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

Posts Tagged ‘politicians’

Coffee, Tea or Freedom

In Opinion on August 3, 2011 at 12:06 pm

What are they serving at the Tea Party?

Freedom.  The right to be left alone.  The part of the American populace that is attracted to the Tea Party is ALL of it excepting only those who are part of or beholden to the vast and expanding political class.

You see, the human race, particularly Americans, are acquisitive, expansionist by nature.  In a word, innovators.  Want proof – look around.  Every thing you see, touch, hear, feel or otherwise experience that was not put here by “nature” is here because someone at some point wanted or needed more of something.  And that is man’s nature.  It isn’t taught or learned or implanted.  It is inborn.

And for centuries and generations, fear of that nature is what motivated entrenched powers to write rules to keep that natural urge in check.  Kings, lords, czars, popes, emperors,  – – – – they all wrote laws that enshrined themselves and kept men in chains.  The fruit of a man’s labor belonged to the collective, and since the king or lord or  . . .  was the embodiment of the collective and held a monopoly on power (see rules above) men were slaves or servants of the state.  Men toiled, mostly in misery, so the rulers could live in luxury.

Until America; until an ocean separated a group of men from their putative rulers; and when the cat’s far away, the imaginative mice play, with freedom.  America was out of the reach of the king, and we declared independence, we did not declare war.  Yet, victory in bloody battles brought to our shores by that king enabled the seeds of freedom to take root.  A country ruled by laws made and administered by free men, a nation not ruled by men, was envisioned and founded by wise men who had gathered in New England, and within, say 100 years, the strongest, most affluent nation in all of history had blossomed and spread across a continent.

That country’s two foundational documents were ingenious and revolutionary.  They contained concepts about organizing life in ways that had never been tested.  They resulted in the synchronization of humanity’s intellectual power with capitalism, freedom, individual rights and democracy – and consequently, the the most powerful force we know, the power of compounding, was applied to human endeavors like never before and human progress never looked back.

But, now – – – there is a sense, a strong one, that the rules are being written by a political class in a manner that weakens the people’s hold on the government.  The political class is nourished by one thing – taking freedom.  There is no better way of thinking of the tax and spend habits of Washington than to look at it in its most simple terms – taking money from one man and giving it to another, and asking the recipient to give thanks and pay homage to the mediator, not to the creator of the wealth.  The political class lives off of that homage – they produce nothing.  They merely TAKE.   And to survive, they have to take more and more, especially as that class gets bigger and bigger.  It has to, literally, feed itself, so it takes as much as it can get.

Producers frighten those parasitic rule-makers, so the political class is in a panic over the Tea Party.  The free men who are producing resent the takers now that they see the takers are not spending their tax money on roads, armies, bridges or other public accommodations or needs (the “general welfare”).  More than 75% of what the government does with tax money is merely a transfer of it to another person.  And they are re-writing the rules to make that theft legal and to entrench themselves in power.

That will destroy the productive spirit in man.  It will kill this great republic, and THAT is what the Tea Party folks can’t bear.  You can watch the reaction from the political class to see how right the Tea Party is.  The politicians are frightened and are doing everything they can to kill, vilify, lampoon, intimidate and otherwise marginalize the Tea Party.  It threatens their whole world and this may be a fight to the death.

We have to eliminate – figuratively – that class of people who attempt to rule rather than govern this nation.  It will be violent if, and only if, the ruling class does not cede its power peacefully.

Though it never has happened thusly, may it happen peacefully, just this one time.

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Debt Limit Debate; The Plundering will continue until morale improves

In Opinion, Political Critique on August 1, 2011 at 10:34 am

OR

Mugger buys victim cup of coffee

The federal government will spend $3.6 trillion this fiscal year, borrowing about $1.4 trillion of that and paying $2.2 trillion with current tax receipts and other fees etc collected by the government.  In Washington, that situation is projected to continue for the foreseeable future, yet it is repeatedly called unsustainable (but I don’t think that word means what they think it means).


To reduce that deficit, we need to cut spending or increase taxes.

Wonder how that will go?

We’ve just seen what is being called an “historic” or “heroic” level spending cuts.  That radical act occurred at the brink of, we’re told, an international financial meltdown.  Those cuts amount to about $100 billion per year over ten years, mostly in the out years,  i.e. mostly a fantasy, not to mention are merely a drop in the bucket – 100 billion/3.6 trillion is a whopping 2.7%.  Also, these ‘cuts’ are reductions in increases – what a bunch of liars!

So, “cutting spending” is unlikely to happen, it seems.  Turn to the tax increase solution —> we would need to increase taxes by $1.4 trillion to cover the overspending.  That means we need to increase taxes by 64% ($1.4T /  $2.2T).  I dare the Democrats to propose that.  A 64% increase in EVERYONE’S taxes.  Or, try confiscating that much of the income made by “millionaires and billionaires” and watch them stop earning any money in the US.

Said otherwise – in a $14 trillion economy, we would need to confiscate 10% of the GDP in order to make up the difference.  That will not happen as long as there are elections, so we’ll keep borrowing from our children until the market figures out that they’re not likely to be able to pay it back.

It makes one wonder – Why can’t anyone in the political class (you would hope maybe a Republican could do it) make the simple point that we spend too much?  It’s so easy.  We know why no one makes the case; it’s because they’re all complicit in the lie and its consequences – their continued power.  The Republicans like power just as much as the Democrats like power, and reducing government spending reduces their power.

Sound the alarm – Melt-down is the only likely solution.  Watching these fools congratulate themselves for keeping our nation from “defaulting on its obligations for the first time in its history” would be funny if it didn’t portend disaster.  They have not the discipline to stop the wreck.  And, along the way, they accuse the Tea Party – the only part of the group acting responsibly – of being terrorists and thugs.

I see it like this…. the mugger has been caught with the loot.  The thief begs for mercy because (a) he was going to give the money to old/sick people, and (b) now the police (Tea Party) show up to stop the theft.  The thief declares that, as a result, all those old/sick people are going to starve and it’s Paul Ryan and Rush Limbaugh’s fault.  So, the mugger gives his victim $3.50 for a cup of coffee (i.e. a little bit of a reduction in the level of spending increases) and the mugging continues.

Weiners and Losers

In Opinion, Political Critique on June 10, 2011 at 4:29 pm

WeinerDon Boudreaux of CafeHayek.com makes the point that Congressman Weiner has admitted that he won’t leave Congress because he’s concerned about how he’ll make a living off the public dole.  (See his blog here.)

There are barely, I’d say, 5 members of Congress – both houses – who could make a living outside of the bubble of Washington, DC, where the only skill that matters (left or right) is being able to gain access.  These men and women are feeble-minded, arrogant, generally rude and otherwise not fit for polite society as generally known to most Americans.

It’s time to stop being surprised by their silliness and peccadilloes.  You see, they take themselves so seriously that they can’t imagine a life without people kissing their ring every time they walk in the room.  I live in DC and see it first-hand – when the cameras turn off, the smirks and superior posture and tone are revealed, and it’s truly ugly.  Their staffers bring them bottles of water, whisper in their ear to remember to mention so-and-so, phone ahead for their driver, and generally treat them like royalty.  And, their enablers in the press have the same superior attitude, also, by the way.  To all of them, it’s all a big Hollywood/Broadway production, and the voters are just a passive audience – that pays the bills!

In the end, the cocoon they have created for themselves makes them believe they are bullet-proof, all-powerful and invulnerable.  Weiner just happened to get caught by a TYPO.  The rest of them are just as guilty – not of sexual misconduct (who really cares) but of an arrogant disregard for any standards beyond this ONE: what’s a legal (ethics do not exist) way to raise enough money to retain the powers of office.  Nothing – repeat, nothing – else matters to the whole lot of them.

They’re a bunch of weiners and we’re the losers.

We need a House (and Senate) cleaning and a new brand of politicians – and SOON.

Top Five Oil Executives – FIRE them all!

In Opinion, Regulation on May 13, 2011 at 3:36 pm

I’m disturbed that not one of the oil company executives who recently were grilled by the US Senate had the courage to tell the truth about the proceedings in that hearing room.  Asking those honest business men to defend themselves against false charges, asking them to sanction their own public humiliation in front of a bunch of spineless politicos is disgusting and unAmerican . . . but so is not defending oneself when unjustly attacked.

I suspect that they think that their public/investor relations team is correct when they advised the CEOs to bite their tongue and take it.  But in the long run, they do a horrible disservice to their shareholders when they let the companies’ assets be confiscated by the government – little-by-little-by-little.  To stand by and watch, so long as their salary isn’t at risk, is grounds for termination.  They should all be fired immediately, if not sooner, and replaced by men or women who know that making a profit is not grounds for punishment or derision.

Dancing with the devil invariably strips one of the power to stand up to his duplicitous, self-serving criticisms.  These companies have become dependent on government largess, so they dare not bite back.  They’ve let the government dictate the rules of their business.  Government controls when and how they drill for, deliver, produce and refine their products, because the big guys have spent decades helping the government draft more and more rules and regulations that quell their competition – and then they act surprised when their master wants to slap them around to make the voters think the government is protecting them from an evil corporation.  But, they grin and bear it, because they know the pain will only last a news cycle or two.

We need a new brand of politicians – and a new breed of corporate leaders who thrive in the marketplace without government protections – and SOON.

Are we spending too much or taxed too little?

In Economics, Opinion on April 25, 2011 at 2:41 pm

Is there any correlation between The Tea Party and Rational Thinking?

There seems to be some confusion about how the government can routinely run what is generally considered to be an ‘unsustainable’ deficit.  Most of the conversations seem to place the blame on one or both of (1) high government spending and (2) the “irresponsible and unpaid for Bush tax cuts.”

I need someone to explain to me how a tax cut, in and of itself, causes a deficit.  It stands to reason that, unless taxes are $0 or there are no non-essent­ial (i.e. unConstitu­tional) expenditur­es, a deficit is caused if, and only if, the government spends more than it collects in taxes, not because it taxed too little.

After all, isn’t it true that the same congress that writes the tax code also passes the annual budget.  To suggest that one hand of the government (the tax collector) has no responsibi­lity to coordinate its actions with the other hand (the spending machine) is misleading and, I suggest, is born of an intent to deceive or distract the voters from the facts.

Some of the voters who have opened their eyes to that deception are sometimes called Tea Partiers.  Others with similarly open eyes could be described as rational, thinking humans.  Uncovering the deception makes it easier to remember that money the government spends is taken from someone who earned it.  Furthermore, they realize that it’s time to stand up for lower taxes because – well, because it’s moral. Free men should not be compelled to spend their money in ways that Paul Ryan and Harry Reid think are best.  It’s not the politicians’ money.  Let’s take it back.  (see also “Ryan’s Plan – Deeply Flawed Compromise”)

Debt Ceiling – Did that alarm-thingy go off again?

In Economics, Financial, Opinion, Political Critique on April 21, 2011 at 4:32 pm

If you want to know how serious or knowledgable any of the politicians are about taxing and spending issues, just ask one of them “how large an increase in the debt ceiling do you recommend?”  If their answer is anything less than, say, $10 Trillion dollars (the amount the debt is expected to increase over the next 6-8 years) then that politician is merely pretending to be paying attention to the situation and actually has no sense of what is going on in the country they “govern” much less what are the consequences of his actions.

You’ll get an answer like “up to $17 Trillion” (up from $14.5T now) and you’ll know beyond doubt that they’re not serious, because that increase will last about a year, maybe two . . . and we’re right back where we started.

That’s really the point the Republicans are making (and not very well, by the way).  Unless we pair the increase to major reform in the budget process and serious spending cuts, we’re just kicking the can down the road and solving nothing – like pushing the snooze button on the alarm clock and rolling over for another few winks.

Wake up America – they’re toying with issues that can do irreparable harm to our country and the freedoms we seem to take for granted.  The politicians have no clue what they’re doing – seriously, they don’t – and the ‘media wing’ of the government is complicit, because they think the explosion might be good for ratings.

Externalities or Pharoah Cures the Common Cold

In Humor, Opinion on April 19, 2011 at 2:46 pm

Professor Don Boudreaux of George Mason University writes (link here) on his blog about climate change (sort of).  He notes that politicians often fail to take into account “externalities” (i.e., the effects their decisions, made to advance their own personal agendas, have on third parties).  It brought to mind that many of my interlocutors on various blogs and in everyday conversations tend to make a similar “externality error” in reverse, so to speak.

“Oh, ok, so you want lower taxes – well then, who will pay for the government that invented the internet, makes laws so the air will be clean, the streets paved and water/food you drink/eat healthy?” they ask.  It must be taught in a rote memorization class – it never varies!

They seem to think that the government one day waved its magic wand and made the air clean and rid the streets of horse manure and flies, then fancy automobiles came along because the streets were cleaned up – thank you Professor B for the exact right counter-point.

In my next discussion, I’m going to ask one of those pro-government bloggers why that all-knowing and omnipotent government doesn’t simply pass a new law that outlaws global warming, per se.  It’ll be a law that is short and sweet:  “Earth, we command you to stop warming.”  If good things happen at the stroke of the POTUS’s pen, then, by golly, start writing some laws, would ya!?  Next on the list, we’ll outlaw, forever!, the common cold, skinned knees, body odor, heart-burn,  restless leg syndrome (also known as RLS on TV) and erectile dysfunction.  Who needs doctors and pills when we have legislators!

As Yul Brynner in The Ten Commandments would say: So let it be written, so let it be done.

No government Shut-down (and No Mandatory Suicides!)

In Opinion on April 8, 2011 at 11:36 pm

We are blessed, aren’t we?!  No mandatory suicides ordered by the government!  Thank you, sir.  May I have another?

Senator McConnell announced a few minutes before mid-night on April 8th, that the Senate/House/POTUS “made history” by agreeing that the government would stay open . . . until next Friday!!

How low can the bar be lowered?  The government has closed its eyes, put its pedal to the metal, and driven us to the edge of a cliff for the umpteenth time, and now, again, they want a medal for opening their eyes and looking for the brake.

And all of the pundits and lobbyists give three cheers.

Question – What are the odds that this collection of ‘leaders’ are going to rein in government spending?

Answer (in the form of a Socratic question) – How many of Paul’s lobbyists get paid handsomely to convince politicians to stop taking Peter’s money to help Paul?

We need a better brand of politician.  SOON.

A Tank or a Little Girl? A Politician or a Leader?

In Opinion, Political Critique on February 28, 2011 at 8:05 pm

Representative Joe Barton (R-TX) appeared at the Tea Party Patriots’ National Policy Summit on February 26, 2011.

Without expressing any opinion about the rest of the weekend, the Tea Party in general, Sarah Palin’s fitness for office, or Barack Obama’s citizenship (I don’t really care where his mother gave birth) I will express an opinion about the modern political establishment, Democrats and Republicans, as exemplified by this portion of Mr. Barton’s remarks.  (Watch from 1:03 to 1:55)

[Rep. Barton compares majority and minority status with little girl and the tank in Tiananmen Square]

After a little nervous laughter, 800 people in the room went nearly silent, Rep. Barton paused, knowing his joke had fallen flat.  There was a fearful, sunken feeling deep in the gut of the group.  I’m not sure whether many of the crowd could have described the feeling, but it wasn’t admiration or respect.  I think it was shock.

Free men give our admiration, hearts and prayers to the little girl when we recall Tiananmen Square.  Americans don’t aspire to be driving the tank.  Emphatically we want no elected official to identify with the tank operator, even if he’s suggesting that the little girl symbolizes his or our political opponents.  We don’t think in those terms about ourselves, our neighbors, our opponents, our government . . . or anyone’s little girls.

Joe Barton prefaced this part of his speech by reminding the group that he is a 26-year veteran of the U.S. House of Representatives.  The portion of that long tenure that he chose to emphasize was the stark difference between his experiences serving in the majority versus in the minority status.  He grinned as he bragged about how fulfilling it is to be back in the majority, how important it is to have command of the tank again.

Of course he was speaking figuratively and was attempting humor, but the truth behind the bad joke is this: like every other member of our modern political establishment, Joe Barton relishes the power of his office and is seldom mindful of the individual liberty and unalienable rights of those he is privileged and paid to, uh, govern – One can’t call what they do “leading.”

We need a better brand of politicians.  We need men and women who don’t covet and are not seduced by power, who will not conclude that it is their mission to pass laws and regulations that dictate other people’s lives; men and women who don’t fantasize about driving a tank over their political opponents.

We will only find those men and women if we look beyond Washington and outside of the Republican and Democratic Parties.  We will find them if, and only if, we look for leaders who are proud to live by the creed that all men are created equal and abide by the law of nature that governments are not instituted to elevate or demote ANY man, or little girl.

Where is your heart?

Social Security is Wisconsin writ large

In Economics, Financial on February 24, 2011 at 9:25 am

The controversy in Wisconsin incidentally involves unions and teachers.  The core problem is what is euphemistically called ‘unfunded liabilities.’  In Tennessee we call it either broken promise or a fraud.

For years and years, government officials have promised to give Person A something (health care or retirement income) in the future.  We all know that the only way the government can do that is by taking Person B’s money from him (see earlier piece about government’s wealth creating impotence).  The promise made to Person A is just a (future) tax on Person B.

Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, unemployment insurance, ObamaCare . . . they’re all schemes manufactured by politicians to transfer wealth from Person B to Person A in exchange for Person A’s vote.  Looks like a sweet deal for Person A, because the payoff for him is immediate.  What all the Persons A (YOU!) don’t seem to understand is there are only so many Persons B (also YOU!).  And when the time comes to collect, everybody (well, every taxpayer – there are some net takers – about 1/2 the country, that is) is a Person B.  There is no free lunch, or to paraphrase Maggie Thatcher, evetually you run out of Persons B.

Among other purposes, the government our founders established had as its primary responsibility protecting free men’s rights and property from other men’s grimy hands.  Now the government is the theif with grimy hands.

Our Constitution worked while it was operative.  However, now our governments at all levels are run by men and women who routinely ignore the Constitution.  They proudly declare that their mission is ‘protecting’ this group or that constituency, and that protection is accomplished by TAKING money from someone else.  As charitable as they make it sound, as sympathetic as the recipient of the loot may be, it’s still theft.   That the man with the gun also has a badge or IRS i.d. card doesn’t change the nature of the act.  An unfunded liability perpetrated by the government is generational theft, it is taking one man’s future and giving it to another man to spend today.

We need a better brand of politicians.  Let’s find them and soon.