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A Conservative solution to our health care problems is what is needed now I have heard people say.  Well there has been this Conservative solution since before Obamacare was forced thru the Congress by the Democrats who were in control of both houses and the Presidency.  These same Democrats who refused to allow any  Republican input at all during the drafting of this bill.  the same Democrats who refused to be bothered reading the 2000+ page bill that they passed without one Republican vote for it. If you check back on this blog site you will see the Republican plans and proposals that were submitted in both the House and the Senate that were never allowed by the Democrat leaders to see the light of day.  They were trash canned.  What we got stuck with is a so-called  Affordable Healthcare Act (Obamacare) that we are now finding out is not at all affordable  for  the few people who have been able to get a look  at  the available plans on a web site set up to show these plans to people and allow them to enroll in and purchase insurance.   There  were,  we are now being told,  all of 6 people in the entire country who managed to enroll in Obamacare and purchase an insurance policy the first day before the site crashed and burned.  The same web site that cost $6 billion  and three years to get up and running but isn’t running at all.  The web site that was built by a Canadian company  but is now being fixed by what the President assures us are experts, or this same Canadian company.  Funny I thought the “experts” on the Internet and building programs for the Internet would be the very Americans who built the Internet in the first place.  Guess none of these people had a friend in the White House.  Or maybe they were willing to take less time and cost less money to build a web site that  probably would have worked almost as well as the Internet they built in the first place.  Ya think??  But no “friend” in the WH gets no contract.

The following letter is from Jim DeMint who outlines the Republicans and Conservatives Healthcare Plan that is affordable and available and more important, Constitutional.  Please check it out.  BB

The Conservative Alternative to Obamacare11/01/13Dear friends,We’ve been very critical of Obamacare because it’s hurting Americans. But that has caused some to ask, “What’s your alternative?”

The truth is, we’ve always had alternatives, but our critics weren’t ready to listen. Now, the disastrous rollout of Obamacare has a lot of people asking for alternatives to government-run health care. And conservatives are ready.

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With each passing day, it becomes clearer that Obamacare will not reduce premiums for average American families, bring down health care spending, or truly improve health care in this country. Instead, people are receiving notices from their insurance companies that their policies are being canceled or their premiums are skyrocketing.

At The Heritage Foundation, we are envisioning a health care system where you and your family come first.

What if you could choose and control your own health insurance? What if you could buy the insurance and health care services you want and need? What if your health insurance didn’t go away when you changed jobs?

The good news is, all of these things are possible. There can be life after Obamacare—and it doesn’t mean going back to the status quo that we had before. We can move ahead, taking the best health care system in the world and making it even better.

Our experts in the Center for Health Policy Studies have put together a new paper that explains how these conservative ideas work. It includes:

  • How we will help people with pre-existing conditions
  • How we will help you keep your health insurance when you change jobs
  • How we can lower costs and improve health care quality—no matter what your income is
  • How we can honor people’s faith and protect the right of conscience in health care

We are excited to share this set of commonsense solutions with you—not just because they are good public policy solutions, but because they bring hope. We have hope for life after Obamacare, and these policies would give you back control over your own health care.

Now that’s worth working toward. I hope you’ll join us.

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Jim DeMint

Dear reader this is a great article that you really need to read and understand AND do go to all the referred articles and sites.  What it comes down to of course is that is our fault because We the People allowed  sat on our haunches and blithely allowed this all to take place while we played.    It is still not too late to turn things around and take our country back but it will not be done without pain and without fully understanding what is happening.  This is why I keep passing on these best of the best in my opinion news articles to you so that you understand and can make the right choices and vote for men and women who share your values and need to save America.

The following article is from my favorite site: Heritage.  I read many sources but use the Heritage often because their articles seem to me to be the most informative and concise.  BB

Mon, Sep 23, 2013 at 10:12 AM
Mon, 10:12 AM

Morning Bell: 6 Reasons Why the National Debt Keeps Rising

from The Heritage Foundation to you

6 Reasons Why the National Debt Keeps Rising

09/23/2013

Out-of-control spending by Congress and the Obama Administration has once again maxed out the latest debt limit—a nearly $17 trillion burden that harms job growth, gives special interests a pass, and lowers American families’ personal income.
($17 billion up from $9 billion just in the 5 years since Obama took office!  BB)
Inspired by Dave Ramsey’s recent post “6 Reasons People Stay in Debt,” we compiled six reasons why Members of Congress, the Obama Administration, and others in Washington avoid the path to financial stability in favor of big spending…

Ramsey_debt_300

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1. They want to keep up appearances.

The truth is, ever-growing entitlement programs drive ever-greater government spending. Everyone knows it. Some leaders in both parties have even worked together on first-step solutions agreeable to both sides. Yet rather than risk Warren Buffett’s taxpayer-funded benefits decreasing, politicians pretend America’s national budget can handle all the extensive promises they’ve made over the past several decades.

2. They are unwilling to sacrifice even wasteful spending.

Like a recent guest on “Hannity,” some in Washington will defend even the most ridiculous spending. Yet Congress could eliminate billions in spending tomorrow. Heritage expert Patrick Louis Knudsen, who spent two decades working on the House Budget Committee, recently went line-by-line through the federal budget to find $42 billion in unnecessary, poorly run, and duplicative federal government programs.

3. They fear changing “business as usual” in Washington.

Politicians are masters at playing the game. Because Americans are waking up to the fiscal crisis we are in, today policymakers in both parties use any number of legislative “back doors” to increase the debt ceiling—without looking like they did. CNN reports:

Since it’s a politically tough vote, they occasionally devise clever ways to tacitly approve increases without ever having to publicly record a “yes” vote.

For example, as part of the deal to resolve the 2011 debt ceiling war, Congress approved a plan that let President Obama raise the debt limit three times unless both the House and Senate passed a “joint resolution of disapproval.” Such a measure never materialized. And even if it had, the president could have vetoed it.


4. They’re addicted to stuff.

Policymakers in Washington enjoy a good haircut, lavish conference vacations, and even renovating their bathrooms… all at our expense. How does so much wasteful spending get into the federal budget? Follow the money. When government keeps doling out so much to so many, it’s inevitable thatWashington’s 10,000+ registered lobbyists get in on the bureaucrats’ action—while helping along a few re-election campaigns in the process.

5. They don’t know how to see long-term.

Word has it that the 2013 deficit will be lower than previous years. Let’s not break out the confetti just yet. This short-term change is due in part to massive tax increases signed into law by President Obama. Moreover, this year’s $642 billion deficit adds to the already massive national debt. Nearing $17 trillion, the debt is depressing job growth and opportunity for American families.

6. They lack the courage to lead on spending reform.

Clearly there are real proposals on the table to get the budget under control. Heritage offers Saving the American Dream, a budget framework that wisely resets spending levels back to historical norms. Even with recent legislative action on defunding Obamacare, it is unclear whether Congress will ultimately follow through and fully defund this unfair, unworkable, unaffordable law before its massive new entitlements go into effect.

We can change our current course, support a budget based on real Constitutional priorities, and set free the unlimited genius of Americans to create jobs, wealth, and prosperity. Find out how you can spread the word >>

Heritage Newsletter offer us experts opinions on the news of the day and how it will affect you.   This was really a big day since the Supreme Court came down with two big rulings: one gave a victory to gay marriage by ruling against the Congressional Bill passed under Clinton called the Defense of marriage Act (DOMA)  which ruled marriage as being between a man and a woman.  I have been against this changing of our marriage laws on the grounds off finances.   This act by the court throws the problem back to the states but then after ruling that the California law *(voted for by the people) against gay marriage as unconstitutional it seems no state and certainly the majority of the voters have no say in this matter.   As stated I have been and am against the legalizing of s  gay marriage  because it  fives rights for financial support that have been the rights of wives and husbands only.   For instance social security support for widows and orphans.  the “orphans” part may be easy top figure out but who is the “widow”?   Are Both  parties in a lesbian marriage widows?   Do homosexual couples need to designate a “widow”?  And this is just the tip of a huge financial ice berg that We the Taxpayers will be responsible for that we were not before today.

The second ruling by the Supreme Court was one I feel is long overdue in being corrected.  States should and do have the right to determine what their voting laws are but until todays ruling 14 states had to get permission from some clerk in Washington before they could so much as change the location of a voting location.  In fact  one district in one of these states could not vote in the 2000 election due to a water pipe breaking and  flooding the polling place.  But since they had to get permission from Washington to move the site they simply had to disenfranchise the voters ion that district!   Now that was an extreme and surely rare happening but it really does point out the nonsense of following a law that was very necessary when passed by 50 years later attitudes and laws and mostly people’s views have changed and no Black can or will be kept from voting.  After all we do now have a Black as President!

And be sure to take note of how our President plans to go around your elected officials in Congress and use the EPA Environmental Protection Agency to force  his climate change agenda and war on coal and oil on us.   People there is no such thing as climate change.  the Earth is not getting hotter.  Obama lied again and again in his speech yesterday at Georgetown University.  Don’t believe me but do your own research and go to the records kept by the government itself  and see that we are experiencing right now the cycle that is normal and active in the 1950’s.  Then the hotter seasons was followed by a cooling off and so-called “cooling of the Earth due to the use of fossil fuels ” that occurred in the 1970’s.  these damned fools lead by Hollywood idiots and our President  are helping a cool group of men led by Al Gore and Barrack Obama to make a pile of money.   But while they are manipulating and  lining their pockets with all the money it will cost to go from fossil fuels to their so-called clean and not at all reliable wind and solar We the People are going to see the cost of energy to us going out of  sight.  And since energy is needed for every aspect of our lives including the food on our tables that means everything in our lives will cost more.  Well, anyhow  please do read the article and go to the references.   Sincerely, BB

Heritage Hotsheet

Experts on the Day’s Hottest News

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Items for Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Divided Supreme Court strikes down key voting rights provision
The Washington Times

John Malcolm

Obama planning to sidestep Congress for next phase in climate change agenda
Fox News

Nicolas Loris

David Kreutzer

Jack Spencer


Snowden flap bares hapless U.S.

Boston Herald

Peter Brookes

James Carafano

Ariel Cohen
INFOGRAPHIC: What You Should Know About Marriage
The Foundry Blog

Ryan Anderson

Jennifer Marshall

Andrew Walker

Sarah Torre


Immigration and the Crisis of Opportunity

National Review Online

Genevieve Wood

Mike Gonzalez

Stuart Butler


Latest Heritage Research
:

ISSUE BRIEF
How to Slash Billions from the Agriculture Appropriations Bill

Gang of Eight Giveaways
National Review

Jessica Zuckerman

Mike Needham

Dan Holler

Obama energy push could loom large in 2014
Politico

Nick Loris

David Kreutzer

Jack Spencer

Snowden mystery deepens, took job to gather NSA evidence
USA Today

Steven Bucci

Peter Brookes

James Carafano

Snowden Case Has Cold War Aftertaste
The New York Times

Ariel Cohen

5 Things You Need to Know About the Supreme Court’s Marriage Cases
The Foundry Blog

Ryan Anderson

Andrew Walker

Jennifer Marshall

 

Latest Heritage Research:

ISSUE BRIEF
Helping Southeast Asia Come to Grips with the Reality of Taiwan

ISSUE BRIEF
Obama’s Trip to Africa: Make It More Than a Photo-Op

ISSUE BRIEF
Schumer–Corker–Hoeven Amendment Fails on Securing the Border and Halting Illegal Immigration

BACKGROUNDER
Ratifying the Disabilities Convention Will Not Help Americans with Disabilities at Home or Abroad

ISSUE BRIEF
Kerry in India: Setting the Tone on Security Issues

I hope my Readers have been watching the Senate with the new immigration bill.  it gives instant  legality to all comers.  And the so-called “securing the border first” doesn’t take effect until 2017!  Then the over 1000 page bill which no one has read (remember the over 2000 page Obamacare bill??)!  This bill is another hugely expensive train wreck for the American people and now the Senators are busy loading it down with pork.  Yes, every vote needs to be bought with something.  Senator leader Harry Reid is asking for $1.5 million for the casinos in his Los Vegas.  Can you find a business less in need of money than the gaming industry?  But they are friends with Dear Harry and they did get him reelected so he needs to pay them back for this favor.  Of course it is with your money.

One more very interesting thing about this bill:  it has 94  “exemptions  ”  which would allow  Secretary of Home Land Security  Napolitano or her successor to NOT follow the law as written but to make up their own law and actions regarding illegal immigrants and border security.  This is the same lady who has been telling us the border is the most secure it has ever been as an estimated 1000 new illegals cross the border every day.  I was there, I saw the border and people coming into our country just by walking across the Rio Grande River within sight of the border check.  Then they would walk up to the highway and try to thumb a ride into Yuma!

EXTRA! EXTRA!  as I learn  things about the Democrats controlled Senate Immigration bill I will try to add them to this list  as an extra.  Just found out from a reliable source that one provision in the bill states that any illegal who comes forward and registers and who has committed crimes in our country will have their arrest records cleared.    Now hain’t that right nice of us Americans to let people who broke our laws to get here and then broke our laws after getting here will be made lily white and clean just by telling the Democrats they are willing and able to vote for them!  Can’t make these things up People.

You may find the following article from Heritage informative.  BB

10 Problems with the Gang of Eight Immigration Bill

06/24/2013

The immigration debate barrels ahead in the Senate this week—and the Gang of Eight wants you to believe it’s a done deal.

The media and many Senators have been trumpeting a new amendment to the bill by Senators Bob Corker (R-TN), John Hoeven (R-ND) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY), saying it would fix the border security holes in the original legislation. But Heritage experts have explained why the amendment is deeply flawed and “does not even promise a reduction in illegal immigration.”

The new border-security language isn’t the only change. When the revised bill was released Friday afternoon, it had ballooned to 1,190 pages. Our colleagues at Heritage Action spent the weekend combing through the bill for other changes. Several sweetheart deals are included in the new bill text, such as special treatment for Alaskan seafood processing and $1.5 billion for youth job training.

Today, the U.S. Senate will vote at 5:30 p.m. to end debate. That’s typical Washington—rush to pass a bill before lawmakers can find out what is in it.

To help you understand what’s at stake, the Heritage Immigration and Border Security Reform Task Force released a paper detailing the top 10 concerns about the bill. Here is an infographic you can share with some of the highlights.

10Probs_immig_v3

Read the Morning Bell and more en español every day at Heritage Libertad.

Quick Hits:

  • This week, the Supreme Court will decide two cases dealing with the definition of marriage. Here are five things you need to know about these cases.

The following article is from the Heritage Foundation and is a listing of studies made by various groups on the state of our government and social programs.  I found many of them informative and felt that perhaps my Readers would also.  Just check out the listings and click on the topics that interest you.   You may also wish to subscribe and have the Insider Online newsletter delivered to your home page.  sincerely, BB

 

Updated daily, InsiderOnline (insideronline.org) is a compilation of publication abstractshow-to essaysevents, news, and analysis from around the conservative movement. The current edition of The INSIDER quarterly magazine is also on the site.


June 22, 2013

Latest Studies: 38 new items, including a Manhattan Institute report on the student debt problem, and an American Legislative Exchange Council report on environmental overcriminalization

Notes on the Week: Not even low-income workers can count on benefiting from ObamaCare, things to know about the CBO’s immigration scoring, and more

To Do: Keep an eye on Russia

Latest Studies

Budget & Taxation
• Four Tenets to Less Government Spending – e21 – Economic Policies for the 21st Century
• The Municipal Government Debt Crisis – Heartland Institute
• Proposed New Farm Programs: Costly and Risky for Taxpayers – The Heritage Foundation
• Soaring National Debt Remains a Grave Threat – The Heritage Foundation
• Taxing Online Sales: Should the Taxman’s Grasp Exceed His Reach? – The Heritage Foundation
• The Big Choice for Jobs and Growth: Lower Tax Rates Versus Expensing – The Heritage Foundation
• The Many Real Dangers of Soaring National Debt – The Heritage Foundation
• The Simple Economics of Pro-Growth Tax Reform – The Heritage Foundation
• Turn Down the Heat, Switch On the Light: A Rational Analysis of Tax Havens, Tax Policy and Tax Politics – Institute of Economic Affairs
• The Best Solution from Both Budgets: “Reverse Logrolling” Shows the Best Option for Government Spending and Tax Reform – John Locke Foundation
• Creating a Fair Property Tax System: Is it Possible? – Public Interest Institute
• Kansas 2013 Tax Reform Improves on Last Year’s Efforts – Tax Foundation
• New Zealand’s Experience with Territorial Taxation – Tax Foundation
• A Review of the 83rd Session of the Texas Legislature – Texas Public Policy Foundation
• Virginia Economic Forecast 2013-2014: State to Add Jobs Despite Sequestration – Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy

Crime, Justice & the Law
• Ignorance of the Law Is No Excuse, But It Is Reality – The Heritage Foundation
• Comeback States Report: Reducing Juvenile Incarceration in the United States – Texas Public Policy Foundation
• Scientific Evidence in State Courts: Florida Reform as a Model – Washington Legal Foundation

Education
• Beyond Retrofitting: Innovation in Higher Education – Hudson Institute
• College Credit: Repairing America’s Unhealthy Relationship with Student Debt – Manhattan Institute

Foreign Policy/International Affairs
• Beyond the Border: U.S. and Canada Expand Partnership in Trade and Security – The Heritage Foundation

Health Care
• The Right Way to Fight Obesity – Hoover Institution
• An Analysis of the Proposed Medicaid Expansion in Michigan – National Center for Policy Analysis
• Veterans Affairs Fails to Curb Suicide Epidemic – National Center for Policy Analysis

Immigration
• Advancing the Immigration Nation: Heritage’s Positive Path to Immigration and Border Security Reform – The Heritage Foundation
• Senate Immigration Bill Does Not Require Payment of All Back Taxes – The Heritage Foundation

Information Technology
• FCC Must Maintain Open Eligibility for Incentive Spectrum Auction – Free State Foundation

Monetary Policy/Financial Regulation
• Rethinking the FHA – American Enterprise Institute
• Recent Arguments against the Gold Standard – Cato Institute

National Security
• Obama’s Wish to Cut Nuclear Arsenal Undermines National Security – The Heritage Foundation
• Preventing the Next “Lone Wolf” Terrorist Attack Requires Stronger Federal–State–Local Capabilities – The Heritage Foundation

Natural Resources, Energy, Environment, & Science
• Efficiency Policy – American Action Forum
• Five Solutions for Addressing Environmental Overcriminalization – American Legislative Exchange Council
• Improving Incentives for Federal Land Managers: The Case for Recreation Fees – Cato Institute
• Denial of Supreme Court Review Leaves Ninth Circuit ESA Case Intact – Washington Legal Foundation
• Ohio Court Limits Localities’ Authority over Energy Exploration – Washington Legal Foundation

Transportation/Infrastructure
• Paint Is Cheaper Than Rails: Why Congress Should Abolish New Starts – Cato Institute
• Moving the Road Sector into the Market Economy – Institute of Economic Affairs

 

 

 

Notes on the Week

Rector on CBO on immigration: The Congressional Budget Office told us this week that letting large numbers of immigrants into the country and changing the status of those currently here illegally will be great for the economy and the federal budget. Robert Rector has a few things to say about the CBO’s scoring of the Gang of Eight immigration bill. Here are the highlights:

[T]he immigration coming in under this bill looks like previous immigration in the sense that its predominantly lower-skilled plus the fact that you’re taking 11 million illegal immigrants and giving them access to the welfare and entitlement states. They have an average education of 10th grade, so it’s very difficult to imagine that those households would somehow pay enough in taxes to equal their benefits […] .

The trick is the CBO 10-year budget window. […] For mysterious reasons, when an amnesty bill is written, the amnesty recipients become eligible for everything under the sun in about the 11th year. So that they pay taxes in the first 10 years and they don’t get additional benefits for some mysterious reason until you move outside the CBO budget window. […]

[T]he federal government, because of Social Security and Medicare, inherently transfers from the non-elderly to the elderly. State and local governments kind of do the opposite. If you just look at state and local governments you would find that they transfer from the elderly to the non-elderly to pay for education. The elderly pay a lot of property tax; they don’t get any education benefits any more. […] Of course immigrants are not elderly themselves. For a limited period of time they pay in but then they take out more than they have paid in. It’s important to put both flows together because the opposite process is happening down at the state and local level. […]

One of the interesting things that CBO does tell us is that the number of illegal immigrants who will enter the country over the next 20 years goes down by only 25 percent. There would have been, they estimate, 10 million illegal immigrants entering over the next 20 years. They estimate that that will drop to 7.5 million illegal immigrants entering the country […] . The net cost of those illegals alone would be about $400 billion over that period. […]

When you look at the Gang of Eight explain their bill they always say: Oh, we’re shifting from low-skill immigration to high-skill immigration. You can trust us. That’s what we do. But in fact the numbers from CBO show exactly the opposite. Roughly 80 … 85 to 90 percent of the individuals getting green card status are not skill-based. [The Foundry, June 21]

 

 

Turn on, tune in, pay up. Online learning may transform higher education someday, but right now it serves mainly as a prop in the familiar university system, say Andrew Kelly and Frederick Hess:

Many online programs generate large revenues because most colleges charge the same price (or more!) for students enrolled online as for those on campus. A survey of 199 universities by the educational technology arm of the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education found that 93 percent of universities charged the same or higher tuition for their online programs. This is bizarre, given that online courses are less costly to deliver than in-person courses. But instead of competing on price (meaning that cost savings get passed to the student), institutions have maintained in-person prices for online courses—even as the cost of delivery has fallen.

What do colleges do with that extra revenue? They cross-subsidize activities on the brick and mortar campus: unfunded research, student life, institutional aid programs, and so on. Put more genteelly, they “reinvest” it in their traditional campus.

Real innovation, as Kelly and Hess point out, is about unbundling the research-based university, and that’s not going to happen until the government regulations, subsidies, and accreditation policies that protect that model from competition are reformed. [“Beyond Retrofitting: Innovation in Higher Education,” by Andrew P. Kelly and Frederick Hess, Hudson Institute, June 2013.]

 

 

Not even low-income workers can count on coming out ahead under ObamaCare. Some low-income workers could end up paying a lot more for health insurance than they paid before ObamaCare became law, reports Jillian Kay Melchior. ObamaCare requires employer-provided health insurance to cover at least 60 percent of health-care costs while not costing employees more than 9.5 percent of their household incomes. Since low-income households may have multiple sources of income, it can be difficult for companies to figure out if a particular plan is sufficient to avoid penalties. The federal government has proposed “safe harbor” standards in order to provide clarity: Companies offering plans that have a $3,500 deductible, a $6,000 cap on out-of-pocket costs, and premiums of $90 or less per month would put companies in the clear of any penalties. Under those standards, says Melchior, a low-income worker not eligible Medicaid has few good options:

He could take the employer’s plan — but if it’s a safe-harbor plan, it would cost, at minimum, $1,080 a year. And that’s before the deductible is even factored in. For someone who earns $28,725 a year, falling at 250 percent of the poverty level, these costs are sizeable.

Option two: He could shop around on the health exchange for an alternative. But because his employer provides a sanctioned plan, he’s disqualified from any subsidy he might have received to help offset costs. Even a very basic plan would cost up to $2,316 a year in premiums alone.

Option three: Forgo insurance altogether and pay the steadily increasing penalty to the federal government. In 2014, for an individual, that’s $95 for the year or 1 percent of household income, whichever is greater. But by 2016, it will rise to either $695 or 2.5 percent of household income. And that’s not even factoring in whether the worker has kids. In that case, he could face an annual penalty of $2,085 or more by 2016. […]

Before, many employers who paid by the hour offered limited medical plans. These policies often got a bad rap because of their lack of catastrophic coverage. But to their credit, they were inexpensive and contributed to health-care costs immediately, without workers needing to first meet a deductible.

Now, these low-wage hourly workers would be forced to spend at least $5,300 before their coverage really begins to benefit them. [National Review, June 17]

 

 

Who elected those guys? ask teachers in Kansas. Last week, teachers in Deerfield, Kansas, did something that almost never happens, report James Sherk and Michael Cirrotti: They voted to decertify their union:

Unlike most public officials, unions do not stand for re-election, so their members cannot regularly hold them accountable. Workers can remove an unwanted union only by filing for decertification. But bureaucratic obstacles make it difficult to hold a vote on decertification. The hoops Deerfield’s teachers had to jump through illustrate this problem.

Joel McClure, the teacher who led the effort, submitted the appropriate paperwork to the Kansas Department of Labor in November 2012. But Kansas teachers can request a vote only in a two-month window every three years. KNEA officials contested the petition by claiming that the teachers missed the December 1 deadline. (The Department of Labor had misplaced the initial petition paperwork.) Then the KNEA objected that the teachers’ attorney was not certified in Kansas and that they did not have enough signatures. However, the teachers prevailed and voted out their union—in June, just eight months after the initial submission.

When asked why they went through such protracted effort, the teachers said their union ignored their concerns. They wanted instead to be actively involved in negotiations and work collaboratively with the school district. “The desire is for teachers to participate at the [bargaining] table, to have free access to information,” McClure said. “In our little school district, there’s no reason we can’t sit down at the table and work out our issues.” [The Foundry, June 18]

Did we mention that next week is National Employee Freedom Week?

 

 

The death panel is coming. Last week, a federal judge in Philadelphia blocked the enforcement of an age-limit rule on lung transplants, thus allowing a very sick 10-year-old girl to obtain a new set of lungs. Doctors had said the girl, who suffers from cystic fibrosis, would live only three to five weeks without new lungs. Earlier, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius had said she would not to intervene in the case by overturning the rule.

When the ObamaCare-created Independent Payment Advisory Board is up and running in two years, it too will make decisions on matters of life and death, but unlike Sebelius’s decision on lung rules, the decisions of the IPAB cannot be reviewed by courts. Those decisions are also protected from politics in some extraordinary ways. As David Rivkin and Elizabeth Foley explain, the IPAB set-up is certainly unconstitutional, but likely not challengeable in the short run because no one would have standing to sue:

Once the board acts, its decisions can be overruled only by Congress, and only through unprecedented and constitutionally dubious legislative procedures—featuring restricted debate, short deadlines for actions by congressional committees and other steps of the process, and supermajoritarian voting requirements. The law allows Congress to kill the otherwise inextirpable board only by a three-fifths supermajority, and only by a vote that takes place in 2017 between Jan. 1 and Aug. 15. If the board fails to implement cuts, all of its powers are to be exercised by HHS Secretary Sebelius or her successor. […]

The power given by Congress to the Independent Payment Advisory Board is breathtaking. Congress has willingly abandoned its power to make tough spending decisions (how and where to cut) to an unaccountable board that neither the legislative branch nor the president can control. The law has also entrenched the board’s decisions to an unprecedented degree.

In Mistretta v. United States (1989), the Supreme Court emphasized that, in seeking assistance to fill in details not spelled out in the law, Congress must lay down an “intelligible principle” that “confine[s] the discretion of the authorities to whom Congress has delegated power.” The “intelligible principle” test ensures accountability by demanding that Congress take responsibility for fundamental policy decisions.

The IPAB is guided by no such intelligible principle. ObamaCare mandates that the board impose deep Medicare cuts, while simultaneously forbidding it to ration care. Reducing payments to doctors, hospitals and other health-care providers may cause them to limit or stop accepting Medicare patients, or even to close shop.

These actions will limit seniors’ access to care, causing them to wait longer or forego care—the essence of rationing. ObamaCare’s commands to the board are thus inherently contradictory and, consequently, unintelligible.

Moreover, authorizing the advisory board to make rules “relating to” Medicare gives the board virtually limitless power of the kind hitherto exercised by Congress. For instance, the board could decide to make cuts beyond the statutory target. It could mandate that providers expand benefits without additional payment. It could require that insurers or gynecologists make abortion services available to all their patients as a condition of doing business with Medicare, or that drug companies set aside a certain percentage of Medicare-related revenues to fund “prescription drug affordability.” There is no limit. [Wall Street Journal, June 19]

 

 

What is candy? Depends on which state wants to tax it online. Forcing online retailers to remit sales taxes to the state where the purchaser resides, as the federal Marketplace Fairness Act (MFA) does, is not going to level the playing field between online and bricks-and-mortar retailers. Rather, as James Gattuso explains, it will tilt the playing field heavily against online retailers—especially smaller ones:

While the legislation does require states to provide retailers with free software for managing tax compliance, that software need only cover the individual state. Retailers are left on their own to get nationwide software, unless they want to integrate 46 individual software packages. No compensation is offered for recurring costs incurred by retailers, such as accounting services or online tax management services.

In addition, internal staff time would be needed for an array of tasks, including handling claims by tax-exempt customers, fielding inquiries from tax authorities, and addressing the inevitable glitches.

Even the simple act of classifying the item being sold can be problematic, with thousands of idiosyncratic distinctions and definitions through each state’s tax code. In Wisconsin, the Wisconsin flag as well as the U.S. flag is not subject to tax. All other flags are taxable. Unless they are bundled with flagpoles, in which case the rules change yet again.

Similarly, candy is defined—under the “streamlined” sales tax agreement, as “a preparation of sugar, honey, or other natural or artificial sweeteners in combination with chocolate, fruits, nuts or other ingredients in the form of bars, drops, or pieces.” But sellers beware: “‘Candy’ shall not include any preparation containing flour and shall require no refrigeration.” Thus defined, states still vary on whether the concoction is taxable or not.

The problems do not end with the sale. Each of the 46 state tax authorities with which retailers would have to deal directly require tax returns to be completed, on an annual, quarterly, or even weekly basis. To ensure that it is all done correctly, sellers would be subject to audits from each of 46 states. (If tax authorities on Indian reservations are included—as they are in the MFA as passed by the Senate—the number of tax forms and potential audits jumps to the hundreds.) [The Heritage Foundation, June 19]

 

 

Carbon taxers forget the externalities of not using cheap, abundant energy. One reason putting a tax on carbon in order to price its negative externalities is not a free-market idea:

[E]ven if SCC [social cost of carbon] estimates were not assumption-driven hocus-pocus, their use by activists, policymakers, and agencies would still be biased and misleading, because proponents of “climate action” always ignore the social costs of carbon mitigation.

As Cato Institute scholar Indur Goklany explains in a recent study, fossil fuels are the chief energy source of a “cycle of progress” responsible for the amazing improvements of the past 250 years in life expectancy, health, nutrition, safety, comfort, human capital formation, and per capita income. The cycle of progress is to no small extent a “positive externality” of fossil fuels. Thus, policies that suppress the extraction, delivery, and consumption of fossil fuels, or that make fossil energy less affordable, have social costs in addition to whatever compliance burdens and economic losses the policies entail.

For example, the more stringent the carbon mitigation scheme, the more severe the impacts on household income and job creationNumerous studies find that poverty and unemployment increase the risk of sickness and death. Carbon tax advocates never acknowledge this side of the ledger.

Given the continuing importance of fossil fuels to human flourishing and the undeniable connection between livelihoods, living standards, and life expectancy, carbon taxes can easily do more harm than good to public health—even if one accepts the IPCC’s version of the science.

That’s from Marlo Lewis’s excellent summary of the recent R Street-Heartland Institute debate on the carbon tax. [GlobalWarming.org, June 16]

 

 

Progressives make use of rights that progressives think should not exist. It’s a good thing for progressives—and everybody else—that one particular progressive idea hasn’t been adopted, observes Wendy Kaminer:

If progressives had their way, the ACLU’s latest challenge to the NSA’s domestic surveillance would easily be dismissed.ACLU v Clapper, filed in the wake of the Snowden revelations, is based on the ACLU’s First and Fourth Amendment rights, which, according to progressives, ACLU should not possess. It is, after all, a corporation, and constitutional amendments aggressively promoted by progressives would limit constitutional rights to “natural persons.”

“The words people, person, or citizen as used in this Constitution do not include corporations, limited liability companies or other corporate entities,” the popular People’s Rights Amendment declares. [The Atlantic, June 17]

Arthur Koestler’s protagonist in Darkness at Noon referred to the first-person singular as a “grammatical fiction” because it conflicted with the logic of self sacrifice demanded by the party. Today’s real progressives are now trying to subvert the plural form. By insisting that only individuals, not corporations, have rights, they elide the fact that corporations are made up of individual people. Individuals can’t fully exercise their rights if the things they choose to do cooperatively with others do not have the same protections as the things they choose to do alone. Maybe the American Civil Liberties Union can spread the word.

 

 

To Do: Keep an Eye on Russia

• Find out what Russia is up to with its efforts to construct a Eurasian Union. The Heritage Foundation will host a half-day conference on June 27 in Washington, D.C.

• Reflect on the Battle of Gettysburg and its meaning for the nation, which happened 150 years ago this July. Allen Guelzo of Gettysburg College will make remarks at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C., at 4:30 p.m. on June 26.

• If you are a young, professional, conservative woman, come meet other young, professional, conservative women at the Network of enlightened Women’s National Conference. The conference will be held June 27 – June 28 at The Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. Christina Hoff Summers will deliver a keynote address.

• Request a free copy of the movie Amazing Grace, which tells the true story of William Wilberforce’s fight to abolish slavery. The offer is part of the Foundation for Economic Education’s Blinking Lights Project, which educates about the importance of personal character as a vital element of free society. Be sure to check that out, too.

• Don’t forget that next week is National Employee Freedom Week, “a national effort to inform union employees of the freedom they have regarding opting out of union membership and making the decision about union membership that’s best for them.”

• Save the dates! These events are no longer classified, are they?
—The annual IEA Hayek Memorial Lecture, delivered this year by Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform, talking on “The Leave Us Alone Coalition vs. The Takings Coalition: The On-going Struggle” at 6:30 p.m. in London;
—The 42nd National Fourth of July Soiree, featuring barbeque, blue grass, balloon artists, and more at Bull Run Regional Park in Centreville, Va., on July 4 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.;
—The Heritage Foundation’s annual Scholars & Scribes review of the Supreme Court’s 2012-2013 term, July 11, in Washington, D.C.;
Freedom Fest, the largest gathering of free minds, July 10 – July 13 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas;
—and Cato University, July 28 – August 3 at the Cato Institute in Washington, D.C.

Have a tip for InsiderOnline? Send us an e-mail at insider@heritage.org with “For Insider” in the subject line.

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I sincerely hope my readers have been watching FOXNEWS and the revelations coming out about our current government.  Not that some of what is happening hasn’t been done before but this President  has made making the United States a police state a major goal of his administration and I am sooo happy the stuff has finally hit the fan.  I especially enjoy the outrage of my sister-in-law who voted for him because “Romney hates poor people!”.  Obama so loves poor people that he wants to gather them all under his benevolent arms and tell them exactly what to wear, eat, speak and especially vote.  And to ensure that they do all these things as he directs he puts his dogs on them when they refuse to listen to papa.   Do read the following article to bring yourself up to date on the agency that will implement and control Obamacare and is now under the gun for doing their part to make sure that Obama was elected in 2012.  BB

 

The IRS and Obamacare, by the Numbers

06/05/2013

Chilling new details emerged yesterday about the IRS targeting scandal, as representatives from six conservative groups testified before Congress about the scrutiny and demands they faced from Obama administration bureaucrats.

Yesterday’s testimony reminded us once again why Washington bureaucrats cannot be trusted, and why Americans should be so concerned about the new powers granted to the IRS as a result of Obamacare.

These powers are so vast, in fact, they’re difficult to put into words. So instead, we decided to give you the numbers:

18New taxes in Obamacare, including 12 that directly violate then-Senator Barack Obama’s “firm pledge” to those making under $250,000 per year that he would not “raise any of your taxes.”

47—New provisions Obamacare charges the IRS with implementing, according to the Government Accountability Office.

$695Tax for not buying “government-approved” health insurance the IRS will be charged with enforcing on all Americans.

1,954—Full-time bureaucrats the IRS wants to devote to Obamacare implementation and enforcement in the upcoming fiscal year.

60,000,000—Medical records the IRS has been charged with improperly seizing, raising concerns about whether the agency can handle the personal health insurance information all Americans will be required to submit to the IRS.

$439,584,000—The IRS’s request for new spending on Obamacare implementation in the upcoming fiscal year; the request did not specify how much of those funds the IRS will spend on the “Cupid shuffle.”

6,100,000,000—Man-hours Americans already devote to tax compliance, according to the National Taxpayer Advocate, a burden that will rise significantly thanks to Obamacare.

$1,000,000,000,000—New revenue raised by Obamacare in its first 10 years alone, according to the Congressional Budget Office, sums that will only rise in future decades.

If ever there were an argument as to why Obamacare should be repealed and defunded, these numbers—coupled with the IRS revelations of recent weeks—tell the tale.

>>> SHARE THIS PICTURE: Facebook | Pinterest | Tumblr

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<p><b>Quick Hits:</b></p>
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<li>One of the witnesses at yesterday’s IRS hearing was Kevin Kookogey, a <a href=Heritage Action Sentinel. His organization, Linchpins of Liberty, was asked to turn over the names of students whom it trains.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This article from The American Thinker is a good overview of the IRS scandal in case you need to get the facts straight or understand just what it all means to you.  The Internal Revenue Service is the most powerful department in the government.  No one, but NO ONE dares to go up against the IRS.  This being the case it is a powerful weapon for any congressman or President to use to get back at anyone they don’t like.   This is what has happened with the conservatives in our country who dared to oppose the Democrats and Obama:  The IRS was  notified to “look into the activities” of any groups who applied for tax exempt status with certain words in their names.  Words like “Tea Party,  “Conservative”,  “Constitution”.   The Treasury Department Inspector General  (Treasury oversees the IRS) sat right beside the IRS Director in the Congressional hearing Friday and refuted every lie the IRS Director told!    The Inspector General stated without a doubt that certain groups were “targeted” by the IRS deliberately.    The Inspector General also stated that he told members of the Obama White House of his findings last summer well before the elections and yet Obama is playing deaf and dumb!

Inspectors General are people who have no political affiliation and whose job it is to police the departments in the government.  These people are the public’s watch dogs and are chosen for their high standards and integrity.  Many of them have been denigrated by this administration in the past four years when they have dared to speak up so I expect this one (Mr. George) to be vilified also in the next week or so.

Anyhow,  the following article may be useful to you when trying to argue the points while some bone head or other damned fool.   :)  BB

May 18, 2013

The IRS Scandal — a Basic Primer

By Jonathon Moseley

Confusion about the IRS scandal is distracting from its importance, so that thinking conservatives should be prepared to debate the issue. Some basics matter. Conservatives may need to share a summary such as this article to help convince moderate friends.

Callers to C-SPAN badly misunderstood these details when Jenny Beth Martin, Coordinator of Tea Party Patriots, appeared on C-SPAN television last week. I interviewed Keli Carender of Tea Party Patriots on the radio on May15, who helped clarify some of the pushback and distractions from liberals.

First, don’t let people forget: the IRS scandal is not about conservative accusations. The Inspector General of the U.S. Treasury issued a report finding that the Internal Revenue Service sharply discriminated against conservative organizations. This is confirmed by Treasury’s Inspector General.

Second, a group’s political beliefs and positions ought to be totally irrelevant. Tax exemption must be based on what an organization does, not what it believes or what positions it supports. Whether a group teaches the Constitution or teaches union tactics doesn’t matter, it is educating either way. Therefore, the IRS should not have been looking at the name of the organization, whether liberal or conservative, but on the substance of the organization.

Third, many people don’t realize that nearly all liberal political organizations are tax exempt. There has been a lot of distraction and diversion focused on whether or not the IRS should have scrutinized tea party groups. However, MoveOn.org, NARAL Pro-Choice America, People for the American Way, Planned Parenthood (which has been active in partisan election campaigns), Media Matters, etc., are all tax exempt. Organizations on the Left similar to tea party groups have had tax exempt status forever.

Fourth, don’t allow people to wander away from the central point that the scandal is about a double standard — not whether people believe political organizations should be tax exempt. Conservatives seeking tax exempt status were treated very differently from similarly-situated liberal organizations. Sure, some liberal groups were scrutinized. But conservatives were treated differently.

IRS official Lois Lerner fast-walked the tax-exempt application of Barack Obama’s half-brother, the best man at President Obama’s wedding. Abon’go “Roy’ Malik Obama got tax-exempt status in a bureaucratic breakneck speed, in only 30 days, in May 2011, even though it is unclear what if anything the Barack H. Obama Foundation actually does or has done since being approved.

When a conservative organization Media Trackers couldn’t get approved after 8 months, it changed its project to the liberal-sounding name “Greenhouse Solutions.” With the new name, the exact same project was approved within 3 weeks.

Liberal groups — even with very political activities — were systematically approved, and quickly, with relatively little burden or scrutiny, as reported by USA Today.

Groups supporting Israel were discriminated against. In August 2010, a pro-Israel group “Z Street” filed a Federal lawsuit when an IRS staff member admitted that all Israel-related groups were singled out by the IRS for extra scrutiny. There will be a hearing this July 2013, after the case was transferred to the Federal district in Washington, D.C.

The IRS demanded that a Pro-Life group promote abortion in order to get tax-exempt status. No liberal group has such a requirement. NARAL and Planned Parenthood are not required to promote abstinence, adoption, or Pro-Life Crisis Pregnancy Centers.

It is the law that the IRS must answer within 270 days for 501(c)(3) organizations, yet the IRS delayed conservative organizations for more than 540 days.

Fifth, there are many different types of tea party organizations. Some tea party organizations are Political Action Committees (PAC’s) which are directly involved in election campaigns. Others focus purely on training tea party organizers and members on how to be effective in organizing events and lobbying on legislation. Some purely educate about the Constitution, Bill of Rights, Federalist Papers, etc. Others lobby on pending legislation.

So when the public hears about tea party organizations applying for tax exempt status, they often imagine only campaigning for or against a candidate. That is not tax exempt. Some tea party groups qualify. Some don’t.

Sixth, many have questioned whether the IRS wasn’t doing the job it should have done by asking questions of tea party groups seeking tax exempt status. No one objects to the IRS obtaining basic information and asking reasonable questions. The problem is that the IRS bombarded tea party and conservative groups with multiple waves of a huge number of very intrusive questions. And the wave after wave of questions seemed aimed at never getting around to finishing the process or persuading groups to simply give up and abandon their application.

Seventh, many don’t recognize what ‘tax exempt’ means. It means that if someone donates to a tea party group, the donations are not taxed as income. Otherwise, any political organization would have to pay income taxes on donations.

A tax-exempt organization may still have to pay taxes on other income, such as sales of products or services. Some C-SPAN callers imagined that people in such groups don’t pay income taxes. Of course, people running or working in tax-exempt groups pay income taxes on their salary the same as everyone else.

There are four important categories:

1. A 501(c)(4) organization is tax-exempt (they don’t pay income taxes on donations). A 501(c)(4) organization is allowed to lobby for or against legislation, but is not allowed to advocate for or against a candidate. A 501(c)(4) also can do anything a 501(c)(3) can do.

2. A 501(c)(3) organization is both tax-exempt and tax-deductible. That is, contributors can deduct their donations from their income taxes. It is much more difficult to qualify for 501(c)(3) status. A 501(c)(3) cannot lobby for or against legislation (except to an insignificant extent) and may not engage in any partisan’ (campaign) activity. A 501(c)(3) can educate the public on policy, issues, the advantages and disadvantages of various political policies and topics like the Constitution, concepts of our Founding Fathers, etc. or train citizens.

3. A Political Action Committee (PAC or Super-PAC) intervenes directly in partisan campaigns and does not qualify as tax exempt.

4. A 527 organization is a recent development, which also intervenes directly in partisan campaigns and does not qualify as tax exempt.

Eighth, many are not aware of the difference between ‘political’ and ‘partisan.’ Tax exempt organizations are allowed to engage in public discussion and lobbying of ‘political’ issues affecting society. That is very different from ‘partisan’ activity. ‘Partisan’ means influencing a campaign — that is, advocating for or against a candidate in an election (not necessarily just discussing policy or issues).

An example is the liberal Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW). CREW is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, tax deductible foundation. Its head Melanie Sloan earns $230,000 per year. CREW does nothing but slander conservative Republicans and a few Democrats who get out of line with mostly false accusations.

Christine O’Donnell won the Republican primary for United States Senate from Delaware. This was learned at 8:00 PM on September 14, 2010. By about 11:00 AM on September 15, 2010, CREW started attacking Christine O’Donnell and publicly declaring that Christine belongs in jail not in the Senate.

Advocating for or against a candidate is the test of ‘partisan’ (campaign) activity that is prohibited for a tax-exempt organization. CREW ignored Christine until she won the GOP Primary. But within hours CREW started attacking her. CREW explicitly referenced her status as a candidate, and specifically that she does not belong in the Senate. Melanie Sloan explicitly said that the voters should know all this when they go to vote in November 2010.

I noticed this pattern and conceived, developed, planned, and drafted the complaint against CREW to the IRS, which ChristinePAC later filed with the IRS in July 2011. Yet two years later, the IRS has done nothing. Melanie Sloan’s parents are big donors to former Delaware Senator Joe Biden and CREW attacks conservatives. Don’t expect the IRS to hold liberals responsible for anything.

Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/05/the_irs_scandal__a_basic_primer.html#ixzz2TgoNNdjy
Follow us: @AmericanThinker on Twitter | AmericanThinker on Facebook

I have long believed and called for bringing our troops home from around the world.  Why are Americans still in Germany?  Why do we have 28,000 American troops on the border between North Korea  and South Korea?  Why are we still stationed in Japan?  Australia? Why in the world do we have troops stationed in Great Britain??   And it goes on and on.  Americans are stationed all over the world.    Our Constitution calls for our federal government to protect the American people, there is nothing about protecting the people of the world in it.  In fact, if you read the Constitution carefully I believe you will see that our forefathers actually demanded that Americans mind their own business and refrain from foreign entanglements.

If it is a matter of not knowing what to do with these soldiers then bring them home and set up bases on our own borders.  Perhaps a few soldiers on our borders will stop the flood of illegal aliens crossing into our country like they are taking a Sunday stroll.  I have myself  watched people coming across the Rio Grande River into the United States and with no one saying or doing anything about it.   I watched a whole family one day wade across the river into the United States and get into a car that was waiting for them.   And we wonder why we have an illegal alien problem.

Anyhow, I found this article of interest because of this long standing pet peeve of mine.   Full disclosure:  I was a military wife and mother.

Oh, I have to point something out here that you may not have noticed Dear Reader:  I am NOT blaming Obama for this problem!  :)  BB

 

 

APRIL 17, 2013 2:50PM

The Costs of Our Overseas Military Presence

The AP’s Donna Cassata is reporting today on a study commissioned by the Senate Armed Services Committee, which purports to calculate the costs of the U.S. military presence overseas. This is a hot topic, but it isn’t exactly a new one. Americans have long been frustrated by inequitable burden sharing, with many of our wealthy allies spending a fraction of what we do on defense. On Monday, Cato published a new infographic on the subject to coincide with tax day (see below).

Unfortunately, the committee’s estimate that the permanent stationing of U.S. troops overseas costs us $10 billion each year is too low–in all likelihood, much too low. I have not yet had a chance to read the entire report, but the DoD’s own estimate of overseas military costs includes the costs of personnel, and is more than twice that amount, $20.9 billion (see p. 207 in the latest budget submission). Even the DoD’s figure, however, understates the true cost of our commitments to defend other countries that can and should defend themselves, because it doesn’t fully account for the additional force structure that is required to maintain a presence many thousands of miles away from the United States. If the U.S. military operated chiefly in the Western Hemisphere, with regular expeditionary operations far afield, we could safely have fewer people on active duty, and mobilize a large and well-trained reserve for genuine emergencies. This smaller military would require ships and planes to take them where they were needed, when they were needed, but not as many planes and ships as we have today. And no report can actually assess the costs and risks when and if our security commitments compel us to become embroiled in a distant war that does not engage vital U.S. interests.

Other studies have attempted to assess all of the costs of these various global commitments, and the estimates vary widely. Graham Fuller and Ian Lesser of the RAND Corporation, for example, estimated in 1997 that the U.S. military presence in the Persian Gulf cost between $30 and $60 billion per year. A more recent study by Mark Delucchi and James Murphy estimated costs between $47 and $98 billion. Several of us at Cato have been compiling these estimates, and coming up with our own, as part of a comprehensive study of the costs of our global military presence. We will publish our key findings when they become available.

In the meantime, this much is clear: our security commitments, many of them holdovers from the Cold War, induce other countries to spend less than they could on their own defense. And they compel Americans to spend more than we should.

 

Subsidizing the security of wealthy allies

 

Yesterday I* posted on just where each of your tax dollars go.  The largest outlays were for our Senior Citizens in the form of Medicare and Social Security.    And yes dear reader I went into my usual rant about the reason for Social Security and is oldsters living much longer than we should and therefore getting  years and years more than we put into the Social Security program thru our payroll deductions while we were working.  In fact, we each get back every cent we put into our account within two and one half years after retirement!!  After that People we are on WELFARE and living off the backs of the young!!   Social security needs to be means tested and should go only to those who need it to live a decent life.  That does not mean paying for Grandma and Grandpa to spend lovely warm winters in Florida in their fancy RV’s.   And yes, I spent eleven years as a full time RVer so I know well what I am talking about.  I also lived for 19 years in Florida before retirement and know how populations in some towns in Florida go from 7000 in the summer to 70,000  in the winter.  People who can afford to own RVs do not need Social Security.  They should not be living on the backs of the young or getting money that is becoming a national debt that their great grandchildren will have to pay back.

Of course next on the Greedy Geezer list are those who are well able to buy their own health insurance but who take Medicare.   At the grand old age of 24 in 1965 i was so much against this Medicare scam that President Johnson and the Congress (both Democrats and Republicans)  were in on with the insurance companies.    At that time only an estimated 40% of seniors needed some help paying for their health insurance.  And instead of putting these people on Medicaid or some type of stipend to help them purchase their own health insurance the ENTIRE elderly population 65 and over no matter their income was put on Medicare.  It was a disaster in the making just as Obamacare is going to be the devastation of our country as we know it.   ALL the estimates of costs of the Medicare program in 1965 were 2000%  (that is two THOUSAND percent) under the actual costs of Medicare in 2010.  Again we Seniors are being kept healthy and alive on the backs of our current working young and by putting our great grandchildren in debt for life.  Our great grandchildren in effect will have no life because they will be slaves to paying for the lives we are living now.

How can Americans bear to live with what we are allowing to happen?  I grieve for my country and for my great grandchildren yet to be born.

Anyhow, no more ranting from me.  The following article from Cato Institute  explains better than I can why we must stop the madness of our entitlement programs and put them on a course that will  help those who truly need help but take those who can do for themselves  off the programs.  It really grates me when wealthy Americans are using Medicare.

Be sure to go to the referred sites for additional information.  Sincerely, Brenda Bowers (BB)

APRIL 16, 2013 8:40AM

Entitlement Spending Is America’s Biggest Fiscal Challenge, but Discretionary Spending Is Still Far too High

If America descends into Greek-style fiscal chaos, there’s no doubt that entitlement programs will be the main factor. Social SecurityMedicareMedicaid, and Disability are all fiscal train wrecks today, and the long-run outlook for these programs is frightful.

Just look at these numbers from the Bank for International Settlements and OECD to see how our fiscal future is bleaker than many of Europe’s welfare states.

Simply stated, if we don’t implement the right kind of entitlement reform, our children and grandchildren at some point will curse our memory.

But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t worry about other parts of the budget, including the so-called discretionary programs that also have been getting bigger and bigger budgets over time.

That’s why I want to add some additional analysis to Veronique de Rugy’s recent piece inNational Review Online, which might lead some to mistakenly conclude that these programs are “shrinking” and being subject to a “Big Squeeze.”

…there is another number to look at in that budget. It’s the shrinking share of the budget consumed by discretionary spending (spending on things like defense and infrastructure) to make space for mandatory spending and interest. This is the Big Squeeze. …in FY 2014 mandatory spending plus interest will eat up 67 percent of the budget, leaving discretionary spending with 33 percent of the budget (down from 36 percent in FY 2012). Now by FY 2023, mandatory and interest spending will consume 77 percent of the total budget. Discretionary spending will be left with 23 percent of the budget.

She’s right that discretionary spending is becoming a smaller share of the budget, but it’s important to realize that this is solely because entitlement outlays are growing faster than discretionary spending.

Here’s some data from the Historical Tables of the Budget, showing what is happening to spending for both defense discretionary and domestic discretionary. And these are inflation-adjusted numbers, so the we’re looking at genuine increases in spending.

Discretionary Spending FY62-14

As you can see, defense outlays have climbed by about $100 billion over the past 50 years, while outlays for domestic discretionary programs have more than tripled.

If that’s a “Big Squeeze,” I’m hoping that my household budget experiences a similar degree of “shrinking”!

Veronique obviously understands these numbers, of course, and is simply making the point that politicians presumably should have an incentive to restrain entitlement programs so they have more leeway to also buy votes with discretionary spending.

But I’d hate to think that an uninformed reader would jump to the wrong conclusion and decide we need more discretionary spending.

Particularly since the federal government shouldn’t be spending even one penny for many of the programs and department that are part of the domestic discretionary category. Should there be a federal Department of Transportation? A federal Department of Housing and Urban Development? A federal Department of Agriculture?

No, NO, and Hell NO. I could continue, but you get the idea.

The burden of federal government spending in the United States is far too high and it should be reduced. That includes discretionary spending and entitlement spending.

P.S. For those who don’t have the misfortune of following the federal budget, “entitlements” are programs that are “permanently appropriated,” which simply means that spending automatically changes in response to factors such as eligibility rules, demographic shifts, inflation, and program expansions. Sometimes these programs (such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, etc) are referred to as “mandatory spending.”

The other big part of the budget is “discretionary spending” or “appropriations.” These are programs funded by annual spending bills from the Appropriations Committees, often divided into the two big categories of “defense discretionary” and “nondefense discretionary.”

It’s only 65 days late and President Obama is out pushing the “stuff” about how obliging and cooperative he is being with the Republicans but those nasty Republicans just won’t give him a chance to help the poor and middle class, ans so on and so on.  Bottom line is that no one has ever voted for an Obama budget, neither a Republican or a Democrat, so this is just one more.  But just for the Hell of it I will pass on the Heritage Foundations comments because they seem to say it best in a nut shell.  BB By the way in case you missed the story about my dear little rabbit Cinnabun and what he has in common with the President of the United States:  Cinnabun likes to play and one of his best games is to push his little litter box up and down his cage.  Watching him one day it dawned on me that he was very much like President Obama in that they both seem to enjoy pushing crap around.  :)  BB   Now for Obama’s latest load of crap:

5 Things to Know About the Obama Budget President Obama finally released his budget yesterday—more than two months late. Heritage experts immediately went to work analyzing the mounds of new spending on education, manufacturing, “clean energy,” infrastructure, and small business. But the President didn’t stop at more of the same failed stimulus and Solyndra-type policies. He also piled on the tax increases—including on seniors, the poor, and the middle class. Five key things to know about President Obama’s budget: 1. It hikes taxes by $1.1 trillion. Heritage’s Curtis Dubay says: “There was little doubt that President Obama would propose a huge tax hike in his budget. It is a bit surprising, however, that the total tax increase he proposes is almost double what he claims it to be.” Dubay explains where all the tax increases come from—including the “Buffett Rule,” capping tax deductions, and hiking the cigarette tax and the death tax. BudgetGuide_Snippet_V2 Tweet this >>> See and share an extended version of this infographic 2. It underfunds defense. Heritage’s Patrick Louis Knudsen explains that “While boosting domestic spending, the President remains indifferent to national security needs. His proposed defense spending, though somewhat higher than sequestration levels, remains inadequate.” Baker Spring says, “The result is going to be a defense posture that is too small in terms of both personnel and force structure, does not include modern weapons and equipment, and does not provide adequate levels of training and maintenance.” 3. It doubles down on Obamacare. The Obama budget actually expands parts of Obamacare and even includes new changes to Medicare that create two sneakynew “taxes” on seniors. Obamacare’s “malignant new entitlements—its health insurance subsidies and Medicaid expansions—start in this 2014 budget,” Knudsen reminds us.

With their implementation, the misnamed Affordable Care Act will add a distinctlyunaffordable $1.8 trillion in federal spendingthrough 2023. Equally important, Obamacare commandeers the health care sector with a massive program that further distorts the market, intrudes on the doctor-patient relationship, and dismisses personal and religious liberty.

4. It doesn’t balance and never will.  As Knudsen says, “Because the budget never balances—it doesn’t even try—debt remains at dangerously elevated levels.” See how Obama’s non-balancing budget compares to the plans in the House and Senate, as well as Heritage’s Saving the American Dream plan. 5. It’s irrelevant. The President’s budget is more than two months late. The House and Senate have already passed their own budgets, and the next step is for the two chambers to come together to see if they can hash out a budget that both chambers can pass. At this point, why is the President bothering? LEARN MORE: The Obama Budget in One Infographic Damaging Policies Add Up to $1 Trillion Tax Increase in Obama Budget Heritage Experts’ Analysis of the Obama Budget


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