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

Posts Tagged ‘politician’

More on “Reagan” on HBO

In Opinion, Recommended Reading on December 24, 2011 at 3:00 pm

Michael Reagan stands up for his father’s legacy in a piece on FoxNews.com.

Link Here

What the media is doing to the memory of Ronald Reagan is at best a disservice to the consumers of their propaganda and at worst an offense to the truth.  He was not the great compromiser or the great communicator.  He was a thoughtful, intelligent man who knew that the essence of America was its promise of freedom to individual men and women.  He knew that the battle with the Soviet Union was a battle for men’s souls and that the battles he waged against Tip O’Neill were about how much of a free man’s life the government could take from him.

To portray Ronald Reagan as just another clever politician is a lie.  To tell that lie speaks volumes about the liar’s misunderstanding of history and his ignorance.

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Reset Button – Break the Glass

In Economics, Opinion on July 1, 2011 at 12:16 pm

We 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.

Government Beats Freedom in a Shut-out; Film at 5:00

In Opinion, Political Critique on May 15, 2011 at 9:59 pm

It is reported that lines are drawn in the sand; each political party has staked out its respective position from which there will be no retreat.  The Democrats want to run the government, i.e.  rule the people, by taking from them $3.6 trillion dollars per year, and the GOP would prefer to starve the beast and support an annual spending figure of a measly $3.5 trillion – a whopping 2.777% delta!

Differences of opinion about immigration policy, spending on planned parenthood, and whether Osama bin Laden should have been captured or killed are trivial in comparison to the fact that BOTH national parties are on board for commandeering upwards of 25% of the nation’s economic output (not counting state and local government spending) so it can be distributed by 535 politicians and their enablers instead of allocated efficiently by free men and women in the free market.  Why do government-lovers think that money left in the bank accounts of the men and women who earned it, that wealth left in the control of its creators, will do either nothing or, they seem to believe, mostly evil?  Why do they have such an awful opinion of free people and their priorities – are they projecting?

There is no fundamental difference between the two parties so long as neither party stands up for FREEDOM by way of demanding that there must be a significantly smaller federal government – NOW.  If a majority of the public won’t vote for that party because a majority is already dependent on the largess of their fellow citizens – then so be it; let the train-wreck happen, and we’ll pick up the pieces and start a new nation after this one fails.*

But the GOP (or someone) should at least give it a shot.  Government spending must be controlled so that free men and women can do what they think is the right thing with their money – and that might not be the same as the demands of a mob led by Harry Reid and Barack Obama, with the armed power of the IRS to back them up.  The confiscation of wealth from America’s productive class and the expenditure of that wealth to buy the votes of multiple constituencies were not the intended outcomes of the taxation and general welfare clauses of the Constitution.  Those clauses can’t (OK, should not) be stretched to mean that the confiscation of all or half or even 1% of Bill Gates’s money is moral so long as a majority of Congress says so – theft is theft.  Even if one takes the position that the general welfare clause is Congress’s wild card, am I denied the right to attempt to elect men/women to serve in Congress who agree with me that government’s power has moral boundaries?  I believe that Bill Gates has no obligation to fund AIDS research, feed the poor, build bike paths in Arlington, VA, or fund NPR.  Those are not acts that promote the general welfare AND his right to equal protection is found in the very same document.

I spent my lunch hour on Wednesday with a DC lobbyist employed by a Boston-based firm that is vocal in their support of the candidacy of Mitt Romney, because . . . . drum roll . . . Mr. Romney’s from their world; they’re very closely associated with the former governor, so it helps them as they recruit new clients to say “we’re very close to the presumptive presidential nominee for the GOP.”  They’re not even quiet, subtle or embarrassed about it – “hire us and we’ll help you convince the government to do favors for you.”  That is the standard sales pitch for all of their cohorts and competitors.  It’s a cesspool and the government-power drug courses through the veins of every man and woman in the big business of politics.  The media, the consultants, the lobbyists, the fundraisers, the candidates, their staffers . . . all of them are addicted to the same drug and are complicit in the send-the-bills-to-the-taxpayers game.  Their food is bought and rent paid for with the power they wield over you and me, the power of taxation, limited, they are convinced, only by their appetite and their ability to assemble a majority for long enough to get arcane language buried in a legislative act.

We need a new brand of politician – a brand that knows freedom is a more powerful force for good than is a government run by men who covet power bought with tax dollars – and SOON.

_______________

* “When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”

Dems get dizzy arguing with themselves

In Opinion on April 29, 2011 at 11:21 pm

They don’t like the rules, but they’ll play by them if they must.

I listened to the Democrats debate what they think about a couple White House politicos leaving their post to start a couple of campaign fundraising machines.  (See HuffingtonPost piece that analyzes their moral dilemma)

Ponder this:

It seems that the Democrats and their media cheerleaders are highly critical of Republican­s who vote in a way that might seem to be consistent with their donors’ views and interests.  We all know the Dems do the same thing, but that’s not my point.  Answer this question and then decide how you feel about this campaign finance business:

If the Republican­s took a bunch of money from, say, the AFL-CIO or SEIU and then started voting the way Richard Trumpka would like, would the Democrats be happier?  OR, if the GOP asks SEIU for money and SEIU says “NO, because we don’t like the way you vote” is that a scandal?  And, if it were to happen, would the Republican­s be expected to shut down – surrender and run no campaigns since they’d have no money?

Look, I don’t like Republicans being beholden to donors any more than I like Democrats kowtowing to unions.  That is why small government is the solution to everyone’s concerns about campaign finance and the influence of money on government policy.  A government that is not in the habit of confiscating money from Peter to pay Paul would make controllin­g politician­s much less desirable for donors of all stripes; it would make for many fewer people trying to be Paul.  All that money could be invested in productive ways rather than paying a lawyer to draft arcane language to be buried in the tax code to let someone escape the net of government taxation.

War – Isn’t winning the ONLY rational objective?

In foreign policy, Opinion on April 18, 2011 at 1:39 pm

On the Huffington Post, there is a piece today (Link here) that suggests America(ns) are paying too much for the war in Afghanistan.

I posted a comment on the blog saying “I want to pay the amount it takes to WIN that war.”  The bloggers responded that I had not defined “win” and they were right – and neither has former President Bush, President Obama or any other politician that votes to send our troops to battle.

Here’s one definition – Bomb the hell out of the enemy until the enemy begs for peace.  Then, during the negotiations for peace, impose conditions on the reconstruction of the bombed country that assure a lasting peace and prosperity for its inhabitants.  Or . . . there is no “or.”  No other rationale exists for war except conquest, and America doesn’t conquer countries, right?

Pretty simple, no?  Not fun or glamorous, but very effective at winning and saving lives in the long run.  Need evidence?  See Germany and Japan, especially as compared to North Korea, Vietnam and Cambodia – not to mention Egypt and Lybia . . .

War – use American power to win or use it to lose.  I don’t see any gray area there, do you?  Fight to win or tell the soldiers, “nevermind guys, just come back home – sorry for the multiple deployments; we owe you one.”

I know where I stand – do you?

And, do you know where your senator, congressman or president stand on defining how to win a war?

Glenn Beck is fanning the wrong flames

In Opinion, Political Critique on March 1, 2011 at 9:25 pm

First, I believe that Mr. Beck’s intentions are pure.  I fear, however, that the attacks on him have, understandably, triggered innate defense responses.  Consequently, he’s fighting and waging the wrong battle.  He’s fighting hate with fire; that will not end well.  I admit that understanding what we are facing is necessary, but it is not a complete, winning strategy.  Inflaming the left without making the contrary arguments calmly and repeatedly will result in a power struggle to the death of the Republic.

Support for freedom and individual rights thrives if, and only if, it is nurtured.  Beck’s TV shows (so too the opposition’s) are filled with telling his audience who to be against.  He cites polls showing this or that preference of some position by some majority.  Over and over he suggests that the supporters of the majority view, as revealed in that magic crystal ball called a poll, needs rise up and impose its will on the rest of the country.

He will never be more wrong.  We must not tolerate our politicians or TV pundits mimicking Joe Barton (See his Tea Party speech here) who wrongly thought he could pander to the Tea Party Patriots by identifying with the tank driver in Tiananmen Square, likening the Democrats to the little girl.  I don’t want to cajole anyone to agree with me, I want to be free, including free of Democrats or Republicans passing laws that tell me how to live and where my money should be “invested” by the federal government.  A government that is not neutral is tyrannical.

The sovereignty of the individual as set forth first in the Declaration of Independence, all men are created equal and are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, is the most important and radical political statement in the history of mankind.  Never before was the individual recognized as the center of all things.  That uniquely American, foundational truth gets overlooked when the power struggle for a majority begins.  Candidates bob and weave to bundle together enough votes from disparate interest groups to form a majority.  Then, once in office, the newly-powerful elected official hides behind the “voice of the people,” the power of democracy, and a “mandate” to [unlawfully] infringe on the freedoms of the people who voted against him in favor of those who voted for him.

That cycle will accelerate the downfall of the Republic that Mr. Beck genuinely claims to be working to avert.  I pray he finds his bearings and stops preaching fire and brimstone, and instead instructs his opponents about salvation.  Even during violent battles, Abraham Lincoln saved the union by appealing to his enemies best nature, not by attacking their worst flaws. 

With malice toward none, with charity for all.

Please rediscover that spirit, America.  Please.

–  See Lincoln’s Sword by Douglas Wilson for a scholarly treatment (and inspirational read) of President Lincoln’s use of rhetoric to save the Union.

Wisconsin: Upon reflection, it’s not the Unions’ fault, is it?

In Economics, Opinion, Political Critique on February 22, 2011 at 5:11 pm

We need a better brand of politicians.

Let’s look at Wisconsin and the battle royale Governor Walker is up against.  Let’s finally place the blame where it belongs – vote buying, career-enhancing, perpetual politicians

For years, the governor’s predecessors had a cozy little thing going with the unions – they bought political support with tax-payer money in the form of juicy compensation for union members.  But since those same elected officials had promised voters they would keep taxes low, they had sold their souls twice.  Then the lies started to cover it up.

First, they gave the union workers IOUs instead of cash:  exorbitant pension benefits, ‘free’ health care, excessive paid vacation, sick leave, birthdays off,  etc.  The union bosses collected their dues up front, of course, and the union members took home the promise of gold in the future.  The second lie compounded the problem; those same politicians knowingly under-funded the pension plans to hide the cost of the IOUs from the voters.  Then they fudged the calculations when testing whether the ‘lock-box’ into which they were supposed to be putting the money would earn enough investment returns to cover the promises.  (Ergo the term ‘unfunded pension obligations.’)

Now, the promises have piled up too high, and the calculations can’t be fudged enough to hide the lies that have accumulated over decades of irresponsible (fraudulent?) management of the government fisc.  The fiduciaries of the pension funds – elected and appointed officials – have been caught in their malfeasance.  And, those perpetrators, having moved on to lucrative lobbying jobs or other post-retirement positions, have left the likes of Governor Walker to tell the voters and union members the cold, hard truth.

UH, we’re broke!

And that’s just the bad news.  The worse news is that the same thing is going on with Social Security (and Medicare, unemployment insurance, and Medicaid, too, by the way).  There is not a single lock-box, Al Gore.  Teachers, and the other union pensioners who are exempt from Social Security (yes, that’s correct – they have a separate system) are experiencing exactly what the rest of the US population is going to realize as soon as someone tells the truth.  One wonders, which politician has the guts to do what Governor Walker is doing when, instead of a few thousand protestors, it’s a few million people who are told ‘we can’t keep the promises we made to you.’  How many people will fit on the Mall?  How many gun-toting retirees does the Dome Room hold?

If that truth isn’t told soon, it will end this nation.

It won’t be easy.  Hell, it will be hellish.  Someone has to tell the truth soon.  I know where Americans stand in matters of truth or lies.  Where does you favorite politician stand when it comes to telling the truth?

What is Wisconsin all about? Hokey Pokey?

In Economics, Opinion on February 21, 2011 at 8:30 pm

The debate in Wisconsin degenerates by the day.  The left accuses the governor of endangering the middle class (“Collective bargaining is what has built the middle class in America”) and the right says its approach is the only way to keep the state out of bankruptcy, the only way to balance the budget.  The left is sometimes honest enough even to admit that if the unions lose the right to deduct membership dues directly from the paychecks of their members, the union will likely starve for lack of funds.  The governor, rather than replying “EXACTLY, I’m guilty,” demurs and says he is not trying to ‘bust the union, really and truly; some of my best friends know people in the union.’

The resulting back-and-forth is pointless, destructive and unworthy of public consumption.  Children fighting over a morsel of candy would accomplish more.  [Click BELOW to read more] Read the rest of this entry »

Givers or Takers? No third option.

In Opinion on February 18, 2011 at 9:48 am

Over the last few months, we’ve seen groups gathered in the streets, carrying signs and expressing their political preferences and shouting their opinions, mostly peacefully and without threats of violence.  Boiled down to their essence, each group’s message to the government is either:

–  Take less of my money from me

OR

–  Take more of his money and give it to me.

Which group has your favorite politician defended and which has he belittled?  Has that politician’s position in that debate given you a sense of where he thinks power should reside?  In that choice, can you discern where, in his hierarchy of good things, he places freedom?

In what group do you want to be?

The President [also] Punts

In Opinion, Political Critique on February 17, 2011 at 8:41 am

Republicans and some of the political commentators tell us, as if we didn’t notice, that the Obama administration acted irresponsibly in not addressing entitlements in its recently submitted buget.

My recommendation:  Get over it.  Let the president abstain.  And, Congress, pass a budget that reforms the budget process, upends entitlements, eliminates unconstitutional programs and agencies, maintains proper levels of defense spending and balances the budget within, pick a number, 3 years.  Tell the president, “we’re sorry you’ve chosen to take a pass, but we’ve decided to govern without you.  OH, we’re going to need your signature in about a month, so stay close to DC.  Until then, hit ’em straight and long.”

Or resign and let us replace you – tomorrow.

There are only two reasons a given politician isn’t working obsessively to fix the budget process and reduce the national debt.  Mr. Congressman, Mr. Senator, show us which you are – either not intellectually qualified to figure out how to do this or not serious about wanting to do it.

Either way, we want someone else doing your job if you can’t or won’t.