And So I Go: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Archive for the ‘Politics 2012’ Category

You are required by law to pay taxes on your income today.  This income tax became law  when the states ratified the 16th. Amendment to the Constitution of the United States in 1913.  Our forefathers when writing the Constitution specifically denied the government from taxing the people or what was called a “direct tax”.  The states however were to be taxed  to support the costs of the federal government in direct proportion to the number of people living in the state.    Our forefathers saw the power an individual income tax would give governments over the people and the power to  hand out favors and manipulate the system to favor those who could bribe the Congress to write the laws in their favor.     This is why and how our own President paid only 18.5% taxes on his income.  How much did you pay?

Anyhow, just for your information this is what your tax dollars are paying for.  You will notice I sincerely hope that the largest part of your tax dollar is being paid out to senior citizens thru Medicare and Social Security!   Time and again I have explained on this site how we Seniors are getting from Social Security and Medicare so much more than we ever paid into these programs.  It is beyond me that we as a people insist on paying for millionaires medical expenses and paying them a pension  simply because they got old.    In fact, even the fact that we are paying these government handouts to anyone whose income is such that they can afford their own health insurance is beyond me.  It is long past time that Social Security and Medicare be means tested an only for the poor.   And with Medicare and Medicaid taking up 19% of your tax dollar now you can bet that Obamacare will triple that amount.  The Congressional Budget Office estimated that Obamacare would cost 1.9 trillion dollars over ten years but have since readjusted this estimate to 5.4 trillion dollars over the next ten years.  You might also remember that the government has always vastly underestimated the costs of  its programs.  But have been on this soap box before Dear Reader so will jump off now and get back to the point of the expenses paid by your tax dollar.

Defense takes a large portion also.  BUT, defense of our country was the one duty given to the federal government. We have the finest military in the world and  have been fortunate enough to have been free of a war on our shores by an invasion of a foreign power since 1812.  Somehow during the 20th. century the United States became the police force of the entire world which was not envisioned by our founders and certainly should not be our role now in my opinion.

 

Another  large portion of your tax dollar is the 6% that is going for interest payments.  THAT IS THE PAYMENT OF INTEREST ON OUR NATIONAL DEBT!   A national debt that took two hundred years to amount to 9 trillion dollars but on 4 more years to amount to 16 trillion dollars!!  So at this rate in just 5 years the percentage of your tax dollar that goes to just the interest on the national debt will  be more  than any other expense!  Keep that in mind when you go to the polls and elect a person who believes the federal government should put more and more people on medicaid or on food stamps or on disability.  All of these give away programs have doubled under our current president in just 4 years!

So read this article carefully and understand.   An plesase do go to the sites referred in the article . BB

 

Where Did Your Tax Dollar Go?

Americans are waking up today to the worst “case of the Mondays” they’ll have all year: It’s Tax Day.

Most Americans dread Tax Day, and for good reasons. Beyond the huge tab Americans pay to the government, the tax code is so complex that it’s difficult to figure out what we owe to the IRS. This is a pain for taxpayers and a huge drain on the economy.

According to the federal Taxpayer Advocate in its 2012 report, Americans’ cost of complying with today’s complex tax code totaled $168 billion in 2010. That’s almost as large as the impact of the Obama tax hikes in fiscal year 2013, and twice the size of sequestration this year [see chart].

It takes taxpayers 6.1 billion hours—or 51 hours per household—to complete all the required filings. That’s more than six full eight-hour working days per household!

The compliance burden comes on top of the direct financial cost of $3.5 trillion in federal spending. In 2012, Washington collected $20,000 in taxes for every household in America. But Washington spent nearly $30,000 per household.

TaxDay_403

Americans pay high taxes as it is, and with the 13 tax increases that hit this year, tax revenue is growing beyond its historical average as a share of the economy. But Washington’s deficits continue, because spending keeps going up.

Future Tax Days promise to be even worse because of the tax increases from the fiscal cliff deal and from Obamacare. Taxpayers will start seeing these costs when they do their tax returns next April and in future years.

Too much taxing and spending is bad for the nation. Americans are right to be concerned about how the President and Congress allocate their hard-earned money. As the above infographic shows, 45 percent or almost half of all spending went toward paying for Social Security and health care entitlements. Without reforming these massive and growing programs, Washington will have to borrow increasing amounts of money, piling debt onto younger generations and putting the nation on a dangerous economic course.

Growing government spending threatens current and future taxpayers with higher taxes. Congress should reduce spending and prevent any more tax increases. Congress also needs toreform the tax code so it is less of a burden on the American people.

Tax day is a real drag, but it doesn’t have to be this bad. Learn more at savingthedream.org.

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

 

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The Heritage Action Committee is very busy recruiting people who will stand firm for Conservative values.  You may find this article interesting and especially the list of Senators and Representatives who have passed the test and are considered Heritage Sentinels.

I would also highly recommend to any who did not see FOXNEWS Hannity 9:00 pm either Friday or Sunday night go to his site and watch  the show on “Boomtown, America”  Washington DC is in another universe compared to the rest of the country and it is all on the backs of us tax payers in America.   Washington produces NOTHING!  and yet it is the wealthiest city in the United States and produces “millionaires and billionaires” by the gross yearly.   How is this possible?  Why are so many becoming super rich in DC?   We all know the fraud and corruption that rules Washington but even I had no idea it was so bad.  I guess this is why I like knowing there are Congress people who are not corrupted.  Unfortunately however these people have trouble getting things done because they are outnumbered by the corrupted Congress people and are kept from the corrupted leadership from influence postings.  They are however gaining in number and are at our backs.  Remember  that 2014 is just around the corner and another opportunity to add to their numbers.   BB

 

Capitol Building

CONSERVATIVE SENTINELS STAND GUARD FOR FREEDOM

CATEGORY: Driving The DayFeatured     KEYWORDS: Conservative Principles,HouseSenate
 |JANUARY 29, 2013

Sentinel: A person stationed as a guard to prevent a surprise attack.

This week we announced the 29 members of Congress — 6 Senators and 23 Representatives — who achieved Sentinel status by scoring a 90% or higher on our legislative scorecard in the 112th Congress.  These Sentinels are a critical component of conservative successes, representing the “tip of the spear in Washington.”

Heritage Action CEO Michael A. Needham praised the work of these lawmakers:

Americans worried about our country’s future should sleep better at night knowing a dedicated group of lawmakers are fighting for freedom every day in Washington.  We congratulate these Sentinels who stood guard, vigilantly protecting our freedoms during the 112th Congress.  Not only did they advance the conservative cause, but they also held back the incessant tide of tax increases, out-of-control spending, and harmful policies that breed dependency on government.  In Washington, this is no easy task, which makes these Members all the more commendable.

Congressional Sentinels are not alone in their fight for freedom.

Washington’s corrosive, corrupting nature can challenge the principles of many conservative lawmakers, which is why the Heritage Action’s citizen Sentinels do the “hard work of keeping Congress accountable.”

The Washington Post has certainly taken notice of our impact in Washington, as have liberals, conservatives, politicians, and others in the media.  We have no qualms about confronting lawmakers head on, regardless of their party, if they are not upholding conservative principles.

The Post piece suggests that this is one reason why we have been able to “gain a bigger following among conservative activists” than other institutions.  They add that we’ve given “activists a new sense of legitimacy and an institutional base.”  In fact, Ginny Quaglia, a Sentinel from North Carolina said, “If you try to debate an issue and you cite as your source Heritage Action, it gives you instant credibility.”

Conservatives now have the formula for success – unifying conservative forces inside and outside the beltway.  Citizen Sentinels recognize this and our allies in Congress – especially those who have achieved Sentinel status — believe thatHeritage Action “adds institutional heft and sharp elbows to their own cause.”  Thus, we congratulate all of our Sentinels for their commitment and hard work.

Press Release: Heritage Action Announces Congressional Sentinels

See the scorecard: Heritage Action Scorecard

Senate Sentinels (6):

Jim DeMint  (R-SC) 99%
Mike Lee (R-UT) 99%
Rand Paul (R-KY) 96%
Marco Rubio (R-FL) 96%
Ron Johnson (R-WI) 94%
Orrin Hatch (R-UT) 91%

 

House Sentinels (23):

Jeff Duncan (R-SC) 97%
Jeff Flake (R-AZ) 97%
Trent Franks (R-AZ) 97%
Tom Graves (R-GA) 97%
Paul Broun  (R-GA) 96%
Jim Jordan (R-OH) 95%
Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) 95%
Trey Gowdy (R-SC) 94%
Doug Lamborn  (R-CO) 94%
David Schweikert (R-AZ) 94%
Jeff Miller (R-FL)  93%
Ben Quayle (R-AZ) 93%
Joe Wilson (R-SC) 93%
Joe Walsh (R-IL) 93%
Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) 92%
Louie Gohmert (R-TX) 92%
Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) 92%
Dennis Ross (R-FL) 92%
Justin Amash (R-MI) 91%
Michele Bachmann (R-MN) 91%
John Fleming (R-LA) 90%
Scott Garrett (R-NJ) 90%
Marlin Stutzman (R-IN) 90%

COMMUNICATIONS DEPUTY

 @KathMaryRosario

I referred to this in the last post so here is the CATO institute report on Obama’s power grab and  how the court stepped in to change the outcome.   Of course the White House will have to appeal this and probably all the way to the Supreme Court, but it is a start at curbing this  insanity of a tyrannical dictator in the White House.   We the People have lost much this past four years of Obama but there is a chance of getting thru the next four years without completely destroying our nation if the people who can, and are aware, do the right thing.  These three judges on the US Court of Appeals in Washington DC did the right thing! Do read this very carefully. BB

JANUARY 25, 2013 3:38PM

DC Circuit Overturns President Obama’s Power Grab

Today, in an important decision with far-reaching implications, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unconstitutional President Obama’s appointment of three members to the National Labor Relations Board.

Slightly over a year ago, on January 4, 2012, President Obama appointed four people to high-level offices without the constitutionally required “advice and consent” of the Senate. Three of those appointees were placed on the NLRB, and the other was Richard Cordray, chosen to direct the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, the “consumer watchdog” agency created by Dodd-Frank.

The appointments were one of the most significant power grabs by a president in recent memory. The Constitution requires that certain “officers of the United States,” a category which indisputably includes NLRB board members and the director of the CFPB, be appointed by the president with the “advice and consent of the Senate.” Like many constitutional provisions, this is a “checks and balances” requirement that helps ensure the president does not unilaterally control the executive branch for his own purposes.

As a precaution against crucial offices staying vacant while the Senate is not in session, the Framers included a clause that allows the president to temporarily circumvent the “advice and consent” requirement in order “to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.” At the time of the framing, as well as for many decades afterward, senators would usually spend six to nine months out of Washington. In those absences, it was left to the president to keep the government going, and the Recess Appointment Clause gives the president the power to make temporary appointments during those long periods when the Senate was simply unavailable.

Unfortunately, like so many constitutional provisions, the last 80 years have seen a gradual, bipartisan effort to whittle away the Recess Appointment Clause’s function and to concentrate more power in the president. Initially, presidents began redefining what a “recess” is by asserting the power to appoint officers during “intrasession recesses”—that is, breaks within a formal session (e.g., holiday breaks)—rather than just during intersession recesses. After this precedent had been established by President Warren Harding, successive presidents began appointing officials during shorter and shorter intrasession recesses. President Clinton made a controversial appointment during a 10-day intrasession recess, and President George W. Bush followed suit.

In 2007, after Bush’s controversial appointments, the Senate, led by Harry Reid, began holding “pro forma” sessions in order to block future appointments. Usually held every three days during intrasession recesses, pro forma sessions are often less than a minute long and held in a largely empty Senate chamber. Yet the sessions satisfy the constitutional definition of being “in session” and are often used by the Senate and House to satisfy the constitutional requirement that either chamber cannot adjourn for more than three days without the consent of the other.

Whereas previous presidents only had the gall to assert the power to determine what a recess was, President Obama’s innovation in executive power grabs was to assert the power to determine whether or not a pro forma session is actually a session for the purposes of the Recess Appointment Clause. According to the Office of Legal Council, the president has the “discretion to conclude that the Senate is unavailable to perform its advise-and-consent function and to exercise his power to make recess Appointments.”

The OLC’s argument “will not do,” wrote Chief Judge David Sentelle in a stirring and chiding opinion rooted in constitutional originalism. He continued:

An interpretation of “the Recess” that permits the President to decide when the Senate is in recess would demolish the checks and balances inherent in the advice-and-consent requirement, giving the President free rein to appoint his desired nominees at any time he pleases, whether that time be a weekend, lunch, or even when the Senate is in session and he is merely displeased with its inaction. This cannot be the law.

As for whether or not the Senate’s intentions for holding pro forma sessions permit the president to determine whether the Senate is actually in session, Judge Sentelle writes:

The Senate’s desires do not determine the Constitution’s meaning. The Constitution’s separation of powers features, of which the Appointments Clause is one, do not simply protect one branch from another. These structural provisions serve to protect the people, for it is ultimately the people’s rights that suffer when one branch encroaches on another. As Madison explained in Federalist No. 51, the division of power between the branches forms part of the “security [that] arises to the rights of the people.”

After appointing Cordray and the NLRB board members, President Obama said he “refused to take no for an answer,” and that he would “not stand by while a minority in the Senate puts party ideology ahead of the people they were elected to serve.” The President’s attorneys made a similar argument, claiming that the Senate was standing in the way of his duties as president. Sentelle’s response:

It bears emphasis that “[c]onvenience and efficiency are not the primary objectives—or the hallmarks—of democratic government.” … The power of a written constitution lies in its words. It is those words that were adopted by the people. When those words speak clearly, it is not up to us to depart from their meaning in favor of our own concept of efficiency, convenience, or facilitation of the functions of government.

The decision is an important step to reining in a long line of presidential abuses. If the court had upheld the appointments, Obama unquestionably would not have been the last to use this power. Moreover, the reasoning of the decision should directly apply to Richard Cordray of the constitutionally problematic CFPB. His days are numbered if the Supreme Court either upholds the decision or does not take the case.

In case you missed these during the year I am posting Heritage top 10 2012 research papers here in one place.  They are all as relevant now as when they were published; in fact some even more so.  The United States is well on its way to total destruction as a free nation.  Our one chance at salvation was to elect Mitt Romney for President and we didn’t.  Obama won by a slim margin, but he  and the Democrats take that as a mandate to do as they please and because they still control the Senate and Harry Reid is at the helm there is nothing in the federal government to stop them.   The only forces now fighting Obama and Obamanation are the states and some very brave companies and individuals  who are trying thru the courts to hold off or hold back the onslaught of our demise.    I think you need to know what all of these reports say in order to perhaps  minimize the  personal damage the federal government will do to individuals in the coming years.  Sincerely and Happy New Year my Friends, BB

Top 10 Heritage Research Papers of 2012

Todd Thurman

December 27, 2012 at 8:02 am

federal spending 2008 – 2012As the year comes to a close, we reflect on 2012 by offering highlights of the top 10 most-read research papers by Heritage scholars.

1) The 2012 Index of Dependence on Government
By William Beach and Patrick Tyrrell
February 8, 2012
The great and calamitous fiscal trends of our time—dependence on government by an increasing portion of the American population, and soaring debt that threatens the financial integrity of the economy—worsened yet again in 2010 and 2011.

2) Taxmageddon: Massive Tax Increase Coming in 2013
By Curtis Dubay
April 4, 2012
If President Obama and Congress fail to act this year, an enormous, unprecedented tax increase will fall on American taxpayers starting on January 1, 2013.

3) High Gas Prices: Obama’s Half-Truths vs. Reality
By Nicolas Loris
February 23, 2012
Higher gas prices drive up production costs for goods reliant on transportation, and more money spent at the pump means less money spent at restaurants and movie theaters.

4) Federal Spending by the Numbers
By Alison Acosta Fraser
October 16, 2012
The federal government has closed out its fourth straight year of trillion-dollar-plus deficits, and the imperative to rein in spending has never been greater.

5) Red Tape Rising: Obama-Era Regulation at the Three-Year Mark
By James L. Gattuso and Diane Katz
March 13, 2012
During the first three years of the Obama Administration, 106 new major federal regulations added more than $46 billion per year in new costs for Americans.

6) The Ryan Budget: Confronting the Nation’s Spending Crisis
By Alison Acosta Fraser and Patrick Louis Knudsen
March 21, 2012
In the few months since Washington’s dramatic debt ceiling confrontation, America’s fiscal situation has only worsened. Federal spending is set to soar past previous record-shattering levels, endangering the economic future of the nation.

7) Auto Bailout or UAW Bailout? Taxpayer Losses Came from Subsidizing Union Compensation
By James Sherk and Todd Zywicki
June 13, 2012
The U.S. government will lose about $23 billion on the 2008-2009 bailout of General Motors and Chrysler. President Obama emphatically defends his decision to subsidize the automakers, arguing it was necessary to prevent massive job losses.

8) Government Employees Work Less than Private-Sector Employees
By Jason Richwine, Ph.D.
September 11, 2012
The stereotype of the under-worked government employee is frequently invoked in criticisms of public-sector employment. But does the average public employee really work less than the average private employee?

9) Tax Policy Center’s Skewed Analysis of Governor Romney’s Tax Plan
By Curtis Dubay
September 23, 2012
Their conclusion is the result of a series of carefully made choices. These choices, not the underlying nature of the Romney plan, cause them to arrive at their selected result. This finding is harming the debate on tax reform.

10) Welfare Reform’s Work Requirements Cannot be Waived
By Andrew M. Grossman
August 8, 2012
Under the guise of providing states greater “flexibility” in operating their welfare programs, the Obama Administration now claims the authority to weaken or waive the work requirements that are at the heart of welfare reform.

Read this article carefully to see one of the main reasons We the People are hung with a debt burden our great grandchildren will be paying.  Of course it is WE, yes, WE who have allowed this to happen and  if it continues it will be our fault.  BB

Amendment Cuts Pork from Hurricane Sandy Relief Bill

Patrick Louis Knudsen

December 20, 2012 at 2:30 pm

The East River crests the promenade between the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges. (Photo: ZUMA Press)

An example of fiscal responsibility turned up yesterday in an unexpected place: the U.S. Senate. Senator Dan Coats (R–IN) offered an amendment to President Obama’s $60.4 billion Hurricane Sandy relief bill that would be far less costly and much better focused on the storm’s victims.

Maybe common sense in budgeting still has a pulse.

Senator Coats noted that about two-thirds of Obama’s proposal, as packaged by the Appropriations Committee, is extraneous to the immediate needs of hurricane victims. The Senator’s $23.8 billion measure would strip out $13 billion in funding to mitigate the next potential storm, and also strikes all but $2 billion of an outrageous $17 billion Community Development Block Grant slush fund.

The amendment also eliminates funding for fisheries in Alaska, museum roof repairs in Washington, D.C., tree planting, and other non-Sandy “investments” in the Obama bill. These items can be considered in the regular budget process. That assumes, of course, that the Senate—which has not passed a budget resolution in more than three-and-a-half years—can remember how the “regular budget process” works.

The Obama bill is excessive in many ways. What is equally frustrating is how it employs the all-too-typical practice of disregarding budget discipline. The President and his Senate allies are exploiting the “disaster” and “emergency” loopholes they placed in the Budget Control Act (BCA) to slide their deficit-increasing bill through.

The timing is curious, too. Sandy struck in late October; the President’s request came on December 7, more than a month later. The “emergency” designation is supposed to be for urgently needed assistance. (Remember New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s early November pleas to the President?) With the year quickly drawing to a close, and the fiscal cliff still unresolved, rushing the Sandy relief bill now only ensures inadequate deliberation.

It is regrettable that even Senator Coats does not offset his $23.8 billion with reductions elsewhere. The federal government is still drowning in trillion-dollar deficits, and every dollar spent adds to the government’s growing debt. Nevertheless, his attempt to trim down Obama’s extravagant request points in a sensible direction—a refreshing change from the flagrant spend-as-you-go practices that have flourished in Washington for far too long.

(The above article from the Heritage Foundation.  Go to their web site and sign up for their newsletter if you want to stay informed on the most egregious actions of our government.  BB)

Obama is the President who took our national debt from $10 Trillion that took all previous presidents to accumulate to $16 Trillion dollars in just 4 years.  AND YET, 51% of the American people voted for him AGAIN!  This People is the communist plan to destroy the United States from within:  overwhelm the government with spending and debt and get as many people on the government dole as possible ( food stamp recipients up almost double since Obama first took office and climbing daily!  people on Disability SSI gone up over 13 in last 4 years!)  then when the tax burden becomes too great and the government can no longer feed the monster they created than the people will riot (GREECE!)   then the government calls out the army to put down the revolt and calls the problem solves and the people are finally defeated.  The script has been all laid out for us.  If you haven’t seen it please watch the videos at the top of my page on  SUBVERTING AMERICA.  Step by step Obama and his cronies in congress have followed the play book.  Sincerely, BB

Workers unions were once very necessary to get workers and their families a chance at a decent living. It was bad, very bad indeed for workers before the labor unions came into their own and gained some power during the 1930’s and 1940’s. My entire family were union people. But before he did in 1969 my Daddy told me that the unions had gone too far in their demands and would eventually kill themselves off. I believe this is happening now and it saddens me to see it. At the same time the illogical and greedy demands of these unions thru their Mafia bosses are hurting businesses and the public.

In my father’s case the incident the convinced him was in his words “a dammed stupid workplace rules’. Dad was a mechanic at Olin-Matheson Aluminum. One day a machine broke down and Dad was called in to fix it. He had to slip a piece of 2×4 under the machine to lift it up enough for him to replace the broken part. No big deal and the job would be done in less than 10 minutes allowing the machine to operate and all the workers on that machine to get back to production. But Dad was stopped by the union representative and told he couldn’t put that piece of wood under that machine, that was a carpenters job. So they had to call for a carpenter while everyone stood around doing nothing. The carpenter came decided what had to be done and then had to go get a block of wood ( this because as a carpenter he could not use the block of wood Dad carried in his tool box!). Altogether the machine was down for over an hour and losing the company money every minute of that time. All because the unions and union work rules had stopped using common sense and make unreasonable demands.

This week we saw the Hostess Company go bankrupt and close its doors and again much of it due to stupid union rules that made it difficult to continue to make a profit as a company altho they were selling their products well. The company could not however raise their prices enough to cover all the costs related to their union workers demands. It was the Baker’s Union that finally held out and forced the company’s bankruptcy but they were merely the last straw in a long list of stupidities. One stupidity was that Twinkies and Wonder Bread could not be transported in the same truck. Both were Hostess brands and both went to the same outlets but union rules stated that they could not be transported together. Then after arriving at the store the driver of the delivery truck could not unload the truck! As a result of all this the Hostess Company after 80+ years in business went bankrupt and 18,000 (that’s eighteen thousand) people lost their jobs, benefits and pensions!

Over this holiday we have seen on the news were the Service Employees International Union (The infamous SEIU run by Mafia boss and frequent visitor to the White House Trumpka makes well over $300,000 a year in union dues paid salary) were out in the purple t-shirts interrupting the free flow of traffic at airports across the country. They also intend to storm WalMart Stores across the country on Black Friday altho WalMart employees have repeatedly voted down union membership in a free and open secret ballot election. If the employees wanted the union it was a secret ballot and the employer would have no idea who had voted for the union so no one needed to be afraid of losing their jobs! Now of course with Obama in the White House another 4 years I have no doubt that the “bosses” will unionize WalMart because they will probably get the so-called Card Check ballot thru which means no secret ballot but merely having as few as a few dozen employees sign a card saying they want a union and the union will be in.

Then there are the Public Employees Unions! Even a die hard liberal like Franklin D. Roosevelt would not allow government employees to unionize. But President John F. Kennedy with a Presidential Order approved and allowed the public sector employees to unionize and our trouble as tax payers began. It was never ever a law passed by Congress and now Congress can stop it all by passing a law rescinding the Presidential Order but like the cities and states Congress has for these past 50 years continued to buy the government employees votes. And since Obama is the union president nothing is likely to change except to get worse!

 

Public or government workers are not like workers in the private sector.  Governments don’t go bankrupt and lay off workers so those who have government jobs are pretty secure.    Private companies must make a profit with the product they produce or they cant’t pay their workers.  governments simply raise taxes on the tax payers!  Private companies when negotiating with their workers have an incentive (profits) for keeping the benefits and wages reasonable in order to keep their company from going bankrupt.  Government workers negotiate with politicians who don’t care and just want to buy the employees vote.    Government workers voted for Obama overwhelmingly—-like the greedy sons don’t have kids who will have to pay for this extravagance!

We have all heard of California and New York and Illinois and cities all over the country that are going bankrupt because of employee pensions and benefits. These huge pensions and benefits have been given to the government workers by politicians who are simply buying the votes. Some states are pushing back on the public sector unions and there have been some wins for the tax payers. We all remember the teachers in Wisconsin invading and almost trashing the capitol building while Governor Walker and the Republicans fought thru legislation to stop collective bargaining which was bankrupting the state. (You may remember the Democrats legislators left the state rather than vote or allow a quorum so the Republicans could vote) You may also recall that the unions finally got thru a recall election on Governor Walker but he won that election with even more votes than he had gotten when first elected!

Anyhow, I have said my piece and now  Heritage has some thoughts and some facts about unions that you may find interesting and useful because as I said previously we should be prepared for more and more thuggery from the unions now that their president has another 4 years in office. BB

 

Should We Pay Government Employees More?

Federal employees—who work on average a month less than private-sector workers and get paid more—are lobbying for higher pay.

Government unions know that Congress is looking for ways to nip and tuck the federal budget, and they’re counting on being left out of the deal.

“The Federal-Postal Coalition—a group representing more than two dozen federal employee unions—pleaded with Congress on Monday to spare their members in any deal related to the ‘fiscal cliff,’” Government Executive reports.

Government unions went all out to re-elect the President—the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) spent more than any other outside group on Obama’s campaign. While only about seven out of 100 private-sector workers are unionized, in government, that number rises to 36 out of 100.

Now they’re complaining that they don’t get paid enough.

Federal employees and Members of Congress are working under a two-year “pay freeze,” though “individual employees still remain eligible for raises if they receive promotions, step increases or performance awards,” explains Government Executive.

Of course, these are employees who are paid by the taxpayers. So their compensation deserves every measure of scrutiny. Unfortunately, faulty comparisons to the private sector have been muddying the waters—something Heritage’s Jason Richwine and the American Enterprise Institute’s Andrew G. Biggs have been working to correct.

When Richwine and Biggs wrote in The Washington Post November 18 that government unions were using bogus numbers to push for raises, a firestorm of reader comments erupted. As of this morning, there were 2,480 comments on the piece.

One of the main issues: “The Federal Salary Council, an advisory body of academics and leaders of public employee unions, suggested last month that federal workers are underpaid by an average of 35 percent relative to nonfederal employees.”

What’s behind the huge gap the council is claiming? For starters, a huge omission: benefits packages. Richwine and Biggs note:

First, the pay agent doesn’t consider fringe benefits, even though benefits for federal workers are famously generous. In addition to a 401(k)-type pension with a handsome employer match, federal workers receive a traditional defined-benefit pension—for which they contribute less than 1 percent of salary—as well as retiree health coverage. A Congressional Budget Office study published in January found that the federal retirement package was 2.7 times more generous than what is paid by large private-sector firms. Federal workers also receive more paid vacation and sick days.

According to their own reporting, government employees work fewer hours than private-sector employees. To measure this in the fairest way possible, the American Time Use Survey allows workers to record all of their time, including any hours spent working from home or outside normal business hours. Using this data, Richwine found that government employees worked about one month less per year than private-sector workers.

And not only do they work less, they get paid more.

A January 2012 report by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) showed that federal government employees receive substantially higher compensation than similarly skilled workers in the private sector. The report’s methodology and conclusions were broadly similar to previous studies from both The Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute. Richwine, Biggs, and Heritage’s James Sherk concluded:

Federal compensation should be scaled back and reallocated to reward the most productive federal workers. The government should replace the seniority system with performance pay, paying higher salaries to good workers without guaranteeing raises for mediocre performers.

Government unions worked hard to re-elect President Obama, and now they’re expecting a payout at the expense of taxpayers. Any suggestion that their pay is below market levels is completely false.

>>> Watch Jason Richwine and Andrew Biggs discussing federal pay in yesterday’s Google Hangout on The Foundry.

I loved the debate last night!  Romney was really out there and every bit the President we need.  He was respectful of the President but did not tolerate inaccuracies and came right back with the truth.  Obama reminded me of nothing more than a little boy who was being scolded by his Daddy.  He looked down and wouldn’t look Romney in the eye because he couldn’t; he couldn’t refute the truth of the facts Mitt Romney was putting forth to counter the lies Obama was telling and the  dismal facts of Obama’s administration’s mistakes and blunders and bad policies.  Then Obama allowed his nasty ego to show  when he let us see how upset and affronted he was to have anyone dare to question and confront him.    If there had been just five more  minutes left Obama would have exploded in a nasty temper tantrum.  I expect to see this tantrum in the next debate! because this  egomaniac  holds a grudge and will just have to come back, and in public.  We will see the real Obama next time..    In the meantime Heritage has some great articles on  debate questions and facts and follow up that I hope you will read.   I am printing just one article here but do go to their site and read several of their articles.  In fact, if you do not subscribe to the Heritage Foundation you really should.   BB

10 Questions for the First Presidential Debate

Tonight’s debate between President Barack Obama and former Governor Mitt Romney is supposed to focus on domestic policy, with a major concentration on the economy. Health care, the role of government, and philosophy of governing are also on the agenda. The Heritage Foundation’s policy experts have submitted 10 questions they would like to see asked in the debate.

1. In 2008, then-candidate Obama said, “Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase.” In reality, President Obama’s signature health care law contains 18 new or increased taxes and penalties that will cost taxpayers $836.3 billion over the next 10 years, many of which fall heavily on the middle class. In fact, almost 70 percent of those responsible for paying the fiercely debated individual mandate are below 400 percent of the federal poverty level.Should these tax increases be stopped to protect middle-class Americans from their damage? If yes, where would the money needed to help pay for Obamacare come from?

2. Millions of baby boomers are starting to retire, and spending on Social Security and Medicare as these programs are currently structured is simply unsustainableWhat is your plan to solve the looming entitlement program spending crisis?

3. Medicare as we know it today is facing severe financing problems that are unsustainable and putting future generations’ Medicare benefits in jeopardy. Over the long term, Medicare has made $37 trillion worth of promises to seniors that it cannot keep and the hospital insurance trust fund will be empty by 2024. Worse, the President’s health care law will cut Medicare by $716 billion over the next 10 years to pay for new spending in Obamacare. As Medicare’s solvency hangs in the balance, what structural reforms, if any, are you willing to make to preserve Medicare for future generations?

4. Everyone talks about shoring up our battered American DreamHow would you define the American Dream and what do you think are the most serious threats to it?

5. The Health and Human Services Department recently rewrote the law governing welfare to weaken its work requirements. Meanwhile, the number of people relying on food stamps has doubled under the current Administration. Should all able-bodied recipients be required to work or prepare for work as a condition of receiving aid in public housing, food stamps, and cash assistance?

6. The federal government is currently spending much more than it has, and annual budget deficits over $1 trillion have become the norm.What is your plan to stem the tide of deficits and rising debt?

7. One of the few bright spots in America’s economy has been energy production, particularly on state and private lands.  According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), energy production decreased 13 percent on federal lands in fiscal year (FY) 2011 when compared to FY 2010. What would you do to reverse course on energy production on federal lands?

8. Congress—most notably the Senate, which hasn’t produced a budget in over three years—is sorely lacking in its basic responsibility of budgeting.What would you do to ensure the fundamental process of budgeting is restored?

9. President Obama has previously stated that, in the most important 5 percent of cases before the courts, it matters more what is in a judge’s heart (what has come to be known as his empathy standard) than what the rule of law requires. Is this the correct standard by which to evaluate judicial nominees? If not, what standard would you apply?

10. Former Attorney General of Mexico Victor Humberto Benítez Treviño estimated that approximately 300 Mexican citizens have been killed using Fast and Furious weapons in addition to U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. Should Eric Holder resign as Attorney General because of his failures related to Operation Fast and Furious, including his failure to properly supervise the operation? If not, why not?

Watch the debate with Heritage tonight—you can watch it live, streaming on our Debate 2012 page. On the page, you can also follow our experts’ live blog and chime in on Twitter.


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