Jeff Neal for C.U.R.E. - Certain Unalienable Rights Endowment

Break the Glass

In Opinion on February 20, 2015 at 4:55 pm

Screen Shot 2015-02-20 at 4.53.54 PMWe can only keep the promise by breaking it.

A good friend had a moment of brilliance a couple days ago. Terminate Medicare and Social Security. No cuts. No new formulae. No delayed increases. End them, PERIOD.

For a moment, forget the political feasibility. Think about it.

The country has incurred debts it can’t repay.  Our balance sheet, as it were, can’t be fixed short of a tectonic shift in our thinking. The estimated net worth of all of the households and businesses in America is estimated at between $60 and $75 trillion. Our total unfunded liabilities (i.e. the future cost of all promises made by the US Government under Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security) is approximated at $114 trillion.  TILT!

Now, go back now to political feasibility: what’s the likelihood that the men and women of this country will stand by and let our government TAKE all of our wealth and give it to itself to pay for those promises? Not bloody likely, eh?! But that’s what we’re letting them do, all day and every day.

Social Security and Meidcare are inaccurately described as an insurance program – funds we pay into in exchange for a promise of future payments to support us in retirement. They are more accurately described as a Ponzi Schemes. You pay retirees’ benefits now, future workers will pay for yours later. Only the math doesn’t work.

So, eliminate the programs and, drum roll . . . the resultant creation of wealth will fulfill the promises. The stock market will soar. Commodities’ prices will decline. The US Dollar will rise in value against all other currencies.  The wealth produced will dwarf the liability of the ‘broken promises’ because we will have freed ourselves to keep those promises.

See, we owe all that money to ourselves, right? Asked that way, the question sounds a little different. We made those promises to ourselves. This approach suggests that we let ourselves pay ourselves back instead of relying on the anti-productive government machine to do so. We’re the unsecured creditors in the US Government bankruptcy. But we’re also the shareholders (to stretch the metaphor) – we own the place (the country, not the government) AND we are the assets that have been pledged to fulfill the promises. Let’s foreclose and take the assets back.  Let’s let ourselves off the government hook so we can go back to producing wealth.

It will cause some dislocation and serious discontent, of course. But those are manageable and safety-nets raised by newly-freed men and women of America will care for the elderly and the sick who are temporarily displaced – we always have. On the other hand, the inevitable catastrophe we face  as a result of politicians’ constant tinkering with the cancer, repeatedly moving the tumor from one part of the corpus to the other, is not manageable. It’s deadly.

Let’s keep the promise. There is no choice.

Whores and Their Pimps; I mean Politicians

In Opinion on January 28, 2015 at 6:50 pm

Yesterday I met a recent college graduate and learned that he is pursuing a political career. He also shared that he was unlikely ever to be a candidate for office himself. He averred that modern politics involves a level of personal disclosure that he would never want to experience. He does not want his life ruined by the intense examination a candidate must suffer, nor does he wish for his family to be tormented by constant scrutiny and innuendo.

At first, I concurred with his decision and expressed my empathy. Then, upon reflection, I spotted my error, so I challenged him with this question:  Why will you pursue a ‘profession’ that requires you to do unto others exactly what you will not allow them to do unto you? (In other words, you’ll be a pimp but draw the line at gigolo?)

He’s a liberal, like virtually all modern career politicos, in that he believes a strong, beneficent government can, nay, MUST do good things for the people – particularly if that gets more votes. He assured me that he could, or at least hoped he would, avoid being part of any destructive campaigns. I smiled and said something like “bull shit” and he acted like I had insulted him and his chosen profession. Well, the truth hurts. He ought to pursue a real life, do something worthy of respect and dignity – dig ditches, drain sewers, doodle – anything that adds value to the world, anything but politics. (I didn’t actually say that last part; I was in a room full of passionate liberals at a ‘marriage equality’ revival, I mean fund-raising event, and I’m no fool.)

Our body politic and our governmental bodies have been ruined by the professional political class, both the Republicans and the Democrats. They wallow and wrestle in the mud in order to accumulate power over other men – a.k.a., you and I. The least principled, least ethical, most arrogant and narcissistic participants aspire to be the candidates. The rest of them, only marginally more principled and ethical, barely less arrogant and narcissistic, like my acquaintance from last night, can stand eating dog poop as long as they can minimize how much of it gets on their tailored suit and Hermes tie.

We need a better class of citizens, call them amateurs, to take over the political system and rid it of the parasites who control it today. That is, unless it’s too late, in which case I hope we hit the bottom immediately (if not sooner!) so we can rebound and take our lives away from the crowd that works 24/7 to control how we pursue happiness. I know that I’m technically ‘free’ to ignore their rules and regulations, but, like most men, I stay in line due to the threat of jail. I would prefer to honor and respect the laws under which I live and the men who make them, not fear and loathe them; wouldn’t you?

Let’s vote the whores AND THEIR PIMPS out of office.

I’ll personally pay back the National Debt

In Financial, Opinion on January 26, 2015 at 6:47 pm

Screen Shot 2015-01-26 at 6.37.57 PMWith patriotic hearts, a friend and I have a deal for America. We are going out on a limb – we’re going to offer a solution to the country’s national debt problem, a problem estimated at approximately $18 trillion. We are going to deliver personal checks to the US Treasury in amounts that will total $18 trillion (we’re still negotiating the allocation between the two of us).

First: You’re welcome – glad we could help.

Second: We know what you’re thinking; “Guys, no way you have 18 trillion dollars. Maybe 2 or 3 trillion, but 18!?!?  Get real.” Well, we know that, and we also know that neither does the US Government have 14 trillion dollars. That’s why they OWE it, that’s why the nation is in debt by that amount. It’s not there, their check would bounce, just like ours would; so what’s the difference between the government’s check and ours?

Just one thing . . .  see, we’re math guys, and mathematically we have a chance of making our check good; the government . . . well, read on.

So let’s do a little math; it’s a little complicated, so read slowly. The two of us think we can create, say, $5.0 million of wealth every year, and we will commit all of that wealth to reduction of the national debt – that’s a 100% tax rate on our income, and we won’t even ask for any interest. In about 4.7 million years, give or take a few millennia, we’ll be old and tired, but we’ll have it paid off.

Alternatively (and now we need you to really concentrate – this will sound foreign at first) we can let the government pay it off, no help from us; we’ll keep our trillions. At its current rate of wealth creation, the US Government will pay back this debt in – more math, divide by n+1, carry the 3, and we get . . . .  NEVER. They’ll never pay it back, not one red Lincoln penny of it.

You see, your government – including the Congress, the White House, all of the executive agencies – creates exactly $0 in wealth each and every year. Government consumes money and it has the power to pay bills only by TAKING wealth from its citizens, the free men and women who create it.

That brings us to our more serious point, which we think is made clearer by the hypothetical offer above.

Unless paired with less spending, there is no such thing as a tax cut; there are only tax-deferrals. Every dollar of spending represents a tax and OUR COUNTRY IS taxed each year the amount which the government spends. How much we’ll pay now and how much we’ll pay later is decided by a government that arbitrarily sets tax rates and writes convoluted rules that sound “fair.” Every dollar the government spends must be matched by a dollar of taxation – either today or tomorrow or in 30 years, when our children should instead be toiling and sweating to pay for their own current consumption rather than paying back our debts. Any “tax-cut” for the middle class, for the billionaires, and for small business owners was no such thing. It is a deferred tax increase for you and your children.

Cutting spending – entitlements, discrerionary – all of it, is the only answer. Let free men and women dispose of their money without government incentives and direction.  536 people in Washington, DC are not smarter than 320 million Americans.


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