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

Posts Tagged ‘power’

Obama’s Education Policy and Death Panels

In Opinion on January 27, 2012 at 10:23 am

Today, in a campaign speech at the University of Michigan, the President will tell educators to get in line or lose federal support.  In a NY Times Preview of the speech he said: “Let me put colleges and universities on notice:  If you can’t stop tuition from going up, the funding you get from taxpayers will go down.” Reminds me of his speech to the business communities’ lobbyists, The US Chamber of Commerce, a few months ago, which I critique HERE.    Maybe a little ominous?

This does not bode well for anyone.  Remember, the feds took over (outlawed) the private student loan business a while ago.  Soon, strings will be attached to student loans and limits placed on tuition.  Where that leads, most likely, is a two-tiered tuition system. Pay with government loan dollars, your tuition is $X. Pay with your own money, it will be $2X.  Somebody’s gotta make up for the subsidy; might as well be the “rich.”

Costs will spiral out of control, limits will be placed on education costs, the government will have to step in to ‘solve’ the problem it caused, and Education Panels (No-Soup-For-You! or Death Panels) will be created to determine who gets a shot at President of the Law Review at Harvard and who attends Piedmont Community College (no offense intended).

And then it will be interesting to see Harvard’s and Univ of Texas’s Boards of Regents, mostly staunch BHO supporters, squirm and whine, as they fight to keep their enormous university endowments from being raided by the feds to help bridge the gap.  I can hear the sound bites now:

“Why should that poor, unemployed graduate have to pay off his student loan with his hard earned dollars when you have billions and billions to spare?  Give up your piggy-bank endowments for the benefit of the poor.”

“Why should all that endowment money be invested in hedge funds, off-shore accounts and real estate ventures.  You MUST INVEST it to prepare our kids for the future?!”

They’re blurring the meaning between ‘spend’ and ‘invest’ – the second one doesn’t mean what they think it means.

You’ve been warned.

Obama (Finally) Admits Support of Theft

In Opinion, Political Critique on January 26, 2012 at 7:44 pm

Earlier today in Las Vegas, after cracking wise about the wealth of Bill Gates, President Obama told us his views about ‘fairness’ in the tax code and in the fiscal policies of the USA.

This has nothing to do with envy.  It has everything to do with math.  It’s what I talked about earlier.  We’ve got to make choices.  Americans understand if I get a tax break I don’t need and a tax break the country can’t afford, then one of two things are going to happen.  Either it’s going to add to our deficit or somebody else is going to have to make up the difference.  [Or the government could spend less money?  Nah, no need to consider that.]

A senior suddenly is going to have to start paying more for their Medicare, or a student is going to have to pay more for their student loan, or a family that’s trying to get by, they’re going to have to do with less.  And that’s not right.  That’s not who we are.  Each of us is only here because somebody somewhere felt a responsibility to each other and to our country and helped to create all this incredible opportunity that we call the United States of America.

I guess he thinks it’s cute to personalize it (and remind us that he makes millions of dollars) but his policy agenda will affect more than Barack and Michelle Obama’s tax return.  Furthermore, I’m not sure, but I think that if the president told the Treasury to stop sending his $400,000 per year salary to him, they’d stop – just think how many people $400,000 of food stamps could feed, Mr. President.

But, here’s the point.  Look at his words.  He plainly, boldly and proudly admits that purpose of increasing taxes on ‘the rich’ is to give their money to other people.  Usually Democrats talk about taking money from the rich to fund a ‘program’ or to fulfill some laudatory objective (to provide relief, fund research or cure a disease).  Now they’re unafraid to be explicit about it.  See the bolded words above which are followed by: “And that’s not right.


Then, to top it off, he tells us the big lie that America is only here because of that way of thinking – ‘somebody somewhere felt a responsibility to each other . . .”  If there is any truth in that statement, it is only to the extent that free men and women decided of their own volition to work together for their mutual benefit.  American’s successes, America’s greatness, is not the result of the government acting as the arbiter of the right or fair amount of money one person is allowed to make before he’s informed that, as a matter of law, he must give 30% of the next dollar to the tax-man so the agent of fairness can determine which lucky third person should be rewarded by the gift of someone else’s money.

Frederic Bastiat warned us of legal plunder in 1850. *

But how is this legal plunder to be identified?  Quite simply.  See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong.  See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime.

Then abolish this law without delay, for it is not only an evil itself, but also it is a fertile source for further evils because it invites reprisals.  If such a law — which may be an isolated case — is not abolished immediately, it will spread, multiply, and develop into a system.

Some have accused Mr. Obama and his supporters of being socialists, and they scream “NO WE’RE NOT!”  Some accuse them of “class warfare” with the same result.  His defenders are correct; this is neither socialism nor class warfare.  It is theft and plunder.  That the crimes are carried out by the government and is ‘legal’ does not make them just or right.  And, it has become a ‘system’ and it perverts the law.  That systematic, sanctioned plunder has pitted Americans against one another just as Bastiat predicted.  It has created two America’s – the looters and the producers, with the government purporting to be the arbiter of fairness between the two.

This cancer must be excised from our lives or our nation will soon collapse under the weight of so-called entitlements, something more accurately called, in Mr. Obama’s words “spreading the wealth” by stealing from one man for the benefit of another.

* See HERE for Frederic Bastiat’s The Law for more on legalized plunder.

Mitt Obama’s 28.3 MegaByte Tax Return

In Opinion on January 22, 2012 at 4:21 pm

Mitt Obama?  Of course you think I meant Mitt Romney’s return, but read on.  Maybe I meant that Irish fellow, Barack O’Romney.

First, The Wall Street Journal editorial board reported on January 19, that “[w]hen he recently visited the Journal, Mr. Romney all but said he didn’t think he could propose a tax reform with lower rates because he’d be attacked as a rich guy.”

And, then on January 22nd, Mitt Romney revealed his plans to release his 2010 tax return on January 24th along with an estimate of his 2011 taxes.  The left (and Rick Santorum) will scowl, scour and find in his return signs of ‘unfairness’ in the system along with innumerable ways the deck is “stacked in favor of the wealthy, the 1%.”  They will wax indignant and at length.

Then, in the next debate, Mitt will squirm, smile, nod, pause and then say “Well, ya know, I just followed the tax code as written by a bunch of Washington insiders, so if you think taxes are unfair, elect me and help me make taxes more fair for all Americans.”  Then remembering his consultants’ best line, he will add, “I won’t apologize for being successful.  I won’t apologize for the free enterprise system.”

So, what’s the problem?  Well, we know already that Mr. Romney is proud of himself and his accomplishments, and none of us begrudge anyone’s success.  The problem is that Mitt Romney doesn’t have enough pride (or money) for all Americans to be successful.  He has not proposed and will not (can not? – see above quote from WSJ) support policies that protect every American’s right to pursue happiness.  Mitt Romney wants to trim the hedges around the DC establishment’s playground, and they know he has no intention of taking away any of their toys.

Here’s how we know that.  Mitt Romney should have said, weeks ago, one of two things about his tax returns.

1.  “Screw it.  I’m not releasing my tax returns.  You know I’m wealthy and you can assume that I’ve filed every form and paid every dollar of tax the law requires.  It’s no one’s business exactly how much I’ve paid in taxes, given to charity or otherwise invested money that is mine.  If that means you will vote for someone else, so be it.”  It’s what he wanted to say, it would’ve been admirable, and it also would have cost him most of his votes.


2.  “My tax returns for the last 25 years will be on the web as soon as they can be scanned into the computer.  They will reveal that I have used umpteen dozen legal tax deferral and avoidance tactics.  They will reveal that I have an investment portfolio designed, at great cost by the best tax accountants money can buy, to minimize how much of my income is exposed to taxation and, then, at the lowest legal rate.  Critics will suggest that had I invested my money differently, had the code been written differently, more of my income would be taxable, and Uncle Sam would have taken more of what is mine.  They’ll suggest that the tax code that encouraged me to invest in projects X, Y and Z rather than projects A, B and C should be made more ‘fair.’  And, they’re right.  Every last one of the tax avoidance schemes I have used to minimize my tax liability for the last 25 years should be repealed, and I want you to elect me to make that happen.”

Right.  He’s gonna say that last part; and, I’m going to be in the NBA Hall of Fame!

Imagine the howling that would ensue.  That’s why Mitt Romney must not be the GOP nominee.  He can not lead a revolution against the establishment, because the establishment’s life-blood, their unifying mission, their raison d’être is their ownership and control of Title 26 of the US Code.  The Internal Revenue Code, the most powerful weapon ever known to mankind, gives the US government and its moochers the power to steal from the most free, most productive, most wealthy people the planet has ever seen.

Title 26 of the US Code was followed to the letter by Mitt Romney.  It was in place and subject to any change Barack Obama would have liked while the Democrats controlled the Senate and the House from January 21, 2009 through December 31, 2009, the last day on which the Internal Revenue code could have been changed to make Mitt Romney’s 2010 tax return more fair.  Why would the men and women who control the most powerful weapon ever give up their power?  Why would they give their weapon to Mitt Romney now that they know Barack Obama wants it to make it more powerful?  What incentive does Mitt Romney have to force them to give him the ability to take the bullets out of their gun – his accountants figured out how to dodge most of the bullets already?

This is where it becomes clear that Mitt Obama was not a typo.  Anyone who dislikes Mitt Romney’s 2010 tax return can send their complaints directly to one of three offices – The Oval Office, Majority Leader Harry Reid’s office, or former Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office.

It’s not just Mitt Obama’s tax return, it’s Barack O’Romney’s tax code, all 28.3 MegaBytes and 9,127 PDF pages of it.

Give me Elmo or give me NASCAR: A profound Choice?

In Economics, Financial, Opinion, Political Critique on December 29, 2011 at 10:22 am

Not really . .  . Give me liberty or give me death.  That’s profound.

A few months ago, FoxNews reports on the [low] level of the debate on the National Debt.

See Link Here (Debate over Army funding of NASCAR sponsorship)

When the fight is over which unconstitutional government expenditure should be kept in place, it’s a power struggle akin to a food fight; it is not a political discussion.  Maybe the Army’s NASCAR sponsorship is constitutional – after all, raising an army is a power granted the federal government by the people.
That question is open to discussion.  But NPR, PBS, Sesame Street – not even a close call.  Other government spending programs that are not close calls would include Dept of Education, Dept of Energy, health care law, Medicaid, corn subsidies, grants to states to build bike paths . . .Debating spending on the merits, goodness or effectiveness of the program makes for an enormous government, because there is a constituency for everything – see mohair subsidy and Murtha Regional Airport.
On the other hand, debating spending and other government actions on constitutional grounds makes the argument finite, unemotional and, in the end, lititgable by the non-political branch, the judiciary.  Could be a plan.  I think that the US Constitution was meant to work that way.  That would take a completely new group of legislators, because the current Congress is full of men and women who think their job is to bring home the bacon.
Or, we can elect politicians who will keep debating whether we should have the government feed the hungry – – – and watch the definitions of ‘feed’ and ‘hungry’ morph until debates over providing for the common defense, giving heating oil to the poor or buying viagra for grandpa are virtually indistiguishable, and more and more and more money will be taken from ‘rich’ person A and given to every erectile dysfunctional man, I mean ‘hungry‘ person B for his viagra, I mean,  ‘food‘.
How’s that working out for us so far?  The choice is simple and stark.
(A) 1789 – A limited, constitutional, democratically-elected government that protects individual rights – and nothing more, or
(B) circa 1917, Russia – A fair tyranny that wants income equality and leads to totalitarianism – we’ve all seen the movie.

Let’s prevent crime by making up some new laws. Sure, that’s the answer. NOT.

In Economics, Financial, Opinion on December 6, 2011 at 5:38 pm

In the Washington Post of December 6 (Link HERE) Katrina vanden Heuzel joins the chorus of pundits who:

(1) falsely accuse bankers, hedge fund managers and others of crimes,

(2) long for the days before “irresponsible de-regulation” (99% of them mention Glass-Steagal, the repeal of which I find very difficult to blame for the housing bubble or its collapse, but, HEY it sounds smart to mention a law by name),

(3) fail to mention one specific law or regulation the continuation or re-inactment of which would have or will prevent the next “crisis,”

(4) criticize GW Bush and everyone in his administration for using “tax-payer money to bail out” the banks,

(5) suggest that the solution to preventing more bad government decisions is (a) the enactment of a new and different set of laws and regulations that look nothing like the ones that were repealed, and (b) vesting unelected government officials with more power via those new laws and regulations.

Really?  The answer to the government over-stepping its bounds, having and mis-using too much power is  . . . give it ever more “regulatory” power to make banks and other institutions beg for permission before they do this or that?

I suppose that we’re meant to assume that the next Secretary of the Treasury will be more a pure-hearted, more honest man who will not have any friends or former colleagues in the hedge fund business (and will not have anyone on his staff who does).  That way, when one of those all-seeing, all-powerful, clairvoyant regulators spots “systemic risk” or some other such deviation from acceptable behavior that Dodd-Frank purports to have outlawed, no one will get a secret meeting or phone call.  We’re going to outlaw cronyism, damn it, because we’ll keep people with friends and acquaintances in high places from ever occupying an office of power – that’ll work!

Presto!  Outlaw breaking all the new laws and you’ve got perfection!  I’ve got another idea – let’s pass a new law that says murder is really, really bad; so bad that we’re going to start anticipating it (yeah, like in Minority Report with Tom Cruise) and that will have a huge effect on the number of murders, right?  That’s exactly what Dodd-Frank purports to do – the newly empowered regulators will have perfect vision into the future and will prevent any more icky stuff from happening.

Grow up Ms. vandan Heuvel.  If you know of crimes committed by bankers or hedge fund managers, report them immediately to the proper authorities so they can prosecute them under the laws as they existed pre-Dodd-Frank.  If you know not of any such illegalities, I beg you to stop implying that criminals are running free in the streets of mid-town Manhattan with the blessing of the Republican party.

And, with regard to your desire to prevent all the future bad deeds, I suggest that for one to think that the government can “regulate” out of the system all bad risk and the concomitant potential for failures and losses is naive; . . . no it’s dumb and evil.  The only way to accomplish such immunity from loss would be a complete take-over and shut-down of the financial markets – is that what you want?

It boggles the mind to contemplate the conceit necessary for one to believe that the government can imagine, predict, categorize and outlaw only the ‘bad’ versions of the innumerable ways capital is directed to productive uses.  Furthermore, beyond preventing fraud and theft, why should the government decide what is good or bad?

Bottom line:  What is the ideal regulatory regime for the capital markets?

Two laws:

1.  No Fraud – Check.

2.  No theft – Check.

And, since the state has the exclusive power to compel a party to honor any contract it enters of its own volition, the state must exercise that power (a) as necessary and (b) without regard to what the enforcer thinks the ‘fair’ outcome of the business transaction should have been.

Any other laws will give protection or otherwise give preference to one party over another, and the (unconstitutional) power to pass such preferential laws will lead to perversion and abuse of the law.  (See Frederic Bastiat, The Law  See in particular, the chapter Property and Plunder.)

Don’t change plunderers.  Stop the plundering.

Am I ‘Anti-government’?

In Opinion, Political Critique on November 8, 2011 at 8:21 pm

A standard line from the Democratic Party these days involves some version of “the right/GOP hates government and wants to eliminate all taxes, so government would possess no power.”

Sort of.

Or, actually, not at all.  The right and the GOP better correct that lie, and soon.

How?  It’s my belief that Americans are relatively indifferent about the effectiveness of ‘good’ government.  However, we are passionate about the power, the compassion and the productiveness of free men and women.

In my world, all of the left and the collectivists are free to try it their way – but they should not try and, under our Constitution, do not have the power to impose their approach on me.  I believe and history proves that freedom beats coercion every time, no matter how ‘good’ some coerced behavior might seem to be.

I say – Let me and those who agree live or die based upon the outcome.  I will bet my life on it.  Will Barack Obama or Harry Reid do the same if I take away their power (via confiscation of my income to finance their welfare state) to force me to agree with them?  I doubt it.

We can do better, America, but only if we’re free and government is smaller.

Herman Cain – Man or Man Slut? We’ll Know Soon Enough, but First . . .

In Opinion on November 8, 2011 at 12:03 am

First, I have some idea whether Herman Cain is a clumsy flirter who has some ‘splainin to do with his wife or a man who knows not how to treat a woman.  But my opinion on the matter is irrelevant, unimportant, and pure speculation based largely on the proposition that, if he is the latter, it wouldn’t take one of America’s least respected lawyers (pretty difficult to get under that low bar, I know) to drag one of the many mistreated women in front of the bright lights for a press conference.

But, my curiosity is not stimulated by probing the question of Mr. Cain’s veracity – that would be a waste of my time – some other process will produce the answer to that question in due course.

No, seeing Ms. Bialek in her news conference today triggered this much more interesting question:  Why is she smiling so much?

Well, I guess she has decided to punch her ticket – fame, a book deal, fortune, then easy street and a job hosting a show on MSNBC right after Al Sharpton.  I say, “Cheers and more power to her.  Whatever the market will bear.  C’est la vie in the grande ville” to coin a phrase.

And then, as the evening wore on, I asked myself an even more interesting riddle – Why are the Democrats and their cheerleaders in the news and opinion business so damn happy about these acts that they have determined represent horrendous and despicable acts, even crimes?  How can can these ‘journalists’ choose such a happy, nearly exultant tone when they report [what they have concluded is] a proven crime?  They’re practically having ticker tape parades to celebrate finding evil in our midst.

Who does that?  Is it because they don’t really believe the ‘crimes’ happened?  Or, is it because they’ve so coarsened their sense of right and wrong that the only ‘right’ things are those that advance their political agenda and their quest for power?  Have they concluded that the truth is flexible, maybe even dependent on what the meaning of the word ‘is‘ is.

Money, Politics & Corruption . . . or Chickens & Eggs

In Economics on October 13, 2011 at 11:22 am

A Note to “Occupy Wall Street” crowds

It appears that one thing motivating and energizing your ‘movement’ is the seldom questioned belief that money corrupts politics.  I suggest you have it inside-out and upside down.

Money is the way we accumulate, store and then trade the value of our having lived and worked, first, for things that sustain life and, then, for other luxuries – iPads, thongs, tattoos, bottled water, private jets, Jack Daniels, and deodorant, just to name a few.  Voluntary trading and bargaining between and among men with money precludes force from being the coin of the realm.

Un-touched by political favoritism and other forms of fraud, money never lies and is never corrupt.  Only in the hands of the corrupted man can money do harm.

Money corrupts politics?  NOPE!  That is exactly backwards.  Politics corrupts money.

You will never eliminate avarice or greed from human endeavors, but if you limit the power of the state, you will eliminate the power of avarice and thereby elevate, indeed make paramount, the powers of merit and accomplishment.  And that results in freedom for everyone – no exceptions.

Debt Limit Debate; The Plundering will continue until morale improves

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


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 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.