to launch pre-emptive cyber-strikes against foreign nations.  As FireDogLake notes:
Like with the drone program, President Barack Obama is presiding over the creation and development of a power that previous presidents never imagined having. The national security state is effectively appointing him and all future presidents the proverbial judge, jury and executioner when it comes to cyber warfare.

http://www.zerohedge.com/contributed/2013-02-05/white-house-judge-jury-and-executioner-both-drone-and-cyber-attacks

For more read this link also:

http://www.homelandsecurityus.com/archives/7666

Let me spell it out for you, and this is the crux of everything. We have Obama (or whatever his real name is) in the Oval Office. You’ve said it before, that America is a “captured operation.” Well, it is, and every top level operative at DHS and Justice knows it. They have his dossier.
Think about Obama’s mother working in microfinance with Timothy Geithner’s father. What are the odds? And that’s just one “coincidence.”
A lot of people won’t get this until it’s too late, or maybe never get it. But take a good look at Obama and the people who surround him. Look at the 2008 economic crisis under Bush. Look at the run up to where we’re at today. The orchestrated boom of the 1990′s. The GLB Act signed into law under Clinton that changed the complexion of our domestic economy. Look at the people who are still around, the architects of this. It’s a big lie! It’s all been rigged, and the insiders know this! Look at the continuity of agenda since “Bush senior.”
Now listen to what I am telling you. This is a continuing operation that involves many of the same people on both sides of the aisle in Washington. This is one of the reasons why no one wants to talk about Obama’s past. He is the product of a continuing intelligence operation, put in power to oversee the dismantling of the U.S., with the economy being the lynchpin of our destruction. Obama, Jarrett, and the Clintons are in constant contact with all high level operatives inside the DHS. Perhaps not directly in all cases but through their contacts. They are working together to see to it that the U.S. economy is brought down, robbing the people of their wealth and then blaming partisan politics for the crash.
For the first time in recent history, you’re going to see people hungry and out in the streets. Those unprepared or those thinking this is all [expletive deleted]. Desperate and begging for food. Think Katrina, but on a national scale. That’s what is being planned for Americans, and few people are willing to see what’s happening, or willing to believe it. Now here’s where DHS, my sources and information comes in.
Everybody is looking at the gun “problem” in America. Fights over the Second Amendment. State laws that go against the Constitution. Blame it on Sandy Hook or Colorado. Tell people we need to be disarmed because it’s for the children. It’s all [expletive deleted]. Most people know it’s all [expletive deleted], but that’s where their rational assessment stops. Why do you think the people in power want to - no – need to disarm the public? It’s because they are planning an economic collapse, and an armed and informed populace is a danger to their plan.....

Happy Birthday Ronald Reagan

Time for RR to be on Mount Rushmore.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The strategy of forcing political change through orchestrated crisis. The "Cloward-Piven Strategy"

The strategy of forcing political change through orchestrated crisis. The "Cloward-Piven Strategy" seeks to hasten the fall of capitalism by overloading the government bureaucracy with a flood of impossible demands, thus pushing society into crisis and economic collapse.

Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven were two lifelong members of Democratic Socialists of America who taught sociology at Columbia University (Piven later went on to City University of New York). In a May 1966 Nation magazine article titled "The Weight of the Poor," they outlined their strategy, proposing to use grassroots radical organizations to push ever more strident demands for public services at all levels of government.

The result, they predicted, would be "a profound financial and political crisis" that would unleash "powerful forces ... for major economic reform at the national level."

They implemented the strategy by creating a succession of radical organizations, most notable among them the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), with the help of veteran organizer Wade Rathke. Their crowning achievement was the "Motor Voter" act, signed into law by Bill Clinton in 1993 with Cloward and Piven standing behind him.
As we now know, ACORN was one of the chief drivers of high-risk mortgage lending that eventually led to the financial crisis. But the Motor Voter law was another component of the strategy. It created vast vulnerabilities in our electoral system, which ACORN then exploited.
ACORN's vote registration scandals throughout the U.S. are predictable fallout.

The Motor Voter law has also been used to open another vulnerability in the system: the registration of vast numbers of illegal aliens, who then reliably vote Democrat. Herein lies the real reason Democrats are so anxious for open borders, security be damned.

It should be clear to anyone with a mind and two eyes that this president and this Congress do not have our interests at heart. They are implementing this strategy on an unprecedented scale by flooding America with a tidal wave of poisonous initiatives, orders, regulations, and laws. As Rahm Emmanuel said, "A crisis is a terrible thing to waste."

The real goal of "health care" legislation, the real goal of "cap-and-trade," and the real goal of the "stimulus" is to rip the guts out of our private economy and transfer wide swaths of it over to the government to control. Do not be deluded by the propaganda. These initiatives are vehicles for change. They are not goals in and of themselves except in their ability to deliver power. They and will make matters much worse, for that is their design.

This time, in addition to overwhelming the government with demands for services, Obama and the Democrats are overwhelming political opposition to their plans with a flood of apocalyptic legislation. Their ultimate goal is to leave us so discouraged, demoralized, and exhausted that we throw our hands up in defeat. As Charles Rangel* said, "the middle class will be too distracted to fight."

These people are our enemies. They don't use guns, yet, but they are just as dangerous, determined, and duplicitous as the communists we faced in the Cold War, Korea, Vietnam, and bush wars across the globe, and the Nazis we faced in World War II.

It is time we fully internalized and digested this fact, with all its ugly ramifications. These people have violated countless laws and could be prosecuted, had we the political power. Not only are their policies unconstitutional, but deliberately so -- the goal being to make the Constitution irrelevant. Their spending is off the charts and will drive us into hyperinflation, but it could be rescinded, had we the political power. These policies are toxic, but they could be stopped and reversed, had we the political power. Their ideologies are poisonous, but they could be exposed for what they are, with long jail sentences as an object lesson, had we the political power.

Every single citizen who cares about this country should be spending every minute of his or her spare time lobbying, organizing, writing, and planning. Fight every initiative they launch. It is all destructive. If we are to root out this evil, it is critical that in 2010 we elect  competent, principled leaders willing to defend our Constitution and our country. Otherwise, the malevolent cabal that occupies the government today will become too entrenched.

After that, all bets are off.

Twinsdads comment..
 
In 2010 we did make some changes in The House, however the Senate remains unchanged to this day and the President is still leading from the far left in order to "to make the Constitution irrelevant"
 
Most that read this worthless little blog still care about the right way to govern, however after the 2012 election it is clear we are a minority and will remain so until the collapse of the union we reside in.