And So I Go: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Archive for the ‘Ineffective Government Programs’ Category

Could have seen this one coming:  Chicago and Detroit both Obama strongholds are using Obamacare to help bail them out of their fiscal woes by using Obamacare exchanges to dump theri public sector employeees into the Obamacare exchanges and off of their gold plated health care policies.  Look for more big cities to do the same and dump their profligate spending off on the federal  tax payers to bail them out.  Ironically the public employees of these cities don’t care for what their leaders are planning and just may be the instrument that will finally put an end to Obamacare.  Wouldn’t that be just dandy.  The very unions who put and kept this abomination in office to turn against him and his signature piece of destruction of the American way of life!

Washington has always been a city filled with crooks but never to the extent it has now risen to under Barack Obama with his Chicago style governing.  At this point with any other President doing what Obama has done to our  laws and Constitution  the President would have been thrown out of office by election if not impeached, but  the first Black President and his entire administration and departments have a pass for any thing he wants done.  I hope We the People come to our senses before too much more damage is done.  Obama and his Chicago gangland thugs are responsible for all the scandals now hitting Washington.  and People stay tuned because the Pandora’s Box has just been opened and there are many more to come!   The following article explains just one more.  BB

The Obamacare Big City Bailout

July 6, 2013 at 7:00 am

Newscom

Newscom

Bloomberg reports this week on the latest Obamacare trend sweeping across the country: Cities and states may soon attempt to unload unsustainable health costs on the federal government by dumping employees and retirees onto exchanges.

Both Chicago and Detroit have explored using the exchanges to reduce massive budget shortfalls, and it could set an example for others. Bloomberg quotes one expert from the Rockefeller Institute of Government: “We can expect other cities to pick up on this.… I expect [employee dumping] to mushroom.”

The incentives for cities—or even states—to dump their workers onto exchanges are significant. Bloomberg notes that reducing retiree health costs could save Detroit approximately $150 million per year—at a time when the city faces a $386 million budget deficit and $17 billion in long-term debt.

Of course, these budgetary maneuvers aren’t really “savings”—they merely represent a shift of unsustainable costs from cities and states onto the backs of federal taxpayers. If more individuals than expected—particularly retirees, who are likely to be older and sicker than the population as a whole—require federal exchange subsidies, the cost of Obamacare could rise by trillions. And if cities and even states set an example by dumping their health care obligations on the federal government, private-sector employers could well follow suit.

The spokesman for Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel called the city’s retiree health system “fiscally unsustainable,” but merely shifting that responsibility to Washington may be about as effective as moving deck chairs on a budgetary Titanic.

Meanwhile, like other Americans losing their coverage due to Obamacare, retirees themselves appear none too keen on getting dumped onto the exchanges. Bloomberg quotes one retired Detroit police officer expressing his outrage:

Imagine if they said tomorrow your Social Security, your Medicare is going away and you’re going on Obamacare.… How would you feel?

Many Americans may soon find out.

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When Americans choose to live off the backs of others instead of taking care of themselves it is a national disgrace.  i am NOT talking about the poor, I am talking about dead-beats and just plain thieves who see a chance to get something for nothing and therefore they do.  Anyone who wants to can now get food stamps because a program that was to help the poor is so easy to qualify for.  Why is this program so full of fraud and abuse?  One reason is that it is administered by the Department of Agriculture and the funding is always a part of the farm bills (This outrageous rip-off for another day!!).  Anyhow since the funding for food stamps is part of the farm bill the city representatives vote for it to keep the food stamps for their inner city poor and the rural representatives vote for it in order for their city colleagues to vote for farm subsidies.   Each group pats the others back!  Time is long overdue for We the People to take both groups in hand and shake some sense into the programs they give each other.  Under Obama the food stamp programs has doubled!!  YES MORE THAN DOUBLED!    The following article exp[lains very well what the problem is and how we need to fix it.  BB

The Facts about Food Stamps Everyone Should Hear

 and 

May 27, 2013 at 12:00 pm

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Newscom

Newscom

A recent US News & World Report article set out to unveil the “facts” about food stamps.

What are the so-called “facts”?

For one, the article claims that the food stamps program is not “bloated,” but rather, the surge in participation and spending is a result of the program “doing what it’s supposed to do.”

But what is it “supposed to do”?

Food stamps (or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), as it is now called) were designed to ensure that Americans without the ability to provide for themselves are able to receive basic nutrition. However, application loopholes and policy changes over the past decade or so have allowed recipients to bypass income and asset tests, meaning many people are receiving food stamps who would not have been eligible under the program’s original purposes.

One of the changes in eligibility requirements is “broad-based categorical eligibility.” This type of eligibility means that an individual who receives any service under another welfare program, such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)—even something as small as a TANF brochure—can be deemed eligible for food stamps. A full 50 percent of all food stamp recipients now enroll in the program through this broad-based categorical eligibility procedure. As Heritage welfare experts Robert Rector and Kiki Bradley write:

In states using this loophole, a middle-class family with one earner who becomes unemployed for one or two months can receive $668 per month in food stamps even if the family has $20,000 in cash sitting in the bank. Because of this, food stamps has been transformed from a program for the truly needy to a routine bonus payment stacked on top of conventional unemployment benefits.

In addition, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has operated substantial outreach programs to pull more people onto the food stamp rolls. Some states have gone so far as tohire food stamp recruiters, tasked with filling a monthly quota of new food stamp enrollees.

Another “fact,” according to the author, is that much of the growth in food stamp costs is due to the recession and is temporary.

That’s partially true. Food stamp spending has roughly doubled in the past four years, and part of this is clearly due to the recession. However, food stamp spending has been on an upward climb since the program began back in the 1960s. In the decade prior to the recession, total government food stamp spending nearly doubled, from $19.8 billion in 2000 to $37.9 trillion in 2007.

Bfoodstampreform2012chart1

Moreover, according to Obama’s budget plans, food stamp spending will not return to pre-recession levels when the economy improves. “For most of the next decade, food stamp spending, adjusted for inflation and population growth, would remain at nearly twice the levels seen during the non-recessionary periods under President Bill Clinton,” note Rector and Bradley.

What’s more, food stamps are just one of roughly 80 federally funded means-tested welfare programs. The total cost of government welfare spending has been on a nearly continual climb over the past five decades and has increased 16-fold, to nearly $1 trillion annually, since the 1960s. Welfare is the fastest growing part of government spending, and under Obama’s fiscal year 2013 budget, total welfare spending will permanently increase from 4.5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) to 6 percent of GDP.

US News & World Report also suggests as a “fact” that most food stamp recipients work.

However, a significant portion of able-bodied recipients of food stamps perform little to no work. Of the roughly 10.5 million households receiving food stamps containing an able-bodied, non-elderly adult (there are approximately 20 million households receiving food stamps total), more than half—5.5 million—performed no work during a given month in 2010. Another 1.5 million to 2 million performed fewer than 30 hours of work per week. This isn’t unique to the recession, but is typical even during good economic times.

The food stamp program is just one of dozens that comprise the complex system of federal means-tested welfare programs. Instead of continuing to pour more dollars into these programs, which have failed to promote self-sufficiency, policymakers should roll back aggregate spending on means-tested welfare to pre-recession levels when employment recovers. Likewise, programs like food stamps should be reformed to promote self-reliance through work, empowering individuals and families to become free from government dependence.

Posted in Family and Religion [slideshow_deploy]

Rachel Sheffield

T. Elliot Gaiser

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Comments

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.

 

Now that high unemployment appears to be the new normal and will under Obama continue for at least another  four years or mere we really need to take a better look at unemployment insurance and what it is doing to our society.  It is not just the cost that is out of control but the acceptance of this hand out as being the way things should be.  ONE MORE WAY TO GET OUR PEOPLE ONTO THE GOVERNMENT DOLE PERMANENTLY AND THEREFORE TO CREATE A PERMANENT SLAVE POPULATION.

I am NOT against unemployment insurance for people who are temporarily unemployed thru no fault of their own. I am very much against unemployment insurance that goes on and on and on for two years and then some more!! Sweden found that people tended to get jobs just before their unemployment insurance ran out so they did an adjustment to their very generous unemployment system by cutting it back a few months and lo and behold the same phenomena was noticed: people got jobs right before their unemployment insurance ran out. So Sweden wisely cut their unemployment insurance back to a few months and solved their unemployment problem. Might we in the United States take a lesson from this? Actually, we already have the data to prove the lesson if we would just look at it. It is a fact that people get a job when they no longer have the “free money” to sit on their cans and do nothing! There are jobs out there to be had if people care to work. I certainly never in my lifetime had difficulty finding work. Not always a job I wanted to keep for the rest of my life and not always the pay I wanted, but a job none-the-less that paid the bills and kept me off the couch.

So now that I have pissed a few of you off but good please go on and read the following article from CATO Institute to see just what unemployment insurance is really cost you.   BE SURE TO READ THERELATED ARTICLES LISTED AT THE BOTTOM OF THE ARTICLE! BB

 

FEBRUARY 1, 2013 3:59PM

$10.3 Billion in Unemployment Insurance Improper Payments

The Washington Times noted this week that the 2012 improper payment rate for unemployment insurance benefits was 11.4 percent ($10.3 billion out of $90.2 billion), according to U.S. Department of Labor data. The good news is that the figure is down from 12 percent in 2011. The bad news is that it’s still a pathetic waste of money.

The waste, fraud, and high administrative costs associated with the program are just some of the reasons why it should be scrapped. A Cato essay on the failures of the unemployment insurance system explains:

When policymakers dream of ways to provide subsidies and safety nets to groups in society, they rarely take into account the large bureaucratic costs that are inevitably involved. The UI system is a complex and costly system for governments and businesses to administer.

State governments must raise taxes from almost 8 million businesses, with tax bills specifically calculated for each firm’s experience rating. At the same time, the states dole out individually calculated benefits to millions of workers and monitor whether each person making a claim is currently eligible. Businesses and states need to adjudicate the many disputed claims for benefits, and states need to police UI tax evasion as businesses try to manipulate the system to get a lower tax rate.

Federal and state UI administration cost taxpayers $5.9 billion in 2010. Despite this large cost, there is widespread concern among experts that the UI system is “in long-term decline” from an administrative perspective. UI computer systems are apparently far outdated in many states, and administrators say that they need more money to do their jobs competently.

One problem is that state UI tax systems are very complex. There are four different experience-rating systems, and there are three different methods of determining which businesses to charge when a worker makes a claim. States have various exclusions to the UI tax base, and new businesses have special rules because they don’t have an experience rating yet. Most states also impose a range of added charges to basic UI taxes, such as solvency taxes, taxes for socialized costs, reserve fund taxes, and various surtaxes.

Employers face substantial costs to deal with all the paperwork and tax planning needed to comply with the UI system. For example, the National Federation of Independent Business notes that regardless of eligibility, “many departing employees automatically file for unemployment compensation. They have nothing to lose; filing a claim costs nothing and it puts the ball in the employer’s court.” Businesses are then forced to spend time and money fighting unjustified claims.

There is a substantial amount of waste, fraud, and abuse in the UI system. Many people try to grab benefits improperly, including people who are ineligible, people who are not actively looking for work, and people who have taken jobs and neglect to report it. Other problems include the misreporting of earnings, the provision of false ID to gain benefits, and falsifying reasons for employment termination… If you Google the phrase “unemployment benefits fraud,” you find a huge number of news stories.

The bottom line is that government benefit programs such as UI are subject to large administrative costs and widespread abuses, which represent losses to taxpayers and the economy. The larger subsidy and benefit programs become, the larger the army of people doing paperwork and transferring wealth in society, rather than adding to wealth by producing real products.

Heritage Foundation has done an excellent job out spelling out just how Obamacare is going to destroy the healthcare system of the United States which is considered the best in the world.  At the same time it is now beyond a doubt going to be the most expensive health care system in the world.  AND YES, it will indeed have the  Death Squads that the Republicans warned us all about where unelected  non-medically trained desk jerks have the power to tell us and our doctors what medical procedures we can have.  I have all  of the details here in this final article that Heritage termed the 12 dsays of Obamacare. I chose toi keep the individual articles until this last one and then leave it to you to educate yourself.  I have been actually sickened by the details of each article.   You can read them all and see for yourself.  Of course by electing Obama to a second term we Americans are stuck with this monster.  BB

 

12 Days of Obamacare Surprises: An Optional Medicaid Expansion

Alyene Senger

December 25, 2012 at 1:58 pm

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Not all surprises are good. When it comes to Obamacare, the original projections are turning into unfortunately different realities. For the past 11 days, Heritage has highlighted one of the various changes in Obamacare projections (e.g., cost, enrollment, etc.) from when the law first passed until now. This Christmas morning will be the last day in this blog series and will highlight a positiveObamacare surprise.

In 2014, Obamacare expands Medicaid eligibility to able-bodied, childless adults earning up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL). If a state chose not to expand, the federal government would stop funding their existing Medicaid programs. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that by 2016, Obamacare would drive an additional 17 million Americans into Medicaid.

Thankfully, the Supreme Court ruled that Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion was unconstitutionally coercive, ensuring state that chose not to expand would not lose existing federal assistance. Due to the Court’s ruling, the CBO now estimates that 6 million less Americans will be enrolled in the failing Medicaid program in 2022.

Surprise: While additional federal funding is available to those states that expand, the states will be burdened with the true cost. At least 20 states are planning to not expand or are unlikely to expand their Medicaid programs, according to Politico. The Supreme Court’s decision dealt a major blow to Obamacare and shifted a great deal of power to the states. This Christmas, in light of Obamacare’s many other mandates and requirements, this optional part of the law is certainly something to be thankful for.

12 Days of Obamacare Surprises:

11. Unlikely deficit reduction…

10. Unelected bureaucrats on IPAB…

9. Increased employer penalties…

8. More cuts to Medicare…

7. Loss of employer-sponsored insurance

6. A 50/50 split on enrollment estimates

5. More uninsured Americans

4. Increased exchange subsidies

3. Big tax increases

2. The small business tax credit

1. And the individual mandate.

Catch up on what happened this week in DC and things to watch for.  the Republicans in the House are doing what they can to clean up Obamanation thru the Supercommittee because they know nothing they do will get past the democratic Senate.  BB

FRIDAY’S BIG STORY:

President Obama and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak will take a victory lap in the Motor City on Friday after passage of a free-trade agreement between the two nations this week with a visit to a General Motors plant.

The Detroit trip comes two days after Congress passed three trade deals, with South Korea, Colombia and Panama.

The Obama administration extracted some changes to the South Korean agreement last year improving access and lowering tariffs for U.S. automakers, a deal supported by House Ways and Means ranking member Sandy Levin (D-Mich.), Ford and the United Auto Workers.

The auto industry is expected to increase its exports to South Korea by 54 percent, or about $194 million, the U.S. International Trade Commission has estimated.

“We know from experience that free-trade agreements lead to doubling and sometimes tripling and quadrupling the amount of trade and investments going into each others [countries],” the South Korean president said Thursday during lunch in Washington. “What’s more important is the fact that FTAs lead to creation of good, decent jobs and it spurs growth and innovation and entrepreneurship.”

Korea is aiming to approve the agreement soon so the pact will go into effect by Jan. 1.

But before they head off to Detroit, Obama and Lee — and scores of others, for that matter — will chow down Thursday night at an official State Dinner.

The evening’s menu is laden with Korean influences (masago rice pearl crispies and rice wine vinaigrette, for instance) and features local ingredients, including some culled from the White House kitchen garden, the White House said.

Two-cents deadline: Congressional committees have until Friday to submit their two cents — or maybe trillion-dollar saving recommendations — to the deficit supercommittee.

Keep a close watch on the the bipartisan recommendations of the House and Senate Agriculture panels, which are expected to suggest serious cuts to farm programs in the interest of warding off even deeper slashing of subsidies.

House Democrats delivered 16 letters to the deficit group on Thursday from committee ranking members focusing on job creation and tax increases. House Appropriations ranking member Norm Dicks (D-Wash.) used his detailed letter to show the damage to discretionary spending that could result if the supercommittee fails to agree on a sensible mix of cuts and taxes.

Technical issues delayed substantive debate on the three-in-one appropriations bill package that was set to come to the Senate floor on Thursday.

Votes on the combined Commerce, Justice, Agriculture and Transportation, Housing bill is not expected until next week.


WHAT ELSE TO WATCH FOR

Mingling of interests: Capping off a week that saw Congress pass three free-trade agreements, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will deliver an address to the Economic Club of New York on the intersection of economics and foreign policy;

Supercommittee member and House Budget ranking member Chris Van Hollen (D-Md) will join other budget experts at a Newseum media briefing hosted by National Journal; and

OxFam America activists will fight against cuts to foreign aid on Friday by dressing up as members of the congressional supercommittee and protesting outside the east front of the Capitol.

European economic elixir: Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner head to Paris on Friday for a meeting of G-20 finance ministers, as well as a separate meeting of central bank governors. You may have noticed, but there’s a bit of economic drama in Europe these days, as leaders wrestle a debt crisis that is threatening some of its largest economies. But there is some good news to greet Geithner, as Slovakia finally passed a European Union deal to beef up its rescue fund, after voting it down the first time earlier in the week.

Do a little derivatives dance: The House Financial Services Committee will dive deep into the world of derivatives on Friday, as a subcommittee mulls a number of bills to tweak that market, which is under scrutiny by the Dodd-Frank financial reform law. That hearing comes on the heels of a similar event at the House Agriculture Committee on Wednesday, where lawmakers discussed a slew of bills amending government regulation of the financial tool.

The movement on the three bills could also give the GOP negotiating leverage when riders on the environmental and labor bills step to the forefront.

When that happens, Democrats will no longer be able to say the entire government faces a shutdown if the less controversial bills are already in effect.


ECONOMIC INDICATORS

Retail sales: The Department of Commerce releases its measure of the total receipts of retail stores. The changes in retail sales are widely followed as the most timely indicator of broad consumer spending patterns.

Michigan sentiment: The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan group puts out its report on consumer confidence.

Business inventories: The Department of Commerce report includes sales and inventory statistics from all three stages of the manufacturing process (manufacturing, wholesale and retail).

Export-Import prices: The Department of Commerce releases its report tracking trends in exports and imports. The export data is worth watching for indications that a strengthening competitive position at home and/or strengthening economies overseas are boosting U.S. growth.


WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED:

— Watchdog group wants info from the SEC

— House panel slogs through on postal reform bill

GAO suggests Postal Service did not pay too much into retirement program

— USPS didn’t like the GAO report

— Senate Republicans put together a jobs plan

House Dems want new revenue sources from deficit panel

— Maybe Geithner should fly coach, or maybe business class

— Trade deficit narrows, China figures widening

— House Dems want investigation on bank fee hikes

First-time jobless claims drop slightly

Government Stupidity – Gov’t insanity: You won’t believe whatthis former Obama economic advisor just said.

From Economic Policy Journal:

Greg Mankiw points to this Larry Summers comment on the Charlie Rose Show:

Never forget, never forget, and I think it’s very important for Democrats especially to remember this, that if Hitler had not come along, Franklin Roosevelt would have left office in 1941 with an unemployment rate in excess of 15 percent and an economic recovery strategy that had basically failed.

Economist Robert Higgs has ripped apart the notion that war is good for an economy. And in particular, he has focused on World War II. On release of Higgs’ book, Depression, War, and Cold War: Challenging the Myths of Conflict and Prosperity, the publisher wrote:

[Higgs] provides clear evidence FDR’’ New Deal actually prolonged the Great Depression and that World War II did nothing to create prosperity…

Go to the site and read the entire article.  This is an eye opener.  Sometimes I am just too upset to read an article all at once and this was one of those times.  BB

 


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